WorldWideScience

Sample records for plausible underlying biological

  1. Invariant visual object recognition: biologically plausible approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Leigh; Rolls, Edmund T

    2015-10-01

    Key properties of inferior temporal cortex neurons are described, and then, the biological plausibility of two leading approaches to invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual system is assessed to investigate whether they account for these properties. Experiment 1 shows that VisNet performs object classification with random exemplars comparably to HMAX, except that the final layer C neurons of HMAX have a very non-sparse representation (unlike that in the brain) that provides little information in the single-neuron responses about the object class. Experiment 2 shows that VisNet forms invariant representations when trained with different views of each object, whereas HMAX performs poorly when assessed with a biologically plausible pattern association network, as HMAX has no mechanism to learn view invariance. Experiment 3 shows that VisNet neurons do not respond to scrambled images of faces, and thus encode shape information. HMAX neurons responded with similarly high rates to the unscrambled and scrambled faces, indicating that low-level features including texture may be relevant to HMAX performance. Experiment 4 shows that VisNet can learn to recognize objects even when the view provided by the object changes catastrophically as it transforms, whereas HMAX has no learning mechanism in its S-C hierarchy that provides for view-invariant learning. This highlights some requirements for the neurobiological mechanisms of high-level vision, and how some different approaches perform, in order to help understand the fundamental underlying principles of invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual stream.

  2. Biologically Plausible, Human-scale Knowledge Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Eric; Gingerich, Matthew; Eliasmith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Several approaches to implementing symbol-like representations in neurally plausible models have been proposed. These approaches include binding through synchrony (Shastri & Ajjanagadde, 1993), "mesh" binding (van der Velde & de Kamps, 2006), and conjunctive binding (Smolensky, 1990). Recent theoretical work has suggested that…

  3. Speech recognition employing biologically plausible receptive fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fereczkowski, Michal; Bothe, Hans-Heinrich

    2011-01-01

    The main idea of the project is to build a widely speaker-independent, biologically motivated automatic speech recognition (ASR) system. The two main differences between our approach and current state-of-the-art ASRs are that i) the features used here are based on the responses of neuronlike spec...

  4. Classification using sparse representations: a biologically plausible approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratling, M W

    2014-02-01

    Representing signals as linear combinations of basis vectors sparsely selected from an overcomplete dictionary has proven to be advantageous for many applications in pattern recognition, machine learning, signal processing, and computer vision. While this approach was originally inspired by insights into cortical information processing, biologically plausible approaches have been limited to exploring the functionality of early sensory processing in the brain, while more practical applications have employed non-biologically plausible sparse coding algorithms. Here, a biologically plausible algorithm is proposed that can be applied to practical problems. This algorithm is evaluated using standard benchmark tasks in the domain of pattern classification, and its performance is compared to a wide range of alternative algorithms that are widely used in signal and image processing. The results show that for the classification tasks performed here, the proposed method is competitive with the best of the alternative algorithms that have been evaluated. This demonstrates that classification using sparse representations can be performed in a neurally plausible manner, and hence, that this mechanism of classification might be exploited by the brain.

  5. On the biological plausibility of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Robert V

    2015-01-01

    An emerging environmental health issue relates to potential ill-effects of wind turbine noise. There have been numerous suggestions that the low-frequency acoustic components in wind turbine signals can cause symptoms associated with vestibular system disorders, namely vertigo, nausea, and nystagmus. This constellation of symptoms has been labeled as Wind Turbine Syndrome, and has been identified in case studies of individuals living close to wind farms. This review discusses whether it is biologically plausible for the turbine noise to stimulate the vestibular parts of the inner ear and, by extension, cause Wind Turbine Syndrome. We consider the sound levels that can activate the semicircular canals or otolith end organs in normal subjects, as well as in those with preexisting conditions known to lower vestibular threshold to sound stimulation.

  6. A biologically plausible embodied model of action discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rufino eBolado-Gomez

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During development, animals can spontaneously discover action-outcomepairings enabling subsequent achievement of their goals. We present abiologically plausible embodied model addressing key aspects of thisprocess. The biomimetic model core comprises the basal ganglia and itsloops through cortex and thalamus. We incorporate reinforcementlearning with phasic dopamine supplying a sensory prediction error,signalling 'surprising' outcomes. Phasic dopamine is used in acorticostriatal learning rule which is consistent with recent data. Wealso hypothesised that objects associated with surprising outcomesacquire 'novelty salience' contingent on the predicability of theoutcome. To test this idea we used a simple model of predictiongoverning the dynamics of novelty salience and phasic dopamine. Thetask of the virtual robotic agent mimicked an in vivo counterpart(Gancarz et al., 2011 and involved interaction with a target objectwhich caused a light flash, or a control object which did not.Learning took place according to two schedules. In one, the phasicoutcome was delivered after interaction with the target in anunpredictable way which emulated the in vivo protocol. Without noveltysalience, the model was unable to account for the experimental data.In the other schedule, the phasic outcome was reliably delivered andthe agent showed a rapid increase in the number of interactions withthe target which then decreased over subsequent sessions. We arguethis is precisely the kind of change in behaviour required torepeatedly present representations of context, action and outcome, toneural networks responsible for learning action-outcome contingency.The model also showed corticostriatal plasticity consistent withlearning a new action in basal ganglia. We conclude that actionlearning is underpinned by a complex interplay of plasticity andstimulus salience, and that our model contains many of the elementsfor biological action discovery to take place.

  7. A biologically plausible model of time-scale invariant interval timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Rita; Ledberg, Anders

    2010-02-01

    The temporal durations between events often exert a strong influence over behavior. The details of this influence have been extensively characterized in behavioral experiments in different animal species. A remarkable feature of the data collected in these experiments is that they are often time-scale invariant. This means that response measurements obtained under intervals of different durations coincide when plotted as functions of relative time. Here we describe a biologically plausible model of an interval timing device and show that it is consistent with time-scale invariant behavior over a substantial range of interval durations. The model consists of a set of bistable units that switch from one state to the other at random times. We first use an abstract formulation of the model to derive exact expressions for some key quantities and to demonstrate time-scale invariance for any range of interval durations. We then show how the model could be implemented in the nervous system through a generic and biologically plausible mechanism. In particular, we show that any system that can display noise-driven transitions from one stable state to another can be used to implement the timing device. Our work demonstrates that a biologically plausible model can qualitatively account for a large body of data and thus provides a link between the biology and behavior of interval timing.

  8. Plausible rice yield losses under future climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chuang; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Xuhui; Huang, Yao; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Huang, Mengtian; Janssens, Ivan A; Li, Tao; Lian, Xu; Liu, Yongwen; Müller, Christoph; Peng, Shushi; Wang, Tao; Zeng, Zhenzhong; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-12-19

    Rice is the staple food for more than 50% of the world's population(1-3). Reliable prediction of changes in rice yield is thus central for maintaining global food security. This is an extraordinary challenge. Here, we compare the sensitivity of rice yield to temperature increase derived from field warming experiments and three modelling approaches: statistical models, local crop models and global gridded crop models. Field warming experiments produce a substantial rice yield loss under warming, with an average temperature sensitivity of -5.2 ± 1.4% K(-1). Local crop models give a similar sensitivity (-6.3 ± 0.4% K(-1)), but statistical and global gridded crop models both suggest less negative impacts of warming on yields (-0.8 ± 0.3% and -2.4 ± 3.7% K(-1), respectively). Using data from field warming experiments, we further propose a conditional probability approach to constrain the large range of global gridded crop model results for the future yield changes in response to warming by the end of the century (from -1.3% to -9.3% K(-1)). The constraint implies a more negative response to warming (-8.3 ± 1.4% K(-1)) and reduces the spread of the model ensemble by 33%. This yield reduction exceeds that estimated by the International Food Policy Research Institute assessment (-4.2 to -6.4% K(-1)) (ref. 4). Our study suggests that without CO2 fertilization, effective adaptation and genetic improvement, severe rice yield losses are plausible under intensive climate warming scenarios.

  9. Developmental dynamics: toward a biologically plausible evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lickliter, Robert; Honeycutt, Hunter

    2003-11-01

    There has been a conceptual revolution in the biological sciences over the past several decades. Evidence from genetics, embryology, and developmental biology has converged to offer a more epigenetic, contingent, and dynamic view of how organisms develop. Despite these advances, arguments for the heuristic value of a gene-centered, predeterministic approach to the study of human behavior and development have become increasingly evident in the psychological sciences during this time. In this article, the authors review recent advances in genetics, embryology, and developmental biology that have transformed contemporary developmental and evolutionary theory and explore how these advances challenge gene-centered explanations of human behavior that ignore the complex, highly coordinated system of regulatory dynamics involved in development and evolution.

  10. Biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowhani-Rahbar, Ali; Klein, Nicola P; Dekker, Cornelia L; Edwards, Kathryn M; Marchant, Colin D; Vellozzi, Claudia; Fireman, Bruce; Sejvar, James J; Halsey, Neal A; Baxter, Roger

    2012-12-17

    In immunization safety research, individuals are considered at risk for the development of certain adverse events following immunization (AEFI) within a specific period of time referred to as the risk interval. These intervals should ideally be determined based on biologic plausibility considering features of the AEFI, presumed or known pathologic mechanism, and the vaccine. Misspecification of the length and timing of these intervals may result in introducing bias in epidemiologic and clinical studies of immunization safety. To date, little work has been done to formally assess and determine biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research. In this report, we present a systematic process to define biologically plausible and evidence-based risk interval estimates for two specific AEFIs, febrile seizures and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In addition, we review methodologic issues related to the determination of risk intervals for consideration in future studies of immunization safety.

  11. Biologically plausible learning in recurrent neural networks reproduces neural dynamics observed during cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miconi, Thomas

    2017-02-23

    Neural activity during cognitive tasks exhibits complex dynamics that flexibly encode task-relevant variables. Chaotic recurrent networks, which spontaneously generate rich dynamics, have been proposed as a model of cortical computation during cognitive tasks. However, existing methods for training these networks are either biologically implausible, and/or require a continuous, real-time error signal to guide learning. Here we show that a biologically plausible learning rule can train such recurrent networks, guided solely by delayed, phasic rewards at the end of each trial. Networks endowed with this learning rule can successfully learn nontrivial tasks requiring flexible (context-dependent) associations, memory maintenance, nonlinear mixed selectivities, and coordination among multiple outputs. The resulting networks replicate complex dynamics previously observed in animal cortex, such as dynamic encoding of task features and selective integration of sensory inputs. We conclude that recurrent neural networks offer a plausible model of cortical dynamics during both learning and performance of flexible behavior.

  12. A biologically plausible learning rule for the Infomax on recurrent neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Takashi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental issue in neuroscience is to understand how neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex play their functional roles through their characteristic firing activity. Several characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity have been reproduced by Infomax learning of neural networks in computational studies. There are, however, still few models of the underlying learning mechanisms that allow cortical circuits to maximize information and produce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity. In the present article, we derive a biologically plausible learning rule for the maximization of information retained through time in dynamics of simple recurrent neural networks. Applying the derived learning rule in a numerical simulation, we reproduce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity: cell-assembly-like repeats of precise firing sequences, neuronal avalanches, spontaneous replays of learned firing sequences and orientation selectivity observed in the primary visual cortex. We further discuss the similarity between the derived learning rule and the spike timing-dependent plasticity of cortical neurons.

  13. A biological plausible Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire neuron model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenzhong; Guo, Lilin; Adjouadi, Malek

    2014-01-01

    This study introduces a new Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (GLIF) neuron model. Unlike Normal Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (NLIF) models, the leaking resistor in the GLIF model equation is assumed to be variable, and an additional term would have the bias current added to the model equation in order to improve the accuracy. Adjusting the parameters defined for the leaking resistor and bias current, a GLIF model could be accurately matched to any Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model and be able to reproduce plausible biological neuron behaviors.

  14. A swarm intelligence framework for reconstructing gene networks: searching for biologically plausible architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kentzoglanakis, Kyriakos; Poole, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the problem of reverse engineering the topology of gene regulatory networks from temporal gene expression data. We adopt a computational intelligence approach comprising swarm intelligence techniques, namely particle swarm optimization (PSO) and ant colony optimization (ACO). In addition, the recurrent neural network (RNN) formalism is employed for modeling the dynamical behavior of gene regulatory systems. More specifically, ACO is used for searching the discrete space of network architectures and PSO for searching the corresponding continuous space of RNN model parameters. We propose a novel solution construction process in the context of ACO for generating biologically plausible candidate architectures. The objective is to concentrate the search effort into areas of the structure space that contain architectures which are feasible in terms of their topological resemblance to real-world networks. The proposed framework is initially applied to the reconstruction of a small artificial network that has previously been studied in the context of gene network reverse engineering. Subsequently, we consider an artificial data set with added noise for reconstructing a subnetwork of the genetic interaction network of S. cerevisiae (yeast). Finally, the framework is applied to a real-world data set for reverse engineering the SOS response system of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Results demonstrate the relative advantage of utilizing problem-specific knowledge regarding biologically plausible structural properties of gene networks over conducting a problem-agnostic search in the vast space of network architectures.

  15. Biologic plausibility, cellular effects, and molecular mechanisms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borow, Kenneth M; Nelson, John R; Mason, R Preston

    2015-09-01

    Residual cardiovascular (CV) risk remains in dyslipidemic patients despite intensive statin therapy, underscoring the need for additional intervention. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is incorporated into membrane phospholipids and atherosclerotic plaques and exerts beneficial effects on the pathophysiologic cascade from onset of plaque formation through rupture. Specific salutary actions have been reported relating to endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. EPA also improves atherogenic dyslipidemia characterized by reduction of triglycerides without raising low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Other beneficial effects of EPA include vasodilation, resulting in blood pressure reductions, as well as improved membrane fluidity. EPA's effects are at least additive to those of statins when given as adjunctive therapy. In this review, we present data supporting the biologic plausibility of EPA as an anti-atherosclerotic agent with potential clinical benefit for prevention of CV events, as well as its cellular effects and molecular mechanisms of action. REDUCE-IT is an ongoing, randomized, controlled study evaluating whether the high-purity ethyl ester of EPA (icosapent ethyl) at 4 g/day combined with statin therapy is superior to statin therapy alone for reducing CV events in high-risk patients with mixed dyslipidemia. The results from this study are expected to clarify the role of EPA as adjunctive therapy to a statin for reduction of residual CV risk.

  16. A biologically plausible transform for visual recognition that is invariant to translation, scale and rotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel eSountsov

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Visual object recognition occurs easily despite differences in position, size, and rotation of the object, but the neural mechanisms responsible for this invariance are not known. We have found a set of transforms that achieve invariance in a neurally plausible way. We find that a transform based on local spatial frequency analysis of oriented segments and on logarithmic mapping, when applied twice in an iterative fashion, produces an output image that is unique to the object and that remains constant as the input image is shifted, scaled or rotated.

  17. Gene-ontology enrichment analysis in two independent family-based samples highlights biologically plausible processes for autism spectrum disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Anney, Richard J L

    2012-02-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by O\\'Dushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.

  18. Decision-theoretic saliency: computational principles, biological plausibility, and implications for neurophysiology and psychophysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Dashan; Vasconcelos, Nuno

    2009-01-01

    A decision-theoretic formulation of visual saliency, first proposed for top-down processing (object recognition) (Gao & Vasconcelos, 2005a), is extended to the problem of bottom-up saliency. Under this formulation, optimality is defined in the minimum probability of error sense, under a constraint of computational parsimony. The saliency of the visual features at a given location of the visual field is defined as the power of those features to discriminate between the stimulus at the location and a null hypothesis. For bottom-up saliency, this is the set of visual features that surround the location under consideration. Discrimination is defined in an information-theoretic sense and the optimal saliency detector derived for a class of stimuli that complies with known statistical properties of natural images. It is shown that under the assumption that saliency is driven by linear filtering, the optimal detector consists of what is usually referred to as the standard architecture of V1: a cascade of linear filtering, divisive normalization, rectification, and spatial pooling. The optimal detector is also shown to replicate the fundamental properties of the psychophysics of saliency: stimulus pop-out, saliency asymmetries for stimulus presence versus absence, disregard of feature conjunctions, and Weber's law. Finally, it is shown that the optimal saliency architecture can be applied to the solution of generic inference problems. In particular, for the class of stimuli studied, it performs the three fundamental operations of statistical inference: assessment of probabilities, implementation of Bayes decision rule, and feature selection.

  19. Nutritional links to plausible mechanisms underlying pancreatic cancer: a conference report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hine, R Jean; Srivastava, Sudhir; Milner, John A; Ross, Sharon A

    2003-11-01

    Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is one of most catastrophic and least understood of cancers. Evidence from clinical studies indicates that the development of pancreas cancer progresses over many years before symptoms appear. Most people with pancreatic cancer die within six months of diagnosis. The lack of early disease markers, the paucity of direct subject/patient interview data and limited availability of high quality biological samples have slowed progress toward identifying environmental and genetic disease risk factors. Much remains to be learned about the development of pancreatic cancer and about potential interventions for disease prevention. Epidemiological and mechanistic studies examining risk factors for pancreatic cancer supply little consistent or strong evidence to provide a cohesive prevention strategy for this cancer, but offer clues for future research concerning the prevention and early detection of this devastating disease. This Executive Summary provides background discussion on pancreatic cancer and summaries of each of the topics discussed at the workshop, including 1) Molecular aspects, 2) Dietary and other risk factors for pancreatic cancer, 3) The metabolic hypothesis for pancreatic cancer, 4) Preclinical studies on pancreatic cancer, 5) Methylation, 6) Oxidative stress and 7) Biomarker Profiling. This document also contains a compilation of recommendations for future research, concluding remarks, a list of speakers and participants attending the workshop, and a selection of key references to aid future research into nutritional links to mechanisms underlying pancreas cancer. The recommendations section suggests gaps in current knowledge and articulates future directions for this area of investigation.

  20. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  1. Climate change, resource use and food security in midcentury under a range of plausible scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, K.

    2016-12-01

    Achieving and maintaining food security at local, national and global scales is challenged by changes in population, income and climate, among other socioeconomic and biophysical drivers. Assessing these challenges and possible solutions over the coming decades requires a systematic and multidisciplinary approach. The Global Futures and Strategic Foresight program, a CGIAR initiative led by the International Food Policy Research Institute in collaboration with the 14 other CGIAR research centers, is working to improve tools and conduct ex ante assessments of promising technologies, investments and policies under alternative global futures to inform decision making in the CGIAR and its partners. Alternative socioeconomic and climate scenarios are explored using an integrated system of climate, water, crop and economic models. This presentation will share findings from recent projections of food production and prices to 2050 at global and regional scales, together with their potential implications for land and water use, food security, nutrition and health.

  2. Affective decision making under uncertainty during a plausible aviation task: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causse, Mickaël; Péran, Patrice; Dehais, Frédéric; Caravasso, Chiara Falletta; Zeffiro, Thomas; Sabatini, Umberto; Pastor, Josette

    2013-05-01

    In aeronautics, plan continuation error (PCE) represents failure to revise a flight plan despite emerging evidence suggesting that it is no longer safe. Assuming that PCE may be associated with a shift from cold to hot reasoning, we hypothesized that this transition may result from a large range of strong negative emotional influences linked with the decision to abort a landing and circle for a repeat attempt, referred to as a "go-around". We investigated this hypothesis by combining functional neuroimaging with an ecologically valid aviation task performed under contextual variation in incentive and situational uncertainty. Our goal was to identify regional brain activity related to the sorts of conservative or liberal decision-making strategies engaged when participants were both exposed to a financial payoff matrix constructed to bias responses in favor of landing acceptance, while they were simultaneously experiencing maximum levels of uncertainty related to high levels of stimulus ambiguity. Combined with the observed behavioral outcomes, our neuroimaging results revealed a shift from cold to hot decision making in response to high uncertainty when participants were exposed to the financial incentive. Most notably, while we observed activity increases in response to uncertainty in many frontal regions such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), less overall activity was observed when the reward was combined with uncertainty. Moreover, participants with poor decision making, quantified as a lower discriminability index d', exhibited riskier behavior coupled with lower activity in the right DLPFC. These outcomes suggest a disruptive effect of biased financial incentive and high uncertainty on the rational decision-making neural network, and consequently, on decision relevance.

  3. Assessing the Sensitivity of a Reservoir Management System Under Plausible Assumptions About Future Climate Over Seasons to Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, M. N.; Brown, C. M.; Baroang, K. M.; Kaheil, Y. H.

    2011-12-01

    We illustrate an analysis procedure that explores the robustness and overall productivity of a reservoir management system under plausible assumptions about climate fluctuation and change. Results are presented based on a stylized version of a multi-use reservoir management model adapted from Angat Dam, Philippines. It represents a modest-sized seasonal storage reservoir in a climate with a pronounced dry season. The reservoir management model focuses on October-March, during which climatological inflow declines due to the arrival of the dry season, and reservoir management becomes critical and challenging. Inflow is assumed to be impacted by climate fluctuations representing interannal variation (white noise), decadal to multidecadal variation (MDV, here represented by a stochastic autoregressive process) and global change (GC), here represented by a systematic linear trend in seasonal inflow total over the simulation period of 2008-2047. Reservoir reliability, and risk of extreme persistent water shortfall, is assessed under different combinations and magnitudes of GC and MDV. We include an illustration of adaptive management, using seasonal forecasts and updated climate normals. A set of seasonal forecast and observed inflow values are generated for 2008-2047 by randomly rearranging the forecast-observed pairs for 1968-2007. Then, trends are imposed on the observed series, with differing assumptions about the extent to which the seasonal forecasts can be expected to track the trend. We consider the framework presented here well-suited to providing insights about managing the climate risks in reservoir operations, providing guidance on expected benefits and risks of different strategies and climate scenarios.

  4. Plausibility of the implausible: is it possible that ultra-high dilutions ‘without biological activity’ cause adverse effects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Zulian Teixeira

    2013-06-01

    .7% of cases the potencies were described as below of the 12ª Centesimal, the point beyond which the likelihood of a single molecule being present in the remedy approaches zero”, the authors claim that “in the majority of cases, the possible mechanism of action involved allergic reactions or ingestion of toxic substances”. With this approach, the authors seek to dismiss the biological effects of ultra-high dilutions, because if they cause AEs would be confirming the plausibility of its possible therapeutic effects. However, toxicological tests are required to affirm that AEs are a consequence of toxic (allergic effects of the substances or of ‘imponderable’ effects of ultra-high dilutions. In view of the recent report cited in the review [12] in which a complex homeopathic medicine indicated for treating infant colic (Gali-col Baby, GCB caused apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs were described by the National Institutes of Health consensus group in 1986 as “an episode that is frightening to the observer and that is characterized by some combination of apnea (central or occasionally obstructive, color change (usually cyanotic or pallid but occasionally erythematous or plethoric, a marked change in muscle tone (usually marked limpness, choking or gagging” [13] in consequence of the ‘toxicity of active ingredients’ (Citrullus colocynthis, Matricaria chamomilla, Bryonia alba, Nux vomica, Veratrum album, Magnesia phosphorica and Cuprum metallicum at potencies between 4C and 5C, Oberbaum et al. [14] performed a toxicological study of these components showing that “doses ingested in the GCB series were 10-13 orders of magnitude smaller than those reported to cause toxic reactions in humans” and that “there was poor correlation between symptoms with GCB and toxic profiles of the components”. As alternative explanation, they suggest that “four components (Veratrum album, Cuprum metallicum, Bryonia alba and Matricaria chamomilla have an

  5. Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security in 2050 under a Range of Plausible Socioeconomic and Emissions Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, K.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bodirsky, B.; Kavallari, A.; Mason-d'Croz, D.; van der Mensbrugghe, D.; Robinson, S.; Sands, R.; Tabeau, A.; Willenbockel, D.; Islam, S.; van Meijl, H.; Mueller, C.; Robertson, R.

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences through systematic model intercomparison using a high-emissions pathway to highlight the differences. New work extends that analysis to cover a range of plausible socioeconomic scenarios and emission pathways. Results from three general circulation models are combined with one crop model and five global economic models to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on yields, area, production, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar to 2050. Results show that yield impacts vary with changes in population, income and technology as well as emissions, but are reduced in all cases by endogenous changes in prices and other variables.

  6. Looking for plausibility

    CERN Document Server

    Abdullah, Wan Ahmad Tajuddin Wan

    2010-01-01

    In the interpretation of experimental data, one is actually looking for plausible explanations. We look for a measure of plausibility, with which we can compare different possible explanations, and which can be combined when there are different sets of data. This is contrasted to the conventional measure for probabilities as well as to the proposed measure of possibilities. We define what characteristics this measure of plausibility should have. In getting to the conception of this measure, we explore the relation of plausibility to abductive reasoning, and to Bayesian probabilities. We also compare with the Dempster-Schaefer theory of evidence, which also has its own definition for plausibility. Abduction can be associated with biconditionality in inference rules, and this provides a platform to relate to the Collins-Michalski theory of plausibility. Finally, using a formalism for wiring logic onto Hopfield neural networks, we ask if this is relevant in obtaining this measure.

  7. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C.; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  8. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  9. Discovering biological progression underlying microarray samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Qiu

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In biological systems that undergo processes such as differentiation, a clear concept of progression exists. We present a novel computational approach, called Sample Progression Discovery (SPD, to discover patterns of biological progression underlying microarray gene expression data. SPD assumes that individual samples of a microarray dataset are related by an unknown biological process (i.e., differentiation, development, cell cycle, disease progression, and that each sample represents one unknown point along the progression of that process. SPD aims to organize the samples in a manner that reveals the underlying progression and to simultaneously identify subsets of genes that are responsible for that progression. We demonstrate the performance of SPD on a variety of microarray datasets that were generated by sampling a biological process at different points along its progression, without providing SPD any information of the underlying process. When applied to a cell cycle time series microarray dataset, SPD was not provided any prior knowledge of samples' time order or of which genes are cell-cycle regulated, yet SPD recovered the correct time order and identified many genes that have been associated with the cell cycle. When applied to B-cell differentiation data, SPD recovered the correct order of stages of normal B-cell differentiation and the linkage between preB-ALL tumor cells with their cell origin preB. When applied to mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation data, SPD uncovered a landscape of ESC differentiation into various lineages and genes that represent both generic and lineage specific processes. When applied to a prostate cancer microarray dataset, SPD identified gene modules that reflect a progression consistent with disease stages. SPD may be best viewed as a novel tool for synthesizing biological hypotheses because it provides a likely biological progression underlying a microarray dataset and, perhaps more importantly, the

  10. Biological degradation of chernozems under irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Naydyonova

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the changes in the state of microbial cenosis of Ukraine’s chernozems under irrigation. Considerable part of Ukraine’s chernozems is located in the areas where humidification is insufficient and unstable. Irrigation is a soil-reclamation measure for chernozems of Ukrainian Forest-steppe and Steppe which enables getting the assured yield, especially vegetable and fodder crops. At the same time, irrigation is a powerful anthropogenic factor that affects the soil, causes a significant transformation of many of its properties and regimes including biological ones. Often these changes are negative. The purpose of our investigation was to identify changes in the state of microbial cenoses of chernozem soils under irrigation which depend on such factors as the quality of irrigation water, the duration and intensity of irrigation, the initial properties of soil, the structure of crop rotation, usage of fertilizing systems and agroameliorative techniques. We identified direction and evaluated a degree of changes in biological properties of chernozems under influence of irrigation in different agro-irrigational and soil-climatic conditions. In the long-term stationary field experiments we identified the following biological indices of irrigated soils and their non-irrigated analogues: a number of microorganisms which belong to main ecological-trophic groups, activity of soil enzymes (dehydrogenase, invertase, phenol oxidase, soil phytotoxic activity, cellulose destroying capacity of soil, indices of oligotrophy and mineralization, summary biological index (SBI and index of biological degradation (BDI. Results of researches showed that irrigation unbalanced the soil ecosystem and stipulated the forming of microbial cenosis with new parameters. Long-term intensive irrigation of typical chernozem (Kharkiv Region with fresh water under condition of 4-fields vegetable crop rotation led to the degradation changes of its microbial cenosis such as

  11. Biological plausibility as a tool to associate analytical data for micropollutants and effect potentials in wastewater, surface water, and sediments with effects in fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Diana; Blaha, Ludek; Giesy, John P; Henneberg, Anja; Köhler, Heinz-R; Kuch, Bertram; Osterauer, Raphaela; Peschke, Katharina; Richter, Doreen; Scheurer, Marco; Triebskorn, Rita

    2015-04-01

    of micronuclei in erythrocytes of chub from the river. Chemicals potentially responsible for effects on DNA were identified. Embryotoxic effects on zebrafish (Danio rerio), investigated in the laboratory, were associated with embryotoxic effects in trout exposed in streamwater bypass systems at the two rivers. In general, responses at all levels of organization were more pronounced in samples from the Schussen than in those from the Argen. These results are consistent with the magnitudes of chemical pollution in these two streams. Plausibility chains to establish causality between exposures and effects and to predict effects in biota in the river from studies in the laboratory are discussed.

  12. Plausibility and evidence: the case of homeopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutten, Lex; Mathie, Robert T; Fisher, Peter; Goossens, Maria; van Wassenhoven, Michel

    2013-08-01

    Homeopathy is controversial and hotly debated. The conclusions of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of homeopathy vary from 'comparable to conventional medicine' to 'no evidence of effects beyond placebo'. It is claimed that homeopathy conflicts with scientific laws and that homoeopaths reject the naturalistic outlook, but no evidence has been cited. We are homeopathic physicians and researchers who do not reject the scientific outlook; we believe that examination of the prior beliefs underlying this enduring stand-off can advance the debate. We show that interpretations of the same set of evidence--for homeopathy and for conventional medicine--can diverge. Prior disbelief in homeopathy is rooted in the perceived implausibility of any conceivable mechanism of action. Using the 'crossword analogy', we demonstrate that plausibility bias impedes assessment of the clinical evidence. Sweeping statements about the scientific impossibility of homeopathy are themselves unscientific: scientific statements must be precise and testable. There is growing evidence that homeopathic preparations can exert biological effects; due consideration of such research would reduce the influence of prior beliefs on the assessment of systematic review evidence.

  13. How to manage biological invasions under globalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrings, Charles; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Touza, Julia; Williamson, Mark

    2005-05-01

    Protecting national borders against biological invasions is becoming increasingly difficult because those whose actions result in invasions seldom bear legal responsibility for those actions. Invasion costs are often an externality (an unintended side effect) of international trade. Externalities are best dealt with by internalizing them; that is, by getting those who harm society to meet the cost. This is the 'polluter pays principle', which, under current trade rules, is difficult to implement. Tariffs could, however, be used to confront exporters with the costs of their actions, and the right to do this should be embedded in trade agreements. At the same time, international aid could be used to protect donor societies against the inability of some other countries to take appropriate biosecurity measures. The impact of invasions can thus be reduced by tackling their economic externalities.

  14. Biological clockwork underlying adaptive rhythmic movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tetsuya; Chen, Jun; Friesen, W. Otto

    2014-01-01

    Owing to the complexity of neuronal circuits, precise mathematical descriptions of brain functions remain an elusive ambition. A more modest focus of many neuroscientists, central pattern generators, are more tractable neuronal circuits specialized to generate rhythmic movements, including locomotion. The relative simplicity and well-defined motor functions of these circuits provide an opportunity for uncovering fundamental principles of neuronal information processing. Here we present the culmination of mathematical analysis that captures the adaptive behaviors emerging from interactions between a central pattern generator, the body, and the physical environment during locomotion. The biologically realistic model describes the undulatory motions of swimming leeches with quantitative accuracy and, without further parameter tuning, predicts the sweeping changes in oscillation patterns of leeches undulating in air or swimming in high-viscosity fluid. The study demonstrates that central pattern generators are capable of adapting oscillations to the environment through sensory feedback, but without guidance from the brain. PMID:24395788

  15. Biological phosphorus uptake under anoxic and aerobic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens

    1993-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated under anoxic and aerobic conditions. Tests were made to establish whether phosphorus accumulating bacteria can take up phosphate under anoxic conditions and thus utilise nitrate as oxidant. Furthermore, it was tested how the amount of organic matter...

  16. Plausible values: how to deal with their limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monseur, Christian; Adams, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    Rasch modeling and plausible values methodology were used to scale and report the results of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). This article will describe the scaling approach adopted in PISA. In particular it will focus on the use of plausible values, a multiple imputation approach that is now commonly used in large-scale assessment. As with all imputation models the plausible values must be generated using models that are consistent with those used in subsequent data analysis. In the case of PISA the plausible value generation assumes a flat linear regression with all students' background variables collected through the international student questionnaire included as regressors. Further, like most linear models, homoscedasticity and normality of the conditional variance are assumed. This article will explore some of the implications of this approach. First, we will discuss the conditions under which the secondary analyses on variables not included in the model for generating the plausible values might be biased. Secondly, as plausible values were not drawn from a multi-level model, the article will explore the adequacy of the PISA procedures for estimating variance components when the data have a hierarchical structure.

  17. What can we learn from Plausible Values?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsman, Maarten; Maris, Gunter; Bechger, Timo; Glas, Cees

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we show that the marginal distribution of plausible values is a consistent estimator of the true latent variable distribution, and, furthermore, that convergence is monotone in an embedding in which the number of items tends to infinity. We use this result to clarify some of the misconceptions that exist about plausible values, and also show how they can be used in the analyses of educational surveys.

  18. Biological phosphorus uptake under anoxic and aerobic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens

    1993-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated under anoxic and aerobic conditions. Tests were made to establish whether phosphorus accumulating bacteria can take up phosphate under anoxic conditions and thus utilise nitrate as oxidant. Furthermore, it was tested how the amount of organic matter...... sludge from two different pilot plants incorporating phosphorus removal. The results showed that the phosphorus accumulating bacteria can be divided into two groups in respect of process; one group capable of utilising only oxygen as oxidant and another group capable of utilising both oxygen and nitrate...... taken up by the phosphorus accumulating bacteria during the anaerobic phase affects the total denitrification rate, as well as the rate at which the phosphorus accumulating bacteria take up phosphate under anoxic conditions. The tests were conducted as batch experiments in 21. reactors with activated...

  19. Plausibility functions and exact frequentist inference

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    In the frequentist program, inferential methods with exact control on error rates are a primary focus. Methods based on asymptotic distribution theory may not be suitable in a particular problem, in which case, a numerical method is needed. This paper presents a general, Monte Carlo-driven framework for the construction of frequentist procedures based on plausibility functions. It is proved that the suitably defined plausibility function-based tests and confidence regions have desired frequentist properties. Moreover, in an important special case involving likelihood ratios, conditions are given such that the plausibility function behaves asymptotically like a consistent Bayesian posterior distribution. An extension of the proposed method is also given for the case where nuisance parameters are present. A number of examples are given which illustrate the method and demonstrate its strong performance compared to other popular existing methods.

  20. Bisimulation for Single-Agent Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; van Ditmarsch, H.;

    2013-01-01

    Epistemic plausibility models are Kripke models agents use to reason about the knowledge and beliefs of themselves and each other. Restricting ourselves to the single-agent case, we determine when such models are indistinguishable in the logical language containing conditional belief, i.e., we...... define a proper notion of bisimulation, and prove that bisimulation corresponds to logical equivalence on image-finite models. We relate our results to other epistemic notions, such as safe belief and degrees of belief. Our results imply that there are only finitely many non-bisimilar single......-agent epistemic plausibility models on a finite set of propositions. This gives decidability for single-agent epistemic plausibility planning....

  1. Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems networks of plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Pearl, Judea

    1988-01-01

    Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems is a complete and accessible account of the theoretical foundations and computational methods that underlie plausible reasoning under uncertainty. The author provides a coherent explication of probability as a language for reasoning with partial belief and offers a unifying perspective on other AI approaches to uncertainty, such as the Dempster-Shafer formalism, truth maintenance systems, and nonmonotonic logic. The author distinguishes syntactic and semantic approaches to uncertainty--and offers techniques, based on belief networks, that provid

  2. Superficial topography of wound: a determinant of underlying biological events?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farahani, Ramin Mostofi Zadeh; Aminabadi, Naser Asl; Kloth, Luther C

    2008-01-01

    Three-dimensional configuration of wounds varies considerably according to the etiology. Wounding of skin is proceeded by release of dermal pretension. Subsequent disruption of physical equilibrium with resulting development of force vectors alters the primary shape of wound to maintain a new dynamic physical equilibrium. This leads to the development of stress-relaxation and stress-concentration areas throughout the wound milieu. Mechanical strain produces piezoelectric current which is maximal in stress-relaxation regions due to lower tissue stiffness and higher mobility. Early surge in the tissue level of TGF-beta would be exaggerated through synergistic interaction with piezoelectric current in stress-relaxation areas. Subsequently, fibroblasts migrate to these areas due to galvanotaxis. The gradual dissipation of tissue tension, due to irreversible loss of viscous strain, reduces the synergistic action of TGF-beta and piezoelectricity. However, a similar pattern of activity of TGF-beta due to the polarized migration of fibroblasts, which are the main source of TGF-beta during secondary surge, may be continued. It seems that a biological-mechanical continuum exists for wounds so that even the superficial topography of wounds may affect the underlying biological activity and final healing outcome during healing of dermal wounds.

  3. Under the Surface of Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandžić Jakšić, Vlatka; Grizelj, Danijela

    2016-12-01

    The global obesity epidemic enhanced contemporary interest in adipose tissue biology. Two structurally and functionally distinct depots, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT), are spread throughout the body. Their distribution was recognized to be a major determinant of metabolic risk. Unlike VAT, SAT showed some protective endocrine and inflammatory features that might explain the occurrence of obese but metabolically healthy persons. The unique developmental gene expression signature, angiogenesis, and adipogenic potential of SAT determines its growth ability under the positive energy balance. The overflow hypothesis suggested that when SAT is unable to expand sufficiently, fat overflows towards metabolically adverse ectopic depots. Besides white adipose tissue, recent studies found important brown adipose tissue activity responsible for thermogenesis and energy dissipation in adults as well. SAT is prone to "browning" - the appearance of particular beige adipocytes that contribute to its favorable metabolic effects. Morbid obesity, aging, hormonal status, nutrition, low physical activity, and other environmental factors impair SAT relative resistance to dysfunctional changes and promote development of metabolic disorders. The popular approach considering SAT mainly as the subject of cosmetic procedures for improving the appearance of body contours should be avoided. Complex heterogeneity of obesity revealed that a tissue of an extreme plasticity and rich interactions with vital functions of the body lies under the surface. Therapeutic manipulations to preserve and enhance healthier fat in order to correct obesity-related metabolic disorders seem to be a relevant but still unexplored opportunity.

  4. Biologically-Plausible Reactive Control of Mobile Robots

    OpenAIRE

    Rene, Zapata; Pascal, Lepinay

    2006-01-01

    This chapter addressed the problem of controlling the reactive behaviours of a mobile robot evolving in unstructured and dynamic environments. We have carried out successful experiments for determining the distance field of a mobile robot using two

  5. A biologically plausible model of human shape symmetry perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, Frédéric J A M; Wilson, Hugh R

    2010-01-19

    Symmetry is usually computationally expensive to encode reliably, and yet it is relatively effortless to perceive. Here, we extend F. J. A. M. Poirier and H. R. Wilson's (2006) model for shape perception to account for H. R. Wilson and F. Wilkinson's (2002) data on shape symmetry. Because the model already accounts for shape perception, only minimal neural circuitry is required to enable it to encode shape symmetry as well. The model is composed of three main parts: (1) recovery of object position using large-scale non-Fourier V4-like concentric units that respond at the center of concentric contour segments across orientations, (2) around that recovered object center, curvature mechanisms combine multiplicatively the responses of oriented filters to encode object-centric local shape information, with a preference for convexities, and (3) object-centric symmetry mechanisms. Model and human performances are comparable for symmetry perception of shapes. Moreover, with some improvement of edge recovery, the model can encode symmetry axes in natural images such as faces.

  6. Prebiotically plausible mechanisms increase compositional diversity of nucleic acid sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derr, Julien; Manapat, Michael L; Rajamani, Sudha; Leu, Kevin; Xulvi-Brunet, Ramon; Joseph, Isaac; Nowak, Martin A; Chen, Irene A

    2012-05-01

    During the origin of life, the biological information of nucleic acid polymers must have increased to encode functional molecules (the RNA world). Ribozymes tend to be compositionally unbiased, as is the vast majority of possible sequence space. However, ribonucleotides vary greatly in synthetic yield, reactivity and degradation rate, and their non-enzymatic polymerization results in compositionally biased sequences. While natural selection could lead to complex sequences, molecules with some activity are required to begin this process. Was the emergence of compositionally diverse sequences a matter of chance, or could prebiotically plausible reactions counter chemical biases to increase the probability of finding a ribozyme? Our in silico simulations using a two-letter alphabet show that template-directed ligation and high concatenation rates counter compositional bias and shift the pool toward longer sequences, permitting greater exploration of sequence space and stable folding. We verified experimentally that unbiased DNA sequences are more efficient templates for ligation, thus increasing the compositional diversity of the pool. Our work suggests that prebiotically plausible chemical mechanisms of nucleic acid polymerization and ligation could predispose toward a diverse pool of longer, potentially structured molecules. Such mechanisms could have set the stage for the appearance of functional activity very early in the emergence of life.

  7. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara B. Duncan

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Attrition of undergraduates from Biology majors is a long-standing problem. Introductory courses that fail to engage students or spark their curiosity by emphasizing the open-ended and creative nature of biological investigation and discovery could contribute to student detachment from the field. Our hypothesis was that introductory biology books devote relatively few figures to illustration of the design and interpretation of experiments or field studies, thereby de-emphasizing the scientific process.To investigate this possibility, we examined figures in six Introductory Biology textbooks published in 2008. On average, multistep scientific investigations were presented in fewer than 5% of the hundreds of figures in each book. Devoting such a small percentage of figures to the processes by which discoveries are made discourages an emphasis on scientific thinking. We suggest that by increasing significantly the illustration of scientific investigations, textbooks could support undergraduates’ early interest in biology, stimulate the development of design and analytical skills, and inspire some students to participate in investigations of their own.

  8. Anatomically Plausible Surface Alignment and Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Rasmus R.; Larsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    With the increasing clinical use of 3D surface scanners, there is a need for accurate and reliable algorithms that can produce anatomically plausible surfaces. In this paper, a combined method for surface alignment and reconstruction is proposed. It is based on an implicit surface representation...... combined with a Markov Random Field regularisation method. Conceptually, the method maintains an implicit ideal description of the sought surface. This implicit surface is iteratively updated by realigning the input point sets and Markov Random Field regularisation. The regularisation is based on a prior...... energy that has earlier proved to be particularly well suited for human surface scans. The method has been tested on full cranial scans of ten test subjects and on several scans of the outer human ear....

  9. The Role of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    In large-scale assessment programs such as NAEP, TIMSS and PISA, students' achievement data sets provided for secondary analysts contain so-called "plausible values." Plausible values are multiple imputations of the unobservable latent achievement for each student. In this article it has been shown how plausible values are used to: (1) address…

  10. Comprehending Conflicting Science-Related Texts: Graphs as Plausibility Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isberner, Maj-Britt; Richter, Tobias; Maier, Johanna; Knuth-Herzig, Katja; Horz, Holger; Schnotz, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    When reading conflicting science-related texts, readers may attend to cues which allow them to assess plausibility. One such plausibility cue is the use of graphs in the texts, which are regarded as typical of "hard science." The goal of our study was to investigate the effects of the presence of graphs on the perceived plausibility and…

  11. The complexity of silk under the spotlight of synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, Fritz

    2016-08-15

    For centuries silkworm filaments have been the focus of R&D innovation centred on textile manufacture with high added value. Most recently, silk research has focused on more fundamental issues concerning bio-polymer structure-property-function relationships. This essay outlines the complexity and fundamentals of silk spinning, and presents arguments for establishing this substance as an interesting and important subject at the interface of systems biology (discovery) and synthetic biology (translation). It is argued that silk is a generic class of materials where each type of silk presents a different embodiment of emergent properties that combine genetically determined (anticipatory) and environmentally responsive components. In spiders' webs the various silks have evolved to form the interactive components of an intricate fabric that provides an extended phenotype to the spider's body morphology. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  12. Results of a survey of biological drug and device industries inspected by FDA under the Team Biologics Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Steve; Gangi, Victor J; Johnson, Anne; Little, Jacqueline; Mendivil, Steven; Trott, Carolyn; Webber, Keith; Weinstein, Mark

    2007-01-01

    The Product Quality Research Institute, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, conducted an anonymous, electronic survey of the biological products manufacturing industry inspected by Team Biologics, with emphasis in obtaining industry input on inspection and compliance aspects of program operations. Representatives from all of the product-specific manufacturing industries inspected under the Team Biologics Program responded to this survey (vaccines; fractionated plasma proteins and recombinant analogs; allergenics; therapeutics and in-vivo diagnostics; and in-vitro diagnostics, including blood grouping reagents). Data and written feedback was obtained regarding each firm's interactions and experiences of Team Biologics inspections at its facilities over the past three years. The three areas most impacted by Team Biologic inspections were "Production and Process Controls", "Failure Investigations" and "Facility / Equipment Controls". Overall assessment of the program was generally positive with 68% identifying a positive impact on the sites operations and 88% assessed the inspections as being conducted fairly. The findings and conclusions of this report will be utilized by the FDA to evaluate and further assess the impact of the Team Biologics Program and to implement any necessary changes. This report provides useful information to companies currently manufacturing licensed biologic products subject to Team Biologics inspections and also to those companies anticipating these inspections for future product manufacturing.

  13. Prediction and testing of biological networks underlying intestinal cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishal N Patel

    Full Text Available Colorectal cancer progresses through an accumulation of somatic mutations, some of which reside in so-called "driver" genes that provide a growth advantage to the tumor. To identify points of intersection between driver gene pathways, we implemented a network analysis framework using protein interactions to predict likely connections--both precedented and novel--between key driver genes in cancer. We applied the framework to find significant connections between two genes, Apc and Cdkn1a (p21, known to be synergistic in tumorigenesis in mouse models. We then assessed the functional coherence of the resulting Apc-Cdkn1a network by engineering in vivo single node perturbations of the network: mouse models mutated individually at Apc (Apc(1638N+/- or Cdkn1a (Cdkn1a(-/-, followed by measurements of protein and gene expression changes in intestinal epithelial tissue. We hypothesized that if the predicted network is biologically coherent (functional, then the predicted nodes should associate more specifically with dysregulated genes and proteins than stochastically selected genes and proteins. The predicted Apc-Cdkn1a network was significantly perturbed at the mRNA-level by both single gene knockouts, and the predictions were also strongly supported based on physical proximity and mRNA coexpression of proteomic targets. These results support the functional coherence of the proposed Apc-Cdkn1a network and also demonstrate how network-based predictions can be statistically tested using high-throughput biological data.

  14. Biological responses to environmental heterogeneity under future ocean conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Philip W; Cornwall, Christopher E; Davison, Andrew; Doney, Scott C; Fourquez, Marion; Hurd, Catriona L; Lima, Ivan D; McMinn, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    Organisms are projected to face unprecedented rates of change in future ocean conditions due to anthropogenic climate-change. At present, marine life encounters a wide range of environmental heterogeneity from natural fluctuations to mean climate change. Manipulation studies suggest that biota from more variable marine environments have more phenotypic plasticity to tolerate environmental heterogeneity. Here, we consider current strategies employed by a range of representative organisms across various habitats - from short-lived phytoplankton to long-lived corals - in response to environmental heterogeneity. We then discuss how, if and when organismal responses (acclimate/migrate/adapt) may be altered by shifts in the magnitude of the mean climate-change signal relative to that for natural fluctuations projected for coming decades. The findings from both novel climate-change modelling simulations and prior biological manipulation studies, in which natural fluctuations are superimposed on those of mean change, provide valuable insights into organismal responses to environmental heterogeneity. Manipulations reveal that different experimental outcomes are evident between climate-change treatments which include natural fluctuations vs. those which do not. Modelling simulations project that the magnitude of climate variability, along with mean climate change, will increase in coming decades, and hence environmental heterogeneity will increase, illustrating the need for more realistic biological manipulation experiments that include natural fluctuations. However, simulations also strongly suggest that the timescales over which the mean climate-change signature will become dominant, relative to natural fluctuations, will vary for individual properties, being most rapid for CO2 (~10 years from present day) to 4 decades for nutrients. We conclude that the strategies used by biota to respond to shifts in environmental heterogeneity may be complex, as they will have to

  15. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility. We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition.

  16. Analytic Models of Plausible Gravitational Lens Potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baltz, Edward A.; Marshall, Phil; Oguri, Masamune

    2007-05-04

    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modeled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sersic profile to describe the distribution of baryonic matter. Predicting all lensing effects requires knowledge of the total lens potential: in this work we give analytic forms for that of the above hybrid model. Emphasizing that complex lens potentials can be constructed from simpler components in linear combination, we provide a recipe for attaining elliptical symmetry in either projected mass or lens potential.We also provide analytic formulae for the lens potentials of Sersic profiles for integer and half-integer index. We then present formulae describing the gravitational lensing effects due to smoothly-truncated universal density profiles in cold dark matter model. For our isolated haloes the density profile falls off as radius to the minus fifth or seventh power beyond the tidal radius, functional forms that allow all orders of lens potential derivatives to be calculated analytically, while ensuring a non-divergent total mass. We show how the observables predicted by this profile differ from that of the original infinite-mass NFW profile. Expressions for the gravitational flexion are highlighted. We show how decreasing the tidal radius allows stripped haloes to be modeled, providing a framework for a fuller investigation of dark matter substructure in galaxies and clusters. Finally we remark on the need for finite mass halo profiles when doing cosmological ray-tracing simulations, and the need for readily-calculable higher order derivatives of the lens potential when studying catastrophes in strong lenses.

  17. Biology of VO2 max: looking under the physiology lamp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundby, C; Montero, D; Joyner, M

    2017-06-01

    In this review, we argue that several key features of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) should underpin discussions about the biological and reductionist determinants of its interindividual variability: (i) training-induced increases in VO2 max are largely facilitated by expansion of red blood cell volume and an associated improvement in stroke volume, which also adapts independent of changes in red blood cell volume. These general concepts are also informed by cross-sectional studies in athletes that have very high values for VO2 max. Therefore, (ii) variations in VO2 max improvements with exercise training are also likely related to variations in these physiological determinants. (iii) All previously untrained individuals will respond to endurance exercise training in terms of improvements in VO2 max provided the stimulus exceeds a certain volume and/or intensity. Thus, genetic analysis and/or reductionist studies performed to understand or predict such variations might focus specifically on DNA variants or other molecular phenomena of relevance to these physiological pathways. © 2016 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Changes of trabecular bone under control of biologically mechanical mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, C.; Zhang, C. Q.; Dong, X.; Wu, H.

    2008-10-01

    In this study, a biological process of bone remodeling was considered as a closed loop feedback control system, which enables bone to optimize and renew itself over a lifetime. A novel idea of combining strain-adaptive and damage-induced remodeling algorithms at Basic Multicellular Unit (BMU) level was introduced. In order to make the outcomes get closer to clinical observation, the stochastic occurrence of microdamage was involved and a hypothesis that remodeling activation probability is related to the value of damage rate was assumed. Integrated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the changes of trabecular bone in morphology and material properties were simulated in the course of five years. The results suggest that deterioration and anisotropy of trabecluar bone are inevitable with natural aging, and that compression rather than tension can be applied to strengthen the ability of resistance to fracture. This investigation helps to gain more insight the mechanism of bone loss and identify improved treatment and prevention for osteoporosis or stress fracture.

  19. Understanding the basic biology underlying the flavor world of children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie A. MENNELLA, Alison K. VENTURA

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Health organizations worldwide recommend that adults and children minimize intakes of excess energy and salty, sweet, and fatty foods (all of which are highly preferred tastes and eat diets richer in whole grains, low- and non- fat dairy products, legumes, fish, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables (many of which taste bitter. Despite such recommendations and the well-established benefits of these foods to human health, adults are not complying, nor are their children. A primary reason for this difficulty is the remarkably potent rewarding properties of the tastes and flavors of foods high in sweetness, saltiness, and fatness. While we cannot easily change children’s basic ingrained biology of liking sweets and avoiding bitterness, we can modulate their flavor preferences by providing early exposure, starting in utero, to a wide variety of flavors within healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Because the flavors of foods mothers eat during pregnancy and lactation also flavor amniotic fluid and breast milk and become preferred by infants, pregnant and lactating women should widen their food choices to include as many flavorful and healthy foods as possible. These experiences, combined with repeated exposure to nutritious foods and flavor variety during the weaning period and beyond, should maximize the chances that children will select and enjoy a healthier diet [Current Zoology 56 (6: 834–841, 2010].

  20. Interactions between visual and motor areas during the recognition of plausible actions as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlidou, Anastasia; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2014-02-01

    Several studies have shown activation of the mirror neuron system (MNS), comprising the temporal, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor areas when observing plausible actions, but far less is known on how these cortical areas interact during the recognition of a plausible action. Here, we recorded neural activity with magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed point-light displays of biologically plausible and scrambled versions of actions. We were interested in modulations of oscillatory activity and, specifically, in coupling of oscillatory activity between visual and motor areas. Both plausible and scrambled actions elicited modulations of θ (5-7 Hz), α (7-13 Hz), β (13-35 Hz), and γ (55-100 Hz) power within visual and motor areas. When comparing between the two actions, we observed sequential and spatially distinct increases of γ (∼65 Hz), β (∼25 Hz), and α (∼11 Hz) power between 0.5 and 1.3 s in parieto-occipital, sensorimotor, and left temporal areas. In addition, significant clusters of γ (∼65 Hz) and α/β (∼15 Hz) power decrease were observed in right temporal and parieto-occipital areas between 1.3 and 2.0 s. We found β-power in sensorimotor areas to be positively correlated on a trial-by-trial basis with parieto-occipital γ and left temporal α-power for the plausible but not for the scrambled condition. These results provide new insights in the neuronal oscillatory activity of the areas involved in the recognition of plausible action movements and their interaction. The power correlations between specific areas underscore the importance of interactions between visual and motor areas of the MNS during the recognition of a plausible action.

  1. Hamiltonian formulation of time-dependent plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Davis, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Maximization of the path information entropy is a clear prescription for performing time-dependent plausible inference. Here it is shown that, following this prescription under the assumption of arbitrary instantaneous constraints on position and velocity, a Lagrangian emerges which determines the most probable trajectory. Deviations from the probability maximum can be consistently described as slices in time by a Hamiltonian, according to a nonlinear Langevin equation and its associated Fokker-Planck equation. The connections unveiled between the maximization of path entropy and the Langevin/Fokker-Planck equations imply that missing information about the phase space coordinate never decreases in time, a purely information-theoretical version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. All of these results are independent of any physical assumptions, and thus valid for any generalized coordinate as a function of time, or any other parameter. This reinforces the view that the Second Law is a fundamental property of ...

  2. Encoding the target or the plausible preview word? The nature of the plausibility preview benefit in reading Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinmian; Li, Nan; Wang, Suiping; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that a plausible preview word can facilitate the processing of a target word as compared to an implausible preview word (a plausibility preview benefit effect) when reading Chinese (Yang, Wang, Tong, & Rayner, 2012; Yang, 2013). Regarding the nature of this effect, it is possible that readers processed the meaning of the plausible preview word and did not actually encode the target word (given that the parafoveal preview word lies close to the fovea). The current experiment examined this possibility with three conditions wherein readers received a preview of a target word that was either (1) identical to the target word (identical preview), (2) a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, but the post-target text in the sentence was incompatible with it (initially plausible preview), or (3) not a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, nor compatible with the post-target text (implausible preview). Gaze durations on target words were longer in the initially plausible condition than the identical condition. Overall, the results showed a typical preview benefit, but also implied that readers did not encode the initially plausible preview. Also, a plausibility preview benefit was replicated: gaze durations were longer with implausible previews than the initially plausible ones. Furthermore, late eye movement measures did not reveal differences between the initially plausible and the implausible preview conditions, which argues against the possibility of misreading the plausible preview word as the target word. In sum, these results suggest that a plausible preview word provides benefit in processing the target word as compared to an implausible preview word, and this benefit is only present in early but not late eye movement measures.

  3. Putting the Squeeze on Biology: Biomolecules Under Pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gruner, Sol (Cornell University)

    2007-12-12

    Modest pressures encountered in the biosphere (i.e., below a few kbar) have extraordinary effects on biomembranes and proteins. These include pressure denaturation of proteins, dramatic changes in protein-protein association, substrate binding, membrane ion transport, DNA transcription, virus infectivity, and enzyme kinetics. Yet all of the biomaterials involved are highly incompressible. The challenge to the physicist is to understand the structural coupling between these effects and pressure to elucidate the relevant mechanisms. X-ray diffraction studies of membranes and proteins under pressure will be described. It is seen that it is not so much the magnitude of the changes, but rather the differential compressibilities of different parts of the structure that are responsible for effects.

  4. Neural networks, nativism, and the plausibility of constructivism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quartz, S R

    1993-09-01

    Recent interest in PDP (parallel distributed processing) models is due in part to the widely held belief that they challenge many of the assumptions of classical cognitive science. In the domain of language acquisition, for example, there has been much interest in the claim that PDP models might undermine nativism. Related arguments based on PDP learning have also been given against Fodor's anti-constructivist position--a position that has contributed to the widespread dismissal of constructivism. A limitation of many of the claims regarding PDP learning, however, is that the principles underlying this learning have not been rigorously characterized. In this paper, I examine PDP models from within the framework of Valiant's PAC (probably approximately correct) model of learning, now the dominant model in machine learning, and which applies naturally to neural network learning. From this perspective, I evaluate the implications of PDP models for nativism and Fodor's influential anti-constructivist position. In particular, I demonstrate that, contrary to a number of claims, PDP models are nativist in a robust sense. I also demonstrate that PDP models actually serve as a good illustration of Fodor's anti-constructivist position. While these results may at first suggest that neural network models in general are incapable of the sort of concept acquisition that is required to refute Fodor's anti-constructivist position, I suggest that there is an alternative form of neural network learning that demonstrates the plausibility of constructivism. This alternative form of learning is a natural interpretation of the constructivist position in terms of neural network learning, as it employs learning algorithms that incorporate the addition of structure in addition to weight modification schemes. By demonstrating that there is a natural and plausible interpretation of constructivism in terms of neural network learning, the position that nativism is the only plausible model of

  5. The modeling of the temperature field formed inside multilayered biological tissue under laser emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulikov, Kirill

    2009-07-01

    The mathematical model the hyperthermy of the multilayer biological structure under the effect of laser emission is proposed. One allows to variate the electrophysical parameters of the biological structure (complex parameter of refraction of the blood and blood corpuscles, epidermis, the upper layer of derma, the lower layer of derma), the significant dimensions of the regular elements of the blood and to establish dependencies between them and by the biophysical properties of the blood taking into account heating biological tissue under the influence on its surface flow of the nonpolarized monochromatic radiation for the case in vivo.

  6. Plausibility Judgments in Conceptual Change and Epistemic Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Nussbaum, E. Michael; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2016-01-01

    Plausibility judgments rarely have been addressed empirically in conceptual change research. Recent research, however, suggests that these judgments may be pivotal to conceptual change about certain topics where a gap exists between what scientists and laypersons find plausible. Based on a philosophical and empirical foundation, this article…

  7. Source Effects and Plausibility Judgments When Reading about Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Seyranian, Viviane; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2014-01-01

    Gaps between what scientists and laypeople find plausible may act as a barrier to learning complex and/or controversial socioscientific concepts. For example, individuals may consider scientific explanations that human activities are causing current climate change as implausible. This plausibility judgment may be due-in part-to individuals'…

  8. 78 FR 55326 - Determinations Regarding Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria Under the Chemical and Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-10

    ... Determinations Regarding Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and..., 22 U.S.C. 5604(a), that the Government of Syria has used chemical weapons in violation of... Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs: (1) Determined that the Government of Syria has...

  9. Biological treatment of refinery spent caustics under halo-alkaline conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graaff, de M.; Bijmans, M.F.M.; Abbas, B.; Euverink, G.J.W.; Muyzer, G.; Janssen, A.J.H.

    2011-01-01

    The present research demonstrates the biological treatment of refinery sulfidic spent caustics in a continuously fed system under halo-alkaline conditions (i.e. pH 9.5; Na(+)= 0.8M). Experiments were performed in identical gas-lift bioreactors operated under aerobic conditions (80-90% saturation) at

  10. Inference and Plausible Reasoning in a Natural Language Understanding System Based on Object-Oriented Semantics

    CERN Document Server

    Ostapov, Yuriy

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms of inference in a computer system oriented to input and semantic processing of text information are presented. Such inference is necessary for logical questions when the direct comparison of objects from a question and database can not give a result. The following classes of problems are considered: a check of hypotheses for persons and non-typical actions, the determination of persons and circumstances for non-typical actions, planning actions, the determination of event cause and state of persons. To form an answer both deduction and plausible reasoning are used. As a knowledge domain under consideration is social behavior of persons, plausible reasoning is based on laws of social psychology. Proposed algorithms of inference and plausible reasoning can be realized in computer systems closely connected with text processing (criminology, operation of business, medicine, document systems).

  11. Plausible cloth animation using dynamic bending model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chuan Zhou; Xiaogang Jin; Charlie C.L. Wang; Jieqing Feng

    2008-01-01

    Simulating the mechanical behavior of a cloth is a very challenging and important problem in computer animation. The models of bending in most existing cloth simulation approaches are taking the assumption that the cloth is little deformed from a plate shape.Therefore, based on the thin-plate theory, these bending models do not consider the condition that the current shape of the cloth under large deformations cannot be regarded as the approximation to that before deformation, which leads to an unreal static bending. [This paper introduces a dynamic bending model which is appropriate to describe large out-plane deformations such as cloth buckling and bending, and develops a compact implementation of the new model on spring-mass systems. Experimental results show that wrinkles and folds generated using this technique in cloth simulation, can appear and vanish in a more natural way than other approaches.

  12. A perspective on SIDS pathogenesis. The hypotheses: plausibility and evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldwater Paul N

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Several theories of the underlying mechanisms of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS have been proposed. These theories have born relatively narrow beach-head research programs attracting generous research funding sustained for many years at expense to the public purse. This perspective endeavors to critically examine the evidence and bases of these theories and determine their plausibility; and questions whether or not a safe and reasoned hypothesis lies at their foundation. The Opinion sets specific criteria by asking the following questions: 1. Does the hypothesis take into account the key pathological findings in SIDS? 2. Is the hypothesis congruent with the key epidemiological risk factors? 3. Does it link 1 and 2? Falling short of any one of these answers, by inference, would imply insufficient grounds for a sustainable hypothesis. Some of the hypotheses overlap, for instance, notional respiratory failure may encompass apnea, prone sleep position, and asphyxia which may be seen to be linked to co-sleeping. For the purposes of this paper, each element will be assessed on the above criteria.

  13. Foundational Concepts and Underlying Theories for Majors in "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansey, John T.; Baird, Teaster, Jr.; Cox, Michael M.; Fox, Kristin M.; Knight, Jennifer; Sears, Duane; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members and science educators from around the country that focused on identifying: 1) core principles of biochemistry and molecular biology, 2) essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and 3)…

  14. Research on Performance Evaluation of Biological Database based on Layered Queuing Network Model under the Cloud Computing Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Zhengbin Luo; Dongmei Sun

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the performance of biological database based on layered queuing network model and under cloud computing environment is a premise, as well as an important step for biological database optimization. Based on predecessors’ researches concerning computer software and hardware performance evaluation under cloud environment, the study has further constructed a model system to evaluate the performance of biological database based on layered queuing network model and under cloud environme...

  15. Some Remarks on the Model Theory of Epistemic Plausibility Models

    CERN Document Server

    Demey, Lorenz

    2010-01-01

    Classical logics of knowledge and belief are usually interpreted on Kripke models, for which a mathematically well-developed model theory is available. However, such models are inadequate to capture dynamic phenomena. Therefore, epistemic plausibility models have been introduced. Because these are much richer structures than Kripke models, they do not straightforwardly inherit the model-theoretical results of modal logic. Therefore, while epistemic plausibility structures are well-suited for modeling purposes, an extensive investigation of their model theory has been lacking so far. The aim of the present paper is to fill exactly this gap, by initiating a systematic exploration of the model theory of epistemic plausibility models. Like in 'ordinary' modal logic, the focus will be on the notion of bisimulation. We define various notions of bisimulations (parametrized by a language L) and show that L-bisimilarity implies L-equivalence. We prove a Hennesy-Milner type result, and also two undefinability results. ...

  16. The Plausibility of a String Quartet Performance in Virtual Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Ilias; Azevedo, Sergio; Papiotis, Panos; Saldanha, Nuno; Slater, Mel

    2017-04-01

    We describe an experiment that explores the contribution of auditory and other features to the illusion of plausibility in a virtual environment that depicts the performance of a string quartet. 'Plausibility' refers to the component of presence that is the illusion that the perceived events in the virtual environment are really happening. The features studied were: Gaze (the musicians ignored the participant, the musicians sometimes looked towards and followed the participant's movements), Sound Spatialization (Mono, Stereo, Spatial), Auralization (no sound reflections, reflections corresponding to a room larger than the one perceived, reflections that exactly matched the virtual room), and Environment (no sound from outside of the room, birdsong and wind corresponding to the outside scene). We adopted the methodology based on color matching theory, where 20 participants were first able to assess their feeling of plausibility in the environment with each of the four features at their highest setting. Then five times participants started from a low setting on all features and were able to make transitions from one system configuration to another until they matched their original feeling of plausibility. From these transitions a Markov transition matrix was constructed, and also probabilities of a match conditional on feature configuration. The results show that Environment and Gaze were individually the most important factors influencing the level of plausibility. The highest probability transitions were to improve Environment and Gaze, and then Auralization and Spatialization. We present this work as both a contribution to the methodology of assessing presence without questionnaires, and showing how various aspects of a musical performance can influence plausibility.

  17. Biologically Based Methods for Pest Management in Agriculture under Changing Climates: Challenges and Future Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chidawanyika, Frank; Mudavanhu, Pride; Nyamukondiwa, Casper

    2012-11-09

    The current changes in global climatic regimes present a significant societal challenge, affecting in all likelihood insect physiology, biochemistry, biogeography and population dynamics. With the increasing resistance of many insect pest species to chemical insecticides and an increasing organic food market, pest control strategies are slowly shifting towards more sustainable, ecologically sound and economically viable options. Biologically based pest management strategies present such opportunities through predation or parasitism of pests and plant direct or indirect defense mechanisms that can all be important components of sustainable integrated pest management programs. Inevitably, the efficacy of biological control systems is highly dependent on natural enemy-prey interactions, which will likely be modified by changing climates. Therefore, knowledge of how insect pests and their natural enemies respond to climate variation is of fundamental importance in understanding biological insect pest management under global climate change. Here, we discuss biological control, its challenges under climate change scenarios and how increased global temperatures will require adaptive management strategies to cope with changing status of insects and their natural enemies.

  18. Biologically Based Methods for Pest Management in Agriculture under Changing Climates: Challenges and Future Directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casper Nyamukondiwa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The current changes in global climatic regimes present a significant societal challenge, affecting in all likelihood insect physiology, biochemistry, biogeography and population dynamics. With the increasing resistance of many insect pest species to chemical insecticides and an increasing organic food market, pest control strategies are slowly shifting towards more sustainable, ecologically sound and economically viable options. Biologically based pest management strategies present such opportunities through predation or parasitism of pests and plant direct or indirect defense mechanisms that can all be important components of sustainable integrated pest management programs. Inevitably, the efficacy of biological control systems is highly dependent on natural enemy-prey interactions, which will likely be modified by changing climates. Therefore, knowledge of how insect pests and their natural enemies respond to climate variation is of fundamental importance in understanding biological insect pest management under global climate change. Here, we discuss biological control, its challenges under climate change scenarios and how increased global temperatures will require adaptive management strategies to cope with changing status of insects and their natural enemies.

  19. Biological iron oxidation by Gallionella spp. in drinking water production under fully aerated conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vet, W W J M; Dinkla, I J T; Rietveld, L C; van Loosdrecht, M C M

    2011-11-01

    Iron oxidation under neutral conditions (pH 6.5-8) may be a homo- or heterogeneous chemically- or a biologically-mediated process. The chemical oxidation is supposed to outpace the biological process under slightly alkaline conditions (pH 7-8). The iron oxidation kinetics and growth of Gallionella spp. - obligatory chemolithotrophic iron oxidizers - were assessed in natural, organic carbon-containing water, in continuous lab-scale reactors and full-scale groundwater trickling filters in the Netherlands. From Gallionella cell numbers determined by qPCR, balances were made for all systems. The homogeneous chemical iron oxidation occurred in accordance with the literature, but was retarded by a low water temperature (13 °C). The contribution of the heterogeneous chemical oxidation was, despite the presence of freshly formed iron oxyhydroxides, much lower than in previous studies in ultrapure water. This could be caused by the adsorption of natural organic matter (NOM) on the iron oxide surfaces. In the oxygen-saturated natural water with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.7, Gallionella spp. grew uninhibited and biological iron oxidation was an important, and probably the dominant, process. Gallionella growth was not even inhibited in a full-scale filter after plate aeration. From this we conclude that Gallionella spp. can grow under neutral pH and fully aerated conditions when the chemical iron oxidation is retarded by low water temperature and inhibition of the autocatalytic iron oxidation.

  20. Essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics for "biochemistry and molecular biology" majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Ann; Provost, Joseph; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that all Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors must understand to complete their major coursework. The allied fields working group created a survey to validate foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics identified from participant feedback at various workshops. One-hundred twenty participants responded to the survey and 68% of the respondents answered yes to the question: "We have identified the following as the core concepts and underlying theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that Biochemistry majors or Molecular Biology majors need to understand after they complete their major courses: 1) mechanical concepts from Physics, 2) energy and thermodynamic concepts from Physics, 3) critical concepts of structure from chemistry, 4) critical concepts of reactions from Chemistry, and 5) essential Mathematics. In your opinion, is the above list complete?" Respondents also delineated subcategories they felt should be included in these broad categories. From the results of the survey and this analysis the allied fields working group constructed a consensus list of allied fields concepts, which will help inform Biochemistry and Molecular Biology educators when considering the ASBMB recommended curriculum for Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors and in the development of appropriate assessment tools to gauge student understanding of how these concepts relate to biochemistry and molecular biology.

  1. Stochastic noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies of a population of biological networks under natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Yeh, Chin-Hsun

    2017-09-05

    We review current static and dynamic evolutionary game strategies of biological networks and discuss the lack of random genetic variations and stochastic environmental disturbances in these models. To include these factors, a population of evolving biological networks is modeled as a nonlinear stochastic biological system with Poisson-driven genetic variations and random environmental fluctuations (stimuli). To gain insight into the evolutionary game theory of stochastic biological networks under natural selection, the phenotypic robustness and network evolvability of noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies are discussed from a stochastic Nash game perspective. The noncooperative strategy can be transformed into an equivalent multi-objective optimization problem and is shown to display significantly improved network robustness to tolerate genetic variations and buffer environmental disturbances, maintaining phenotypic traits for longer than the cooperative strategy. However, the noncooperative case requires greater effort and more compromises between partly conflicting players. Global linearization is used to simplify the problem of solving nonlinear stochastic evolutionary games. Finally, a simple stochastic evolutionary model of a metabolic pathway is simulated to illustrate the procedure of solving for two evolutionary game strategies and to confirm and compare their respective characteristics in the evolutionary process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. CHANGES IN BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF BROWN FOREST SOILS UNDER AGRICULTURAL USE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozun Y. S.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural use leads to a significant transformation of soils. The first to use the soil for cultivation react most sensitive biological indicators. The purpose of the study - to establish the effect of using the brown forest soils for planting apple orchards for their biological activity, in particular on the humus content, enzyme activity (catalase and dehydrogenase. For the control, we have selected forest area adjacent to arable land. Because of violations of the natural vegetation, there are changes in hydrothermal conditions of the soil. Humidity soil plowed off under forest, while temperatures gets considerably higher. Plowing, compared with the control, revealed significant loss of humus (50% in the upper most disturbed horizons. In the lower horizons of the values of this index were quite low (1.5% on all sections of the test. The decline in humus content, as well as overheating and draining soil tillage results in a change of enzymatic activity not only in the surface layers, but also in the whole profile. Due to the movement of the most favorable hydrothermal conditions in the underlying horizons, an increase of enzyme activity over control values in the deeper layers of the soil. The article shows a possibility of the use of biological indicators as indicators of changes in the brown forest soils as a result of agricultural use

  3. Identifying plausible genetic models based on association and linkage results: application to type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Weihua; Boehnke, Michael; Pluzhnikov, Anna; Cox, Nancy J; Scott, Laura J

    2012-12-01

    When planning resequencing studies for complex diseases, previous association and linkage studies can constrain the range of plausible genetic models for a given locus. Here, we explore the combinations of causal risk allele frequency (RAFC ) and genotype relative risk (GRRC ) consistent with no or limited evidence for affected sibling pair (ASP) linkage and strong evidence for case-control association. We find that significant evidence for case-control association combined with no or moderate evidence for ASP linkage can define a lower bound for the plausible RAFC . Using data from large type 2 diabetes (T2D) linkage and genome-wide association study meta-analyses, we find that under reasonable model assumptions, 23 of 36 autosomal T2D risk loci are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.005, and four of the 23 are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.05.

  4. Of paradox and plausibility: the dynamic of change in medical law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, John

    2014-01-01

    This article develops a model of change in medical law. Drawing on systems theory, it argues that medical law participates in a dynamic of 'deparadoxification' and 'reparadoxification' whereby the underlying contingency of the law is variously concealed through plausible argumentation, or revealed by critical challenge. Medical law is, thus, thoroughly rhetorical. An examination of the development of the law on abortion and on the sterilization of incompetent adults shows that plausibility is achieved through the deployment of substantive common sense and formal stylistic devices. It is undermined where these elements are shown to be arbitrary and constructed. In conclusion, it is argued that the politics of medical law are constituted by this antagonistic process of establishing and challenging provisionally stable normative regimes.

  5. Effects of transgenic Bt cotton on soil fertility and biology under field conditions in subtropical inceptisol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Raman Jeet; Ahlawat, I P S; Singh, Surender

    2013-01-01

    Although there is large-scale adoption of Bt cotton by the farmers because of immediate financial gain, there is concern that Bt crops release Bt toxins into the soil environment which reduces soil chemical and biological activities. However, the majorities of such studies were mainly performed under pot experiments, relatively little research has examined the direct and indirect effects of associated cover crop of peanut with fertilization by combined application of organic and inorganic sources of nitrogen under field conditions. We compared soil chemical and biological parameters of Bt cotton with pure crop of peanut to arrive on a valid conclusion. Significantly higher dehydrogenase enzyme activity and KMnO(4)-N content of soil were observed in Bt cotton with cover crop of peanut over pure Bt cotton followed by pure peanut at all the crop growth stages. However, higher microbial population was maintained by pure peanut over intercropped Bt cotton, but these differences were related to the presence of high amount of KMnO(4)-N content of soil. By growing cover crop of peanut between Bt cotton rows, bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes population increased by 60%, 14%, and 10%, respectively, over Bt cotton alone. Bt cotton fertilized by combined application of urea and farm yard manure (FYM) maintained higher dehydrogenase enzyme activity, KMnO(4)-N content of soil and microbial population over urea alone. Significant positive correlations were observed for dry matter accumulation, dehydrogenase enzyme activity, KMnO(4)-N content, and microbial population of soil of Bt cotton, which indicates no harmful effects of Bt cotton on soil biological parameters and associated cover crop. Our results suggest that inclusion of cover crop of peanut and FYM in Bt cotton enhanced soil chemical and biological parameters which can mask any negative effect of the Bt toxin on microbial activity and thus on enzymatic activities.

  6. Research on Performance Evaluation of Biological Database based on Layered Queuing Network Model under the Cloud Computing Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengbin Luo

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the performance of biological database based on layered queuing network model and under cloud computing environment is a premise, as well as an important step for biological database optimization. Based on predecessors’ researches concerning computer software and hardware performance evaluation under cloud environment, the study has further constructed a model system to evaluate the performance of biological database based on layered queuing network model and under cloud environment. Moreover, traditional layered queuing network model is also optimized and upgraded in this process. After having constructed the performance evaluation system, the study applies laboratory experiment method to test the validity of the constructed performance model. Shown by the test result, this model is effective in evaluating the performance of biological system under cloud environment and the predicted result is quite close to the tested result. This has demonstrated the validity of the model in evaluating the performance of biological database.

  7. Number size distribution measurements of biological aerosols under contrasting environments and seasons from southern tropical India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsan, Aswathy; Cv, Biju; Krishna, Ravi; Huffman, Alex; Poschl, Ulrich; Gunthe, Sachin

    2016-04-01

    Biological aerosols constitute a wide range of dead and alive biological materials and structures that are suspended in the atmosphere. They play an important role in the atmospheric physical, chemical and biological processes and health of living being by spread of diseases among humans, plants, and, animals. The atmospheric abundance, sources, physical properties of PBAPs as compared to non-biological aerosols, however, is poorly characterized. Though omnipresent, their concentration and composition exhibit large spatial and temporal variations depending up on their sources, land-use, and local meteorology. The Indian tropical region, which constitutes approximately 18% of the world's total population exhibits vast geographical extend and experiences a distinctive meteorological phenomenon by means of Indian Summer Monsoon (IMS). Thus, the sources, properties and characteristics of biological aerosols are also expected to have significant variations over the Indian subcontinent depending upon the location and seasons. Here we present the number concentration and size distribution of Fluorescent Biological Aerosol Particles (FBAP) from two contrasting locations in Southern tropical India measured during contrasting seasons using Ultra Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (UV-APS). Measurements were carried out at a pristine high altitude continental site, Munnar (10.09 N, 77.06 E; 1605 m asl) during two contrasting seasons, South-West Monsoon (June-August, 2014) and winter (Jan - Feb, 2015) and in Chennai, a coastal urban area, during July - November 2015. FBAP concentrations at both the locations showed large variability with higher concentrations occurring at Chennai. Apart from regional variations, the FBAP concentrations also exhibited variations over two different seasons under the same environmental condition. In Munnar the FBAP concentration increased by a factor of four from South-West Monsoon to winter season. The average size distribution of FBAP at both

  8. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian's Star

    CERN Document Server

    Wright, Jason T

    2016-01-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the ISM, natural and artificial ma...

  9. Representations of physical plausibility revealed by event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roser, Matthew E; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Handy, Todd C; Dunbar, Kevin N; Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2009-08-05

    Maintaining an accurate mental representation of the current environment is crucial to detecting change in that environment and ensuring behavioral coherence. Past experience with interactions between objects, such as collisions, has been shown to influence the perception of object interactions. To assess whether mental representations of object interactions derived from experience influence the maintenance of a mental model of the current stimulus environment, we presented physically plausible and implausible collision events while recording brain electrical activity. The parietal P300 response to 'oddball' events was found to be modulated by the physical plausibility of the stimuli, suggesting that past experience of object interactions can influence working memory processes involved in monitoring ongoing changes to the environment.

  10. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Dong WANG; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-01-01

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamic...

  11. Exploring apposite therapeutic target for apoptosis in filarial parasite: a plausible hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hande, Sneha; Goswami, Kalyan; Jena, Lingaraj; Reddy, Maryada Venkata Rami

    2014-03-01

    Human lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease with profound socioeconomic encumbrance owing to its associated disability, affecting predominantly but not limited to the developing nations of tropics and subtropics. There are several technical issues like poor therapeutic and preventive repertoire as well as administrative and infrastructural limitations which jeopardize the salvage measures and further complicate the plight. Therefore, considering the gravity of the problem, WHO has mandated (under tropical disease research scheme) for placing emphasis on validation of novel therapeutic targets against this disease with the unfortunate tag of 'neglected tropical disease'. However, dearth of knowledge of parasite biology viciously coupled with difficulty of access to parasitic material from suitable animal model along with growing cost burden of high end research poses formidable challenge. Based on the recent research evidences, here we propose a premise with targeted apoptotic impact as a novel rationale to be exploited towards anti-parasitic drug development. The new era of bioinformatics ushers in new optimism with a wide range of genomic and proteomic database in public domain. Such platform might offer wonders for drug research, but needs highly selective criterion specificity. In order to test our hypothesis presumptively, we deployed a scheme for identification of target proteins from filarial parasitic origin through wide database search with precise criteria of non-homology against the host along with functional essentiality for the parasite. Further screening for proteins with growth potential from such list of essential non-homologous proteins was undertaken to mine out suitable representative target for ensuing apoptotic impact though effective inhibitors. A unique protein enzyme, RNA dependent RNA polymerase, which besides its vital role in RNA virus is believed to have regulatory role in gene expression, emerged as a plausible target. This protein

  12. Evaluation of biological attributes of soil type latossol under agroecological production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisol Rivero Herrada

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil attributes have shown to be good indicators of soil changes as a result of the management function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of using cover crops, as well as planting and tillage systems on the biological attributes of a yellowish red latosol soil. Soil samples were taken at 0 to 0.10 m depth, seven days before the bean harvest. Microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, basal soil respiration, metabolic ratio and total enzyme activity were evaluated in this study. The best agroecological management was achieved under the association of the ground cover with millet and in direct seeding because they showed higher soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen content and lower metabolic quotient, being pork bean the best plant coverage. All biological soil attributes were sensitive to the tillage system, which showed the best results of the total enzyme activity and of the soil metabolic quotient which resulted to be the most efficient.

  13. [The investigation of nickel dissolution from nitinol under different extraction conditions in biological tests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Xiantao; He, Xueying; Li, Jian; Tang, Juli; Huang, Yongfu

    2013-03-01

    The dissolution of nickel from nitinol alloy under different extraction conditions was investigated when biological tests of nitinol medical devices were carried out. It discussed the equivalence of these extraction conditions and found the best extraction conditions. In the experiment, two brands of nitinol were chosen and extracted under different extraction conditions according to GB/T 16886-12. Plasma emission spectrometer was used to analyse the concentration of nickel in extract liquid. The results show that there is no equivalence among these extraction conditions for nitinol materials. And it is suggested that (37 +/- 1) degree C, (72 +/- 2) h could be used as normal extraction condition and (70 +/- 2) degrees C, (24 +/- 2) h as accelerated extraction condition.

  14. Custom AFM for X-ray beamlines: in situ biological investigations under physiological conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gumí-Audenis, B. [ESRF, The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France); Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona (Spain); Physical Chemistry Department, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Networking Biomedical Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Madrid (Spain); Carlà, F. [ESRF, The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France); Vitorino, M. V. [University of Lisboa, Falculty of Science, Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute - BIOISI, Lisbon (Portugal); Panzarella, A. [ESRF, The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France); Porcar, L. [Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble (France); Boilot, M. [ORTEC, Marseille (France); Guerber, S. [CEA, LETI Grenoble (France); Bernard, P. [ESRF, The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France); Rodrigues, M. S. [University of Lisboa, Falculty of Science, Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute - BIOISI, Lisbon (Portugal); Sanz, F.; Giannotti, M. I. [Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona (Spain); Physical Chemistry Department, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Networking Biomedical Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Madrid (Spain); Costa, L., E-mail: luca.costa@esrf.fr [ESRF, The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France)

    2015-09-30

    The performance of a custom atomic force microscope for grazing-incidence X-ray experiments on hydrated soft and biological samples is presented. A fast atomic force microscope (AFM) has been developed that can be installed as a sample holder for grazing-incidence X-ray experiments at solid/gas or solid/liquid interfaces. It allows a wide range of possible investigations, including soft and biological samples under physiological conditions (hydrated specimens). The structural information obtained using the X-rays is combined with the data gathered with the AFM (morphology and mechanical properties), providing a unique characterization of the specimen and its dynamics in situ during an experiment. In this work, lipid monolayers and bilayers in air or liquid environment have been investigated by means of AFM, both with imaging and force spectroscopy, and X-ray reflectivity. In addition, this combination allows the radiation damage induced by the beam on the sample to be studied, as has been observed on DOPC and DPPC supported lipid bilayers under physiological conditions.

  15. Developmental biology of Argas neghmei Kohls & Hoogstraal (Acari: Argasidae) under laboratory conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Acuña, Daniel; Vargas, Pamela; Ardiles, Karen; Parra, Luis; Guglielmone, Alberto

    2010-01-01

    In order to describe the developmental biology of the tick Argas neghmei Kohls & Hoogstraal under laboratory conditions, 40 females and 40 males were collected from chicken coops located in Calama (II Region, Chile). They were fed on chickens and maintained under two laboratory conditions: one group at 30 +/- 5 degrees C and 35 +/- 5 % RH and another at 27 +/- 5 degrees C and 80 +/- 5 % RH, both at 12: 12 h L:D photoperiod. The ticks were observed daily to determine larval feeding periods, preoviposition, oviposition, egg incubation as well as the frequency of egg laying, number of eggs laid, and percentage of larval hatching. Females did not lay eggs at 80 +/- 5% RH, and data on the biology of this tick was obtained only at 35 +/- 5% RH. The life cycle of A. neghmei lasted an average of 269 days. Feeding period of each nymphal stage as well as of adult females between oviposition events lasted less than a day. Females laid on average 1.8 egg batches and egg-laying period lasted on average 14 days, during which about 96 eggs were laid per female.

  16. Probability, plausibility, and adequacy evaluations of the Oriente Study demonstrate that supplementation improved child growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habicht, Jean-Pierre; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2010-02-01

    This article presents evidence that the high-nutrient supplement in the Oriente study (Atole) improved child growth. The evidence is presented at 4 levels. There was a causal effect of the intervention on child length, as assessed by probability analyses of the randomized, controlled trial (P < 0.05). The plausibility analyses, which included an examination of wasting, showed that the nutritional impact was due to the Atole, especially in those who were <3 y old and who suffered from diarrhea. The adequacy analyses revealed excellent biological efficacy of the Atole at the individual level. At the level of the whole population, the efficacy of impact was much less, because many children did not participate fully in the supplementation program. The external validity of the biological impact is likely to be good for populations with similar diets and medical care.

  17. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Is air pollution a plausible candidate for prenatal exposure in autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? : a systematic review / y Dhanashree Vernekar

    OpenAIRE

    Vernekar, Dhanashree

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To present a systematic review of existing literature that investigates biological plausibility of prenatal hazardous air pollutants’ (HAPs) exposure, in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related outcomes. Method: Electronic databases Pubmed, Biomed Central and National Database for Autism Research, and grey literature pertaining to air pollution association with ASD and related outcomes were searched using specific keywords. The search included 190 HAPs as defi...

  19. Biological soil crusts on initial soils: organic carbon dynamics and chemistry under temperate climatic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Dümig

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have been carried out on the community structure and diversity of biological soil crusts (BSCs as well as their important functions on ecosystem processes. However, the amount of BSC-derived organic carbon (OC input into soils and its chemical composition under natural conditions has rarely been investigated. In this study, different development stages of algae- and moss-dominated BSCs were investigated on a~natural (<17 yr old BSCs and experimental sand dune (<4 yr old BSCs in northeastern Germany. We determined the OC accumulation in BSC-layers and the BSC-derived OC input into the underlying substrates for bulk materials and fractions <63 μm. The chemical composition of OC was characterized by applying solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and analysis of the carbohydrate-C signature.14C contents were used to assess the origin and dynamic of OC in BSCs and underlying substrates. Our results indicated a rapid BSC establishment and development from algae- to moss-dominated BSCs within only 4 yr under this temperate climate. The distribution of BSC types was presumably controlled by the surface stability according to the position in the slope. We found no evidence that soil properties influenced the BSC distribution on both sand dunes. 14C contents clearly indicated the existence of two OC pools in BSCs and substrates, recent BSC-derived OC and lignite-derived "old" OC (biologically refractory. The input of recent BSC-derived OC strongly decreased the mean residence time of total OC. The downward translocation of OC into the underlying substrates was only found for moss-dominated BSCs at the natural sand dune which may accelerate soil formation at these spots. BSC-derived OC mainly comprised O-alkyl C (carbohydrate-C and to a lesser extent also alkyl C and N-alkyl C in varying compositions. Accumulation of alkyl C was only detected in BSCs at the experimental dune which may induce a~lower water

  20. Plausibility of stromal initiation of epithelial cancers without a mutation in the epithelium: a computer simulation of morphostats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cappuccio Antonio

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is experimental evidence from animal models favoring the notion that the disruption of interactions between stroma and epithelium plays an important role in the initiation of carcinogenesis. These disrupted interactions are hypothesized to be mediated by molecules, termed morphostats, which diffuse through the tissue to determine cell phenotype and maintain tissue architecture. Methods We developed a computer simulation based on simple properties of cell renewal and morphostats. Results Under the computer simulation, the disruption of the morphostat gradient in the stroma generated epithelial precursors of cancer without any mutation in the epithelium. Conclusion The model is consistent with the possibility that the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes found in tumors could arise after the formation of a founder population of aberrant cells, defined as cells that are created by low or insufficient morphostat levels and that no longer respond to morphostat concentrations. Because the model is biologically plausible, we hope that these results will stimulate further experiments.

  1. Designing and testing a classroom curriculum to teach preschoolers about the biology of physical activity: The respiration system as an underlying biological causal mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Tracy S.

    The present study examined young children's understanding of respiration and oxygen as a source of vital energy underlying physical activity. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to explore whether a coherent biological theory, characterized by an understanding that bodily parts (heart and lungs) and processes (oxygen in respiration) as part of a biological system, can be taught as a foundational concept to reason about physical activity. The effects of a biology-based intervention curriculum designed to teach preschool children about bodily functions as a part of the respiratory system, the role of oxygen as a vital substance and how physical activity acts an energy source were examined. Participants were recruited from three private preschool classrooms (two treatment; 1 control) in Southern California and included a total of 48 four-year-old children (30 treatment; 18 control). Findings from this study suggested that young children could be taught relevant biological concepts about the role of oxygen in respiratory processes. Children who received biology-based intervention curriculum made significant gains in their understanding of the biology of respiration, identification of physical and sedentary activities. In addition these children demonstrated that coherence of conceptual knowledge was correlated with improved accuracy at activity identification and reasoning about the inner workings of the body contributing to endurance. Findings from this study provided evidence to support the benefits of providing age appropriate but complex coherent biological instruction to children in early childhood settings.

  2. Decision-Making Under Risk: Integrating Perspectives From Biology, Economics, and Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sandeep

    2014-08-01

    Decision-making under risk has been variably characterized and examined in many different disciplines. However, interdisciplinary integration has not been forthcoming. Classic theories of decision-making have not been amply revised in light of greater empirical data on actual patterns of decision-making behavior. Furthermore, the meta-theoretical framework of evolution by natural selection has been largely ignored in theories of decision-making under risk in the human behavioral sciences. In this review, I critically examine four of the most influential theories of decision-making from economics, psychology, and biology: expected utility theory, prospect theory, risk-sensitivity theory, and heuristic approaches. I focus especially on risk-sensitivity theory, which offers a framework for understanding decision-making under risk that explicitly involves evolutionary considerations. I also review robust empirical evidence for individual differences and environmental/situational factors that predict actual risky decision-making that any general theory must account for. Finally, I offer steps toward integrating various theoretical perspectives and empirical findings on risky decision-making. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

  3. Heavy-ion radiobiology: new approaches to delineate mechanisms underlying enhanced biological effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakely, E A; Kronenberg, A

    1998-11-01

    Shortly after the discovery of polonium and radium by Marie Curie and her husband and colleague, Pierre Curie, it was learned that exposure to these alpha-particle emitters produced deleterious biological effects. The mechanisms underlying the increased biological effectiveness of densely ionizing radiations, including alpha particles, neutrons and highly energetic heavy charged particles, remain an active area of investigation. In this paper, we review recent advances in several areas of the radiobiology of these densely ionizing radiations, also known as heavy ions. Advances are described in the areas of DNA damage and repair, chromosome aberrations, mutagenesis, neoplastic transformation in vitro, genomic instability, normal tissue radiobiology and carcinogenesis in vivo. We focus on technical innovations, including novel applications of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), linkage analysis, and studies of gene expression and protein expression. We also highlight the use of new cellular and animal systems, including those with defined DNA repair deficiencies, as well as epithelial cell model systems to assess neoplastic transformation both in vitro and in vivo. The studies reviewed herein have had a substantial impact on our understanding of the genotoxic effects of heavy ions as well as their distinct effects on tissue homeostasis. The use of these radiations in cancer therapy is also discussed. The use of both heavy-ion and proton therapy is on the upswing in several centers around the world, due to their unique energy deposition characteristics that enhance the therapeutic effect and help reduce damage to normal tissue.

  4. Heavy-ion radiobiology: new approaches to delineate mechanisms underlying enhanced biological effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakely, E. A.; Kronenberg, A.; Chatterjee, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after the discovery of polonium and radium by Marie Curie and her husband and colleague, Pierre Curie, it was learned that exposure to these alpha-particle emitters produced deleterious biological effects. The mechanisms underlying the increased biological effectiveness of densely ionizing radiations, including alpha particles, neutrons and highly energetic heavy charged particles, remain an active area of investigation. In this paper, we review recent advances in several areas of the radiobiology of these densely ionizing radiations, also known as heavy ions. Advances are described in the areas of DNA damage and repair, chromosome aberrations, mutagenesis, neoplastic transformation in vitro, genomic instability, normal tissue radiobiology and carcinogenesis in vivo. We focus on technical innovations, including novel applications of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), linkage analysis, and studies of gene expression and protein expression. We also highlight the use of new cellular and animal systems, including those with defined DNA repair deficiencies, as well as epithelial cell model systems to assess neoplastic transformation both in vitro and in vivo. The studies reviewed herein have had a substantial impact on our understanding of the genotoxic effects of heavy ions as well as their distinct effects on tissue homeostasis. The use of these radiations in cancer therapy is also discussed. The use of both heavy-ion and proton therapy is on the upswing in several centers around the world, due to their unique energy deposition characteristics that enhance the therapeutic effect and help reduce damage to normal tissue.

  5. Dynamics of Intracellular Polymers in Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Processes under Different Organic Carbon Concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizhen Xing

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR may deteriorate or fail during low organic carbon loading periods. Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs in EBPR were acclimated under both high and low organic carbon conditions, and then dynamics of polymers in typical cycles, anaerobic conditions with excess organic carbons, and endogenous respiration conditions were examined. After long-term acclimation, it was found that organic loading rates did not affect the yield of PAOs and the applied low organic carbon concentrations were advantageous for the enrichment of PAOs. A low influent organic carbon concentration induced a high production of extracellular carbohydrate. During both anaerobic and aerobic endogenous respirations, when glycogen decreased to around 80 ± 10 mg C per gram of volatile suspended solids, PAOs began to utilize polyphosphate significantly. Regressed by the first-order reaction model, glycogen possessed the highest degradation rate and then was followed by polyphosphate, while biomass decay had the lowest degradation rate.

  6. Dynamics of intracellular polymers in enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes under different organic carbon concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lizhen; Ren, Li; Tang, Bo; Wu, Guangxue; Guan, Yuntao

    2013-01-01

    Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) may deteriorate or fail during low organic carbon loading periods. Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) in EBPR were acclimated under both high and low organic carbon conditions, and then dynamics of polymers in typical cycles, anaerobic conditions with excess organic carbons, and endogenous respiration conditions were examined. After long-term acclimation, it was found that organic loading rates did not affect the yield of PAOs and the applied low organic carbon concentrations were advantageous for the enrichment of PAOs. A low influent organic carbon concentration induced a high production of extracellular carbohydrate. During both anaerobic and aerobic endogenous respirations, when glycogen decreased to around 80 ± 10 mg C per gram of volatile suspended solids, PAOs began to utilize polyphosphate significantly. Regressed by the first-order reaction model, glycogen possessed the highest degradation rate and then was followed by polyphosphate, while biomass decay had the lowest degradation rate.

  7. Biological control of white mold by Trichoderma harzianum in common bean under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Diego Costa Carvalho

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The objective of this work was to evaluate Trichoderma harzianum isolates for biological control of white mold in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris. Five isolates were evaluated for biocontrol of white mold in 'Perola' common bean under field conditions, in the 2009 and 2010 crop seasons. A commercial isolate (1306 and a control treatment were included. Foliar applications at 2x109 conidia mL-1 were performed at 42 and 52 days after sowing (DAS, in 2009, and at 52 DAS in 2010. The CEN287, CEN316, and 1306 isolates decreased the number of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum apothecia per square meter in comparison to the control, in both crop seasons. CEN287, CEN316, and 1306 decreased white mold severity during the experimental period, when compared to the control.

  8. Biological degradation and microbial function effect of norfloxacin in a soil under different conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ji-Feng; Ying, Guang-Guo; Liu, Shan; Zhou, Li-Jun; Zhao, Jian-Liang; Tao, Ran; Peng, Ping-An

    2012-01-01

    This paper investigated the degradation kinetics of norfloxacin in a soil, and its effects on soil respiration and nitrogen transformation under different conditions. Compared to the sterile control, the degradation rates of norfloxacin in the non-sterile soil were greatly enhanced, suggesting that microorganisms played a major role in the degradation. Accelerated degradation for norfloxacin in the soil was observed with decreasing concentrations (30 mg/kg to 5 mg/kg) with its half-life decreasing from 62 days to 31 days. Amending swine manure into the soil and increasing the soil moisture level enhanced the biological degradation of norfloxacin. No obvious inhibition of norfloxacin on soil respiration was observed in the soil, while only slight effect on nitrogen transformation was found. The results suggested that norfloxacin at the reported environmental concentrations (<100 mg/kg) would have little effect on microbial activity and functions in the soils.

  9. Plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in Sweden in 2025.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björkman, B; Fridell, K; Tavakol Olofsson, P

    2017-11-01

    Radiography is a healthcare speciality with many technical challenges. Advances in engineering and information technology applications may continue to drive and be driven by radiographers. The world of diagnostic imaging is changing rapidly and radiographers must be proactive in order to survive. To ensure sustainable development, organisations have to identify future opportunities and threats in a timely manner and incorporate them into their strategic planning. Hence, the aim of this study was to analyse and describe plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in 2025. The study has a qualitative design with an inductive approach based on focus group interviews. The interviews were inspired by the Scenario-Planning method. Of the seven trends identified in a previous study, the radiographers considered two as the most uncertain scenarios that would have the greatest impact on the profession should they occur. These trends, labelled "Access to career advancement" and "A sufficient number of radiographers", were inserted into the scenario cross. The resulting four plausible future scenarios were: The happy radiographer, the specialist radiographer, the dying profession and the assembly line. It is suggested that "The dying profession" scenario could probably be turned in the opposite direction by facilitating career development opportunities for radiographers within the profession. Changing the direction would probably lead to a profession composed of "happy radiographers" who are specialists, proud of their profession and competent to carry out advanced tasks, in contrast to being solely occupied by "the assembly line". Copyright © 2017 The College of Radiographers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Biological decolorization of reactive anthraquinone and phthalocyanine dyes under various oxidation-reduction conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young H; Matthews, Rosalyn D; Pavlostathis, Spyros G

    2006-02-01

    The decolorization of two anthraquinone dyes (Reactive Blue 4 [RB4] and Reactive Blue 19 [RB19]) and two phthalocyanine dyes (Reactive Blue 7 [RB7] and Reactive Blue 21 [RB21]) was investigated at an initial dye concentration of 300 mg/L using an unacclimated, enrichment culture. The culture was fed a mixture of organic compounds and maintained initially under aerobic conditions, and then progressively developed anoxic/ anaerobic conditions. Biotransformation-related decolorization of the dyes did not take place under aerobic conditions, but use of the feed organic mixture and biomass production by the enrichment culture were not affected. Complete ammonia removal occurred in the control and all dye-amended cultures. The development and extent of nitrification were much lower in the latter cultures, in which ammonia removal via air stripping was the dominant mechanism. Prolonged incubation of the culture under anoxic/anaerobic conditions with multiple carbon source additions resulted in a high decolorization extent of anthraquinone dyes (over 84%) and only partial decolorization of phthalocyanine dyes (49 to 66%). Development of significant methanogenic activity took place in the control and, to a lesser extent, in the two phthalocyanine dye-amended cultures, but the anthraquinone dyes severely inhibited the development of methanogenic activity. The RB4 and RB19 decolorization was attributed to nonreversible, microbially mediated dye transformation(s), demonstrated by the accumulation of decolorization products with absorbance maxima in the 420- to 460-nm region. The decolorization of RB4 and RB19 followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics. At an initial dye concentration of 300 mg/L, the observed maximum decolorization rate per unit biomass was 9.1 and 37.5 mg dye/mg volatile suspended solids x day for the RB4 and RB19, respectively. Thus, partial decolorization of reactive phthalocyanine dyes and extensive biological decolorization of reactive anthraquinone dyes is

  11. A Biomass-based Model to Estimate the Plausibility of Exoplanet Biosignature Gases

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S; Hu, R

    2013-01-01

    Biosignature gas detection is one of the ultimate future goals for exoplanet atmosphere studies. We have created a framework for linking biosignature gas detectability to biomass estimates, including atmospheric photochemistry and biological thermodynamics. The new framework is intended to liberate predictive atmosphere models from requiring fixed, Earth-like biosignature gas source fluxes. New biosignature gases can be considered with a check that the biomass estimate is physically plausible. We have validated the models on terrestrial production of NO, H2S, CH4, CH3Cl, and DMS. We have applied the models to propose NH3 as a biosignature gas on a "cold Haber World," a planet with a N2-H2 atmosphere, and to demonstrate why gases such as CH3Cl must have too large of a biomass to be a plausible biosignature gas on planets with Earth or early-Earth-like atmospheres orbiting a Sun-like star. To construct the biomass models, we developed a functional classification of biosignature gases, and found that gases (such...

  12. Cell biological mechanism for triggering of ABA accumulation under water stress in Vicia faba leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, D; He, F; Jia, W

    2001-08-01

    Water stress-induced ABA accumulation is a cellular signaling process from water stress perception to activation of genes encoding key enzymes of ABA biosynthesis, of which the water stress-signal perception by cells or triggering mechanism of the ABA accumulation is the center in the whole process of ABA related-stress signaling in plants. The cell biological mechanism for triggering of ABA accumulation under water stress was studied in leaves of Vicia faba. Mannitol at 890 mmol * kg(-1) osmotic concentration induced an increase of more than 5 times in ABA concentration in detached leaf tissues, but the same concentration of mannitol only induced an increase of less than 40 % in ABA concentration in protoplasts. Like in detached leaf tissues, ABA concentration in isolated cells increased more than 10 times under the treatment of mannitol at 890 mmol * kg(-1) concentration, suggesting that the interaction between plasmalemma and cell wall was essential to triggering of the water stress-induced ABA accumulation. Neither Ca(2+)-chelating agent EGTA nor Ca(2+)channel activator A23187 nor the two cytoskeleton inhibitors, colchicine and cytochalasin B, had any effect on water stress-induced ABA accumulation. Interestingly water stress-induced ABA accumulation was effectively inhibited by a non-plasmalemma-permeable sulfhydryl-modifier PCMBS (p-chloromercuriphenyl-sulfonic acid), suggesting that plasmalemma protein(s) may be involved in the triggering of water stress-induced ABA accumulation, and the protein may contain sulfhydryl group at its function domain.

  13. Neurodevelopmental consequences in offspring of mothers with preeclampsia during pregnancy: underlying biological mechanism via imprinting genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Yoko; John, Rosalind M; Janssen, Anna Bugge; Davey, Charles; Finik, Jackie; Buthmann, Jessica; Glover, Vivette; Lambertini, Luca

    2017-06-01

    Preeclampsia is known to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity among mothers and their infants. Approximately 3-8% of all pregnancies in the US are complicated by preeclampsia and another 5-7% by hypertensive symptoms. However, less is known about its long-term influence on infant neurobehavioral development. The current review attempts to demonstrate new evidence for imprinting gene dysregulation caused by hypertension, which may explain the link between maternal preeclampsia and neurocognitive dysregulation in offspring. Pub Med and Web of Science databases were searched using the terms "preeclampsia," "gestational hypertension," "imprinting genes," "imprinting dysregulation," and "epigenetic modification," in order to review the evidence demonstrating associations between preeclampsia and suboptimal child neurodevelopment, and suggest dysregulation of placental genomic imprinting as a potential underlying mechanism. The high mortality and morbidity among mothers and fetuses due to preeclampsia is well known, but there is little research on the long-term biological consequences of preeclampsia and resulting hypoxia on the fetal/child neurodevelopment. In the past decade, accumulating evidence from studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries have begun to show that imprinted genes expressed in the placenta might hold clues for a link between preeclampsia and impaired cognitive neurodevelopment. A sudden onset of maternal hypertension detected by the placenta may result in misguided biological programming of the fetus via changes in the epigenome, resulting in suboptimal infant development. Furthering our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which neurodevelopmental trajectories of the fetus/infant are affected by preeclampsia and hypertension will represent an important first step toward preventing adverse neurodevelopment in infants.

  14. Nutrient Recovery of Plant Leachates Under Thermal, Biological, and Photocatalytic Pretreatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Les

    2015-01-01

    Nutrient recovery has always been a problem for long distance and long-term space missions. To allow humans to man these missions, a steady source of oxygen, water, and food are necessary for survival beyond Earth's atmosphere. Plants are currently an area of interest since they are capable of providing all three resources for life sustainability. We are currently interested in nutrient recovery for future plant growth and simple aqueous leachate extractions can recover some of the nutrients. However, leaching plants also removes water-soluble organic plant wastes, which inhibits plant growth if not separated properly. To combat the issues with waste and maximize nutrient recovery, we are attempting to pre-treat the plant matter using biological, thermal, and photocatalytic methods before subjecting the solution with variable-strength acid digestion. For the biological method, the inoculums: mixed heterotrophic/nitrifying bioreactor effluent and Trichoderma vessei are used in an attempt to liberate more nutrients from the plant matter. For the thermal method, plants are subjected to varying temperatures at different retention times to determine nutrient recovery. Lastly, the photocatalytic method utilizes TiO (sub 2)'s oxidizing abilities under specific pHs and retention times to reduce organic wastes and improve nutrient gains. A final acid digestion serves to liberate nutrients even further in order to maximize recovery. So far, we have tested ideal acid digestion variables for practicality and performance in our experiments. We found that a low retention time of 10 minutes and a high acid concentration of 0.1 and 1 mole HCl were the most effective at nutrient recovery. For space travel purposes, 0.1 mole currently looks like a viable acid digestion to use since it is relatively effective and sustainable from a mass and energy balance if acid recovery can be performed on waste brines. Biological pretreatments do not look to be too effective and the thermal and

  15. Competing for phosphors under changing redox conditions: biological versus geochemical sinks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, A.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Silver, W. L.

    2016-12-01

    Competing for phosphorus under changing redox conditions: biological versus geochemical sinksAvner Gross1, Jennifer Pett-Ridge2 and Whendee L Silver1 University of California Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, Berkeley, CA, USA. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Physical and Life Science Directorate, Livermore, CA, USA. The cycling of phosphorous (P) in highly weathered, humid tropical forest soils is tightly regulated by P sorption dynamics to the surfaces of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides and root and microbial demands for P. Periods of anoxic soil conditions, which are common in humid environments, induce the reduction of Fe (III) to Fe (II) and may release sorbed P into the soil solution. The microbial demand for P is influenced by the C and nutrient composition of their available substrates. Therefore, we hypothesize that soil redox conditions and substrate quality and availability will control the partitioning of P between microbial biomass and the soil mineral phase. The aim of this study was to examine how fluctuations in soil redox conditions and changes in microbial P demand affect the fate of new P that enters the soil solution. To achieve this aim we conducted a series of soil incubation experiments using a wet tropical soil from Puerto Rico (where redox conditions and P availability naturally oscillate) with a single pulse of phosphate (PO4), altering both the microbial activity and redox conditions. To follow the fate the added P, the added phosphate was labeled with 18O. As the exchange of oxygen between phosphate and water only occurs during biological processes, P-18O labeling can be used as an indicator of microbial use. To quantify sizes of the microbial and mineral P pools we used traditional chemical extractions in the bulk scale. We used NanoSIMS isotopic imaging to map the distribution of P-16O and P-18O and co-localization with Fe minerals at the nano scale. Our results show that the amount of the added P fixed

  16. Exploring discrepancies between quantitative validation results and the geomorphic plausibility of statistical landslide susceptibility maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Stefan; Brenning, Alexander; Bell, Rainer; Petschko, Helene; Glade, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Empirical models are frequently applied to produce landslide susceptibility maps for large areas. Subsequent quantitative validation results are routinely used as the primary criteria to infer the validity and applicability of the final maps or to select one of several models. This study hypothesizes that such direct deductions can be misleading. The main objective was to explore discrepancies between the predictive performance of a landslide susceptibility model and the geomorphic plausibility of subsequent landslide susceptibility maps while a particular emphasis was placed on the influence of incomplete landslide inventories on modelling and validation results. The study was conducted within the Flysch Zone of Lower Austria (1,354 km2) which is known to be highly susceptible to landslides of the slide-type movement. Sixteen susceptibility models were generated by applying two statistical classifiers (logistic regression and generalized additive model) and two machine learning techniques (random forest and support vector machine) separately for two landslide inventories of differing completeness and two predictor sets. The results were validated quantitatively by estimating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) with single holdout and spatial cross-validation technique. The heuristic evaluation of the geomorphic plausibility of the final results was supported by findings of an exploratory data analysis, an estimation of odds ratios and an evaluation of the spatial structure of the final maps. The results showed that maps generated by different inventories, classifiers and predictors appeared differently while holdout validation revealed similar high predictive performances. Spatial cross-validation proved useful to expose spatially varying inconsistencies of the modelling results while additionally providing evidence for slightly overfitted machine learning-based models. However, the highest predictive performances were obtained for

  17. Alkaloids from Pandanus amaryllifolius: Isolation and Their Plausible Biosynthetic Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yu-Chi; Yu, Meng-Lun; El-Shazly, Mohamed; Beerhues, Ludger; Cheng, Yuan-Bin; Chen, Lei-Chin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Chen, Hui-Fen; Chung, Yu-Ming; Hou, Ming-Feng; Wu, Yang-Chang; Chang, Fang-Rong

    2015-10-23

    Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. (Pandanaceae) is used as a flavor and in folk medicine in Southeast Asia. The ethanolic crude extract of the aerial parts of P. amaryllifolius exhibited antioxidant, antibiofilm, and anti-inflammatory activities in previous studies. In the current investigation, the purification of the ethanolic extract yielded nine new compounds, including N-acetylnorpandamarilactonines A (1) and B (2); pandalizines A (3) and B (4); pandanmenyamine (5); pandamarilactones 2 (6) and 3 (7), and 5(E)-pandamarilactonine-32 (8); and pandalactonine (9). The isolated alkaloids, with either a γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone or γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactam system, can be classified into five skeletons including norpandamarilactonine, indolizinone, pandanamine, pandamarilactone, and pandamarilactonine. A plausible biosynthetic route toward 1-5, 7, and 9 is proposed.

  18. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Wang, Dong; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-06-19

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamics. We fabricate iron oxide memristor-based synapses, with well controllable plasticity and a wide dynamic range of excitatory/inhibitory connection weights, to build the network. To adaptively modify the synaptic weights, the comprehensive recursive least-squares (RLS) learning algorithm is introduced. Based on the proposed framework, the learning of various timing patterns and a complex spatiotemporal pattern of human motor is demonstrated. This work paves a new way to explore the brain-inspired complex learning in neuromorphic systems.

  19. Self-assembly of phosphate amphiphiles in mixtures of prebiotically plausible surfactants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A N; Duffy, C D; Sutherland, J D; Monnard, P-A

    2014-06-01

    The spontaneous formation of closed bilayer structures from prebiotically plausible amphiphiles is an essential requirement for the emergence of early cells on prebiotic Earth. The sources of amphiphiles could have been both endo- and exogenous (accretion of meteorite carbonaceous material or interstellar dust particles). Among all prebiotic possible amphiphile candidates, those containing phosphate are the least investigated species because their self-assembly occurs in a seemingly too narrow range of conditions. The self-assembly of simple phosphate amphiphiles should, however, be of great interest, as contemporary membranes predominantly contain phospholipids. In contrast to common expectations, we show that these amphiphiles can be easily synthesized under prebiotically plausible environmental conditions and can efficiently form bilayer structures in the presence of various co-surfactants across a large range of pH values. Vesiculation was even observed in crude reaction mixtures that contained 1-decanol as the amphiphile precursor. The two best co-surfactants promoted vesicle formation over the entire pH range in aqueous solutions. Expanding the pH range where bilayer membranes self-assemble and remain intact is a prerequisite for the emergence of early cell-like compartments and their preservation under fluctuating environmental conditions. These mixed bilayers also retained small charged solutes, such as dyes. These results demonstrate that alkyl phosphate amphiphiles might have played a significant role as early compartment building blocks.

  20. Spontaneous formation and base pairing of plausible prebiotic nucleotides in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferty, Brian J; Fialho, David M; Khanam, Jaheda; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Hud, Nicholas V

    2016-04-25

    The RNA World hypothesis presupposes that abiotic reactions originally produced nucleotides, the monomers of RNA and universal constituents of metabolism. However, compatible prebiotic reactions for the synthesis of complementary (that is, base pairing) nucleotides and mechanisms for their mutual selection within a complex chemical environment have not been reported. Here we show that two plausible prebiotic heterocycles, melamine and barbituric acid, form glycosidic linkages with ribose and ribose-5-phosphate in water to produce nucleosides and nucleotides in good yields. Even without purification, these nucleotides base pair in aqueous solution to create linear supramolecular assemblies containing thousands of ordered nucleotides. Nucleotide anomerization and supramolecular assemblies favour the biologically relevant β-anomer form of these ribonucleotides, revealing abiotic mechanisms by which nucleotide structure and configuration could have been originally favoured. These findings indicate that nucleotide formation and selection may have been robust processes on the prebiotic Earth, if other nucleobases preceded those of extant life.

  1. Evaluation and integration of cancer gene classifiers: identification and ranking of plausible drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Tian, Feng; Hu, Zhenjun; DeLisi, Charles

    2015-05-11

    The number of mutated genes in cancer cells is far larger than the number of mutations that drive cancer. The difficulty this creates for identifying relevant alterations has stimulated the development of various computational approaches to distinguishing drivers from bystanders. We develop and apply an ensemble classifier (EC) machine learning method, which integrates 10 classifiers that are publically available, and apply it to breast and ovarian cancer. In particular we find the following: (1) Using both standard and non-standard metrics, EC almost always outperforms single method classifiers, often by wide margins. (2) Of the 50 highest ranked genes for breast (ovarian) cancer, 34 (30) are associated with other cancers in either the OMIM, CGC or NCG database (P plausible. Biological implications are briefly discussed. Source codes and detailed results are available at http://www.visantnet.org/misi/driver_integration.zip.

  2. Why the long face? The importance of vertical image structure for biological "barcodes" underlying face recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Morgan L; Storrs, Katherine R; Arnold, Derek H

    2014-07-29

    Humans are experts at face recognition. The mechanisms underlying this complex capacity are not fully understood. Recently, it has been proposed that face recognition is supported by a coarse-scale analysis of visual information contained in horizontal bands of contrast distributed along the vertical image axis-a biological facial "barcode" (Dakin & Watt, 2009). A critical prediction of the facial barcode hypothesis is that the distribution of image contrast along the vertical axis will be more important for face recognition than image distributions along the horizontal axis. Using a novel paradigm involving dynamic image distortions, a series of experiments are presented examining famous face recognition impairments from selectively disrupting image distributions along the vertical or horizontal image axes. Results show that disrupting the image distribution along the vertical image axis is more disruptive for recognition than matched distortions along the horizontal axis. Consistent with the facial barcode hypothesis, these results suggest that human face recognition relies disproportionately on appropriately scaled distributions of image contrast along the vertical image axis.

  3. Interferometric laser detection of nanomechanical perturbations in biological media under ablation conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morales-Bonilla, S; Torres-Torres, C; Urriolagoitia-Sosa, G; Hernandez-Gomez, L H; Urriolagoitia-Calderon, G, E-mail: crstorres@yahoo.com.mx [Instituto Politecnico Nacional Seccion de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigacion Escuela Superior de Ingenieria Mecanica y Electrica Unidad Profesional Adolfo Lopez Mateos ' Zacatenco' Col. Lindavista, CP 07738, Mexico, D. F. (Mexico)

    2011-07-19

    This article has to do with the development of a reliable and sensitive non-invasive laser technique for assessing damage of structures and systems involved in laser ablation processes. The optical response of a Michelson Interferometer in combination with a Measuring Reflectance System has been analyzed in order to identify the stability of the mechanical properties of the sample, the physical perturbations associated with the systems and the environment where the target is contained. This test includes the use of a cyan laser system with 10 mW at 488 nm wavelength as optical source. We found out that with the inclusion of an optical feedback in a sensing system it is possible to determine the modification of the physical properties exhibited by a biological medium under sharp ablation conditions with a high accuracy degree. The results reported in this research have potential applications related to the amount of light intensity that can be tolerated by human tissue. A wide array of disciplines, such as medicine, mechanical industry and optical instrumentation can benefit from this ultrafast optical feedback for controlling high intensity laser signals. Collateral damage of tissue around the laser irradiated zones can be reduced by using intelligent lasers systems with ultra-short temporal response.

  4. In Situ Denitrification and Biological Nitrogen Fixation Under Enhanced Atmospheric Reactive Nitrogen Deposition in UK Peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Sami; Saiz Val, Ernesto; Sgouridis, Fotis; Peichl, Matthias; Nilsson, Mats

    2017-04-01

    Dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) losses due to denitrification and biological N2 fixation (BNF) are the most uncertain components of the nitrogen (N) cycle in peatlands under enhanced atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition. This uncertainty hampers our ability to assess the contribution of denitrification to the removal of biologically fixed and/or atmospherically deposited Nr in peatlands. This uncertainty emanates from the difficulty in measuring in situ soil N2 and N2O production and consumption in peatlands. In situ denitrification and its contribution to total N2O flux was measured monthly between April 2013 and October 2014 in peatlands in two UK catchments. An adapted 15N-Gas Flux method1 with low level addition of 15N tracer (0.03 ± 0.005 kg 15N ha-1) was used to measure denitrification and its contribution to net N2O production (DN2O/TN2O). BNF was measured in situ through incubation of selected sphagnum species under 15N2 gas tracer. Denitrification2 varied temporally and averaged 8 kg N-N2 ha-1 y-1. The contribution of denitrification was about 48% to total N2O flux3 of 0.05 kg N ha-1 y-1. Soil moisture, temperature, ecosystem respiration, pH and mineral N content mainly regulated the flux of N2 and N2O. Preliminary results showed suppression of BNF, which was 1.8 to 7 times lower in peatland mosses exposed to ˜15 to 20 kg N ha-1 y-1 Nr deposition in the UK than in peatland mosses in northern Sweden with background Nr deposition. Overall, the contribution of denitrification to Nr removal in the selected peatlands was ˜50% of the annual Nr deposition rates, making these ecosystems vulnerable to chronic N saturation. These results point to a need for a more comprehensive annual BNF measurement to more accurately account for total Nr input into peatlands and its atmospheric loss due to denitrification. References Sgouridis F, Stott A & Ullah S, 2016. Application of the 15N-Gas Flux method for measuring in situ N2 and N2O fluxes due to

  5. Metastasis in renal cell carcinoma: Biology and implications for therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Gong

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Although multiple advances have been made in systemic therapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC, metastatic RCC remains incurable. In the current review, we focus on the underlying biology of RCC and plausible mechanisms of metastasis. We further outline evolving strategies to combat metastasis through adjuvant therapy. Finally, we discuss clinical patterns of metastasis in RCC and how distinct systemic therapy approaches may be considered based on the anatomic location of metastasis.

  6. Liderazgo preventivo para la universidad. Una experiencia plausible

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Rodríguez Rodríguez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available El desarrollo del liderazgo, en el ámbito educativo superior, busca soluciones de aplicación inmediata a contextos en que todo líder se desenvuelve, pero se diluye el sustento teórico-práctico en la formación del líder que posibilite entender los procesos intelectivos durante la toma de decisiones. El paradigma de convergencia entre el método antropológico lonerganiano, la comunidad de aprendizaje vygotskiana y una relectura del sistema preventivo salesiano se presentan como propuesta plausible de formación al liderazgo preventivo entre los diversos actores de una comunidad universitaria. Un estudio de caso de la Universidad Salesiana en México empleando un método mixto de investigación, facilita una relectura del liderazgo desde una óptica preventiva como posibilidad de convergencia en un diálogo interdisciplinar. Los resultados teórico-práctico propuestos y examinados se muestran como herramienta útil para evaluar, enriquecer y renovar la teoría sobre el líder y el desarrollo de liderazgo en las universidades frente a una sociedad globalizada.

  7. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan M

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Mohammad KhanDepartment of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Chichiri, Blantyre, MalawiAbstract: The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.Keywords: explanation, dominance, male, perforation, ileum, typhoid

  8. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP) is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon) is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.

  9. To The Problem of the Implementation of Biological Potential of Sturgeons under Environmental and Technological Pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Grigoryevich SEMENOV,

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Currently, antibacterial, probiotic and other biologically active agents are introduced in the rations of fish for prevention of their infectious and parasitic diseases. A research work was conducted in conditions of YUTAS LLC fish farm company, to assess the effectiveness of administration of Akwa-Biot-Norm biogenic feed additive developed by the scientists of the Chuvash State Agricultural Academy, to Lena sturgeons. The research results showed that the application of Akwa-Biot-Norm biogenic feed additive to Lena sturgeons stimulated the growth and development of fish, contributed to a significant increase in hemoglobin concentration both due to the increasing amounts of red blood cells and due to the increase in their functional activity. In addition, a significant increase in the absolute number of white blood cells is observed, with expressed increase in the fraction of lymphocytes, and a decrease in the relative number of neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils within physiological standards. Immunological properties of blood of Lena sturgeons in the background of administration of the feed additive indicate a significant increase in the values of indicators of non-specific resistance of fish, such as serum bactericidal activity by 4.0%, phagocytic activity of neutrophils by 5.5% and the concentration of the proteolytic enzyme lysozyme by 142.9%. Thus, the research confirms the effectiveness of administration ofAkwa-Biot-Norm biogenic feed additive for stimulating growth and preventing morbidity of fish due to activation of non-specific resistance of the body under environmental and technological pressure.

  10. 78 FR 74218 - Imposition of Additional Sanctions on Syria Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-10

    ... Imposition of Additional Sanctions on Syria Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare.... ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: On August 2, 2013, a determination was made that the Government of Syria used... Notice 8460. That determination resulted in sanctions against the Government of Syria. Section 307(b)...

  11. Acute toxicity and chemical evaluation of coking wastewater under biological and advanced physicochemical treatment processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehua, Ma; Cong, Liu; Xiaobiao, Zhu; Rui, Liu; Lujun, Chen

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated the changes of toxic compounds in coking wastewater with biological treatment (anaerobic reactor, anoxic reactor and aerobic-membrane bioreactor, A1/A2/O-MBR) and advanced physicochemical treatment (Fenton oxidation and activated carbon adsorption) stages. As the biological treatment stages preceding, the inhibition effect of coking wastewater on the luminescence of Vibrio qinghaiensis sp. Nov. Q67 decreased. Toxic units (TU) of coking wastewater were removed by A1/A2/O-MBR treatment process, however approximately 30 % TU remained in the biologically treated effluent. There is a tendency that fewer and fewer residual organic compounds could exert equal acute toxicity during the biological treatment stages. Activated carbon adsorption further removed toxic pollutants of biologically treated effluent but the Fenton effluent increased acute toxicity. The composition of coking wastewater during the treatment was evaluated using the three-dimensional fluorescence spectra, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The organic compounds with high polarity were the main cause of acute toxicity in the coking wastewater. Aromatic protein-like matters in the coking wastewater with low biodegradability and high toxicity contributed mostly to the remaining acute toxicity of the biologically treated effluents. Chlorine generated from the oxidation process was responsible for the acute toxicity increase after Fenton oxidation. Therefore, the incorporation of appropriate advanced physicochemical treatment process, e.g., activated carbon adsorption, should be implemented following biological treatment processes to meet the stricter discharge standards and be safer to the environment.

  12. Integrative microbial community analysis reveals full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal under tropical conditions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Law, Yingyu; Kirkegaard, Rasmus Hansen; Cokro, Angel Anisa; Liu, Xianghui; Arumugam, Krithika; Xie, Chao; Stokholm-Bjerregaard, Mikkel; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I; Nielsen, Per Halkjær; Wuertz, Stefan; Williams, Rohan B H

    2016-01-01

    .... Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is a sustainable, efficient way of removing phosphorus from waste water without employing chemical precipitation, but is assumed unachievable in tropical temperatures due to conditions that favour...

  13. Changing beliefs about implausible autobiographical events: a little plausibility goes a long way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, G A; Loftus, E F; Kirsch, I

    2001-03-01

    Three experiments investigated the malleability of perceived plausibility and the subjective likelihood of occurrence of plausible and implausible events among participants who had no recollection of experiencing them. In Experiment 1, a plausibility-enhancing manipulation (reading accounts of the occurrence of events) combined with a personalized suggestion increased the perceived plausibility of the implausible event, as well as participants' ratings of the likelihood that they had experienced it. Plausibility and likelihood ratings were uncorrelated. Subsequent studies showed that the plausibility manipulation alone was sufficient to increase likelihood ratings but only if the accounts that participants read were set in a contemporary context. These data suggest that false autobiographical beliefs can be induced in clinical and forensic contexts even for initially implausible events.

  14. Effectiveness of biological geotextiles in reducing runoff and soil loss under different environmental conditions using laboratory and field plot data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smets, T.

    2009-04-01

    Preliminary investigations suggest biological geotextiles could be an effective and inexpensive soil conservation method, with enormous global potential. Biological geotextiles are a possible temporary alternative for vegetation cover and can offer immediate soil protection. However, limited data are available on the erosion-reducing effects of biological geotextiles. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of selected types of biological geotextile in reducing runoff and soil loss under controlled laboratory conditions and under field conditions reflecting different environments (i.e. continental, temperate and tropical). In laboratory experiments, interrill runoff, interrill erosion and concentrated flow erosion were simulated using various rainfall intensities, flow shear stresses and slope gradients. Field plot data on the effects of biological geotextiles on sheet and rill erosion were collected in several countries under natural rainfall (U.K., Hungary, Lithuania, South Africa, Brazil, China and Thailand). The laboratory experiments indicate that all tested biological geotextiles were effective in reducing interrill runoff (on average 59% of the value for bare soil) and interrill erosion rates (on average 16% of the value for bare soil). Since simulated concentrated flow discharge sometimes flowed below the geotextiles, the effectiveness in reducing concentrated flow erosion was significantly less (on average 59% of the value for bare soil). On field plots, where both interrill and rill erosion occur, all tested geotextiles reduced runoff depth by a mean of 54% of the control value for bare soil and in some cases, runoff depth increased compared to bare soil surfaces, which can be attributed to the impermeable and hydrophobic characteristics of some biological geotextiles. In the field, soil loss rates due to interrill and rill erosion were reduced by a mean of 21% of the value of bare soil by biological geotextiles. This study

  15. Quantum theory as plausible reasoning applied to data obtained by robust experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Raedt, H; Katsnelson, M I; Michielsen, K

    2016-05-28

    We review recent work that employs the framework of logical inference to establish a bridge between data gathered through experiments and their objective description in terms of human-made concepts. It is shown that logical inference applied to experiments for which the observed events are independent and for which the frequency distribution of these events is robust with respect to small changes of the conditions under which the experiments are carried out yields, without introducing any concept of quantum theory, the quantum theoretical description in terms of the Schrödinger or the Pauli equation, the Stern-Gerlach or Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm experiments. The extraordinary descriptive power of quantum theory then follows from the fact that it is plausible reasoning, that is common sense, applied to reproducible and robust experimental data.

  16. Oxidation of cefazolin by potassium permanganate: Transformation products and plausible pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liping; Wei, Dongbin; Wei, Guohua; Du, Yuguo

    2016-04-01

    Cefazolin was demonstrated to exert high reactivity toward permanganate (Mn(VII)), a common oxidant in water pre-oxidation treatment. In this study, five transformation products were found to be classified into three categories according to the contained characteristic functional groups: three (di-)sulfoxide products, one sulfone product and one di-ketone product. Products analyses showed that two kinds of reactions including oxidation of thioether and the cleavage of unsaturated CC double bond occurred during transformation of cefazolin by Mn(VII). Subsequently, the plausible transformation pathways under different pH conditions were proposed based on the identified products and chemical reaction principles. More importantly, the simulation with real surface water matrix indicated that the proposed transformation pathways of cefazolin could be replayed in real water treatment practices.

  17. A plausible simultaneous synthesis of amino acids and simple peptides on the primordial Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Eric T; Zhou, Manshui; Burton, Aaron S; Glavin, Daniel P; Dworkin, Jason P; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Fernández, Facundo M; Bada, Jeffrey L

    2014-07-28

    Following his seminal work in 1953, Stanley Miller conducted an experiment in 1958 to study the polymerization of amino acids under simulated early Earth conditions. In the experiment, Miller sparked a gas mixture of CH4, NH3, and H2O, while intermittently adding the plausible prebiotic condensing reagent cyanamide. For unknown reasons, an analysis of the samples was not reported. We analyzed the archived samples for amino acids, dipeptides, and diketopiperazines by liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry. A dozen amino acids, 10 glycine-containing dipeptides, and 3 glycine-containing diketopiperazines were detected. Miller's experiment was repeated and similar polymerization products were observed. Aqueous heating experiments indicate that Strecker synthesis intermediates play a key role in facilitating polymerization. These results highlight the potential importance of condensing reagents in generating diversity within the prebiotic chemical inventory.

  18. Drug levels, immunogenicity and assessment of active sacroiliitis in patients with axial spondyloarthritis under biologic tapering strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almirall, Miriam; Gimeno, Ramón; Salman-Monte, Tarek Carlos; Iniesta, Silvia; Lisbona, Maria Pilar; Maymó, Joan

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the study was to assess drug levels, immunogenicity and sacroiliitis on MRI in patients with axial spondyloarthritis under biologic tapering strategy. Consecutive patients with axial spondyloarthritis who remained in low disease activity more than 1 year after dose tapering of infliximab and adalimumab were included. Plasma drug concentrations of TNF inhibitors and anti-drug antibodies were determined, and MRI of sacroiliac joints was evaluated. Of twenty patients included, eighteen had therapeutic drug levels, no patient had anti-drug antibodies, and no patient had active sacroiliitis on MRI. These data could support the biologic tapering strategy and their maintenance over time.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Curran, Michael; Alvarez, Miguel

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Evolution of Marine Organisms under Climate Change at Different Levels of Biological Organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben P. Harvey

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Research to date has suggested that both individual marine species and ecological processes are expected to exhibit diverse responses to the environmental effects of climate change. Evolutionary responses can occur on rapid (ecological timescales, and yet studies typically do not consider the role that adaptive evolution will play in modulating biological responses to climate change. Investigations into such responses have typically been focused at particular biological levels (e.g., cellular, population, community, often lacking interactions among levels. Since all levels of biological organisation are sensitive to global climate change, there is a need to elucidate how different processes and hierarchical interactions will influence species fitness. Therefore, predicting the responses of communities and populations to global change will require multidisciplinary efforts across multiple levels of hierarchy, from the genetic and cellular to communities and ecosystems. Eventually, this may allow us to establish the role that acclimatisation and adaptation will play in determining marine community structures in future scenarios.

  1. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazar Bireescu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of sustainable agriculture is the protection of environment and natural vegetal and soil resources. Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources. Our research was conducted on haplic chernozem from Experimental Station of UASVM of Iasi, Romania, during the seasonal dynamic, to the soybean crop, on unfertilized and fertilized agrofond, using moderate mineral doses (N80P80 as average of 2009–2010 period, under minimum tillage (2x disk, paraplow, chisel compared to conventional (plugging at 20 cm and 30 cm. In the case of soil works with chisel and paraplow without return of furrow, the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis highlights an increase of soil physiological potential, in the both variants (unfertilized and fertilized, unlike the method of alternating the depth of plugging that proved to be ineffective.

  2. An analog implementation of biologically plausible neurons using CCII building blocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharifipoor, Ozra; Ahmadi, Arash

    2012-12-01

    This study presents an analog implementation of the spiking neurons based on a piecewise-linear model. This model is a variation of the Izhikevich model, which is capable of reproducing different dynamic behaviors. The proposed circuit utilizes second generation current conveyors (CCII) building blocks. With the same topology and circuit values, this circuit can produce a wide variety of neuron behaviors just by tuning the reference current and voltage sources. In addition, since CCII can be considered as a building block for programmable analog arrays, based on the proposed circuit different neuron types can be implemented on programmable analog platforms. Simulation results are presented for different neuron behaviors with CMOS 350 nm ±1.5 V technology using HSPICE. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Detection of Low-order Curves in Images using Biologically-plausible Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-29

    saveacc(struct param *); void clparse(int ,char *[],struct clp *); void zap (IFSIMG); void zapacc(float **,struct param *); void clparse(int,char *[],struct...int HighPassFilter(struct param *p,int iteration) { void zap (IFSIMG); int ifnullimage(IFSIMG,float); switch...iteration) 87 { case 1: zap (p->y); zap (p->xnm1);flcp(p->retina,p->xn); // initialization return 0; break; case 2: flcp(p->xn,p->y); flcp(p->xn,p->xnm1

  4. Protein Intake and Muscle Health in Old Age: From Biological Plausibility to Clinical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Landi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The provision of sufficient amounts of dietary proteins is central to muscle health as it ensures the supply of essential amino acids and stimulates protein synthesis. Older persons, in particular, are at high risk of insufficient protein ingestion. Furthermore, the current recommended dietary allowance for protein (0.8 g/kg/day might be inadequate for maintaining muscle health in older adults, probably as a consequence of “anabolic resistance” in aged muscle. Older individuals therefore need to ingest a greater quantity of protein to maintain muscle function. The quality of protein ingested is also essential to promoting muscle health. Given the role of leucine as the master dietary regulator of muscle protein turnover, the ingestion of protein sources enriched with this essential amino acid, or its metabolite β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is thought to offer the greatest benefit in terms of preservation of muscle mass and function in old age.

  5. Warfarin and acetaminophen interaction: a summary of the evidence and biologic plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Renato D; Horowitz, John D; Garcia, David A; Crowther, Mark A; Hylek, Elaine M

    2011-12-08

    Ms TS is a 66-year-old woman who receives warfarin for prevention of systemic embolization in the setting of hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. She had a transient ischemic attack about 4 years ago when she was receiving aspirin. Her INR control was excellent; however, over the past few months it has become erratic, and her average dose required to maintain an INR of 2.0 to 3.0 appears to have decreased. She has had back pain over this same period and has been taking acetaminophen at doses at large as 650 mg four times daily, with her dose varying based on her symptoms. You recall a potential interaction and wonder if (1) her acetaminophen use is contributing to her loss of INR control, and (2) does this interaction place her at increased risk of warfarin-related complications?

  6. On the Biological Plausibility of Grandmother Cells: Implications for Neural Network Theories in Psychology and Neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental claim associated with parallel distributed processing (PDP) theories of cognition is that knowledge is coded in a distributed manner in mind and brain. This approach rejects the claim that knowledge is coded in a localist fashion, with words, objects, and simple concepts (e.g. "dog"), that is, coded with their own dedicated…

  7. A biologically plausible mechanism for neuronal coding organized by the phase of alpha oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gips, Bart; van der Eerden, Jan P J M; Jensen, Ole

    2016-08-01

    The visual system receives a wealth of sensory information of which only little is relevant for behaviour. We present a mechanism in which alpha oscillations serve to prioritize different components of visual information. By way of simulated neuronal networks, we show that inhibitory modulation in the alpha range (~ 10 Hz) can serve to temporally segment the visual information to prevent information overload. Coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons generate a gamma rhythm in which information is segmented and sorted according to excitability in each alpha cycle. Further details are coded by distributed neuronal firing patterns within each gamma cycle. The network model produces coupling between alpha phase and gamma (40-100 Hz) amplitude in the simulated local field potential similar to that observed experimentally in human and animal recordings.

  8. Towards biological plausibility of electronic noses: A spiking neural network based approach for tea odour classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Sankho Turjo; Bhondekar, Amol P; Macaš, Martin; Kumar, Ritesh; Kaur, Rishemjit; Sharma, Anupma; Gulati, Ashu; Kumar, Amod

    2015-11-01

    The paper presents a novel encoding scheme for neuronal code generation for odour recognition using an electronic nose (EN). This scheme is based on channel encoding using multiple Gaussian receptive fields superimposed over the temporal EN responses. The encoded data is further applied to a spiking neural network (SNN) for pattern classification. Two forms of SNN, a back-propagation based SpikeProp and a dynamic evolving SNN are used to learn the encoded responses. The effects of information encoding on the performance of SNNs have been investigated. Statistical tests have been performed to determine the contribution of the SNN and the encoding scheme to overall odour discrimination. The approach has been implemented in odour classification of orthodox black tea (Kangra-Himachal Pradesh Region) thereby demonstrating a biomimetic approach for EN data analysis.

  9. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, Yonghua; Wang, Wenke; He, Yunhua

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and L-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings.

  10. Nutrient cycling and soil biology in row crop systems under intensive tillage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent interest in management of the soil biological component to improve soil health requires a better understanding on how management practices (e.g., tillage) and environmental conditions influence soil organisms. Intensive tillage often results in reduced organic matter content in the surface so...

  11. Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying acquired risk factors for venous thrombosis : studies in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cleuren, Audrey Corrie Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Over the years, a number of acquired risk factors for venous thrombosis have been identified in large epidemiological studies. We aimed to identify the biological mechanisms by which acquired risk factors like female hormones, thyroid hormone and obesity result in a hypercoagulable state and

  12. Essential Concepts and Underlying Theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics for "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Ann; Provost, Joseph; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A.; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry,…

  13. Molecular phenology in plants: in natura systems biology for the comprehensive understanding of seasonal responses under natural environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    Phenology refers to the study of seasonal schedules of organisms. Molecular phenology is defined here as the study of the seasonal patterns of organisms captured by molecular biology techniques. The history of molecular phenology is reviewed briefly in relation to advances in the quantification technology of gene expression. High-resolution molecular phenology (HMP) data have enabled us to study phenology with an approach of in natura systems biology. I review recent analyses of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a temperature-responsive repressor of flowering, along the six steps in the typical flow of in natura systems biology. The extensive studies of the regulation of FLC have made this example a successful case in which a comprehensive understanding of gene functions has been progressing. The FLC-mediated long-term memory of past temperatures creates time lags with other seasonal signals, such as photoperiod and short-term temperature. Major signals that control flowering time have a phase lag between them under natural conditions, and hypothetical phase lag calendars are proposed as mechanisms of season detection in plants. Transcriptomic HMP brings a novel strategy to the study of molecular phenology, because it provides a comprehensive representation of plant functions. I discuss future perspectives of molecular phenology from the standpoints of molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology.

  14. [Biological properties of lateritic red soil and their relationships with soil fertility in Southern China under different land use types].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jing; Gao, Yun-Hua; Zhang, Chi; Zhou, Bo; Li, Jing-Juan; Yang, Xiao-Xue; Xu, Huan; Dai, Jun

    2013-12-01

    Taking the lateritic red soil on a typical slopeland in Southern China as test object, this paper studied the soil microbial properties, enzyme activities, and their relationships with soil fertility under four land use types (newly cultivated dryland, shrub land, Eucalyptus land, and orchard). There existed significant differences in the soil biological properties under different land use types, among which, orchard soil had the highest microbial quantity and enzyme activities, newly cultivated dryland soil had the fastest soil respiration rate, the fewest soil microorganism quantity, and the lowest enzyme activities, whereas shrub land and woodland soils had the biological properties ranged between newly cultivated dryland and orchard soils, and there was a high similarity in the biological properties between shrub land and woodland soils. Under different land use types, the soil microbial quantity and enzyme activities were positively correlated with soil organic carbon and most of the soil nutrients. It was suggested the soils with high soil organic matter content and high fertility level were beneficial to the soil microbial growth and enzyme activities.

  15. Study Under AC Stimulation on Excitement Properties of Weighted Small-World Biological Neural Networks with Side-Restrain Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUAN Wu-Jie; LUO Xiao-Shu; JIANG Pin-Qun

    2007-01-01

    In this paper,we propose a new model of weighted small-world biological neural networks based on biophysical Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with side-restrain mechanism.Then we study excitement properties of the model under alternating current (AC) stimulation.The study shows that the excitement properties in the networks are preferably consistent with the behavior properties of a brain nervous system under different AC stimuli,such as refractory period and the brain neural excitement response induced by different intensities of nolse and coupling.The results of the study have reference worthiness for the brain nerve electrophysiology and epistemological science.

  16. Quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis under biological therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Figueiredo Barbosa Azevedo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary Objective: assessing health-related quality of life (HRQL in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, before and after treatment with biological therapy. Methods: a longitudinal study, conducted from November 2010 to September 2011, with implementation of the instruments HAQ II (health assessment questionnaire and SF-36 (medical outcomes short-from health survey. Barlett test, Anova, Friedman and paired t-test were performed for multiple extracts. Results: 30 patients were evaluated, mean age of 47.6 (SD: 12.25 years and prevalence of females (90%. The mean score of HAQ II before treatment was 1.97, with significant reduction of up to 1.23 after six months of biological therapy (p<0.01. Most of the SF-36 domains showed significant improvement after six months of treatment (p<0.01, highlighting the social aspects, pain, physical functioning, emotional issues, vitality and physical aspects. Conclusion: the use of biologic therapy in patients with RA refractory to standard therapies proved to be an important pharmacological strategy for improving HRQL.

  17. Identification of key processes underlying cancer phenotypes using biologic pathway analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sol Efroni

    Full Text Available Cancer is recognized to be a family of gene-based diseases whose causes are to be found in disruptions of basic biologic processes. An increasingly deep catalogue of canonical networks details the specific molecular interaction of genes and their products. However, mapping of disease phenotypes to alterations of these networks of interactions is accomplished indirectly and non-systematically. Here we objectively identify pathways associated with malignancy, staging, and outcome in cancer through application of an analytic approach that systematically evaluates differences in the activity and consistency of interactions within canonical biologic processes. Using large collections of publicly accessible genome-wide gene expression, we identify small, common sets of pathways - Trka Receptor, Apoptosis response to DNA Damage, Ceramide, Telomerase, CD40L and Calcineurin - whose differences robustly distinguish diverse tumor types from corresponding normal samples, predict tumor grade, and distinguish phenotypes such as estrogen receptor status and p53 mutation state. Pathways identified through this analysis perform as well or better than phenotypes used in the original studies in predicting cancer outcome. This approach provides a means to use genome-wide characterizations to map key biological processes to important clinical features in disease.

  18. Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Eddy, Sarah L; Brownell, Sara E; Wiggins, Benjamin L; Crowe, Alison J; Goodreau, Steven M

    2016-01-01

    Women who start college in one of the natural or physical sciences leave in greater proportions than their male peers. The reasons for this difference are complex, and one possible contributing factor is the social environment women experience in the classroom. Using social network analysis, we explore how gender influences the confidence that college-level biology students have in each other's mastery of biology. Results reveal that males are more likely than females to be named by peers as being knowledgeable about the course content. This effect increases as the term progresses, and persists even after controlling for class performance and outspokenness. The bias in nominations is specifically due to males over-nominating their male peers relative to their performance. The over-nomination of male peers is commensurate with an overestimation of male grades by 0.57 points on a 4 point grade scale, indicating a strong male bias among males when assessing their classmates. Females, in contrast, nominated equitably based on student performance rather than gender, suggesting they lacked gender biases in filling out these surveys. These trends persist across eleven surveys taken in three different iterations of the same Biology course. In every class, the most renowned students are always male. This favoring of males by peers could influence student self-confidence, and thus persistence in this STEM discipline.

  19. Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Z Grunspan

    Full Text Available Women who start college in one of the natural or physical sciences leave in greater proportions than their male peers. The reasons for this difference are complex, and one possible contributing factor is the social environment women experience in the classroom. Using social network analysis, we explore how gender influences the confidence that college-level biology students have in each other's mastery of biology. Results reveal that males are more likely than females to be named by peers as being knowledgeable about the course content. This effect increases as the term progresses, and persists even after controlling for class performance and outspokenness. The bias in nominations is specifically due to males over-nominating their male peers relative to their performance. The over-nomination of male peers is commensurate with an overestimation of male grades by 0.57 points on a 4 point grade scale, indicating a strong male bias among males when assessing their classmates. Females, in contrast, nominated equitably based on student performance rather than gender, suggesting they lacked gender biases in filling out these surveys. These trends persist across eleven surveys taken in three different iterations of the same Biology course. In every class, the most renowned students are always male. This favoring of males by peers could influence student self-confidence, and thus persistence in this STEM discipline.

  20. Vulnerabilities to agricultural production shocks: An extreme, plausible scenario for assessment of risk for the insurance sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Lunt

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate risks pose a threat to the function of the global food system and therefore also a hazard to the global financial sector, the stability of governments, and the food security and health of the world’s population. This paper presents a method to assess plausible impacts of an agricultural production shock and potential materiality for global insurers. A hypothetical, near-term, plausible, extreme scenario was developed based upon modules of historical agricultural production shocks, linked under a warm phase El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO meteorological framework. The scenario included teleconnected floods and droughts in disparate agricultural production regions around the world, as well as plausible, extreme biotic shocks. In this scenario, global crop yield declines of 10% for maize, 11% for soy, 7% for wheat and 7% for rice result in quadrupled commodity prices and commodity stock fluctuations, civil unrest, significant negative humanitarian consequences and major financial losses worldwide. This work illustrates a need for the scientific community to partner across sectors and industries towards better-integrated global data, modeling and analytical capacities, to better respond to and prepare for concurrent agricultural failure. Governments, humanitarian organizations and the private sector collectively may recognize significant benefits from more systematic assessment of exposure to agricultural climate risk.

  1. A dissection of biological pathways underlying transcriptional responses to endocrine disrupting chemicals in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genome-wide gene expression profiling under a variety of perturbations is a powerful tool to explore the dynamics of fish responses to exposures of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Using Agilent zebrafish two-color genome microarryas, we profiled zebrafish responses under ...

  2. A simple biophysically plausible model for long time constants in single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiganj, Zoran; Hasselmo, Michael E; Howard, Marc W

    2015-01-01

    Recent work in computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology suggests that a set of cells that decay exponentially could be used to support memory for the time at which events took place. Analytically and through simulations on a biophysical model of an individual neuron, we demonstrate that exponentially decaying firing with a range of time constants up to minutes could be implemented using a simple combination of well-known neural mechanisms. In particular, we consider firing supported by calcium-controlled cation current. When the amount of calcium leaving the cell during an interspike interval is larger than the calcium influx during a spike, the overall decay in calcium concentration can be exponential, resulting in exponential decay of the firing rate. The time constant of the decay can be several orders of magnitude larger than the time constant of calcium clearance, and it could be controlled externally via a variety of biologically plausible ways. The ability to flexibly and rapidly control time constants could enable working memory of temporal history to be generalized to other variables in computing spatial and ordinal representations.

  3. Emerging patient safety issues under health care reform: follow-on biologics and immunogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang BA

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Bryan A Liang1-3, Timothy Mackey1,41Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, 2Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 3San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine,4Joint Program in Global Health, University of California San Diego-San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USAAbstract: US health care reform includes an abbreviated pathway for follow-on biologics, also known as biosimilars, in an effort to speed up access to these complex therapeutics. However, a key patient safety challenge emerges from such an abbreviated pathway: immunogenicity reactions. Yet immunogenicity is notoriously difficult to predict, and even cooperative approaches in licensing between companies have resulted in patient safety concerns, injury, and death. Because approval pathways for follow-on forms do not involve cooperative disclosure of methods and manufacturing processes by innovator companies and follow-on manufacturers, the potential for expanded immunogenicity must be taken into account from a risk management and patient safety perspective. The US Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP has principles of medication safety that have been applied in the past to high-risk drugs. We propose adapting ISMP principles to follow-on biologic forms and creating systems approaches to warn, rapidly identify, and alert providers regarding this emerging patient safety risk. This type of system can be built upon and provide lessons learned as these new drug forms are developed and marketed more broadly.Keywords: biosimilars, follow-on biologics, immunogenicity, patient safety, law, health care reform

  4. From the Physical World to the Biological Universe: Historical Developments Underlying SETI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.

    More than thirty years ago the French historian of science Alexandre Koyré (1957) wrote his classic volume, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, in which he argued that a fundamental shift in world view had taken place in 17th century cosmology. Between Nicholas of Cusa in the fifteenth century and Newton and Leibniz in the seventeenth, he found that the very terms in which humans thought about their universe had changed. These changes he characterized broadly as the destruction of the closed finite cosmos and the geometrization of space. The occasion of the Third International Bioastronomy Symposium in France is an especially appropriate time to argue that the SETI endeavor represents a test for a similar fundamental shift in cosmological world view, from the physical world to the biological universe. I define the biological universe, equivalent to what I have called before the biophysical cosmology (Dick, 1989), as the scientific world view which holds that life is widespread throughout the universe. In this case the biological universe does not necessarily supersede the physical universe, but a universe filled with life would certainly fundamentally alter our attitude toward the universe, and our place in it. Although Koyré mentioned life beyond the Earth as an adjunct to the revolution from the closed world to the infinite universe, only in the 1980s has the history of science begun to give full treatment to the subject. What follows is meant to be a contribution to that ongoing endeavor to understand where the extraterrestrial life debate fits in the history of science. The modern era in the extraterrestrial life debate is normally dated from Cocconi and Morrison's paper in 1959, and though one can always find precursors, this in my view is a valid perception. Cocconi and Morrison gave definite form to SETI, Frank Drake independently first carried out the experiment, a network of interested scientists began to form and met in Green Bank in

  5. [Rome: capital of an empire under the banner of political biology (1936-1942)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejo, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyzes the symbolic conformation of Rome and Romanism as important factors in the affirmation of the power of fascism, especially after the proclamation of the Empire in 1936. Within this framework, it explores the role of science in legitimizing the direct correlation of this symbolic universe with a praxis that exalted racial superiority inherited from Ancient Rome. It investigates the links between the eugenic discourse and the exercise of power behind the "biology policy", including fascist organicism and racism. In fact, Rome was the essence of an empire that was reborn after fifteen centuries and, between its historical legacy and the new scenarios created by fascism for disciplining the population, Romanism had to condense all of the merits of the race, encouraging military conquests and promoting responsibility for maintaining racial purity and avoiding "unwanted miscegenation" with conquered peoples. The idea of Romanism also encouraged a continuation of the persecution of Jews started in Germany. Hence, science ratified a widespread idea of the Romanization as a crusade to impose a force, exaggerated on racial grounds, which integrated confidence in environmental factors with a crude biological determinism.

  6. IBPRO - A Novel Short-Duration Teaching Course in Advanced Physics and Biology Underlying Cancer Radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joiner, Michael C; Tracey, Monica W; Kacin, Sara E; Burmeister, Jay W

    2017-03-22

    This article provides a summary and status report of the ongoing advanced education program IBPRO - Integrated course in Biology and Physics of Radiation Oncology. IBPRO is a five-year program funded by NCI. It addresses the recognized deficiency in the number of mentors available who have the required knowledge and skill to provide the teaching and training that is required for future radiation oncologists and researchers in radiation sciences. Each year, IBPRO brings together 50 attendees typically at assistant professor level and upwards, who are already qualified/certified radiation oncologists, medical physicists or biologists. These attendees receive keynote lectures and activities based on active learning strategies, merging together the clinical, biological and physics underpinnings of radiation oncology, at the forefront of the field. This experience is aimed at increasing collaborations, raising the level and amount of basic and applied research undertaken in radiation oncology, and enabling attendees to confidently become involved in the future teaching and training of researchers and radiation oncologists.

  7. Dysfunctional Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology: Underlying Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Geiselhart

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fanconi anemia (FA is the most common inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. FA patients suffer to varying degrees from a heterogeneous range of developmental defects and, in addition, have an increased likelihood of developing cancer. Almost all FA patients develop a severe, progressive bone marrow failure syndrome, which impacts upon the production of all hematopoietic lineages and, hence, is thought to be driven by a defect at the level of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC. This hypothesis would also correlate with the very high incidence of MDS and AML that is observed in FA patients. In this paper, we discuss the evidence that supports the role of dysfunctional HSC biology in driving the etiology of the disease. Furthermore, we consider the different model systems currently available to study the biology of cells defective in the FA signaling pathway and how they are informative in terms of identifying the physiologic mediators of HSC depletion and dissecting their putative mechanism of action. Finally, we ask whether the insights gained using such disease models can be translated into potential novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of the hematologic disorders in FA patients.

  8. Suitability of Commercial Transport Media for Biological Pathogens under Nonideal Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Hubbard

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There is extensive data to support the use of commercial transport media as a stabilizer for known clinical samples; however, there is little information to support their use outside of controlled conditions specified by the manufacturer. Furthermore, there is no data to determine the suitability of said media for biological pathogens, specifically those of interest to the US military. This study evaluates commercial off-the-shelf (COTS transport media based on sample recovery, viability, and quality of nucleic acids and peptides for nonpathogenic strains of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, in addition to ricin toxin. Samples were stored in COTS, PBST, or no media at various temperatures over an extended test period. The results demonstrate that COTS media, although sufficient for the preservation of nucleic acid and proteinaceous material, are not capable of maintaining an accurate representation of biothreat agents at the time of collection.

  9. Untangling nociceptive, neuropathic and neuroplastic mechanisms underlying the biological domain of back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hush, Julia M; Stanton, Tasha R; Siddall, Philip; Marcuzzi, Anna; Attal, Nadine

    2013-05-01

    SUMMARY Current clinical practice guidelines advocate a model of diagnostic triage for back pain, underpinned by the biopsychosocial paradigm. However, limitations of this clinical model have become apparent: it can be difficult to classify patients into the diagnostic triage categories; patients with 'nonspecific back pain' are clearly not a homogenous group; and mean effects of treatments based on this approach are small. In this article, it is proposed that the biological domain of the biopsychosocial model needs to be reconceptualized using a neurobiological mechanism-based approach. Recent evidence about nociceptive and neuropathic contributors to back pain is outlined in the context of maladaptive neuroplastic changes of the somatosensory system. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed.

  10. Stabilization of Desert Surfaces and Accumulation of Dust Under Biological Soil Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finstad, K. M.; Mcnicol, G.; Pfeiffer, M.; Amundson, R.

    2014-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSC) are known to play a critical role in the stabilization of desert surfaces by helping to protect sediment from wind and water erosion and aiding in the trapping of airborne particles. The crusts are often composed of cyanobacteria, algae, and fungi, and occupy the upper few cm of a soil. Due to their high tolerance of desiccation and ability to utilize fog and dew sources, BSC are able to exist in environments that may otherwise be too dry for vascular plants. In the hyperarid Atacama Desert, decades or more between measurable precipitation events has created a landscape devoid of macroscopic life. While precipitation is rare, coastal fog occurs regularly and microbial communities capable of utilizing fog and dew water are able to persist. Here we found cyanobacteria and lichen living in association with a thin sulfate and dust crust (~2 cm) covering the surface of 'dust plateaus'. Topographically the region is highly irregular and part of a largely erosional landscape. We hypothesized that these flat-topped plateaus are accretionary features that have been able to maintain dust accumulation for thousands of years as a result of the surface crusts. To test this hypothesis we conducted radiocarbon analysis of crusts and soil profiles at two sites approximately 30 km apart, one in a high fog zone and another in lower fog frequency zone. The radiocarbon analysis shows that sediment has been accumulating in the 'plateaus' for the past 15,000 years and that biological activity and rates of C cycling in the crust increase with increasing fog frequency and intensity. The ages of organic material in the dust decrease monotonically with decreasing soil thickness, suggestive of progressive upward growth by dust accumulation. Our data indicate that the BSC are capable of surviving in hyperarid the Atacama Desert, a Mars analogue, through the utilization of fog water, and that their presence can leave a visible geomorphic imprint on the landscape.

  11. The stability of four designer drugs: MDPV, mephedrone, BZP and TFMPP in three biological matrices under various storage conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert D; Botch-Jones, Sabra R

    2013-03-01

    The analysis of designer drugs, including those in the synthetic cathinone and piperazine classes, may be complicated by the poor stability of these compounds in biological specimens. The stability of four of these compounds was investigated: 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, 4-methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone), N-benzylpiperazine and 1-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]piperazine. Compound stability was monitored in three different biological matrices when each matrix was stored under three different conditions. These matrices and conditions included human whole blood, human serum and human urine, each stored at -20, 4 and 22°C for a period of 14 days in the dark in a sealed glass container. Analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was performed on Day 1 to establish the initial concentration for each drug in each specimen type, and then the samples were divided into three parts for storage under the various conditions. Analysis was performed in triplicate on Days 2, 4, 7 and 14 for each specimen type under each storage condition and the results were compared to those obtained on Day 1. Following analysis of the data, it became clear that mephedrone was not stable, and that care must be taken following specimen receipt to ensure minimal degradation.

  12. Biological factors underlying regularity and chaos in aquatic ecosystems: Simple models of complex dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A B Medvinsky; S V Petrovskii; D A Tikhonov; I A Tikhonova; G R Ivanitsky; E Venturino; H Malchow

    2001-03-01

    This work is focused on the processes underlying the dynamics of spatially inhomogeneous plankton communities. We demonstrate that reaction—diffusion mathematical models are an appropriate tool for searching and understanding basic mechanisms of complex spatio-temporal plankton dynamics and fractal properties of planktivorous fish school walks.

  13. Climate change impacts on agriculture in 2050 under a range of plausible socioeconomic and emissions scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiebe, Keith; Lotze-Campen, H.; Sands, R.; Tabeau, A.A.; Meijl, van J.C.M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and input data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences

  14. Climate change impacts on agriculture in 2050 under a range of plausible socioeconomic and emissions scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiebe, Keith; Lotze-Campen, H.; Sands, R.; Tabeau, A.A.; Meijl, van J.C.M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and input data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences thro

  15. [Biology of Triatoma vitticeps (Stal, 1859) under laboratory conditions (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae). II. Resistance to fasting].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, T C; Victório, V M; Jurberg, J; Cunha, V

    1989-01-01

    Following the study on the biology of Triatoma vitticeps (Gonçalves et al., 1988) observations have been made on its resistance to starvation. Of the 286 eggs obtained only 201 hatched and reached the intended stage for observation. The others did not eclode, neither reached the ecdisis nor died, without explanation. The nymphs were kept, separately, in Borrel flasks and properly listed. The blood-meal was performed in mice, although the insects were kept without feeding as soon as moulted. The starvation was evaluated in two ways: the time-lapse in days between the last meal/death and between moult/death. The starvation was directly related with the developmental stage. In relation to the parameters last meal/death and moult/death, both sexes were less resistant than 3rd and 2nd stage, respectively. The experiment have been carried out for 15 months and by this time the average minimum and maximum temperatures and the humidity were 25 +/- 2 degrees C - 28 +/- 2 degrees C and 81 +/- 3% UR, respectively. The material spent belongs to the triatomine colony of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute Department of Entomology.

  16. MANIFESTATIONS OF BIOLOGICALLY CULTIVATED TOMATOES (SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM L. UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE BIOFERTILISER SEASOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veselka Vlahova

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Tomato (solanum lycopersicum l. is an important and popular vegetable grown worldwide. Biofertilisers import nutritional substances in plants and has a direct role in the supply with macro- and micro elements, which take part in the biological processes and have a very important role in the improvement of soil fertility. The experiment aims at studying the influence of the biofertiliser Seasol on the vegetative manifestations and the economic productivity of tomatoes of the variety of Trapezitsa. The study took place in 2013 and 2014 at the Agroecological Centre at Agricultural University - Plovdiv. It was established that the standard yield of tomatoes was the highest for the variant characterized with the application of the biofertiliser Seasol (triple- 2683 kg/da (2013 and 2591 kg/da (2014. The reported results showed the stimulating effect of the vegetation soil feeding with the biofertiliser Seasol, regardless of the number of uses (double and triple, as compared to the results of the unfertilised control.

  17. Integrative microbial community analysis reveals full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal under tropical conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Yingyu; Kirkegaard, Rasmus Hansen; Cokro, Angel Anisa; Liu, Xianghui; Arumugam, Krithika; Xie, Chao; Stokholm-Bjerregaard, Mikkel; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I.; Nielsen, Per Halkjær; Wuertz, Stefan; Williams, Rohan B. H.

    2016-05-01

    Management of phosphorus discharge from human waste is essential for the control of eutrophication in surface waters. Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is a sustainable, efficient way of removing phosphorus from waste water without employing chemical precipitation, but is assumed unachievable in tropical temperatures due to conditions that favour glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) over polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs). Here, we show these assumptions are unfounded by studying comparative community dynamics in a full-scale plant following systematic perturbation of operational conditions, which modified community abundance, function and physicochemical state. A statistically significant increase in the relative abundance of the PAO Accumulibacter was associated with improved EBPR activity. GAO relative abundance also increased, challenging the assumption of competition. An Accumulibacter bin-genome was identified from a whole community metagenomic survey, and comparative analysis against extant Accumulibacter genomes suggests a close relationship to Type II. Analysis of the associated metatranscriptome data revealed that genes encoding proteins involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and glycolysis pathways were highly expressed, consistent with metabolic modelling results. Our findings show that tropical EBPR is indeed possible, highlight the translational potential of studying competition dynamics in full-scale waste water communities and carry implications for plant design in tropical regions.

  18. Direct observation and characterization of DMPC/DHPC aggregates under conditions relevant for biological solution NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, Lorens; Karlsson, Göran; Edwards, Katarina

    2004-08-30

    We have used cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) for inspection of aggregates formed by dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dihexanoylphosphatidylcholine (DHPC) in aqueous solution at total phospholipid concentrations cL DHPC ratios q < or = 4.0. In combination with ocular inspections, we are able to sketch out this part of phase-diagram at T = 14-80 degrees C. The temperature and the ratio q are the dominating variables for changing sample morphology, while cL to a lesser extent affects the aggregate structure. At q = 0.5, small, possibly disc-shaped, aggregates with a diameter of approximately 6 nm are formed. At higher q-values, distorted discoidal micelles that tend to short cylindrical micelles are observed. The more well-shaped discs have a diameter of around 20 nm. Upon increasing q or the temperature, long slightly flattened cylindrical micelles that eventually branch are formed. A holey lamellar phase finally appears upon further elevation of q or temperature. The implications for biological NMR work are two. First, discs prepared as membrane mimics are frequently much smaller than predicted by current "ideal bicelle" models. Second, the q approximately 3 preparations used for aligning water-soluble biomolecules in magnetic fields consist of perforated lamellar sheets. Furthermore, the discovered sequence of morphological transitions may have important implications for the development of bicelle-based membrane protein crystallization methods.

  19. Evolution in biological and nonbiological systems under different mechanisms of generation and inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Ciudad, Isaac

    2008-11-01

    The majority of definitions of life and evolution include the notion that part of an organism has to be copied to its offspring and that this includes some form of coded information. This article presents the thesis that this conception is too restrictive and that evolution can occur in systems in which there is no copy of information between generations. For that purpose, this article introduces a new set of concepts and a theoretical framework that is designed to be equally applicable to the study of the evolution of biological and nonbiological systems. In contrast to some theoretical approaches in evolution, like neo-Darwinism, the approach presented here is not focused on the transmission and change of hereditary information that can be copied (like in the case of DNA). Instead, multiple mechanisms by which a system can generate offspring (with and without copying) and by which information in it affects the structure and evolution of its offspring are considered. The first part of this article describes in detail these new concepts. The second part of this article discusses how these concepts are directly applicable to the diversity of systems that can evolve. The third part introduces hypotheses concerning (1) how different mechanisms of generation and inheritance can arise from each other during evolution, and (2) how the existence of several inheritance mechanisms in an organism can affect its evolution.

  20. [Ecological stability on biological removal of iron and manganese filter under poor nutritional conditions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong; Xiong, Xiao-Li; Duan, Xiao-Dong; Song, Li-Xin; Yu, Ping-Bo; Li, Wei; Zhang, Jie

    2010-01-01

    To supply necessary bacteria and available nutrients, a method of returning backwashing wastewater to the bio-filter for removal of iron and manganese was used. The ecological stability of bio-filter was investigated from 3 aspects: iron and manganese removal efficiency, micro-ecological characteristics and the quantity distribution of dominant bacteria. The results indicated that, the bio-filter held strong antishock loading capability, when the system was operated at high filtration rate (10-13.9 m/h) and high manganese concentration (3.5-4.5 mg/L), a removal rate more than 98.9% of iron and manganese was achieved. Iron and manganese oxidizing bacteria are the dominant microflora in biological filtering layer, they not only adhere on filter sand materials (4.3 x 10(6) MPN/mL) to form compact biofilm, but also exist among filter materials void (6.5 x 10(6) MPN/mL) to form suspended flocs, which is very important to complete removal of iron and manganese. In the past 5 years, the bio-filter realized a continuous and stable operation and kept a high removal efficiency of iron and manganese without adding any nutrients.

  1. [Soil biological activities at maize seedling stage under application of slow/controlled release nitrogen fertilizers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongpo; Wu, Zhijie; Chen, Lijun; Liang, Chenghua; Zhang, Lili; Wang, Weicheng; Yang, Defu

    2006-06-01

    With pot experiment and simulating field ecological environment, this paper studied the effects of different slow/ controlled release N fertilizers on the soil nitrate - reductase and urease activities and microbial biomass C and N at maize seedling stage. The results showed that granular urea amended with dicyandiamide (DCD) and N-(n-bultyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) induced the highest soil nitrate-reductase activity, granular urea brought about the highest soil urease activity and microbial biomass C and N, while starch acetate (SA)-coated granular urea, SA-coated granular urea amended with DCD, methyl methacrylate (MMA) -coated granular urea amended with DCD, and no N fertilization gave a higher soil urease activity. Soil microbial C and N had a similar variation trend after applying various kinds of test slow/controlled release N fertilizers, and were the lowest after applying SA-coated granular urea amended with DCD and NBPT. Coated granular urea amended with inhibitors had a stronger effect on soil biological activities than coated granular urea, and MMA-coating had a better effect than SA-coating.

  2. Biological properties of Majnnthemum bifolium (L. F. W. Schm. polycormones under various ecological conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bożena Czarnecka

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Majanthemum bifolium (L. F. W. Schm. populations exhibit a two-level organisation. Individuals in the biological sense (polycormones consists of a number of basic units-above-ground shoots joined by durable rhizomes. The role of the individual in the population and plant community depends on its age, size and individual area which is the exponent of the number and biomass of the produced organs. It is considered that there exist both intra- and interpopulation differences in the number of above-ground shoots and length of rhizomes as well as in the structure of the developmental phases and age states of the above- and underground parts of the polycormones. In all populations the greater part of the biomass falls to underground organs. A more favourable ratio of shoot biomass to that of rhizomes is, however, found in the polycormones of Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum and Carici elongatae-Alnetum where the presence of nitrogen in nitrate form was disclosed. With increase of participation of young age classes of shoots more of the total biomass falls to the above-ground parts.

  3. Elevated atmospheric CO2 affected photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xia; Liu, Tuo; Zhao, Yonghua; He, Yunhua; Yang, Mingyan

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of elevated CO2 (700 ± 23 μmol mol(-1)) on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated CO2 was associated with decreased quantities of reducing sugars, starch, and soluble amino acids, and with increased quantities of soluble sugars, total sugars, and soluble proteins in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. The contents of total soluble sugars, total free amino acids, total soluble phenolic acids, and total organic acids in the rhizosphere soil under Cd stress were improved by elevated CO2. Compared to Cd stress alone, the activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, urease, L-asparaginase, β-glucosidase, neutral phosphatase, and fluorescein diacetate increased under elevated CO2 in combination with Cd stress; only cellulase activity decreased. Bacterial abundance in rhizosphere soil was stimulated by elevated CO2 at low Cd concentrations (1.31-5.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil). Actinomycetes, total microbial abundance, and fungi decreased under the combined conditions at 5.31-10.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil. In conclusion, increased production of soluble sugars, total sugars, and proteins in wheat seedlings under elevated CO2 + Cd stress led to greater quantities of organic compounds in the rhizosphere soil relative to seedlings grown under Cd stress only. Elevated CO2 concentrations could moderate the effects of heavy metal pollution on enzyme activity and microorganism abundance in rhizosphere soils, thus improving soil fertility and the microecological rhizosphere environment of wheat under Cd stress.

  4. Exploring the multifactorial nature of autism through computational systems biology: calcium and the Rho GTPase RAC1 under the spotlight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidán-Chuliá, Fares; Rybarczyk-Filho, José Luiz; Salmina, Alla B; de Oliveira, Ben-Hur Neves; Noda, Mami; Moreira, José Cláudio F

    2013-06-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication accompanied with repetitive behavioral patterns and unusual stereotyped interests. Autism is considered a highly heterogeneous disorder with diverse putative causes and associated factors giving rise to variable ranges of symptomatology. Incidence seems to be increasing with time, while the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain virtually uncharacterized (or unknown). By systematic review of the literature and a systems biology approach, our aims were to examine the multifactorial nature of autism with its broad range of severity, to ascertain the predominant biological processes, cellular components, and molecular functions integral to the disorder, and finally, to elucidate the most central contributions (genetic and/or environmental) in silico. With this goal, we developed an integrative network model for gene-environment interactions (GENVI model) where calcium (Ca(2+)) was shown to be its most relevant node. Moreover, considering the present data from our systems biology approach together with the results from the differential gene expression analysis of cerebellar samples from autistic patients, we believe that RAC1, in particular, and the RHO family of GTPases, in general, could play a critical role in the neuropathological events associated with autism.

  5. Gut Microbiome and Obesity: A Plausible Explanation for Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanmiguel, Claudia; Gupta, Arpana; Mayer, Emeran A.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disorder that results in excessive accumulation of adipose tissue. Although obesity is caused by alterations in the energy consumption/expenditure balance, the factors promoting this disequilibrium are incompletely understood. The rapid development of new technologies and analysis strategies to decode the gut microbiota composition and metabolic pathways has opened a door into the complexity of the guest-host interactions between the gut microbiota and its human host in health and in disease. Pivotal studies have demonstrated that manipulation of the gut microbiota and its metabolic pathways can affect host’s adiposity and metabolism. These observations have paved the way for further assessment of the mechanisms underlying these changes. In this review we summarize the current evidence for possible mechanisms underlying gut microbiota induced obesity. The review addresses some well-known effects of the gut microbiota on energy harvesting and changes in metabolic machinery, on metabolic and immune interactions and on possible changes in brain function and behavior. Although there is limited understanding on the symbiotic relationship between us and our gut microbiome, and how disturbances of this relationship affects our health, there is compelling evidence for an important role of the gut microbiota in the development and perpetuation of obesity. PMID:26029487

  6. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility...

  7. Choosing diverse sets of plausible scenarios in multidimensional exploratory futures techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, Steven; Helfgott, Ariella; Vervoort, Joost M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Morphological analysis allows any number of dimensions to be retained when framing future conditions, and techniques within morphological analysis determine which combinations of those dimensions represent plausible futures. However, even a relatively low number of dimensions in future cond

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

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

  9. Biology of Triatoma carcavalloi Jurberg, Rocha & Lent, 1998 under laboratory conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardozo-de-Almeida, Margareth; Neves, Simone Caldas Teves; Almeida, Carlos Eduardo de; Lima, Nathanielly Rocha Casado de; Oliveira, Maria Luiza Ribeiro de; Santos-Mallet, Jacenir Reis dos; Gonçalves, Teresa Cristina Monte

    2014-01-01

    Triatoma carcavalloi is a wild species that is found in sympatry with Triatoma rubrovaria and Triatoma circummaculata, which are vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi currently found in rural areas of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Fertility was assessed and to determine the incubation period, the eggs were observed until hatching. The first meal was offered to 1st stage nymphs. The intermolt period was also determined. The number of blood meals was quantified at each nymphal stage and the resistance to fasting as the period between ecdysis and death. Mortality was assessed and longevity was determined by recording the time that elapsed from molting to the adult stage and until death. The developmental cycle was assessed by recording the length in days of each stage from molting to adult hood. The average incubation period was 22.7 days. The average first meal occurred 3.1 days after hatching. The 5th stage nymph to adult intermolting period was the longest at 193.4 days. The average number of feedings during nymphal development was 13.4. The resistance to fasting assay indicated that the 3rd, 4th and 5th stage nymphs presented higher resistance than did adults. The highest mortality rate was observed in the 3rd stage nymphs (22.2%). The average length of adult survival was 25.6 weeks, and the average total life cycle lasted 503.4 days. This study is the first report on the biology of T. carcavalloi that fed on mice. The presented findings expand the bionomic knowledge of these species.

  10. Predictors for the progression of cervical lesion in rheumatoid arthritis under the treatment of biological agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaito, Takashi; Ohshima, Shirou; Fujiwara, Hiroyasu; Makino, Takahiro; Yonenobu, Kazuo

    2013-12-15

    Retrospective cohort analysis. To clarify the effect of biological agents (BAs) on the development and progression of cervical lesions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to identify biomarkers that accurately predict disease progression. The introduction of BAs changed the paradigm of RA treatment. However, their effects on cervical lesions in patients with RA have not been studied. Ninety-one subjects who had received BAs for 2 years or more were enrolled. Mean radiographical interval was 3.9 years. Disease activity was evaluated by disease activity score-C-reactive protein levels, and matrix metalloproteinase-3 levels. Cervical lesions were defined as an atlantodental interval more than 3 mm for atlantoaxial subluxation (AAS), Ranawat value less than 13 mm for vertical subluxation (VS), and anterior or posterior listhesis more than 2 mm for subaxial subluxation. Disease progression was defined radiographically as an increase in the atlantodental interval more than 2 mm for AAS, a decrease in both Ranawat and Redlund-Johnell values more than 2 mm for VS, and an increase in listhesis more than 2 mm for subaxial subluxation. We used multivariate regression techniques to assess predictors of disease progression. Baseline radiographical evaluation showed no pre-existing cervical lesion in 44 patients, AAS in 29, and VS in 18. Radiological progression occurred in 7% patients without baseline lesions, 79% in the AAS group, and 72% in the VS group. The incidence of progression was significantly lower in patients without lesions at baseline. Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated pre-existing cervical lesions, disease activity score-C-reactive protein levels at baseline and metalloproteinase-3 levels at final visit as good predictors of RA progression. BAs prevented de novo cervical lesions in patients with RA but failed to control progression in patients with pre-existing cervical lesions. Disease activity score-C-reactive protein levels at baseline

  11. Carbon allocation, nodulation, and biological nitrogen fixation of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. under soil water limitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Mantovani

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The pioneer tree black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. is a drought-resistant tree and, in symbiosis with Rhizobium, able to fix dinitrogen from the atmosphere. It is, therefore, an interesting species for marginal lands where soil amelioration is sought in addition to economic gain. However, the interaction between soil water availability, carbon allocation and nitrogen fixation is important for a successful establishment of trees on marginal lands and has not yet been investigated for black locust. Twoyear-old trees were grown under various soil water conditions and drought cycles. The stable isotopic composition of C (δ 13C and N (δ 15N of the leaves was used to identify i the effective drought condition of the treatments and ii the portion N accrued from the atmosphere by the biological nitrogen fixation. Drought-stressed plants significantly reduced their total aboveground biomass production, which was linearly linked to tree transpiration. The shoot:root ratio values changed from 2.2 for the drought-stressed to 4.3 for the well-watered plants. Our investigation shows that drought stress increases the nodule biomass of black locust in order to maintain biological nitrogen fixation and to counteract the lower soil nitrogen availability. The biological nitrogen fixation of drought-stressed trees could be maintained at relatively higher values compared to the well-watered trees. The average leaf nitrogen content varied between 2.8% and 3.0% and was not influenced by the drought stress. Carbon fixation, carbon allocation, and biological nitrogen fixation are to some extent balanced at low irrigation and allow Robinia to cope with long-term water constraints. The combination of black locust’s ecophysiological and morphological plasticity make it interesting as a biomass source for bioenergy and timber production, even in nutrient-limited and drought-affected areas of Europe.

  12. [The clinical and biological tolerance of nevirapine among patients with AIDS under treatment at the Hospital of the Point G].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulibaly, S M; Oumar, A A; Ag Aboubacrine, S; Coulibaly, S; Koumare, B Y; Mariko, E; Traoré, H A; Harama, M

    2007-01-01

    The national policy of assumption of responsibility of the PVVIH decided to put 80% of new inclusions under Triomune, 1st therapeutic line made up of 3TC + D4T + Nevirapine. The use of Nevirapine among patients VIH+ plays a very important part in improvement of the quality of their life. The goal of this study was to evaluate the clinical and biological tolerance of Nevirapine at the PVVIH under treatment ARV and having Nevirapine in their diagram. We had collected 102 files of patients. The average age was 38 years. Association Lamivudine + Stavudine + Nevirapine was the diagram most frequently prescribed (82.4%). The skin, mucous and neurological signs, digestive disorders, muscular signs, cardiopulmonary signs were frequently observed in the first month of the treatment but these symptoms became less frequent in the third month and disappeared at the 6th month. We observed disorders in hepatic and renal functional parameters, rise in the lymphocytes. We obtained a considerable increase in the rate of CD4 between the beginning of the treatment and the 6th month. The treatment schema of 3TC + D4T + Nevirapine gives an excellent clinical and biological tolerance. But, the study must continue to confirm these results over a longer period.

  13. Biological control of broad-leaved dock infestation in wheat using plant antagonistic bacteria under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Tasawar; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Naveed, Muhammad; Aslam, Zubair

    2017-06-01

    Conventional weed management systems have produced many harmful effects on weed ecology, human health and environment. Biological control of invasive weeds may be helpful to minimize these harmful effects and economic losses incurred to crops by weeds. In our earlier studies, plant antagonistic bacteria were obtained after screening a large number of rhizobacteria for production of phytotoxic substances and effects on wheat and its associated weeds under laboratory conditions. In this study, five efficient strains inhibitory to broad-leaved dock and non-inhibitory to wheat were selected and applied to broad-leaved dock co-seeded with wheat both in pot trial and chronically infested field trial. Effects of plant antagonistic bacteria on the weed and infested wheat were studied at tillering, booting and harvesting stage of wheat. The applied strains significantly inhibited the germination and growth of the weed to variable extent. Similarly, variable recovery in losses of grain and straw yield of infested wheat from 11.6 to 68 and 13 to 72.6% was obtained in pot trial while from 17.3 to 62.9 and 22.4 to 71.3% was obtained in field trial, respectively. Effects of plant antagonistic bacteria were also evident from the improvement in physiology and nutrient contents of infested wheat. This study suggests the use of these plant antagonistic bacteria to biologically control infestation of broad-leaved dock in wheat under field conditions.

  14. Giant enhancement of fluctuation in small biological systems under external fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Kumiko; Hasegawa, Shin; Tsunoda, Satoshi P.

    2016-05-01

    The giant enhancement (GE) of fluctuation under an external field is a universal phenomenon predicted by the theoretical analysis given in (Reimann et al 2001 Phys. Rev. Lett.). Here, we propose the application of the theory of the GE of fluctuation to estimate the energy barrier of a biomolecule that exhibits its function subject to thermal noise. The rotary motor protein F1 was used as a model, which is a component of FoF1 adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-synthase. In the single-molecule experiment on F1, the diffusion coefficients of a rotary probe attached to F1, which characterised the fluctuation of the system, were measured under the influence of an electro-rotary field. These diffusion coefficients were then used to estimate a high-energy barrier of the rotary potential of F1 based on the theory of the GE of fluctuation. Furthermore, the ion channel protein channelrhodopsin (ChR) was used as another research model. The current fluctuations of ions moving through ChR were numerically investigated using a simulation model of the protein in the presence of an external voltage. The energy barrier for ion conduction is discussed based on the current fluctuations.

  15. Systems biology analysis of drivers underlying hallmarks of cancer cell metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zielinski, Daniel C.; Jamshidi, Neema; Corbett, Austin J.; Bordbar, Aarash; Thomas, Alex; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2017-01-01

    Malignant transformation is often accompanied by significant metabolic changes. To identify drivers underlying these changes, we calculated metabolic flux states for the NCI60 cell line collection and correlated the variance between metabolic states of these lines with their other properties. The analysis revealed a remarkably consistent structure underlying high flux metabolism. The three primary uptake pathways, glucose, glutamine and serine, are each characterized by three features: (1) metabolite uptake sufficient for the stoichiometric requirement to sustain observed growth, (2) overflow metabolism, which scales with excess nutrient uptake over the basal growth requirement, and (3) redox production, which also scales with nutrient uptake but greatly exceeds the requirement for growth. We discovered that resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs in these lines broadly correlates with the amount of glucose uptake. These results support an interpretation of the Warburg effect and glutamine addiction as features of a growth state that provides resistance to metabolic stress through excess redox and energy production. Furthermore, overflow metabolism observed may indicate that mitochondrial catabolic capacity is a key constraint setting an upper limit on the rate of cofactor production possible. These results provide a greater context within which the metabolic alterations in cancer can be understood.

  16. Persistence of biological nitrogen fixation in high latitude grass-clover grasslands under different management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzanakakis, Vasileios; Sturite, Ievina; Dörsch, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) can substantially contribute to N supply in permanent grasslands, improving N yield and forage quality, while reducing inorganic N inputs. Among the factors critical to the performance of BNF in grass-legume mixtures are selected grass and legume species, proportion of legumes, the soil-climatic conditions, in particular winter conditions, and management practices (e.g. fertilization and compaction). In high latitude grasslands, low temperatures can reduce the performance of BNF by hampering the legumés growth and by suppressing N2 fixation. Estimation of BNF in field experiments is not straightforward. Different methods have been developed providing different results. In the present study, we evaluated the performance of BNF, in a newly established field experiment in North Norway over four years. The grassland consisted of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) sawn in three proportions (0, 15 and 30% in total) together with timothy (Pheum pretense L.) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis L.). Three levels of compaction were applied each year (no tractor, light tractor, heavy tractor) together with two different N rates (110 kg N/ha as cattle slurry or 170 kg N/ha as cattle slurry and inorganic N fertilizer). We applied two different methods, the 15N natural abundance and the difference method, to estimate BNF in the first harvest of each year. Overall, the difference method overestimated BNF relative to the 15N natural abundance method. BNF in the first harvest was compared to winter survival of red and white clover plants, which decreased with increasing age of the grassland. However, winter conditions did not seem to affect the grassland's ability to fix N in spring. The fraction of N derived from the atmosphere (NdfA) in white and red clover was close to 100% in each spring, indicating no suppression of BNF. BNF increased the total N yield of the grasslands by up to 75%, mainly due to high

  17. Solvent effects on the photochemistry of 4-aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile, a prebiotically plausible precursor of purines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabla, Rafał; Sponer, Judit E; Sponer, Jiří; Sobolewski, Andrzej L; Góra, Robert W

    2014-09-01

    4-Aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile (AICN) was suggested as a prebiotically plausible precursor of purine nucleobases and nucleotides. Although it can be formed in a sequence of photoreactions, AICN is immune to further irradiation with UV-light. We present state-of-the-art multi-reference quantum-chemical calculations of potential energy surface cuts and conical intersection optimizations to explain the molecular mechanisms underlying the photostability of this compound. We have identified the N-H bond stretching and ring-puckering mechanisms that should be responsible for the photochemistry of AICN in the gas phase. We have further considered the photochemistry of AICN-water clusters, while including up to six explicit water molecules. The calculations reveal charge transfer to solvent followed by formation of an H3O(+) cation, both of which occur on the (1)πσ* hypersurface. Interestingly, a second proton transfer to an adjacent water molecule leads to a (1)πσ*/S0 conical intersection. We suggest that this electron-driven proton relay might be characteristic of low-lying (1)πσ* states in chromophore-water clusters. Owing to its nature, this mechanism might also be responsible for the photostability of analogous organic molecules in bulk water.

  18. A plausible mechanism of biosorption in dual symbioses by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmat, Rafia; Hamid, Neelofer

    2015-03-01

    Dual symbioses of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi with growth of Momordica charantia were elucidated in terms of plausible mechanism of biosorption in this article. The experiment was conducted in green house and mixed inoculum of the VAM fungi was used in the three replicates. Results demonstrated that the starch contents were the main source of C for the VAM to builds their hyphae. The increased plant height and leaves surface area were explained in relation with an increase in the photosynthetic rates to produce rapid sugar contents for the survival of plants. A decreased in protein, and amino acid contents and increased proline and protease activity in VAM plants suggested that these contents were the main bio-indicators of the plants under biotic stress. The decline in protein may be due to the degradation of these contents, which later on converted into dextrose where it can easily be absorbed by for the period of symbioses. A mechanism of C chemisorption in relation with physiology and morphology of plant was discussed.

  19. Plausible futures of a social-ecological system: Yahara watershed, Wisconsin, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Carpenter

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural watersheds are affected by changes in climate, land use, agricultural practices, and human demand for energy, food, and water resources. In this context, we analyzed the agricultural, urbanizing Yahara watershed (size: 1345 km², population: 372,000 to assess its responses to multiple changing drivers. We measured recent trends in land use/cover and water quality of the watershed, spatial patterns of 10 ecosystem services, and spatial patterns and nestedness of governance. We developed scenarios for the future of the Yahara watershed by integrating trends and events from the global scenarios literature, perspectives of stakeholders, and models of biophysical drivers and ecosystem services. Four qualitative scenarios were created to explore plausible trajectories to the year 2070 in the watershed's social-ecological system under different regimes: no action on environmental trends, accelerated technological development, strong intervention by government, and shifting values toward sustainability. Quantitative time-series for 2010-2070 were developed for weather and land use/cover during each scenario as inputs to model changes in ecosystem services. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how changes in the social-ecological system of the Yahara watershed, including management of land and water resources, can build or impair resilience to shifting drivers, including climate.

  20. Dehydration Influences Mood and Cognition: A Plausible Hypothesis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Benton

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The hypothesis was considered that a low fluid intake disrupts cognition and mood. Most research has been carried out on young fit adults, who typically have exercised, often in heat. The results of these studies are inconsistent, preventing any conclusion. Even if the findings had been consistent, confounding variables such as fatigue and increased temperature make it unwise to extrapolate these findings. Thus in young adults there is little evidence that under normal living conditions dehydration disrupts cognition, although this may simply reflect a lack of relevant evidence. There remains the possibility that particular populations are at high risk of dehydration. It is known that renal function declines in many older individuals and thirst mechanisms become less effective. Although there are a few reports that more dehydrated older adults perform cognitive tasks less well, the body of information is limited and there have been little attempt to improve functioning by increasing hydration status. Although children are another potentially vulnerable group that have also been subject to little study, they are the group that has produced the only consistent findings in this area. Four intervention studies have found improved performance in children aged 7 to 9 years. In these studies children, eating and drinking as normal, have been tested on occasions when they have and not have consumed a drink. After a drink both memory and attention have been found to be improved.

  1. Dehydration influences mood and cognition: a plausible hypothesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, David

    2011-05-01

    The hypothesis was considered that a low fluid intake disrupts cognition and mood. Most research has been carried out on young fit adults, who typically have exercised, often in heat. The results of these studies are inconsistent, preventing any conclusion. Even if the findings had been consistent, confounding variables such as fatigue and increased temperature make it unwise to extrapolate these findings. Thus in young adults there is little evidence that under normal living conditions dehydration disrupts cognition, although this may simply reflect a lack of relevant evidence. There remains the possibility that particular populations are at high risk of dehydration. It is known that renal function declines in many older individuals and thirst mechanisms become less effective. Although there are a few reports that more dehydrated older adults perform cognitive tasks less well, the body of information is limited and there have been little attempt to improve functioning by increasing hydration status. Although children are another potentially vulnerable group that have also been subject to little study, they are the group that has produced the only consistent findings in this area. Four intervention studies have found improved performance in children aged 7 to 9 years. In these studies children, eating and drinking as normal, have been tested on occasions when they have and not have consumed a drink. After a drink both memory and attention have been found to be improved.

  2. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular response to biophysical cues using synthetic biology approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denning, Denise; Roos, Wouter H

    2016-09-02

    The use of synthetic surfaces and materials to influence and study cell behavior has vastly progressed our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cellular response to physicochemical and biophysical cues. Reconstituting cytoskeletal proteins and interfacing them with a defined microenvironment has also garnered deep insight into the engineering mechanisms existing within the cell. This review presents recent experimental findings on the influence of several parameters of the extracellular environment on cell behavior and fate, such as substrate topography, stiffness, chemistry and charge. In addition, the use of synthetic environments to measure physical properties of the reconstituted cytoskeleton and their interaction with intracellular proteins such as molecular motors is discussed, which is relevant for understanding cell migration, division and structural integrity, as well as intracellular transport. Insight is provided regarding the next steps to be taken in this interdisciplinary field, in order to achieve the global aim of artificially directing cellular response.

  3. Bio-physically plausible visualization of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical models for in silico experimentation

    KAUST Repository

    Abdellah, Marwan

    2017-02-15

    Background We present a visualization pipeline capable of accurate rendering of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical neuronal models. The pipeline is mainly developed to serve the computational neurobiology community. It allows the scientists to visualize the results of their virtual experiments that are performed in computer simulations, or in silico. The impact of the presented pipeline opens novel avenues for assisting the neuroscientists to build biologically accurate models of the brain. These models result from computer simulations of physical experiments that use fluorescence imaging to understand the structural and functional aspects of the brain. Due to the limited capabilities of the current visualization workflows to handle fluorescent volumetric datasets, we propose a physically-based optical model that can accurately simulate light interaction with fluorescent-tagged scattering media based on the basic principles of geometric optics and Monte Carlo path tracing. We also develop an automated and efficient framework for generating dense fluorescent tissue blocks from a neocortical column model that is composed of approximately 31000 neurons. Results Our pipeline is used to visualize a virtual fluorescent tissue block of 50 μm3 that is reconstructed from the somatosensory cortex of juvenile rat. The fluorescence optical model is qualitatively analyzed and validated against experimental emission spectra of different fluorescent dyes from the Alexa Fluor family. Conclusion We discussed a scientific visualization pipeline for creating images of synthetic neocortical neuronal models that are tagged virtually with fluorescent labels on a physically-plausible basis. The pipeline is applied to analyze and validate simulation data generated from neuroscientific in silico experiments.

  4. Influence of tillage practices on soil biologically active organic matter content over a growing season under semiarid Mediterranean climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Martín-Lammerding

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In semiarid areas, traditional, intensive tillage has led to the depletion of soil organic matter, which has resulted in reduced soil fertility. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effects of different soil management systems, practised over 12 years, on soil organic carbon (SOC, nitrogen (SN and biologically active organic matter (particulate organic matter [POM]; potentially mineralisable nitrogen [PMN]; microbial biomass [MB]. A Mediterranean Alfisol, located in central Spain, was managed using combinations of conventional tillage (CT, minimum tillage (MT or no-tillage (NT, plus a cropping background of either continuous wheat (WW or a fallow/wheat/pea/barley rotation (FW. Soil was sampled at two depths on four occasions during 2006-2007. The results showed the sampling date and the cropping background to significantly affect the SOC (p<0.0057 and p<0.0001 respectively. Tillage practice, however, had no effect on SOC or SN. The C-and N-POM contents were significantly influenced by the date, tillage and rotation. These variables were significantly higher under NT than CT and under WW than FW. The PMN was influenced by date, tillage and rotation, while C-MB was significantly affected by tillage (p< 0.0063, but not by rotation. The NT plots accumulated 66% C-POM, 60% N-POM, 39% PMN and 84% C-MB more than the CT plots. After more than 12 years, the benefits of conservation practices were found in the considered soil properties, mainly under no tillage. In order to obtain a consistent data set to predict soil biological status, it is necessary further study over time.

  5. Physically plausible prescription of land surface model soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Mathias; Orth, René; Thiery, Wim; Seneviratne, Sonia

    2016-04-01

    Land surface hydrology is an important control of surface weather and climate, especially under extreme dry or wet conditions where it can amplify heat waves or floods, respectively. Prescribing soil moisture in land surface models is a valuable technique to investigate this link between hydrology and climate. It has been used for example to assess the influence of soil moisture on temperature variability, mean and extremes (Seneviratne et al. 2006, 2013, Lorenz et al., 2015). However, perturbing the soil moisture content artificially can lead to a violation of the energy and water balances. Here we present a new method for prescribing soil moisture which ensures water and energy balance closure by using only water from runoff and a reservoir term. If water is available, the method prevents soil moisture decrease below climatological values. Results from simulations with the Community Land Model (CLM) indicate that our new method allows to avoid soil moisture deficits in many regions of the world. We show the influence of the irrigation-supported soil moisture content on mean and extreme temperatures and contrast our findings with that of earlier studies. Additionally, we will assess how long into the 21st century the new method will be able to maintain present-day climatological soil moisture levels for different regions. Lorenz, R., Argüeso, D., Donat, M.G., Pitman, A.J., den Hurk, B.V., Berg, A., Lawrence, D.M., Chéruy, F., Ducharne, A., Hagemann, S. and Meier, A., 2015. Influence of land-atmosphere feedbacks on temperature and precipitation extremes in the GLACE-CMIP5 ensemble. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Seneviratne, S.I., Lüthi, D., Litschi, M. and Schär, C., 2006. Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe. Nature, 443(7108), pp.205-209. Seneviratne, S.I., Wilhelm, M., Stanelle, T., Hurk, B., Hagemann, S., Berg, A., Cheruy, F., Higgins, M.E., Meier, A., Brovkin, V. and Claussen, M., 2013. Impact of soil moisture

  6. Dynamic regulatory on/off minimization for biological systems under internal temporal perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleessen Sabrina

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flux balance analysis (FBA together with its extension, dynamic FBA, have proven instrumental for analyzing the robustness and dynamics of metabolic networks by employing only the stoichiometry of the included reactions coupled with adequately chosen objective function. In addition, under the assumption of minimization of metabolic adjustment, dynamic FBA has recently been employed to analyze the transition between metabolic states. Results Here, we propose a suite of novel methods for analyzing the dynamics of (internally perturbed metabolic networks and for quantifying their robustness with limited knowledge of kinetic parameters. Following the biochemically meaningful premise that metabolite concentrations exhibit smooth temporal changes, the proposed methods rely on minimizing the significant fluctuations of metabolic profiles to predict the time-resolved metabolic state, characterized by both fluxes and concentrations. By conducting a comparative analysis with a kinetic model of the Calvin-Benson cycle and a model of plant carbohydrate metabolism, we demonstrate that the principle of regulatory on/off minimization coupled with dynamic FBA can accurately predict the changes in metabolic states. Conclusions Our methods outperform the existing dynamic FBA-based modeling alternatives, and could help in revealing the mechanisms for maintaining robustness of dynamic processes in metabolic networks over time.

  7. Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montague, Michael J; Li, Gang; Gandolfi, Barbara; Khan, Razib; Aken, Bronwen L; Searle, Steven M J; Minx, Patrick; Hillier, LaDeana W; Koboldt, Daniel C; Davis, Brian W; Driscoll, Carlos A; Barr, Christina S; Blackistone, Kevin; Quilez, Javier; Lorente-Galdos, Belen; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Alkan, Can; Thomas, Gregg W C; Hahn, Matthew W; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; O'Brien, Stephen J; Wilson, Richard K; Lyons, Leslie A; Murphy, William J; Warren, Wesley C

    2014-12-02

    Little is known about the genetic changes that distinguish domestic cat populations from their wild progenitors. Here we describe a high-quality domestic cat reference genome assembly and comparative inferences made with other cat breeds, wildcats, and other mammals. Based upon these comparisons, we identified positively selected genes enriched for genes involved in lipid metabolism that underpin adaptations to a hypercarnivorous diet. We also found positive selection signals within genes underlying sensory processes, especially those affecting vision and hearing in the carnivore lineage. We observed an evolutionary tradeoff between functional olfactory and vomeronasal receptor gene repertoires in the cat and dog genomes, with an expansion of the feline chemosensory system for detecting pheromones at the expense of odorant detection. Genomic regions harboring signatures of natural selection that distinguish domestic cats from their wild congeners are enriched in neural crest-related genes associated with behavior and reward in mouse models, as predicted by the domestication syndrome hypothesis. Our description of a previously unidentified allele for the gloving pigmentation pattern found in the Birman breed supports the hypothesis that cat breeds experienced strong selection on specific mutations drawn from random bred populations. Collectively, these findings provide insight into how the process of domestication altered the ancestral wildcat genome and build a resource for future disease mapping and phylogenomic studies across all members of the Felidae.

  8. Biological diversity of yeasts in the gastrointestinal tract of weaned piglets kept under different farm conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urubschurov, Vladimir; Janczyk, Pawel; Pieper, Robert; Souffrant, Wolfgang B

    2008-12-01

    The study was conducted to determine yeasts present in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of piglets kept under experimental farm (EF) and commercial farm (CF) conditions. Ninety five German Landrace full- and half-sibling piglets were sacrificed at 39 days of age. Sixty eight piglets were weaned at 28th day of life, when they were offered one diet ad libitum. Twenty seven piglets remained unweaned by their dams. None of the piglets received any creep feed before weaning. Digesta samples were collected from 1/3 distal small intestine (SI), caecum and proximal colon. One hundred seventy three colonies of isolated yeasts were characterized by sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified D1/D2 domain of the 26S rRNA gene with following alignment of the recovered sequences to GenBank entries. From the 17 phylotypes found, isolates most closely related to Galactomyces geotrichum, Kazachstania slooffiae and Candida catenulata dominated in the GIT of CF piglets. Kazachstania slooffiae and Candida glabrata dominated in GIT of EF piglets. Sørenson and Morisita-Horn similarity indices between farms were low (0.44 and 0.54 respectively) and the Simpson diversity index was higher for EF (7.58) than for CF (4.34). The study brings new data on yeasts composition in the pig GIT and shows differences in yeasts biodiversity between farms operated at different hygiene conditions.

  9. Evolution of Polaskia chichipe (Cactaceae) under domestication in the Tehuacan Valley, central Mexico: reproductive biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero-Arnaiz, Adriana; Casas, Alejandro; Bartolo, Carmen; Pérez-Negrón, Edgar; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso

    2003-04-01

    Polaskia chichipe, a columnar cactus, is cultivated for its edible fruits in central Mexico. This study analyzed whether artificial selection has modified its reproduction patterns and caused barriers to pollen exchange between wild, managed in situ, and cultivated populations. Anthesis was diurnal (∼16 h in winter, ∼10 h in spring) as well as partly nocturnal (∼12 h in winter, ∼3 h in spring), and flowers were pollinated by bees, hummingbirds, and hawk moths. Manual cross-pollination was ∼37-49% effective in all populations. Self-pollination was ∼12% successful in the wild, but twice as successful (∼22-27%) in managed and cultivated populations. Diurnal pollination was ∼35-55% effective in winter and 100% in spring. Nocturnal pollination was successful only in winter (15%). Crosses among individuals were more effective within populations than among populations, including populations under a similar management regimen. The least successful crosses were between wild and cultivated populations. Flowers were produced in all populations from January to March, but flowering peaks differed by 1 mo among wild, managed, and cultivated populations and by 2 mo between wild and cultivated populations. The latter interrupted pollen exchange in May. Seeds from managed and cultivated populations germinated faster than those from wild individuals. Domestication has seemingly favored self-compatible P. chichipe plants with higher fruit yield, a longer period of fruit production, and faster seed germination, attributes that have resulted in partial reproductive barriers between wild and manipulated populations.

  10. Biological control of gastrointestinal parasitic nematodes using Duddingtonia flagrans in sheep under natural conditions in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-De Gives, Pedro; Zapata Nieto, Claudia; Hernández, Enrique Liébano; Arellano, María Eugenia López; Rodríguez, David Herrera; Garduño, Roberto González

    2006-10-01

    This investigation was aimed to evaluate the use of an oral bio-preparation containing Duddingtonia flagrans chlamydospores for the control of sheep gastrointestinal parasitic nematodes under the Mexican cold high plateau conditions. Two groups of gastrointestinal parasitic nematode naturally infected sheep, were randomly selected and located into two free-gastrointestinal nematode larvae paddocks. Group 1 received once a week a supplement containing D. flagrans chlamydospores mixed with oats and molasses. Group 2 received a similar supplement without any fungal material. After 5 months grazing animals were discarded from the experiment and two groups of free-nematode "tracer" sheep were located into the same paddocks to collect larvae from the contaminated pastures. Animals were slaughtered and necropsied and the nematodes were obtained and counted. A screening of the number of gastrointestinal nematode larvae present on the grass was performed and compared between the two grazing areas. The results showed 56% reduction in the Ostertagia (Teladorsagia) circumcincta and 94% reduction in the Nematodirus sp. population of the "tracer" sheep who grazed on the D. flagrans-treated sheep area, compared to the nematode population in animals grazed on the non-treated area. The results of the number of larvae on the grazing pastures showed a 51.1% reduction for H. contortus, and 100% for Cooperia sp. in the area with fungi. In the case of Trichostrongylus sp. no reduction was observed, when compared to the control group.

  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. Using critical evaluation to reappraise plausibility judgments: A critical cognitive component of conceptual change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, D.

    2011-12-01

    Plausibility judgments-although well represented in conceptual change theories (see, for example, Chi, 2005; diSessa, 1993; Dole & Sinatra, 1998; Posner et al., 1982)-have received little empirical attention until our recent work investigating teachers' and students' understanding of and perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010, 2011). In our first study with undergraduate students, we found that greater plausibility perceptions of human-induced climate accounted for significantly greater understanding of weather and climate distinctions after instruction, even after accounting for students' prior knowledge (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010). In a follow-up study with inservice science and preservice elementary teachers, we showed that anger about the topic of climate change and teaching about climate change was significantly related to implausible perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2011). Results from our recent studies helped to inform our development of a model of the role of plausibility judgments in conceptual change situations. The model applies to situations involving cognitive dissonance, where background knowledge conflicts with an incoming message. In such situations, we define plausibility as a judgment on the relative potential truthfulness of incoming information compared to one's existing mental representations (Rescher, 1976). Students may not consciously think when making plausibility judgments, expending only minimal mental effort in what is referred to as an automatic cognitive process (Stanovich, 2009). However, well-designed instruction could facilitate students' reappraisal of plausibility judgments in more effortful and conscious cognitive processing. Critical evaluation specifically may be one effective method to promote plausibility reappraisal in a classroom setting (Lombardi & Sinatra, in progress). In science education, critical evaluation involves the analysis of how evidentiary

  13. Kinetic Constants for Biological Ammonium and Nitrite Oxidation Processes Under Sulfide Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejarano-Ortiz, Diego Iván; Huerta-Ochoa, Sergio; Thalasso, Frédéric; Cuervo-López, Flor de María; Texier, Anne-Claire

    2015-12-01

    Inhibition of nitrification by sulfide was assessed using sludge obtained from a steady-state nitrifying reactor. Independent batch activity assays were performed with ammonium and nitrite as substrate, in order to discriminate the effect of sulfide on ammonium and nitrite oxidation. In the absence of sulfide, substrate affinity constants (K S,NH4  = 2.41 ± 0.11 mg N/L; K s, NO2  = 0.74 ± 0.03 mg N/L) and maximum specific rates (q max,NH4  = 0.086 ± 0.008 mg N/mg microbial protein h; q max,NO2  = 0.124 ± 0.001 mg N/mg microbial protein h) were determined. Inhibition of ammonium oxidation was no-competitive (inhibition constant (K i , NH4 ) of 2.54 ± 0.12 mg HS(-)-S/L) while inhibition of nitrite oxidation was mixed (competitive inhibition constant (K' i , NO2 ) of 0.22 ± 0.03 mg HS(-)-S/L and no-competitive inhibition constant (K i , NO2 ) of 1.03 ± 0.06 mg HS(-)-S/L). Sulfide has greater inhibitory effect on nitrite oxidation than ammonium oxidation, and its presence in nitrification systems should be avoided to prevent accumulation of nitrite. By simulating the effect of sulfide addition in a continuous nitrifying reactor under steady-state operation, it was shown that the maximum sulfide concentration that the sludge can tolerate without affecting the ammonium consumption efficiency and nitrate yield is 1 mg HS(-)-S/L.

  14. [Mechanisms underlying physiological functions of food factors via non-specific interactions with biological proteins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Akira

    2015-01-01

      We previously reported that zerumbone, a sesquiterpene found in Zingiber zerumbet SMITH, showed notable cancer preventive effects in various organs of experimental rodents. This agent up-regulated nuclear factor-E2-related factor (Nrf2)-dependent expressions of anti-oxidative and xenobiotics-metabolizing enzymes, leading to an increased self-defense capacity. On the other hand, zerumbone markedly suppressed the expression of cyclooxygenase-2, an inducible pro-inflammatory enzyme, by disrupting mRNA stabilizing processes. Binding experiments using a biotin derivative of zerumbone demonstrated that Keap1, an Nrf2 repressive protein, is one of its major binding proteins that promotes their dissociation for inducing Nrf2 transactivation. We then generated a specific antibody against zerumbone-modified proteins and found that zerumbone modified numerous cellular proteins in a non-specific manner, with global distribution of the modified proteins seen not only in cytoplasm but also the nucleus. Based on those observations, zerumbone was speculated to cause proteo-stress, a notion supported by previous findings that it increased the C-terminus of Hsc70 interacting protein-dependent protein ubiquitination and also promoted aggresome formation. Interestingly, zerumbone counteracted proteo-stress and heat stress via up-regulation of the protein quality control systems (PQCs), e.g., heat shock proteins (HSPs), ubiquitin-proteasome, and autophagy. Meanwhile, several phytochemicals, including ursolic acid and curcumin, were identified as marked HSP70 inducers, whereas most nutrients tested were scarcely active. Recent studies have revealed that PQCs play important roles in the prevention of many lifestyle related diseases, such as cancer, thus non-specific binding of phytochemicals to cellular proteins may be a novel and unique mechanism underlying their physiological activities.

  15. Changes in the biological diversity and concentration of total DNA under the influence of mineral fertilizers in agrochernozemic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkhakakhova, Azida; Kutovaya, Olga; Ivanova, Ekaterina; Pavlyuchenko, Anatoly

    2014-05-01

    ). The most active development of denitrifiers was in the fallow soil. It is known that cultivated forms comprise only about 1 to 10% of the total number of soil microorganisms. Quantitative analysis by the methods of molecular biology makes it possible to consider the full range of microorganisms. The concentration of extracted DNA can serve as an indicator of the total "biogenity" of the soil, as we isolated the genetic material of all organisms living in the soil. The highest concentration of DNA found in the samples from the fallow soil. Much lower values were found in the soils treated with mineral fertilizers: 38.9% in trial NPK-60 and 53.3% in trials NPK-120 and NPK-0. Thus, to sustain biota in cultivated chernozems and to improve the ecological state of the fields, the rates of mineral fertilizers have to be properly controlled. Moderate rates can be recommended. Features of the soil microbiome can serve as universal and sensitive indicators of the state of the soils under different farming systems. The quantitative analysis of isolated total DNA is an efficient tool to control the ecological state of the soils, especially those involved in agriculture.

  16. Influence of temperature and humidity on the biology of Triatoma mexicana (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alejandro Martínez-Ibarra

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Several biological parameters related to the Triatoma mexicana life-cycle were evaluated in this study. Three cohorts were maintained under different combinations of temperature and relative humidity (RH: 25ºC/50% RH; 25ºC/75% RH; and 30ºC/75% RH. Observed hatching rates varied from 49-57.5% whereas the average time of hatching varied from 19.5-22.7 days. In the three cohorts studied, the mean time-lapse between presentation of the blood meal and the beginning of feeding was less than 5 min in all instars; the mean feeding time was longer than 10 min in all the instars; the post-feed defecation delay was over 10 min in all the instars. Less than 50% of nymphs in each cohort completed the cycle and the average time from 1st instar nymph to adult was more than 255 days for the three cohorts. The number of blood meals before molt at each nymphal instar varied from 1-9. Our results appear to indicate a lack of influence of temperature and RH on the biological parameters of T. mexicana that were studied, which could reflect the adaptation capacity of this species. We also conclude that T. mexicana can not be considered an effective transmitter of Trypanosoma cruzi to human populations in areas where this species is currently present.

  17. The constitutional protection of trade secrets and patents under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 ("Biosimilars Act") is for the field of pharmaceutical products the single most important legislative development since passage of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 ("Hatch-Waxman Act"), on which portions of the Biosimilars Act are clearly patterned. Congress revised section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to create a pathway for FDA approval of "biosimilar" biological products. Each biosimilar applicant is required to cite in its application a "reference product" that was approved on the basis of a full application containing testing data and manufacturing information, which is owned and was submitted by another company and much of which constitutes trade secret information subject to constitutional protection. Because the Biosimilars Act authorizes biosimilar applicants to cite these previously approved applications, the implementation of the new legislative scheme raises critical issues under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, pursuant to which private property--trade secrets included--may not be taken for public use, without "just compensation." FDA must confront those issues as it implements the scheme set out in the Biosimilars Act. This article will discuss these issues, after providing a brief overview of the Biosimilars Act and a more detailed examination of the law of trade secrets.

  18. Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Essential Oils of Origanum vulgare L. subsp. vulgare L. under Different Growth Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrica De Falco

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This research was aimed at investigating the essential oil production, chemical composition and biological activity of a crop of pink flowered oregano (Origanum vulgare L. subsp. vulgare L. under different spatial distribution of the plants (single and binate rows. This plant factor was shown to affect its growth, soil covering, fresh biomass, essential oil amount and composition. In particular, the essential oil percentage was higher for the binate row treatment at the full bloom. The chemical composition of the oils obtained by hydrodistillation was fully characterized by GC and GC-MS. The oil from plants grown in single rows was rich in sabinene, while plants grown in double rows were richer in ocimenes. The essential oils showed antimicrobial action, mainly against Gram-positive pathogens and particularly Bacillus cereus and B. subtilis.

  19. Chemical composition and biological activity of essential oils of Origanum vulgare L. subsp. vulgare L. under different growth conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Falco, Enrica; Mancini, Emilia; Roscigno, Graziana; Mignola, Enrico; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio; Senatore, Felice

    2013-12-04

    This research was aimed at investigating the essential oil production, chemical composition and biological activity of a crop of pink flowered oregano (Origanum vulgare L. subsp. vulgare L.) under different spatial distribution of the plants (single and binate rows). This plant factor was shown to affect its growth, soil covering, fresh biomass, essential oil amount and composition. In particular, the essential oil percentage was higher for the binate row treatment at the full bloom. The chemical composition of the oils obtained by hydrodistillation was fully characterized by GC and GC-MS. The oil from plants grown in single rows was rich in sabinene, while plants grown in double rows were richer in ocimenes. The essential oils showed antimicrobial action, mainly against Gram-positive pathogens and particularly Bacillus cereus and B. subtilis.

  20. Spatio-temporal thermal kinetics of in situ MWCNT heating in biological tissues under NIR laser irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Picou, Laura; McMann, Casey; Boldor, Dorin [Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 149 E B Doran Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4505 (United States); Elzer, Philip H; Enright, Frederick M [Department of Veterinary Sciences, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 111 Dalrymple Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Biris, Alexandru S, E-mail: DBoldor@agcenter.lsu.edu [Nanotechnology Center, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, 2801 South University Avenue, ETAS 151, Little Rock, AR 72204-1099 (United States)

    2010-10-29

    Carbon nanotubes have many potential applications in life sciences and engineering as they have very high absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum, while biological tissues do not. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 1064 nm NIR laser power levels on the spatial temperature distribution and the temperature kinetics in mammalian tissue at both macroscopic and microscopic scales. The model tissue was the 'flat' of a chicken wing (the section containing the radius and ulna), which was injected under the skin in the subcutaneous layer of tissue. Specimens were exposed to laser radiation and an infrared thermography system was used to measure and record the temperature distributions in the specimens at both the macroscopic and microscopic scales. Experimental results concluded that power levels of 1536 mW easily achieved hyperthermic temperatures with localized values as high as 172.7 deg. C.

  1. Biological carbon fixation: A study of Isochrysis sp. growth under actual coal-fired power plant's flue gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    >Liyana Yahya, Muhammad Nazry Chik, Mohd Asyraf Mohd Azmir Pang,

    2013-06-01

    Preliminary study on the growth of marine microalgae Isochrysis sp. was carried out using actual flue gas from a coal-fired power station. The species was cultured using a 2×10-L customized bubble column photobioreactor skid under specified culture conditions. With an initial culture density of 0.459 Abs (optical density at 560 nm wavelength), the species was found able to survive - observed by increases in optical densities, number of cells and weights - in the presence of actual coal-fired flue gas containing on average 4.08 % O2, 200.21 mg/m3 SO2, 212.29 mg/m3 NOx, 4.73 % CO2 and 50.72 mg/m3 CO. Results thus add value to the potential and capability of microalgae, especially for Isochrysis sp., to be the biological carbon fixer in neutralizing carbon emissions from power plants.

  2. Characteristics of the biological cycle of Lutzomyia evandroi Costa Lima & Antunes, 1936 (Diptera: Psychodidae) under experimental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Melo Ximenes, M de F; Maciel, J C; Jerônimo, S M

    2001-08-01

    Lutzomyia evandroi Costa Lima and Antunes, 1936 is found in Rio Grande do Norte, northeastern Brazil, in areas of visceral and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis and follows the same geographic distribution of L. longipalpis. The biological cycle, oviposition, morphological and behavioral characteristics of the species were studied under experimental conditions. The average number of eggs per wild caught female varied from 21 to 50 eggs along the year, with a peak occurring between January and March and another in August, with oviposition lasting for 4 to 12 days. The mean larval phase was 24 days. Ovipositing rates were influenced by rainfall and temperature indexes, with an increase of eggs per oviposition at the beginning and at the end of the rainy season, and a decrease at the peak of the rainy season.

  3. Stereotyping to infer group membership creates plausible deniability for prejudice-based aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, William T L; Devine, Patricia G

    2014-02-01

    In the present study, participants administered painful electric shocks to an unseen male opponent who was either explicitly labeled as gay or stereotypically implied to be gay. Identifying the opponent with a gay-stereotypic attribute produced a situation in which the target's group status was privately inferred but plausibly deniable to others. To test the plausible deniability hypothesis, we examined aggression levels as a function of internal (personal) and external (social) motivation to respond without prejudice. Whether plausible deniability was present or absent, participants high in internal motivation aggressed at low levels, and participants low in both internal and external motivation aggressed at high levels. The behavior of participants low in internal and high in external motivation, however, depended on experimental condition. They aggressed at low levels when observers could plausibly attribute their behavior to prejudice and aggressed at high levels when the situation granted plausible deniability. This work has implications for both obstacles to and potential avenues for prejudice-reduction efforts.

  4. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm.

  5. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    We present a framework for automated planning based on plausibility models, as well as algorithms for computing plans in this framework. Our plausibility models include postconditions, as ontic effects are essential for most planning purposes. The framework presented extends a previously developed...... framework based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL), without plausibilities/beliefs. In the pure epistemic framework, one can distinguish between strong and weak epistemic plans for achieving some, possibly epistemic, goal. By taking all possible outcomes of actions into account, a strong plan guarantees...... that the agent achieves this goal. Conversely, a weak plan promises only the possibility of leading to the goal. In real-life planning scenarios where the planning agent is faced with a high degree of uncertainty and an almost endless number of possible exogenous events, strong epistemic planning...

  6. The semiosis of prayer and the creation of plausible fictional worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Peter Södergård

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Prayer and incantation can perhaps be said to be 'mechanisms' that promise that lack will be liquidated and that there is an unlimited signator, a father, or some other metaphysical creature, standing behind and legitimizing the discourse. A way of communicating with the Unlimited that is privileged by an interpretive community that read the prayers aloud and enacted the magical stage-scripts. These highly overlapping categories function as one of the most common subforms of religious discourse for the creation, actualization and maintenance of plausible fictional worlds. They are liminal and transitional mechanisms that manipulate an empirical reader to phase-shift from an actual world to a plausible, by being inscribed in a possible and fictional world, thus creating a model reader, that perceives and acts according to the plausible world outlined by a given interpretive community, and that hears god talking in voces magicae and in god-speaking silence.

  7. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    that the agent achieves this goal. Conversely, a weak plan promises only the possibility of leading to the goal. In real-life planning scenarios where the planning agent is faced with a high degree of uncertainty and an almost endless number of possible exogenous events, strong epistemic planning......We present a framework for automated planning based on plausibility models, as well as algorithms for computing plans in this framework. Our plausibility models include postconditions, as ontic effects are essential for most planning purposes. The framework presented extends a previously developed...... framework based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL), without plausibilities/beliefs. In the pure epistemic framework, one can distinguish between strong and weak epistemic plans for achieving some, possibly epistemic, goal. By taking all possible outcomes of actions into account, a strong plan guarantees...

  8. Influence of temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen concentration on enhanced biological phosphorus removal under strictly aerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nittami, Tadashi; Oi, Hiroshi; Matsumoto, Kanji; Seviour, Robert J

    2011-12-15

    Previous research has suggested that enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) from wastewater can be achieved under continuous aerobic conditions over the short term. However, little is known how environmental conditions might affect aerobic EBPR performance. Consequently we have investigated the impact of temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations on EBPR performance under strictly aerobic conditions. A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was operated for 108 days on a six-hour cycle (four cycles a day). The SBR ran under alternating anaerobic-aerobic conditions as standard and then operated under strictly aerobic conditions for one cycle every three or four days. SBR operational temperature (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30°C), pH (6, 7, 8 and 9) and DO concentration (0.5, 2.0 and 3.5mg/L) were changed consecutively during the aerobic cycle. Recorded increases in mixed liquor phosphorus (P) concentrations during aerobic carbon source uptake (P release) were affected by the biomass P content rather than the imposed changes in the operational conditions. Thus, P release levels increased with biomass P content. By contrast, subsequent aerobic P assimilation (P uptake) levels were both affected by changes in operational temperature and pH, and peaked at 20-25°C and pH 7-8. Highest P uptake detected under these SBR operating conditions was 15.4 mg Pg-MLSS(-1) (at 25°C, pH 7 and DO 2.0mg/L). The ability of the community for linked aerobic P release and P uptake required the presence of acetate in the medium, a finding which differs from previous data, where these are reported to occur in the absence of any exogenous carbon source. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed on samples collected from the SBR, and Candidatus 'Accumulibacter phosphatis' cells were detected with PAOmix probes through the operational periods. Thus, Candidatus 'Accumulibacter phosphatis' seemed to perform P removal in the SBR as shown in previous studies on P removal under

  9. Effect of Biological and Chemical Fertilizers on Oil, Seed Yield and some Agronomic Traits of Safflower under Different Irrigation Regimes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Fanaei

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Safflower Carthamus tinctorius L. is a tolerant plant to water deficit due to long roots and capability for high water absorption from soil deeper parts. Safflower can growth successfully in regions with low soil fertility and temperature. Behdani and Mosavifar (2011 reported that drought stress affect on yield by reducing yield components and agronomic traits. Biofertilizer during a biological process chanced the nutrients from unusable to usable form for plants in soils (Aseretal, 2008. Mirzakhani et al. (2008 found that inoculation of seed with free-living bacterium azotobacter and a symbiotic fungus productive mycorrhiza addition to increasing oil and seed cause increasing resistance against two factors of unfavorable environmental and to improve quality of product. In order to study the effect of biological and chemical fertilizers on oil, seed yield and some of agronomic traits of Safflower under irrigation of different regimes an experimental design was conducted. Materials and methods In order to study the effect of biological and chemical fertilizers on oil, seed yield and some of agronomic traits of safflower under irrigation of different regimes an experiment was carried out split plot based on randomized complete block design (RCBD with three replications in experimental farm of payame-Noor university of Zabol during 2012-2013 growing season. Irrigation regime in three levels include: I1 (control irrigation in all growth stages, I2 stop irrigation from sowing to flowering (irrigation in growth stages flowering, and seed filling, I3 irrigation in growth stages rosset, stem elongation, heading and stop irrigation in flowering, and seed filling were as main plots and fertilizer resources in five levels included: F1 non application chemical fertilizer (control, F2 pure application chemical fertilizer (NPK 99, 44 and 123 kg.ha-1 respectively, F3 Nitroxin application (2 L.ha-1 F4 Azotobacter application (2 L.ha-1 and F5

  10. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazar Bireescu; Geanina Bireescu; Michele Vincenzo Sellitto

    2014-01-01

    .... Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources...

  11. A murine specific expansion of the Rhox cluster involved in embryonic stem cell biology is under natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keebler Jon

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rodent specific reproductive homeobox (Rhox gene cluster on the X chromosome has been reported to contain twelve homeobox-containing genes, Rhox1-12. Results We have identified a 40 kb genomic region within the Rhox cluster that is duplicated eight times in tandem resulting in the presence of eight paralogues of Rhox2 and Rhox3 and seven paralogues of Rhox4. Transcripts have been identified for the majority of these paralogues and all but three are predicted to produce full-length proteins with functional potential. We predict that there are a total of thirty-two Rhox genes at this genomic location, making it the most gene-rich homoeobox cluster identified in any species. From the 95% sequence similarity between the eight duplicated genomic regions and the synonymous substitution rate of the Rhox2, 3 and 4 paralogues we predict that the duplications occurred after divergence of mouse and rat and represent the youngest homoeobox cluster identified to date. Molecular evolutionary analysis reveals that this cluster is an actively evolving region with Rhox2 and 4 paralogues under diversifying selection and Rhox3 evolving neutrally. The biological importance of this duplication is emphasised by the identification of an important role for Rhox2 and Rhox4 in regulating the initial stages of embryonic stem (ES cell differentiation. Conclusion The gene rich Rhox cluster provides the mouse with significant biological novelty that we predict could provide a substrate for speciation. Moreover, this unique cluster may explain species differences in ES cell derivation and maintenance between mouse, rat and human.

  12. Cumulative and Synergistic Effects of Physical, Biological, and Acoustic Signals on Marine Mammal Habitat Use Physical Oceanography Component: Soundscapes Under Sea Ice: Can We Listen for Open Water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    disappear as these mammals begin their annual migration to the Arctic Ocean. The soundscape shows loud floe-banging conditions mixed with periods of...Physical, Biological, and Acoustic Signals on Marine Mammal Habitat Use Physical Oceanography Component: Soundscapes Under Sea Ice: Can we listen for...research effort is to enhance the understanding of how variability in physical, biological, and acoustic signals impact marine mammal habitat use. This is

  13. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  14. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  15. Plausible Explanation of Quantization of Intrinsic Redshift from Hall Effect and Weyl Quantization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smarandache F.

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Using phion condensate model as described by Moffat [1], we consider a plausible explanation of (Tifft intrinsic redshift quantization as described by Bell [6] as result of Hall effect in rotating frame. We also discuss another alternative to explain redshift quantization from the viewpoint of Weyl quantization, which could yield Bohr- Sommerfeld quantization.

  16. “合情推理”辨析%Analysis of Plausible Reasoning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    连四清; 方运加

    2012-01-01

    波利亚的“合情推理”模式引进我国数学课程标准后,就成了我国数学教育研究的关键词。然而,“合情推理”的科学性尚需考证:(1)它的中文意义不明确;(2)它不满足推理模式的客观性要求,存在明显的缺陷;(3)过分强调“合情推理模式”则是过分强调归纳推理和演绎推理的区别,容易割裂它们之间的关系。%After the model of "plausible inference" being introduced into the mathematics curriculum standards, it became a key word of the research on mathematics education in China. However, there are doubts on whether it is scientific. (1) Chinese meaning of plausible inference is ambiguous. (2) The plausible inference can not meet the objective requirement of the reasoning, which has obvious defects. (3) Overemphasizing the model of plausible inference would overemphasize the difference between deductive inference and inductive inference, and would dispart them.

  17. Cell biological mechanism for triggering of ABA accumula-tion under water stress in Vicia faba leaves

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Water stress-induced ABA accumulation is a cellular signaling process from water stress perception to activation of genes encoding key enzymes of ABA biosynthesis, of which the water stress-signal perception by cells or triggering mechanism of the ABA accumulation is the center in the whole process of ABA related-stress signaling in plants. The cell biological mechanism for triggering of ABA accumulation under water stress was studied in leaves of Vicia faba. Mannitol at 890 mmol· kg-1 osmotic concentration induced an increase of more than 5 times in ABA concentra-tion in detached leaf tissues, but the same concentration of mannitol only induced an increase of less than 40 % in ABA concentration in protoplasts. Like in detached leaf tissues, ABA concentra-tion in isolated cells increased more than 10 times under the treatment of mannitol at 890 mmol·kg-1 concentration, suggesting that the interaction between plasmalemma and cell wall was essential to triggering of the water stress-induced ABA accumulation. Neither Ca2+-che- lating agent EGTA nor Ca2+ channel activator A23187 nor the two cytoskeleton inhibitors, colchicine and cyto-chalasin B, had any effect on water stress-induced ABA accumulation. Interestingly water stress-induced ABA accumulation was effectively inhibited by a non-plasmalemma-perme- able sulfhy-dryl-modifier PCMBS (p-chloromercuriphenyl-sulfonic acid), suggesting that plasmalemma pro-tein(s) may be involved in the triggering of water stress-induced ABA accumulation, and the protein may contain sulfhydryl group at its function domain.

  18. Effect of different crops on soil organic matter and biological activity in Oxisols under three different crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo, Diana Marcela; Arzuaga, Silvia; Dalurzo, Humberto; Zornoza, Raúl; Vazquez, Sara

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate changes in soil organic matter in Oxisols under different crops compared to native rainforest, and to assess if acid phosphatase activity (APA) could be a good indicator for SOC changes and soil quality. The experimental design consisted of four completely randomized blocks with four treatments: subtropical rainforest (F); yerba mate crop (I) (Ilex paraguariensis SH.); citrus crop (C) (Citrus unshiu Marc); and tobacco crop (T) (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Soil samples were taken at 0-10; 10-20 and 20-30 cm depths. The variables measured were soil organic carbon (SOC), APA, clay content, pH, total nitrogen (Nt), available phosphorus (P) and CO2 emissions. All data were analyzed by ANOVA to assess the effects of land-use changes. The treatment means were compared through Duncan's multiple range tests (psoils showed an acid reaction and their clay content was over 650 g kg-1 for the three depths. SOC and N contents were higher in native soils, intermediate for the citrus crop, and lower under both tobacco and yerba mate crops. CO2 emissions were higher in the rainforest (47.32 kg ha-1 of CO2) than in cultivated soils, which indicates that biological activity is enhanced in rainforest soils where substrates for soil biota and fauna are more readily available. The variability of 76% in APA was explained by total nitrogen, which is closely related to soil organic matter, and by available P. Conversion of subtropical rainforests into agricultural lands reduced SOC content and acid phosphatase activity, thereby lowering soil quality. In this study, acid phosphatase activity proved to be a sensitive indicator to detect changes from pristine to cropped soils, but it failed to distinguish differences among crop systems.

  19. Carbon exchange in biological soil crust communities under differential temperatures and soil water contents: implications for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grote, Edmund E.; Belnap, Jayne; Housman, David C.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2010-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are an integral part of the soil system in arid regions worldwide, stabilizing soil surfaces, aiding vascular plant establishment, and are significant sources of ecosystem nitrogen and carbon. Hydration and temperature primarily control ecosystem CO2 flux in these systems. Using constructed mesocosms for incubations under controlled laboratory conditions, we examined the effect of temperature (5-35 1C) and water content (WC, 20-100%) on CO2 exchange in light cyanobacterially dominated) and dark cyanobacteria/lichen and moss dominated) biocrusts of the cool Colorado Plateau Desert in Utah and the hot Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. In light crusts from both Utah and New Mexico, net photosynthesis was highest at temperatures 430 1C. Net photosynthesis in light crusts from Utah was relatively insensitive to changes in soil moisture. In contrast, light crusts from New Mexico tended to exhibit higher rates of net photosynthesis at higher soil moisture. Dark crusts originating from both sites exhibited the greatest net photosynthesis at intermediate soil water content (40-60%). Declines in net photosynthesis were observed in dark crusts with crusts from Utah showing declines at temperatures 425 1C and those originating from New Mexico showing declines at temperatures 435 1C. Maximum net photosynthesis in all crust types from all locations were strongly influenced by offsets in the optimal temperature and water content for gross photosynthesis compared with dark respiration. Gross photosynthesis tended to be maximized at some intermediate value of temperature and water content and dark respiration tended to increase linearly. The results of this study suggest biocrusts are capable of CO2 exchange under a wide range of conditions. However, significant changes in the magnitude of this exchange should be expected for the temperature and precipitation changes suggested by current climate models.

  20. Physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil under soybean cultivation and at an adjacent rainforest in Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Patrick Beldini

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Land-use change in the Amazon basin has occurred at an accelerated pace during the last decade, and it is important that the effects induced by these changes on soil properties are better understood. This study investigated the chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil in a field under cultivation of soy and rice, and at an adjacent primary rain forest. Increases in soil bulk density, exchangeable cations and pH were observed in the soy field soil. In the primary forest, soil microbial biomass and basal respiration rates were higher, and the microbial community was metabolically more efficient. The sum of basal respiration across the A, AB and BA horizons on a mass per area basis ranged from 7.31 to 10.05 Mg CO2-C ha-1yr-1, thus yielding estimates for total soil respiration between 9.6 and 15.5 Mg CO2-C ha-1yr-1 across sites and seasons. These estimates are in good agreement with literature values for Amazonian ecosystems. The estimates of heterotrophic respiration made in this study help to further constrain the estimates of autotrophic soil respiration and will be useful for monitoring the effects of future land-use in Amazonian ecosystems.

  1. Dryland biological soil crust cyanobacteria show unexpected decreases in abundance under long-term elevated CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Yeager, Chris M; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R David; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2012-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) cover soil surfaces in many drylands globally. The impacts of 10 years of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the cyanobacteria in biocrusts of an arid shrubland were examined at a large manipulated experiment in Nevada, USA. Cyanobacteria-specific quantitative PCR surveys of cyanobacteria small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes suggested a reduction in biocrust cyanobacterial biomass in the elevated CO2 treatment relative to the ambient controls. Additionally, SSU rRNA gene libraries and shotgun metagenomes showed reduced representation of cyanobacteria in the total microbial community. Taxonomic composition of the cyanobacteria was similar under ambient and elevated CO2 conditions, indicating the decline was manifest across multiple cyanobacterial lineages. Recruitment of cyanobacteria sequences from replicate shotgun metagenomes to cyanobacterial genomes representing major biocrust orders also suggested decreased abundance of cyanobacteria sequences across the majority of genomes tested. Functional assignment of cyanobacteria-related shotgun metagenome sequences indicated that four subsystem categories, three related to oxidative stress, were differentially abundant in relation to the elevated CO2 treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that elevated CO2 affected a generalized decrease in cyanobacteria in the biocrusts and may have favoured cyanobacteria with altered gene inventories for coping with oxidative stress.

  2. Dryland biological soil crust cyanobacteria show unexpected decreases in abundance under long-term elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Yeager, Chris M.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R. David; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) cover soil surfaces in many drylands globally. The impacts of 10 years of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the cyanobacteria in biocrusts of an arid shrubland were examined at a large manipulated experiment in Nevada, USA. Cyanobacteria-specific quantitative PCR surveys of cyanobacteria small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes suggested a reduction in biocrust cyanobacterial biomass in the elevated CO2 treatment relative to the ambient controls. Additionally, SSU rRNA gene libraries and shotgun metagenomes showed reduced representation of cyanobacteria in the total microbial community. Taxonomic composition of the cyanobacteria was similar under ambient and elevated CO2 conditions, indicating the decline was manifest across multiple cyanobacterial lineages. Recruitment of cyanobacteria sequences from replicate shotgun metagenomes to cyanobacterial genomes representing major biocrust orders also suggested decreased abundance of cyanobacteria sequences across the majority of genomes tested. Functional assignment of cyanobacteria-related shotgun metagenome sequences indicated that four subsystem categories, three related to oxidative stress, were differentially abundant in relation to the elevated CO2 treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that elevated CO2 affected a generalized decrease in cyanobacteria in the biocrusts and may have favoured cyanobacteria with altered gene inventories for coping with oxidative stress.

  3. Neural sensitivity to statistical regularities as a fundamental biological process that underlies auditory learning: the role of musical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Clément; Schön, Daniele

    2014-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that humans and other nonhuman mammals are sensitive to the statistical structure of auditory input. Indeed, neural sensitivity to statistical regularities seems to be a fundamental biological property underlying auditory learning. In the case of speech, statistical regularities play a crucial role in the acquisition of several linguistic features, from phonotactic to more complex rules such as morphosyntactic rules. Interestingly, a similar sensitivity has been shown with non-speech streams: sequences of sounds changing in frequency or timbre can be segmented on the sole basis of conditional probabilities between adjacent sounds. We recently ran a set of cross-sectional and longitudinal experiments showing that merging music and speech information in song facilitates stream segmentation and, further, that musical practice enhances sensitivity to statistical regularities in speech at both neural and behavioral levels. Based on recent findings showing the involvement of a fronto-temporal network in speech segmentation, we defend the idea that enhanced auditory learning observed in musicians originates via at least three distinct pathways: enhanced low-level auditory processing, enhanced phono-articulatory mapping via the left Inferior Frontal Gyrus and Pre-Motor cortex and increased functional connectivity within the audio-motor network. Finally, we discuss how these data predict a beneficial use of music for optimizing speech acquisition in both normal and impaired populations.

  4. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion. Part II: Complete motion synthesis for bipedal primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas, Guillaume; Multon, Franck; Berillon, Gilles

    2009-05-29

    This paper addresses the problem of synthesizing plausible bipedal locomotion according to 3D anatomical reconstruction and general hypotheses on human motion control strategies. In a previous paper [Nicolas, G., Multon, F., Berillon, G., Marchal, F., 2007. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion using inverse kinematics. Journal of Biomechanics 40 (5) 1048-1057], we have validated a method based on using inverse kinematics to obtain plausible lower-limb motions knowing the trajectory of the ankle. In this paper, we propose a more general approach that also involves computing a plausible trajectory of the ankles for a given skeleton. The inputs are the anatomical descriptions of the bipedal species, imposed footprints and a rest posture. This process is based on optimizing a reference ankle trajectory until a set of criteria is minimized. This optimization loop is based on the assumption that a plausible motion is supposed to have little internal mechanical work and should be as less jerky as possible. For each tested ankle trajectory, inverse kinematics is used to compute a lower-body motion that enables us to compute the resulting mechanical work and jerk. This method was tested on a set of modern humans (male and female, with various anthropometric properties). We show that the results obtained with this method are close to experimental data for most of the subjects. We also demonstrate that the method is not sensitive to the choice of the reference ankle trajectory; any ankle trajectory leads to very similar result. We finally apply the method to a skeleton of Pan paniscus (Bonobo), and compare the resulting motion to those described by zoologists.

  5. Do new Access and Benefit Sharing procedures under the Convention on Biological Diversity threaten the future of biological control? Supplemental material (case studies, natural enemy releases, country views concerning ABS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cock, M.J.W.; Lenteren, van J.C.; Brodeur, J.; Barratt, I.P.; Bigler, F.; Bolckmans, K.; Cônsoli, F.L.; Haas, F.; Mason, P.G.; Parra, J.R.P.

    2010-01-01

    Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) countries have sovereign rights over their genetic resources. Agreements governing the access to these resources and the sharing of the benefits arising from their use need to be established between involved parties [i.e. Access and Benefit Sharing

  6. Biological soil crust formation under artificial vegetation effect and its properties in the Mugetan sandy land, northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. F.; Li, Z. W.; Jia, Y. H.; Zhang, K.

    2016-08-01

    Mugetan sandy land is an inland desertification area of about 2,065 km2 in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the ecological restoration region of the Mugetan sandy land, different crusts have formed under the action of vegetation in three types of sandy soil (i.e. semi-fixed sand dune, fixed sand dune and ancient fixed aeolian sandy soil). The surface sand particle distribution, mineral component and vegetation composition of moving sand dunes and three types of sandy soil were studied in 2010-2014 to analyze the biological crust formation properties in the Mugetan sandy land and the effects of artificial vegetation. Results from this study revealed that artificial vegetation increases the clay content and encourages the development of biological curst. The fine particles (i.e. clay and humus) of the surface layer of the sand dunes increased more than 15% ten years after the artificial vegetation planting, and further increased up to 20% after one hundred years. The interaction of clay, humus, and other fine particles formed the soil aggregate structure. Meanwhile, under the vegetation effect from the microbes, algae, and moss, the sand particles stuck together and a biological crust formed. The interconnection of the partial crusts caused the sand dunes to gradually be fixed as a whole. Maintaining the integrity of the biological crust plays a vital role in fixing the sand under the crust. The precipitation and temperature conditions in the Mugetan sandy land could satisfy the demand of biological crust formation and development. If rational vegetation measures are adopted in the region with moving sand dunes, the lichen-moss-algae biological curst will form after ten years, but it still takes more time for the sand dunes to reach the nutrient enrichment state. If the biological curst is partly broken due to human activities, reasonable closure and restoration measures can shorten the restoration time of the biological crust.

  7. Biological Phosphorus Release and Uptake Under Alternating Anaerobic and Anoxic Conditions In a Fixed-Film Reactor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens; Strube, Rune

    1994-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated in a fixed-film reactor with alternating anaerobic and anoxic conditions. The tests showed that biological phosphorus removal can be obtained in a fixed-film reactor with nitrate as oxidising agent. In the anaerobic period, 0.52 mg of PO4-P...

  8. Visualization and identification of health space, based on personalized molecular phenotype and treatment response to relevant underlying biological processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwman, J.; Vogels, J.T.W.E.; Wopereis, S.; Rubingh, C.M.; Bijlsma, S.; Ommen, B. van

    2012-01-01

    Background: Being able to visualize multivariate biological treatment effects can be insightful. However the axes in visualizations are often solely defined by variation and thus have no biological meaning. This makes the effects of treatment difficult to interpret. Methods: A statistical

  9. Lead-induced SCC of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1998-07-01

    Laboratory stress corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments developed to simulate representative BNGS-A steam generator (SG) crevice chemistries have been used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3-9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100 to 500 ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNGS-A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix covering three temperatures (280, 304 and 315 degrees C), three strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%) and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tubesheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests but some cracking/grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of the tubing. This heat treatment, confirmed to have resulted in sensitization, promoted

  10. Lead-induced stress-corrosion cracking of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1999-03-01

    Laboratory stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments were developed to simulate crevice chemistries representative of Bruce Nuclear Generating Station A (BNPD A) steam generators (SGs); these test environments were used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near-neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3 to 9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100- to 500-ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNPD A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix, covering 3 temperatures (280 degrees C, 304 degrees C and 315 degrees C), 3 strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%), and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tube sheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than at 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests, but some cracking-grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of

  11. [Impact of biologically important anions on reactive oxygen species formation in water under the effect of non-ionizing physical agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudkov, S V; Ivanov, V E; Karp, O É; Chernikov, A V; Belosludtsev, K N; Bobylev, A G; Astashev, M E; Gapeev, A B; Bruskov, V I

    2014-01-01

    The influence of biologically relevant anions (succinate, acetate, citrate, chloride, bicarbonate, hydroorthophosphate, dihydroorthophosphate, nitrite, nitrate) on the formation of hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals in water was studied under the effect of non-ionizing radiation: heat, laser light with a wavelength of 632.8 nm, corresponding to the maximum absorption of molecular oxygen, and electromagnetic radiation of extremely high frequencies. It has been established that various anions may both inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species and increase it. Bicarbonate and sulfate anions included in the biological fluids' and medicinal mineral waters have significant, but opposite effects on reactive oxygen species production. Different molecular mechanisms of reactive oxygen species formation are considered under the action of the investigated physical factors involving these anions, which may influence the biological processes by signal-regulatory manner and provide a healing effect in physical therapy.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Acquiring Plausible Predications from MEDLINE by Clustering MeSH Annotations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miñarro-Giménez, Jose Antonio; Kreuzthaler, Markus; Bernhardt-Melischnig, Johannes; Martínez-Costa, Catalina; Schulz, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The massive accumulation of biomedical knowledge is reflected by the growth of the literature database MEDLINE with over 23 million bibliographic records. All records are manually indexed by MeSH descriptors, many of them refined by MeSH subheadings. We use subheading information to cluster types of MeSH descriptor co-occurrences in MEDLINE by processing co-occurrence information provided by the UMLS. The goal is to infer plausible predicates to each resulting cluster. In an initial experiment this was done by grouping disease-pharmacologic substance co-occurrences into six clusters. Then, a domain expert manually performed the assignment of meaningful predicates to the clusters. The mean accuracy of the best ten generated biomedical facts of each cluster was 85%. This result supports the evidence of the potential of MeSH subheadings for extracting plausible medical predications from MEDLINE.

  16. Spelling in oral deaf and hearing dyslexic children: A comparison of phonologically plausible errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, P; Shergold, Z; Kyle, F E; Herman, R

    2014-11-01

    A written single word spelling to dictation test and a single word reading test were given to 68 severe-profoundly oral deaf 10-11-year-old children and 20 hearing children with a diagnosis of dyslexia. The literacy scores of the deaf children and the hearing children with dyslexia were lower than expected for children of their age and did not differ from each other. Three quarters of the spelling errors of hearing children with dyslexia compared with just over half the errors of the oral deaf group were phonologically plausible. Expressive vocabulary and speech intelligibility predicted the percentage of phonologically plausible errors in the deaf group only. Implications of findings for the phonological decoding self-teaching model and for supporting literacy development are discussed.

  17. On the plausible association between environmental conditions and human eye damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feretis, Elias; Theodorakopoulos, Panagiotis; Varotsos, Costas; Efstathiou, Maria; Tzanis, Christos; Xirou, Tzina; Alexandridou, Nancy; Aggelou, Michael

    2002-01-01

    The increase in solar ultraviolet radiation can have various direct and indirect effects on human health, like the incidence of ocular damage. Data of eye damage in residents of three suburban regions in Greece and in two groups of monks/nuns and fishermen are examined here. The statistics performed on these data provides new information about the plausible association between increased levels of solar ultraviolet radiation, air-pollution at ground level, and the development of ocular defects.

  18. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian’s Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Sigurd̵sson, Steinn

    2016-09-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the interstellar medium (ISM), natural and artificial material orbiting Boyajian's Star, an intervening object with a large disk, and variations in Boyajian's Star itself. We find the ISM and intervening disk models more plausible than the other natural models.

  19. What happened (and what didn't): Discourse constraints on encoding of plausible alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraundorf, Scott H; Benjamin, Aaron S; Watson, Duane G

    2013-10-01

    Three experiments investigated how font emphasis influences reading and remembering discourse. Although past work suggests that contrastive pitch contours benefit memory by promoting encoding of salient alternatives, it is unclear both whether this effect generalizes to other forms of linguistic prominence and how the set of alternatives is constrained. Participants read discourses in which some true propositions had salient alternatives (e.g., British scientists found the endangered monkey when the discourse also mentioned French scientists) and completed a recognition memory test. In Experiments 1 and 2, font emphasis in the initial presentation increased participants' ability to later reject false statements about salient alternatives but not about unmentioned items (e.g., Portuguese scientists). In Experiment 3, font emphasis helped reject false statements about plausible alternatives, but not about less plausible alternatives that were nevertheless established in the discourse. These results suggest readers encode a narrow set of only those alternatives plausible in the particular discourse. They also indicate that multiple manipulations of linguistic prominence, not just prosody, can lead to consideration of alternatives.

  20. Analysis of multi-domain hypothetical proteins containing iron-sulphur clusters and fad ligands reveal rieske dioxygenase activity suggesting their plausible roles in bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyanarayanan, Nitish; Nagendra, Holenarasipur Gundurao

    2012-01-01

    'Conserved hypothetical' proteins pose a challenge not just for functional genomics, but also to biology in general. As long as there are hundreds of conserved proteins with unknown function in model organisms such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, any discussion towards a 'complete' understanding of these biological systems will remain a wishful thinking. Insilico approaches exhibit great promise towards attempts that enable appreciating the plausible roles of these hypothetical proteins. Among the majority of genomic proteins, two-thirds in unicellular organisms and more than 80% in metazoa, are multi-domain proteins, created as a result of gene duplication events. Aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases, also called Rieske dioxygenases (RDOs), are class of multi-domain proteins that catalyze the initial step in microbial aerobic degradation of many aromatic compounds. Investigations here address the computational characterization of hypothetical proteins containing Ferredoxin and Flavodoxin signatures. Consensus sequence of each class of oxidoreductase was obtained by a phylogenetic analysis, involving clustering methods based on evolutionary relationship. A synthetic sequence was developed by combining the consensus, which was used as the basis to search for their homologs via BLAST. The exercise yielded 129 multidomain hypothetical proteins containing both 2Fe-2S (Ferredoxin) and FNR (Flavodoxin) domains. In the current study, 40 proteins with N-terminus 2Fe-2S domain and C-terminus FNR domain are characterized, through homology modelling and docking exercises which suggest dioxygenase activity indicating their plausible roles in degradation of aromatic moieties.

  1. Biological Phosphorus Release and Uptake Under Alternating Anaerobic and Anoxic Conditions In a Fixed-Film Reactor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens; Strube, Rune

    1994-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated in a fixed-film reactor with alternating anaerobic and anoxic conditions. The tests showed that biological phosphorus removal can be obtained in a fixed-film reactor with nitrate as oxidising agent. In the anaerobic period, 0.52 mg of PO4-P...... potassium taken up and phosphate taken up in the anoxic phase was determined to be 0.36 mg K/mg P. The phosphorus concentration in the sludge was determined at 8–10% of dry solids....

  2. Understanding Karma Police: The Perceived Plausibility of Noun Compounds as Predicted by Distributional Models of Semantic Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Fritz; Marelli, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Noun compounds, consisting of two nouns (the head and the modifier) that are combined into a single concept, differ in terms of their plausibility: school bus is a more plausible compound than saddle olive. The present study investigates which factors influence the plausibility of attested and novel noun compounds. Distributional Semantic Models (DSMs) are used to obtain formal (vector) representations of word meanings, and compositional methods in DSMs are employed to obtain such representations for noun compounds. From these representations, different plausibility measures are computed. Three of those measures contribute in predicting the plausibility of noun compounds: The relatedness between the meaning of the head noun and the compound (Head Proximity), the relatedness between the meaning of modifier noun and the compound (Modifier Proximity), and the similarity between the head noun and the modifier noun (Constituent Similarity). We find non-linear interactions between Head Proximity and Modifier Proximity, as well as between Modifier Proximity and Constituent Similarity. Furthermore, Constituent Similarity interacts non-linearly with the familiarity with the compound. These results suggest that a compound is perceived as more plausible if it can be categorized as an instance of the category denoted by the head noun, if the contribution of the modifier to the compound meaning is clear but not redundant, and if the constituents are sufficiently similar in cases where this contribution is not clear. Furthermore, compounds are perceived to be more plausible if they are more familiar, but mostly for cases where the relation between the constituents is less clear. PMID:27732599

  3. Does grazing of cover crops impact biologically active soil C and N fractions under inversion and no tillage management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops are a key component of conservation cropping systems. They can also be a key component of integrated crop-livestock systems by offering high-quality forage during short periods between cash crops. The impact of cattle grazing on biologically active soil C and N fractions has not receiv...

  4. A biological mechanism for Bayesian feature selection: Weight decay and raising the LASSO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Patrick; Hollensen, Paul; Krigolson, Olav; Trappenberg, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    Biological systems are capable of learning that certain stimuli are valuable while ignoring the many that are not, and thus perform feature selection. In machine learning, one effective feature selection approach is the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) form of regularization, which is equivalent to assuming a Laplacian prior distribution on the parameters. We review how such Bayesian priors can be implemented in gradient descent as a form of weight decay, which is a biologically plausible mechanism for Bayesian feature selection. In particular, we describe a new prior that offsets or "raises" the Laplacian prior distribution. We evaluate this alongside the Gaussian and Cauchy priors in gradient descent using a generic regression task where there are few relevant and many irrelevant features. We find that raising the Laplacian leads to less prediction error because it is a better model of the underlying distribution. We also consider two biologically relevant online learning tasks, one synthetic and one modeled after the perceptual expertise task of Krigolson et al. (2009). Here, raising the Laplacian prior avoids the fast erosion of relevant parameters over the period following training because it only allows small weights to decay. This better matches the limited loss of association seen between days in the human data of the perceptual expertise task. Raising the Laplacian prior thus results in a biologically plausible form of Bayesian feature selection that is effective in biologically relevant contexts.

  5. Effective Teacher Practice on the Plausibility of Human-Induced Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niepold, F.; Sinatra, G. M.; Lombardi, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change education programs in the United States seek to promote a deeper understanding of the science of climate change, behavior change and stewardship, and support informed decision making by individuals, organizations, and institutions--all of which are summarized under the term 'climate literacy.' The ultimate goal of climate literacy is to enable actors to address climate change, both in terms of stabilizing and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, but also an increased capacity to prepare for the consequences and opportunities of climate change. However, the long-term nature of climate change and the required societal response involve the changing students' ideas about controversial scientific issues which presents unique challenges for educators (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010; Sinatra & Mason, 2008). This session will explore how the United States educational efforts focus on three distinct, but related, areas: the science of climate change, the human-climate interaction, and using climate education to promote informed decision making. Each of these approaches are represented in the Atlas of Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007) and in the conceptual framework for science education developed at the National Research Council (NRC) in 2012. Instruction to develop these fundamental thinking skills (e.g., critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal) has been called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2013), an innovative and research based way to address climate change education within the decentralized U.S. education system. However, the promise of the NGSS is that students will have more time to build mastery on the subjects, but the form of that instructional practice has been show to be critical. Research has show that effective instructional activities that promote evaluation of evidence improve students' understanding and acceptance toward the scientifically accepted model of human

  6. A Novel Discovery of Growth Process for Ag Nanowires and Plausible Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiejun Zhu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel growth process of silver nanowires was revealed by tracing the morphology evolution of Ag nanostructures fabricated by an improved polyol process. A mixture of Ag nanowires and nanoparticles was obtained with the usage of PVP-K25 (MW = 38,000. The products sampled at different reaction time were studied in detail using UV-visible absorption spectra and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. An interesting phenomenon unknown in the past was observed where Ag nanoparticles undergo an important dissolution-recrystallization process and Ag nanowires are formed at the expense of the preformed Ag nanoparticles. A plausible novel growth mechanism for the silver nanowires was proposed.

  7. ‘One of the Challenges that Can Plausibly Be Raised Against Them’?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtermann, Jakob v. H.

    2017-01-01

    International criminal tribunals (ICTs) are epistemic engines in the sense that they find (or claim to find) factual truths about such past events that qualify as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The value of this kind of knowledge would seem to be beyond dispute. Yet, in general...... in law is intimately connected to ordinary truth. Truth-finding capacity therefore does belong in legitimacy debates as a challenge that can plausibly be raised against them. This, in turn makes it relevant, in future research, to map, analyse and interrelate the various critiques that have been launched...

  8. Higher Data Quality by Online Data-Entry and Automated Plausibility Checks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietragalla, Barbara; Sigg, Christian; Güsewell, Sabine; Clot, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    Long-term phenological observations are now recognized as important indicators for climate change impact studies. With the increased need for phenological data, there is also an increased need for higher data quality. Since 1951 MeteoSwiss has been operating a national phenological observation network. Currently the network consists of about 150 active stations observing up to 69 different phenophases. An important aim of a running three years project at MeteoSwiss is a further increase of the quality of the collected data. The higher data quality will be achieved by an automated procedure performing plausibility checks on the data and by online data-entry. Further measures such as intensified observer instructions and collection of more detailed metadata also contribute to a high data quality standard. The plausibility checks include the natural order of the phenophases within a species and also between different species (with regard to possible natural deviation). Additionally it will be checked if the observed date differs by less than two standard deviations from the average for this phenophase at the altitude of the station. A value outside of these limits is not necessarily a false value, since occurrences of extreme values will be beyond these limits. Therefore, within this check of the limits, the timing of the season of the respective year will also be taken into account. In case of an implausible value a comparison with other stations of the same region and sea level is proposed. A further possibility of data quality control could be to model the different phenophases statistically and to use this model for estimating the likelihood of observed values. An overall exploratory data analysis is currently performed providing a solid basis to implement the best possible methods for the plausibility checks. Important advantages of online data-entry are the near real-time availability of the data as well as the avoidance of various kinds of typical mistakes

  9. Comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia-associated loci highlights ion channel pathways and biologically plausible candidate causal genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan; Lent, Samantha; Sullivan, Patrick F; O'Donovan, Michael C; Franke, Lude; Hirschhorn, Joel N

    2016-03-15

    Over 100 associated genetic loci have been robustly associated with schizophrenia. Gene prioritization and pathway analysis have focused on a priori hypotheses and thus may have been unduly influenced by prior assumptions and missed important causal genes and pathways. Using a data-driven approach, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery rates genes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P = 0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4.56, P = 5.00 × 10(-4); odds ratio 2.60, P = 0.049).The authors wish it to be known that, in their opinion, the first 2 authors should be regarded as joint First Author.

  10. Comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia-associated loci highlights ion channel pathways and biologically plausible candidate causal genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan;

    2016-01-01

    Over 100 associated genetic loci have been robustly associated with schizophrenia. Gene prioritization and pathway analysis have focused on a priori hypotheses and thus may have been unduly influenced by prior assumptions and missed important causal genes and pathways. Using a data-driven approach...... validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P=0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4......, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery ratesgenes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We...

  11. Emergent structured transition from variation to repetition in a biologically-plausible model of learning in basal ganglia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashvin eShah

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Often, when animals encounter an unexpected sensory event, they transition from executing a variety of movements to repeating the movement(s that may have caused the event. According to a recent theory of action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006, repetition allows the animal to represent those movements, and the outcome, as an action for later recruitment. The transition from variation to repetition often follows a non-random, structured, pattern. While the structure of the pattern can be explained by sophisticated cognitive mechanisms, simpler mechanisms based on dopaminergic modulation of basal ganglia (BG activity are thought to underlie action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006. In this paper we ask the question: can simple BG-mediated mechanisms account for a structured transition from variation to repetition, or are more sophisticated cognitive mechanisms always necessary?To address this question, we present a computational model of BG-mediated biasing of behavior. In our model, unlike most other models of BG function, the BG biases behaviour through modulation of cortical response to excitation; many possible movements are represented by the cortical area; and excitation to the cortical area is topographically-organized. We subject the model to simple reaching tasks, inspired by behavioral studies, in which a location to which to reach must be selected. Locations within a target area elicit a reinforcement signal. A structured transition from variation to repetition emerges from simple BG-mediated biasing of cortical response to excitation. We show how the structured pattern influences behavior in simple and complicated tasks. We also present analyses that describe the structured transition from variation to repetition due to BG-mediated biasing and from biasing that would be expected from a type of cognitive biasing, allowing us to compare behaviour resulting from these types of biasing and make connections with future behavioural experiments.

  12. Proteins Encoded in Genomic Regions Associated with Immune-Mediated Disease Physically Interact and Suggest Underlying Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rossin, Elizabeth J.; Hansen, Kasper Lage; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2011-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have defined over 150 genomic regions unequivocally containing variation predisposing to immune-mediated disease. Inferring disease biology from these observations, however, hinges on our ability to discover the molecular processes being perturbed by these r......Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have defined over 150 genomic regions unequivocally containing variation predisposing to immune-mediated disease. Inferring disease biology from these observations, however, hinges on our ability to discover the molecular processes being perturbed......-immune traits to assess its applicability to complex traits in general. We find that genes in loci associated to height and lipid levels assemble into significantly connected networks but did not detect excess connectivity among Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) loci beyond chance. Taken together, our results constitute...

  13. One-pot synthesis of tetrazole-1,2,5,6-tetrahydronicotinonitriles and cholinesterase inhibition: Probing the plausible reaction mechanism via computational studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameed, Abdul; Zehra, Syeda Tazeen; Abbas, Saba; Nisa, Riffat Un; Mahmood, Tariq; Ayub, Khurshid; Al-Rashida, Mariya; Bajorath, Jürgen; Khan, Khalid Mohammed; Iqbal, Jamshed

    2016-04-01

    In the present study, one-pot synthesis of 1H-tetrazole linked 1,2,5,6-tetrahydronicotinonitriles under solvent-free conditions have been carried out in the presence of tetra-n-butyl ammonium fluoride trihydrated (TBAF) as catalyst and solvent. Computational studies have been conducted to elaborate two plausible mechanistic pathways of this one-pot reaction. Moreover, the synthesized compounds were screened for cholinesterases (acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase) inhibition which are consider to be major malefactors of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to find lead compounds for further research in AD therapy.

  14. Chemical and biological properties of phosphorus-fertilized soil under legume and grass cover (Cerrado region, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fernando Pereira Souza

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of cover crops has been suggested as an effective method to maintain and/or increase the organic matter content, while maintaining and/or enhancing the soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The fertility of Cerrado soils is low and, consequently, phosphorus levels as well. Phosphorus is required at every metabolic stage of the plant, as it plays a role in the processes of protein and energy synthesis and influences the photosynthetic process. This study evaluated the influence of cover crops and phosphorus rates on soil chemical and biological properties after two consecutive years of common bean. The study analyzed an Oxisol in Selvíria (Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, in a randomized block, split plot design, in a total of 24 treatments with three replications. The plot treatments consisted of cover crops (millet, pigeon pea, crotalaria, velvet bean, millet + pigeon pea, millet + crotalaria, and millet + velvet bean and one plot was left fallow. The subplots were represented by phosphorus rates applied as monoammonium phosphate (0, 60 and 90 kg ha-1 P2O5. In August 2011, the soil chemical properties were evaluated (pH, organic matter, phosphorus, potential acidity, cation exchange capacity, and base saturation as well as biological variables (carbon of released CO2, microbial carbon, metabolic quotient and microbial quotient. After two years of cover crops in rotation with common bean, the cover crop biomass had not altered the soil chemical properties and barely influenced the microbial activity. The biomass production of millet and crotalaria (monoculture or intercropped was highest. The biological variables were sensitive and responded to increasing phosphorus rates with increases in microbial carbon and reduction of the metabolic quotient.

  15. Physical and Biological Processes Underlying the Sudden Appearance of a Red-Tide Surface Patch in the Nearshore

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    proficiency relative to rate of the vertical movement of the isotherms. Typical 23 instantaneous swimming speeds of L. polyedrum in the laboratory...could have caused the downward movement of 〈z〉Chla between 1200 and 1500 h. The 2 potential Chl a vertical spreading rate owing to random...fluorescence in marine centric diatoms: Responses of chloroplasts to light and nutrient stress, Marine Biology, 23(1), 1432-1793. Kullenberg, G. E

  16. Biological nitrogen fixation and nutrient release from litter of the guachapele leguminous tree under pure and mixed plantation with eucalyptus.

    OpenAIRE

    Fabiano de Carvalho Balieiro; Bruno José Rodrigues Alves; Marcos Gervásio Pereira; Sérgio Miana de Faria; Avílio Antônio Franco; Campello,Eduardo F.C.

    2008-01-01

    Pseudosamanea guachapele (guachapele), a nitrogen fixing leguminous tree, is an alternative for mixed forest plantations in the tropics. As little information is available for guachapele (Mimosoideae) in mixed plantation with eucalyptus considering the Brazilian edaphoclimatic conditions, an experiment was carried out to evaluate the contribution of biological nitrogen fixation to guachapele and leaf litter decomposition rates and nutrient release of eucalyptus and guachapele residues (pure a...

  17. The Sarrazin effect: the presence of absurd statements in conspiracy theories makes canonical information less plausible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Marius Hans; Auer, Nikolas; Ortlieb, Stefan A; Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers-extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are typical ingredients of conspiracy theories. While individual differences are a common research topic concerning conspiracy theories, the role of extreme statements in the process of acquiring and passing on conspiratorial stories has not been regarded in an experimental design so far. We identified six morphological components of conspiracy theories empirically. On the basis of these content categories a set of narrative elements for a 9/11 story was compiled. These elements varied systematically in terms of conspiratorial allegation, i.e., they contained official statements concerning the events of 9/11, statements alleging to a conspiracy limited in time and space as well as extreme statements indicating an all-encompassing cover-up. Using the method of narrative construction, 30 people were given a set of cards with these statements and asked to construct the course of events of 9/11 they deem most plausible. When extreme statements were present in the set, the resulting stories were more conspiratorial; the number of official statements included in the narrative dropped significantly, whereas the self-assessment of the story's plausibility did not differ between conditions. This indicates that blatant statements in a pool of information foster the synthesis of conspiracy theories on an individual level. By relating these findings to one of Germany's most successful (and controversial) non-fiction books, we refer to the real-world dangers of this effect.

  18. A Facile Synthesis of Arylazonicotinates for Dyeing Polyester Fabrics under Microwave Irradiation and Their Biological Activity Profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saleh M. Al-Mousawi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available A as textile dyes and the fastness properties of the dyed samples were measured. Most of the dyed fabrics tested displayed very good washing and perspiration fastness and series of 2-hydroxy- and 2-amino-6-substituted-5-arylazonicotinate monoazo compounds 7a–e and 9a–c were prepared via condensation of 3-oxo-3-substituted-2-arylhydrazonals 2a–e with active methylene nitriles 3a–d using microwave irradiation as an energy source. These substances were then tested moderate light fastness. Finally, the biological activity of the synthesized compounds against Gram positive bacteria, Gram negative bacteria and yeast were evaluated.

  19. A facile synthesis of arylazonicotinates for dyeing polyester fabrics under microwave irradiation and their biological activity profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Mousawi, Saleh M; El-Apasery, Morsy A; Mahmoud, Huda M

    2012-09-27

    A as textile dyes and the fastness properties of the dyed samples were measured. Most of the dyed fabrics tested displayed very good washing and perspiration fastness and series of 2-hydroxy- and 2-amino-6-substituted-5-arylazonicotinate monoazo compounds 7a-e and 9a-c were prepared via condensation of 3-oxo-3-substituted-2-arylhydrazonals 2a-e with active methylene nitriles 3a-d using microwave irradiation as an energy source. These substances were then tested moderate light fastness. Finally, the biological activity of the synthesized compounds against gram positive bacteria, gram negative bacteria and yeast were evaluated.

  20. Biological de-activation of granular formulation of a carbamate insecticide Cartap in water under laboratory conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Khalid Abdullah; Ayat U. Awank; Masood K. Khattak; Sumbal Yasmin

    2009-01-01

    Cartap 4% (Padan 4G™) at different concentrations was evaluated for its biological deactivation in laboratory-conditions. The insecticide at 1.88 ppm or above concentrations showed significant increase in percent of dead fingerlings up to 46 days insecticide aging as compared to the control, while 0.8 ppm and below proved to be sub-lethal concentrations. The LD50 at 0-day (fresh solution) was 0.997 ppm, which gradually rose to 2.074 ppm up to the day 46. The chemical attained half-life in 44....

  1. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain processes biological and non-biological movements in distinct neural circuits. Biological motion, in contrast to non-biological motion, refers to active movements of living beings. Aim of our experiment was to investigate the mechanisms underlying mental simulation of these two movement types. Subjects had to…

  2. Effcacy of different biological control agents against major postharvest pathogens of grapes under room temperature storage conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramu SENTHIL

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 14 false false false IT ZH-TW X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Grapes were treated post harvest with a variety of biological agents to determine their effcacy in reducing yield loss. The agents Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Trichoderma and yeast isolates were individually screened against a number of postharvest pathogens including Aspergillus carbonarius, Penicillum expansum, and Fusarium moniliforme. B. subtilis strains EPC-8 and EPCO-16 showed high mycelial growth suppression of A. carbonarius and P. expansum  in vitro. The fungal antagonist Trichoderma viride strain (Tv Tvm was the most effective, inhibiting mycelial growth by 88.8 per cent. The biological control agents were tested in pre, post and combined inoculation studies against postharvest pathogens of grapes.  In the pre inoculation, B. subtilis (EPC-8 reduced the disease incidence of A. carbonarius causing rot, T. harzianum (Th Co was effective against P. expansum, and T. viride (Tv Tvm was effective against F. moniliforme. The same trend of effectiveness was also found in the post-inoculation and combined inoculation tests.

  3. Induced Folding Under Membrane Mimetic and Acidic Conditions Implies Undiscovered Biological Roles of Prokaryotic Ubiquitin-Like Protein Pup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Kaiqin; Tu, Xiaoming; Zhang, Xuecheng; Shang, Qiang; Liao, Shanhui; Yu, Jigang; Zhang, Jiahai

    2016-01-01

    Ubiquitin-like proteins play important roles in diverse biological processes. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pup (prokaryotic ubiquitin-like protein), a functional homologue of eukaryotic ubiquitin, interacts with the proteasome ATPase subunit Mpa to recognize and unfold substrates, and then translocate them into the proteasome core for degradation. Previous studies revealed that, Pup, an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP), adopts a helical structure upon binding to the N-terminal coiled-coil domain of Mpa, at its disordered C-terminal region. In the present study, using circular dichroism (CD), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), we show that membrane mimetic and acidic conditions also induce Pup to adopt helical conformations. Moreover, at low pH, Pup, via both of its N- and C-terminal regions, binds to Mpa on sites from the N-terminal region in addition to the C-terminal region of the coiled-coil domain. Our results imply Pup may play undiscovered roles in some biological processes e.g. those involve in membrane.

  4. Effect of Chemical and Biological Phosphorus on Antioxidant Enzymes Activity and Some Biochemical Traits of Spring Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L. under Water Deficit Stress Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Heshmati

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available To study the effects of biological and chemical phosphorus on antioxidant enzyme activity in safflower under water deficit conditions, an experiment was conducted in 2012 at the Research Field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran. The experimental design was a split-factorial with three replicates. The main factor was the three levels of irrigation treatment: full irrigation (irrigation up to 50% soil moisture depletion relative to field capacity, water stress in the vegetative and flowering stages (irrigation up to 75% soil moisture depletion relative to field capacity. The sub-factor was the six treatments resulting from three levels of phosphate chemical fertilizer (0, 50, and 100 kg ha-1 Triple Super Phosphate, each at two levels of Barvar-2 bio-fertilizer (with and without inoculation with Barvar-2. According to the results of our experiment, antioxidant enzyme activity is affected by high levels of chemical phosphorus when there is no inoculation with biofertilizer (Barvar 2 under water stress in the vegetative and flowering stages. The results showed that inoculation with Barvar 2 in the absence of added chemical phosphorus increases the catalase activity and soluble protein concentration under drought stress in the vegetative and flowering stages. Also, using chemical phosphorus followed by Barvar 2 led to increase in the polyphenol oxidase activity and superoxide dismutase activity under these conditions. Inoculation with Barvar 2 in the absence of added chemical phosphorus significantly decreased the amount of malondialdehyde under stress condition at the flowering stage. It was demonstrated that inoculation with a biological fertilizer (Barvar 2 followed by application of a chemical phosphorus fertilizer under drought conditions could decrease the detrimental effects of drought stress on spring safflower.

  5. Comparative biology of two populations of Lutzomyia umbratilis (Diptera: Psychodidae) of Central Amazonia, Brazil, under laboratory conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justiniano, S C B; Chagas, A C; Pessoa, F A C; Queiroz, R G

    2004-05-01

    Lutzomyia umbratilis is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania guyanensis in northern South America. It has been found naturally infected with this species of Leishmania only east of the Rio Negro and north of the Rio Amazonas. However, populations of this sand fly species are also present in areas south of the Amazon river system, which may act as a geographical barrier to the Leishmania guyanensis cycle. With the aim of looking for possible biological differences between populations of L. umbratilis from each side of this river system, their biology in the laboratory was investigated. Progenitors collected on tree bases in Manaus and Manacapuru (east and west, respectively, of the Rio Negro) were reared in the laboratory. Results from observations of the life cycle, fecundity, fertility, and adult longevity at 27 degrees C and 92% RH were analyzed by descriptive statistics and z, t, U, and chi2 tests. Although the Manaus and Manacapuru colonies showed a longer developmental time than most Lutzomyia species reared at similar temperatures, length of time of egg and 4th instar larva of the two populations differed significantly (p < 0.01). Females of the latter retained significantly (p < 0.001) less mature oocytes, and the general productivity (% adults from a known number of eggs) of the colony was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than that of the former. These results show that the L. umbratilis population of Manaus is more productive, and thus a better candidate for future mass-rearing attempts. The two populations differ in their life cycle, fecundity, fertility, adult longevity, and emergence. These differences may reflect some divergence of intrinsic biological features evolved as a result of their geographical isolation by the Rio Negro. It is expected that further investigations on morphometry, cuticular hydrocarbon, isoenzyme, molecular and chromossomal analyses, infection, and cross-mating experiments with these and other allopatric

  6. Comparative biology of two populations of Lutzomyia umbratilis (Diptera: Psychodidae of Central Amazonia, Brazil, under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. C. B. Justiniano

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia umbratilis is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania guyanensis in northern South America. It has been found naturally infected with this species of Leishmania only east of the Rio Negro and north of the Rio Amazonas. However, populations of this sand fly species are also present in areas south of the Amazon river system, which may act as a geographical barrier to the Leishmania guyanensis cycle. With the aim of looking for possible biological differences between populations of L. umbratilis from each side of this river system, their biology in the laboratory was investigated. Progenitors collected on tree bases in Manaus and Manacapuru (east and west, respectively, of the Rio Negro were reared in the laboratory. Results from observations of the life cycle, fecundity, fertility, and adult longevity at 27ºC and 92% RH were analyzed by descriptive statistics and z, t, U, and chi2 tests. Although the Manaus and Manacapuru colonies showed a longer developmental time than most Lutzomyia species reared at similar temperatures, length of time of egg and 4th instar larva of the two populations differed significantly (p < 0.01. Females of the latter retained significantly (p < 0.001 less mature oocytes, and the general productivity (% adults from a known number of eggs of the colony was significantly (p < 0.01 higher than that of the former. These results show that the L. umbratilis population of Manaus is more productive, and thus a better candidate for future mass-rearing attempts. The two populations differ in their life cycle, fecundity, fertility, adult longevity, and emergence. These differences may reflect some divergence of intrinsic biological features evolved as a result of their geographical isolation by the Rio Negro. It is expected that further investigations on morphometry, cuticular hydrocarbon, isoenzyme, molecular and chromossomal analyses, infection, and cross-mating experiments with these and other

  7. The development of the hardware for studying biological clock systems under microgravity conditions, using scorpions as animal models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafini, L.; Viganò, W.; Donati, A.; Porciani, M.; Zolesi, V.; Schulze-Varnholt, D.; Manieri, P.; El-Din Sallam, A.; Schmäh, M.; Horn, E. R.

    2007-02-01

    The study of internal clock systems of scorpions in weightless conditions is the goal of the SCORPI experiment. SCORPI was selected for flight on the International Space Station (ISS) and will be mounted in the European facility BIOLAB, the European Space Agency (ESA) laboratory designed to support biological experiments on micro-organisms, cells, tissue, cultures, small plants and small invertebrates. This paper outlines the main features of a breadboard designed and developed in order to allow the analysis of critical aspects of the experiment. It is a complete tool to simulate the experiment mission on ground and it can be customised, adapted and tuned to the scientific requirements. The paper introduces the SCORPI-T experiment which represents an important precursor for the success of the SCORPI on BIOLAB. The capabilities of the hardware developed show its potential use for future similar experiments in space.

  8. Biological de-activation of granular formulation of a carbamate insecticide Cartap in water under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid Abdullah

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Cartap 4% (Padan 4G™ at different concentrations was evaluated for its biological deactivation in laboratory-conditions. The insecticide at 1.88 ppm or above concentrations showed significant increase in percent of dead fingerlings up to 46 days insecticide aging as compared to the control, while 0.8 ppm and below proved to be sub-lethal concentrations. The LD50 at 0-day (fresh solution was 0.997 ppm, which gradually rose to 2.074 ppm up to the day 46. The chemical attained half-life in 44.89 days. Being a very slowly degrading insecticide, Cartap is not desirable in rice-fish culture and a threat to aquatic fauna.

  9. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald van den Berg

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  10. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berg, Ronald; Roerdink, Jos B T M; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2010-01-22

    An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  11. Plausible families of compact objects with a Non Local Equation of State

    CERN Document Server

    Hernández, H

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the plausibility of some models emerging from an algorithm devised to generate a one-parameter family of interior solutions for the Einstein equations. It is explored how their physical variables change as the family-parameter varies. The models studied correspond to anisotropic spherical matter configurations having a non local equation of state. This particular type of equation of state with no causality problems provides, at a given point, the radial pressure not only as a function of the density but as a functional of the enclosed matter distribution. We have found that there are several model-independent tendencies as the parameter increases: the equation of state tends to be stiffer and the total mass becomes half of its external radius. Profiting from the concept of cracking of materials in General Relativity, we obtain that those models become more stable as the family parameter increases.

  12. Signature of Plausible Accreting Supermassive Black Holes in Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagik Ter-Kazarian

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We address the neutrino radiation of plausible accreting supermassive black holes closely linking to the 5 nuclear components of galaxy samples of Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266. We predict a time delay before neutrino emission of the same scale as the age of the Universe. The ultrahigh energy neutrinos are produced in superdense protomatter medium via simple (quark or pionic reactions or modified URCA processes (G. Gamow was inspired to name the process URCA after the name of a casino in Rio de Janeiro. The resulting neutrino fluxes for quark reactions are ranging from to , where is the opening parameter. For pionic and modified URCA reactions, the fluxes are and , respectively. These fluxes are highly beamed along the plane of accretion disk, peaked at ultrahigh energies, and collimated in smaller opening angle .

  13. Plausible role of nanoparticle contamination in the synthesis and properties of organic electronic materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananikov, Valentine P.

    2016-12-01

    Traceless transition metal catalysis (Pd, Ni, Cu, etc.) is very difficult to achieve. Metal contamination in the synthesized products is unavoidable and the most important questions are: How to control metal impurities? What amount of metal impurities can be tolerated? What is the influence of metal impurities? In this brief review, the plausible origins of nanoparticle contamination are discussed in the framework of catalytic synthesis of organic electronic materials. Key factors responsible for increasing the probability of contamination are considered from the point of view of catalytic reaction mechanisms. The purity of the catalyst may greatly affect the molecular weight of a polymer, reaction yield, selectivity and several other parameters. Metal contamination in the final polymeric products may induce some changes in the electric conductivity, charge transport properties, photovoltaic performance and other important parameters.

  14. Complex adaptive HIV/AIDS risk reduction: Plausible implications from findings in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burman, Chris J; Aphane, Marota A

    2016-05-16

    This article emphasises that when working with complex adaptive systems it is possible to stimulate new social practices and/or cognitive perspectives that contribute to risk reduction, associated with reducing aggregate community viral loads. The process of achieving this is highly participatory and is methodologically possible because evidence of 'attractors' that influence the social practices can be identified using qualitative research techniques. Using findings from Limpopo Province, South Africa, we argue that working with 'wellness attractors' and increasing their presence within the HIV/AIDS landscape could influence aggregate community viral loads. While the analysis that is presented is unconventional, it is plausible that this perspective may hold potential to develop a biosocial response - which the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has called for - that reinforces the biomedical opportunities that are now available to achieve the ambition of ending AIDS by 2030.

  15. Reciprocity-based reasons for benefiting research participants: most fail, the most plausible is problematic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Neema

    2014-11-01

    A common reason for giving research participants post-trial access (PTA) to the trial intervention appeals to reciprocity, the principle, stated most generally, that if one person benefits a second, the second should reciprocate: benefit the first in return. Many authors consider it obvious that reciprocity supports PTA. Yet their reciprocity principles differ, with many authors apparently unaware of alternative versions. This article is the first to gather the range of reciprocity principles. It finds that: (1) most are false. (2) The most plausible principle, which is also problematic, applies only when participants experience significant net risks or burdens. (3) Seldom does reciprocity support PTA for participants or give researchers stronger reason to benefit participants than equally needy non-participants. (4) Reciprocity fails to explain the common view that it is bad when participants in a successful trial have benefited from the trial intervention but lack PTA to it.

  16. Plausible authentication of manuka honey and related products by measuring leptosperin with methyl syringate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Yoji; Fujinaka, Rie; Ishisaka, Akari; Nitta, Yoko; Kitamoto, Noritoshi; Takimoto, Yosuke

    2014-07-01

    Manuka honey, obtained from Leptospermum scoparium flowers in New Zealand, has strong antibacterial properties. In this study, plausible authentication of the manuka honey was inspected by measuring leptosperin, methyl syringate 4-O-β-D-gentiobiose, along with methyl syringate. Despite a gradual decrease in methyl syringate content over 30 days at 50 °C, even at moderate 37 °C, leptosperin remained stable. A considerable correlation between nonperoxide antibacterial activity and leptosperin content was observed in 20 certified manuka honey samples. Leptosperin and methyl syringate in manuka honey and related products were analyzed using HPLC connected with mass spectrometry. One noncertified brand displayed significant variations in the leptosperin and methyl syringate contents between two samples obtained from different regions. Therefore, certification is clearly required to protect consumers from disguised and/or low-quality honey. Because leptosperin is stable during storage and specific to manuka honey, its measurement may be applicable for manuka honey authentication.

  17. A Keystone Ant Species Provides Robust Biological Control of the Coffee Berry Borer Under Varying Pest Densities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R Morris

    Full Text Available Species' functional traits are an important part of the ecological complexity that determines the provisioning of ecosystem services. In biological pest control, predator response to pest density variation is a dynamic trait that impacts the provision of this service in agroecosystems. When pest populations fluctuate, farmers relying on biocontrol services need to know how natural enemies respond to these changes. Here we test the effect of variation in coffee berry borer (CBB density on the biocontrol efficiency of a keystone ant species (Azteca sericeasur in a coffee agroecosystem. We performed exclosure experiments to measure the infestation rate of CBB released on coffee branches in the presence and absence of ants at four different CBB density levels. We measured infestation rate as the number of CBB bored into fruits after 24 hours, quantified biocontrol efficiency (BCE as the proportion of infesting CBB removed by ants, and estimated functional response from ant attack rates, measured as the difference in CBB infestation between branches. Infestation rates of CBB on branches with ants were significantly lower (71%-82% than on those without ants across all density levels. Additionally, biocontrol efficiency was generally high and did not significantly vary across pest density treatments. Furthermore, ant attack rates increased linearly with increasing CBB density, suggesting a Type I functional response. These results demonstrate that ants can provide robust biological control of CBB, despite variation in pest density, and that the response of predators to pest density variation is an important factor in the provision of biocontrol services. Considering how natural enemies respond to changes in pest densities will allow for more accurate biocontrol predictions and better-informed management of this ecosystem service in agroecosystems.

  18. A Keystone Ant Species Provides Robust Biological Control of the Coffee Berry Borer Under Varying Pest Densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Jonathan R; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette

    2015-01-01

    Species' functional traits are an important part of the ecological complexity that determines the provisioning of ecosystem services. In biological pest control, predator response to pest density variation is a dynamic trait that impacts the provision of this service in agroecosystems. When pest populations fluctuate, farmers relying on biocontrol services need to know how natural enemies respond to these changes. Here we test the effect of variation in coffee berry borer (CBB) density on the biocontrol efficiency of a keystone ant species (Azteca sericeasur) in a coffee agroecosystem. We performed exclosure experiments to measure the infestation rate of CBB released on coffee branches in the presence and absence of ants at four different CBB density levels. We measured infestation rate as the number of CBB bored into fruits after 24 hours, quantified biocontrol efficiency (BCE) as the proportion of infesting CBB removed by ants, and estimated functional response from ant attack rates, measured as the difference in CBB infestation between branches. Infestation rates of CBB on branches with ants were significantly lower (71%-82%) than on those without ants across all density levels. Additionally, biocontrol efficiency was generally high and did not significantly vary across pest density treatments. Furthermore, ant attack rates increased linearly with increasing CBB density, suggesting a Type I functional response. These results demonstrate that ants can provide robust biological control of CBB, despite variation in pest density, and that the response of predators to pest density variation is an important factor in the provision of biocontrol services. Considering how natural enemies respond to changes in pest densities will allow for more accurate biocontrol predictions and better-informed management of this ecosystem service in agroecosystems.

  19. Pharmacotherapy follow-up of patients under treatment with biologic agents for chronic inflammatory systemic conditions: an agreement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Ángel Calleja Hernández

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective: The objective of this study was to reach a consensus on the minimum set of data that would allow to optimize the pharmacotherapy follow-up of patients on biologic agents for chronic systemic inflammatory conditions, through structured and standardized collection with an electronic tool in the hospital pharmacy. Materials and method: A scientific committee was formed (n = 5 hospital pharmacists. The Delphi Technique was used, 2 rounds of consultation by e-mail for hospital pharmacists. A structured questionnaire was used, based on a bibliographic review and recommendations by the scientific committee; 37 statements were assessed with the Likert 5-point scale (1= “Strongly Disagree”; 5= “Strongly Agree”. Consensus was reached when 75% or more of panel members assigned a score of 1-2 (rejection consensus or 4-5 (agreement consensus to the matter reviewed. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. Results: The study included 21 hospital pharmacists (70 were invited, there was 70% response. Consensus was reached for 100% of statements. The minimum set of data was agreed upon, as well as the recommendations that the pharmacist had to collect and make during visits: to document the health status, health-related quality of life, changes in treatment compliance and in patient autonomy, as well as the conditions to make feasible the systematic collection of the minimum data set. Conclusions: There is consensus among hospital pharmacists about a minimum data set to be collected, through an electronic tool, which will order, standardize and structure the pharmacotherapy follow-up of patients with chronic inflammatory conditions on treatment with biologic agents in the spanish public health system.

  20. The Sarrazin effect: the presence of absurd statements in conspiracy theories makes canonical information less plausible

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    Marius Hans Raab

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers—extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are common ingredients of conspiracy theories. While individual differences are a common research topic concerning conspiracy theories, the role of extreme statements in the process of acquiring and passing on conspiratorial stories has not been regarded in an experimental design so far. We identified six morphological components of conspiracy theories empirically. On the basis of these content categories a set of narrative elements for a 9/11 story was compiled. These elements varied systematically in terms of conspiratorial allegation, i.e., they contained official statements concerning the events of 9/11, statements alleging to a conspiracy limited in time and space as well as extreme statements indicating an all-encompassing cover-up. Using the method of narrative construction, 30 people were given a set of cards with these statements and asked to construct the course of events of 9/11 they deem most plausible. When extreme statements were present in the set, the resulting stories were more conspiratorial; the number of official statements included in the narrative dropped significantly, whereas the self-assessment of the story’s plausibility did not differ between conditions. This indicates that blatant statements in a pool of information foster the synthesis of conspiracy theories on an individual level. By relating these findings to one of Germany’s most successful (and controversial non-fiction books, we refer to the real-world dangers of this effect.

  1. Biological effects of plant residues with contrasting chemical compositions on plant and soil under humid tropical conditions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tian, G.

    1992-01-01

    A study on plant residues with contrasting chemical compositions was conducted under laboratory, growth chamber and humid tropical field conditions to understand the function of the soil fauna in the breakdown of plant residues, the cycling of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, and the performance o

  2. The apoptotic effect and the plausible mechanism of microwave radiation on rat myocardial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenhe; Cui, Yan; Feng, Xianmin; Li, Yan; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Junjie; Wang, Huiyan; Lv, Shijie

    2016-08-01

    Microwaves may exert adverse biological effects on the cardiovascular system at the integrated system and cellular levels. However, the mechanism underlying such effects remains poorly understood. Here, we report a previously uncharacterized mechanism through which microwaves damage myocardial cells. Rats were treated with 2450 MHz microwave radiation at 50, 100, 150, or 200 mW/cm(2) for 6 min. Microwave treatment significantly enhanced the levels of various enzymes in serum. In addition, it increased the malondialdehyde content while decreasing the levels of antioxidative stress enzymes, activities of enzyme complexes I-IV, and ATP in myocardial tissues. Notably, irradiated myocardial cells exhibited structural damage and underwent apoptosis. Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed significant changes in expression levels of proteins involved in oxidative stress regulation and apoptotic signaling pathways, indicating that microwave irradiation could induce myocardial cell apoptosis by interfering with oxidative stress and cardiac energy metabolism. Our findings provide useful insights into the mechanism of microwave-induced damage to the cardiovascular system.

  3. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linbin Zhang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  4. How plausible is the use of dietary n-3 PUFA in the adjuvant therapy of cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serini, Simona; Ottes Vasconcelos, Renata; Fasano, Elena; Calviello, Gabriella

    2016-06-01

    Considerable debate exists regarding the potential antineoplastic effect of dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA contained in fatty fishes. Since the majority of published data has proven that their intake does not induce toxic or carcinogenic effects in humans, their possible preventive use against cancer has been suggested. On the other hand, it is unlikely that they could be effective in cancer patients as a single therapy. Nevertheless, a considerable effort has been put forth in recent years to evaluate the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA might improve the antineoplastic efficiency of currently used anticancer agents. The rationale for this therapeutic combinatory strategy is trying to increase cancer sensitivity to conventional therapies. This could allow the use of lower drug/radiation doses and, thereby, a reduction in the detrimental health effects associated with these treatments. We will here critically examine the studies that have investigated this possibility, by focusing particularly on the biological and molecular mechanisms underlying the antineoplastic effect of these combined treatments. A possible use of n-3 PUFA in combination with the innovative single-targeted anti-cancer therapies, that often are not completely devoid of dangerous side-effects, is also suggested.

  5. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Linbin; Sun, Tianai; Woldesellassie, Fitsum; Xiao, Hailian; Tao, Yun

    2015-03-01

    Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s) that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  6. Biological effects of native and exotic plant residues on plant growth, microbial biomass and N availability under controlled conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Diallo, Mariama-Dalanda; Duponnois, Robin; Guisse, A.; Sall, Saïdou; Chotte, Jean-Luc; Thioulouse, J.

    2006-01-01

    The leaf litter of six tropical tree species (Acacia holosericea, Acacia tortilis, Azadirachta indica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cordyla pinnata and Faidherbia albida) frequently used in agroforestry plantations in Sahelian and Soudano-Sahelian areas were tested for their influence on soil nitrogen content, microbial biomass and plant growth under controlled greenhouse conditions. Half of the soil was planted with onion (Allium cepa L.) seedlings and the other half was not. Two herbaceous spec...

  7. Multi-cycle operation of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) with different carbon sources under high temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Nan; Chen, Yun; Zhou, Yan

    2017-05-01

    Many studies reported that it is challenging to apply enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process at high temperature. Glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) could easily gain their dominance over poly-phosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) when the operating temperature was in the range of 25 °C-30 °C. However, a few successful EBPR processes operated at high temperature have been reported recently. This study aimed to have an in-depth understanding on the impact of feeding strategy and carbon source types on EBPR performance in tropical climate. P-removal performance of two EBPR systems was monitored through tracking effluent quality and cyclic studies. The results confirmed that EBPR was successfully obtained and maintained at high temperature with a multi-cycle strategy. More stable performance was observed with acetate as the sole carbon source compared to propionate. Stoichiometric ratios of phosphorus and carbon transformation during both anaerobic and aerobic phases were higher at high temperature than low temperature (20±1 °C) except anaerobic PHA/C ratios within most of the sub-cycles. Furthermore, the fractions of PHA and glycogen in biomass were lower compared with one-cycle pulse feed operation. The microbial community structure was more stable in acetate-fed sequencing batch reactor (C2-SBR) than that in propionate-fed reactor (C3-SBR). Accumulibacter Clade IIC was found to be highly abundant in both reactors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Homarus gammarus (Crustacea: Decapoda) larvae under an ocean acidification scenario: Responses across different levels of biological organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rato, Lénia D; Novais, Sara C; Lemos, Marco F L; Alves, Luís M F; Leandro, Sérgio M

    2017-09-17

    The present study evaluated the effects of exposure to different target pCO2 levels: control (C: 370μatm, pH = 8.15) and ocean acidification (OA: 710μatm, pH=7.85) on development and biochemical responses related with oxidative stress and energy metabolism during the crustacean Homarus gammarus (L.) larval development, integrating different levels of biological organization. After hatching in the laboratory, larvae from the same female brood were exposed to the described conditions from hatching until reaching Stage III (last larval stage - 11 days). H. gammarus larvae demonstrated some susceptibility when addressing the predicted pCO2 levels for 2100. Further analysis at the biochemical and physiological level highlighted the occurrence of oxidative stress in the OA scenario (Superoxide Dismutase reduction and higher DNA damage) that was followed by developmental effects, increased inter-moult period from SII to SIII and reduced growth. The extended exposure to these conditions may affect organisms' key life-cycle functions such as physiological resistance, growth, sexual maturation, or reproduction with implications in their future fitness and population dynamics. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Impact of organic and mineral inputs onto soil biological and metabolic activities under a long-term rice-wheat cropping system in sub-tropical Indian Inceptisols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basak, Nirmalendu; Datta, Ashim; Mitran, Tarik; Mandal, Biswapati; Mani, P K

    2016-01-01

    Long-term use of organic and mineral inputs has an overriding impact on soil biological and metabolic activities and crop management. Farm yard manure (FYM), paddy straw (PS) and green manure (GM, Sesbania sesban L.) were used for 24- years old rice (Oyza sativa L.) -wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cropping system in sub-tropical India to predict whether the screened soil biological and metabolic activities are correlated with system yield. The integrated approaches viz., NPK + FYM, NPK + PS and NPK + GM significantly increased both rice and wheat yield together by 67.5, 44.4 and 55.4%, respectively over control. However, for a few exceptions both soil microbial activity and metabolic activity were remarkably enhanced under integrated treatment NPK + FYM followed by NPK + PS, and NPK + GM, respectively. Among the studied attributes fluorescein diacetate hydrolyzing, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase activity (β-glu) and microbial biomass C (C(mic)) were screened through principal component (PCA) and discriminate analysis (DA) that explained nearly 89% of total variations of the entire data set. Among the four identified attributes, only β-glu assay value could predict system yield (R2 = 0.65). Further, estimation of β-glu activity in soil can predict other soil biological properties (R2 = 0.96).

  10. BIOLOGICAL NITROGEN FIXATION AND NUTRIENT RELEASE FROM LITTER OF THE GUACHAPELE LEGUMINOUS TREE UNDER PURE AND MIXED PLANTATION WITH EUCALYPTUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiano de Carvalho Balieiro

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Pseudosamanea guachapele (guachapele, a nitrogen fixing leguminous tree, is an alternative for mixed forest plantations in the tropics. As little information is available for guachapele (Mimosoideae in mixed plantation with eucalyptus considering the Brazilian edaphoclimatic conditions, an experiment was carried out to evaluate the contribution of biological nitrogen fixation to guachapele and leaf litter decomposition rates and nutrient release of eucalyptus and guachapele residues (pure and mixed. The percentage of nitrogen derived from atmospheric N2 (% Ndfa was estimated by comparing the natural 15N abundance (15N, ‰ in guachapele tissues with that of Eucalyptus grandis, a non-nitrogen fixing species, both with seven years after planting. Decomposition constants (k and litter half-lives (t1/2 were estimated by fitting a single exponential model to litter bag data. The estimation of %Ndfa for guachapele in pure stand fell within a narrower range (17-36 % in relation to mixed conditions (35-60 %. Nitrogen concentration in leaf litter was positively related to the decomposition rate, decreasing from pure guachapele to pure eucalyptus. Half-lives (t1/2 were significantly different (p < 0.05 among residues with 148, 185 and 218 days, for guachapele leaves, mixture of both species and for pure eucalyptus, respectively. Nutrient release rates followed the same sequence of t1/2 due to the initial residues quality (mainly N. It was observed that a fast release of N, K and Mg occurred from the residues tested, mainly for guachapele and mixed stand. These results indicate that guachapele could benefit the mixed system from the N addition and a faster decomposition rate of a richer litter.

  11. Dynamics of ecological and biological characteristics of soddy-podzolic soils under long-term oil pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, A. M.; Versioning, A. A.; Karimullin, L. K.; Akaikin, D. V.; Tarasov, O. Yu.

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of respiratory and enzyme activities and toxicological properties of loamy-sandy and loamy soddy-podzolic soils (Retisols) under the long-term influence of oil pollution were studied. The concentrations of the pollutant, at which the activity (the ability of self-purification) of the indigenous soil microflora is preserved, were determined. The dynamics of the decrease of oil product content and the time of elimination of the toxic effects on higher plants at the initial pollutant contents were revealed. The parameters of the respiratory and enzyme activities in the course of the 365-day experiment showed that the microbial community of the loamy-sandy soil was more sensitive to oil pollution. The phytotoxic characteristics of the oil-containing loamy-sandy and loamy soils did not correlate with their respiratory and enzyme activities. This fact testifies to some differences in the mechanisms of their influence on living organisms with different organizational levels and to the necessity of taking into account a complex of parameters when assessing the state of the soils under the long-term effects of oil and its products.

  12. Biology and Yield of Rocket (Eruca sativa Mill. under Field Conditions of the Czech Republic (Central Europe

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    Ivana DOLEŽALOVÁ

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Five rocket (Eruca sativa (L. Mill. varieties and accessions were cultivated under field conditions in the Czech Republic (Central Europe and subsequently studied for variation in morphology and yield. Two cultivation techniques (treatments were tested during the growing seasons in 2010 and 2011: directly sown seeds in the field and plantlets cultivated in a glasshouse and later transplanted to the field. There were analysed four morphological parameters of the leaf rosette (leaf shape in outline, leaf margin, leaf apex and leaf colour, marketable yield, nonmarketable parts, and rosette radius. Plants from plantlets transplanted to the field in spring terms (April yielded a substantially higher marketable yield and had a higher rosette radius in contrast to plants from directly sown seeds. Conversely, for the summer terms (late August, September the direct sowing technique produced higher marketable yield in comparison with plantlets treatment. Plants cultivated from directly sowed seeds reached a marketable yield on average from 15 to 60 g per plant while transplanted plants produced on average from 10 to 49 g per plant. It is evident that cultivation of rocket under field conditions of the Czech Republic is possible and provides, when using the appropriate sowing term, more or less stable yields of marketable parts. Details on variation in yield parameters of individual varieties and accessions are presented.

  13. Comparison of biological stability and metabolism of CCK2 receptor targeting peptides, a collaborative project under COST BM0607

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ocak, Meltem [Innsbruck Medical University, Clinical Department of Nuclear Medicine, Innsbruck (Austria); Istanbul University, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmacy Faculty, Istanbul (Turkey); Helbok, Anna; Rangger, Christine; Decristoforo, Clemens [Innsbruck Medical University, Clinical Department of Nuclear Medicine, Innsbruck (Austria); Peitl, Petra Kolenc [University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Department for Nuclear Medicine, Ljubljana (Slovenia); Nock, Berthold A. [National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos, Molecular Radiopharmacy, Institute of Radioisotopes-Radiodiagnostic Products, Athens (Greece); Morelli, Giancarlo [University of Naples ' ' Federico II' ' and IBB-CN, Department of Biological Sciences, CIRPeB, Naples (Italy); Eek, Annemarie [Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Sosabowski, Jane K. [Institute of Cancer, Barts and the London Queen Mary' s School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Molecular Oncology and Imaging, London (United Kingdom); Breeman, W.A.P. [Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Rotterdam (Netherlands); Reubi, Jean Claude [University of Berne, Division of Cell Biology and Experimental Cancer Research Institute of Pathology, Berne (Switzerland)

    2011-08-15

    Stability of radiolabelled cholecystokinin 2 (CCK2) receptor targeting peptides has been a major limitation in the use of such radiopharmaceuticals especially for targeted radionuclide therapy applications, e.g. for treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The purpose of this study was to compare the in vitro stability of a series of peptides binding to the CCK2 receptor [selected as part of the COST Action on Targeted Radionuclide Therapy (BM0607)] and to identify major cleavage sites. Twelve different 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-minigastrin/CCK conjugates were provided within an European COST Action (BM0607) by different laboratories and radiolabelled with {sup 177}Lu. Their in vitro stabilities were tested in fresh human serum. Radiochemical yields (RCY) and intact radioligands for half-life calculations were determined by radio-HPLC. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis of metabolites was performed to identify cleavage products using conjugates labelled with excess stable {sup nat}Lu, incubated in serum at 37 C. Urine metabolite analysis after injection in normal mice was performed by radio-HPLC analysis. Variable stability in human serum was found for the different peptides with calculated half-lives between 4.5 {+-} 0.1 h and 198 {+-} 0.1 h (n = 2). In urine of normal mice only metabolised peptide fragments were detected even at short times after injection for all peptides. MALDI-TOF MS revealed a major cleavage site of all minigastrin derivatives between Asp and Phe-NH{sub 2} at the C-terminal end. Development of CCK2 receptor ligands especially for therapeutic purposes in patients with MTC or small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is still ongoing in different laboratories. This comparative study provided valuable insight into the importance of biological stability especially in the context of other results of this comparative

  14. Is the Framework of Cohn's 'Tritope Model' for How T Cell Receptors Recognize Peptide/Self-MHC Complexes and Allo-MHC Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretscher, Peter A

    2016-05-01

    Cohn has developed the tritope model to describe how distinct domains of the T cell receptor (TcR) recognize peptide/self-MHC complexes and allo-MHC. He has over the years employed this model as a framework for considering how the TcR might mediate various signals [1-5]. In a recent publication [5], Cohn employs the Tritope Model to propose a detailed mechanism for the T cell receptor's involvement in positive thymic selection [5]. During a review of this proposal, I became uneasy over the plausibility of the underlying framework of the Tritope Model. I outline here the evolutionary considerations making me question this framework. I also suggest that the proposed framework underlying the Tritope Model makes strong predictions whose validity can most probably be assessed by considering observations reported in the literature.

  15. Influence of the blood meal source on the biology of Meccus picturatus Usinger 1939 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez-Ibarra José Alejandro

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Aspects related to hatching, time-lapse between presenting the blood meal and beginning of feeding, feeding time, postfeed defecation delay,life time, mortality and fecundity for each stage of Meccus picturatus, life-cycle were evaluated and compared in two cohorts of M. picturatus fed on hens or rabbits. The hatching rate observed for each of the two studied groups of eggs was 78.1% (n = 2298 on the group fed on hens and 82.1% (n = 2704 on that fed on rabbits, and the average time of hatching was 20 days. Mean time-lapse for beginning feeding was under 3 min in nymphal stages and postfeed defecation delay was under 10 min in all stages, in both cohorts. Mean feeding time was significantly (P 0.05 differences were recorded among the average times from NI to adult in the cohort fed on hens (196.8 ± 15.8 days and the average time in the cohort fed on rabbits (189.5 ± 22.9. The average span in days for each stage fed on hens was not significantly different to the average span for each stage fed on rabbits. The number of blood meals at each nymphal stage varied from 1 to 6 in both cohorts. The mortality rates were higher on fifth nymphal stage, in both cohorts. No significant (P > 0.05 differences were recorded on mortality rates on most nymphal stages of both cohorts. The average number of eggs laid per female from the cohort fed on hens in a 9-month period was 791.1, whereas the average number of eggs in the cohort fed on rabbits was 928.3.

  16. Molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal synaptic plasticity: systems biology meets computational neuroscience in the wilds of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Kim T; Jedrzejewska-Szmek, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among signaling pathways that are activated by transmembrane receptors produce complex networks and emergent dynamical behaviors that are implicated in synaptic plasticity. Temporal dynamics and spatial aspects are critical determinants of cell responses such as synaptic plasticity, although the mapping between spatiotemporal activity pattern and direction of synaptic plasticity is not completely understood. Computational modeling of neuronal signaling pathways has significantly contributed to understanding signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. Spatial models of signaling pathways in hippocampal neurons have revealed mechanisms underlying the spatial distribution of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) activation in hippocampal neurons. Other spatial models have demonstrated that the major role of anchoring proteins in striatal and hippocampal synaptic plasticity is to place molecules near their activators. Simulations of yet other models have revealed that the spatial distribution of synaptic plasticity may differ for potentiation versus depression. In general, the most significant advances have been made by interactive modeling and experiments; thus, an interdisciplinary approach should be applied to investigate critical issues in neuronal signaling pathways. These issues include identifying which transmembrane receptors are key for activating ERK in neurons, and the crucial targets of kinases that produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. Although the number of computer programs for computationally efficient simulation of large reaction-diffusion networks is increasing, parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis in these spatial models remain more difficult than in single compartment models. Advances in live cell imaging coupled with further software development will continue to accelerate the development of spatial models of synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Identification of the bkdAB gene cluster, a plausible source of the starter-unit for virginiamycin M production in Streptomyces virginiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulsawat, Nattika; Kitani, Shigeru; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Lee, Chang Kwon; Nihira, Takuya

    2007-06-01

    The bkdAB gene cluster, which encodes plausible E1 and E2 components of the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCDH) complex, was isolated from Streptomyces virginiae in the vicinity of a regulatory island for virginiamycin production. Gene disruption of bkdA completely abolished the production of virginiamycin M (a polyketide-peptide antibiotic), while the production of virginiamycin S (a cyclodepsipeptide antibiotic) was unaffected. Complementation of the bkdA disruptant by genome-integration of intact bkdA completely restored the virginiamycin M production, indicating that the bkdAB cluster is essential for virginiamycin M biosynthesis, plausibly via the provision of isobutyryl-CoA as a primer unit. In contrast to a feature usually seen in the Streptomyces E1 component, namely, the separate encoding of the alpha and beta subunits, S. virginiae bkdA seemed to encode the fused form of the alpha and beta subunits, which was verified by the actual catalytic activity of the fused protein in vitro using recombinant BkdA overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Supply of an additional bkdA gene under the strong and constitutive promoter ermE* in the wild-type strain of S. virginiae resulted in enhanced production of virginiamycin M, suggesting that the supply of isobutyryl-CoA is one of the rate-limiting factors in the biosynthesis of virginiamycin M.

  18. Virtual neurorobotics (VNR to accelerate development of plausible neuromorphic brain architectures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip H Goodman

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly “intelligent” systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain’s interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products. We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental

  19. Virtual Neurorobotics (VNR) to Accelerate Development of Plausible Neuromorphic Brain Architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Philip H; Buntha, Sermsak; Zou, Quan; Dascalu, Sergiu-Mihai

    2007-01-01

    Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly "intelligent" systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain's interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products). We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR) intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental material.

  20. Developing spatially explicit footprints of plausible land-use scenarios in the Santa Cruz Watershed, Arizona and Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Laura M.; Feller, Mark; Villarreal, Miguel L.

    2012-01-01

    The SLEUTH urban growth model is applied to a binational dryland watershed to envision and evaluate plausible future scenarios of land use change into the year 2050. Our objective was to create a suite of geospatial footprints portraying potential land use change that can be used to aid binational decision-makers in assessing the impacts relative to sustainability of natural resources and potential socio-ecological consequences of proposed land-use management. Three alternatives are designed to simulate different conditions: (i) a Current Trends Scenario of unmanaged exponential growth, (ii) a Conservation Scenario with managed growth to protect the environment, and (iii) a Megalopolis Scenario in which growth is accentuated around a defined international trade corridor. The model was calibrated with historical data extracted from a time series of satellite images. Model materials, methodology, and results are presented. Our Current Trends Scenario predicts the footprint of urban growth to approximately triple from 2009 to 2050, which is corroborated by local population estimates. The Conservation Scenario results in protecting 46% more of the Evergreen class (more than 150,000 acres) than the Current Trends Scenario and approximately 95,000 acres of Barren Land, Crops, Deciduous Forest (Mesquite Bosque), Grassland/Herbaceous, Urban/Recreational Grasses, and Wetlands classes combined. The Megalopolis Scenario results also depict the preservation of some of these land-use classes compared to the Current Trends Scenario, most notably in the environmentally important headwaters region. Connectivity and areal extent of land cover types that provide wildlife habitat were preserved under the alternative scenarios when compared to Current Trends.

  1. Testing the physiological plausibility of conflicting psychological models of response inhibition: A forward inference fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criaud, Marion; Longcamp, Marieke; Anton, Jean-Luc; Nazarian, Bruno; Roth, Muriel; Sescousse, Guillaume; Strafella, Antonio P; Ballanger, Bénédicte; Boulinguez, Philippe

    2017-08-30

    The neural mechanisms underlying response inhibition and related disorders are unclear and controversial for several reasons. First, it is a major challenge to assess the psychological bases of behaviour, and ultimately brain-behaviour relationships, of a function which is precisely intended to suppress overt measurable behaviours. Second, response inhibition is difficult to disentangle from other parallel processes involved in more general aspects of cognitive control. Consequently, different psychological and anatomo-functional models coexist, which often appear in conflict with each other even though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The standard model of response inhibition in go/no-go tasks assumes that inhibitory processes are reactively and selectively triggered by the stimulus that participants must refrain from reacting to. Recent alternative models suggest that action restraint could instead rely on reactive but non-selective mechanisms (all automatic responses are automatically inhibited in uncertain contexts) or on proactive and non-selective mechanisms (a gating function by which reaction to any stimulus is prevented in anticipation of stimulation when the situation is unpredictable). Here, we assessed the physiological plausibility of these different models by testing their respective predictions regarding event-related BOLD modulations (forward inference using fMRI). We set up a single fMRI design which allowed for us to record simultaneously the different possible forms of inhibition while limiting confounds between response inhibition and parallel cognitive processes. We found BOLD dynamics consistent with non-selective models. These results provide new theoretical and methodological lines of inquiry for the study of basic functions involved in behavioural control and related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Semantics-based plausible reasoning to extend the knowledge coverage of medical knowledge bases for improved clinical decision support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadhassanzadeh, Hossein; Van Woensel, William; Abidi, Samina Raza; Abidi, Syed Sibte Raza

    2017-01-01

    Capturing complete medical knowledge is challenging-often due to incomplete patient Electronic Health Records (EHR), but also because of valuable, tacit medical knowledge hidden away in physicians' experiences. To extend the coverage of incomplete medical knowledge-based systems beyond their deductive closure, and thus enhance their decision-support capabilities, we argue that innovative, multi-strategy reasoning approaches should be applied. In particular, plausible reasoning mechanisms apply patterns from human thought processes, such as generalization, similarity and interpolation, based on attributional, hierarchical, and relational knowledge. Plausible reasoning mechanisms include inductive reasoning, which generalizes the commonalities among the data to induce new rules, and analogical reasoning, which is guided by data similarities to infer new facts. By further leveraging rich, biomedical Semantic Web ontologies to represent medical knowledge, both known and tentative, we increase the accuracy and expressivity of plausible reasoning, and cope with issues such as data heterogeneity, inconsistency and interoperability. In this paper, we present a Semantic Web-based, multi-strategy reasoning approach, which integrates deductive and plausible reasoning and exploits Semantic Web technology to solve complex clinical decision support queries. We evaluated our system using a real-world medical dataset of patients with hepatitis, from which we randomly removed different percentages of data (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%) to reflect scenarios with increasing amounts of incomplete medical knowledge. To increase the reliability of the results, we generated 5 independent datasets for each percentage of missing values, which resulted in 20 experimental datasets (in addition to the original dataset). The results show that plausibly inferred knowledge extends the coverage of the knowledge base by, on average, 2%, 7%, 12%, and 16% for datasets with, respectively, 5%, 10%, 15%, and

  3. Larval food quantity affects development time, survival and adult biological traits that influence the vectorial capacity of Anopheles darlingi under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araújo Maisa

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The incidence of malaria in the Amazon is seasonal and mosquito vectorial capacity parameters, including abundance and longevity, depend on quantitative and qualitative aspects of the larval diet. Anopheles darlingi is a major malaria vector in the Amazon, representing >95% of total Anopheles population present in the Porto Velho region. Despite its importance in the transmission of the Plasmodium parasite, knowledge of the larval biology and ecology is limited. Studies regarding aspects of adult population ecology are more common than studies on larval ecology. However, in order develop effective control strategies and laboratory breeding conditions for this species, more data on the factors affecting vector biology is needed. The aim of the present study is to assess the effects of larval food quantity on the vectorial capacity of An. darling under laboratory conditions. Methods Anopheles darlingi was maintained at 28°C, 80% humidity and exposed to a daily photoperiod of 12 h. Larvae were divided into three experimental groups that were fed either a low, medium, or high food supply (based on the food amounts consumed by other species of culicids. Each experiment was replicated for six times. A cohort of adults were also exposed to each type of diet and assessed for several biological characteristics (e.g. longevity, bite frequency and survivorship, which were used to estimate the vectorial capacity of each experimental group. Results The group supplied with higher food amounts observed a reduction in development time while larval survival increased. In addition to enhanced longevity, increasing larval food quantity was positively correlated with increasing frequency of bites, longer blood meal duration and wing length, resulting in greater vectorial capacity. However, females had greater longevity than males despite having smaller wings. Conclusions Overall, several larval and adult biological traits were significantly

  4. Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: State of the Evidence, Plausible Mechanisms, and Theoretical Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucks, Eric B; Schuman-Olivier, Zev; Britton, Willoughby B; Fresco, David M; Desbordes, Gaelle; Brewer, Judson A; Fulwiler, Carl

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this review is to provide (1) a synopsis on relations of mindfulness with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and major CVD risk factors, and (2) an initial consensus-based overview of mechanisms and theoretical framework by which mindfulness might influence CVD. Initial evidence, often of limited methodological quality, suggests possible impacts of mindfulness on CVD risk factors including physical activity, smoking, diet, obesity, blood pressure, and diabetes regulation. Plausible mechanisms include (1) improved attention control (e.g., ability to hold attention on experiences related to CVD risk, such as smoking, diet, physical activity, and medication adherence), (2) emotion regulation (e.g., improved stress response, self-efficacy, and skills to manage craving for cigarettes, palatable foods, and sedentary activities), and (3) self-awareness (e.g., self-referential processing and awareness of physical sensations due to CVD risk factors). Understanding mechanisms and theoretical framework should improve etiologic knowledge, providing customized mindfulness intervention targets that could enable greater mindfulness intervention efficacy.

  5. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the SDSS Stripe 82 data

    CERN Document Server

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Wyrzykowski, Lukasz; Djorgovski, S George; Glikman, Eilat; Mahabal, Ashish A

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of a plausible super-luminous supernova (SLSN), found in the archival data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, called PSN 000123+000504. The supernova peaked at M_g<-21.3 mag in the second half of September 2005, but was missed by the real-time supernova hunt. The observed part of the light curve (17 epochs) showed that the rise to the maximum took over 30 days, while the decline time lasted at least 70 days (observed frame), closely resembling other SLSNe of SN2007bi type. Spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z=0.281 and the distance modulus of \\mu=40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with the absolute magnitude of M_B=-18.2+/-0.2 mag and the oxygen abundance of 12+log[O/H]=8.3+/-0.2. Our SLSN follows the relation for the most energetic/super-luminous SNe exploding in low-metallicity environments, but we found no clear evidence for SLSNe to explode in low-luminosity ...

  6. Event-based plausibility immediately influences on-line language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuki, Kazunaga; Chow, Tracy; Hare, Mary; Elman, Jeffrey L; Scheepers, Christoph; McRae, Ken

    2011-07-01

    In some theories of sentence comprehension, linguistically relevant lexical knowledge, such as selectional restrictions, is privileged in terms of the time-course of its access and influence. We examined whether event knowledge computed by combining multiple concepts can rapidly influence language understanding even in the absence of selectional restriction violations. Specifically, we investigated whether instruments can combine with actions to influence comprehension of ensuing patients of (as in Rayner, Warren, Juhuasz, & Liversedge, 2004; Warren & McConnell, 2007). Instrument-verb-patient triplets were created in a norming study designed to tap directly into event knowledge. In self-paced reading (Experiment 1), participants were faster to read patient nouns, such as hair, when they were typical of the instrument-action pair (Donna used the shampoo to wash vs. the hose to wash). Experiment 2 showed that these results were not due to direct instrument-patient relations. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 1 using eyetracking, with effects of event typicality observed in first fixation and gaze durations on the patient noun. This research demonstrates that conceptual event-based expectations are computed and used rapidly and dynamically during on-line language comprehension. We discuss relationships among plausibility and predictability, as well as their implications. We conclude that selectional restrictions may be best considered as event-based conceptual knowledge rather than lexical-grammatical knowledge.

  7. From ether to acid: A plausible degradation pathway of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao-Lei; Birgel, Daniel; Elling, Felix J.; Sutton, Paul A.; Lipp, Julius S.; Zhu, Rong; Zhang, Chuanlun; Könneke, Martin; Peckmann, Jörn; Rowland, Steven J.; Summons, Roger E.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2016-06-01

    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are ubiquitous microbial lipids with extensive demonstrated and potential roles as paleoenvironmental proxies. Despite the great attention they receive, comparatively little is known regarding their diagenetic fate. Putative degradation products of GDGTs, identified as hydroxyl and carboxyl derivatives, were detected in lipid extracts of marine sediment, seep carbonate, hot spring sediment and cells of the marine thaumarchaeon Nitrosopumilus maritimus. The distribution of GDGT degradation products in environmental samples suggests that both biotic and abiotic processes act as sinks for GDGTs. More than a hundred newly recognized degradation products afford a view of the stepwise degradation of GDGT via (1) ether bond hydrolysis yielding hydroxyl isoprenoids, namely, GDGTol (glycerol dialkyl glycerol triether alcohol), GMGD (glycerol monobiphytanyl glycerol diether), GDD (glycerol dibiphytanol diether), GMM (glycerol monobiphytanol monoether) and bpdiol (biphytanic diol); (2) oxidation of isoprenoidal alcohols into corresponding carboxyl derivatives and (3) chain shortening to yield C39 and smaller isoprenoids. This plausible GDGT degradation pathway from glycerol ethers to isoprenoidal fatty acids provides the link to commonly detected head-to-head linked long chain isoprenoidal hydrocarbons in petroleum and sediment samples. The problematic C80 to C82 tetraacids that cause naphthenate deposits in some oil production facilities can be generated from H-shaped glycerol monoalkyl glycerol tetraethers (GMGTs) following the same process, as indicated by the distribution of related derivatives in hydrothermally influenced sediments.

  8. Plausible molecular and crystal structures of chitosan/HI type II salt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lertworasirikul, Amornrat; Noguchi, Keiichi; Ogawa, Kozo; Okuyama, Kenji

    2004-03-15

    Chitosan/HI type II salt prepared from crab tendon was investigated by X-ray fiber diffraction. Two polymer chains and 16 iodide ions (I(-)) crystallized in a tetragonal unit cell with lattice parameters of a = b = 10.68(3), c (fiber axis) = 40.77(13) A, and a space group P4(1). Chitosan forms a fourfold helix with a 40.77 A fiber period having a disaccharide as the helical asymmetric unit. One of the O-3... O-5 intramolecular hydrogen bonds at the glycosidic linkage is weakened by interacting with iodide ions, which seems to cause the polymer to take the 4/1-helical symmetry rather than the extended 2/1-helix. The plausible orientations of two O-6 atoms in the helical asymmetric unit were found to be gt and gg. Two chains are running through at the corner and the center of the unit cell along the c-axis. They are linked by hydrogen bonds between N-21 and O-61 atoms. Two out of four independent iodide ions are packed between the corner chains while the other two are packed between the corner and center chains when viewing through the ab-plane. The crystal structure of the salt is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between these iodide ions and N-21, N-22, O-32, O-61, O-62 of the polymer chains.

  9. Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlquist, Dylan T; Dieter, Brad P; Koehle, Michael S

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to examine vitamin D in the context of sport nutrition and its potential role in optimizing athletic performance. Vitamin D receptors (VDR) and vitamin D response elements (VDREs) are located in almost every tissue within the human body including skeletal muscle. The hormonally-active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has been shown to play critical roles in the human body and regulates over 900 gene variants. Based on the literature presented, it is plausible that vitamin D levels above the normal reference range (up to 100 nmol/L) might increase skeletal muscle function, decrease recovery time from training, increase both force and power production, and increase testosterone production, each of which could potentiate athletic performance. Therefore, maintaining higher levels of vitamin D could prove beneficial for athletic performance. Despite this situation, large portions of athletic populations are vitamin D deficient. Currently, the research is inconclusive with regards to the optimal intake of vitamin D, the specific forms of vitamin D one should ingest, and the distinct nutrient-nutrient interactions of vitamin D with vitamin K that affect arterial calcification and hypervitaminosis. Furthermore, it is possible that dosages exceeding the recommendations for vitamin D (i.e. dosages up to 4000-5000 IU/day), in combination with 50 to 1000 mcg/day of vitamin K1 and K2 could aid athletic performance. This review will investigate these topics, and specifically their relevance to athletic performance.

  10. Vitamin D in primary biliary cirrhosis, a plausible marker of advanced disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Kopilov, Ron; Selmi, Carlo; Nussinovitch, Udi; Sánchez-Castañón, María; López-Hoyos, Marcos; Amital, Howie; Kivity, Shaye; Gershwin, Eric M; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2015-02-01

    Vitamin D immune-modulating effects were extensively studied, and low levels have been linked with autoimmune diseases. The associations of vitamin D with autoimmune diseases of the liver, and particularly primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), are yet to be defined. Hence, in this study, serum levels of vitamin D were determined in 79 patients with PBC and 70 age- and sex-matched controls by the LIAISON chemiluminescent immunoassays (DiaSorin-Italy). Clinical and serological parameters of patients were analyzed with respect to vitamin D status. Mean levels of vitamin D were significantly lower among patients with PBC compared with controls (16.8 ± 9 vs. 22.1 ± 9 ng/ml; p = 0.029), and vitamin D deficiency (≤10 ng/ml) was documented in 33% of patients with PBC versus 7% of controls (p plausible roles of vitamin D as a prognostic marker of PBC severity, and as a potential player in this disease pathogenesis. While further studies are awaited, monitoring vitamin D in patients with PBC and use of supplements may be advisable.

  11. Is the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics really plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Kurt

    2013-06-01

    Bohmian mechanics also known as de Broglie-Bohm theory is the most popular alternative approach to quantum mechanics. Whereas the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on the complementarity principle Bohmian mechanics assumes that both particle and wave are concrete physical objects. In 1993 Peter Holland has written an ardent account on the plausibility of the de Broglie-Bohm theory. He proved that it fully reproduces quantum mechanics if the initial particle distribution is consistent with a solution of the Schrödinger equation. Which may be the reasons that Bohmian mechanics has not yet found global acceptance? In this article it will be shown that predicted properties of atoms and molecules are in conflict with experimental findings. Moreover it will be demonstrated that repeatedly published ensembles of trajectories illustrating double slit diffraction processes do not agree with quantum mechanics. The credibility of a theory is undermined when recognizably wrong data presented frequently over years are finally not declared obsolete.

  12. Plausible impact of global climate change on water resources in the Tarim River Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Yaning; XU; Zongxue

    2005-01-01

    Combining the temperature and precipitation data from 77 climatological stations and the climatic and hydrological change data from three headstreams of the Tarim River: Hotan, Yarkant, and Aksu in the study area, the plausible association between climate change and the variability of water resources in the Tarim River Basin in recent years was investigated, the long-term trend of the hydrological time series including temperature, precipitation, and streamflow was detected, and the possible association between the El Ni(n)o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and these three kinds of time series was tested. The results obtained in this study show that during the past years, the temperature experienced a significant monotonic increase at the speed of 5%, nearly 1℃ rise; the precipitation showed a significant decrease in the 1970s, and a significant increase in the1980s and 1990s, the average annual precipitation was increased with the magnitude of 6.8 mm per decade. A step change occurred in both temperature and precipitation time series around 1986, which may be influenced by the global climate change. Climate change resulted in the increase of the streamflow at the headwater of the Tarim River, but the anthropogenic activities such as over-depletion of the surface water resulted in the decrease of the streamflow at the lower reaches of the Tarim River. The study result also showed that there is no significant association between the ENSO and the temperature, precipitation and streamflow.

  13. Influence of electron donors and copper concentration on geochemical and mineralogical processes under conditions of biological sulphate reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolicka, Dorota; Borkowski, Andrzej

    2014-03-01

    Sulphidogenous microorganism communities were isolated from soil polluted by crude oil. The study was focused on determining the influence of 1) copper (II) concentration on the activity of selected microorganism communities and 2) the applied electron donor on the course and evolution of mineral-forming processes under conditions favouring growth of sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB). The influence of copper concentration on the activity of selected microorganism communities and the type of mineral phases formed was determined during experiments in which copper (II) chloride at concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 0.7 g/L was added to SRB cultures. The experiments were performed in two variants: with ethanol (4 g/L) or lactate (4 g/L) as the sole carbon source. In order to determine the taxonomic composition of the selected microorganism communities, the 16S rRNA method was used. Results of this analysis confirmed the presence of Desulfovibrio, Desulfohalobium, Desulfotalea, Thermotoga, Solibacter, Gramella, Anaeromyxobacter and Myxococcus sp. in the stationary cultures. The post-culture sediments contained covelline (CuS) and digenite (Cu9S5 ). Based on the results, it can be stated that the type of carbon source applied during incubation plays a crucial role in determining the mineral composition of the post-culture sediments. Thus, regardless of the amount of copper ion introduced to a culture with lactate as the sole carbon source, no copper sulphide was observed in the post-culture sediments. Cultures with ethanol as the sole carbon source, on the other hand, yielded covelline or digenite in all post-culture sediments.

  14. Evaluation of heart tissue viability under redox-magnetohydrodynamics conditions: toward fine-tuning flow in biological microfluidics applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheah, Lih Tyng; Fritsch, Ingrid; Haswell, Stephen J; Greenman, John

    2012-07-01

    A microfluidic system containing a chamber for heart tissue biopsies, perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing glucose and antibiotic (KHGB) using peristaltic pumps and continuously stimulated, was used to evaluate tissue viability under redox-magnetohydrodynamics (redox-MHD) conditions. Redox-MHD possesses unique capabilities to control fluid flow using ionic current from oxidation and reduction processes at electrodes in a magnetic field, making it attractive to fine-tune fluid flow around tissues for "tissue-on-a-chip" applications. The manuscript describes a parallel setup to study two tissue samples simultaneously, and 6-min static incubation with Triton X100. Tissue viability was subsequently determined by assaying perfusate for lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, where LDH serves as an injury marker. Incubation with KHGB containing 5 mM hexaammineruthenium(III) (ruhex) redox species with and without a pair of NdFeB magnets (∼ 0.39 T, placed parallel to the chamber) exhibited no additional tissue insult. MHD fluid flow, viewed by tracking microbeads with microscopy, occurred only when the magnet was present and stimulating electrodes were activated. Pulsating MHD flow with a frequency similar to the stimulating waveform was superimposed over thermal convection (from a hotplate) for Triton-KHGB, but fluid speed was up to twice as fast for ruhex-Triton-KHGB. A large transient ionic current, achieved when switching on the stimulating electrodes, generates MHD perturbations visible over varying peristaltic flow. The well-controlled flow methodology of redox-MHD is applicable to any tissue type, being useful in various drug uptake and toxicity studies, and can be combined equally with on- or off-device analysis modalities.

  15. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A critical assessment of the recent developmentsof molecular biology is presented.The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptualunderstanding of life and biological systems is defended.Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketchedand its logical circularity avoided by postulatingthe existence of underlying living processes,entailing amplification from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale,with increasing complexity in the passage from one scale to the other.Following such a line of thought, the currently accepted model of condensed matter, which is based on electrostatics and short-ranged forces,is criticized. It is suggested that the correct interpretationof quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so onas quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of includinglong-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them incondensed matter theories of biological processes.Some quantum effects in biology are reviewedand quantum mechanics is acknowledged as conceptually important to biology since withoutit most (if not all of the biological structuresand signalling processes would not even exist. Moreover, it is suggested that long-rangequantum coherent dynamics, including electron polarization,may be invoked to explain signal amplificationprocess in biological systems in general.

  16. [Effects of inoculating plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on the biological characteristics of walnut (Juglans regia) rhizosphere soil under drought condition].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang-Chun; Xing, Shang-Jun; Ma, Hai-Lin; Du, Zhen-Yu; Ma, Bing-Yao

    2014-05-01

    Effects of four plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) , namely Pseudomonas sp. YT3, Bacillus subtilis DZ1, B. cereus L90 and B. fusiformis L13 on the biological characteristics of walnut (Juglans regia) rhizosphere soil under drought stress were investigated. Results showed that drought stress had little effect on available nutrients of walnut rhizosphere soil, but significantly decreased the activity of organic carbon by 18.4% and increased the pH from 7.34 to 7.79. Under drought stress condition, the inoculation of Bacillus cereus L90 significantly increased high-labile organic carbon in walnut rhizosphere by 14.5% relative to the un-inoculated control, and decreased the pH to 7.41. Compared with the irrigated control, the total microbial populations, root exudates, microbial biomass carbon, and microbial biomass nitrogen in walnut rhizosphere soil were significantly decreased by 36.0%, 20.7%, 33.5% and 30.7%, respectively, because of drought stress. However, L90 inoculation decreased these deficits to 14.1%, 10.3%, 12.1% and 12.7%, respectively. Some terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) disappeared under the drought condition and PGPR inoculation had great influence on T-RFs according to Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism profiles. The Margalef index and the Shannon index of walnut rhizosphere soil significantly decreased, but the Simpson index increased relative to the irrigated control. Compared with the un-inoculated control, the Margalef index significantly increased from 0.42 to 0.99, as well as the Shannon index increased from 0.52 to 0.98. However, the Simpson index de- creased from 0.60 to 0.39. Inoculating YT3, DZ1 and L13 had weaker effects on the biological characteristics of walnut rhizosphere soil compared to inoculating L90, suggesting L90 inoculation could interfere with the suppression of drought stress to the biological characteristics of walnut rhizosphere soil.

  17. Biodiversity's big wet secret: the global distribution of marine biological records reveals chronic under-exploration of the deep pelagic ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J Webb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding the distribution of marine biodiversity is a crucial first step towards the effective and sustainable management of marine ecosystems. Recent efforts to collate location records from marine surveys enable us to assemble a global picture of recorded marine biodiversity. They also effectively highlight gaps in our knowledge of particular marine regions. In particular, the deep pelagic ocean--the largest biome on Earth--is chronically under-represented in global databases of marine biodiversity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We use data from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System to plot the position in the water column of ca 7 million records of marine species occurrences. Records from relatively shallow waters dominate this global picture of recorded marine biodiversity. In addition, standardising the number of records from regions of the ocean differing in depth reveals that regardless of ocean depth, most records come either from surface waters or the sea bed. Midwater biodiversity is drastically under-represented. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The deep pelagic ocean is the largest habitat by volume on Earth, yet it remains biodiversity's big wet secret, as it is hugely under-represented in global databases of marine biological records. Given both its value in the provision of a range of ecosystem services, and its vulnerability to threats including overfishing and climate change, there is a pressing need to increase our knowledge of Earth's largest ecosystem.

  18. Electrical-thermal analytical modeling of monopolar RF thermal ablation of biological tissues: determining the circumstances under which tissue temperature reaches a steady state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez Molina, J A; Rivera, M J; Berjano, E

    2016-04-01

    It has been suggested that during RF thermal ablation of biological tissue the thermal lesion could reach an equilibrium size after 1-2 minutes. Our objective was to determine under which circumstances of electrode geometry (needle-like vs. ball-tip), electrode type (dry vs. cooled) and blood perfusion the temperature will reach a steady state at any point in the tissue. We solved the bioheat equation analytically both in cylindrical and spherical coordinates and the resultant limit temperatures were compared. Our results demonstrate mathematically that tissue temperature reaches a steady value in all cases except for cylindrical coordinates without the blood perfusion term, both for dry and cooled electrodes, where temperature increases infinitely. This result is only true when the boundary condition far from the active electrode is considered to be at infinitum. In contrast, when a finite and sufficiently large domain is considered, temperature reaches always a steady state.

  19. Integrated pathway-based and network-based analysis of GC-MS rice metabolomics data under diazinon stress to infer affected biological pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, Vahideh; Ghanati, Faezeh; Ghassempour, Alireza

    2016-02-01

    Diazinon insecticide is widely applied in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in Iran. However, concerns are now being raised about its potential adverse impacts on rice. In this study, a time-course metabolic change in rice plants was investigated after diazinon treatment using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and subsequently three different methods, MetaboAnalyst, MetaboNetwork, and analysis of reporter reactions, as a potential multivariate method were used to find the underlying changes in metabolism with stronger evidence in order to link differentially expressed metabolites to biological pathways. Results clearly showed the similarity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) of rice plants to that of animals in terms of its inhibitability by diazinon and emphasized that subsequent accumulation of AChE mainly affects the metabolism of osmolites and tricarboxylic acid intermediates subsequent accumulation of ACh mainly affects the metabolism of osmolites and TCA intermediates.

  20. Effect of Verticillium lecanii on biological characteristics and life table of Serangium japonicum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of whiteflies under laboratory conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lazreg Fatiha; Zhen Huang; Shun-Xiang Ren; Shaukat Ali

    2008-01-01

    Effects of entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii on biological characteristics and life table of Serangiumjaponicum, a predator of whiteflies against five different conidial concentrations (1×104, 1×105, 1×106, 1×107, and 1×108 conidia/mL) were studied under laboratory conditions. The developmental periods for all immature stages (from eggs, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th instar nymph and pupae up to emergence) among the treatments were significantly different when compared to that of control, and the longest development period was observed as treated with 1×108spore/mL. However, no significant difference on the percent survival of all immature stages was observed among the treatments and control. Also, there were no significantly different effects of V. lecanii on mean generation time, intrinsic rate, the finite rate of increase and longevity of S. japonicum among the treatments and control.

  1. Cultural group selection is plausible, but the predictions of its hypotheses should be tested with real-world data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchin, Peter; Currie, Thomas E

    2016-01-01

    The evidence compiled in the target article demonstrates that the assumptions of cultural group selection (CGS) theory are often met, and it is therefore a useful framework for generating plausible hypotheses. However, more can be said about how we can test the predictions of CGS hypotheses against competing explanations using historical, archaeological, and anthropological data.

  2. Flux-based transport enhancement as a plausible unifying mechanism for auxin transport in meristem development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Stoma

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants continuously generate new organs through the activity of populations of stem cells called meristems. The shoot apical meristem initiates leaves, flowers, and lateral meristems in highly ordered, spiralled, or whorled patterns via a process called phyllotaxis. It is commonly accepted that the active transport of the plant hormone auxin plays a major role in this process. Current hypotheses propose that cellular hormone transporters of the PIN family would create local auxin maxima at precise positions, which in turn would lead to organ initiation. To explain how auxin transporters could create hormone fluxes to distinct regions within the plant, different concepts have been proposed. A major hypothesis, canalization, proposes that the auxin transporters act by amplifying and stabilizing existing fluxes, which could be initiated, for example, by local diffusion. This convincingly explains the organised auxin fluxes during vein formation, but for the shoot apical meristem a second hypothesis was proposed, where the hormone would be systematically transported towards the areas with the highest concentrations. This implies the coexistence of two radically different mechanisms for PIN allocation in the membrane, one based on flux sensing and the other on local concentration sensing. Because these patterning processes require the interaction of hundreds of cells, it is impossible to estimate on a purely intuitive basis if a particular scenario is plausible or not. Therefore, computational modelling provides a powerful means to test this type of complex hypothesis. Here, using a dedicated computer simulation tool, we show that a flux-based polarization hypothesis is able to explain auxin transport at the shoot meristem as well, thus providing a unifying concept for the control of auxin distribution in the plant. Further experiments are now required to distinguish between flux-based polarization and other hypotheses.

  3. Identifying and reducing potentially wrong immunoassay results even when plausible and "not-unreasonable".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Adel A A

    2014-01-01

    The primary role of the clinical laboratory is to report accurate results for diagnosis of disease and management of illnesses. This goal has, to a large extent been achieved for routine biochemical tests, but not for immunoassays which remained susceptible to interference from endogenous immunoglobulin antibodies, causing false, and clinically misleading results. Clinicians regard all abnormal results including false ones as "pathological" necessitating further investigations, or concluding iniquitous diagnosis. Even more seriously, "false-negative" results may wrongly exclude pathology, thus denying patients' necessary treatment. Analytical error rate in immunoassays is relatively high, ranging from 0.4% to 4.0%. Because analytical interference from endogenous antibodies is confined to individuals' sera, it can be inconspicuous, pernicious, sporadic, and insidious because it cannot be detected by internal or external quality assessment procedures. An approach based on Bayesian reasoning can enhance the robustness of clinical validation in highlighting potentially erroneous immunoassay results. When this rational clinical/statistical approach is followed by analytical affirmative follow-up tests, it can help identifying inaccurate and clinically misleading immunoassay data even when they appear plausible and "not-unreasonable." This chapter is largely based on peer reviewed articles associated with and related to this approach. The first section underlines (without mathematical equations) the dominance and misuse of conventional statistics and the underuse of Bayesian paradigm and shows that laboratorians are intuitively (albeit unwittingly) practicing Bayesians. Secondly, because interference from endogenous antibodies is method's dependent (with numerous formats and different reagents), it is almost impossible to accurately assess its incidence in all differently formulated immunoassays and for each analytes/biomarkers. However, reiterating the basic concepts

  4. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the Sloan digital sky survey stripe 82 data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Djorgovski, S. George; Mahabal, Ashish A. [California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Glikman, Eilat [Department of Physics and Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 208121, New Haven, CT 06520-8121 (United States); Koposov, Sergey, E-mail: zkostrzewa@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: simkoz@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: wyrzykow@astrouw.edu.pl [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2013-12-01

    We present the discovery of a plausible super-luminous supernova (SLSN), found in the archival data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, called PSN 000123+000504. The supernova (SN) peaked at m {sub g} < 19.4 mag in the second half of 2005 September, but was missed by the real-time SN hunt. The observed part of the light curve (17 epochs) showed that the rise to the maximum took over 30 days, while the decline time lasted at least 70 days (observed frame), closely resembling other SLSNe of SN 2007bi type. The spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z = 0.281 and the distance modulus of μ = 40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with an absolute magnitude of M{sub B} = –18.2 ± 0.2 mag and an oxygen abundance of 12+log [O/H]=8.3±0.2; hence, the SN peaked at M {sub g} < –21.3 mag. Our SLSN follows the relation for the most energetic/super-luminous SNe exploding in low-metallicity environments, but we found no clear evidence for SLSNe to explode in low-luminosity (dwarf) galaxies only. The available information on the PSN 000123+000504 light curve suggests the magnetar-powered model as a likely scenario of this event. This SLSN is a new addition to a quickly growing family of super-luminous SNe.

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of dietary selenium and vitamin E on immune response and biological blood parameters of broilers reared under thermoneutral or heat stress conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habibian, Mahmood; Ghazi, Shahab; Moeini, Mohammad Mehdi; Abdolmohammadi, Alireza

    2014-07-01

    A study was conducted using 360 broiler chickens to evaluate the effects of dietary vitamin E (0, 125 and 250 mg/kg), selenium (Se, 0, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg), or their different combinations on immune response and blood biological parameters of broilers raised under either thermoneutral (TN, 23.9 °C constant) or heat stress (HS, 23.9 to 37 °C cycling) conditions. Humoral immunity was assessed by intravenous injection of 7 % sheep red blood cell (SRBC) followed by evaluation of serum for antibody titers in primary and secondary responses. Heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio also determined as an indicator of stress. Furthermore, at the end of the experiment, birds were bled for determination of some biological parameters. There was a significant reduction in body weight and feed intake, but the feed conversion ratio increased when the birds were exposed to HS ( P 0.05), whereas feed conversion was improved significantly by 125 mg/kg vitamin E ( P < 0.05). The liver and lymphoid organ weights as well as IgM and IgG, antibody titers for primary and secondary antibody responses to SRBC were reduced significantly under HS ( P < 0.05). Heat stress also resulted in a significant increase in H/L ratio ( P < 0.05). Dietary vitamin E resulted in improvement of primary and secondary antibody responses both in TN and HS broilers ( P < 0.05). The HS birds also showed an improved antibody titer in secondary response with high concentration of Se ( P < 0.05). Vitamin E and Se had interactive effects on anti-SRBC titers; however, no consistent differences were found between dietary levels during the study. The H/L ratio decreased by feeding vitamin E at both levels either under HS or TN conditions ( P < 0.05). The serum concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol were increased but serum HDL-cholesterol decreased in HS broilers ( P < 0.05).

  7. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Mohammad; Khan, Riaz A; Khan, Maria; Ahmed, Bahar

    2012-01-01

    increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds) and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds). The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.

  8. Plausibility check of a redesigned rain-on-snow simulator (RASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rössler, Ole; Probst, Sabine; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    Rain-on-snow events are fascinating but still not completely understood processes. Although, several studies and equations have been published since decades that describe past events and theoretical descriptions, empirical data of what is happening in the snow cover is far less available. A way to fill this gap of empirical data, rain-on-snow-simulators might be of help. In 2013, Juras et al. published their inspiring idea of a portable rain-on-snow simulator. The huge advantage of this devise - in contrast to other purely field-based experiments - are their fixed, and mostly standardized conditions and the possibility to measure all required data to monitor the water fluxes and melting processes at a time. Mounted in a convenient location, a large number of experiments are relatively easy conductible. We applied and further developed the original device and plausified the results of this redesigned version, called RASA. The principal design was borrowed from the original version being a frame with a sprinkler on top and a snow sample in a box at the bottom, from which the outflow is measured with a tipping gauge. We added a moving sprinkling plate to ensure a uniform distribution of raindrops on the snow, and - most importantly - we suspended the watered snow sampled on weighting cells. The latter enables to continuous measurement of the snow sample throughout the experiment and thus the indirect quantification of liquid water saturation, water holding capacity, and snowmelt amount via balance equations. As it is remains unclear if this device is capable to reproduce known processes, a hypothesis based plausibility check was accomplished. Thus, eight hypothesizes were derived from literature and tested in 28 experiments with the RASA mounted at 2000 m elevation. In general, we were able to reproduce most of the hypotheses. The RASA proved to be a very valuable device that can generate suitable results and has the potential to extend the empirical-experimental data

  9. Inferring Broad Regulatory Biology from Time Course Data: Have We Reached an Upper Bound under Constraints Typical of In Vivo Studies?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Vashishtha

    Full Text Available There is a growing appreciation for the network biology that regulates the coordinated expression of molecular and cellular markers however questions persist regarding the identifiability of these networks. Here we explore some of the issues relevant to recovering directed regulatory networks from time course data collected under experimental constraints typical of in vivo studies. NetSim simulations of sparsely connected biological networks were used to evaluate two simple feature selection techniques used in the construction of linear Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE models, namely truncation of terms versus latent vector projection. Performance was compared with ODE-based Time Series Network Identification (TSNI integral, and the information-theoretic Time-Delay ARACNE (TD-ARACNE. Projection-based techniques and TSNI integral outperformed truncation-based selection and TD-ARACNE on aggregate networks with edge densities of 10-30%, i.e. transcription factor, protein-protein cliques and immune signaling networks. All were more robust to noise than truncation-based feature selection. Performance was comparable on the in silico 10-node DREAM 3 network, a 5-node Yeast synthetic network designed for In vivo Reverse-engineering and Modeling Assessment (IRMA and a 9-node human HeLa cell cycle network of similar size and edge density. Performance was more sensitive to the number of time courses than to sample frequency and extrapolated better to larger networks by grouping experiments. In all cases performance declined rapidly in larger networks with lower edge density. Limited recovery and high false positive rates obtained overall bring into question our ability to generate informative time course data rather than the design of any particular reverse engineering algorithm.

  10. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

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

  11. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuf M

    2012-08-01

    general tonic–clonic seizures reduced significantly to 2.90 ± 0.98 seconds by the use of BCNP and was further reduced on P-80-BCNP to 1.20 ± 0.20 seconds as compared to PTZ control and PTZ-placebo control (8.09 ± 0.26 seconds. General tonic–clonic seizures latency was increased significantly to 191.0 ± 9.80 seconds in BCNP and was further increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds. The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.Keywords: anticonvulsant, blood–brain barrier (BBB, targeted brain delivery, polysorbate-80-coated β-carotene nanoparticles (P-80-BCNP, maximal electroshock seizure (MES, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ

  12. Safety and immunogenicity of Onderstepoort Biological Products’ Rift Valley fever Clone 13 vaccine in sheep and goats under field conditions in Senegal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Modou M. Lo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This blinded field safety study was conducted in Senegal to assess safety and immunogenicity of administration of the registered dose of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV Clone 13 vaccine (Onderstepoort Biological Products to sheep and goats of West African breeds under natural conditions. A total of 267 small ruminants (220 sheep, 47 goats were included; half received RVFV Clone 13 vaccine at the recommended dose and half received the diluent (as placebo only. The study was performed on three commercial farms in the northern and eastern region of Senegal in accordance with veterinary good clinical practices. The animals were observed daily for 3 days after vaccination, and then weekly for 1 year. In both sheep and goats vaccinated against RVFV seroconversion rates above 70% were recorded. No seroconversion related to RVFV was observed in placebo-treated animals. No statistically significant differences were determined between placebo and vaccinated groups for mean rectal temperatures for the first 3 days after administration (p > 0.05. No abnormal clinical signs related to treatment were noted, and only one slight injection site reaction was observed in one vaccinated animal for 2 days after vaccination. Out of 176 births assessed over 1 year (93 from the vaccinated group, 83 from the placebo group, 9 were abnormal in the placebo group and 3 in the vaccinated group (p > 0.05. The frequency of adverse events was similar in the placebo and vaccinated groups. RVFV Clone 13 vaccine administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions was safe and well tolerated in West African breeds of sheep and goats, including animals of approximately 6 months of age and pregnant females, under field conditions in Senegal. Antibody levels persisted up to 1 year after vaccination.

  13. Safety and immunogenicity of Onderstepoort Biological Products' Rift Valley fever Clone 13 vaccine in sheep and goats under field conditions in Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Modou M; Mbao, Victor; Sierra, Pascale; Thiongane, Yaya; Diop, Mariame; Donadeu, Meritxell; Dungu, Baptiste

    2015-05-29

    This blinded field safety study was conducted in Senegal to assess safety and immunogenicity of administration of the registered dose of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) Clone 13 vaccine (Onderstepoort Biological Products) to sheep and goats of West African breeds under natural conditions. A total of 267 small ruminants (220 sheep, 47 goats) were included; half received RVFV Clone 13 vaccine at the recommended dose and half received the diluent (as placebo) only. The study was performed on three commercial farms in the northern and eastern region of Senegal in accordance with veterinary good clinical practices. The animals were observed daily for 3 days after vaccination, and then weekly for 1 year. In both sheep and goats vaccinated against RVFV seroconversion rates above 70% were recorded. No seroconversion related to RVFV was observed in placebo-treated animals. No statistically significant differences were determined between placebo and vaccinated groups for mean rectal temperatures for the first 3 days after administration (p > 0.05). No abnormal clinical signs related to treatment were noted, and only one slight injection site reaction was observed in one vaccinated animal for 2 days after vaccination. Out of 176 births assessed over 1 year (93 from the vaccinated group, 83 from the placebo group), 9 were abnormal in the placebo group and 3 in the vaccinated group (p > 0.05). The frequency of adverse events was similar in the placebo and vaccinated groups. RVFV Clone 13 vaccine administered according to the manufacturer's instructions was safe and well tolerated in West African breeds of sheep and goats, including animals of approximately 6 months of age and pregnant females, under field conditions in Senegal. Antibody levels persisted up to 1 year after vaccination.

  14. Biological denitrification process based on the Fe(0)-carbon micro-electrolysis for simultaneous ammonia and nitrate removal from low organic carbon water under a microaerobic condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Shihai; Li, Desheng; Yang, Xue; Xing, Wei; Li, Jinlong; Zhang, Qi

    2016-11-01

    A combined process between micro-electrolysis and biological denitrification (MEBD) using iron scraps and an activated carbon-based micro-electrolysis carrier was developed for nitrogen removal under a microaerobic condition. The process provided NH4(+)-N and total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiencies of 92.6% and 95.3%, respectively, and TN removal rate of 0.373±0.11kgN/(m(3)d) at corresponding DO of 1.0±0.1mg/L and HRT of 3h, and the optimal pH of 7.6-8.4. High-throughput sequencing analysis verified that dominant classes belonged to β-, α-, and γ-Proteobacteria, and Nitrospira. The dominant genera Hydrogenophaga and Sphaerotilus significantly increased during the operation, covering 13.2% and 6.1% in biofilms attached to the carrier in the middle of the reactor, respectively. Autotrophic denitrification contributed to >80% of the TN removal. The developed MEBD achieved efficient simultaneous nitrification and autotrophic denitrification, presenting significant potential for application in practical low organic carbon water treatment.

  15. Breeding biology of muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) under natural incubation: the use of the weibull function and a beta-binomial model to predict nest hatchability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harun; Draisma; Frankena; Veeneklaas; Van Kampen M

    1999-05-07

    In this paper we tested the Weibull function and beta-binomial distribution to analyse and predict nest hatchability, using empirical data on hatchability in Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) eggs under natural incubation (932 successfully incubated nests and 11 822 eggs). The estimated parameters of the Weibull function and beta-binomial model were compared with the logistic regression analysis. The maximum likelihood estimation of the parameters was used to quantify simultaneously the influence of the nesting behaviour and the duration of the reproduction cycle on hatchability. The estimated parameters showed that the hatchability was not affected in natural dump nests, but in artificial dump nests and in nests with non-term eggs the hatchability was reduced by 10 and 25%, respectively. Similar results were obtained using logistic regression. Both models provided a satisfactory description of the observed data set, but the beta-binomial model proved to have more parameters with practical and biological meaningful interpretations, because this model is able to quantify and incorporate the unexplained variation in a single parameter theta (which is a variance measure). Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  16. The Effect of Chemical, Biological and Organic Nutritional Treatments on Sunflowers Yield and Yield Components under the Influence of Water Deficit Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    fatemeh soleymani

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction To achieve the higher economic yield of crop plants, supplying enough nutrients to plants is very important. Moreover, nutrient uptakes by plants is influenced by the soil water contents. However, nowadays chemical fertilizer application is important agronomic factor that has significant effects on growth and quantity and quality of final yield, but traditional nutrient management and excessive use of chemical fertilizers may cause the environmental problems such as contamination of soil and water resources, low quality of agricultural products and reduction of soil fertility. These factors have drawn attention to health and ecological sustainable farming systems (Sharma, 2002. In this context, usage of organic and biological products for plant nutrition is considered as one of the solutions to achieve the goals of sustainable agriculture. Materials and methods To evaluate the effect of various feeding systems on yield and yield components of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. under the influence of water deficit stress, a split-plot experiment based on randomized complete block design with three replications, was carried out in the Agricultural Faculty of Bu-Ali Sina University during the growing season of 2013-2014. Main plots consisted of two irrigation levels: optimum irrigation and deficit irrigation stress (irrigation after 60 and 120 mm evaporation from evaporation pan, class A, respectively and sub-plots included of nine nutrition systems: 1- no bio or chemical fertilizer application, 2- 100% of the recommended chemical fertilizer , 3- vermicompost, 4- phospho nitro kara, 5- vermicompost+ phospho nitro kara, 6- vermicompost+ ½ chemical fertilizer, 7- phospho nitro kara+ ½ chemical fertilizer, 8- vermicompost+ phospho nitro kara+ ½ chemical fertilizer, 9- ½ proposed chemical fertilizer. Phospho-nitro-kara which contains phosphate solubilizing and nitrogen fixing bacteria (Bacillus coagulans, azotobactr chroocuccum and

  17. Preliminary Study on Plausible Reasoning in Chemistry Teaching of Senior Middle School%高中化学合情推理教学的初步研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨健; 吴俊明; 骆红山

    2009-01-01

    合情推理(Plausible reasoning)对科学教育具重要意义.通过科学哲学、逻辑学讨论以及历史实例说明科学发现离不开合情推理,科学教育必须重视合情推理能力的培养,并对高中化学合情推理教学的可能性、对象和内容等问题进行了讨论.%Plausible reasoning is significant to science education. Scientific philosophy, logic and historical examples prove that plausible reasoning is indispensable to scientific discoveries,so science education must pay attention to the development of plausible reasoning ability of students. Moreover, it discusses the possibility, object and content of plausible reasoning teaching in chemistry of senior middle school.

  18. Update on zinc biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomons, Noel W

    2013-01-01

    Zinc has become a prominent nutrient of clinical and public health interest in the new millennium. Functions and actions for zinc emerge as increasingly ubiquitous in mammalian anatomy, physiology and metabolism. There is undoubtedly an underpinning in fundamental biology for all of the aspects of zinc in human health (clinical and epidemiological) in pediatric and public health practice. Unfortunately, basic science research may not have achieved a full understanding as yet. As a complement to the applied themes in the companion articles, a selection of recent advances in the domains homeostatic regulation and transport of zinc is presented; they are integrated, in turn, with findings on genetic expression, intracellular signaling, immunity and host defense, and bone growth. The elements include ionic zinc, zinc transporters, metallothioneins, zinc metalloenzymes and zinc finger proteins. In emerging basic research, we find some plausible mechanistic explanations for delayed linear growth with zinc deficiency and increased infectious disease resistance with zinc supplementation. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Assessment of plausible bioindicators for plant performance in advanced wastewater treatment systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Uz, Blanca; Arregui, Lucía; Calvo, Pilar; Salvadó, Humbert; Fernández, Natividad; Rodríguez, Eva; Zornoza, Andrés; Serrano, Susana

    2010-09-01

    Three full-scale advanced biological systems for nitrogen removal showing different efficiencies were assessed during one year, to investigate the protist communities supported in these wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The main goal of this research was to explore the differences of these communities from those observed in conventional activated sludge systems. The final objective was to provide background support for the proposal of bioindicators in this type of biological systems, where scarce information was available until now, since only conventional systems had been previously studied from this point of view. Results obtained indicate that, in fact, protist population density and diversity in advanced systems for N-elimination are quite different from other wastewater systems studied before. A statistical approach through multivariate analysis was developed to search for association between protist species and physical-chemical system performance, and specifically N-removal efficiencies. The original hypothesis proposing that previous indicators from conventional systems are not adequate in advanced N-removal mechanisms was proved to be correct. Efficient processes on N-removal, despite what it had been usually found in conventional systems, show important flagellate and amoeba populations and these populations tend to reduce their abundances as nitrogen removal performance decreases (moderate to low). Ciliates are however less abundant in these N-removal efficient systems. Certain groups and genera of protist such as flagellates and small amoebae are thus proposed as indicative of high performance N-removal, while in this case the appearance of certain ciliates were indicative of low performance on N- or high organic matter removal (as COD) efficiencies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolutionary and structural features of the C2, V3 and C3 envelope regions underlying the differences in HIV-1 and HIV-2 biology and infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Barroso

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Unlike in HIV-1 infection, the majority of HIV-2 patients produce broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies, control viral replication and survive as elite controllers. The identification of the molecular, structural and evolutionary footprints underlying these very distinct immunological and clinical outcomes may lead to the development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a side-by-side molecular, evolutionary and structural comparison of the C2, V3 and C3 envelope regions from HIV-1 and HIV-2. These regions contain major antigenic targets and are important for receptor binding. In HIV-2, these regions also have immune modulatory properties. We found that these regions are significantly more variable in HIV-1 than in HIV-2. Within each virus, C3 is the most entropic region followed by either C2 (HIV-2 or V3 (HIV-1. The C3 region is well exposed in the HIV-2 envelope and is under strong diversifying selection suggesting that, like in HIV-1, it may harbour neutralizing epitopes. Notably, however, extreme diversification of C2 and C3 seems to be deleterious for HIV-2 and prevent its transmission. Computer modelling simulations showed that in HIV-2 the V3 loop is much less exposed than C2 and C3 and has a retractile conformation due to a physical interaction with both C2 and C3. The concealed and conserved nature of V3 in the HIV-2 is consistent with its lack of immunodominancy in vivo and with its role in preventing immune activation. In contrast, HIV-1 had an extended and accessible V3 loop that is consistent with its immunodominant and neutralizing nature. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We identify significant structural and functional constrains to the diversification and evolution of C2, V3 and C3 in the HIV-2 envelope but not in HIV-1. These studies highlight fundamental differences in the biology and infection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 and in their mode of

  1. Untemplated nonenzymatic polymerization of 3',5'cGMP: a plausible route to 3',5'-linked oligonucleotides in primordia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šponer, Judit E; Šponer, Jiří; Giorgi, Alessandra; Di Mauro, Ernesto; Pino, Samanta; Costanzo, Giovanna

    2015-02-19

    The high-energy 3',5' phosphodiester linkages conserved in 3',5' cyclic GMPs offer a genuine solution for monomer activation required by the transphosphorylation reactions that could lead to the emergence of the first simple oligonucleotide sequences on the early Earth. In this work we provide an in-depth characterization of the effect of the reaction conditions on the yield of the polymerization reaction of 3',5' cyclic GMPs both in aqueous environment as well as under dehydrating conditions. We show that the threshold temperature of the polymerization is about 30 °C lower under dehydrating conditions than in solution. In addition, we present a plausible exergonic reaction pathway for the polymerization reaction, which involves transient formation of anionic centers at the O3' positions of the participating riboses. We suggest that excess Na(+) cations inhibit the polymerization reaction because they block the anionic mechanism via neutralizing the negatively charged O3'. Our experimental findings are compatible with a prebiotic scenario, where gradual desiccation of the environment could induce polymerization of 3',5' cyclic GMPs synthesized in liquid.

  2. Beyond Hebb XOR and biological learning

    CERN Document Server

    Klemm, K; Schuster, H G; Klemm, Konstantin; Bornholdt, Stefan; Schuster, Heinz Georg

    1999-01-01

    A learning algorithm for multilayer neural networks based on biologically plausible mechanisms is studied. Motivated by findings in experimental neurobiology, we consider synaptic averaging in the induction of plasticity changes, which happen on a slower time scale than firing dynamics. This mechanism is shown to enable learning of the exclusive-or (XOR) problem without the aid of error back-propagation, as well as to increase robustness of learning in the presence of noise.

  3. Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota

    OpenAIRE

    Charlotte Madore; Quentin Leyrolle; Chloé Lacabanne; Anouk Benmamar-Badel; Corinne Joffre; Agnes Nadjar; Sophie Layé

    2016-01-01

    Several genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been identified. However, more recent work has highlighted that certain environmental exposures early in life may also account for some cases of autism. Environmental insults during pregnancy, such as infection or malnutrition, seem to dramatically impact brain development. Maternal viral or bacterial infections have been characterized as disruptors of brain shaping, even if their underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood....

  4. A Note on Unified Statistics Including Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein, and Tsallis Statistics, and Plausible Extension to Anisotropic Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christianto V.

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In the light of some recent hypotheses suggesting plausible unification of thermostatistics where Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein and Tsallis statistics become its special subsets, we consider further plausible extension to include non-integer Hausdorff dimension, which becomes realization of fractal entropy concept. In the subsequent section, we also discuss plausible extension of this unified statistics to include anisotropic effect by using quaternion oscillator, which may be observed in the context of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Further observation is of course recommended in order to refute or verify this proposition.

  5. Plausible Roles for RAGE in Conditions Exacerbated by Direct and Indirect (Secondhand Smoke Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua B. Lewis

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 1 billion people smoke worldwide, and the burden placed on society by primary and secondhand smokers is expected to increase. Smoking is the leading risk factor for myriad health complications stemming from diverse pathogenic programs. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contains thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic inflammatory responses and destructive remodeling events. In the current review, we outline details related to compromised pulmonary and systemic conditions related to smoke exposure. Specifically, data are discussed relative to impaired lung physiology, cancer mechanisms, maternal-fetal complications, cardiometabolic, and joint disorders in the context of smoke exposure exacerbations. As a general unifying mechanism, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE and its signaling axis is increasingly considered central to smoke-related pathogenesis. RAGE is a multi-ligand cell surface receptor whose expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure. RAGE signaling participates in the underpinning of inflammatory mechanisms mediated by requisite cytokines, chemokines, and remodeling enzymes. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of lung disease and systemic complications that combine during the demise of those exposed.

  6. The effect of organic, biological and chemical fertilizers on yield, essential oil percentage and some agroecological characteristics of summer savory (Satureja hortensis L. under Mashhad conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Gholami Sharafkhane

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Savory (Satureja hortensis L. is an annual herbaceous plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Nowadays, the use of biofertilizers is increased in agriculture and their role in increasing the crops production has been demonstrated in many research works (Vessey, 2003; Chen, 2006; Mahfouz & Sharaf- Eldin, 2007. One of the most important visions is sustainable production of enough food plus paying attention to social, economical and environmental aspects. (Gliessman, 1998 stated that the first step to achieve this goal is optimization and improvement of resources use efficiencies. Considering medicinal importance of savory and its role in the food and pharmaceutical industries (Omidbeigi, 2000, beside the limited nutrient resources and need to increase healthy production through using ecological inputs, this study was designed and conducted aimed to evaluate agroecological characteristics of savory as affected by the application of bio fertilizers, chemical and organic fertilizers under Mashhad conditions. Materials and methods In order to study the effects of organic, biological and chemical fertilizers on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of summer savory, a split-plot design based on RCBD with three replications was conducted during the growing season of 2012 at the Agricultural Research Station, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. Different levels of cattle manure (0 and 25 t.ha-1 were assigned to the main plots and different types of bio fertilizers (Nitroxin, containing Azotobacter sp. and Azospirillum sp., Biophosphor, containing phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (Bacillus sp. and Pseudomonas sp., Biosulfur, containing sulfur-solubilizing bacteria (Thiobacillus ssp., combination of Nitroxin+Biophosphor+ Biosulfur, vermicompost (7 t.ha-1, chemical fertilizers (NPK: 60, 60 and 70 kg.ha-1 and control (no fertilizer were used in the sub- plots. Results and discussion According to the results

  7. MicroRNA-378 regulates adiponectin expression in adipose tissue: a new plausible mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayoshi Ishida

    Full Text Available AIMS: Mechanisms regulating adiponectin expression have not been fully clarified. MicroRNAs (miRNAs, small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, are involved in biological processes, including obesity and insulin resistance. We evaluated whether the miRNA-378 pathway is involved in regulating adiponectin expression. METHODS AND RESULTS: First, we determined a putative target site for miRNA-378 in the 3 prime untranslated region (3'UTR of the adiponectin gene by in silico analysis. The levels of adiponectin mRNA and protein were decreased in 3T3-L1 cells overexpressing the mimic of miRNA-378. Luminescence activity in HEK293T cells expressing a renilla-luciferase-adiponectin-3'UTR sequence was inhibited by overexpressing the mimic of miRNA-378, and the decrease was reversed by adding the inhibitor of miRNA-378. Moreover, we confirmed the inhibitory effects of the mimic were cancelled in a deleted mutant of the miR-378 3'-UTR binding site. Addition of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα led a upregulation of miR-378 and downregulation of adiponectin at mRNA and protein levels in 3T3-L1 cells. Level of miR-378 was higher and mRNA level of adiponectin was lower in diabetic ob/ob mice than those of normal C57BL/6 mice and levels of miR378 and adiponectin were negatively well correlated (r = -0.624, p = 0.004. CONCLUSIONS: We found that levels of miRNA-378 could modulate adiponectin expression via the 3'UTR sequence-binding site. Our findings warrant further investigations into the role of miRNAs in regulating the adiponectin expression.

  8. Effect of Varying Amounts of Biological Phosphorus on the Morphological Characteristics, Yield and Yield Components of Brassica napus L. under End Season Water Deficit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza PIRZAD

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the effect of irrigation (irrigation disruption at beginning of flowering, end of flowering, grain filling and control and biological phosphorus (0, 50, 100 and 150 g/ha on the yield of Brassica napus L. cv. ‘Hyola 401’, a split plot experiment was carried out based on randomized complete block design with four replications in 2010. The maximum (4.55 g and minimum (3.25 g 1000 seed weight belonged to irrigation disruption at the beginning of flowering with 150 and 50 g/ha of biological phosphorus application, respectively. The highest yield of seed (777.58 kg/ha was obtained from irrigation disruption at the end of flowering with 50 g/ha biological phosphorus, and the lowest yield of seed (120.87 kg/ha was obtained from irrigation disruption at the beginning of flowering without biological phosphorus. The maximum number of complete pods (17.38 was observed in 150 g/ha of biological phosphorus application by normal irrigation, and the lowest number of complete pods (5.49 belonged to no phosphorus application with irrigation disruption at the beginning of flowering stage. The highest percent of infertile pods (55.29% was obtained from no phosphorus application with irrigation disruption at the beginning of flowering. And the lowest infertile pod percent (20.67% belonged to 150 g/ha biological phosphorus application at normal irrigation.

  9. Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass for sugars production: Driving factors with a plausible mechanism for higher enzymatic digestibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Tirath; Gaur, Ruchi; Dixit, Pooja; Gupta, Ravi P; Kagdiyal, V; Kumar, Ravindra; Tuli, Deepak K

    2016-09-20

    In this study, five ionic liquids (ILs) have been explored for biomass pretreatment for the production of fermentable sugar. We also investigated the driving factors responsible for improved enzymatic digestibility of various ILs treated biomass along with postulating the plausible mechanism thereof. Post pretreatment, mainly two factors impacted the enzymatic digestibility (i) structural deformation (cellulose I to II) along with xylan/lignin removal and (ii) properties of ILs; wherein, K-T parameters, viscosity and surface tension had a direct influence on pretreatment. A systematic investigation of these parameters and their impact on enzymatic digestibility is drawn. [C2mim][OAc] with β-value 1.32 resulted 97.7% of glucose yield using 10 FPU/g of biomass. A closer insight into the cellulose structural transformation has prompted a plausible mechanism explaining the better digestibility. The impact of these parameters on the digestibility can pave the way to customize the process to make biomass vulnerable to enzymatic attack.

  10. Antimicrobial drug use in Austrian pig farms: plausibility check of electronic on-farm records and estimation of consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trauffler, M; Griesbacher, A; Fuchs, K; Köfer, J

    2014-10-25

    Electronic drug application records from farmers from 75 conventional pig farms were revised and checked for their plausibility. The registered drug amounts were verified by comparing the farmers' records with veterinarians' dispensary records. The antimicrobial consumption was evaluated from 2008 to 2011 and expressed in weight of active substance(s), number of used daily doses (nUDD), number of animal daily doses (nADD) and number of product-related daily doses (nPrDD). All results were referred to one year and animal bodyweight (kg biomass). The data plausibility proof revealed about 14 per cent of unrealistic drug amount entries in the farmers' records. The annual antimicrobial consumption was 33.9 mg/kg/year, 4.9 UDDkg/kg/year, 1.9 ADDkg/kg/year and 2.5 PrDDkg/kg/year (average). Most of the antimicrobials were applied orally (86 per cent) and at group-level. Main therapy indications were metaphylactic/prophylactic measures (farrow-to-finish and fattening farms) or digestive tract diseases (breeding farms). The proportion of the 'highest priority critically important antimicrobials' was low (12 per cent). After determination of a threshold value, farms with a high antimicrobial use could be detected. Statistical tests showed that the veterinarian had an influence on the dosage, the therapy indication and the active substance. Orally administered antimicrobials were mostly underdosed, parenterally administered antimicrobials rather correctly or overdosed.

  11. Regulation of HtrA2 on WT1 gene expression under imatinib stimulation and its effects on the cell biology of K562 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lixia; Li, Yan; Li, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Qing; Qiu, Shaowei; Zhang, Qi; Wang, Min; Xing, Haiyan; Rao, Qing; Tian, Zheng; Tang, Kejing; Wang, Jianxiang; Mi, Yingchang

    2017-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the regulation of Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) by serine protease high-temperature requirement protein A2 (HtrA2), a member of the Htr family, in K562 cells. In addition, the study aimed to observe the effect of this regulation on cell biological functions and its associated mechanisms. Expression of WT1 and HtrA2 mRNA, and proteins following imatinib and the HtrA2 inhibitor 5-[5-(2-nitrophenyl) furfuryl iodine]-1, 3-diphenyl-2-thiobarbituric acid (UCF-101) treatment was detected with reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. Subsequent to treatment with drugs and UCF-101, the proliferative function of K562 cells was detected using MTT assays, and the rate of apoptosis was detected using Annexin V with propidium iodide flow cytometry in K562 cells. The protein levels in the signaling pathway were analyzed using western blotting following treatment with imatinib and UCF-101. In K562 cells, imatinib treatment activated HtrA2 gene at a transcription level, while the WT1 gene was simultaneously downregulated. Following HtrA2 inhibitor (UCF-101) treatment, the downregulation of WT1 increased gradually. At the protein level, imatinib induced the increase in HtrA2 protein level and concomitantly downregulated WT1 protein level. Subsequent to HtrA2 inhibition by UCF-101, the WT1 protein level decreased temporarily, but eventually increased. Imatinib induced apoptosis in K562 cells, but this effect was attenuated by the HtrA2 inhibitor UCF-101, resulting in the upregulation of the WT1 protein level. However; UCF-101 did not markedly change the proliferation inhibition caused by imatinib. Imatinib activated the p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) signaling pathway in K562 cells, and UCF-101 affected the activation of imatinib in the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Imatinib inhibited the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK1/2) pathway markedly and persistently, but UCF-101

  12. Marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index.

  13. Comparison the Efficiency of Aquasorb and Accepta Superabsorbent Polymers in Improving Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Soil and Tomato Turnover under Greenhouse Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    mehdi nourzadeh haddad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Water shortage in arid and semiarid regions is the most serious factor in limiting agricultural activities as it leads to the rapid reduction of yields from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Under conditions of water scarcity, leaf temperature rises, which causes plant wilting and premature senescence of leaves and, eventually, severes reduction of dry matter production. Use of high-efficient irrigation practices, improvement of soil's physical properties, and use of soil amendments such as superabsorbent polymers are some ways of compensating for water shortage, especially during the growing season. Some materials such as plant residues, manure, various types of compost, and superabsorbent polymeric hydrogels can store various amounts of water and thus increase water retention and storage capacity of soils. Superabsorbent hydrogels, which are also called superabsorbent polymers (SAPs or hydrophilic polymeric gels, are hydrogels that can absorb substantial quantities of water. Hydrogels are a class of polymeric materials having network structures (with physical or chemical crosslinks that are very capable of swelling and absorbing large amounts of water. These materials are formed from water-solublepolymers by crosslinking them either using radiation or a crosslinker. Superabsorbents are widely used in many products such as disposable diapers, feminine napkins, soils for agricultural and horticultural purposes, gel actuators, water blocking tapes, medicine for the drug delivery systems and absorbent pads where water absorbency or water retention is important. Water is a major constraint for crop growth in arid and semi-arid regions, as the precipitation is low and uncertain in these areas. Efficient utilization of meager soil and water resources necessitates the adaptation of appropriate water management techniques. Suitable soil moisture increases the biological activities as result of physical and chemical

  14. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  15. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  16. Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Madore

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Several genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD have been identified. However, more recent work has highlighted that certain environmental exposures early in life may also account for some cases of autism. Environmental insults during pregnancy, such as infection or malnutrition, seem to dramatically impact brain development. Maternal viral or bacterial infections have been characterized as disruptors of brain shaping, even if their underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Poor nutritional diversity, as well as nutrient deficiency, is strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children. For instance, imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids, and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs, are observed in patients with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and schizophrenia. Interestingly, PUFAs, and specifically n-3 PUFAs, are powerful immunomodulators that exert anti-inflammatory properties. These prenatal dietary and immunologic factors not only impact the fetal brain, but also affect the microbiota. Recent work suggests that the microbiota could be the missing link between environmental insults in prenatal life and future neurodevelopmental disorders. As both nutrition and inflammation can massively affect the microbiota, we discuss here how understanding the crosstalk between these three actors could provide a promising framework to better elucidate ASD etiology.

  17. Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madore, Charlotte; Leyrolle, Quentin; Lacabanne, Chloé; Benmamar-Badel, Anouk; Joffre, Corinne; Nadjar, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    Several genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been identified. However, more recent work has highlighted that certain environmental exposures early in life may also account for some cases of autism. Environmental insults during pregnancy, such as infection or malnutrition, seem to dramatically impact brain development. Maternal viral or bacterial infections have been characterized as disruptors of brain shaping, even if their underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Poor nutritional diversity, as well as nutrient deficiency, is strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children. For instance, imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids, and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are observed in patients with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia). Interestingly, PUFAs, and specifically n-3 PUFAs, are powerful immunomodulators that exert anti-inflammatory properties. These prenatal dietary and immunologic factors not only impact the fetal brain, but also affect the microbiota. Recent work suggests that the microbiota could be the missing link between environmental insults in prenatal life and future neurodevelopmental disorders. As both nutrition and inflammation can massively affect the microbiota, we discuss here how understanding the crosstalk between these three actors could provide a promising framework to better elucidate ASD etiology. PMID:27840741

  18. Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madore, Charlotte; Leyrolle, Quentin; Lacabanne, Chloé; Benmamar-Badel, Anouk; Joffre, Corinne; Nadjar, Agnes; Layé, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Several genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been identified. However, more recent work has highlighted that certain environmental exposures early in life may also account for some cases of autism. Environmental insults during pregnancy, such as infection or malnutrition, seem to dramatically impact brain development. Maternal viral or bacterial infections have been characterized as disruptors of brain shaping, even if their underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Poor nutritional diversity, as well as nutrient deficiency, is strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children. For instance, imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids, and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are observed in patients with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia). Interestingly, PUFAs, and specifically n-3 PUFAs, are powerful immunomodulators that exert anti-inflammatory properties. These prenatal dietary and immunologic factors not only impact the fetal brain, but also affect the microbiota. Recent work suggests that the microbiota could be the missing link between environmental insults in prenatal life and future neurodevelopmental disorders. As both nutrition and inflammation can massively affect the microbiota, we discuss here how understanding the crosstalk between these three actors could provide a promising framework to better elucidate ASD etiology.

  19. Plausibility, necessity and identity: A logic of relative plausibility%似然性、必然性和恒等:一种相对似然性逻辑

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小五; 文学锋

    2007-01-01

    构造一个希尔伯特型的系统RPL, 来刻画由J·哈尔彭提出的似然性测度概念, 证明RPL相对一个邻域型语义是可靠和完全的.运用表述RPL的语言, 证明它可以定义已经得到深入研究的必然性、条件句和命题恒等这样的概念.%We construct a Hilbert style system RPL for the notion of plausibility measure introduced by Halpern J, and we prove the soundness and completeness with respect to a neighborhood style semantics.Using the language of RPL, we demonstrate that it can define well-studied notions of necessity,conditionals and propositional identity.

  20. Biological N2-FIXATION and Mineral N-Fertilization Effects on Soybean (Glicine max L. Merr.) Yield Under Temperate Climate Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    László Phd, M., ,, Dr.

    2009-04-01

    continues to increase) and allewiate world hunger is to increase the intensity of production in those ecosystems that lend themselves to sustainable intensification while decreasing the intensity of production in the more fragile ecologies (Reeves 1998). Most plants depend entirely for growth on fixed nitrogen absorbed from the soil, mainly as nitrate but also as ammonium. Therefore to the methods of crop production now dominant in the agricultural systems of many developed countries strongly depend upon a sustained input of N. Economic and environmental considerations surrounding fertilizer use then empasize the need to increase the efficiency of N- utilization by plants. On the other hand the biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is important under all imput conditions to ensure an optimal supply of nitrogen to the farming system. A well-founded understanding of the mechanistic interactions between BNF and N limitations is presently lacking. Synbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes makes a valuable contribution to N-inputs, especially in countries like Hungary where effective rhizobia-inoculation techniques have been developed in the context of the new sustainable agricultural system. It is widely known that soya bean -Glycine max (L.) Merr.-, is an important legume. This plant able to fix the atmospheric nitrogen (N2) it needs for growth through the agency of specific bacteria Rhizobium japonicum. Under field conditions fixation usually accounts for only 25-30% of the total nitrogen accumulated by these plants at harvest. Therefore to marginal yield have to optimalise the nitrogen supply of these legume by N-fertilization. Objectives for our experiments were to (1.) comparisons of the plant nutrition performance of different soil nitrogen supply levels by N- fertilization and N- fixation under Mediterranean climate conditions at Hungary, (2.) evaluates the potential for N2 fixation imputs by grain legume based on the soya bean as a means of improving soil fertility, (3

  1. All biology is computational biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowetz, Florian

    2017-03-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science.

  2. All biology is computational biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science. PMID:28278152

  3. Dormancy and Recovery Testing for Biological Wastewater Processors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummerick, Mary F.; Coutts, Janelle L.; Lunn, Griffin M.; Spencer, LaShelle; Khodadad, Christina L.; Birmele, Michele N.; Frances, Someliz; Wheeler, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Resource recovery and recycling waste streams to usable water via biological water processors is a plausible component of an integrated water purification system. Biological processing as a pretreatment can reduce the load of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds entering physiochemical systems downstream. Aerated hollow fiber membrane bioreactors, have been proposed and studied for a number of years as an approach for treating wastewater streams for space exploration.

  4. An optimization framework of biological dynamical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horie, Ryota

    2008-07-07

    Different biological dynamics are often described by different mathematical equations. On the other hand, some mathematical models describe many biological dynamics universally. Here, we focus on three biological dynamics: the Lotka-Volterra equation, the Hopfield neural networks, and the replicator equation. We describe these three dynamical models using a single optimization framework, which is constructed with employing the Riemannian geometry. Then, we show that the optimization structures of these dynamics are identical, and the differences among the three dynamics are only in the constraints of the optimization. From this perspective, we discuss the unified view for biological dynamics. We also discuss the plausible categorizations, the fundamental nature, and the efficient modeling of the biological dynamics, which arise from the optimization perspective of the dynamical systems.

  5. A biological rationale for musical consonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, Daniel L; Purves, Dale

    2015-09-01

    The basis of musical consonance has been debated for centuries without resolution. Three interpretations have been considered: (i) that consonance derives from the mathematical simplicity of small integer ratios; (ii) that consonance derives from the physical absence of interference between harmonic spectra; and (iii) that consonance derives from the advantages of recognizing biological vocalization and human vocalization in particular. Whereas the mathematical and physical explanations are at odds with the evidence that has now accumulated, biology provides a plausible explanation for this central issue in music and audition.

  6. The role of adverse childhood experiences in cardiovascular disease risk: a review with emphasis on plausible mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shaoyong; Jimenez, Marcia P; Roberts, Cole T F; Loucks, Eric B

    2015-10-01

    Childhood adversity, characterized by abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, is a problem that exerts a significant impact on individuals, families, and society. Growing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with health decline in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the current review, we first provide an overview of the association between ACEs and CVD risk, with updates on the latest epidemiological evidence. Second, we briefly review plausible pathways by which ACEs could influence CVD risk, including traditional risk factors and novel mechanisms. Finally, we highlight the potential implications of ACEs in clinical and public health. Information gleaned from this review should help physicians and researchers in better understanding potential long-term consequences of ACEs and considering adapting current strategies in treatment or intervention for patients with ACEs.

  7. A hitherto undescribed case of cerebellar ataxia as the sole presentation of thyrotoxicosis in a young man: a plausible association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhadd, Tarik Abdelkareim; Linton, Kathryn; McCoy, Caoihme; Saha, Subrata; Holden, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A 16-year-old male presented to hospital following an episode of unusual behavior on the football pitch, where he was witnessed as grossly ataxic by his teammates. The assessment demonstrated marked cerebellar signs on examination but no other neurological deficit. The investigation showed the evidence of biochemical thyrotoxicosis with free T4 at 37 pmol/L (normal reference range: 11-27) and thyrotropin (TSH) plausible because alternative etiologies were excluded, and the normalization of thyroid function with treatment was coupled with complete resolution of the neurological syndrome. Cerebellar syndromes may well be one of the presenting features of thyrotoxicosis, and this should be in the list of its differential diagnosis.

  8. Influence of the Aqueous Environment on Protein Structure—A Plausible Hypothesis Concerning the Mechanism of Amyloidogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Roterman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The aqueous environment is a pervasive factor which, in many ways, determines the protein folding process and consequently the activity of proteins. Proteins are unable to perform their function unless immersed in water (membrane proteins excluded from this statement. Tertiary conformational stabilization is dependent on the presence of internal force fields (nonbonding interactions between atoms, as well as an external force field generated by water. The hitherto the unknown structuralization of water as the aqueous environment may be elucidated by analyzing its effects on protein structure and function. Our study is based on the fuzzy oil drop model—a mechanism which describes the formation of a hydrophobic core and attempts to explain the emergence of amyloid-like fibrils. A set of proteins which vary with respect to their fuzzy oil drop status (including titin, transthyretin and a prion protein have been selected for in-depth analysis to suggest the plausible mechanism of amyloidogenesis.

  9. Usefulness and limitations of dK random graph models to predict interactions and functional homogeneity in biological networks under a pseudo-likelihood parameter estimation approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan Yihui

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of biological functions can be modeled by biological networks, such as protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, and gene coexpression networks. Studying the statistical properties of these networks in turn allows us to infer biological function. Complex statistical network models can potentially more accurately describe the networks, but it is not clear whether such complex models are better suited to find biologically meaningful subnetworks. Results Recent studies have shown that the degree distribution of the nodes is not an adequate statistic in many molecular networks. We sought to extend this statistic with 2nd and 3rd order degree correlations and developed a pseudo-likelihood approach to estimate the parameters. The approach was used to analyze the MIPS and BIOGRID yeast protein interaction networks, and two yeast coexpression networks. We showed that 2nd order degree correlation information gave better predictions of gene interactions in both protein interaction and gene coexpression networks. However, in the biologically important task of predicting functionally homogeneous modules, degree correlation information performs marginally better in the case of the MIPS and BIOGRID protein interaction networks, but worse in the case of gene coexpression networks. Conclusion Our use of dK models showed that incorporation of degree correlations could increase predictive power in some contexts, albeit sometimes marginally, but, in all contexts, the use of third-order degree correlations decreased accuracy. However, it is possible that other parameter estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood, will show the usefulness of incorporating 2nd and 3rd degree correlations in predicting functionally homogeneous modules.

  10. Charting plausible futures for diabetes prevalence in the United States: a role for system dynamics simulation modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milstein, Bobby; Jones, Andrew; Homer, Jack B; Murphy, Dara; Essien, Joyce; Seville, Don

    2007-07-01

    Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) objectives call for a 38% reduction in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2, by the year 2010. The process for setting this objective, however, did not focus on the achievability or the compatibility of this objective with other national public health objectives. We used a dynamic simulation model to explore plausible trajectories for diabetes prevalence in the wake of rising levels of obesity in the U.S. population. The model helps to interpret historic trends in diabetes prevalence in the United States and to anticipate plausible future trends through 2010. We conducted simulation experiments using a computer model of diabetes population dynamics to 1) track the rates at which people develop diabetes, are diagnosed with the disease, and die, and 2) assess the effects of various preventive-care interventions. System dynamics modeling methodology based on data from multiple sources guided the analyses. With the number of new cases of diabetes being much greater than the number of deaths among those with the disease, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is likely to continue to increase. Even a 29% reduction in the number of new cases (the HP 2010 objective) would only slow the growth, not reverse it. Increased diabetes detection rates or decreased mortality rates--also HP 2010 objectives--would further increase diagnosed prevalence. The HP 2010 objective for reducing diabetes prevalence is unattainable given the historical processes that are affecting incidence, diagnosis, and mortality, and even a zero-growth future is unlikely. System dynamics modeling shows why interventions to protect against chronic diseases have only gradual effects on their diagnosed prevalence.

  11. A Systems Biology-Based Approach to Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Dragon's Blood Tablet in Colitis, Involving the Integration of Chemical Analysis, ADME Prediction, and Network Pharmacology

    OpenAIRE

    Haiyu Xu; Yanqiong Zhang; Yun Lei; Xiumei Gao; Huaqiang Zhai; Na Lin; Shihuan Tang; Rixin Liang; Yan Ma; Defeng Li; Yi Zhang; Guangrong Zhu; Hongjun Yang; Luqi Huang

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ult...

  12. Word learning under infinite uncertainty

    CERN Document Server

    Blythe, Richard A; Smith, Kenny

    2014-01-01

    Language learners learn the meanings of many thousands of words, despite encountering them in complex environments where infinitely many meanings might be inferred by the learner as their true meaning. This problem of infinite referential uncertainty is often attributed to Willard Van Orman Quine. We provide a mathematical formalisation of an ideal cross-situational learner attempting to learn under infinite referential uncertainty, and identify conditions under which this can happen. As Quine's intuitions suggest, learning under infinite uncertainty is possible, provided that learners have some means of ranking candidate word meanings in terms of their plausibility; furthermore, our analysis shows that this ranking could in fact be exceedingly weak, implying that constraints allowing learners to infer the plausibility of candidate word meanings could also be weak.

  13. Introduction to systems biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggeman, F.J.; Hornberg, J.J.; Boogerd, F.C.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Boogerd, F.C.; Bruggeman, F.J.; Hofmeyr, J.H.S.; Westerhoff, H.V.

    2007-01-01

    The developments in the molecular biosciences have made possible a shift to combined molecular and system-level approaches to biological research under the name of Systems Biology. It integrates many types of molecular knowledge, which can best be achieved by the synergistic use of models and experi

  14. Eruca sativa Might Influence the Growth, Survival under Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Some Biological Features of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Strains

    OpenAIRE

    Florinda Fratianni; Selenia Pepe; Federica Cardinale; Tiziana Granese; Autilia Cozzolino; Raffaele Coppola; Filomena Nazzaro

    2014-01-01

    The growth and viability of three Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, after their passage through simulated gastric and pancreatic juices were studied as a function of their presence in the growth medium of rocket salad (Eruca sativa). The presence of E. sativa affected some of the biological properties of the strains. For example, L. acidophilus and L. plantarum worked more efficiently in the presence of E. sativa, increasing...

  15. Legislative Regulation of Traditional Medicinal Knowledge in Eritrea vis-à-vis Eritrea's Commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity: Issues and Alternatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senai Andemariam

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available On 21 March 1996, Eritrea acceded to the Convention on Biological Diversity which, among others, obliges states to sustainably conserve and develop customary uses of biological resources. Among the many forms of traditional practices of biological resources is traditional medicinal knowledge. Research has revealed that Eritrea has abundant pool of such knowledge and a high percentage of its population, as it is true with many developing and underdeveloped countries, resorts to traditional medicine for curing numerous ailments. However, no specific policy or legislative framework has yet been developed to sift, preserve and encourage the practice. Analysis of existing Eritrean laws and policies will show that they are neither adequate nor specific enough to be used in the preservation and development of Eritrean traditional medicinal knowledge. This article will, therefore, in view of the rich, yet unregulated, traditional medicinal knowledge resource in Eritrea, highlight the need for the development of a specific legal instrument legislation for Eritrea from the perspective of international and country level experiences. It will be argued that the development of a specific legislation is preferred to the alternative of keeping traditional medicinal knowledge as a component of a legal instrument developed for a larger mass such as health or traditional knowledge.

  16. In vitro biological effectiveness of JRR-4 epithermal neutron beam. Experiment under free air beam and in water phantom. Cooperative research

    CERN Document Server

    Yamamoto, T; Horiguchi, Y; Kishi, T; Kumada, H; Matsumura, A; Nose, T; Torii, Y; Yamamoto, K

    2002-01-01

    The surviving curve and the biological effectiveness factor of dose components generated in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) were separately determined in neutron beams at Japan Research Reactor No.4. Surviving fraction of V79 Chinese hamster cell with or without sup 1 sup 0 B was obtained using an epithermal neutron beam (ENB), a mixed thermal-epithermal neutron beam (TNB-1), and a thermal neutron beam (TNB-2), which were used or planned to use for BNCT clinical trial. The cell killing effect of these neutron beams with or without the presence of sup 1 sup 0 B depended highly on the neutron beam used, according to the epithermal and fast neutron content in the beam. The biological effectiveness factor values of the boron capture reaction for ENB, TNB-1 and TNB-2 were 3.99+-0.24, 3.04+-0.19 and 1.43+-0.08, respectively. The biological effectiveness factor values of the high-LET dose components based on the hydrogen recoils and the nitrogen capture reaction were 2.50+-0.32, 2.34+-0.30 and 2.17+-0.28 for EN...

  17. Egyptian Journal of Biology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Egyptian Journal of Biology publishes standard scientific contributions and ... Faunistic papers or field-based studies of the natural history of the Egyptian fauna ... Total lipid accumulation and fatty acid profiles of microalga Spirulina under ...

  18. A genome-wide association meta-analysis of diarrhoeal disease in young children identifies FUT2 locus and provides plausible biological pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bustamante, Mariona; Standl, Marie; Bassat, Quique

    2016-01-01

    More than a million childhood diarrhoeal episodes occur worldwide each year, and in developed countries a considerable part of them are caused by viral infections. In this study, we aimed to search for genetic variants associated with diarrhoeal disease in young children by meta-analyzing genome-...

  19. A mathematical and biological plausible model of decision-execution regulation in "Go/No-Go" tasks: Focusing on the fronto-striatal-thalamic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baghdadi, Golnaz; Towhidkhah, Farzad; Rostami, Reza

    2017-07-01

    Discovering factors influencing the speed and accuracy of responses in tasks such as "Go/No-Go" is one of issues which have been raised in neurocognitive studies. Mathematical models are considered as tools to identify and to study decision making procedure from different aspects. In this paper, a mathematical model has been presented to show several factors can alter the output of decision making procedure before execution in a "Go/No-Go" task. The dynamic of this model has two stable fixed points, each of them corresponds to the "Press" and "Not-press" responses. This model that focuses on the fronto-striatal-thalamic direct and indirect pathways, receives planned decisions from frontal cortex and sends a regulated output to motor cortex for execution. The state-space analysis showed that several factors could affect the regulation procedure such as the input strength, noise value, initial condition, and the values of involved neurotransmitters. Some probable analytical reasons that may lead to changes in decision-execution regulation have been suggested as well. Bifurcation diagram analysis demonstrates that an optimal interaction between these factors can compensate the weaknesses of some others. It is predicted that abnormalities of response control in different brain disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be resolved by providing treatment techniques that target the regulation of the interaction. The model also suggests a possible justification to show why so many studies insist on the important role of dopamine in some brain disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Pathways to plausibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    2008-01-01

    Herbal medicine has long been contrasted to modern medicine in terms of a holistic approach to healing, vitalistic theories of health and illness and an emphasis on the body’s innate self-healing capacities. At the same time, since the early 20th century, the cultivation, preparation and mass...

  1. Pathways to plausibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    2008-01-01

    Herbal medicine has long been contrasted to modern medicine in terms of a holistic approach to healing, vitalistic theories of health and illness and an emphasis on the body’s innate self-healing capacities. At the same time, since the early 20th century, the cultivation, preparation and mass pro...... as normalised, with herbalists, phytochemists and pharmacologists working to develop standardised production procedures as well as to identify ‘plausible’ explanations for the efficacy of these remedies....

  2. Reduction in pathogen populations at grapevine wound sites is associated with the mechanism underlying the biological control of crown gall by rhizobium vitis strain ARK-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, Akira

    2014-09-17

    A nonpathogenic strain of Rhizobium (=Agrobacterium) vitis, ARK-1, limited the development of grapevine crown gall. A co-inoculation with ARK-1 and the tumorigenic strain VAT07-1 at a 1:1 cell ratio resulted in a higher population of ARK-1 than VAT07-1 in shoots without tumors, but a significantly lower population of ARK-1 than VAT07-1 in grapevine shoots with tumors. ARK-1 began to significantly suppress the VAT07-1 population 2 d after the inoculation. This result indicated that ARK-1 reduced the pathogen population at the wound site through biological control. Although ARK-1 produced a zone of inhibition against other tumorigenic Rhizobium spp. in in vitro assays, antibiosis depended on the culture medium. ARK-1 did not inhibit the growth of tumorigenic R. radiobacter strain AtC1 in the antibiosis assay, but suppressed the AtC1-induced formation of tumors on grapevine shoots, suggesting that antibiosis by ARK-1 may not be the main mechanism responsible for biological control.

  3. From provocative narrative scenarios to quantitative biophysical model results: Simulating plausible futures to 2070 in an urbanizing agricultural watershed in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, E.; Chen, X.; Motew, M.; Qiu, J.; Zipper, S. C.; Carpenter, S. R.; Kucharik, C. J.; Steven, L. I.

    2015-12-01

    Scenario analysis is a powerful tool for envisioning future social-ecological change and its consequences on human well-being. Scenarios that integrate qualitative storylines and quantitative biophysical models can create a vivid picture of these potential futures but the integration process is not straightforward. We present - using the Yahara Watershed in southern Wisconsin (USA) as a case study - a method for developing quantitative inputs (climate, land use/cover, and land management) to drive a biophysical modeling suite based on four provocative and contrasting narrative scenarios that describe plausible futures of the watershed to 2070. The modeling suite consists of an agroecosystem model (AgroIBIS-VSF), hydrologic routing model (THMB), and empirical lake water quality model and estimates several biophysical indicators to evaluate the watershed system under each scenario. These indicators include water supply, lake flooding, agricultural production, and lake water quality. Climate (daily precipitation and air temperature) for each scenario was determined using statistics from 210 different downscaled future climate projections for two 20-year time periods (2046-2065 and 2081-2100) and modified using a stochastic weather generator to allow flexibility for matching specific climate events within the scenario narratives. Land use/cover for each scenario was determined first by quantifying changes in areal extent every decade for 15 categories at the watershed scale to be consistent with the storyline events and theme. Next, these changes were spatially distributed using a rule-based framework based on land suitability metrics that determine transition probabilities. Finally, agricultural inputs including manure and fertilizer application rates were determined for each scenario based on the prevalence of livestock, water quality regulations, and technological innovations. Each scenario is compared using model inputs (maps and time-series of land use/cover and

  4. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  5. The induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning%量化plausibility测度在默认推理系统中的推理能力

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    霍旭辉; 寇辉

    2011-01-01

    作者讨论了量化plausibility测度在默认推理逻辑系统(P系统)中的推理能力,给出了一般量化plausibility测度与possibility测度具有相同推理能力的条件.%In this paper,the authors investigate the induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning,and obtain the conditions such that the general qualitative plausibility measures and the possibilty measures have the same induction in default reasoning.

  6. Plausible Drug Targets in the Streptococcus mutans Quorum Sensing Pathways to Combat Dental Biofilms and Associated Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Gurmeet; Rajesh, Shrinidhi; Princy, S Adline

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus mutans, a Gram positive facultative anaerobe, is one among the approximately seven hundred bacterial species to exist in human buccal cavity and cause dental caries. Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-density dependent communication process that respond to the inter/intra-species signals and elicit responses to show behavioral changes in the bacteria to an aggressive forms. In accordance to this phenomenon, the S. mutans also harbors a Competing Stimulating Peptide (CSP)-mediated quorum sensing, ComCDE (Two-component regulatory system) to regulate several virulence-associated traits that includes the formation of the oral biofilm (dental plaque), genetic competence and acidogenicity. The QS-mediated response of S. mutans adherence on tooth surface (dental plaque) imparts antibiotic resistance to the bacterium and further progresses to lead a chronic state, known as periodontitis. In recent years, the oral streptococci, S. mutans are not only recognized for its cariogenic potential but also well known to worsen the infective endocarditis due to its inherent ability to colonize and form biofilm on heart valves. The review significantly appreciate the increasing complexity of the CSP-mediated quorum-sensing pathway with a special emphasis to identify the plausible drug targets within the system for the development of anti-quorum drugs to control biofilm formation and associated risks.

  7. Three-layered metallodielectric nanoshells: plausible meta-atoms for metamaterials with isotropic negative refractive index at visible wavelengths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, DaJian; Jiang, ShuMin; Cheng, Ying; Liu, XiaoJun

    2013-01-14

    A three-layered Ag-low-permittivity (LP)-high-permittivity (HP) nanoshell is proposed as a plausible meta-atom for building the three-dimensional isotropic negative refractive index metamaterials (NIMs). The overlap between the electric and magnetic responses of Ag-LP-HP nanoshell can be realized by designing the geometry of the particle, which can lead to the negative electric and magnetic polarizabilities. Then, the negative refractive index is found in the random arrangement of Ag-LP-HP nanoshells. Especially, the modulation of the middle LP layer can move the negative refractive index range into the visible region. Because the responses arise from the each meta-atom, the metamaterial is intrinsically isotropic and polarization independent. It is further found with the increase of the LP layer thickness that the negative refractive index range of the random arrangement shows a large blue-shift and becomes narrow. With the decrease of the filling fraction, the negative refractive index range shows a blue-shift and becomes narrow while the maximum of the negative refractive index decreases.

  8. Non-canonical 3'-5' extension of RNA with prebiotically plausible ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Hannes; Holliger, Philipp

    2014-04-09

    Ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates (N>p's) are generated by multiple prebiotically plausible processes and are credible building blocks for the assembly of early RNA oligomers. While N>p's can be polymerized into short RNAs by non-enzymatic processes with variable efficiency and regioselectivity, no enzymatic route for RNA synthesis had been described. Here we report such a non-canonical 3'-5' nucleotidyl transferase activity. We engineered a variant of the hairpin ribozyme to catalyze addition of all four N>p's (2',3'-cyclic A-, G-, U-, and CMP) to the 5'-hydroxyl termini of RNA strands with 5' nucleotide addition enhanced in all cases by eutectic ice phase formation at -7 °C. We also observed 5' addition of 2',3'-cyclic phosphate-activated β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD>p) and ACA>p RNA trinucleotide, and multiple additions of GUCCA>p RNA pentamers. Our results establish a new mode of RNA 3'-5' extension with implications for RNA oligomer synthesis from prebiotic nucleotide pools.

  9. Bilinguals' Plausibility Judgments for Phrases with a Literal vs. Non-literal Meaning: The Influence of Language Brokering Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belem G. López

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous work has shown that prior experience in language brokering (informal translation may facilitate the processing of meaning within and across language boundaries. The present investigation examined the influence of brokering on bilinguals' processing of two word collocations with either a literal or a figurative meaning in each language. Proficient Spanish-English bilinguals classified as brokers or non-brokers were asked to judge if adjective+noun phrases presented in each language made sense or not. Phrases with a literal meaning (e.g., stinging insect were interspersed with phrases with a figurative meaning (e.g., stinging insult and non-sensical phrases (e.g., stinging picnic. It was hypothesized that plausibility judgments would be facilitated for literal relative to figurative meanings in each language but that experience in language brokering would be associated with a more equivalent pattern of responding across languages. These predictions were confirmed. The findings add to the body of empirical work on individual differences in language processing in bilinguals associated with prior language brokering experience.

  10. Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Joseph R; Burke, Andrea; Dunbar, Nelia W; Köhler, Peter; Thomas, Jennie L; Arienzo, Monica M; Chellman, Nathan J; Maselli, Olivia J; Sigl, Michael; Adkins, Jess F; Baggenstos, Daniel; Burkhart, John F; Brook, Edward J; Buizert, Christo; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Fudge, T J; Knorr, Gregor; Graf, Hans-F; Grieman, Mackenzie M; Iverson, Nels; McGwire, Kenneth C; Mulvaney, Robert; Paris, Guillaume; Rhodes, Rachael H; Saltzman, Eric S; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Taylor, Kendrick C; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-09-05

    Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics-similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica-plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.

  11. X-ray investigation of the diffuse emission around plausible gamma-ray emitting pulsar wind nebulae in Kookaburra region

    CERN Document Server

    Kishishita, Tetsuichi; Uchiyama, Yasunobu; Tanaka, Yasuyuki; Takahashi, Tadayuki

    2012-01-01

    We report on the results from {\\it Suzaku} X-ray observations of the radio complex region called Kookaburra, which includes two adjacent TeV $\\gamma$-ray sources HESS J1418-609 and HESS J1420-607. The {\\it Suzaku} observation revealed X-ray diffuse emission around a middle-aged pulsar PSR J1420-6048 and a plausible PWN Rabbit with elongated sizes of $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.66$ and $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.49$, respectively. The peaks of the diffuse X-ray emission are located within the $\\gamma$-ray excess maps obtained by H.E.S.S. and the offsets from the $\\gamma$-ray peaks are $2^{\\prime}.8$ for PSR J1420-6048 and $4^{\\prime}.5$ for Rabbit. The X-ray spectra of the two sources were well reproduced by absorbed power-law models with $\\Gamma=1.7-2.3$. The spectral shapes tend to become softer according to the distance from the X-ray peaks. Assuming the one zone electron emission model as the first order approximation, the ambient magnetic field strengths of HESS J1420-607 and HESS J1418-609 can be estimate...

  12. Bethe-Heitler cascades as a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Y G; Kang, S J

    2016-01-01

    Context. Very high-energy (VHE) $\\gamma$-ray measurements of distant TeV blazars can be nicely explained by TeV spectra induced by ultra high-energy cosmic rays. Aims. We develop a model for a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars. Methods. In the model, the TeV emission in distant TeV blazars is dominated by two mixed components. The first is the internal component with the photon energy around 1 TeV produced by inverse Compton scattering of the relativistic electrons on the synchrotron photons (SSC) with a correction for extragalactic background light absorbtion and the other is the external component with the photon energy more than 1 TeV produced by the cascade emission from high-energy protons propagating through intergalactic space. Results. Assuming suitable model parameters, we apply the model to observed spectra of distant TeV blazars of 1ES 0229+200. Our results show that 1) the observed spectrum properties of 1ES 0229+200, especially the TeV $\\gamma$-ray tail of the observed spect...

  13. Simultaneous observations of a pair of kilohertz QPOs and a plausible 1860 Hz QPO from an accreting neutron star system

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharyya, Sudip

    2009-01-01

    We report an indication (3.22 sigma) of ~ 1860 Hz quasi-periodic oscillations from a neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-536. If confirmed, this will be by far the highest frequency feature observed from an accreting neutron star system, and hence could be very useful to understand such systems. This plausible timing feature was observed simultaneously with lower (~ 585 Hz) and upper (~ 904 Hz) kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. The two kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillation frequencies had the ratio of ~ 1.5, and the frequency of the alleged ~ 1860 Hz feature was close to the triple and the double of these frequencies. This can be useful to constrain the models of all the three features. In particular, the ~ 1860 Hz feature could be (1) from a new and heretofore unknown class of quasi-periodic oscillations, or (2) the first observed overtone of lower or upper kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. Finally we note that, although the relatively low significance of the ~ 1860 Hz feature argues for caut...

  14. Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ˜17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Joseph R.; Burke, Andrea; Dunbar, Nelia W.; Köhler, Peter; Thomas, Jennie L.; Arienzo, Monica M.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Maselli, Olivia J.; Sigl, Michael; Adkins, Jess F.; Baggenstos, Daniel; Burkhart, John F.; Brook, Edward J.; Buizert, Christo; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Fudge, T. J.; Knorr, Gregor; Graf, Hans-F.; Grieman, Mackenzie M.; Iverson, Nels; McGwire, Kenneth C.; Mulvaney, Robert; Paris, Guillaume; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Saltzman, Eric S.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Taylor, Kendrick C.; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-09-01

    Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ˜17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ˜192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ˜17.7 ka.

  15. Removal of hazardous organics from water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): plausible mechanisms for selective adsorptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Zubair; Jhung, Sung Hwa

    2015-01-01

    Provision of clean water is one of the most important issues worldwide because of continuing economic development and the steady increase in the global population. However, clean water resources are decreasing everyday, because of contamination with various pollutants including organic chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, herbicides/pesticides, dyes, phenolics, and aromatics (from sources such as spilled oil) are typical organics that should be removed from water. Because of their huge porosities, designable pore structures, and facile modification, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are used in various adsorption, separation, storage, and delivery applications. In this review, the adsorptive purifications of contaminated water with MOFs are discussed, in order to understand possible applications of MOFs in clean water provision. More importantly, plausible adsorption or interaction mechanisms and selective adsorptions are summarized. The mechanisms of interactions such as electrostatic interaction, acid-base interaction, hydrogen bonding, π-π stacking/interaction, and hydrophobic interaction are discussed for the selective adsorption of organics over MOFs. The adsorption mechanisms will be very helpful not only for understanding adsorptions but also for applications of adsorptions in selective removal, storage, delivery and so on.

  16. Eruca sativa Might Influence the Growth, Survival under Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Some Biological Features of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florinda Fratianni

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The growth and viability of three Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, after their passage through simulated gastric and pancreatic juices were studied as a function of their presence in the growth medium of rocket salad (Eruca sativa. The presence of E. sativa affected some of the biological properties of the strains. For example, L. acidophilus and L. plantarum worked more efficiently in the presence of E. sativa, increasing not only the antioxidant activity of the medium, but also their own antioxidant power and antimicrobial activity; L. rhamnosus was not affected in the same manner. Overall, the presence of vegetables might help to boost, in specific cases, some of the characteristics of lactobacilli, including antioxidant and antimicrobial power.

  17. Biological hydrolysis and acidification of sludge under anaerobic conditions: The effect of sludge type and origin on the production and composition of olatile fatty acids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ucisik, Ahmed Süheyl; Henze, Mogens

    2008-01-01

    that fermentation of primary sludge produced the highest amount of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and generated significantly higher COD- and VFA-yields compared to the other sludge types regardless of which WWTP the sludge originated from. Fermentation of activated and primary sludge resulted in 1.9–5.6% and 8....... In this study, the feasibility of implementing biological hydrolysis and acidification process on different types of municipal sludge was investigated by batch and semi-continuous experiments. The municipal sludge originated from six major treatment plants located in Denmark were used. The results showed...... of fermentation for full-scale application was roughly estimated based on the experiments performed in semi-continuous reactors. The results revealed that even though the VFA production of primary sludge was higher compared to activated sludge, substantial amounts of VFA could be produced by fermentation...

  18. Under the skin: using theories from biology and the social sciences to explore the mechanisms behind the black-white health gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Tiffany L; Darity, William A

    2010-04-01

    Equity and social well-being considerations make Black-White health disparities an area of important concern. Although previous research suggests that discrimination- and poverty-related stressors play a role in African American health outcomes, the mechanisms are unclear. Allostatic load is a concept that can be employed to demonstrate how environmental stressors, including psychosocial ones, may lead to a cumulative physiological toll on the body. We discuss both the usefulness of this framework for understanding how discrimination can lead to worse health among African Americans, and the challenges for conceptualizing biological risk with existing data and methods. We also contrast allostatic load with theories of historical trauma such as posttraumatic slavery syndrome. Finally, we offer our suggestions for future interdisciplinary research on health disparities.

  19. Eruca sativa might influence the growth, survival under simulated gastrointestinal conditions and some biological features of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratianni, Florinda; Pepe, Selenia; Cardinale, Federica; Granese, Tiziana; Cozzolino, Autilia; Coppola, Raffaele; Nazzaro, Filomena

    2014-10-01

    The growth and viability of three Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, after their passage through simulated gastric and pancreatic juices were studied as a function of their presence in the growth medium of rocket salad (Eruca sativa). The presence of E. sativa affected some of the biological properties of the strains. For example, L. acidophilus and L. plantarum worked more efficiently in the presence of E. sativa, increasing not only the antioxidant activity of the medium, but also their own antioxidant power and antimicrobial activity; L. rhamnosus was not affected in the same manner. Overall, the presence of vegetables might help to boost, in specific cases, some of the characteristics of lactobacilli, including antioxidant and antimicrobial power.

  20. Biological effects of the anti-parasitic chemotherapeutant emamectin benzoate on a non-target crustacean, the spot prawn (Pandalus platyceros Brandt, 1851) under laboratory conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veldhoen, Nik [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P6 (Canada); Ikonomou, Michael G. [Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada); Buday, Craig [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, Environment Canada, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, BC, V7H 1V2 (Canada); Jordan, Jameson; Rehaume, Vicki; Cabecinha, Melissa [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P6 (Canada); Dubetz, Cory; Chamberlain, Jon [Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada); Pittroff, Sabrina; Vallee, Kurtis [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P6 (Canada); Aggelen, Graham van [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, Environment Canada, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, BC, V7H 1V2 (Canada); Helbing, Caren C., E-mail: chelbing@uvic.ca [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P6 (Canada)

    2012-02-15

    The potential impact of commercial salmon aquaculture along the coast of British Columbia on the health of non-target marine wildlife is of growing concern. In the current initiative, the biological effects on gene expression within spot prawn (Pandalus platyceros) exposed to the sea lice controlling agent, emamectin benzoate (EB; 0.1-4.8 mg/kg sediment), were investigated. A mean sediment/water partitioning coefficient (K{sub p}) was determined to be 21.81 and significant levels of EB were detected in the tail muscle tissue in all exposed animals. Animals selected for the experiment did not have eggs and were of similar weight. Significant mortality was observed within 8 days of EB treatment at concentrations between 0.1 and 0.8 mg/kg and there was no effect of EB on molting. Twelve spot prawn cDNA sequences were isolated from the tail muscle either by directed cloning or subtractive hybridization of control versus EB exposed tissues. Three of the transcripts most affected by EB exposure matched sequences encoding the 60S ribosomal protein L22, spliceosome RNA helicase WM6/UAP56, and the intracellular signal mediator histidine triad nucleotide binding protein 1 suggesting that translation, transcription regulation, and apoptosis pathways were impacted. The mRNA encoding the molting enzyme, {beta}-N-acetylglucosaminidase, was not affected by EB treatment. However, the expression of this transcript was extremely variable making it unsuitable for effects assessment. The results suggest that short-term exposure to EB can impact biological processes within this non-target crustacean.

  1. Organic Matter in SNC Meteorites: Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Viking Biology Experimental Data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, D.; Clemett, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    New data from SNC meteorites suggests that organic material may be present in the martian upper crust. This adds to possibility that the Viking biology experiments may have plausible biological interpretations as well as inorganic chemical interpretations Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract..

  2. Determination of nitric oxide metabolites, nitrate and nitrite, in Anopheles culicifacies mosquito midgut and haemolymph by anion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography: plausible mechanism of refractoriness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adak Tridibesh

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The diverse physiological and pathological role of nitric oxide in innate immune defenses against many intra and extracellular pathogens, have led to the development of various methods for determining nitric oxide (NO synthesis. NO metabolites, nitrite (NO2- and nitrate (NO3- are produced by the action of an inducible Anopheles culicifacies NO synthase (AcNOS in mosquito mid-guts and may be central to anti-parasitic arsenal of these mosquitoes. Method While exploring a plausible mechanism of refractoriness based on nitric oxide synthase physiology among the sibling species of An. culicifacies, a sensitive, specific and cost effective high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC method was developed, which is not influenced by the presence of biogenic amines, for the determination of NO2- and NO3- from mosquito mid-guts and haemolymph. Results This method is based on extraction, efficiency, assay reproducibility and contaminant minimization. It entails de-proteinization by centrifugal ultra filtration through ultracel 3 K filter and analysis by high performance anion exchange liquid chromatography (Sphereclone, 5 μ SAX column with UV detection at 214 nm. The lower detection limit of the assay procedure is 50 pmoles in all midgut and haemolymph samples. Retention times for NO2- and NO3- in standards and in mid-gut samples were 3.42 and 4.53 min. respectively. Assay linearity for standards ranged between 50 nM and 1 mM. Recoveries of NO2- and NO3- from spiked samples (1–100 μM and from the extracted standards (1–100 μM were calculated to be 100%. Intra-assay and inter assay variations and relative standard deviations (RSDs for NO2- and NO3- in spiked and un-spiked midgut samples were 5.7% or less. Increased levels NO2- and NO3- in midguts and haemolymph of An. culicifacies sibling species B in comparison to species A reflect towards a mechanism of refractoriness based on AcNOS physiology. Conclusion HPLC is a sensitive

  3. Draft Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas sp. Strain 2-92, a Biological Control Strain Isolated from a Field Plot Under Long-Term Mineral Fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Zaky; Tambong, James Tabi; Chen, Qing; Lewis, Christopher T; Lévesque, C André; Xu, Renlin

    2014-01-09

    Pseudomonas sp. strain 2-92, isolated from a Canadian field plot under long-term mineral fertilization, strongly inhibits the growth of Fusarium graminearum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Gaeumannomyces graminis. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Pseudomonas sp. strain 2-92.

  4. Biologi Radiasi

    OpenAIRE

    Milla Yoesfianda

    2008-01-01

    Biologi radiasi adalah ilmu yang mempelajari tentang pengaruh dari ionisasi radiasi dalam tubuh makhluk hidup. Kemungkinan terjadinya efek biologis akibat interaksi radiasi dan jaringan tubuh manusia, berbanding lurus dengan besarnya dosis radiasi yang mengenai jaringan tubuh tersebut. Radiasi dapat mengakibatkan efek baik secara langsung maupun tidak langsung. Efek yang merusak secara biologis dari radiasi ionisasi diklasifikasikan menjadi tiga kategori utama, yaitu efek somatik determin...

  5. A Facile and Efficient Synthesis of Diaryl Amines or Ethers under Microwave Irradiation at Presence of KF/Al2O3 without Solvent and Their Anti-Fungal Biological Activities against Six Phytopathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A series of diaryl amines, ethers and thioethers were synthesized under microwave irradiation efficiently at presence of KF/Al2O3 in 83%–96% yields without any solvent. The salient characters of this method lie in short reaction time, high yields, general applicability to substrates and simple workup procedure. At the same time, their antifungal biological activities against six phytopathogen were evaluated. Most of the compounds (3b, 3c, 3g–o are more potent than thiophannate-methyl against to Magnaporthe oryzae. This implies that diaryl amine or ether moiety may be helpful in finding a fungicide against Magnaporthe oryzae.

  6. Effects of Different Land Use Patterns on Soil Infiltration Characteristic Under Slop Protection with Biological Border%生物埂护坡下不同土地利用方式对土壤渗透性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李建兴; 何丙辉; 徐小军

    2012-01-01

    为探讨不同土地利用方式及生物埂对土壤渗透性的影响,以无生物埂+坡耕地为对照,对四川丘陵山区生物埂护坡下6种不同土地利用类型(经济林、水保林、耕地)的土壤渗透性及其影响因素进行研究。结果表明:生物埂护坡下的6种土地利用类型均好于无生物埂的坡耕地,渗透性大小依次为生物埂+枇杷×牧草〉生物埂+黄柏林〉生物埂+柏木林〉生物埂+枇杷林〉生物埂+柑桔林〉生物埂+坡耕地〉无生物埂+坡耕地;通用模型对各土地利用类型的渗透过程拟合效果最好,Horton模型和Kostiakov模型次之,Philip模型最差;相关分析表明,土壤有机质、砂粒含量、〉0.25mm水稳性团聚体的含量及非毛管孔隙与土壤入渗性能各指标均呈显著相关关系,并在此基础上建立了主导因子方程。%The goal of this study was to determine the effects of different land use patterns and slop protection with biological border on soil infiltration capability in Sichuan billy, non-biological border+ slope land as a control was used, and determined the relationship between soil infiltration capability and its influencing factors under six land use patterns(economic forest, forest for conserving water supply, cultivated land). The results showed that no biological border+slope cultivated land whose soil infiltration capability was lower than those of the other six types. The order of soil infiltration capability from high to low was: Biological border + Eriobotrya japonica pasture forest 〉 biological border + Cortex phellodendri Chinensis forest) biological border + Cupressus funebris forest〉biological border+ Eriobotrya japonica forest〉biological border+Citrus retlculata Banco forest〉 biological border+ slope cultivated land)non-biological border + slope cultivated land; common empirical infiltration model could give the best performance on the infiltrating processes in the seven land

  7. On Matrix Sampling and Imputation of Context Questionnaires with Implications for the Generation of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, David; Su, Dan

    2016-01-01

    This article presents findings on the consequences of matrix sampling of context questionnaires for the generation of plausible values in large-scale assessments. Three studies are conducted. Study 1 uses data from PISA 2012 to examine several different forms of missing data imputation within the chained equations framework: predictive mean…

  8. World Literacy Prospects at the Turn of the Century: Is the Objective of Literacy for All by the Year 2000 Statistically Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carceles, Gabriel

    1990-01-01

    Describes status and challenge of worldwide illiteracy. Discusses statistical plausibility of universal literacy by 2000. Predicts literacy universalization will take from 14 to 21 years, depending on region, if 1980s trends continue. Implies literacy work requires action strategies commensurate with problem, including national programs and mass…

  9. Requirements for Foreign and Domestic Establishment Registration and Listing for Human Drugs, Including Drugs That Are Regulated Under a Biologics License Application, and Animal Drugs. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-31

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending its regulations governing drug establishment registration and drug listing. These amendments reorganize, modify, and clarify current regulations concerning who must register establishments and list human drugs, human drugs that are also biological products, and animal drugs. The final rule requires electronic submission, unless waived in certain circumstances, of registration and listing information. This rulemaking pertains to finished drug products and to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) alone or together with one or more other ingredients. The final rule describes how and when owners or operators of establishments at which drugs are manufactured or processed must register their establishments with FDA and list the drugs they manufacture or process. In addition, the rule makes certain changes to the National Drug Code (NDC) system. We are taking this action to improve management of drug establishment registration and drug listing requirements and make these processes more efficient and effective for industry and for us. This action also supports implementation of the electronic prescribing provisions of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) and the availability of current drug labeling information through DailyMed, a computerized repository of drug information maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

  10. [Biological weapons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerwat, K; Becker, S; Wulf, H; Densow, D

    2010-08-01

    Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction that use pathogens (bacteria, viruses) or the toxins produced by them to target living organisms or to contaminate non-living substances. In the past, biological warfare has been repeatedly used. Anthrax, plague and smallpox are regarded as the most dangerous biological weapons by various institutions. Nowadays it seems quite unlikely that biological warfare will be employed in any military campaigns. However, the possibility remains that biological weapons may be used in acts of bioterrorism. In addition all diseases caused by biological weapons may also occur naturally or as a result of a laboratory accident. Risk assessment with regard to biological danger often proves to be difficult. In this context, an early identification of a potentially dangerous situation through experts is essential to limit the degree of damage. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart * New York.

  11. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  12. Combination of monoclonal antibodies and DPP-IV inhibitors in the treatment of type 1 diabetes: a plausible treatment modality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubala, Anil; Gupta, Ankur; Samanta, Malay K

    2014-07-01

    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for the maintenance of immunological tolerance. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when the immune-regulatory mechanism fails. In fact, T1D is reversed by islet transplantation but is associated with hostile effects of persistent immune suppression. T1D is believed to be dependent on the activation of type-1 helper T (Th1) cells. Immune tolerance is liable for the activation of the Th1 cells. The important role of Th1 cells in pathology of T1D entails the depletion of CD4(+) T cells, which initiated the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against CD4(+) T cells to interfere with induction of T1D. Prevention of autoimmunity is not only a step forward for the treatment of T1D, but could also restore the β-cell mass. Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 stimulates β-cell proliferation and also has anti-apoptotic effects on them. However, the potential use of GLP-1 as a possible method to restore pancreatic β-cells is limited due to rapid degradation by dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-IV. We hypothesize that treatment with combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitors could prevent/reverse T1D. CD4 mAbs have the ability to induce immune tolerance, thereby arresting further progression of T1D; DPP-IV inhibitors have the capability to regenerate the β-cell mass. Consequently, the combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitor could avoid or at least minimize the constraints of intensive subcutaneous insulin therapy. We presume that if this hypothesis proves correct, it may become one of the plausible therapeutic options for T1D.

  13. In Silico Structure Prediction of Human Fatty Acid Synthase-Dehydratase: A Plausible Model for Understanding Active Site Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Arun; Umashankar, Vetrivel; Samdani, A; Sangeetha, Manoharan; Krishnakumar, Subramanian; Deepa, Perinkulam Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acid synthase (FASN, UniProt ID: P49327) is a multienzyme dimer complex that plays a critical role in lipogenesis. Consequently, this lipogenic enzyme has gained tremendous biomedical importance. The role of FASN and its inhibition is being extensively researched in several clinical conditions, such as cancers, obesity, and diabetes. X-ray crystallographic structures of some of its domains, such as β-ketoacyl synthase, acetyl transacylase, malonyl transacylase, enoyl reductase, β-ketoacyl reductase, and thioesterase, (TE) are already reported. Here, we have attempted an in silico elucidation of the uncrystallized dehydratase (DH) catalytic domain of human FASN. This theoretical model for DH domain was predicted using comparative modeling methods. Different stand-alone tools and servers were used to validate and check the reliability of the predicted models, which suggested it to be a highly plausible model. The stereochemical analysis showed 92.0% residues in favorable region of Ramachandran plot. The initial physiological substrate β-hydroxybutyryl group was docked into active site of DH domain using Glide. The molecular dynamics simulations carried out for 20 ns in apo and holo states indicated the stability and accuracy of the predicted structure in solvated condition. The predicted model provided useful biochemical insights into the substrate-active site binding mechanisms. This model was then used for identifying potential FASN inhibitors using high-throughput virtual screening of the National Cancer Institute database of chemical ligands. The inhibitory efficacy of the top hit ligands was validated by performing molecular dynamics simulation for 20 ns, where in the ligand NSC71039 exhibited good enzyme inhibition characteristics and exhibited dose-dependent anticancer cytotoxicity in retinoblastoma cancer cells in vitro.

  14. Removal of gaseous toluene by the combination of photocatalytic oxidation under complex light irradiation of UV and visible light and biological process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Zaishan; Sun, Jianliang; Xie, Zhirong; Liang, Mingyan; Chen, Shangzhi

    2010-05-15

    Photocatalysis is a promising technology for treatment of gaseous waste; its disadvantages, however, include causing secondary pollution. Biofiltration has been known as an efficient technology for treatment volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at low cost of maintenance, and produces harmless by-products; its disadvantages, include large volume of bioreactor and slow adaptation to fluctuating concentrations in waste gas. A bench scale system integrated with a photocatalytic oxidation and a biofilter unit for the treatment of gases containing toluene was investigated. The integrated system can effectively oxidize toluene with high removal efficiency. The photocatalytic activity of N-TiO(2)/zeolite was evaluated by the decomposition of toluene in air under UV and visible light (VL) illumination. The N-TiO(2)/zeolite has more photocatalytic activity under complex light irradiation of UV and visible light for toluene removal than that of pure TiO(2)/zeolite under UV or visible light irradiation. N-TiO(2)/zeolite was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectrum analysis (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and as-obtained products were identified by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Results revealed that the photocatalyst was porous and was high photoactive for mineralizing toluene. The high activity can be attributed to the results of the synergetic effects of strong UV and visible light absorption, surface hydroxyl groups. The photocatalytic degradation reaction of toluene with the N-TiO(2)/zeolite follows Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics. Toluene biodegradation rate matches enzymatic oxidation kinetics model. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Removal of gaseous toluene by the combination of photocatalytic oxidation under complex light irradiation of UV and visible light and biological process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Zaishan, E-mail: weizaishan98@163.com [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (China); Sun Jianliang; Xie Zhirong; Liang Mingyan; Chen Shangzhi [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (China)

    2010-05-15

    Photocatalysis is a promising technology for treatment of gaseous waste; its disadvantages, however, include causing secondary pollution. Biofiltration has been known as an efficient technology for treatment volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at low cost of maintenance, and produces harmless by-products; its disadvantages, include large volume of bioreactor and slow adaptation to fluctuating concentrations in waste gas. A bench scale system integrated with a photocatalytic oxidation and a biofilter unit for the treatment of gases containing toluene was investigated. The integrated system can effectively oxidize toluene with high removal efficiency. The photocatalytic activity of N-TiO{sub 2}/zeolite was evaluated by the decomposition of toluene in air under UV and visible light (VL) illumination. The N-TiO{sub 2}/zeolite has more photocatalytic activity under complex light irradiation of UV and visible light for toluene removal than that of pure TiO{sub 2}/zeolite under UV or visible light irradiation. N-TiO{sub 2}/zeolite was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectrum analysis (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and as-obtained products were identified by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Results revealed that the photocatalyst was porous and was high photoactive for mineralizing toluene. The high activity can be attributed to the results of the synergetic effects of strong UV and visible light absorption, surface hydroxyl groups. The photocatalytic degradation reaction of toluene with the N-TiO{sub 2}/zeolite follows Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics. Toluene biodegradation rate matches enzymatic oxidation kinetics model.

  16. Nodal Melanoma Metastasis under Infliximab Therapy in a Patient with Nevoid Melanoma First Misdiagnosed as Benign Nevus: A Potentially Dangerous Diagnostic Pitfall in the Era of Biologic Therapies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Safa

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of a 53-year-old Caucasian woman who developed nodal melanoma metastasis under infliximab therapy 2 years after the removal of a nevoid melanoma, which was initially misdiagnosed as a benign compound nevus. This case illustrates the potential link between tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α inhibition and the reactivation of latent melanoma. Furthermore, this case highlights the need for a complete skin examination before using anti-TNF-α therapy to rule out atypical malignant lesions or melanomas that can easily be missed because of presentations such as nevoid melanoma.

  17. High-resolution measurement of nitrous oxide in the Elbe estuary under hypoxia: Hot-spots of biological N2O production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brase, Lisa; Lendt, Ralf; Sanders, Tina; Dähnke, Kirstin

    2016-04-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the most important greenhouse gases. Its global warming potential exceeds that of CO2 by a factor of ˜300. Estuaries, being sites of intense biological N-turnover, are one of the major natural sources of N2O emissions. On two ship cruises in April and June 2015, concentrations of N2O were measured in the surface water using equilibrator laser based on-line measurements. Based on these high-resolution N2O profiles along the Elbe estuary, N2O saturation and N2O-fluxes between surface water and air were calculated. Additionally, DIN concentrations and dual stable isotopes of nitrate (δ15N and δ18O) were analyzed. Concentration and water-to-air fluxes of N2O were highest in the Hamburg port region and dropped quickly further downstream. Highest water-to-air fluxes were up to 800μM/m2/d and 1600μM/m2/d in April and in June, respectively. Downstream of the port region, an N2O oversaturation of 150-200% was estimated over the entire estuary, with saturation approaching equilibrium (96-100%) only in the North Sea region. N2O production was much higher in June than in April 2015, likely coupled to lower oxygen saturation in the water column in June. Based on these measurements, the port of Hamburg region was identified as a hot-spot of N2O production. High N2O concentration and depleted values of nitrate isotopes suggest that nitrification is a significant source of N2O in the estuary, especially at low oxygen concentration. In the Elbe estuary, hypoxia obviously drastically increased the emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O.

  18. Biological characteristics of Anticarsia gemmatalis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) for three consecutive generations under different temperatures: understanding the possible impact of global warming on a soybean pest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, D M; Hoffmann-Campo, C B; de Freitas Bueno, A; de Freitas Bueno, R C O; de Oliveira, M C N; Moscardi, F

    2012-06-01

    Climate changes can affect the distribution and intensity of insect infestations through direct effects on their life cycles. Experiments were carried out during three consecutive generations to evaluate the effect of different temperatures (25°C, 28°C, 31°C, 34°C and 37±1°C) on biological traits of the velvetbean caterpillar Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner, 1818 (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). The insects were fed on artificial diet and reared in environmental chambers set at 14 h photophase. The developmental cycle slowed with the increase in the temperature, within the 25°C to 34°C range. Male and female longevities were reduced with an increase in temperature from 25°C to 28°C. Egg viability was highest at 25°C, and the sex ratio was not influenced by temperature, in the three generations. There was no interactive effect between development time and temperature on pupal weight. The results suggested that the increase in the temperature negatively impacted A. gemmatalis development inside the studied temperature range, indicating a possible future reduction of its occurrence on soybean crops, as a consequence of global warming, mainly considering its impact on tropical countries where this plant is cropped. A. gemmatalis was not able to adapt to higher temperatures in a three-generation interval for the studied temperature range. However, a gradual increase and a longer adaptation period may favor insect selection and consequently adaptation, and must be considered in future studies in this area. Moreover, it is important to consider that global warming might turn cold areas more suitable to A. gemmatalis outbreaks. Therefore, more than a future reduction of A. gemmatalis occurrence due to global warming, we might expect changes regarding its area of occurrence on a global perspective.

  19. Vibrations, Quanta and Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Huelga, S F

    2013-01-01

    Quantum biology is an emerging field of research that concerns itself with the experimental and theoretical exploration of non-trivial quantum phenomena in biological systems. In this tutorial overview we aim to bring out fundamental assumptions and questions in the field, identify basic design principles and develop a key underlying theme -- the dynamics of quantum dynamical networks in the presence of an environment and the fruitful interplay that the two may enter. At the hand of three biological phenomena whose understanding is held to require quantum mechanical processes, namely excitation and charge transfer in photosynthetic complexes, magneto-reception in birds and the olfactory sense, we demonstrate that this underlying theme encompasses them all, thus suggesting its wider relevance as an archetypical framework for quantum biology.

  20. Vitalistic causality in young children's naive biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Kayoko; Hatano, Giyoo

    2004-08-01

    One of the key issues in conceptual development research concerns what kinds of causal devices young children use to understand the biological world. We review evidence that children predict and interpret biological phenomena, especially human bodily processes, on the basis of 'vitalistic causality'. That is, they assume that vital power or life force taken from food and water makes humans active, prevents them from being taken ill, and enables them to grow. These relationships are also extended readily to other animals and even to plants. Recent experimental results show that a majority of preschoolers tend to choose vitalistic explanations as most plausible. Vitalism, together with other forms of intermediate causality, constitute unique causal devices for naive biology as a core domain of thought.

  1. Cross-species comparison of biological themes and underlying genes on a global gene expression scale in a mouse model of colorectal liver metastasis and in clinical specimens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schirmacher Peter

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Invasion-related genes over-expressed by tumor cells as well as by reacting host cells represent promising drug targets for anti-cancer therapy. Such candidate genes need to be validated in appropriate animal models. Results This study examined the suitability of a murine model (CT26/Balb/C of colorectal liver metastasis to represent clinical liver metastasis specimens using a global gene expression approach. Cross-species similarity was examined between pure liver, liver invasion, tumor invasion and pure tumor compartments through overlap of up-regulated genes and gene ontology (GO-based biological themes on the level of single GO-terms and of condensed GO-term families. Three out of four GO-term families were conserved in a compartment-specific way between the species: secondary metabolism (liver, invasion (invasion front, and immune response (invasion front and liver. Among the individual GO-terms over-represented in the invasion compartments in both species were "extracellular matrix", "cell motility", "cell adhesion" and "antigen presentation" indicating that typical invasion related processes are operating in both species. This was reflected on the single gene level as well, as cross-species overlap of potential target genes over-expressed in the combined invasion front compartments reached up to 36.5%. Generally, histopathology and gene expression correlated well as the highest single gene overlap was found to be 44% in syn-compartmental comparisons (liver versus liver whereas cross-compartmental overlaps were much lower (e.g. liver versus tumor: 9.7%. However, single gene overlap was surprisingly high in some cross-compartmental comparisons (e.g. human liver invasion compartment and murine tumor invasion compartment: 9.0% despite little histolopathologic similarity indicating that invasion relevant genes are not necessarily confined to histologically defined compartments. Conclusion In summary, cross

  2. The role of biological activity of hydrohumate, produced from peat, in formation of adaptive response of rats under influence of chronic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyanna, O. L.; Chorna, V. I.; Stepchenko, L. M.

    2009-04-01

    It is well known that humic compounds are the most distributed in nature among the organic matter. It is believed that humic polyphenol preparations, produced from the peat, represent adaptogenes and immunomodulators. But the total mechanism of their adaptogenic action is still completely unclear. In response to extraordinary irritant action, one of the most sensitive to stress and highly reactive systems of organism, endosomal-lysosomal cellular apparatus takes part. It is believed that humic compounds are able to penetrate through plasmatic membrane and by this way to affect on lysosomal proteases function. Among the wide range of lysosomal proteases, cysteine cathepsin L (EC 3.4.22.15) was in interest due to its powerful endopeptidase activity and widespread localization. Purpose. The aim of the work was to investigate the influence of humic acids on intracellular proteolysis in blood plasma and heart muscle of rats in adaptive-restorative processes developing in rat organisms as a result of chronic stress action. The experiment was held on Wistar's rats (160-200 g weight) which were divided into 4 groups: 1 - the control group; 2 - the animals which were received the hydrohumate with water (10 mg hydrohumate (0,1% solution) per 1 kg of weight) during 3 weeks; 3 - the group of stressed rats (test "forced swimming" for 2 hours); 4 - the stressed rats which received the hydrohumate. The activity of lysosomal cysteine cathepsin L was determined spectrophotometrically by usage 1% azocasein, denaturated by 3 M urea, as substrate. It was obtained that under hydrohumate influence the activity of lysosomal cysteine cathepsin L in rat blood plasma changed on 20% in comparison with control group that is suggested to be caused by leakage of tissue cathepsins from organs and tissues and kidneys' filtration of these cysteine enzymes in urine. In rat heart tissues it was obtained that cathepsin L activity level was on 26,8% higher in rats which were under stress influence in

  3. Biomolecular Cell-Signaling Mechanisms and Dental Implants: A Review on the Regulatory Molecular Biologic Patterns Under Functional and Immediate Loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanos, Georgios E

    2016-01-01

    Bone tissue adapts its structure and mass to the stresses of mechanical loading. The purpose of this review article was to summarize recent advances on cell signaling relating to the phenomenon of bone remodeling, focused on bone ossification and healing at the interface of dental implants and bone under loading conditions. When a dental implant is placed within an osteotomy, osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts are all present. As functional loads are imposed, the remodeling processes adapt the peri-implant bony tissues to mechanical stimuli over time and reestablish a steady state. Based on the current literature, this article demonstrates fundamental information to these remodeling processes, such as the conversion of mechanical cues to electrical or biochemical signals. Multiple intracellular signals are involved in cellular mechanotransduction; the two Wnt signaling pathways (the canonical, β-catenin-dependent and the noncanonical, β-catenin-independent Wnt pathway) are particularly significant. Knowledge of how these molecular signaling pathways are translated into intracellular signals that regulate cell behavior may provide new therapeutic approaches to enhancing osteogenesis, especially around implants with immediate function or placed in areas of poor bone quality. New knowledge about the primary cilia as an organelle and bone cellular mechanosensor is critical for endochondral ossification and proper signal transduction. Other mechanisms, such as the expression of sclerostin as a negative regulator of bone formation (due to deactivation of the Wnt receptor) and downregulation of sclerostin under loading conditions, also present new understanding of the cellular and pericellular mechanics of bone. The complexity of the cell signaling pathways and the mechanisms involved in the mechanoregulation of the bone formation provide new technologies and perspectives for mechanically induced cellular response. Future novel therapeutic approaches based on the

  4. FeOx-TiO2 Film with Different Microstructures Leading to Femtosecond Transients with Different Properties: Biological Implications under Visible Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rtimi, Sami; Pulgarin, Cesar; Nadtochenko, Victor A; Gostev, Fedor E; Shelaev, Ivan V; Kiwi, John

    2016-07-22

    This study presents the first report addressing the effect of FeOx-TiO2 films microstructure on the transients detected by fast spectroscopy related to the long-range bacterial inactivation performance. The different fast kinetic femtosecond transient spectroscopy is reported for each FeOx+TiO2 microstructure. The lifetime of the short transient-species and the oxidative intermediate radicals generated under light were identified. Co-sputtered FeOx-TiO2 on polyethylene films presenting random distribution for both oxides were compared with sequentially sputtered FeOx/TiO2 films made up only by FeOx in the topmost layers. The ratio FeOx:TiO2 was optimized to attain the highest photo-conversion. By X-ray fluorescence, the Fe:Ti ration was found to be ~1.4 in the film bulk and by XPS-etching a ratio of 4:1 was found on the photocatalyst top-most layers. For co-sputtered FeOx-TiO2-PE films, the FeOx-TiO2 heterojunction led to electron injection from the FeOx to lower-lying TiO2 trapping states. The film optical properties, particle size, roughness, hydrophobic-hydrophilic shift and temporal evolution of the transient redox states were characterized in detail. Films with different microstructure led to different antibacterial activity. This suggests that the FeOx-TiO2-PE microstructure and not the position of the potential energy level of the semiconductors FeOx and TiO2 control the charge transfer under light irradiation.

  5. A Systems Biology Analysis Unfolds the Molecular Pathways and Networks of Two Proteobacteria in Spaceflight and Simulated Microgravity Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Raktim; Phani Shilpa, P.; Bagh, Sangram

    2016-09-01

    Bacteria are important organisms for space missions due to their increased pathogenesis in microgravity that poses risks to the health of astronauts and for projected synthetic biology applications at the space station. We understand little about the effect, at the molecular systems level, of microgravity on bacteria, despite their significant incidence. In this study, we proposed a systems biology pipeline and performed an analysis on published gene expression data sets from multiple seminal studies on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under spaceflight and simulated microgravity conditions. By applying gene set enrichment analysis on the global gene expression data, we directly identified a large number of new, statistically significant cellular and metabolic pathways involved in response to microgravity. Alteration of metabolic pathways in microgravity has rarely been reported before, whereas in this analysis metabolic pathways are prevalent. Several of those pathways were found to be common across studies and species, indicating a common cellular response in microgravity. We clustered genes based on their expression patterns using consensus non-negative matrix factorization. The genes from different mathematically stable clusters showed protein-protein association networks with distinct biological functions, suggesting the plausible functional or regulatory network motifs in response to microgravity. The newly identified pathways and networks showed connection with increased survival of pathogens within macrophages, virulence, and antibiotic resistance in microgravity. Our work establishes a systems biology pipeline and provides an integrated insight into the effect of microgravity at the molecular systems level.

  6. Changes in soil biological quality under legume- and maize-based farming systems in a humid savanna zone of Côte d’Ivoire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tano Y.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Studying the impact of farming systems on soil status is essential in determining the most relevant for a given agroecological zone. A trial was conducted in a West Africa humid savanna, aiming at assessing the short-term effects of farming systems on soil (0-10 cm organic carbon (SOC content and some soil microbiological properties. A randomized complete block experimental design with three replications, and the following treatments were used: Mucuna pruriens (Mucuna, Pueraria phaseoloides (Pueraria, Lablab purpureus (Lablab, a combination of these three legumes (Mixed-legumes, maize + urea (Maize-U, maize + triple super phosphate (Maize-Sp, maize + urea + triple super phosphate (Maize-USp, fertilizer-free maize continuous cropping (Maize-Tradi. Results indicated that SOC content was improved over time under legume-based systems. The relative increase was the highest with the legume association and Lablab, where SOC varied from 7.5 to 8.6 g.kg-1 (i.e. 14.7% and from 7.2 to 8.3 g.kg-1 (i.e. 15.3% respectively, between the start and the end of the trial. Besides, applying grass and maize residues as mulch on the ground, in association with inorganic fertilizers may be a way of improving SOC content in the short-term. Although legume-based systems exhibited highest values, microbial biomass carbon (MBC did not show any statistical significant differences between treatments. However, soil C mineralization and soil specific respiration were influenced by the farming systems, with higher mean values under legume-based systems (42 ± 7.6 mg C-CO2.g-1 Corg and 0.4 mg C-CO2.g-1 biomass C, respectively, compared to maize continuous cropping systems (33.1 ± 1.6 mg C-CO2.g-1 Corg and 0.3 mg C-CO2.g-1 biomass C, respectively. Thus, these parameters can be used as sensitive indicators of the early changes in soil organic matter quality. The integration of legumes cover crops in farming systems may contribute to improve soil quality that would lead to

  7. 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.

  8. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  9. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  10. Generation of CIK cells under different expansion time and their biological properties%CIK细胞不同培养时间的生物学活性

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨琨; 张剑; 刘晓华; 赵艳敏; 高笑天; 张月; 李景圆; 董武; 荣阳; 荣根满; 易成建

    2013-01-01

    results showed that after 21 days in the culture, the cells expanded to median of (372±1.87) limes more than they used to be, while comparing to the statistics acquired on the 28lh day, which showed a median of (410±6.52) times, the data was different statistically (P < 0.05). However, the results from the 35th day, which noted a median of (414±5.16) times showed no significant difference, comparing with the data on the 28th day. On the 28th day, the CIK cells with CD3 and CD8 both positive accounted for a median of 35.6% of the entire culture, the expansion of which culminated in the entire experimental process and declined afterwards. The MTT test was taken to evaluate the cytotoxicity of CIK cells against A549. The CIK cells incubated with the target cells under a ratio of 10:1 managed to diminish the population of tumor cells from A549 by maximized 95% on the 21st day. Moreover, under the ratio of 20:l, the killing rate had rose to 100% on the 21st day, while 100% on the 14th day under the ratio of 40 -1. Conclusion According to this research, the appropriate extension of time for cultivating CIK cells can strengthen cytotoxicity relatively. The prime threshold of time lies approximately on the 28th day, where CIK cells are expanded to the maximum, and thus possess the strongest cytotoxicity.

  11. Enhanced biological phosphorus removal under alternating anaerobic and anoxic conditions. Pt. 1. Data from literature and scientific fundamentals; Vermehrte biologische Phosphorelimination durch alternierende anaerob/anoxische Milieubedingungen. T. 1. Literaturuebersicht und naturwissenschaftliche Grundlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sieker, C.A. [Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Berlin (Germany); Hegemann, W. [Technische Univ. Berlin (Germany). Fachgebiet Siedlungswasserwirtschaft

    2000-07-01

    This paper describes the state of research on excess biological phosphorus removal under alternating anaerobic/anoxic conditions. Up to now only a few experimental investigations exist. They show that denitrifying poly-P-organisms can be accumulated under alternating anaerobic/anoxic conditions and that the efficiency of P-uptake under anoxic and aerobic conditions is similar. Further, the existence of denitrifying poly-P-organisms has a positive influence on denitrification. The experimental results and developed models indicate that denitrifying poly-P-organisms need less substrate for denitrification compared to other heterotrophic denitrifying organisms. This should be reason enough to further investigations on anaerobic/anoxic operated bio-P-processes and to support process configurations, which help denitrifying poly-P-organisms to accumulate. (orig.) [German] In diesem Beitrag wird der Stand der Wissenschaft zur biologischen Phosphorelimination unter anaerob/anoxischen Milieubedingungen beschrieben. Bisher existieren erst vereinzelt Untersuchungen zu diesem Themengebiet. Diese zeigen, dass die Effizienz der P-Elimination unter aeroben und anoxischen Bedingungen vergleichbar ist. Ausserdem zeigen sie, das die Existenz denitrifizierender polyP-Organismen einen positiven Einfluss auf die Denitrifikation hat. Die Versuchsergebnisse und die daraus abgeleiteten metabolischen Modelle deuten an, dass polyP-Organismen weniger Substrat fuer die Denitrifikation benoetigen als andere heterotrophe Organismen. Dieses sollte Anlass genug sein, ueber anaerob/anoxische Bio-P-Verfahren nachzudenken und Betriebsweisen zu unterstuetzen, die die Anreicherung von denitrifizierenden polyP-Organismen beguenstigen. (orig.)

  12. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  13. The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Improving Resilience for California from a Plausible M9 Earthquake near the Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, S.; Jones, L.; Wilson, R. I.; Bahng, B.; Barberopoulou, A.; Borrero, J. C.; Brosnan, D.; Bwarie, J.; Geist, E. L.; Johnson, L.; Kirby, S. H.; Knight, W.; Long, K.; Lynett, P. J.; Miller, K.; Mortensen, C. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Oglesby, D. D.; Perry, S. C.; Plumlee, G. S.; Porter, K. A.; Real, C. R.; Ryan, K. J.; Suleimani, E.; Thio, H. K.; Titov, V.; Wein, A. M.; Whitmore, P.; Wood, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario models a hypothetical but plausible tsunami, created by an Mw9.1 earthquake occurring offshore from the Alaskan peninsula, and its impacts on the California coast. We present the likely inundation areas, current velocities in key ports and harbors, physical damage and repair costs, economic consequences, environmental impacts, social vulnerability, emergency management, and policy implications for California associated with the tsunami scenario. The intended users are those who must make mitigation decisions before and rapid decisions during future tsunamis. Around a half million people would be present in the scenario's inundation area in residences, businesses, public venues, parks and beaches. Evacuation would likely be ordered for the State of California's maximum mapped tsunami inundation zone, evacuating an additional quarter million people from residences and businesses. Some island and peninsula communities would face particular evacuation challenges because of limited access options and short warning time, caused by the distance between Alaska and California. Evacuations may also be a challenge for certain dependent-care populations. One third of the boats in California's marinas could be damaged or sunk, costing at least 700 million in repairs to boats and docks, and potentially much more to address serious issues due to sediment transport and environmental contamination. Fires would likely start at many sites where fuel and petrochemicals are stored in ports and marinas. Tsunami surges and bores may travel several miles inland up coastal rivers. Debris clean-up and recovery of inundated and damaged areas will take days, months, or years depending on the severity of impacts and the available resources for recovery. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA/LB) would be shut down for a miniμm of two days due to strong currents. Inundation of dry land in the ports would result in 100 million damages to cargo and additional

  14. Bipolar-pulses observed by the LRS/WFC-L onboard KAGUYA - Plausible evidence of lunar dust impact -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasahara, Yoshiya; Horie, Hiroki; Hashimoto, Kozo; Omura, Yoshiharu; Goto, Yoshitaka; Kumamoto, Atsushi; Ono, Takayuki; Tsunakawa, Hideo; Lrs/Wfc Team; Map/Lmag Team

    2010-05-01

    same) and thus most of bipolar-pulses which can be detected in MONO mode are cancelled in DIFF mode. This fact suggests that these bipolar pulses are not a kind of natural wave but these are caused by instantaneous potential changes of the KAGUYA spacecraft. Discussion: Similar type of bipolar-pulses has been observed by the monopole antenna measurements using Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instruments on-board Cassini around Saturn [4]. They demonstrated that these bipolar pulses are caused by impacts of dusts floating around the Saturn. It is well-known that lunar dusts are widely dis-tributed in higher altitude range around the moon and it is plausible that these bipolar pulses are caused by the lunar dust impacts. In the presentation, we show the detailed charac-teristics of bipolar pulses detected by the WFC-L onboard KAGUYA. References: [1] Y. Kasahara et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 341-351, 2008. [2] T. Ono et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 321-332, 2008. [3] K. Hashimoto et al., The 4th SELENE (KAGUYA) Science Working Team Meeting, (this issue), 2010. [4] W.S. Kurth et al, Planetary and Space Science, 54(9-10), 988-998, 2006.

  15. Foldit Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-31

    Report 8/1/2013-7/31/2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Foldit Biology NOOO 14-13-C-0221 Sb. GRANT NUMBER N/A Sc. PROGRAM ELEMENT...Include area code) Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified (206) 616-2660 Zoran Popović Foldit Biology (Task 1, 2, 3, 4) Final Report...Period Covered by the Report August 1, 2013 – July 31, 2015 Date of Report: July 31, 2015 Project Title: Foldit Biology Contract Number: N00014-13

  16. [Systems biology of cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barillot, Emmanuel; Calzone, Laurence; Zinovyev, Andrei

    2009-01-01

    Cancer Systems Biology is now accepted and recognized as a promising field both in biological and clinical research. It relies on a rigorous formalization of regulation networks into precise and unambiguous languages. It provides both detailed and modular views of the complex biological system of interest (which in cancer research is typically an interaction network governing essential cellular events such as proliferation, differentiation, cell death...) in order to facilitate the interpretation of molecular profiles of tumors. The translation of these networks into mathematical models allows prediction of the evolution of the system in time and under certain perturbations. As a result, it can not only propose specific target points for pharmaceutical purposes, but also anticipate the evolution of tumors as well as their classifications. These characteristics emphasize the important role of Systems Biology of Cancer in the future of biomedical research.

  17. Biology teachers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mathematics, Science and Biology teachers code switch when they teach. ... (by constantly translating back and forth), and argue for a 'separation approach' ..... for the classroom, only 3 students did not give an answer to this open-ended.

  18. Openers for Biology Classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gridley, C. Robert R.

    This teaching guide contains 200 activities that are suitable for openers and demonstrations in biology classes. Details are provided regarding the use of these activities. Some of the broad topics under which the activities are organized include algae, amphibians, bacteria, biologists, crustaceans, dinosaurs, ecology, evolution, flowering plants,…

  19. Pyrroloquinoline-quinone and its versatile roles in biological processes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    H S Misra; Y S Rajpurohit; N P Khairnar

    2012-06-01

    Pyrroloquinoline-quinine (PQQ) was initially characterized as a redox cofactor for membrane-bound dehydrogenases in the bacterial system. Subsequently, PQQ was shown to be an antioxidant protecting the living cells from oxidative damage in vivo and the biomolecules from artificially produced reaction oxygen species in vitro. The presence of PQQ has been documented from different biological samples. It functions as a nutrient and vitamin for supporting the growth and protection of living cells under stress. Recently, the role of PQQ has also been shown as a bio-control agent for plant fungal pathogens, an inducer for proteins kinases involved in cellular differentiation of mammalian cells and as a redox sensor leading to development of biosensor. Recent reviews published on PQQ and enzymes requiring this cofactor have brought forth the case specific roles of PQQ. This review covers the comprehensive information on various aspects of PQQ known till date. These include the roles of PQQ in the regulation of cellular growth and differentiation in mammalian system, as a nutrient and vitamin in stress tolerance, in crop productivity through increasing the availability of insoluble phosphate and as a bio-control agent, and as a redox agent leading to the biosensor development. Most recent findings correlating the exceptionally high redox recycling ability of PQQ to its potential as anti-neurodegenerative, anticancer and pharmacological agents, and as a signalling molecule have been distinctly brought out. This review discusses different findings suggesting the versatility in PQQ functions and provides the most plausible intellectual basis to the ubiquitous roles of this compound in a large number of biological processes, as a nutrient and a perspective vitamin.

  20. Biologically inspired load balancing mechanism in neocortical competitive learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir eTal

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A unique delayed self-inhibitory pathway mediated by layer 5 Martinotti Cells was studied in a biologically inspired neural network simulation. Inclusion of this pathway along with layer 5 basket cell lateral inhibition caused balanced competitive learning, which led to the formation of neuronal clusters as were indeed reported in the same region. Martinotti pathway proves to act as a learning conscience, causing overly successful regions in the network to restrict themselves and let others fire. It thus spreads connectivity more evenly throughout the net and solves the dead unit problem of clustering algorithms in a local and biologically plausible manner

  1. Under Under Under / Merit Kask

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Kask, Merit

    2006-01-01

    20. nov. esietendub Kumu auditooriumis MTÜ Ühenduse R.A.A.A.M teatriprojekt "Under" poetess Marie Underist. Lavastajad Merle Karusoo ja Raimo Pass, kunstnik Jaagup Roomet, helilooja Urmas Lattikas, peaosas Katrin Saukas

  2. Under Under Under / Merit Kask

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Kask, Merit

    2006-01-01

    20. nov. esietendub Kumu auditooriumis MTÜ Ühenduse R.A.A.A.M teatriprojekt "Under" poetess Marie Underist. Lavastajad Merle Karusoo ja Raimo Pass, kunstnik Jaagup Roomet, helilooja Urmas Lattikas, peaosas Katrin Saukas

  3. Parámetros químicos y biológicos como indicadores de calidad del suelo en diferentes manejos Chemical and biological parameters as indicators of soil quality under different managements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Ferreras

    2009-06-01

    and enzymatic activities of acid phosphatase (Pasa, dehydrogenase (Dasa and urease (Uasa were determined in composite soil samples. The metabolic quotient (qCO2, the relationship between ARM and CBM, the enzymatic activities/COT ratio, and the CBM/ COT ratio were also calculated. For each experimental site, cropped plots presented lower values than undisturbed soil in most of the parameters analyzed (p <0.05. The soil cultivation caused large reductions in COT and COfg. The soybean monoculture, at the experimental site Oliveros, had lower Pasa and qCO2 with respect to corn- soybean-wheat/soybean crop rotation, although the MBC was higher (p <0.05. In Marcos Juarez site, the combined tillage treatment had lower CBM, Pasa, Dasa and Uasa, with respect no-tillage with cover crop (p <0.05. At the Rafaela experimental site, no differences were found in enzymatic activities, although the CBM showed differences between crop rotations. Significant differences were found in qCO2 at the cropped plots with respect to undisturbed soil at the Marcos Juárez experimental site. The higher values of qCO2 in cropped plots are indicative of higher maintenance energy of microorganisms. The Pasa/COT ratio in Marcos Juarez and the relationship between Pasa/COT and Uasa/COT in Rafaela, were lower in T than in cropped plots. One plausible explanation is that in cropped soils, organic carbon decreases at a faster rate than the reduction in enzyme activity, and thus the enzyme activity/COT is higher in cropped than in undisturbed soils. Alternatively, extracellular enzymes could bind to humified organic matter to form humoenzymatic complexes. Soil enzymes were positively correlated with COT and COfg. The assessment of biochemical parameters by means of MBC, qCO2 and enzyme activity of soils under different managements enables short-term changes in soil quality to be monitored. The evaluated soil parameters are shown in some situations be sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance and are well

  4. A systems biology-based approach to uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood tablet in colitis, involving the integration of chemical analysis, ADME prediction, and network pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haiyu; Zhang, Yanqiong; Lei, Yun; Gao, Xiumei; Zhai, Huaqiang; Lin, Na; Tang, Shihuan; Liang, Rixin; Ma, Yan; Li, Defeng; Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Guangrong; Yang, Hongjun; Huang, Luqi

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment.

  5. A systems biology-based approach to uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood tablet in colitis, involving the integration of chemical analysis, ADME prediction, and network pharmacology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyu Xu

    Full Text Available Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME, and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment.

  6. The physics behind systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    Radde, Nicole; Hütt, Marc-Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    Systems Biology is a young and rapidly evolving research field, which combines experimental techniques and mathematical modeling in order to achieve a mechanistic understanding of processes underlying the regulation and evolution of living systems. Systems Biology is often associated with an Engineering approach: The purpose is to formulate a data-rich, detailed simulation model that allows to perform numerical (‘in silico’) experiments and then draw conclusions about the biological system...

  7. Microgravity Fluids for Biology, Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, DeVon; Kohl, Fred; Massa, Gioia D.; Motil, Brian; Parsons-Wingerter, Patricia; Quincy, Charles; Sato, Kevin; Singh, Bhim; Smith, Jeffrey D.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2013-01-01

    Microgravity Fluids for Biology represents an intersection of biology and fluid physics that present exciting research challenges to the Space Life and Physical Sciences Division. Solving and managing the transport processes and fluid mechanics in physiological and biological systems and processes are essential for future space exploration and colonization of space by humans. Adequate understanding of the underlying fluid physics and transport mechanisms will provide new, necessary insights and technologies for analyzing and designing biological systems critical to NASAs mission. To enable this mission, the fluid physics discipline needs to work to enhance the understanding of the influence of gravity on the scales and types of fluids (i.e., non-Newtonian) important to biology and life sciences. In turn, biomimetic, bio-inspired and synthetic biology applications based on physiology and biology can enrich the fluid mechanics and transport phenomena capabilities of the microgravity fluid physics community.

  8. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manginell, Ronald P.; Bunker, Bruce C.; Huber, Dale L.

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  9. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

  10. The Effect of Plausible versus Implausible Balance Scale Feedback on the Expectancies of 3- to 4-Year-Old Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrauf, Cornelia; Call, Josep; Pauen, Sabina

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies (Case, 1985; Siegler, 1981) have shown that children under the age of 5 years have little understanding of balance scales when required to encode the influence of weight or distance from the fulcrum. More recently, however, Halford, Andrews, Dalton, Boag, and Zielinski (2002) noted that an understanding based on weight alone is…

  11. The Physics behind Systems Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radde Nicole E.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Systems Biology is a young and rapidly evolving research field, which combines experimental techniques and mathematical modeling in order to achieve a mechanistic understanding of processes underlying the regulation and evolution of living systems. Systems Biology is often associated with an Engineering approach: The purpose is to formulate a data-rich, detailed simulation model that allows to perform numerical (‘in silico’ experiments and then draw conclusions about the biological system. While methods from Engineering may be an appropriate approach to extending the scope of biological investigations to experimentally inaccessible realms and to supporting data-rich experimental work, it may not be the best strategy in a search for design principles of biological systems and the fundamental laws underlying Biology. Physics has a long tradition of characterizing and understanding emergent collective behaviors in systems of interacting units and searching for universal laws. Therefore, it is natural that many concepts used in Systems Biology have their roots in Physics. With an emphasis on Theoretical Physics, we will here review the ‘Physics core’ of Systems Biology, show how some success stories in Systems Biology can be traced back to concepts developed in Physics, and discuss how Systems Biology can further benefit from its Theoretical Physics foundation.

  12. Department of Biological Sciences, Federal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2015-05-07

    May 7, 2015 ... Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria ... concentrations in the parent soil under Gmelina plantation were significantly higher (p 0.05) ... In spite of the many benefits that.

  13. (Biological dosimetry)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

    The traveler attended the 1st International Conference on Biological Dosimetry in Madrid, Spain. This conference was organized to provide information to a general audience of biologists, physicists, radiotherapists, industrial hygiene personnel and individuals from related fields on the current ability of cytogenetic analysis to provide estimates of radiation dose in cases of occupational or environmental exposure. There is a growing interest in Spain in biological dosimetry because of the increased use of radiation sources for medical and occupational uses, and with this the anticipated and actual increase in numbers of overexposure. The traveler delivered the introductory lecture on Biological Dosimetry: Mechanistic Concepts'' that was intended to provide a framework by which the more applied lectures could be interpreted in a mechanistic way. A second component of the trip was to provide advice with regard to several recent cases of overexposure that had been or were being assessed by the Radiopathology and Radiotherapy Department of the Hospital General Gregorio Maranon'' in Madrid. The traveler had provided information on several of these, and had analyzed cells from some exposed or purportedly exposed individuals. The members of the biological dosimetry group were referred to individuals at REACTS at Oak Ridge Associated Universities for advice on follow-up treatment.

  14. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  15. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on the teaching of nutrition (including new information relating to many current O-level syllabi) and part 16 of a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Also includes a note on using earthworms as a source of material for teaching meiosis. (JN)

  16. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  17. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  18. Phylogenetic analysis of NS5B gene of classical swine fever virus isolates indicates plausible Chinese origin of Indian subgroup 2.2 viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, S S; Hemadri, D; Veeresh, H; Sreekala, K; Gajendragad, M R; Prabhudas, K

    2012-02-01

    Twenty-three CSFV isolates recovered from field outbreaks in various parts of India during 2006-2009 were used for genetic analysis in the NS5B region (409 nts). Seventeen of these were studied earlier [16] in the 5'UTR region. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the continued dominance of subgroup 1.1 strains in the country. Detailed analysis of a subgroup 2.2 virus indicated the plausible Chinese origin of this subgroup in India and provided indirect evidence of routes of CSFV movement within South East Asia region.

  19. Systems biology elucidates common pathogenic mechanisms between nonalcoholic and alcoholic-fatty liver disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Sookoian

    Full Text Available The abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver is often related either to metabolic risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome in the absence of alcohol consumption (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD or to chronic alcohol consumption (alcoholic fatty liver disease, AFLD. Clinical and histological studies suggest that NAFLD and AFLD share pathogenic mechanisms. Nevertheless, current data are still inconclusive as to whether the underlying biological process and disease pathways of NAFLD and AFLD are alike. Our primary aim was to integrate omics and physiological data to answer the question of whether NAFLD and AFLD share molecular processes that lead to disease development. We also explored the extent to which insulin resistance (IR is a distinctive feature of NAFLD. To answer these questions, we used systems biology approaches, such as gene enrichment analysis, protein-protein interaction networks, and gene prioritization, based on multi-level data extracted by computational data mining. We observed that the leading disease pathways associated with NAFLD did not significantly differ from those of AFLD. However, systems biology revealed the importance of each molecular process behind each of the two diseases, and dissected distinctive molecular NAFLD and AFLD-signatures. Comparative co-analysis of NAFLD and AFLD clarified the participation of NAFLD, but not AFLD, in cardiovascular disease, and showed that insulin signaling is impaired in fatty liver regardless of the noxa, but the putative regulatory mechanisms associated with NAFLD seem to encompass a complex network of genes and proteins, plausible of epigenetic modifications. Gene prioritization showed a cancer-related functional map that suggests that the fatty transformation of the liver tissue is regardless of the cause, an emerging mechanism of ubiquitous oncogenic activation. In conclusion, similar underlying disease mechanisms lead to NAFLD and AFLD, but specific ones depict a

  20. Cortically-controlled population stochastic facilitation as a plausible substrate for guiding sensory transfer across the thalamic gateway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Béhuret

    Full Text Available The thalamus is the primary gateway that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex. While a single recipient cortical cell receives the convergence of many principal relay cells of the thalamus, each thalamic cell in turn integrates a dense and distributed synaptic feedback from the cortex. During sensory processing, the influence of this functional loop remains largely ignored. Using dynamic-clamp techniques in thalamic slices in vitro, we combined theoretical and experimental approaches to implement a realistic hybrid retino-thalamo-cortical pathway mixing biological cells and simulated circuits. The synaptic bombardment of cortical origin was mimicked through the injection of a stochastic mixture of excitatory and inhibitory conductances, resulting in a gradable correlation level of afferent activity shared by thalamic cells. The study of the impact of the simulated cortical input on the global retinocortical signal transfer efficiency revealed a novel control mechanism resulting from the collective resonance of all thalamic relay neurons. We show here that the transfer efficiency of sensory input transmission depends on three key features: i the number of thalamocortical cells involved in the many-to-one convergence from thalamus to cortex, ii the statistics of the corticothalamic synaptic bombardment and iii the level of correlation imposed between converging thalamic relay cells. In particular, our results demonstrate counterintuitively that the retinocortical signal transfer efficiency increases when the level of correlation across thalamic cells decreases. This suggests that the transfer efficiency of relay cells could be selectively amplified when they become simultaneously desynchronized by the cortical feedback. When applied to the intact brain, this network regulation mechanism could direct an attentional focus to specific thalamic subassemblies and select the appropriate input lines to the cortex according to the descending

  1. Cortically-Controlled Population Stochastic Facilitation as a Plausible Substrate for Guiding Sensory Transfer across the Thalamic Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Gomez, Leonel; Frégnac, Yves; Bal, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    The thalamus is the primary gateway that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex. While a single recipient cortical cell receives the convergence of many principal relay cells of the thalamus, each thalamic cell in turn integrates a dense and distributed synaptic feedback from the cortex. During sensory processing, the influence of this functional loop remains largely ignored. Using dynamic-clamp techniques in thalamic slices in vitro, we combined theoretical and experimental approaches to implement a realistic hybrid retino-thalamo-cortical pathway mixing biological cells and simulated circuits. The synaptic bombardment of cortical origin was mimicked through the injection of a stochastic mixture of excitatory and inhibitory conductances, resulting in a gradable correlation level of afferent activity shared by thalamic cells. The study of the impact of the simulated cortical input on the global retinocortical signal transfer efficiency revealed a novel control mechanism resulting from the collective resonance of all thalamic relay neurons. We show here that the transfer efficiency of sensory input transmission depends on three key features: i) the number of thalamocortical cells involved in the many-to-one convergence from thalamus to cortex, ii) the statistics of the corticothalamic synaptic bombardment and iii) the level of correlation imposed between converging thalamic relay cells. In particular, our results demonstrate counterintuitively that the retinocortical signal transfer efficiency increases when the level of correlation across thalamic cells decreases. This suggests that the transfer efficiency of relay cells could be selectively amplified when they become simultaneously desynchronized by the cortical feedback. When applied to the intact brain, this network regulation mechanism could direct an attentional focus to specific thalamic subassemblies and select the appropriate input lines to the cortex according to the descending influence of

  2. High School Biology Teaching Dilemma and Countermeansures Under the New Curriculum Reform%新课改下高中生物实验教学的困境与改进对策

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张斌

    2014-01-01

    合作学习是个有系统、有结构的教学策略:教师按照学生能力、性别或其他因素,将学生分配到各异质小组中,再经由以分组学习为主的教学活动,使小组成员间彼此协助、相互支持、共同合作,以提高学生的学习成效,并达成团体目标。主要探讨新课改下高中生物实验教学的困境与改进对策。%Cooperative learning is a system and structure teaching strategies:teachers according to students’ ability, gender, or other factors, each student will be assigned to a heterogeneous group, through the grouping learning teaching activities, make the team members help each other, mutual support, mutual cooperation, in order to improve the learning effects of the individual, and to achieve the group goals. This article will mainly discuss the plight of high school biology experiment teaching under the new curriculum reform and improvement measures.

  3. Biological hydrogen photoproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nemoto, Y. [Univ. of Miami, FL (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Following are the major accomplishments of the 6th year`s study of biological hydrogen photoproduction which were supported by DOE/NREL. (1) We have been characterizing a biological hydrogen production system using synchronously growing aerobically nitrogen-fixing unicellular cyanobacterium, Synechococcus sp. Miami BG 043511. So far it was necessary to irradiate the cells to produce hydrogen. Under darkness they did not produce hydrogen. However, we found that, if the cells are incubated with oxygen, they produce hydrogen under the dark. Under 80% argon + 20% oxygen condition, the hydrogen production activity under the dark was about one third of that under the light + argon condition. (2) Also it was necessary so far to incubate the cells under argon atmosphere to produce hydrogen in this system. Argon treatment is very expensive and should be avoided in an actual hydrogen production system. We found that, if the cells are incubated at a high cell density and in a container with minimum headspace, it is not necessary to use argon for the hydrogen production. (3) Calcium ion was found to play an important role in the mechanisms of protection of nitrogenase from external oxygen. This will be a clue to understand the reason why the hydrogen production is so resistant to oxygen in this strain. (4) In this strain, sulfide can be used as electron donor for the hydrogen production. This result shows that waste water can be used for the hydrogen production system using this strain.

  4. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    G V Shivashankar

    2002-02-01

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological systems. In recent years advances in technology have led to the study of some of the design principles of these machines; in particular at the level of an individual molecule. For example, the forces that operate in molecular interactions, the stochasticity involved in these interactions and their spatio-temporal dynamics are beginning to be explored. Understanding such design principles is opening new possibilities in mesoscopic physics with potential applications.

  5. Stochastic Methods in Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kallianpur, Gopinath; Hida, Takeyuki

    1987-01-01

    The use of probabilistic methods in the biological sciences has been so well established by now that mathematical biology is regarded by many as a distinct dis­ cipline with its own repertoire of techniques. The purpose of the Workshop on sto­ chastic methods in biology held at Nagoya University during the week of July 8-12, 1985, was to enable biologists and probabilists from Japan and the U. S. to discuss the latest developments in their respective fields and to exchange ideas on the ap­ plicability of the more recent developments in stochastic process theory to problems in biology. Eighteen papers were presented at the Workshop and have been grouped under the following headings: I. Population genetics (five papers) II. Measure valued diffusion processes related to population genetics (three papers) III. Neurophysiology (two papers) IV. Fluctuation in living cells (two papers) V. Mathematical methods related to other problems in biology, epidemiology, population dynamics, etc. (six papers) An important f...

  6. [Investigation on the migration and biologic effects of nano FeOx powders under the exposure of extremely low frequency altering electric magnetic field in human heptoma-bearing nude mice in vivo].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Hui-Xiang; Dai, Zhen-Yu; Sun, Ming-Zhong

    2011-08-01

    To investigate the mechanism and biologic effects of 37 nm magnetic nano FeOx powders (MNPs) on human hepatoma-bearing nude mice. 37 nm MNPs were prepared by coprecipitation methods and then injected into human hepatoma (Bel-7402) bearing-nude mice through the tail vein. After injection of MNPs, the mice were first exposed under static magnetic field and then treated under extremely low frequency altering-electric magnetic field directing to the tumor area. The migration and trafficking of MNPs were determined by MMR. Tumor growth was monitored with calipers every 5 days and tumor volume was calculated on the basis of three-dimensioned measurements. The apoptosis of tumor cells was analyzed by flow cytometry analysis. The expressions of apoptosis-associated proteins Bcl-2, Bax and HSP27 were determined using western-blot analysis. Static magnetic field could direct the migration and trafficking of MNPs to the tumor site with a higher ratio of 98.9%. Extremely Low Frequency Electric-Magnetic Field (EMF) treatment could inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells and prolong the survive time of tumor-bearing mice injected with MNPs. In addition, the survival time of tumor-bearing mice and percentages of prohibition on tumor cell growth were 27.4+/-0.7 days and 37.5+/-0.8% (F = 0.005, P is less than to 0.05), respectively. The results of flow cytometry analyses showed that about 18.1+/-0.6% (F = 0.030, P is less than to 0.05) of tumor cells were induced into early apoptosis. Furthermore, expressions of apoptosis-associated proteins Bcl-2 and Bax were significantly induced by MNPs under EMF treatment. The ratio of Bcl/Bax in both MNPs and EMF treatment group was 0.07+/-0.01, which was much lower than that of control group (0.23+/-0.02) (F = 0.016, P is less than to 0.05). Heat shock protein-27 (Hsp-27) was not significantly induced in different treatment groups. Injection of MNPs with EMF exposure on human hepatoma-bearing nude mice could significantly prolong the

  7. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Fact Sheet Structural Biology Fact Sheet Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area ​Other Fact Sheets What is structural biology? Structural biology is the study of how biological ...

  8. 骨炭对复合污染土壤生物活性的修复及其时间效应%Bone Char Restoration of Biological Activities in Soil and Plant Under Combined Heavy Metal Pollution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭荣荣; 袁旭音; 陈红燕; 李天元; 赵学强

    2014-01-01

    Bone char has shown to reduce the availability of heavy metals in soils, thus improving biological activities. Here a pot experiment was designed to explore the effects of bone char applications on biological activities in soil and plant under Pb and Cd combined pollution. Soil microbial biomass carbon, soil enzymes(urease, dehydrogenase, and acid phosphatase), plant enzymes(peroxidase, catalase, malondi-aldehyde)of Brassica Campestris and plant dry biomass were measured at different times. The results showed that additions of bone char in-creased soil microbial biomass by 33%~46%as compared to the control. The enhancing effects of bone char on soil urease and dehydroge-nase became smaller as incubation time increased. Dry biomass of Brassica campestris in bone char treatments was as 2.05~4.56 times much as that in the control. Plant catalase activity and malondialdehyde contents increased significantly in later incubation period. These re-sults indicate that bone char could restore biological activities of polluted soil and increase the production of crops, with a better effective-ness in short term. Soil urease and dehydrogenase and plant malondialdehyde could be better indicators of restoration of combined-heavy metal polluted soil by bone char.%为探究骨炭修复剂对Pb和Cd复合污染土壤中生物活性的修复作用及其随时间变化的效果,在温室条件下通过盆栽实验,研究骨炭修复对土壤酶(脲酶、脱氢酶、酸性磷酸酶)活性与土壤微生物生物量碳含量的影响,测定种植的青菜体内抗氧化酶(过氧化物酶、过氧化氢酶)活性与膜脂过氧化产物丙二醛含量以及青菜生物量的变化。研究结果表明,骨炭修复后,土壤微生物生物量碳含量与对照组相比提高0.33~0.46倍,同一处理下随培养时间的增加,脲酶和脱氢酶活性的变化减小,骨炭的修复效果逐渐减弱;修复后地上部分青菜的生物量是对照组的2

  9. The Mechanism of Biological Nitrification Inhibitor Released by Sorghum Under Different Nitrogen Sources%高粱在不同氮源处理下分泌生物硝化抑制剂的差异

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张莹; 张明超; 朱毅勇; 王火焰

    2012-01-01

    高粱根系能分泌抑制土壤亚硝化细菌的物质,称为生物硝化抑制剂.在铵态氮存在时,这类物质会大量分泌,而以硝态氮为氮源时则分泌很少.目前还不清楚,这是因为不同氮素代谢的差异所引起的,还是根系吸收铵态氮后根际酸化影响了硝化作用.因此本研究通过砂培试验,用铵硝营养处理高粱根系,并且控制pH,最后收集根系分泌物,利用一种荧光标记的亚硝酸细菌来测定高粱分泌的硝化抑制剂活性,计算其分泌速率.结果发现,铵态氮是导致根系大量分泌硝化抑制剂的主要原因,并且在根际pH<6时,硝化抑制剂的活性与分泌速率随着根系分泌氢离子数量的增加而增强.研究表明,铵态氮营养下高粱根系分泌生物硝化抑制剂高于硝态氮营养可能是高粱根系保护根际铵氧化,提高氮素利用率的一个重要生理机制.%The ability to suppress soil nitrification through the release of nitrification inhibitors from sorghum roots is termed "biological nitrification inhibitor" (BNI). It was reported that the release of BNI from sorghum roots under ammonium nutrition was much more than under nitrate nutrition. It is not understood whether the nitrogen metabolism or the rhizosphere pH in relation to the uptake of ammonium and nitrate is the effect on the release of BNI. In this study, sorghum plants were cultivated in sands with ammonium or nitrate. The root medium pH was controlled by pH-stat system and root exudation was collected to test the BNI activity and release rate by gene modified Nitrosomonas with florescence. The results showed that nitrogen form was the major factor which affected the release of BNI. Moreover, under the pH 6.0, the release of BNI was related to the release of proton by sorghum roots. Our study indicated the release of BNI by sorghum roots under ammonium nutrition rather than under nitrate nutrition might be a potential to suppress ammonium oxidation in soil

  10. Molecular docking and dynamic simulation studies evidenced plausible immunotherapeutic anticancer property by Withaferin A targeting indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, S V G; Reddy, K Thammi; Kumari, V Valli; Basha, Syed Hussain

    2015-01-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is emerging as an important new therapeutic drug target for the treatment of cancer characterized by pathological immune suppression. IDO catalyzes the rate-limiting step of tryptophan degradation along the kynurenine pathway. Reduction in local tryptophan concentration and the production of immunomodulatory tryptophan metabolites contribute to the immunosuppressive effects of IDO. Presence of IDO on dentritic cells in tumor-draining lymph nodes leading to the activation of T cells toward forming immunosuppressive microenvironment for the survival of tumor cells has confirmed the importance of IDO as a promising novel anticancer immunotherapy drug target. On the other hand, Withaferin A (WA) - active constituent of Withania Somnifera ayurvedic herb has shown to be having a wide range of targeted anticancer properties. In the present study conducted here is an attempt to explore the potential of WA in attenuating IDO for immunotherapeutic tumor arresting activity and to elucidate the underlying mode of action in a computational approach. Our docking and molecular dynamic simulation results predict high binding affinity of the ligand to the receptor with up to -11.51 kcal/mol of energy and 3.63 nM of IC50 value. Further, de novo molecular dynamic simulations predicted stable ligand interactions with critically important residues SER167; ARG231; LYS377, and heme moiety involved in IDO's activity. Conclusively, our results strongly suggest WA as a valuable small ligand molecule with strong binding affinity toward IDO.

  11. Biological Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviena Baskaran

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Biology has entered a new era in distributing information based on database and this collection of database become primary in publishing information. This data publishing is done through Internet Gopher where information resources easy and affordable offered by powerful research tools. The more important thing now is the development of high quality and professionally operated electronic data publishing sites. To enhance the service and appropriate editorial and policies for electronic data publishing has been established and editors of article shoulder the responsibility.

  12. A Reconfigurable and Biologically Inspired Paradigm for Computation Using Network-On-Chip and Spiking Neural Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Jim Harkin; Fearghal Morgan; Liam McDaid; Steve Hall; Brian McGinley; Seamus Cawley

    2009-01-01

    FPGA devices have emerged as a popular platform for the rapid prototyping of biological Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) applications, offering the key requirement of reconfigurability. However, FPGAs do not efficiently realise the biologically plausible neuron and synaptic models of SNNs, and current FPGA routing structures cannot accommodate the high levels of interneuron connectivity inherent in complex SNNs. This paper highlights and discusses the current challenges of implementing scalable...

  13. Anticipating and Communicating Plausible Environmental and Health Concerns Associated with Future Disasters: The ShakeOut and ARkStorm Scenarios as Examples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Morman, S. A.; Alpers, C. N.; Hoefen, T. M.; Meeker, G. P.

    2010-12-01

    Disasters commonly pose immediate threats to human safety, but can also produce hazardous materials (HM) that pose short- and long-term environmental-health threats. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has helped assess potential environmental health characteristics of HM produced by various natural and anthropogenic disasters, such as the 2001 World Trade Center collapse, 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2007-2009 southern California wildfires, various volcanic eruptions, and others. Building upon experience gained from these responses, we are now developing methods to anticipate plausible environmental and health implications of the 2008 Great Southern California ShakeOut scenario (which modeled the impacts of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault, http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/scenario08/), and the recent ARkStorm scenario (modeling the impacts of a major, weeks-long winter storm hitting nearly all of California, http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/winter-storm/). Environmental-health impacts of various past earthquakes and extreme storms are first used to identify plausible impacts that could be associated with the disaster scenarios. Substantial insights can then be gleaned using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to link ShakeOut and ARkStorm effects maps with data extracted from diverse database sources containing geologic, hazards, and environmental information. This type of analysis helps constrain where potential geogenic (natural) and anthropogenic sources of HM (and their likely types of contaminants or pathogens) fall within areas of predicted ShakeOut-related shaking, firestorms, and landslides, and predicted ARkStorm-related precipitation, flooding, and winds. Because of uncertainties in the event models and many uncertainties in the databases used (e.g., incorrect location information, lack of detailed information on specific facilities, etc.) this approach should only be considered as the first of multiple steps

  14. Physicochemical and biological characteristics of coastal saline soft under different vegetation cover%种植条件下海滨盐土理化性状与生物学特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李刚; 周建; 钦佩

    2011-01-01

    以苏北海滨盐土种植实验区7个不同特征的地块为对象,研究了海滨盐土基本理化性状及其生物学特征的季节变化,以及其与植物种植和植被条件的关系.结果表明:海滨盐土的土壤性状随种莓年限和植被状况的不同有较大的变异性,种植耐盐植物地块平均土壤电导率(0.95 dS·m-1)低于自然植被地块(2.77 dS·m-1),但部分地块电导率水平较种植前有所升高;土壤肥力普遍较低,水解性氮含量平均低于50 mg·kg-1,有效磷含量(除施肥地块)平均低于3 mg·kg-1,有机质含量低于1%,种植耐盐植物地块因施肥而有所改善.土壤电导率和养分水平是影响盐土植被生长与分布的主要因素,前者尤为关键;土壤氮磷含量与微生物数量密切相关.不同植被和干扰状况下土壤性状的季节变化差异明显,植被盖度高、人为干扰少的土壤环境相对稳定,反之则波动剧烈.%Taking seven plots of coastal saline soil under different vegetation cover in North Jiangsu as study sites, this paper studied the seasonal fluctuations of soil basic physicochemical and biological characteristics, and analyzed the relationships between these fluctuations and vegetation cover.In the test plots, there was a greater variability of soil basic physicochemical and biological characteristics. The average soil electrical conductivity was lower in crop plots (0.95 dS · m-1) than in natural vegetation plots ( 2.77 dS·m-1 ) . but parts of the crop plots showed an increased soil electrical conductivity compared with pre-planting. Overall. the soil fertility of the plots was generally at a low level. with the hydrolysable nitrogen content averagely lower than 50 mg · kg-1, available phosphorus content ( except fertilized plots) lower than 3 mg·kg-1 , and organic matter content less than l%. Due to fertilization. the soil conditions in crop plots somewhat improved. For the test coastal saline soil. its electrical

  15. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorge-Herrero, E. [Servicio de Cirugia Experimental. Clinica Puerta de Hierro, Madrid (Spain)

    1997-05-01

    There are a number of situations in which substances of biological origin are employed as biomaterials. Most of them are macromolecules derived from isolated connective tissue or the connective tissue itself in membrane form, in both cases, the tissue can be used in its natural form or be chemically treated. In other cases, certain blood vessels can be chemically pretreated and used as vascular prostheses. Proteins such as albumin, collagen and fibrinogen are employed to coat vascular prostheses. Certain polysaccharides have also been tested for use in controlled drug release systems. Likewise, a number of tissues, such as dura mater, bovine pericardium, procine valves and human valves, are used in the preparation of cardiac prostheses. We also use veins from animals or humans in arterial replacement. In none of these cases are the tissues employed dissimilar to the native tissues as they have been chemically modified, becoming a new bio material with different physical and biochemical properties. In short, we find that natural products are being utilized as biomaterials and must be considered as such; thus, it is necessary to study both their chemicobiological and physicomechanical properties. In the present report, we review the current applications, problems and future prospects of some of these biological biomaterials. (Author) 84 refs.

  16. Insertion of O-H Bond of Rh(Ⅱ)-methylene Carbene into Alcohols: A Stepwise Mechanism More Plausible than a Concerted Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms of insertion of O-H bond of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into methanol and ethanol were studied by using B3LYP functional both in gas phase and in CH2Cl2. The formation of free alcoholic oxonium ylides is found to be impossible. Alcoholic oxonium ylide are formed as the intermediates before both the stepwise and the concerted transition states of insertion of O-H bond of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into methanol and ethanol. With regard to the mechanisms of insertion of O-H of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into alcohols, analysis of the energy barriers of the two mechanisms indicate that the stepwise mechanism is more plausible than the concerted mechanism.

  17. Relatively Selective Production of the Simplest Criegee Intermediate in a CH4/O2 Electric Discharge: Kinetic Analysis of a Plausible Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thanh Lam; McCarthy, Michael C; Stanton, John F

    2015-07-16

    High -accuracy coupled cluster methods in combination with microcanonical semiclassical transition state theory are used to investigate a plausible formation mechanism of the simplest Criegee intermediate in a CH4/O2 discharge experiment. Our results suggest that the Criegee intermediate is produced in a three-step process: (i) production of methyl radical by cleavage of a C-H bond of CH4; (ii) association of methyl radical with molecular oxygen to form a vibrationally excited methyl peroxy, which is in a rapid microequilibrium with the reactants; and finally, (iii) H-abstraction of CH3OO by O2, which results in the formation of cool CH2OO, which has insufficient internal energy to rearrange to dioxirane.

  18. An Italian population-based case-control study on the association between farming and cancer: Are pesticides a plausible risk factor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salerno, Christian; Carcagnì, Antonella; Sacco, Sara; Palin, Lucio Antonio; Vanhaecht, Kris; Panella, Massimiliano; Guido, Davide

    2016-05-01

    This population-based case-control study investigated the association between farming (a proxy for pesticide exposure) and cancer in the Vercelli suburban area (northwest Italy). The residents, aged 25 to 79 years, in the above-mentioned area during the period 2002-2009 were considered. Cases were all the first hospital admissions for cancer. Controls were all the subjects not included in the cases and not excluded from the study. Cases and controls were classified according to whether they occupationally resulted farmers or nonfarmers during the period 1965-2009. Cancer odds ratios (ORs) between farmers and nonfarmers were calculated with generalized linear mixed models adjusted by gender and age. Farmers showed higher odds for all cancers (OR=1.459; p plausible association between pesticide exposure and cancer occurrence.

  19. Changes in the Distribution of Lesser Adjutant Storks (Leptoptilos javanicus in South and Southeast Asia: A Plausible Evidence of Global Climate and Land-use Change Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapil K. Khadka

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution Models (SDMs illustrate the relation between species and environmental variables. In an attempt to model the historical and current distribution of Lesser Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos javanicus and gain qualitative insight into range shift, maxEnt modeling approach was applied. The model was projected into maps to illustrate the variation in spatial distribution of the species in South and Southeast Asia over time. A distributional shift was observed towards the north accompanied by range contraction to the south and expansion to the north. Besides, annual precipitation and temperature of the coldest period of a year appeared to be the major climatic determinants of species distribution. It provides plausible evidence of global climate and land-use change effect on the bird’s distribution and suggests avenues for further research.

  20. Embodied learning of a generative neural model for biological motion perception and inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrodt, Fabian; Layher, Georg; Neumann, Heiko; Butz, Martin V

    2015-01-01

    Although an action observation network and mirror neurons for understanding the actions and intentions of others have been under deep, interdisciplinary consideration over recent years, it remains largely unknown how the brain manages to map visually perceived biological motion of others onto its own motor system. This paper shows how such a mapping may be established, even if the biologically motion is visually perceived from a new vantage point. We introduce a learning artificial neural network model and evaluate it on full body motion tracking recordings. The model implements an embodied, predictive inference approach. It first learns to correlate and segment multimodal sensory streams of own bodily motion. In doing so, it becomes able to anticipate motion progression, to complete missing modal information, and to self-generate learned motion sequences. When biological motion of another person is observed, this self-knowledge is utilized to recognize similar motion patterns and predict their progress. Due to the relative encodings, the model shows strong robustness in recognition despite observing rather large varieties of body morphology and posture dynamics. By additionally equipping the model with the capability to rotate its visual frame of reference, it is able to deduce the visual perspective onto the observed person, establishing full consistency to the embodied self-motion encodings by means of active inference. In further support of its neuro-cognitive plausibility, we also model typical bistable perceptions when crucial depth information is missing. In sum, the introduced neural model proposes a solution to the problem of how the human brain may establish correspondence between observed bodily motion and its own motor system, thus offering a mechanism that supports the development of mirror neurons.