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Sample records for preliminary functional characterization

  1. Preliminary functional characterization, cloning and primary sequence of Fastuosain, a cysteine peptidase isolated from fruits of Bromelia fastuosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Hamilton; Leopoldino, Andréia M; Tajara, Eloiza H; Greene, Lewis J; Faça, Vitor M; Mateus, Rogério P; Ceron, Carlos R; de Souza Judice, Wagner A; Julianod, Luiz; Bonilla-Rodriguez, Gustavo O

    2006-01-01

    The present work reports the characterization of Fastuosain, a novel cysteine protease of 25kDa, purified from the unripe fruits of Bromelia fastuosa, a wild South American Bromeliaceae. Proteolytic activity, measured using casein and synthetic substrates, was dependent on the presence of thiol reagents, having maximum activity at pH 7.0. The present work reports cDNA cloning of Fastuosain; cDNA was amplified by PCR using specific primers. The product was 1096pb long. Mature fastuosain has 217 residues, and with the proregion has a total length of 324 residues. Its primary sequence showed high homology with ananain(74%), stem bromelain (66%) and papain (44%).

  2. Preliminary site characterization - final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, D.; Smith, L.B.

    1993-12-01

    This report summarizes the ecological unit reconnaissance conducted at the F-Area Burning/Rubble Pit(s) RCRA/CERCLA Unit (F-Area BRP) on August 30 and 31, 1993 as part of the RFI/RI baseline risk assessment for the waste unit The baseline risk assessment will assess the potential endangerment to human health and the environment associated with the unit and will be used to evaluate remediation criteria, if needed. The information presented in this report will be used in subsequent stages of the ecological risk assessment to refine the conceptual site model, assist in the selection of contaminants of concern, identify potential ecological receptors, and evaluate trophic relationships and other exposure pathways. The unit reconnaissance survey was conducted in accordance with Specification No. E-18272, Rev. 1 dated August 5, 1993, and the Draft {open_quotes}Ecological Risk Assessment Program Plan for Evaluation of Waste Sites on the Savannah River Site{close_quotes}. The objectives of the site reconnaissance were to: Assess the general characteristics of on-unit biological communities including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and any aquatic communities present. Determine the location, extent, and characteristics of on-unit ecological resources, such as forested areas and wetlands, that could serve as important wildlife habitat or provide other ecological functions. Identify any overt effects of contamination on biological communities. The field investigations included mapping and describing all wetland and terrestrial habitats; recording wildlife observations of birds, mammals, and reptiles; and investigating ecological resources in nearby downgradient and downstream areas which could be affected by mobile contaminants or future remedial actions. In preparation for the field investigation, existing unit information including aerial photographs and reports were reviewed to help identify and describe ecological resources at the waste unit.

  3. Preliminary characterization of abandoned septic tank systems. Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    This report documents the activities and findings of the Phase I Preliminary Characterization of Abandoned Septic Tank Systems. The purpose of the preliminary characterization activity was to investigate the Tiger Team abandoned septic systems (tanks and associated leachfields) for the purpose of identifying waste streams for closure at a later date. The work performed was not to fully characterize or remediate the sites. The abandoned systems potentially received wastes or effluent from buildings which could have discharged non-domestic, petroleum hydrocarbons, hazardous, radioactive and/or mixed wastes. A total of 20 sites were investigated for the preliminary characterization of identified abandoned septic systems. Of the 20 sites, 19 were located and characterized through samples collected from each tank(s) and, where applicable, associated leachfields. The abandoned septic tank systems are located in Areas 5, 12, 15, 25, and 26 on the Nevada Test Site.

  4. Photothermal characterization of functionally graded materials (FGM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumel, J.; Terrien, N.; Arnould, O.; Krapez, J. C.; Lepoutre, F.

    2002-05-01

    This paper deals with the photothermal characterization of functionally graded materials (FGM) whose thermal properties are varying parallel to the sample surface. Simple experimental configurations and associated inversion procedures are proposed either for thermal mapping or for pitch-catch imaging mode. The photothermally induced periodic temperature field at the sample surface is first calculated using a specific code, then the inversion procedures are checked using a simulated set of data. Preliminary experimental results are presented outlining need of specific filter to cope with experimental noise.

  5. Preliminary functional impression for the mandibular complete denture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiche, H

    1989-01-01

    A technique for producing a preliminary impression of a resorbed edentulous mandibular ridge is presented. A 2-mm metal wire is adapted to the curve of the mandibular arch. A high-viscosity impression material is then formed to the wire and placed in the patient's mouth. Speech movements are used to functionally shape the material. Following polymerization, additional material is added to create extensions not captured in the first impression. A final wash using a low-viscosity silicone or polysulfide rubber material completes the impression. The resultant preliminary impression has the advantage of not being distorted by an ill-fitting stock tray or artificially manipulated by the clinician.

  6. Preliminary Rock Physics Characterization of Mississippian Carbonate Reservoir in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M.; Keehm, Y.; Kim, H.

    2011-12-01

    The Mississippian formations in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are known to have large hydrocarbon resources. The Lodgepole formation is the most important reservoir for oil production in Daly and Virden fields. In this study, we performed preliminary reservoir characterization using rock physics modeling. We first delineated the Lodgepole formation by geological information, well-logs and core analysis data. Then, we conducted rock physics analyses such as GR-AI, DEM modeling, porosity-Vp, density-Vp, and porosity-permeability. We identified the Lodgepole formation has different porosity types, volume of shale, and the degree of fractures in difference intervals. In the upper part of the formation, we found that vuggy pores are well developed. Inter-particular porosity and fractures become significant as the depth increases. We found that the lower part can be divided into two groups by acoustic impedance. The prospective reservoir interval, one of the two groups, has higher fracture density, which can be identified by lower acoustic impedance. This result also implies that we could also use AVO analyses to delineate good reservoir intervals. In conclusion, rock physics modeling can be effectively applied to characterize the Lodgepole formation quantitatively with well-log and core analysis data. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Energy Resources R&D program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 2009201030001A).

  7. Preliminary functional assessment of a multigrasp myoelectric prosthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalley, Skyler A; Bennett, Daniel A; Goldfarb, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The authors have previously described a multigrasp hand prosthesis prototype, and a two-site surface EMG based multigrasp control interface for its control. In this paper, the authors present a preliminary assessment of the efficacy of the prosthesis and multigrasp controller in performing tasks requiring interaction and manipulation. The authors use as a performance measure the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP), which entails manipulation of various objects designed to emulate activities of daily living, and provides a set of scores that indicate level of functionality in various types of hand function. In this preliminary assessment, a single non-amputee subject performed the SHAP while wearing the multigrasp prosthesis via an able-bodied adaptor. The results from this testing are presented, and compared to recently published SHAP results obtained with commercially available single-grasp and multigrasp prosthetic hands.

  8. Preliminary Characterization Results from the DebriSat Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivero, M.; Shiotani, B.; Kleespies, J.; Toledo-Burdett, R.; Moraguez, M.; Carrasquila, M.; Fitz-Coy, N.; Liou, J.-C.; Sorge, M.; Huynh, T.

    2016-01-01

    The DebriSat project is a continuing effort sponsored by NASA and DoD to update existing break-up models using data obtained from two separate hypervelocity impact tests used to simulate on-orbit collisions. To protect the fragments resulting from the impact tests, "soft-catch" arenas made of polyurethane foam panels were utilized. After each impact test, the test chamber was cleaned and debris resulting from the catastrophic demise of the test article were collected and shipped to the University of Florida for post-impact processing. The post-impact processing activities include collecting, characterizing, and cataloging of the fragments. Since the impact tests, a team of students has been working to characterize the fragments in terms of their mass, size, shape, color and material content. The focus of the 20 months since the impact tests has been on the collection of 2 millimeters- and larger fragments resulting from impact test on the 56 kilogram-representative LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite referred to as DebriSat. To date we have recovered in excess of 115,000 fragments, 30,000 more than the prediction of 85,000 fragments from the existing model. We continue to collect fragments but have transitioned to the characterization phase of the post-impact activities. Since the start of the characterization phase, the focus has been to utilize automation to (i) expedite fragment characterization process and (ii) minimize human-in-the- loop. We have developed and implemented such automated processes; e.g., we have automated the data entry process to reduce operator errors during transcription of the measurement data. However, at all steps of the process, there is human oversight to ensure the integrity of the data. Additionally, we have developed and implemented repeatability and reproducibility tests to ensure that the instrumentation used in the characterization process is accurate and properly calibrated. In this paper, the implemented processes are described and

  9. Wastewater characterization of IPEN facilities - a preliminary study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monteiro, Lucilena R.; Goncalves, Cristina; Terazan, Wagner R.; Cotrim, Marycel E.B.; Pires, Maria Aparecida F., E-mail: lrmonteiro@ipen.b [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2011-07-01

    As part of IPEN's Environmental Monitoring Program, wastewater sample collection and analysis was implemented on a daily basis. CQMA- Centro de Quimica e Meio Ambiente was responsible for the determination of total, fixed and volatile solids, pH, metals (as Al, Sb, Ba, Cd, Pb, Co, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mo, Ni, Ag, Na, Zn, Ca, Mg, Be, Sn, Li, K, Sr, Ti and V), semimetals (As, B, Se and Si) and anions (such as chloride, nitrate, sulfate and fluoride). The results were compared to the legal values established by the Sao Paulo State regulation 8,468/76, which defines the maximum permitted values for most of the studied substances in wastewater, aiming its releasing in public wastewater treatment system. The evaluation of this parameters concentration on Ipen's effluent implies that 50% of the wastewater corresponds to organic matter due to the sanitary load and inorganic macro elements, mainly as sodium, potassium, calcium. The only parameter not found in accordance with Brazilian legislation was pH in four out of the one hundred and seven samples collected throughout 2009 (2.8% of the samples analyzed). This preliminary study showed the effluents generated at Ipen's facility is characterized by the presence of organic matter and macro elements, commonly found in sanitary wastewater and it is in compliance with Sao Paulo regulations. (author)

  10. Preliminary microphysical characterization of precipitation at ground over Antarctica coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberto, Nicoletta; Adirosi, Elisa; Montopoli, Mario; Baldini, Luca; Dietrich, Stefano; Porcù, Federico

    2017-04-01

    The primary mass input of the Antarctic ice sheet is snow precipitation which is one of the most direct climatic indicators. Climatic model simulations of precipitations over Antarctica is an important task to assess the variation of ice sheet over long temporal scale. The main source of precipitation information in Antarctica regions derive from satellite observations. However, satellite measurements and products need to be calibrated and validated with observations from ground sensors. In spite of their key role, precipitation measurements at ground are scarce and not appropriate to provide the specific characteristic of precipitation particles that influence the scattering and absorption properties of ice particles. Recently, different stations in Antarctica (Princess Elizabeth, McMurdo, Mario Zucchelli) are equipping observatories for cloud and precipitation observations. The setup of the observatory at the Italian Station, Mario Zucchelli (MZ) plans to integrate the current instrumentation for weather measurements with other instruments specific for precipitation observations, in particular, a 24-GHz vertical pointing radar and a laser disdrometer Parsivel. The synergetic use of the set of instruments allows for characterizing precipitation and studying properties of Antarctic precipitation such as dimension, shapes, fall behavior, density of particles, particles size distribution, particles terminal velocity, reflectivity factor and including some information on their vertical extent. Last November, the OTT Parsivel disdrometer was installed on the roof of a logistic container (at 6 m of height) of the MZ station (Latitude 74° 41' 42" S; Longitude 164° 07' 23E") in the Terranova Bay. The disdrometer measures size and fall velocity of particles, passing through a laser matrix from which the Particle Size Distribution (PSD) is obtained. In addition, some products such as reflectivity factor, snow rate and snow accumulation can be inferred by properly

  11. A preliminary characterization of the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States); Ambos, D.S. [Foothill Engineering Consultants, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Isohyetal maps of precipitation and numerical models for simulating precipitation are needed to characterize natural infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The objective of this study was to characterize the spatial variability of precipitation within the domain of the natural catchments overlying the potential repository, and to define preliminary geostatistical models based on differences in storm type for the numerical simulation of precipitation.

  12. Preliminary molecular characterization of the human pathogen Angiostrongylus cantonensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Ai

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human angiostrongyliasis is an emerging food-borne public health problem, with the number of cases increasing worldwide, especially in mainland China. Angiostrongylus cantonensis is the causative agent of this severe disease. However, little is known about the genetics and basic biology of A. cantonensis. Results A cDNA library of A. cantonensis fourth-stage larvae was constructed, and ~1,200 clones were sequenced. Bioinformatic analyses revealed 378 cDNA clusters, 54.2% of which matched known genes at a cutoff expectation value of 10-20. Of these 378 unique cDNAs, 168 contained open reading frames encoding proteins containing an average of 238 amino acids. Characterization of the functions of these encoded proteins by Gene Ontology analysis showed enrichment in proteins with binding and catalytic activity. The observed pattern of enzymes involved in protein metabolism, lipid metabolism and glycolysis may reflect the central nervous system habitat of this pathogen. Four proteins were tested for their immunogenicity using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and histopathological examinations. The specificity of each of the four proteins was superior to that of crude somatic and excretory/secretory antigens of larvae, although their sensitivity was relatively low. We further showed that mice immunized with recombinant cystatin, a product of one of the four cDNA candidate genes, were partially protected from A. cantonensis infection. Conclusion The data presented here substantially expand the available genetic information about the human pathogen A. cantonensis, and should be a significant resource for angiostrongyliasis researchers. As such, this work serves as a starting point for molecular approaches for diagnosing and controlling human angiostrongyliasis.

  13. Preliminary characterization of interlayer for Be/Cu sintered compacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, N.; Kawamura, H. [Oarai Research Establishment, Ibaraki-ken (Japan)

    1995-09-01

    At present, beryllium is under consideration as a main candidate material for plasma facing components of ITER, because of its many advantages such as low Z, high thermal conductivity, low tritium retention, low activation and so on. Among the different divertor design options, the duplex structure where the beryllium armor is bonded with heat sink structural materials (DS-copper, Cu-Cr-Zr and so on) is under consideration. And plasma facing components will be exposed to high heat load and high neutron flux generated by the plasma. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the reliable bonding technologies between beryllium and heat sink structural materials in order to fabricate plasma facing components which can resist those. Then, we started the bonding technology development of beryllium and copper alloy with FGM (functional gradient material) in order to reduce thermal stress due to the difference of thermal expansion between beryllium and copper alloy. As the interlayers for FGM, eleven kinds of sintered compacts in which the mixing ratio of beryllium powder and oxygen free copper powder is different, were fabricated by the hot press/HIP method. The dimension of each compact is 8mm in diameter, 2mm in thickness. Then, thermal diffusivity and specific heat of these compacts were measured by laser flash method, and thermal conductivity was calculated from those values. From metalographical observation, it became clear that the sintered compacts of mixture of beryllium powder and copper powder contain residual beryllium, copper and two kinds of intermetallic compounds, Be{sub 2}Cu({delta}) and BeCu({gamma}). From the results of thermal characterization, thermal diffusivity of interlayers increased with increase of copper containing ratio. And, specific heat gradually decreased with increase of copper containing ratio.

  14. Preliminary characterization of an Italian craft durum wheat beer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mascia, Ilaria; Fadda, Costantino; Dostálek, Pavel; Olšovská, Jana; Del Caro, Alessandra

    2014-01-01

    ... (Germany and the Czech Republic). Standard beer chemical analyses, along with volatile and sensorial profiles, were used to characterize the Sardinian craft durum wheat beer. Copyright © 2014 The Institute of Brewing & Distilling

  15. Fabrication and preliminary characterization of infrared photodetectors based on graphene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mroczyński, R.; Kwietniewski, N.; Piotrowski, J.; Judek, J.; Zdrojek, M.; Szczepański, P.

    2016-12-01

    In this work, we report the technology of infrared photodetectors based on graphene layers (GLs). In the course of this work the new set of photolithography masks was especially designed to fabricate test structures. The new masks-set contains a matrix of different types of photodetector structures with varied active area dimensions, as well as additional module for characterization of electro-physical parameters of graphene and graphene-based devices. After careful optimization of consecutive technological steps, test structures were fabricated. First results of electrical characterization of obtained graphene-based photodetectors demonstrated that the developed technology was successful, however, further detailed optical characterization towards sensing parameters and potential applications in infrared detectors is necessary.

  16. Preliminary Hydrogeologic Characterization Results from the Wallula Basalt Pilot Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    B.P. McGrail; E. C. Sullivan; F. A. Spane; D. H. Bacon; G. Hund; P. D. Thorne; C. J. Thompson; S. P. Reidel; F. S. Colwell

    2009-12-01

    The DOE's Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership has completed drilling the first continental flood basalt sequestration pilot borehole to a total depth (TD) of 4,110 feet on the Boise White Paper Mill property at Wallula, Washington. Site suitability was assessed prior to drilling by the 2007-2008 acquisition, processing and analysis of a four-mile, five-line three component seismic swath, which was processed as a single data-dense line. Analysis of the seismic survey data indicated a composite basalt formation thickness of {approx}8,000 feet and absence of major geologic structures (i.e., faults) along the line imaged by the seismic swath. Drilling of Wallula pilot borehole was initiated on January 13, 2009 and reached TD on April 6, 2009. Based on characterization results obtained during drilling, three basalt breccia zones were identified between the depth interval of 2,716 and 2,910 feet, as being suitable injection reservoir for a subsequent CO2 injection pilot study. The targeted injection reservoir lies stratigraphically below the massive Umtanum Member of the Grande Ronde Basalt, whose flow-interior section possesses regionally recognized low-permeability characteristics. The identified composite injection zone reservoir provides a unique and attractive opportunity to scientifically study the reservoir behavior of three inter-connected reservoir intervals below primary and secondary caprock confining zones. Drill cuttings, wireline geophysical logs, and 31one-inch diameter rotary sidewall cores provided geologic data for characterization of rock properties. XRF analyses of selected rock samples provided geochemical characterizations of the rocks and stratigraphic control for the basalt flows encountered by the Wallula pilot borehole. Based on the geochemical results, the pilot borehole was terminated in the Wapshilla Ridge 1 flow of the Grande Ronde Basalt Formation. Detailed hydrologic test characterizations of 12 basalt interflow

  17. Proteinases of Streptomyces fradiae. I. Preliminary characterization and purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galas, E; Kaluzewska, T

    1989-01-01

    A keratinolytic strain of S. fradiae has been shown to synthesize a complex of extracellular proteinases degrading native keratin proteins, elastin and collagen as well as some globular proteins. These enzymes are characterized by basic optimal pH and are inactivated by pheynlmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Using preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ion-exchange chromatography and affinity chromatography, 6 fractions of active protein of diversified proteolytic activity have been distinguished in the preparation studied.

  18. Preliminary statistical assessment towards characterization of biobotic control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latif, Tahmid; Meng Yang; Lobaton, Edgar; Bozkurt, Alper

    2016-08-01

    Biobotic research involving neurostimulation of instrumented insects to control their locomotion is finding potential as an alternative solution towards development of centimeter-scale distributed swarm robotics. To improve the reliability of biobotic agents, their control mechanism needs to be precisely characterized. To achieve this goal, this paper presents our initial efforts for statistical assessment of the angular response of roach biobots to the applied bioelectrical stimulus. Subsequent findings can help to understand the effect of each stimulation parameter individually or collectively and eventually reach reliable and consistent biobotic control suitable for real life scenarios.

  19. Preliminary characterization of digestive enzymes in freshwater mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauey, Blake W.; Amberg, Jon J.; Cooper, Scott T.; Grunwald, Sandra K.; Newton, Teresa J.; Haro, Roger J.

    2015-01-01

    Resource managers lack an effective chemical tool to control the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Zebra mussels clog water intakes for hydroelectric companies, harm unionid mussel species, and are believed to be a reservoir of avian botulism. Little is known about the digestive physiology of zebra mussels and unionid mussels. The enzymatic profile of the digestive glands of zebra mussels and native threeridge (Amblema plicata) and plain pocketbook mussels (Lampsilis cardium) are characterized using a commercial enzyme kit, api ZYM, and validated the kit with reagent-grade enzymes. A linear correlation was shown for only one of nineteen enzymes, tested between the api ZYM kit and a specific enzyme kit. Thus, the api ZYM kit should only be used to make general comparisons of enzyme presence and to observe trends in enzyme activities. Enzymatic trends were seen in the unionid mussel species, but not in zebra mussels sampled 32 days apart from the same location. Enzymatic classes, based on substrate, showed different trends, with proteolytic and phospholytic enzymes having the most change in relative enzyme activity.

  20. Optimization Extraction, Preliminary Characterization and Antioxidant Activities of Polysaccharides from Semen Juglandis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueyong Ren

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The optimization extraction process, preliminary characterization and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from Semen Juglandis (SJP were studied in this paper. Based on the Box-Behnken experimental design and response surface methodology, the optimal extraction conditions for the SJP extraction were obtained as follows: temperature 88 °C, extraction time 125 min and ratio of liquid to solid 31 mL/g. Under these conditions, experimental extraction yield of SJP was (5.73 ± 0.014% (n = 5, similar to the predicted value of 5.78%. Furtherly, the purified SJP obtained from SJP extract by DEAE-52 and Sephacryl S-100 chromatography was analyzed to be rhamnose, galacturonic acid, galactose, arabinose and fucose in the molar ratio of 1:6.34:1.38:3.21:1.56. And the weight-average molecular weight and radius of gyration of the purified SJP in 0.1 M NaCl were determined to be 2.76 × 104 g/mol and 122 nm by SEC-MALLS, respectively. More importantly, it exhibited appreciable antioxidant activities compared to the standard Vc, such as DPPH radical scavenging activity (IC50 0.21 mg/mL, strong reducing power, ABTS radical scavenging activity (IC50 0.29 mg/mL, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (IC50 0.38 mg/mL. These results indicate that SJP may be useful for developing functional health products or natural antioxidant.

  1. Characterization of Swallowing Sound: Preliminary Investigation of Normal Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Tsuyoshi; Baba, Takuro; Fujimoto, Keiko; Goto, Takaharu; Nagao, Kan; Harada, Masafumi; Honda, Eiichi; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the swallowing sound and identify the process of sound generation during swallowing in young healthy adults. Thirty-three healthy volunteers were enrolled and allocated into three experimental groups. In experiment 1, a microphone was attached to one of eight cervical sites in 20 subjects, participants swallowed 5 ml water, and the sound waveform was recorded. In experiment 2, 10 subjects swallowed either 0, 5, 10, or 15 ml water during audio recording. In addition, participants consumed the 5 ml bolus in two different cervical postures. In experiment 3, the sound waveform and videofluoroscopy were simultaneously recorded while the three participants consumed 5 ml iopamidol solution. The duration and peak intensity ratio of the waveform were analyzed in all experimental groups. The acoustic analysis of the waveforms and videofluoroscopy suggested that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods, each associated with a stage of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising posterior tongue and hyoid bone movement; the pharyngeal phase comprising larynx movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and passage of the bolus through the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the return of the hyoid bone and larynx to their resting positions, and reopening of the epiglottis. Acoustic analysis of swallowing sounds and videofluoroscopy suggests that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods associated with each process of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising the posterior movement of the tongue and hyoid bone; the pharyngeal phase comprising the laryngeal movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and the bolus passage to the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the repositioning of the hyoid bone and larynx, and reopening of the epiglottis.

  2. Preliminary Geologic Characterization of West Coast States for Geologic Sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larry Myer

    2005-09-29

    Characterization of geological sinks for sequestration of CO{sub 2} in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington was carried out as part of Phase I of the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) project. Results show that there are geologic storage opportunities in the region within each of the following major technology areas: saline formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and coal beds. The work focused on sedimentary basins as the initial most-promising targets for geologic sequestration. Geographical Information System (GIS) layers showing sedimentary basins and oil, gas, and coal fields in those basins were developed. The GIS layers were attributed with information on the subsurface, including sediment thickness, presence and depth of porous and permeable sandstones, and, where available, reservoir properties. California offers outstanding sequestration opportunities because of its large capacity and the potential of value-added benefits from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and enhanced gas recovery (EGR). The estimate for storage capacity of saline formations in the ten largest basins in California ranges from about 150 to about 500 Gt of CO{sub 2}, depending on assumptions about the fraction of the formations used and the fraction of the pore volume filled with separate-phase CO{sub 2}. Potential CO{sub 2}-EOR storage was estimated to be 3.4 Gt, based on a screening of reservoirs using depth, an API gravity cutoff, and cumulative oil produced. The cumulative production from gas reservoirs (screened by depth) suggests a CO{sub 2} storage capacity of 1.7 Gt. In Oregon and Washington, sedimentary basins along the coast also offer sequestration opportunities. Of particular interest is the Puget Trough Basin, which contains up to 1,130 m (3,700 ft) of unconsolidated sediments overlying up to 3,050 m (10,000 ft) of Tertiary sedimentary rocks. The Puget Trough Basin also contains deep coal formations, which are sequestration targets and may have

  3. Preliminary characterization of an expanding flow of siloxane vapor MDM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinelli, A.; Cozzi, F.; Cammi, G.; Zocca, M.; Gaetani, P.; Dossena, V.; Guardone, A.

    2017-03-01

    The early experimental results on the characterization of expanding flows of siloxane vapor MDM (C8H24O2Si3, octamethyltrisiloxane) are presented. The measurements were performed on the Test Rig for Organic VApors (TROVA) at the CREA Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano. The TROVA test-rig was built in order to investigate the non-ideal compressible-fluid behavior of typical expanding flows occurring within organic Rankine cycles (ORC) turbine passages. The test rig implements a batch Rankine cycle where a planar converging-diverging nozzle replaces the turbine and represents a test section. Investigations related to both fields of non-ideal compressible-fluid dynamics fundamentals and turbomachinery are allowed. The nozzle can be operated with different working fluids and operating conditions aiming at measuring independently the pressure, the temperature and the velocity field and thus providing data to verify the thermo-fluid dynamic models adopted to predict the behavior of these flows. The limiting values of pressure and temperature are 50 bar and 400 °C respectively. The early measurements are performed along the nozzle axis, where an isentropic process is expected to occur. In particular, the results reported here refer to the nozzle operated in adapted conditions using the siloxane vapor MDM as working fluid in thermodynamic regions where mild to medium non-ideal compressible-fluid effects are present. Both total temperature and total pressure of the nozzle are measured upstream of the test section, while static pressure are measured along the nozzle axis. Schlieren visualizations are also carried out in order to complement the pressure measurement with information about the 2D density gradient field. The Laser Doppler Velocimetry technique is planned to be used in the future for velocity measurements. The measured flow field has also been interpreted by resorting to the quasi-one-dimensional theory and two dimensional CFD viscous calculation. In both cases

  4. Characterization of Swallowing Sound: Preliminary Investigation of Normal Subjects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Tsuyoshi; Baba, Takuro; Fujimoto, Keiko; Goto, Takaharu; Nagao, Kan; Harada, Masafumi; Honda, Eiichi; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this study was to characterize the swallowing sound and identify the process of sound generation during swallowing in young healthy adults. Methods Thirty-three healthy volunteers were enrolled and allocated into three experimental groups. In experiment 1, a microphone was attached to one of eight cervical sites in 20 subjects, participants swallowed 5 ml water, and the sound waveform was recorded. In experiment 2, 10 subjects swallowed either 0, 5, 10, or 15 ml water during audio recording. In addition, participants consumed the 5 ml bolus in two different cervical postures. In experiment 3, the sound waveform and videofluoroscopy were simultaneously recorded while the three participants consumed 5 ml iopamidol solution. The duration and peak intensity ratio of the waveform were analyzed in all experimental groups. Results The acoustic analysis of the waveforms and videofluoroscopy suggested that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods, each associated with a stage of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising posterior tongue and hyoid bone movement; the pharyngeal phase comprising larynx movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and passage of the bolus through the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the return of the hyoid bone and larynx to their resting positions, and reopening of the epiglottis. Conclusion Acoustic analysis of swallowing sounds and videofluoroscopy suggests that the swallowing sound could be divided into three periods associated with each process of the swallowing movement: the oral phase comprising the posterior movement of the tongue and hyoid bone; the pharyngeal phase comprising the laryngeal movement, hyoid bone elevation, epiglottis closure, and the bolus passage to the esophagus orifice; and the repositioning phase comprising the repositioning of the hyoid bone and larynx, and reopening of the epiglottis. PMID:27959902

  5. Preliminary characterization and modeling of SMA-based textile composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuda, Arata; Ni, Qing-Qing; Sone, Akira; Zhang, Run-Xin; Yamamura, Takahiko

    2004-07-01

    In this paper, we conduct a feasibility study to investigate the future potential of textile composites with shape memory alloys. Two different types of SMA-based textile composites are presented. First, a composite plate with embedded woven SMA layer is fabricated, and the stiffness tuning capability is evaluated by impact vibration tests. The results are not favorable, but may be improved by increasing the volume fraction of SMA, and by controlling the prestrain more accurately during the lamination process. The modeling and analysis methodology for woven SMA-based composites are briefly discussed. Then, the possibility of textile composites with SMA stitching is discussed, that is expected to give the composites multi-functions such as tunable stiffness, shape control and sensing capability, selectively distributed on demand.

  6. Expression, purification and preliminary crystallographic characterization of FlhF from Bacillus subtilis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bange, Gert; Petzold, Georg; Wild, Klemens; Sinning, Irmgard, E-mail: irmi.sinning@bzh.uni-heidelberg.de [Heidelberg University Biochemistry Centre (BZH), INF 328, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2007-05-01

    Preliminary crystallographic data are reported for the third SRP GTPase FlhF from Bacillus subtilis. The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis contains three proteins belonging to the signal recognition particle (SRP) type GTPase family. The well characterized signal sequence-binding protein SRP54 and the SRP receptor protein FtsY are universally conserved components of the SRP system of protein transport. The third member, FlhF, has been implicated in the placement and assembly of polar flagella. This article describes the overexpression and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of an FlhF fragment that corresponds to the well characterized GTPase domains in SRP54 and FtsY. Three crystal forms are reported with either GDP or GMPPNP and diffract to a resolution of about 3 Å.

  7. Projective Hulls and Characterizations of Meromorphic Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Anderson, J T; Levenberg, N; Ransford, T J

    2011-01-01

    We give conditions characterizing holomorphic and meromorphic functions in the unit disk of the complex plane in terms of certain weak forms of the maximum principle. Our work is directly inspired by recent results of John Wermer, and by the theory of the projective hull of a compact subset of complex projective space developed by Reese Harvey and Blaine Lawson.

  8. Strain Functionals for Characterizing Atomistic Geometries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kober, Edward; Rudin, Sven

    The development of a set of strain tensor functionals that are capable of characterizing arbitrarily ordered atomistic structures is described. This approach defines a Gaussian-weighted neighborhood around each atom and characterizes that local geometry in terms of n-th order strain tensors, which are equivalent to the moments of the neighborhood. Fourth order expansions can distinguish the cubic structures (and deformations thereof), but sixth order expansions are required to fully characterize hexagonal structures. Other methods used to characterize atomic structures, such as the Steinhardt parameters or the centrosymmetry metric, can be derived from this more general approach. These functions are continuous and smooth and much less sensitive to thermal fluctuations than other descriptors based on discrete neighborhoods. They allow material phases, deformations, and a large number of defect structures to be readily identified and classified. Applications to the analysis of shock-loaded samples of Cu, Ta and Ti will be presented. This strain functional basis can also then be used for developing interatomic potential functions, and an initial application to Cu will be presented.

  9. Characterization of maximally random jammed sphere packings: Voronoi correlation functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Michael A; Torquato, Salvatore

    2014-11-01

    We characterize the structure of maximally random jammed (MRJ) sphere packings by computing the Minkowski functionals (volume, surface area, and integrated mean curvature) of their associated Voronoi cells. The probability distribution functions of these functionals of Voronoi cells in MRJ sphere packings are qualitatively similar to those of an equilibrium hard-sphere liquid and partly even to the uncorrelated Poisson point process, implying that such local statistics are relatively structurally insensitive. This is not surprising because the Minkowski functionals of a single Voronoi cell incorporate only local information and are insensitive to global structural information. To improve upon this, we introduce descriptors that incorporate nonlocal information via the correlation functions of the Minkowski functionals of two cells at a given distance as well as certain cell-cell probability density functions. We evaluate these higher-order functions for our MRJ packings as well as equilibrium hard spheres and the Poisson point process. It is shown that these Minkowski correlation and density functions contain visibly more information than the corresponding standard pair-correlation functions. We find strong anticorrelations in the Voronoi volumes for the hyperuniform MRJ packings, consistent with previous findings for other pair correlations [A. Donev et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 090604 (2005)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.95.090604], indicating that large-scale volume fluctuations are suppressed by accompanying large Voronoi cells with small cells, and vice versa. In contrast to the aforementioned local Voronoi statistics, the correlation functions of the Voronoi cells qualitatively distinguish the structure of MRJ sphere packings (prototypical glasses) from that of not only the Poisson point process but also the correlated equilibrium hard-sphere liquids. Moreover, while we did not find any perfect icosahedra (the locally densest possible structure in which a

  10. Calculus of Elementary Functions, Part I, Student Text. Preliminary Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herriot, Sarah T.; And Others

    This is part one of a three-part SMSG calculus text for high school students. The aim of the text is to develop some of the concepts and techniques which will enable the student to obtain important information about graphs of elementary functions. Chapter topics include: (1) polynomial functions; (2) the derivative of a polynomial function; and…

  11. Electrochemical characterization of organosilane-functionalized nanostructured ITO surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-08

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

  12. Gender Differences in Bed Rest: Preliminary Analysis of Vascular Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platts, Steven H.; Stenger, Michael B.; Martin, David S.; Freeman-Perez, Sondra A.; Phillips, Tiffany; Ribeiro, L. Christine

    2008-01-01

    Orthostatic intolerance is a recognized consequence of spaceflight. Numerous studies have shown that women are more susceptible to orthostatic intolerance following spaceflight as well as bed rest, the most commonly used ground-based analog for spaceflight. One of the possible mechanisms proposed to account for this is a difference in vascular responsiveness between genders. We hypothesized that women and men would have differing vascular responses to 90 days of 6-degree head down tilt bed rest. Additionally, we hypothesized that vessels in the upper and lower body would respond differently, as has been shown in the animal literature. Thirteen subjects were placed in bedrest for 90 days (8 men, 5 women) at the Flight Analogs Unit, UTMB. Direct arterial and venous measurements were made with ultrasound to evaluate changes in vascular structure and function. Arterial function was assessed, in the arm and leg, during a reactive hyperemia protocol and during sublingual nitroglycerin administration to gauge the contributions of endothelial dependent and independent dilator function respectively. Venous function was assessed in dorsal hand and foot veins during the administration of pharmaceuticals to assess constrictor and dilator function. Both gender and day effects are seen in arterial dilator function to reactive hyperemia, but none are seen with nitroglycerin. There are also differences in the wall thickness in the arm vs the leg during bed rest, which return toward pre-bed rest levels by day 90. More subjects are required, especially females as there is not sufficient power to properly analyze venous function. Day 90 data are most underpowered.

  13. Preliminary characterization of dose in personnel of interventional radiology; Caracterizacao preliminar da dose em profissionais de radiologia intervencionista

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Godolfim, Laura Larre; Anes, Mauricio; Bacelar, Alexandre; Lykawka, Rochelle [Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre (HCPA), Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil)

    2016-07-01

    Exposure to X-rays of Interventional Radiology professionals (IR) impacts in the high dose rate received by these individuals, and there are reports of biological effects of this professional activity. Therefore, it is fomented greater control over the doses received by these workers. This research intends to characterize the doses received by the professionals during IR procedures. We evaluated the doses of radiologists, anesthesiologists and nursing staff of the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, through measures with dosimeters of the OSL type, distributed in up to six regions of the body of these professionals. Until now were accompanied 33 cholangiography procedures and 29 embolization procedures. As a preliminary result, it was possible to identify a wide variation between doses of the professionals of the same function in each procedure. In overview, the dose of the professionals presented in descending order as a radiologist 1> radiologist 2 > anesthetist > nursing. (author)

  14. Calculus of Elementary Functions, Part III, Student Text. Preliminary Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herriot, Sarah T.; And Others

    This is part three of a three-part SMSG calculus text for high school students. The aim of the text is to develop some of the concepts and techniques which will enable the student to obtain important information about graphs of elementary functions. Chapter topics include area and the integral, differentiation theory and technique, mathematical…

  15. Functional Communication Training in Rett Syndrome: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byiers, Breanne J.; Dimian, Adele; Symons, Frank J.

    2014-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is associated with a range of serious neurodevelopmental consequences including severe communicative impairments. Currently, no evidence-based communication interventions exist for the population (Sigafoos et al., 2009). The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of functional assessment (FA) and…

  16. Features and Functions of Journals: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang Yudi Cahyono

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This study is intended to describe the features and functions of journals written by EFL learners. The features described include the contents and organization of the journals. The functions examined in this study include sense of purpose and sense of audience in writing. The subjects of the study were students of the first semester who took English intensive course at the English Department of IKIP MALANG. The results of content analysis indicate that journals that the students write contain various themes. Analysis on paragraph organization indicates that paragraphs in the journals generally show adequate development. This study also shows that the student journals reflect sense of purpose and sense of audience in writing.

  17. Purification, preliminary characterization and bioactivities of polysaccharides from Ostrea rivularis Gould.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shijie; Zhang, Danyan; Wu, Jun; Li, Xia; Zhang, Jingnian; Wan, Mianjie; Lai, Xiaoping

    2015-09-01

    In this study, purification, preliminary characterization and biological activities of water-soluble polysaccharides from Ostrea rivularis Gould (ORP) were investigated. Firstly, crude ORP was extracted by enzyme-assisted extraction and then sequentially purified by chromatography of DEAE-52 and Sephadex G-100, producing one main purified fractions of ORPp. Furthermore, the preliminary characterization of ORPp was studied, and its antioxidant and spermatogenesis activities were evaluated. Experimental results showed that ORPp was mainly composed of glucose (76.3%) and galactose (23.7%). The average molecular weight of ORPp was 118 kDa. Besides, ORPp showed strong antioxidant activities in vitro. For the experiments of antioxidant activities in vivo, ORPp can significantly inhibited the formation of MDA in rats' serums, and raised the activities of antioxidant enzymes and the level of total antioxidant capacity (TAOC). Furthermore, ORPp could significantly increase the weights of male rats' sexual organs, promote sperm motility and raise epididymal sperm counts. These results suggest that ORPp could be a new source of natural antioxidants and spermatogenic agent with its potential usage in developing novel supplements and medicines.

  18. Preliminary design of multi-function LIGA beamline

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    One design of multi-function LIGA beamline has been reported. In this design, two plane mirrors and a series of filters have been employed. One can choose the spectrum range of X-ray easily according to the exposure requirement by adjusting the grazing angle of mirrors and the thickness of filters. And the spot size in the horizontal direction is up to 120mm, which is large enough for exposing 5 inch silicon slice. The typical exposure time is about 1.2h, 1.8h, 0.5h, corresponding to PMMA thickness of 500 μ m, 200 μ m, 20 t m, respectively.

  19. Preliminary Design of Critical Function Monitoring System of PGSFR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2015-07-01

    A PGSFR (Prototype Gen-IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor) is under development at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute. A critical function monitoring system of the PGSFR is preliminarily studied. The functions of CFMS are to display critical plant variables related to the safety of the plant during normal and accident conditions and guide the operators corrective actions to keep the plant in a safe condition and mitigate the consequences of accidents. The minimal critical functions of the PGSFR are composed of reactivity control, reactor core cooling, reactor coolant system integrity, primary heat transfer system(PHTS) heat removal, sodium water reaction mitigation, radiation control and containment conditions. The variables and alarm legs of each critical function of the PGSFR are as follows; - Reactivity control: The variables of reactivity control function are power range neutron flux instrumentation, intermediate range neutron flux instrumentation, source range neutron flux instrumentation, and control rod bottom contacts. The alarm leg to display the reactivity controls consists of status of control drop malfunction, high post trip power and thermal reactivity addition. - Reactor core cooling: The variables are PHTS sodium level, hot pool temperature of PHTS, subassembly exit temperature, cold pool temperature of the PHTS, PHTS pump current, and PHTS pump breaker status. The alarm leg consists of high core delta temperature, low sodium level of the PHTS, high subassembly exit temperature, and low PHTS pump load. - Reactor coolant system integrity: The variables are PHTS sodium level, cover gas pressure, and safeguard vessel sodium level. The alarm leg is composed of low sodium level of PHTS, high cover gas pressure and high sodium level of the safety guard vessel. - PHTS heat removal: The variables are PHTS sodium level, hot pool temperature of PHTS, core exit temperature, cold pool temperature of the PHTS, flow rate of passive residual heat removal system

  20. Dynamic density functional theory of solid tumor growth: Preliminary models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnaud Chauviere

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Cancer is a disease that can be seen as a complex system whose dynamics and growth result from nonlinear processes coupled across wide ranges of spatio-temporal scales. The current mathematical modeling literature addresses issues at various scales but the development of theoretical methodologies capable of bridging gaps across scales needs further study. We present a new theoretical framework based on Dynamic Density Functional Theory (DDFT extended, for the first time, to the dynamics of living tissues by accounting for cell density correlations, different cell types, phenotypes and cell birth/death processes, in order to provide a biophysically consistent description of processes across the scales. We present an application of this approach to tumor growth.

  1. Preliminary Functional-Structural Modeling on Poplar (Salicaceae)

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Dongxiang; Letort, Véronique; Xing, Meijun; Gang, Yang; Huang, Xinyuan; Cao, Weiqun

    2010-01-01

    Poplar is one of the best fast-growing trees in the world, widely used for windbreak and wood product. Although architecture of poplar has direct impact on its applications, it has not been descried in previous poplar models, probably because of the difficulties raised by measurement, data processing and parameterization. In this paper, the functional-structural model GreenLab is calibrated by using poplar data of 3, 4, 5, 6 years old. The data was acquired by simplifying measurement. The architecture was also simplified by classifying the branches into several types (physiological age) using clustering analysis, which decrease the number of parameters. By multi-fitting the sampled data of each tree, the model parameters were identified and the plant architectures at different tree ages were simulated.

  2. A preliminary study of cryosphere service function and value evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO Cun-De; WANG Shi-Jin; QIN Da-He

    2015-01-01

    Cryosphere science research and development (R&D) has been strongly committed to public service, integrating natural sciences with socioeconomic impacts. Owing to the current shift from purely natural cryosphere scientific research to linking cryosphere science with so-cioeconomic and cultural science, cross-disciplinary research in this field is emerging, which advocates future cryosphere science research in this field. Utilizing the cryosphere service function (CSF), this study establishes CSF and its value evaluation system. Cryosphere service valuation can benefit the decisionmakers' and public's awareness of environmental protection. Implementing sustainable CSF utilization strategies and macroeconomic policymaking for global environmental protection will have profound and practical significance as well as avoid environmental degradation while pursuing short-term economic profits and achieving rapid economic development.

  3. Functional characterization of variations on regulatory motifs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Lapidot

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factors (TFs regulate gene expression through specific interactions with short promoter elements. The same regulatory protein may recognize a variety of related sequences. Moreover, once they are detected it is hard to predict whether highly similar sequence motifs will be recognized by the same TF and regulate similar gene expression patterns, or serve as binding sites for distinct regulatory factors. We developed computational measures to assess the functional implications of variations on regulatory motifs and to compare the functions of related sites. We have developed computational means for estimating the functional outcome of substituting a single position within a binding site and applied them to a collection of putative regulatory motifs. We predict the effects of nucleotide variations within motifs on gene expression patterns. In cases where such predictions could be compared to suitable published experimental evidence, we found very good agreement. We further accumulated statistics from multiple substitutions across various binding sites in an attempt to deduce general properties that characterize nucleotide substitutions that are more likely to alter expression. We found that substitutions involving Adenine are more likely to retain the expression pattern and that substitutions involving Guanine are more likely to alter expression compared to the rest of the substitutions. Our results should facilitate the prediction of the expression outcomes of binding site variations. One typical important implication is expected to be the ability to predict the phenotypic effect of variation in regulatory motifs in promoters.

  4. Frictional sliding in layered rock model: Preliminary experiments. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, K.E. Jr.; Buescher, B.J.; Anderson, D.; Epstein, J.S. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1995-09-01

    An important aspect of determining the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a possible nuclear waste repository requires understanding the mechanical behavior of jointed rock-masses. To this end we have studied the frictional sliding between simulated rock joints in the laboratory using the technique of phase shifting moire interferometry. The models were made from stacks of Lexan plates and contained a central hole to induce slip between the plates when the models were loaded in compression. These preliminary results confirm the feasibility of the approach and show a clear evolution of slip as function of load.

  5. Functional characterization of a eukaryotic melibiose transporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingner, Ulrike; Münch, Steffen; Sode, Björn; Deising, Holger B; Sauer, Norbert

    2011-07-01

    Pathogenic fungi drastically affect plant health and cause significant losses in crop yield and quality. In spite of their impact, little is known about the carbon sources used by these fungi in planta and about the fungal transporters importing sugars from the plant-fungus interface. Here, we report on the identification and characterization of MELIBIOSE TRANSPORTER1 (MBT1) from the hemibiotrophic fungus Colletotrichum graminicola (teleomorph Glomerella graminicola), the causal agent of leaf anthracnose and stalk rot disease in maize (Zea mays). Functional characterization of the MBT1 protein in baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) expressing the MBT1 cDNA revealed that α-D-galactopyranosyl compounds such as melibiose, galactinol, and raffinose are substrates of MBT1, with melibiose most likely being the preferred substrate. α-D-glucopyranosyl disaccharides like trehalose, isomaltose, or maltose are also accepted by MBT1, although with lower affinities. The MBT1 gene shows low and comparable expression levels in axenically grown C. graminicola and upon infection of maize leaves both during the initial biotrophic development of the fungus and during the subsequent necrotrophic phase. Despite these low levels of MBT1 expression, the MBT1 protein allows efficient growth of C. graminicola on melibiose as sole carbon source in axenic cultures. Although Δmbt1 mutants are unable to grow on melibiose, they do not show virulence defects on maize.

  6. A preliminary validation study of diffusion tensor imaging as a measure of functional brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Robert J; McColl, Roderick W; Lee, Jar-Chi; Frohman, Teresa; Sakaie, Ken; Frohman, Elliot

    2008-09-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS) tissue injury, although it has remained unproven whether DTI changes in disease have functional consequences. The medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF) is a key brainstem pathway for ocular adduction and is commonly injured in patients with MS, typically resulting in internuclear ophthalmoparesis. To validate DTI as a physiologically relevant measure of brain tissue integrity. A correlation study of ocular dysmotility and DTI conducted between January 2004 and September 2004. Multiple Sclerosis Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. Patients Six patients with chronic, unilateral, or bilateral internuclear ophthalmoparesis and 10 healthy control subjects. Main Outcome Measure We used infrared oculography to correlate the velocity versional dysconjugacy index, defined as the ratio of the velocity of the abducting to adducting eye movements during horizontal saccades, and DTI measures within the MLF as measured through an anatomical overlay. Overall diffusion was measured by mean diffusivity, and anisotropy was measured by the lattice index. Within the pontine MLF, the mean diffusivity was increased compared with healthy controls (P r = 0.65, P r = 0.46, P = .07). Similar correlations were found between the versional dysconjugacy index and the lattice index (left: r = -0.43, P = .09; right: r = -0.65, P <.01). We identified DTI evidence of pathologic disruption of a small brainstem fiber pathway, which is crucial for accurate horizontal eye movements. In this small study, we observed correlations between the DTI changes and oculomotor dysfunction. Our preliminary observations provide criterion validity of DTI as a surrogate marker of brain tissue integrity.

  7. Ultrafine Magnetite Nanopowder: Synthesis, Characterization, and Preliminary Use as Filler of Polymethylmethacrylate Nanocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Russo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Magnetite (Fe3O4 nanoparticles prepared by microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthesis have been characterized in terms of morphological and structural features. Electron micrographs collected in both scanning (SEM and transmission (TEM modes and evaluations of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD patterns have indicated the achievement of a monodispersed crystallite structure with particles having an average size around 15–20 nm. Structural investigations by Micro-Raman spectroscopy highlighted the obtainment of magnetite nanocrystals with a partial surface oxidation to maghemite (γ-Fe3O4. Preliminary attention has been also paid to the use of these magnetite nanoparticles as filler for a commercial polymethylmethacrylate resin. Hybrid formulations containing up to 3 wt% of nanoparticles were prepared by melt blending and characterized by calorimetric and thermogravimetric tests. For sake of comparison, same formulations containing commercial Fe3O4 nanoparticles are also reported. Calorimetric characterization indicates an increase of both glass transition temperature and thermal stability of the nanocomposite systems when loaded with the synthesized magnetite nanoparticles rather then loaded with the same amount of commercial Fe3O4. This first observation represents just one aspect of the promising potentiality offered by the novel magnetic nanoparticles when mixed with PMMA.

  8. Preliminary characterization of two different crystal forms of acylphosphatase from the hyperthermophile archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuccotti, Simone [Department of Physics-INFM and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16132 Genova (Italy); Rosano, Camillo [National Institute for Cancer Research (IST), X-ray Structural Biology Unit, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genova (Italy); Bemporad, Francesco [Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Firenze, Viale Morgagni 50, 50134 Florence (Italy); Stefani, Massimo [Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Firenze, Viale Morgagni 50, 50134 Florence (Italy); Centro di Ricerca, Trasferimento e Alta Formazione MCIDNENT, University of Firenze, Viale Morgagni 50, 50134 Florence (Italy); Bolognesi, Martino, E-mail: bolognes@fisica.unige.it [Department of Physics-INFM and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16132 Genova (Italy)

    2005-01-01

    S. solfataricus acylphosphatase has been expressed, purified and crystallized in two different crystal forms. Preliminary characterization of a triclinic and a monoclinic crystal form is reported and data were collected to 1.27 and 1.90 Å, respectively. Acylphosphatase is a ubiquitous small enzyme that was first characterized in mammals. It is involved in the hydrolysis of carboxyl-phosphate bonds in several acylphosphate substrates, such as carbamoylphosphate and 1,3-biphosphoglycerate; however, a consensus on acylphosphatase action in vivo has not yet been reached. Recent investigations have focused on acylphosphatases from lower phyla, such as Drosophila melanogaster and Escherichia coli, in view of the application of these small proteins as models in the study of folding, misfolding and aggregation processes. An acylphosphatase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus has been cloned, expressed and purified. Here, the growth and characterization of a triclinic and a monoclinic crystal form of the hyperthermophilic enzyme are reported; X-ray diffraction data have been collected to 1.27 and 1.90 Å resolution, respectively.

  9. Preliminary Results on the Experimental Investigation of the Structure Functions of Bound Nucleons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodek, Arie [Univ. of Rochester, NY (United States); Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)

    2016-08-01

    We present preliminary results on an experimental study of the nuclear modification of the longitudinal ($\\sigma_L$) and transverse ($\\sigma_T$) structure functions of nucleons bound in nuclear targets. The origin of these modifications (commonly referred as as the EMC effect) is not fully understood. Our measurements of R= $\\sigma_L / \\sigma_T$ for nuclei ($R_A$) and for deuterium ($R_D$) indicate that nuclear modifications of the structure functions of bound nucleons are different for the longitudinal and transverse structure functions, and that contrary to expectation from several theoretical models, $R_A< R_D$.

  10. Preliminary Results on the Experimental Investigation of the Structure Functions of Bound Nucleons

    CERN Document Server

    Bodek, A

    2015-01-01

    We present preliminary results on an experimental study of the nuclear modification of the longitudinal ($\\sigma_L$) and transverse ($\\sigma_T$) structure functions of nucleons bound in nuclear targets. The origin of these modifications (commonly referred as as the EMC effect) is not fully understood. Our measurements of R= $\\sigma_L / \\sigma_T$ for nuclei ($R_A$) and for deuterium ($R_D$) indicate that nuclear modifications of the structure functions of bound nucleons are different for the longitudinal and transverse structure functions, and that contrary to expectation from several theoretical models, $R_A< R_D$.

  11. Relationships between vocalization forms and functions in infancy: preliminary implications for early communicative assessment and intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Suneeti Nathani; Ertmer, David J

    2014-11-01

    This preliminary study explored relationships between form and function in prelinguistic vocalizations to increase our understanding of early communicative development and to provide potential clinical implications for early communicative assessment and intervention. Twenty typically developing infants-5 infants in each of 4 age groups, from 3 to 20 months of age-were included. Vocalizations from these infants had previously been categorized for their form (Nathani, Ertmer, & Stark, 2006) and function (Stark, Bernstein, & Demorest, 1993) characteristics. In the present study, cross-classification tabulations between form and function were conducted to examine relationships between vocalization types and their apparent uses. As anticipated, earlier developing forms were mostly associated with earlier developing functions, and later developing forms were mostly associated with later developing functions. However, there were some exceptions such that some forms were associated with a variety of functions, and vice versa. The results suggest that some forms are more tightly coupled to function than others in the prelinguistic and early linguistic period. Preliminary implications for developmental theory, future research, and clinical applications are discussed. Larger, longitudinal studies with typical and atypical populations and stricter methodological controls are needed to validate these findings.

  12. Functional characterization of the alphavirus TF protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Jonathan E; Kulcsar, Kirsten A; Schultz, Kimberly L W; Riley, Catherine P; Neary, Jacob T; Marr, Scott; Jose, Joyce; Griffin, Diane E; Kuhn, Richard J

    2013-08-01

    Alphavirus dogma has long dictated the production of a discrete set of structural proteins during infection of a cell: capsid, pE2, 6K, and E1. However, bioinformatic analyses of alphavirus genomes (A. E. Firth, B. Y. Chung, M. N. Fleeton, and J. F. Atkins, Virol. J. 5:108, 2008) suggested that a ribosomal frameshifting event occurs during translation of the alphavirus structural polyprotein. Specifically, a frameshift event is suggested to occur during translation of the 6K gene, yielding production of a novel protein, termed transframe (TF), comprised of a C-terminal extension of the 6K protein in the -1 open reading frame (ORF). Here, we validate the findings of Firth and colleagues with respect to the production of the TF protein and begin to characterize the function of TF. Using a mass spectrometry-based approach, we identified TF in purified preparations of both Sindbis and Chikungunya virus particles. We next constructed a panel of Sindbis virus mutants with mutations which alter the production, size, or sequence of TF. We demonstrate that TF is not absolutely required in culture, although disrupting TF production leads to a decrease in virus particle release in both mammalian and insect cells. In a mouse neuropathogenesis model, mortality was replication, particle infectivity, or envelope protein transit to the cell surface. The TF protein therefore represents a previously uncharacterized factor important for alphavirus assembly.

  13. Preliminary Characterization of Mus musculus–Derived Pathogenic Strains of Leptospira borgpetersenii Serogroup Ballum in a Hamster Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Éverton F.; Félix, Samuel R.; Cerqueira, Gustavo M.; Fagundes, Michel Q.; Neto, Amilton C. P. S.; Grassmann, André A.; Amaral, Marta G.; Gallina, Tiago; Dellagostin, Odir A.

    2010-01-01

    Human and animal leptospirosis caused by Leptospira spp. belonging to serogroup Ballum has increased worldwide in the past decade. We report the isolation and serologic and molecular characterization of four L. borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum isolates obtained from Mus musculus, and preliminary virulence studies. These isolates are useful for diagnosis of leptospirosis and for epidemiologic studies of its virulence and pathogenic mechanisms. PMID:20682877

  14. Extraction Optimization, Preliminary Characterization and Bioactivities in Vitro of Ligularia hodgsonii Polysaccharides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueping Song

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The optimization extraction, preliminary characterization and bioactivities of Ligularia hodgsonii polysaccharides were investigated. Based on single-factor experiments and orthogonal array test, the optimum extraction conditions were obtained as follows: extraction time 3 h, temperature 85 °C, water/raw material ratio 36. Further Sevag deproteinization and dialysis yielded the dialyzed Ligularia hodgsonii polysaccharides (DLHP, 19.2 ± 1.4 mg/g crude herb. Compositional analysis, size-exclusion chromatography connected with multi-angle laser light-scattering and refractive index (SEC-MALLS-RI, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy were employed for characterization of the polysaccharides. DLHP was found to have a major component with a weight-average molecular weight of 1.17 × 105 Da, mainly comprising of glucose, galactose, arabinose, mannose, rhamnose, glucuronic acid and galacturonic acid. By in vitro antioxidant activity assays, DLHP presented remarkable scavenging capacities towards 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH, 2,2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS and hydroxyl radicals, and ferrous ions chelating ability. Moreover, it exhibited appreciable anti-hyperglycemic activity as demonstrated by differential inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase. The results indicated that DLHP could potentially be a resource for antioxidant and hypoglycemic agents.

  15. Extraction optimization, preliminary characterization and immunological activities in vitro of polysaccharides from Elaeagnus angustifolia L. pulp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Hongtao; Chen, Juncheng; Tian, Shan; Gu, Hongling; Li, Na; Sun, Yao; Ru, Jiajia; Wang, Junru

    2016-10-20

    In this research, extraction optimization, preliminary characterization and immunological activities in vitro of polysaccharides from Elaeagnus angustifolia L. pulp were investigated. A response surface methodology (RSM) with a Box-Behnken design (BBD) was used to optimize the extraction process. The maximum EAP yield was 9.82±0.38%, which is in good agreement with the predicted value (9.93±0.24%). Two homogeneous polysaccharides, EAP-1a and EAP-1b with molecular weights of 8.70kDa and 4.39kDa respectively, were prepared by DEAE-52 cellulose and Sephadex G-100 columns and characterized by HPLC, HPGPC, and FT-IR. Three polysaccharides (EAP, EAP-1a and EAP-1b) could stimulate macrophages to release NO and enhance phagocytic activities of RAW 264.7 cells in dose-dependent manner. Moreover, there was no significant difference between crude EAP group (400μg/mL) and positive control group (LPS) in effects on macrophages. The results implied that EAP had the potential to be developed as natural medicines or health foods.

  16. Extraction Optimization, Preliminary Characterization and Bioactivities in Vitro of Ligularia hodgsonii Polysaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xueping; Tang, Jun

    2016-05-21

    The optimization extraction, preliminary characterization and bioactivities of Ligularia hodgsonii polysaccharides were investigated. Based on single-factor experiments and orthogonal array test, the optimum extraction conditions were obtained as follows: extraction time 3 h, temperature 85 °C, water/raw material ratio 36. Further Sevag deproteinization and dialysis yielded the dialyzed Ligularia hodgsonii polysaccharides (DLHP, 19.2 ± 1.4 mg/g crude herb). Compositional analysis, size-exclusion chromatography connected with multi-angle laser light-scattering and refractive index (SEC-MALLS-RI), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy were employed for characterization of the polysaccharides. DLHP was found to have a major component with a weight-average molecular weight of 1.17 × 10⁵ Da, mainly comprising of glucose, galactose, arabinose, mannose, rhamnose, glucuronic acid and galacturonic acid. By in vitro antioxidant activity assays, DLHP presented remarkable scavenging capacities towards 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and hydroxyl radicals, and ferrous ions chelating ability. Moreover, it exhibited appreciable anti-hyperglycemic activity as demonstrated by differential inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase. The results indicated that DLHP could potentially be a resource for antioxidant and hypoglycemic agents.

  17. Functionalization and Characterization of Gold Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Techane, Sirnegeda D.

    2011-12-01

    Surface characterization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) is necessary to obtain a thorough understanding of the AuNP properties and ultimately realize their full potential in applications. The work described in this dissertation strives to the structure and composition of AuNPs using highly surface sensitive techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) in addition to the more widely used characterization techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV-VIS spectroscopy. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols were used to modify AuNPs surfaces to create positively and negatively charged surfaces. Functionalization with carboxylic acid terminated alkanethiol SAMs (COON-SAMs) was first optimized to produce clean and stable negatively charged AuNPs. Using 14nm and 40nm diameter AuNPs in combination with C11 and C16 chain length COOH-SAMs, it was found that addition of NH4OH during functionalization coupled with dialysis purification produced AuNPs that did not aggregate and did not have unbound thiols. Effects of AuNP size and COOH-SAM chain lengths were studied using 14, 25 and 40nm average diameter AuNPs functionalized with C6, C8, C11 and C16 COOH-SAMs. Flat Au surfaces were also functionalized with the COOH-SAMs for comparison. It was shown that the 14nm AuNPs with C16 COOH-SAMs were the most stable and had crystalline-like, well-ordered SAM structures. The SAMs on the 40nm AuNPs had similar surface chemistry as the SAMs on the flat Au surfaces. The effective photoelectron take-off angle of the C16 COOH-SAM decreased when the size of the AuNP increased. It was also shown that when using Kratos AxisUltra DLD XPS instrument in the hybrid mode, it was important to consider effects of both the hybrid mode and the AuNPs curvature when calculating overlayer thickness of the SAMs on AuNPs. Using the Kratos in the electrostatic

  18. Preliminary stress characterization for an in-situ stimulation experiment at the Grimsel Underground Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krietsch, Hannes; Doetsch, Joseph; Gischig, Valentin; Amann, Florian; Jalali, Mohammadreza; Madonna, Claudio; Evans, Keith; Valley, Benoit; Giardini, Domenico; Wiemer, Stefan; Maurer, Hansruedi; Loew, Simon

    2016-04-01

    A decameter-scale in-situ stimulation experiment is currently being executed at the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland, spanning from hydraulic fracturing to controlled fault-slip experiments. For the feasibility of this project the in-situ stress tensor is of foremost importance. Therefore a unique stress characterization campaign combining stress relief methods (overcoring of USBM and CSIRO-HI probes) with hydraulic fracturing (HF) and hydraulic testing on pre-existing fractures (HTPF) in three boreholes was conducted in a first phase of this project. During all hydraulic stress measurements, micro-seismicity was monitored and localized in real time utilizing a dense network of piezo-electric sensors. In this contribution, we present preliminary results of the stress characterization and compare the derived stress tensor with previous estimates of the stress state. The stress characterization campaign was conducted in three boreholes, one sub-vertical and two sub-horizontal boreholes, assuming that the sub-vertical and one sub-horizontal are parallel to a principal stress component. A major task in this contribution is the integration of the different stress characterization methods. Our results of the different methods (overcoring and HF) are largely consistent, but disagree with some of the previous stress orientation estimates. From the new campaign the overcoring measurements indicate a sub-horizontal sigma1 of 17.3 MPa with a strike of 145°, a sigma2 of 9.7 MPa with 241°/69° and a sigma3 of 8.3 MPa with 055°/21° using an isotropic approach for inversion calculation. Whereas the USBM-Probe measures a projection of the principal stresses in a plane normal to borehole axis, the CSIRO-HI Probe provides the real 3D stress tensor. The HF and HTPF measurements indicate a far-field minimum horizontal stress between 8.7 and 9.1 MPa, consistent with the overcoring. Principal stresses, estimated by location of micro-seismic events during HF and HTPF, suggest that

  19. Synthesis, Characterization, and Preliminary Investigation of Cell Interaction of Magnetic Nanoparticles with Catechol-Containing Shells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Kerstin; Seemann, Thomas; Wyrwa, Ralf; Clement, Joachim H.; Müller, Robert; Nietzsche, Sandor; Schnabelrauch, Matthias

    2010-12-01

    Superparamagnetic iron oxide cores were synthesized by co-precipitation of Fe(II) and Fe(III) salts and subsequently stabilized by coating with different catechols (levodopa, dopamine, hydrocaffeic acid, dopamine-containing carboxymethyl dextran) known to act as high-affinity, bidentate ligands for Fe(III). The prepared stable magnetic fluids were characterized with regard to their chemical composition (content of iron and shell material, Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratio) and their physical properties (size, surface charge, magnetic parameters). The nanoparticles showed no or only slight cytotoxic effects within 1 and 4 days of incubation with 3T3 fibroblast cells. Preliminary experiments were performed to study the interaction of the prepared nanoparticles with human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and leukocytes. An intense interaction of the MCF-7 cells with these particles was found whereas the leukocytes showed a lower tendency of interaction. Based on these finding, the novel magnetic nanoparticles possess the potential for use in depletion of tumor cells from peripheral blood.

  20. A preliminary characterization of the tensile and fatigue behavior of tungsten-fiber/Waspaloy-matrix composite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corner, Ralph E.; Lerch, Brad A.

    1992-01-01

    A microstructural study and a preliminary characterization of the room temperature tensile and fatigue behavior of a continuous, tungsten fiber, Waspaloy-matrix composite was conducted. A heat treatment was chosen that would allow visibility of planar slip if it occurred during deformation, but would not allow growth of the reaction zone. Tensile and fatigue tests showed that the failed specimens contained transverse cracks in the fibers. The cracks that occurred in the tensile specimen were observed at the fracture surface and up to approximately 4.0 mm below the fracture surface. The crack spacing remained constant along the entire length of the cracked fibers. Conversely, the cracks that occurred in the fatigue specimen were only observed in the vicinity of the fracture surface. In instances where two fiber cracks occurred in the same plane, the matrix often necked between the two cracked fibers. Large groups of slip bands were generated in the matrix near the fiber cracks. Slip bands in the matrix of the tensile specimen were also observed in areas where there were no fiber cracks, at distances greater than 4 mm from the fracture surface. This suggests that the matrix plastically flows before fiber cracking occurs.

  1. Extraction, preliminary characterization and antioxidant activity of Se-enriched Maitake polysaccharide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Guanghua; Zou, Ye; Feng, Weiwei; Wang, Wei; Zhao, Ting; Ye, Changwen; Zhu, Yang; Wu, Xueshan; Yang, Liuqing; Wu, Xiangyang

    2014-01-30

    A Se-enriched Grifola frondosa polysaccharide (Se-GP) was obtained from G. frondosa enriched with Se by spraying an Na2SeO3 solution during fruit body growth using a Box-Behnken design and compared to G. frondosa polysaccharide (GP) for preliminary characterization and determination of the antioxidant activity. Under optimal conditions, polysaccharide yields and both the Se-GP and GP contents do not differ; however, the Se content of Se-GP (17.52 μg/g) was 48.7 times that of GP. Three homogenous Se-GPs (Se-GP11, Se-GP22 and Se-GP33) or GPs (GP11, GP22 and GP33) were obtained via DEAE-52 and Sephacryl S-400 purification. Their molecular weight and polysaccharide content of these compounds were not obviously different, whereas the Se content of Se-GP11, Se-GP22 and Se-GP33 was 9.41, 6.59 and 16.25 times that of GP11, GP22 and GP33, respectively. The antioxidant activity of Se-GP for the DPPH, ABTS and hydroxyl radicals was higher than that of GP and was highest for the hydroxyl radical.

  2. Dendritic iodinated contrast agents with PEG-cores for CT imaging: synthesis and preliminary characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yanjun; Nitecki, Danute E; Maltby, David; Simon, Gerhard H; Berejnoi, Kirill; Raatschen, Hans-Juergen; Yeh, Benjamin M; Shames, David M; Brasch, Robert C

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to design, synthesize, and initially characterize a representative set of novel constructs for large-molecular radiographic/computed tomography (CT) contrast agents, intended for a primarily intravascular distribution. A new assembly of well-known and biocompatible components consists of paired, symmetrical dendritic polylysines initiated from both ends of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) core, yielding an array of multiple free amino groups to which were conjugated highly soluble and stable triiodophthalamide ("triiodo") moieties. An array of six dendritic contrast agents was synthesized originally, using three different PEG cores (3, 6, 12 kDa) with t-Boc lysine-generated dendrimer "amplifiers" (from three to five generations) containing 16 to 64 amino groups for conjugation with reactive triiodo moieties. A clinically used, nonionic, small molecular CT contrast agent, iobitridol, was derivatized via a hydroxyl protection/deprotection strategy, introducing a new carboxyl group available for conjugation to the lysine amino groups of dendrimers. Final products were purified by size exclusion chromatography and characterized by NMR, UV, HPLC, and elemental analysis. Preliminary evaluations were conducted for physicochemical characterization and in vivo CT contrast enhancement in a rat model. All six iodinated PEG-core dendrimer conjugates were synthesized in good yields, with a high degree of size monodispersity, large apparent molecular weight, favored physicochemical properties. A representative compound, PEG12000-carbamate-Gen4-IOB conjugate, 27% (w%) rich in iodine, demonstrated a desirable strong and persistent intravascular enhancement with a monoexponential blood half-life of approximately 35 min assayed by dynamic CT imaging and also showed high water solubility (>550 mg/mL at 25 degrees C), large apparent molecular size (comparable to a 143-kDa protein), high hydrophilicity (butanol-water partition coefficient 0.015), and

  3. Nerve Transfers to Restore Upper Extremity Function in Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: Update and Preliminary Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Ida K; Davidge, Kristen M; Novak, Christine B; Hoben, Gwendolyn; Kahn, Lorna C; Juknis, Neringa; Ruvinskaya, Rimma; Mackinnon, Susan E

    2015-10-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury can result in profound loss of upper extremity function. Recent interest in the use of nerve transfers to restore volitional control is an exciting development in the care of these complex patients. In this article, the authors review preliminary results of nerve transfers in spinal cord injury. Review of the literature and the authors' cases series of 13 operations in nine spinal cord injury nerve transfer recipients was performed. Representative cases were reviewed to explore critical concepts and preliminary outcomes. The nerve transfers used expendable donors (e.g., teres minor, deltoid, supinator, and brachialis) innervated above the level of the spinal cord injury to restore volitional control of missing function such as elbow extension, wrist extension, and/or hand function (posterior interosseous nerve or anterior interosseous nerve/finger flexors reinnervated). Results from the literature and the authors' patients (after a mean postsurgical follow-up of 12 months) indicate gains in function as assessed by both manual muscle testing and patients' self-reported outcomes measures. Nerve transfers can provide an alternative and consistent means of reestablishing volitional control of upper extremity function in people with cervical level spinal cord injury. Early outcomes provide evidence of substantial improvements in self-reported function despite relatively subtle objective gains in isolated muscle strength. Further work to investigate the optimal timing and combination of nerve transfer operations, the combination of these with traditional treatments (tendon transfer and functional electrical stimulation), and measurement of outcomes is imperative for determining the precise role of these operations. Therapeutic, IV.

  4. Characterization of Bond Strength of U-Mo Fuel Plates Using the Laser Shockwave Technique: Capabilities and Preliminary Results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. A. Smith; D. L. Cottle; B. H. Rabin

    2013-09-01

    This report summarizes work conducted to-date on the implementation of new laser-based capabilities for characterization of bond strength in nuclear fuel plates, and presents preliminary results obtained from fresh fuel studies on as-fabricated monolithic fuel consisting of uranium-10 wt.% molybdenum alloys clad in 6061 aluminum by hot isostatic pressing. Characterization involves application of two complementary experimental methods, laser-shock testing and laser-ultrasonic imaging, collectively referred to as the Laser Shockwave Technique (LST), that allows the integrity, physical properties and interfacial bond strength in fuel plates to be evaluated. Example characterization results are provided, including measurement of layer thicknesses, elastic properties of the constituents, and the location and nature of generated debonds (including kissing bonds). LST provides spatially localized, non-contacting measurements with minimum specimen preparation, and is ideally suited for applications involving radioactive materials, including irradiated materials. The theoretical principles and experimental approaches employed in characterizing nuclear fuel plates are described, and preliminary bond strength measurement results are discussed, with emphasis on demonstrating the capabilities and limitations of these methods. These preliminary results demonstrate the ability to distinguish bond strength variations between different fuel plates. Although additional development work is necessary to validate and qualify the test methods, these results suggest LST is viable as a method to meet fuel qualification requirements to demonstrate acceptable bonding integrity.

  5. Preliminary Results on the Experimental Investigation of the Structure Functions of Bound Nucleons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodek, Arie [University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

    2015-09-01

    We present preliminary results on an experimental study of the nuclear modification of the longitudinal (σL) and transverse (σT) structure functions of nucleons bound in nuclear targets. The origin of these modifications (commonly referred as as the EMC effect) is not fully understood. Our measurements of R= σLT for nuclei (RA) and for deuterium (RD) indicate that nuclear modifications of the structure functions of bound nucleons are different for the longitudinal and transverse structure functions, and that contrary to expectation from several theoretical models, RA < RD.

  6. Functional characterization of obesogenic neural circuitries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boender, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity can be characterized as a disorder in which affected individuals fail to properly regulate the balance between energy intake and expenditure. Recently, genome-wide association studies have identified over 30 genetic variants that associate with increased body weight and thus provide clues on

  7. Functional characterization of obesogenic neural circuitries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boender, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity can be characterized as a disorder in which affected individuals fail to properly regulate the balance between energy intake and expenditure. Recently, genome-wide association studies have identified over 30 genetic variants that associate with increased body weight and thus provide clues on

  8. Characterization of Lipschitz continuous DC functions

    CERN Document Server

    Hantoute, A

    2012-01-01

    We give a necessary and sufficient condition for a difference of convex (DC, for short) functions, defined on a locally convex space, to be Lipschitz continuous. Our criterion relies on the intersections of the "epsilon-subdifferentials of the involved functions.

  9. Site characterization of the Romanian Seismic Network stations: a national initiative and its first preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grecu, Bogdan; Zahria, Bogdan; Manea, Elena; Neagoe, Cristian; Borleanu, Felix; Diaconescu, Mihai; Constantinescu, Eduard; Bala, Andrei

    2017-04-01

    The seismic activity in Romania is dominated by the intermediate-depth earthquakes occurring in Vrancea region, although weak to moderate crustal earthquakes are produced regularly in different areas of the country. The National Institute for Earth Physics (NIEP) built in the last years an impressive infrastructure for monitoring this activity, known as the Romanian Seismic Network (RSN). At present, RSN consists of 122 seismic stations, of which 70 have broadband velocity sensors and 42 short period sensors. One hundred and eleven stations out of 122 have accelerometer sensors collocated with velocity sensors and only 10 stations have only accelerometers. All the stations record continuously the ground motion and the data are transmitted in real-time to the Romanian National Data Center (RoNDC), in Magurele. Last year, NIEP has started a national project that addresses the characterization of all real-time seismic stations that constitute the RSN. We present here the steps that were undertaken and the preliminary results obtained since the beginning the project. The first two activities consisted of collecting all the existent technical and geological data, with emphasize on the latter. Then, we performed station noise investigations and analyses in order to characterize the noise level and estimate the resonances of the sites. The computed H/V ratios showed clear resonant peaks at different frequencies which correlate relatively well with the thickness of the sedimentary package beneath the stations. The polarization analysis of the H/V ratios indicates for some stations a strong directivity of the resonance peak which suggests possible topographic effects at the stations. At the same time, special attention was given to the estimation of the site amplification from earthquake data. The spectral ratios obtained from the analysis of more than 50 earthquakes with magnitudes (Mw) larger than 4.1 are characterized by similar resonance peaks as those obtained from

  10. Synthesis and Characterization of Pyridine Functionalized ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MBI

    2013-06-26

    Jun 26, 2013 ... homogenous catalysis have been reported, these include olefin ... functionalized imidazolium salt and its conversion into the silver NHC ... diethyl ether to give white crystals (0.66g, 46% ... methanol; m/z): 609 [M]+. Anal.

  11. Neuropsychological presentation and adaptive skills in high-functioning adolescents with visual impairment: A preliminary investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenaway, R; Pring, L; Schepers, A; Isaacs, D P; Dale, N J

    2017-01-01

    Studies in infants and young children with congenital visual impairment (VI) have indicated early developmental vulnerabilities, conversely research with older children and adults have highlighted areas of cognitive strength. A minimal amount is known, however, about the possible combination of strengths and weaknesses in adolescence, and this present study therefore aims to explore the neuropsychological presentation and adaptive behavior profile in high-functioning adolescents with congenital VI. Participants completed a battery of commonly used neuropsychological measures assessing memory, executive function, and attention. The measures utilized focused on auditory neuropsychological function, because only subtests that could be completed with auditory administration were suitable for this sample. Parents completed standardized measures of adaptive behavior, executive function, and social communication. Compared to aged-based norms for normal sight, adolescents with VI demonstrated strengths in aspects of working memory and verbal memory. Furthermore, performance across the neuropsychological battery was within or above the average range for the majority of the sample. In contrast, parent-report measures indicated areas of weakness in adaptive functioning, social communication, and behavioral executive functioning. Overall, this study provides preliminary evidence that relative to fully sighted peers, high-functioning adolescents with VI present with an uneven profile of cognitive and adaptive skills, which has important implications for assessment and intervention.

  12. Quantitative assessment of age-related macular degeneration using parametric modeling of the leakage transfer function: preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldeeb, Safaa M; Abdelmoula, Walid M; Shah, Syed M; Fahmy, Ahmed S

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults. The wet form of the disease is characterized by abnormal blood vessels forming a choroidal neovascular membrane (CNV), that result in destruction of normal architecture of the retina. Current evaluation and follow up of wet AMD include subjective evaluation of Fluorescein Angiograms (FA) to determine the activity of the lesion and monitor the progression or regression of the disease. However, this subjective evaluation prevents accurate monitoring of the disease progression or regression in response to a pharmacologic agent. In this work, we present a method that allows objective assessment of the activity of a CNV lesion which can be statistically compared across different patient and time points. The method is based on a hypothesis that the discrepancy in the time-intensity signals among the diseased and normal retinal areas are due to an implicit transfer function whose parameters can be used to characterize the retina. The method begins with parametric modeling of the temporal variation of the lesion and background intensities. Then, the values of the model parameters are used to evaluate the change in the activity of the disease. Preliminary results on five datasets show that the calculated parameters are highly correlated with the Visual Acuity (VA) of the patients.

  13. Characterization of the designer benzodiazepine diclazepam and preliminary data on its metabolism and pharmacokinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moosmann, Bjoern; Bisel, Philippe; Auwärter, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Designer benzodiazepines, first offered in online shops selling 'research chemicals' in 2012, provide an attractive alternative to prescription-only benzodiazepines as they are readily available over the Internet at a low price. However, as data regarding pharmacokinetic parameters, metabolism, and detectability in biological fluids are limited, they present a challenge for forensic laboratories. Most recently, diclazepam (other names: 2-chlorodiazepam, Ro 5-3448 or 7-chloro-5-(2-chlorophenyl)-1-methyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one) emerged as a new compound in this class of drugs. In this paper, this new designer benzodiazepine was characterized utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) as well as liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) techniques. Furthermore, a self-experiment was performed to gain preliminary data on pharmacokinetic properties and to identify the main metabolites. For this purpose, one tablet of diclazepam (declared amount: 1 mg) was ingested by one of the authors, and serum as well as urine samples were collected for 14 and 21 days, respectively. Based on this study, diclazepam has an approximate elimination half-life of 42 h and is metabolized into the pharmacologically active benzodiazepines delorazepam, lorazepam, and lormetazepam which can be detected in urine for 6, 19, and 11 days, respectively, when applying the presented LC-MS/MS method. In serum, the consumption could be proven between 99 h post-intake targeting the parent compound and up to 10 days targeting the metabolite delorazepam. As immunochemical assays are applied for screening purposes quite often, detectability using this technique was assessed, especially since detection of low-dosed benzodiazepines can be sometimes problematic. However, only one of the utilized immunochemical assays was capable of detecting the intake of one tablet diclazepam, and the positive results were restricted to a few urine

  14. Characterization of cysts using differential correlation coefficient values from two dimensional breast elastography: preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booi, Rebecca C; Carson, Paul L; O'Donnell, Matthew; Roubidoux, Marilyn A; Hall, Anne L; Rubin, Jonathan M

    2008-01-01

    Although simple cysts are easily identified using sonography, description and management of nonsimple cysts remains uncertain. This study evaluated whether the correlation coefficient differences between breast tissue and lesions, obtained from 2D breast elastography, could potentially distinguish nonsimple cysts from cancers and fibroadenomas. We hypothesized that correlation coefficients in cysts would be dramatically lower than surrounding tissue because noise, imaging artifacts, and particulate matter move randomly and decorrelate quickly under compression, compared with solid tissue. For this preliminary study, 18 breast lesions (7 nonsimple cysts, 4 cancers, and 7 fibroadenomas) underwent imaging with 2D elastography at 7.5 MHz through a TPX (a polymethyl pentene copolymer) 2.5 mm mammographic paddle. Breasts were compressed similar to mammographic positioning and then further compressed for elastography by 1 to 7%. Images were correlated using 2D phase-sensitive speckle tracking algorithms and displacement estimates were accumulated. Correlation coefficient means and standard deviations were measured in the lesion and adjacent tissue, and the differential correlation coefficient (DCC) was introduced as the difference between these values normalized to the correlation coefficient of adjacent tissue. Mean DCC values in nonsimple cysts were 24.2 +/- 11.6%, 5.7 +/- 6.3% for fibroadenomas, and 3.8 +/- 2.9 % for cancers (p < 0.05). Some of the cysts appeared smaller in DCC images than gray-scale images. These encouraging results demonstrate that characterization of nonsimple breast cysts may be improved by using DCC values from 2D elastography, which could potentially change management options of these cysts from intervention to imaging follow-up. A dedicated clinical trial to fully assess the efficacy of this technique is recommended.

  15. Characterization of Sea Lettuce Surface Functional Groups by Potentiometric Titrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebling, A. M.; Schijf, J.

    2008-12-01

    In pursuit of our ultimate goal to better understand the prodigious capacity of the marine macroalga Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce) for adsorbing a broad range of dissolved trace metals from seawater, we performed an initial characterization of its surface functional groups. Specifically, the number of distinct functional groups as well as their individual bulk concentrations and acid dissociation constants (pKas) were determined by potentiometric titrations in NaCl solutions of various ionic strengths (I = 0.01-5.0 M), under inert nitrogen atmosphere at 25°C. Depending on the ionic strength, Ulva samples were manually titrated down to pH 2 or 3 with 1 N HCl and then up to pH 10 with 1 N NaOH in steps of 0.1-0.2 units, continuously monitoring pH with a glass combination electrode. Titrations of a dehydrated Ulva standard reference material (BCR-279) were compared with fresh Ulva tissue cultured in our laboratory. A titration in filtered natural seawater was also compared with one in an NaCl solution of equal ionic strength. Equilibrium constants for the ionization of water in NaCl solutions as a function of ionic strength were obtained from the literature. Fits to the titration data ([H]T vs. pH) were performed with the FITEQL4.0 computer code using non-electrostatic 3-, 4-, and 5-site models, either by fixing ionic strength at its experimental value or by allowing it to be extrapolated to zero, while considering all functional group pKas and bulk concentrations as adjustable parameters. Since pKas and bulk concentrations were found to be strongly correlated, the latter were also fixed in some cases to further constrain the pKas. Whereas these calculations are currently ongoing, preliminary results point to three, possibly four, functional groups with pKas of about 4.1, 6.3, and 9.5 at I = 0. Bulk concentrations of the three groups are very similar, about 5-6×10-4 mol/g based on dry weight, which suggests that all are homogeneously distributed over the surface and

  16. Detection, isolation, and preliminary characterization of bacteria contaminating plant tissue cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Kałużna

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to limit the contamination problem in plant tissue cultures experiments on selection of media suitable for detection and isolation of bacteria contaminating plant tissue explants, and preliminary characterization of isolates were made. In the first experiment aiming at detection of bacteria in plant explants four strains representing genera most often occurring at our survey of plant tissue cultures, and earlier isolated and identified (Bacillus, Methylobacterium, Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas were streaked on five bacteriological media (NA, King B, K, R2A and 523 and on the medium used for plant culture initiation – ½ MS with milk albumin (IM. All strains grew on all media but on K and IM at the slowest rate and on 523 medium at the fastest. The IM medium proved to be useful for immediate bacteria detection at the initial stage of culture. In the second experiment, aiming at characterization of isolates on the basis of colony growth and morphology 14 strains (Agrobacterium, Bacillus, Curtobacterium, Flavobacterium, Lactobacillus, Methylobacterium – 2 strains Mycobacterium, Paenibacillus, Plantibacterium, Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Xanthomonas, and species Serratia marcescens were streaked on five microbiological media: KB, NBY, YDC, YNA and YPGA. All strains grew on all those media but at different rates. The only exception was the strain of Lactobacillus spp., which did not grow on King B medium. This medium allowed the detection of such characteristic traits as fluorescence (Pseudomonas and secretion of inclusions (Stenotrophomonas. The third experiment was focussed on assessment of the sensitivity of detection of specific bacteria in pure cultures and in plant tis- sue cultures using standard PCR and BIO-PCR techniques with genus specific primers and 2 methods of DNA isolation. Results showed that the use of Genomic Mini kit enabled an increase of the sensitivity by 100 times as compared to extraction of DNA by boiling

  17. A Preliminary Study in Applying the Function-Based Intervention Decision Model in Consultation to Increase Treatment Integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gann, Candace J.; Kunnavatana, S. Shanun

    2016-01-01

    This preliminary study investigated the use of the Function-Based Intervention Decision Model (Decision Model; Umbreit, Ferro, Liaupsin, & Lane, 2007) to improve teacher treatment integrity for a function-based classroom management plan. The participants were a special education teacher and three elementary-age students receiving special…

  18. Characterization of a Quadratic Function in Rn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Conway

    2010-01-01

    It is proved that a scalar-valued function "f"(x) defined in "n"-dimensional space must be quadratic, if the intersection of tangent planes at x[subscript 1] and x[subscript 2] always contains the midpoint of the line joining x[subscript 1] and x[subscript 2]. This is the converse of a result of Stenlund proved in this JOURNAL in 2001.

  19. Esterified eicosanoids: generation, characterization and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Victoria J; O'Donnell, Valerie B

    2012-10-01

    Eicosanoids are oxidation products of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. arachidonic acid) that include prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes and hydroperoxy fatty acids. They have important biological roles in vivo, including regulation of renal, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function. Historically, eicosanoids were thought to mediate their signaling actions exclusively as free acids, however evidence is now emerging that they may also be generated attached to other functional groups including phospholipids and glycerol, and that these more complex forms are pathophysiological signaling mediators in their own right. Early studies showed that exogenously added eicosanoids could become esterified into membrane phospholipids of cells, while more recently, it was uncovered that esterified eicosanoids are formed endogenously. This review summarizes our current knowledge of this area, starting with the early discoveries documenting what is known about eicosanoid generation and their esterification, and moving on to discuss the discovery that esterified eicosanoids are generated endogenously by a number of different cell types. Recent research that is highlighting new structures and functions of these important lipid mediators will be presented. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidized phospholipids-their properties and interactions with proteins.

  20. Functional Characterization of a Porcine Emphysema Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Lung emphysema is a central feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a frequent human disease worldwide. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of COPD, but genetic predisposition seems to be an important factor. Mutations in surfactant protein genes have been linked to COPD...... develop age-related lung emphysema due to lack of ITGB6-TGF-β1 regulation of the MMP12 expression.A mutated pig phenotype characterized by age-related lung emphysema and resembling the ITGB6−/− mouse has been described previously. To investigate the emphysema pathogenesis in this pig model, we examined...... the expression of MMP2, MMP7, MMP9, MMP12, and TGF-β1 by quantitative PCR (qPCR). In addition, immunohistochemical stainings of the lungs with SP-B, SP-C, MMP9, and MMP12 antibodies were performed. The haematologic/immunologic status of the pigs also was studied.The qPCR study showed no difference between pigs...

  1. Preliminary evaluation of MRI-derived input function for quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism in an integrated PET-MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anazodo, Udunna; Kewin, Matthew [Lawson Health Research Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, Ontario (Canada); Finger, Elizabeth [Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario (Canada); Thiessen, Jonathan; Hadway, Jennifer; Butler, John [Lawson Health Research Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, Ontario (Canada); Pavlosky, William [Diagnostic Imaging, St Joseph' s Health Care, London, Ontario (Canada); Prato, Frank; Thompson, Terry; St Lawrence, Keith [Lawson Health Research Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, Ontario (Canada)

    2015-05-18

    PET semi-quantitative methods such as relative uptake value can be robust but offer no biological information and do not account for intra-subject variability in tracer administration or clearance. Simultaneous multimodal measurements that combine PET and MRI not only permit crucial multiparametric measurements, it provides means of applying tracer kinetic modelling without the need for serial arterial blood sampling. In this study we adapted an image-derived input function (IDIF) method to improve characterization of glucose metabolism in an ongoing dementia study. Here we present preliminary results in a small group of frontotemporal dementia patients and controls. IDIF was obtained directly from dynamic PET data guided by regions of interest drawn on carotid vessels on high resolution T1-weighted MR Images. IDIF was corrected for contamination of non-arterial voxels. A validation of the method was performed in a porcine model in a PET-CT scanner comparing IDIF to direct arterial blood samples. Metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglc) was measured voxel-by-voxel in gray matter producing maps that were compared between groups. Net influx rate (Ki) and global mean CMRglc are reported. A good correlation (r = 0.9 p<0.0001) was found between corrected IDIF and input function measured from direct arterial blood sampling in the validation study. In 3 FTD and 3 controls, a trend towards hypometabolism was found in frontal, temporal and parietal lobes similar to significant differences previously reported by other groups. The global mean CMRglc and Ki observed in control subjects are in line with previous reports. In general, kinetic modelling of PET-FDG using an MR-IDIF can improve characterization of glucose metabolism in dementia. This method is feasible in multimodal studies that aim to combine PET molecular imaging with MRI as dynamic PET can be acquired along with multiple MRI measurements.

  2. The initial mass function of young open clusters in the Galaxy: A preliminary result

    CERN Document Server

    Lim, Beomdu; Hur, Hyeonoh; Park, Byeong-Gon

    2015-01-01

    The initial mass function (IMF) is an essential tool with which to study star formation processes. We have initiated the photometric survey of young open clusters in the Galaxy, from which the stellar IMFs are obtained in a homogeneous way. A total of 16 famous young open clusters have preferentially been studied up to now. These clusters have a wide range of surface densities (log sigma = -1 to 3 [stars pc^2] for stars with mass larger than 5M_sun) and cluster masses (M_cl = 165 to 50,000M_sun), and also are distributed in five different spiral arms in the Galaxy. It is possible to test the dependence of star formation processes on the global properties of individual clusters or environmental conditions. We present a preliminary result on the variation of the IMF in this paper.

  3. A preliminary measurement of the b quark fragmentation function in hadronic Z{sup 0} decays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    The SLD Collaboration

    1996-06-01

    We present a measurement of the {ital b} quark fragmentation function from a sample of semi-leptonic {bold B} decays collected between 1993 and 1995 in the SLD experiment at SLAC. The energy of each tagged {bold B} hadron was reconstructed using information from the lepton and a partially reconstructed charm decay vertex. A comparison of the scaled energy distribution with several phenomenological models of heavy quark fragmentation was made, using the same model in each case to correct the data. The average scaled energy was found to be {l_angle}{chi}{sub E}{r_angle} = 0.697{+-}0.012({ital stat}){sup +0. 028}{sub -0.024} ({ital syst})(preliminary).

  4. Does a pneumotach accurately characterize voice function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, Gage; Krane, Michael

    2016-11-01

    A study is presented which addresses how a pneumotach might adversely affect clinical measurements of voice function. A pneumotach is a device, typically a mask, worn over the mouth, in order to measure time-varying glottal volume flow. By measuring the time-varying difference in pressure across a known aerodynamic resistance element in the mask, the glottal volume flow waveform is estimated. Because it adds aerodynamic resistance to the vocal system, there is some concern that using a pneumotach may not accurately portray the behavior of the voice. To test this hypothesis, experiments were performed in a simplified airway model with the principal dimensions of an adult human upper airway. A compliant constriction, fabricated from silicone rubber, modeled the vocal folds. Variations of transglottal pressure, time-averaged volume flow, model vocal fold vibration amplitude, and radiated sound with subglottal pressure were performed, with and without the pneumotach in place, and differences noted. Acknowledge support of NIH Grant 2R01DC005642-10A1.

  5. Draft Function Allocation Framework and Preliminary Technical Basis for Advanced SMR Concepts of Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacques Hugo; John Forester; David Gertman; Jeffrey Joe; Heather Medema; Julius Persensky; April Whaley

    2013-04-01

    This report presents preliminary research results from the investigation in to the development of new models and guidance for concepts of operations (ConOps) in advanced small modular reactor (aSMR) designs. In support of this objective, three important research areas were included: operating principles of multi-modular plants, functional allocation models and strategies that would affect the development of new, non-traditional concept of operations, and the requiremetns for human performance, based upon work domain analysis and current regulatory requirements. As part of the approach for this report, we outline potential functions, including the theoretical and operational foundations for the development of a new functional allocation model and the identification of specific regulatory requirements that will influence the development of future concept of operations. The report also highlights changes in research strategy prompted by confirmationof the importance of applying the work domain analysis methodology to a reference aSMR design. It is described how this methodology will enrich the findings from this phase of the project in the subsequent phases and help in identification of metrics and focused studies for the determination of human performance criteria that can be used to support the design process.

  6. Materials Characterization of Feraheme/Ferumoxytol and Preliminary Evaluation of Its Potential for Magnetic Fluid Hyperthermia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Dobson

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Feraheme, is a recently FDA-cleared superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION-based MRI contrast agent that is also employed in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia. Feraheme nanoparticles have a hydrodynamic diameter of 30 nm and consist of iron oxide crystallites complexed with a low molecular weight, semi-synthetic carbohydrate. These features are attractive for other potential biomedical applications such as magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH, since the carboxylated polymer coating affords functionalization of the particle surface and the size allows for accumulation in highly vascularized tumors via the enhanced permeability and retention effect. This work presents morphological and magnetic characterization of Feraheme by transmission electron microscopy (TEM, Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX, and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID magnetometry. Additionally, the results of an initial evaluation of the suitability of Feraheme for MFH applications are described, and the data indicate the particles possess promising properties for this application.

  7. Hydrogeological characterization of the Heletz Sands Reservoir, Heletz (Israel) as a preliminary step towards CO2 injection experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensabat, Jacob; Niemi, Auli; Tsang, Chin-Fu; Sharma, Prabhakar; Carrera, Jesus; Sauter, Martin; Tatomir, Alexandru; Ghergut, Julia; Pezard, Philippe; Edlman, Katriona; Brauchler, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Hydrogeological characterization of the Heletz Sands Reservoir, Heletz (Israel) as a preliminary step towards CO2 injection experiments One the major components of the EU-FP7 funded MUSTANG project is to conduct a highly controlled series of CO2 injection experiments, aimed at determining field values of key CO2 trapping mechanisms such as dissolution and residual trapping and to establish a comprehensive and consistent dataset for model validation. Prior to injecting CO2 there is a need to achieve a sufficient degree of hydrogeological characterization of the reservoir. In what follows we present a sequence of hydrologic tests to be conducted at Heletz and their expected contribution to the understanding relevant hydrogeology. These include: 1) Chemical characterization of the formation fluid; 2) Flowing Fluid Electrical Conductivity log, aimed at determining the vertical variability of the reservoir permeability in the near well vicinity; 3) Water pulse and pumping tests, aimed at determining the reservoir scale hydraulic properties; 4) Thermal test, aimed at determining the value of the heat transfer coefficient from the reservoir to the borehole fluid, which is responsible for the heating of injected fluid in the borehole; 5) two-well injection and pumping of water and tracers test, in order to determine the impact of heterogeneity on the hydraulic parameters and to identify preferential flow paths in the reservoir. This paper presents the design and planning of the experiments, the results obtained in field and a preliminary interpretation.

  8. Preliminary experimental characterization of the ambient humidity response of Bi{sub 3}TiNbO{sub 9}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galuppo, E; Avila, R E [Departamento de Materiales Nucleares, Comision Chilena de EnergIa Nuclear, Cas. 188-D, Santiago (Chile); Serafini, D [Departamento de Fisica, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago (Chile); Dudik, L [Electronics Design Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (United States); Cabrera, A L [Departamento de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago (Chile)], E-mail: ravila@cchen.cl

    2008-11-01

    A preliminary electrical characterization of Bi{sub 3}TiNb0{sub 9} pellets, prepared by mechanochemical activation shows a nearly exponential conductivity increase over 4 orders of magnitude from dry ambient to dew point of 10 deg. C, at 23 deg. C ambient temperature; or 5 order of magnitude in thick films over interdigitated electrodes. Relaxation currents, following bias stress, respond also, at a lower sensitivity level. Under different DP on either electrode, the lower DP value controls the overall current, which flows through the bulk, not through the mantle of the cylindrical pellets. Repetitive cycling does not deteriorate the response to the ambient humidity.

  9. Functional connectivity changes in adults with developmental stuttering: a preliminary study using quantitative electro-encephalography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joos, Kathleen; De Ridder, Dirk; Boey, Ronny A.; Vanneste, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Stuttering is defined as speech characterized by verbal dysfluencies, but should not be seen as an isolated speech disorder, but as a generalized sensorimotor timing deficit due to impaired communication between speech related brain areas. Therefore we focused on resting state brain activity and functional connectivity. Method: We included 11 patients with developmental stuttering and 11 age matched controls. To objectify stuttering severity and the impact on quality of life (QoL), we used the Dutch validated Test for Stuttering Severity-Readers (TSS-R) and the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES), respectively. Furthermore, we used standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) analyses to look at resting state activity and functional connectivity differences and their correlations with the TSS-R and OASES. Results: No significant results could be obtained when looking at neural activity, however significant alterations in resting state functional connectivity could be demonstrated between persons who stutter (PWS) and fluently speaking controls, predominantly interhemispheric, i.e., a decreased functional connectivity for high frequency oscillations (beta and gamma) between motor speech areas (BA44 and 45) and the contralateral premotor (BA6) and motor (BA4) areas. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between functional connectivity at low frequency oscillations (theta and alpha) and stuttering severity, while a mixed increased and decreased functional connectivity at low and high frequency oscillations correlated with QoL. Discussion: PWS are characterized by decreased high frequency interhemispheric functional connectivity between motor speech, premotor and motor areas in the resting state, while higher functional connectivity in the low frequency bands indicates more severe speech disturbances, suggesting that increased interhemispheric and right sided functional connectivity is

  10. C2 Link Security for UAS: Technical Literature Study and Preliminary Functional Requirements. Version 0.9 (Working Draft)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    This document provides a study of the technical literature related to Command and Control (C2) link security for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for operation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Included is a preliminary set of functional requirements for C2 link security.

  11. The Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ): preliminary evidence for reliability and validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Marrit K; Castelein, Stynke; Bous, Johan; van den Heuvel, Edwin R; Wiersma, Durk; Schoevers, Robert A; Knegtering, Henderikus

    2013-11-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the psychometric properties of the Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ). Internal reliability, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, validity and sensitivity to change were calculated in a sample of 30 patients with schizophrenia or a schizophrenia spectrum disorder using antipsychotics. The ASFQ is a semistructured interview, with good face validity and content validity, that takes on average about 10min to complete. The ASFQ has good internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha 0.84) and good test-retest reliability (mean Spearman's rho=.76). The inter-rater reliability is good for questions about libido, orgasm, erection and ejaculation. Correlation coefficients for calculating convergent validity were modest to good when comparing the ASFQ with the corresponding items on the Subject's Response to Antipsychotics (SRA) questionnaire and the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX). Based on preliminary evidence, it can be concluded that the Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire has reasonable reliability and is available for clinical use and research.

  12. Artworks characterization at THz frequencies: preliminary results via the Fiber-Coupled Terahertz Time Domain System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catapano, Ilaria; Soldovieri, Francesco

    2015-04-01

    In the research field of art and archaeology, scientific observation and analysis are hugely demanded to gather as more information as possible on the materials and techniques used to create artworks as well as in previous restoration actions. In this frame, diagnostic tools exploiting electromagnetic waves deserve massive interest tanks to their ability to provide non-invasive and possibly contactless characterization of the investigated objects. Among the electromagnetic diagnostic technologies, those working at frequencies belonging to the 0.1-10 THz range are currently deserving an increased attention since THz waves are capable of penetrating into optically opaque materials (up to the preparation layers), without direct contact and by involving sufficiently low energy to be considered as perfectly non-invasive in practice [1,2]. Moreover, being THz non-ionizing radiations, a moderate exposure to them implies minor long term risks to the molecular stability of the historical artifact and humans. Finally, recent developments of THz technology have allowed the commercialization of compact, flexible and portable systems. One of them is the Fiber-Coupled Terahertz Time Domain System (FICO) developed by Z-Omega, acquired by the Institute of Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA) in 2013. This system works in the range from 60GHz to 3THz with a waveform acquisition speed up to 500Hz, it is equipped with fiber optic coupled transmitting and receiving probes and, few months ago, has been potentiated by means of an automatic positioning system enabling to scan a 150mm x 150mm area. In the frame of the IREA research activities regarding cultural heritage, the FICO system is currently adopted to perform both spectroscopy and imaging, which are the two kind of analysis wherein THz technology can be profitably explored [3]. In particular, THz spectroscopy is used to distinguish different artists materials by exploiting their peculiar fingerprint in the absorption

  13. Preliminary study to characterize plastic polymers using elemental analyser/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (EA/IRMS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berto, Daniela; Rampazzo, Federico; Gion, Claudia; Noventa, Seta; Ronchi, Francesca; Traldi, Umberto; Giorgi, Giordano; Cicero, Anna Maria; Giovanardi, Otello

    2017-06-01

    Plastic waste is a growing global environmental problem, particularly in the marine ecosystems, in consideration of its persistence. The monitoring of the plastic waste has become a global issue, as reported by several surveillance guidelines proposed by Regional Sea Conventions (OSPAR, UNEP) and appointed by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Policy responses to plastic waste vary at many levels, ranging from beach clean-up to bans on the commercialization of plastic bags and to Regional Plans for waste management and recycling. Moreover, in recent years, the production of plant-derived biodegradable plastic polymers has assumed increasing importance. This study reports the first preliminary characterization of carbon stable isotopes (δ(13)C) of different plastic polymers (petroleum- and plant-derived) in order to increase the dataset of isotopic values as a tool for further investigation in different fields of polymers research as well as in the marine environment surveillance. The δ(13)C values determined in different packaging for food uses reflect the plant origin of "BIO" materials, whereas the recycled plastic materials displayed a δ(13)C signatures between plant- and petroleum-derived polymers source. In a preliminary estimation, the different colours of plastic did not affect the variability of δ(13)C values, whereas the abiotic and biotic degradation processes that occurred in the plastic materials collected on beaches and in seawater, showed less negative δ(13)C values. A preliminary experimental field test confirmed these results. The advantages offered by isotope ratio mass spectrometry with respect to other analytical methods used to characterize the composition of plastic polymers are: high sensitivity, small amount of material required, rapidity of analysis, low cost and no limitation in black/dark samples compared with spectroscopic analysis.

  14. Bioinformatics pipeline for functional identification and characterization of proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skarzyńska, Agnieszka; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Krzywkowski, Tomasz; Świerkula, Katarzyna; PlÄ der, Wojciech; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2015-09-01

    The new sequencing methods, called Next Generation Sequencing gives an opportunity to possess a vast amount of data in short time. This data requires structural and functional annotation. Functional identification and characterization of predicted proteins could be done by in silico approches, thanks to a numerous computational tools available nowadays. However, there is a need to confirm the results of proteins function prediction using different programs and comparing the results or confirm experimentally. Here we present a bioinformatics pipeline for structural and functional annotation of proteins.

  15. Transfer function characterization of grazing incidence optical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, J E; Moran, E C; Zmek, W P

    1988-04-15

    By using Fourier techniques and linear systems theory we have derived an analytic expression for a generalized transfer function for grazing incidence optical systems operating at ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths that includes the effects of optical fabrication errors over the entire range of relevant spatial frequencies. The Fourier transform of this transfer function yields the image distribution (or point spread function) from which encircled energy characteristics or other image quality criteria can be obtained. This transfer function characterization of grazing incidence optical systems allows parametric trade studies and sensitivity analyses to be performed as well as the derivation of fabrication tolerances necessary to satisfy a given image quality requirement.

  16. Transfer function concept for ultrasonic characterization of material microstructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vary, A.; Kautz, H. E.

    1986-01-01

    The approach given depends on treating material microstructures as elastomechanical filters that have analytically definable transfer functions. These transfer functions can be defined in terms of the frequency dependence of the ultrasonic attenuation coefficient. The transfer function concept provides a basis for synthesizing expressions that characterize polycrystalline materials relative to microstructural factors such as mean grain size, grain-size distribution functions, and grain boundary energy transmission. Although the approach is nonrigorous, it leads to a rational basis for combining the previously mentioned diverse and fragmented equations for ultrasonic attenuation coefficients.

  17. Predicting Improvement in Depression Across Therapies Using Indicators of Romantic Relationship Functioning: A Preliminary Investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Sarah B; Priest, Jacob B; Denton, Wayne H

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a common presenting problem, often affected by couple interactions in unique ways. However, research in the area of romantic relationship functioning and depression often replicates previous research or consists of literature reviews, limiting the clinical relevancy. The purpose of this preliminary study is to expand the research on the effects of relational processes on depression treatment outcomes. We tested whether initiator tendency, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and marital satisfaction predicted improvement in depression for women with Major Depressive Disorder enrolled in a depression treatment clinical trial (n = 17). Women completed treatments of either pharmacotherapy or combined Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and pharmacotherapy. We found that higher baseline levels of partner initiator tendency resulted in less change in depression (worse outcomes), regardless of treatment type and that higher baseline levels of attachment avoidance predicted better depression outcomes in treatment. Marital satisfaction, however, was not linked to change in depression. Initiator tendency is discussed as a critical romantic relationship factor for depression treatment outcomes.

  18. Executive functions among individuals with methamphetamine or alcohol as drugs of choice: preliminary observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Raul; Bechara, Antoine; Martin, Eileen M

    2007-02-01

    Substance dependent individuals (SDIs) are frequently, but not invariably, impaired on tasks of executive functions. In this study, we examine patterns of executive performance among subjects with different self-reported "drug of choice" (defined as substance used>80% of the time prior to abstinence). Subjects were 33 abstinent SDIs receiving inpatient treatment and 19 non-SDI normal controls (NC) well-matched on age, sex, ethnicity, and VIQ, who were assessed using the Iowa Gambling Task (GT) and a delayed non-match to sample task (DNM): measures of decision making and working memory, respectively. Seventeen SDIs identified alcohol (AL group) and 16 SDIs identified methamphetamine (METH group) as their drug of choice. Overall, the METH group performed more poorly than the NC and AL groups on both tasks, with the largest differences observed in working memory. The AL group was not significantly impaired overall compared to NCs on either task, but showed subtle abnormalities of GT performance similar to the METH group. These preliminary findings suggest that self-reported drug of choice on admission to treatment may be associated with different patterns of executive performance during early recovery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Characterization of the functional properties of carob germ proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proteins from the carob germ were identified as having gluten-like proteins in 1935. While some biochemical characterization of carob germ proteins and their functionality has been carried out, relatively little has been done when compared to proteins such as gluten. Carob germ proteins were separ...

  1. Synthesis, Characterization, and Surface Initiated Polymerization of Carbazole Functionalized Isocyanides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwartz, Erik; Lim, Eunhee; Gowda, Chandrakala M.; Liscio, Andrea; Fenwick, Oliver; Tu, Guoli; Palermo, Vincenzo; Gelder, de Rene; Cornelissen, Jeroen J.L.M.; Eck, van Ernst R.H.; Kentgens, Arno P.M.; Cacialli, Franco; Nolte, Roeland J.M.; Samori, Paolo; Huck, Wilhelm T.S.; Rowan, Alan E.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the design and synthesis of carbazole functionalized isocyanides and the detailed investigation of their properties. Characterization by solid state NMR, CD, and IR spectroscopic techniques reveals that the polymer has a well-defined helical architecture. Surface-initiated polymerization

  2. Functionalized TUD-1: synthesis, characterization and (photo-)catalytic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamdy M. Saad, M.S.

    2005-01-01

    The new mesoporous material; TUD-1 is chosen of which the synthesis, characterization, and functionalization for (photo)-catalytic performance are extensively investigated in this study. The synthesis of the new catalytic materials M TUD-1 (M = Ti, V, Cr, Mo, Fe, Co and Cu) is carried out through an

  3. Functionalized TUD-1: synthesis, characterization and (photo-)catalytic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamdy M. Saad, M.S.

    2005-01-01

    The new mesoporous material; TUD-1 is chosen of which the synthesis, characterization, and functionalization for (photo)-catalytic performance are extensively investigated in this study. The synthesis of the new catalytic materials M TUD-1 (M = Ti, V, Cr, Mo, Fe, Co and Cu) is carried out through an

  4. Setting up and functioning of an Emergency Medicine Department: Lessons learned from a preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Asish

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aims: Tertiary care teaching hospitals remain referral centres for victims of trauma and mass casualty. Often specialists from various disciplines manage these crowded casualty areas. These age old casualty areas are being replaced, throughout the country by Emergency Medicine Departments (EMDs, presumed to be better planned to confront a crisis. We aimed to gather basic data contributive in setting up of an EMD at a tertiary care teaching hospital from the lessons learned from functioning existent systems. Methods: This is primarily a questionnaire-based descriptive study at tertiary care referral centres across the country, which was purposively selected.The study models included one from a hospital without designated EMD and the other four from hospitals with established EMDs. Direct observation and focus group meetings with experienced informants at these hospitals contributed to the data. In the absence of a validated hospital preparedness assessment scale, comparison was done with regard to quantitative, qualitative and corroborative parameters using descriptive analysis. Results: The EMDs at best practice models were headed by specialist in Emergency Medicine assisted by organised staff, had protocols for managing mass casualty incident (MCI, separate trauma teams, ergonomic use of infrastructure and public education programmes. In this regard, these hospitals seemed well organised to manage MCIs and disasters. Conclusion: The observation may provide a preliminary data useful in setting up an EMD. In the absence of published Indian literature, this may facilitate further research in this direction. Anaesthesiologists, presently an approved Faculty in Emergency Medicine training can provide creative input with regard to its initial organisation and functioning, thus widening our horizons in a country where there is a severe dearth of trained emergency physicians.

  5. Toxoplasma gondii: a rapid method for the isolation of pure tachyzoites: preliminary characterization of its genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Garberi

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available A rapid and simple technique for the purification of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites was developed. Highly purified parasites were obtained from the peritoneal exudates of infected mice by means of two consecutive discontinous sucrose gradients run at low speed (10,000xg, 30 min. Parasites obtained by this method conserved its biological activity. Hybridizations tudies with DNA from healthy mice and from purified tachyzoites preparations demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites DNA could be obtained with better than 90 per cents purity. Preliminary studies with DNA endonucleases showed the presence in the tachyzoites genome of highly repetitives sequences.

  6. A Comprehensive Approach for Pectin Chemical and Functional Characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Sousa, António Felipe Gomes Teixeira

    In this work, a comprehensive approach for the chemical and functional analysis of pectin was used in order to relate the different extraction conditions used to the polymer structure and the final functional (mainly gelling) properties. A wide range of methods were utilized including chemical...... and chromatographic characterization methods (HPAEC and HPSEC), rheological measurements of elasticity, and biological epitopes detection using carbohydrate microarrays. The end product of this study is expected to contribute to the knowledge of pectin polymeric conformation and structure-function properties as well...

  7. Using transgenic reporter assays to functionally characterize enhancers in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvon, Evgeny Z

    2015-09-01

    Enhancers or cis-regulatory modules play an instructive role in regulating gene expression during animal development and in response to the environment. Despite their importance, we only have an incomplete map of enhancers in the genome and our understanding of the mechanisms governing their function is still limited. Recent advances in genomics provided powerful tools to generate genome-wide maps of potential enhancers. However, most of these methods are based on indirect measures of enhancer activity and have to be followed by functional testing. Animal transgenesis has been a valuable method to functionally test and characterize enhancers in vivo. In this review I discuss how different transgenic strategies are utilized to characterize enhancers in model organisms focusing on studies in Drosophila and mouse. I will further discuss recent large-scale transgenic efforts to systematically identify and catalog enhancers as well as highlight the challenges and future directions in the field.

  8. Preliminary Genomic Characterization of Ten Hardwood Tree Species from Multiplexed Low Coverage Whole Genome Sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Staton

    Full Text Available Forest health issues are on the rise in the United States, resulting from introduction of alien pests and diseases, coupled with abiotic stresses related to climate change. Increasingly, forest scientists are finding genetic/genomic resources valuable in addressing forest health issues. For a set of ten ecologically and economically important native hardwood tree species representing a broad phylogenetic spectrum, we used low coverage whole genome sequencing from multiplex Illumina paired ends to economically profile their genomic content. For six species, the genome content was further analyzed by flow cytometry in order to determine the nuclear genome size. Sequencing yielded a depth of 0.8X to 7.5X, from which in silico analysis yielded preliminary estimates of gene and repetitive sequence content in the genome for each species. Thousands of genomic SSRs were identified, with a clear predisposition toward dinucleotide repeats and AT-rich repeat motifs. Flanking primers were designed for SSR loci for all ten species, ranging from 891 loci in sugar maple to 18,167 in redbay. In summary, we have demonstrated that useful preliminary genome information including repeat content, gene content and useful SSR markers can be obtained at low cost and time input from a single lane of Illumina multiplex sequence.

  9. A color spectrographic phonocardiography (CSP applied to the detection and characterization of heart murmurs: preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassani Kamran

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although cardiac auscultation remains important to detect abnormal sounds and murmurs indicative of cardiac pathology, the application of electronic methods remains seldom used in everyday clinical practice. In this report we provide preliminary data showing how the phonocardiogram can be analyzed using color spectrographic techniques and discuss how such information may be of future value for noninvasive cardiac monitoring. Methods We digitally recorded the phonocardiogram using a high-speed USB interface and the program Gold Wave http://www.goldwave.com in 55 infants and adults with cardiac structural disease as well as from normal individuals and individuals with innocent murmurs. Color spectrographic analysis of the signal was performed using Spectrogram (Version 16 as a well as custom MATLAB code. Results Our preliminary data is presented as a series of seven cases. Conclusions We expect the application of spectrographic techniques to phonocardiography to grow substantially as ongoing research demonstrates its utility in various clinical settings. Our evaluation of a simple, low-cost phonocardiographic recording and analysis system to assist in determining the characteristic features of heart murmurs shows promise in helping distinguish innocent systolic murmurs from pathological murmurs in children and is expected to useful in other clinical settings as well.

  10. Preliminary characterization of risks in the nuclear waste management system based on information in the literature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daling, P.M.; Rhoads, R.E.; Van Luick, A.E.; Fecht, B.A.; Nilson, S.A.; Sevigny, N.L. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Armstrong, G.R. [Westinghouse Hanford Co., Richland, WA (United States); Hill, D.H.; Rowe, M.; Stern, E. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)

    1992-01-01

    This document presents preliminary information on the radiological and nonradiological risks in the nuclear waste management system. The objective of the study was to (1) review the literature containing information on risks in the nuclear waste management system and (2) use this information to develop preliminary estimates of the potential magnitude of these risks. Information was collected on a broad range of risk categories to assist the US Department of Energy (DOE) in communicating information about the risks in the waste management systems. The study examined all of the portions of the nuclear waste management system currently expected to be developed by the DOE. The scope of this document includes the potential repository, the integral MRS facility, and the transportation system that supports the potential repository and the MRS facility. Relevant literature was reviewed for several potential repository sites and geologic media. A wide range of ``risk categories`` are addressed in this report: (1) public and occupational risks from accidents that could release radiological materials, (2) public and occupational radiation exposure resulting from routine operations, (3) public and occupational risks from accidents involving hazards other than radioactive materials, and (4) public and occupational risks from exposure to nonradioactive hazardous materials during routine operations. The report is intended to provide a broad spectrum of risk-related information about the waste management system. This information is intended to be helpful for planning future studies.

  11. Decision Support with Belief Functions Theory for Seabed Characterization

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Arnaud

    2008-01-01

    The seabed characterization from sonar images is a very hard task because of the produced data and the unknown environment, even for an human expert. In this work we propose an original approach in order to combine binary classifiers arising from different kinds of strategies such as one-versus-one or one-versus-rest, usually used in the SVM-classification. The decision functions coming from these binary classifiers are interpreted in terms of belief functions in order to combine these functions with one of the numerous operators of the belief functions theory. Moreover, this interpretation of the decision function allows us to propose a process of decisions by taking into account the rejected observations too far removed from the learning data, and the imprecise decisions given in unions of classes. This new approach is illustrated and evaluated with a SVM in order to classify the different kinds of sediment on image sonar.

  12. Drift design methodology and preliminary application for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hardy, M.P. [Agapito (J.F.T.) and Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Bauer, S.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1991-12-01

    Excavation stability in an underground nuclear waste repository is required during construction, emplacement, retrieval (if required), and closure phases to ensure worker health and safety, and to prevent development of potential pathways for radionuclide migration in the post-closure period. Stable excavations are developed by appropriate excavation procedures, design of the room shape, design and installation of rock support reinforcement systems, and implementation of appropriate monitoring and maintenance programs. In addition to the loads imposed by the in situ stress field, the repository drifts will be impacted by thermal loads developed after waste emplacement and, periodically, by seismic loads from naturally occurring earthquakes and underground nuclear events. A priori evaluation of stability is required for design of the ground support system, to confirm that the thermal loads are reasonable, and to support the license application process. In this report, a design methodology for assessing drift stability is presented. This is based on site conditions, together with empirical and analytical methods. Analytical numerical methods are emphasized at this time because empirical data are unavailable for excavations in welded tuff either at elevated temperatures or under seismic loads. The analytical methodology incorporates analysis of rock masses that are systematically jointed, randomly jointed, and sparsely jointed. In situ thermal and seismic loads are considered. Methods of evaluating the analytical results and estimating ground support requirements for all the full range of expected ground conditions are outlines. The results of a preliminary application of the methodology using the limited available data are presented. 26 figs., 55 tabs.

  13. 三角帆蚌蛋白多糖基本特征%Preliminary Characterization of Proteoglycan from Hyriopsis cumingii

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    乔德亮; 王琳; 刘俊; 孙怡; 叶红; 曾晓雄

    2013-01-01

    目的:研究三角帆蚌蛋白多糖的基本特征.方法:运用分光光度比色法测量多糖和蛋白质含量,傅立叶变换红外光谱分析官能基团,高效液相色谱法测量相对分子质量和氨基酸组成,气相色谱测量单糖组成,β-消除反应测量糖肽键连接方式.结果:三角帆蚌蛋白多糖中,多糖和蛋白质的含量分别是80.06%和9.42%,傅立叶变换红外光谱显示多糖和蛋白质的特征吸收峰,蛋白多糖的相对分子质量为503.1 kDa,多糖由鼠李糖、岩藻糖、甘露糖、葡萄糖和半乳糖(分子摩尔比为13.80∶4.51∶7.70∶ 64.92∶9.07)组成,蛋白质部分检测出14种氨基酸(13种已知和1种未知),肽链与多糖链的连接方式为O-型糖肽键.结论:三角帆蚌蛋白多糖的基本特征已初步了解.%Objective:To study the preliminary characterizations of Hyriopsis cumingii proteoglycan (HCPG).Methods:The content of carbohydrate and protein were measured by spectrophotometry.FTIR spectrum was used to analyze the functional groups.Relative molecular mass and amino acid composition were detected by HPLC.GC was utilized to determine the monosaccharide composition.The glycopeptide linkage-bond was detected by using the method ofβ-elimination reaction.Results:In HCPG,the content of carbohydrate and protein was 80.06% and 9.42%,respectively.FTIR spectrum showed the characteristic absorptions of polysaccharides and protein.Relative molecular mass of HCPG,determined by size-exclusive HPLC,was 503.1 kDa.GC spectra demonstrated that polysaccharide of HCPG was composed of rhamnose,fucose,mannose,glucose and galactose with a molar ratio of 13.80∶ 4.51∶ 7.70∶ 64.92∶ 9.07.Fourteen amino acids (13 known and one unknown) have been detected by pre-column derivation HPLC.From β-elimination reaction,peptide chain was attached to the carbohydrate chain by O-glycosidic bond.Conclusion:Basic characterizations of HCPG have been determined preliminarily.

  14. The PedsQL™ Present Functioning Visual Analogue Scales: preliminary reliability and validity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varni James W

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The PedsQL™ Present Functioning Visual Analogue Scales (PedsQL™ VAS were designed as an ecological momentary assessment (EMA instrument to rapidly measure present or at-the-moment functioning in children and adolescents. The PedsQL™ VAS assess child self-report and parent-proxy report of anxiety, sadness, anger, worry, fatigue, and pain utilizing six developmentally appropriate visual analogue scales based on the well-established Varni/Thompson Pediatric Pain Questionnaire (PPQ Pain Intensity VAS format. Methods The six-item PedsQL™ VAS was administered to 70 pediatric patients ages 5–17 and their parents upon admittance to the hospital environment (Time 1: T1 and again two hours later (Time 2: T2. It was hypothesized that the PedsQL™ VAS Emotional Distress Summary Score (anxiety, sadness, anger, worry and the fatigue VAS would demonstrate moderate to large effect size correlations with the PPQ Pain Intensity VAS, and that patient" parent concordance would increase over time. Results Test-retest reliability was demonstrated from T1 to T2 in the large effect size range. Internal consistency reliability was demonstrated for the PedsQL™ VAS Total Symptom Score (patient self-report: T1 alpha = .72, T2 alpha = .80; parent proxy-report: T1 alpha = .80, T2 alpha = .84 and Emotional Distress Summary Score (patient self-report: T1 alpha = .74, T2 alpha = .73; parent proxy-report: T1 alpha = .76, T2 alpha = .81. As hypothesized, the Emotional Distress Summary Score and Fatigue VAS were significantly correlated with the PPQ Pain VAS in the medium to large effect size range, and patient and parent concordance increased from T1 to T2. Conclusion The results demonstrate preliminary test-retest and internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the PedsQL™ Present Functioning VAS instrument for both pediatric patient self-report and parent proxy-report. Further field testing is required to extend these initial

  15. Parental Substance Abuse As an Early Traumatic Event. Preliminary Findings on Neuropsychological and Personality Functioning in Young Drug Addicts Exposed to Drugs Early

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parolin, Micol; Simonelli, Alessandra; Mapelli, Daniela; Sacco, Marianna; Cristofalo, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Parental substance use is a major risk factor for child development, heightening the risk of drug problems in adolescence and young adulthood, and exposing offspring to several types of traumatic events. First, prenatal drug exposure can be considered a form of trauma itself, with subtle but long-lasting sequelae at the neuro-behavioral level. Second, parents' addiction often entails a childrearing environment characterized by poor parenting skills, disadvantaged contexts and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), leading to dysfunctional outcomes. Young adults born from/raised by parents with drug problems and diagnosed with a Substance Used Disorder (SUD) themselves might display a particularly severe condition in terms of cognitive deficits and impaired personality function. This preliminary study aims to investigate the role of early exposure to drugs as a traumatic event, capable of affecting the psychological status of young drug addicts. In particular, it intends to examine the neuropsychological functioning and personality profile of young adults with severe SUDs who were exposed to drugs early in their family context. The research involved three groups, each consisting of 15 young adults (aged 18–24): a group of inpatients diagnosed with SUDs and exposed to drugs early, a comparison group of non-exposed inpatients and a group of non-exposed youth without SUDs. A neuropsychological battery (Esame Neuropsicologico Breve-2), an assessment procedure for personality disorders (Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-200) and the Symptom CheckList-90-Revised were administered. According to present preliminary results, young drug addicts exposed to drugs during their developmental age were characterized by elevated rates of neuropsychological impairments, especially at the expense of attentive and executive functions (EF); personality disorders were also common but did not differentiate them from non-exposed youth with SUDs. Alternative multi-focused prevention and

  16. Purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic characterization of the caspase-recruitment domain of human Nod1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srimathi, Thiagarajan; Robbins, Sheila L.; Dubas, Rachel L. [Basic Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111 (United States); Seo, Jang-Hoon [Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Shinheung College, Uijeongbu, Kyungki-Do 480-701 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Young Chul, E-mail: young.park@fccc.edu [Basic Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111 (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The caspase-recruitment domain of the cytosolic pathogen receptor Nod1 was crystallized. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.9 Å resolution. The caspase-recruitment domain (CARD) is known to play an important role in apoptosis and inflammation as an essential protein–protein interaction domain. The CARD of the cytosolic pathogen receptor Nod1 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified by affinity chromatography and gel filtration. The purified CARD was crystallized at 277 K using the microseeding method. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.9 Å resolution. The crystals belong to space group P3{sub 1} or P3{sub 2}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 79.1, c = 80.9 Å. Preliminary analysis indicates that there is one dimeric CARD molecule in the asymmetric unit.

  17. ZTI: Preliminary characterization of an ignition class reversed-field pinch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bathke, C. G.; Krakowski, R. A.; Miller, R. L.; Werley, K. A.

    A preliminary cost-optimized conceptual design of an intermediate-step, ignition-class reverse-field pinch (RFP) device (ZTI) for the study of alpha-particle physics in a deuterium (DT) plasma is reported. The ZTI design reflects potentially significant cost savings relative to similar ignition-class tokamaks for device parameters that reside on the path to a viable commercial RFP reactor. Reductions in both device costs and number of steps to commercialization portend a significantly reduced development cost for fusion. The methodology and result and coupling realistic physics, engineering, and cost models through a multi-dimensional optimizer are reported for ZTI, which is a device that would follow the 2 to 4 MAzth on an approximately greater than 1996 to 98 timescale.

  18. Nutritional preliminary characterization of some indigenous raw materials used in formulation of concentrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Houcine Selmi,

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Cereal grains and proteins are varied and numerous in Tunisia. The use of these local resources remains limited because of a shift towards relying on imports and state subsidies. This has caused disruption of the national economic strategy and the sustainability of farming systems. Thus, in recent years, research for alternative feed resources readily available within the country borders has accelerated. Among these indigenous resources, barley, triticale, white sorghum, and faba beans who have nutritional values potentially similar to those of corn and soybean meal were incorporated into the formulation of feed concentrate to supplement dairy sheep rations based on encouraging preliminary results on nutritive values (number and types of ciliates, total gas and on quantity and quality of produced milk in sheep

  19. Preliminary characterization of the Green Antioquian consumer: the case of the consumers from Valle de Aburra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelcy Rocío Escobar Moreno

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Rev.esc.adm.neg This research paper aims at identifying the profile of green consumers living in Valle de Aburra, in Antioquia, to identify the specific features and needs of this group as a market segment. At first, this article shows a conceptual framework about terms such as green market, green consumers and green products. Then, a research methodology is described based on a quantitative formulation of a piloting study, through which a measurement instrument having 14 questions divided into different variables product, price, distribution and communication collected key information to get to preliminary conclusions about consumers as its main object of study. Finally, a statistic descriptive analysis was made to get the profile of green consumers living in Valle de Aburra and a proposal describing key elements to set the bases for future investigations about this topic.

  20. Preliminary characterization of ST2G: Solar thermionic-thermoelectric generator for concentrating systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, Alessandro; Calvani, Paolo; Cappelli, Emilia; Orlando, Stefano; Sciti, Diletta; Yogev, Ronen; Kribus, Abraham; Trucchi, Daniele M.

    2015-06-01

    An innovative conversion module (CM) for concentrating solar power applications, named ST2G (Solar Thermionic-Thermoelectric Generator), has been developed and fabricated. The new technology is based on a solid-state converter that works at temperatures up to 1000 °C and exploits a double conversion stage: a thermionic stage and a thermoelectric one, connected thermally in series. Potentially, the CM could reach a combined solar energy-to-electrical efficiency larger than 30%, producing also additional thermal energy to be exploited as a co-generation. Different prototypes have been fabricated and the discussion on the technological key-points has been reported, relating them to the physical requirements necessary for an efficient conversion mechanism. The preliminary results obtained at a lab-level are here discussed, indicating low electrical power output, but also how to increase the performance by solving the identified issues.

  1. Extraction, preliminary characterization and evaluation of in vitro antitumor and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from Mentha piperita.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xin; Sun, Zhen-Liang; Jia, Ai-Rong; Shi, Ya-Ping; Li, Rui-Hong; Yang, Pei-Ming

    2014-01-01

    This study describes the extraction, preliminary characterization and evaluation of the in vitro antitumor and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides extracted from Mentha piperita (MPP). The optimal parameters for the extraction of MPP were obtained by Box-Behnken experimental design and response surface methodology (RSM) at the ratio of water to raw material of 20, extraction time of 1.5 h and extraction temperature at 80 °C. Chemical composition analysis showed that MPP was mainly composed of glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose and arabinose, and the molecular weight of its two major fractions were estimated to be about 2.843 and 1.139 kDa, respectively. In vitro bioactivity experiments showed that MPP not only inhibited the growth of A549 cells but possessed potent inhibitory action against DNA topoisomerase I (topo I), and an appreciative antioxidant action as well. These results indicate that MPP may be useful for developing safe natural health products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Preparation and characterization of functional silica hybrid magnetic nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Digigow, Reinaldo G.; Dechézelles, Jean-François; Dietsch, Hervé; Geissbühler, Isabelle; Vanhecke, Dimitri; Geers, Christoph; Hirt, Ann M.; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Petri-Fink, Alke

    2014-08-01

    We report on the synthesis and characterization of functional silica hybrid magnetic nanoparticles (SHMNPs). The co-condensation of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) in presence of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) leads to hybrid magnetic silica particles that are surface-functionalized with primary amino groups. In this work, a comprehensive synthetic study is carried out and completed by a detailed characterization of hybrid particles' size and morphology, surface properties, and magnetic responses using different techniques. Depending on the mass ratio of SPIONs and the two silanes (TEOS and APTES), we were able to adjust the number of surface amino groups and tune the magnetic properties of the superparamagnetic hybrid particles.

  4. Structural and functional characterization of synapse-associated protein-97

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei

    Synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) as a scaffold protein plays an important role in regulating neural signal transmission in the central nervous system by coupling with activated membrane receptors, ion channels, and downstream signaling proteins. SAP97 consists of six functional domains: L27, PDZ1, PDZ2, PDZ3, SH3, and GK. Each of these domains mediates the interactions of SAP97 with other proteins. Understanding the molecular mechanism of these interactions in neural signal transmission is a goal of this study. Here high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy are employed towards the goal of the structural and functional characterization of SAP97; specifically, we (a) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains of SAP97 with the C-terminus of NR2B, and determine the structure of the PDZ1-NR2B; (b) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains with the C-terminus of stargazin and multiple mutants, and identify the perturbed amino acids in PDZ2 upon the binding of stargazin; (c) characterize the binding specificity carried by the beta2/beta3 loop of the PDZ3 domain. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanism for the binding specificities of the PDZ domains of SAP97, thereby furthering the development of drugs that target these domains to treat neurological diseases.

  5. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    OpenAIRE

    He Cui; Xi Lan; Shemin Lu; Fujun Zhang; Wanggang Zhang

    2017-01-01

    Our previous study demonstrated that human KIAA0100 gene was a novel acute monocytic leukemia-associated antigen (MLAA) gene. But the functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene has remained unknown to date. Here, firstly, bioinformatic prediction of human KIAA0100 gene was carried out using online softwares; Secondly, Human KIAA0100 gene expression was downregulated by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) 9 system in U937 cells...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ying Li; Ning Tang; Fuyuhiko Inagaki; Chisato Mukai; Kazuichi Hayakawa

    2013-01-01

    1,3-Dialkylimidazolium-based ionic liquids were chemically synthesized and bonded on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with easy one-step reaction. The obtained six kinds of ionic liquid modified MNPs were characterized with transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, magnetization, and FTIR, which owned the high adsorption capacity due to the nanometer size and high-density modification with ionic liquids. Functionality of MNPs with ionic liquids greatly influenc...

  7. Robotic Characterization of Ipsilesional Motor Function in Subacute Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semrau, Jennifer A; Herter, Troy M; Kenzie, Jeffrey M; Findlater, Sonja E; Scott, Stephen H; Dukelow, Sean P

    2017-06-01

    Poststroke impairments of the ipsilesional arm are often discussed, but rarely receive focused rehabilitation. Ipsilesional deficits may affect daily function and although many studies have investigated them in chronic stroke, few characterizations have been made in the subacute phase. Furthermore, most studies have quantified ipsilesional deficits using clinical measures that can fail to detect subtle, but important deficits in motor function. We aimed to quantify reaching deficits of the contra- and ipsilesional limbs in the subacute phase poststroke. A total of 227 subjects with first-time, unilateral stroke completed a unilateral assessment of motor function (visually guided reaching) using a KINARM robot. Subjects completed the task with both the ipsi- and contralesional arms. Subjects were assessed on a variety of traditional clinical measures (Functional Independence Measure, Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment, Purdue Pegboard, Behavioral Inattention Test) to compare with robotic measures of motor function. Ipsilesional deficits were common and occurred in 37% (n = 84) of subjects. Impairments of the ipsilesional and contralesional arm were weakly to moderately correlated on robotic measures. Magnitude of impairment of the contralesional arm was similar for subjects with and without ipsilesional deficits. Furthermore, we found that a higher percentage of subjects with right-hemisphere stroke had ipsilesional deficits and more subjects with left-hemisphere subcortical strokes did not have ipsilesional deficits. Magnitude of contralesional impairment and lesion location may be poor predictors of individuals with ipsilesional impairments after stroke. Careful characterization of ipsilesional deficits could identify individuals who may benefit from rehabilitation of the less affected arm.

  8. Analytical Characterization of Rococo Paintings in Egypt: Preliminary Results from El-Gawhara Palace at Cairo

    OpenAIRE

    Fatma REFAAT; Hussein MAREY MAHMOUD; Atef A. BRANIA

    2012-01-01

    El-Gawhara palace (1813–1814 AD) is situated south of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in the Cairo Citadel. This palace is an important example of the best early 19th century rococo decorations in Egypt. The present study reports some of the results obtained from the application of different analytical techniques to characterize some rococo paintings at El-Gawhara palace at Cairo, Egypt. The characterization of the studied paintings was carried out by means of optical microscopy (OM), scanning ele...

  9. The Integration of Prosodic Speech in High Functioning Autism: A Preliminary fMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesling, Isabelle; Dilharreguy, Bixente; Peppé, Sue; Amirault, Marion; Bouvard, Manuel; Allard, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    Background Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a specific triad of symptoms such as abnormalities in social interaction, abnormalities in communication and restricted activities and interests. While verbal autistic subjects may present a correct mastery of the formal aspects of speech, they have difficulties in prosody (music of speech), leading to communication disorders. Few behavioural studies have revealed a prosodic impairment in children with autism, and among the few fMRI studies aiming at assessing the neural network involved in language, none has specifically studied prosodic speech. The aim of the present study was to characterize specific prosodic components such as linguistic prosody (intonation, rhythm and emphasis) and emotional prosody and to correlate them with the neural network underlying them. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a behavioural test (Profiling Elements of the Prosodic System, PEPS) and fMRI to characterize prosodic deficits and investigate the neural network underlying prosodic processing. Results revealed the existence of a link between perceptive and productive prosodic deficits for some prosodic components (rhythm, emphasis and affect) in HFA and also revealed that the neural network involved in prosodic speech perception exhibits abnormal activation in the left SMG as compared to controls (activation positively correlated with intonation and emphasis) and an absence of deactivation patterns in regions involved in the default mode. Conclusions/Significance These prosodic impairments could not only result from activation patterns abnormalities but also from an inability to adequately use the strategy of the default network inhibition, both mechanisms that have to be considered for decreasing task performance in High Functioning Autism. PMID:20644633

  10. The integration of prosodic speech in high functioning autism: a preliminary FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Hesling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a specific triad of symptoms such as abnormalities in social interaction, abnormalities in communication and restricted activities and interests. While verbal autistic subjects may present a correct mastery of the formal aspects of speech, they have difficulties in prosody (music of speech, leading to communication disorders. Few behavioural studies have revealed a prosodic impairment in children with autism, and among the few fMRI studies aiming at assessing the neural network involved in language, none has specifically studied prosodic speech. The aim of the present study was to characterize specific prosodic components such as linguistic prosody (intonation, rhythm and emphasis and emotional prosody and to correlate them with the neural network underlying them. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a behavioural test (Profiling Elements of the Prosodic System, PEPS and fMRI to characterize prosodic deficits and investigate the neural network underlying prosodic processing. Results revealed the existence of a link between perceptive and productive prosodic deficits for some prosodic components (rhythm, emphasis and affect in HFA and also revealed that the neural network involved in prosodic speech perception exhibits abnormal activation in the left SMG as compared to controls (activation positively correlated with intonation and emphasis and an absence of deactivation patterns in regions involved in the default mode. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These prosodic impairments could not only result from activation patterns abnormalities but also from an inability to adequately use the strategy of the default network inhibition, both mechanisms that have to be considered for decreasing task performance in High Functioning Autism.

  11. A soft wearable robot for the shoulder: Design, characterization, and preliminary testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Ciaran T; Phipps, Nathan S; Cappello, Leonardo; Paganoni, Sabrina; Walsh, Conor J

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, we present a soft wearable robot for the shoulder which has the potential to assist individuals suffering from a range of neuromuscular conditions affecting the shoulder to perform activities of daily living. This wearable robot combines two types of soft textile pneumatic actuators which were custom developed for this particular application to support the upper arm through shoulder abduction and horizontal flexion/extension. The advantage of a textile-based approach is that the robot can be lightweight, low-profile, comfortable and non-restrictive to the wearer, and easy to don like an item of clothing. The actuator's ability to fold flat when not in use allows the robot to be almost invisible under clothing, potentially allowing the user to avoid any stigma associated with using assistive devices in public. To abduct the arm, a textilebased pneumatic actuator was developed to fit within the axilla to push the arm upwards, while a pair of smaller actuators pivot the abduction actuator to allow for horizontal extension and flexion. The individual textile actuators were experimentally evaluated before being integrated into a wearable garment. Human subject testing was performed to evaluate the ability of the robot to assist the arm by monitoring changes in biological muscle activity when comparing the robot powered on and off. Preliminary results show large reductions in muscular effort in targeted muscles, demonstrating the feasibility and promise of such a soft wearable robot for the shoulder.

  12. Technetium in alkaline, high-salt, radioactive tank waste supernate: Preliminary characterization and removal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanchard, D.L. Jr.; Brown, G.N.; Conradson, S.D. [and others

    1997-01-01

    This report describes the initial work conducted at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to study technetium (Tc) removal from Hanford tank waste supernates and Tc oxidation state in the supernates. Filtered supernate samples from four tanks were studied: a composite double shell slurry feed (DSSF) consisting of 70% from Tank AW-101, 20% from AP-106, and 10% from AP-102; and three complexant concentrate (CC) wastes (Tanks AN-107, SY-101, ANS SY-103) that are distinguished by having a high concentration of organic complexants. The work included batch contacts of these waste samples with Reillex{trademark}-HPQ (anion exchanger from Reilly Industries) and ABEC 5000 (a sorbent from Eichrom Industries), materials designed to effectively remove Tc as pertechnetate from tank wastes. A short study of Tc analysis methods was completed. A preliminary identification of the oxidation state of non-pertechnetate species in the supernates was made by analyzing the technetium x-ray absorption spectra of four CC waste samples. Molybdenum (Mo) and rhenium (Re) spiked test solutions and simulants were tested with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry to evaluate the feasibility of the technique for identifying Tc species in waste samples.

  13. Molecular characterization of dominant bacterial population in “Vastedda della Valle del Belice” cheese: preliminary investigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Todaro

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The sensory characteristics of raw-milk cheeses are linked to the cheese-making process, to the environmental factors as animal feeding and to the biochemical and microbiological composition of the milk. In this report we temped to characterize the microflora in the typical Sicilian historical cheese as Vastedda della valle del Belice. Each cheese was previous subjected to microbial isolation on specific media (M17 and MRS. The colony obtained on the solid medium were subject to biochemical tests and DNA extraction. The microbial diversity occurring in the strains was evaluated by PCR, RFLP and sequencing targeted on 16S ribosomal DNA. A number of closest relatives species of lactic and contaminating bacteria were identified in a total of 18 cheeses. The more represented genus were: Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and Pediococcus. Moreover it was found only one strain Lactococcus lactis for producing bacteriocines. The different bacteria species probably could play a key role in the maturation of the cheese. The preliminary obtained data show the optimized method is usefully to detect and characterize the bacteria having implications in the fermentation process as well as preservation of traditional products.

  14. Purification, characterization, and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a lactose-specific lectin from Cymbosema roseum seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Bruno A M; Moreno, Frederico B M B; Delatorre, Plínio; Souza, Emmanuel P; Marinho, Emmanuel S; Benevides, Raquel G; Rustiguel, Joane Kathelen Rodrigues; Souza, Luis A G; Nagano, Celso S; Debray, Henri; Sampaio, Alexandre H; de Azevedo, Walter F; Cavada, Benildo S

    2009-03-01

    The unique carbohydrate-binding property of lectins makes them invaluable tools in biomedical research. Here, we report the purification, partial primary structure, carbohydrate affinity characterization, crystallization, and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a lactose-specific lectin from Cymbosema roseum seeds (CRLII). Isolation and purification of CRLII was performed by a single step using a Sepharose-4B-lactose affinity chromatography column. The carbohydrate affinity characterization was carried using assays for hemagglutination activity and inhibition. CRLII showed hemagglutinating activity toward rabbit erythrocytes. O-glycoproteins from mucine mucopolysaccharides showed the most potent inhibition capacity at a minimum concentration of 1.2 microg mL(-1). Protein sequencing by mass spectrometry was obtained by the digestion of CRLII with trypsin, Glu-C, and AspN. CRLII partial protein sequence exhibits 46% similarity with the ConA-like alpha chain precursor. Suitable protein crystals were obtained with the hanging-drop vapor-diffusion method with 8% ethylene glycol, 0.1 M Tris-HCl pH 8.5, and 11% PEG 8,000. The monoclinic crystals belong to space group P2(1) with unit cell parameters a = 49.4, b = 89.6, and c = 100.8 A.

  15. Longitudinal study of neuropsychological functioning in patients on chronic hemodialysis: a preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, D C; Burnett, G B; Raft, D D; Batten, P G; Bain, K P

    1982-01-01

    This study is part of a five-year project to investigate the long term effect of chronic hemodialysis on patients with end-stage renal failure. Previous research has associated hemodialysis with progressive dialysis encephalopathy (PDE), which is characterized by speech disturbances, cognitive impairment, myoclonus and behavioral changes. Little is known about the cause or the course of this syndrome except that it begins 14-36 months after treatment onset and usually culminates in death. The purpose of this study was to investigate neuropsychological (cognitive and behavioral) functioning in dialysis patients over a period of years. To date, 34 patients have been studied for 22 months utilizing a cross-sectional method comparing patients at different stages of treatment combined with a longitudinal method of repeated evaluations over time. Current findings show improved cognitive functioning during at least the first year of treatment and no evidence of cognitive deterioration in patients on dialysis for more than one year (M = 4.3). These findings offer strong evidence that PDE is not necessarily a general phenomenon among patients on chronic hemodialysis.

  16. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 1, Research report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    In this study, rail and highway routes which may be used for shipments of high-level nuclear waste to a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are characterized. This characterization facilitates three types of impact analysis: comparative study, limited worst-case assessment, and more sophisticated probabilistic risk assessment techniques. Data for relative and absolute impact measures are provided to support comparisons of routes based on selected characteristics. A worst-case scenario assessment is included to determine potentially critical and most likely places for accidents or incidents to occur. The assessment facilitated by the data in this study is limited because impact measures are restricted to the identification of potential areas or persons affected. No attempt is made to quantify the magnitude of these impacts. Most likely locations for accidents to occur are determined relative to other locations within the scope of this study. Independent factors and historical trends used to identify these likely locations are only proxies for accident probability.

  17. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 1, Research report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    In this study, rail and highway routes which may be used for shipments of high-level nuclear waste to a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are characterized. This characterization facilitates three types of impact analysis: comparative study, limited worst-case assessment, and more sophisticated probabilistic risk assessment techniques. Data for relative and absolute impact measures are provided to support comparisons of routes based on selected characteristics. A worst-case scenario assessment is included to determine potentially critical and most likely places for accidents or incidents to occur. The assessment facilitated by the data in this study is limited because impact measures are restricted to the identification of potential areas or persons affected. No attempt is made to quantify the magnitude of these impacts. Most likely locations for accidents to occur are determined relative to other locations within the scope of this study. Independent factors and historical trends used to identify these likely locations are only proxies for accident probability.

  18. Analytical Characterization of Rococo Paintings in Egypt: Preliminary Results from El-Gawhara Palace at Cairo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatma REFAAT

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available El-Gawhara palace (1813–1814 AD is situated south of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in the Cairo Citadel. This palace is an important example of the best early 19th century rococo decorations in Egypt. The present study reports some of the results obtained from the application of different analytical techniques to characterize some rococo paintings at El-Gawhara palace at Cairo, Egypt. The characterization of the studied paintings was carried out by means of optical microscopy (OM, scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray detector (EDS and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT−IR. The obtained results allowed the identification of the chemical composition, structure and the painting technique employed in these paintings. This methodology reveals some useful information on some rococo paintings dating back to the 19th century in Egypt.

  19. Preliminary geochemical characterization of volcanic and geothermal fluids discharged from the Ecuadorian volcanic arc.

    OpenAIRE

    Inguaggiato, S.; Hidalgo, S.; Beate, B.; Bourquin, J.

    2009-01-01

    In Ecuador, magmatism results from the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the North Western part of South America (Pennington, 1981; Kellogg and Vega, 1995; Witt et al., 2006). North of 2.5°S, the Ecuadorian Quaternary volcanic arc is characterized by about 60 volcanoes distributed in three different parallel chains. Many of these volcanoes are potentially active or currently in activity and display associated geothermal fields. South of this latitude, no active arc is present in Ecuador. ...

  20. Functional Characterization of Sesquiterpene Synthase from Polygonum minus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Fang Ee

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Preliminary characterization of the oral microbiota of Chinese adults with and without gingivitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Shi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial communities inhabiting human mouth are associated with oral health and disease. Previous studies have indicated the general prevalence of adult gingivitis in China to be high. The aim of this study was to characterize in depth the oral microbiota of Chinese adults with or without gingivitis, by defining the microbial phylogenetic diversity and community-structure using highly paralleled pyrosequencing. Methods Six non-smoking Chinese, three with and three without gingivitis (age range 21-39 years, 4 females and 2 males were enrolled in the present cross-sectional study. Gingival parameters of inflammation and bleeding on probing were characterized by a clinician using the Mazza Gingival Index (MGI. Plaque (sampled separately from four different oral sites and salivary samples were obtained from each subject. Sequences and relative abundance of the bacterial 16 S rDNA PCR-amplicons were determined via pyrosequencing that produced 400 bp-long reads. The sequence data were analyzed via a computational pipeline customized for human oral microbiome analyses. Furthermore, the relative abundances of selected microbial groups were validated using quantitative PCR. Results The oral microbiomes from gingivitis and healthy subjects could be distinguished based on the distinct community structures of plaque microbiomes, but not the salivary microbiomes. Contributions of community members to community structure divergence were statistically accessed at the phylum, genus and species-like levels. Eight predominant taxa were found associated with gingivitis: TM7, Leptotrichia, Selenomonas, Streptococcus, Veillonella, Prevotella, Lautropia, and Haemophilus. Furthermore, 98 species-level OTUs were identified to be gingivitis-associated, which provided microbial features of gingivitis at a species resolution. Finally, for the two selected genera Streptococcus and Fusobacterium, Real-Time PCR based quantification of relative bacterial

  2. A novel full scale experimental characterization of wind turbine aero-acoustic noise sources - preliminary results

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aagaard Madsen, Helge; Bertagnolio, Franck; Fischer, Andreas;

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes a novel full scale experiment on a 500 kW wind turbine with the main objective to characterize the aero-acoustic noise sources. The idea behind the instrumentation is to study the link and correlation between the surface pressure (SP) fluctuations in the boundary layer...... of the blade and the noise on the ground in a distance of about one rotor diameter. In total six surface microphones were used to measure the SP at the leading edge (LE) and trailing edge (TE) of the blade. In parallel noise was measured by eight microphones placed on plates on the ground around the turbine...

  3. Preliminary molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum isolates of wildlife rodents from Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, A; Cacciò, S; Bednarska, M; Behnke, J M; Pieniazek, N J; Sinski, E

    2003-10-01

    Isolates of Cryptosporidium were collected from 3 species of woodland and field rodents (Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, and Apodemus flavicollis) and were characterized by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of fragments of the oocyst wall protein (COWP) gene and of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Sequence analysis of these markers revealed that the animals were infected with C. parvum, and that the genotype involved was almost identical to the mouse genotype previously described from Mus musculus. Thus, small rodents should be considered as an important reservoir of C. parvum genotypes closely related to the zoonotic genotype 2 and potentially hazardous to humans.

  4. Schiff base functionalized Organopropylsilatranes: Synthesis and structural characterization

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Gurjaspreet Singh; Promila; Amandeep Saroa; Jandeep Singh; Raj Pal Sharm; V Ferretti

    2016-02-01

    Synthesis of Schiff bases linked to organopropylsilatranes were performed by condensation reaction of post-functionalized silatranes such as aminopropylsilatrane (4), aminopropyl-3,7,10-trimethylsilatrane (5) and N-substituted aminopropylsilatrane (10) with two different aldehydes viz. pyrrole-2-carboxaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-1-napthaldehyde. The resulting Schiff base substituted silatranes were well characterized by elemental analysis, spectroscopic studies [IR, (1H, 13C) NMR, and MS]. The structures of two silatranes were confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis.

  5. Non-invasive 3D facial analysis and surface electromyography during functional pre-orthodontic therapy: a preliminary report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianluca M. Tartaglia

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Functional orthodontic devices can modify oral function thus permitting more adequate growth processes. The assessment of their effects should include both facial morphology and muscle function. This preliminary study investigated whether a preformed functional orthodontic device could induce variations in facial morphology and function along with correction of oral dysfunction in a group of orthodontic patients in the mixed and early permanent dentitions. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The three-dimensional coordinates of 50 facial landmarks (forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, jaw and ears were collected in 10 orthodontic male patients aged 8-13 years, and in 89 healthy reference boys of the same age. Soft tissue facial angles, distances, and ratios were computed. Surface electromyography of the masseter and temporalis muscles was performed, and standardized symmetry, muscular torque and activity were calculated. Soft-tissue facial modifications were analyzed non-invasively before and after a 6-month treatment with a functional device. Comparisons were made with z-scores and paired Student's t-tests. RESULTS: The 6-month treatment stimulated mandibular growth in the anterior and inferior directions, with significant variations in three-dimensional facial divergence and facial convexity. The modifications were larger in the patients than in reference children. In several occasions, the discrepancies relative to the norm became not significant after treatment. No significant variations in standardized muscular activity were found. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results showed that the continuous and correct use of the functional device induced measurable intraoral (dental arches and extraoral (face morphological modifications. The device did not modify the functional equilibrium of the masticatory muscles.

  6. Preliminary Characterization of the Probiotic Properties of Candida Famata and Geobacillus Thermoleovorans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Bakhrouf

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objective: Probiotics are live microbial feed supplements which beneficially affect the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance, producing metabolites which inhibit the colonization or growth of other microorganisms or by competing with them for resources such as nutrients or space. The aim of this study was to investigate the probiotic properties of Candida famata and Geobacillus thermoleovorans.Material and Methods: In this study, yeast and bacterial strains isolated from pure oil waste were identified using Api 50 CHB and Api Candida Systems and their probiotic properties were studied through antimicrobial activity, biofilm production, adherence assay and enzymatic characterization.Results and Conclusion: According to biochemical analyses, these strains corresponded to Geobacillus thermoleovorans and Candida famata. Antagonism assay results showed that the tested strains have an inhibitory effect against tested pathogenic bacteria. The yeast Candida famata was unable to produce biofilm on Congo Red Agar (CRA, while the bacterial strain was a slime producer. Adherence assays to abiotic surfaces revealed that the investigated strains were fairly adhesive to polystyrene with values ranging from 0.18 to 0.34 at 595 nm. The enzymatic characterization revealed that the tested strains expressed enzymes such as phosphatase alkaline, esterase lipase (C8, amylase, lipase, lecitenase and caseinase. The obtained results may allow the isolated strains to be considered as having the potential to be candidate probiotics.

  7. A preliminary characterization of the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States); Ambos, D.S. [Foothill Eng. Consultants, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Isohyetal maps of precipitation and numerical models for simulating precipitation are needed to help characterize natural infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A geostatistical analysis of measured precipitation accumulated from storm periods. Precipitation was measured during a 3.8 year period from January 1990 to October, 1993 using a network of precipitation gages. A total of 34 winter-type storms and 12 summer-type storm, categorized using synoptic weather records, were analyzed using the 1st and 2nd statistical moments and sample variograms. Average standardized variograms indicated good spatial correlation for both storm types with only slight differences in the general spatial structure. Coefficients of variation and average relative variograms indicated that summer storms are characterized by greater variability as compared to winter storms. Models were fitted to the average summer and winter standarized variograms for each storm using the mean storm depth and the coefficient of variation as scaling parameters. Isohyetal maps of 4 representative storms were created using the standarized models. Results indicate that standarized models can be used to simulate the spatial distribution of precipitation depth, provided that the 1st and 2nd moments are known or can be estimated, and that identifiable deterministic trends can be included in the models. A single, fixed model representing the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain is not recommended.

  8. Preliminary characterization of biosurfactants produced by microorganisms isolated from refinery wastewaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalçin, Emine; Ergene, Aysun

    2010-02-01

    Some bacterial strains isolated from refinery wastewaters were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa RWI, Pseudomonas putida RWII, Pseudomonas fluorescens RWIII and Burkholderia cepacia RWIV, and the biosurfactants produced by these strains were coded as BS-I, BS-II, BS-III and BS-IV, respectively. The bacterial strains were characterized by the following biochemical methods: Gram stain, oxidase activity, indol, lactose and growth at 42 degrees C. Biosurfactant production was evaluated by: emulsification activity, surface tension measurement and critical micelle concentration. Chemical characterization of the biosurfactants was done by: FTIR and analysis of carbohydrate, protein and lipid content. The biosurfactants showed good emulsification activity against different hydrocarbon sources. The initial surface tension of culture broth was determined as 67.3 mN/m, and production of BS-I, BS-II, BS-III and BS-IV lowered this value to 35.9, 49.2, 51.6 and 45.7 mN/m, respectively. The critical micelle concentration of the biosurfactants was found to be in the range 10-50 mg/L. From the results of this study it was observed that the refinery wastewaters are a suitable source for isolation of biosurfactant-producing bacteria, but are not a substrate for biosurfactant production.

  9. Comparative functional characterization of eugenol synthase from four different Ocimum species: Implications on eugenol accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Atul; Jayaramaiah, Ramesha H; Beedkar, Supriya D; Singh, Priyanka A; Joshi, Rakesh S; Mulani, Fayaj A; Dholakia, Bhushan B; Punekar, Sachin A; Gade, Wasudeo N; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V; Giri, Ashok P

    2016-11-01

    Isoprenoids and phenylpropanoids are the major secondary metabolite constituents in Ocimum genus. Though enzymes from phenylpropanoid pathway have been characterized from few plants, limited information exists on how they modulate levels of secondary metabolites. Here, we performed phenylpropanoid profiling in different tissues from five Ocimum species, which revealed significant variations in secondary metabolites including eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, estragole and methyl cinnamate levels. Expression analysis of eugenol synthase (EGS) gene showed higher transcript levels especially in young leaves and inflorescence; and were positively correlated with eugenol contents. Additionally, transcript levels of coniferyl alcohol acyl transferase, a key enzyme diverting pool of substrate to phenylpropanoids, were in accordance with their abundance in respective species. In particular, eugenol methyl transferase expression positively correlated with higher levels of eugenol methyl ether in Ocimum tenuiflorum. Further, EGSs were functionally characterized from four Ocimum species varying in their eugenol contents. Kinetic and expression analyses indicated, higher enzyme turnover and transcripts levels, in species accumulating more eugenol. Moreover, biochemical and bioinformatics studies demonstrated that coniferyl acetate was the preferred substrate over coumaryl acetate when used, individually or together, in the enzyme assay. Overall, this study revealed the preliminary evidence for varied accumulation of eugenol and its abundance over chavicol in these Ocimum species. Current findings could potentially provide novel insights for metabolic modulations in medicinal and aromatic plants.

  10. Neutron response function characterization of {sup 4}He scintillation detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelley, Ryan P.; Rolison, Lucas M.; Lewis, Jason M. [University of Florida, Nuclear Engineering Program, Gainesville, FL 32611-6400 (United States); Murer, David [Arktis Radiation Detectors Ltd., Räffelstrasse 11, 8045 Zürich (Switzerland); Massey, Thomas N. [Ohio University, Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, Athens, OH 45701 (United States); Enqvist, Andreas; Jordan, Kelly A. [University of Florida, Nuclear Engineering Program, Gainesville, FL 32611-6400 (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Time-of-flight measurements were conducted to characterize the neutron energy response of pressurized {sup 4}He fast neutron scintillation detectors for the first time, using the Van de Graaff generator at Ohio University. The time-of-flight spectra and pulse height distributions were measured. This data was used to determine the light output response function, which was found to be linear at energies below 3.5 MeV. The intrinsic efficiency of the detector as a function of incident energy was also calculated: the average efficiency up to 10 MeV was 3.1%, with a maximum efficiency of 6.6% at 1.05 MeV. These results will enable development of neutron spectrum unfolding algorithms for neutron spectroscopy applications with these detectors.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cemil Dizman

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Coastal California's Fog as a Unique Habitable Niche: Design for Autonomous Sampling and Preliminary Aerobiological Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, Diana; Cynthia Ouandji; Arismendi, Dillon; Guarro, Marcello; Demachkie, Isabella; Crosbie, Ewan; Dadashazar, Hossein; MacDonald, Alex B.; Wang, Zhen; Sorooshian, Armin; hide

    2017-01-01

    , then with sterile DI water, between sampling regions. Collected volumes ranged from 100 L to 12 mL. All samples were diluted serially and plated on two different types of agar, nutrient-dense (PCA) and sparse (R-2A). Plates were incubated at room temperature and counted when colonies first appeared and again at 2 weeks.Preliminary results from seven flights are consistent with generally reported colony-forming unit (CFU) values for terrestrial fog water (e.g., [4]). The PCA assay ranged from 400 to 125,000 CFU/mL, R-2A from 700 to 130,000 CFU/mL. PCA and R-2A counts were not significantly different from each other at I^ plus or minus +/- 0.05, although observationally, the R2A plates had more pigmented colonies. CFU counts from the majority of flights were not different from each other in mean at the same level of significance, but about half differed in median, indicating differences in underlying distribution. These results validate the presence of viable microorganisms in coastal California fog at levels that should be easily detectable by our sampling system. The indicated distribution differences underscore the need for small-scale, long-term sampling surveys. Future planned work includes ion chromatography for limiting nutrients, ATP quantification, and qPCR for several microbial classes of interest.

  13. Isolation, preliminary characterization and hepatoprotective activity of polysaccharides from Tamarindus indica L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samal, Predeep Kumar; Dangi, Jawahar Singh

    2014-02-15

    Polysaccharide was isolated from Tamarindus indica L. (TIP) and was characterized in terms of moisture and ash content, pH, water holding capacity, particle size, tapped density, bulk density, carr's index, Hausners ratio, angle of repose, content of glucose, uronic acid and sulfate. Morphological, spectral (UV-vis, FTIR) and DSC thermal analysis reveals polysaccharide nature of the isolated starch. DPPH radical scavenging activity of TIP shows RSA comparable to that of silymarin. Hepatoprotective potential of TIP in terms of biochemical parameters, SGOT, SGPT, ALP and BRN were significantly increased (P<0.05) and reduction of serum Total protein in the group of rats given thioacetamide (100mg/kg s.c.). Histopathology reveals that TIP under antagonize the effect of thioacetamide by acting, either as membrane stabilizer, thereby preventing the distortion of the cellular ionic environment associated with thioacetamide intoxication, or by preventing interaction of thioacetamide with the transcriptional machinery of the cells.

  14. Preliminary fabrication and characterization of electron beam melted Ti–6Al–4V customized dental implant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravikumar Ramakrishnaiah

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The current study was aimed to fabricate customized root form dental implant using additive manufacturing technique for the replacement of missing teeth. The root form dental implant was designed using Geomagic™ and Magics™, the designed implant was directly manufactured by layering technique using ARCAM A2™ electron beam melting system by employing medical grade Ti–6Al–4V alloy powder. Furthermore, the fabricated implant was characterized in terms of certain clinically important parameters such as surface microstructure, surface topography, chemical purity and internal porosity. Results confirmed that, fabrication of customized dental implants using additive rapid manufacturing technology offers an attractive method to produce extremely pure form of customized titanium dental implants, the rough and porous surface texture obtained is expected to provide better initial implant stabilization and superior osseointegration.

  15. Preliminary fabrication and characterization of electron beam melted Ti-6Al-4V customized dental implant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnaiah, Ravikumar; Al Kheraif, Abdulaziz Abdullah; Mohammad, Ashfaq; Divakar, Darshan Devang; Kotha, Sunil Babu; Celur, Sree Lalita; Hashem, Mohamed I; Vallittu, Pekka K; Rehman, Ihtesham Ur

    2017-05-01

    The current study was aimed to fabricate customized root form dental implant using additive manufacturing technique for the replacement of missing teeth. The root form dental implant was designed using Geomagic™ and Magics™, the designed implant was directly manufactured by layering technique using ARCAM A2™ electron beam melting system by employing medical grade Ti-6Al-4V alloy powder. Furthermore, the fabricated implant was characterized in terms of certain clinically important parameters such as surface microstructure, surface topography, chemical purity and internal porosity. Results confirmed that, fabrication of customized dental implants using additive rapid manufacturing technology offers an attractive method to produce extremely pure form of customized titanium dental implants, the rough and porous surface texture obtained is expected to provide better initial implant stabilization and superior osseointegration.

  16. SEX-RELATED FUNCTIONAL ASYMMETRY OF THE AMGDALA: PRELIMINARY EVIDENCE USING A CASE-MATCHED LESION APPROACH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, Daniel; Bechara, Antoine

    2008-01-01

    We have reported previously that there appears to be an intriguing sex-related functional asymmetry of the prefrontal cortices, especially the ventromedial sector, in regard to social conduct, emotional processing, and decision-making, whereby the right-sided sector is important in men but not women and the left-sided sector is important in women but not men. The amygdala is another structure that has been widely implicated in emotion processing and social decision-making, and the question arises as to whether the amygdala, in a manner akin to what has been observed for the prefrontal cortex, might have sex-related functional asymmetry in regard to social and emotional functions. A preliminary test of this question was carried out in the current study, where we used a case-matched lesion approach and contrasted a pair of men cases and a pair of women cases, where in each pair one patient had left amygdala damage and the other had right amygdala damage. We investigated the domains of social conduct, emotional processing and personality, and decision-making. The results provide support for the notion that there is sex-related functional asymmetry of the amygdala in regard to these functions— in the men pair, the patient with right-sided amygdala damage was impaired in these functions, and the patient with left-sided amygdala damage was not, whereas in the women pair, the opposite pattern obtained, with the left-sided woman being impaired and the right-sided woman being unimpaired. These data provide preliminary support for the notion that sex-related functional asymmetry of the amygdala may entail functions such as social conduct, emotional processing, and decision-making, a finding that in turn could reflect (as either a cause or effect) differences in the manner in which men and women apprehend, process, and execute emotion-related information. PMID:19308794

  17. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Cui

    2017-02-01

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

  18. [Structure and adsorption characterization of SBA-16 and functionalized materials].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zongfu; Guo, Guiyuan; Hu, Yongpeng; Feng, Fuying; Xu, Guoyan; Tan, Hong

    2011-08-01

    In this study we synthesized a micro- and mesoporous material, SBA-16. And later on we functionalized it with octyltrimethoxysilane and octadecyltrimethoxysilane, respectively. The materials of SBA-16 and its functionalized form were characterized by nitrogen adsorption isotherms at 77K, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and adsorption isotherms of single component n-heptane, toluene and water vapour. The data of FT-IR and TGA demonstrated the successful chemical modification of surface and porous wall of SBA-16 with different hydrocarbon chains. The results of SAXS, nitrogen adsorption at 77K, and adsorption isotherms of probe molecules revealed that the functionalized SBA-16 materials possessed relatively less regularity, smaller BET surface area and pore volumes, and lower adsorption capacities for the probe molecules compared to the original SBA-16. However, the functionalized SBA-16 materials showed much less affinity to polar molecules such as water. This work provides useful fundamental information for future study of novel mesoporous silica materials as potential drug delivery carriers.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocha, L. M. (Luis Mateus)

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Functional Characterization of a Novel Shape Memory Alloy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. The electrokinetic characterization of gold nanoparticles, functionalized with cationic functional groups, and its' interaction with DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarus, Geraldine Genevive; Revaprasadu, Neerish; López-Viota, Julián; Singh, Moganavelli

    2014-09-01

    Gold nanoparticles have attracted strong biomedical interest for drug delivery due to their low toxic nature, surface plasmon resonance and capability of increasing the stability of the payload. However, gene transfection represents another important biological application. Considering that cellular barriers keep enclosed their secret to deliver genes using nanoparticles, an important step can be achieved by studying the functionalization of nanoparticles with DNA. In the present contribution the synthesis of nanoparticles consisting of a gold core coated with one or more layers of amino acid (l-lysine), and cationic polyelectrolytes (poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine) is reported. All nanoparticles were subjected to dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic mobility measurements, UV-vis optical spectrophotometry analysis and transmission electron microscopy imaging. In addition, the adsorption of DNA plasmid (pSGS) with linear and supercoiled configurations was studied for those gold nanoparticles under the most suitable surface modifications. Preliminary results showed that the gold nanoparticles functionalized with poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine, respectively, and bound to linear DNA configurations, present in absolute value a higher electrophoretic mobility irrespective of the pH of the media, compared to the supercoiled and nicked configuration. The findings from this study suggest that poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine functionalized gold nanoparticles are biocompatible and may be promising in the chemical design and future optimization of nanostructures for biomedical applications such as gene and drug delivery.

  2. In vitro functional characterization of feline IgGs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strietzel, Catherine J; Bergeron, Lisa M; Oliphant, Theodore; Mutchler, Veronica T; Choromanski, Leszek J; Bainbridge, Graeme

    2014-04-15

    Very little is known about the functional properties of feline IgGs. Here we report the in vitro characterization of cloned feline IgGs. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and full-length PCR of cat splenic cDNA were used to identify feline sequences encoding IgG heavy chain constant regions (IGHC). Two of the sequences are possibly allelic and have been previously reported in the literature as the only feline IgG, IgG1. Although we confirmed these alleles to be highly abundant (∼98%), analysis of numerous amplification products revealed an additional sequence (∼2%). We cloned and characterized chimeric monoclonal antibodies with each of these heavy chains. Using RACE we revealed the sequences for feline Fc gamma receptor I (FcγRI) and feline Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn). We constructed these recombinant receptors as well as fFcγRIII and determined their binding affinities to the chimeras. All of the chimeras bound to Protein A but not to Protein G, and bound tightly to fFcRn (KD=2-5 nM). Both IgG1 alleles have a high affinity for fFcγRI (KD=10-20 nM), they bind to the low-affinity fFcγRIII receptor (2-4 μM), and also bind to human complement C1q. Thus, feline IgG1a and 1b are expected to induce strong effector function in vivo. The additional IgG detected does not bind to recombinant fFcγRI or fFcγRIII and has negligible binding to hC1q. Consequently, although this putative subclass is projected to have a similar serum half-life as the IgG1 alleles based on comparable in vitro affinity to FcRn, it may not elicit the effector responses mediated by fFcγRI or fFcγRIII. Further testing with native receptors and functional cell-based assays would confirm effector function capabilities of feline IgG subclasses; however this is the first report characterizing affinities of feline IgGs to their Fc receptors and helps pave the way for construction of feline-specific IgGs for therapeutic use.

  3. Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Functions in Economically Underprivileged Children Aged 7-9 Years: A preliminary Study from South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Arpitha; D'Souza, Crystal D; Sumithra, S; Avadhani, Sandhya; Subramanya, Chaya Mayasandra; Srinivasan, Krishnamachari

    2011-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between aerobic fitness and cognitive functions in 7-9 year old school going children hailing from a socio-economically disadvantaged background in Bangalore, India. Ninety eight children (51% boys and 49% girls) were assessed on height, weight, BMI, aerobic fitness (multistage 20 m shuttle test) and cognitive functions (verbal tests: comprehension, arithmetic, vocabulary, analogies; performance tests: block design, object assembly and coding). Number of shuttles was significantly positively correlated with two of the cognitive tests: comprehension (p=0.01) and block design (p=0.005). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that the number of shuttles emerged as an independent predictor of tests of comprehension and block design after adjusting for BMI and gender. The above findings provide preliminary evidence for the association between aerobic fitness and cognitive functions in children from poor socio-economic background.

  4. PRELIMINARY RESEARCHES REGARDING THE GENETIC AND MORPHOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION OF HONEYBEES (A. MELLIFERA L. FROM ROMANIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELIZA CAUIA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The international investigations regarding the honeybees’ diversity carried out until now have revealed a certain degree of genetic pollution in different countries from Europe, because of the import of more productive honeybees’ races or of some interracial honeybees’ hybrids. This fact might have a negative impact on the success adaptability of honeybees at the ecosystem. Although, the Romanian honeybees (Apis mellifera carpathica are well adapted to the local conditions and express a good resistance to diseases, the introgression (genetic pollution of different honeybees’ races could be an imminent event. So that, starting from 2007, by a cooperation between the Institute for Beekeeping Research and Development from Bucharest and the Institute of Genetics of the University of Bucharest, we have initiated different investigations in order to obtain a more accurate state of the Romanian honeybees’ diversity. We have performed specific molecular analyses, using mtDNA (the COI-COII test extracted from 32 different honeybees samples collected from several regions from Romania. For a better and detailed characterization of the collected honeybee’s samples we have also carried out some morphometric measurements of their wings. Our data have shown that the Romanian population of honeybees is almost homogenous from the genetic and the morphometric points of views. These types of investigations represent a premiere for Romania.

  5. Preparation and Preliminary Characterization of Crystallizing Fluorescent Derivatives of Chicken Egg White Lysozyme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumida, John; Forsythe, Elizabeth L.; Pusey, Marc L.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Fluorescence is one of the most versatile and powerful tools for the study of macromolecules. While most proteins are intrinsically fluorescent, working at crystallization concentrations require the use of covalently prepared derivatives added as tracers. This approach requires derivatives that do not markedly affect the crystal packing. We have prepared fluorescent derivatives of chicken egg white lysozyme with probes bound to one of two different sites on the protein molecule. Lucifer yellow and 5-(2-aminoethyl)aminonapthalene-1-sulfonic acid (EDANS) have been attached to the side chain carboxyl of Asp(sup 101) using a carbodiimide coupling procedure. Asp(sup 101) lies within the active site cleft, and it is believed that the probes are "buried" within that cleft. Lucifer yellow and MANS probes with iodoacetamide reactive groups have been bound to His(sup 15), located on the "back side" of the molecule relative to the active site. All the derivatives fluoresce in the solution and the crystalline states. Fluorescence characterization has focused on determination of binding effects on the probe quantum yield, lifetime, absorption and emission spectra, and quenching by added solutes. Quenching studies show that, as postulated, the Asp(sup 101)-bound probes are partially sheltered from the bulk solution by their location within the active site cleft. Probes bound to His(sup 15) have quenching constants about equal to those for the free probes, indicating that this site is highly exposed to the bulk solution.

  6. Preliminary studies on the chemical characterization and antioxidant properties of acidic polysaccharides from Sargassum fusiforme

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing ZHOU; Nan HU; Ya-lin WU; Yuan-jiang PAN; Cui-rong SUN

    2008-01-01

    In order to investigate the antioxidant properties of the polysaccharides from the brown alga Sargassum fusiforme, the crude polysaccharides from S.fusiforme (SFPS) were extracted in hot water, and the lipid peroxidation inhibition assay exhibited that SFPS possessed a potential antioxidant activity. Hence, two purely polymeric fractions, SFPS-1 and SFPS-2 were isolated by the column of DEAE (2-diethylaminoethanol)-Sepharose Fast Flow, with their molecular weights of 51.4 and 30.3 kDa determined by high performance gel permeation chromatography (HPGPC). They were preliminarily characterized using chemical analysis in combination of infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies and found to contain large amounts of uronic acids and β-glycosidical linkages. The antioxidant activities of these two SFPS fractions were evaluated using superoxide and hydroxyl radical-scavenging assays. The results show that the antioxidant ability of SFPS-2 was higher than that of SFPS-1, probably correlating with the molecular weight and uronic acid content.

  7. Ultrasound characterization of the mastoid for detecting middle ear effusion: A preliminary clinical validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chin-Kuo; Fang, Jui; Wan, Yung-Liang; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2016-06-01

    Ultrasound detection of middle ear effusion (MEE) is an emerging technique in otolaryngology. This study proposed using ultrasound characterization of the mastoid to noninvasively measure MEE-induced mastoid effusion (ME) as a new strategy for determining the presence of MEE. In total, 53 patients were enrolled (Group I: normal, n = 20 Group II: proven MEE through both otoscopy and tympanometry, n = 15 Group III: patients with MEE having effusions observed during grommet surgery, n = 18). A 2.25-MHz delay-line transducer was used to measure backscattered signals from the mastoid. The Nakagami parameter was estimated using the acquired signals to model the echo amplitude distribution for quantifying changes in the acoustic structures of mastoid air cells. The median Nakagami parameter and interquartile range were 0.35 (0.34–0.37) for Group I, 0.39 (0.37–0.41) for Group II, and 0.43 (0.39–0.51) for Group III. The echo amplitude distribution observed for patients with MEE was closer to Rayleigh distribution than that without MEE. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis further revealed that the area under the ROC was 0.88, sensitivity was 72.73%, specificity was 95%, and accuracy was 81.13%. The proposed method has considerable potential for noninvasive and comfortable evaluation of MEE.

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of a lectin from Cicer arietinum (chickpea)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Katre, Uma V.; Gaikwad, S. M. [Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune 411008 (India); Bhagyawant, S. S.; Deshpande, U. D. [School of Life Sciences, S. R. T. M. University, Nanded 431606 (India); Khan, M. I.; Suresh, C. G., E-mail: suresh@ems.ncl.res.in [Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune 411008 (India)

    2005-01-01

    The crystallization and characterization of a lectin isolated and purified from C. arietinum and possessing complex sugar specificity is reported. The lectin isolated from mature seeds of Cicer arietinum (CAL) agglutinates pronase-treated rabbit and human erythrocytes and its haemagglutination activity is inhibited by fetuin and desialated fetuin but not by simple monosaccharides or oligosaccharides. The purified lectin is a dimer of molecular weight 43 000 Da composed of two identical subunits (MW 21 500), as confirmed by SDS–PAGE. The lectin has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 295 K over a well solution containing 0.2 M sodium acetate, 0.1 M sodium phosphate buffer pH 6.5 and 14%(w/v) polyethylene glycol 8000. The triangular prism-shaped crystals belong to space group R3 and have unit-cell parameters a = b = 81.2, c = 69.4 Å. The diffraction data are 93.8% complete to 2.3 Å Bragg spacing with an R{sub merge} of 0.103.

  9. Preliminary evaluation of production and characterization of wood vinegar from rubberwood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juraivan Ratanapisit

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available This study deals with a slow pyrolysis of rubberwood in a furnace at an atmospheric pressure to produce pyroligneous liquid or wood vinegar. Pyroligneous liquids produced were separated into two fractions based on temperatures in a furnace. The yields of wood vinegar were quantified. Also pH, SG and boiling ranges were determined. The optimum condition of pyrolysis was obtained at the heating rate of 1.4oC/min to the final temperature at 550oC/min with a yield of 27.45%. The pH and specific gravity were attained at about 2.9-3.83 and 1.009-1.027, respectively, depend on process conditions. Also the boiling ranges of rubberwood vinegar approximately were 96-108oC based on the ASTM-D86 method. However, no significantlychanges were seen in the pH, specific gravity and boiling ranges of rubberwood vinegar regarding to hearting rates. For characterization, wood vinegar was fractionated by a distillation into three fractions. Both crude and distilled wood vinegars were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and gas chromatography. Results showed that the wood vinegar is mainly composed of acetic acid. Also the rubberwood pyrolysis yields high methanol content compared to other woods.

  10. A preliminary evaluation of certain NDA techniques for RH-TRU characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartwell, J.K.; Yoon, W.Y.; Peterson, H.K. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1997-11-01

    This report presents the results of modeling efforts to evaluate selected NDA assay methods for RH-TRU waste characterization. The target waste stream was Content Code 104/107 113-liter waste drums that comprise the majority of the INEL`s RH-TRU waste inventory. Two NDA techniques are treated in detail. One primary NDA technique examined is gamma-ray spectrometry to determine the drum fission and activation product content, and fuel sample inventory calculations using the ORIGEN code to predict the total drum inventory. A heavily shielded and strongly collimated HPGe spectrometer system was designed using MCNP modeling. Detection limits and expected precision of this approach were estimated by a combination of Monte Carlo modeling and synthetic gamma-ray spectrum generation. This technique may allow the radionuclide content of these wastes to be determined with relative standard deviations of 20 to 50% depending on the drum matrix and radionuclide. The INEL Passive/Active Neutron (PAN) assay system is the second primary technique considered. A shielded overpack for the 113-liter CC104/107 RH-TRU drums was designed to shield the PAN detectors from excessive gamma radiation. MCNP modeling suggests PAN detection limits of about 0.06 g {sup 235}U and 0.04 g {sup 239}Pu during active assays. 12 refs., 2 figs., 6 tabs.

  11. Imaging Spectropolarimeter for the Multi-Application Solar Telescope at Udaipur Solar Observatory: Characterization of Polarimeter and Preliminary Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwary, Alok Ranjan; Mathew, Shibu K.; Bayanna, A. Raja; Venkatakrishnan, P.; Yadav, Rahul

    2017-04-01

    The Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST) is a 50 cm off-axis Gregorian telescope that has recently become operational at the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO). An imaging spectropolarimeter is being developed as one of the back-end instruments of MAST to gain a better understanding of the evolution and dynamics of solar magnetic and velocity fields. This system consists of a narrow-band filter and a polarimeter. The polarimeter includes a linear polarizer and two sets of liquid crystal variable retarders (LCVRs). The instrument is intended for simultaneous observations in the spectral lines 6173 Å and 8542 Å, which are formed in the photosphere and chromosphere, respectively. In this article, we present results from the characterization of the LCVRs for the spectral lines of interest and the response matrix of the polarimeter. We also present preliminary observations of an active region obtained using the spectropolarimeter. For verification purposes, we compare the Stokes observations of the active region obtained from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) with that of MAST observations in the spectral line 6173 Å. We find good agreement between the two observations, considering the fact that MAST observations are limited by seeing.

  12. Extraction, Preliminary Characterization and Evaluation of in Vitro Antitumor and Antioxidant Activities of Polysaccharides from Mentha piperita

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Liu

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the extraction, preliminary characterization and evaluation of the in vitro antitumor and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides extracted from Mentha piperita (MPP. The optimal parameters for the extraction of MPP were obtained by Box-Behnken experimental design and response surface methodology (RSM at the ratio of water to raw material of 20, extraction time of 1.5 h and extraction temperature at 80 °C. Chemical composition analysis showed that MPP was mainly composed of glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose and arabinose, and the molecular weight of its two major fractions were estimated to be about 2.843 and 1.139 kDa, respectively. In vitro bioactivity experiments showed that MPP not only inhibited the growth of A549 cells but possessed potent inhibitory action against DNA topoisomerase I (topo I, and an appreciative antioxidant action as well. These results indicate that MPP may be useful for developing safe natural health products.

  13. Physicochemical and functional characterization of a biosimilar adalimumab ZRC-3197

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bandyopadhyay S

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Sanjay Bandyopadhyay, Mukesh Mahajan, Tulsi Mehta, Arun K Singh, Aashini Parikh, Ajit K Gupta, Pankaj Kalita, Mihir Patel, Sanjeev Kumar Mendiratta Zydus Research Centre, Biotech Division, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, The Zydus Group, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India Abstract: ZRC-3197 has been developed indigenously by Cadila Healthcare Ltd as a biosimilar adalimumab of originator HUMIRA®. Biosimilarity has been demonstrated with a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art analytical techniques to characterize the physicochemical and functional properties of ZRC-3197 in comparison with originator HUMIRA®. The biosimilar ZRC-3197 showed indistinguishable primary and secondary structures with similar level of purity and heterogeneity as compared to that of the originator product. When analyzed, in parallel, the two products were observed to show a high degree of sameness of the carbohydrate structure and charge heterogeneity profile. Both biosimilar ZRC-3197 and the originator HUMIRA® appeared to show highly comparable key functional properties, as assessed by in vitro cell-based assay and surface plasmon resonance technique. The biosimilar ZRC-3197 exhibited highly similar tumor necrosis factor alpha neutralizing activity as well as binding affinity for FcγRIIIa receptor compared to that of the originator product. The biosimilar ZRC-3197 was observed to show similar level of efficacy and safety profile in rheumatoid arthritis patients, when submitted to a head-to-head double-blind trial, in India, with the originator (reference product, HUMIRA®. Based on the demonstrated biosimilarity, market authorization has been granted for ZRC-3197, as a biosimilar of originator HUMIRA®, in India. Here, we report the characterization of physicochemical and functional properties of the biosimilar ZRC-3197 and originator HUMIRA®. Keywords: adalimumab, biosimilars, tumor necrosis factor (TNF

  14. α-Tocopherol/chitosan-based nanoparticles: characterization and preliminary investigations for emulsion systems application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aresta, Antonella; Calvano, Cosima Damiana; Trapani, Adriana; Zambonin, Carlo Giorgio; De Giglio, Elvira

    2014-02-01

    The processes of lipids oxidation represent a great concern for the consumer health because they are one of the major causes of quality deterioration in fat-containing products. One of the most effective methods of delaying lipid oxidation consists in incorporating antioxidants. The present investigation describes the formulation of chitosan and novel glycol chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with α-Tocopherol (αToc-NPs). The obtained NPs were characterized by various techniques, such as particle size (showing mean diameters in the range 335-503 nm) and zeta potential measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The NPs were, then, added in the preparation of oil-in-water simple emulsion both to make the lipophilic αToc available in an aqueous medium and to prevent emulsion oxidation. For this purpose, a new highly sensitive, simple and solvent-free method based on a solid phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of αToc in aqueous medium. All the parameters influencing SPME, including fiber coating, time and temperature extraction, pH, ionic strength and desorption conditions, have been carefully screened. The method was successfully applied to the determination of vitamin in the αToc-NPs and its release from NPs-enriched simple emulsion formulations. SPME provided high recovery yields and the limits of detection and of quantification in emulsion were 0.1 and 0.5 μg/mg, respectively. The precision of the method has been also estimated. The delay of the lipid oxidation by the proposed formulations has been evaluated exploiting the Kreis test on αToc-NPs-enriched emulsions.

  15. AS30D Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Tumorigenicity and Preliminary Characterization by Imaging, Histopathology, and Immunohistochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Scott M. [Mayo Clinic, Medical Scientist Training Program (United States); Callstrom, Matthew R. [Mayo Clinic, Department of Radiology (United States); Knudsen, Bruce [Mayo Clinic, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (United States); Anderson, Jill L. [Mayo Clinic, Division of Physiology and Bioengineering (United States); Butters, Kim A.; Grande, Joseph P. [Mayo Clinic, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (United States); Roberts, Lewis R. [Mayo Clinic, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (United States); Woodrum, David A., E-mail: woodrum.david@mayo.edu [Mayo Clinic, Department of Radiology (United States)

    2013-02-15

    This study was designed to determine the tumorigenicity of the AS30D HCC cell line following orthotopic injection into rat liver and preliminarily characterize the tumor model by both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) as well as histopathology and immunohistochemistry.MaterialsAS30D cell line in vitro proliferation was assessed by using MTT assay. Female rats (N = 5) underwent injection of the AS30D cell line into one site in the liver. Rats subsequently underwent MR imaging at days 7 and 14 to assess tumor establishment and volume. One rat underwent US of the liver at day 7. Rats were euthanized at day 7 or 14 and livers were subjected to gross, histopathologic (H and E), and immunohistochemical (CD31) analysis to assess for tumor growth and neovascularization. AS30D cell line demonstrated an in vitro doubling time of 33.2 {+-} 5.3 h. MR imaging demonstrated hyperintense T2-weighted and hypointense T1-weighted lesions with tumor induction in five of five and three of three sites at days 7 and 14, respectively. The mean (SD) tumor volume was 126.1 {+-} 36.2 mm{sup 3} at day 7 (N = 5). US of the liver demonstrated a well-circumscribed, hypoechoic mass and comparison of tumor dimensions agreed well with MRI. Analysis of H and E- and CD31-stained sections demonstrated moderate-high grade epithelial tumors with minimal tumor necrosis and evidence of diffuse intratumoral and peritumoral neovascularization by day 7. AS30D HCC cell line is tumorigenic following orthotopic injection into rat liver and can be used to generate an early vascularizing, slower-growing rat HCC tumor model.

  16. Glutamine-Loaded Liposomes: Preliminary Investigation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Neutrophil Viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Larissa Chaves; Souza, Bárbara Nayane Rosário Fernandes; Almeida, Fábio Fidélis; Lagranha, Cláudia Jacques; Cadena, Pabyton Gonçalves; Santos-Magalhães, Nereide Stela; Lira-Nogueira, Mariane Cajubá de Britto

    2016-04-01

    Glutamine has received attention due to its ability to ameliorate the immune system response. Once conventional liposomes are readily recognized and captured by immune system cells, the encapsulation of glutamine into those nanosystems could be an alternative to reduce glutamine dosage and target then to neutrophils. Our goals were to nanoencapsulate glutamine into conventional liposomes (Gln-L), develop an analytical high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for its quantification, and evaluate the viability of neutrophils treated with Gln-L. Liposomes were prepared using the thin-film hydration technique followed by sonication and characterized according to pH, mean size, zeta potential, and drug encapsulation efficiency (EE%). We also aimed to study the effect of liposomal constituent concentrations on liposomal characteristics. The viability of neutrophils was assessed using flow cytometry after intraperitoneal administration of free glutamine (Gln), Gln-L, unloaded-liposome (UL), and saline solution as control (C) in healthy Wistar rats. The selected liposomal formulation had a mean vesicle size of 114.65 ± 1.82 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.30 ± 0.00, a positive surface charge of 36.30 ± 1.38 mV, and an EE% of 39.49 ± 0.74%. The developed chromatographic method was efficient for the quantification of encapsulated glutamine, with a retention time at 3.8 min. A greater viability was observed in the group treated with glutamine encapsulated compared to the control group (17%), although neutrophils remain viable in all groups. Thus, glutamine encapsulated into liposomes was able to increase the number of viable neutrophils at low doses, thereby representing a promising strategy for the treatment of immunodeficiency conditions.

  17. PRELIMINARY STRUCTURAL OPTIMIZATION OF SOME FUMONISIN METABOLITES BY DENSITY FUNCTIONAL THEORY CALCULATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Bors

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Maize (Zea mays L. is often contaminated with Fusarium verticillioides. This harmful fungus produces fumonisins as secondary metabolites. These fumonisins can appear both free and hidden form in planta. The hidden form is usually bound covalently to cereal starch. From the hidden fumonisins, during enzymatic degradation, glycosides are formed, and the fumonisin is further decomposed during a de-esterification step. In this short communication some preliminary DFT calculated structural results which could be useful in the future to help to understand the van der Waals force controlled molecular interactions between these kinds of mycotoxin molecules and enzymes are demonstrated.

  18. Preliminary Thermal Characterization of a Fully-Passive Wireless Backscattering Neuro-Recording Microsystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwerdt, H. N.; Xu, W.; Shekhar, S.; Chae, J.; Miranda, F. A.

    2011-01-01

    We present analytical and experimental thermal characteristics of a battery-less, fully-passive wireless backscattering microsystem for recording of neuropotentials. A major challenge for cortically implantable microsystems involves minimizing the heat dissipated by on-chip circuitry, which can lead to permanent brain damage. Therefore, knowledge of temperature changes induced by implantable microsystems while in operation is of utmost importance. In this work, a discrete diode appended to the neuro-recording microsystem has been used to indirectly monitor the aforesaid temperature changes. Using this technique, the maximum temperature rise measured for the microsystem while in operation was 0.15 +/- 0.1 C, which is significantly less than current safety guidelines. Specific absorption ratio (SAR) due to the microsystem was also computed to further demonstrate fully-passive functionality of the neuro-recording microsystem.

  19. Functional characterization of zebrafish (Danio rerio Bcl10.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pellegrino Mazzone

    Full Text Available The complexes formed by BCL10, MALT1 and specific members of the family of CARMA proteins (CBM complex, have recently focused much attention because they represent a central hub regulating activation of the transcription factor NF-κB following various cellular stimulations. In this manuscript, we report the functional characterization of a Danio rerio 241 amino acids polypeptide ortholog of the Caspase recruiting domain (CARD-containing protein BCL10. Biochemical studies show that zebrafish Bcl10 (zBcl10 dimerizes and binds to components of the CBM complex. Fluorescence microscopy observations demonstrate that zBcl10 forms cytoplasmic filaments similar to that formed by human BCL10 (hBCL10. Functionally, in human cells zBcl10 is more effective in activating NF-κB compared to hBCL10, possibly due to the lack of carboxy-terminal inhibitory serine residues present in the human protein. Also, depletion experiments carried out through expression of short hairpin RNAs targeting hBCL10 indicate that zBcl10 can functionally replace the human protein. Finally, we show that the zebrafish cell line PAC2 is suitable to carry out reporter assays for monitoring the activation state of NF- kB transcription factor. In conclusion, this work shows that zebrafish may excellently serve as a model organism to study complex and intricate signal transduction pathways, such as those that control NF-κB activation.

  20. Functional characterization of zebrafish (Danio rerio) Bcl10.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzone, Pellegrino; Scudiero, Ivan; Ferravante, Angela; Paolucci, Marina; D'Andrea, Luca E; Varricchio, Ettore; Telesio, Gianluca; De Maio, Chiara; Pizzulo, Maddalena; Zotti, Tiziana; Reale, Carla; Vito, Pasquale; Stilo, Romania

    2015-01-01

    The complexes formed by BCL10, MALT1 and specific members of the family of CARMA proteins (CBM complex), have recently focused much attention because they represent a central hub regulating activation of the transcription factor NF-κB following various cellular stimulations. In this manuscript, we report the functional characterization of a Danio rerio 241 amino acids polypeptide ortholog of the Caspase recruiting domain (CARD)-containing protein BCL10. Biochemical studies show that zebrafish Bcl10 (zBcl10) dimerizes and binds to components of the CBM complex. Fluorescence microscopy observations demonstrate that zBcl10 forms cytoplasmic filaments similar to that formed by human BCL10 (hBCL10). Functionally, in human cells zBcl10 is more effective in activating NF-κB compared to hBCL10, possibly due to the lack of carboxy-terminal inhibitory serine residues present in the human protein. Also, depletion experiments carried out through expression of short hairpin RNAs targeting hBCL10 indicate that zBcl10 can functionally replace the human protein. Finally, we show that the zebrafish cell line PAC2 is suitable to carry out reporter assays for monitoring the activation state of NF- kB transcription factor. In conclusion, this work shows that zebrafish may excellently serve as a model organism to study complex and intricate signal transduction pathways, such as those that control NF-κB activation.

  1. Cloning and preliminary functional studies of the JAM-A gene in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Fukuan; Su, Jianguo; Huang, Rong; Liao, Lanjie; Zhu, Zuoyan; Wang, Yaping

    2013-06-01

    Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) is a very important aquaculture species in China and other South-East Asian countries; however, disease outbreaks in this species are frequent, resulting in huge economic losses. Grass carp hemorrhage caused by grass carp reovirus (GCRV) is one of the most serious diseases. Junction adhesion molecule A (JAM-A) is the mammalian receptor for reovirus, and has been well studied. However, the JAM-A gene in grass carp has not been studied so far. In this study, we cloned and elucidated the structure of the JAM-A gene in grass carp (GcJAM-A) and then studied its functions during grass carp hemorrhage. GcJAM-A is composed of 10 exons and 9 introns, and its full-length cDNA is 1833 bp long, with an 888 bp open reading frame (ORF) that encodes a 295 amino acid protein. The GcJAM-A protein is predicted to contain a typical transmembrane domain. Maternal expression pattern of GcJAM-A is observed during early embryogenesis, while zygote expression occurs at 8 h after hatching. GcJAM-A is expressed strongly in the gill, liver, intestine and kidney, while it is expressed poorly in the blood, brain, spleen and head kidney. Moreover, lower expression is observed in the gill, liver, intestine, brain, spleen and kidney of 30-month-old individuals, compared with 6-month-old. In a GcJAM-A-knockdown cell line (CIK) infected with GCRV, the expression of genes involved in the interferon and apoptosis pathways was significantly inhibited. These results suggest that GcJAM-A could be a receptor for GCRV. We have therefore managed to characterize the GcJAM-A gene and provide evidence for its role as a receptor for GCRV.

  2. Sensory Attributes and Preliminary Characterization of Milk Chocolate Bar Enriched with Cinnamon Essential Oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilmi, A.; Praseptiangga, D.; Muhammad, D. R. A.

    2017-04-01

    Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is one of Indonesia's main commodities with annually increasing production. Chocolates are semi-solid suspensions of fine solid particles in a continuous fat phase. Primary chocolate categories are dark, milk, and white that differs in content of cocoa solid, milk fat, and cocoa butter. Milk chocolate bar is one of the most popular processed cocoa products in Indonesia. Widely cultivated in Indonesia, cinnamon is potential to be developed and is expected to add flavor and taste as well as enhance functional properties of milk chocolate, since it is well-known of its high antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of cinnamon essential oil addition on the sensory attributes and physicochemical properties of milk chocolate bar. Three formulas of milk chocolate bar with an addition of cinnamon essential oil (0.1%, 0.3%, and 0.5%) were evaluated in this study. Panelists acceptance level decreased with increasing concentrations of cinnamon essential oil added, while moisture content and color analysis results did not show any significantly different for each formula, suggesting that milk chocolate bar with the addition of 0.1% of cinnamon essential oil had the highest level of acceptance and preferences for some of properties evaluated.

  3. Optimization extraction, preliminary characterization and antioxidant activity in vitro of polysaccharides from Stachys sieboldii Miq. tubers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Kai; Chen, Wei; Sun, Liwei; Liu, Jianzeng; Zhao, Yangxin; Li, Luxi; Wang, Yuxing; Zhang, Wenjing

    2015-07-10

    Response surface methodology was used to optimize the extraction conditions of water-soluble polysaccharides from Stachys sieboldii Miq. tubers. A central composite design was used to optimize the extraction processing parameters. The optimum extraction conditions are as follows: extraction temperature, 95°C; extraction time, 2.5h; water to raw material ratio, 16; and extraction frequency, 3. Under the optimized conditions, an experimental yield of 9.21 ± 0.18%, which is in good agreement with the predicted yield, was obtained. Purified polysaccharide SSP II-a was successfully obtained using diethylaminoethanol-Sepharose and Sepharose CL-6B column chromatography. SSP II-a was found to be an acidic polysaccharide fraction with an average molecular weight of 168kDa and composed of rhamnose, glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose and arabinose. In vitro antioxidant activity assays suggested that SSP II-a presents high scavenging activity toward superoxide anion, hydroxyl, and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenz-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radicals but relatively lower scavenging activity toward 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals. The results indicated that response surface methodology is an effective method for the extraction of polysaccharides from S. sieboldii Miq. tubers and the polysaccharides could be explored as a potential antioxidant agent for use in medicine or functional food.

  4. Characterizing the Spatial Density Functions of Neural Arbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teeter, Corinne Michelle

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

  5. Clinical and functional characterization of URAT1 variants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Velibor Tasic

    Full Text Available Idiopathic renal hypouricaemia is an inherited form of hypouricaemia, associated with abnormal renal handling of uric acid. There is excessive urinary wasting of uric acid resulting in hypouricaemia. Patients may be asymptomatic, but the persistent urinary abnormalities may manifest as renal stone disease, and hypouricaemia may manifest as exercise induced acute kidney injury. Here we have identified Macedonian and British patients with hypouricaemia, who presented with a variety of renal symptoms and signs including renal stone disease, hematuria, pyelonephritis and nephrocalcinosis. We have identified heterozygous missense mutations in SLC22A12 encoding the urate transporter protein URAT1 and correlate these genetic findings with functional characterization. Urate handling was determined using uptake experiments in HEK293 cells. This data highlights the importance of the URAT1 renal urate transporter in determining serum urate concentrations and the clinical phenotypes, including nephrolithiasis, that should prompt the clinician to suspect an inherited form of renal hypouricaemia.

  6. Advanced Modelling and Functional Characterization of B2 Bradykinin Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Saad Khan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Hereditary angioedema (giant hives is an autosomal dominant malady characterized by repetitive episodes of probably life-threatening angioedema due to a partial deficiency of C1 inhibitor. B2 Bradykinin Receptor's (BKRB2 amino acid sequence is deposited within UniProt under accession number P30411. The Physicochemical properties of BKRB2 sequence are determined by using ProtParam. BKRB2's secondary structure was predicted through PROTEUS. Pfam domain was used for functional characterization of BKRB2. PSI-BLAST was used to find homologs of known structure. Modelling by satisfaction of spatial restraints, either uses distance geometry or optimization techniques to satisfy spatial restraints performed by MODELLER. The quality of the generated model was evaluated with PROCHECK by Ramachandran plot analysis. Validation of the generated models was further performed by WHAT IF. ProSA was used for the analysis of Z-scores and energy plots. The 3D structures of the modeled proteins were analyzed using UCSF Chimera. Clustal Omega is used for multiple sequence alignment that uses seeded guide trees and HMM profile-profile techniques to generate alignments.

  7. Functional Characterization of a Eukaryotic Melibiose Transporter1[OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingner, Ulrike; Münch, Steffen; Sode, Björn; Deising, Holger B.; Sauer, Norbert

    2011-01-01

    Pathogenic fungi drastically affect plant health and cause significant losses in crop yield and quality. In spite of their impact, little is known about the carbon sources used by these fungi in planta and about the fungal transporters importing sugars from the plant-fungus interface. Here, we report on the identification and characterization of MELIBIOSE TRANSPORTER1 (MBT1) from the hemibiotrophic fungus Colletotrichum graminicola (teleomorph Glomerella graminicola), the causal agent of leaf anthracnose and stalk rot disease in maize (Zea mays). Functional characterization of the MBT1 protein in baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) expressing the MBT1 cDNA revealed that α-d-galactopyranosyl compounds such as melibiose, galactinol, and raffinose are substrates of MBT1, with melibiose most likely being the preferred substrate. α-d-Glucopyranosyl disaccharides like trehalose, isomaltose, or maltose are also accepted by MBT1, although with lower affinities. The MBT1 gene shows low and comparable expression levels in axenically grown C. graminicola and upon infection of maize leaves both during the initial biotrophic development of the fungus and during the subsequent necrotrophic phase. Despite these low levels of MBT1 expression, the MBT1 protein allows efficient growth of C. graminicola on melibiose as sole carbon source in axenic cultures. Although Δmbt1 mutants are unable to grow on melibiose, they do not show virulence defects on maize. PMID:21593216

  8. Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized Metal-organic Frameworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagiaridi, Olga; Bury, Wojciech; Sarjeant, Amy A.; Hupp, Joseph T.; Farha, Omar K.

    2014-01-01

    Metal-organic frameworks have attracted extraordinary amounts of research attention, as they are attractive candidates for numerous industrial and technological applications. Their signature property is their ultrahigh porosity, which however imparts a series of challenges when it comes to both constructing them and working with them. Securing desired MOF chemical and physical functionality by linker/node assembly into a highly porous framework of choice can pose difficulties, as less porous and more thermodynamically stable congeners (e.g., other crystalline polymorphs, catenated analogues) are often preferentially obtained by conventional synthesis methods. Once the desired product is obtained, its characterization often requires specialized techniques that address complications potentially arising from, for example, guest-molecule loss or preferential orientation of microcrystallites. Finally, accessing the large voids inside the MOFs for use in applications that involve gases can be problematic, as frameworks may be subject to collapse during removal of solvent molecules (remnants of solvothermal synthesis). In this paper, we describe synthesis and characterization methods routinely utilized in our lab either to solve or circumvent these issues. The methods include solvent-assisted linker exchange, powder X-ray diffraction in capillaries, and materials activation (cavity evacuation) by supercritical CO2 drying. Finally, we provide a protocol for determining a suitable pressure region for applying the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analysis to nitrogen isotherms, so as to estimate surface area of MOFs with good accuracy. PMID:25225784

  9. Isolation and functional characterization of the human 90K promoter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brakebusch, C; Sures, I; Jallal, B;

    1999-01-01

    90K is a secreted protein thought to be involved in the body's defense against pathogens and cancer. To elucidate its transcriptional regulation, the promoter of human 90K (HGMW-approved symbol LGAL S3BP) was isolated and characterized. Analysis of the 3. 3-kb 5'-flanking region revealed that it ......90K is a secreted protein thought to be involved in the body's defense against pathogens and cancer. To elucidate its transcriptional regulation, the promoter of human 90K (HGMW-approved symbol LGAL S3BP) was isolated and characterized. Analysis of the 3. 3-kb 5'-flanking region revealed...... that it is a TATA-less promoter, but neither GC-rich nor dependent on SP1 sites. RNase protection assays detected one major transcription start site (+1) and several minor transcription start sites upstream and downstream. Deletion studies defined a minimal promoter (-103 --> -49) and indirectly suggested positive...... synergism between different elements within it. Consistent with the proposed function of 90K, its promoter activity could be stimulated by poly(I). poly(C), mimicking viral infection. Two regions mediating induction by poly(I). poly(C) (-171 --> -112, -32 --> 46) were identified by deletion mutants. A small...

  10. Characterization of functional properties of Enterococcus faecium strains isolated from human gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    İspirli, Hümeyra; Demirbaş, Fatmanur; Dertli, Enes

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this work was to characterize the functional properties of Enterococcus faecium strains identified after isolation from human faeces. Of these isolates, strain R13 showed the best resistance to low pH, bile salts, and survival in the simulated in vitro digestion assay, and demonstrated an important level of adhesion to hexadecane as a potential probiotic candidate. Analysis of the antibiotic resistance of E. faecium strains indicated that in general these isolates were sensitive to the tested antibiotics and no strain appeared to be resistant to vancomycin. Examination of the virulence determinants for E. faecium strains demonstrated that all strains contained the virulence genes common in gut- and food-originated enterococci, and strain R13 harboured the lowest number of virulence genes. Additionally, no strain contained the genes related to cytolysin metabolism and showed hemolytic activity. The antimicrobial role of E. faecium strains was tested against several pathogens, in which different levels of inhibitory effects were observed, and strain R13 was inhibitory to all tested pathogens. PCR screening of genes encoding enterocin A and B indicated the presence of these genes in E. faecium strains. Preliminary characterization of bacteriocins revealed that their activity was lost after proteolytic enzyme treatments, but no alteration in antimicrobial activity was observed at different pHs (3.5 to 9.5) and after heat treatments. In conclusion, this study revealed the functional characteristics of E. faecium R13 as a gut isolate, and this strain could be developed as a new probiotic after further tests.

  11. Functional characterization of a novel disaccharide transporter in lobster hepatopancreas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffler, Olivia; Ahearn, Gregory A

    2017-02-08

    In animals, the accepted model of carbohydrate digestion and absorption involves reduction of disaccharides into the monosaccharides glucose, fructose, and galactose followed by their individual transmembrane transport into cells. In 2011, a gene for a distinct disaccharide sucrose transporter (SCRT) was found in Drosophila melanogaster and characterized in a yeast expression system. The purpose of the present investigation was to functionally identify and characterize a putative disaccharide transporter analog in the hepatopancreas of the American lobster, Homarus americanus. Purified hepatopancreatic brush-border membrane vesicles (BBMV) were used in transport experiments using (14)C-sucrose and a Millipore filter isolation technique. In the absence of sodium, an external pH of 4 significantly stimulated the uptake of (14)C-sucrose compared to that occurring at pH 5, 6, or 7. At pH 7, increasing external concentrations of sodium increased (14)C-sucrose uptake by BBMV in a hyperbolic fashion and this stimulation was significantly reduced when the pH was changed to 4, suggesting that both protons and sodium ions were each capable of driving the uptake of the sugar. In experiments with a variety of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and trisaccharides, used as potential inhibitors of (14)C-sucrose uptake, only maltose and trehalose inhibited carrier-mediated (14)C-sucrose transport. An additional experiment showed that 20 mM maltose was a competitive inhibitor of (14)C-sucrose uptake. The use of a putative lobster SCRT by both maltose and trehalose is nutritionally appropriate for lobsters as they commonly digest glycogen and chitin, polymers of maltose and trehalose, respectively. These findings suggest there is a brush-border proton- or sodium-dependent, hepatopancreatic carrier process, shared by sucrose, maltose, and trehalose, that may function to absorb disaccharides that are produced from digestion of naturally occurring dietary constituents.

  12. Function Discovery and Structural Characterization of a Methylphosphonate Esterase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, James E.; Pfisterer, Richard N.

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Characterizing microcrack orientation distribution functions in osteonal bone samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfram, U; Schwiedrzik, J J; Mirzaali, M J; Bürki, A; Varga, P; Olivier, C; Peyrin, F; Zysset, P K

    2016-12-01

    Prefailure microdamage in bone tissue is considered to be the most detrimental factor in defining its strength and toughness with respect to age and disease. To understand the influence of microcracks on bone mechanics it is necessary to assess their morphology and three-dimensional distribution. This requirement reaches beyond classic histology and stereology, and methods to obtain such information are currently missing. Therefore, the aim of the study was to develop a methodology that allows to characterize three-dimensional microcrack distributions in bulk bone samples. Four dumbbell-shaped specimens of human cortical bone of a 77-year-old female donor were loaded beyond yield in either tension, compression or torsion (one control). Subsequently, synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SRμCT) was used to obtain phase-contrast images of the damaged samples. A microcrack segmentation algorithm was developed and used to segment microcrack families for which microcrack orientation distribution functions were determined. Distinct microcrack families were observed for each load case that resulted in distinct orientation distribution functions. Microcracks had median areas of approximately 4.7 μm(2) , 33.3 μm(2) and 64.0 μm(2) for tension, compression and torsion. Verifying the segmentation algorithm against a manually segmented ground truth showed good results when comparing the microcrack orientation distribution functions. A size dependence was noted when investigating the orientation distribution functions with respect to the size of the volume of interest used for their determination. Furthermore, a scale separation between tensile, compressive and torsional microcracks was noticeable. Visual comparison to classic histology indicated that microcrack families were successfully distinguished. We propose a methodology to analyse three-dimensional microcrack distributions in overloaded cortical bone. Such information could improve our understanding of

  15. Preliminary formulation and characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles containing chloroquine and a P-glycoprotein inhibitor: Influences of lipid-surfactant ratios

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nzekwe, IT

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015, 7(2): 932-939 Preliminary formulation and characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles containing chloroquine and a P-glycoprotein inhibitor: Influences of lipid-surfactant ratios Ifeanyi T. Nzekwea...*, Valentine I. Azodoa , Chukwuma O. Agubatab , Brendon Naickerc , Vincent Okored and Charles O. Esimonee aDepartment of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria bDepartment of Pharmaceutical...

  16. Draft Function Allocation Framework and Preliminary Technical Basis for Advanced SMR Concepts of Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacques Hugo; John Forester; David Gertman; Jeffrey Joe; Heather Medema; Julius Persensky; April Whaley

    2013-08-01

    This report presents preliminary research results from the investigation into the development of new models and guidance for Concepts of Operations in advanced small modular reactor (AdvSMR) designs. AdvSMRs are nuclear power plants (NPPs), but unlike conventional large NPPs that are constructed on site, AdvSMRs systems and components will be fabricated in a factory and then assembled on site. AdvSMRs will also use advanced digital instrumentation and control systems, and make greater use of automation. Some AdvSMR designs also propose to be operated in a multi-unit configuration with a single central control room as a way to be more cost-competitive with existing NPPs. These differences from conventional NPPs not only pose technical and operational challenges, but they will undoubtedly also have regulatory compliance implications, especially with respect to staffing requirements and safety standards.

  17. Characterizing lateral resolution of interferometers: the Height Transfer Function (HTF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerband, B.; Hetzler, J.

    2005-08-01

    The lateral resolution of an interferometer is limited mainly by the design of the optical arrangement as well as the size of the beam stop. For its characterization the MTF1,2 is not very useful. The height of a structure normal to the surface under test is transferred into a phase of a reflected wavefront. Since imaging mechanisms for intensity and phase are very different, we propose a Height Transfer Function (HTF) to describe the lateral resolution of interferometers. The HTF shows the quotient of the reconstructed and the original height of a sine-modulated surface structure as a function of the spatial frequency. The HTF can be measured with a test sample of varying periodical surface profiles and spacings. Simulations can be made using a combination of geometrical ray tracing and Fourier transformation techniques. Two different layouts of null systems for the test of an asphere are compared. A device to measure the HTF is shown along with results for a variety of different interferometers.

  18. Molecular characterization, expression, and functional analysis of chicken TRAF6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, J; Ran, J S; Yang, C W; Jiang, X S; Zhou, Y G; Feng, Z Q; Wang, Y; Lan, D; Ren, P; Liu, Y P

    2017-02-08

    Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) is a crucial adaptor molecule of the interleukin-1 receptor/Toll-like receptor (IL-1/TLR) superfamily, which can trigger downstream signaling cascades involved in innate immunity. The function of TRAF6 has been clarified in mammals but is poorly understood in chicken. In our study, we investigated TRAF6 function in birds, particularly in chicken innate immune responses, by cloning and characterizing chicken TRAF6 (chTRAF6). The full-length coding sequence of chTRAF6 comprised 1638 bp and encoded a 545-amino acid protein, which shares high sequence similarity with TRAF6 of other species and consists of four structurally conserved domains. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that chTRAF6 was widely expressed in all tested tissues and its expression was induced in chicken embryo fibroblast cells treated with poly(I:C) and poly(dA:dT). Increased expression of chTRAF6 was observed both in vitro and in vivo following infection with Newcastle disease virus in chickens. Taken together, these results suggest that chTRAF6 plays a vital role in host defense against viral infection in chicken.

  19. [Biochemistry and functional characterization of squid mantle meat (Dosidicus gigas)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abugoch, L; Guarda, A; María Pérez, L; Isabel Donghi, M

    2000-12-01

    A study for the characterization of frozen giant squid mantle (meat) protein stored at -25 degrees C for 8 month was started. In the present research, the following functional properties were investigate: emulsifying, water holding and gel forming capacities. Optimal conditions for the separation and differentiation of miofibrillar and sarcoplasmatic proteins were also studied. It was found that the unfrozen giant squid mantle meat es capable of emulifying 2.817,4 g of oil/g of protein and holding capacity was 3.64 g of water/g of protein. Related to the gel forming capacity, it was not obtain, probably due to excessive storage of the meat. With regard to miofibrilar protein obtention of the squid mantle meat, it was found that two low ionic strength washings (I = 0.05), the sarcoplasmic proteins were practically eliminated from the protein matrix. The differentiation of miofibrilar and sarcoplasmatic proteins was obtained by PAGE-SDS of the squid mantle meat extracted at two different ionic strength (I = 0.05 and I = 0.5). This work demonstrates that the giant squid mantle protein has a high emulsifying and water holding capacity, and it can be used, as a raw material, for the improvement of sausage products. About the gelling products, more studies will be necessary with fresh squid mantle meat to conclude about this functional property.

  20. Functional characterization of methionine sulfoxide reductase A from Trypanosoma spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, Diego G; Cabeza, Matías S; Erben, Esteban D; Carranza, Pedro G; Lujan, Hugo D; Téllez Iñón, María T; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A

    2011-01-01

    Methionine is an amino acid susceptible to being oxidized to methionine sulfoxide (MetSO). The reduction of MetSO to methionine is catalyzed by methionine sulfoxide reductase (MSR), an enzyme present in almost all organisms. In trypanosomatids, the study of antioxidant systems has been mainly focused on the involvement of trypanothione, a specific redox component in these organisms. However, no information is available concerning their mechanisms for repairing oxidized proteins, which would be relevant for the survival of these pathogens in the various stages of their life cycle. We report the molecular cloning of three genes encoding a putative A-type MSR in trypanosomatids. The genes were expressed in Escherichia coli, and the corresponding recombinant proteins were purified and functionally characterized. The enzymes were specific for L-Met(S)SO reduction, using Trypanosoma cruzi tryparedoxin I as the reducing substrate. Each enzyme migrated in electrophoresis with a particular profile reflecting the differences they exhibit in superficial charge. The in vivo presence of the enzymes was evidenced by immunological detection in replicative stages of T. cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei. The results support the occurrence of a metabolic pathway in Trypanosoma spp. involved in the critical function of repairing oxidized macromolecules.

  1. Mathematics for High School, Elementary Functions (Part 1). Commentary for Teachers. Preliminary Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Frank B.; And Others

    This is part one of a two-part manual for teachers using SMSG high school text materials. Each chapter contains a commentary on the text, answers to exercises, and a set of illustrative test questions. Chapter topics include sets, relations and functions, polynomial functions, and algebra of polynomial functions. (MP)

  2. Preliminary characterization in the development of the nano composite low density polyethylene with attapulgite clay; Caracterizacao preliminar no desenvolvimento de nanocompositos polietileno de baixa densidade/argila atapulgita

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Domingos, Luanda G.; Rego, Jose K.M.A. do [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Programa de Pos-graduacao em Ciencia e Engenharia de Materiais, PPGCEM/UFRN, Natal, RN (Brazil); Ito, Edson N. [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Depto de Engenharia de Materiais, DEMat/UFRN, Natal, RN(Brazil); Acchar, Wilson [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Depto de Fisica, DF/UFRN, Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2011-07-01

    The aim of this study was a preliminary study of the physical, thermal and rheological properties of the materials to be used in the development of nano composite low density polyethylene (LDPE) with Brazilian attapulgite clay (ATP), with and without the use of a compatibilizing agent interfacial, polyethylene grafted with maleic anhydride (PE-g-MAH). The materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetry (TG) and torque rheometry. The materials were characterized and potentially could be developed polymeric nano composites with technological applications using attapulgite fibers in the nanometer scale. (author)

  3. Novel functional polysaccharides from Radix Polygoni Multiflori water extracted residue: Preliminary characterization and immunomodulatory activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing; Xu, Yi; Zou, Sheng; Zhang, Xiaodan; Cao, Kun; Fan, Qi

    2016-02-10

    The alkali-extractable polysaccharides (APMPs) were isolated from the water extracted residues of Radix Polygoni Multiflori, and further purified by DEAE-52 cellulose and Sephadex G-100 column chromatography to obtain a homogeneous polysaccharide (APMP-2) with molecular weights of 7724.8 Da. HPLC chromatography analysis identified that APMP-2 was a heteropolysaccharides and mainly composed of Galactose and Xylose with a molar ratio of 4.31: 1.06. It was shown that both APMP and APMP-2 were of activation effects on splenocytes and peritoneal macrophages, and also significantly restore the proliferation rate, phagocytic index and cytokine (IL-2 and TNF-α) production level of 5-FU-treated splenocytes/peritoneal macrophages in a dosage-dependent manner. The results suggested that polysaccharides presented in Radix Polygoni Multiflori water-extracted residues possessed immunomodulatory activity and could be used as potential immunomodulators, and this finding could be a reference for the utilization of Radix Polygoni Multiflori water extracted residues.

  4. Meditation effects on cognitive function and cerebral blood flow in subjects with memory loss: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newberg, Andrew B; Wintering, Nancy; Khalsa, Dharma S; Roggenkamp, Hannah; Waldman, Mark R

    2010-01-01

    This preliminary study determined if subjects with memory loss problems demonstrate changes in memory and cerebral blood flow (CBF) after a simple 8-week meditation program. Fourteen subjects with memory problems had an IV inserted and were injected with 250 MBq of Tc-99m ECD while listening to a neutral stimulus CD. They then underwent a pre-program baseline SPECT scan. Then subjects were guided through their first meditation session with a CD, during which they received an injection of 925 MBq ECD, and underwent a pre-program meditation scan. Subjects completed an 8-week meditation program and underwent the same scanning protocol resulting in a post-program baseline and meditation scan. A region of interest (ROI) template obtained counts in each ROI normalized to whole brain to provide a CBF ratio. Baseline and meditation scans and neuropsychological testing were compared before and after the program. The meditation program resulted in significant increases (pmemory showed improvements after training. This preliminary study evaluated whether an 8-week meditation program resulted in improvements in neuropsychological function and differences in CBF in subjects with memory loss. While the findings are encouraging, there are a number of limitations that can be addressed in future studies with more participants and more detailed analyses.

  5. Efficient Preparation and Characterization of Functional Graphene with Versatile Applicability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xingui Li; Yang Tao; Feiran Li; Meirong Huang

    2016-01-01

    Graphene, as star versatile materials having extraordinarily high electric conductivity, electron mobility, thermal conductivity, thermal stability, optical transparency, and mechanical strength, has attracted much attention from scientists and engineers in the field of materials, chemistry, physics, energy, and environment in the last decade and achieved fruitful accomplishment. This review discusses preparation strategies, functionality, characterization, and applications for two dimensional nanosheet and quasi⁃one⁃dimensional nanoribbon of graphene through direct exfoliation of graphite, chemical vapor deposition of hydrocarbon, laser⁃induced direct synthesis of graphene, laser etched graphene oxide in the dry state without the use of toxic reducing agent hydrazine, unzipping carbon nanotube, and polycondensation of polycyclic aromatics on the basis of 178 representative references mostly in 2015. The stabilization of graphene oxide prepared in chemical preparation in "top⁃down" is emphasized. Several vital classic methods of characterizing molecular structure, C/O ratio, defect, morphology, single⁃or few⁃layered ( 2 to 10 layers) structure, porous and hollow structures, including Raman spectroscopy, AFM, SEM, TEM, STM, electron diffraction, X⁃ray diffraction, and X⁃ray photoelectron spectroscopy are systematically introduced. Because graphene possesses novel incomparable multifunctionalities, its versatile applications as novel conducting additives, reinforcing filler, separation membrane, sensor, anticorrosive coating, catalyst, electromagnetic shield, lubricant, and flexible electrode materials in electrochemical and electronic devices, including photovoltaic cells, supercapacitors, rechargeable batteries, sensors, field effect transistors, light emitting diodes, separation membranes, adsorbents and absorbents, catalysts, electro⁃optic modulator, terahertz emitter and detector, and semiconductors, have been mentioned.Especially in the aspect

  6. Functional characterization of tomato membrane-bound NAC transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Payel; Das, Rohit; Mandal, Arunava; Kundu, Pallob

    2017-03-01

    Genome-wide analysis was carried out to identify and analyze differential expression pattern of tomato membrane bound NAC transcription factors (SlNACMTFs) during stresses. Two biotic-stress-related SlNACMTFs have been characterized to elucidate their regulatory function. NAC transcription factors are known regulators of stress-related gene expression. As Stresses are perceived and transmitted by membrane-bound proteins, functional characterization of membrane-associated NAC transcription factors in tomato can reveal valuable insight about membrane-mediated stress-signalling. Tomato genome encodes 13 NAC genes which have predicted transmembrane domain(s) (SlNACMTFs). mRNA of 12 SlNACMTFs were readily detected in multiple tissues, and also in polysome isolated from leaf, confirming active transcription and translation from these genes occur under normal physiological condition. Additionally, most of the SlNACMTFs were differentially regulated during stresses and stress-related transcription factor binding sites are prevalent in their promoters. SlNACMTF3 and 8 were majorly regulated in biotic and abiotic stresses. Like other MTFs, SlNACMTF3 was translocated to the plasma membrane, whereas the C-terminus truncated (ΔC) form localized in the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Accordingly, the ΔC forms significantly influenced the activity of promoters harbouring NAC binding sites (NACbs). Furthermore, the NAC domain of these transcription factors could directly interact with an NACbs, and the proteins failed to regulate a promoter lacking a crucial NACbs. Interestingly, the type of influence to an NACbs containing promoter was dependent on the context of the NACbs, as the same SlNACMTF showed an alternative mode of regulation on different promoters, as well as the same promoter activity was oppositely regulated by two different SlNACMTF. Finally, both SlNACMTFs demonstrated the differential regulatory effect on the expression of several stress-related genes by interacting

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Tessadori

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

  8. Functional characterization of protein stabilized emulsions: creaming stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tornberg, E.

    1978-01-01

    Protein stabilized emulsions have been prepared in a recirculating emulsification system, where flow velocity, power and energy input have been controlled and measured. Three different types of emulsifying equipment have been used, namely a turbo-mixer, an ultrasonic device and a valve homogenizer. The protein systems studied were a soybean protein isolate, a whey protein concentrate (WPC) and a sodium caseinate, and the emulsions obtained were characterized in terms of creaming stability. It was found that although the power and energy consumption during emulsification were the same, the creaming stabilities differed as a function of the emulsifying apparatus used, increased power and energy input contributed in general to an improved creaming stability up to a certain limit, whereupon it leveled off. The emulsifying efficiency of the turbo-mixer is poorest in terms of creaming stability of the emulsions formed, whereas the ultrasonic device most generally is the best choice of equipment at lower power input. At an increase of power consumption the valve homogenizer is an equally good alternative, or even better.

  9. Functional characterization of Candida albicans Hos2 histone deacetylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthikeyan, G; Paul-Satyaseela, Maneesh; Dhatchana Moorthy, Nachiappan; Gopalaswamy, Radha; Narayanan, Shridhar

    2013-01-01

    Candida albicans is a mucosal commensal organism capable of causing superficial (oral and vaginal thrush) infections in immune normal hosts, but is a major pathogen causing systemic and mucosal infections in immunocompromised individuals. Azoles have been very effective anti-fungal agents and the mainstay in treating opportunistic mold and yeast infections. Azole resistant strains have emerged compromising the utility of this class of drugs. It has been shown that azole resistance can be reversed by the co-administration of a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, suggesting that resistance is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms possibly involving Hos2, a fungal deacetylase. We report here the cloning and functional characterization of  HOS2 (High Osmolarity  Sensitive) , a gene coding for fungal histone deacetylase from  C. albicans. Inhibition studies showed that Hos2 is susceptible to pan inhibitors such as trichostatin A (TSA) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), but is not inhibited by class I inhibitors such as MS-275. This  in  vitro enzymatic assay, which is amenable to high throughput could be used for screening potent fungal Hos2 inhibitors that could be a potential anti-fungal adjuvant. Purified Hos2 protein consistently deacetylated tubulins, rather than histones from TSA-treated cells. Hos2 has been reported to be a putative NAD+ dependent histone deacetylase, a feature of sirtuins. We assayed for sirtuin activation with resveratrol and purified Hos2 protein and did not find any sirtuin activity.

  10. Functional characterization of the human mariner transposon Hsmar2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estel Gil

    Full Text Available DNA transposons are mobile elements with the ability to mobilize and transport genetic information between different chromosomal loci. Unfortunately, most transposons copies are currently inactivated, little is known about mariner elements in humans despite their role in the evolution of the human genome, even though the Hsmar2 transposon is associated to hotspots for homologous recombination involved in human genetic disorders as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Prader-Willi/Angelman, and Williams syndromes. This manuscript describes the functional characterization of the human HSMAR2 transposase generated from fossil sequences and shows that the native HSMAR2 is active in human cells, but also in bacteria, with an efficiency similar to other mariner elements. We observe that the sub-cellular localization of HSMAR2 is dependent on the host cell type, and is cytotoxic when overexpressed in HeLa cells. Finally, we also demonstrate that the binding of HSMAR2 to its own ITRs is specific, and that the excision reaction leaves non-canonical footprints both in bacteria and eukaryotic cells.

  11. Functional characterization of a vanillin dehydrogenase in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-27

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

  12. Functional characterization of rat chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frevert, C W; Farone, A; Danaee, H; Paulauskis, J D; Kobzik, L

    1995-02-01

    Expression of mRNA for the C-X-C chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), is induced during acute inflammation in rat models of disease. We have characterized the phlogistic potential of rat recombinant MIP-2 (rMIP-2) protein in vitro and in vivo. Recombinant MIP-2 caused marked PMN chemotaxis in vitro, with peak chemotactic activity at 10 nM. Incubation of whole blood with rMIP-2 caused a significant loss of L-selectin and a significant increase in Mac-1 expression on the PMN surface. Under similar conditions rMIP-2 also caused a modest respiratory burst in PMNs. The intratracheal instillation of 10 and 50 micrograms of rMIP-2 caused a significant influx of PMNs into the airspace of the lungs. Rat MIP-2 is a potent neutrophil chemotactic factor capable of causing neutrophil activation and is likely to function in PMN recruitment during acute inflammation in rat disease models.

  13. Functional characterization of Corynebacterium glutamicum mycothiol S-conjugate amidase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meiru Si

    Full Text Available The present study focuses on the genetic and biochemical characterization of mycothiol S-conjugate amidase (Mca of Corynebacterium glutamicum. Recombinant C. glutamicum Mca was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to apparent homogeneity. The molecular weight of native Mca protein determined by gel filtration chromatography was 35 kDa, indicating that Mca exists as monomers in the purification condition. Mca showed amidase activity with mycothiol S-conjugate of monobromobimane (MSmB in vivo while mca mutant lost the ability to cleave MSmB. In addition, Mca showed limited deacetylase activity with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc as substrate. Optimum pH for amidase activity was between 7.5 and 8.5, while the highest activity in the presence of Zn2+ confirmed Mca as a zinc metalloprotein. Amino acid residues conserved among Mca family members were located in C. glutamicum Mca and site-directed mutagenesis of these residues indicated that Asp14, Tyr137, His139 and Asp141 were important for activity. The mca deletion mutant showed decreased resistance to antibiotics, alkylating agents, oxidants and heavy metals, and these sensitive phenotypes were recovered in the complementary strain to a great extent. The physiological roles of Mca in resistance to various toxins were further supported by the induced expression of Mca in C. glutamicum under various stress conditions, directly under the control of the stress-responsive extracytoplasmic function-sigma (ECF-σ factor SigH.

  14. Design and Functional Characterization of a Novel Abscisic Acid Analog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiaoqiang; Jiang, Lun; Che, Chuanliang; Wan, Chuan; Lu, Huizhe; Xiao, Yumei; Xu, Yanjun; Chen, Zhongzhou; Qin, Zhaohai

    2017-03-08

    The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays a crucial role in mediating plant growth and development by recruiting genetically redundant ABA receptors. To overcome its oxidation inactivation, we developed a novel ABA analog named 2',3'-benzo-iso-ABA (iso-PhABA) and studied its function and structural characterization with A. thaliana ABA receptors. The (+)-iso-PhABA form showed much higher ABA-like activities than (+)-ABA including inhibitory effects on the seed germination of lettuce and A. thaliana, wheat embryo germination and rice seedling elongation. The PP2C (protein phosphatases 2C) activity assay showed that (+)-iso-PhABA acted as a potent and selective ABA receptor agonist, which is preferred to PYL10. In some cases, (-)-iso-PhABA showed moderate to high activity for the PYL protein inhibiting PP2C activity, suggesting different mechanisms of action of iso-PhABA and ABA. The complex crystal structure of iso-PhABA with PYL10 was determined and elucidated successfully, revealing that (+)-iso-PhABA was better coordinated in the same binding pocket compared to (+)-ABA. Moreover, the detailed interaction network of iso-PhABA/PYL10 was disclosed and involves hydrogen bonds and multiple hydrophobic interactions that provide a robust framework for the design of novel ABA receptor agonists/antagonists.

  15. Preparation and characterization of polyurethane microcapsules containing functional oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  16. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Tibetan Porcine STING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daiwen Chen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Tibetan pig is well known for its strong disease resistance. However, little is known about the molecular basis of its strong resistance to disease. Stimulator of interferon (IFN genes (STING, also known as MPYS/MITA/ERIS/TMEM173, is an adaptor that functions downstream of RIG-I and MAVS and upstream of TBK1 and plays a critical role in type I IFN induction. Here we report the first cloning and characterization of STING gene from Tibetan pig. The entire open reading frame (ORF of the Tibetan porcine STING is 1137 bp, with a higher degree of sequence similarity with Landrace pig (98% and cattle (88% than with chimpanzee (84%, human (83% or mouse (77%. The predicted protein is composed of 378 amino acids and has 4 putative transmembrane domains. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that Tibetan pig STING mRNA was most abundant in the lung and heart. Overexpression of Tibetan porcine STING led to upregulation of IFN-β and IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15 in porcine jejunal epithelial cell line IPEC-J2 cells. This is the first study investigating the biological role of STING in intestinal epithelial cells, which lays a foundation for the further study of STING in intestinal innate immunity.

  17. Fabrication and characterization of graphene hydrogel via hydrothermal approach as a scaffold for preliminary study of cell growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lim HN

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available HN Lim1, NM Huang2, SS Lim3, I Harrison3, CH Chia41Centre for Ionics University of Malaya, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 2Low Dimensional Materials Research Centre, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 3School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, Semenyih, Selangor, 4School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, MalaysiaBackground: Three-dimensional assembly of graphene hydrogel is rapidly attracting the interest of researchers because of its wide range of applications in energy storage, electronics, electrochemistry, and waste water treatment. Information on the use of graphene hydrogel for biological purposes is lacking, so we conducted a preliminary study to determine the suitability of graphene hydrogel as a substrate for cell growth, which could potentially be used as building blocks for biomolecules and tissue engineering applications.Methods: A three-dimensional structure of graphene hydrogel was prepared via a simple hydrothermal method using two-dimensional large-area graphene oxide nanosheets as a precursor.Results: The concentration and lateral size of the graphene oxide nanosheets influenced the structure of the hydrogel. With larger-area graphene oxide nanosheets, the graphene hydrogel could be formed at a lower concentration. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed that the oxide functional groups on the graphene oxide nanosheets were reduced after hydrothermal treatment. The three-dimensional graphene hydrogel matrix was used as a scaffold for proliferation of a MG63 cell line.Conclusion: Guided filopodia protrusions of MG63 on the hydrogel were observed on the third day of cell culture, demonstrating compatibility of the graphene hydrogel structure for bioapplications.Keywords: cell culture, graphene

  18. Preliminary investigation to estimate soil NAPL retention using parametric pedotransfer functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernádi, Hilda; Makó, András

    2014-10-01

    Organic liquid retention of soils is a primary input variable for modelling the nonaqueous phase liquid transport and behaviour in the subsurface. In environmental and soil physical practice, it is mainly determined by scaling based on the water retention of soils or with charts of average empirical values of organic liquid retention or the fitting parameters of hydraulic functions. Predicting the fitting parameters of organic liquid retention curves with pedotransfer functions might be a promising alternative method, but this topic has only been researched to a limited extent. Thus we investigated the applicability of different hydraulic functions (3- and 4- parameter form of the van Genuchten equation and Brutsaert equation) for fitting organic liquid retention characteristics. Multivariate linear regression was used to build and develop pedotransfer functions, modelling relations between original and transformed values of basic soil properties and organic liquid retention. We attempted to generate parametric pedotransfer functions. According to our results, the applicability of hydraulic functions for fitting nonaqueous phase liquid retention curves to the experimental data was proven. The investigations gave promising results for the possibility to estimate soil nonaqueous phase liquid retention with parametric pedotransfer functions.

  19. Balance, autonomy and functional independence of active and sedentary elderly: a preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur Matheus da Silva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Both the body balance (BB, as the functional autonomy (FA and the level of functional independence (FI of 10 sedentary elderly (GI were evaluated and compared to related data in 10 active elderly (GII, all of the health program family in Araxá-MG, after signing the informed consent, were submitted to the evaluation tests of the EC, the AF and the NIF, besides the identification of BMI. Although body overweight and equal NIF between both the EC and AF were significantly higher in GII than in GI, we concluded that the practice of therapeutic exercise promotes functional health in the elderly.  

  20. Functional MRI evidence for language plasticity in adult epileptic patients: Preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Cousin

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Emilie Cousin1, Monica Baciu1, Cédric Pichat1, Philippe Kahane2, Jean-François Le Bas31UMR CNRS/UPMF 5105, Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition; 2Laboratoire de Neurophysiopathologie de l’Epilepsie, CHU Grenoble; 3Unité IRM, CHU Grenoble, FranceAbstract: The present fMRI study explores the cerebral reorganisation of language in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, according to the age of seizures onset (early or late and the hippocampal sclerosis (associated or not. Seven right-handed control volunteers and seven preoperative adult epileptic patients performed a rhyme decision (language condition and a visual detection (control condition tasks in visually presented words and unreadable characters, respectively. All patients were left hemisphere dominant for language. Appropriate statistical analyses provided the following preliminary results: (1 patients compared with healthy subjects showed lower degree of hemispheric lateralization with supplementary involvement of the right hemisphere; (2 the degree of hemispheric specialization depends on the considered region; (3 patients with early seizures show signs of temporal and parietal reorganization more frequently than patients with late onset of seizures; (4 patients with early seizures show a tendency for intra-hemispheric frontal reorganisation; (5 associated hippocampal sclerosis facilitates the inter-hemispheric shift of temporal activation. Although our patients were left hemisphere predominant for language, the statistical analyses indicated that the degree of lateralization was significantly lower than in healthy subjects. This result has been considered as the indication of atypical lateralization of language.Keywords: language, fMRI, plasticity, temporal epilepsy, age, hippocampal sclerosis

  1. Identification of succinic semialdehyde reductases from Geobacter: expression,purification, crystallization, preliminary functional, and crystallographic analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanfeng Zhang; Xiaoli Gao; Yi Zheng; R. Michae; Garavito

    2011-01-01

    Succinic semialdehyde reductase (SSAR) is an important enzyme involved in γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) metabolism.By converting succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB),the SSAR facilitates an alternative pathway for GABA degradation.In this study,we identified SSARs from Geobacter sulfurreducens and Geobacter metallireducens (GsSSAR and GmSSAR,respectively).The enzymes were over-expressed in Escherichia coil and purified to near homogeneity.Both GsSSAR and GmSSAR showed the activity of reducing SSA using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate as a co-factor.The oligomeric sizes of GsSSAR and GmSSAR,as determined by analytical size exclusion chromatography,suggest that the enzymes presumably exist as tetramers in solution.The recombinant GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystallized in the presence of NADP+,and the resulting crystals diffracted to 1.89 (A) (GsSSAR) and 2.25 (A)(GmSSAR) resolution.The GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystals belong to the space groups P21221 (a =99.61 (A),b =147.49 (A),c =182.47 A) and P1 (a =75.97 (A) b =79.14 (A) c =95.47 (A),α =82.15°,β =88.80°,γ=87.66°),respectively.Preliminary crystallographic data analysis suggests the presence of eight protein monomers in the asymmetric units for both GsSSAR and GmSSAR.

  2. Identification of succinic semialdehyde reductases from Geobacter: expression, purification, crystallization, preliminary functional, and crystallographic analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yanfeng; Gao, Xiaoli; Zheng, Yi; Garavito, R. Michael (MSU)

    2012-04-30

    Succinic semialdehyde reductase (SSAR) is an important enzyme involved in {gamma}-aminobutyrate (GABA) metabolism. By converting succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to {gamma}-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), the SSAR facilitates an alternative pathway for GABA degradation. In this study, we identified SSARs from Geobacter sulfurreducens and Geobacter metallireducens (GsSSAR and GmSSAR, respectively). The enzymes were over-expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to near homogeneity. Both GsSSAR and GmSSAR showed the activity of reducing SSA using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate as a co-factor. The oligomeric sizes of GsSSAR and GmSSAR, as determined by analytical size exclusion chromatography, suggest that the enzymes presumably exist as tetramers in solution. The recombinant GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystallized in the presence of NADP{sup +}, and the resulting crystals diffracted to 1.89 {angstrom} (GsSSAR) and 2.25 {angstrom} (GmSSAR) resolution. The GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystals belong to the space groups P2{sub 1}22{sub 1} (a = 99.61 {angstrom}, b = 147.49 {angstrom}, c = 182.47 {angstrom}) and P1 (a = 75.97 {angstrom}, b = 79.14 {angstrom}, c = 95.47 {angstrom}, {alpha} = 82.15{sup o}, {beta} = 88.80{sup o}, {gamma} = 87.66{sup o}), respectively. Preliminary crystallographic data analysis suggests the presence of eight protein monomers in the asymmetric units for both GsSSAR and GmSSAR.

  3. Preliminary functional results of endoscope-assisted transoral treatment of displaced bilateral condylar mandible fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoen, R; Fakler, O; Metzger, M C; Weyer, N; Schmelzeisen, R

    2008-02-01

    Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function was evaluated following endoscope-assisted transoral open reduction and miniplate fixation of displaced bilateral condylar mandibular fractures. The transoral treatment of bilateral condylar fractures was performed in 13 patients from May 2000 to December 2004. Eleven of the 13 patients had additional mandibular fractures. Out of 26 fractures of the condylar process, 11 were located at the condylar neck and 15 were subcondylar. One, 6 and 12 months after surgery TMJ function was evaluated. Anatomic reduction was achieved using an endoscope-assisted transoral approach even when the condylar fragment was displaced medially and in fractures with comminution. Good TMJ function was noted 6 and 12 months after surgery. Mouth opening was measured to be more than 40 mm without deviation. Postoperative range of motion with a satisfying lateral excursion was found. Early rehabilitation and pre-injury TMJ function was achieved following minimally invasive anatomic fracture reduction.

  4. The relationship between alexithymia and frontal lobe function in patients with schizophrenia: a preliminary report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk Usta

    2015-03-01

    Conclusion: It is observed that the alexithymia has effects on the frontal functions of patients with schizophrenia. This mediated effect is related with the clinic of schizophrenia. [Cukurova Med J 2015; 40(1.000: 80-85

  5. The PedsQL™ Present Functioning Visual Analogue Scales: preliminary reliability and validity

    OpenAIRE

    Varni James W; Burwinkle Tasha M; Eisen Sarajane; Sherman Sandra A

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background The PedsQL™ Present Functioning Visual Analogue Scales (PedsQL™ VAS) were designed as an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) instrument to rapidly measure present or at-the-moment functioning in children and adolescents. The PedsQL™ VAS assess child self-report and parent-proxy report of anxiety, sadness, anger, worry, fatigue, and pain utilizing six developmentally appropriate visual analogue scales based on the well-established Varni/Thompson Pediatric Pain Questionnai...

  6. Duration of content and function words in oral discourse by speakers with fluent aphasia: Preliminary data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Lee

    2014-04-01

    Words that had occurred ten times or more in the speech materials was arbitrarily categorized as ‘unique words’ that could more reliably reflect syllable duration. There were a total of 206 unique words (141 content and 65 function words in the aphasia speech materials and 253 unique words (187 content and 66 function in the normal materials, most of them were disyllabic or monosyllabic. A higher lexical diversity in the normal group, but similar number of different function words for both groups, was consistent with earlier findings of impaired lexical access in aphasia. Table 1 displays the average duration per syllable and per word for content and function words among the two speaker groups. Our study showed that word duration in aphasic speech was longer than that in control speech. This is in line with our earlier results of higher speaking rate in normal speech. While content words were longer than function words in the aphasic speech, the difference was not as significant as that in controls.

  7. Fabrication, Characterization, and Functionalization of Porous Nanocrystalline Silicon Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, David Z.

    Porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si) membranes are promising for a wide range of applications from biofiltration to use as a platform for cell culture. It is an order of magnitude thinner than any commercially available or experimentally fabricated membrane. Because the thickness of a pnc-Si membrane is between 15 nm and 30 nm, comparable to the size of molecules to be separated, mass transport through the membrane is greatly enhanced. The first part of this work focuses on the fabrication of pnc-Si. For applications involving separation and concentration of molecular species, it is crucial that a membrane passes certain species while rejecting others. One manner in which this can be achieved is by tuning the size and density of the pores by changing key fabrication conditions. These parameters are identified and a systematic study was performed to determine their effect on pore morphology. In the second part of this work, a phenomenological model for pore formation is presented based on empirical observations and prior studies on polycrystalline materials. Next, the structural, optical, and mechanical properties of pnc-Si are examined using an array of characterization tools. In the final part of this thesis, post-production methods for pore size control and functionalization are discussed. It is demonstrated that the hydraulic permeability of pnc-Si, in both the unmodified and modified forms, follows theoretical predications for transport through an ultrathin porous material. Additonally, nanoparticle and protein separations are presented as a demonstration of the potential use of pnc-Si membranes in biomedical research and industry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Preparation and characterization of SPION functionalized via caffeic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Characterization and functionality of proliferative human Sertoli cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chui, Kitty; Trivedi, Alpa; Cheng, C Yan; Cherbavaz, Diana B; Dazin, Paul F; Huynh, Ai Lam Thu; Mitchell, James B; Rabinovich, Gabriel A; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J; John, Constance M

    2011-01-01

    It has long been thought that mammalian Sertoli cells are terminally differentiated and nondividing postpuberty. For most previous in vitro studies immature rodent testes have been the source of Sertoli cells and these have shown little proliferative ability when cultured. We have isolated and characterized Sertoli cells from human cadaveric testes from seven donors ranging from 12 to 36 years of age. The cells proliferated readily in vitro under the optimized conditions used with a doubling time of approximately 4 days. Nuclear 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation confirmed that dividing cells represented the majority of the population. Classical Sertoli cell ultrastructural features, lipid droplet accumulation, and immunoexpression of GATA-4, Sox9, and the FSH receptor (FSHr) were observed by electron and fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Flow cytometry revealed the expression of GATA-4 and Sox9 by more than 99% of the cells, and abundant expression of a number of markers indicative of multipotent mesenchymal cells. Low detection of endogenous alkaline phosphatase activity after passaging showed that few peritubular myoid cells were present. GATA-4 and SOX9 expression were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), along with expression of stem cell factor (SCF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4). Tight junctions were formed by Sertoli cells plated on transwell inserts coated with fibronectin as revealed by increased transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and polarized secretion of the immunoregulatory protein, galectin-1. These primary Sertoli cell populations could be expanded dramatically in vitro and could be cryopreserved. The results show that functional human Sertoli cells can be propagated in vitro from testicular cells isolated from adult testis. The proliferative human Sertoli cells should have important applications in studying infertility

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Furtado

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

  12. Magnetite nanoparticles coated with β-cyclodextrin functionalized-ionic liquid: Synthesis and its preliminary investigation as a new sensing material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinniah, Subathra; Mohamad, Sharifah; Manan, Ninie S.A., E-mail: niniemanan@um.edu.my

    2015-12-01

    Highlights: • A novel of β-cyclodextrin functionalized-ionic liquid coated with magnetite nanoparticles is prepared via co-precipitation method. • The architecture of the material is successfully characterized and confirmed that β-cyclodextrin-functionalized-ionic liquid, has been effectively coated onto surface of Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} magnetite nanoparticles. • Vibration Sample Magnetometer analysis confirmed that the Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}-β-CD-IL able to attain an excellent magnetic properties. • Preliminary electrochemical study shows that Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}-β-CD-IL able to recognize Biphenol A. - Abstract: In this study, a novel surface of modified magnetite nanoparticles Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} was coated with β-cyclodextrin-funclionalized ionic liquid (Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}-β-CD-IL) via the co-precipitation method in alkaline salt medium. β-Cyclodextrin-functionalized-ionic liquid has been effectively coated onto the surface of Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} magnetite nanoparticles. The instruments used to investigate the architecture are: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, X-ray Powder Diffraction, Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry, Transmission Electron Microscope, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope, Vibrating Sample Magnetometer and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller isotherm. A Vibration Sample Magnetometer analysis verified that the Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}-β-CD-IL attained excellent magnetic properties. The analysis of High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope shows that the Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}-β-CD-IL produced monodisperse particles with minimal aggregation. Moreover, electrochemical studies have revealed that this new material showed outstanding ability to recognize Bisphenol A with lower electrochemical potential at 0.5 V than other comparative materials, as well as a higher detection current. Thus, this material has promising potential as a new electrode material in sensor applications.

  13. Neuropsychology of domestic violence: a comparative preliminary study of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra-García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neuropsychological studies of executive functioning in domestic violence offenders, the different investigations conducted have only studied differences within this group or in relation to control groups of non-offenders. To minimize the limitations in relation to comparison groups, the purpose of this study was to compare executive functioning in domestic violence offenders in relation to different groups of offenders (i.e. sexual, violent and non-violent) and a control group of non-offenders, with all groups matched on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Executive functioning was tested of all participants with the Trail Making Test (direct and derived scores). Compared with the control group, the domestic violence offenders and sex offenders exhibited the poorest performance on the Trail Making Test part B (time) and on the B-A derived index; whereas, the violent offenders group (i.e. convicted of assault, wounding, homicide etc.) showed a high number of errors in part B. These findings suggest that domestic violence offenders exhibit similar performance on the TMT as sex offenders, where both have poorer cognitive flexibility and executive control. Other violent offenders exhibited different patterns of difficulty on this test (e.g. more impulsivity responses). Executive functioning may be a central psychological process that could help explain the interrelations between domestic and sexual aggression, and could be a relevant construct for common treatment of domestic batterers and sex offenders.

  14. The Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ) : Preliminary evidence for reliability and validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, M.K.; Castelein, Stynke; Bous, Johan; van den Heuvel, Edwin R.; Wiersma, Durk; Schoevers, Robert A.; Knegtering, Henderikus

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the psychometric properties of the Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ). Internal reliability, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, validity and sensitivity to change were calculated in a sample of 30 patients with schizophrenia

  15. The Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ) : preliminary evidence for reliability and validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Marrit K; Castelein, Stynke; Bous, Johan; van den Heuvel, Edwin R; Wiersma, Durk; Schoevers, Robert A; Knegtering, Henderikus

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to describe the psychometric properties of the Antipsychotics and Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (ASFQ). Internal reliability, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, validity and sensitivity to change were calculated in a sample of 30 patients with schizophrenia

  16. Preliminary study of Internet addiction and cognitive function in adolescents based on IQ tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min-Hyeon; Park, E-Jin; Choi, Jeewook; Chai, Sukhi; Lee, Ji-Han; Lee, Chul; Kim, Dai-Jin

    2011-12-30

    The potential relationship between Internet addiction and certain cognitive function problems has been suggested by several studies. However, few or no studies have examined the differences in cognitive functioning between persons addicted to the Internet and persons not addicted using a standard neuropsychological test. This study screened 253 middle school students and 389 high school students for Internet addiction and compared 59 Internet-addicted students with 43 non-addicted students using an IQ test. The Internet-addicted group had comprehension sub-item scores that were significantly lower than those of the non-addicted group. As the comprehension item reflects ethical judgement and reality testing, there may be a relationship between Internet addiction and weak social intelligence. Earlier onset of Internet addiction and longer addiction duration were associated with lower participant performance in areas related to attention. As this study is a cross-sectional study, it is not clear whether the persons who display weak cognitive functioning are susceptible to Internet addiction or if Internet addiction causes cognitive problems. However, as brain development remains active during adolescence, the possibility that Internet addiction adversely affects the cognitive functioning of adolescents cannot be ruled out.

  17. Blink Rate in Boys with Fragile X Syndrome: Preliminary Evidence for Altered Dopamine Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, J. E.; Symons, F. J.; Johnson, A.-M.; Hatton, D. D.; Boccia, M. L.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in motor and cognitive functioning, can be non-invasively measured via observation of spontaneous blink rates. Blink rates have been studied in a number of clinical conditions including schizophrenia, autism, Parkinsons, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder with results implicating either…

  18. Isolation and preliminary function analysis of a Na /H antiporter gene ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-10-05

    Oct 5, 2009 ... Key words: Malus zumi, Na+/H+ antiporter gene, gene cloning, gene function. INTRODUCTION ... Malus species (apple) is grown worldwide, and is an important fruit .... VvNHX1 (AAV36562), Vitis vinifera; CNHX1, RhNHX1.

  19. Psychometric Properties of the "Reminiscence Functions Scale" for the Portuguese Population: A Preliminary Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncalves, Daniela C.; Guedes, Joana Martins; Fonseca, Antonio M.; Martin, Inacio

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess the psychometric properties of a version in Portuguese of the "Reminiscence Functions Scale." Total sample was composed of 628 participants aged between 18 and 92 years, divided into three groups according to their age (18-24 years, "n" = 249; 26-54 years, "n" = 174; 55 and…

  20. A preliminary longitudinal study on the cognitive and functional outcome of bipolar excellent lithium responders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, E; Portella, M J; Forcada, I; Vieta, E; Mur, M

    2016-11-01

    Neurocognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder represents a possible marker of underlying pathophysiology, but to date, most studies are cross-sectional and heterogeneous with regard to pharmacological treatments. In the present study we investigated the 6-year cognitive and functional outcome of a sample of euthymic excellent lithium responders (ELR). A total sample of twenty subjects was assessed at baseline and 6years later: ten diagnosed of bipolar disorder according to DSM-IV criteria and ten healthy matched controls. The sample size was enough to find statistical differences between groups, with a statistical power of 0.8. Bipolar patients were on lithium treatment during all this follow-up period and fulfilled ELR criteria as measured by the Alda scale. A neuropsychological test battery tapping into the main cognitive domains was used at baseline and at after 6-year of follow-up. Functional outcome was evaluated by means of the Functioning Assessment Short Test at study endpoint. Repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance showed that bipolar patients were cognitively impaired in the executive functioning, inhibition, processing speed and verbal memory domains (p<0.03) compared to controls and such deficits were stable over time. Longer duration of illness and lower psychosocial outcome were significantly related to cognitive impairment (p<0.05). Cognitive dysfunction was present even in euthymic ELR. These deficits remain stable over the long term, and are basically associated with greater symptoms and poorer psychosocial adjustment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Preliminary findings of the effects of autonomic dysfunction on functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Li; Leung, Howan; Chen, Xiang Yan; Han, Jing Hao; Leung, Thomas; Soo, Yannie; Wong, Eddie; Chan, Anne; Lau, Alexander; Wong, Ka Sing

    2012-05-01

    Impaired autonomic function is common in the acute poststroke phase but little is known about its effects on functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke. This study sought to investigate the impact of autonomic dysfunction by Ewing's classification on functional outcome 2 months after acute ischemic stroke. 34 consecutive acute ischemic stroke patients within 7 days after onset were enrolled. On admission, autonomic function was assessed by Ewing's battery tests. Stroke severity was assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), autonomy in activities of daily living by the Barthel Index (BI), and global disability by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). BI and mRS were also evaluated 2 months after ischemic stroke onset. On admission, eight patients were diagnosed as minor autonomic dysfunction and 26 patients as relatively severe autonomic dysfunction. The prevalence of relatively severe autonomic dysfunction in ischemic stroke patients was 76.5%. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the minor and severe autonomic dysfunction groups. 2 months after stroke onset, the mean BI score of patients with minor autonomic dysfunction and severe autonomic dysfunction increased from 76.3±15.3 on admission to 95.0±7.1, 66.5±15.2 on admission to 74.8±15.9 respectively. The mean BI score after 2-month stroke onset and the change in BI from admission to 2-month outcome (delta BI) in patients with severe autonomic dysfunction were lower than those in patients with minor autonomic dysfunction (all Pacute stroke patients. Relatively severe autonomic dysfunction is related to an unfavorable functional outcome in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Use of pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry (py-MBMS) to characterize forest soil carbon: method and preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magrini, K A; Evans, R J; Hoover, C M; Elam, C C; Davis, M F

    2002-01-01

    The components of soil organic matter (SOM) and their degradation dynamics in forest soils are difficult to study and thus poorly understood, due to time-consuming sample collection, preparation, and difficulty of analyzing and identifying major components. As a result, changes in soil organic matter chemical composition as a function of age, forest type, or disturbance have not been examined. We applied pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry (py-MBMS), which provides rapid characterization of SOM of whole soil samples. to the Tionesta soil samples described by Hoover, C.M., Magrini, K.A., Evans, R.J., 2002. Soil carbon content and character in an old growth forest in northwestern Pennsylvania: a case study introducing molecular beam mass spectrometry (PY-MBMS). Environmental Pollution 116 (Supp. 1), S269-S278. Our goals in this work were to: (1) develop and demonstrate an advanced, rapid analytical method for characterizing SOM components in whole soils, and (2) provide data-based models to predict soil carbon content and residence time from py-MBMS analysis. Using py-MBMS and pattern recognition techniques we were able to statistically distinguish among four Tionesta sites and show an increase in pyrolysis products of more highly decomposed plant materials at increasing sample depth. For example, all four sites showed increasing amounts of older carbon (phenolic and aromatic species) at deeper depths and higher amounts of more recent carbon (carbohydrates and lignin products) at shallower depths. These results indicate that this type of analysis could be used to rapidly characterize SOM for the purpose of developing a model, which could be used in monitoring the effect of forest management practices on carbon uptake and storage.

  3. Description and Preliminary Evaluation of a Curriculum for Teaching Conversational Skills to Children with High-Functioning Autism and Other Social Cognition Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Eve; Cannon, Lynn R.; Kornblum, Courtney; Clark, Jonna; Powers, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this clinical focus article is to provide (a) a detailed description of a school-based intervention designed to teach children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HF-ASDs) and other social cognition challenges both the "how" and the "why" of conversation and (b) a preliminary evaluation of…

  4. Altered Cortical Swallowing Processing in Patients with Functional Dysphagia: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollbrink, Andreas; Warnecke, Tobias; Winkels, Martin; Pantev, Christo; Dziewas, Rainer

    2014-01-01

    Objective Current neuroimaging research on functional disturbances provides growing evidence for objective neuronal correlates of allegedly psychogenic symptoms, thereby shifting the disease concept from a psychological towards a neurobiological model. Functional dysphagia is such a rare condition, whose pathogenetic mechanism is largely unknown. In the absence of any organic reason for a patient's persistent swallowing complaints, sensorimotor processing abnormalities involving central neural pathways constitute a potential etiology. Methods In this pilot study we measured cortical swallow-related activation in 5 patients diagnosed with functional dysphagia and a matched group of healthy subjects applying magnetoencephalography. Source localization of cortical activation was done with synthetic aperture magnetometry. To test for significant differences in cortical swallowing processing between groups, a non-parametric permutation test was afterwards performed on individual source localization maps. Results Swallowing task performance was comparable between groups. In relation to control subjects, in whom activation was symmetrically distributed in rostro-medial parts of the sensorimotor cortices of both hemispheres, patients showed prominent activation of the right insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and lateral premotor, motor as well as inferolateral parietal cortex. Furthermore, activation was markedly reduced in the left medial primary sensory cortex as well as right medial sensorimotor cortex and adjacent supplementary motor area (pdysphagia - a condition with assumed normal brain function - seems to be associated with distinctive changes of the swallow-related cortical activation pattern. Alterations may reflect exaggerated activation of a widely distributed vigilance, self-monitoring and salience rating network that interferes with down-stream deglutition sensorimotor control. PMID:24586948

  5. [Preliminary analysis of lung function of population with biofuel smoke exposure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D X; Chen, S Y; Zhou, Y M; Li, X C; Liu, S; Chen, L; Pu, J D; Ran, P X

    2017-05-12

    Objective: To analyse the impaired lung functions of people with biofuel smoke exposure. Methods: Nonsmokers with biofuel smoke exposure were selected as research objects in a mountainous area of northern Guangdong where the families used biofuels as main energies and the nonsmokers without biofuel smoke exposure in the same area as control. Questionnaire interviews and spirometry tests were performed on all subjects. To analyse the differences of lung functions in both. Results: Seventy hundred and seventeen subjects were enro1led in this study.There were 530 nonsmokers with biofuel smoke exposure(observation group) including 442 women and 88 men, average age 54±10. There were 187 nonsmokers without biofuel smoke exposure(control group) including 141 women and 46 men, average age 54±10. There was no significant difference between two groups in age, height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist/hip ratio(P>0.05). The pulmonary ventilation function index(FEV(1)%Pred, FEV(1)/FVC) in the observation group was significantly less than that in control group [(100±18) vs.(106±25); (80±10) vs.(83±6) respectively, PBIOFUEL-INDEX and FEV/FVC was -0.1, 95%CI(-0.1, -0.1, PBIOFUEL-INDEX was 46.0, where the predicted Y value was 81.76, 95%CI (80.2, 83.33). When BIOFUEL-INDEX0.05); when BIOFUEL-INDEX> 46.0, the regression coefficient 2 was -0.1, 95%CI (-0.2, -0.1)(Pbiofuel smokes exposure causes damages in lung function.

  6. Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Pelvic Floor Functional Changes in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women: A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haavik, Heidi; Murphy, Bernadette A; Kruger, Jennifer

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether a single session of spinal manipulation of pregnant women can alter pelvic floor muscle function as measured using ultrasonographic imaging. In this preliminary, prospective, comparative study, transperineal ultrasonographic imaging was used to assess pelvic floor anatomy and function in 11 primigravid women in their second trimester recruited via notice boards at obstetric caregivers, pregnancy keep-fit classes, and word of mouth and 15 nulliparous women recruited from a convenience sample of female students at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. Following bladder voiding, 3-/4-dimensional transperineal ultrasonography was performed on all participants in the supine position. Levator hiatal area measurements at rest, on maximal pelvic floor contraction, and during maximum Valsalva maneuver were collected before and after either spinal manipulation or a control intervention. Levator hiatal area at rest increased significantly (P pregnant women, with no change postmanipulation in the nonpregnant women at rest or in any of the other measured parameters. Spinal manipulation of pregnant women in their second trimester increased the levator hiatal area at rest and thus appears to relax the pelvic floor muscles. This did not occur in the nonpregnant control participants, suggesting that it may be pregnancy related. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. A preliminary study on functional domains of small heat shock protein Hsp16.3

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG Yong; LI Xuemei; RAO Zihe

    2004-01-01

    Hsp16.3, the small heat shock protein (sHSP) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was originally identified as an immunodominant antigen,which possesses three functional domains typical of sHSP family, namely the N-terminal hydrophobic region, α-crystallin domain and a short non-conserved C-terminal extension.To further understand the functional assignment of these independent regions, the three functional domains of Hsp16.3 were defined and the two N- or C-terminal truncated Hsp16.3 remnants were successfully cloned, expressed and purified.In the far and near circular dichroism analysis, the results showed that these remnants expressed similar secondary and tertiary structures to that of wild-type protein.During the reassembly of wild-type nonamer, the C-terminal truncated remnant could interact with the wild-type protein to form hetero-oligomers.When trypsin is used to digest the wild-type Hsp16.3, its α-crystallin domain could resist such degradation.Taken together, these results indicate that the stable secondary and tertiary structures of Hsp16.3 are mainly kept by its α-crystallin domain.

  8. Functional magnetic resonance imaging study on dysphagia after unilateral hemispheric stroke: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S; Luo, C; Yu, B; Yan, B; Gong, Q; He, C; He, L; Huang, X; Yao, D; Lui, S; Tang, H; Chen, Q; Zeng, Y; Zhou, D

    2009-12-01

    Swallowing dysfunction is common and disabling after acute stroke; however, the mechanism of dysphagia or recovery of swallowing from dysphagia remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to explore cerebral activation of swallowing in dysphagia using functional MRI (fMRI) to compare the functional anatomy of swallowing in unilateral hemispheric stroke patients and healthy adults. In total, five left hemispheric stroke patients with dysphagia, five right hemispheric stroke patients with dysphagia and 10 healthy controls were examined with event related fMRI while laryngeal swallow related movements were recorded. Data were processed using the general linear model. A multifocal cerebral representation of swallowing was identified predominantly in the left hemisphere, in a bilateral and asymmetrical manner. Cerebral activation during swallowing tasks was localised to the precentral, postcentral and anterior cingulate gyri, insula and thalamus in all groups. Activation of volitional swallowing in dysphagic unilateral hemispheric stroke patients might require reorganisation of the dominant hemispheric motor cortex, or a compensatory shift in activation to unaffected areas of the hemisphere. The results indicate that unilateral stroke of either cerebral hemisphere can produce dysphagia. Effective recovery is associated with cerebral activation related to cortical swallowing representation in the compensating or recruited areas of the intact hemisphere. Functional MRI is a useful method for exploring the spatial localisation of changes in neuronal activity during tasks that may be related to recovery. Therefore, the subsequent information gleaned from changes in neural plasticity could be useful for assessing the prognosis of dysphagic stroke.

  9. Effects of tango on functional mobility in Parkinson's disease: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackney, Madeleine E; Kantorovich, Svetlana; Levin, Rebecca; Earhart, Gammon M

    2007-12-01

    Recent research has shown that dance, specifically tango, may be an appropriate and effective strategy for ameliorating functional mobility deficits in people who are frail and elderly. Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience declines in functional mobility that may be even more pronounced than those experienced by frail elderly individuals without PD. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two movement programs: tango classes or exercise classes. Nineteen subjects with PD were randomly assigned to a tango group or a group exercise class representative of the current classes offered in our geographical area for individuals with PD. Subjects completed a total of 20 tango or exercise classes and were evaluated the week before and the week following the intervention. Both groups showed significant improvements in overall Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score and nonsignificant improvements in self-reported Freezing of Gait. In addition, the tango group showed significant improvements on the Berg Balance Scale. The exercise group did not improve on this measure. Finally, the tango group showed a trend toward improvement on the Timed Up and Go test that was not observed in the exercise group. Future studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm and extend our observation that tango may be an effective intervention to target functional mobility deficits in individuals with PD.

  10. Characterization by Mössbauer Spectroscopy and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of Peruvian Obsidians for Provenance Studies: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, A.; Montoya, J.; Delgado, M.; Scorzelli, R. B.; Rossi, A. M.; Poupeau, G.

    2003-06-01

    The identification of geological sources of obsidians collected in archaeological sites provides important information about circulation routes and sociocultural relationships during prehistoric periods. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained by MS and EPR on geological obsidians from Ayacucho and Arequipa, in Peru and on archaeological obsidian artifacts from Cerrillos, an early Paracas site of the upper Ica valley, south of Lima (Peru).

  11. Characterization by Moessbauer Spectroscopy and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of Peruvian Obsidians for Provenance Studies: A Preliminary Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bustamante, A.; Montoya, J. [Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas (Peru); Delgado, M. [QALLTA (Peru); Scorzelli, R. B.; Rossi, A. M. [Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (Brazil); Poupeau, G. [Institut de Recherche sur les Archeomateriaux, UMR 5060, CNRS/Universite Bordeaux 3, Maison de l' Archeologie, Esplanade des Antilles (France)

    2003-06-15

    The identification of geological sources of obsidians collected in archaeological sites provides important information about circulation routes and sociocultural relationships during prehistoric periods. This paper presents the preliminary results obtained by MS and EPR on geological obsidians from Ayacucho and Arequipa, in Peru and on archaeological obsidian artifacts from Cerrillos, an early Paracas site of the upper Ica valley, south of Lima (Peru).

  12. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 2, Figures [and] Volume 3, Technical Appendices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    This report presents appendices related to the preliminary assessment and risk analysis for high-level radioactive waste transportation routes to the proposed Yucca Mountain Project repository. Information includes data on population density, traffic volume, ecologically sensitive areas, and accident history.

  13. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 2, Figures [and] Volume 3, Technical Appendices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    This report presents appendices related to the preliminary assessment and risk analysis for high-level radioactive waste transportation routes to the proposed Yucca Mountain Project repository. Information includes data on population density, traffic volume, ecologically sensitive areas, and accident history.

  14. Characterization of genome-wide microsatellites of Saccharina japonica based on a preliminary assembly of Illumina sequencing reads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Linan; Peng, Jie; Li, Xiaojie; Cui, Cuiju; Sun, Juan; Yang, Guanpin

    2016-06-01

    Microsatellites or simple sequence repeats (SSR) function widely and locate dependently in genome. However, their characteristics are often ignored due to the lack of genomic sequences of most species. Kelp ( Saccharina japonica), a brown macroalga, is extensively cultured in China. In this study, the genome of S. japonica was surveyed using an Illumina sequencing platform, and its microsatellites were characterized. The preliminarily assembled genome was 469.4 Mb in size, with a scaffold N50 of 20529 bp. Among the 128370 identified microsatellites, 90671, 25726 and 11973 were found in intergenic regions, introns and exons, averaging 339.3, 178.8 and 205.4 microsatellites per Mb, respectively. These microsatellites distributed unevenly in S. japonica genome. Mononucleotide motifs were the most abundant in the genome, while trinucleotide ones were the most prevalent in exons. The microsatellite abundance decreased significantly with the increase of motif repeat numbers, and the microsatellites with a small number of repeats accounted for a higher proportion of the exons than those of the intergenic regions and introns. C/G-rich motifs were more common in exons than in intergenic regions and introns. These characteristics of microsatellites in S. japonica genome may associate with their functions, and ultimately their adaptation and evolution. Among the 120140 pairs of designed microsatellite primers, approximately 75% were predicted to be able to amplify S. japonica DNA. These microsatellite markers will be extremely useful for the genetic breeding and population evolution studies of kelp.

  15. Characterization of Plant Functions Using Cultured Plant Cells, and Biotechnological Applications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    SATO, Fumihiko

    2013-01-01

    .... On the other hand, the use of plant cell cultures for the more basic characterization of plant functions is rather limited due to the difficulties associated with functional differentiation in cell cultures...

  16. The European Large Area ISO Survey - IV. The preliminary 90-mu m luminosity function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serjeant, S.; Efstathiou, A.; Oliver, S.;

    2001-01-01

    We present the luminosity function of 90-mum-selected galaxies from the European Large Area ISO Survey (ELAIS), extending to z = 0.3. Their luminosities are in the range 10(9)

  17. IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF DISEASE USING PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Pulmonary function testing is used routinely in human medicine to objectively define functional deficits in individuals with respiratory disease. Despite the fact that respiratory disease is a common problem in veterinary medicine, evaluation of the small animal pa...

  18. Characterization of bathtub distributions via percentile residual life functions

    OpenAIRE

    Franco-Pereira, Alba M.; Lillo, Rosa E.; Romo, Juan

    2010-01-01

    In reliability theory and survival analysis, many set of data are generated by distributions with bathtub shaped hazard rate functions. Launer (1993) established several relations between the behaviour of the hazard rate function and the percentile residual life function. In particular, necessary conditions were given for a special type of bathtub distributions in terms of percentile residual life functions. The purpose of this paper is to complete the study initiated by Launer...

  19. Functional and Preliminary Characterisation of Hydrocolloid from Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav. Puree

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kharidah Muhammad

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Hydrocolloid from tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav. puree was extracted using water and characterised for the first time. Proximate compositions of the extracted hydrocolloid were also determined. Functional characteristics such as water-holding capacity, oil-holding capacity, emulsifying activity, emulsion stability, foaming capacity and stability of the hydrocolloid were evaluated in comparison to that of commercial hydrocolloids. Its functional groups and degree of esterification were determined using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR spectroscopy. Monosaccharide profiling was done using reverse-phase high pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC. Screening of various fruits for high hydrocolloid yield after water extraction resulted in tamarillo giving the highest yield. The yield on dry weight basis was 8.30%. The hydrocolloid constituted of 0.83% starch, 21.18% protein and 66.48% dietary fibre with 49.47% degree of esterification and the monosaccharides identified were mannose, ribose, rhamnose, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose, xylose and arabinose. Higher oil-holding capacity, emulsifying activity and emulsion stability compared to commercial hydrocolloids propose its possible application as a food emulsifier and bile acid binder. Foaming capacity of 32.19% and good foam stabilisation (79.36% of initial foam volume after 2 h of foam formation suggest its promising application in frothy beverages and other foam based food products. These findings suggest that water-extracted tamarillo hydrocolloid can be utilised as an alternative to low methoxyl pectin.

  20. Does familial Mediterranean fever affect cognitive function in children? Electrophysiological preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskindemirci, Gonca; Eskikurt, Gökçer; Ayaz, Nuray Aktay; Çakan, Mustafa; Ermutlu, Numan; İşoğlu Alkaç, Ümmühan

    2017-06-22

    Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a periodic autoinflammatory disease with subclinical inflammation occurring between attacks. The aim of the study was to prospectively evaluate the cognitive function of children diagnosed with FMF that were under colchicine therapy and compare them with healthy controls through electrophysiologically event-related potentials (ERPs) study. Twelve children with FMF and 12 healthy controls were included in the study. During the electroencephalography recordings, all participants were instructed to discriminate rare stimuli (target stimuli) from frequent stimuli (standard stimuli) by pressing a botton on a mouse immediately following the target stimulus. P300, the cognitive component of ERP, was obtained in response to target stimuli and its amplitude and latency were measured. The amplitude of the P300 of the FMF patients was higher and the latencies of the P300 of the FMF patients were shorter than the amplitudes and latencies of control patients, respectively. The difference between the groups was statistically significant for amplitude but not for latency. Cognitive processing reflecting allocation of attention and visual processing speed seems not to be negatively affected in FMF patients with homozygous M694V mutations undergoing colchicine treatment. As this study is unique in its evaluation of the cognitive function of children with FMF, these findings may be helpful for counseling families and patients affected by the condition.

  1. Dissociative symptoms and academic functioning in maltreated children: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perzow, Sarah E D; Petrenko, Christie L M; Garrido, Edward F; Combs, Melody D; Culhane, Sara E; Taussig, Heather N

    2013-01-01

    Research has identified numerous negative sequelae of child maltreatment that may adversely impact academic functioning (AF). There is limited research, however, on the relationship between specific trauma symptoms, such as dissociation, and poor AF. This cross-sectional study examined the association between dissociative symptoms and multi-informant reports of AF in a sample of maltreated youth with a history of out-of-home care. Participants included 149 youth and their caregivers and teachers. Dissociative symptoms were measured based on youth report, whereas AF was assessed using (a) standardized measures of academic achievement, (b) youth-report measures of school membership and perceived academic competence, (c) caregiver reports of youths' performance in school, and (d) teacher reports of student grades. Results of multiple regression analyses suggested that dissociative symptoms were generally related to poorer AF after IQ, age, gender, and the total number of school and caregiver transitions were controlled. Implications for school personnel are discussed.

  2. Spinal Cord Injury Functional Ambulation Profile: a preliminary look at responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, Kristin E; Yang, Jaynie F

    2014-02-01

    The Spinal Cord Injury Functional Ambulation Profile (SCI-FAP) is a valid, reliable measure of walking skill (eg, walking while negotiating obstacles, doors, and stairs). The responsiveness of the SCI-FAP was assessed at least 7 months after spinal cord injury (SCI) and compared with that of the 10-Meter Walk Test (10MWT) and the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). A secondary analysis of data collected during a randomized, single-blind, crossover trial was performed. Participants had incomplete SCI and could walk at least 5 m without manual assistance. After 3 or 4 baseline assessments, participants completed 2 months of precision training (stepping over obstacles and onto targets on the ground) and 2 months of endurance training (treadmill training with body weight support, if needed). Walking function was assessed with the SCI-FAP, 10MWT, and 6MWT. Internal responsiveness was evaluated through change scores and standardized response means (SRMs). External responsiveness was gauged by correlating change scores on the SCI-FAP, 10MWT, and 6MWT. The minimal detectable change was calculated from the standard error of measurement from the baseline assessments. The SCI-FAP scores improved with both interventions. The magnitude of change was greater for participants whose pretraining self-selected speed was less than 0.5 m/s. The SCI-FAP had moderate SRMs. The 10MWT (fastest speed) and 6MWT had the largest SRMs after precision training and endurance training, respectively. The minimal detectable change in the SCI-FAP was 96 points. The convenience sample was small and all participants could ambulate independently (with devices); therefore, the generalizability of the findings is limited. The SCI-FAP was responsive to changes in walking ability in participants who had incomplete SCI and walked at slow speeds, but overall the 10MWT and 6MWT were more responsive.

  3. Development and preliminary validation of the EASE: a tool to measure perceived singing voice function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phyland, Debra J; Pallant, Julie F; Benninger, Michael S; Thibeault, Susan L; Greenwood, Ken M; Smith, Julian A; Vallance, Neil

    2013-07-01

    Most voice self-rating tools are disease-specific measures and are not suitable for use with healthy voice users. There is a need for a tool that is sensitive to the subtleties of a singer's voice and to perceived physical changes in the singing voice mechanism as a function of load. The aim of this study was to devise and validate a scale to assess singer's perceptions of the current status of their singing voice. Ninety-five vocal health descriptors were collected from focus group interviews of singers. These were reviewed by 25 currently performing music theater (MT) singers. Based on a consensus technique, the number of descriptors was decreased to 42 items. These were administered to a sample of 284 professional MT singers using an online survey to evaluate their perception of current singing voice status. Principal component analysis identified two subsets of items. Rasch analysis was used to evaluate and refine these sets of items to form two 10-item subscales. Both subscales demonstrated good overall fit to the Rasch model, no differential item functioning by sex or age, and good internal consistency reliability. The two subscales were strongly correlated and subsequent Rasch analysis supported their combination to form a single 20-item scale with good psychometric properties. The Evaluation of the Ability to Sing Easily (EASE) is a concise clinical tool to assess singer's perceptions of the current status of their singing voice with good measurement properties. EASE may prove a useful tool to measure changes in the singing voice as indicators of the effect of vocal load. Furthermore, it may offer a valuable means for the prediction or screening of singers "at risk" of developing voice disorders. Copyright © 2013 The Voice Foundation. All rights reserved.

  4. Characterization of mitochondrial function in cells with impaired cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlante, Anna; Favia, Maria; Bobba, Antonella; Guerra, Lorenzo; Casavola, Valeria; Reshkin, Stephan Joel

    2016-06-01

    Evidence supporting the occurrence of oxidative stress in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is well established and the literature suggests that oxidative stress is inseparably linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we have characterized mitochondrial function, in particular as it regards the steps of oxidative phosphorylation and ROS production, in airway cells either homozygous for the F508del-CFTR allele or stably expressing wt-CFTR. We find that oxygen consumption, ΔΨ generation, adenine nucleotide translocator-dependent ADP/ATP exchange and both mitochondrial Complex I and IV activities are impaired in CF cells, while both mitochondrial ROS production and membrane lipid peroxidation increase. Importantly, treatment of CF cells with the small molecules VX-809 and 4,6,4'-trimethylangelicin, which act as "correctors" for F508del CFTR by rescuing the F508del CFTR-dependent chloride secretion, while having no effect per sè on mitochondrial function in wt-CFTR cells, significantly improved all the above mitochondrial parameters towards values found in the airway cells expressing wt-CFTR. This novel study on mitochondrial bioenergetics provides a springboard for future research to further understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the involvement of mitochondria in CF and identify the proteins primarily responsible for the F508del-CFTR-dependent mitochondrial impairment and thus reveal potential novel targets for CF therapy.

  5. Focal Gray Matter Plasticity as a Function of Long Duration Bedrest: Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppelmans, V.; Erdeniz, B.; De Dios, Y. E.; Wood, S. J.; Reuter-Lorenz, P. A.; Kofman, I.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Seidler, R. D.

    2014-01-01

    Long duration spaceflight (i.e., 22 days or longer) has been associated with changes in sensorimotor systems, resulting in difficulties that astronauts experience with posture control, locomotion, and manual control. It is unknown whether and how spaceflight impacts sensorimotor brain structure and function, and whether such changes may potentially underlie behavioral effects. Long duration head down tilt bed rest has been used repeatedly as an exclusionary analog to study microgravity effects on the sensorimotor system [1]. Bed rest mimics microgravity in body unloading and bodily fluid shifts. We are currently testing sensorimotor function, brain structure, and brain function pre and post a 70-day bed rest period. We will acquire the same measures on NASA crewmembers starting in 2014. Here we present the results of the first eight bed rest subjects. Subjects were assessed at 12 and 7 days before-, at 7, 30, and 70 days in-, and at 8 and 12 days post 70 days of bed rest at the NASA bed rest facility, UTMB, Galveston, TX, USA. At each time point structural MRI scans (i.e., high resolution T1-weighted imaging and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)) were obtained using a 3T Siemens scanner. Focal changes over time in gray matter density were assessed using the voxel based morphometry 8 (VBM8) toolbox under SPM. Focal changes in white matter microstructural integrity were assessed using tract based spatial statistics (TBSS) as part of the FMRIB software library (FSL). TBSS registers all DTI scans to standard space. It subsequently creates a study specific white matter skeleton of the major white matter tracts. Non-parametric permutation based t-tests and ANOVA's were used for voxel-wise comparison of the skeletons. For both VBM and TBSS, comparison of the two pre bed rest measurements did not show significant differences. VBM analysis revealed decreased gray matter density in bilateral areas including the frontal medial cortex, the insular cortex and the caudate nucleus

  6. Preliminary investigation of cardiopulmonary function in stroke patients with stable heart failure and exertional dyspnea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liaw, Mei-Yun; Wang, Lin-Yi; Pong, Ya-Ping; Tsai, Yu-Chin; Huang, Yu-Chi; Yang, Tsung-Hsun; Lin, Meng-Chih

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between pulmonary function, respiratory muscle strength, perceived dyspnea, degree of fatigue, and activity of daily living with motor function and neurological status in stroke patients with stable congestive heart failure (CHF). This was a cohort study in a tertiary care medical center. Stroke patients with CHF and exertional dyspnea (New York Heart Association class I–III) were recruited. The baseline characteristics included duration of disease, Brunnstrom stage, spirometry, resting heart rate, resting oxyhemoglobin saturation (SpO2), maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), maximal expiratory pressure (MEP), Borg scale, fatigue scale, and Barthel index. A total of 47 stroke patients (24 males, 23 females, mean age 65.9 ± 11.5 years) were included. The average Brunnstrom stages of affected limbs were 3.6 ± 1.3 over the proximal parts and 3.5 ± 1.4 over the distal parts of upper limbs, and 3.9 ± 0.9 over lower limbs. The average forced vital capacity (FVC) was 2.0 ± 0.8 L, with a predicted FVC% of 67.9 ± 18.8%, forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) of 1.6 ± 0.7 L, predicted FEV1% of 70.6 ± 20.1%, FEV1/FVC of 84.2 ± 10.5%, and maximum mid-expiratory flow of 65.4 ± 29.5%. The average MIP and MEP were −52.9 ± 33.3 cmH2O and 60.8 ± 29.0 cmH2O, respectively. The Borg scale was 1.5 ± 0.8. MIP was negatively associated with the average Brunnstrom stage of the proximal (r = −0.318, P lower extremities (r = −0.288, P lower extremities (r = −0.311, P limbs. FVC was more strongly associated with MIP and MEP than predicted FVC%. FEV1/FVC may be used as a reference for the pulmonary dysfunction. PMID:27749577

  7. Psychological and environmental correlates of HPA axis functioning in parentally bereaved children: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplow, Julie B; Shapiro, Danielle N; Wardecker, Britney M; Howell, Kathryn H; Abelson, James L; Worthman, Carol M; Prossin, Alan R

    2013-04-01

    This study examined bereaved children's HPA-axis functioning (cortisol awakening response; CAR) in relation to psychological distress, coping, and surviving parents' grief reactions. Participants included 38 children (20 girls) with recent parental loss (previous 6 months) and 28 of their surviving caregivers (23 women) who were assessed using self-report instruments and in-person, semistructured interviews. Interviews involved discussions about the child's thoughts and feelings related to the loss. Participants provided 3 saliva samples at home (awakening, 30 minutes later, and evening) over 3 successive days, beginning on the day following the interview. Results show a significant relation between dampening of the child's Day 1 CAR and more symptoms of anxiety (r = -.45), depression (r = -.40), posttraumatic stress (r = -.45), and maladaptive grief (r = -.43), as well as higher levels of avoidant coping (r = -.53). Higher levels of parental maladaptive grief were also associated (r = -.47) with a dampening of the child's Day 1 CAR. Our results raise the possibility that blunted CAR may be a result of accumulating allostatic load and/or a result of emotionally challenging events (discussions regarding the deceased) and their subsequent processing (or lack thereof) within the family, which may be particularly stressful for those bereaved children experiencing high levels of psychological distress, avoidant coping, and parental maladaptive grief.

  8. Neuropsychology, Social Cognition and Global Functioning Among Bipolar, Schizophrenic Patients and Healthy Controls: Preliminary Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta eCaletti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine the extent of impairment in social and non-social cognitive domains in an ecological context comparing bipolar (BD, schizophrenic patients (SKZ and healthy controls (HC. The sample was enrolled at the Department of Psychiatry of Policlinico Hospital, University of Milan, it includes stabilized schizophrenic patients (n = 30, euthymic bipolar patients (n = 18 and healthy controls (n = 18. Patients and controls completed psychiatric assessment rating scales, the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS and the Executive and Social Cognition Battery (ESCB that contains both ecological tests of executive function and social cognition, in order to better detect cognitive deficits in patients with normal results in standard executive batteries. The three groups differed significantly for gender and substance abuse, however the differences did not influence the results. Bipolar patients showed less impairment on cognitive performance compared to schizophrenic patients, even in ecological tests that mimic real life scenarios. In particular, BD performed better than SKZ in verbal memory (p

  9. Cognitive function in Nigerian children with newly diagnosed epilepsy: a preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagunju, Ike Oluwa Abiola; Adeniyi, Yetunde Celia; Olukolade, Gbemi

    2016-01-01

    Epilepsy has long been associated with cognitive dysfunction and educational underachievement. The purpose of the study was to describe the baseline findings from a larger prospective study. New cases of epilepsy aged 6-16 years seen at a paediatric neurology clinic in Ibadan, Nigeria were evaluated for any evidence of cognitive impairment. Intelligence quotient (IQ) of the participants was measured using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Scores on cognitive subtests and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) were computed and association between the subsets scores and seizure variables were calculated. 40 children, 24 males and 16 females were studied and their ages ranged from 6 to 16 years with a mean of 10.8 (SD=3.0) years. Global intellectual functioning as measured by the WISC-IV was in the normal range (FSIQ scores WISC-IV composite scores. There is a high prevalence of significant cognitive dysfunction in Nigerian children with epilepsy, even in the absence of any known brain insult. All children with epilepsy should have routine IQ assessment following diagnosis, in order to allow for early intervention when indicated, and thus, improved outcomes.

  10. Development and preliminary validation of a plate-based CB1/CB2 receptor functional assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dossou, K S S; Devkota, K P; Kavanagh, P V; Beutler, J A; Egan, J M; Moaddel, R

    2013-06-15

    Cannabinoid (CB) receptors are being targeted therapeutically for the treatment of anxiety, obesity, movement disorders, glaucoma, and pain. More recently, cannabinoid agonists have displayed antiproliferative activity against breast cancer and prostate cancer in animal models. To study cannabinoid receptor ligands, we have developed a novel plate-based assay that measures internalization of CB1/CB2 receptors by determining the change in the intracellular levels of the radiolabeled agonists: [(3)H]Win55-212-2 for CB1 and [(3)H]CP55-940 for CB2. The developed plate-based assay was validated by determining IC50 values for known antagonists: AM251, AM281, AM630, and AM6545. The data obtained were consistent with previously reported values, thereby confirming that the assay can be used to determine the functional binding activities (IC50) of antagonists for the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In addition, we demonstrated that the plate-based assay may be used for screening against complex matrices. Specifically, we demonstrated that the plate-based assay was able to identify which extracts of several species of the genus Zanthoxylum had activity at the CB1/CB2 receptors.

  11. Preliminary mapping of surficial geology of Midway Valley Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Swan, F.H.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Gibson, J.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-04-01

    The tectonics program for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada must evaluate the potential for surface faulting beneath the prospective surface facilities. To help meet this goal, Quaternary surficial mapping studies and photolineament analyses were conducted to provide data for evaluating the location, recency, and style of faulting with Midway Valley at the eastern base of Yucca Mountain, the preferred location of these surface facilities. This interim report presents the preliminary results of this work.

  12. The Effect of Specific Sling Exercises on the Functional Movement Screen Score in Adolescent Volleyball Players: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linek Paweł

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The existing data indicate that the result of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS test influences the likelihood of subsequent injury in professional athletes. Therefore, exercises increasing test scores of the FMS may be useful at various stages of sports activity. This study evaluated the effects of the NEURAC sling exercises method on the FMS test score in teenage volleyball players. The study was conducted on 15 volleyball players aged 14 years. The FMS test was performed three times interspersed with a two-month interval. Between the first and the second assessment, neither additional treatment nor training was applied, while between the second and the third assessment, the participants performed stabilisation exercises based on the NEURAC method. Training was carried out twice a week, for eight weeks. The analysis showed that between the first and the second measurement, no significant differences occurred. The use of specific sling exercises caused a significant improvement in FMS results (p ≤ 0.01 between the first and the third, as well as the second and the third measurement. The applied stabilisation exercises based on the NEURAC method positively influenced the FMS test result in male subjects practicing volleyball. Performance of such exercises also resulted in more than 90% of the subjects having a total FMS test score ≥ 17, which may be important in the prevention of injuries. The preliminary results indicate that this type of exercise should be included in a teenage volleyball training routine.

  13. DA white dwarfs from the LSS-GAC survey DR1: the preliminary luminosity and mass functions and formation rate

    CERN Document Server

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A; Cojocaru, R; Yuan, H -B; Torres, S; Garcia-Berro, E; Xiang, M -X; Huang, Y; Koester, D; Hou, Y; Li, G; Zhang, Y

    2015-01-01

    Modern large-scale surveys have allowed the identification of large numbers of white dwarfs. However, these surveys are subject to complicated target selection algorithms, which make it almost impossible to quantify to what extent the observational biases affect the observed populations. The LAMOST (Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope) Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic anti-center (LSS-GAC) follows a well-defined set of criteria for selecting targets for observations. This advantage over previous surveys has been fully exploited here to identify a small yet well-characterised magnitude-limited sample of hydrogen-rich (DA) white dwarfs. We derive preliminary LSS-GAC DA white dwarf luminosity and mass functions. The space density and average formation rate of DA white dwarfs we derive are 0.83+/-0.16 x 10^{-3} pc^{-3} and 5.42 +/- 0.08 x 10^{-13} pc^{-3} yr^{-1}, respectively. Additionally, using an existing Monte Carlo population synthesis code we simulate the population of single DA w...

  14. The Effect of Specific Sling Exercises on the Functional Movement Screen Score in Adolescent Volleyball Players: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saulicz, Edward; Myśliwiec, Andrzej; Wójtowicz, Monika; Wolny, Tomasz

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The existing data indicate that the result of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) test influences the likelihood of subsequent injury in professional athletes. Therefore, exercises increasing test scores of the FMS may be useful at various stages of sports activity. This study evaluated the effects of the NEURAC sling exercises method on the FMS test score in teenage volleyball players. The study was conducted on 15 volleyball players aged 14 years. The FMS test was performed three times interspersed with a two-month interval. Between the first and the second assessment, neither additional treatment nor training was applied, while between the second and the third assessment, the participants performed stabilisation exercises based on the NEURAC method. Training was carried out twice a week, for eight weeks. The analysis showed that between the first and the second measurement, no significant differences occurred. The use of specific sling exercises caused a significant improvement in FMS results (p ≤ 0.01) between the first and the third, as well as the second and the third measurement. The applied stabilisation exercises based on the NEURAC method positively influenced the FMS test result in male subjects practicing volleyball. Performance of such exercises also resulted in more than 90% of the subjects having a total FMS test score ≥ 17, which may be important in the prevention of injuries. The preliminary results indicate that this type of exercise should be included in a teenage volleyball training routine. PMID:28031760

  15. Prospective study comparing functional outcomes and revision rates between hip resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty: preliminary results for 2 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailhé, Régis; Reina, Nicolas; Cavaignac, Etienne; Sharma, Akash; Lafontan, Valérie; Laffosse, Jean-Michel; Chiron, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    There is a need of independent prospective studies about modern generation of hip resurfacing implants. The aim of this propective observational study was to compare the functional outcomes and revision rates with hip resurfacing arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty and to present the preliminary results at 2 years. Patients included were recruited prospectively in the Partial Pelvic Replacement Hip Project by a single surgeon between January 2007 and January 2010. Patients were assessed with the Harris Hip Score (HHS) and Postel-Merle d'Aubigné (MDA) score and Devane Score. The end point of the study was reoperation for any cause related to the prosthesis. At a mean follow up of 38.6 months there were a total of 142 patients with hip resurfacing (group 1) [100 Durom(®) (Zimmer Inc., Warsaw, IN, USA) and 42 Birmingham Hip Resurfacing(®) (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN, USA)] and 278 patients with total hip arthroplasty (group 2). The results showed significantly greater gain of HHS, MDA and Devane score with hip resurfacing procedures. However, considering all the complications, the rate was significantly higher in group 16.4% vs 1.79% in group 2 (P<0.0001). In group 1 we observed 6 complications only concerned males with Durom(®) implants. The follow up of this cohort is still on going and may deliver more information on the evolution of these results in time.

  16. Prospective study comparing functional outcomes and revision rates between hip resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty: preliminary results for 2 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Régis Pailhé

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available There is a need of independent prospective studies about modern generation of hip resurfacing implants. The aim of this propective observational study was to compare the functional outcomes and revision rates with hip resurfacing arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty and to present the preliminary results at 2 years. Patients included were recruited prospectively in the Partial Pelvic Replacement Hip Project by a single surgeon between January 2007 and January 2010. Patients were assessed with the Harris Hip Score (HHS and Postel-Merle d’Aubigné (MDA score and Devane Score. The end point of the study was reoperation for any cause related to the prosthesis. At a mean follow up of 38.6 months there were a total of 142 patients with hip resurfacing (group 1 [100 Durom® (Zimmer Inc., Warsaw, IN, USA and 42 Birmingham Hip Resurfacing® (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN, USA] and 278 patients with total hip arthroplasty (group 2. The results showed significantly greater gain of HHS, MDA and Devane score with hip resurfacing procedures. However, considering all the complications, the rate was significantly higher in group 16.4% vs 1.79% in group 2 (P<0.0001. In group 1 we observed 6 complications only concerned males with Durom® implants. The follow up of this cohort is still on going and may deliver more information on the evolution of these results in time.

  17. A novel device for grasping assessment during functional tasks: preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carolinne Portela Rocha

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a methodology and first results obtained in a study with a novel device that allows the analysis of grasping quality. Such a device is able to acquire motion information of upper limbs allowing kinetic of manipulation analysis as well. A pilot experiment was carried out with six groups of typically developing children aged between 5 and 10 years old, with 7-8 children in each one. The device, designed to emulate a glass, has an optical system composed by one digital camera and a special convex mirror that together allow image acquisition of grasping hand posture when it is grasped and manipulated. It also carries an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU that captures motion data as acceleration, orientation, and angular velocities. The novel instrumented object is used in our approach to evaluate functional tasks performance in quantitative terms. During tests each child was invited to grasp the cylindrical part of the device that was placed on the top of a table, simulating the task of drinking a glass of water. In the sequence the child was oriented to transport the device back to the starting position and release it. The task was repeated 3 times for each child. A grasping hand posture evaluation is presented as an example to evaluate grasping quality. Additionally, motion patterns obtained with the triasl performed with the different groups are presented and discussed. This device is attractive due to its portable characteristics, the small size and its ability to evaluate grasping form. The results may be also useful to analyze the evolution of the rehabilitation process through reach-to-grasping movement and the grasping images analysis.

  18. Modeling and preliminary characterization of passive, wireless temperature sensors for harsh environment applications based on periodic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delfin Manriquez, Diego I.

    completed, the optimal configuration for the GMRF sensor was found to be the with an alumina slab with a thickness of 1.524 mm, two titanium screens with a thickness of 0.508, the use of metallic side reflectors and a side length of 49.525 mm. For the metamaterial, the process aforementioned resulted in a sensor design composed of a BTO/BN ceramic substrate and copper washers with 3.5 mm in OD and 1.6 mm in ID; the sensor side length was of 101.7 mm and design thickness was chosen to be 3.175 mm. The performed simulations resulted in several peaks in a 6 -- 18 GHz frequency range for both the reflection and transmission spectra. The limitation of the periodicity had a detrimental effect on the response of the sensor; however, a final sensor design was achieved with visible response in both the reflection and transmission regions. Fabrication was carried over using water-jet cutting and traditional machining methods for the GMRF sensor, while a traditional powder compression method was employed for the metamaterial sensor. For the former, titanium screens were used, while aluminum and steel plates were employed on the second one. Commercially available alumina ceramic was employed for both fabrication methods. As for the metamaterial sensor, the fabrication was done by utilizing a mixture of 70% boron nitride/30% barium titanate with an added 7.5% wt. PVA for structural rigidity. Final dimensions of 50.8 mm in side length and a thickness of 3.175 mm were achieved. Samples fabricated showed good structural integrity and manageability. Preliminary free space measurements were performed using a Programmable Network Analyzer (PNA) and a set of X-band horn antennas and Gaussian beam antennas to characterize the response of both the GMRF and the metamaterial sensors, respectively. No visible peak was observed for the GMRF sensor in the frequency region. The lack of response might be attributed to fabrication errors. For the metamaterial sensor, a strong response at 14.47 GHz mark

  19. Characterization of Different Functionalized Lipidic Nanocapsules as Potential Drug Carriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Peula-García

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Lipid nanocapsules (LNC based on a core-shell structure consisting of an oil-filled core with a surrounding polymer layer are known to be promising vehicles for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs in the new therapeutic strategies in anti-cancer treatments. The present work has been designed as basic research about different LNC systems. We have synthesized—and physico-chemically characterized—three different LNC systems in which the core was constituted by olive oil and the shell by different phospholipids (phosphatidyl-serine or lecithin and other biocompatible molecules such as Pluronic® F68 or chitosan. It is notable that the olive-oil-phosphatidyl-serine LCN is a novel formulation presented in this work and was designed to generate an enriched carboxylic surface. This carboxylic layer is meant to link specific antibodies, which could facilitate the specific nanocapsule uptake by cancer cells. This is why nanoparticles with phosphatidyl-serine in their shell have also been used in this work to form immuno-nanocapsules containing a polyclonal IgG against a model antigen (C-reactive protein covalently bounded by means of a simple and reproducible carbodiimide method. An immunological study was made to verify that these IgG-LNC complexes showed the expected specific immune response. Finally, a preliminary in vitro study was performed by culturing a breast-carcinoma cell line (MCF-7 with Nile-Red-loaded LNC. We found that these cancer cells take up the fluorescent Nile-Red molecule in a process dependent on the surface properties of the nanocarriers.

  20. Functional characterization of Foxp3-specific spontaneous immune responses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Tumor-infiltrating CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are associated with an impaired prognosis in several cancers. The transcription factor forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) is generally expressed in Tregs. Here, we identify and characterize spontaneous cytotoxic immune responses to Foxp3-expressing cells...... in peripheral blood of healthy volunteers and cancer patients. These immune responses were directed against a HLA-A2-restricted peptide epitope derived from Foxp3. Foxp3-reactive T cells were characterized as cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. These cells recognized dendritic cells incubated with recombinant Foxp3 protein...... readily killed by the Foxp3-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The spontaneous presence of Foxp3-specific cytotoxic T-cell responses suggest a general role of such T cells in the complex network of immune regulation as such responses may eliminate Tregs, that is, suppression of the suppressors...

  1. Molecular and Functional Characterization of the Developing Respiratory Motor Circuit

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    The faithful and sophisticated control of motor neurons (MNs) allows for our ability to walk, chew, breathe, and speak. This dissertation is focused on the characterization of MNs and the intricate circuitry that are involved in the control of these MNs that surround the airways. The relevance of this study goes beyond satisfying our curiosity of the physiology of breathing. This knowledge is critical in their application in respiratory medicine and speech rehabilitation – as the same set of ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Tanaka

    2014-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this invest...

  4. Synthesis, photophysical and preliminary investigation of the dye-sensitized solar cells properties of functionalized anthracenyl-based bipyridyl and phenanthrolyl Ru(II) complexes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Adewale O Adeloye; Peter A Ajibade; Frances R Cummings; Lukas J Le Roux; Sampson N Mamphweli; Edson L Meyer

    2013-01-01

    Four new amphiphilic ligands: 4-(2,3-dimethylacrylic acid)-2,2'-bipyridine (L1), 4-(9-anthracenyl-10-(2,3-dimethylacrylic acid)-2,2'-bipyridine (L2), 5-(2,3-dimethylacrylic acid)-1,10-phenanthroline (L3) and 5-(9-anthracenyl-10-(2,3-dimethylacrylic acid)-1,10-phenanthroline (L4), with their corresponding homonuclear ruthenium(II) complexes formulated as cis-[Ru-(L1)3(PF6)2] (C1), cis-[Ru-(L2)3(PF6)2] (C2), cis-[Ru-(L3)3(PF6)2] (C3) and cis-[Ru-(L4)3(PF6)2] (C4), have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, 1H- and 13C- NMR, FT-IR, UV-Vis and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The complexes exhibit broad and intense metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) transition bands in the visible region (400-700 nm), and red light emitting properties at room temperature. By comparison however, complexes C1 and C2 bipyridine moiety gave lower molar absorptivity coefficient at relatively similar wavelength characteristics (410-520 nm) when compared to C3 and C4 with phenanthroline based molecules. Cyclic voltammograms of the complexes revealed complex C4 with most reduction potential which might be due to increase in the conjugation of the anthracene functionalized units. Preliminary investigation of the solar cell efficiency of the complexes on TiO2 nanocrystalline films gave the best result with efficiency of 0.103% for C1 under illumination at 1000 W/m2 AM 1.5. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) technique however, revealed the charge transfer resistances (Rct) of the electrons on the TiO2 semiconductor.

  5. Geochemical Characterization of Concentrated Gas Hydrate Deposits on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand: Preliminary Geochemical Cruise Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-02-29

    cb1 , db1, cb2 , db2: coring, dredging, priorities 1, 2. cp-1 – cp-2: 3.5 kHz transect for paleoceanographic core, cp-3: preliminary location for...Transit from Waypoint cb1 to db2, 11.32 nm at 10 knots 1.1 Dredge at Waypoint db2 ~600 m water depth 3 Transit to Waypoint cb2 , 2.3 nm at 10 knots...tight Study Area B, Objective 8, Priority 1 Dredge at Waypoint db1 ~600 m water depth 3 Transit to core location cb1 , 7.8 nm at 10 knots 0.8

  6. Study to perform preliminary experiments to evaluate particle generation and characterization techniques for zero-gravity cloud physics experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, U.

    1982-01-01

    Methods of particle generation and characterization with regard to their applicability for experiments requiring cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) of specified properties were investigated. Since aerosol characterization is a prerequisite to assessing performance of particle generation equipment, techniques for characterizing aerosol were evaluated. Aerosol generation is discussed, and atomizer and photolytic generators including preparation of hydrosols (used with atomizers) and the evaluation of a flight version of an atomizer are studied.

  7. Work function characterization of solution-processed cobalt silicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shihab Ullah, Syed; Robinson, Matt; Hoey, Justin; Sky Driver, M.; Caruso, A. N.; Schulz, Douglas L.

    2012-06-01

    Cobalt silicide thin films were prepared by spin-coating liquid cyclohexasilane-based inks onto silicon substrates followed by a thermal treatment. The work function of the solution-processed Co-Si was determined by both capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structures as well as by ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy (UPS). Variable frequency C-V of MOS structures with silicon oxide layers of variable thickness showed that solution-processed metal silicide films exhibit a work function of 4.36 eV with one Co-Si film on Si giving a UPS-derived work function of 4.80 eV. Similar work function measurements were collected for vapor-deposited MOS capacitors where Al thin films were prepared according to standard class 100 cleanroom handling techniques. In both instances, the work function values established by the electrical measurements were lower than those measured by UPS and this difference appears to be a consequence of parasitic series resistance.

  8. Dielectric behavior characterization of functional fibrous-ceramic/polymer nanocomposites

    OpenAIRE

    Dağdeviren, Canan; Dagdeviren, Canan

    2009-01-01

    This study is mainly focused on forming fibrous-ceramic/polymer nanocomposites and characterizing their dielectric behavior. The fibrous-ZnO/PVDF nanocomposite is prepared in two steps. First, a network of nano-scale zinc oxide (ZnO) fibers is produced by sintering electrospun PVA/Zinc Acetate fibers. Second, the ZnO fibrous non-woven mat is sandwiched between two polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) thermoplastic polymer films by hot-press casting. Referring to the extensive literature search with...

  9. Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bst+/− mouse retina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Riazifar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The belly spot and tail (Bst+/− mouse phenotype is caused by mutations of the ribosomal protein L24 (Rpl24. Among various phenotypes in Bst+/− mice, the most interesting are its retinal abnormalities, consisting of delayed closure of choroid fissures, decreased ganglion cells and subretinal vascularization. We further characterized the Bst+/− mouse and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms to assess the feasibility of using this strain as a model for stem cell therapy of retinal degenerative diseases due to retinal ganglion cell (RGC loss. We found that, although RGCs are significantly reduced in retinal ganglion cell layer in Bst+/− mouse, melanopsin+ RGCs, also called ipRGCs, appear to be unchanged. Pupillary light reflex was completely absent in Bst+/− mice but they had a normal circadian rhythm. In order to examine the pathological abnormalities in Bst+/− mice, we performed electron microscopy in RGC and found that mitochondria morphology was deformed, having irregular borders and lacking cristae. The complex activities of the mitochondrial electron transport chain were significantly decreased. Finally, for subretinal vascularization, we also found that angiogenesis is delayed in Bst+/− associated with delayed hyaloid regression. Characterization of Bst+/− retina suggests that the Bst+/− mouse strain could be a useful murine model. It might be used to explore further the pathogenesis and strategy of treatment of retinal degenerative diseases by employing stem cell technology.

  10. Functional characterization of the turkey macrophage migration inhibitory factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a soluble protein that inhibits the random migration of macrophages and plays a pivotal immunoregulatory function in innate and adaptive immunity. The aim of this study was to clone the turkey MIF (TkMIF) gene, express the active protein, and characte...

  11. Superparamagnetic bead interactions with functionalized surfaces characterized by an immunomicroarray

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skottrup, Peter Durand; Hansen, Mikkel Fougt; Moresco, Jacob Lange

    2010-01-01

    Magneto-resistive sensors capable of detecting superparamagnetic micro-/nano-sized beads are promising alternatives to standard diagnostic assays based on absorbance or fluorescence and streptavidin-functionalized beads are widely used as an integral part of these sensors. Here we have developed ...

  12. Functional Metal Oxide Nanostructures: Their Synthesis, Characterization, and Energy Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Aparna

    This research focuses on studying metal oxides (MnO 2, Co3O4, MgO, Y2O3) for various applications including water oxidation and photocatalytic oxidation, developing different synthesis methodologies, and presenting detailed characterization studies of these metal oxides. This research consists of three major parts. The first part is studying novel applications and developing a synthesis method for manganese oxide nanomaterials. Manganese oxide materials were studied for renewable energy applications by using them as catalysts for water oxidation reactions. In this study, various crystallographic forms of manganese oxides (amorphous, 2D layered, 1D 2 x 2 tunnel structures) were evaluated for water oxidation catalysis. Amorphous manganese oxides (AMO) were found to be catalytically active for chemical and photochemical water oxidation compared to cryptomelane type tunnel manganese oxides (2 x 2 tunnels; OMS2) or layered birnessite (OL-1) materials. Detailed characterization was done to establish a correlation between the properties of the manganese oxide materials and their catalytic activities in water oxidation. The gas phase photocatalytic oxidation of 2-propanol under visible light was studied using manganese oxide 2 x 2 tunnel structures (OMS-2) as catalysts (Chapter 3). The reaction is 100% selective to acetone. As suggested by the photocatalytic and characterization data, important factors for the design of active OMS-2 photocatalysts are synthesis methodology, morphology, mixed valency and the release of oxygen from the OMS-2 structure. Manganese oxide octahedral molecular sieves (2 x 2 tunnels; OMS-2) with self-assembled dense or hollow sphere morphologies were fabricated via a room temperature ultrasonic atomization assisted synthesis (Chapter 4). The properties and catalytic activities of these newly developed materials were compared with that of OMS-2 synthesized by conventional reflux route. These materials exhibit exceptionally high catalytic activities

  13. Localization and functional characterization of the human NKCC2 isoforms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carota, I; Theilig, F; Oppermann, M;

    2010-01-01

    AIM: Salt reabsorption across the apical membrane of cells in the thick ascending limb (TAL) of Henle is primarily mediated by the bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC2. Three full-length splice variants of NKCC2 (NKCC2B, NKCC2A and NKCC2F) have been described. The NKCC2...... isoforms have specific localizations and transport characteristics, as assessed for rabbit, rat and mouse. In the present study, we aimed to address the localization and transport characteristics of the human NKCC2 isoforms. METHODS: RT-PCR, in situ hybridization and uptake studies in Xenopus oocytes were...... performed to characterize human NKCC2 isoforms. RESULTS: All three classical NKCC2 isoforms were detected in the human kidney; in addition, we found splice variants with tandem duplicates of the variable exon 4. Contrary to rodents, in which NKCC2F is the most abundant NKCC2 isoform, NKCC2A was the dominant...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filiberto González Garcia

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Liquid-phase exfoliated graphene: functionalization, characterization, and applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mildred Quintana

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The development of chemical strategies to render graphene viable for incorporation into devices is a great challenge. A promising approach is the production of stable graphene dispersions from the exfoliation of graphite in water and organic solvents. The challenges involve the production of a large quantity of graphene sheets with tailored distribution in thickness, size, and shape. In this review, we present some of the recent efforts towards the controlled production of graphene in dispersions. We also describe some of the chemical protocols that have provided insight into the vast organic chemistry of the single atomic plane of graphite. Controlled chemical reactions applied to graphene are expected to significantly improve the design of hierarchical, functional platforms, driving the inclusion of graphene into advanced functional materials forward.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Rius

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Jordi

    2014-09-01

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

  18. Characterization for entropy and solution of set function on lattice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Aoi; Okazaki, Yoshiaki

    2010-12-01

    We propose a definition for the entropy of a monotone set function defined on a lattice which are not necessarily the whole power set, but satisfy the condition of regularity. Our definition encompasses the classical definition of Shannon for probability measures, as well as the definition of Marichal for classical fuzzy measures and may have applicability to most fuzzy measures which appear in applications. We give also an axiomatization of this entropy. This axiomatization is in the spirit of Faddeev's axiomatization for the classical Shannon entropy. After that, using same idea we introduce a generalization of the Shapley value for a set function defined on a lattice and give two types of necessary and sufficient conditions.

  19. Characterization and functions of beta defensins in the epididymis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Susan H. Hall; Suresh Yenugu; Yashwanth Radhakrishnan; Maria Christina W. Avellar; Peter Petrusz; Frank S. French

    2007-01-01

    The epididymal β-defensins have evolved by repeated gene duplication and divergence to encode a family of proteins that provide direct protection against pathogens and also support the male reproductive tract in its primary function. Male tract defensins also facilitate recovery from pathogen attack. The β-defensins possess ancient conserved sequence and structural features widespread in multi-cellular organisms, suggesting fundamental roles in species survival. Primate SPAG11, the functional fusion of two ancestrally independent β-defensin genes, produces a large family of alternatively spliced transcripts that are expressed according to tissue-specific and species-specific constraints. The complexity of SPAG11 varies in different branches of mammalian evolution. Interactions of human SPAG11D with host proteins indicate involvement in multiple signaling pathways.

  20. Characterization of functionalized calcium carbonate as a new pharmaceutical excipient

    OpenAIRE

    Stirnimann, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Excipients are indispensable functional components, which are used to develop innovative, robust, and reproducible formulations with good patient compliance due to optimized plasma concentrations and less side effects. Nowadays, new excipients have to show a multifunctionality in order to be used for unique applications that are not feasible with existing excipients. This multifunctionality can be achieved by co-processing excipients, where undesirable properties of an excipient a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    purpose of this project is to develop the novel science base both in the areas of multi-scale dimensional integration as well as multiple functional...iron oxide nanoparticles have been widely explored because of their potential applications in various fields, including storage media, environmental... Wold , J. Solid State Chem. 1972, 5, 136. 44. A. A. Gippius, K.S. Okhotnikov, M. Baeritz, A. V. Shevelkov, Solid State Phenomena 2009, 152, 287. 45. C

  2. Functional characterization of human cancer-derived TRKB mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Geiger

    Full Text Available Cancer originates from cells that have acquired mutations in genes critical for controlling cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. Often, tumors continue to depend on these so-called driver mutations, providing the rationale for targeted anticancer therapies. To date, large-scale sequencing analyses have revealed hundreds of mutations in human tumors. However, without their functional validation it remains unclear which mutations correspond to driver, or rather bystander, mutations and, therefore, whether the mutated gene represents a target for therapeutic intervention. In human colorectal tumors, the neurotrophic receptor TRKB has been found mutated on two different sites in its kinase domain (TRKB(T695I and TRKB(D751N. Another site, in the extracellular part of TRKB, is mutated in a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (TRKB(L138F. Lastly, our own analysis has identified one additional TRKB point mutation proximal to the kinase domain (TRKB(P507L in a human melanoma cell line. The functional consequences of all these point mutations, however, have so far remained elusive. Previously, we have shown that TRKB is a potent suppressor of anoikis and that TRKB-expressing cells form highly invasive and metastatic tumors in nude mice. To assess the functional consequences of these four TRKB mutations, we determined their potential to suppress anoikis and to form tumors in nude mice. Unexpectedly, both colon cancer-derived mutants, TRKB(T695I and TRKB(D751N, displayed reduced activity compared to that of wild-type TRKB. Consistently, upon stimulation with the TRKB ligand BDNF, these mutants were impaired in activating TRKB and its downstream effectors AKT and ERK. The two mutants derived from human tumor cell lines (TRKB(L138F and TRKB(P507L were functionally indistinguishable from wild-type TRKB in both in-vitro and in-vivo assays. In conclusion, we fail to detect any gain-of-function of four cancer-derived TRKB point mutations.

  3. Characterization of the CTS 12 and 14 GHz communications links - Preliminary measurements and evaluation. [Communications Technology Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, L. J.

    1976-01-01

    The Communications Link Characterization Experiment is designed to characterize the radio frequency links of the Communications Technology Satellite. The experiment is twofold: (1) it will study the natural characteristics in the CTS frequency bands (14 GHz uplink, and 12 GHz downlink) including attenuation and signal degradation due primarily to absorption and scattering induced by precipitation, and (2) it will perform environmental measurements for the characterization of man-made, earth-based signals which could interfere with the uplink frequency bands of the satellite.

  4. Synthesis, characterization and application of functional carbon nano materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jin

    The synthesis, characterizations and applications of carbon nanomaterials, including carbon nanorods, carbon nanosheets, carbon nanohoneycombs and carbon nanotubes were demonstrated. Different growth techniques such as pulsed laser deposition, DC/RF sputtering, hot filament physical vapour deposition, evaporative casting and vacuum filtration methods were introduced or applied for synthesizing carbon nanomaterials. The morphology, chemical compositions, bond structures, electronic, mechanical and sensing properties of the obtained samples were investigated. Tilted well-aligned carbon micro- and nano- hybrid rods were fabricated on Si at different substrate temperatures and incident angles of carbon source beam using the hot filament physical vapour deposition technique. The morphologic surfaces and bond structures of the oblique carbon rod-like structures were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron diffraction and Raman scattering spectroscopy. The field emission behaviour of the fabricated samples was also tested. Carbon nanosheets and nanohoneycombs were also synthesized on Si substrates using a hot filament physical vapor deposition technique under methane ambient and vacuum, respectively. The four-point Au electrodes are then sputtered on the surface of the nanostructured carbon films to form prototypical humidity sensors. The sensing properties of prototypical sensors at different temperature, humidity, direct current, and alternative current voltage were characterized. Linear sensing response of sensors to relative humidity ranging from 11% to 95% is observed at room temperature. Experimental data indicate that the carbon nanosheets based sensors exhibit an excellent reversible behavior and long-term stability. It also has higher response than that of the humidity sensor with carbon nanohoneycombs materials. Conducting composite films containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared in

  5. Production and preliminary characterization of ferritic-martensitic steel T91 cladding tubes for LBE or Pb cooled nuclear systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Bosch, J.; Almazouzi, A.; Mueller, G.; Rusanov, A.

    2011-08-01

    Thin wall tubes with suitable dimensions for possible future use as nuclear fuel cladding based on ferritic-martensitic steel T91 have been produced. Several rolling routes for thin wall tube rolling have been successfully explored to produce T91 tubes of 8.5 mm OD and 0.5 mm wall thickness as well as 6.5 mm OD and 0.5 mm wall thickness. The results show that the cold rolled Т91 steel thin walled tubes remain ductile and the material easily carries fractional strains. Finally the microstructure of the resulting tubes was examined and preliminary burst and tensile tests were performed showing properties comparable to those of T91 plate material.

  6. On the optimal choice of wavelet function for multiscale honed surface characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mezghani, S; Mansori, M El [Arts and Metiers ParisTech, LMPF, rue St Dominique - BP 508, 51006 Chalons-en-Champagne (France); Sabri, L [RENAULT S.A.S., Direction de la Mecanique/Direction de l' Ingenierie Process, Rueil Malmaison, Paris (France); Zahouani, H, E-mail: sabeur.mezghani@ensam.eu [Ecole Centrale de Lyon, LTDS UMR CNRS 5513, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69131 Ecully Cedex (France)

    2011-08-19

    Multiscale surface topography characterization is mostly suited than standard approaches because it is more adapted to the multi-stage process generation. Wavelet transform represents a power tool to perform the multiscale decomposition of the surface topography in a wide range of wavelength. However, characterization results depend closely on the topography data acquisition instrument (resolution, height accuracy, sensitivity...) and also on the wavelet analysis method (discrete or continuous transform). In particular, the choice of wavelet function can have significant effect on the analysis results. In this paper, we present experimental work on a number of popular wavelets functions with the aim of finding wavelets that exhibit optimal description of honed surface features when continuous wavelet transform is used. We demonstrate that the regularity property of wavelet function has a significant influence on the characterization performances. This comparative study shows also that the Morlet wavelet is the more adapted wavelet basis function for multiscale characterization of honed surfaces using continuous wavelet transform.

  7. Thermal Characterization of Functionally Graded Materials: Design of Optimum Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Kevin D.

    2003-01-01

    This paper is a study of optimal experiment design applied to the measure of thermal properties in functionally graded materials. As a first step, a material with linearly-varying thermal properties is analyzed, and several different tran- sient experimental designs are discussed. An optimality criterion, based on sen- sitivity coefficients, is used to identify the best experimental design. Simulated experimental results are analyzed to verify that the identified best experiment design has the smallest errors in the estimated parameters. This procedure is general and can be applied to design of experiments for a variety of materials.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  11. First Preliminary Report on Isolation and Characterization of Novel Acinetobacter spp. in Casing Soil Used for Cultivation of Button Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus (Lange Imbach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. K. Choudhary

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite evaluation of large number of agroindustrial wastes for their use as casing material for Agaricus bisporus (Lange Imbach cultivation, scant attention has been given to the importance of biological properties of casing materials. In the present study, an attempt was made to characterize the bacterial flora in casing layer, namely, Farm Yard Manure (FYM and Spent Mushroom Substrate/spent compost (SMS/SC (FYM+SC, 3 : 1 and FYM and Vermi Compost (VC (FYM+VC, 3 : 1, employing partial 16S rDNA sequencing. Available data showed a significant variety of organisms that included Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas of the γ-proteobacteria, that were the most frequently encountered genera. This is the first preliminary report on the microbial diversity of casing soils and demonstrates the presence of Acinetobacter spp. that has not been previously described in casing material.

  12. [Defense mechanisms as outcome measure in short-term psychotherapy related to symptoms, severity and overall functioning: a preliminary study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coccanari de' Fornari, Maria Antonietta; Piccione, Michele; Maiello, Luca; Giampà, Alessio

    2011-01-01

    The assessment of defense mechanisms in psychotherapy is currently one of the most used ways to evaluate the effectiveness of psychotherapy. In literature there are few reports on defense mechanisms changes by short-term treatments. To determine whether the defense mechanisms are changed after twelve sessions of short-term psychotherapy related to psychopathological symptoms, severity and overall functioning. Twenty patients (12 F and 8 M; age 38.4) affected by anxiety and mood disorders were recruited to the study between November 2008 and July 2009 and were assessed with the Defense Style Questionnaire-88 (DSQ-88), scale Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), scale Clinical Global Impression (CGI) and scale Valutazione Globale del Funzionamento (VGF) at the beginning and after short-term psychotherapy. Half the sample also assumed drugs. The treatment was supportive-expressive psychotherapy of Luborsky, a short focal dynamic therapy, characterized by the integration of supportive and expressive techniques. Both patients showed a significant decrease in immature defenses and a significant-increase in mature defenses (p < 0.01). Mature defenses were significantly correlated with severity (r = -0632; p = 0.003) and overall functioning (r = 0529; p = 0.01). Immature and mature defenses seem to be a useful outcome measure in short-term psychotherapy as well as severity and overall functioning and the combined treatment may be most effective in reducing immature defenses.

  13. Functional characterization of the chloroplast ferric chelate oxidoreductase enzyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solti, Adám; Müller, Brigitta; Czech, Viktória; Sárvári, Éva; Fodor, Ferenc

    2014-05-01

    Iron (Fe) has an essential role in the biosynthesis of chlorophylls and redox cofactors, and thus chloroplast iron uptake is a process of special importance. The chloroplast ferric chelate oxidoreductase (cFRO) has a crucial role in this process but it is poorly characterized. To study the localization and mechanism of action of cFRO, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris cv Orbis) chloroplast envelope fractions were isolated by gradient ultracentrifugation, and their purity was tested by western blotting against different marker proteins. The ferric chelate reductase (FCR) activity of envelope fractions was studied in the presence of NAD(P)H (reductants) and FAD coenzymes. Reduction of Fe(III)-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid was monitored spectrophotometrically by the Fe(II)-bathophenanthroline disulfonate complex formation. FCR activity, that is production of free Fe(II) for Fe uptake, showed biphasic saturation kinetics, and was clearly associated only to chloroplast inner envelope (cIE) vesicles. The reaction rate was > 2.5 times higher with NADPH than with NADH, which indicates the natural coenzyme preference of cFRO activity and its dependence on photosynthesis. FCR activity of cIE vesicles isolated from Fe-deficient plants also showed clear biphasic kinetics, where the KM of the low affinity component was elevated, and thus this component was down-regulated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  15. Characterization and functionalities of Pd/hydrotalcite catalysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naresh, Dhachapally; Kumar, Vanama Pavan; Harisekhar, Mitta; Nagaraju, Nekkala; Putrakumar, Balla; Chary, Komandur V. R.

    2014-09-01

    A series of palladium supported on calcined hydrotalcite (CHT) catalysts with varying palladium (Pd) loadings (1.0-8.0 wt%) were prepared by impregnation method. Their catalytic performance was evaluated for the reductive amination of phenol to aniline that showed a tremendous interest in the chemical industry. The catalysts were characterized by BET surface area, XRD, TEM, XPS, TPR of H2, TPD of CO2 and CO chemisorption. BET surface area decreased continuously with increase in Pd content. XRD results confirmed the changes in the crystalline phases with altering Pd content. TEM results showed the formation of fine particles at lower loadings and agglomerates at higher loadings. TPR profiles revealed that the reducibility increases with increase of Pd loading. CO2 TPD results illustrate the catalysts basicity increases with increase of Pd loading up to 4.0 wt% and decreases at higher loadings. Pd dispersion, metal area and crystallite sizes were determined by CO chemisorption method. Pd dispersion and metal area decreases with increase of Pd content and crystallite sizes. The results demonstrated that the Pd dispersion and basic properties are depending on the Pd loading. The catalytic performance clearly showed that the increase Pd loading the conversion of phenol increased up to 2.0 wt% and level off beyond the loading. The catalytic properties are well correlated with the active Pd sites determined by CO chemisorption, dispersion and basicity.

  16. Isozymes of bovine intestinal alkaline phosphatase. Characterization and functional studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Besman, M.J.A.

    1986-01-01

    The membrane-associated alkaline phosphatases of calf and adult bovine small intestines have been isolated to homogeneity by a novel method developed to purify large quantities of enzyme. Chromatofocusing revealed the existence of two isozymes in calf tissue while only one form was present in the adult. The three amphiphilic metallo protein dimers were characterized as to total amino acid and carbohydrate content, zinc stoichiometries and mode of carbohydrate linkage. The molecular relationship between the three enzymes was defined by tryptic peptide HPLC-mapping and N-terminal sequencing, and demonstrated the existence of two calf isozymes of unique primary sequence, only one of which is expressed in the adult animal. In the presence of protease inhibitors, two new, higher M/sub r/ species (66,000 and 62,000 daltons vs 60,000 daltons) of adult bovine alkaline phosphatase were demonstrated by electrophoresis of /sup 32/P/sub i/-labeled tissue, probing gels by autoradiography and Western blotting. The in vivo enzyme was isolated using a modified, rapid procedure; the two higher M/sub r/ species copurified.

  17. Field Test Report: Preliminary Aquifer Test Characterization Results for Well 299-W15-225: Supporting Phase I of the 200-ZP-1 Groundwater Operable Unit Remedial Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spane, Frank A.; Newcomer, Darrell R.

    2009-09-23

    This report examines the hydrologic test results for both local vertical profile characterization and large-scale hydrologic tests associated with a new extraction well (well 299-W15-225) that was constructed during FY2009 for inclusion within the future 200-West Area Groundwater Treatment System that is scheduled to go on-line at the end of FY2011. To facilitate the analysis of the large-scale hydrologic test performed at newly constructed extraction well 299-W15-225 (C7017; also referred to as EW-1 in some planning documents), the existing 200-ZP-1 interim pump-and-treat system was completely shut-down ~1 month before the performance of the large-scale hydrologic test. Specifically, this report 1) applies recently developed methods for removing barometric pressure fluctuations from well water-level measurements to enhance the detection of hydrologic test and pump-and-treat system effects at selected monitor wells, 2) analyzes the barometric-corrected well water-level responses for a preliminary determination of large-scale hydraulic properties, and 3) provides an assessment of the vertical distribution of hydraulic conductivity in the vicinity of newly constructed extraction well 299-W15-225. The hydrologic characterization approach presented in this report is expected to have universal application for meeting the characterization needs at other remedial action sites located within unconfined and confined aquifer systems.

  18. A Pair Correlation Function Characterizing the Anisotropy of Force Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Qi-Cheng; JI Shun-Ying

    2011-01-01

    Force networks may underlie the constitutive relations among granular solids and granular flows and inter-state transitions. However, it is difficult to effectively describe the anisotropy of force networks. We propose a new pair correlation Function g(r, 0) to describe the characteristic lengths and orientations of force chains that are composed of particles with contact forces greater than the threshold values. A formulation g(r,0) ? A(r)+b(r) cos 2(0 -n/2) is used to fit the g(r, 0) data. The characteristic lengths and orientations of force networks are then elucidated.%@@ Force networks may underlie the constitutive relations among granular solids and granular flows and inter-state transitions.However, it is difficult to effectively describe the anisotropy of force networks.We propose a new pair correlation function g(r,θ) to describe the characteristic lengths and orientations of force chains that are composed of particles with contact forces greater than the threshold values.A formulation g(r,θ)≈a(r) + b( r ) cos 2(θ-π/2) is used to fit the g(r,θ) data.The characteristic lengths and orientations of force networks are then elucidated.

  19. Functional characterization of mammalian Wntless homolog in mammalian system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li-Ting; Wang, Shih-Jong; Hsu, Shih-Hsien

    2012-07-01

    Wntless (GPR177) protein is a newly identified regulator of Wnt signals in Drosophila, but its cellular function in mammals is still unclear. In this study, we explored the expression pattern and potential cellular function of Wntless in mammalian cells. Wntless mRNA was expressed in many mouse tissues, including the spleen, lung, kidney, thymus, and stomach, and lower levels of expression were detected in the mouse brain and testis. Expression of Wntless protein analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemical staining was only detected in the submucosa, muscle, ganglia, and nerve cells of murine large intestines. Both immunofluorescence staining and subcellular fraction extraction analysis revealed that endogenous Wntless protein was expressed predominantly in the cytoplasmic organelles with a morphologically dot-shaped distribution. Furthermore, overexpression of Wntless could be corrected by and may activate the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway in cancer (HeLa) cells. These results suggest that Wntless plays a role in signaling regulation during the formation of cancer in addition to its role as a retromer protein in mammalian systems.

  20. Characterization of functional biopolymers under various external stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleki, Atoosa

    2008-07-01

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

  1. Structural and functional characterization of human NAD kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, F; Niere, M; Ludwig, A; Ziegler, M

    2001-10-19

    NADP is essential for biosynthetic pathways, energy, and signal transduction. Its synthesis is catalyzed by NAD kinase. Very little is known about the structure, function, and regulation of this enzyme from multicellular organisms. We identified a human NAD kinase cDNA and the corresponding gene using available database information. A cDNA was amplified from a human fibroblast cDNA library and functionally overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The obtained cDNA, slightly different from that deposited in the database, encodes a protein of 49 kDa. The gene is expressed in most human tissues, but not in skeletal muscle. Human NAD kinase differs considerably from that of prokaryotes by subunit molecular mass (49 kDa vs 30-35 kDa). The catalytically active homotetramer is highly selective for its substrates, NAD and ATP. It did not phosphorylate the nicotinic acid derivative of NAD (NAAD) suggesting that the potent calcium-mobilizing pyridine nucleotide NAADP is synthesized by an alternative route.

  2. Characterization and Functionalization of Iron-Oxide Nanoparticles for Use as Potential Agents for Cancer Thermotherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, Nora

    This thesis presents experimental studies of iron oxide nanoparticle synthesis, functionalization, and intracellular hyperthermal effects on murine macrophages as a model in vitro system. Colloidal suspensions of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are of particular interest in Magnetic Fluid Hyperthermia (MFH). Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have garnered great interest as economical, biocompatible hyperthermia agents due to their superparamagnetic activity. Here we seek to optimize the synthetic reproducibility and in vitro utilization of IONPs for application in MFH. We compared aqueous synthetic protocols and various protective coating techniques using various analytical techniques and in vitro assays to assess the biocompatibility and feasibility of the various preparations of nanoparticles. Using a co-precipitation of iron salts methodology, iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) with an average diameter of 6-8nm were synthesized and stabilized with carboxylates. By performing calorimetry measurements in an oscillating magnetic field (OMF) with a frequency of 500 kHz and field strength of 0.008Tesla the superparamagnetic behavior of these particles was confirmed. To further investigate these IONPs in a biological application, citric acid-stabilized particles, in conjunction with heat generated by these IONPs when exposed to an OMF, were assessed to determine their effects on cell viability in a RAW 267.4 murine macrophage model system. Our results show that 91.5-97% of cells that have ingested IONPs die follow exposure to an OMF. Importantly, neither the IONPs (at applicable concentrations) nor the OMF show cytotoxic effects. These particular particles have promising preliminary results as hyperthermic agents in both the current literature and simple, proof-of-concept experiments in our laboratory setting. We present experimental results for the synthesis, characterization, and utilization of iron oxide nanoparticles in MFH. Our results show that while IONPs have

  3. Expression, purification, and functional characterization of recombinant PTD-SARA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Huang; Rui Du; Peng Zhang; Hua Meng; Huiwei Jia; Yang Song; Man Li; Yingqi Zhang; Shiren Sun

    2011-01-01

    The Smad anchor for receptor activation (SARA) protein is a binding partner for Smad2/3 that plays an important role in the fibrotic promoting signaling pathway initiated by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). The C-terminal 665-750 aa of SARA comprises the Smad-binding domain (SBD). By direct interaction through the SBD, SARA inhibits Smad2/3 phosphorylation and blocks the interaction between Smad2/3 and Smad4, thereby restrains the process of fibrosis.In this study, we constructed a SARA peptide aptamer based on the SBD sequence. The recombinant SARA aptamer,fused with a protein transduction domain (PTD-SARA), was cloned, purified from E. coli, and characterized for the first time. The full-length PTD-SARA coding sequence, created with E. coli favored codons, was cloned into a pQE-30 vector,and the recombinant plasmid was transformed into an M15 strain. After Isopropyl β-D-1-Thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) induction and Ni2+ affinity purification, recombinant PTD-SARA was further identified by immunobiotting and protein N-terminal sequencing. Epifluorescence microscopy revealed that the recombinant PTD-SARA was transferred into the cytoplasm and nucleus more efficiently than SARA.Moreover, the recombinant PTD-SARA was found to up-regulate the level of E-cadherin and down-regulate the levels of α-SMA and phospho-Smad3 more efficiently than SARA (P< 0.05). Our work explored a method to obtain recombinant PTD-SARA protein. The recombinant PTDSARA fusion protein could enter HK2 cells (an immortalized proximal tubule epithelial cell line) more efficiently than the SARA protein and reverse the renal epithelial-to-mesenchymal transdifferentiation process that was induced by TGF-β1 more effectively than the SARA protein. Recombinant PDT-SARA is likely to be a potential candidate for clinical prevention and treatment of renal fibrosis.

  4. Structural and functional characterization of Delphinus delphis hemoglobin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manconi, Barbara; Messana, Irene; Maggiani, Federica; Olianas, Alessandra; Pellegrini, Mariagiuseppina; Crnjar, Roberto; Castagnola, Massimo; Giardina, Bruno; Sanna, Maria Teresa

    2009-11-01

    Structural analysis of the hemoglobin (Hb) system of Delphinus delphis revealed a high globin multiplicity: HPLC-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) analysis evidenced three major beta (beta1 16,022 Da, beta2 16,036 Da, beta3 16,036 Da, labeled according to their progressive elution times) and two major alpha globins (alpha1 15,345 Da, alpha2 15,329 Da). ESI-tandem mass and nucleotide sequence analyses showed that beta2 globin differs from beta1 for the substitution Val126 --> Leu, while beta3 globin differs from beta2 for the isobaric substitution Lys65 --> Gln. The alpha2 globin differs from the alpha1 for the substitution Ser15 --> Ala. Anion-exchange chromatography allowed the separation of two Hb fractions and HPLC-ESI-MS analysis revealed that the fraction with higher pI (HbI) contained beta1, beta2 and both the alpha globins, and the fraction with lower pI (HbII) contained beta3 and both the alpha globins. Both D. delphis Hb fractions displayed a lower intrinsic oxygen affinity, a decreased effect of 2,3-BPG and a reduced cooperativity with respect to human HbA(0), with HbII showing the more pronounced differences. With respect to HbA(0), either the substitution Probeta5 --> Gly or the Probeta5 --> Ala is present in all the cetacean beta globins sequenced so far, and it has been hypothesized that position 5 of beta globins may have a role in the interaction with 2,3-BPG. Regarding the particularly lowered cooperativity of HbII, it is interesting to observe that the variant human HbA, characterized by the substitution Lysbeta65 --> Gln (HbJ-Cairo) has a decreased cooperativity with respect to HbA(0).

  5. In vivo characterization of regenerative peripheral nerve interface function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursu, Daniel C.; Urbanchek, Melanie G.; Nedic, Andrej; Cederna, Paul S.; Gillespie, R. Brent

    2016-04-01

    Objective. Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces (RPNIs) are neurotized free autologous muscle grafts equipped with electrodes to record myoelectric signals for prosthesis control. Viability of rat RPNI constructs have been demonstrated using evoked responses. In vivo RPNI characterization is the next critical step for assessment as a control modality for prosthetic devices. Approach. Two RPNIs were created in each of two rats by grafting portions of free muscle to the ends of divided peripheral nerves (peroneal in the left and tibial in the right hind limb) and placing bipolar electrodes on the graft surface. After four months, we examined in vivo electromyographic signal activity and compared these signals to muscular electromyographic signals recorded from autologous muscles in two rats serving as controls. An additional group of two rats in which the autologous muscles were denervated served to quantify cross-talk in the electrode recordings. Recordings were made while rats walked on a treadmill and a motion capture system tracked the hind limbs. Amplitude and periodicity of signals relative to gait were quantified, correlation between electromyographic and motion recording were assessed, and a decoder was trained to predict joint motion. Main Results. Raw RPNI signals were active during walking, with amplitudes of 1 mVPP, and quiet during standing, with amplitudes less than 0.1 mVPP. RPNI signals were periodic and entrained with gait. A decoder predicted bilateral ankle motion with greater than 80% reliability. Control group signal activity agreed with literature. Denervated group signals remained quiescent throughout all evaluations. Significance. In vivo myoelectric RPNI activity encodes neural activation patterns associated with gait. Signal contamination from muscles adjacent to the RPNI is minimal, as demonstrated by the low amplitude signals obtained from the Denervated group. The periodicity and entrainment to gait of RPNI recordings suggests the

  6. Characterizing the \\lyaf\\ flux probability distribution function using Legendre polynomials

    CERN Document Server

    Cieplak, Agnieszka M

    2016-01-01

    The Lyman-$\\alpha$ forest is a highly non-linear field with a lot of information available in the data beyond the power spectrum. The flux probability distribution function (PDF) has been used as a successful probe of small-scale physics. In this paper we argue that measuring coefficients of the Legendre polyonomial expansion of the PDF offers several advantages over measuring the binned values as is commonly done. In particular, $n$-th coefficient can be expressed as a linear combination of the first $n$ moments, allowing these coefficients to be measured in the presence of noise and allowing a clear route for marginalisation over mean flux. Moreover, in the presence of noise, our numerical work shows that a finite number of coefficients are well measured with very sharp transition into noise dominance. This compresses the available information into a small number of well-measured quantities.

  7. Functional characterization of serotonin receptor subtypes in human duodenal secretion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelmann, Bodil Elisabeth; Bindslev, Niels; Poulsen, Steen Seier;

    2006-01-01

    of dyspeptic patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection, and to determine the 5-HT receptor subtypes functionally involved. Biopsies from the second part of duodenum were obtained from 43 dyspeptic patients during routine endoscopy. Biopsies were mounted in modified Ussing chambers with air suction......: ketanserin, ondansetron, or SB-204070 (1-butyl-4 piperidinmethyl-8-amino-7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-5-carboxylate HCl). Histological examination was performed on duodenal biopsies. Helicobacter urease testing and histological examination determined Helicobacter pylori infection. 5-HT induced a dose......-dependent and bumetanide-sensitive short-circuit current, which was independent of the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection. All the three 5-HT receptor antagonists failed to significantly effect basal and 5-HT-induced short-circuit current. Our results indicate that in human duodenum 1) 5-HT is a potent stimulator...

  8. Functional characterization of the bladder cancer marker, BLCA-4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Le, Thu-Suong; Myers, Julie; Konety, Badrinath R; Barder, Timothy; Getzenberg, Robert H

    2004-02-15

    Bladder cancer is a common disease of the genitourinary tract for which the development of a noninvasive detection technique would have a significant impact on disease management. One of our previously identified bladder cancer-specific proteins, BLCA-4, appears to be associated with a "field effect" of the disease, and in clinical trials is able to separate individuals with bladder cancer from those without the disease with high sensitivity and specificity. The potential clinical utility of this marker has led to the analysis of its function in bladder cancer pathobiology. To additionally analyze the specificity of this marker, the expression in the urine of a variety of benign urologic conditions was analyzed. After cloning the gene encoding BLCA-4, functional aspects of the protein were analyzed by overexpressing it in cell systems, as well as its interaction with other transcription factors and in gel mobility shift assays. Finally, to determine the timing of expression in relation to the observance of bladder cancer, an animal model of the disease was examined. Expression of BLCA-4, the cDNA of which reveals that it is a novel member of the ETS transcription factor family, is not found in benign urologic conditions. Overexpression leads to increased growth rates of cells, and the protein interacts with other transcription factors. In vivo studies reveal that BLCA-4 expression occurs significantly before the observance of grossly visible tumors in an animal model of the disease. BLCA-4 is a bladder cancer marker that is highly specific and occurs early in the development of the disease. It appears to be a transcription factor that may play a role in the regulation of the gene expression in bladder cancer. BLCA-4 is a marker with significant clinical utility that may have an active role in the disease.

  9. Benchtop isolation and characterization of functional exosomes by sequential filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinemann, Mitja L; Ilmer, Matthias; Silva, Leslie P; Hawke, David H; Recio, Alejandro; Vorontsova, Maria A; Alt, Eckhard; Vykoukal, Jody

    2014-12-05

    Early and minimally invasive detection of malignant events or other pathologies is of utmost importance in the pursuit of improved patient care and outcomes. Recent evidence indicates that exosomes and extracellular vesicles in serum and body fluids can contain nucleic acid, protein, and other biomarkers. Accordingly, there is great interest in applying these clinically as prognostic, predictive, pharmacodynamic, and early detection indicators. Nevertheless, existing exosome isolation methods can be time-consuming, require specialized equipment, and/or present other inefficiencies regarding purity, reproducibility and assay cost. We have developed a straightforward, three-step protocol for exosome isolation of cell culture supernatants or large volumes of biofluid based on sequential steps of dead-end pre-filtration, tangential flow filtration (TFF), and low-pressure track-etched membrane filtration that we introduce here. Our approach yields exosome preparations of high purity and defined size distribution and facilitates depletion of free protein and other low-molecular-weight species, extracellular vesicles larger than 100nm, and cell debris. Samples of exosomes prepared using the approach were verified morphologically by nanoparticle tracking analysis and electron microscopy, and mass spectrometry analyses confirmed the presence of previously reported exosome-associated proteins. In addition to being easy-to-implement, sequential filtration yields exosomes of high purity and, importantly, functional integrity as a result of the relatively low-magnitude manipulation forces employed during isolation. This answers an unmet need for preparation of minimally manipulated exosomes for investigations into exosome function and basic biology. Further, the strategy is amenable to translation for clinical exosome isolations because of its speed, automatability, scalability, and specificity for isolating exosomes from complex biological samples.

  10. Changes in FKBP5 expression and memory functions during cognitive-behavioral therapy in posttraumatic stress disorder: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Csilla; Kelemen, Oguz; Kéri, Szabolcs

    2014-05-21

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by hyperarousal, flashbacks, avoidance, and memory dysfunctions. Although psychotherapy improves the clinical symptoms, its effect on memory has not been explored. In addition, there is no information about gene expression changes related to hippocampal functions. We assessed PTSD patients (n=20) using the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) and a paired associates learning (PAL) test, as well as changes in blood FK506 binding protein (FKBP5) mRNA expression before and after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Results revealed that before CBT PTSD patients were impaired on WAIS-R delayed recall, attention/concentration, and PAL compared with trauma-exposed control subjects (n=20). These memory dysfunctions showed a significant improvement after CBT. Better performance on the PAL test correlated with enhanced blood FKBP5 mRNA expression. These results suggest that elevated FKBP5 expression during CBT is related to improved associative memory linked to the hippocampal formation.

  11. Design and proof of function of a closure system for an HLW-repository in rock salt. Results of the preliminary safety analysis for the Gorleben site (VSG)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller-Hoeppe, Nina; Breustedt, Michael; Engelhardt, Hans-Joachim; Wolf, Johanna [DBE Technology GmbH, Peine (Germany); Buhmann, Dieter; Czaikowski, Oliver; Herbert, Horst-Juergen; Wieczorek, Klaus; Xie, Mingliang [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH, Braunschweig (Germany)

    2015-07-01

    Within the preliminary safety analysis for the Gorleben site (VSG), a closure system was designed in order to complement the containment providing rock zone (CRZ) by sealing and backfilling measures. The design procedure as well as the technical proof of function was mainly performed according to standard procedures in civil engineering. In the context of VSG, rough individual technical proofs of several measures were carried out. Meanwhile, this gap has been closed by subsequent investigations. Altogether the results of all the individual technical proofs of function indicate that safe containment of radioactive waste is a realistic possibility at the Gorleben site.

  12. The administration of psilocybin to healthy, hallucinogen-experienced volunteers in a mock-functional magnetic resonance imaging environment: a preliminary investigation of tolerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carhart-Harris, Robin L; Williams, Tim M; Sessa, Ben; Tyacke, Robin J; Rich, Ann S; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J

    2011-11-01

    This study sought to assess the tolerability of intravenously administered psilocybin in healthy, hallucinogen-experienced volunteers in a mock-magnetic resonance imaging environment as a preliminary stage to a controlled investigation using functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore the effects of psilocybin on cerebral blood flow and activity. The present pilot study demonstrated that up to 2 mg of psilocybin delivered as a slow intravenous injection produces short-lived but typical drug effects that are psychologically and physiologically well tolerated. With appropriate care, this study supports the viability of functional magnetic resonance imaging work with psilocybin.

  13. An Algorithmic Characterization of Polynomial Functions over Z_{p^n}

    CERN Document Server

    Guha, Ashwin

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we consider polynomial representability of functions defined over Z_{p^n}, where p is a prime and n is a positive integer. Our aim is to provide an algorithmic characterization that answers the decision problem: to determine whether a given function over Z_{p^n} is polynomially representable or not. The previous characterizations given by Carlitz (1964) and Kempner (1921) are existential in nature and only lead to an exhaustive search method, i.e. algorithm with complexity exponential in size of the input. We present a new characterization which leads to an algorithm whose running time is linear in size of input.

  14. Preliminary Results From the CAUGHT Experiment: Investigation of the North Central Andes Subsurface Using Receiver Functions and Ambient Noise Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. C.; Ward, K. M.; Porter, R. C.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Wagner, L. S.; Minaya, E.; Tavera, H.

    2011-12-01

    Jamie Ryan, Kevin M. Ward, Ryan Porter, Susan Beck, George Zandt, Lara Wagner, Estela Minaya, and Hernando Tavera The University of Arizona The University of North Carolina San Calixto Observatorio, La Paz, Bolivia IGP, Lima, Peru In order to investigate the interplay between crustal shortening, lithospheric removal, and surface uplift we have deployed 50 broadband seismometers in northwestern Bolivia and southern Peru as part of the interdisciplinary Central Andean Uplift and Geodynamics of High Topography (CAUGHT) project. The morphotectonic units of the central Andes from west to east, consist of the Western Cordillera, the active volcanic arc, the Altiplano, an internally drained basin (~4 km elevation), the Eastern Cordillera, the high peaks (~6 km elevation) of an older fold and thrust belt, the Subandean zone, the lower elevation active fold and thrust belt, and the foreland Beni basin. Between northwestern Bolivia and southern Peru, the Altiplano pinches out north of Lake Titicaca as the Andes narrow northward. The CAUGHT seismic instruments were deployed between 13° to 18° S latitudes to investigate the crust and mantle lithosphere of the central Andes in this transitional zone. In northwest Bolivia, perpendicular to the strike of the Andes, there is a total of 275 km of documented upper crustal shortening (15° to 17°S) (McQuarrie et al, 2008). Associated with the shortening is crustal thickening and possibly lithospheric removal as the thickening lithospheric root becomes unstable. An important first order study is to compare upper crustal shortening estimates with present day crustal thickness. To estimate crustal thickness, we have calculated receiver functions using an iterative deconvolution method and used common conversion point stacking along the same profile as the geologically based shortening estimates. In our preliminary results, we observed a strong P to S conversion corresponding to the Moho at approximately 60-65 km depth underneath the

  15. Functional Characterization of Pseudomonas Contact Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercy, Chryslène; Ize, Bérengère; Salcedo, Suzana P; de Bentzmann, Sophie; Bigot, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) toxins, delivered into the cytoplasm of target bacterial cells, confer to host strain a significant competitive advantage. Upon cell contact, the toxic C-terminal region of surface-exposed CdiA protein (CdiA-CT) inhibits the growth of CDI- bacteria. CDI+ cells express a specific immunity protein, CdiI, which protects from autoinhibition by blocking the activity of cognate CdiA-CT. CdiA-CT are separated from the rest of the protein by conserved peptide motifs falling into two distinct classes, the "E. coli"- and "Burkholderia-type". CDI systems have been described in numerous species except in Pseudomonadaceae. In this study, we identified functional toxin/immunity genes linked to CDI systems in the Pseudomonas genus, which extend beyond the conventional CDI classes by the variability of the peptide motif that delimits the polymorphic CdiA-CT domain. Using P. aeruginosa PAO1 as a model, we identified the translational repressor RsmA as a negative regulator of CDI systems. Our data further suggest that under conditions of expression, P. aeruginosa CDI systems are implicated in adhesion and biofilm formation and provide an advantage in competition assays. All together our data imply that CDI systems could play an important role in niche adaptation of Pseudomonadaceae.

  16. Characterization of Platinum Nanoparticles Deposited on Functionalized Graphene Sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Chun Chiang

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-02-15

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

  18. Preparation and characterization of aminosilane-functionalized cellulose nanocrystal aerogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu; Cao, Fei; Jiang, Hua; Zhang, Yang

    2017-08-01

    In this study, cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) extracted from hybrid poplar residue was grafted with an aminosilane, N-(2-aminoethyl)-3-aminopropylmethyldimethoxysilane (AEAPMDS). Supercritical CO2 drying was employed to produce polymer aerogels. The effects of AEAPMDS on the properties of the aerogel were investigated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed that the aminosilane had been grafted on CNC. The crystallinity decreased due to the introduction of amorphous AEAPMDS on the surface of CNC. Analysis of specific surface areas and pore diameters indicated that the modification failed to destroy the inner structure of the aerogel. Scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetry revealed that three-dimensional network structure was conserved after modification but had a lower thermal stability. High CO2 adsorption capacities (1.7 and 2.6 mmol g-1) were measured at 1 bar and two temperatures, 25 and 0 °C, respectively. Therefore, the modification procedure could be a promising avenue for the preparation of aminosilane-functionalized CNC aerogels as a novel adsorption material.

  19. Preliminary design of a vacuum pressure swing adsorption process for natural gas upgrading based on amino-functionalized MIL-53

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serra-Crespo, P.; Wezendonk, T.A.; Bach-Samario, C.; Sundar, N.; Verouden, K.; Zweemer, M.; Gascon, J.; van den Berg, Henderikus; Kapteijn, F.

    2015-01-01

    A preliminary study based on a conceptual process design methodology that includes a technical evaluation and an economic study has been carried out for the use of the metal-organic framework NH2-MIL-53(Al) as adsorbent for the separation of carbon dioxide from methane. Among the alternatives

  20. Synthesis and Preliminary Characterization of a PPE-Type Polymer Containing Substituted Fullerenes and Transition Metal Ligation Sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinne A. Basinger

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A substituted fullerene was incorporated into a PPE-conjugated polymer repeat unit. This subunit was then polymerized via Sonogashira coupling with other repeat units to create polymeric systems approaching 50 repeat units (based on GPC characterization. Bipyridine ligands were incorporated into some of these repeat units to provide sites for transition metal coordination. Photophysical characterization of the absorption and emission properties of these systems shows excited states located on both the fullerene and aromatic backbone of the polymers that exist in a thermally controlled equilibrium. Future work will explore other substituted polyaromatic systems using similar methodologies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    We present a characterization of short-term stability of Kauffman's N K (random) Boolean networks under arbitrary distributions of transfer functions. Given such a Boolean network where each transfer function is drawn from the same distribution, we present a formula that determines whether short-term chaos (damage spreading) will happen. Our main technical tool which enables the formal proof of this formula is the Fourier analysis of Boolean functions, which describes such functions as multilinear polynomials over the inputs. Numerical simulations on mixtures of threshold functions and nested canalyzing functions demonstrate the formula's correctness.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    We present a characterization of short-term stability of Kauffman's NK (random) Boolean networks under arbitrary distributions of transfer functions. Given such a Boolean network where each transfer function is drawn from the same distribution, we present a formula that determines whether short-term chaos (damage spreading) will happen. Our main technical tool which enables the formal proof of this formula is the Fourier analysis of Boolean functions, which describes such functions as multilinear polynomials over the inputs. Numerical simulations on mixtures of threshold functions and nested canalyzing functions demonstrate the formula's correctness.

  3. Topological and functional characterization of an insect gustatory receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-Jie Zhang

    Full Text Available Insect gustatory receptors are predicted to have a seven-transmembrane structure and are distantly related to insect olfactory receptors, which have an inverted topology compared with G-protein coupled receptors, including mammalian olfactory receptors. In contrast, the topology of insect gustatory receptors remains unknown. Except for a few examples from Drosophila, the specificity of individual insect gustatory receptors is also unknown. In this study, the total number of identified gustatory receptors in Bombyx mori was expanded from 65 to 69. BmGr8, a silkmoth gustatory receptor from the sugar receptor subfamily, was expressed in insect cells. Membrane topology studies on BmGr8 indicate that, like insect olfactory receptors, it has an inverted topology relative to G protein-coupled receptors. An orphan GR from the bitter receptor family, BmGr53, yielded similar results. We infer, from the finding that two distantly related BmGrs have an intracellular N-terminus and an odd number of transmembrane spans, that this is likely to be a general topology for all insect gustatory receptors. We also show that BmGr8 functions independently in Sf9 cells and responds in a concentration-dependent manner to the polyalcohols myo-inositol and epi-inositol but not to a range of mono- and di-saccharides. BmGr8 is the first chemoreceptor shown to respond specifically to inositol, an important or essential nutrient for some Lepidoptera. The selectivity of BmGr8 responses is consistent with the known responses of one of the gustatory receptor neurons in the lateral styloconic sensilla of B. mori, which responds to myo-inositol and epi-inositol but not to allo-inositol.

  4. Functional characterization of three mouse formyl peptide receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hui-Qiong; Liao, Dan; Wang, Zhen-Guo; Wang, Zhong-Li; Zhou, Hu-Chen; Wang, Ming-Wei; Ye, Richard D

    2013-02-01

    The evolutionary relationship and functional correlation between human formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) and their mouse counterparts remain incompletely understood. We examined three members of the mouse formyl peptide receptor subfamily (mFprs) and found that they differ in agonist preference and cellular distributions. When stably expressed in transfected rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) cells, mFpr1 was readily activated by N-formylated peptides derived from Listeria monocytogenes (fMIVTLF), Staphylococcus aureus (fMIFL), and mitochondria (fMMYALF). In contrast, the Escherichia coli-derived fMLF was 1000-fold less potent. The aforementioned peptides were much less efficacious at mFpr2, which responded better to the synthetic hexapeptide WKYMVm, the synthetic agonists Quin-C1 (a substituted quinazolinone), and compound 43 (a nitrosylated pyrazolone derivative). Saturation binding assays showed that mFpr1 and mFpr2 were expressed at similar levels on the cell surface, although their affinity for N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe-Ile-Ile-Lys-fluorescein isothiocyanate varied by more than 1000-fold [dissociation constant (K(d)) values of 2.8 nM for mFpr1 and 4.8 μM for mFpr2]). Contrary to these receptors, mFpr-rs1 responded poorly to all the previously mentioned peptides that were tested. Fluorescent microscopy revealed an intracellular distribution pattern of mFpr-rs1. On the basis of these results, we conclude that mFpr1 is an ortholog of human FPR1 with certain pharmacologic properties of human FPR2/ALX, whereas mFpr2 has much lower affinity for formyl peptides. The intracellular distribution of mFpr-rs1 suggests an evolutionary correlation with human FPR3.

  5. Identification and Immune Functional Characterization of Pigeon TLR7

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Xiong

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7 is activated by single-stranded RNA and synthetic imidazoquinoline components, and induces interferon production. In this study, we cloned the TLR7 gene from King pigeon (Columba livia. The TLR7 open reading frame is 3144 bp and encodes a 1047-amino acid protein, consisting of a canonical TLR composition with 15 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs. Amino acid-inserting modifications were found at position 15 of LRR2, LRR11, LRR13, and LRR14 and position 10 of LRR10. The tissue distribution of pigeon TLR7 suggests that immune-associated tissues, especially the spleen and liver, have high TLR7 expression. HEK293T cells transfected with pigeon TLR7 plasmid responded to the agonist R848, indicating a functional TLR7 homolog. Following R848 stimulation of pigeon peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the levels of IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8, CCL5, and IL-10 mRNA, assessed using quantitative real-time PCR, were significantly up-regulated. After Newcastle disease virus vaccine strain LaSota inoculation and agonist R848 injection, the level of TLR7 mRNA in the spleen of pigeons increased significantly in the R848-injected group, but decreased in the LaSota-inoculated group at three day post-infection (d.p.i.. The mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines were significantly upregulated in both LaSota-inoculated and R848-injected groups. Triggering pigeon TLR7 leads to robust up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, suggesting an important role in the innate immune response.

  6. Preliminary hazard assessment and site characterization of Meşelik campus area, Eskişehir-Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Orhan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Limited knowledge of ground conditions, such as geotechnical parameters, is one of the main causes of foundation failure. Unknown ground conditions can also cause additional burden costs. Due to lack of geotechnical parameters in foundation soil, some problems can be observed during and after the construction.

    In this study, a comprehensive field study was conducted to make a preliminary hazard assessment on the Meşelik campus area, Eskişehir, Turkey. In this context, the experimental studies were performed in two stages. In the first stage, boreholes were drilled in the field; a standard penetration test (SPT was performed and disturbed/undisturbed samples were collected from certain levels. In the second stage, laboratory tests were performed in order to identify and classify the samples. Unconfined compression strength and triaxial compression tests were conducted on undisturbed samples for determining the engineering characteristics. XRD (X-ray diffraction tests were performed and the swelling potential of the samples were evaluated. The liquefaction potential of the area was also assessed on a SPT-based method. Thus, the geotechnical parameters and the liquefaction potential of the sub-surface in the study area were thoroughly analyzed and presented to be used for further studies.

  7. Characterization of postmortem biochemical changes in rabbit plasma using ATR-FTIR combined with chemometrics: A preliminary study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ji; Li, Bing; Wang, Qi; Li, Chengzhi; Zhang, Yinming; Lin, Hancheng; Wang, Zhenyuan

    2017-02-01

    Postmortem interval (PMI) determination is one of the most challenging tasks in forensic medicine due to a lack of accurate and reliable methods. It is especially difficult for late PMI determination. Although many attempts with various types of body fluids based on chemical methods have been made to solve this problem, few investigations are focused on blood samples. In this study, we employed an attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) technique coupled with principle component analysis (PCA) to monitor biochemical changes in rabbit plasma with increasing PMI. Partial least square (PLS) model was used based on the spectral data for PMI prediction in an independent sample set. Our results revealed that postmortem chemical changes in compositions of the plasma were time-dependent, and various components including proteins, lipids and nucleic acids contributed to the discrimination of the samples at different time points. A satisfactory prediction within 48 h postmortem was performed by the combined PLS model with a good fitting between actual and predicted PMI of 0.984 and with an error of ± 1.92 h. In consideration of the simplicity and portability of ATR-FTIR, our preliminary study provides an experimental and theoretical basis for application of this technique in forensic practice.

  8. Preliminary results from two intensive campaigns characterizing urban aerosols at two high altitude cities in the Tropical Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, M. F.; Wiedensohler, A.; Velarde, F.; Moreno, I.; Weinhold, K.; Avila, F.

    2013-05-01

    Preliminary results from a short campaign carried out between September and December of 2012 at the cities of El Alto (16°30'36.09"S; 68°11'55.31"W; 4040 masl) and La Paz (16°30'13.83"S; 68° 7'45.56"W; 3580 masl), Bolivia are presented on this work. Particle size distribution was measured using a Mobility Particle Size Spectrometer (Reference of the World Calibration Center for Aerosol Physics) whereas concentration of black carbon was measured using a Multi Angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP). In addition meteorological parameters as well as CO concentration were collected on both locations. In the case of El Alto, the instruments were located within the International Airport of the city at approximately 300 m from the main and only landing strip and at least 1.5 km away from the main roads. On the other hand, in the case of La Paz, the instruments were set up at the Planetarium of University Mayor de San Andres. The building is located besides a road with heavy traffic. Because the two cities are part of the same metropolitan area (the sites were located 7.5 km apart), the cars and trucks produce a similar signature and therefore both background and non-background urban aerosols were sampled during the campaign. In addition, an interesting case was registered at La Paz where a day with practically no vehicular traffic was studied.

  9. Preliminary report on the stable isotope imaging and characterization of surface and ground water resources in the southern Sacramento Valley

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davisson, M.L. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Criss, R.E.; Campbell, K.R. [California Univ., Davis, CA (United States). Dept. of Geology

    1993-11-01

    This document contains information about the water resources in Sacramento. The project considers isotopic characterization of groundwater and the environmental effects of the misuse of water resources. In particular, the study looks at the effects extensive agriculture and the overdrafting of groundwater.

  10. Structural And Functional Characterization of CC Chemokine CCL14

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blain, K.Y.; Kwiatkowski, W.; Zhao, Q.; Fleur, D.La; Naik, C.; Chun, T.-W.; Tsareva, T.; Kanakaraj, P.; Laird, M.W.; Shah, R.; George, L.; Sanyal, I.; Moore, P.A.; Demeler, B.; Choe, S.

    2009-06-02

    CC chemokine ligand 14, CCL14, is a human CC chemokine that is of recent interest because of its natural ability, upon proteolytic processing of the first eight NH{sub 2}-terminal residues, to bind to and signal through the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) co-receptor, CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5). We report X-ray crystallographic structures of both full-length CCL14 and signaling-active, truncated CCL14 [9-74] determined at 2.23 and 1.8 {angstrom}, respectively. Although CCL14 and CCL14 [9-74] differ in their ability to bind CCR5 for biological signaling, we find that the NH{sub 2}-terminal eight amino acids (residues 1 through 8) are completely disordered in CCL14 and both show the identical mode of the dimeric assembly characteristic of the CC type chemokine structures. However, analytical ultracentrifugation studies reveal that the CCL14 is stable as a dimer at a concentration as low as 100 nM, whereas CCL14 [9-74] is fully monomeric at the same concentration. By the same method, the equilibrium between monomers of CCL14 [9-74] and higher order oligomers is estimated to be of EC{sub 1,4} = 4.98 {mu}M for monomer-tetramer conversion. The relative instability of CCL14 [9-74] oligomers as compared to CCL14 is also reflected in the K{sub d}'s that are estimated by the surface plasmon resonance method to be {approx}9.84 and 667 nM for CCL14 and CCL14 [9-74], respectively. This {approx}60-fold difference in stability at a physiologically relevant concentration can potentially account for their different signaling ability. Functional data from the activity assays by intracellular calcium flux and inhibition of CCR5-mediated HIV-1 entry show that only CCL14 [9-74] is fully active at these near-physiological concentrations where CCL14 [9-74] is monomeric and CCL14 is dimeric. These results together suggest that the ability of CCL14 [9-74] to monomerize can play a role for cellular activation.

  11. Characterization and functional analysis of Trichinella spiralis Nudix hydrolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Shao Rong; Wang, Zhong Quan; Jiang, Peng; Liu, Ruo Dan; Qi, Xin; Liu, Pei; Ren, Hui Jun; Shi, Hai Ning; Cui, Jing

    2015-12-01

    Trichinella spiralis Nudix hydrolase (TsNd) was identified by screening a T7 phage display cDNA library from T. spiralis intestinal infective larvae (IIL), and vaccination of mice with recombinant TsNd protein (rTsNd) or TsNd DNA vaccine produced a partial protective immunity. The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics and biological functions of TsNd in the process of invasion and development of T. spiralis larvae. Transcription and expression of TsNd gene at all developmental stages of T. spiralis were observed by qPCR and immunofluorescent test (IFT). The rTsNd had the Nd enzymatic activity to dGTP, NAD, NADP and CoA. Its kinetic properties on the preferred substrate dGTP were calculated, and the Vmax, Km, and kcat/Km values at pH 8.0 were 3.19 μM min(-1) μg(-1), 370 μM, and 144 s(-1) M(-1), respectively, in reaction matrix containing 5 mM Zn(2+) and 2 mM DTT. The rTsNd was active from 25 °C to 50 °C, with optimal activity at 37 °C. rTsNd was able to bind specifically to mouse intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and promoted the larval invasion of IECs, whereas anti-rTsNd antibodies inhibited the larval invasion of IECs in a dose-dependent manner. Anti-rTsNd antibodies could kill T. spiralis infective larvae by an ADCC-mediated mechanism. Our results showed that the rTsNd protein was able to interact with host IECs, had the Nudix hydrolasing activity and the enzymatic activity appeared to be essential indispensable for the T. spiralis larval invasion, development and survival in host.

  12. Preliminary evaluation of a fully automated quantitative framework for characterizing general breast tissue histology via color histogram and color texture analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Brad M.; Gastounioti, Aimilia; Batiste, Rebecca C.; Kontos, Despina; Feldman, Michael D.

    2016-03-01

    Visual characterization of histologic specimens is known to suffer from intra- and inter-observer variability. To help address this, we developed an automated framework for characterizing digitized histology specimens based on a novel application of color histogram and color texture analysis. We perform a preliminary evaluation of this framework using a set of 73 trichrome-stained, digitized slides of normal breast tissue which were visually assessed by an expert pathologist in terms of the percentage of collagenous stroma, stromal collagen density, duct-lobular unit density and the presence of elastosis. For each slide, our algorithm automatically segments the tissue region based on the lightness channel in CIELAB colorspace. Within each tissue region, a color histogram feature vector is extracted using a common color palette for trichrome images generated with a previously described method. Then, using a whole-slide, lattice-based methodology, color texture maps are generated using a set of color co-occurrence matrix statistics: contrast, correlation, energy and homogeneity. The extracted features sets are compared to the visually assessed tissue characteristics. Overall, the extracted texture features have high correlations to both the percentage of collagenous stroma (r=0.95, phistological processes in digitized histology specimens.

  13. Preliminary biochemical characterization of the novel, non-AT1, non-AT2 angiotensin binding site from the rat brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karamyan, Vardan T.; Arsenault, Jason; Escher, Emanuel; Speth, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    A novel binding site for angiotensins II and III was recently discovered in brain membranes in the presence of the sulfhydryl reactive angiotensinase inhibitor parachloromercuribenzoate. This binding site is distinctly different from the other known receptors for angiotensins: AT1, AT2, AT4, and mas oncogene protein (Ang 1-7 receptor). Preliminary biochemical characterization studies have been done on this protein by crosslinking it with 125I-labeled photoaffinity probes and solubilizing the radiolabeled binding site. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis studies and isoelectric focusing indicate that this membrane bound binding site is a protein with a molecular weight of 70–85 kDa and an isoelectric point of ~7. Cyanogen bromide hydrolysis of the protein yielded two radiolabeled fragments of 12.5 and 25 kDa. The protein does not appear to be N-glycosylated based upon the failure of PNGaseF to alter its migration rate on a 7.5% polyacrylamide gel. The binding of angiotensin II to this protein is not affected by GTPγS or Gpp(NH)p, suggesting that it is not a G protein-coupled receptor. Further characterization studies are directed to identify this protein either as a novel angiotensin receptor, an angiotensin scavenger (clearance receptor) or an angiotensinase. PMID:20960166

  14. On Techniques to Characterize and Correlate Grain Size, Grain Boundary Orientation and the Strength of the SiC Layer of TRISO Coated Particles: A Preliminary Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    I.J.van Rooyen; J.L. Dunzik Gougar; T. Trowbridge; Philip M van Rooyen

    2012-10-01

    The mechanical properties of the silicon carbide (SiC) layer of the TRi-ISOtropic (TRISO) coated particle (CP) for high temperature gas reactors (HTGR) are performance parameters that have not yet been standardized by the international HTR community. Presented in this paper are the results of characterizing coated particles to reveal the effect of annealing temperature (1000 to 2100°C) on the strength and grain size of unirradiated coated particles. This work was further expanded to include possible relationships between the grain size and strength values. The comparative results of two strength measurement techniques and grain size measured by the Lineal intercept method are included. Preliminary grain boundary characterization results determined by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) are included. These results are also important for future fission product transport studies, as grain boundary diffusion is identified as a possible mechanism by which 110mAg, one of the fission activation products, might be released through intact SiC layers. Temperature is a parameter known to influence the grain size of SiC and therefore it is important to investigate the effect of high temperature annealing on the SiC grain size. Recommendations and future work will also be briefly discussed.

  15. Preliminary Source Characterization and Tsunami Modeling of Submarine Landslides along the Yucatan Shelf/Campeche Escarpment, southern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaytor, J. D.; Geist, E. L.; Paull, C. K.; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Fucugauchi, J. U.; Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.

    2014-12-01

    Using high-resolution multibeam bathymetry recently collected by the R/V Falkor, we evaluated the morphology, size, and tsunami-generating potential of a number of large, previously unknown, submarine landslides that excavated sections of the submerged Yucatan Shelf/carbonate platform above the Campeche Escarpment. Landslide evacuations appear to be primarily restricted to the later Cenozoic sections of the margin, removing pelagic sediments deposited above the Cretaceous shallow water carbonates exposed along the face of the escarpment. The largest landslides have evacuated areas of the shelf between 130 and 1,100 km2, possibly removing as much as 70 km3 of material in a single event. Based on the morphology of the evacuated areas, the primary mode of failure appears to be translational and retrogressive, with slide thickness primarily stratigraphically controlled. Displaced material appears to be present within some of the evacuation zones, but because sediments from the Mississippi Fan onlap the base of the Campeche Escarpment, mass-transport deposits from individual landslides have not been identified and therefore run-outs are poorly constrained. The evacuation zones are used to specify the initial conditions for tsunami modeling. Both regional, Gulf of Mexico and near-field simulations are performed to determine the severity and wave-height distribution for six slide scenarios. Preliminary results indicate that the location of maximum wave heights associated with the slide scenarios depend on the direction on down-slope slide movement, although there are significant refraction effects during basin-wide propagation. There is also significant energy dissipation during cross-shelf propagation, with wider shelves lessening the severity of tsunami runup compared to runup at coastal locations adjacent to narrower shelves. Future tsunami hazard assessments in the Gulf of Mexico should account for these large, newly discovered submarine landslides.

  16. Purification, partial characterization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a mannose-specific lectin from Cymbosema roseum seeds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cavada, Benildo S., E-mail: bscavada@ufc.br; Marinho, Emmanuel S.; Souza, Emmanuel P.; Benevides, Raquel G.; Delatorre, Plínio [BioMol-Lab - Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Ceará (Brazil); Souza, Luis A. G. [INPA, Manaus, Amazonas (Brazil); Nascimento, Kyria S. [BioMol-Lab - Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Ceará (Brazil); Sampaio, Alexandre H. [Biomol-Mar-Fishing Engineering Faculty, Federal University of Ceará (Brazil); Moreno, Frederico B. M. B.; Rustiguel, Joane K. R. [Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biofísica Molecular, Departamento de Física, UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, SP (Brazil); Canduri, Fernanda [Departamento de Morfofisiologia - CCBS - UFMS, Campo Grande-MS, 79070-900 (Brazil); Azevedo, Walter F. Jr de, E-mail: bscavada@ufc.br [Faculdade de Biociências - PUCRS - Porto Alegre-RS, 90619-900 (Brazil); Debray, Henri [Laboratoire de Chimie Biologique et Unité Mixte de Recherche No. 8576 du CNRS, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (France); BioMol-Lab - Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Ceará (Brazil)

    2006-03-01

    A lectin from C. roseum seeds (CRL) has been purified, characterized and crystallized. A lectin from Cymbosema roseum seeds (CRL) was purified, characterized and crystallized. The best crystals grew in a month and were obtained by the vapour-diffusion method using a precipitant solution consisting of 0.1 M Tris–HCl pH 7.8, 8%(w/v) PEG 3350 and 0.2 M proline at a constant temperature of 293 K. A data set was collected to 1.77 Å resolution at a synchrotron-radiation source. CRL crystals are orthorhombic, belonging to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}. Crystallographic refinement and full amino-acid sequence determination are in progress.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Transport proteins are crucial for cellular function at all levels. Numerous importers and exporters facilitate transport of a diverse array of metabolites and ions intra- and intercellularly. Identification of transporter function is essential for understanding biological processes at both...... the cellular and organismal level. Assignment of a functional role to individual transporter proteins or to identify a transporter with a given substrate specificity has notoriously been challenging. Recently, major advances have been achieved in function-driven screens, phenotype-driven screens, and in silico......-based approaches. In this review, we highlight examples that illustrate how new technology and tools have advanced identification and characterization of plant transporter functions....

  18. Effects of spatial and spectral frequencies on wide-field functional imaging (wifi) characterization of preclinical breast cancer models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moy, Austin; Kim, Jae G.; Lee, Eva Y. H. P.; Choi, Bernard

    2010-02-01

    A common strategy to study breast cancer is the use of the preclinical model. These models provide a physiologically relevant and controlled environment in which to study both response to novel treatments and the biology of the cancer. Preclinical models, including the spontaneous tumor model and mammary window chamber model, are very amenable to optical imaging and to this end, we have developed a wide-field functional imaging (WiFI) instrument that is perfectly suited to studying tumor metabolism in preclinical models. WiFI combines two optical imaging modalities, spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) and laser speckle imaging (LSI). Our current WiFI imaging protocol consists of multispectral imaging in the near infrared (650-980 nm) spectrum, over a wide (7 cm x 5 cm) field of view. Using SFDI, the spatially-resolved reflectance of sinusoidal patterns projected onto the tissue is assessed, and optical properties of the tissue are determined, which are then used to extract tissue chromophore concentrations in the form of oxy-, deoxy-, and total hemoglobin concentrations, and percentage of lipid and water. In the current study, we employ Monte Carlo simulations of SFDI light propagation in order to characterize the penetration depth of light in both the spontaneous tumor model and mammary window chamber model. Preliminary results suggest that different spatial frequency and wavelength combinations have different penetration depths, suggesting the potential depth sectioning capability of the SFDI component of WiFI.

  19. Bacterial expression, purification and preliminary X-ray crystallographic characterization of the invertase inhibitor Nt-CIF from tobacco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hothorn, Michael; Bonneau, Fabien; Stier, Gunter; Greiner, Steffen; Scheffzek, Klaus

    2003-12-01

    Acid invertases catalyzing the breakdown of sucrose are regulated at the post-translational level by extracellular inhibitory proteins of 16-20 kDa molecular weight in a pH-dependent manner. Little is known about the characteristics of the underlying protein-protein interaction. Here, the expression, purification, characterization, crystallization and initial X-ray analysis of a biologically active invertase inhibitor Nt-CIF from tobacco is reported. Four crystal forms covering a wide pH range have been obtained and data sets at resolutions higher than 2.5 A have been collected.

  20. Finding finer functions for partially characterized proteins by protein-protein interaction networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Based on high-throughput data, numerous algorithms have been designed to find functions of novel proteins. However, the effectiveness of such algorithms is currently limited by some fundamental factors, including (1) the low a-priori probability of novel proteins participating in a detailed function; (2) the huge false data present in high-throughput datasets; (3) the incomplete data coverage of functional classes; (4) the abundant but heterogeneous negative samples for training the algorithms; and (5) the lack of detailed functional knowledge for training algorithms. Here, for partially characterized proteins, we suggest an approach to finding their finer functions based on protein interaction sub-networks or gene expression patterns, defined in function-specific subspaces. The proposed approach can lessen the above-mentioned problems by properly defining the prediction range and functionally filtering the noisy data, and thus can efficiently find proteins' novel functions. For thousands of yeast and human proteins partially characterized, it is able to reliably find their finer functions (e.g., the translational functions) with more than 90% precision. The predicted finer functions are highly valuable both for guiding the follow-up wet-lab validation and for providing the necessary data for training algorithms to learn other proteins.

  1. Characterization of the system functions of ultrasonic linear phased array inspection systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ruiju; Schmerr, Lester W

    2009-02-01

    This work characterizes the electrical and electromechanical aspects of an ultrasonic linear phased array inspection system, using a matrix of system functions that are obtained from the measured response of individual array elements in a simple reference experiment. It is shown that for the arrays tested all these system functions are essentially identical, allowing one to use a single system function to characterize the entire array, as done for an ordinary single element transducer. The variation of this single system function with the number of elements firing in the array or with changes of the delay law used is examined. It is also demonstrated that once such a single system function is obtained for an array, it can be used in a complete ultrasonic measurement model to accurately predict the array response measured from a reference reflector in an immersion setup.

  2. Preliminary fundamental aspects on the thyroid volume and function in the population of long term heavily polluted area in East Slovakia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langer, P. [Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, SAS, Bratislava (Slovakia); Tajtakova, M. [Safarik Univ., Kosice (Slovakia). First Clinic of Internal Medicine; Kocan, A. [Slovak Health Univ. - IPCM, Bratislava (SK). Research Base] (and others)

    2004-09-15

    Our previous examinations of employees of chemical factory formerly producing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) repeatedly showed increased thyroid volume as measured by ultrasound as well as increased frequency of thyroperoxidase, thyroglobulin and thyrotropin (TSH) receptor autoantibodies. At the same time a considerable PCB pollution of soil, waters and food chain in large area surrounding that chemical factory was found. The aim of present preliminary evaluation of data obtained within the EC project PCBRISK was to search for further interrelations between long-term organochlorine pollution and fundamental markers of thyroid volume and function in large cohorts of population from three districts of East Slovakia.

  3. Peripheral inflammation related to lower fMRI activation during a working memory task and resting functional connectivity among older adults: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sheena I; Moore, Raeanne C; Soontornniyomkij, Benchawanna; Achim, Cristian L; Jeste, Dilip V; Eyler, Lisa T

    2017-03-01

    Peripheral inflammation has been associated with adverse effects on cognition and brain structure in late life, a process called 'inflammaging.' Identifying biomarkers of preclinical cognitive decline is critical in the development of preventative therapies, and peripheral inflammation may be able to serve as an indicator of cognitive decline. However, little is known regarding the relationship between peripheral inflammation and brain structure and function among older adults. Twenty-four older adults (mean age = 78) underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting state functional connectivity scan, and a subset (n = 14) completed the n-Back working memory task in the scanner. All participants completed a blood draw, and inflammation was measured with interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Surprisingly, age was unrelated to measures of inflammation (IL-6, CRP) or brain function (default mode network (DMN) connectivity; working memory performance; blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) activation with higher working memory load). However, lower functional connectivity between the left parietal seed and all other DMN regions was associated with higher levels of IL-6 and CRP. Additionally, greater plasma concentration of IL-6 was associated with lower BOLD activation in the left middle frontal gyrus in response to increased working memory load. These preliminary findings support the importance of IL-6 and CRP in brain function among older adults. Frontal and parietal regions may be particularly sensitive to the effects of inflammation. Additionally, these findings provide preliminary evidence of inflammatory contributions to level of neural activity, even after accounting for vascular risk factors. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Characterization of subdifferentials of a singular convex functional in Sobolev spaces of order minus one

    CERN Document Server

    Kashima, Yohei

    2011-01-01

    Subdifferentials of a singular convex functional representing the surface free energy of a crystal under the roughening temperature are characterized. The energy functional is defined on Sobolev spaces of order -1, so the subdifferential mathematically formulates the energy's gradient which formally involves 4th order spacial derivatives of the surface's height. The subdifferentials are analyzed in the negative Sobolev spaces of arbitrary spacial dimension on which both a periodic boundary condition and a Dirichlet boundary condition are separately imposed. Based on the characterization theorem of subdifferentials, the smallest element contained in the subdifferential of the energy for a spherically symmetric surface is calculated under the Dirichlet boundary condition.

  5. In Situ Characterization of the Local Work Function along Individual Free Standing Nanowire by Electrostatic Deflection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yicong; Zhao, Chengchun; Huang, Feng; Zhan, Runze; Deng, Shaozhi; Xu, Ningsheng; Chen, Jun

    2016-02-17

    In situ characterization of the work function of quasi one dimensional nanomaterials is essential for exploring their applications. Here we proposed to use the electrostatic deflection induced by work function difference between nanoprobe and nanowire for in situ measuring the local work function along a free standing nanowire. The physical mechanism for the measurement was discussed in details and a parabolic relationship between the deflection and the potential difference was derived. As a demonstration, measurement of the local work functions on the tip and the sidewall of a ZnO nanowire with Au catalyst at its end and a LaB6 nanowire have been achieved with good accuracy.

  6. Comparing characterization of functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes by potentiometric proton titration, NEXAFS, and XPS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhiteng Zhang; Lisa Pfefferle; Gary L. Haller

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNT), this material has been recognized as an attractive catalyst support. CNT must be functionalized before use as a catalyst support and typically this involves oxidation. However, the functional group distribution on the CNT is very complex mixture of groups and varies with oxidation agent used. Here a simple acid-base titration is introduced to characterize the oxygen functionalized CNT. By comparing characterization with near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for both at the C and O K-edges, it can be demonstrated that potentiometric proton titration can be a fast and quan-titative analysis for Brönsted acid functional groups on CNT.

  7. Lusin Area Function and Molecular Characterizations of Musielak-Orlicz Hardy Spaces and Their Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Hou, Shaoxiong; Yang, Sibei

    2012-01-01

    Let $\\varphi: \\mathbb R^n\\times [0,\\infty)\\to[0,\\infty)$ be a function such that $\\varphi(x,\\cdot)$ is an Orlicz function and $\\varphi(\\cdot,t)$ is a Muckenhoupt $A_\\infty(\\mathbb{R}^n)$ weight. In this paper, the authors establish the Lusin area function and the molecular characterizations of the Musielak-Orlicz Hardy space $H_\\varphi(\\mathbb{R}^n)$ introduced by Luong Dang Ky via the grand maximal function. As an application, the authors obtain the $\\varphi$-Carleson measure characterization of the Musielak-Orlicz BMO-type space $\\mathop\\mathrm{BMO}_{\\varphi}(\\mathbb{R}^n)$, which was proved to be the dual space of $H_\\varphi(\\mathbb{R}^n)$ by Luong Dang Ky.

  8. Synthesis and characterization of low work function alkali oxide thin films for unconventional thermionic energy converters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgis, V.; Morini, F.; Zhu, T.; Robillard, J.-F.; Wallart, X.; Codron, J.-L.; Dubois, E.

    2016-11-01

    In this work, we present the synthesis and the characterization of low work function thin films for Micro Thermionic Converters (MTC). The objective is producing a device operating at relatively low temperature (caesium oxides. Our choice to exploit those materials relies on their low work function and their abundance. For both materials, we present the results on the synthesis of the oxides under high vacuum and controlled temperature. The oxide thin films were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, photoemission, and thermionic emission measurements. By exploiting the latter technique, a quantitative evaluation of the current density, emitted by the heated oxides, is obtained as a function of temperature. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to decrease the silicon work function by almost 3 eV, enabling significant thermionic currents despite relatively low temperatures (below 850 K).

  9. Recombinant expression, purification and preliminary characterization of the mRNA export factor MEX67 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chhetri, Gaurav; Pandey, Tripti; Kumar, Bijay; Akhtar, Md Sohail; Tripathi, Timir

    2015-03-01

    The nuclear export of macromolecules is facilitated by the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), embedded in the nuclear envelope and consists of multi-protein complexes. MEX67 is one of the nuclear export factor responsible for the transport of the majority of cellular mRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The mechanism of mRNA transport through NPCs is unclear due to the unavailability of structures and the known interacting partners of MEX67. The mex67 gene was cloned in pQE30A and was expressed in Escherichia coli. A strategy has been developed to purify the insoluble MEX67 using a nickel affinity column with chelating Sepharose fast flow media, after solubilizing with sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (Sarkosyl). The IMAC purified recombinant MEX67 was further purified using SEC to apparent homogeneity (∼8 mg/L). Following SEC, MEX67 was stable and observed to be a 67 kDa monomeric protein as determined by PAGE and the size exclusion chromatography. The availability of large quantities of the protein will help in its biochemical and biophysical characterization, which may lead to the identification of new interaction partners of MEX67 or MEX67 complex.

  10. The membrane skeleton in Paramecium: Molecular characterization of a novel epiplasmin family and preliminary GFP expression results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomel, Sébastien; Diogon, Marie; Bouchard, Philippe; Pradel, Lydie; Ravet, Viviane; Coffe, Gérard; Viguès, Bernard

    2006-02-01

    Previous attempts to identify the membrane skeleton of Paramecium cells have revealed a protein pattern that is both complex and specific. The most prominent structural elements, epiplasmic scales, are centered around ciliary units and are closely apposed to the cytoplasmic side of the inner alveolar membrane. We sought to characterize epiplasmic scale proteins (epiplasmins) at the molecular level. PCR approaches enabled the cloning and sequencing of two closely related genes by amplifications of sequences from a macronuclear genomic library. Using these two genes (EPI-1 and EPI-2), we have contributed to the annotation of the Paramecium tetraurelia macronuclear genome and identified 39 additional (paralogous) sequences. Two orthologous sequences were found in the Tetrahymena thermophila genome. Structural analysis of the 43 sequences indicates that the hallmark of this new multigenic family is a 79 aa domain flanked by two Q-, P- and V-rich stretches of sequence that are much more variable in amino-acid composition. Such features clearly distinguish members of the multigenic family from epiplasmic proteins previously sequenced in other ciliates. The expression of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-tagged epiplasmin showed significant labeling of epiplasmic scales as well as oral structures. We expect that the GFP construct described herein will prove to be a useful tool for comparative subcellular localization of different putative epiplasmins in Paramecium.

  11. Isolation and preliminary characterization of a respiratory nitrate reductase from hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium Gordonia alkanivorans S7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanowska, Irena; Kwapisz, Ewa; Mitka, Magdalena; Bielecki, Stanisław

    2010-06-01

    Gordonia alkanivorans S7 is an efficient degrader of fuel oil hydrocarbons that can simultaneously utilize oxygen and nitrate as electron acceptors. The respiratory nitrate reductase (Nar) from this organism has been isolated using ion exchange chromatography and gel filtration, and then preliminarily characterized. PAGE, SDS-PAGE and gel filtration chromatography revealed that Nar consisted of three subunits of 103, 53 and 25 kDa. The enzyme was optimally active at pH 7.9 and 40 degrees C. K(m) values for NO(3)(-) (110 microM) and for ClO(3)(-) (138 microM) were determined for a reduced viologen as an electron donor. The purified Nar did not use NADH as the electron donor to reduce nitrate or chlorate. Azide was a strong inhibitor of its activity. Our results imply that enzyme isolated from G. alkanivorans S7 is a respiratory membrane-bound nitrate reductase. This is the first report of purification of a nitrate reductase from Gordonia species.

  12. Preliminary results of the in vivo and in vitro characterization of a tentacle venom fraction from the jellyfish Aurelia aurita.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce, Dalia; López-Vera, Estuardo; Aguilar, Manuel B; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Judith

    2013-12-06

    The neurotoxic effects produced by a tentacle venom extract and a fraction were analyzed and correlated by in vivo and in vitro approaches. The tentacle venom extract exhibited a wide range of protein components (from 24 to >225 kDa) and produced tetanic reactions, flaccid paralysis, and death when injected into crabs. Two chromatography fractions also produced uncontrolled appendix movements and leg stretching. Further electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that one of these fractions potently inhibited ACh-elicited currents mediated by both vertebrate fetal and adult muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subtypes. Receptor inhibition was concentration-dependent and completely reversible. The calculated IC(50) values were 1.77 μg/μL for fetal and 2.28 μg/μL for adult muscle nAChRs. The bioactive fraction was composed of a major protein component at ~90 kDa and lacked phospholipase A activity. This work represents the first insight into the interaction of jellyfish venom components and muscle nicotinic receptors.

  13. Detection and preliminary characterization of antibacterial protein(s in the serum of mud crab, Scylla serrata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V Meiyalagan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Serum of mud crab, Scylla serrata has been found to possess significant antibacterial activity against some of the resident specific bacteria including Bacillus sp. N1, Bacillus flexus N3, Escherichia coli as well as crustacean pathogenic bacteria viz., Vibrio harveyi, V. alginolyticus and V. vulnificus. The physico-chemical characterization reveals the molecule responsible for antibacterial activity in the serum over 14 kDa, stable in the pH range of 6 to 8 and between the temperatures 20 to 40 ºC. Precipitation of respective molecule(s with 75 % ammonium sulphate or the supernatant obtained after precipitating the protein with 10 % TCA indicated that the molecule(s responsible for serum antibacterial activity appear to be proteinaceous in nature. Further studies demonstrated that antibacterial molecule(s against E. coli and V. harveyi appeared to be trypsin and pronase resistant and the molecule(s or domain responsible for antibacterial activity against Bacillus sp. N1 and B. flexus N3 appeared to be protease sensitive, thereby implicating possible involvement of multiple antibacterial factors in the serum of mud crab, S. serrata.

  14. Construction and Preliminary Characterization Analysis of Wuzhishan Miniature Pig Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Library with Approximately 8-Fold Genome Equivalent Coverage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changqing Liu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC libraries have been invaluable tools for the genome-wide genetic dissection of complex organisms. Here, we report the construction and characterization of a high-redundancy BAC library from a very valuable pig breed in China, Wuzhishan miniature pig (Sus scrofa, using its blood cells and fibroblasts, respectively. The library contains approximately 153,600 clones ordered in 40 superpools of 10 × 384-deep well microplates. The average insert size of BAC clones was estimated to be 152.3 kb, representing approximately 7.68 genome equivalents of the porcine haploid genome and a 99.93% statistical probability of obtaining at least one clone containing a unique DNA sequence in the library. 19 pairs of microsatellite marker primers covering porcine chromosomes were used for screening the BAC library, which showed that each of these markers was positive in the library; the positive clone number was 2 to 9, and the average number was 7.89, which was consistent with 7.68-fold coverage of the porcine genome. And there were no significant differences of genomic BAC library from blood cells and fibroblast cells. Therefore, we identified 19 microsatellite markers that could potentially be used as genetic markers. As a result, this BAC library will serve as a valuable resource for gene identification, physical mapping, and comparative genomics and large-scale genome sequencing in the porcine.

  15. Preliminary Results of the in Vivo and in Vitro Characterization of a Tentacle Venom Fraction from the Jellyfish Aurelia aurita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce, Dalia; López-Vera, Estuardo; Aguilar, Manuel B.; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Judith

    2013-01-01

    The neurotoxic effects produced by a tentacle venom extract and a fraction were analyzed and correlated by in vivo and in vitro approaches. The tentacle venom extract exhibited a wide range of protein components (from 24 to >225 kDa) and produced tetanic reactions, flaccid paralysis, and death when injected into crabs. Two chromatography fractions also produced uncontrolled appendix movements and leg stretching. Further electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that one of these fractions potently inhibited ACh-elicited currents mediated by both vertebrate fetal and adult muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subtypes. Receptor inhibition was concentration-dependent and completely reversible. The calculated IC50 values were 1.77 μg/μL for fetal and 2.28 μg/μL for adult muscle nAChRs. The bioactive fraction was composed of a major protein component at ~90 kDa and lacked phospholipase A activity. This work represents the first insight into the interaction of jellyfish venom components and muscle nicotinic receptors. PMID:24322597

  16. Preliminary Results of the in Vivo and in Vitro Characterization of a Tentacle Venom Fraction from the Jellyfish Aurelia aurita

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia Ponce

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxic effects produced by a tentacle venom extract and a fraction were analyzed and correlated by in vivo and in vitro approaches. The tentacle venom extract exhibited a wide range of protein components (from 24 to >225 kDa and produced tetanic reactions, flaccid paralysis, and death when injected into crabs. Two chromatography fractions also produced uncontrolled appendix movements and leg stretching. Further electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that one of these fractions potently inhibited ACh-elicited currents mediated by both vertebrate fetal and adult muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR subtypes. Receptor inhibition was concentration-dependent and completely reversible. The calculated IC50 values were 1.77 μg/μL for fetal and 2.28 μg/μL for adult muscle nAChRs. The bioactive fraction was composed of a major protein component at ~90 kDa and lacked phospholipase A activity. This work represents the first insight into the interaction of jellyfish venom components and muscle nicotinic receptors.

  17. Native bitumens in surficial soils of the Athabasca oil sands region : preliminary characterization and assessment of contaminant mobility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fleming, M.; Fleming, I. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Geological Engineering; Headley, J. [Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). National Hydrology Research Centre

    2009-07-01

    A study was conducted on bitumen tarballs located in surficial soils in Alberta's Athabasca region. The tarballs occur in every soil type in the region, and pose a challenge to oil sands operators who hope to use the soils for reclamation activities. Chromatographic analyses have shown that the tarballs contain variable petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations and possess a characteristic chromatographic footprint. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment has characterized the hydrocarbons according to various fractions. A soil-column leaching study is also being conducted by the University of Saskatchewan on heavily-impacted tarball soil under unsaturated conditions. Results of the study have indicated that the soil has low levels of contaminant mobility and degradation. Hydrocarbon concentrations in leachate water are less than 20 per cent of ground water guidelines for Alberta. It was concluded that after respiration over 9 months, the most active soil column in the study degraded only 2.7 g of an estimated 650 g.

  18. Isolation and Preliminary Characterization of Proteinaceous Toxins with Insecticidal and Antibacterial Activities from Black Widow Spider (L. tredecimguttatus Eggs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Lei

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The eggs of black widow spider (L. tredecimguttatus have been demonstrated to be rich in toxic proteinaceous components. The study on such active components is of theoretical and practical importance. In the present work, using a combination of multiple biochemical and biological strategies, we isolated and characterized the proteinaceous components from the aqueous extract of the black widow spider eggs. After gel filtration of the egg extract, the resulting main protein and peptide peaks were further fractionated by ion exchange chromatography and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Two proteinaceous components, named latroeggtoxin-III and latroeggtoxin-IV, respectively, were purified to homogeneity. Latroeggtoxin-III was demonstrated to have a molecular weight of about 36 kDa. Activity analysis indicated that latroeggtoxin-III exhibited neurotoxicity against cockroaches but had no obvious effect on mice, suggesting that it is an insect-specific toxin. Latroeggtoxin-IV, with a molecular weight of 3.6 kDa, was shown to be a broad-spectrum antibacterial peptide, showing inhibitory activity against all five species of bacteria tested, with the highest activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Finally, the implications of the proteinaceous toxins in egg protection and their potential applications were analyzed and discussed.

  19. Preliminary Characterization of Crude Lectin Fraction of the Red Alga, Acrocystis nana from Wediombo Beach of the Southern Coast of Java Island, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anam, C.; Praseptiangga, D.; Nugraheni, M. A.; Nurhayati, T.; Fajarningsih, N. D.; Zilda, D. S.; Chasanah, E.; Yunus, A.

    2017-04-01

    Lectins, bioactive compounds that found in algae, are bind to sugars or glycoproteins reversibly with high specificity, but are devoid of catalytic activity, and in contrast to antibodies, are not products of an immune response. Acrocystis nana is a species of red alga that is collected from the Wediombo beach, coastal region of Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta. Hemaglutination activity of a crude lectin fraction from Acrocystis nana was examined using trypsin-treated rabbit erythrocytes and its chemical properties, including its protein content, stability on pH, temperature, and divalent cations were determined as a preliminary characterization phase. Crude lectin of Acrocystis nana showed a titer of 212 on hemagglutination activity assay and the protein content was 6225.44 µg/ml. Hemagglutination activity of this crude lectin was stable after treatment at various pH from 3 to 10 and its activity was lost by heating at 50°C until 100°C. Moreover, the hemagglutination activity was slightly affected by divalent cations treatment, indicating that the presence of divalent cations may require for its activity, however, further studies are still needed for a more comprehensive understanding about its properties.

  20. Preparation and characterization of amino or carboxyl-functionalized ionic liquids

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yue Qin Cai; Feng Lu; Yan Qing Peng; Gong Hua Song

    2007-01-01

    New functionalized ionic liquids, 1-carboxylmethyl-3-methylimimidazolium hexafluorophosphate or fluoborate and l-aminoethyl-3-methylimimidazolium hexafluorophosphate or fluoborate have been synthesized and investigated. The obtained amino or carboxyl-functionalized ionic liquids were all characterized by FT-IR, 1H NMR and MS (ESI) and their properties such as freezing point, viscosity, solubility, specific gravity, surface tension, and interfacial tension were also determined.

  1. Characterization of Large Scale Functional Brain Networks During Ketamine-Medetomidine Anesthetic Induction

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Several experiments evidence that specialized brain regions functionally interact and reveal that the brain processes and integrates information in a specific and structured manner. Networks can be used to model brain functional activities constituting a way to characterize and quantify this structured form of organization. Reports state that different physiological states or even diseases that affect the central nervous system may be associated to alterations on those networks, that might re...

  2. Does Apolipoprotein e4 Status Moderate the Association of Family Environment with Long-Term Child Functioning following Early Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury? A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treble-Barna, Amery; Zang, Huaiyu; Zhang, Nanhua; Martin, Lisa J; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H Gerry; Wade, Shari L; Kurowski, Brad G

    2016-09-01

    To examine whether apolipoprotein e4 (APOE) status moderates the association of family environment with child functioning following early traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sixty-five children with moderate to severe TBI and 70 children with orthopedic injury (OI) completed assessments 6, 12, 18 months, and 3.5 and 6.8 years post injury. DNA was extracted from saliva samples and genotyped for APOE e4 status. Linear mixed models examined moderating effects of APOE e4 status on associations between two family environment factors (parenting style, home environment) and three child outcomes (executive functioning, behavioral adjustment, adaptive functioning). Children with TBI who were carriers of the e4 allele showed poorer adaptive functioning relative to non-carriers with TBI and children with OI in the context of low authoritarianism. At high levels of authoritarianism, non-carriers with TBI showed the poorest adaptive functioning among groups. There were no main effects or interactions involving APOE and executive functioning or behavioral adjustment. The APOE e4 allele was detrimental for long-term adaptive functioning in the context of positive parenting, whereas in less optimal parenting contexts, being a non-carrier was detrimental. We provide preliminary evidence for an interaction of APOE e4 status and parenting style in predicting long-term outcomes following early TBI. (JINS, 2016, 22, 859-864).

  3. Relationships between post operative pain management and short term functional mobility in total knee arthroplasty patients with a femoral nerve catheter: A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Sarah

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Effective pain management following total knee arthroplasty (TKA is fundamental in achieving positive rehabilitation outcomes. The purpose of our study was to investigate post operative pain management in relation to short term functional mobility in an intervention group receiving concomitant use of an IV narcotic PCA and a continuous infusion of local anaesthetic via a femoral nerve catheter (CFNC, compared to a group receiving narcotic PCA alone. This was a preliminary study conducted to establish an appropriate design for a larger investigative study. Methods A prospective design was used to measure the effect of a CFNC on post operative pain management and functional mobility prior to hospital discharge. The amount of fentanyl used, pain and nausea scores, timed up and go (TUG tests and active range of knee movement (AROM were used to compare a CFNC and supplemental narcotic patient controlled analgesia (PCA group (n = 27 with a PCA only group (n = 25. Results The CFNC group used significantly less fentanyl than the PCA only group (p s = .505 p s = .529 p s = .328, p = .034 Conclusions In this small preliminary study improved TUG performance at Day 4 post op was not influenced by the use of a CFNC but was positively correlated with male gender, preoperative performance, time elapsed since last oral analgesia and pain score. However AROM was decreased in the CFNC group suggesting further research on the relationship between CFNCs, local anaesthetic concentration and quadriceps strength should be incorporated in the follow up study's design.

  4. Characterization and in vitro studies of the anticancer effect of oxidized carbon nanotubes functionalized with betulinic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Julia M; Karthivashan, Govindarajan; Arulselvan, Palanisamy; Fakurazi, Sharida; Hussein, Mohd Zobir

    2014-01-01

    Among the array of nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes have shown great potential as drug carriers in the field of nanomedicine, owing to their attractive physicochemical structure, which facilitates functionalization of therapeutic molecules onto their external walls or being encapsulated inside the tubes. The aim of this preliminary study was to formulate betulinic acid (BA), a poorly water-soluble drug, in oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-COOH) for enhanced delivery efficiency into cancer cells with reduced cytotoxicity. The synthesized MWCNT-BA nanocomposite was characterized using ultraviolet-visible, Fourier transform infrared, thermogravimetric analysis, powder X-ray diffraction, and field emission scanning electron microscopy techniques. The loading of BA in MWCNT-COOH nanocarrier was estimated to be about 14.5%-14.8% (w/w), as determined by ultraviolet-visible and thermogravimetric analysis. Fourier transform infrared study shows that the peaks of the resulting MWCNT-BA nanocomposite correlate to the characteristic functional groups of BA and MWCNT-COOH. The powder X-ray diffraction results confirmed that the tubular structures of MWCNT-COOH were not affected by the drug loading mechanism of BA. The release profiles demonstrated that approximately 98% of BA could be released within 22 hours by phosphate-buffered saline solution at pH 7.4 compared with about 22% within 24 hours at pH 4.8. The biocompatibility studies revealed that MWCNT-BA at concentrations <50μg/mL expressed no cytotoxicity effects for mouse embryo fibroblast cells after 72 hours of treatment. The anticancer activity of MWCNT-BA was observed to be more sensitive to human lung cancer cell line when compared with human liver cancer cell line, with half maximal inhibitory concentration values of 2.7 and 11.0μg/mL, respectively. Our findings form a fundamental platform for further investigation of the MWCNT-BA formulation against different types of cancer cells.

  5. Bone marrow depletion with haemorrhagic diathesis in calves in Germany: characterization of the disease and preliminary investigations on its aetiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappe, Eva C; Halami, Mohammad Yahya; Schade, Benjamin; Alex, Michaela; Hoffmann, Doris; Gangl, Armin; Meyer, Karsten; Dekant, Wolfgang; Schwarz, Bernd-Andreas; Johne, Reimar; Buitkamp, Johannes; Böttcher, Jens; Müller, Hermann

    2010-01-01

    Since 2007 a new fatal haemorrhagic diathesis in calves has been observed in all areas of Germany. Analysis of 56 cases submitted for necropsy allowed its characterization. Calves fell ill within the first month of life independent of breed and sex. Only single or a few animals per herd were affected. Petechial and ecchymotic haemorrhages in many organs and tissues, particularly in skin, subcutis and gastrointestinal tract, were major findings in all animals. Microscopically a severe depletion of bone marrow cells was always observed. Lymphocytic depletion (43%) and inflammatory lesions (46%) were less frequently observed. Blood analysis of five animals indicated an aplastic pancytopenia. The resulting thrombocytopenia is regarded as major pathomechanism of this Haemorrhagic Disease Syndrome (HDS). Pedigree analysis gave no indication of hereditary disease. Tests for specific toxins such as S-(1,2-Dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCVC), furazolidone, or mycotoxins resulting in bone marrow depletion were negative. Bacterial infections, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus, and Bluetongue Virus were ruled out as cause of the disease. HDS shares similarities with a circoviral infection in chickens (chicken infectious anaemia). A broad-spectrum PCR allowed detection of circoviral DNA in 5 of 25 HDS cases and in 1 of 8 non-HDS cases submitted for necropsy. Sequencing of the whole viral genome revealed a high similarity (up to 99%) with Porcine Circovirus type 2b. Single bone marrow cells stained weakly positive for PCV2 antigen by immunohistochemistry in 1 of 8 tested HDS animals. This is the first report of circovirus detection in cattle in Germany. The exact cause of HDS still remains unknown. A multifactorial aetiology involving infection, poisoning, immunopathy, or a genetic predisposition is conceivable. Additional research is necessary to clarify the pathogenesis and the potential role of PCV2 in HDS.

  6. Characterization of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia and normal prostates using transrectal 31phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy: a preliminary report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Narayan, P.; Jajodia, P.; Kurhanewicz, J.; Thomas, A.; MacDonald, J.; Hubesch, B.; Hedgcock, M.; Anderson, C.M.; James, T.L.; Tanagho, E.A. (Univ. of California School of Medicine, San Francisco (USA))

    1991-07-01

    We assessed the ability of 31phosphorus (31P) transrectal magnetic resonance spectroscopy to characterize normal human prostates as well as prostates with benign and malignant neoplasms. With a transrectal probe that we devised for surface coil spectroscopy we studied 15 individuals with normal (5), benign hyperplastic (4) and malignant (6) prostates. Digital rectal examination, transrectal ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging were used to aid in accurate positioning of the transrectal probe against the region of interest within the prostate. The major findings of the in vivo studies were that normal prostates had phosphocreatine-to-adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratios of 1.2 +/- 0.2, phosphomonoester-to-beta-ATP ratios of 1.1 +/- 0.1 and phosphomonoester-to-phosphocreatine ratios of 0.9 +/- 0.1. Malignant prostates had phosphocreatine-to-beta-ATP ratios that were lower (0.7 +/- 0.1) than those of normal prostates (p less than 0.02) or prostates with benign hyperplasia. Malignant prostates had phosphomonoester-to-beta-ATP ratios (1.8 +/- 0.2) that were higher than that of normal prostates (p less than 0.02). Using the phosphomonoester-to-phosphocreatine ratio, it was possible to differentiate metabolically malignant (2.7 +/- 0.3) from normal prostates (p less than 0.001), with no overlap of individual ratios. The mean phosphomonoester-to-phosphocreatine ratio (1.5 +/- 0.5) of prostates with benign hyperplasia was midway between the normal and malignant ratios, and there was overlap between individual phosphomonoester-to-phosphocreatine ratios of benign prostatic hyperplasia glands with that of normal and malignant glands. To verify the in vivo results, we performed high resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy on perchloric acid extracts of benign prostatic hyperplasia tissue obtained at operation and on a human prostatic cancer cell line DU145.

  7. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic characterization of LmACR2, an arsenate/antimonate reductase from Leishmania major

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bisacchi, Davide [Bioinformatics and Structural Proteomics, IST-National Cancer Research Institute, Genova (Italy); Zhou, Yao; Rosen, Barry P.; Mukhopadhyay, Rita [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan (United States); Bordo, Domenico, E-mail: domenico.bordo@istge.it [Bioinformatics and Structural Proteomics, IST-National Cancer Research Institute, Genova (Italy)

    2006-10-01

    LmACR2 from L. major is the first rhodanese-like enzyme directly involved in the reduction of arsenate and antimonate to be crystallized. Diffraction data have been collected to 1.99 Å resolution using synchrotron X-rays. Arsenic is present in the biosphere owing either to the presence of pesticides and herbicides used in agricultural and industrial activities or to leaching from geological formations. The health effects of prolonged exposure to arsenic can be devastating and may lead to various forms of cancer. Antimony(V), which is chemically very similar to arsenic, is used instead in the treatment of leishmaniasis, an infection caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania sp.; the reduction of pentavalent antimony contained in the drug Pentostam to the active trivalent form arises from the presence in the Leishmania genome of a gene, LmACR2, coding for the protein LmACR2 (14.5 kDa, 127 amino acids) that displays weak but significant sequence similarity to the catalytic domain of Cdc25 phosphatase and to rhodanese enzymes. For structural characterization, LmACR2 was overexpressed, purified to homogeneity and crystallized in a trigonal space group (P321 or P3{sub 1}21/P3{sub 2}21). The protein crystallized in two distinct trigonal crystal forms, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 111.0, c = 86.1 Å and a = b = 111.0, c = 175.6 Å, respectively. At a synchrotron beamline, the diffraction pattern extended to a resolution limit of 1.99 Å.

  8. Functional characterization of the Escherichia coli K-12 yiaMNO transport protein genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plantinga, TH; van der Does, C; Badia, J; Aguilar, J; Konings, WN; Driessen, AJM; Plantinga, Titia H.

    2004-01-01

    The yiaMNO genes of Escherichia coli K-12 encode a binding protein-dependent secondary, or tri-partite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP), transporter. Since only a few members of this family have been functionally characterized to date, we aimed to identify the substrate for this transporter. Cells

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Surface modified solid lipid microparticles based on homolipids and Softisan® 142:preliminary characterization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nnamani PO; Ibezim EC; Attama AA; Adikwu MU

    2010-01-01

    Objective:To preliminarily investigate three different lipid matrices consisting of two natural homolipids fromCapra hircus (goat fat) andBovine Spp.(tallow fat) and one semi-synthetic lipid (Softisan® 142) separately structured with Phospholipon® 90G (P90G) as potential delivery systems for poorly water soluble drugs.Methods:The structured lipid matrices were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and employed to prepare solid lipid microparticles(SLMs) by the melt homogenization method using gradient concentrations of polysorbate 80 and at different emulsification times of 2, 5 and 10 min using a Silverson mixer. TheSLMs were analyzed for morphology and particle size, thermal properties, stability studies and determination of injectability.Results: The results showed that SLM production was optimum at 5 % of lipid matrices, 1.5 % of polysorbate 80 and emulsification time of 5 min. Increase in polysorbate 80 concentrations decreased the particle size of the SLMs. TheSLMs were well formed, spherical, smooth and non-porous with particle sizes in the ranges of (13.90± 2.10) μm– (0.09 ± 0.01) μm for SLMs produced from the structured - tallow fat; (13.40± 1.30)μm– (0.10 ± 0.01) μm for the structured– goat fat and (13.40±2.00) μm– (2.10± 1.00)μm for the structured Softisan® 142 lipid matrices. DSC traces showed that Softisan® 142 was the most crystalline of all three bulk matrices due to its high enthalpy (-7.962 mW/mg) while tallow fat was the least (-5.067 mW/mg) but addition of P90G to the matrices lowered their enthalpies mostly in the structured goat fat matrices. The SLMs when stored at 4-6 ℃ were most stable and syringeable with 27 G needle.Conclusions:This suggests that structured goat fat matrices with the enthalpy of -2.813 mW/mg will mostly favour drug loading of some poorly soluble drugs more than tallow fat (-4.892 mW/mg) and Softisan® 142 (-5.501 mW/mg).

  11. Characterize Behaviour of Emerging Pollutants in Artificial Recharge: Column Experiments - Experiment Design and Results of Preliminary Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H.; Carrera, J.; Ayora, C.; Licha, T.

    2012-04-01

    Emerging pollutants (EPs) have been detected in water resources as a result of human activities in recent years. They include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, dioxins, flame retardants, etc. They are a source of concern because many of them are resistant to conventional water treatment, and they are harmful to human health, even in low concentrations. Generally, this study aims to characterize the behaviour of emerging pollutants in reclaimed water in column experiments which simulates artificial recharge. One column set includes three parts: influent, reactive layer column (RLC) and aquifer column (AC). The main influent is decided to be Secondary Effluent (SE) of El Prat Wastewater Treatment Plant, Barcelona. The flow rate of the column experiment is 0.9-1.5 mL/min. the residence time of RLC is designed to be about 1 day and 30-40 days for AC. Both columns are made of stainless steel. Reactive layer column (DI 10cm * L55cm) is named after the filling material which is a mixture of organic substrate, clay and goethite. One purpose of the application of the mixture is to increase dissolve organic carbon (DOC). Leaching test in batchs and columns has been done to select proper organic substrate. As a result, compost was selected due to its long lasting of releasing organic matter (OM). The other purpose of the application of the mixture is to enhance adsorption of EPs. Partition coefficients (Kow) of EPs indicate the ability of adsorption to OM. EPs with logKow>2 could be adsorbed to OM, like Ibuprofen, Bezafibrate and Diclofenac. Moreover, some of EPs are charged in the solution with pH=7, according to its acid dissociation constant (Ka). Positively charged EPs, for example Atenolol, could adsorb to clay. In the opposite, negatively charged EPs, for example Gemfibrozil, could adsorb to goethite. Aquifer column (DI 35cm * L1.5m) is to simulate the processes taking place in aquifer in artificial recharge. The filling of AC has two parts: silica sand and

  12. Synthesis of fluorescent analogues of relaxin family peptides and their preliminary in vitro and in vivo characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Linda; Smith, Craig; Chua, Berenice; Lin, Feng; Bathgate, Ross; Separovic, Frances; Gundlach, Andrew; Hossain, M. Akhter; Wade, John

    2013-12-01

    Relaxin, a heterodimeric polypeptide hormone, is a key regulator of collagen metabolism and multiple vascular control pathways in humans and rodents. Its actions are mediated via its cognate G-protein-coupled receptor, RXFP1 although it also ‘pharmacologically’ activates RXFP2, the receptor for the related, insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3), which has specific actions on reproduction and bone metabolism. Therefore, experimental tools to facilitate insights into the distinct biological actions of relaxin and INSL3 are required, particularly for studies of tissues containing both RXFP1 and RXFP2. Here, we chemically functionalized human (H2) relaxin, the RXFP1-selective relaxin analogue H2:A(4-24)(F23A), and INSL3 to accommodate a fluorophore without marked reduction in binding or activation propensity. Chemical synthesis of the two chains for each peptide was followed by sequential regioselective formation of their three disulfide bonds. Click chemistry conjugation of Cy5.5 at the B-chain N-terminus, with conservation of the disulfide bonds, yielded the analogues displaying appropriate selective binding affinity and ability to activate RXFP1 and/or RXFP2 in vitro. The in vivo biological activity of Cy5.5-H2 relaxin and Cy5.5-H2:A(4-24)(F23A) was confirmed in mice, as acute icv infusion of these peptides (but not Cy5.5-INSL3) stimulated water drinking, an established behavioral response elicited by central RXFP1 activation. The central distribution of Cy5.5-conjugated peptides was examined in mice killed 30 min after infusion, revealing fluorescence within brain tissue near-adjacent to the cerebral ventricle walls relative to deeper brain areas. These data will aid the interpretation of behavioral studies. Production of fluorophore-conjugated relaxin family peptides will facilitate future pharmacological studies to probe the function of H2 relaxin/RXFP1 and INSL3/RXFP2 signaling in vivo while tracking their distribution following central or peripheral administration.

  13. Undefined freeform surfaces having deterministic structure: issues of their characterization for functionality and manufacture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, David J.

    2016-09-01

    There is an increasing use of surfaces which have structure, an increase in the use of freeform surfaces, and most importantly an increase in the number of surfaces having both characteristics. These can be called multi-function surfaces, where more than one function is helped by the geometrical features: the structure can help one, the freeform another. Alternatively, they can be complementary to optimize a single function, but in all cases both geometries are involved. This paper examines some of the problems posed by having such disparate geometries on one surface; in particular, the methods of characterization needed to help understand the functionality and also to some extent their manufacture. This involves investigating ways of expressing how local and global geometric features of undefined freeform surfaces might influence function and how surface structure on top of or in series with the freeform affects the nature of the characterization. Some methods have been found of identifying possible strategies for tackling the characterization problem, based in part on the principles of least action and on the way that nature has solved the marriage of flexible freeform geometry and structure on surfaces.

  14. A composite SWNT-collagen matrix: characterization and preliminary assessment as a conductive peripheral nerve regeneration matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosun, Z; McFetridge, P S

    2010-12-01

    Unique in their structure and function, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have received significant attention due to their potential to create unique conductive materials. For neural applications, these conductive materials hold promise as they may enhance regenerative processes. However, like other nano-scaled biomaterials it is important to have a comprehensive understanding how these materials interact with cell systems and how the biological system responds to their presence. These investigations aim to further our understanding of SWNT-cell interactions by assessing the effect SWNT/collagen hydrogels have on PC12 neuronal-like cells seeded within and (independently) on top of the composite material. Two types of collagen hydrogels were prepared: (1) SWNTs dispersed directly within the collagen (SWNT/COL) and (2) albumin-coated SWNTs prepared using the surfactant 'sodium cholate' to improve dispersion (AL-SWNT/COL) and collagen alone serving as a control (COL). SWNT dispersion was significantly improved when using surfactant-assisted dispersion. The enhanced dispersion resulted in a stiffer, more conductive material with an increased collagen fiber diameter. Short-term cell interactions with PC12 cells and SWNT composites have shown a stimulatory effect on cell proliferation relative to plain collagen controls. In parallel to these results, p53 gene displayed normal expression levels, which indicates the absence of nanoparticle-induced DNA damage. In summary, these mechanically tunable SWNT-collagen scaffolds show the potential for enhanced electrical activity and have shown positive in vitro biocompatibility results offering further evidence that SWNT-based materials have an important role in promoting neuronal regeneration.

  15. A composite SWNT-collagen matrix: characterization and preliminary assessment as a conductive peripheral nerve regeneration matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosun, Z.; McFetridge, P. S.

    2010-12-01

    Unique in their structure and function, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have received significant attention due to their potential to create unique conductive materials. For neural applications, these conductive materials hold promise as they may enhance regenerative processes. However, like other nano-scaled biomaterials it is important to have a comprehensive understanding how these materials interact with cell systems and how the biological system responds to their presence. These investigations aim to further our understanding of SWNT-cell interactions by assessing the effect SWNT/collagen hydrogels have on PC12 neuronal-like cells seeded within and (independently) on top of the composite material. Two types of collagen hydrogels were prepared: (1) SWNTs dispersed directly within the collagen (SWNT/COL) and (2) albumin-coated SWNTs prepared using the surfactant 'sodium cholate' to improve dispersion (AL-SWNT/COL) and collagen alone serving as a control (COL). SWNT dispersion was significantly improved when using surfactant-assisted dispersion. The enhanced dispersion resulted in a stiffer, more conductive material with an increased collagen fiber diameter. Short-term cell interactions with PC12 cells and SWNT composites have shown a stimulatory effect on cell proliferation relative to plain collagen controls. In parallel to these results, p53 gene displayed normal expression levels, which indicates the absence of nanoparticle-induced DNA damage. In summary, these mechanically tunable SWNT-collagen scaffolds show the potential for enhanced electrical activity and have shown positive in vitro biocompatibility results offering further evidence that SWNT-based materials have an important role in promoting neuronal regeneration.

  16. Synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity of furosemide-functionalized ferrite on the sedimentation behavior of starch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanikumar, S.; Meenarathi, B.; Kannammal, L.; Anbarasan, R.

    2015-01-01

    Furosemide-functionalized nanoferrite was synthesized and characterized by various analytical techniques. The furosemide-functionalized ferrite was used to settle down the starch particles under three different pH. Thus, obtained starch/Fe3O4 nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The sedimentation velocity of starch in the presence of furosemide-functionalized Fe3O4 was critically compared with the available literature value and the results are discussed in detail. The high sedimentation velocity of starch under the influence of gravitational force and the external magnetic force is studied. The starch-coated ferrites exhibited the lower vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) value. This novel research work will bring out a new methodology in the field of starch materials.

  17. Characterizing the parent Hamiltonians for a complete set of orthogonal wave functions: An inverse quantum problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramezanpour, A.

    2016-06-01

    We study the inverse problem of constructing an appropriate Hamiltonian from a physically reasonable set of orthogonal wave functions for a quantum spin system. Usually, we are given a local Hamiltonian and our goal is to characterize the relevant wave functions and energies (the spectrum) of the system. Here, we take the opposite approach; starting from a reasonable collection of orthogonal wave functions, we try to characterize the associated parent Hamiltonians, to see how the wave functions and the energy values affect the structure of the parent Hamiltonian. Specifically, we obtain (quasi) local Hamiltonians by a complete set of (multilayer) product states and a local mapping of the energy values to the wave functions. On the other hand, a complete set of tree wave functions (having a tree structure) results to nonlocal Hamiltonians and operators which flip simultaneously all the spins in a single branch of the tree graph. We observe that even for a given set of basis states, the energy spectrum can significantly change the nature of interactions in the Hamiltonian. These effects can be exploited in a quantum engineering problem optimizing an objective functional of the Hamiltonian.

  18. Counting in Graph Covers: A Combinatorial Characterization of the Bethe Entropy Function

    CERN Document Server

    Vontobel, Pascal O

    2010-01-01

    We present a \\emph{combinatorial} characterization of the Bethe entropy function of a factor graph, such a characterization being in contrast to the original, \\emph{analytical}, definition of this function. We achieve this combinatorial characterization by counting valid configurations in finite graph covers of the factor graph. Analogously, we give a \\emph{combinatorial} characterization of the Bethe partition function, whose original definition was also of an \\emph{analytical} nature. As we point out, our approach has similarities to the replica method, but also stark differences. The above findings are a natural backdrop for introducing a decoder for graph-based codes that we will call the symbolwise graph-cover decoder, a decoder that extends our earlier work on blockwise graph-cover decoding. Both graph-cover decoders are theoretical tools that help towards a better understanding of message-passing iterative decoding, namely blockwise graph-cover decoding links max-product (min-sum) algorithm decoding wi...

  19. Industrial cogeneration optimization program. Volume II. Appendix A. Conceptual designs and preliminary equipment specifications. Appendix B. Characterization of cogeneration systems (near-term technology). Appendix C. Optimized cogeneration systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1980-01-01

    This appendix to a report which evaluates the technical, economic, and institutional aspects of industrial cogeneration for conserving energy in the food, chemical, textile, paper, and petroleum industries contains data, descriptions, and diagrams on conceptual designs and preliminary equipment specifications for cogeneration facilities; characterization of cogeneration systems in terms of fuel utilization, performance, air pollution control, thermal energy storage systems, and capital equipment costs; and optimized cogeneration systems for specific industrial plants. (LCL)

  20. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo characterizations of a sol–gel derived bioactive glass–ceramic system

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Abiraman; H K Varma; T V Kumari; P R Umashankar; Annie John

    2002-10-01

    This study investigates quantitatively and qualitatively the sol–gel derived bioactive glass–ceramic system (BGS)-apatite–wollastonite (AW) type granules in the size range of 0.5–1 mm, as an effective graft material for bone augmentation and restoration. Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of the sintered granules revealed the rough material surface with micropores in the range 10–30 m. X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the granules revealed the presence of crystalline phases of the hydroxyapatite and wollastonite, and the functional groups of the silicate and phosphates were identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The in vitro cell culture studies with L929 mouse fibroblast cell line showed very few cells adhered on the BGS disc after 24 h. This could be due to the highly reactive surface of the disc concomitant with the crystallization but not due to the cytotoxicity of the material, since the cellular viability (MTT assay) with the material was 80%. Cytotoxicity and cytocompatibility studies proved that the material was non-toxic and biocompatible. After 12 weeks of implantation of the BGS granules in the tibia bone of New Zealand white rabbits, the granules were found to be well osteointegrated, as observed in the radiographs. Angiogram with barium sulphate and Indian ink after 12 weeks showed the presence of microcapillaries in the vicinity of the implant site implicating high vascularity. Gross observation of the implant site did not show any inflammation or necrosis. SEM of the implanted site after 24 weeks revealed good osteointegration of the material with the newly formed bone and host bone. New bone was also observed within the material, which was degrading. Histological evaluation of the bone healing with the BGS granules in the tibial defect at all time intervals was without inflammation or fibrous tissue encapsulation. After 2 weeks the new bone was observed as a trabeculae network around the granules, and by 6 weeks

  1. A preliminary validity study of the cambridge neuropsychological test automated battery for the assessment of executive function in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hee Sun; An, Yong Min; Kwon, Jun Soo; Shin, Min-Sup

    2014-10-01

    Although the executive function subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) have been used to assess cognitive function in diverse psychiatric illnesses, few studies have verified the validity of this battery for Korean psychiatric patients. Therefore, this preliminary study evaluated the construct and concurrent validity of the executive function subtests of the CANTAB for Korean psychiatric patients by comparing it with subtests of the Computerized Neuropsychological Test (CNT). Three subtests of the CANTAB and three subtests of the CNT were administered to 36 patients diagnosed with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Subtests of the CANTAB included the Intra/Extra-Dimensional Set Shift (IED), Stockings of Cambridge (SOC), and Spatial Working Memory (SWM). Differences between groups on each subtest as well as correlations between the subtests of the CANTAB and the CNT were assessed. The schizophrenia group performed significantly more poorly on the IED and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) compared with the bipolar disorder group. Additionally, correlation analyses revealed a significant correlation between the IED and the WCST; a positive correlation between the SOC and the Trail Making Test, Part B and the Stroop test; and a significant correlation between the SWM and the Stroop test. This study verified the construct and concurrent validity of the executive function subtests of the CANTAB for Korean psychiatric patients and suggests that the subtests of this battery would be useful and appropriate for assessing deficits in executive function in Korean clinical settings.

  2. Selectively reduced responses to smoking cues in amygdala following extinction-based smoking cessation: results of a preliminary functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClernon, F Joseph; Hiott, F Berry; Liu, Jim; Salley, Alfred N; Behm, Frederique M; Rose, Jed E

    2007-09-01

    Preliminary studies suggest an extinction-based smoking cessation treatment using reduced nicotine content (RNC) cigarettes decreases self-report craving for cigarettes prior to quitting and may be an effective smoking cessation treatment. The aims of this study was to evaluate the effect of an extinction-based smoking cessation treatment on brain responses to smoking cues using blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen (n = 16) dependent smokers were scanned using BOLD fMRI at baseline, following 2-4 weeks of smoking RNC cigarettes while wearing a 21-mg nicotine patch, and 2-4 weeks following quitting smoking. During scanning, participants viewed smoking-related pictures (e.g. lit cigarette) and pictures of people engaged in everyday activities (e.g. using a stapler). Event-related BOLD responses to smoking and control cues were analyzed in regions of interest (ROIs) known to subserve reward, attention, motivation and emotion. The extinction-based treatment simultaneously attenuated responses to smoking cues in amygdala while potentiating responses to control cues. Exploratory analysis indicated that this pattern was also observed in the thalamus of future abstinent but not relapsing smokers. The results of this preliminary study suggest that an extinction-based treatment for smoking cessation alters brain responses to smoking and control cues in amygdala--a region previously associated with drug cue reactivity and extinction.

  3. Structural and Functional Neuroimaging in Klinefelter (47,XXY) Syndrome: A Review of the Literature and Preliminary Results from a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinman, Kyle; Ross, Judith; Lai, Song; Reiss, Allan; Hoeft, Fumiko

    2009-01-01

    Klinefelter (47,XXY) syndrome (KS), the most common form of sex-chromosomal aneuploidy, is characterized by physical, endocrinologic, and reproductive abnormalities. Individuals with KS also exhibit a cognitive/behavioral phenotype characterized by language and language-based learning disabilities and executive and attentional dysfunction in the…

  4. Structural and Functional Neuroimaging in Klinefelter (47,XXY) Syndrome: A Review of the Literature and Preliminary Results from a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinman, Kyle; Ross, Judith; Lai, Song; Reiss, Allan; Hoeft, Fumiko

    2009-01-01

    Klinefelter (47,XXY) syndrome (KS), the most common form of sex-chromosomal aneuploidy, is characterized by physical, endocrinologic, and reproductive abnormalities. Individuals with KS also exhibit a cognitive/behavioral phenotype characterized by language and language-based learning disabilities and executive and attentional dysfunction in the…

  5. NanoSIP: Developing Community Imaging for Phylogenetic and Functional Characterization Using Cyanobacterial Mats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woebken, D., L.C. Burow, L. Prufert-Bebout, B.M. Bebout, T. M. Hoehler, J. Pett-Ridge, A.M. Spormann; Singer, S W; McMurdie, P J; Weber, P K

    2011-10-01

    This project was to develop and optimize the following technologies: stable isotope probing + NanoSIMS analysis (nanoSIP), FISH, functional gene analysis, H2 production measurements, culturing, and metatranscriptomics for specific use in microbial mat systems. The larger goal was to further develop these methodologies in a way that facilitates their linkage, high fidelity 3-D correlation to location specific environmental change integrating geochemical characterization, such that ability to see and characterize microbial community responses to normal daily fluctuations and further ecological manipulations, in different locations of the mat communities is optimized.

  6. Preparation and Preliminary Dielectric Characterization of Structured C60-Thiol-Ene Polymer Nanocomposites Assembled Using the Thiol-Ene Click Reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanaa M. Ahmed

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Fullerene-containing materials have the ability to store and release electrical energy. Therefore, fullerenes may ultimately find use in high-voltage equipment devices or as super capacitors for high electric energy storage due to this ease of manipulating their excellent dielectric properties and their high volume resistivity. A series of structured fullerene (C60 polymer nanocomposites were assembled using the thiol-ene click reaction, between alkyl thiols and allyl functionalized C60 derivatives. The resulting high-density C60-urethane-thiol-ene (C60-Thiol-Ene networks possessed excellent mechanical properties. These novel networks were characterized using standard techniques, including infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA. The dielectric spectra for the prepared samples were determined over a broad frequency range at room temperature using a broadband dielectric spectrometer and a semiconductor characterization system. The changes in thermo-mechanical and electrical properties of these novel fullerene-thiol-ene composite films were measured as a function of the C60 content, and samples characterized by high dielectric permittivity and low dielectric loss were produced. In this process, variations in chemical composition of the networks were correlated to performance characteristics.

  7. Preparation and Preliminary Dielectric Characterization of Structured C60-Thiol-Ene Polymer Nanocomposites Assembled Using the Thiol-Ene Click Reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Hanaa M; Windham, Amber D; Al-Ejji, Maryam M; Al-Qahtani, Noora H; Hassan, Mohammad K; Mauritz, Kenneth A; Buchanan, Randy K; Buchanan, J Paige

    2015-11-18

    Fullerene-containing materials have the ability to store and release electrical energy. Therefore, fullerenes may ultimately find use in high-voltage equipment devices or as super capacitors for high electric energy storage due to this ease of manipulating their excellent dielectric properties and their high volume resistivity. A series of structured fullerene (C60) polymer nanocomposites were assembled using the thiol-ene click reaction, between alkyl thiols and allyl functionalized C60 derivatives. The resulting high-density C60-urethane-thiol-ene (C60-Thiol-Ene) networks possessed excellent mechanical properties. These novel networks were characterized using standard techniques, including infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The dielectric spectra for the prepared samples were determined over a broad frequency range at room temperature using a broadband dielectric spectrometer and a semiconductor characterization system. The changes in thermo-mechanical and electrical properties of these novel fullerene-thiol-ene composite films were measured as a function of the C60 content, and samples characterized by high dielectric permittivity and low dielectric loss were produced. In this process, variations in chemical composition of the networks were correlated to performance characteristics.

  8. Characterization and in vitro studies of the anticancer effect of oxidized carbon nanotubes functionalized with betulinic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan JM

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Julia M Tan,1 Govindarajan Karthivashan,2 Palanisamy Arulselvan,2 Sharida Fakurazi,2,3 Mohd Zobir Hussein1 1Materials Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory, Institute of Advanced Technology (ITMA, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 2Laboratory of Vaccine and Immunotherapeutics, Institute of Bioscience (IBS, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia Abstract: Among the array of nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes have shown great potential as drug carriers in the field of nanomedicine, owing to their attractive physicochemical structure, which facilitates functionalization of therapeutic molecules onto their external walls or being encapsulated inside the tubes. The aim of this preliminary study was to formulate betulinic acid (BA, a poorly water-soluble drug, in oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-COOH for enhanced delivery efficiency into cancer cells with reduced cytotoxicity. The synthesized MWCNT-BA nanocomposite was characterized using ultraviolet-visible, Fourier transform infrared, thermogravimetric analysis, powder X-ray diffraction, and field emission scanning electron microscopy techniques. The loading of BA in MWCNT-COOH nanocarrier was estimated to be about 14.5%–14.8% (w/w, as determined by ultraviolet-visible and thermogravimetric analysis. Fourier transform infrared study shows that the peaks of the resulting MWCNT-BA nanocomposite correlate to the characteristic functional groups of BA and MWCNT-COOH. The powder X-ray diffraction results confirmed that the tubular structures of MWCNT-COOH were not affected by the drug loading mechanism of BA. The release profiles demonstrated that approximately 98% of BA could be released within 22 hours by phosphate-buffered saline solution at pH 7.4 compared with about 22% within 24 hours at pH 4.8. The biocompatibility

  9. 3D finite element model of the chinchilla ear for characterizing middle ear functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuelin; Gan, Rong Z

    2016-10-01

    Chinchilla is a commonly used animal model for research of sound transmission through the ear. Experimental measurements of the middle ear transfer function in chinchillas have shown that the middle ear cavity greatly affects the tympanic membrane (TM) and stapes footplate (FP) displacements. However, there is no finite element (FE) model of the chinchilla ear available in the literature to characterize the middle ear functions with the anatomical features of the chinchilla ear. This paper reports a recently completed 3D FE model of the chinchilla ear based on X-ray micro-computed tomography images of a chinchilla bulla. The model consisted of the ear canal, TM, middle ear ossicles and suspensory ligaments, and the middle ear cavity. Two boundary conditions of the middle ear cavity wall were simulated in the model as the rigid structure and the partially flexible surface, and the acoustic-mechanical coupled analysis was conducted with these two conditions to characterize the middle ear function. The model results were compared with experimental measurements reported in the literature including the TM and FP displacements and the middle ear input admittance in chinchilla ear. An application of this model was presented to identify the acoustic role of the middle ear septa-a unique feature of chinchilla middle ear cavity. This study provides the first 3D FE model of the chinchilla ear for characterizing the middle ear functions through the acoustic-mechanical coupled FE analysis.

  10. Functional characterization of fifteen hundred transcripts from Ziarat juniper (Juniperus excelsa M.Bieb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humaira Abdul Wahid

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ziarat juniper (Juniperus excelsa M.Bieb is an evergreen and dominant species of Balochistan juniper forests. This forest is providing many benefits to regional ecosystems and surrounding populations. No functional genomics study is reported for this important juniper plant. This research is aimed to characterize the Ziarat juniper functional genome based on the analyses of 1500 transcripts. Methods: Total RNA from shoot of Juniperus excelsa was extracted and subjected for transcriptome sequencing using Illumina HiSeq 2000 with the service from Macrogen, Inc., South Korea. The Illumina sequenced data was subjected to bioinformatics analysis. Quality assessment and data filtration was performed for the removal of low-quality reads, ambiguous reads and adaptor sequences. The high-quality clean reads data was deposited in the Sequence Read Archive (SRA at NCBI, and used for downstream processes. Fifteen hundred transcripts were randomly chosen and used for functional characterization. Results: As a result of homology search 80.3% transcripts showed significant similarities and were placed in significant similarities category, 19.3% transcripts showed low similarities and assigned to the ‘‘unclassified’’ category while 0.4% transcripts are defined as no hits. The functional characterization results showed that most (18% of the transcripts are involved in metabolism, followed by 11.7% in transcription and 11.5% as structural protein. 8.8% transcripts are engaged in stress response, whereas the transcripts involved in growth and development constituted 6.7%. Transcripts involved in signal transduction represented 5.6%, while 3.5% facilitating transport and 34.1% are involved in hypothetical functions. Conclusion: The functional annotation data produced in this study will be very useful for future functional genome analysis of Juniperus excelsa.

  11. Preliminary Characterization Tests of Detectors of on-Line Monitor Systems of the Italian National Center of Oncological Hadron-Therapy (CNAO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdolkazem Ansarinejad

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Hadron-therapy is an effective technique used to treat tumors that are located between or nearby vital organs. The Italian National Center of Oncological Hadron-therapy (CNAO has been realized as the first facility in Italy to treat very difficult tumors with protons and Carbon ions. The on-line monitor system for CNAO has been developed by the Department of Physics of the University of Torino and Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN. The monitoring system performs the on-line checking of the beam intensity, dimension, and beam position. Materials and Methods The monitor system is based on parallel plate ionization chambers and is composed of five ionization chambers with the anodes fully integrated or segmented in pixels or strips that are placed in two boxes. A series of measurements were performed that involve the background current and the detectors have been characterized by means of a series of preliminary testes in order to verify reproducibility and uniformity of the chambers using an X-ray source. Results The measured background currents for StripX, StripY and Pixel chambers are five orders of magnitude smaller than the nominal treatment current. The reproducibility error of chambers is less than 1%. The analysis of the uniformity showed that the monitor devices have a spread in gain that varies, but only about 2%. Conclusion The reproducibility and the uniformity values are considered as a good result, taking into account that the X-ray energy range is several orders of magnitude smaller than the particle energies used at CNAO.

  12. Characterization of left and right atrial function in healthy volunteers by cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maceira, Alicia M; Cosin-Sales, Juan; Prasad, Sanjay K; Pennell, Dudley J

    2016-10-10

    Left and right atrial function show a different pattern in advanced age in order to maintain adequate ventricular filling. It has been shown that left atrial (LA) function has a prognostic value in a number of heart conditions. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) provides high quality images of the left and right atria using high temporal resolution steady state free precession (SSFP) cine sequences. We used SSFP cines to characterize atrial function in healthy, normotensive, volunteers. We measured maximum, preatrial contraction and minimum left and right atrial volumes in 120 healthy subjects after careful exclusion of cardiovascular abnormality (60 men, 60 women; 20 subjects per age decile from 20 to 80 years). Data were generated from 3-dimensional modeling, including tracking of the atrioventricular ring motion and time-volume curves analysis. With those measurements, all the usual parameters for left and right atrial function were calculated. Gender had significant influence on some parameters of left and right atrial conduit and booster pump function. Age significantly influenced the majority of parameters of both left and right atrial function, with typically lower reservoir and conduit functions and higher booster pump function, both in males and females belonging to older age groups. CMR normal ranges were modelled for clinical use with normalization, where appropriate, for body surface area and gender, displaying parameters with respect to age. CMR normal reference ranges for components of left and right atrial function are provided for males and females for a wide age range.

  13. Structural characterization and functional validation of aldose reductase from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Preeti; Sarin, Neera Bhalla

    2014-11-01

    Aldose reductases are key enzymes in the detoxification of reactive aldehyde compounds like methylglyoxal (MG) and malondialdehyde. The present study describes for first time the preliminary biochemical and structural characterization of the aldose reductase (ALDRXV4) enzyme from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa. The ALDRXV4 cDNA was expressed in E. coli using pET28a expression vector, and the protein was purified using affinity chromatography. The recombinant protein showed a molecular mass of ~36 kDa. The K M (1.2 mM) and k cat (14.5 s(-1)) of the protein determined using MG as substrate was found to be comparable with other reported homologs. Three-dimensional structure prediction based on homology modeling suggested several similarities with the other aldose reductases reported from plants. Circular dichroism spectroscopy results supported the bioinformatic prediction of alpha-beta helix nature of aldose reductase proteins. Subcellular localization studies revealed that the ALDRXV4-GFP fusion protein was localized both in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The E. coli cells overexpressing ALDRXV4 exhibited improved growth and showed tolerance against diverse abiotic stresses induced by high salt (500 mM NaCl), osmoticum (10 % PEG 6000), heavy metal (20 mM CdCl2), and MG (5 mM). Based on these results, we propose that ALDRXV4 gene from X. viscosa could be a potential candidate for developing stress-tolerant crop plants.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. The use of the compound probability density function in ultrasonic tissue characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shankar, P M [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)

    2004-03-21

    Recently, a compound probability density function (pdf) was proposed to model the envelope of the ultrasonic backscattered echo from tissues. This pdf will allow local and global variations in scattering cross sections and even multiple scattering in tissue. It approximates to the Nakagami, K or Rayleigh distributions under different limiting conditions, thus making it very versatile. In this work, a new parameter associated with compound pdf, speckle factor, has been introduced to characterize the scattering conditions. The usefulness of this parameter for tissue characterization has been explored through computer simulation of ultrasonic A scans and analyses of the data collected from tissue-mimicking phantoms. Results suggest the potential applications of the compound pdf and its parameters in ultrasonic tissue characterization.

  16. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in bipolar disorder: Preliminary evaluation of immediate effects on between-episode functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J.M.G.; Alatiq, Y.; Crane, C.; Barnhofer, T.; Fennell, M.J.V.; Duggan, D.S.; Hepburn, S.; Goodwin, G.M.

    2008-01-01

    Background Bipolar disorder is highly recurrent and rates of comorbidity are high. Studies have pointed to anxiety comorbidity as one factor associated with risk of suicide attempts and poor overall outcome. This study aimed to explore the feasibility and potential benefits of a new psychological treatment (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy: MBCT) for people with bipolar disorder focusing on between-episode anxiety and depressive symptoms. Methods The study used data from a pilot randomized trial of MBCT for people with bipolar disorder in remission, focusing on between-episode anxiety and depressive symptoms. Immediate effects of MBCT versus waitlist on levels of anxiety and depression were compared between unipolar and bipolar participants. Results The results suggest that MBCT led to improved immediate outcomes in terms of anxiety which were specific to the bipolar group. Both bipolar and unipolar participants allocated to MBCT showed reductions in residual depressive symptoms relative to those allocated to the waitlist condition. Limitations Analyses were based on a small sample, limiting power. Additionally the study recruited participants with suicidal ideation or behaviour so the findings cannot immediately be generalized to individuals without these symptoms. Conclusions The study, although preliminary, suggests an immediate effect of MBCT on anxiety and depressive symptoms among bipolar participants with suicidal ideation or behaviour, and indicates that further research into the use of MBCT with bipolar patients may be warranted. PMID:17884176

  17. Cytotoxicity towards CCO cells of imidazolium ionic liquids with functionalized side chains: preliminary QSTR modeling using regression and classification based approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubalo, Marina Cvjetko; Radošević, Kristina; Srček, Višnja Gaurina; Das, Rudra Narayan; Popelier, Paul; Roy, Kunal

    2015-02-01

    Within this work we evaluated the cytotoxicity towards the Channel Catfish Ovary (CCO) cell line of some imidazolium-based ionic liquids containing different functionalized and unsaturated side chains. The toxic effects were measured by the reduction of the WST-1 dye after 72 h exposure resulting in dose- and structure-dependent toxicities. The obtained data on cytotoxic effects of 14 different imidazolium ionic liquids in CCO cells, expressed as EC50 values, were used in a preliminary quantitative structure-toxicity relationship (QSTR) study employing regression- and classification-based approaches. The toxicity of ILs towards CCO was chiefly related to the shape and hydrophobicity parameters of cations. A significant influence of the quantum topological molecular similarity descriptor ellipticity (ε) of the imine bond was also observed.

  18. A Preliminary Study of the Effects of an Arts Education Program on Executive Function, Behavior, and Brain Structure in a Sample of Nonclinical School-Aged Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Subin; Lee, Jong-Min; Baik, Young; Kim, Kihyun; Yun, Hyuk Jin; Kwon, Hunki; Jung, Yeon-Kyung; Kim, Bung-Nyun

    2015-11-01

    The authors examined the effects of arts education on cognition, behavior, and brain of children. Twenty-nine nonclinical children participated in a 15-week arts education program that was composed of either creative movement or musical arts. Children completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, clinical scales, and brain magnetic resonance imaging before and after the intervention. Following program completion, performances on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Children's Depression Inventory scores, and conduct disorder scores were significantly improved. Furthermore, cortical thickness in the left postcentral gyrus and superior parietal lobule were increased, and the mean diffusivity values in the right posterior corona radiate and superior longitudinal fasciculus were decreased. Positive correlations between changes in cognitive measurements and changes in cortical thickness were observed. This preliminary study suggests a positive effect of arts education on executive functions in association with brain changes. However, these findings must be interpreted with caution due to the noncomparative study design.

  19. The Verbal Clock Test: preliminary validation of a brief, vision- and motor-free measure of executive function in a clinical sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cercy, Steven P

    2012-01-01

    Assessment of executive functions is frequently time-consuming, and although some brief measures exist they are subject to problems associated with limited education, culture of origin, impairments of motor or visual systems, and tolerability. Preliminary validation of a newly developed measure, the Verbal Clock Test (VCT), was conducted in a clinical sample of 294 patients who underwent neuropsychological evaluation. The evidence supports the interpretation of VCT scores as demonstrating construct validity, criterion-related validity, and sound internal consistency. Performance does not vary substantially with gender or mood, and variability associated with age, education, and ethnicity is modest. Confounding effects of motor and visual impairments are eliminated. Initial data suggest the VCT represents a reasonable method of assessing abstract reasoning and concept formation when clinical circumstances limit the use of currently available measures.

  20. Molecular and functional characterization of endophytic fungi from traditional medicinal plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhagat, Jyoti; Kaur, Amarjeet; Sharma, Madhunika; Saxena, A K; Chadha, B S

    2012-03-01

    This study reports the isolation of 63 endophytic fungal isolates from two traditional medicinal plants, Ocimum sanctum and Sapindus detergens from different locations of Amritsar, India. The functional characterization of the fungi for their ability to produce anti bacterial and anti cancer agent was carried out. Sixteen strains were characterized at molecular level by sequencing the amplified ITSI-5.8-ITSII region of rDNA. The phylogenetic tree resolved the endophytic fungi into different clades. The fungal endophytes belonging to order Pleosporales (Alternaria sp., Phoma sojicola and Exserohilum sp.) were functionally versatile as they produced diverse biomolecules including antibacterial agent active against Mycobacterium smegmatis, as well as cytotoxic activity against different human cancer cell lines of lung, ovary, breast, prostrate, neuroblastoma and colon.

  1. Characterizing Molecular Structure by Combining Experimental Measurements with Density Functional Theory Computations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Encarnacion, Juan M.

    2016-06-01

    In this talk, the power and synergy of combining experimental measurements with density functional theory computations as a single tool to unambiguously characterize the molecular structure of complex atomic systems is shown. Here, we bring three beautiful cases where the interaction between the experiment and theory is in very good agreement for both finite and extended systems: 1) Characterizing Metal Coordination Environments in Porous Organic Polymers: A Joint Density Functional Theory and Experimental Infrared Spectroscopy Study 2) Characterization of Rhenium Compounds Obtained by Electrochemical Synthesis After Aging Process and 3) Infrared Study of H(D)2 + Co4+ Chemical Reaction: Characterizing Molecular Structures. J.M. López-Encarnación, K.K. Tanabe, M.J.A. Johnson, J. Jellinek, Chemistry-A European Journal 19 (41), 13646-13651 A. Vargas-Uscategui, E. Mosquera, J.M. López-Encarnación, B. Chornik, R. S. Katiyar, L. Cifuentes, Journal of Solid State Chemistry 220, 17-21

  2. Mindfulness Based Functional Therapy: A preliminary open trial of an integrated model of care for people with persistent low back pain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eSchutze

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This pilot study investigated the feasibility and clinical utility of implementing a novel, evidence-informed, interdisciplinary group intervention – Mindfulness Based Functional Therapy (MBFT – for the management of persistent low back pain (LBP in primary care. MBFT aimed to improve physical and psychological functioning in patients with persistent LBP. Design: A single-group repeated measures design was utilized to gather data about feasibility, effect sizes, clinically significant changes and patient satisfaction.Setting: A community sample of 16 adults (75% female, mean (SD age 47.00 (9.12 years (range 26-65 years, with mean (SD LBP duration of 8.00 (9.00 years participated, using a simulated primary care setting at Curtin University in Australia.Intervention: MBFT is an 8-week group intervention co-facilitated by psychology and physiotherapy disciplines. Content includes: mindfulness meditation training, cognitive-functional physiotherapeutic movement retraining, pain education, and group support.Main outcome measures: Several validated self-report measures were used to assess functional disability, emotional functioning, mindfulness, pain catastrophizing, health-related quality of life at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 months follow-up.Results: Adherence and satisfaction was high, with 85% of participants highly satisfied with MBFT. Clinical significance analysis and effect size estimates showed improvements in a number of variables, including pain catastrophizing, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical condition, and depression, although these may have occurred due to non-intervention effects. Conclusions: MBFT is feasible to implement in primary care. Preliminary findings suggest that a randomized controlled trial is warranted to investigate its efficacy in improving physical and emotional functioning in people with disabling persistent LBP.

  3. Impact of an implantable steroid contraceptive (etonogestrel-releasing implant) on quality of life and sexual function: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Carlo, Costantino; Sansone, Anna; De Rosa, Nicoletta; Gargano, Virginia; Tommaselli, Giovanni Antonio; Nappi, Carmine; Bifulco, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the impact of etonogestrel (ENG)-implant used for contraceptive purpose on Quality of life (QoL) and on sexual function (FSF) of healthy Italian women. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) validated questionnaire were administered at baseline, 3 and 6 months after insertion of Nexplanon. The implant seems to have a positive impact on QoL after the first three months of therapy. Users showed an improved general health status and physical role status. The implant did not show negative effects on libido and on sexual function. In the first three months of treatment, users experienced a temporary reduction of vitality, mental health, social functioning and emotional role functioning, which seem to disappear after six months of therapy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  5. Molecular characterization and functional analysis of elite genes in wheat and its related species

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jirui Wang; Pengfei Qi; Yuming Wei; Dengcai Liu; George Fedak; Youliang Zheng

    2010-12-01

    The tribe Triticeae includes major cereal crops (bread wheat, durum wheat, triticale, barley and rye), as well as abundant forage and lawn grasses. Wheat and its wild related species possess numerous favourable genes for yield improvement, grain quality enhancement, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and constitute a giant gene pool for wheat improvement. In recent years, significant progress on molecular characterization and functional analysis of elite genes in wheat and its related species have been achieved. In this paper, we review the cloned functional genes correlated with grain quality, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosystem and nutrition utilization in wheat and its related species.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  7. Diversity and functions of the sheep faecal microbiota: a multi?omic characterization

    OpenAIRE

    Tanca, A.; Fraumene, C.; Manghina, V.; Palomba, A; Abbondio, M.; Deligios, M.; Pagnozzi, D.; Addis, M.F.; Uzzau, S.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Little is currently known on the microbial populations colonizing the sheep large intestine, despite their expected key role in host metabolism, physiology and immunity. This study reports the first characterization of the sheep faecal microbiota composition and functions, obtained through the application of a multi?omic strategy. An optimized protocol was first devised for DNA extraction and amplification from sheep stool samples. Then, 16S rDNA sequencing, shotgun metagenomics and s...

  8. Functional characterization of the antibiotic resistance reservoir in the human microflora

    OpenAIRE

    Sommer, Morten O. A.; Dantas, Gautam; Church, George M.

    2009-01-01

    To understand the process by which antibiotic resistance genes are acquired by human pathogens, we functionally characterized the resistance reservoir in the microbial flora of healthy individuals. Most of the resistance genes we identified using culture independent sampling have not been previously identified and are evolutionarily distant from known resistance genes. By contrast, nearly half of the resistance genes we identified in cultured aerobic gut isolates (a small subset of the gut mi...

  9. Two characterization of BV functions on Carnot groups via the heat semigroup

    CERN Document Server

    Bramanti, Marco; Pallara, Diego

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we provide two different characterizations of sets with finite perimeter and functions of bounded variation in Carnot groups, analogous to those which hold in Euclidean spaces, in terms of the short-time behaviour of the heat semigroup. The second one holds under the hypothesis that the reduced boundary of a set of finite perimeter is rectifiable, a result that presently is known in Step 2 Carnot groups.

  10. Block copolymers : controlling nanostructure to generate functional materials : synthesis, characterization, and engineering

    OpenAIRE

    Epps, Thomas H.; O'Reilly, Rachel K.

    2016-01-01

    n this perspective, we survey recent advances in the synthesis and characterization of block copolymers, discuss several key materials opportunities enabled by block copolymers, and highlight some of the challenges that currently limit further realization of block copolymers in promising nanoscale applications. One significant challenge, especially as the complexity and functionality of designer macromolecules increases, is the requirement of multiple complementary techniques to fully charact...

  11. SdPI, the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor from scorpion venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiming Zhao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Kunitz-type venom peptides have been isolated from a wide variety of venomous animals. They usually have protease inhibitory activity or potassium channel blocking activity, which by virtue of the effects on predator animals are essential for the survival of venomous animals. However, no Kunitz-type peptides from scorpion venom have been functionally characterized. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A new Kunitz-type venom peptide gene precursor, SdPI, was cloned and characterized from a venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus. It codes for a signal peptide of 21 residues and a mature peptide of 59 residues. The mature SdPI peptide possesses a unique cysteine framework reticulated by three disulfide bridges, different from all reported Kunitz-type proteins. The recombinant SdPI peptide was functionally expressed. It showed trypsin inhibitory activity with high potency (K(i = 1.6×10(-7 M and thermostability. CONCLUSIONS: The results illustrated that SdPI is a potent and stable serine protease inhibitor. Further mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation revealed that SdPI possesses a serine protease inhibitory active site similar to other Kunitz-type venom peptides. To our knowledge, SdPI is the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor derived from scorpion venom, and it represents a new class of Kunitz-type venom peptides.

  12. A Genome-wide Functional Characterization of Arabidopsis Regulatory Calcium Sensors in Pollen Tubes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liming Zhou; Ying FU; Zhenbiao Yang

    2009-01-01

    Calcium, an ubiquitous second messenger, plays an essential and versatile role in cellular signaling. The diverse function of calcium signals is achieved by an excess of calcium sensors. Plants possess large numbers of calcium sensors, most of which have not been functionally characterized. To identify physiologically relevant calcium sensors in a specific cell type, we conducted a genome-wide functional survey in pollen tubes, for which spatiotemporal calcium signals are well-characterized and required for polarized tip growth. Pollen-specific members of calmodulin (CAM), CaM-like (CML), calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) and calcineurin B-like protein (CBL) families were tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP) and their localization patterns and overexpression phenotypes were characterized in tobacco pollen tubes. We found that several fusion proteins showed distinct overexpression phenotypes and subcellular localization patterns. CDPK24.GFP was localized to the vegetative nucleus and the generative cell/sperms. CDPK32-GFP caused severe growth depolarization. CBL2-GFP and CBL3-GFP exhibited dynamic patterns of subcellular localization, including several endomembrane compartments, the apical plasma membrane (PM), and cytoskeleton-like structures in pollen tubes. Their overexpression also inhibited pollen tube elongation and induced growth depolarization. These putative calcium sensors are excellent candidates for the calcium sensors responsible for the regulation of calcium homeostasis and calcium-dependent tip growth and growth oscillation in pollen tubes,

  13. Expression and functional characterization of ABCG1 splice variant ABCG1(666).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Thomas; Bode, Guenther; Lueken, Aloys; Knop, Markus; Kannenberg, Frank; Nofer, Jerzy-Roch; Assmann, Gerd; Seedorf, Udo

    2006-08-07

    The ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCG1 mediates the transport of excess cholesterol from macrophages and other cell types to high density lipoprotein (HDL) but not to lipid-depleted apolipoprotein AI. Several splice variants which may have different functions have been identified in mammals. In the current study, we characterized the human splice variant ABCG1(666), which differs from full-length ABCG1(678) by absence of an internal segment of 12 amino acids (VKQTKRLKGLRK). Accordingly spliced ABCG1 transcripts were detected in macrophages and liver in approximately twofold higher amounts than the alternatively spliced ABCG1 form encoding full-length ABCG1. We used transient and stable expression of ABCG1(666) fusion proteins to characterize glycosylation, subcellular localization, molecular interaction and functions of this ABCG1 variant. It could be demonstrated that ABCG1(666) is located at the cell surface and has the ability to form cholesterol transport competent homodimers which affect cellular cholesterol export in a similar manner as previously characterized forms of ABCG1. Our results support that ABCG1(666) may in fact be the most prominent form of functional ABCG1 expressed in the human.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nistico, Roberto [Department of Chemistry and NIS Center of Excellence, University of Torino, Via P. Giuria 7, Torino 10125 (Italy); Faga, Maria Giulia, E-mail: m.faga@to.istec.cnr.it [CNR-ISTEC, Strada delle Cacce 73, Torino 10135 (Italy); Gautier, Giovanna [CNR-ISTEC, Strada delle Cacce 73, Torino 10135 (Italy); Magnacca, Giuliana [Department of Chemistry and NIS Center of Excellence, University of Torino, Via P. Giuria 7, Torino 10125 (Italy); D' Angelo, Domenico; Ciancio, Emanuele; Piacenza, Giacomo [Clean-NT Lab, Environment Park S.P.A., Via Livorno 60, 10144 Turin (Italy); Lamberti, Roberta; Martorana, Selanna [Herniamesh S.r.l., Via F.lli Meliga, 1/C 10034 Chivasso, Turin (Italy)

    2012-08-01

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

  15. MRI quantification of pancreas motion as a function of patient setup for particle therapy -a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Giulia; Riboldi, Marco; Gianoli, Chiara; Chirvase, Cezarina I; Villa, Gaetano; Paganelli, Chiara; Summers, Paul E; Tagaste, Barbara; Pella, Andrea; Fossati, Piero; Ciocca, Mario; Baroni, Guido; Valvo, Francesca; Orecchia, Roberto

    2016-09-08

    Particle therapy (PT) has shown positive therapeutic results in local control of locally advanced pancreatic lesions. PT effectiveness is highly influenced by target localization accuracy both in space, since the pancreas is located in proximity to radiosensitive vital organs, and in time as it is subject to substantial breathing-related motion. The purpose of this preliminary study was to quantify pancreas range of motion under typical PT treatment conditions. Three common immobilization devices (vacuum cushion, thermoplastic mask, and compressor belt) were evaluated on five male patients in prone and supine positions. Retrospective four-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging data were reconstructed for each condition and the pancreas was manually segmented on each of six breathing phases. A k-means algorithm was then applied on the manually segmented map in order to obtain clusters representative of the three pancreas segments: head, body, and tail. Centers of mass (COM) for the pancreas and its segments were computed, as well as their displacements with respect to a reference breathing phase (beginning exhalation). The median three-dimensional COM displacements were in the range of 3 mm. Latero-lateral and superior-inferior directions had a higher range of motion than the anterior-posterior direction. Motion analysis of the pancreas segments showed slightly lower COM displacements for the head cluster compared to the tail cluster, especially in prone position. Statistically significant differences were found within patients among the investigated setups. Hence a patient-specific approach, rather than a general strategy, is suggested to define the optimal treatment setup in the frame of a millimeter positioning accuracy.

  16. Functionalization and characterization of persistent luminescence nanoparticles by dynamic light scattering, laser Doppler and capillary electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-García, Gonzalo; d'Orlyé, Fanny; Gutiérrez-Granados, Silvia; Martínez-Alfaro, Minerva; Mignet, Nathalie; Richard, Cyrille; Varenne, Anne

    2015-12-01

    Zinc gallate nanoparticles doped with chromium (III) (ZnGa1.995O4:Cr0.005) are innovative persistent luminescence materials with particular optical properties allowing their use for in vivo imaging. They can be excited in the tissue transparency window by visible photons and emit light for hours after the end of the excitation. This allows to observe the probe without any time constraints and without autofluorescence signals produced by biological tissues. Modification of the surface of these nanoparticles is essential to be colloidally stable not only for cell targeting applications but also for proper distribution in living organisms. The use of different methods for controlling and characterizing the functionalization process is imperative to better understand the subsequent interactions with biological elements. This work explores for the first time the characterization and optimization of a classic functionalization sequence, starting with hydroxyl groups (ZGO-OH) at the nanoparticle surface, followed by an aminosilane-functionalization intermediate stage (ZGO-NH2) before PEGylation (ZGO-PEG). Dynamic light scattering and laser doppler electrophoresis were used in combination with capillary electrophoresis to characterize the nanoparticle functionalization processes and control their colloidal and chemical stability. The hydrodynamic diameter, zeta potential, electrophoretic mobility, stability over time and aggregation state of persistent luminescence nanoparticles under physiological-based solution conditions have been studied for each functional state. Additionally, a new protocol to improve ZGO-NH2 stability based on a thermal treatment to complete covalent binding of (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane onto the particle surface has been optimized. This thorough control increases our knowledge on these nanoparticles for subsequent toxicological studies and ultimately medical application.

  17. OBESITY PHENOTYPE INFLUENCES TREND IN PULMONARY FUNCTION INDICES RECOVERY FOLLOWING ABDOMINAL SURGERY: PRELIMINARY REPORT FROM A NIGERIAN POPULATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akinremi, A A; Orotokun, A E; Sanya, A O

    2014-09-01

    Obesity phenotypes are known to have varying effects on pulmonary function but their effects on trends of pulmonary function indices' recovery among abdominal surgery patients is unclear. To investigate the influence of obesity phenotype on pulmonary function trend among abdominal surgery patients. An observational study involving 28 female patients aged 20-60 years who were never-smokers. Participants were classified into four groups namely: healthy BMI without abdominal obesity; healthy BMI with abdominal obesity; overweight/obese without abdominal obesity; and overweight/obese with abdominal obesity. Pulmonary function indices (FEV1, FVC and PEF) were taken day-1 pre-op; 5(th), 6(th) and 7(th) day post-surgery. Data were summarized using mean and standard deviation, while Kruskal-Wallis and Jonckheere trend test were used to test for differences and trend across the groups at p trend test showed that obesity pattern had significant effect on the trend of FEV1, FVC and PER with group I having the highest values, followed by group III and group II, while group IV had the lowest values. Obesity phenotype had significant effect on trend of pulmonary function indices among participants. Patients with abdominal obesity, irrespective of BMI, had poor pulmonary function.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin K. Isaacs

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Effects of nature management on soil functions : development of a method to characterize soil functions and assess the effect of nature management measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geissen, V.; Smit, A.; Zwart, K.B.

    2010-01-01

    Assessments on the sustainability of soil use and management are based on the conservation and improvement of soil functions. A major problem in the use of soil functions in those assessments is the fact that no or few quantitative methods exist to characterize soil functions in the field. It is the

  1. Effects of nature management on soil functions : development of a method to characterize soil functions and assess the effect of nature management measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geissen, V.; Smit, A.; Zwart, K.B.

    2010-01-01

    Assessments on the sustainability of soil use and management are based on the conservation and improvement of soil functions. A major problem in the use of soil functions in those assessments is the fact that no or few quantitative methods exist to characterize soil functions in the field. It is

  2. Thermodynamic Characterization of a Triheme Cytochrome Family from Geobacter sulfurreducens Reveals Mechanistic and Functional Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Leonor; Bruix, Marta; Pessanha, Miguel; Londer, Yuri Y.; Salgueiro, Carlos A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract A family of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes (PpcA-E) was identified in Geobacter sulfurreducens, where they play a crucial role by driving electron transfer from the cytoplasm to the cell exterior and assisting the reduction of extracellular acceptors. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA using NMR and visible spectroscopies was previously achieved under experimental conditions identical to those used for the triheme cytochrome c7 from Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. Under such conditions, attempts to obtain NMR data were complicated by the relatively fast intermolecular electron exchange. This work reports the detailed thermodynamic characterization of PpcB, PpcD, and PpcE under optimal experimental conditions. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA was redone under these new conditions to allow a proper comparison of the redox properties with those of other members of this family. The heme reduction potentials of the four proteins are negative, differ from each other, and cover different functional ranges. These reduction potentials are strongly modulated by heme-heme interactions and by interactions with protonated groups (the redox-Bohr effect) establishing different cooperative networks for each protein, which indicates that they are designed to perform different functions in the cell. PpcA and PpcD appear to be optimized to interact with specific redox partners involving e−/H+ transfer via different mechanisms. Although no evidence of preferential electron transfer pathway or e−/H+ coupling was found for PpcB and PpcE, the difference in their working potential ranges suggests that they may also have different physiological redox partners. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to characterize homologous cytochromes from the same microorganism and provide evidence of their different mechanistic and functional properties. These findings provide an explanation for the coexistence of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes in G

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Carl Whittington

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-29

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

  5. Executive functioning pattern as a prognostic indicator for shunt implantation surgery in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus - A preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Marcin M; Fersten, Ewa; Głowacki, Mariusz

    2016-01-01

    The problem of executive functions in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) was investigated in the study. Executive function parameters were assumed to be among factors that may differentiate the clinical pattern in NPH. Two major indicators of executive functioning, i.e. flexibility and productivity of thinking, were assessed in neuropsychological examination using the Trail Making Test (TMT), Verbal Fluency Test (COWAT), and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Participants in the study were 18 patients with NPH divided using a set of diagnostic criteria into two subgroups: with idiopathic active hydrocephalus (ACT) or with arrested hydrocephalus (ARR). Executive functioning patterns were found to differentiate between the two NPH subgroups. Namely, patients diagnosed with active hydrocephalus (who qualify for shunt implantation surgery) tended to present lower levels of verbal fluency in all semantic categories, which suggests a decreased productivity of thinking. Besides, ACT patients' performance on the WCST was significantly inferior on two measures: (1) they committed more non-perseverative errors (which indicates their chaotic way of working on the test and the occurrence of random responses) and (2) displayed lower ability of "learning to learn" (which suggests their impaired flexibility of thinking). These aspects of executive function, with productivity and flexibility of thinking first and foremost, seem promising as additional prognostic indicators to consider in patient selection for shunt implantation.

  6. Conceptualizing the relations between metacognition and executive functions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS patients’ caregivers. A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania La Foresta

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive Functions are goal-directed neurocognitive processes that allow the management of cognition and behavior. Executive Functions are essential to allow people to set goals, self-monitor, inhibit inappropriate responses, and generally engage in well-planned, flexible, future-oriented behavior. Metacognitive processes, in close alliance with executive functions, are viewed as integral components of awareness and emotional regulation. The influence of metacognition on planning, monitoring and mental flexibility has not been investigated. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the relationship between metacognition and executive functions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patient's caregivers. Twenty-two caregivers were evaluated using the following instruments: Metacognition Questionnaire-30 and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Data analysis was performed using SPSS for Windows applying correlational analysis (Spearman’s Rho. We founded that total score of metacognition is positive correlated with number of perseverative errors made in Wisconsin (0.75 p<.001. In particular, need to control thoughts is positive correlated with number of perseverative errors (0.78 p<.001. Results could suggest the importance to explore the relationship between metacognitive processes and executive functions in order to cope disease’s changes and optimize the relative daily living management. Providing care to a Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis relative may cause feelings of burden, psychological distress, anxiety or depression, in particular in case of dysfunctional metacognitions. So, our future researches will be oriented to explore the relationship between psycopatological symptoms and metacognition and executive functions in ALS’caregivers in order to contain caregiver emotional burden.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoshu Wang

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Metalloproteomics: forward and reverse approaches in metalloprotein structural and functional characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Wuxian; Chance, Mark R

    2011-02-01

    About one-third of all proteins are associated with a metal. Metalloproteomics is defined as the structural and functional characterization of metalloproteins on a genome-wide scale. The methodologies utilized in metalloproteomics, including both forward (bottom-up) and reverse (top-down) technologies, to provide information on the identity, quantity, and function of metalloproteins are discussed. Important techniques frequently employed in metalloproteomics include classical proteomic tools such as mass spectrometry and 2D gels, immobilized-metal affinity chromatography, bioinformatic sequence analysis and homology modeling, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and other synchrotron radiation based tools. Combinative applications of these techniques provide a powerful approach to understand the function of metalloproteins.

  9. Functional characterization of a BCL10 isoform in the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzone, Pellegrino; Scudiero, Ivan; Coccia, Elena; Ferravante, Angela; Paolucci, Marina; D'Andrea, Egildo Luca; Varricchio, Ettore; Pizzulo, Maddalena; Reale, Carla; Zotti, Tiziana; Vito, Pasquale; Stilo, Romania

    2015-01-01

    The complexes formed by BCL10, MALT1 and members of the family of CARMA proteins have recently been the focus of much attention because they represent a key mechanism for regulating activation of the transcription factor NF-κB. Here, we report the functional characterization of a novel isoform of BCL10 in the trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, which we named tBCL10. tBCL10 dimerizes, binds to components of the CBM complex and forms cytoplasmic filaments. Functionally, tBCL10 activates NF-κB transcription factor and is inhibited by the deubiquitinating enzyme A20. Finally, depletion experiments indicate that tBCL10 can functionally replace the human protein. This work demonstrates the evolutionary conservation of the mechanism of NF-κB activation through the CBM complex, and indicates that the rainbow trout O . mykiss can serve as a model organism to study this pathway.

  10. Functional connectivity in the first year of life in infants at-risk for autism: A preliminary near-infrared spectroscopy study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon eKeehn

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD has been called a ‘developmental disconnection syndrome,’ however the majority of the research examining connectivity in ASD has been conducted exclusively with older children and adults. Yet, prior ASD research suggests that perturbations in neurodevelopmental trajectories begin as early as the first year of life. Prospective longitudinal studies of infants at risk for ASD may provide a window into the emergence of these aberrant patterns of connectivity. The current study employed functional connectivity near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS in order to examine the development of intra- and inter-hemispheric functional connectivity in high- and low-risk infants across the first year of life.Methods: NIRS data were collected from 27 infants at high risk for autism (HRA and 37 low-risk comparison (LRC infants who contributed a total of 116 data sets at 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-months. At each time point, HRA and LRC groups were matched on age, sex, head circumference, and Mullen Scales of Early Learning scores. Regions of interest (ROI were selected from anterior and posterior locations of each hemisphere. The average time course for each ROI was calculated and correlations for each ROI pair were computed. Differences in functional connectivity were examined in a cross-sectional manner.Results: At 3-months, HRA infants showed increased overall functional connectivity compared to LRC infants. This was the result of increased connectivity for intra- and inter-hemispheric ROI pairs. No significant differences were found between HRA and LRC infants at 6- and 9-months. However, by 12-months, HRA infants showed decreased connectivity relative to LRC infants.Conclusions: Our preliminary results suggest that atypical functional connectivity may exist within the first year of life in HRA infants, providing support to the growing body of evidence that aberrant patterns of connectivity may be a potential endophenotype for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alquézar, Berta; Rodríguez, Ana; de la Peña, Marcos; Peña, Leandro

    2017-01-01

    Citrus aroma and flavor, chief traits of fruit quality, are derived from their high content in essential oils of most plant tissues, including leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. Accumulated in secretory cavities, most components of these oils are volatile terpenes. They contribute to defense against herbivores and pathogens, and perhaps also protect tissues against abiotic stress. In spite of their importance, our understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and genetic regulation of citrus terpene volatiles is still limited. The availability of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) genome sequence allowed us to characterize for the first time the terpene synthase (TPS) family in a citrus type. CsTPS is one of the largest angiosperm TPS families characterized so far, formed by 95 loci from which just 55 encode for putative functional TPSs. All TPS angiosperm families, TPS-a, TPS-b, TPS-c, TPS-e/f, and TPS-g were represented in the sweet orange genome, with 28, 18, 2, 2, and 5 putative full length genes each. Additionally, sweet orange β-farnesene synthase, (Z)-β-cubebene/α-copaene synthase, two β-caryophyllene synthases, and three multiproduct enzymes yielding β-cadinene/α-copaene, β-elemene, and β-cadinene/ledene/allo-aromandendrene as major products were identified, and functionally characterized via in vivo recombinant Escherichia coli assays. PMID:28883829

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berta Alquézar

    2017-08-01

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

  13. A Preliminary Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study of Cortical Inhibition and Excitability in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Aim: Controversy surrounds the distinction between high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger disorder, but motor abnormalities are associated features of both conditions. This study examined motor cortical inhibition and excitability in HFA and Asperger disorder using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Method: Participants were diagnosed by…

  14. The crust and mantle beneath the Siberian provinces: a preliminary model based on new receiver function analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soliman, Mohammad Youssof Ahmad; Artemieva, Irina; Thybo, Hans;

    2012-01-01

    The new receiver function (RF) study complements the existing seismic data on the crustal and upper mantle structure at the margins of the Siberian craton and the West Siberian Basin. So far, RF studies of Siberia have been largely restricted to the Baikal rift zone (Gao et al., 2004; Liu and Gao...

  15. A preliminary evaluation of the correlation between regional energy phosphates and resting state functional connectivity in depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Chun S; Lin, Pan; Vitaliano, Gordana; Wang, Kristina; Villafuerte, Rosemond; Lukas, Scott E

    2015-01-01

    Impaired brain energy metabolism is among the leading hypotheses in the pathogenesis of affective disorders and linking energy phosphates with states of tissue-function activity is a novel and non-invasive approach to differentiate healthy from unhealthy states. Resting state functional MRI (fMRI) has been established as an important tool for mapping cerebral regional activity and phosphorous chemical shift imaging ((31)P CSI) has been applied to measure levels of energy phosphates and phospholipids non-invasively in order to gain insight into the possible etiology of affective disorders. This is an initial attempt to identify the existence of a correlation between regional energy phosphates and connectivity at nodes of the posterior default mode network (DMN). Resting state fMRI in conjunction with (31)P 2D CSI was applied to 11 healthy controls and 11 depressed patients at 3 T. We found that differences between the two groups exist in correlation of lateral posterior parietal cortex functional connectivity and regional Pi/PCr. Results of this study indicate that resting-state-fMRI-guided (31)P CSI can provide new insight into depression via regional energy phosphates and functional connectivity.

  16. Brain-Gut Axis Modulation of Acupuncture in Functional Dyspepsia: A Preliminary Resting-State fcMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiliang Fang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To explore acupuncture effects on brain functional connectivity in patients with functional dyspepsia (FD. Methods. Eight patients in an acupuncture treatment group and ten healthy adults in the control group participated in the study. Acupuncture effectiveness was evaluated based on changes of the gastrointestinal symptoms, gastric motility measurements, and gastrin levels and comparisons with the control group when appropriate. To investigate functional connectivity changes related to FD and potential modulation after acupuncture, a set of regions of interest (ROIs were selected according to previous fMRI reports of acupuncture. Results. Patients showed significant improvements of FD signs and symptoms after acupuncture treatments. For all of the ROIs, we identified subportions of the networks showing reduced connectivity in patients with FD. Connectivity between the ROIs and corresponding disease targets showed significant improvement after acupuncture treatment (P<0.05 in all ROIs except for right medial temporal lobe-hippocampus and right inferior parietal lobule. Conclusion. Functional connectivity of the brain is changed in patients with FD but approximates that in healthy control after acupuncture treatment. The relief of gastrointestinal signs and symptoms by acupuncture is likely due to the normalization of brain-gut axis associated with FD.

  17. Evaluation of atmospheric density models and preliminary functional specifications for the Langley Atmospheric Information Retrieval System (LAIRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, T.; Boland, D. F., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    This document presents the results of an extensive survey and comparative evaluation of current atmosphere and wind models for inclusion in the Langley Atmospheric Information Retrieval System (LAIRS). It includes recommended models for use in LAIRS, estimated accuracies for the recommended models, and functional specifications for the development of LAIRS.

  18. Evaluation of the Military Functional Assessment Program: Preliminary Assessment of the Construct Validity Using an Archived Database of Clinical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    Status (Rbans): Clinical Utility in a Traumatic Brain Injury Sample. Clinical Neuropsychology. 1-14. Moses , J. A. 2004. Test review-Comprehensive...traumatic brain injury (mTBI) have persistent symptoms and/or functional limitations (Iverson, Zasler, & Lange, 2006; Ruff, Camenzuli, & Mueller...diagnoses and symptoms. Diagnosis/symptom Frequency Traumatic brain injury 54 mild TBI 7 penetrating TBI 2 unknown

  19. A Preliminary Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study of Cortical Inhibition and Excitability in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Aim: Controversy surrounds the distinction between high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger disorder, but motor abnormalities are associated features of both conditions. This study examined motor cortical inhibition and excitability in HFA and Asperger disorder using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Method: Participants were diagnosed by…

  20. Evaluation of the functional effects of a course of Bobath therapy in children with cerebral palsy: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Virginia; Evans, Andrew Lloyd

    2002-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate functional effects of Bobath therapy in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Fifteen children with a diagnosis of CP were recruited (9 males, 6 females; mean age 7 years 4 months, SD 2 years 8 months; age range 2 to 12 years). Types of motor disorder were as follows: spastic quadriplegia (n=9); spastic diplegia (n=4); athetoid quadriplegia (n=1), and ataxia (n=1). Participants were distributed across the following Gross Motor Function Classification levels: level I, n=1; level II, n=4; level III, n=5; level IV, n=4; and level V, n=1. Children awaiting orthopaedic intervention were excluded. A repeated measures design was used with participants tested with the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) at 6-weekly intervals (baseline, before and after Bobath therapy, and follow-up). As the data were of ordinal type, non-parametric statistics were used, i.e. Wilcoxon's test. Participants showed a significant improvement in scores in the following areas following Bobath therapy compared with the periods before and after Bobath therapy: GMFM total score (p=0.009); GMFM goal total (p=0.001); PEDI self care skills (p=0.036); and PEDI caregiver assistance total score (p=0.012). This demonstrates that in this population, gains were made in motor function and self care following a course of Bobath therapy.

  1. Preliminary Findings of Feasibility of a Wearable Soft-robotic Glove Supporting Impaired Hand Function in Daily Life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radder, Bob; Radder, B.; Prange, Grada Berendina; Prange-Lasonder, G.B.; Kottink, A.I.R.; Gaasbeek, L.; Holmberg, J.; Meyer, T.; Buurke, Jaap; Rietman, Johan Swanik

    2016-01-01

    Elderly people frequently encounter difficulties in independently performing activities of daily living (ADL) due to a reduced hand function. Robotic assistive devices have the potential to provide the assistance that is necessary to perform ADL independently without the need of personal assistance.

  2. Better U-Pb Zircon Standards for SIMS and LA-ICPMS? Preliminary Results of Detailed Characterization and Pre-treatment using CA-TIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattinson, J. M.; Hourigan, J.; Wooden, J. L.

    2006-12-01

    U-Pb zircon dating using SIMS and LA-ICPMS requires calibrations against natural zircons of known age. Ideally, such zircons should be perfectly concordant -- free from Pb-loss, inheritance, or any other complications, and also accurately dated. In practice this can be problematic. Complexities can be difficult to detect by SIMS and LA-ICPMS analysis if they are at or below the level of precision of an individual analysis. In addition, conventional TIMS dating, used to date the standards, can be limited by residual minor Pb loss that has not been removed by conventional "pretreatments" such as air abrasion. CA-TIMS (Mattinson, 2005, Chem Geol 220, 47-66) utilizes high-T annealing of natural radiation damage, followed by partial dissolution in HF, and has proven highly successful at complete removal of zircon domains that have experienced Pb loss, both from the outer rims and also from the deep interiors of zircon grains. Thus, it is useful for detailed characterization of existing and potential zircon standards. Here, we also investigate the potential of CA-TIMS for pre-treating zircon standards prior to SIMS and LA-ICPMS analysis. Multi-step CA-TIMS analyses of Temora-2, R-33, and a possible new standard from the Klamath Mountains reveal minor Pb loss in the first few partial dissolution steps, then yield excellent 206Pb*/238 plateau ages, and concordant 207Pb*/206Pb* ages for the remaining steps. Additional aliquots of these zircons were then "pretreated" by CA-TIMS, with sufficient partial dissolution to remove all vestiges of Pb loss, based on the earlier experiments. A sample of AS-57 was pre-treated "blind" because it was received just prior to a scheduled SHRIMP session. All samples were then prepared in a single mount for SHRIMP analysis. Our preliminary results from a round-robin Stanford SHRIMP-RG session using Temora-2, R-33, AS-57, and the Klamath sample are very promising. The Temora-2 and Klamath zircons in particular yielded excellent reproducibility

  3. Probability Density Function Characterization for Aggregated Large-Scale Wind Power Based on Weibull Mixtures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio Gómez-Lázaro

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The Weibull probability distribution has been widely applied to characterize wind speeds for wind energy resources. Wind power generation modeling is different, however, due in particular to power curve limitations, wind turbine control methods, and transmission system operation requirements. These differences are even greater for aggregated wind power generation in power systems with high wind penetration. Consequently, models based on one-Weibull component can provide poor characterizations for aggregated wind power generation. With this aim, the present paper focuses on discussing Weibull mixtures to characterize the probability density function (PDF for aggregated wind power generation. PDFs of wind power data are firstly classified attending to hourly and seasonal patterns. The selection of the number of components in the mixture is analyzed through two well-known different criteria: the Akaike information criterion (AIC and the Bayesian information criterion (BIC. Finally, the optimal number of Weibull components for maximum likelihood is explored for the defined patterns, including the estimated weight, scale, and shape parameters. Results show that multi-Weibull models are more suitable to characterize aggregated wind power data due to the impact of distributed generation, variety of wind speed values and wind power curtailment.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Banerjee, Indranil [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Das, Manasmita [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Pramanik, Panchanan, E-mail: dipsikha.chem@gmail.com [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India)

    2011-09-15

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

  5. A blood pool contrast aided T1 functional MRI in patients with brain tumors - a preliminary study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Majos, Agata; Sapieha, Michal; Stefanczyk, Ludomir [Medical University of Lodz, Radiology Department, Lodz (Poland); Wolak, Tomasz [Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw (Poland); Bogorodzki, Piotr [Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Radioelectronics, Warsaw (Poland); Tybor, Krzysztof [Medical University of Lodz, Neurosurgery Department, Lodz (Poland)

    2011-07-15

    The aim of our study was to determine the possibility of using a new functional technique: a T1-dependent sequence with administration of blood pool contrast agent (BPCA), in patients with brain tumors before and after surgical treatment. We also aimed to compare our results with those obtained using the fMRI technique, based on Blood Oxygenation Level-Dependent (BOLD) contrast. For each of our 14 oncologic patients (four before and ten after neurosurgical intervention), we obtained: a T1-3D GRE sequence (TR = 2.6 ms/TE = 1.1 ms/FA = 10 ) after intravenous administration of BPCA (0.03 mmol/kg), as well as a T2*EPI sequence (TR = 3 s/TE = 50 ms/FA = 90 ). Movement and/or tactile block type paradigms were carried out during both functional runs. SPM5 software was used for analysis. For both functional techniques, maximum activations were localized in the same areas. There were no significant differences observed in the t values calculated for activations located in the primary motor cortex between groups of pre- and post-intervention patients (in the same functional technique). The mean values for T2* EPI examinations were 10.84 and 9.36, respectively. The mean t values for the T1 technique were lower, especially for the post-intervention patients (5.83 and 3.9, respectively). The T1 technique can be used to detect functional areas in patients with brain tumors, pre-, and post-surgical intervention. This technique enables the evaluation of cortical centers that suffer from susceptibility artifacts when using the T2* BOLD technique. Activations found using both techniques have the same localization, with lower values for the T1 technique. (orig.)

  6. A Study of Student Affairs: The Principal Student Affairs Officer, the Functions, the Organization at American Colleges and Universities 1967-1972. A Preliminary Summary Report. Technical Report No. 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crookston, Burns B.; Atkyns, Glenn C.

    This is a preliminary report of a major research project to study the changes in leadership, organization, and function that took place in the student affairs sector of American higher education during the period 1967-1972. The report is presented in summary fashion with emphasis on the survey, the principal student affairs officer, organizational…

  7. Fabrication and characterization of electrospun poly(e-caprolactone) fibrous membrane with antibacterial functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerkez, Idris; Sezer, Ayse; Bhullar, Sukhwinder K.

    2017-02-01

    This research study is mainly targeted on fabrication and characterization of antibacterial poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL) based fibrous membrane containing silver chloride particles. Micro/nano fibres were produced by electrospinning and characterized with TGA, DSC, SEM and mechanical analysis. It was found that addition of silver particles slightly reduced onset of thermal degradation and increased crystallization temperature of neat PCL. Silver-loaded samples exhibited higher tensile stress and lower strain revealing that the particles behaved as reinforcing agent. Moreover, addition of silver chloride resulted in beaded surface texture and formation of finer fibres as opposed to the neat. Antibacterial properties were tested against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and remarkable biocidal functionalities were obtained with about six logs reduction of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli O157:H7.

  8. Rapid high-resolution characterization of functionally important monoclonal antibody N-glycans by capillary electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabo, Zoltan; Guttman, András; Bones, Jonathan; Karger, Barry L

    2011-07-01

    Characterization of the N-glycosylation present in the Fc region of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies requires rapid, high-resolution separation methods to guarantee product safety and efficacy during all stages of process development. Determination of fucosylated oligosaccharides is particularly important during clone selection, product characterization, and lot release as fucose has been shown to adversely affect the ability of mAbs to induce antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Here, we apply a general capillary electrophoresis optimization strategy to separate functionally relevant fucosylated and afucosylated glycans on mononclonal antibody products in the presence of several high mannose oligosaccharides. The N-glycans chosen represent those most commonly reported on CHO cell derived therapeutic antibodies. A rapid (processing for automated 96 well plate-based glycosylation analyses of two nonproprietary therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, demonstrating ruggedness and suitability for high-throughput process and product monitoring applications.

  9. The effects of repeated intravenous iohexol administration on renal function in healthy beagles – a preliminary report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirberger Robert M

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Contrast induced nephrotoxicity (CIN is a well described syndrome in humans undergoing contrast medium examinations. To date CIN has received minimal attention in the veterinary literature despite increasing use of contrast medium examinations in computed tomographic studies. Methods This prospective study evaluated the effect of 1290 mg/kg iohexol given intravenously to 5 normal beagle dogs in a divided dose at an interval of 6–8 weeks. Renal function was evaluated by means of scintigraphically determined glomerular filtration rate (GFR and a variety of laboratory assays. Results Only GFR showed a significant decrease (17% after the second injection but not to a clinically or pathologically significant level. Conclusions No clinically significant effect of repeated contrast medium administration was determined in this limited study. However in dogs with reduced renal function the risk of CIN is likely to increase dramatically post contrast administration.

  10. SEX-RELATED FUNCTIONAL ASYMMETRY OF THE AMGDALA: PRELIMINARY EVIDENCE USING A CASE-MATCHED LESION APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Tranel, Daniel; Bechara, Antoine

    2009-01-01

    We have reported previously that there appears to be an intriguing sex-related functional asymmetry of the prefrontal cortices, especially the ventromedial sector, in regard to social conduct, emotional processing, and decision-making, whereby the right-sided sector is important in men but not women and the left-sided sector is important in women but not men. The amygdala is another structure that has been widely implicated in emotion processing and social decision-making, and the question ar...

  11. A Review on Characterizations and Biocompatibility of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes in Drug Delivery Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia M. Tan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The revolutionary development of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs for applications in nanomedicine has emerged as one of the most interesting fields, which has increased exponentially in recent years. This is due to their appealing physical and chemical properties, as well as their unique architecture. After a brief introduction on the physicochemical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs, we described several functionalization methods for the surface modification of CNTs, with the aim to facilitate their solubility in physiological aqueous environment. This review focuses on recent advances in drug delivery design based on f-CNTs with an emphasis on the determination of various parameters involved and characterization methods used in order to achieve higher therapeutic efficacy of targeted drug delivery. In particular, we will highlight a variety of different analytical techniques which can be used to characterize the elemental composition, chemical structure, and functional groups introduced onto the CNTs after surface modification. We also review the current progress of available in vitro biocompatibility assays based on f-CNTs and then discuss their toxicological profile and biodistribution for advanced drug delivery.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  13. The Level of Self-Esteem and Sexual Functioning in Women with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durmała, Jacek; Blicharska, Irmina; Drosdzol-Cop, Agnieszka; Skrzypulec-Plinta, Violetta

    2015-08-12

    A person's image, which is determined through physical appearance, considerably affects self-esteem developed from early childhood. Scoliosis causes multiple trunk deformations that can affect a person's perception of the body. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of scoliosis dimension and the degree of trunk deformation on the level of self-esteem and sexual functioning in women with idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty-six women diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis were recruited to a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were divided into two groups depending on the value of the Cobb angle. The level of self-esteem was determined by means of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), whereas the sexual functioning was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The trunk deformations were specified with the Posterior Trunk Symmetry Index (POTSI). A statistically significant correlation was proved between the amount of points received in the Rosenberg scale evaluation and the POTSI index in Group A (R = -0.56, p = 0.04). Subjects with smaller deformations within the coronal plane had a higher level of self-confidence. The trunk asymmetries in the coronal plane may have a negative effect on women with scoliosis and their self-appraisal.

  14. A Preliminary Study of Functional Brain Activation among Marijuana Users during Performance of a Virtual Water Maze Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Tropp Sneider

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have reported neurocognitive impairments associated with chronic marijuana use. Given that the hippocampus contains a high density of cannabinoid receptors, hippocampal-mediated cognitive functions, including visuospatial memory, may have increased vulnerability to chronic marijuana use. Thus, the current study examined brain activation during the performance of a virtual analogue of the classic Morris water maze task in 10 chronic marijuana (MJ users compared to 18 nonusing (NU comparison subjects. Imaging data were acquired using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD functional MRI at 3.0 Tesla during retrieval (hidden platform and motor control (visible platform conditions. While task performance on learning trials was similar between groups, MJ users demonstrated a deficit in memory retrieval. For BOLD fMRI data, NU subjects exhibited greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus and cingulate gyrus compared to the MJ group for the Retrieval-Motor Control contrast (NU > MJ. These findings suggest that hypoactivation in MJ users may be due to differences in the efficient utilization of neuronal resources during the retrieval of memory. Given the paucity of data on visuospatial memory function in MJ users, these findings may help elucidate the neurobiological effects of marijuana on brain activation during memory retrieval.

  15. Changes in forebrain function from waking to REM sleep in depression: preliminary analyses of [18F]FDG PET studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nofzinger, E A; Nichols, T E; Meltzer, C C; Price, J; Steppe, D A; Miewald, J M; Kupfer, D J; Moore, R Y

    1999-08-31

    Based on recent functional brain imaging studies of healthy human REM sleep, we hypothesized that alterations in REM sleep in mood disorder patients reflect a functional dysregulation within limbic and paralimbic forebrain structures during that sleep state. Six unipolar depressed subjects and eight healthy subjects underwent separate [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) PET scans during waking and during their first REM period of sleep. Statistical parametric mapping contrasts were performed to detect changes in relative regional cerebral glucose metabolism (rCMRglu) from waking to REM sleep in each group as well as interactions in patterns of change between groups. Clinical and EEG sleep comparisons from an undisturbed night of sleep were also performed. In contrast to healthy control subjects, depressed patients did not show increases in rCMRglu in anterior paralimbic structures in REM sleep compared to waking. Depressed subjects showed greater increases from waking to REM sleep in rCMRglu in the tectal area and a series of left hemispheric areas including sensorimotor cortex, inferior temporal cortex, uncal gyrus-amygdala, and subicular complex than did the control subjects. These observations indicate that changes in limbic and paralimbic function from waking to REM sleep differ significantly from normal in depressed patients.

  16. Effects of bupropion SR on anterior paralimbic function during waking and REM sleep in depression: preliminary findings using.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nofzinger, E A; Berman, S; Fasiczka, A; Miewald, J M; Meltzer, C C; Price, J C; Sembrat, R C; Wood, A; Thase, M E

    2001-04-10

    This study sought to clarify the effects of bupropion SR on anterior paralimbic function in depressed patients by studying changes in the activation of these structures from waking to REM sleep both before and after treatment. Twelve depressed patients underwent concurrent EEG sleep studies and [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) scans during waking and during their second REM period of sleep before and after treatment with bupropion SR. Nine subjects completed pre- and post-treatment waking PET studies. Five subjects completed pre- and post-treatment waking and REM sleep PET studies. Bupropion SR treatment did not suppress electrophysiologic measures of REM sleep, nor did it alter an indirect measure of global metabolism during either waking or REM sleep. Bupropion SR treatment reversed the previously observed deficit in anterior cingulate, medial prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula activation from waking to REM sleep. In secondary analyses, this effect was related to a reduction in waking relative metabolism in these structures following treatment in the absence of a significant effect on REM sleep relative metabolism. The implications of these findings for the relative importance of anterior paralimbic function in REM sleep in depression and for the differential effects of anti-depressant treatment on brain function during waking vs. REM sleep are discussed.

  17. The Healthy for Life Taekwondo Pilot Study: A Preliminary Evaluation of Effects on Executive Function and BMI, Feasibility, and Acceptability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakes, Kimberley D; Bryars, Tracy; Sirisinahal, Swetha; Salim, Nimrah; Arastoo, Sara; Emmerson, Natasha; Kang, Daniel; Shim, Lois; Wong, Doug; Kang, Chang Jin

    2013-10-01

    There is growing consensus that exercise improves cognitive functioning, but research is needed to identify exercise interventions that optimize effects on cognition. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate Taekwondo implemented in public middle school physical education (PE). Two classes were randomly assigned to either: five sessions per week of PE or three sessions of PE and two sessions of Taekwondo. In PE sessions, evidence-based curriculum to address the Presidential Core Fitness Guidelines and California Physical Fitness Tests was implemented. Taekwondo sessions included traditional techniques and forms taught in an environment emphasizing respect and self-control. Sixty students were evaluated at baseline and during the last week of the intervention (nine months later). Differences in mean residualized change scores for parent-rated inhibitory behavioral control yielded a significant, large effect size (d =.95, p =.00), reflecting greater improvement among Taekwondo students. Results from an executive function computer-administered task revealed greater accuracy on the congruent trial (d = 2.00, p = .02) for Taekwondo students. Differences in mean residualized change scores for BMI z scores yielded a moderate, non-significant effect size (d = - .51, p = .16). The majority of Taekwondo students reported positive perceptions of Taekwondo and perceived self-improvement in self-control and physical fitness. Results suggest that Taekwondo is an exercise program that improves cognitive functioning and is both feasible and acceptable to implement in a public school setting.

  18. Weighted Phase Lag Index and Graph Analysis: Preliminary Investigation of Functional Connectivity during Resting State in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Erick; Stingl, Krunoslav; Münßinger, Jana; Braun, Christoph; Preissl, Hubert; Belardinelli, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Resting state functional connectivity of MEG data was studied in 29 children (9-10 years old). The weighted phase lag index (WPLI) was employed for estimating connectivity and compared to coherence. To further evaluate the network structure, a graph analysis based on WPLI was used to determine clustering coefficient (C) and betweenness centrality (BC) as local coefficients as well as the characteristic path length (L) as a parameter for global interconnectedness. The network's modular structure was also calculated to estimate functional segregation. A seed region was identified in the central occipital area based on the power distribution at the sensor level in the alpha band. WPLI reveals a specific connectivity map different from power and coherence. BC and modularity show a strong level of connectedness in the occipital area between lateral and central sensors. C shows different isolated areas of occipital sensors. Globally, a network with the shortest L is detected in the alpha band, consistently with the local results. Our results are in agreement with findings in adults, indicating a similar functional network in children at this age in the alpha band. The integrated use of WPLI and graph analysis can help to gain a better description of resting state networks. PMID:23049617

  19. The Level of Self-Esteem and Sexual Functioning in Women with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek Durmała

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A person’s image, which is determined through physical appearance, considerably affects self-esteem developed from early childhood. Scoliosis causes multiple trunk deformations that can affect a person’s perception of the body. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of scoliosis dimension and the degree of trunk deformation on the level of self-esteem and sexual functioning in women with idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty-six women diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis were recruited to a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were divided into two groups depending on the value of the Cobb angle. The level of self-esteem was determined by means of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES, whereas the sexual functioning was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI. The trunk deformations were specified with the Posterior Trunk Symmetry Index (POTSI. A statistically significant correlation was proved between the amount of points received in the Rosenberg scale evaluation and the POTSI index in Group A (R = −0.56, p = 0.04. Subjects with smaller deformations within the coronal plane had a higher level of self-confidence. The trunk asymmetries in the coronal plane may have a negative effect on women with scoliosis and their self-appraisal.

  20. 河流功能区划初步探讨%Preliminary study on river function regionalization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁弘任; 沈福新; 魏开湄

    2011-01-01

    为了促进河流自然功能、生态环境功能和社会服务功能的协调发展,维持河流健康和水资源可持续利用,分析河流功能区划的内涵、分类体系,按禁止开发区、规划保留区、调整修复区和开发治理区对河流功能进行区划,并探讨划分依据与程序,为流域规划与管理提供依据.%In order to promote the coordinated development of natural, ecological environmental and social service functions of rivers, and to maintain river health and sustainable use of water resources, the meaning and classification system of the river function regionalization were analyzed. The river function was regionalized according to the prohibitive development area, planning reserve area, adjustment restoration area and development and management area. The regionalization theory and procedure were examined, providing a basis for basin planning and management.

  1. Preliminary pilot fMRI study of neuropostural optimization with a noninvasive asymmetric radioelectric brain stimulation protocol in functional dysmetria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mura M

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Marco Mura1, Alessandro Castagna2, Vania Fontani2, Salvatore Rinaldi21Institute of Radiology, University of Cagliari, 2Rinaldi Fontani Institute – Department of Neuro Psycho Physical Optimization, Florence, ItalyPurpose: This study assessed changes in functional dysmetria (FD and in brain activation observable by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a leg flexion-extension motor task following brain stimulation with a single radioelectric asymmetric conveyer (REAC pulse, according to the precisely defined neuropostural optimization (NPO protocol.Population and methods: Ten healthy volunteers were assessed using fMRI conducted during a simple motor task before and immediately after delivery of a single REAC-NPO pulse. The motor task consisted of a flexion-extension movement of the legs with the knees bent. FD signs and brain activation patterns were compared before and after REAC-NPO.Results: A single 250-millisecond REAC-NPO treatment alleviated FD, as evidenced by patellar asymmetry during a sit-up motion, and modulated activity patterns in the brain, particularly in the cerebellum, during the performance of the motor task.Conclusion: Activity in brain areas involved in motor control and coordination, including the cerebellum, is altered by administration of a REAC-NPO treatment and this effect is accompanied by an alleviation of FD.Keywords: motor behavior, motor control, cerebellum, dysmetria, functional dysmetria, fluctuating asymmetry

  2. Forgetting the best when predicting the worst: Preliminary observations on neural circuit function in adolescent social anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna M. Jarcho

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Social anxiety disorder typically begins in adolescence, a sensitive period for brain development, when increased complexity and salience of peer relationships requires novel forms of social learning. Disordered social learning in adolescence may explain how brain dysfunction promotes social anxiety. Socially anxious adolescents (n = 15 and adults (n = 19 and non-anxious adolescents (n = 24 and adults (n = 32 predicted, then received, social feedback from high and low-value peers while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. A surprise recall task assessed memory biases for feedback. Neural correlates of social evaluation prediction errors (PEs were assessed by comparing engagement to expected and unexpected positive and negative feedback. For socially anxious adolescents, but not adults or healthy participants of either age group, PEs elicited heightened striatal activity and negative fronto-striatal functional connectivity. This occurred selectively to unexpected positive feedback from high-value peers and corresponded with impaired memory for social feedback. While impaired memory also occurred in socially-anxious adults, this impairment was unrelated to brain-based PE activity. Thus, social anxiety in adolescence may relate to altered neural correlates of PEs that contribute to impaired learning about social feedback. Small samples necessitate replication. Nevertheless, results suggest that the relationship between learning and fronto-striatal function may attenuate as development progresses.

  3. Dynamic gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance urography for assessing drainage in dilated pelvicalyceal systems with moderate renal function: preliminary results and comparison with diuresis renography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, W C W; Lam, W W M; Chan, K W; Yeung, C K; Lee, K H; Sihoe, J D Y

    2004-04-01

    To evaluate the use of dynamic gadolinium diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid (DTPA)-enhanced magnetic resonance urography (Gd-MRU) for assessing kidneys with markedly dilated pelvicalyceal systems and impaired function. Eight children (mean age 30 months, sd 25) were assessed, diagnosed as having gross unilateral hydronephrosis with a mean (sd) anteroposterior renal pelvic diameter of 36 (7) mm and reduced (30-40%) renal function. Dynamic Gd-MRU was performed after the patients were pre-loaded with intravenous fluid and diuretics, and comprised a dynamic T1-weighted sequence after Gd-DTPA (0.1 mmol/kg body weight) was administered, with a time-intensity curve of each kidney produced. Drainage was diagnosed by a clearly declining time-intensity curve and direct visualization of contrast medium within the ureter in several frames. High-grade or complete obstruction was diagnosed when drainage of contrast medium could not be detected. Gd-MRU results were compared with diuresis radionuclide (mercapto-acetyltriglycine, MAG3) renography within the same week. Unobstructive units detected by Gd-MRU were treated conservatively with a close follow-up by ultrasonography and radionuclide studies. Diuresis MAG3 renography showed drainage in three dilated units and poor washout in five; in contrast, Gd-MRU showed drainage in seven dilated systems (three showed poor washout by MAG3), and obstruction in the remaining case. The unobstructed units detected by MRU under conservative treatment thus showed no further deterioration of renal function or progressive hydronephrosis in the subsequent follow-up (mean 18 months, range 15-23). These preliminary results suggest that dynamic Gd-MRU is a useful noninvasive imaging method in distinguishing obstructive from unobstructive dilated systems, particularly in patients with hydronephrosis and reduced renal function.

  4. Open label smoking cessation with varenicline is associated with decreased glutamate levels and functional changes in anterior cingulate cortex: preliminary findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriah Dawn Wheelock

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Rationale: Varenicline, the most effective single agent for smoking cessation, is a partial agonist at α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Increasing evidence implicates glutamate in the pathophysiology of addiction and one of the benefits of treatment for smoking cessation is the ability to regain cognitive control. Objective: To evaluate the effects of 12 week varenicline administration on glutamate levels in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC and functional changes within the cognitive control network.Methods: We used single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS in the dACC and functional MRI (fMRI during performance of a Stroop color-naming task before and after smoking cessation with varenicline in 11 healthy smokers (open label design. Using the dACC as a seed region, we evaluated functional connectivity changes using a psychophysiological interaction (PPI analysis. Results: We observed a significant decrease in dACC glutamate + glutamine (Glx/Cr levels as well as significant blood oxygen level-dependent signal (BOLD decreases in the rostral ACC/medial orbitofrontal cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex. These BOLD changes are suggestive of alterations in default mode network (DMN function and are further supported by the results of the PPI analysis that revealed changes in connectivity between the dACC and regions of the DMN. Baseline measures of nicotine dependence and craving positively correlated with baseline Glx/Cr levels.Conclusions: These results suggest possible mechanisms of action for varenicline such as reduction in Glx levels in dACC and shifts in BOLD activities between large scale brain networks. They also suggest a role for ACC Glx in the modulation of behavior. Due to the preliminary nature of this study (lack of control group and small sample size, future studies are needed to replicate these findings.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika I. Müller

    2013-06-01

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

  6. Cloning and first functional characterization of a plant cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leng, Q.; Mercier, R.W.; Yao, W.; Berkowitz, G.A.

    1999-11-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (cng) non-selective cation channels have been cloned from a number of animal systems. These channels are characterized by direct gating upon cAMO or cGMO binding to the intracellular portion of the channel protein, which leads to an increase in channel conductance. Animal cng channels are involved in signal transduction systems; they translate stimulus-induced changes in cytosolic cyclic nucleotide into altered cell membrane potential and/or cation flux as part of a signal cascade pathway. Putative plant homologs of animal cng channels have been identified. However, functional characterization (i.e., demonstration of cyclic-nucleotide-dependent ion currents) of a plant cng channel has not yet been accomplished. The authors report the cloning and first functional characterization of a plant member of this family of ion channels. The Arabidopsis cDNA AtCNGC2 encodes a polypeptide with deduced homology to the {alpha}-subunit of animal channels, and facilitates cyclic nucleotide-dependent cation currents upon expression in a number of heterologous systems. AtCNGC2 expression in a yeast mutant lacking a low-affinity K{sup +} uptake system complements growth inhibition only when lipophilic nucleotides are present in the culture medium. Voltage clamp analysis indicates that Xenopus lawvis oocytes injected with AtCNGC2 cRNA demonstrate cyclic-nucleotide-dependent, inward-rectifying K{sup +} currents. Human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) transfected with AtCNGC2 cDNA demonstrate increased permeability to Ca{sup 2+} only in the presence of lipophilic cyclic nucleotides. The evidence presented here supports the functional classification of AtCNGC2 as a cyclic-nucleotide-gated cation channel, and presents the first direct evidence identifying a plant member of this ion channel family.

  7. Prediction of Certain Well-Characterized Domains of Known Functions within the PE and PPE Proteins of Mycobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Rafiya; Tanneeru, Karunakar; Kumar, Ashwin B R; Guruprasad, Lalitha

    2016-01-01

    The PE and PPE protein family are unique to mycobacteria. Though the complete genome sequences for over 500 M. tuberculosis strains and mycobacterial species are available, few PE and PPE proteins have been structurally and functionally characterized. We have therefore used bioinformatics tools to characterize the structure and function of these proteins. We selected representative members of the PE and PPE protein family by phylogeny analysis and using structure-based sequence annotation identified ten well-characterized protein domains of known function. Some of these domains were observed to be common to all mycobacterial species and some were species specific.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. [Neuropsychological characterization of functional and dysfunctional impulsivity in drug addicts: clinical implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrero-Pérez, Eduardo J; Ruiz Sánchez de León, José M; Rojo Mota, Gloria; Llanero Luque, Marcos; Puerta García, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Impulsivity is a stable correlate throughout the course of drug addiction. However, it has always been studied as a negative condition, linked to psychopathology. Dickman (1990) proposed two subdimensions of impulsivity, dysfunctional (DI) and functional (FI). He defines the latter as the tendency for rapid, goal-oriented decision-making characterized by well calculated risks. Only a few studies have attempted to differentiate between these two subdimensions using classical neuropsychological tests. Fifty two drug addicts in treatment were tested using Dickman's Impulsivity Inventory and a battery of classical neuropsychological tests. FI shows moderate to high correlations with many classical neuropsychological test scores in relation to enhanced executive functioning, whereas DI reveals surprisingly weak and scarce correlations with indicators of impaired executive functioning. DI appears to be a trait related to some difficulties in classical neuropsychological tests, while FI emerges as a consistent and much stronger predictor of higher attention capacity, lower distractibility, better precision, fewer errors, and better maintenance of goal-oriented strategies. Thus, functional impulsivity is related to positive conditions and more efficient cognitive functioning. Implications for the treatment of drug addictions are suggested.

  10. Integrating structural and functional connectivity to characterize sediment dynamics in a small Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalli, Marco; Crema, Stefano; Blok, Michiel; Lucía, Ana; Comiti, Francesco; Marchi, Lorenzo; Keesstra, Saskia

    2016-04-01

    Sediment connectivity can be regarded as a descriptor of the internal linkages between different landscape components within a catchment. The recent focus of the scientific community on connectivity related topics, both concerning hydrological and sediment connectivity, stresses the importance of understanding the main active pathways for a better estimation of energy and matter transfer at catchment scale. This task can be addressed using topography-based indices that analyse the linkages between landscape units. This approach to characterize connectivity is known as structural connectivity. The main limitation of structural connectivity is that it does not account for the processes driving sediment and energy fluxes (i.e., functional connectivity). In this work the integration between structural and functional approaches is proposed for chara