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Sample records for relative biological efficiency

  1. Evaluation of relative biological efficiency of additives in sugarcane ensiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Maria Oliveira Borgatti

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of adding alkalis on the fermentative pattern, aerobic stability and nutritive value of the sugarcane silage. A completely randomized design with 6 additives in two concentrations (1 or 2%, plus a control group, totalizing 13 treatments [(6×2+1] with four replications, was used. The additives were sodium hydroxide (NaOH, limestone (CaCO3, urea (CO(NH22, sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3, quicklime (CaO and hydrated lime (Ca(OH2. The material was ensiled in 52 laboratory silos using plastic buckets with 12 L of capacity. Silos were opened 60 days after ensiling, when organic acids concentration, aerobic stability and chemical composition were determined. The Relative Biological Efficiency (RBE was calculated by the slope ratio method, using the data obtained from ratio between desirable and undesirable silage products, according to the equation: D/U ratio = [lactic/(ethanol + acetic + butyric]. All additives affected dry matter, crude protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber contents and buffering capacity. Except for urea and quicklime, all additives increased the in vitro dry matter digestibility. In general, these additives altered the fermentative pattern of sugarcane silage, inhibiting alcoholic fermentation and improving lactic acid production. The additive that showed the best RBE in relation to sodium hydroxide (100% was limestone (89.4%. The RBE values of urea, sodium bicarbonate and hydrated lime were 49.2%, 47.7% and 34.3%, respectively.

  2. Between animal variation in biological efficiency as related to residual feed consumption.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luiting, P.; Urff, E.M.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    1994-01-01

    Production levels in livestock (cattle, pigs and poultry) have been increased considerably, with a correlated increase in gross feed efficiency. However, mature body weight has also increased, leading to higher maintenance costs. Thus, net feed efficiency has been little improved. Breeding for lower

  3. Efficient, sparse biological network determination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papachristodoulou Antonis

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Determining the interaction topology of biological systems is a topic that currently attracts significant research interest. Typical models for such systems take the form of differential equations that involve polynomial and rational functions. Such nonlinear models make the problem of determining the connectivity of biochemical networks from time-series experimental data much harder. The use of linear dynamics and linearization techniques that have been proposed in the past can circumvent this, but the general problem of developing efficient algorithms for models that provide more accurate system descriptions remains open. Results We present a network determination algorithm that can treat model descriptions with polynomial and rational functions and which does not make use of linearization. For this purpose, we make use of the observation that biochemical networks are in general 'sparse' and minimize the 1-norm of the decision variables (sum of weighted network connections while constraints keep the error between data and the network dynamics small. The emphasis of our methodology is on determining the interconnection topology rather than the specific reaction constants and it takes into account the necessary properties that a chemical reaction network should have – something that techniques based on linearization can not. The problem can be formulated as a Linear Program, a convex optimization problem, for which efficient algorithms are available that can treat large data sets efficiently and uncertainties in data or model parameters. Conclusion The presented methodology is able to predict with accuracy and efficiency the connectivity structure of a chemical reaction network with mass action kinetics and of a gene regulatory network from simulation data even if the dynamics of these systems are non-polynomial (rational and uncertainties in the data are taken into account. It also produces a network structure that can

  4. Efficient, sparse biological network determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    August, Elias; Papachristodoulou, Antonis

    2009-02-23

    Determining the interaction topology of biological systems is a topic that currently attracts significant research interest. Typical models for such systems take the form of differential equations that involve polynomial and rational functions. Such nonlinear models make the problem of determining the connectivity of biochemical networks from time-series experimental data much harder. The use of linear dynamics and linearization techniques that have been proposed in the past can circumvent this, but the general problem of developing efficient algorithms for models that provide more accurate system descriptions remains open. We present a network determination algorithm that can treat model descriptions with polynomial and rational functions and which does not make use of linearization. For this purpose, we make use of the observation that biochemical networks are in general 'sparse' and minimize the 1-norm of the decision variables (sum of weighted network connections) while constraints keep the error between data and the network dynamics small. The emphasis of our methodology is on determining the interconnection topology rather than the specific reaction constants and it takes into account the necessary properties that a chemical reaction network should have - something that techniques based on linearization can not. The problem can be formulated as a Linear Program, a convex optimization problem, for which efficient algorithms are available that can treat large data sets efficiently and uncertainties in data or model parameters. The presented methodology is able to predict with accuracy and efficiency the connectivity structure of a chemical reaction network with mass action kinetics and of a gene regulatory network from simulation data even if the dynamics of these systems are non-polynomial (rational) and uncertainties in the data are taken into account. It also produces a network structure that can explain the real experimental data of L. lactis and is similar

  5. Relative Biological Effect of Antiprotons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bassler, Niels; Holzscheiter, Michael

    particle transport code against dosimetry experiments. This finally enables us to determine the relative biological efficiency of a beam of antiprotons. materials/methods We have performed dosimetry experiments and investigated the radiobiological properties using an antiproton beam line at the European...... nuclear research facility CERN. A beam of 126 MeV antiprotons, corresponding to about 12 cm range in water, was spread out to a SOBP with a width of 1 cm. Dosimetry experiments were carried out with ionization chambers, alanine pellets and radiochromic film, and the results were used for benchmarking...

  6. Improving biological efficiency of Oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Various crop residues can be used in producing Oyster mushrooms either as main substrates or in combinations with supplements. Yield response is determined by the type of crop residue and production practice used. Two factorial experiments were performed to evaluate the mycelium vigor and biological efficiency (BE) ...

  7. Energy efficient lighting for the biological clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Dieter

    2011-03-01

    Unexpectedly the existence of a formerly unknown type of photoreceptor in the human eye has been proven about 10 years ago. Primarily sensitive in the blue spectral range it is responsible for transducing light signals directly into the brain, controlling essential biological functions like setting of the circadian clock or daytime activation. Recent scientific research has enabled beneficial applications. The paradigms for good lighting design are shifting and standardization activities have been started to build up a sound base for description and application of biologically effective lighting. Latest improvements of LED technology are now allowing realizeation of advanced lighting solutions based on SSL. Optimization of biological effects is possible while demands on good vision are maintained. As biologically effective lighting is addressing a second system besides vision in the human body a measure beyond lumen per watt is required for a proper description of energy efficiency.

  8. Relative biological efficiency of protons at low and therapeutic doses in induction of 53BP1/γH2AX foci in lymphocytes from umbilical cord blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokina, Svetlana; Markova, Eva; Gursky, Jan; Dobrovodsky, Jozef; Belyaev, Igor

    2013-09-01

    In order to evaluate DNA damage induced by protons at low and radiotherapeutic doses at the therapeutic proton complex at Ružomberok, Slovak Republic, lymphocytes from umbilical cord blood (UCB) of the same four probands were irradiated in the dose range of 1-200 cGy with γ-rays and protons (200 MeV, irradiation in the Bragg peak). DNA repair γH2AX/53BP1 foci were analyzed by fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. Statistically significant effects of radiations were detected by fluorescent microscopy at all doses higher 1 cGy. Almost all distributions of foci in irradiated cells fitted to the Poisson distribution. In general, there was no difference in the levels of γH2AX and 53BP1 foci in irradiated cells. Flow cytometry was less sensitive and detected radiation induced effects at doses of 50 cGy and higher. Factorial analysis of variance in the whole studied dose range has shown no significant effect of radiation quality on number of γH2AX and 53BP1 foci. The ratio of proton-induced foci to γ-ray-induced foci was 0.86 ± 0.16 (53BP1) and 0.99 ± 0.34 (γH2AX) as measured by fluorescent microscopy and 0.99 ± 0.16 (γH2AX) as measured by flow cytometry at the radiotherapeutic dose of 2 Gy. Both flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy indicated that the average value of relative biological efficiency (RBE) at radiation doses ≥ 20 cGy was about 1.0. Our data that RBE increased at low doses ≤ 20 cGy are relevant both to the development of treatment modalities and exposures that take place during space exploration and should be verified by further studies.

  9. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Involvement of the Artemis Protein in the Relative Biological Efficiency Observed With the 76-MeV Proton Beam Used at the Institut Curie Proton Therapy Center in Orsay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calugaru, Valentin [Institut Curie Centre de Protonthérapie d' Orsay, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Institut Curie, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); INSERM U612, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Nauraye, Catherine [Institut Curie Centre de Protonthérapie d' Orsay, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Cordelières, Fabrice P. [Institut Curie, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Biard, Denis [Centre d' Etude Atomique, Direction des Sciences du Vivant, Institut des Maladies Emergentes et des Thérapies Innovantes, Service d' Etude des Prions et des Infections Atypiques, Fontenay-aux-Roses (France); De Marzi, Ludovic [Institut Curie Centre de Protonthérapie d' Orsay, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Hall, Janet; Favaudon, Vincent [Institut Curie, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); INSERM U612, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); Mégnin-Chanet, Frédérique, E-mail: frederique.megnin@inserm.fr [Institut Curie, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France); INSERM U612, Centre Universitaire, Orsay (France)

    2014-09-01

    Purpose: Previously we showed that the relative biological efficiency for induced cell killing by the 76-MeV beam used at the Institut Curie Proton Therapy Center in Orsay increased with depth throughout the spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP). To investigate the repair pathways underlying this increase, we used an isogenic human cell model in which individual DNA repair proteins have been depleted, and techniques dedicated to precise measurements of radiation-induced DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) and double-strand breaks (DSBs). Methods and Materials: The 3-Gy surviving fractions of HeLa cells individually depleted of Ogg1, XRCC1, and PARP1 (the base excision repair/SSB repair pathway) or of ATM, DNA-PKcs, XRCC4, and Artemis (nonhomologous end-joining pathway) were determined at the 3 positions previously defined in the SOBP. Quantification of incident SSBs and DSBs by the alkaline elution technique and 3-dimensional (3D) immunofluorescence of γ-H2AX foci, respectively, was performed in SQ20 B cells. Results: We showed that the amount of SSBs and DSBs depends directly on the particle fluence and that the increase in relative biological efficiency observed in the distal part of the SOBP is due to a subset of lesions generated under these conditions, leading to cell death via a pathway in which the Artemis protein plays a central role. Conclusions: Because therapies like proton or carbon beams are now being used to treat cancer, it is even more important to dissect the mechanisms implicated in the repair of the lesions generated by these particles. Additionally, alteration of the expression or activity of the Artemis protein could be a novel therapeutic tool before high linear energy transfer irradiation treatment.

  11. Intangible life functorial connections in relational biology

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2017-01-01

    This rare publication continues an exploratory journey in relational biology, a study of biology in terms of the organization of networked connections in living systems. It builds on the author’s two earlier monographs which looked at the epistemology of life and the ontogeny of life. Here the emphasis is on the intangibility of life, that the real nature of living systems is conveyed not by their tangible material basis but by their intangible inherent processes.    Relational biology is the approach that hails ‘function dictates structure’; it is mathematics decoded into biological realizations. Therefore, the work begins with a concise introduction to category theory, equiping the reader with the mathematical metalanguage of relation biology. The book is organized around three parts:   Part I is a comprehensive study of the most important functor in relational biology, the power set functor.  The author lays the set-theoretic foundations of the functorial connections in relational biology, explor...

  12. Optimal Size for Maximal Energy Efficiency in Information Processing of Biological Systems Due to Bistability

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Chi; Liu, Li-wei; Wang, Long-Fei; Yue, Yuan; Yu, Lian-Chun

    2015-01-01

    Energy efficiency is closely related to the evolution of biological systems and is important to their information processing. In this paper, we calculated the excitation probability of a simple model of a bistable biological unit in response to pulsatile inputs, and its spontaneous excitation rate due to noise perturbation. Then we analytically calculated the mutual information, energy cost, and energy efficiency of an array of these bistable units. We found that the optimal number of units c...

  13. Donepezil ? biological activity nad evaluation of its efficiency.

    OpenAIRE

    Drábková, Markéta

    2009-01-01

    1 Summary Title: Donepezil - biological activity and evaluation of its efficiency Author: Markéta Drábková Supervisor: Doc. MUDr. Josef Herink, DrSc. Department: Department of biological and medicinal sciences Cognitive enhancers are drugs which preferentially affect cholinergic transmission in the central nervous system. The cholinergic system in the brain is the most seriously damaged neurotransmitter system in Alzheimer, s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Donepezil is a new cognitive...

  14. The relative biological effectiveness of antiprotons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holzscheiter, Michael H.; Alsner, Jan; Bassler, Niels

    2016-01-01

    Background and purpose: Aside from the enhancement of physical dose deposited by antiprotons annihilating in tissue-like material compared to protons of the same range a further increase of biological effective dose has been demonstrated. This enhancement can be expressed in an increase of the re......Background and purpose: Aside from the enhancement of physical dose deposited by antiprotons annihilating in tissue-like material compared to protons of the same range a further increase of biological effective dose has been demonstrated. This enhancement can be expressed in an increase...... of the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of antiprotons near the end of range. We have performed the first-ever direct measurement of the RBE of antiprotons both at rest and in flight. Materials and methods: Experimental data were generated on the RBE of an antiproton beam entering a tissue-like target...

  15. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems—teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking—that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions. PMID:25713093

  16. A review of feed efficiency in swine: biology and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patience, John F; Rossoni-Serão, Mariana C; Gutiérrez, Néstor A

    2015-01-01

    Feed efficiency represents the cumulative efficiency with which the pig utilizes dietary nutrients for maintenance, lean gain and lipid accretion. It is closely linked with energy metabolism, as the oxidation of carbon-containing components in the feed drive all metabolic processes. While much is known about nutrient utilization and tissue metabolism, blending these subjects into a discussion on feed efficiency has proven to be difficult. For example, while increasing dietary energy concentration will almost certainly increase feed efficiency, the correlation between dietary energy concentration and feed efficiency is surprisingly low. This is likely due to the plethora of non-dietary factors that impact feed efficiency, such as the environment and health as well as individual variation in maintenance requirements, body composition and body weight. Nonetheless, a deeper understanding of feed efficiency is critical at many levels. To individual farms, it impacts profitability. To the pork industry, it represents its competitive position against other protein sources. To food economists, it means less demand on global feed resources. There are environmental and other societal implications as well. Interestingly, feed efficiency is not always reported simply as a ratio of body weight gain to feed consumed. This review will explain why this arithmetic calculation, as simple as it initially seems, and as universally applied as it is in science and commerce, can often be misleading due to errors inherent in recording of both weight gain and feed intake. This review discusses the importance of feed efficiency, the manner in which it can be measured and reported, its basis in biology and approaches to its improvement. It concludes with a summary of findings and recommendations for future efforts.

  17. Efficient Biologically Inspired Photocell Enhanced by Delocalized Quantum States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creatore, C.; Parker, M. A.; Emmott, S.; Chin, A. W.

    2013-12-01

    Artificially implementing the biological light reactions responsible for the remarkably efficient photon-to-charge conversion in photosynthetic complexes represents a new direction for the future development of photovoltaic devices. Here, we develop such a paradigm and present a model photocell based on the nanoscale architecture and molecular elements of photosynthetic reaction centers. Quantum interference of photon absorption and emission induced by the dipole-dipole interaction between molecular excited states guarantees an enhanced light-to-current conversion and power generation for a wide range of electronic, thermal, and optical parameters for optimized dipolar geometries. This result opens a promising new route for designing artificial light-harvesting devices inspired by biological photosynthesis and quantum technologies.

  18. Determination of turbine relative efficiency in SHPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Džepčeski Dane

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available To assess the fulfillment of contract conditions for the equipment delivery, determining the properties and capabilities of a generating unit or some part of it, the measurements carried out under real operating conditions were necessary. In this paper, the results of the test that was carried out in a small hydropower plant (SHPP, aimed at determining the relative efficiency of the hydraulic turbine and its comparison with the guaranteed values, are presented. The dependence of the turbine efficiency on the turbine discharge was determined based on the test results, using the index method. The test was performed at one net head.

  19. Process efficiency simulation for key process parameters in biological methanogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Bernacchi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available New generation biofuels are a suitable approach to produce energy carriers in an almost CO2 neutral way. A promising reaction is the conversion of CO2 and H2 to CH4. This contribution aims at elucidating a bioprocess comprised of a core reaction unit using microorganisms from the Archaea life domain, which metabolize CO2 and H2 to CH4, followed by a gas purification step. The process is simulated and analyzed thermodynamically using the Aspen Plus process simulation environment. The goal of the study was to quantify effects of process parameters on overall process efficiency using a kinetic model derived from previously published experimental results. The used empirical model links the production rate of CH4 and biomass to limiting reactant concentrations. In addition, Aspen Plus was used to improve bioprocess quantification. Impacts of pressure as well as dilution of reactant gas with up to 70% non-reactive gas on overall process efficiency was evaluated. Pressure in the reactor unit of 11 bar at 65℃ with a pressure of 21 bar for gas purification led to an overall process efficiency comprised between 66% and 70% for gaseous product and between 73% and 76% if heat of compression is considered a valuable product. The combination of 2 bar pressure in the reactor and 21 bar for purification was the most efficient combination of parameters. This result shows Aspen Plus potential for similar bioprocess development as it accounts for the energetic aspect of the entire process. In fact, the optimum for the overall process efficiency was found to differ from the optimum of the reaction unit. High efficiency of over 70% demonstrates that biological methanogenesis is a promising alternative for a chemical methanation reaction.

  20. Diffusion processes and related topics in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Ricciardi, Luigi M

    1977-01-01

    These notes are based on a one-quarter course given at the Department of Biophysics and Theoretical Biology of the University of Chicago in 1916. The course was directed to graduate students in the Division of Biological Sciences with interests in population biology and neurobiology. Only a slight acquaintance with probability and differential equations is required of the reader. Exercises are interwoven with the text to encourage the reader to play a more active role and thus facilitate his digestion of the material. One aim of these notes is to provide a heuristic approach, using as little mathematics as possible, to certain aspects of the theory of stochastic processes that are being increasingly employed in some of the population biol­ ogy and neurobiology literature. While the subject may be classical, the nov­ elty here lies in the approach and point of view, particularly in the applica­ tions such as the approach to the neuronal firing problem and its related dif­ fusion approximations. It is a ple...

  1. 75 FR 75682 - Reclassification of Category IIIA Biological Products, Bacterial Vaccines and Related Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-06

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Reclassification of Category IIIA Biological Products, Bacterial Vaccines and Related Biological Products; Implementation of Efficacy Review; Final Order; and..., effectiveness, and labeling of biological products licensed before July 1, 1972. These procedures were later...

  2. Effect of Organic Loading on Rotating Biological Contactor Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kossay K. Al-Ahmady

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Organic loading (weight per unit time per volume is useful for the design of rotating biological contactors (RBC and for comparison with the other processes such as activated sludge or oxidation ponds. The present study puts emphasis on the significance of this control or design parameter because it allows direct comparison of the RBC system's performance when operated under various circumstances and with different kinds of wastewater. The results of the paper proved that, the COD removal in rotating biological contactor systems is a function of the organic loading rate. However, each of the wastewater concentration and flow rate are also influence on the system efficiency but theirs impact can be combined by the effect of organic loading. The majority of COD removal (40-85 % of the total removal depending on the organic loading applied occurs in the first stages of the system. There is a strong correlation between the organic loading and the concentration of the suspended solids in the rotating biological contactor basin. At higher loadings higher concentrations noted. At a loading of about, (24 g/m2.d suspended solids were 225, 125, 35, and 25 mg/L in the first, second, third and, the fourth stage respectively. To achieve an effluent quality of (BOD < 25 mg/L, COD < 60 mg/L, the system must be operated on organic loadings of about (22 gBOD/m2.d and 65 gCOD/m2.d respectively. For nitrification process, the system must be designed to operate at organic loading of about (10 g/m2.d or less and, the reactor or basin volume should be designed to achieve a hydraulic loading of about (40 L/m2.d or less.

  3. Exploration of Biological Markers of Feed Efficiency in Young Bulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meale, Sarah J; Morgavi, Diego P; Cassar-Malek, Isabelle; Andueza, Donato; Ortigues-Marty, Isabelle; Robins, Richard J; Schiphorst, Anne-Marie; Laverroux, Sophie; Graulet, Benoit; Boudra, Hamid; Cantalapiedra-Hijar, Gonzalo

    2017-11-15

    The efficiency with which ruminants convert feed to desirable products is difficult to measure under normal commercial settings. We explored the use of potential biological markers from easily obtainable samples, that is, blood, hair, and feces, to characterize potential causes of divergent efficiency when considered as residual feed intake (RFI) or feed conversion efficiency (FCE). A total of 54 Charolais bulls, 20 in period 1 and 34 in period 2, were examined for individual dry matter intake (DMI) and growth. Bulls were offered a diet of 70:30 wrapped grass silage to concentrate for 99 d. At the conclusion of the test period, blood samples were collected for the determination of vitamins B2 and B6, and plasma used for the determination of metabolites, natural isotopic 15N abundance (15N NIA, expressed as δ15N ‰) and fractionation (Δ15Nplasma proteins-diet and Δ13Cplasma proteins-diet) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Feces were analyzed by NIRS. Bulls were slaughtered at 15-17 months of age and carcass characteristics determined. Bulls were ranked according to RFI with extremes (SD ± 0.5; n = 31) classified as either efficient (Neg-RFI) or inefficient (Pos-RFI). Extreme bulls were then classified for FCE (high vs low FCE), changing the groups. Pos-RFI bulls consumed 14% more feed than Neg-RFI bulls for the same level of weight gain. Low FCE bulls tended to eat more, but had lower weight gains than high FCE bulls. No differences were detected in carcass conformation, fat scores, hot carcass weight, or dressing percentage. Yet, heart and bladder weights were heavier in Pos-RFI, and rumen weight tended to be heavier in Pos-RFI bulls. RFI did not affect bulk 15N or 13C fractionation. A negative correlation was observed between FCE and Δ15Nplasma proteins-diet. Inefficient bulls (Pos-RFI) had higher δ15N in glycine compared to Neg-RFI bulls. Similarly, metabolomic analysis showed a tendency for concentrations of glycine and sarcosine to be elevated in

  4. System biology approach to detect and assign biological functions and regulator genes to feed efficiency traits in Nellore cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexandre, Pâmela; Kogelman, Lisette; Santana, Miguel

    The objective of this study was to use a system biology approach to identify biological mechanisms involved on feed efficiency in Nellore cattle and its possible regulator genes. Two modules of co-expressed and highly inter-connected genes correlated to feed efficiency were identified as well...

  5. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed "misconceptions," among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists…

  6. [Abiotrophia related endocarditis: contribution of molecular biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutoille, D; Reynaud, A E; Leautez, S; Ponge, T; Raffi, F

    1999-12-11

    Former nutritionally-deficient (variant) streptococci were recently separated from other streptococci viridans to constitute a new Abiotrophia genus, subdivided into two species, Abiotrophia defectiva (ex-Streptococcus defectivus) and Abiotrophia adjacens (ex-Streptococcus adjacens). A woman was admitted to the hospital because of purpura and fever. Vegetations were shown by trans-esophageal echocardiography. Although blood samples were positive within 24 hours, accurate identification of the morphologically and biochemically streptococcus-like bacteria that had grown remained impossible. Molecular biology technicals permitted to identify Abiotrophia defectiva, ex-Streptococcus defectivus. This new genus is important to be identified in clinical practice, because of the increased virulence of these bacteria, when compared with Streptococci viridans. They are also frequently penicillin-resistant. Molecular biology technicals allow precocious diagnosis, and make possible the improvement of the prognosis.

  7. Efficient algorithms for extracting biological key pathways with global constraints

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baumbach, Jan; Friedrich, T.; Kötzing, T.

    2012-01-01

    from a set of cases (patients, cell lines, tissues, etc.). We aimed for finding all maximal connected sub-graphs where all nodes but K are expressed in all cases but at most L, i.e. key pathways. Thereby, we combined biological networks with OMICS data, instead of analyzing these data sets in isolation......The integrated analysis of data of different types and with various interdependencies is one of the major challenges in computational biology. Recently, we developed KeyPathwayMiner, a method that combines biological networks modeled as graphs with disease-specific genetic expression data gained...

  8. A review of feed efficiency in swine: biology and application

    OpenAIRE

    Patience, John F.; Rossoni-Ser?o, Mariana C.; Guti?rrez, N?stor A.

    2015-01-01

    Feed efficiency represents the cumulative efficiency with which the pig utilizes dietary nutrients for maintenance, lean gain and lipid accretion. It is closely linked with energy metabolism, as the oxidation of carbon-containing components in the feed drive all metabolic processes. While much is known about nutrient utilization and tissue metabolism, blending these subjects into a discussion on feed efficiency has proven to be difficult. For example, while increasing dietary energy concentra...

  9. Relatively Fast! Efficiency Advantages of Comparative Thinking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mussweiler, Thomas; Epstude, Kai

    2009-01-01

    Comparisons are a ubiquitous process in information processing. Seven studies examine whether, how, and when comparative thinking increases the efficiency of judgment and choice. Studies 1-4 demonstrate that procedurally priming participants to engage in mole vs. less comparison influences how they

  10. Relatively Fast! Efficiency Advantages of Comparative Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mussweiler, Thomas; Epstude, Kai

    2009-01-01

    Comparisons are a ubiquitous process in information processing. Seven studies examine whether, how, and when comparative thinking increases the efficiency of judgment and choice. Studies 1-4 demonstrate that procedurally priming participants to engage in more vs. less comparison influences how they process information about a target. Specifically,…

  11. 9 CFR 101.3 - Biological products and related terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Biological products and related terms... OF AGRICULTURE VIRUSES, SERUMS, TOXINS, AND ANALOGOUS PRODUCTS; ORGANISMS AND VECTORS DEFINITIONS § 101.3 Biological products and related terms. When used in conjunction with or in reference to a...

  12. The biology of perch and related fish

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Craig, John F; Craig, John

    1987-01-01

    This book presents a definitive volume on perch and related fish. In the introduction an outline is given on the characteristics of the order Perciformes, the suborder Percoidea and the family Percidae...

  13. Five task clusters that enable efficient and effective digitization of biological collections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Gil; Paul, Deborah; Riccardi, Gregory; Mast, Austin R

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes and illustrates five major clusters of related tasks (herein referred to as task clusters) that are common to efficient and effective practices in the digitization of biological specimen data and media. Examples of these clusters come from the observation of diverse digitization processes. The staff of iDigBio (The U.S. National Science Foundation's National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections) visited active biological and paleontological collections digitization programs for the purpose of documenting and assessing current digitization practices and tools. These observations identified five task clusters that comprise the digitization process leading up to data publication: (1) pre-digitization curation and staging, (2) specimen image capture, (3) specimen image processing, (4) electronic data capture, and (5) georeferencing locality descriptions. While not all institutions are completing each of these task clusters for each specimen, these clusters describe a composite picture of digitization of biological and paleontological specimens across the programs that were observed. We describe these clusters, three workflow patterns that dominate the implemention of these clusters, and offer a set of workflow recommendations for digitization programs.

  14. Marine Biology Activities. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauls, John

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  15. Nitrogen-use-efficiency: a biologically meaningful definition?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendse, F.; Aerts, R.

    1987-01-01

    A parameter to measure the efficiency of nitrogen use should include 1) the mean residence time of the N in the plant, ie the period during which the absorbed N can be used for C-fixation; and 2) the instantaneous rate of C-fixation per unit of N in the plant. It is essential to distinguish between

  16. The fusion of biology, computer science, and engineering: towards efficient and successful synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linshiz, Gregory; Goldberg, Alex; Konry, Tania; Hillson, Nathan J

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a nascent field that emerged in earnest only around the turn of the millennium. It aims to engineer new biological systems and impart new biological functionality, often through genetic modifications. The design and construction of new biological systems is a complex, multistep process, requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts from "fusion" scientists who have formal training in computer science or engineering, as well as hands-on biological expertise. The public has high expectations for synthetic biology and eagerly anticipates the development of solutions to the major challenges facing humanity. This article discusses laboratory practices and the conduct of research in synthetic biology. It argues that the fusion science approach, which integrates biology with computer science and engineering best practices, including standardization, process optimization, computer-aided design and laboratory automation, miniaturization, and systematic management, will increase the predictability and reproducibility of experiments and lead to breakthroughs in the construction of new biological systems. The article also discusses several successful fusion projects, including the development of software tools for DNA construction design automation, recursive DNA construction, and the development of integrated microfluidics systems.

  17. School Related Factors as Predictors of Internal Efficiency of Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nneka Umera-Okeke

    retention of students in the Universities. Key Words: School related factors, Internal Efficiency, Public University student, ... factors and internal efficiency of students in public universities in South-West, Nigeria. Purpose of the Study ..... Indicators of efficiency. & effectiveness in elementary & secondary education spending.

  18. A theory of biological relativity: no privileged level of causation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Denis

    2012-02-06

    Must higher level biological processes always be derivable from lower level data and mechanisms, as assumed by the idea that an organism is completely defined by its genome? Or are higher level properties necessarily also causes of lower level behaviour, involving actions and interactions both ways? This article uses modelling of the heart, and its experimental basis, to show that downward causation is necessary and that this form of causation can be represented as the influences of initial and boundary conditions on the solutions of the differential equations used to represent the lower level processes. These insights are then generalized. A priori, there is no privileged level of causation. The relations between this form of 'biological relativity' and forms of relativity in physics are discussed. Biological relativity can be seen as an extension of the relativity principle by avoiding the assumption that there is a privileged scale at which biological functions are determined.

  19. New scaling relation for information transfer in biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyunju; Davies, Paul; Walker, Sara Imari

    2015-01-01

    We quantify characteristics of the informational architecture of two representative biological networks: the Boolean network model for the cell-cycle regulatory network of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Davidich et al. 2008 PLoS ONE 3, e1672 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001672)) and that of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Li et al. 2004 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 4781–4786 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0305937101)). We compare our results for these biological networks with the same analysis performed on ensembles of two different types of random networks: Erdös–Rényi and scale-free. We show that both biological networks share features in common that are not shared by either random network ensemble. In particular, the biological networks in our study process more information than the random networks on average. Both biological networks also exhibit a scaling relation in information transferred between nodes that distinguishes them from random, where the biological networks stand out as distinct even when compared with random networks that share important topological properties, such as degree distribution, with the biological network. We show that the most biologically distinct regime of this scaling relation is associated with a subset of control nodes that regulate the dynamics and function of each respective biological network. Information processing in biological networks is therefore interpreted as an emergent property of topology (causal structure) and dynamics (function). Our results demonstrate quantitatively how the informational architecture of biologically evolved networks can distinguish them from other classes of network architecture that do not share the same informational properties. PMID:26701883

  20. Biological remediation of explosives and related nitroaromatic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellinx, Zita; Nepovím, Ales; Taghavi, Safieh; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Vanek, Tomás; van der Lelie, Daniël

    2002-01-01

    Nitroaromatics form an important group of recalcitrant xenobiotics. Only few aromatic compounds, bearing one nitro group as a substituent of the aromatic ring, are produced as secondary metabolites by microorganisms. The majority of nitroaromatic compounds in the biosphere are industrial chemicals such as explosives, dyes, polyurethane foams, herbicides, insecticides and solvents. These compounds are generally recalcitrant to biological treatment and remain in the biosphere, where they constitute a source of pollution due to both toxic and mutagenic effects on humans, fish, algae and microorganisms. However, relatively few microorganisms have been described as being able to use nitroaromatic compounds as nitrogen and/or carbon and energy source. The best-known nitroaromatic compound is the explosive TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene). This article reviews the bioremediation strategies for TNT-contaminated soil and water. It comes to the following conclusion: The optimal remediation strategy for nitroaromatic compounds depends on many site-specific factors. Composting and the use of reactor systems lend themselves to treating soils contaminated with high levels of explosives (e.g. at former ammunition production facilities, where areas with a high contamination level are common). Compared to composting systems, bioreactors have the major advantage of a short treatment time, but the disadvantage of being more labour intensive and more expensive. Studies indicate that biological treatment systems, which are based on the activity of the fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium or on Pseudomonas sp. ST53, might be used as effective methods for the remediation of highly contaminated soil and water. Phytoremediation, although not widely used now, has the potential to become an important strategy for the remediation of soil and water contaminated with explosives. It is best suited where contaminant levels are low (e.g. at military sites where pollution is rather diffuse) and where

  1. Locomotion Efficiency Optimization of Biologically Inspired Snake Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleni Kelasidi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake robots constitute bio-inspired solutions that have been studied due to their ability to move in challenging environments where other types of robots, such as wheeled or legged robots, usually fail. In this paper, we consider both land-based and swimming snake robots. One of the principal concerns of the bio-inspired snake robots is to increase the motion efficiency in terms of the forward speed by improving the locomotion methods. Furthermore, energy efficiency becomes a crucial challenge for this type of robots due to the importance of long-term autonomy of these systems. In this paper, we take into account both the minimization of the power consumption and the maximization of the achieved forward velocity in order to investigate the optimal gait parameters for bio-inspired snake robots using lateral undulation and eel-like motion patterns. We furthermore consider possible negative work effects in the calculation of average power consumption of underwater snake robots. To solve the multi-objective optimization problem, we propose transforming the two objective functions into a single one using a weighted-sum method. For different set of weight factors, Particle Swarm Optimization is applied and a set of optimal points is consequently obtained. Pareto fronts or trade-off curves are illustrated for both land-based and swimming snake robots with different numbers of links. Pareto fronts represent trade-offs between the objective functions. For example, how increasing the forward velocity results in increasing power consumption. Therefore, these curves are a very useful tool for the control and design of snake robots. The trade-off curve thus constitutes a very useful tool for both the control and design of bio-inspired snake robots. In particular, the operators or designers of bio-inspired snake robots can choose a Pareto optimal point based on the trade-off curve, given the preferred number of links on the robot. The optimal gait parameters

  2. Inferring hidden causal relations between pathway members using reduced Google matrix of directed biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Signaling pathways represent parts of the global biological molecular network which connects them into a seamless whole through complex direct and indirect (hidden) crosstalk whose structure can change during development or in pathological conditions. We suggest a novel methodology, called Googlomics, for the structural analysis of directed biological networks using spectral analysis of their Google matrices, using parallels with quantum scattering theory, developed for nuclear and mesoscopic physics and quantum chaos. We introduce analytical “reduced Google matrix” method for the analysis of biological network structure. The method allows inferring hidden causal relations between the members of a signaling pathway or a functionally related group of genes. We investigate how the structure of hidden causal relations can be reprogrammed as a result of changes in the transcriptional network layer during cancerogenesis. The suggested Googlomics approach rigorously characterizes complex systemic changes in the wiring of large causal biological networks in a computationally efficient way. PMID:29370181

  3. Efficient modeling and active learning discovery of biological responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armaghan W Naik

    Full Text Available High throughput and high content screening involve determination of the effect of many compounds on a given target. As currently practiced, screening for each new target typically makes little use of information from screens of prior targets. Further, choices of compounds to advance to drug development are made without significant screening against off-target effects. The overall drug development process could be made more effective, as well as less expensive and time consuming, if potential effects of all compounds on all possible targets could be considered, yet the cost of such full experimentation would be prohibitive. In this paper, we describe a potential solution: probabilistic models that can be used to predict results for unmeasured combinations, and active learning algorithms for efficiently selecting which experiments to perform in order to build those models and determining when to stop. Using simulated and experimental data, we show that our approaches can produce powerful predictive models without exhaustive experimentation and can learn them much faster than by selecting experiments at random.

  4. Improving synthetic efficiency using the computational prediction of biological activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broglé, K C; Gund, T; Kyle, D J

    2006-02-01

    A process has been developed whereby libraries of compounds for lead optimization can be synthesized and screened with greater efficiency using computational tools. In this method, analogues of a lead chemical structure are considered in the form of a virtual library. Less than 1/3 of the library is selected as a training set by clustering the compounds and choosing the centroid of each cluster. This training set is then used to generate a model using PLS regression upon the experimental values from that assay using 1D/2D descriptors. The model is applied to the remaining compounds (the test set) for which assay values are predicted and a rank ordering established. An example of this was a set of 169 PDE4 inhibitors. A predictive model was achieved using a training set of 52 compounds. When applied to the remaining 117 compounds this model allowed a rank ordering of these compounds for synthesis and testing. Selecting the top 33 compounds of the test set gives 78% of the compounds with the desired activity (hits) by synthesizing only 50% of the library, including the training set. Selecting the top 59 of the test set gives 97% of the hits from only 67% of the library. This process succeeds by avoiding two principal weaknesses of 2D descriptors: lack of interpretation and lack of extrapolation. Two principal assumptions of QSAR are shown to be unnecessary; removing descriptor redundancy does not improve fit and a predictive r2 greater than 0.5 is not necessary if rank-ordering is desired.

  5. Inter-level relations in computer science, biology, and psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, Fred; Bruggeman, Frank; Jonker, Catholijn; Looren de Jong, Huib; Tamminga, Allard; Treur, Jan; Westerhoff, Hans; Wijngaards, Wouter

    2002-01-01

    Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an *empirical* turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on *a priori* discussions of inter-level relations between “completed” sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way

  6. Inter-level relations in computer science, biology, and psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, F.; Bruggeman, F.; Jonker, C.M.; Looren de Jong, H.; Tamminga, A.; Treur, J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wijngaards, W.C.A.

    2002-01-01

    Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an empirical turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on a priori discussions of inter-level relations between 'completed' sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way

  7. Interlevel Relations in Computer Science, Biology, and Psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, F.; Bruggeman, F.J.; Jonker, C.M.; de Jong, H. Looren; Tamminga, A.M.; Treur, J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wijngaards, W.C.A.

    2002-01-01

    Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an empirical turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on a priori discussions of inter-level relations between "completed" sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way

  8. Inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, F.C.; Bruggeman, F.J.; Jonker, C.M.; Looren De Jong, H.; Tamminga, A.M.; Treur, J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wijngaards, W.C.A.

    2002-01-01

    Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an empirical turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on a priori discussions of inter-level relations between "completed" sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way

  9. Multilevel systems biology modeling characterized the atheroprotective efficiencies of modified dairy fats in a hamster model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jean-Charles; Berton, Amélie; Ginies, Christian; Bott, Romain; Scheercousse, Pierre; Saddi, Alessandra; Gripois, Daniel; Landrier, Jean-François; Dalemans, Daniel; Alessi, Marie-Christine; Delplanque, Bernadette

    2015-09-01

    We assessed the atheroprotective efficiency of modified dairy fats in hyperlipidemic hamsters. A systems biology approach was implemented to reveal and quantify the dietary fat-related components of the disease. Three modified dairy fats (40% energy) were prepared from regular butter by mixing with a plant oil mixture, by removing cholesterol alone, or by removing cholesterol in combination with reducing saturated fatty acids. A plant oil mixture and a regular butter were used as control diets. The atherosclerosis severity (aortic cholesteryl-ester level) was higher in the regular butter-fed hamsters than in the other four groups (P fat. Under conditions that promote atherosclerosis, the impact of dairy fats on atherogenesis could be greatly ameliorated by technological modifications. Our modeling approach allowed for identifying and quantifying the contribution of complex factors to atherogenic development in each dietary setup. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  10. Updates on the biology and management of dyskeratosis congenita and related telomere biology disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballew, Bari J; Savage, Sharon A

    2013-06-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by aberrant telomere biology. The mucocutaneous triad of nail dysplasia, abnormal skin pigmentation and oral leukoplakia is diagnostic, but is not always present; DC can also be diagnosed by the presence of very short leukocyte telomeres. Patients with DC are at high risk of bone marrow failure, pulmonary fibrosis, liver disease, cancer and other medical problems. Germline mutations in one of nine genes associated with telomere maintenance are present in approximately 60% of patients. DC is one among the group of clinically and biologically related telomere biology disorders, including Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome, Revesz syndrome, Coats plus (also known as cranioretinal microangiopathy with calcifications and cysts) and subsets of aplastic anemia, pulmonary fibrosis, nonalcoholic and noninfectious liver disease and leukemia. The authors review the pathobiology that connects DC and the related telomere biology disorders, methods of diagnosis and management modalities.

  11. Biological evaluation of layered double hydroxides as efficient drug vehicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Yan; Liu Dan; Chang Qing; Liu Dandan; Xia Ying; Liu Shuwen; Peng Nanfang; Yang Xu [Hubei Key Laboratory of Genetic Regulation and Integrative Biology, College of Life Science, Huazhong Normal University, Wuhan 430079 (China); Ai Hanhua [College of Physical Science and Technology, Huazhong Normal University, Wuhan 430079 (China); Xi Zhuge, E-mail: yangxu@mail.ccnu.edu.cn [Tianjin Institutes of Health and Environmental Medicine, Tianjin 300050 (China)

    2010-03-12

    Recently there has been a rapid expansion of the development of bioinorganic hybrid systems for safe drug delivery. Layered double hydroxides (LDH), a variety of available inorganic matrix, possess great promise for this purpose. In this study, an oxidative stress biomarker system, including measurement of reactive oxygen species, glutathione content, endogenous nitric oxide, carbonyl content in proteins, DNA strand breaks and DNA-protein crosslinks, was designed to evaluate the biocompatibility of different concentrations of nano-Zn/Al-LDH with a Hela cell line. The drug delivery activity of the LDH-folic-acid complex was also assessed. The resulting data clearly demonstrated that nano-LDH could be applied as a relatively safe drug vehicle with good delivery activity, but with the caveat that the effects of high dosages observed here should not be ignored when attempting to maximize therapeutic activity by increasing LDH concentration.

  12. School Related Factors as Predictors of Internal Efficiency of Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    School Related Factors as Predictors of Internal Efficiency of Public University Students in South-West, Nigeria. ... Journal Home > Vol 11, No 2 (2017) > ... The study specifically investigates the school organizational climate, curriculum ...

  13. An efficient grid layout algorithm for biological networks utilizing various biological attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kato Mitsuru

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clearly visualized biopathways provide a great help in understanding biological systems. However, manual drawing of large-scale biopathways is time consuming. We proposed a grid layout algorithm that can handle gene-regulatory networks and signal transduction pathways by considering edge-edge crossing, node-edge crossing, distance measure between nodes, and subcellular localization information from Gene Ontology. Consequently, the layout algorithm succeeded in drastically reducing these crossings in the apoptosis model. However, for larger-scale networks, we encountered three problems: (i the initial layout is often very far from any local optimum because nodes are initially placed at random, (ii from a biological viewpoint, human layouts still exceed automatic layouts in understanding because except subcellular localization, it does not fully utilize biological information of pathways, and (iii it employs a local search strategy in which the neighborhood is obtained by moving one node at each step, and automatic layouts suggest that simultaneous movements of multiple nodes are necessary for better layouts, while such extension may face worsening the time complexity. Results We propose a new grid layout algorithm. To address problem (i, we devised a new force-directed algorithm whose output is suitable as the initial layout. For (ii, we considered that an appropriate alignment of nodes having the same biological attribute is one of the most important factors of the comprehension, and we defined a new score function that gives an advantage to such configurations. For solving problem (iii, we developed a search strategy that considers swapping nodes as well as moving a node, while keeping the order of the time complexity. Though a naïve implementation increases by one order, the time complexity, we solved this difficulty by devising a method that caches differences between scores of a layout and its possible updates

  14. Biological optimization systems for enhancing photosynthetic efficiency and methods of use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Ryan W.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Das, Keshav C.; de Mattos, Erico Rolim

    2012-11-06

    Biological optimization systems for enhancing photosynthetic efficiency and methods of use. Specifically, methods for enhancing photosynthetic efficiency including applying pulsed light to a photosynthetic organism, using a chlorophyll fluorescence feedback control system to determine one or more photosynthetic efficiency parameters, and adjusting one or more of the photosynthetic efficiency parameters to drive the photosynthesis by the delivery of an amount of light to optimize light absorption of the photosynthetic organism while providing enough dark time between light pulses to prevent oversaturation of the chlorophyll reaction centers are disclosed.

  15. Biologic relativity: Who is the observer and what is observed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-05-01

    When quantum physics and biological phenomena are analogously explored, it emerges that biologic causation must also be understood independently of its overt appearance. This is similar to the manner in which Bohm characterized the explicate versus the implicate order as overlapping frames of ambiguity. Placed in this context, the variables affecting epigenetic inheritance can be properly assessed as a key mechanistic principle of evolution that significantly alters our understanding of homeostasis, pleiotropy, and heterochrony, and the purposes of sexual reproduction. Each of these become differing manifestations of a new biological relativity in which biologic space-time becomes its own frame. In such relativistic cellular contexts, it is proper to question exactly who has observer status, and who and what are being observed. Consideration within this frame reduces biology to cellular information sharing through cell-cell communication to resolve ambiguities at every scope and scale. In consequence, it becomes implicit that eukaryotic evolution derives from the unicellular state, remaining consistently adherent to it in a continuous evolutionary arc based upon elemental, non-stochastic physiologic first principles. Furthermore, the entire cell including its cytoskeletal apparatus and membranes that participate in the resolution of biological uncertainties must be considered as having equivalent primacy with genomes in evolutionary terms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. CASTOR BEAN AND SUNFLOWER INTERCROPPING SYSTEMS IN ROW ARRANGEMENT: BIOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciro de Miranda Pinto

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available An experiment field was carried in the agricultural seasons 2008, 2009 and 2010, with aim of studying the response of castorbean (Ricinus communis L. intercropping with sunflower (Helianthus annus L. in row arrangement in the dryland farming conditions. In addition, it was evaluated the biological efficiency of plants in intercropping systems.The design used in the experiment was randomized block with seven treatement and four replications. The treatments were represented by rows of castor oil (Ma and sunflower (Gi listed below: 1Ma:1Gi; 1Ma:2Gi; 1Ma:3Gi; 2Ma:2Gi; 2Ma:3Gi; castor and sunflower in the monoculture. The efficiency of intercropping was measured by LER, ATER, LEC, average between LER and ATER, SPI and CoR. The grain yield of castor bean and sunflower were reduced in intercropped row arrangements. The row arrangement 1Ma:2Gi showed the smallest reduction of average productivity of castor beans and sunflower in the evaluation period of the experiment. The castor bean was the dominant crop in relation to sunflower.

  17. Heating efficiency of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the first and second biological windows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestro, Laura Martínez; Haro-González, Patricia; Del Rosal, Blanca; Ramiro, Julio; Caamaño, A. J.; Carrasco, Elisa; Juarranz, Angeles; Sanz-Rodríguez, Francisco; Solé, José García; Jaque, Daniel

    2013-08-01

    Quantum dot based-thermometry, in combination with double beam confocal microscopy and infrared thermal imaging, has been used to investigate the heating efficiency of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) under optical excitation within the first (808 nm) and second (1090 nm) biological windows as well as in the spectral region separating them (980 nm). It has been found that for the three excitation wavelengths the heating efficiency of MWCNTs (10 nm in diameter and 1.5 μm in length) is close to 50%. Despite this ``flat'' heating efficiency, we have found that the excitation wavelength is, indeed, critical during in vivo experiments due to the spectral dependence of both tissue absorption and scattering coefficients. It has been concluded that efficiency and selectivity of in vivo photothermal treatments based on MWCNTs are simultaneously optimized when laser irradiation lies within the first or second biological window.

  18. Confidence intervals for test information and relative efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterloo, Sebe J.

    1984-01-01

    In latent theory the measurement properties of a mental test can be expressed in the test information function. The relative merits of two tests for the same latent trait can be described by the relative efficiency function, i.e. the ratio of the test information functions. It is argued that these

  19. Strategies for efficient numerical implementation of hybrid multi-scale agent-based models to describe biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cilfone, Nicholas A; Kirschner, Denise E; Linderman, Jennifer J

    2015-03-01

    Biologically related processes operate across multiple spatiotemporal scales. For computational modeling methodologies to mimic this biological complexity, individual scale models must be linked in ways that allow for dynamic exchange of information across scales. A powerful methodology is to combine a discrete modeling approach, agent-based models (ABMs), with continuum models to form hybrid models. Hybrid multi-scale ABMs have been used to simulate emergent responses of biological systems. Here, we review two aspects of hybrid multi-scale ABMs: linking individual scale models and efficiently solving the resulting model. We discuss the computational choices associated with aspects of linking individual scale models while simultaneously maintaining model tractability. We demonstrate implementations of existing numerical methods in the context of hybrid multi-scale ABMs. Using an example model describing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, we show relative computational speeds of various combinations of numerical methods. Efficient linking and solution of hybrid multi-scale ABMs is key to model portability, modularity, and their use in understanding biological phenomena at a systems level.

  20. The genetic and biological basis of feed efficiency in mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to characterize the genetic architecture and biological basis of feed efficiency in lactating Holstein cows. In total, 4,916 cows with actual or imputed genotypes for 60,671 SNP had individual feed intake, milk yield, milk composition, and body weight records. Cows we...

  1. Computationally efficient measure of topological redundancy of biological and social networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Réka; Dasgupta, Bhaskar; Hegde, Rashmi; Sivanathan, Gowri Sangeetha; Gitter, Anthony; Gürsoy, Gamze; Paul, Pradyut; Sontag, Eduardo

    2011-09-01

    It is well known that biological and social interaction networks have a varying degree of redundancy, though a consensus of the precise cause of this is so far lacking. In this paper, we introduce a topological redundancy measure for labeled directed networks that is formal, computationally efficient, and applicable to a variety of directed networks such as cellular signaling, and metabolic and social interaction networks. We demonstrate the computational efficiency of our measure by computing its value and statistical significance on a number of biological and social networks with up to several thousands of nodes and edges. Our results suggest a number of interesting observations: (1) Social networks are more redundant that their biological counterparts, (2) transcriptional networks are less redundant than signaling networks, (3) the topological redundancy of the C. elegans metabolic network is largely due to its inclusion of currency metabolites, and (4) the redundancy of signaling networks is highly (negatively) correlated with the monotonicity of their dynamics.

  2. Some unsolved problems relating to noise in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Benjamin

    2009-01-01

    A faithful description of many biological processes requires us to take into account noise and fluctuations. Simplified stochastic models may help to shed light on the role of fluctuations in biological systems. Two kinds of theoretical problems for such simplified models are discussed in this paper. Firstly, I review approaches for calculating analytically the statistics of stochastic non-linear models of spontaneous neural activity. In particular, I discuss (i) interspike interval correlations in non-renewal neurons and (ii) the effect of synaptic short-term plasticity on neural signal transfer. Secondly, I discuss the more conceptual problem of how more detailed models are related to simplified models. I consider, as an example of an open problem of this kind, the relation between detailed models of coupled molecular motors and models of active Brownian motion.

  3. Studies on relative catalytic efficiencies of zinc and aluminium on ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In Zn–Bi and Al–Bi systems, both of which belong to monotectic class, dispersion of second phase particles within the matrix have been produced through rapid solidification processing (RSP) route. In order to understand relative catalytic efficiencies of Zn and Al matrices in catalyzing nucleation of Bi particles entrapped in ...

  4. Relative efficiency of government expenditure on secondary education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Gavurova

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Governments of OECD countries are under pressure to improve public sector performance and at the same time to reduce the government expenditure. In the process of improvement of public sector performance it is necessary ensure the efficiency in the provision of education, at the same time, the countries are required to provide their educational services by minimizing the amount of public money directed to them. This prompted us to implement the comparative study to assess the efficiency of government expenditure on secondary education in European countries in 2015. First we analyze the government expenditure based on the data published by International Monetary Fund (IMF. Second, we analyze the quality of education through the PISA indicators published by OECD. Then we apply the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA to assess the relative efficiency of government expenditure on secondary education using output-oriented model under the assumption of variable return to scale. Based on the results could it be said that average efficiency was 0.955 which suggests that the efficiency in evaluated countries was relatively high.

  5. Insight in the biology of Chlamydia-related bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayramova, Firuza; Jacquier, Nicolas; Greub, Gilbert

    2017-12-18

    The Chlamydiales order is composed of obligate intracellular bacteria and includes the Chlamydiaceae family and several family-level lineages called Chlamydia-related bacteria. In this review we will highlight the conserved and distinct biological features between these two groups. We will show how a better characterization of Chlamydia-related bacteria may increase our understanding on the Chlamydiales order evolution, and may help identifying new therapeutic targets to treat chlamydial infections. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.. All rights reserved.

  6. Efficient reconstruction of biological networks via transitive reduction on general purpose graphics processors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bošnački, Dragan; Odenbrett, Maximilian R; Wijs, Anton; Ligtenberg, Willem; Hilbers, Peter

    2012-10-30

    Techniques for reconstruction of biological networks which are based on perturbation experiments often predict direct interactions between nodes that do not exist. Transitive reduction removes such relations if they can be explained by an indirect path of influences. The existing algorithms for transitive reduction are sequential and might suffer from too long run times for large networks. They also exhibit the anomaly that some existing direct interactions are also removed. We develop efficient scalable parallel algorithms for transitive reduction on general purpose graphics processing units for both standard (unweighted) and weighted graphs. Edge weights are regarded as uncertainties of interactions. A direct interaction is removed only if there exists an indirect interaction path between the same nodes which is strictly more certain than the direct one. This is a refinement of the removal condition for the unweighted graphs and avoids to a great extent the erroneous elimination of direct edges. Parallel implementations of these algorithms can achieve speed-ups of two orders of magnitude compared to their sequential counterparts. Our experiments show that: i) taking into account the edge weights improves the reconstruction quality compared to the unweighted case; ii) it is advantageous not to distinguish between positive and negative interactions since this lowers the complexity of the algorithms from NP-complete to polynomial without loss of quality.

  7. The relative biological effectiveness of out-of-field dose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderson, Michael; Koger, Brandon; Kirkby, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: using simulations and models derived from existing literature, this work investigates relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for out-of-field radiation and attempts to quantify the relative magnitudes of different contributing phenomena (spectral, bystander, and low dose hypersensitivity effects). Specific attention is paid to external beam radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer. Materials and methods: using different biological models that account for spectral, bystander, and low dose hypersensitivity effects, the RBE was calculated for different points moving radially out from isocentre for a typical single arc VMAT prostate case. The RBE was found by taking the ratio of the equivalent dose with the physical dose. Equivalent doses were calculated by determining what physical dose would be necessary to produce the same overall biological effect as that predicted using the different biological models. Results: spectral effects changed the RBE out-of-field less than 2%, whereas response models incorporating low dose hypersensitivity and bystander effects resulted in a much more profound change of the RBE for out-of-field doses. The bystander effect had the largest RBE for points located just outside the edge of the primary radiation beam in the cranial caudal (z-direction) compared to low dose hypersensitivity and spectral effects. In the coplanar direction, bystander effect played the largest role in enhancing the RBE for points up to 8.75 cm from isocentre. Conclusions: spectral, bystander, and low dose hypersensitivity effects can all increase the RBE for out-of-field radiation doses. In most cases, bystander effects seem to play the largest role followed by low dose hypersensitivity. Spectral effects were unlikely to be of any clinical significance. Bystander, low dose hypersensitivity, and spectral effect increased the RBE much more in the cranial caudal direction (z-direction) compared with the coplanar directions.

  8. Relative efficiency calculation of a HPGe detector using MCNPX code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medeiros, Marcos P.C.; Rebello, Wilson F., E-mail: eng.cavaliere@ime.eb.br, E-mail: rebello@ime.eb.br [Instituto Militar de Engenharia (IME), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Secao de Engenharia Nuclear; Lopes, Jose M.; Silva, Ademir X., E-mail: marqueslopez@yahoo.com.br, E-mail: ademir@nuclear.ufrj.br [Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Programa de Engenharia Nuclear

    2015-07-01

    High-purity germanium detectors (HPGe) are mandatory tools for spectrometry because of their excellent energy resolution. The efficiency of such detectors, quoted in the list of specifications by the manufacturer, frequently refers to the relative full-energy peak efficiency, related to the absolute full-energy peak efficiency of a 7.6 cm x 7.6 cm (diameter x height) NaI(Tl) crystal, based on the 1.33 MeV peak of a {sup 60}Co source positioned 25 cm from the detector. In this study, we used MCNPX code to simulate a HPGe detector (Canberra GC3020), from Real-Time Neutrongraphy Laboratory of UFRJ, to survey the spectrum of a {sup 60}Co source located 25 cm from the detector in order to calculate and confirm the efficiency declared by the manufacturer. Agreement between experimental and simulated data was achieved. The model under development will be used for calculating and comparison purposes with the detector calibration curve from software Genie2000™, also serving as a reference for future studies. (author)

  9. Evaluating the efficiency of carbon utilisation via bioenergetics between biological aerobic and denitrifying phosphorus removal systems

    OpenAIRE

    Zhan Jin; Fangying Ji; Yin He; Min Zhao; Xuan Xu; Xiang-Yong Zheng

    2017-01-01

    There are two biological systems available for removing phosphorus from waste water, conventional phosphorus removal (CPR) and denitrifying phosphorus removal (DPR) systems, and each is characterized by the type of sludge used in the process. In this study, we compared the characteristics associated with the efficiency of carbon utilization between CPR and DPR sludge using acetate as a carbon source. For DPR sludge, the heat emitted during the phosphorus release and phosphorus uptake processe...

  10. ESBTL: efficient PDB parser and data structure for the structural and geometric analysis of biological macromolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loriot, Sébastien; Cazals, Frédéric; Bernauer, Julie

    2010-04-15

    The ever increasing number of structural biological data calls for robust and efficient software for analysis. Easy Structural Biology Template Library (ESBTL) is a lightweight C++ library that allows the handling of PDB data and provides a data structure suitable for geometric constructions and analyses. The parser and data model provided by this ready-to-use include-only library allows adequate treatment of usually discarded information (insertion code, atom occupancy, etc.) while still being able to detect badly formatted files. The template-based structure allows rapid design of new computational structural biology applications and is fully compatible with the new remediated PDB archive format. It also allows the code to be easy-to-use while being versatile enough to allow advanced user developments. ESBTL is freely available under the GNU General Public License from http://esbtl.sf.net. The web site provides the source code, examples, code snippets and documentation.

  11. The suprachiasmatic nucleus: age-related decline in biological rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Takahiro J; Takasu, Nana N; Nakamura, Wataru

    2016-09-01

    Aging is associated with changes in sleep duration and quality, as well as increased rates of pathologic/disordered sleep. While several factors contribute to these changes, emerging research suggests that age-related changes in the mammalian central circadian clock within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) may be a key factor. Prior work from our group suggests that circadian output from the SCN declines because of aging. Furthermore, we have previously observed age-related infertility in female mice, caused by a mismatch between environmental light-dark cycles and the intrinsic, internal biological clocks. In this review, we address regulatory mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms in mammals and summarize recent literature describing the effects of aging on the circadian system.

  12. Effect of Flow Rate and Disc Area Increment on the Efficiency of Rotating Biological Contactor for Treating Greywater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashfaq Ahmed Pathan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The performance of greywater treatment through RBC (Rotating Biological Contactor is related to many factors including rotational speed of disc, surface area of the media, thickness of biological film; quality and flow rate of influent. The plastic media provides surface for biological slime. The slime is rotated alternatively into the settled wastewater and then into atmosphere to provide aerobic conditions for the microorganisms. In this study the performance of RBC is investigated at different flow rates and disk areas of media by introducing additional discs on the shaft of RBC. Initially efficiency of the RBC was observed on six flow rates at the disc area of 9.78m2. Furthermore optimized three flow rates were used to augment the disk area. The efficiency of RBC system was improved significantly at disk area of 11.76m2 and flow rate of 20 L/h. Under these conditions the removal of BOD5 (Biochemical Oxygen Demand COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand and TSS (Total Suspended Solid was observed 83, 57 and 90% respectively

  13. International Congress on Energy Efficiency and Energy Related Materials

    CERN Document Server

    Bahsi, Zehra; Ozer, Mehmet; ENEFM2013

    2014-01-01

    The International Congress on Energy Efficiency and Energy Related Materials (ENEFM2013) was held on 9-12 October, 2013. This three-day congress focused on the latest developments of sustainable energy technologies, materials for sustainable energy applications and environmental & economic perspectives of energy. These proceedings include 63 peer reviewed technical papers, submitted from leading academic and research institutions from over 23 countries, representing some of the most cutting edge research available. The papers included were presented at the congress in the following sessions: General Issues Wind Energy Solar Energy Nuclear Energy Biofuels and Bioenergy Energy Storage Energy Conservation and Efficiency Energy in Buildings   Economical and Environmental Issues Environment Energy Requirements Economic Development   Materials for Sustainable Energy Hydrogen Production and Storage Photovoltaic Cells Thermionic Converters Batteries and Superconductors Phase Change Materials Fuel Cells Supercon...

  14. Energy efficient biological air cleaning for farm stable ventilation; Energieffektiv biologisk luftrensning til staldventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Groenborg Nicolaisen, C.; Hansen, Mads P.R. [Teknologisk Institut, Aarhus (Denmark); Stroem, J.; Soerensen, Keld [DXT. Danish Exergy Technology A/S, Skoerping (Denmark); Goetke, C. [Lokalenergi Aarhus, Viby J. (Denmark); Morsing, S.; Soerensen, Lars C. [SKOV A/S, Roslev (Denmark); Ladegaerd Jensen, T.; Pedersen, Poul [Videncenter for svineproduktion, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2013-05-01

    The project has been designed to reduce energy consumption for air purification by 30% while having a payback period of maximum 3 years. The project has achieved very significant results which are far above the target. Particularly satisfying is the wide range of new components that are launched in late 2012. By implementing the newly developed system at 100% cleaning (LPC 13 ventilators and Dynamic multistep control) in relation to Best Practice (SKOV's original system with DA600 fans) in a concrete pigsty, a saving of 61% and a simple payback of 1.7 years is achieved. Similarly, it is found that the energy used for pump operation can be reduced by 37% with the new Dynamic sprinkling control. At 20% cleaning a potential saving of 15% per year and a payback period of between 0 and 5 years was found, which is dependent on the desired performance as the capacities in the bio-filter's upper capacity range between 26 thousand to 30 thousand m3 / h entails costs for an additional extraction unit in the new solution. Furthermore, the newly developed components proved highly suitable for standard installations without air cleaning where a savings potential is 53% and the payback period 1.5 years. Product-wise, the project formed the basis for the development of: 1. New energy-efficient ventilation units (LPC11, 12,13) that are suitable for air purification; 2. A new energy-saving control principle (Dynamic Multi-Step) which is particularly suitable for low-energy ventilators; 3. A new energy-saving flow measurement system for ventilating ducts (Dynamic air to the central exhaust); 4. An energy-saving pressure control in common ducts (pressure control as a function of outside temperature); 5. Proposal for a new energy-saving pump operation for sprinkling of biological filters (Dynamic sprinkling). (LN)

  15. Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A novel and efficient biological control agent for Colletotrichum acutatum during pre-harvest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marcos Roberto; Klein, Mariana Nadjara; Ferraz, Luriany Pompeo; da Silva, Aline Caroline; Kupper, Katia Cristina

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of six isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in controlling Colletotrichum acutatum, the causal agent of postbloom fruit drop that occur in pre-harvest citrus. We analyzed the mechanisms of action involved in biological control such as: production of antifungal compounds, nutrient competition, detection of killer activity, and production of hydrolytic enzymes of the isolates of S. cerevisiae on C. acutatum and their efficiency in controlling postbloom fruit drop on detached citrus flowers. Our results showed that all six S. cerevisiae isolates produced antifungal compounds, competed for nutrients, inhibited pathogen germination, and produced killer activity and hydrolytic enzymes when in contact with the fungus wall. The isolates were able to control the disease when detached flowers were artificially inoculated, both preventively and curatively. In this work we identified a novel potential biological control agent for C. acutatum during pre-harvest. This is the first report of yeast efficiency for the biocontrol of postbloom fruit drop, which represents an important contribution to the field of biocontrol of diseases affecting citrus populations worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Efficient Bayesian estimates for discrimination among topologically different systems biology models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, David R; Tidor, Bruce

    2015-02-01

    A major effort in systems biology is the development of mathematical models that describe complex biological systems at multiple scales and levels of abstraction. Determining the topology-the set of interactions-of a biological system from observations of the system's behavior is an important and difficult problem. Here we present and demonstrate new methodology for efficiently computing the probability distribution over a set of topologies based on consistency with existing measurements. Key features of the new approach include derivation in a Bayesian framework, incorporation of prior probability distributions of topologies and parameters, and use of an analytically integrable linearization based on the Fisher information matrix that is responsible for large gains in efficiency. The new method was demonstrated on a collection of four biological topologies representing a kinase and phosphatase that operate in opposition to each other with either processive or distributive kinetics, giving 8-12 parameters for each topology. The linearization produced an approximate result very rapidly (CPU minutes) that was highly accurate on its own, as compared to a Monte Carlo method guaranteed to converge to the correct answer but at greater cost (CPU weeks). The Monte Carlo method developed and applied here used the linearization method as a starting point and importance sampling to approach the Bayesian answer in acceptable time. Other inexpensive methods to estimate probabilities produced poor approximations for this system, with likelihood estimation showing its well-known bias toward topologies with more parameters and the Akaike and Schwarz Information Criteria showing a strong bias toward topologies with fewer parameters. These results suggest that this linear approximation may be an effective compromise, providing an answer whose accuracy is near the true Bayesian answer, but at a cost near the common heuristics.

  17. Evaluation of spherical shapes swimming efficiency at low Reynolds number with applications to some biological problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Joaquín.; González-García, José S.

    2002-08-01

    Swimming spherical shapes at low Reynolds number have been used as a model to describe locomotion of several microorganisms such as cyanobacteria. Other examples of biological interest include the motion of vesicles within eucaryotic cells which persists even in the absence of microtubules [Eur. J. Cell. Biol. 60 (1993) 217]. The role of tangential deformation has been pointed out as a reasonable mechanism for self-propulsion of shapes lacking appendages such as cilia or flagella [BMC Microbiol. 1 (1) (2001) 4] and even ranges of wave parameter values have been predicted consistently with its average speed [R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93 (1996) 8340] in the case of Synechococcus. Here we re-evaluate the strategy of tangential deformations of a sphere as compared to radial ones in terms of their efficiencies. We confirm under this criterion of optimality that tangential waves are more efficient than radial waves at least within the same range of parameters.

  18. Removal of antibiotics from piggery wastewater by biological aerated filter system: Treatment efficiency and biodegradation kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jun; Liu, You-Sheng; Zhang, Jin-Na; Yang, Yong-Qiang; Hu, Li-Xin; Yang, Yuan-Yuan; Zhao, Jian-Liang; Chen, Fan-Rong; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2017-08-01

    This study aimed to investigate the removal efficiency and mechanism for antibiotics in swine wastewater by a biological aerated filter system (BAF system) in combination with laboratory aerobic and anaerobic incubation experiments. Nine antibiotics including sulfamonomethoxine, sulfachloropyridazine, sulfamethazine, trimethoprim, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, lincomycin, leucomycin and oxytetracycline were detected in the wastewater with concentrations up to 192,000ng/L. The results from this pilot study showed efficient removals (>82%) of the conventional wastewater pollutants (BOD5, COD, TN and NH3-N) and the detected nine antibiotics by the BAF system. Laboratory simulation experiment showed first-order dissipation kinetics for the nine antibiotics in the wastewater under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The biodegradation kinetic parameters successfully predicted the fate of the nine antibiotics in the BAF system. This suggests that biodegradation was the dominant process for antibiotic removal in the BAF system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluating the efficiency of carbon utilisation via bioenergetics between biological aerobic and denitrifying phosphorus removal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Zhan; Ji, Fangying; He, Yin; Zhao, Min; Xu, Xuan; Zheng, Xiang-Yong

    2017-01-01

    There are two biological systems available for removing phosphorus from waste water, conventional phosphorus removal (CPR) and denitrifying phosphorus removal (DPR) systems, and each is characterized by the type of sludge used in the process. In this study, we compared the characteristics associated with the efficiency of carbon utilization between CPR and DPR sludge using acetate as a carbon source. For DPR sludge, the heat emitted during the phosphorus release and phosphorus uptake processes were 45.79 kJ/mol e- and 84.09 kJ/mol e-, respectively. These values were about 2 fold higher than the corresponding values obtained for CPR sludge, suggesting that much of the energy obtained from the carbon source was emitted as heat. Further study revealed a smaller microbial mass within the DPR sludge compared to CPR sludge, as shown by a lower sludge yield coefficient (0.05 gVSS/g COD versus 0.36 gVSS/g COD), a result that was due to the lower energy capturing efficiency of DPR sludge according to bioenergetic analysis. Although the efficiency of anoxic phosphorus removal was only 39% the efficiency of aerobic phosphorus removal, the consumption of carbon by DPR sludge was reduced by 27.8% compared to CPR sludge through the coupling of denitrification with dephosphatation.

  20. Evaluating the efficiency of carbon utilisation via bioenergetics between biological aerobic and denitrifying phosphorus removal systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhan Jin

    Full Text Available There are two biological systems available for removing phosphorus from waste water, conventional phosphorus removal (CPR and denitrifying phosphorus removal (DPR systems, and each is characterized by the type of sludge used in the process. In this study, we compared the characteristics associated with the efficiency of carbon utilization between CPR and DPR sludge using acetate as a carbon source. For DPR sludge, the heat emitted during the phosphorus release and phosphorus uptake processes were 45.79 kJ/mol e- and 84.09 kJ/mol e-, respectively. These values were about 2 fold higher than the corresponding values obtained for CPR sludge, suggesting that much of the energy obtained from the carbon source was emitted as heat. Further study revealed a smaller microbial mass within the DPR sludge compared to CPR sludge, as shown by a lower sludge yield coefficient (0.05 gVSS/g COD versus 0.36 gVSS/g COD, a result that was due to the lower energy capturing efficiency of DPR sludge according to bioenergetic analysis. Although the efficiency of anoxic phosphorus removal was only 39% the efficiency of aerobic phosphorus removal, the consumption of carbon by DPR sludge was reduced by 27.8% compared to CPR sludge through the coupling of denitrification with dephosphatation.

  1. Evolution and Personal Religious Belief: Christian University Biology-Related Majors' Search for Reconciliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winslow, Mark W.; Staver, John R.; Scharmann, Lawrence C.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore Christian biology-related majors' perceptions of conflicts between evolution and their religious beliefs. This naturalistic study utilized a case study design of 15 undergraduate biology-related majors at or recent biology-related graduates from a mid-western Christian university. The broad sources of data…

  2. 76 FR 52668 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Amendment of Notice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-23

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... Administration (FDA) is announcing an amendment to the notice of meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological... announced that a meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee would be held on...

  3. A transcriptome multi-tissue analysis identifies biological pathways and genes associated with variations in feed efficiency of growing pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gondret, Florence; Vincent, Annie; Houée-Bigot, Magalie; Siegel, Anne; Lagarrigue, Sandrine; Causeur, David; Gilbert, Hélène; Louveau, Isabelle

    2017-03-21

    Animal's efficiency in converting feed into lean gain is a critical issue for the profitability of meat industries. This study aimed to describe shared and specific molecular responses in different tissues of pigs divergently selected over eight generations for residual feed intake (RFI). Pigs from the low RFI line had an improved gain-to-feed ratio during the test period and displayed higher leanness but similar adiposity when compared with pigs from the high RFI line at 132 days of age. Transcriptomics data were generated from longissimus muscle, liver and two adipose tissues using a porcine microarray and analyzed for the line effect (n = 24 pigs per line). The most apparent effect of the line was seen in muscle, whereas subcutaneous adipose tissue was the less affected tissue. Molecular data were analyzed by bioinformatics and subjected to multidimensional statistics to identify common biological processes across tissues and key genes participating to differences in the genetics of feed efficiency. Immune response, response to oxidative stress and protein metabolism were the main biological pathways shared by the four tissues that distinguished pigs from the low or high RFI lines. Many immune genes were under-expressed in the four tissues of the most efficient pigs. The main genes contributing to difference between pigs from the low vs high RFI lines were CD40, CTSC and NTN1. Different genes associated with energy use were modulated in a tissue-specific manner between the two lines. The gene expression program related to glycogen utilization was specifically up-regulated in muscle of pigs from the low RFI line (more efficient). Genes involved in fatty acid oxidation were down-regulated in muscle but were promoted in adipose tissues of the same pigs when compared with pigs from the high RFI line (less efficient). This underlined opposite line-associated strategies for energy use in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Genes related to cholesterol synthesis

  4. Removal of fluorescent dissolved organic matter in biologically treated textile effluents by NDMP anion exchange process: efficiency and mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen-Tao; Xu, Zi-Xiao; Shuang, Chen-Dong; Zhou, Qing; Li, Hai-Bo; Li, Ai-Min

    2016-03-01

    The efficiency and mechanism of anion exchange resin Nanda Magnetic Polymer (NDMP) for removal of fluorescent dissolved organic matter in biologically treated textile effluents were studied. The bench-scale experiments showed that as well as activated carbon, anion exchange resin could efficiently remove both aniline-like and humic-like fluorescent components, which can be up to 40 % of dissolved organic matter. The humic-like fluorescent component HS-Em460-Ex3 was more hydrophilic than HS-Em430-Ex2 and contained fewer alkyl chains but more acid groups. As a result, HS-Em460-Ex3 was eliminated more preferentially by NDMP anion exchange. However, compared with adsorption resins, the polarity of fluorescent components had a relatively small effect on the performance of anion exchange resin. The long-term pilot-scale experiments showed that the NDMP anion exchange process could remove approximately 30 % of the chemical oxygen demand and about 90 % of color from the biologically treated textile effluents. Once the issue of waste brine from resin desorption is solved, the NDMP anion exchange process could be a promising alternative for the advanced treatment of textile effluents.

  5. Efficient characterization of high-dimensional parameter spaces for systems biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hafner Marc

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A biological system's robustness to mutations and its evolution are influenced by the structure of its viable space, the region of its space of biochemical parameters where it can exert its function. In systems with a large number of biochemical parameters, viable regions with potentially complex geometries fill a tiny fraction of the whole parameter space. This hampers explorations of the viable space based on "brute force" or Gaussian sampling. Results We here propose a novel algorithm to characterize viable spaces efficiently. The algorithm combines global and local explorations of a parameter space. The global exploration involves an out-of-equilibrium adaptive Metropolis Monte Carlo method aimed at identifying poorly connected viable regions. The local exploration then samples these regions in detail by a method we call multiple ellipsoid-based sampling. Our algorithm explores efficiently nonconvex and poorly connected viable regions of different test-problems. Most importantly, its computational effort scales linearly with the number of dimensions, in contrast to "brute force" sampling that shows an exponential dependence on the number of dimensions. We also apply this algorithm to a simplified model of a biochemical oscillator with positive and negative feedback loops. A detailed characterization of the model's viable space captures well known structural properties of circadian oscillators. Concretely, we find that model topologies with an essential negative feedback loop and a nonessential positive feedback loop provide the most robust fixed period oscillations. Moreover, the connectedness of the model's viable space suggests that biochemical oscillators with varying topologies can evolve from one another. Conclusions Our algorithm permits an efficient analysis of high-dimensional, nonconvex, and poorly connected viable spaces characteristic of complex biological circuitry. It allows a systematic use of robustness as

  6. Relative Biological Effectiveness and Peripheral Damage of Antiproton Annihilation

    CERN Multimedia

    Kavanagh, J N; Kaiser, F; Tegami, S; Schettino, G; Kovacevic, S; Hajdukovic, D; Knudsen, H; Currell, F J; Toelli, H T; Doser, M; Holzscheiter, M; Herrmann, R; Timson, D J; Alsner, J; Landua, R; Comor, J; Moller, S P; Beyer, G

    2002-01-01

    The use of ions to deliver radiation to a body for therapeutic purposes has the potential to be significant improvement over the use of low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation because of the improved energy deposition profile and the enhanced biological effects of ions relative to photons. Proton therapy centers exist and are being used to treat patients. In addition, the initial use of heavy ions such as carbon is promising to the point that new treatment facilities are planned. Just as with protons or heavy ions, antiprotons can be used to deliver radiation to the body in a controlled way; however antiprotons will exhibit additional energy deposition due to annihilation of the antiprotons within the body. The slowing down of antiprotons in matter is similar to that of protons except at the very end of the range beyond the Bragg peak. Gray and Kalogeropoulos estimated the additional energy deposited by heavy nuclear fragments within a few millimeters of the annihilation vertex to be approximately 30 MeV (...

  7. Efficient randomization of biological networks while preserving functional characterization of individual nodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iorio, Francesco; Bernardo-Faura, Marti; Gobbi, Andrea; Cokelaer, Thomas; Jurman, Giuseppe; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio

    2016-12-20

    Networks are popular and powerful tools to describe and model biological processes. Many computational methods have been developed to infer biological networks from literature, high-throughput experiments, and combinations of both. Additionally, a wide range of tools has been developed to map experimental data onto reference biological networks, in order to extract meaningful modules. Many of these methods assess results' significance against null distributions of randomized networks. However, these standard unconstrained randomizations do not preserve the functional characterization of the nodes in the reference networks (i.e. their degrees and connection signs), hence including potential biases in the assessment. Building on our previous work about rewiring bipartite networks, we propose a method for rewiring any type of unweighted networks. In particular we formally demonstrate that the problem of rewiring a signed and directed network preserving its functional connectivity (F-rewiring) reduces to the problem of rewiring two induced bipartite networks. Additionally, we reformulate the lower bound to the iterations' number of the switching-algorithm to make it suitable for the F-rewiring of networks of any size. Finally, we present BiRewire3, an open-source Bioconductor package enabling the F-rewiring of any type of unweighted network. We illustrate its application to a case study about the identification of modules from gene expression data mapped on protein interaction networks, and a second one focused on building logic models from more complex signed-directed reference signaling networks and phosphoproteomic data. BiRewire3 it is freely available at https://www.bioconductor.org/packages/BiRewire/ , and it should have a broad application as it allows an efficient and analytically derived statistical assessment of results from any network biology tool.

  8. Influence of SiO2 and graphene oxide nanoparticles on efficiency of biological removal process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeili-Faraj, Seyyed Hamid; Nasr Esfahany, Mohsen

    2017-11-01

    The effects of the presence of synthesized silica (SS) and exfoliated graphene oxide (EGO) on the removal of sulfide ion with activated sludge (AS) are experimentally investigated. The maximum removal efficiency of sulfide ion for AS without nanoparticles, and the samples with SS and EGO nanoparticles were 81%, 88% and 79%, respectively. Moreover, the maximum elimination capacity (ECmax) for the bioreactor with SS-nanoparticles is 7542 mg/L s, while the ECmax of AS and EGO samples were 7075 and 6625 mg/L s, respectively. Two filamentous microbial strains as Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria are discerned that removed sulfide ion in the presence of nanoparticles. The measurement of mixture liquor volatile suspended solid that indicates the biomass growth rate during the test shows that the bioreactor containing SS-nanoparticles has more biomass content than the other samples. Our findings indicate that SS-nanoparticles with 0.1% wt. concentration in the bioreactor have no negative effects on the efficiency of the biological removal of sulfide and the presence of SS-nanoparticles even enhances the performance of the bioreactor. On the other side, a bioreactor with EGO nanosheets, as highly antibacterial nanoparticles, with 0.02% wt. concentration significantly influences the microbial growth and reduces sulfide removal efficiency.

  9. A modified microdosimetric kinetic model for relative biological effectiveness calculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yizheng; Li, Junli; Li, Chunyan; Qiu, Rui; Wu, Zhen

    2018-01-01

    In the heavy ion therapy, not only the distribution of physical absorbed dose, but also the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) weighted dose needs to be taken into account. The microdosimetric kinetic model (MKM) can predict the RBE value of heavy ions with saturation-corrected dose-mean specific energy, which has been used in clinical treatment planning at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences. In the theoretical assumption of the MKM, the yield of the primary lesion is independent of the radiation quality, while the experimental data shows that DNA double strand break (DSB) yield, considered as the main primary lesion, depends on the LET of the particle. Besides, the β parameter of the MKM is constant with LET resulting from this assumption, which also differs from the experimental conclusion. In this study, a modified MKM was developed, named MMKM. Based on the experimental DSB yield of mammalian cells under the irradiation of ions with different LETs, a RBEDSB (RBE for the induction of DSB)-LET curve was fitted as the correction factor to modify the primary lesion yield in the MKM, and the variation of the primary lesion yield with LET is considered in the MMKM. Compared with the present the MKM, not only the α parameter of the MMKM for mono-energetic ions agree with the experimental data, but also the β parameter varies with LET and the variation trend of the experimental result can be reproduced on the whole. Then a spread-out Bragg peaks (SOBP) distribution of physical dose was simulated with Geant4 Monte Carlo code, and the biological and clinical dose distributions were calculated, under the irradiation of carbon ions. The results show that the distribution of clinical dose calculated with the MMKM is closed to the distribution with the MKM in the SOBP, while the discrepancy before and after the SOBP are both within 10%. Moreover, the MKM might overestimate the clinical dose at the distal end of the SOBP more than 5% because of its

  10. 75 FR 47605 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-06

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological..., Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA. FDA intends to...

  11. 77 FR 3780 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological..., Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation...

  12. 76 FR 13646 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-14

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological... Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA. In the...

  13. 78 FR 20663 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-05

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological... DNA Viruses, Division of Viral Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics...

  14. Mileage efficiency and relative emission of automotive vehicles

    OpenAIRE

    Patankar, Neelesh A.; Patankar, Tanvee N.

    2015-01-01

    Physics dictates that cars with small mass will travel more miles per gallon (mpg) compared to massive trucks. Does this imply that small cars are more efficient machines? In this work a mileage efficiency metric is defined as a ratio of actual car mileage (mpg) to the mileage of an ideal car. This metric allows comparison of efficiencies of cars with different masses and fuel types. It is as useful to quantify efficiencies of cars as the concept of drag coefficient is to quantify the efficac...

  15. Biological nitrification inhibition by rice root exudates and its relationship with nitrogen-use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Li; Lu, Yufang; Yu, Fangwei; Kronzucker, Herbert J; Shi, Weiming

    2016-11-01

    Microbial nitrification in soils is a major contributor to nitrogen (N) loss in agricultural systems. Some plants can secrete organic substances that act as biological nitrification inhibitors (BNIs), and a small number of BNIs have been identified and characterized. However, virtually no research has focused on the important food crop, rice (Oryza sativa). Here, 19 rice varieties were explored for BNI potential on the key nitrifying bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea. Exudates from both indica and japonica genotypes were found to possess strong BNI potential. Older seedlings had higher BNI abilities than younger ones; Zhongjiu25 (ZJ25) and Wuyunjing7 (WYJ7) were the most effective genotypes among indica and japonica varieties, respectively. A new nitrification inhibitor, 1,9-decanediol, was identified, shown to block the ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) pathway of ammonia oxidation and to possess an 80% effective dose (ED80 ) of 90 ng μl-1 . Plant N-use efficiency (NUE) was determined using a 15 N-labeling method. Correlation analyses indicated that both BNI abilities and 1,9-decanediol amounts of root exudates were positively correlated with plant ammonium-use efficiency and ammonium preference. These findings provide important new insights into the plant-bacterial interactions involved in the soil N cycle, and improve our understanding of the BNI capacity of rice in the context of NUE. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Life cycle biological efficiency of mice divergently selected for heat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, A S; Nielsen, M K

    2014-08-01

    Divergent selection in mice for heat loss was conducted in 3 independent replicates creating a high maintenance, high heat loss (MH) and low maintenance, low heat loss (ML) line and unselected control (MC). Improvement in feed efficiency was observed in ML mice due to a reduced maintenance energy requirement but there was also a slight decline in reproductive performance, survivability, and lean content, particularly when compared to MC animals. The objective of this study was to model a life cycle scenario similar to a livestock production system and calculate total inputs and outputs to estimate overall biological efficiency of these lines and determine if reduced feed intake resulted in improved life cycle efficiency. Feed intake, reproductive performance, growth, and body composition were recorded on 21 mating pairs from each line × replicate combination, cohabitated at 7 wk of age and maintained for up to 1 yr unless culled. Proportion of animals at each parity was calculated from survival rates estimated from previous research when enforcing a maximum of 4, 8, or 12 allowed parities. This parity distribution was then combined with values from previous studies to calculate inputs and outputs of mating pairs and offspring produced in a single cycle at equilibrium. Offspring output was defined as kilograms of lean output of offspring at 49 d. Offspring input was defined as megacalories of energy intake for growing offspring from 21 to 49 d. Parent output was defined as kilograms of lean output of culled parents. Parent input was defined as megacalories of energy intake for mating pairs from weaning of one parity to weaning of the next. Offspring output was greatest in MC mice due to superior BW and numbers weaned, while output was lowest in ML mice due to smaller litter sizes and lean content. Parent output did not differ substantially between lines but was greatest in MH mice due to poorer survival rates resulting in more culled animals. Input was greatest in

  17. Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of (131)I Radiation Relative to (60)Co Gamma Rays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neshasteh-Riz, Ali; Mahmoud Pashazadeh, Ali; Mahdavi, Seyed Rabie

    2013-01-01

    To assess relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of (131)I radiation relative to (60)Co gamma rays in glioblastoma spheroid cells. : In this experimental study, glioblastoma spheroid cells were exposed to (131)I radiation and (60)Co gamma rays. Radiation induced DNA damage was evaluated by alkaline comet assay. Samples of spheroid cells were treated by radiation from (131)I for four different periods of time to find the dose-response equation. Spheroid cells were also exposed by 200 cGy of (60)Co gamma rays as reference radiation to induce DNA damage as endpoint. Resulted RBE of (131)I radiation relative to (60)Co gamma rays in 100 µm giloblastoma spheroid cells was equal to 1.16. The finding of this study suggests that (131)I photons and electrons can be more effective than (60)Co gamma rays to produce DNA damage in glioblastoma spheroid cells.

  18. Use of maize wastewater for the cultivation of the Pleurotus spp. mushroom and optimization of its biological efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss, Edenes; Royer, Andrea Rafaela; Barreto-Rodrigues, Marcio; Barana, Ana Claudia

    2009-07-30

    This study evaluated the Pleurotus spp. mushroom production process using an effluent from the maize agroindustrial process as a carbon and nitrogen source and as a wetting agent. A complete experimental design based on factorial planning was used to optimize the biological efficiency and evaluate the effect of the concentration of effluent, pH and species of Pleurotus. The results indicated that the effluent affects the biological efficiency for the production of both species of mushrooms at all pH values studied. The maximum biological efficiency predicted by the model (81.36%) corresponded to the point defined by the effluent contents (X(1)=1), pH (X(2)=-1) and fungus species (X(3)=1), specifically 50%, 5.0 and P. floridae, respectively. The results demonstrated that the effluent is a good alternative for the production of Pleurotus mushrooms.

  19. MILK KEFIR: COMPOSITION, MICROBIAL CULTURES, BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND RELATED PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Rosa Prado

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir’s exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir’s microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance.

  20. Biology of Heme in Mammalian Erythroid Cells and Related Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohru Fujiwara

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Heme is a prosthetic group comprising ferrous iron (Fe2+ and protoporphyrin IX and is an essential cofactor in various biological processes such as oxygen transport (hemoglobin and storage (myoglobin and electron transfer (respiratory cytochromes in addition to its role as a structural component of hemoproteins. Heme biosynthesis is induced during erythroid differentiation and is coordinated with the expression of genes involved in globin formation and iron acquisition/transport. However, erythroid and nonerythroid cells exhibit distinct differences in the heme biosynthetic pathway regulation. Defects of heme biosynthesis in developing erythroblasts can have profound medical implications, as represented by sideroblastic anemia. This review will focus on the biology of heme in mammalian erythroid cells, including the heme biosynthetic pathway as well as the regulatory role of heme and human disorders that arise from defective heme synthesis.

  1. Biology of Heme in Mammalian Erythroid Cells and Related Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, Tohru; Harigae, Hideo

    2015-01-01

    Heme is a prosthetic group comprising ferrous iron (Fe2+) and protoporphyrin IX and is an essential cofactor in various biological processes such as oxygen transport (hemoglobin) and storage (myoglobin) and electron transfer (respiratory cytochromes) in addition to its role as a structural component of hemoproteins. Heme biosynthesis is induced during erythroid differentiation and is coordinated with the expression of genes involved in globin formation and iron acquisition/transport. However, erythroid and nonerythroid cells exhibit distinct differences in the heme biosynthetic pathway regulation. Defects of heme biosynthesis in developing erythroblasts can have profound medical implications, as represented by sideroblastic anemia. This review will focus on the biology of heme in mammalian erythroid cells, including the heme biosynthetic pathway as well as the regulatory role of heme and human disorders that arise from defective heme synthesis. PMID:26557657

  2. Systems Biology for Mapping Genotype-Phenotype Relations in Yeast

    KAUST Repository

    Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-25

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is widely used for production of fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and materials. Through metabolic engineering of this yeast a number of novel new industrial processes have been developed over the last 10 years. Besides its wide industrial use, S. cerevisiae serves as an eukaryal model organism, and many systems biology tools have therefore been developed for this organism. Among these genome-scale metabolic models have shown to be most successful as they easy integrate with omics data and at the same time have been shown to have excellent predictive power. Despite our extensive knowledge of yeast metabolism and its regulation we are still facing challenges when we want to engineer complex traits, such as improved tolerance to toxic metabolites like butanol and elevated temperatures or when we want to engineer the highly complex protein secretory pathway. In this presentation it will be demonstrated how we can combine directed evolution with systems biology analysis to identify novel targets for rational design-build-test of yeast strains that have improved phenotypic properties. In this lecture an overview of systems biology of yeast will be presented together with examples of how genome-scale metabolic modeling can be used for prediction of cellular growth at different conditions. Examples will also be given on how adaptive laboratory evolution can be used for identifying targets for improving tolerance towards butanol, increased temperature and low pH and for improving secretion of heterologous proteins.

  3. The Floral Biology, Breeding System and Pollination Efficiency of Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. (Theaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanbo Yang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. is a perennial, evergreen tree valued for its eco-protection and commercial values in China. In this study, we investigate the breeding system, reproductive ecology and pollination biology of S. superba in a seed orchard. The flowers are hermaphrodite and protogynous. The viability of the pollen is inactivated rapidly, and the stigma maintains a high receptivity within the flower lifespan. Flowers typically offer pollen and nectar to visitors. The flowers possess a typical insect pollination syndrome, and three visitors (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius, Protaetia brevitarsis Lewis, and Popillia mutans Newman are observed on flowers during the study period. The visitation frequency per minute and capability of pollen removal and deposition of A. cerana are significantly higher than P. brevitarsis and P. mutans, although the pollinator efficiency is lower than those shown by the two beetles. Fruit set (28.27% and seed set (6.57% percentages resulting from open-pollination are significantly lower than those resulting from cross-pollination (fruit/seed set, 43.73%/11.66%, and the pollen limitation index (L was 0.34, suggesting that seed production is pollen-limited in the seed orchard. The pollen/ovule ratio (P/O and outcrossing index (OCI values are 6686.67 and 4, respectively. The self-incompatibility index (ISI was estimated to be 0.95. Results from hand-pollination, pollen tube growth experiments and the ISI value show that S. superba is late-acting self-incompatible. The synthetic results indicate that A. cerana is the most efficient pollinator of S. superba, and seed production is frequently limited by pollinators, fruit abortion, and pollen quality.

  4. An efficient and sensitive method for preparing cDNA libraries from scarce biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterling, Catherine H; Veksler-Lublinsky, Isana; Ambros, Victor

    2015-01-01

    The preparation and high-throughput sequencing of cDNA libraries from samples of small RNA is a powerful tool to quantify known small RNAs (such as microRNAs) and to discover novel RNA species. Interest in identifying the small RNA repertoire present in tissues and in biofluids has grown substantially with the findings that small RNAs can serve as indicators of biological conditions and disease states. Here we describe a novel and straightforward method to clone cDNA libraries from small quantities of input RNA. This method permits the generation of cDNA libraries from sub-picogram quantities of RNA robustly, efficiently and reproducibly. We demonstrate that the method provides a significant improvement in sensitivity compared to previous cloning methods while maintaining reproducible identification of diverse small RNA species. This method should have widespread applications in a variety of contexts, including biomarker discovery from scarce samples of human tissue or body fluids. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  5. Altruism, egoism, or neither: A cognitive-efficiency-based evolutionary biological perspective on helping behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Armin W

    2016-04-01

    I argue for differences in the cognitive efficiency of different psychologies underlying helping behavior, and present an account of the adaptive pressures that result from these differences. Specifically, I argue that organisms often face pressure to move away from only being egoistically motivated to help: non-egoistic organisms are often able to determine how to help other organisms more quickly and with less recourse to costly cognitive resources like concentration and attention. Furthermore, I also argue that, while these pressures away from pure egoism can lead to the evolution of altruists, they can also lead to the evolution of reciprocation-focused behaviorist helpers or even of reflex-driven helpers (who are neither altruists nor egoists). In this way, I seek to broaden the set of considerations typically taken into account when assessing the evolution of the psychology of helping behavior-which tend to be restricted to matters of reliability-and also try to make clearer the role of evolutionary biological considerations in the discussion of this apparently straightforwardly psychological phenomenon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Carbon sequestration during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum by an efficient biological pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhongwu; Gray, Ellen; Thomas, Ellen; Murphy, Brandon; Zachos, James; Paytan, Adina

    2014-05-01

    A perturbation of the carbon cycle and biosphere, linked to globally increased temperatures about 55.9 million years ago, characterized the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Its effect on global oceanic productivity is controversial. Here we present records of marine barite accumulation rates that show distinct peaks during this time interval, suggesting a general increase in export productivity. We propose that changes in marine ecosystems, resulting from high atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 and ocean acidification, led to enhanced carbon export from the photic zone to depth, thereby increasing the efficiency of the biological pump. Higher seawater temperatures at that time increased bacterial activity and organic matter regeneration. Through this process much of the sinking particulate organic matter was probably converted to dissolved inorganic and organic carbon. We estimate that an annual carbon export flux out of the euphotic zone and into the deep ocean waters could have amounted to about 15 Gt during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. About 0.4% of this carbon is expected to have entered the refractory dissolved organic pool, where it could be sequestered from the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years. Our estimates are consistent with the amount of carbon redistribution expected for the recovery from the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

  7. Gender and Relative Economic Efficiency in Sweet Potato Farms of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study employed the stochastic frontier cost function to measure the level of economic efficiency and its determinants in small-scale sweet potato production in Imo State, Nigeria on gender basis. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 120 sweet potato farmers (64 females and 56 males) in the ...

  8. gender and relative production efficiency in food crop farming in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, food crop farmers in Abia State of Nigeria were disaggregated based on sex, their production efficiencies and returns to scale derived and compared. Primary data generated from a random sample of 87 food crop farmers consisting of 40 females and 47 males were used. The additive multiplicative dummy ...

  9. Relative efficiency of sawmill types operating in Uganda's softwood ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    industry. These include the use of inappropriate processing technologies, poor maintenance of sawmill machinery, poor management and lack of technical skills by the sawmill operators. The lack of investments in training and purchase of wood-efficient harvesting and processing technologies is often attributed to the low ...

  10. A fast and efficient python library for interfacing with the Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smelter, Andrey; Astra, Morgan; Moseley, Hunter N B

    2017-03-17

    The Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB) is a public repository of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopic data of biological macromolecules. It is an important resource for many researchers using NMR to study structural, biophysical, and biochemical properties of biological macromolecules. It is primarily maintained and accessed in a flat file ASCII format known as NMR-STAR. While the format is human readable, the size of most BMRB entries makes computer readability and explicit representation a practical requirement for almost any rigorous systematic analysis. To aid in the use of this public resource, we have developed a package called nmrstarlib in the popular open-source programming language Python. The nmrstarlib's implementation is very efficient, both in design and execution. The library has facilities for reading and writing both NMR-STAR version 2.1 and 3.1 formatted files, parsing them into usable Python dictionary- and list-based data structures, making access and manipulation of the experimental data very natural within Python programs (i.e. "saveframe" and "loop" records represented as individual Python dictionary data structures). Another major advantage of this design is that data stored in original NMR-STAR can be easily converted into its equivalent JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format, a lightweight data interchange format, facilitating data access and manipulation using Python and any other programming language that implements a JSON parser/generator (i.e., all popular programming languages). We have also developed tools to visualize assigned chemical shift values and to convert between NMR-STAR and JSONized NMR-STAR formatted files. Full API Reference Documentation, User Guide and Tutorial with code examples are also available. We have tested this new library on all current BMRB entries: 100% of all entries are parsed without any errors for both NMR-STAR version 2.1 and version 3.1 formatted files. We also compared our

  11. On extracting design principles from biology: II. Case study-the effect of knee direction on bipedal robot running efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberland, M; Kim, S

    2015-02-02

    Comparing the leg of an ostrich to that of a human suggests an important question to legged robot designers: should a robot's leg joint bend in the direction of running ('forwards') or opposite ('backwards')? Biological studies cannot answer this question for engineers due to significant differences between the biological and engineering domains. Instead, we investigated the inherent effect of joint bending direction on bipedal robot running efficiency by comparing energetically optimal gaits of a wide variety of robot designs sampled at random from a design space. We found that the great majority of robot designs have several locally optimal gaits with the knee bending backwards that are more efficient than the most efficient gait with the knee bending forwards. The most efficient backwards gaits do not exhibit lower touchdown losses than the most efficient forward gaits; rather, the improved efficiency of backwards gaits stems from lower torque and reduced motion at the hip. The reduced hip use of backwards gaits is enabled by the ability of the backwards knee, acting alone, to (1) propel the robot upwards and forwards simultaneously and (2) lift and protract the foot simultaneously. In the absence of other information, designers interested in building efficient bipedal robots with two-segment legs driven by electric motors should design the knee to bend backwards rather than forwards. Compared to common practices for choosing robot knee direction, application of this principle would have a strong tendency to improve robot efficiency and save design resources.

  12. Evaluating the relative clinical efficiency of family medicine satellite clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohrer, James E; Bernard, Matthew; Adamson, Steve; Naessens, James; Furst, Joseph; Angstman, Kurt

    2007-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of decentralization in family medicine clinic services by comparing utilization of services in 3 satellite clinics to utilization patterns of patients served at the hub clinic. It was expected that a hub clinic would be more efficient than satellite clinics because of tighter administrative control and economies of scale. Stable chronically ill patients were used as a homogeneous tracer condition in a secondary analysis of 12 months of archival data. Three types of service use were analyzed: laboratory visits, x-ray visits, and visits to specialists. Among 1,410 stable chronically ill family medicine patients, 303 (21.5%) had 10 more laboratory visits, 222 (15.7%) had 2 or more x-ray visits, and 617 (43.8 %) had 2 or more visits to a specialist. Patients at one of the satellite clinics had greater odds of receiving 2 or more x-rays but lower odds of receiving 10 or more laboratory visits, in comparison with the hub clinic. Patients at the other 2 satellite clinics did not differ from hub patients for any type of service use. Overall, stable chronically ill patients were treated with approximately equal clinical efficiency in our satellite clinics. Some differences in efficiency may occur in some clinics, but these appear to be idiosyncratic rather than due to clinic size or distance from central control.

  13. 75 FR 17929 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-08

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... circovirus type 1 (PCV 1) in Rotarix, a U.S. licensed vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and indicated...

  14. 76 FR 55397 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-07

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological... the Laboratory of Method Development, Division of Viral Products, Office of Vaccines Research and...

  15. 78 FR 5465 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... strains to be included in the influenza virus vaccine for the 2013- 2014 influenza season. FDA intends to...

  16. 78 FR 60884 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-02

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological... of Retroviruses and Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Division of Viral Products, Office of Vaccines...

  17. 76 FR 3639 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-20

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... selection of strains to be included in the influenza virus vaccine for the 2011-2012 influenza season. The...

  18. 75 FR 2876 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... selection of strains to be included in the influenza virus vaccine for the 2010 - 2011 influenza season. FDA...

  19. 76 FR 44016 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological..., Division of Bacterial, Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center...

  20. 77 FR 63839 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-17

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... immunogenicity of an Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Monovalent Vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. On November 15...

  1. 75 FR 59729 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-28

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... portion of the meeting will be closed to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological... for protective antigen-based anthrax vaccines for a post-exposure prophylaxis indication using the...

  2. 77 FR 42319 - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-18

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee... lines derived from human tumors for vaccine manufacture. FDA intends to make background material...

  3. Relations between metabolic homeostasis, diet, and peripheral afferent neuron biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Tamara N; Adams, Sean H

    2014-07-01

    It is well established that food intake behavior and energy balance are regulated by crosstalk between peripheral organ systems and the central nervous system (CNS), for instance, through the actions of peripherally derived leptin on hindbrain and hypothalamic loci. Diet- or obesity-associated disturbances in metabolic and hormonal signals to the CNS can perturb metabolic homeostasis bodywide. Although interrelations between metabolic status and diet with CNS biology are well characterized, afferent networks (those sending information to the CNS from the periphery) have received far less attention. It is increasingly appreciated that afferent neurons in adipose tissue, the intestines, liver, and other tissues are important controllers of energy balance and feeding behavior. Disruption in their signaling may have consequences for cardiovascular, pancreatic, adipose, and immune function. This review discusses the diverse ways that afferent neurons participate in metabolic homeostasis and highlights how changes in their function associate with dysmetabolic states, such as obesity and insulin resistance. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

  4. An efficient, optimized synthesis of fentanyl and related analogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A Valdez

    Full Text Available The alternate and optimized syntheses of the parent opioid fentanyl and its analogs are described. The routes presented exhibit high-yielding transformations leading to these powerful analgesics after optimization studies were carried out for each synthetic step. The general three-step strategy produced a panel of four fentanyls in excellent yields (73-78% along with their more commonly encountered hydrochloride and citric acid salts. The following strategy offers the opportunity for the gram-scale, efficient production of this interesting class of opioid alkaloids.

  5. Application of TSH bioindicator for studying the biological efficiency of neutrons from californium-252 source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.; Rekas, K. [Institute of Nuclear Physics, Cracow (Poland); Kim, J.K. [Korea Atomic Energy Research Inst., Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1997-12-31

    The effectiveness of neutrons from a Californium-252 source in the induction of various abnormalities in the Tradescantia clone 4430 stamen hair cells (TSH-assay) was studied. The special attention was paid to check whether any enhancement in effects caused by process of boron neutron capture is visible in the cells enriched with boron ions. Two chemicals (borax and BSH) were applied to introduce boron-10 ions into cells. Inflorescence, normal or pretreated with chemicals containing boron, were irradiated in the air with neutrons from a Cf-252 source at KAERI, Taejon, Korea. To estimate the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in the induction of gene mutations of the neutron beam under the study, Tradescantia inflorescences, without any chemical pretreatment, were irradiated with various doses of X-rays. The ranges of radiation doses used were 0-0.1 Gy in neutrons and 0-0.5 Gy in X-rays. After the time needed to complete the postirradiation repair Tradescantia cuttings were transferred to Cracow, where screening of gene and lethal; mutations, cell cycle alterations in somatic cells have been done, and dose response relationships were figured. The maximal RBE values were estimated in the range of 4.6-6.8. Alterations of RBE value were observed; from 6.8 to 7.8 in the case of plants pretreated with 240 ppm of B-10 from borax, and 4.6 to 6.1 in the case of 400 ppm of B-10 from BSH. Results showed a slight, although statistically insignificant increase in biological efficacy of radiation from the Cf-252 source in samples pretreated with boron containing chemicals. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    and S cycles showed higher activity in relation to higher fertilizer application (high Fi). However, microbial biomass did not show a strong correlation with the three components of the LUI. Plant and microbial community are currently being assessed to investigate deeply the impact of land management on the overall soil biological processes. The results indicate that the proposed index is an efficient tool to identify the impact of land use on the ecological processes. Creamer, R.E., et al. (2014). Irish Soil Infomation Synthesis Report (2007-S-CD-1-S1). http://gis.teagasc.ie/soils/downloads/EPA_RR130_PRINT.pdf Holden, N. and Brereton, A.J., (2004). Definition of agroclimatic regions in Ireland using hydro-thermal and crop yield data. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 122: 175 - 191. Torsvik, V., et al. (1990). Comparison of phenotypic diversity and DNA heterogeneity in a population of soil bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 56.3 776-781.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurk, P.A.M. van den; Giommi, F.; Gielen, S.C.A.M.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their

  9. Relative biological effectiveness in canine osteosarcoma cells irradiated with accelerated charged particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Junko; Cartwright, Ian M.; Haskins, Jeremy S.; Fujii, Yoshihiro; Fujisawa, Hiroshi; Hirakawa, Hirokazu; Uesaka, Mitsuru; Kitamura, Hisashi; Fujimori, Akira; Thamm, Douglas H.; Kato, Takamitsu A.

    2016-01-01

    Heavy ions, characterized by high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation, have advantages compared with low LET protons and photons in their biological effects. The application of heavy ions within veterinary clinics requires additional background information to determine heavy ion efficacy. In the present study, comparison of the cell-killing effects of photons, protons and heavy ions was investigated in canine osteosarcoma (OSA) cells in vitro. A total of four canine OSA cell lines with various radiosensitivities were irradiated with 137Cs gamma-rays, monoenergetic proton beams, 50 keV/µm carbon ion spread out Bragg peak beams and 200 keV/µm iron ion monoenergetic beams. Clonogenic survival was examined using colony-forming as says, and relative biological effectiveness (RBE) values were calculated relative to gamma-rays using the D10 value, which is determined as the dose (Gy) resulting in 10% survival. For proton irradiation, the RBE values for all four cell lines were 1.0–1.1. For all four cell lines, exposure to carbon ions yielded a decreased cell survival compared with gamma-rays, with the RBE values ranging from 1.56–2.10. Iron ions yielded the lowest cell survival among tested radiation types, with RBE values ranging from 3.51–3.69 observed in the three radioresistant cell lines. The radiosensitive cell line investigated demonstrated similar cell survival for carbon and iron ion irradiation. The results of the present study suggest that heavy ions are more effective for killing radioresistant canine OSA cells when compared with gamma-rays and protons. This markedly increased efficiency of cell killing is an attractive reason for utilizing heavy ions for radioresistant canine OSA. PMID:27446477

  10. Multichannel Convolutional Neural Network for Biological Relation Extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Chanqin; Hua, Lei; Sun, Xiao; Bai, Wenjun

    2016-01-01

    The plethora of biomedical relations which are embedded in medical logs (records) demands researchers' attention. Previous theoretical and practical focuses were restricted on traditional machine learning techniques. However, these methods are susceptible to the issues of "vocabulary gap" and data sparseness and the unattainable automation process in feature extraction. To address aforementioned issues, in this work, we propose a multichannel convolutional neural network (MCCNN) for automated biomedical relation extraction. The proposed model has the following two contributions: (1) it enables the fusion of multiple (e.g., five) versions in word embeddings; (2) the need for manual feature engineering can be obviated by automated feature learning with convolutional neural network (CNN). We evaluated our model on two biomedical relation extraction tasks: drug-drug interaction (DDI) extraction and protein-protein interaction (PPI) extraction. For DDI task, our system achieved an overall f-score of 70.2% compared to the standard linear SVM based system (e.g., 67.0%) on DDIExtraction 2013 challenge dataset. And for PPI task, we evaluated our system on Aimed and BioInfer PPI corpus; our system exceeded the state-of-art ensemble SVM system by 2.7% and 5.6% on f-scores.

  11. Multichannel Convolutional Neural Network for Biological Relation Extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chanqin Quan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The plethora of biomedical relations which are embedded in medical logs (records demands researchers’ attention. Previous theoretical and practical focuses were restricted on traditional machine learning techniques. However, these methods are susceptible to the issues of “vocabulary gap” and data sparseness and the unattainable automation process in feature extraction. To address aforementioned issues, in this work, we propose a multichannel convolutional neural network (MCCNN for automated biomedical relation extraction. The proposed model has the following two contributions: (1 it enables the fusion of multiple (e.g., five versions in word embeddings; (2 the need for manual feature engineering can be obviated by automated feature learning with convolutional neural network (CNN. We evaluated our model on two biomedical relation extraction tasks: drug-drug interaction (DDI extraction and protein-protein interaction (PPI extraction. For DDI task, our system achieved an overall f-score of 70.2% compared to the standard linear SVM based system (e.g., 67.0% on DDIExtraction 2013 challenge dataset. And for PPI task, we evaluated our system on Aimed and BioInfer PPI corpus; our system exceeded the state-of-art ensemble SVM system by 2.7% and 5.6% on f-scores.

  12. Microorganisms for efficient production of melatonin and related compounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant microbial cells and methods for producing 5HTP, melatonin and related compounds using such cells are described. More specifically, the recombinant microbial cell may comprise exogenous genes encoding one or more of an L-tryptophan hydroxylase, a 5- hydroxy-L-tryptophan decarboxylyase,...

  13. Biological implications of longevity in dairy cows: 2. Changes in methane emissions and efficiency with age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandl, F; Amelchanka, S L; Furger, M; Clauss, M; Zeitz, J O; Kreuzer, M; Schwarm, A

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies indicated that absolute CH4 emissions and CH4 yield might increase and that milk production efficiency might decrease with age in cattle. Both would make strategies to increase longevity in dairy cattle less attractive. These aspects were experimentally determined in Brown Swiss cattle distributed continuously across a large age range. Thirty lactating dairy cows (876-3,648 d of age) received diets consisting of hay, corn silage, and grass pellets supplemented with 0 or 5kg of concentrate per day. Twelve heifers (199-778 d of age) received hay only. Cows and heifers were members of herds subjected to the 2 different feeding regimens (with or without concentrate) for the past 10 yr. Methane emissions were measured individually for 2 d in open-circuit respiration chambers, followed by quantifying individual feed intake and milk yield over 8 d. Additional data on digestibility, rumination time, and passage time of feed of all experimental animals were available. Regression analyses were applied to evaluate effects of age and feeding regimen. Body weight, milk yield, and the hay proportion of forage dry matter intake were considered as covariates. Methane emissions per unit of intake, body weight, and milk yield were significantly related to age. Their development in the cows with age was characterized by an increase to maximum at around 2,000 d of age, followed by a decline. This response was not accompanied by corresponding age-related changes in intake, chewing activity, digesta passage time, and digestibility of organic matter, which would have explained shifts in CH4. However, fiber digestibility showed a similar change with age as methane emissions, resulting in quite stable methane emissions per unit of digestible fiber. As expected, methane emissions intensity per unit of milk produced was greater by 8% without concentrate than with concentrate, but no difference was noted in the response to age when the animals were subjected to different

  14. Imino acid and related alicyclic amine levels in biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okano, Y; Kadota, T; Naka, M; Nagata, J; Ijima, S; Matsuda, A; Iwamura, H; Hitoshi, T; Takahama, K; Miyata, T

    1985-07-01

    Imino acid and related alicyclic amine concentrations in blood and urine of mammals including humans were concurrently determined by a selected ion monitoring technique. Nanomole levels of proline and pipecolic acid, and pyrrolidine and piperidine as well, were found in human urine. Proline levels but not pipecolic acid levels were higher in blood of humans than in urine. Pyrrolidine and piperidine levels in blood of humans were picomole levels and much lower than those in urine. Similar tendencies were also recognized when these 4 compounds were analyzed using animal blood and urine, although the levels were generally higher in animals than in humans. Significantly high concentrations of the imino acids and the amines were found also in animal semen.

  15. Sieve-based relation extraction of gene regulatory networks from biological literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žitnik, Slavko; Žitnik, Marinka; Zupan, Blaž; Bajec, Marko

    2015-01-01

    Relation extraction is an essential procedure in literature mining. It focuses on extracting semantic relations between parts of text, called mentions. Biomedical literature includes an enormous amount of textual descriptions of biological entities, their interactions and results of related experiments. To extract them in an explicit, computer readable format, these relations were at first extracted manually from databases. Manual curation was later replaced with automatic or semi-automatic tools with natural language processing capabilities. The current challenge is the development of information extraction procedures that can directly infer more complex relational structures, such as gene regulatory networks. We develop a computational approach for extraction of gene regulatory networks from textual data. Our method is designed as a sieve-based system and uses linear-chain conditional random fields and rules for relation extraction. With this method we successfully extracted the sporulation gene regulation network in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis for the information extraction challenge at the BioNLP 2013 conference. To enable extraction of distant relations using first-order models, we transform the data into skip-mention sequences. We infer multiple models, each of which is able to extract different relationship types. Following the shared task, we conducted additional analysis using different system settings that resulted in reducing the reconstruction error of bacterial sporulation network from 0.73 to 0.68, measured as the slot error rate between the predicted and the reference network. We observe that all relation extraction sieves contribute to the predictive performance of the proposed approach. Also, features constructed by considering mention words and their prefixes and suffixes are the most important features for higher accuracy of extraction. Analysis of distances between different mention types in the text shows that our choice of transforming

  16. The relative efficiency of bank branches in lending and borrowing: An application of data envelopment analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G van der Westhuizen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The relative efficiency of fifty-two branches of a small South African bank was estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA.  A factor responsible for the difference in efficiency between branches might be the difference in managing the asset (loans and the liability (deposit side of the balance sheet.  For this reason, the relative efficiency of the lending and borrowing activities was also estimated and compared to the relative efficiency of the combined (lending and borrowing activities.In the case of the efficiency estimates for loans and deposits, the indications are that the branches were more efficient in managing the liability side (deposits than  in managing the asset side (loans.  This means that purchased funds were not utilised efficiently.

  17. Retrospective Mapping of SAR Data for TTR Protein in Chemico-Biological Space Using Ligand Efficiency Indices as a Guide to Drug Discovery Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Daniel; Arsequell, Gemma; Valencia, Gregori; Nieto, Joan; Planas, Antoni; Pinto, Marta; Centeno, Nuria B; Abad-Zapatero, Cele; Quintana, Jordi

    2011-03-14

    We have previously reported the design and synthesis of ligands that stabilize Transthyretin protein (TTR) in order to obtain therapeutically active compounds for Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (FAP). We are hereby reporting a drug design strategy to optimize these ligands and map them in Chemico-Biological Space (CBS) using Ligand Efficiency Indices (LEIs). We use a binding efficiency index (BEI) based on the measured binding affinity related to the molecular weight (MW) of the compound combined with surface-binding efficiency index (SEI) based on Polar Surface Area (PSA). We will illustrate the use of these indices, combining three crucial variables (potency, MW and PSA) in a 2D graphical representation of chemical space, to perform a retrospective mapping of SAR data for a current TTR inhibitors database, and we propose prospective strategies to use these efficiency indices and chemico-biological space maps for optimization and drug design efforts for TTR ligands. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Identifying and relating biological concepts in the Catalogue of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jones Andrew C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In this paper we describe our experience of adding globally unique identifiers to the Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life, an on-line index of organisms which is intended, ultimately, to cover all the world's known species. The scientific species names held in the Catalogue are names that already play an extensive role as terms in the organisation of information about living organisms in bioinformatics and other domains, but the effectiveness of their use is hindered by variation in individuals' opinions and understanding of these terms; indeed, in some cases more than one name will have been used to refer to the same organism. This means that it is desirable to be able to give unique labels to each of these differing concepts within the catalogue and to be able to determine which concepts are being used in other systems, in order that they can be associated with the concepts in the catalogue. Not only is this needed, but it is also necessary to know the relationships between alternative concepts that scientists might have employed, as these determine what can be inferred when data associated with related concepts is being processed. A further complication is that the catalogue itself is evolving as scientific opinion changes due to an increasing understanding of life. Results We describe how we are using Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs as globally unique identifiers in the Catalogue of Life, explaining how the mapping to species concepts is performed, how concepts are associated with specific editions of the catalogue, and how the Taxon Concept Schema has been adopted in order to express information about concepts and their relationships. We explore the implications of using globally unique identifiers in order to refer to abstract concepts such as species, which incorporate at least a measure of subjectivity in their definition, in contrast with the more traditional use of such identifiers to refer to more tangible

  19. Identifying and relating biological concepts in the Catalogue of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Andrew C; White, Richard J; Orme, Ewen R

    2011-10-17

    In this paper we describe our experience of adding globally unique identifiers to the Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life, an on-line index of organisms which is intended, ultimately, to cover all the world's known species. The scientific species names held in the Catalogue are names that already play an extensive role as terms in the organisation of information about living organisms in bioinformatics and other domains, but the effectiveness of their use is hindered by variation in individuals' opinions and understanding of these terms; indeed, in some cases more than one name will have been used to refer to the same organism. This means that it is desirable to be able to give unique labels to each of these differing concepts within the catalogue and to be able to determine which concepts are being used in other systems, in order that they can be associated with the concepts in the catalogue. Not only is this needed, but it is also necessary to know the relationships between alternative concepts that scientists might have employed, as these determine what can be inferred when data associated with related concepts is being processed. A further complication is that the catalogue itself is evolving as scientific opinion changes due to an increasing understanding of life. We describe how we are using Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) as globally unique identifiers in the Catalogue of Life, explaining how the mapping to species concepts is performed, how concepts are associated with specific editions of the catalogue, and how the Taxon Concept Schema has been adopted in order to express information about concepts and their relationships. We explore the implications of using globally unique identifiers in order to refer to abstract concepts such as species, which incorporate at least a measure of subjectivity in their definition, in contrast with the more traditional use of such identifiers to refer to more tangible entities, events, documents, observations, etc. A

  20. Effects of Different Substrates on Lignocellulosic Enzyme Expression, Enzyme Activity, Substrate Utilization and Biological Efficiency of Pleurotus Eryngii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunliang Xie

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Pleurotus eryngii is one of the most valued and delicious mushrooms which are commercially cultivated on various agro-wastes. How different substrates affect lignocellulosic biomass degradation, lignocellulosic enzyme production and biological efficiency in Pleurotus eryngii was unclear. Methods and Results: In this report, Pleurotus eryngii was cultivated in substrates including ramie stalks, kenaf stalks, cottonseed hulls and bulrush stalks. The results showed that ramie stalks and kenaf stalks were found to best suitable to cultivate Pleurotus eryngii with the biological efficiency achieved at 55% and 57%, respectively. In order to establish correlations between different substrates and lignocellulosic enzymes expression, the extracellular proteins from four substrates were profiled with high throughput TMT-based quantitative proteomic approach. 241 non-redundant proteins were identified and 74 high confidence lignocellulosic enzymes were quantified. Most of the cellulases, hemicellulases and lignin depolymerization enzymes were highly up-regulated when ramie stalks and kenaf stalks were used as carbon sources. The enzyme activities results suggested cellulases, hemicellulases and lignin depolymerization enzymes were significantly induced by ramie stalks and kenaf stalks. Conclusion: The lignocelluloses degradation, most of the lignocellulosic enzymes expressions and activities of Pleurotus eryngii had positive correlation with the biological efficiency, which depend on the nature of lignocellulosic substrates. In addition, the lignocellulosic enzymes expression profiles during Pleurotus eryngii growth in different substrates were obtained. The present study suggested that most of the lignocellulosic enzymes expressions and activities can be used as tools for selecting better performing substrates for commercial mushroom cultivation.

  1. Seminal plasma protein concentrations vary with feed efficiency and fertility-related measures in young beef bulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanholi, Y R; Fontoura, A B P; Diel de Amorim, M; Foster, R A; Chenier, T; Miller, S P

    2016-06-01

    Fertility-associated proteins (FAP) found in seminal plasma indicate sexual maturity, which appears to be influenced by feed efficiency in cattle. This study characterized FAP via proteomics and verified associations of these proteins with feed efficiency, body composition and fertility-related measures in yearling beef bulls. Assessments including testicular ultrasonography, infrared thermography, seminal quality, seminal plasma proteomics, carcass composition, and reproductive organ biometry were obtained. From a population of 31 bulls, the seven most and least feed efficient (efficient, inefficient) bulls were used for categorical comparisons. Correlations between FAP, productive performance and fertility-related measures were determined. These traits were also correlated with orthogonal factors summarized from the FAP. Efficient bulls had increased epididymal sperm-binding protein-1 and decreased concentration of protein-C inhibitor compared to inefficient bulls. Correlations between FAP with age, body size, body composition, reproductive organ biometry, scrotal temperature, and seminiferous tubule maturity are reported. Acrosin and cathepsin D increased with development of the testes and osteopontin increased with greater numbers of mature seminiferous tubules. Phosphoglycerate kinase-2 was higher in animals with a higher scrotum temperature and a higher prevalence of sperm morphology defects. The principal factor indicated that FAP variability concentrations were positively correlated with age, reproductive organ biometry, body size and composition. Our results indicate that FAP changes with body size and sexual development, and demonstrates differences in the proteomics of bulls with diverging feed efficiency. This is related to the delay in the sexual maturity of efficient young bulls. Copyright © 2016 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn. Published by Elsevier

  2. Energy efficiency of mechanical-biological treatment of residual waste; Energieeffizienz bei der Mechanisch-biologischen Restabfallbehandlung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallmann, R. [Hochschule fuer Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst - Hildesheim, Holzminden, Goettingen (DE). Fachgebiet Nachhaltige Energie- und Umwelttechnik (NEUTec); Fricke, K. [Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany). Leichtweiss-Inst., Abt. Abfallwirtschaft; Hake, J. [Ingenieurgemeinschaft Witzenhausen Fricke und Turk GmbH, Witzenahusen (Germany)

    2008-07-15

    The results of the survey on energy efficiency of MBT plants presented in this publication represent a reliable data basis to describe the current situation of MBT in Germany and to develop and implement further measures of optimization. It makes clear that by the energetic recovery of separated waste materials of high calorific value a high energy efficiency of MBT plants can be reached. The results also show that classic MBT plants with respective design may achieve similarly high separation rates of a high calorific fraction as mechanical-biological stabilization plants (MBS). In addition, a further increase of the MBT energy efficiency can be accomplished by integrating an anaerobic digestion unit or by providing biogas as renewable energy source. Compared to waste incineration, MBT - combined with respectively high-quality recovery plants for the high calorific fraction - can be regarded nearly equal from a point of view of energy policy. (orig.)

  3. Cell Biology Symposium: genetics of feed efficiency in dairy and beef cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, D P; Crowley, J J

    2013-04-01

    Increasing food production for the growing human population off a constraining land base will require greater efficiency of production. Genetic improvement of feed efficiency in cattle, which is cumulative and permanent, is one likely vehicle to achieving efficiency gains. The objective of this review is to summarize genetic parameters for feed efficiency traits in dairy and beef cattle and also to address some of the misconceptions associated with feed efficiency in these sectors, as well as discuss the potential use of feed efficiency in breeding programs. A meta-analysis of up to 39 scientific publications in growing cattle clearly showed that genetic variation in feed efficiency exists with a pooled heritability for residual feed intake (RFI) and feed conversion efficiency of 0.33 ± 0.01 (range of 0.07 to 0.62) and 0.23 ± 0.01 (range of 0.06 to 0.46), respectively. Heritability estimates for feed efficiency in cows were lower; a meta-analysis of up to 11 estimates revealed heritability estimates for gross feed efficiency and RFI of 0.06 ± 0.010 and 0.04 ± 0.008, respectively. Meta-analysis of genetic correlations between feed intake, feed efficiency and other performance traits are presented, and selection index theory is used to calculate the proportion of genetic variation in feed intake that can be explained by easy to measure, and often already collected, data. A large proportion of the genetic variation in feed intake could be explained in both growing animals and lactating animals using up to 5 predictor traits, including BW, growth rate, milk yield, body composition, and linear type traits reflecting body size and muscularity. Knowledge of genetic merit for feed intake can be used, along with estimates of genetic merit for energy sinks, to calculate genetic merit for feed efficiency. Therefore, the marginal benefit of collecting actual feed intake data, using the genetic parameters used in this study, appears to be low. There is now sufficient

  4. A Biologically Inspired Energy-Efficient Duty Cycle Design Method for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Zhou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent success of emerging wireless sensor networks technology has encouraged researchers to develop new energy-efficient duty cycle design algorithm in this field. The energy-efficient duty cycle design problem is a typical NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem. In this paper, we investigate an improved elite immune evolutionary algorithm (IEIEA strategy to optimize energy-efficient duty cycle design scheme and monitored area jointly to enhance the network lifetimes. Simulation results show that the network lifetime of the proposed IEIEA method increased compared to the other two methods, which means that the proposed method improves the full coverage constraints.

  5. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  6. Associations between feed efficiency, sexual maturity and fertility-related measures in young beef bulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontoura, A B P; Montanholi, Y R; Diel de Amorim, M; Foster, R A; Chenier, T; Miller, S P

    2016-01-01

    temperature variation at the top of the scrotum was correlated with improved sperm progressive motility (r=0.38), a lower occurrence of sperm loose head abnormalities was correlated with larger temperature variation at the lower part of the scrotum (r=-0.43), and a lower minimum testis echogenicity (r=-0.59) and smaller scrotal circumference (r=0.72) were correlated with age. The adjustment for body composition (RFI determination) enabled distinct biological inferences about reproduction and feed efficiency when compared with the non-adjusted model. However, both RFI models and the correlation analysis supported the hypothesis that feed-efficient bulls have features of delayed sexual maturity. Overall, the assessment of fertility-related measurements is important to avoid the improvement of feed efficiency at the expense of reproductive function in young bulls.

  7. Automatic sampling for unbiased and efficient stereological estimation using the proportionator in biological studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gardi, Jonathan Eyal; Nyengaard, Jens Randel; Gundersen, Hans Jørgen Gottlieb

    2008-01-01

    and feature detection is clearly biased, the estimator is strictly unbiased. The proportionator is compared to the commonly applied sampling technique (systematic uniform random sampling in 2D space or so-called meander sampling) using three biological examples: estimating total number of granule cells in rat...

  8. An efficient synthesis and biological study of substituted 8-chloro-5 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    4H-1,4-benzothiazines; sulphones; ribofuranosides; antimicrobial activity; anthelmintic activity. 1. Introduction. Six-membered heterocyclic compounds have occu- pied a prominent place among various classes of organic compounds for their diverse biological activi- ties. Among a wide variety of heterocycles that have.

  9. Input-output relations in biological systems: measurement, information and the Hill equation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Biological systems produce outputs in response to variable inputs. Input-output relations tend to follow a few regular patterns. For example, many chemical processes follow the S-shaped Hill equation relation between input concentrations and output concentrations. That Hill equation pattern contradicts the fundamental Michaelis-Menten theory of enzyme kinetics. I use the discrepancy between the expected Michaelis-Menten process of enzyme kinetics and the widely observed Hill equation pattern of biological systems to explore the general properties of biological input-output relations. I start with the various processes that could explain the discrepancy between basic chemistry and biological pattern. I then expand the analysis to consider broader aspects that shape biological input-output relations. Key aspects include the input-output processing by component subsystems and how those components combine to determine the system’s overall input-output relations. That aggregate structure often imposes strong regularity on underlying disorder. Aggregation imposes order by dissipating information as it flows through the components of a system. The dissipation of information may be evaluated by the analysis of measurement and precision, explaining why certain common scaling patterns arise so frequently in input-output relations. I discuss how aggregation, measurement and scale provide a framework for understanding the relations between pattern and process. The regularity imposed by those broader structural aspects sets the contours of variation in biology. Thus, biological design will also tend to follow those contours. Natural selection may act primarily to modulate system properties within those broad constraints. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Eugene Koonin, Georg Luebeck and Sergei Maslov. PMID:24308849

  10. Improving efficiency in pig production

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving efficiency in pig production. The relative importance of different components of efficiency depends on whether one's interest is biological or economic. A study of the elements of biological efficiency shows that the choice of slaughter mass has a profound effect, and that in rela- tive terms reproductive ...

  11. Chemical and biological approaches to improve the efficiency of homologous recombination in human cells mediated by artificial restriction DNA cutter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katada, Hitoshi; Harumoto, Toshimasa; Shigi, Narumi; Komiyama, Makoto

    2012-06-01

    A chemistry-based artificial restriction DNA cutter (ARCUT) was recently prepared from Ce(IV)/EDTA complex and a pair of pseudo-complementary peptide nucleic acids. This cutter has freely tunable scission-site and site specificity. In this article, homologous recombination (HR) in human cells was promoted by cutting a substrate DNA with ARCUT, and the efficiency of this bioprocess was optimized by various chemical and biological approaches. Of two kinds of terminal structure formed by ARCUT, 3'-overhang termini provided by 1.7-fold higher efficiency than 5'-overhang termini. A longer homology length (e.g. 698 bp) was about 2-fold more favorable than shorter one (e.g. 100 bp). When the cell cycle was synchronized to G2/M phase with nocodazole, the HR was promoted by about 2-fold. Repression of the NHEJ-relevant proteins Ku70 and Ku80 by siRNA increased the efficiency by 2- to 3-fold. It was indicated that appropriate combination of all these chemical and biological approaches should be very effective to promote ARCUT-mediated HR in human cells.

  12. An efficient process for wastewater treatment to mitigate free nitrous acid generation and its inhibition on biological phosphorus removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jianwei; Wang, Dongbo; Li, Xiaoming; Yang, Qi; Chen, Hongbo; Zhong, Yu; An, Hongxue; Zeng, Guangming

    2015-02-01

    Free nitrous acid (FNA), which is the protonated form of nitrite and inevitably produced during biological nitrogen removal, has been demonstrated to strongly inhibit the activity of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs). Herein we reported an efficient process for wastewater treatment, i.e., the oxic/anoxic/oxic/extended-idle process to mitigate the generation of FNA and its inhibition on PAOs. The results showed that this new process enriched more PAOs which thereby achieved higher phosphorus removal efficiency than the conventional four-step (i.e., anaerobic/oxic/anoxic/oxic) biological nutrient removal process (41 +/- 7% versus 30 +/- 5% in abundance of PAOs and 97 +/- 0.73% versus 82 +/- 1.2% in efficiency of phosphorus removal). It was found that this new process increased pH value but decreased nitrite accumulation, resulting in the decreased FNA generation. Further experiments showed that the new process could alleviate the inhibition of FNA on the metabolisms of PAOs even under the same FNA concentration.

  13. A robust AHP-DEA method for measuring the relative efficiency: An application of airport industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Foroughi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Measuring the relative efficiency of similar units has been an important topic of research among many researchers. Data envelopment analysis has been one of the most important techniques for measuring the efficiency of different units. However, there are some limitations on using such technique and some people prefer to use other methods such as analytical hierarchy process to measure the relative efficiencies. Besides, uncertainty in the input data is another issue, which makes some misleading results. In this paper, we present an integrated robust DEA-AHP to measure the relative efficiency of similar units. The proposed model of this is believed to capable of presenting better results in terms of efficiency compared with exclusive usage of DEA or AHP. The implementation of the proposed model is demonstrated for a real-world case study of Airport industry and the results are analyzed.

  14. The Floral Biology, Breeding System and Pollination Efficiency of Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. (Theaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Hanbo Yang; Rui Zhang; Ping Song; Zhichun Zhou

    2017-01-01

    Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. is a perennial, evergreen tree valued for its eco-protection and commercial values in China. In this study, we investigate the breeding system, reproductive ecology and pollination biology of S. superba in a seed orchard. The flowers are hermaphrodite and protogynous. The viability of the pollen is inactivated rapidly, and the stigma maintains a high receptivity within the flower lifespan. Flowers typically offer pollen and nectar to visitors. The flowers posse...

  15. Advances in radiation biology: Relative radiation sensitivities of human organ systems. Volume 12

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lett, J.T.; Altman, K.I.; Ehmann, U.K.; Cox, A.B.

    1987-01-01

    This volume is a thematically focused issue of Advances in Radiation Biology. The topic surveyed is relative radiosensitivity of human organ systems. Topics considered include relative radiosensitivities of the thymus, spleen, and lymphohemopoietic systems; relative radiosensitivities of the small and large intestine; relative rediosensitivities of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, and esophagus; relative radiation sensitivity of the integumentary system; dose response of the epidermal; microvascular, and dermal populations; relative radiosensitivity of the human lung; relative radiosensitivity of fetal tissues; and tolerance of the central and peripheral nervous system to therapeutic irradiation.

  16. 48 CFR 952.223 - Clauses related to environment, energy and water efficiency, renewable energy technologies...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... environment, energy and water efficiency, renewable energy technologies, occupational safety, and drug-free workplace. 952.223 Section 952.223 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CLAUSES AND... related to environment, energy and water efficiency, renewable energy technologies, occupational safety...

  17. Biological and water-use efficiencies of sorghum-groundnut intercrop

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In order to compare water-use efficiency of sole crops and intercrops, 2 experiments were conducted in 2 consecutive years with sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) on a loamy, Grossarenic Paleudult. In a randomized block, split-plot design, sorghum (SS), groundnut (GG), ...

  18. The genetic and biological basis of feed efficiency in mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hardie, L.C.; VandeHaar, M.J.; Tempelman, R.J.; Weigel, K.A.; Armentano, L.E.; Wiggans, G.R.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Haas, de Y.; Coffey, M.P.; Connor, E.E.; Hanigan, M.D.; Staples, C.R.; Wang, Z.; Dekkers, J.C.M.; Spurlock, D.M.

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify genomic regions and candidate genes associated with feed efficiency in lactating Holstein cows. In total, 4,916 cows with actual or imputed genotypes for 60,671 single nucleotide polymorphisms having individual feed intake, milk yield, milk composition,

  19. Synthetic Versus Biological Mesh-Related Erosion After Laparoscopic Ventral Mesh Rectopexy: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balla, Andrea; Quaresima, Silvia; Smolarek, Sebastian; Shalaby, Mostafa; Missori, Giulia; Sileri, Pierpaolo

    2017-04-01

    This review reports the incidence of mesh-related erosion after ventral mesh rectopexy to determine whether any difference exists in the erosion rate between synthetic and biological mesh. A systematic search of the MEDLINE and the Ovid databases was conducted to identify suitable articles published between 2004 and 2015. The search strategy capture terms were laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy, laparoscopic anterior rectopexy, robotic ventral rectopexy, and robotic anterior rectopexy. Eight studies (3,956 patients) were included in this review. Of those patients, 3,517 patients underwent laparoscopic ventral rectopexy (LVR) using synthetic mesh and 439 using biological mesh. Sixty-six erosions were observed with synthetic mesh (26 rectal, 32 vaginal, 8 recto-vaginal fistulae) and one (perineal erosion) with biological mesh. The synthetic and the biological mesh-related erosion rates were 1.87% and 0.22%, respectively. The time between rectopexy and diagnosis of mesh erosion ranged from 1.7 to 124 months. No mesh-related mortalities were reported. The incidence of mesh-related erosion after LVR is low and is more common after the placement of synthetic mesh. The use of biological mesh for LVR seems to be a safer option; however, large, multicenter, randomized, control trials with long follow-ups are required if a definitive answer is to be obtained.

  20. Biological complexity, quantum coherent states and the problem of efficient transmission of information inside a cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2013-03-01

    The intracellular channel of information transmission was analyzed from the point of view of complexity. The most important steps in the transfer of information within a cell are the folding, transport and recognition of proteins. It was shown that the large number of conformational degrees of freedom that proteins possess can paradoxically lead to an information channel with an exponentially small capacity. To resolve this paradox, a model, which assumes a quantum collective behavior of biologically important molecules, was proposed. Experiments to test the quantum nature of the intracellular transfer of information were also proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Construction of an efficient biologically contained Pseudomonas putida strain and its survival in outdoor assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molina, Lazaro; Rodriguez, Cayo Juan Ramos; Ronchel, Maria C.

    1998-01-01

    Active biological containment systems consist of two components, a killing element designed to induce cell death and a control element which modulates the expression of the killing function. We constructed a mini-Tn5 transposon bearing a fusion of the P(lac) promoter to the gef killing gene...... and a fusion of the Pm promoter to the lad gene plus the positive regulator of the Pm promoter, the xylS gene. This mini-Tn5 transposon was transferred to the chromosome of Pseudomonas putida CMC4, and in culture this strain survived in the presence of 3-methylbenzoate (an XylS effector) and committed suicide...

  2. An efficient planar accordion-shaped micromixer: from biochemical mixing to biological application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosentino, Armando; Madadi, Hojjat; Vergara, Paola; Vecchione, Raffaele; Causa, Filippo; Netti, Paolo Antonio

    2015-12-14

    Micromixers are the key component that allow lab-on-a-chip and micro total analysis systems to reach the correct level of mixing for any given process. This paper proposes a novel, simple, passive micromixer design characterized by a planar accordion-shape geometry. The geometrical characteristics of the presented design were analyzed numerically in the range of 0.01 < Re < 100 based on the micromixer performance. The performance of the most efficient design was experimentally investigated by means of fluorescence microscopy for a range of low diffusion coefficients, 10(-12) < D < 10(-11) m(2)/s. The micromixer structure was fabricated in a simple single-step process using maskless lithography and soft lithography. The experimental results showed a very good agreement with the predicted numerical results. This micromixer design including a single serpentine unit (1-SERP) displayed an efficiency higher than 90% (mixing length = 6.4 mm) creating a pressure drop of about 500 Pa at Re = 0.1 and 60 kPa at Re = 10. A mixing efficiency of almost 100% was readily reached when three serpentine units were included (3-SERP). Finally, the potential diagnostic value of the presented microdevice was validated experimentally for Red Blood Cell (RBC) lysis.

  3. A novel control strategy for efficient biological phosphorus removal with carbon-limited wastewaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Javier; Guisasola, Albert; Baeza, Juan A

    2014-01-01

    This work shows the development and the in silico evaluation of a novel control strategy aiming at successful biological phosphorus removal in a wastewater treatment plant operating in an A(2)/O configuration with carbon-limited influent. The principle of this novel approach is that the phosphorus in the effluent can be controlled with the nitrate setpoint in the anoxic reactor as manipulated variable. The theoretical background behind this control strategy is that reducing nitrate entrance to the anoxic reactor would result in more organic matter available for biological phosphorus removal. Thus, phosphorus removal would be enhanced at the expense of increasing nitrate in the effluent (but always below legal limits). The work shows the control development, tuning and performance in comparison to open-loop conditions and to two other conventional control strategies for phosphorus removal based on organic matter and metal addition. It is shown that the novel proposed strategy achieves positive nutrient removal results with similar operational costs to the other control strategies and open-loop operation.

  4. The relative biologic effectiveness versus linear energy transfer curve as an output-input relation for linear cellular systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luu, Quoc T; DuChateau, Paul

    2009-07-01

    Experiments have established that different radiation types have different magnitudes of biological response. When biological response is defined in terms of the Relative Biologic Effectiveness (RBE) and different radiation type is characterized by Linear Energy Transfer (LET), the plot of the RBE versus LET (RBE-LET) curve shows RBE to increase with increasing LET, to reach a maximum, and to decrease with further increasing LET. Perhaps due to the descriptive nature of biology, most quantitative models for the RBE-LET curve ignore the reality of the underlying molecular biology. On the other hand, the molecular basis for the RBE-LET curve is not completely known despite recent efforts. Here we introduce a differential equation formulation for a signal-and-system model that sees cells as systems, different radiation types as input, and cellular responses as output. Because of scant knowledge of the underlying biochemical network, the current version is necessarily a work in progress. It explains the RBE-LET curve using not just input parameters but also systems internal state parameters. These systems internal state parameters represent parts of a biochemical network within a cell. Although multiple biochemical parts may well be involved, the shape of the RBE-LET curve is reproduced when only three system parameters are related to three biochemical parts: the molecular machinery for DNA double strand break repair; the molecular pathways for handling oxidative stress; and the radiolytic products of the cellular water. Despite being a simplified ''toy model,'' changes in the systems state parameters lead to model curves that are refutable in a modern molecular biology laboratory. As the parts in the biochemical network of the radiation response are being further elucidated, this model can incorporate new systems state parameters to allow a more accurate fit.

  5. Healthy Older Observers Cannot Use Biological-Motion Point-Light Information Efficiently within 4 m of Themselves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Legault

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Healthy aging is associated with a number of perceptual changes, but measures of biological-motion perception have yielded conflicting results. Biological motion provides information about a walker, from gender and identity to speed, direction, and distance. In our natural environment, as someone approaches us (closer distances, the walker spans larger areas of our field of view, the extent of which can be underutilized with age. Yet, the effect of age on biological-motion perception in such real-world scenarios remains unknown. We assessed the effect of age on discriminating walking direction in upright and inverted biological-motion patterns, positioned at various distances in virtual space. Findings indicate that discrimination is worse at closer distances, an effect exacerbated by age. Older adults' performance decreases at distances as far away as 4 m, whereas younger adults maintain their performance as close as 1 m (worse at 0.5 m. This suggests that older observers are limited in their capacity to integrate information over larger areas of the visual field and supports the notion that age-related effects are more apparent when larger neural networks are required to process simultaneous information. This has further implications for social contexts where information from biological motion is critical.

  6. Statistical assessment of biosimilarity based on relative distance between follow-on biologics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Seung-Ho; Chow, Shein-Chung

    2013-02-10

    In this paper, we propose a new three-arm parallel design to investigate biosimilarity between a biosimilar product and an innovator biological product by using relative distance based on the absolute mean differences. In the proposed design, one arm is for the biosimilar product and the other two arms are for the innovator biological product. The distance between the biosimilar product and the innovator biological product is defined by the absolute mean different between two products. Similarly, the distance between the innovator biological products from two difference batches is defined. The relative distance is defined as the ratio of the two distances whose denominator is the distance between the innovator biological products from two different batches. In the proposed design, if the relative distance is less than a prespecified margin, we claim that the two products are claimed to be biosimilar. The statistical test based on the ratio estimator and the linearization method are developed to assess biosimilarity. The power functions of two tests are derived in large sample and compared numerically. Because the statistical test based on the ratio estimator is more powerful than the linearization method, we recommend the statistical test based on the ratio estimator. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Biological membranes are nanostructures that require internal heat and imaginary temperature as new, unique physiological parameters related to biological catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmitriev, L F

    2011-04-01

    In 1961, Peter Mitchell advanced a new idea for solving the problem of coupling between oxidation and phosphorylation, but some aspects of the relationship between the redox-chain as a potential energy donor and different energy acceptors remain largely unknown. The main structure-function relationships behind catalytic rate optimization in membrane enzymes are highly important, and comparative analyses of the energetics of catalytic reactions from membrane proteins of different destination are needed to advance our understanding. Moreover, the mode of control of primary radicals, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), should be considered. For example, iron is essential for most organisms because it serves as an electron donor and acceptor in various metabolic processes. However, these chemical properties also allow iron to participate in the formation of ROS that cause substantial damage to lipids; iron can contribute to excess production of damaging ROS through Fenton chemistry. The evidence that iron contributes to various diseases of ageing is to be examined along with the need for low or moderate levels of iron, depending on homeostasis level. If this level in the organs and tissues is close to the optimal amount needed for an initiation of lipid-radical cycles, which may be responsible for the effectiveness of some membrane enzymes, this might minimize the ROS production and retard the processes related to ageing. To my mind, biological membranes possess an internal heat and imaginary temperature that are new, unique physiological parameters related to a role as factors of biological catalysis. This is speculation and additional studies will be needed to determine whether the imaginary temperature has an equal importance with the real temperature in cellular metabolism, membrane energetics (microsomal monooxygenase and ATP synthesis) and ageing.

  8. Utilization of new naturally occurring strains and supplementation to improve the biological efficiency of the edible mushroom Agrocybe cylindracea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhart, Marina; Piscera, Juan Manuel; Albertó, Edgardo

    2008-06-01

    To evaluate the importance of searching new naturally occurring strains to raise yields in mushroom production, eight wild and four commercial strains of Agrocybe cylindracea were cultivated on wheat straw. The highest biological efficiencies (BE) (54.5-72.4%) were obtained with three wild and two commercial strains when cultured on non-supplemented wheat straw. Rolled oats or soybean flour supplementation were tested using three selected strains, increasing BEs up to 1.2, 0.5 and 0.7-fold, respectively. This effect of supplementation was stronger in the Asiatic wild strain, yielding up to 41.1 and 30% more than the two other strains with rolled oats and soybean flour, respectively. The Asiatic wild strain cultivated with soybean flour supplementation achieved an average biological efficiency of 179%, to our knowledge, the highest reported for this species. These results show the importance of searching for new naturally occurring strains in combination with supplemented wheat straw substrate for raising yields in A. cylindracea cultivation.

  9. GEOINFORMATION ANALYSIS OF THE INDEX OF BIOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY OF CLIMATE AS CRITERION FOR EVALUATION OF POTENTIAL STABILITY OF THE LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Ogurtsov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article considers indicator approach to assessment of potential stability of landscapes. As an example of integrated criterion the index of climate biological efficiency (TK has been used. Calculations of TK index for assessment of stability of landscapes have been executed for the territory of Tver Region. Cartograms of TK index and its components have been made. Geospatial analysis has been carried out and estimates of potential stability of landscapes are given. The example of mapping and calculation of the TK index serves as a starting point for using it in multi-criteria assessment of the state and emergent properties of geosystems built on the principles of ASPID-methodology. This example reflects the possibility of using the indicator approach in the first stage of the study of resistance to changes in the parameters of natural regime for the subsequent multicriteria and integral assessment of resistance to changes in the parameters of natural and anthropogenic regimes of geosystems functioning. The use of the index of climate biological efficiency as an indicator of sustainability will make it possible to actively use it in future in geoecological research.

  10. Pilot plant demonstration of stable and efficient high rate biological nutrient removal with low dissolved oxygen conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keene, Natalie A; Reusser, Steve R; Scarborough, Matthew J; Grooms, Alan L; Seib, Matt; Santo Domingo, Jorge; Noguera, Daniel R

    2017-09-15

    Aeration in biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes accounts for nearly half of the total electricity costs at many wastewater treatment plants. Even though conventional BNR processes are usually operated to have aerated zones with high dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, recent research has shown that nitrification can be maintained using very low-DO concentrations (e.g., below 0.2 mg O2/L), and therefore, it may be possible to reduce energy use and costs in BNR facilities by decreasing aeration. However, the effect of reduced aeration on enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is not understood. In this study, we investigated, at the pilot-scale level, the effect of using minimal aeration on the performance of an EBPR process. Over a 16-month operational period, we performed stepwise decreases in aeration, reaching an average DO concentration of 0.33 mg O2/L with stable operation and nearly 90% phosphorus removal. Under these low-DO conditions, nitrification efficiency was maintained, and nearly 70% of the nitrogen was denitrified, without the need for internal recycling of high nitrate aeration basin effluent to the anoxic zone. At the lowest DO conditions used, we estimate a 25% reduction in energy use for aeration compared to conventional BNR operation. Our improved understanding of the efficiency of low-DO BNR contributes to the global goal of reducing energy consumption during wastewater treatment operations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Medicinal and Biological Chemistry (MBC) Library: An Efficient Source of New Hits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastián-Pérez, Víctor; Roca, Carlos; Awale, Mahendra; Reymond, Jean-Louis; Martinez, Ana; Gil, Carmen; Campillo, Nuria E

    2017-09-25

    Identification of new hits is one of the biggest challenges in drug discovery. Creating a library of well-characterized drug-like compounds is a key step in this process. Our group has developed an in-house chemical library called the Medicinal and Biological Chemistry (MBC) library. This collection has been successfully used to start several medicinal chemistry programs and developed in an accumulation of more than 30 years of experience in drug design and discovery of new drugs for unmet diseases. It contains over 1000 compounds, mainly heterocyclic scaffolds. In this work, analysis of drug-like properties and comparative study with well-known libraries by using different computer software are presented here.

  12. G-LoSA: An efficient computational tool for local structure-centric biological studies and drug design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hui Sun; Im, Wonpil

    2016-04-01

    Molecular recognition by protein mostly occurs in a local region on the protein surface. Thus, an efficient computational method for accurate characterization of protein local structural conservation is necessary to better understand biology and drug design. We present a novel local structure alignment tool, G-LoSA. G-LoSA aligns protein local structures in a sequence order independent way and provides a GA-score, a chemical feature-based and size-independent structure similarity score. Our benchmark validation shows the robust performance of G-LoSA to the local structures of diverse sizes and characteristics, demonstrating its universal applicability to local structure-centric comparative biology studies. In particular, G-LoSA is highly effective in detecting conserved local regions on the entire surface of a given protein. In addition, the applications of G-LoSA to identifying template ligands and predicting ligand and protein binding sites illustrate its strong potential for computer-aided drug design. We hope that G-LoSA can be a useful computational method for exploring interesting biological problems through large-scale comparison of protein local structures and facilitating drug discovery research and development. G-LoSA is freely available to academic users at http://im.compbio.ku.edu/GLoSA/. © 2016 The Protein Society.

  13. MODA: an efficient algorithm for network motif discovery in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omidi, Saeed; Schreiber, Falk; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2009-10-01

    In recent years, interest has been growing in the study of complex networks. Since Erdös and Rényi (1960) proposed their random graph model about 50 years ago, many researchers have investigated and shaped this field. Many indicators have been proposed to assess the global features of networks. Recently, an active research area has developed in studying local features named motifs as the building blocks of networks. Unfortunately, network motif discovery is a computationally hard problem and finding rather large motifs (larger than 8 nodes) by means of current algorithms is impractical as it demands too much computational effort. In this paper, we present a new algorithm (MODA) that incorporates techniques such as a pattern growth approach for extracting larger motifs efficiently. We have tested our algorithm and found it able to identify larger motifs with more than 8 nodes more efficiently than most of the current state-of-the-art motif discovery algorithms. While most of the algorithms rely on induced subgraphs as motifs of the networks, MODA is able to extract both induced and non-induced subgraphs simultaneously. The MODA source code is freely available at: http://LBB.ut.ac.ir/Download/LBBsoft/MODA/

  14. The genetic and biological basis of feed efficiency in mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardie, L C; VandeHaar, M J; Tempelman, R J; Weigel, K A; Armentano, L E; Wiggans, G R; Veerkamp, R F; de Haas, Y; Coffey, M P; Connor, E E; Hanigan, M D; Staples, C; Wang, Z; Dekkers, J C M; Spurlock, D M

    2017-11-01

    The objective of this study was to identify genomic regions and candidate genes associated with feed efficiency in lactating Holstein cows. In total, 4,916 cows with actual or imputed genotypes for 60,671 single nucleotide polymorphisms having individual feed intake, milk yield, milk composition, and body weight records were used in this study. Cows were from research herds located in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Feed efficiency, defined as residual feed intake (RFI), was calculated within location as the residual of the regression of dry matter intake (DMI) on milk energy (MilkE), metabolic body weight (MBW), change in body weight, and systematic effects. For RFI, DMI, MilkE, and MBW, bivariate analyses were performed considering each trait as a separate trait within parity group to estimate variance components and genetic correlations between them. Animal relationships were established using a genomic relationship matrix. Genome-wide association studies were performed separately by parity group for RFI, DMI, MilkE, and MBW using the Bayes B method with a prior assumption that 1% of single nucleotide polymorphisms have a nonzero effect. One-megabase windows with greatest percentage of the total genetic variation explained by the markers (TGVM) were identified, and adjacent windows with large proportion of the TGVM were combined and reanalyzed. Heritability estimates for RFI were 0.14 (±0.03; ±SE) in primiparous cows and 0.13 (±0.03) in multiparous cows. Genetic correlations between primiparous and multiparous cows were 0.76 for RFI, 0.78 for DMI, 0.92 for MBW, and 0.61 for MilkE. No single 1-Mb window explained a significant proportion of the TGVM for RFI; however, after combining windows, significance was met on Bos taurus autosome 27 in primiparous cows, and nearly reached on Bos taurus autosome 4 in multiparous cows. Among other genes, these regions contain β-3 adrenergic receptor and the physiological candidate gene

  15. Exploration of the genetic and biological basis of feed efficiency in mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the genetic basis underlying variation in feed efficiency in mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows. A genome-wide association study was performed for residual feed intake (RFI) and related traits using a large data set, consisting of nearly 5,000 cows. It wa...

  16. [Disinfection efficiency for outlet water from biological activated carbon process by different disinfecting modes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhi, Xing-hua; Bai, Xiao-hui; Meng, Ming-qun

    2011-05-01

    Lab-scale tests were designed to treat the leak of bacteria from BAC process. Water samples from outlet of BAC pool in Xujing Waterworks in Shanghai were disinfected by NaClO and NH2Cl disinfectant to compare the disinfection efficiency. Heterotrophic bacteria in disinfected water were cultivated and counted and halo hydrocarbons were detected by GC. To keep the disinfecting efficacy [lg(N0/N)] over 2 under the water temperature of 30 degrees C, NaClO should have an initial concentration more than 1.84 mg/L total chlorine and contact with bacteria for about 30 minutes. As to NH2Cl disinfection, the initial concentration should be more than 2.20 mg/L total chlorine and contacting time should be prolonged to about 90 minutes. The production of CHCl3 ranged from 4.97 to 7.10 microg/L and CCl4 ranged from 0.01 to 0.71 microg/L in NaClO disinfection tests with a initial disinfecting concentration in the range of 1.53-2.42 mg/L total chlorine values. In NH2Cl disinfecting tests, CHCl3 ranged from 4.43 to 5.55 microg/L and CCl4 ranged from 0.01 to 0.64 microg/L when initial disinfecting concentration limited in the range of 2.10-2.86 mg/L total chlorine values. All was below the state drinking water standard. The results showed that the disinfection process can be divided into fast step and slow step. NaCl0 has higher disinfecting efficiency on bacteria than NH2Cl, but neither can reach 100% effectivity. Meanwhile the risk of producing halo hydrocarbon over standard was proved to be negligible.

  17. Efficient nitrogen removal via simultaneous nitrification and denitrification in a penicillin wastewater biological treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Weiwei; Jin, Xibiao; Yu, Yonglian; Zhou, Sichen; Lu, Shuguang

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen-removal performance was investigated in a penicillin wastewater biological treatment plant (P-WWTP) reconstructed from a cyclic activated sludge system (CASS) tank designed for simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND). Good performance was obtained during a 900-day operation period, as indicated by effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN) and ammonia nitrogen (NH₃‒N) values of 318 ± 34, 28.7 ± 2.4 andNitrification and denitrification occurred at different spaces, that is, 71.4% of TN removal occurred in the first 40% of the aeration tank, while 68.8% of the TKN removal occurred in 40-100% of the aeration tank. Sufficient easily biodegradable organics (EBO) in wastewater were key to the occurrence of SND. The denitrification rate under aeration conditions was 10.7 mg N g VSS⁻¹ h⁻¹ when EBO were sufficient, but 0.98 mg N g VSS⁻¹ h⁻¹ when EBO were completely degraded. Nitrification primarily occurred in the rear of the aeration tank owing to the competition for oxygen between carbonaceous oxidation and nitrification. The nitrification rate was only 7.13 mg NOD g VSS⁻¹ h⁻¹ at the beginning of the reaction, but 14.7 mg NOD g VSS⁻¹ h⁻¹ when EBO were completely degraded. These results will facilitate the improvement of nitrogen removal by existing WWTPs.

  18. An application of data envelopment analysis for measuring the relative efficiency in banking industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Soltanifar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Measuring the relative efficiency of banking industry has been a popular subject among both practitioners and academicians. Data envelopment analysis (DEA has been widely applied for different purposes. This paper presents an empirical investigation to measure the relative efficiency of various banks located in province of Semnan, Iran. The proposed study uses DEA method to rank all units and using Anderson and Peterson method (1993 [Andersen, P., & Petersen, N. C. (1993. A procedure for ranking efficient units in data envelopment analysis. Management Science, 39, 1261-1264], we provide some super efficiency for inefficient units. The study also provides reference numbers for inefficient units and gives some target values for all inefficient units.

  19. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  20. Relative efficiency of precision medicine designs for clinical trials with predictive biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Weichung Joe; Lin, Yong

    2017-12-04

    Prospective randomized clinical trials addressing biomarkers are time consuming and costly, but are necessary for regulatory agencies to approve new therapies with predictive biomarkers. For this reason, recently, there have been many discussions and proposals of various trial designs and comparisons of their efficiency in the literature. We compare statistical efficiencies between the marker-stratified design and the marker-based precision medicine design regarding testing/estimating 4 hypotheses/parameters of clinical interest, namely, treatment effects in each marker-positive and marker-negative cohorts, marker-by-treatment interaction, and the marker's clinical utility. As may be expected, the stratified design is more efficient than the precision medicine design. However, it is perhaps surprising to find out how low the relative efficiency can be for the precision medicine design. We quantify the relative efficiency as a function of design factors including the marker-positive prevalence rate, marker assay and classification sensitivity and specificity, and the treatment randomization ratio. It is interesting to examine the trends of the relative efficiency with these design parameters in testing different hypotheses. We advocate to use the stratified design over the precision medicine design in clinical trials with predictive biomarkers. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Kinetic and stoichiometric characterization for efficient enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process at high temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liau, Kee Fui; Shoji, Tadashi; Ong, Ying Hui; Chua, Adeline Seak May; Yeoh, Hak Koon; Ho, Pei Yee

    2015-04-01

    A recently reported stable and efficient EBPR system at high temperatures around 30 °C has led to characterization of kinetic and stoichiometric parameters of the Activated Sludge Model no. 2d (ASM2d). Firstly, suitable model parameters were selected by identifiability analysis. Next, the model was calibrated and validated. ASM2d was found to represent the processes well at 28 and 32 °C except in polyhyroxyalkanoate (PHA) accumulation of the latter. The values of the kinetic parameters for PHA storage (q PHA), polyphosphate storage (q PP) and growth (μ PAO) of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) at 28 and 32 °C were found to be much higher than those reported by previous studies. Besides, the value of the stoichiometric parameter for the requirement of polyphosphate for PHA storage (Y PO4) was found to decrease as temperature rose from 28 to 32 °C. Values of two other stoichiometric parameters, i.e. the growth yield of heterotrophic organisms (Y H) and PAOs (Y PAO), were high at both temperatures. These calibrated parameters imply that the extremely active PAOs of the study were able to store PHA, store polyphosphate and even utilize PHA for cell growth. Besides, the parameters do not follow the Arrhenius correlation due to the previously reported unique microbial clade at 28 and 32 °C, which actively performs EBPR at high temperatures.

  2. Facile and efficient synthesis and biological evaluation of 4-anilinoquinazoline derivatives as EGFR inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng; Wu, Xue; Wang, Li; Zhang, Jiao; Liu, Jianli; Song, Zhongxing; Tang, Zhishu

    2016-06-01

    Series of 4-anilinoquinazoline derivatives were conveniently and efficiently synthesized and their antitumor activities were evaluated by MTT assay in three human cancer cell lines: H1975, HepG2 and SMMC-7721. New compounds 19a-19h were designed and synthesized to seek for powerful EGFR inhibitors and to explore whether methyl group at C-2 position of quinazoline ring has a positive effect on EGFR inhibition. All the compounds of 19a-19h were found potent against all three cell lines and five compounds (19c, 19d, and 19f-19h) were found more potent against H1975 than gefitinib. SAR studies revealed that methyl group at C-2 position of quinazoline ring could significantly improve the antitumor potency of 4-anilinoquinazolines. The same conclusion was also drawn according to the results of Western blotting analysis. Among all the tested compounds, 19g exhibited extremely potent against H1975 with an IC50 value of 0.11μM, remarkably lower than that of gefitinib (1.23μM). The results of western blotting analysis showed that compounds 19c and 19g could notably inhibit the expression of phosphorylated EGFR, especially 19g, almost inhibited completely. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Panel 3: Recent advances in anatomy, pathology, and cell biology in relation to otitis media pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayé-Thomasen, Per; Hermansson, Ann; Bakaletz, Lauren; Hellstrøm, Sten; Kanzaki, Sho; Kerschner, Joseph; Lim, David; Lin, Jizhen; Mason, Kevin; Spratley, Jorge

    2013-04-01

    The pathogenesis of otitis media (OM) involves a number of factors related to the anatomy, pathology, and cell biology of the middle ear, the mastoid, the Eustachian tube, and the nasopharynx. Although some issues of pathogenesis are fairly well established, others are only marginally indicated by current knowledge, and yet others remain undisclosed. The objective of this article is to provide a state-of-the-art review on recent scientific achievements in the pathogenesis of OM, as related to anatomy, pathology, and cell biology. PubMed, Ovid Medline, and Cochrane Library. Articles published on the pathogenesis of OM and the anatomy, pathology, and cell biology of the middle ear, the mastoid, the Eustachian tube, and the nasopharynx between January 2007 and June 2011 were identified. Among almost 1900 abstracts, the authors selected 130 articles for full article review and inclusion in this report. New knowledge on a number of issues emerged, including cell-specific expression and function of fluid transportation and innate immune system molecules, mucous cell metaplasia, mucin expression, bacterial adherence, and epithelial internalization, as well as the occurrence, composition, dynamics, and potential role of bacterial biofilm. In addition, the potential role of gastroesophageal reflux disease and cigarette smoke exposure has been explored further. Over the past 4 years, considerable scientific progress has been made on the pathogenesis of OM, as related to issues of anatomy, pathology, and cell biology. Based on these new achievements and a sustained lack of essential knowledge, suggestions for future research are outlined.

  4. Biological Maturity Status Strongly Intensifies the Relative Age Effect in Alpine Ski Racing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lisa; Müller, Erich; Hildebrandt, Carolin; Raschner, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The relative age effect (RAE) is a well-documented phenomenon in youth sports. This effect exists when the relative age quarter distribution of selected athletes shows a biased distribution with an over-representation of relatively older athletes. In alpine ski racing, it exists in all age categories (national youth levels up to World Cup). Studies so far could demonstrate that selected ski racers are relatively older, taller and heavier. It could be hypothesized that relatively younger athletes nearly only have a chance for selection if they are early maturing. However, surprisingly this influence of the biological maturity status on the RAE could not be proven, yet. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of the biological maturity status on the RAE in dependence of the level of competition. The study investigated 372 elite youth ski racers: 234 provincial ski racers (P-SR; high level of competition) and 137 national ski racers (N-SR; very high level of competition). Anthropometric characteristics were measured to calculate the age at peak height velocity (APHV) as an indicator of the biological maturity status. A significant RAE was present among both P-SR and N-SR, with a larger effect size among the latter group. The N-SR significantly differed in APHV from the P-SR. The distribution of normal, early and late maturing athletes significantly differed from the expected normal distribution among the N-SR, not among the P-SR. Hardly any late maturing N-SR were present; 41.7% of the male and 34% of the female N-SR of the last relative age quarter were early maturing. These findings clearly demonstrate the significant influence of the biological maturity status on the selection process of youth alpine ski racing in dependence of the level of competition. Relatively younger athletes seem to have a chance of selection only if they are early maturing.

  5. Biological Maturity Status Strongly Intensifies the Relative Age Effect in Alpine Ski Racing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Müller

    Full Text Available The relative age effect (RAE is a well-documented phenomenon in youth sports. This effect exists when the relative age quarter distribution of selected athletes shows a biased distribution with an over-representation of relatively older athletes. In alpine ski racing, it exists in all age categories (national youth levels up to World Cup. Studies so far could demonstrate that selected ski racers are relatively older, taller and heavier. It could be hypothesized that relatively younger athletes nearly only have a chance for selection if they are early maturing. However, surprisingly this influence of the biological maturity status on the RAE could not be proven, yet. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of the biological maturity status on the RAE in dependence of the level of competition. The study investigated 372 elite youth ski racers: 234 provincial ski racers (P-SR; high level of competition and 137 national ski racers (N-SR; very high level of competition. Anthropometric characteristics were measured to calculate the age at peak height velocity (APHV as an indicator of the biological maturity status. A significant RAE was present among both P-SR and N-SR, with a larger effect size among the latter group. The N-SR significantly differed in APHV from the P-SR. The distribution of normal, early and late maturing athletes significantly differed from the expected normal distribution among the N-SR, not among the P-SR. Hardly any late maturing N-SR were present; 41.7% of the male and 34% of the female N-SR of the last relative age quarter were early maturing. These findings clearly demonstrate the significant influence of the biological maturity status on the selection process of youth alpine ski racing in dependence of the level of competition. Relatively younger athletes seem to have a chance of selection only if they are early maturing.

  6. System Analysis of LWDH Related Genes Based on Text Mining in Biological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingzhi Liao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Liuwei-dihuang (LWDH is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM, but its molecular mechanism about gene interactions is unclear. LWDH genes were extracted from the existing literatures based on text mining technology. To simulate the complex molecular interactions that occur in the whole body, protein-protein interaction networks (PPINs were constructed and the topological properties of LWDH genes were analyzed. LWDH genes have higher centrality properties and may play important roles in the complex biological network environment. It was also found that the distances within LWDH genes are smaller than expected, which means that the communication of LWDH genes during the biological process is rapid and effectual. At last, a comprehensive network of LWDH genes, including the related drugs and regulatory pathways at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels, was constructed and analyzed. The biological network analysis strategy used in this study may be helpful for the understanding of molecular mechanism of TCM.

  7. Agronomic efficiency INIAP-17 rice with levels of chemical and biological fertilization in Ecuadorian Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Neptali Colina Navarrete

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The investigation was carried out in the experimental farm of the College of Agricultural Sciences of the Technical University of Babahoyo, canton Babahoyo. Ten treatments were evaluated with three repetitions. The objective was to analyze the influence of four organic bioestimulantes on the efficiency of the conventional chemical fertilization in rice (Oryza sativa, to measure the effect on the agronomic behavior of the cultivation. The variety of rice INIAP-17 was sowed in parcels of 20 m2. The treatments were distributed at random in a design of complete blocks. For the evaluation of stockings the test was used from Tukey to significancia 5%. At the end of the cycle of the cultivation was evaluated: height of plants, sprout number for m2, grains for panicles, length and number of panicles m2, days to flowering, days to crop, number of grains for panicles, weight 1000 grains and yield for hectare. The results determined that the application of a program of high fertilization level (140-60-90-30 kg/ha, of N-P-K-S + Azospirillum 3 L/ha, the grain yield increased with increments of 23,44% with relationship to the witness. In the same way applications of Bacilllus and Azotobacter more levels means (120-40-60-20 and first floor (100-30-40-10 of application of N-P-K-S, they don't impact in days to the flowering, tipping, weight of 1000 grains, number of grains for panicles and relationship grain/straw.

  8. Cilioprotists as biological indicators for estimating the efficiency of using Gravel Bed Hydroponics System in domestic wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Serehy, Hamed A; Bahgat, Magdy M; Al-Rasheid, Khaled; Al-Misned, Fahad; Mortuza, Golam; Shafik, Hesham

    2014-07-01

    Interest has increased over the last several years in using different methods for treating sewage. The rapid population growth in developing countries (Egypt, for example, with a population of more than 87 millions) has created significant sewage disposal problems. There is therefore a growing need for sewage treatment solutions with low energy requirements and using indigenous materials and skills. Gravel Bed Hydroponics (GBH) as a constructed wetland system for sewage treatment has been proved effective for sewage treatment in several Egyptian villages. The system provided an excellent environment for a wide range of species of ciliates (23 species) and these organisms were potentially very useful as biological indicators for various saprobic conditions. Moreover, the ciliates provided excellent means for estimating the efficiency of the system for sewage purification. Results affirmed the ability of this system to produce high quality effluent with sufficient microbial reduction to enable the production of irrigation quality water.

  9. Cilioprotists as biological indicators for estimating the efficiency of using Gravel Bed Hydroponics System in domestic wastewater treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Serehy, Hamed A.; Bahgat, Magdy M.; Al-Rasheid, Khaled; Al-Misned, Fahad; Mortuza, Golam; Shafik, Hesham

    2013-01-01

    Interest has increased over the last several years in using different methods for treating sewage. The rapid population growth in developing countries (Egypt, for example, with a population of more than 87 millions) has created significant sewage disposal problems. There is therefore a growing need for sewage treatment solutions with low energy requirements and using indigenous materials and skills. Gravel Bed Hydroponics (GBH) as a constructed wetland system for sewage treatment has been proved effective for sewage treatment in several Egyptian villages. The system provided an excellent environment for a wide range of species of ciliates (23 species) and these organisms were potentially very useful as biological indicators for various saprobic conditions. Moreover, the ciliates provided excellent means for estimating the efficiency of the system for sewage purification. Results affirmed the ability of this system to produce high quality effluent with sufficient microbial reduction to enable the production of irrigation quality water. PMID:24955010

  10. Efficient antibacterial agents: a review of the synthesis, biological evaluation and mechanism of pleuromutilin derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Ruofeng; Wang, Jiatu; Guo, Wenzhu; Liang, Jianping

    2013-01-01

    Pleuromutilins were discovered as natural-product antibiotics in 1950. The modifications of pleuromutilin lead to the successful development of veterinary medicines such as tiamulin and valnemulin. Retapamulin became the first pleuromutilin approved for use in human skin infections. Recent advances have led to the synthesis of pleuromutilins that combine potent antibacterial activity with favorable pharmaceutical properties, and three new pleuromutilins, BC-3781, BC-3205 and BC-7013, have entered clinical trials. In this review, the key pleuromutilin derivatives, as well as related novel derivatives during 2009-2013, and its antibacterial activities, are presented. Moreover, the antibacterial and resistance mechanism are discussed.

  11. Teacher Related Factors Influencing Students' Enrollment in Biology Subject in Public Secondary Schools in Meru Central Sub County in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirima, Teresia Mugure; Kinyua, Susan Muthoni

    2016-01-01

    This study examined teacher related factors influencing students' enrollment in Biology subject in public secondary schools in Meru Central Sub County in Kenya. The study utilized the descriptive survey research design on a target population of 9,859 respondents consisting of 9,748 Biology students, 62 trained Biology teachers and 49 Heads of…

  12. Relational Analysis of High School Students' Cognitive Self-Regulated Learning Strategies and Conceptions of Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadi, Özlem

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze the relation between students' cognitive learning strategies and conceptions of learning biology. The two scales, "Cognitive Learning Strategies" and "Conceptions of Learning Biology", were revised and adapted to biology in order to measure the students' learning strategies and…

  13. RESEARCHES CONCERNING THE ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY ACHIEVED SUCCESSIVE TO THE APPLICATION OF BIOLOGICALLY-ACTIVE PRODUCTS IN SMOOTH BROME CROP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELENA PEł

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Within any branch of material production, the supervision of the economic effects caused by the applied technologies is an essential requirement. Not only related to the productive activity, but also related to scientific research, designing and other fields of activity, the final goal is represented by the achievement of immediate or far off economic effects. The introduction and generalization into production of the newest technologies of forage production must rely upon calculations of economic efficiency, too. The objective of these calculations is to offer to any producer the possibility to choose among the optimal technologic variants, with great productions per surface unit, of high quality and low costs. The calculations of economic efficiency were carried out during the three years of experimentation. The economic efficiency obtained after the application of biostimulants in smooth brome during the first year of production is expressed through the achievement of a profit per surface unit of 75.85 – 127.00 €/ha. Successive to the calculations of economic efficiency, during the second year of production, the profit per surface unit recorded values between 79.10 – 153.10 €/ha depending upon the applied biostimulant, and during the third year of production the profit obtained per surface unit was 211.05 – 270.70 €/ha.

  14. Highly accurate determination of relative gamma-ray detection efficiency for Ge detector and its application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miyahara, H.; Mori, C. [Nagoya Univeristy, Nagoya (Japan). Department of Nuclear Engineering; Ludington, M. [Albion College, Albion, Michigan (United States); Fleming, R.F.; Dewaraja, Y.K. [University of Michigan, An Arbor, Michigan (United States). Phoenix Memorial Laboratory

    1997-10-01

    When quantitative measurements of {gamma}-rays using High-Purity Ge (HPGe) detectors are made for a variety of applications, accurate knowledge of oy-ray detection efficiency is required. The emission rates of {gamma}-rays from sources can be determined quickly in the case that the absolute peak efficiency is calibrated. On the other hand, the relative peak efficiencies can be used for determination of intensity ratios for plural samples and for comparison to the standard source. Thus, both absolute and relative detection efficiencies are important in use of {gamma}-ray detector. The objective of this work is to determine the relative gamma-ray peak detection efficiency for an HPGe detector with the uncertainty approaching 0.1% . We used some nuclides which emit at least two gamma-rays with energies from 700 to 2400 keV for which the relative emission probabilities are known with uncertainties much smaller than 0.1%. The relative peak detection efficiencies were calculated from the measurements of the nuclides, {sup 46}Sc, {sup 48}Sc, {sup 60}Co and {sup 94}Nb, emitting two {gamma}- rays with the emission probabilities of almost unity. It is important that various corrections for the emission probabilities, the cascade summing effect, and the self-absorption are small. A third order polynomial function on both logarithmic scales of energy and efficiency was fitted to the data, and the peak efficiency predicted at certain energy from covariance matrix showed the uncertainty less than 0.5% except for near 700 keV. As an application, the emission probabilities of the 1037.5 and 1212.9 keV {gamma}-rays for {sup 48}Sc were determined using the function of the highly precise relative peak efficiency. Those were 0.9777+0,.00079 and 0.02345+0.00017 for the 1037.5 and 1212.9 keV {gamma}-rays, respectively. The sum of these probabilities is close to unity within the uncertainty which means that the certainties of the results are high and the accuracy has been improved

  15. Quantitative high-throughput screening: a titration-based approach that efficiently identifies biological activities in large chemical libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglese, James; Auld, Douglas S; Jadhav, Ajit; Johnson, Ronald L; Simeonov, Anton; Yasgar, Adam; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Christopher P

    2006-08-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) of chemical compounds to identify modulators of molecular targets is a mainstay of pharmaceutical development. Increasingly, HTS is being used to identify chemical probes of gene, pathway, and cell functions, with the ultimate goal of comprehensively delineating relationships between chemical structures and biological activities. Achieving this goal will require methodologies that efficiently generate pharmacological data from the primary screen and reliably profile the range of biological activities associated with large chemical libraries. Traditional HTS, which tests compounds at a single concentration, is not suited to this task, because HTS is burdened by frequent false positives and false negatives and requires extensive follow-up testing. We have developed a paradigm, quantitative HTS (qHTS), tested with the enzyme pyruvate kinase, to generate concentration-response curves for >60,000 compounds in a single experiment. We show that this method is precise, refractory to variations in sample preparation, and identifies compounds with a wide range of activities. Concentration-response curves were classified to rapidly identify pyruvate kinase activators and inhibitors with a variety of potencies and efficacies and elucidate structure-activity relationships directly from the primary screen. Comparison of qHTS with traditional single-concentration HTS revealed a high prevalence of false negatives in the single-point screen. This study demonstrates the feasibility of qHTS for accurately profiling every compound in large chemical libraries (>10(5) compounds). qHTS produces rich data sets that can be immediately mined for reliable biological activities, thereby providing a platform for chemical genomics and accelerating the identification of leads for drug discovery.

  16. Efficiency of biological versus physical optimization for single-arc VMAT for prostate and head and neck cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyshniak, Vadzim; Fotina, Irina; Zverava, Alena; Siamkouski, Stanislau; Zayats, Elena; Kopanitsa, Georgy; Okuntsau, Dzmitry

    2014-07-08

    The aim of this work was to compare different approaches to VMAT optimization (biological vs. physical DVH-based) in two commercial treatment planning systems (TPS) for head and neck and prostate cases, using Pareto fronts. VMAT vs. IMRT Pareto front comparison was additionally performed in order to benchmark the optimizer efficiency and VMAT plan quality for each TPS. Three prostate and three head and neck cancer patients were selected for nine-beam IMRT and single-arc VMAT planning in Monaco 3.00 and Oncentra MasterPlan (OMP) 3.3 planning systems. Pareto fronts for prostate cases were constructed based on PTV coverage by 95% isodose and volume of rectum receiving 60 Gy or more. For head and neck cases, PTV coverage by the same isodose and mean dose to parotid gland were used for the construction of Pareto fronts. DVH analysis was performed together with evaluation of planning and delivery efficiency for all the plans. In the intersystem comparison for prostate plans, Monaco generated very similar IMRT and VMAT solutions. Quality of Monaco VMAT plans was superior compared to Oncentra in terms of conformity, homogeneity, and lower median dose to bladder due to biological formalism of optimization cost functions. For the head and neck cases, IMRT and VMAT plans were similar in both systems, except the case where a very strong modulation was required. In this situation single-arc VMAT plan generated with OMP was inferior compared to IMRT. VMAT OMP solutions were similar to Monaco or slightly better for two less-modulated head and neck cases. However, this advantage was achieved on the cost of lower conformity and homogeneity of the Oncentra VMAT plans. IMRT and VMAT solutions generated by Monaco were very similar for both prostate and head and neck cases. Oncentra system shows a bigger difference, and use of the dual-arc VMAT would be recommended to achieve the same plan quality as nine-field IMRT. Biological optimization seems beneficial in terms of plan conformity

  17. Application of real-time nitrogen measurement for intermittent aeration implementation in a biological nitrogen removal system: performances and efficiencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrentino, R; Langone, M; Vian, M; Andreottola, G

    2018-02-21

    Several automatic strategies for aeration control have been investigated so far to favour a significant decrement of energy consumptions in biological processes in wastewater treatment plants. Above all, the intermittent aeration process has demonstrated to have several advantages. This work reports the results of a case study made in a small municipal wastewater treatment plant where an intermittent aeration control strategy based on the on-line measurement of real time nitrogen forms has been implemented to optimize the nitrogen removal and the energy consumption in an activated process. High organic removal efficiency was achieved during the whole experimental period. Results indicated that nitrogen removal efficiency has been improved, especially during winter months, by the control strategy adopted that helped to determine the perfect length for the nitrification and denitrification phases. The intermittent aeration process increased the activity of the biomass, further selecting phosphate accumulating bacteria and improving the growth of bacteria able to internally store carbon source. Excellent effects were achieved on energy and chemical consumption, with a reduction of about 15% and 23%, respectively. Finally, a 12% reduction of sludge production was also detected.

  18. Tobacco seeds as efficient production platform for a biologically active anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Velázquez, Abel; López-Quesada, Alina; Ceballo-Cámara, Yanaysi; Cabrera-Herrera, Gleysin; Tiel-González, Kenia; Mirabal-Ortega, Liliana; Pérez-Martínez, Marlene; Pérez-Castillo, Rosabel; Rosabal-Ayán, Yamilka; Ramos-González, Osmani; Enríquez-Obregón, Gil; Depicker, Ann; Pujol-Ferrer, Merardo

    2015-10-01

    The use of plants as heterologous hosts is one of the most promising technologies for manufacturing valuable recombinant proteins. Plant seeds, in particular, constitute ideal production platforms for long-term applications requiring a steady supply of starting material, as they combine the general advantages of plants as bioreactors with the possibility of biomass storage for long periods in a relatively small volume, thus allowing manufacturers to decouple upstream and downstream processing. In the present work we have used transgenic tobacco seeds to produce large amounts of a functionally active mouse monoclonal antibody against the Hepatitis B Virus surface antigen, fused to a KDEL endoplasmic reticulum retrieval motif, under control of regulatory sequences from common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seed storage proteins. The antibody accumulated to levels of 6.5 mg/g of seed in the T3 generation, and was purified by Protein A affinity chromatography combined with SEC-HPLC. N-glycan analysis indicated that, despite the KDEL signal, the seed-derived plantibody bore both high-mannose and complex-type sugars that indicate partial passage through the Golgi compartment, although its performance in the immunoaffinity purification of HBsAg was unaffected. An analysis discussing the industrial feasibility of replacing the currently used tobacco leaf-derived plantibody with this seed-derived variant is also presented.

  19. Chemical Biology of Hydropersulfides and Related Species: Possible Roles in Cellular Protection and Redox Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez, Lucía; Bianco, Christopher L; Toscano, John P; Lin, Joseph; Akaike, Takaaki; Fukuto, Jon M

    2017-10-01

    For >20 years, physiological signaling associated with the endogenous generation of hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) has been of significant interest. Despite its presumed importance, the biochemical mechanisms associated with its actions have not been elucidated. Recent Advances: Recently it has been found that H 2 S-related or derived species are highly prevalent in mammalian systems and that these species may be responsible for some, if not the majority, of the biological actions attributed to H 2 S. One of the most prevalent and intriguing species are hydropersulfides (RSSH), which can be present at significant levels. Indeed, it appears that H 2 S and RSSH are intimately linked in biological systems and likely to be mutually inclusive. The fact that H 2 S and polysulfides such as RSSH are present simultaneously means that the biological actions previously assigned to H 2 S can be instead because of the presence of RSSH (or other polysulfides). Thus, it remains possible that hydropersulfides are the biological effectors, and H 2 S serves, to a certain extent, as a marker for persulfides and polysulfides. Addressing this possibility will to a large extent be based on the chemistry of these species. Currently, it is known that persulfides possess unique and novel chemical properties that may explain their biological prevalence. However, significantly more work will be required to establish the possible physiological roles of these species. Moreover, an understanding of the regulation of their biosynthesis and degradation will become important topics in piecing together their biology. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

  20. Plant ecdysteroids: plant sterols with intriguing distributions, biological effects and relations to plant hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarkowská, Danuše; Strnad, Miroslav

    2016-09-01

    The present review summarises current knowledge of phytoecdysteroids' biosynthesis, distribution within plants, biological importance and relations to plant hormones. Plant ecdysteroids (phytoecdysteroids) are natural polyhydroxylated compounds that have a four-ringed skeleton, usually composed of either 27 carbon atoms or 28-29 carbon atoms (biosynthetically derived from cholesterol or other plant sterols, respectively). Their physiological roles in plants have not yet been confirmed and their occurrence is not universal. Nevertheless, they are present at high concentrations in various plant species, including commonly consumed vegetables, and have a broad spectrum of pharmacological and medicinal properties in mammals, including hepatoprotective and hypoglycaemic effects, and anabolic effects on skeletal muscle, without androgenic side-effects. Furthermore, phytoecdysteroids can enhance stress resistance by promoting vitality and enhancing physical performance; thus, they are considered adaptogens. This review summarises current knowledge of phytoecdysteroids' biosynthesis, distribution within plants, biological importance and relations to plant hormones.

  1. Relative Language Exposure, Processing Efficiency and Vocabulary in Spanish-English Bilingual Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, Nereyda; Gruter, Theres; Marchman, Virginia A.; Fernald, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Research with monolingual children has shown that early efficiency in real-time word recognition predicts later language and cognitive outcomes. In parallel research with young bilingual children, processing ability and vocabulary size are closely related within each language, although not across the two languages. For children in dual-language…

  2. Examining the relation between intangible assets and technical efficiency in the international textile and clothing industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kapelko, M.; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    The resource-based view of the firm suggests that intangible assets have a positive impact on firm performance. This study examined the relation between intangible assets and technical efficiency of textile and clothing firms. A double bootstrap data envelopment analysis approach was used to measure

  3. Meat Science and Muscle Biology Symposium: developmental programming in cattle: consequences for growth, efficiency, carcass, muscle, and beef quality characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, D L; Cafe, L M; Greenwood, P L

    2013-03-01

    This paper reviews results of studies on effects of fetal programming and maternal nutrition during pregnancy on growth, efficiency, carcass, muscle, and meat quality characteristics of cattle. It includes results from our Australian Beef Cooperative Research Centre studies on factors such as chronic severe nutritional restriction from approximately d 80 of pregnancy to parturition and/or throughout lactation used to create early-life growth differences in the offspring of cows within pasture-based systems and the effect of these treatments on production characteristics to 30 mo of age. Fetal programming and related maternal effects are most pronounced and explain substantial amounts of variation for growth-related production characteristics such as BW, feed intake, carcass weight, muscle weights, meat yield, and fat and bone weights at any given age but are less evident when assessed at the same BW and carcass weight. Some effects of maternal and early-life factors in our studies were evident for efficiency traits but fewer affected beef quality characteristics at 30 mo of age, explaining only small amounts of variation in these traits. It is difficult to uncouple maternal nutritional effects specific to prenatal life from those that carry over to the postnatal period until weaning, particularly the effects of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on subsequent lactational performance. Hence, experimental design considerations for studying fetal programming effects on offspring during later life are discussed in relation to minimizing or removing prenatal and postnatal confounding effects. The relative contribution of fetal programming to the profitability of beef production systems is also briefly discussed. In this regard, the importance of health and survival of cows and calves, the capacity of cows to rebreed in a timely manner, and the efficiency with which feed and other resources are used cannot be overemphasized in relation to economics, welfare, and the

  4. Relative age effect on anthropometry, biological maturation and performance of young soccer players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo de Oliveira Matta

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The study examined the presence of the relative age effect (RAE and association between birth quartile and anthropometry, biological maturation and physical and technical performance of young Brazilian soccer players. The sample included 119 male players, 74 of U-15 category and 45 of U-17 category, which were divided into quartiles according to the birth year. Biological maturation was assessed using the method of skeletal age of Fels. Anthropometric measurements included body weight, stature and subcutaneous adiposity. Physical fitness assessment included strength tests in the lower limbs, speed, aerobic endurance and anaerobic power. Technical skills included ball control, dribbling and kicking accuracy. Overall, 65.5% of soccer players were born on the first half of the year (c2= 8.069, p = 0.04; however, in the analysis by category, there was no significant difference in the distribution of birth dates for quartile when compared with the reference population (U-15: c2=6.322, p=0.10; U-17: c2=2.339, p=0.50. MANCOVA revealed no significant differences between anthropometry, biological maturation and physical and technical performance in both competitive categories. These results suggest that there is a higher proportion of young Brazilian soccer born on the first months of the year, but that RAE does not necessarily constitute an advantage under the anthropometric, physical and technical standpoint. The process of biological maturation of individuals should be considered by coaches in the selection of athletes.

  5. Identifying biological concepts from a protein-related corpus with a probabilistic topic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Xinghua

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biomedical literature, e.g., MEDLINE, contains a wealth of knowledge regarding functions of proteins. Major recurring biological concepts within such text corpora represent the domains of this body of knowledge. The goal of this research is to identify the major biological topics/concepts from a corpus of protein-related MEDLINE© titles and abstracts by applying a probabilistic topic model. Results The latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA model was applied to the corpus. Based on the Bayesian model selection, 300 major topics were extracted from the corpus. The majority of identified topics/concepts was found to be semantically coherent and most represented biological objects or concepts. The identified topics/concepts were further mapped to the controlled vocabulary of the Gene Ontology (GO terms based on mutual information. Conclusion The major and recurring biological concepts within a collection of MEDLINE documents can be extracted by the LDA model. The identified topics/concepts provide parsimonious and semantically-enriched representation of the texts in a semantic space with reduced dimensionality and can be used to index text.

  6. Relative Efficiencies of ASEAN Container Ports based on Data Envelopment Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikola Kutin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Ports play a critical role in the economies of many countries in the ASEAN region. Efficient ports facilitate a country's imports and exports, and the “relative efficiency” of a port is evaluated based on its efficiency compared to others in its group. This study analyzes the relative efficiencies of 50 ASEAN container ports and terminals. These ports are categorized according to their container handling system and location (those located in a riverbank connected to the sea are called “inland seaports” and those by the seaside are called “seaports”. The traditional output-oriented data envelopment analysis method is applied, and measures of super-efficiency constant returns to scale are estimated in order to compare the units situated on the efficiency frontier. The findings may support port managers in the ASEAN region to make decisions on whether to increase container traffic. In addition, policymakers may consider the evaluation results in deciding whether to improve the trans-ASEAN transport network and ASEAN trade competitiveness.

  7. Relation of managerial efficiency and leadership styles – Empirical study in Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damir Skansi

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The relation of the managerial efficiency and leadership styles are analysed in this paper. We conducted an empirical study in a Croatian power supply company (HEP. The dominant leadership style in HEP is consultational, which the organization, according to postulates of this research, brings closer to the top global companies, considering that the tendencies in leadership styles point to the need for a new generation of leaders which will be essentially different from the traditional manager. We have determined that there is a significant interdependence between leadership styles of HEP’s managers (measured using Likert’s method and the degree of management work efficiency (measured using the adjusted Mott’s technique; the closer the leadership style is to System 4, that is participational, the higher the managerial efficiency is. Also, we have found that there is no significant difference between lower and middle management in HEP, concerning the relation between leadership styles and efficiency. This means that both levels get better grades for its efficiency if they belong to a consultational and participational leadership style.

  8. Relative efficiency benefits of wholesale and retail competition in electricity: An analysis and a research agenda

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bohi, D R; Palmer, K L [Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-03-01

    A central issue in the debate over restructuring the electric power industry is the extent to which the market should be open to competition. One aspect of this debate is whether competition ought to be restricted to the whole sale power market or be extended to final retail consumers. This report begins to explore the potential differences in economic efficiency between wholesale and retail competition in the electric power industry. The two market-structure scenarios are defined and the factors responsible for differences in efficiency are described. The report also contains an assessment of the relative importance of the factors and recommendations for pursuing further research.

  9. Relative efficiency within a tax administration: The effects of result improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Villar Rubio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyses the Spanish tax administration, evaluating the relative efficiency of each of the regional offices that are its constituent parts via output-oriented two-stage data envelopment analysis. In the study, a total of 47 regional offices were analysed, considering three inputs: 1 current expenditure in goods and services; 2 number of tax returns processed in terms of the two main direct taxes; and, 3 personnel numbers. Revenue resulting from tax assessments was considered as output. The analysis shows that the efficient action of regional offices might have increased by 21.6% the results of the management of this administration.

  10. RNA from Borna disease virus in patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective patients, and in their biological relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Sandra Odebrechet Vargas; Itano, Eiko Nakagawa; Amarante, Marla Karine; Reiche, Edna Maria Vissoci; Miranda, Helen Cristina; de Oliveira, Carlos Eduardo Coral; Matsuo, Tiemi; Vargas, Heber Odebrechet; Watanabe, Maria Angelica Ehara

    2008-01-01

    Numerous interactions of the immune system with the central nervous system have been described recently. Mood and psychotic disorders, such as severe depression and schizophrenia, are both heterogeneous disorders regarding clinical symptomatology, the acuity of symptoms, the clinical course, the treatment response, and probably also the etiology. Detection of p24 RNA from Borna disease virus (BDV) by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and in their biological relatives was evaluated. The subjects were 27 schizophrenic and schizoaffective patients, 27 healthy controls, 20 relatives without psychiatric disease, and 24 relatives with mood disorder, who attended the Psychiatric Ambulatory of Londrina State University, Paraná, Brazil. The subjects were interviewed by structured diagnostic criteria categorized according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, axis I, (SCID-IV). The mean duration of illness in schizophrenic and schizoaffective patients was 15.341+/-1.494 years and the median age at onset was 22.4+/-7.371 years. There were no significant differences in gender (P=0.297), age (P=0.99), albumin (P=0.26), and body mass index (kg/m(2)) (p=0.28), among patients, controls, and relatives. Patients and biological relatives had significantly higher positive p24 RNA BDV detection than controls (P=0.04); however, the clinical significance of BDV remains to be clarified.

  11. Intragenic ERG Deletions Do Not Explain the Biology of ERG-Related Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliska Potuckova

    Full Text Available Intragenic ERG deletions occur in 3-5% of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, specifically in B-other subtype lacking the classifying genetic lesions. They represent the only genetic lesion described so far present in the majority of cases clustering into a subgroup of B-other subtype characterized by a unique gene expression profile, probably sharing a common, however, not yet fully described, biological background. We aimed to elucidate whether ERG deletions could drive the specific biology of this ERG-related leukemia subgroup through expression of aberrant or decreased expression of wild type ERG isoforms. We showed that leukemic cells with endogenous ERG deletion express an aberrant transcript translated into two proteins in transfected cell lines and that one of these proteins colocalizes with wild type ERG. However, we did not confirm expression of the proteins in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases with endogenous ERG deletion. ERG deletions resulted in significantly lower expression of wild type ERG transcripts compared to B-other cases without ERG deletion. However, cases with subclonal ERG deletion, clustering to the same ERG deletion associated subgroup, presented similar levels of wild type ERG as cases without ERG deletion. In conclusion, our data suggest that neither the expression of aberrant proteins from internally deleted allele nor the reduced expression of wild type ERG seem to provide a plausible explanation of the specific biology of ERG -related leukemia subgroup.

  12. Technical and biological complications related to crown to implant ratio: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaranta, Alessandro; Piemontese, Matteo; Rappelli, Giorgio; Sammartino, Gilberto; Procaccini, Maurizio

    2014-04-01

    To review the occurrence of prosthetic failure and biological complications with respect to the crown to implant (C/I) ratio. Accurate search was made on the subject C/I ratio with the following criteria: (1) studies on humans with data on prosthetic failure and/or biological complications related to C/I ratio; (2) partial edentulous patients; (3) randomized clinical trials, prospective, longitudinal, retrospective, and multicenter studies with a minimum of 48 months mean follow-up; (4) language: English; (5) radiographic measurements by peri-apical x-ray; (6) implant material: titanium; and (7) no implant type selection was applied. Six articles were considered eligible for full-text analysis. Unfavorable C/I ratio can be considered a potential risk factor for single crown and abutment loosening (C/I ratio ≥ 1.46) and abutment fractures in posterior areas (C/I ratio ≥ 2.01). Despite the limited data, high C/I ratio may be related to some prosthetic failures. Unfavorable C/I ratio does not affect biological complications and implant failure.

  13. Theoretical approaches to holistic biological features: Pattern formation, neural networks and the brain-mind relation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gierer, Alfred

    2002-06-01

    The topic of this article is the relation between bottom-up and top-down, reductionist and holistic approaches to the solution of basic biological problems. While there is no doubt that the laws of physics apply to all events in space and time, including the domains of life, understanding biology depends not only on elucidating the role of the molecules involved, but, to an increasing extent, on systems theoretical approaches in diverse fields of the life sciences. Examples discussed in this article are the generation of spatial patterns in development by the interplay of autocatalysis and lateral inhibition; the evolution of integrating capabilities of the human brain, such as cognition-based empathy; and both neurobiological and epistemological aspects of scientific theories of consciousness and the mind.

  14. An empirical method to measure the relative efficiency of irrigation methods in agricultural industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ebrahim MohammadPour zarandi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important issues affecting future world is managing the existing water resources. There is no doubt that global warming has created significant troubles on people's lives and it has caused shortage of water in the world. Therefore, we need to manage the water resources by allocating appropriate methods. In this paper, we use data envelopment analysis to measure the relative efficiency of fourteen different irrigation methods. The proposed model of this paper uses four inputs including cost, risk, maintenance and expertise and two outputs including flexibility and durability of irrigation methods. The preliminary results indicate that two surface irrigation methods, one sprinkler irrigation method and one subsurface irrigation technique are considered efficient. Other irrigation techniques are only as much as 50 to 94 percent efficient compared with these five irrigation techniques

  15. An empirical method to measure the relative efficiency of dairy producers using deterministic frontier analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahram RostamPour

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to measure the relative efficiencies of various cow husbandries. The proposed model of this paper uses distribution free analysis to measure the performance of different units responsible for taking care of cows. We gather the necessary information of all units including number of cows, amount of internet usage, number of subunits for taking care of cows, amount of forage produced in each province for grazing livestock and average hour per person training courses as independent variables and consider the amount of produced milk as dependent variable. The necessary information are collected from all available units located in different provinces of Iran and the production function is estimated using a linear programming model. The results indicate that the capital city of Iran, Tehran, holds the highest technical efficiency, the lowest efficiency belongs to province of Ilam and other provinces mostly performs poorly.

  16. Human development I: Twenty Fundamental Problems of Biology, Medicine, and Neuro-Psychology Related to Biological Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In a new series of papers, we address a number of unsolved problems in biology today. First of all, the unsolved enigma concerning how the differentiation from a single zygote to an adult individual happens has been object for severe research for decades. By uncovering a new holistic biological paradigm that introduces an energetic-informational interpretation of reality as a new way to experience biology, these papers will try to solve the problems connected with the events of biological ontogenesis involving a fractal hierarchy, from a single cell to the function of the human brain. The problems discussed are interpreted within the frames of a universe of roomy fractal structures containing energetic patterns that are able to deliver biological information. We think biological organization is guided by energetic changes on the level of quantum mechanics, interacting with the intention that again guides the energetic conformation of the fractal structures to gain disorders or healthiness. Furthermore, we introduce two new concepts: “metamorphous top down” evolution and “adult human metamorphosis”. The first is a new evolutionary theory involving metamorphosis as a main concept of evolution. The last is tightly linked to the evolutionary principle and explains how human self-recovery is governed. Other subjects of special interest that we shall look deeper into are the immunological self-nonself discrimination, the structure and function of the human brain, the etiology and salutogenesis of mental and somatic diseases, and the structure of the consciousness of a human being. We shall criticize Szentagothai’s model for the modulated structure of the human cerebral cortex and Jerne’s theory of the immunological regulatory anti-idiotypic network.

  17. Human development I: twenty fundamental problems of biology, medicine, and neuro-psychology related to biological information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermansen, Tyge Dahl; Ventegodt, Søren; Rald, Erik; Clausen, Birgitte; Nielsen, Maj Lyck; Merrick, Joav

    2006-07-06

    In a new series of papers, we address a number of unsolved problems in biology today. First of all, the unsolved enigma concerning how the differentiation from a single zygote to an adult individual happens has been object for severe research for decades. By uncovering a new holistic biological paradigm that introduces an energetic-informational interpretation of reality as a new way to experience biology, these papers will try to solve the problems connected with the events of biological ontogenesis involving a fractal hierarchy, from a single cell to the function of the human brain. The problems discussed are interpreted within the frames of a universe of roomy fractal structures containing energetic patterns that are able to deliver biological information. We think biological organization is guided by energetic changes on the level of quantum mechanics, interacting with the intention that again guides the energetic conformation of the fractal structures to gain disorders or healthiness. Furthermore, we introduce two new concepts: "metamorphous top down" evolution and "adult human metamorphosis". The first is a new evolutionary theory involving metamorphosis as a main concept of evolution. The last is tightly linked to the evolutionary principle and explains how human self-recovery is governed. Other subjects of special interest that we shall look deeper into are the immunological self-nonself discrimination, the structure and function of the human brain, the etiology and salutogenesis of mental and somatic diseases, and the structure of the consciousness of a human being. We shall criticize Szentagothai's model for the modulated structure of the human cerebral cortex and Jerne's theory of the immunological regulatory anti-idiotypic network.

  18. Traits related to biological invasion: A note on the applicability of risk assessment tools across taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M. Emiljanowicz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biological invasions are occurring frequently and with great impact to agricultural production and other ecosystem services. In response to this, the Australian Weed Risk Assessment (AWRA was created to assess the potential ‘weediness’ of plants based on answers to questions related to biogeography, undesirable attributes, and biology or ecology. This basic model has been expanded and adapted for use on other taxa, often without adequate validation. Since invasive insect crop pests are a major economic cost to agricultural production, there is interest in using an expanded model for insects. Here, we review traits related to invasiveness of insects based on a systematic review of the literature. We then compare the identified invasive traits of insects with those identified for plants in the AWRA. Using insects as a case study, we illustrate that although there is some overlap in invasive traits, there are many unique traits related to invasion for both insects and plants. For insects, these traits relate largely to social behaviour. This lack of congruence may also be the case for other taxa. To increase predictive power, a taxon-specific risk assessment tool and deliberate verification are required.

  19. Efficiency of brief interventions on alcohol-related risks in occupational medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, Philippe; Kunz, Véronique; Demortière, Gérald; Lancrenon, Sylvie; Carré, Agnès; Ménard, Colette; Arwidson, Pierre

    2013-06-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of brief interventions (BIs) in reducing alcohol use among hazardous drinkers consulting their occupational doctors. Randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up, conducted between November 2004 and September 2006. Fifteen French regional occupational medicine centers with 147 doctors and 157 assistants who were trained in BI and screening with the AUDIT questionnaire. We invited 33,488 individuals to fill out AUDIT. These patients were eligible if their scores were 6-12 for women and 7-12 for men, indicating hazardous drinking without dependence (found in 7.1% of respondents). After randomization, BIs (informative advice using motivational approach, with 10-minute average duration) were performed by the occupational doctors. The control group received information booklets from the doctors' assistants. Situations were evaluated 12 months after inclusion. AUDIT scores, self-reported alcohol consumption (SRAC) and biological assays. The main criteria were the differences observed between groups for SRAC, the AUDIT score at follow-up, and any reduction in score between inclusion and final assessment. Success of intervention, which was defined as an AUDIT score below the hazardous drinking threshold at follow-up, was considered to analyze the variables associated with the efficiency of intervention. The analyzed sample included 787 persons, among whom 435 were met again 12 months later. In the BI group, we found a lower AUDIT score (p = 0.01), a higher reduction in reported consumptions (-60 g/week versus -44 g/week, p = 0.04) and in AUDIT scores (p = 0.009). In the control group, 44.8% reduced their AUDIT scores below hazardous drinking thresholds, as compared to 51.6% in the BI group (p = 0.15). Success was associated with a significant reduction in biological and clinical indices. Though the high attrition rate led to careful conclusions, BIs seem to be efficient in occupational medicine, in comparison with written information

  20. Lignocellulose-derived thin stillage composition and efficient biological treatment with a high-rate hybrid anaerobic bioreactor system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterkamp, Margreet J; Méndez-García, Celia; Kim, Chang-H; Bauer, Stefan; Ibáñez, Ana B; Zimmerman, Sabrina; Hong, Pei-Ying; Cann, Isaac K; Mackie, Roderick I

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to chemically characterize thin stillage derived from lignocellulosic biomass distillation residues in terms of organic strength, nutrient, and mineral content. The feasibility of performing anaerobic digestion on these stillages at mesophilic (40 °C) and thermophilic (55 °C) temperatures to produce methane was demonstrated. The microbial communities involved were further characterized. Energy and sugar cane stillage have a high chemical oxygen demand (COD of 43 and 30 g/L, respectively) and low pH (pH 4.3). Furthermore, the acetate concentration in sugar cane stillage was high (45 mM) but was not detected in energy cane stillage. There was also a high amount of lactate in both types of stillage (35-37 mM). The amount of sugars was 200 times higher in energy cane stillage compared to sugar cane stillage. Although there was a high concentration of sulfate (18 and 23 mM in sugar and energy cane stillage, respectively), both thin stillages were efficiently digested anaerobically with high COD removal under mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions and with an organic loading rate of 15-21 g COD/L/d. The methane production rate was 0.2 L/g COD, with a methane percentage of 60 and 64, and 92 and 94 % soluble COD removed, respectively, by the mesophilic and thermophilic reactors. Although both treatment processes were equally efficient, there were different microbial communities involved possibly arising from the differences in the composition of energy cane and sugar cane stillage. There was more acetic acid in sugar cane stillage which may have promoted the occurrence of aceticlastic methanogens to perform a direct conversion of acetate to methane in reactors treating sugar cane stillage. Results showed that thin stillage contains easily degradable compounds suitable for anaerobic digestion and that hybrid reactors can efficiently convert thin stillage to methane under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. Furthermore, we found

  1. Lignocellulose-derived thin stillage composition and efficient biological treatment with a high-rate hybrid anaerobic bioreactor system

    KAUST Repository

    Oosterkamp, Margreet J.

    2016-06-06

    Background This study aims to chemically characterize thin stillage derived from lignocellulosic biomass distillation residues in terms of organic strength, nutrient, and mineral content. The feasibility of performing anaerobic digestion on these stillages at mesophilic (40 °C) and thermophilic (55 °C) temperatures to produce methane was demonstrated. The microbial communities involved were further characterized. Results Energy and sugar cane stillage have a high chemical oxygen demand (COD of 43 and 30 g/L, respectively) and low pH (pH 4.3). Furthermore, the acetate concentration in sugar cane stillage was high (45 mM) but was not detected in energy cane stillage. There was also a high amount of lactate in both types of stillage (35–37 mM). The amount of sugars was 200 times higher in energy cane stillage compared to sugar cane stillage. Although there was a high concentration of sulfate (18 and 23 mM in sugar and energy cane stillage, respectively), both thin stillages were efficiently digested anaerobically with high COD removal under mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions and with an organic loading rate of 15–21 g COD/L/d. The methane production rate was 0.2 L/g COD, with a methane percentage of 60 and 64, and 92 and 94 % soluble COD removed, respectively, by the mesophilic and thermophilic reactors. Although both treatment processes were equally efficient, there were different microbial communities involved possibly arising from the differences in the composition of energy cane and sugar cane stillage. There was more acetic acid in sugar cane stillage which may have promoted the occurrence of aceticlastic methanogens to perform a direct conversion of acetate to methane in reactors treating sugar cane stillage. Conclusions Results showed that thin stillage contains easily degradable compounds suitable for anaerobic digestion and that hybrid reactors can efficiently convert thin stillage to methane under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions

  2. A Computational Framework for Efficient Simulation of Chemical and Biological Tracers in the Ocean with Applications to Biogeochemistry and Paleoceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatiwala, S.

    2006-12-01

    Numerical simulation of chemical and biological tracers has long played an important role in improving our understanding of ocean circulation and climate. However, the complexity of modern ocean general circulation models (GCMs) has prevented their more widespread use by the biogeochemical and paleoceanographic community. To address this, we have recently developed the "transport matrix method", a computational framework for tracer simulation that is significantly simpler and more efficient than full GCMs, yet retain the latter's accuracy. The essential idea is that the discrete tracer transport operator of a GCM can be written as a sparse matrix, which may be efficiently constructed by "probing" the GCM with a passive tracer. This empirical approach ensures that the circulation embedded in the transport matrix, by construction, satisfies the equations of motion, automatically incorporates transport due to all parameterized sub-grid scale processes (eddy-induced mixing, convective adjustment, etc.) represented in the GCM, and is entirely consistent with the geometry and numerics of the underlying GCM. Once the matrix has been derived, the GCM can be dispensed with: simulating a tracer simply involves a sequence of matrix-vector products (which can be performed, for instance, in MATLAB). The matrix method has two key advantages over GCMs or "off-line" tracer models. First, it is many orders of magnitude more efficient. Second, it can directly compute steady state solutions of the tracer equations, thus circumventing expensive, transient integrations. This is especially useful for tracers such as 14C, carbon, and nutrients. The method is illustrated by several realistic examples, including, (1) computation of steady state solutions of the OCMIP biotic carbon model and their sensitivity to various biogeochemical model parameters, (2) simulation of Ar-39, CFC-12, and SF6 in the ocean, (3) adjoint sensitivity analysis of anthropogenic carbon uptake with respect to the

  3. Polythiophene-Chitosan Magnetic Nanocomposite as a Highly Efficient Medium for Isolation of Fluoxetine from Aqueous and Biological Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Feizbakhsh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Polythiophene/chitosan magnetic nanocomposite as an adsorbent of magnetic solid phase extraction was proposed for the isolation of fluoxetine in aqueous and biological samples prior to fluorescence detection at 246 nm. The synthesized nanoparticles, chitosan and polythiophene magnetic nanocomposite, were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR, TGA, and EDAX. The separation of the target analyte from the aqueous solution containing the fluoxetine and polythiophene/chitosan magnetic nanocomposite was simply achieved by applying external magnetic field. The main factors affecting the extraction efficiency including desorption conditions, extraction time, ionic strength, and sample solution pH were optimized. The optimum extraction conditions were obtained as 10 min for extraction time, 25 mg for sorbent amount, 50 mL for initial sample volume, methanol as desorption solvent, 1.5 mL for desorption solvent volume, 3 min for desorption time, and being without salt addition. Under the optimum conditions, good linearity was obtained within the range of 15–1000 μg L−1 for fluoxetine, with correlation coefficients 0.9994. Furthermore, the method was successfully applied to the determination of fluoxetine in urine and human blood plasma samples. Compared with other methods, the current method is characterized with highly easy, fast separation and low detection limits.

  4. Microwave assisted extraction as an efficient approach for biosynthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles: Synthesis, characterization, and biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajabi, Hamid Reza; Naghiha, Reza; Kheirizadeh, Mansoureh; Sadatfaraji, Hamed; Mirzaei, Ali; Alvand, Zinab Moradi

    2017-09-01

    In the present study, microwave assisted extraction (MAE) was applied as an efficient, green and rapid approach to prepare the aqueous extract of Suaeda aegyptiaca (SA) plant. The obtained aqueous extracts at two different irradiation power (90 and 270W; 15min) in MAE process as well as maceration method (24h) were used in a green and eco-friendly approach for the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs). The synthesized ZnO NPs have been characterized via different techniques including UV-Vis absorption; fluorescence and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopices, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). According to the results, the average size of the prepared ZnO particles was estimated around 60nm. A broad absorption band around 382nm in UV-Vis absorption spectrum and a maximum emission at wavelength of 458nm in fluorescence spectrum clarified the successful biosynthesis of ZnO NPs. Moreover, the biological properties of the extracts and biosynthesized ZnO NPs were investigated by antimicrobial tests (i.e. Well-diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) tests), antifungal and antioxidant tests (total phenolic and flovonoid content, antioxidant activity against dipheny-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and ethylbenzothiazolin-6sulphonic acid (ABTS+)). Finally, DNA cleavage potential of the samples was studied, too. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The relative efficiency of Iranian's rural traffic police: a three-stage DEA model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi, Habibollah; Soori, Hamid; Nazari, Seyed Saeed Hashemi; Motevalian, Seyed Abbas; Azar, Adel; Momeni, Eskandar; Javartani, Mehdi

    2017-10-13

    Road traffic Injuries (RTIs) as a health problem imposes governments to implement different interventions. Target achievement in this issue required effective and efficient measures. Efficiency evaluation of traffic police as one of the responsible administrators is necessary for resource management. Therefore, this study conducted to measure Iran's rural traffic police efficiency. This was an ecological study. To obtain pure efficiency score, three-stage DEA model was conducted with seven inputs and three output variables. At the first stage, crude efficiency score was measured with BCC-O model. Next, to extract the effects of socioeconomic, demographic, traffic count and road infrastructure as the environmental variables and statistical noise, the Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) model was applied and the output values were modified according to similar environment and statistical noise conditions. Then, the pure efficiency score was measured using modified outputs and BCC-O model. In total, the efficiency score of 198 police stations from 24 provinces of 31 provinces were measured. The annual means (standard deviation) of damage, injury and fatal accidents were 247.7 (258.4), 184.9 (176.9), and 28.7 (19.5), respectively. Input averages were 5.9 (3.0) patrol teams, 0.5% (0.2) manpower proportions, 7.5 (2.9) patrol cars, 0.5 (1.3) motorcycles, 77,279.1 (46,794.7) penalties, 90.9 (2.8) cultural and educational activity score, 0.7 (2.4) speed cameras. The SFA model showed non-significant differences between police station performances and the most differences attributed to the environmental and random error. One-way main road, by road, traffic count and the number of household owning motorcycle had significant positive relations with inefficiency score. The length of freeway/highway and literacy rate variables had negative relations, significantly. Pure efficiency score was with mean of 0.95 and SD of 0.09. Iran's traffic police has potential opportunity to reduce

  6. The relative efficiency of Iranian’s rural traffic police: a three-stage DEA model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habibollah Rahimi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Road traffic Injuries (RTIs as a health problem imposes governments to implement different interventions. Target achievement in this issue required effective and efficient measures. Efficiency evaluation of traffic police as one of the responsible administrators is necessary for resource management. Therefore, this study conducted to measure Iran’s rural traffic police efficiency. Methods This was an ecological study. To obtain pure efficiency score, three-stage DEA model was conducted with seven inputs and three output variables. At the first stage, crude efficiency score was measured with BCC-O model. Next, to extract the effects of socioeconomic, demographic, traffic count and road infrastructure as the environmental variables and statistical noise, the Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA model was applied and the output values were modified according to similar environment and statistical noise conditions. Then, the pure efficiency score was measured using modified outputs and BCC-O model. Results In total, the efficiency score of 198 police stations from 24 provinces of 31 provinces were measured. The annual means (standard deviation of damage, injury and fatal accidents were 247.7 (258.4, 184.9 (176.9, and 28.7 (19.5, respectively. Input averages were 5.9 (3.0 patrol teams, 0.5% (0.2 manpower proportions, 7.5 (2.9 patrol cars, 0.5 (1.3 motorcycles, 77,279.1 (46,794.7 penalties, 90.9 (2.8 cultural and educational activity score, 0.7 (2.4 speed cameras. The SFA model showed non-significant differences between police station performances and the most differences attributed to the environmental and random error. One-way main road, by road, traffic count and the number of household owning motorcycle had significant positive relations with inefficiency score. The length of freeway/highway and literacy rate variables had negative relations, significantly. Pure efficiency score was with mean of 0.95 and SD of 0.09. Conclusions

  7. Sequence-Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP Markers: A Potential Resource for Studies in Plant Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel W. H. Robarts

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In the past few decades, many investigations in the field of plant biology have employed selectively neutral, multilocus, dominant markers such as inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR, random-amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP to address hypotheses at lower taxonomic levels. More recently, sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP markers have been developed, which are used to amplify coding regions of DNA with primers targeting open reading frames. These markers have proven to be robust and highly variable, on par with AFLP, and are attained through a significantly less technically demanding process. SRAP markers have been used primarily for agronomic and horticultural purposes, developing quantitative trait loci in advanced hybrids and assessing genetic diversity of large germplasm collections. Here, we suggest that SRAP markers should be employed for research addressing hypotheses in plant systematics, biogeography, conservation, ecology, and beyond. We provide an overview of the SRAP literature to date, review descriptive statistics of SRAP markers in a subset of 171 publications, and present relevant case studies to demonstrate the applicability of SRAP markers to the diverse field of plant biology. Results of these selected works indicate that SRAP markers have the potential to enhance the current suite of molecular tools in a diversity of fields by providing an easy-to-use. highly variable marker with inherent biological significance.

  8. Relation of managerial efficiency and leadership styles – Empirical study in Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d.

    OpenAIRE

    Damir Skansi

    2017-01-01

    The relation of the managerial efficiency and leadership styles are analysed in this paper. We conducted an empirical study in a Croatian power supply company (HEP). The dominant leadership style in HEP is consultational, which the organization, according to postulates of this research, brings closer to the top global companies, considering that the tendencies in leadership styles point to the need for a new generation of leaders which will be essentially different from the traditional manage...

  9. Scale relativity theory and integrative systems biology: 1. Founding principles and scale laws.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auffray, Charles; Nottale, Laurent

    2008-05-01

    In these two companion papers, we provide an overview and a brief history of the multiple roots, current developments and recent advances of integrative systems biology and identify multiscale integration as its grand challenge. Then we introduce the fundamental principles and the successive steps that have been followed in the construction of the scale relativity theory, and discuss how scale laws of increasing complexity can be used to model and understand the behaviour of complex biological systems. In scale relativity theory, the geometry of space is considered to be continuous but non-differentiable, therefore fractal (i.e., explicitly scale-dependent). One writes the equations of motion in such a space as geodesics equations, under the constraint of the principle of relativity of all scales in nature. To this purpose, covariant derivatives are constructed that implement the various effects of the non-differentiable and fractal geometry. In this first review paper, the scale laws that describe the new dependence on resolutions of physical quantities are obtained as solutions of differential equations acting in the scale space. This leads to several possible levels of description for these laws, from the simplest scale invariant laws to generalized laws with variable fractal dimensions. Initial applications of these laws to the study of species evolution, embryogenesis and cell confinement are discussed.

  10. Effects of radio frequency identification-related radiation on in vitro biologics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uysal, Ismail; Hohberger, Clive; Rasmussen, R Scott; Ulrich, David A; Emond, Jean-Pierre; Gutierrez, Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    The recent developments on the use of e-pedigree to identify the chain of custody of drugs suggests the use of advanced track and trace technologies such as two-dimensional barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID technology is used mainly for valuable commodities such as pharmaceutical products while incorporating additional functionalities like monitoring environmental variables to ensure product safety and quality. In its guidance for the use of RFID technologies for drugs (Compliance Policy Guide Section 400.210), the Food and Drug Administration outlined multiple parameters that would apply to any study or application using RFID. However, drugs approved under a Biologics License Application or protein drugs covered by a New Drug Application were excluded mainly due to concerns about the effects of radio frequency radiation (thermal and/or non-thermal) on biologics. Even though the thermal effects of radio frequency on biologics are relatively well understood, there are few studies in the literature about the non-thermal effects of radio frequency with regards to the protein structure integrity. In this paper, we analyze the non-thermal effects of radio frequency radiation by exposing a wide variety of biologics including biopharmaceuticals with vaccines, hormones, and immunoglobulins, as well as cellular blood products such as red blood cells and whole blood-derived platelets as well as fresh frozen plasma. In order to represent the majority of the frequency spectrum used in RFID applications, five different frequencies (13.56 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, 915 MHz, and 2.4 GHz) are used to account for the most commonly used international frequency bands for RFID. With the help of specialized radio frequency signal-generating hardware, magnetic and electromagnetic fields are created around the exposed products with power levels greater than Federal Communications Commission-regulated limits. The in vitro test results on more than 100

  11. Linear discriminant analysis reveals differences in root architecture in wheat seedlings related to nitrogen uptake efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenobi, Kim; Atkinson, Jonathan A; Wells, Darren M; Gaju, Oorbessy; De Silva, Jayalath G; Foulkes, M John; Dryden, Ian L; Wood, Andrew T A; Bennett, Malcolm J

    2017-10-13

    Root architecture impacts water and nutrient uptake efficiency. Identifying exactly which root architectural properties influence these agronomic traits can prove challenging. In this paper, approximately 300 wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants were divided into four groups using two binary classifications, high versus low nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE), and high versus low nitrate in the growth medium. The root system architecture for each wheat plant was captured using 16 quantitative variables. The multivariate analysis tool, linear discriminant analysis, was used to construct composite variables, each a linear combination of the original variables, such that the score of the plants on the new variables showed the maximum between-group variability. The results show that the distribution of root-system architecture traits differs between low- and high-NUpE plants and, less strongly, between low-NUpE plants grown on low versus high nitrate media. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  12. Relative age effect on anthropometry, biological maturation and performance of young soccer players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo de Oliveira Matta

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1980-0037.2015v17n3p257   The study examined the presence of the relative age effect (RAE and association between birth quartile and anthropometry, biological maturation and physical and technical performance of young Brazilian soccer players. The sample included 119 male players, 74 of U-15 category and 45 of U-17 category, which were divided into quartiles according to the birth year. Biological maturation was assessed using the method of skeletal age of Fels. Anthropometric measurements included body weight, stature and subcutaneous adiposity. Physical fitness assessment included strength tests in the lower limbs, speed, aerobic endurance and anaerobic power. Technical skills included ball control, dribbling and kicking accuracy. Overall, 65.5% of soccer players were born on the first half of the year (c2= 8.069, p = 0.04; however, in the analysis by category, there was no significant difference in the distribution of birth dates for quartile when compared with the reference population (U-15: c2=6.322, p=0.10; U-17: c2=2.339, p=0.50. MANCOVA revealed no significant differences between anthropometry, biological maturation and physical and technical performance in both competitive categories. These results suggest that there is a higher proportion of young Brazilian soccer born on the first months of the year, but that RAE does not necessarily constitute an advantage under the anthropometric, physical and technical standpoint. The process of biological maturation of individuals should be considered by coaches in the selection of athletes.

  13. Selection on a behaviour-related gene during the first stages of the biological invasion pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Jakob C; Edelaar, Pim; Baños-Villalba, Adrián; Carrete, Martina; Potti, Jaime; Blas, Julio; Tella, Jose Luis; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-09-19

    Human-induced biological invasions are common worldwide and often have negative impacts on wildlife and human societies. Several studies have shown evidence for selection on invaders after introduction to the new range. However, selective processes already acting prior to introduction have been largely neglected. Here, we tested whether such early selection acts on known behaviour-related gene variants in the yellow-crowned bishop (Euplectes afer), a pet-traded African songbird. We tested for nonrandom allele frequency changes after trapping, acclimation and survival in captivity. We also compared the native source population with two independent invasive populations. Allele frequencies of two SNPs in the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene-known to be linked to behavioural activity in response to novelty in this species-significantly changed over all early invasion stages. They also differed between the African native population and the two invading European populations. The two-locus genotype associated with reduced activity declined consistently, but strongest at the trapping stage. Overall genetic diversity did not substantially decrease, and there is little evidence for new alleles in the introduced populations, indicating that selection at the DRD4 gene predominantly worked on the standing genetic variation already present in the native population. Our study demonstrates selection on a behaviour-related gene during the first stages of a biological invasion. Thus, pre-establishment stages of a biological invasion do not only determine the number of propagules that are introduced (their quantity), but also their phenotypic and genetic characteristics (their quality). © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Is there Need for more Transparency and Efficiency in Cause-related Marketing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Langen

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The popularity of ethical consumption increases. This has motivated firms to increasingly implement Cause-related Marketing (CrM campaigns in Germany. But research reveals that especially German consumers are sceptic with regard to the amount of money spent for the good ‘cause’ by the enterprises. This can be explained by the small share of information provided by CrM campaigns to consumers. In consequence, this can reduce consumers’ willingness to purchase CrM products. Therefore, this study analyses whether the efficiency and transparency of a CrM campaign are important for consumers. The share of money reaching the cause relative to the product price consumers’ pay is taken as a proxy for efficiency while transparency is understood as the open communication of donated amounts on the product by label. A consumer survey conducted in Germany in 2009 reveals that consumers have a great interest in the transparency of a CrM campaign. Furthermore, the study gives evidence that there is a gap between the levels of expected and requested efficiency of CrM donations. Consequently, firms should label the donation amount to meet consumers’ transparency needs. Furthermore, to create a successful CrM campaign companies also have to consider that the amount of money devoted to the good cause is of relevance for consumers.

  15. Human Resource Management Strategies and Teacher’s Efficiency within Schools: A Co-relational Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiran Hashmi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to study Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD strategies and their effect on teachers’ efficiency within the Catholic Board of Education (CBE schools of Pakistan whose teachers are graduates in educational leadership courses from a private teacher education institutes in Karachi. The study endeavored to build a simple theoretical and conceptual framework where the effectiveness of HRMD strategies in educational leadership were studied to explore their impact on enhancing teachers’ efficiency. Leadership education is a relatively a new field of study in the Pakistani education and the concept of Human Resource Management (HRM is regarded as novel and its effective usage is rarely seen. HRM strategies if effectively utilized may become a source of developing a transparent performance management system, a collaborative and cooperative environment in the schools and of promoting teachers’ efficiency in the areas of knowledge, values, skills and development as professionals as well as enhancing a school’s productivity and improving its overall performance. A survey methodology was adopted for the current research with purposive sampling to select 50 research participants and a questionnaire was used for data collection using an attitudinal scale. The results of the study revealed firstly that no relationship exists between the organization of the school and the newly acquired knowledge and skills of HRM. The school leaders are unaware of the various functions and strategies which are necessary to promote teachers’ efficiency. Secondly, the study showed that some of the educational leaders are striving to meet the educational requirements of the times and to face challenges while using the learnt strategies of HRM to promote teachers’ efficiency for the improvement of their particular schools.

  16. Efficient and interpretable prediction of protein functional classes by correspondence analysis and compact set relations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Ming Chang

    Full Text Available Predicting protein functional classes such as localization sites and modifications plays a crucial role in function annotation. Given a tremendous amount of sequence data yielded from high-throughput sequencing experiments, the need of efficient and interpretable prediction strategies has been rapidly amplified. Our previous approach for subcellular localization prediction, PSLDoc, archives high overall accuracy for Gram-negative bacteria. However, PSLDoc is computational intensive due to incorporation of homology extension in feature extraction and probabilistic latent semantic analysis in feature reduction. Besides, prediction results generated by support vector machines are accurate but generally difficult to interpret. In this work, we incorporate three new techniques to improve efficiency and interpretability. First, homology extension is performed against a compact non-redundant database using a fast search model to reduce running time. Second, correspondence analysis (CA is incorporated as an efficient feature reduction to generate a clear visual separation of different protein classes. Finally, functional classes are predicted by a combination of accurate compact set (CS relation and interpretable one-nearest neighbor (1-NN algorithm. Besides localization data sets, we also apply a human protein kinase set to validate generality of our proposed method. Experiment results demonstrate that our method make accurate prediction in a more efficient and interpretable manner. First, homology extension using a fast search on a compact database can greatly accelerate traditional running time up to twenty-five times faster without sacrificing prediction performance. This suggests that computational costs of many other predictors that also incorporate homology information can be largely reduced. In addition, CA can not only efficiently identify discriminative features but also provide a clear visualization of different functional classes. Moreover

  17. Measuring the relative efficiencies of automated telling machines and point of sales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Farajzadeh

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available During the past few years, many people have been interested in purchasing goods and services via point of sales (POS. They have also wished to pay their bills, withdraw cash or transfer funds using automated telling machines (ATMs. These two facilities help banks’ customers carry less amount of cash and do their daily banking activities any time even when the banks are closed. This paper presents an empirical investigation to measure the relative efficiency of nearly 600 POS and ATM units associated with Bank Melli Iran located in city of Tehran, Iran. Using data envelopment analysis, the study has disclosed that only small portions of POS and ATM are working efficiently.

  18. Comparative performance of deciduous and permanent dental morphology in detecting biological relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Kathleen S; Stojanowski, Christopher M

    2017-09-01

    Dental morphology plays a key role in reconstructing population history and evolutionary relationships at global, regional, and intracemetery scales. At the inter-individual level, it is assumed that close biological kin exhibit greater phenotypic similarity than non-relatives. Heritability estimates provide one measure of phenotypic resemblance but are not easily incorporated into analyses of archaeological samples. In this study we evaluate the assumption that relatives are more similar phenotypically than non-relatives. We compare results for permanent dental morphology to those obtained using deciduous dental morphology in a matched dataset (Paul & Stojanowski, ). Permanent trait expression was scored from dental casts representing 69 sibling pairs, curated as part of the longitudinal Burlington Growth Study. Simulating a biodistance approach, 22 morphological traits of permanent tooth crowns were used to generate 69 inter-relative and 2,076 non-relative Euclidean distances. Following distance ordination, family-specific dispersion values were calculated from multidimensional scaling coordinates. Output was compared to that of a previous study that focused on deciduous crown variation in the same set of individuals (Paul & Stojanowski, ). Mantel tests were used to evaluate the correlation of a proxy genetic distance matrix to both the permanent and deciduous dental distance matrices. On average, inter-relative distances generated from morphological traits of permanent tooth crowns were smaller than expected by chance based on resampling (p morphological traits of the permanent dentition provide a less faithful reflection of biological relatedness than morphological traits of the deciduous dentition. Mantel tests indicate that both the deciduous and permanent distance matrices are significantly correlated with a matrix of genetic relatedness coefficients; however, the magnitude of the correlations was low. Overall, morphological traits of permanent tooth

  19. Biological durability of wood in relation to end-use - Part 1. Towards a European standard for laboratory testing of the biological durability of wood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acker, Van J.; Stevens, M.; Carey, J.; Sierra-Alvarez, R.; Militz, H.; Bayon, Le I.; Kleist, G.; Peek, R.D.

    2003-01-01

    The determination of biological durability of wood is an issue requiring sufficient reliability regarding end-use related prediction of performance. Five test institutes joined efforts to check standard test methods and to improve methodology and data interpretation for assessment of natural

  20. Rapid MCNP simulation of DNA double strand break (DSB) relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for photons, neutrons, and light ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Robert D; Streitmatter, Seth W; Argento, David C; Kirkby, Charles; Goorley, John T; Moffitt, Greg; Jevremovic, Tatjana; Sandison, George A

    2015-11-07

    To account for particle interactions in the extracellular (physical) environment, information from the cell-level Monte Carlo damage simulation (MCDS) for DNA double strand break (DSB) induction has been integrated into the general purpose Monte Carlo N-particle (MCNP) radiation transport code system. The effort to integrate these models is motivated by the need for a computationally efficient model to accurately predict particle relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in cell cultures and in vivo. To illustrate the approach and highlight the impact of the larger scale physical environment (e.g. establishing charged particle equilibrium), we examined the RBE for DSB induction (RBEDSB) of x-rays, (137)Cs γ-rays, neutrons and light ions relative to γ-rays from (60)Co in monolayer cell cultures at various depths in water. Under normoxic conditions, we found that (137)Cs γ-rays are about 1.7% more effective at creating DSB than γ-rays from (60)Co (RBEDSB  =  1.017) whereas 60-250 kV x-rays are 1.1 to 1.25 times more efficient at creating DSB than (60)Co. Under anoxic conditions, kV x-rays may have an RBEDSB up to 1.51 times as large as (60)Co γ-rays. Fission neutrons passing through monolayer cell cultures have an RBEDSB that ranges from 2.6 to 3.0 in normoxic cells, but may be as large as 9.93 for anoxic cells. For proton pencil beams, Monte Carlo simulations suggest an RBEDSB of about 1.2 at the tip of the Bragg peak and up to 1.6 a few mm beyond the Bragg peak. Bragg peak RBEDSB increases with decreasing oxygen concentration, which may create opportunities to apply proton dose painting to help address tumor hypoxia. Modeling of the particle RBE for DSB induction across multiple physical and biological scales has the potential to aid in the interpretation of laboratory experiments and provide useful information to advance the safety and effectiveness of hadron therapy in the treatment of cancer.

  1. A novel biological 'twin-father' temporal paradox of General Relativity in a Gödel universe - Where reproductive biology meets theoretical physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashrafian, Hutan

    2017-10-25

    Several temporal paradoxes exist in physics. These include General Relativity's grandfather and ontological paradoxes and Special Relativity's Langevin-Einstein twin-paradox. General relativity paradoxes can exist due to a Gödel universe that follows Gödel's closed timelike curves solution to Einstein's field equations. A novel biological temporal paradox of General Relativity is proposed based on reproductive biology's phenomenon of heteropaternal fecundation. Herein, dizygotic twins from two different fathers are the result of concomitant fertilization during one menstrual cycle. In this case an Oedipus-like individual exposed to a Gödel closed timelike curve would sire a child during his maternal fertilization cycle. As a consequence of heteropaternal superfecundation, he would father his own dizygotic twin and would therefore generate a new class of autofraternal superfecundation, and by doing so creating a 'twin-father' temporal paradox. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A Survey of Needs of Texas Biology Teachers Relative to Teaching Cardiovascular Diseases and Associated Risk Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Robert C.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    The data show that biology teachers spend relatively little time on diseases of the cardiovascular system. Approximately one period per year is spent on each of eight given cardiovascular disease risk factors. (MP)

  3. Variations in criteria regulating treatment with reimbursed biologic DMARDs across European countries. Are differences related to country's wealth?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Putrik, Polina; Ramiro, Sofia; Kvien, Tore K

    2014-01-01

    To explore criteria regulating treatment with reimbursed biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) across Europe and to relate criteria to indicators of national socioeconomic welfare....

  4. Energy efficiency analysis: biomass-to-wheel efficiency related with biofuels production, fuel distribution, and powertrain systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Dong Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Energy efficiency analysis for different biomass-utilization scenarios would help make more informed decisions for developing future biomass-based transportation systems. Diverse biofuels produced from biomass include cellulosic ethanol, butanol, fatty acid ethyl esters, methane, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyether, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and bioelectricity; the respective powertrain systems include internal combustion engine (ICE vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles based on gasoline or diesel ICEs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, sugar fuel cell vehicles (SFCV, and battery electric vehicles (BEV. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a simple, straightforward, and transparent biomass-to-wheel (BTW analysis including three separate conversion elements--biomass-to-fuel conversion, fuel transport and distribution, and respective powertrain systems. BTW efficiency is a ratio of the kinetic energy of an automobile's wheels to the chemical energy of delivered biomass just before entering biorefineries. Up to 13 scenarios were analyzed and compared to a base line case--corn ethanol/ICE. This analysis suggests that BEV, whose electricity is generated from stationary fuel cells, and SFCV, based on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with an on-board sugar-to-hydrogen bioreformer, would have the highest BTW efficiencies, nearly four times that of ethanol-ICE. SIGNIFICANCE: In the long term, a small fraction of the annual US biomass (e.g., 7.1%, or 700 million tons of biomass would be sufficient to meet 100% of light-duty passenger vehicle fuel needs (i.e., 150 billion gallons of gasoline/ethanol per year, through up to four-fold enhanced BTW efficiencies by using SFCV or BEV. SFCV would have several advantages over BEV: much higher energy storage densities, faster refilling rates, better safety, and less environmental burdens.

  5. Energy Efficiency Analysis: Biomass-to-Wheel Efficiency Related with Biofuels Production, Fuel Distribution, and Powertrain Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Y-H Percival

    2011-01-01

    Background Energy efficiency analysis for different biomass-utilization scenarios would help make more informed decisions for developing future biomass-based transportation systems. Diverse biofuels produced from biomass include cellulosic ethanol, butanol, fatty acid ethyl esters, methane, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyether, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and bioelectricity; the respective powertrain systems include internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles based on gasoline or diesel ICEs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, sugar fuel cell vehicles (SFCV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a simple, straightforward, and transparent biomass-to-wheel (BTW) analysis including three separate conversion elements -- biomass-to-fuel conversion, fuel transport and distribution, and respective powertrain systems. BTW efficiency is a ratio of the kinetic energy of an automobile's wheels to the chemical energy of delivered biomass just before entering biorefineries. Up to 13 scenarios were analyzed and compared to a base line case – corn ethanol/ICE. This analysis suggests that BEV, whose electricity is generated from stationary fuel cells, and SFCV, based on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with an on-board sugar-to-hydrogen bioreformer, would have the highest BTW efficiencies, nearly four times that of ethanol-ICE. Significance In the long term, a small fraction of the annual US biomass (e.g., 7.1%, or 700 million tons of biomass) would be sufficient to meet 100% of light-duty passenger vehicle fuel needs (i.e., 150 billion gallons of gasoline/ethanol per year), through up to four-fold enhanced BTW efficiencies by using SFCV or BEV. SFCV would have several advantages over BEV: much higher energy storage densities, faster refilling rates, better safety, and less environmental burdens. PMID:21765941

  6. Energy efficiency analysis: biomass-to-wheel efficiency related with biofuels production, fuel distribution, and powertrain systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Y-H Percival

    2011-01-01

    Energy efficiency analysis for different biomass-utilization scenarios would help make more informed decisions for developing future biomass-based transportation systems. Diverse biofuels produced from biomass include cellulosic ethanol, butanol, fatty acid ethyl esters, methane, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyether, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and bioelectricity; the respective powertrain systems include internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles based on gasoline or diesel ICEs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, sugar fuel cell vehicles (SFCV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). We conducted a simple, straightforward, and transparent biomass-to-wheel (BTW) analysis including three separate conversion elements--biomass-to-fuel conversion, fuel transport and distribution, and respective powertrain systems. BTW efficiency is a ratio of the kinetic energy of an automobile's wheels to the chemical energy of delivered biomass just before entering biorefineries. Up to 13 scenarios were analyzed and compared to a base line case--corn ethanol/ICE. This analysis suggests that BEV, whose electricity is generated from stationary fuel cells, and SFCV, based on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with an on-board sugar-to-hydrogen bioreformer, would have the highest BTW efficiencies, nearly four times that of ethanol-ICE. In the long term, a small fraction of the annual US biomass (e.g., 7.1%, or 700 million tons of biomass) would be sufficient to meet 100% of light-duty passenger vehicle fuel needs (i.e., 150 billion gallons of gasoline/ethanol per year), through up to four-fold enhanced BTW efficiencies by using SFCV or BEV. SFCV would have several advantages over BEV: much higher energy storage densities, faster refilling rates, better safety, and less environmental burdens.

  7. Physical Activity and Telomere Biology: Exploring the Link with Aging-Related Disease Prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T. Ludlow

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Physical activity is associated with reduced risk of several age-related diseases as well as with increased longevity in both rodents and humans. Though these associations are well established, evidence of the molecular and cellular factors associated with reduced disease risk and increased longevity resulting from physical activity is sparse. A long-standing hypothesis of aging is the telomere hypothesis: as a cell divides, telomeres shorten resulting eventually in replicative senescence and an aged phenotype. Several reports have recently associated telomeres and telomere-related proteins to diseases associated with physical inactivity and aging including cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Interestingly several reports have also shown that longer telomeres are associated with higher physical activity levels, indicating a potential mechanistic link between physical activity, reduced age-related disease risk, and longevity. The primary purpose of this review is to discuss the potential importance of physical activity in telomere biology in the context of inactivity- and age-related diseases. A secondary purpose is to explore potential mechanisms and important avenues for future research in the field of telomeres and diseases associated with physical inactivity and aging.

  8. Mastery of Content Representation (CoRes) Related TPACK High School Biology Teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasution, W. R.; Sriyati, S.; Riandi, R.; Safitri, M.

    2017-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the mastery of Content Representation (CoRes) teachers related to the integration of technology and pedagogy in teaching Biology (TPACK). This research uses a descriptive method. The data were taken using instruments CoRes as the primary data and semi-structured interviews as supporting data. The subjects were biology teacher in class X MIA from four schools in Bandung. Teachers raised CoRes was analyzed using a scoring rubric CoRes with coding 1-3 then categorized into a group of upper, middle, or lower. The results showed that the two teachers in the lower category. This results means that the control of teachers in defining the essential concept in the CoRes has not been detailed and specific. Meanwhile, two other teachers were in the middle category. This means that the ability of teachers to determine the essential concepts in the CoRes are still inadequate so that still needs to be improved.

  9. Relative Biological Effectiveness of HZE Particles for Chromosomal Exchanges and Other Surrogate Cancer Risk Endpoints.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliedonna Cacao

    Full Text Available The biological effects of high charge and energy (HZE particle exposures are of interest in space radiation protection of astronauts and cosmonauts, and estimating secondary cancer risks for patients undergoing Hadron therapy for primary cancers. The large number of particles types and energies that makeup primary or secondary radiation in HZE particle exposures precludes tumor induction studies in animal models for all but a few particle types and energies, thus leading to the use of surrogate endpoints to investigate the details of the radiation quality dependence of relative biological effectiveness (RBE factors. In this report we make detailed RBE predictions of the charge number and energy dependence of RBE's using a parametric track structure model to represent experimental results for the low dose response for chromosomal exchanges in normal human lymphocyte and fibroblast cells with comparison to published data for neoplastic transformation and gene mutation. RBE's are evaluated against acute doses of γ-rays for doses near 1 Gy. Models that assume linear or non-targeted effects at low dose are considered. Modest values of RBE (10 are predicted at low doses <0.1 Gy. The radiation quality dependence of RBE's against the effects of acute doses γ-rays found for neoplastic transformation and gene mutation studies are similar to those found for simple exchanges if a linear response is assumed at low HZE particle doses. Comparisons of the resulting model parameters to those used in the NASA radiation quality factor function are discussed.

  10. Relative efficiency and productivity: a preliminary exploration of public hospitals in Beijing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; Dong, Siping; Liu, Tingfang

    2014-04-06

    Third-grade hospitals in Beijing have been rapidly developing in capacity and scale for many years. These hospitals receive a large number of patients, and ensuring their efficient operation is crucial in meeting people's healthcare needs. In this context, a study of their relative efficiency and productivity would be helpful to identify the driving factors and further improve their performance. After a review of literature, the current numbers of open beds and employees were selected as input variables. The number of outpatient and emergency visits and the number of discharged patients were selected as output variables. A total of 12 third-grade Class A general public hospitals in Beijing were selected for a preliminary study. The panel data from 2006-2009 were collected by the National Institute of Hospital Administration, Ministry of Health of P.R. China. Descriptive analysis and data envelopment analysis were used to analyze the data using Stata 10.0 and DEAP(V2.1) software. In the 2006-2009 period, descriptive results show that sample hospitals continuously expanded their capacity and scale, with growth rate of total revenue being the highest among all variables. The DEA results show that the average annual growth rate of productivity was 26.7%, and the rates were 47.3%, 21.3% and 13.8% respectively for two consecutive years. The average annual growth rate of technological change was 28.3%, and the rates were 49.4%, 21.5% and 16.4% respectively for two consecutive years. The average annual growth rate of technical efficiency change was -1.3%, and the rates were -1.4%, -0.02% and -2.2% respectively for two consecutive years. The sample hospitals in Beijing experienced substantial productivity growth, but annual growth rates were declining. Substantial technological change was the main contributor to the growth. Although some hospitals exhibited improvements in technical efficiency, there was a slight decline in general. To improve overall efficiency and

  11. Relationship between the relative limitation and resorption efficiency of nitrogen vs phosphorus in woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Wenxuan; Tang, Luying; Chen, Yahan; Fang, Jingyun

    2013-01-01

    Most previous studies have ascribed variations in the resorption of a certain plant nutrient to its corresponding environmental availability or level in tissues, regardless of the other nutrients' status. However, given that plant growth relies on both sufficient and balanced nutrient supply, the nutrient resorption process should not only be related to the absolute nutrient status, but also be regulated by the relative limitation of the nutrient. Here, based on a global woody-plants dataset from literature, we test the hypothesis that plants resorb proportionately more nitrogen (or phosphorus) when they are nitrogen (or phosphorus) limited, or similar proportions of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) when co-limited by both nutrients (the relative resorption hypothesis). Using the N:P ratio in green foliage as an indicator of nutrient limitation, we found an inverse relationship between the difference in the proportionate resorption of N vs P and this foliar N:P ratio, consistent across species, growth-forms, and vegetation-types globally. Moreover, according to the relative resorption hypothesis, communities with higher/lower foliar N:P (more likely P/N limited) tend to produce litter with disproportionately higher/lower N:P, causing a worsening status of P/N availability; this positive feedback may somehow be counteracted by several negative-feedback mechanisms. Compared to N, P generally shows higher variability in resorption efficiency (proportion resorbed), and higher resorption sensitivity to nutrient availability, implying that the resorption of P seems more important for plant nutrient conservation and N:P stoichiometry. Our findings elucidate the nutrient limitation effects on resorption efficiency in woody plants at the global scale, and thus can improve the understanding of nutrient resorption process in plants. This study also suggests the importance of the foliar N:P ratio as a key parameter for biogeochemical modeling, and the relative resorption

  12. Stochastic robustness and relative stability of multiple pathways in biological networks

    CERN Document Server

    Guo, Yongyi; Qian, Min; Ge, Hao

    2015-01-01

    Multiple dynamic pathways always exist in biological networks, but their robustness against internal fluctuations and relative stability have not been well recognized and carefully analyzed yet. Here we try to address these issues through an illustrative example, namely the Siah-1/beta-catenin/p14/19 ARF loop of protein p53 dynamics. Its deterministic Boolean network model predicts that two parallel pathways with comparable magnitudes of attractive basins should exist after the protein p53 is activated when a cell becomes harmfully disturbed. Once the low but non-neglectable intrinsic fluctuations are incorporated into the model, we show that a phase transition phenomenon is emerged: in one parameter region the probability weights of the normal pathway, reported in experimental literature, are comparable with the other pathway which is seemingly abnormal with the unknown functions, whereas, in some other parameter regions, the probability weight of the abnormal pathway can even dominate and become globally at...

  13. The biology behind the counts: tooth development related to age estimation in beluga (Delphinapterus leucas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara E Stewart

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The widely accepted method of determining ages of beluga is to count dentine growth layer groups (GLGs in median, longitudinal sections of a tooth. It is essential to understand how these growth layers form and to consider developmental factors that can confound their enumeration to be able to provide meaningful age estimates. Here we provide information on, and illustrate, the developmental biology of beluga teeth as it relates to interpreting GLGs. Key factors are: evaluating the presence and occlusal wear of fetal dentine; interpreting early-formed diagnostic features such as the neonatal line; assessing the last-formed growth layer adjacent to the pulp cavity; identifying the presence of nodes at the dentine-cementum interface to assist in counting GLGs; and recognizing  pulp stones and accessory lines in the dentine which may hinder the age estimate process.

  14. Relative biological effectiveness of light ions in human tumoural cell lines: role of protein p53

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggio, L.; Cavinato, M.; Cherubini, R.; Conzato, M.; Cucinotta, F.; Favaretto, S.; Gerardi, S.; Lora, S.; Stoppa, P.; Williams, J. R.

    2002-01-01

    Protons and alpha particles of high linear energy transfer (LET) have shown an increased relative biological effectiveness (RBE) with respect to X/gamma rays for several cellular and molecular endpoints in different in vitro cell systems. To contribute to understanding the biochemical mechanisms involved in the increased effectiveness of high LET radiation, an extensive study has been designed. The present work reports the preliminary result of this study on two human tumoural cell lines, DLD1 and HCT116, (with different p53 status), which indicate that for these cell lines, p53 does not appear to take a part in the response to radiation induced DNA damage, suggesting an alternative p53-independent pathway and a cell biochemical mechanism dependent on the cell type.

  15. Are antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage related to biological and autecological characteristics in aquatic insects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Sanz

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we study the oxidative state of nine taxa of aquatic insects [Serratella ignita (Poda, 1761, Ephemera danica Müller, 1764, Crocothemis erythraea (Brullé, 1832, Dinocras cephalotes (Curtis, 1827, Perla bipunctata Pictet, 1833, Isoperla morenica Tierno de Figueroa & Luzón-Ortega, 2011, Notonecta maculata Fabricius, 1794, Gerris sp., and Hydropsyche sp.] in order to determine the relationships between this state and the biological and environmental characteristics of the species studied. The studied taxa are all in the same life cycle stage (nymph/larva, and many of them have different maximum life span potentials. We assess the antioxidant capacity through the determination of the trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity, the ferric-reducing/antioxidant power and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, DT-diaphorase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, superoxide dismutase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Furthermore, to determine the oxidative damage, we examine thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, free malondialdehyde, protein-bound malondialdehyde, total hydroperoxides, and protein hydroperoxides. In summary, we can consider that having predatory feeding habits, having a long-life cycle and living in permanent streams with cold, well-oxygenated waters are related to a proper oxidative state in the insects that we studied. On the other hand, non-exclusive predator species living in temporary streams with warm and poorly oxygenated waters with a short life cycle have a worse oxidative state. Thus, the oxidative state of each species could be defined by an interaction of biological and autecological factors, for which the relative importance is difficult to assess.

  16. Scale relativity theory and integrative systems biology: 2. Macroscopic quantum-type mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nottale, Laurent; Auffray, Charles

    2008-05-01

    In these two companion papers, we provide an overview and a brief history of the multiple roots, current developments and recent advances of integrative systems biology and identify multiscale integration as its grand challenge. Then we introduce the fundamental principles and the successive steps that have been followed in the construction of the scale relativity theory, which aims at describing the effects of a non-differentiable and fractal (i.e., explicitly scale dependent) geometry of space-time. The first paper of this series was devoted, in this new framework, to the construction from first principles of scale laws of increasing complexity, and to the discussion of some tentative applications of these laws to biological systems. In this second review and perspective paper, we describe the effects induced by the internal fractal structures of trajectories on motion in standard space. Their main consequence is the transformation of classical dynamics into a generalized, quantum-like self-organized dynamics. A Schrödinger-type equation is derived as an integral of the geodesic equation in a fractal space. We then indicate how gauge fields can be constructed from a geometric re-interpretation of gauge transformations as scale transformations in fractal space-time. Finally, we introduce a new tentative development of the theory, in which quantum laws would hold also in scale space, introducing complexergy as a measure of organizational complexity. Initial possible applications of this extended framework to the processes of morphogenesis and the emergence of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellular structures are discussed. Having founded elements of the evolutionary, developmental, biochemical and cellular theories on the first principles of scale relativity theory, we introduce proposals for the construction of an integrative theory of life and for the design and implementation of novel macroscopic quantum-type experiments and devices, and discuss their potential

  17. Input-output relation and energy efficiency in the neuron with different spike threshold dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Sheng eYi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuron encodes and transmits information through generating sequences of output spikes, which is a high energy-consuming process. The spike is initiated when membrane depolarization reaches a threshold voltage. In many neurons, threshold is dynamic and depends on the rate of membrane depolarization (dV/dt preceding a spike. Identifying the metabolic energy involved in neural coding and their relationship to threshold dynamic is critical to understanding neuronal function and evolution. Here, we use a modified Morris-Lecar model to investigate neuronal input-output property and energy efficiency associated with different spike threshold dynamics. We find that the neurons with dynamic threshold sensitive to dV/dt generate discontinuous frequency-current curve and type II phase response curve (PRC through Hopf bifurcation, and weak noise could prohibit spiking when bifurcation just occurs. The threshold that is insensitive to dV/dt, instead, results in a continuous frequency-current curve, a type I PRC and a saddle-node on invariant circle bifurcation, and simultaneously weak noise cannot inhibit spiking. It is also shown that the bifurcation, frequency-current curve and PRC type associated with different threshold dynamics arise from the distinct subthreshold interactions of membrane currents. Further, we observe that the energy consumption of the neuron is related to its firing characteristics. The depolarization of spike threshold improves neuronal energy efficiency by reducing the overlap of Na+ and K+ currents during an action potential. The high energy efficiency is achieved at more depolarized spike threshold and high stimulus current. These results provide a fundamental biophysical connection that links spike threshold dynamics, input-output relation, energetics and spike initiation, which could contribute to uncover neural encoding mechanism.

  18. LGscore: A method to identify disease-related genes using biological literature and Google data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jeongwoo; Kim, Hyunjin; Yoon, Youngmi; Park, Sanghyun

    2015-04-01

    Since the genome project in 1990s, a number of studies associated with genes have been conducted and researchers have confirmed that genes are involved in disease. For this reason, the identification of the relationships between diseases and genes is important in biology. We propose a method called LGscore, which identifies disease-related genes using Google data and literature data. To implement this method, first, we construct a disease-related gene network using text-mining results. We then extract gene-gene interactions based on co-occurrences in abstract data obtained from PubMed, and calculate the weights of edges in the gene network by means of Z-scoring. The weights contain two values: the frequency and the Google search results. The frequency value is extracted from literature data, and the Google search result is obtained using Google. We assign a score to each gene through a network analysis. We assume that genes with a large number of links and numerous Google search results and frequency values are more likely to be involved in disease. For validation, we investigated the top 20 inferred genes for five different diseases using answer sets. The answer sets comprised six databases that contain information on disease-gene relationships. We identified a significant number of disease-related genes as well as candidate genes for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, colon cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Our method was up to 40% more accurate than existing methods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Scaling Relations for the Efficiency of Radial Migration in Disk Galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Kathryne J.

    2018-01-01

    Radial migration is frequently recognized as an internal, secular process that could play an important role in disk galaxy evolution. The driving mechanism for radial migration is transient spiral patterns, which rearrange the orbital angular momentum distribution of disk stars around corotation without causing kinematic heating. Should radial migration be an efficient process, it could cause a substantial fraction of disk stars to move large radial distances over the lifetime of the disk, thus having a significant impact on the disk’s kinematic, structural and chemical evolution. Observational and simulated data are consistent with radial migration being important for kinematically cold stellar populations and less so for populations with hot kinematics. I will present an analytic criterion that determines which stars are in orbits that could lead to radial migration. I will then show some scaling relations for the efficacy of radial migration that result from applying this analytic criterion to a series of models that have a variety of distribution functions and spiral patterns in systems with an assumed flat rotation curve. Most importantly, I will argue that these scaling relations can be used to place constraints on the efficiency of radial migration, where stronger spiral patterns and kinematically cold populations will lead to a higher fraction of stars in orbits that can lead to radial migration.

  20. Less efficient pattern separation may contribute to age-related spatial memory deficits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Holden

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Spatial memory deficits have been well documented in older adults and may serve as an early indicator of mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in some individuals. Pattern separation is a critical mechanism for reducing potential interference among similar memory representations to enhance memory accuracy. A small but growing literature indicates that spatial pattern separation may become less efficient as a result of normal aging, possibly due to age-related changes in subregions of the hippocampus. This decreased efficiency in spatial pattern separation may be a critical processing deficit that could be a contributing factor to spatial memory deficits and episodic memory impairment associated with aging. The present paper will review recently published studies in humans, nonhuman primates, and rodents that have examined age-related changes in spatial pattern separation. The potential basic science, translational, and clinical implications from these studies are discussed to illustrate the need for future research to further examine the relationship between spatial pattern separation and brain changes associated with aging and neurodegenerative disease.

  1. Complementary Constraints from Carbon (13C) and Nitrogen (15N) Isotopes on the Efficiency of the Glacial Ocean's Soft-Tissue Biological Pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmittner, A.; Somes, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    A three-dimensional, process-based model of the ocean's carbon and nitrogen cycles, including 13C and 15N isotopes, is used to explore effects of idealized changes in the soft-tissue biological pump. Results are presented from one preindustrial control run and six simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) with increasing values of the spatially constant maximum phytoplankton growth rate μmax, which mimicks iron fertilization. The default LGM simulation, without increasing μmax and with a shallower and weaker Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and increased sea ice cover, leads to 280 Pg more respired organic carbon (Corg) than the pre-industrial control. Dissolved oxygen in the thermocline increase, which reduces water column denitrification and nitrogen fixation, thus increasing the ocean's fixed nitrogen inventory and decreasing δ15NNO3. This simulation already fits observed carbon and nitrogen isotopes relatively well, but it overestimates deep ocean δ13CDIC and underestimates δ15NNO3 at high latitudes. Increasing μmax enhances Corg and lowers deep ocean δ13CDIC, improving the fit. Modest increases in μmax result in higher subpolar δ15NNO3 due to enhanced local nutrient utilization, and better agreement with reconstructions. Large increases in nutrient utilization are inconsistent with nitrogen isotopes although they still fit the carbon isotopes reasonably well. The best fitting models with modest increases in μmax reproduce major features of the glacial δ13CDIC, δ15N, and oxygen reconstructions while simulating increased Corg by 510-670 Pg. These results are consistent with the idea that the soft-tissue pump was more efficient during the LGM. Both circulation and biological nutrient utilization contribute. However, these conclusions are preliminary given our idealized experiments, which do not consider changes in benthic denitrification and spatially inhomogenous changes in aeolian iron fluxes. The analysis illustrates interactions

  2. Persistent organic pollutants and related biological responses measured in coastal fish using chemical and biological screening methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tairova, Zhanna; Strand, Jakob; Bossi, Rossana

    2017-01-01

    shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) was obtained at the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) polluted site in North West Greenland. Significant differences were detected both in contaminant levels and relative contributions from either polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDD) or polychlorinated dibenzofurans...

  3. Carbon accumulation by biological soil crusts in relation to relief and sampling depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetter, Stefan; Drahorad, Sylvie; Felix-Henningsen, Peter

    2010-05-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems the soil surface is covered by biological soil crusts (BSC). These BSC are microbial communities of cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses. Due to the photosynthetic activity of these microorganisms, BSC are main carbon contributors to arid ecosystems. The cover is related to ecosystem functions like surface stabilization, water redistribution and nutrient fixation. These functions rely on the microbial community composition of the BSC. Cyanobacteria and cyanolichens excrete exopolysaccharides, which build microaggregates with soil particles. This stabilizes and seals the soil surface. Therefore cyanobacteria and cyanolichen dominated crusts introduce runoff, which affects the distribution of carbon. The total amount of soil organic carbon was determined in relation to the relief position and BSC thickness showing a strong correlation between relief, sampling depth and carbon amounts. At the Arid Ecosystem Research Center (AERC) station of the Nizzana sand dunes (NW Negev, Israel) the dunes and the interdune corridor are covered by BSC up to 80% of the total area. The BSC are composed of a thin topcrust section and a mineral subcrust section. The overall thickness changes in relation to the relief position. Along a dune transect topcrust and subcrust samples were taken and analyzed on their C_org, C_carb, and C_total concentration. The total amount of carbon (g m^-2) was calculated from the carbon concentrations, the BSC bulk density and the sampling depth. Comparing the topcrust and subcrust values of the sampling points the topcrust sections showed 3-4 times higher concentrations of organic carbon than the subcrust sections. The light intensity decreases with soil depth, resulting in a higher biological activity and carbon fixation in the topcrust sections. The subcrust showed relative higher amounts of C_carb contributing to the soil surface stability. Depending on the relief position the total amount of accumulated carbon was 4 times

  4. Biological clocks and the practice of psychiatry

    OpenAIRE

    Schulz, Pierre

    2007-01-01

    Endogenous biological clocks enable living species to acquire some independence in relation to time. They improve the efficiency of biological systems, by allowing them to anticipate future constraints on major physyological systems and cell energy metabolism. The temporal organization of a giwen biological function can be impaired in its coordination with astronomical time or with other biological function. There are also external conditions that influence biological clocks. This temporal or...

  5. Clinical, biological, and microbiological pattern associated with ventriculostomy-related infection: a retrospective longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounier, Roman; Lobo, David; Cook, Fabrice; Fratani, Alexandre; Attias, Arie; Martin, Mathieu; Chedevergne, Karin; Bardon, Jean; Tazi, Sanaa; Nebbad, Biba; Bloc, Sébastien; Plaud, Benoît; Dhonneur, Gilles

    2015-12-01

    Our aim was to describe the pattern of ventriculostomy-related infection (VRI) development using a dynamic approach. Retrospective longitudinal study. We analyzed the files of 449 neurosurgical patients who underwent placement of external ventricular drain (EVD). During the study period, CSF sampling was performed on a daily base setting. VRI was defined as a positive CSF culture resulting in antibiotic treatment. For VRI patients, we arbitrary defined day 0 (D0) as the day antibiotic treatment was started. In these patients, we compared dynamic changes in clinical and biological parameters at four pre-determined time points: (D-4, D-3, D-2, D-1) with those of D0. For all CSF-positive cultures, we compared CSF biochemical markers' evolution pattern between VRI patients and the others, considered as a control cohort. Thirty-two suffered from VRI. Peripheral white blood cell count did not differ between D-4-D0. Median body temperature, CSF cell count, median Glasgow Coma Scale, CSF protein, and glucose concentrations were significantly different between D-4, D-3, D-2, and D0. At D0, 100 % of CSF samples yielded organisms in culture. The physician caring for the patient decided to treat VRI based upon positive CSF culture in only 28 % (9/32) of cases. In the control cohort, CSF markers' profile trends to normalize, while it worsens in the VRI patients. We showed that clinical symptoms and biological abnormalities of VRI evolved over time. Our data suggest that VRI decision to treat relies upon a bundle of evidence, including dynamic changes in CSF laboratory exams combined with microbiological analysis.

  6. Review of the inhibition of biological activities of food-related selected toxins by natural compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Mendel; Rasooly, Reuven

    2013-04-23

    There is a need to develop food-compatible conditions to alter the structures of fungal, bacterial, and plant toxins, thus transforming toxins to nontoxic molecules. The term 'chemical genetics' has been used to describe this approach. This overview attempts to survey and consolidate the widely scattered literature on the inhibition by natural compounds and plant extracts of the biological (toxicological) activity of the following food-related toxins: aflatoxin B1, fumonisins, and ochratoxin A produced by fungi; cholera toxin produced by Vibrio cholerae bacteria; Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria; staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; ricin produced by seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis; and the glycoalkaloid α-chaconine synthesized in potato tubers and leaves. The reduction of biological activity has been achieved by one or more of the following approaches: inhibition of the release of the toxin into the environment, especially food; an alteration of the structural integrity of the toxin molecules; changes in the optimum microenvironment, especially pH, for toxin activity; and protection against adverse effects of the toxins in cells, animals, and humans (chemoprevention). The results show that food-compatible and safe compounds with anti-toxin properties can be used to reduce the toxic potential of these toxins. Practical applications and research needs are suggested that may further facilitate reducing the toxic burden of the diet. Researchers are challenged to (a) apply the available methods without adversely affecting the nutritional quality, safety, and sensory attributes of animal feed and human food and (b) educate food producers and processors and the public about available approaches to mitigating the undesirable effects of natural toxins that may present in the diet.

  7. Study of the Clinical Proton Beam Relative Biological Effectiveness at the JINR Phasotron, Dubna

    CERN Document Server

    Vitanova, A; Gaevskii, V N; Molokonov, A G; Spurny, F; Fadeeva, T A; Shmakova, N L

    2002-01-01

    Proton clinical beams contain particles with high linear energy transfer (LET). Secondary heavy charged particles produced from nuclear interactions and degraded protons at the Bragg peak region are particles with high LET. These particles could enhance the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of the proton beam. We have carried out two radiobiological experiments to investigate the RBE of 150 MeV clinical proton beam. The irradiation of the Chinese Hamster V79 cells were performed at two points of the depth-dose distribution - at the beam entrance and at the Bragg peak. The contribution of the high LET particles to dosimetric and microdosimetric characteristics in the various depth of proton beam was also experimentally studied using the CR-39 track etched detectors. The LET spectra between 10 and 700 keV/{\\mu}m were measured by means of track detectors and the automatic optical image analyzer LUCIA-II. The relative contribution of the high LET particles to ab! sorbed dose increases from several per cent ...

  8. Relative biological effectiveness of tritium for induction of myeloid leukemia in CBA/H mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, J.R. [Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs., Health Protection Branch, Health Div., Richland, WA (United States); Myers, D.K.; Jackson, J.S.; Dunford, D.W.; Gragtmans, N.J.; Wyatt, H.M.; Jones, A.R. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontairo (Canada); Percy, D.H. [Univ. of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, Ontario (Canada)

    1995-07-01

    To help resolve uncertainties as to the most appropriate weighting factor for tritium {beta} rays, a large experiment was carried out to measure the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of tritiated water compared to X rays for the induction of myeloid leukemia in male mice of the CBA/H strain. The study was designed to estimate the lifetime incidence of myeloid leukemia in seven groups of about 750 mice each; radiation exposures were approximately 0, 1, 2 and 3 Gy both for tritiated water and for X rays. The lifetime incidence of leukemia in these mice increased from 0.13% in the control group to 6-8% in groups exposed to higher radiation doses. The results were fitted to various equations relating leukemia incidence to radiation dose, using both the raw data and data corrected for cumulative mouse-days at risk. The calculated RBE values for tritium 13 rays compared to X rays ranged from 1.0 {+-} 0.5 to 1.3 {+-} 0.3. A best estimate of the RBE for this experiment was about 1.2 {+-} 0.3. A w{sub R} value of 1 would thus appear to be more appropriate than a W{sub R} of 2 for tritium {beta} rays. (author)

  9. Relative biological effectiveness of tritium for induction of myeloid leukemia in CBA/H mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J R; Myers, D K; Jackson, J S; Dunford, D W; Gragtmans, N J; Wyatt, H M; Jones, A R; Percy, D H

    1995-10-01

    To help resolve uncertainties as to the most appropriate weighting factor for tritium beta rays, a large experiment was carried out to measure the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of tritiated water compared to X rays for the induction of myeloid leukemia in male mice of the CBA/H strain. The study was designed to estimate the lifetime incidence of myeloid leukemia in seven groups of about 750 mice each; radiation exposures were approximately 0, 1, 2 and 3 Gy both for tritiated water and for X rays. The lifetime incidence of leukemia in these mice increased from 0.13% in the control group to 6-8% in groups exposed to higher radiation doses. The results were fitted to various equations relating leukemia incidence to radiation dose, using both the raw data and data corrected for cumulative mouse-days at risk. The calculated RBE values for tritium beta rays compared to X rays ranged from 1.0 +/- 0.5 to 1.3 +/- 0.3. A best estimate of the RBE for this experiment was about 1.2 +/- 0.3. A wR value of 1 would thus appear to be more appropriate than a wR of 2 for tritium beta rays.

  10. The relative contributions of biological and abiotic processes to carbon dynamics in subarctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søgaard, Dorte Haubjerg; Thomas, David N.; Rysgaard, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge on the relative effects of biological activity and precipitation/dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in influencing the air-ice CO2 exchange in sea-ice-covered season is currently lacking. Furthermore, the spatial and temporal occurrence of CaCO3 and other biogeochemical parameters...... in sea ice are still not well described. Here we investigated autotrophic and heterotrophic activity as well as the precipitation/dissolution of CaCO3 in subarctic sea ice in South West Greenland. Integrated over the entire ice season (71 days), the sea ice was net autotrophic with a net carbon fixation...... of 56 mg C m(-2), derived from a sea-ice-related gross primary production of 153 mg C m(-2) and a bacterial carbon demand of 97 mg C m(-2). Primary production contributed only marginally to the TCO2 depletion of the sea ice (7-25 %), which was mainly controlled by physical export by brine drainage...

  11. Loss of EEG Network Efficiency Is Related to Cognitive Impairment in Dementia With Lewy Bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dellen, Edwin; de Waal, Hanneke; van der Flier, Wiesje M; Lemstra, Afina W; Slooter, Arjen J C; Smits, Lieke L; van Straaten, Elisabeth C W; Stam, Cornelis J; Scheltens, Philip

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to test whether disturbed EEG resting-state functional connectivity and network organization are a potential neurophysiological substrate of cognitive impairment in dementia with Lewy bodies. EEG recordings were obtained in dementia with Lewy bodies patients, Alzheimer's disease patients and controls, matched for age and sex (N = 66 for each group; 14 [21%] female; mean age: 70 years). We analyzed functional connectivity of band-filtered EEG time series using the phase lag index. Functional brain network topology was analyzed with the minimum spanning tree. Mini-Mental State Examination, Trail Making Test A, and Visual Association Test were used as cognitive measures. Dementia with Lewy bodies patients showed lower connectivity strength in the alpha frequency band, compared to both controls and Alzheimer's disease patients (P dementia with Lewy bodies patients was less efficient and contained less hubs (P dementia with Lewy bodies patients, lower alpha band phase lag index correlated with Visual Association Test scores and Trail Making Test scores (ρ = 0.33 and ρ = 0.31, respectively), whereas leaf fraction (a measure of 'network efficiency') correlated with Visual Association Test scores (ρ = 0.29) and Mini-Mental State Examination scores (ρ = 0.27). Functional networks of dementia with Lewy bodies patients are characterized by decreased connectivity strength and a loss of network efficiency and hubs. Severity of these disturbances is related to cognitive impairment, suggesting that network disturbances mediate between neuropathology and the clinical syndrome in dementia with Lewy bodies. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  12. Polythiophene-Chitosan Magnetic Nanocomposite as a Highly Efficient Medium for Isolation of Fluoxetine from Aqueous and Biological Samples

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Feizbakhsh, Alireza; Sarrafi, Amir Hossein Mohsen; Ehteshami, Shokooh

    2016-01-01

    Polythiophene/chitosan magnetic nanocomposite as an adsorbent of magnetic solid phase extraction was proposed for the isolation of fluoxetine in aqueous and biological samples prior to fluorescence detection at 246 nm...

  13. Pilot Plant Demonstration of Stable and Efficient High Rate Biological Nutrient Removal with Low Dissolved Oxygen Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeration in biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes accounts for nearly half of the total electricity costs at many wastewater treatment plants. Even though conventional BNR processes are usually operated to have aerated zones with high dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, r...

  14. Stellar Mass—Halo Mass Relation and Star Formation Efficiency in High-Mass Halos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravtsov, A. V.; Vikhlinin, A. A.; Meshcheryakov, A. V.

    2018-01-01

    We study relation between stellar mass and halo mass for high-mass halos using a sample of galaxy clusters with accurate measurements of stellar masses from optical and ifrared data and total masses from X-ray observations. We find that stellar mass of the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) scales as M *,BCG ∝ M 500 αBCG with the best fit slope of α BCG ≈ 0.4 ± 0.1. We measure scatter of M *,BCG at a fixed M 500 of ≈0.2 dex. We show that stellar mass-halo mass relations from abundance matching or halo modelling reported in recent studies underestimate masses of BCGs by a factor of ˜2-4. We argue that this is because these studies used stellar mass functions (SMF) based on photometry that severely underestimates the outer surface brightness profiles of massive galaxies. We show that M * -M relation derived using abundance matching with the recent SMF calibration by Bernardi et al. (2013) based on improved photometry is in a much better agreement with the relation we derive via direct calibration for observed clusters. The total stellar mass of galaxies correlates with total mass M 500 with the slope of ≈0.6 ± 0.1 and scatter of 0.1 dex. This indicates that efficiency with which baryons are converted into stars decreases with increasing cluster mass. The low scatter is due to large contribution of satellite galaxies: the stellar mass in satellite galaxies correlates with M 500 with scatter of ≈0.1 dex and best fit slope of αsat ≈ 0.8 ± 0.1. We show that for a fixed choice of the initial mass function (IMF) total stellar fraction in clusters is only a factor of 3-5 lower than the peak stellar fraction reached in M ≈ 1012 M ⊙ halos. The difference is only a factor of ˜1.5-3 if the IMF becomes progressively more bottom heavy with increasing mass in early type galaxies, as indicated by recent observational analyses. This means that the overall efficiency of star formation in massive halos is only moderately suppressed compared to L * galaxies and

  15. Fuel efficiency of conventional design tractors diesel engines in relation to new design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jevtić Jeremija

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Total consumption of all types of energies is rather high nowadays with constant tendency of increasing. Transport section is one of the highest consumers of energy obtained from fossil fuels. It is absolutely clear that the reduction of energy consumption and the protection of environment - exhaust emission reduction, i. e. cleaner air, will be one of the main tasks of automotive industry in the first decades of the 21st century. In spite of its superiority over the petrol engine in respect of the fuel consumption, a diesel engine "suffers" from the increased exhaust emission, particles and NOx first of all and also from the noise and vibrations. The paper gives a review of fuel efficiency of conventional design tractors diesel engines in relation to new design. .

  16. Deliberation favors social efficiency by helping people disregard their relative shares: Evidence from US and India

    CERN Document Server

    Capraro, Valerio; Espín, Antonio M; Hernán-González, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Groups make decisions on both the production and the distribution of resources. These decisions typically involve a tension between increasing the total level of group resources (i.e. social efficiency) and distributing these resources among group members (i.e. individuals' relative shares). This is the case because the redistribution process may destroy part of the resources, thus resulting in socially inefficient allocations. Here we apply a dual-process approach to understand the cognitive underpinnings of this fundamental tension. We conducted a set of experiments to examine the extent to which different allocation decisions respond to intuition or deliberation. In a newly developed approach, we assess intuition and deliberation at both the trait level (using the Cognitive Reflection Test, henceforth CRT) and the state level (through the experimental manipulation of response times). To test for robustness, experiments were conducted in two countries: the US and India. Despite aggregate differences across ...

  17. Efficient inactivation of symbiotic nitrogen fixation related genes in Lotus japonicus using CRISPR-Cas9

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longxiang Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The targeted genome editing technique, CRISPR/Cas9 system, has been widely used to modify genes of interest in a predictable and precise manner. In this study, we describe the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated efficient editing of representative SNF (symbiotic nitrogen fixation related genes in the model legume Lotus japonicus via Agrobacterium-mediated stable or hairy root transformation. We first predicted nine endogenous U6 genes in Lotus and then demonstrated the efficacy of the LjU6-1 gene promoter in driving expression of single guide RNAs (sgRNAs by using a split yellow fluorescence protein (YFP reporter system to restore the fluorescence in Arabidopsis protoplasts. Next, we chose a customized sgRNA targeting SYMRK (symbiosis receptor kinase loci and achieved ~35% mutagenic efficiency in 20 T0 transgenic plants, two of them containing biallelic homozygous mutations with a 2-bp deletion near the PAM region. We further designed two sgRNAs targeting three homologous leghemoglobin loci (LjLb1, LjLb2, LjLb3 for testing the possibility of generating multi-gene knockouts. 20 out of 70 hairy root transgenic plants exhibited white nodules, with at least two LjLbs disrupted in each plant. Compared with the constitutively active CaMV 35S promoter, the nodule-specific LjLb2 promoter was also effective in gene editing in nodules by hairy root transformation. Triple mutant knockout of LjLbs was also obtained by stable transformation using two sgRNAs. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that the CRISPR/Cas9 system should greatly facilitate functional analyses of SNF related genes in Lotus japonicus.

  18. Relative sampling efficiency and movements of subadult Lake Sturgeon in the Lower Wolf River, Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snobl, Zachary R.; Isermann, Daniel A.; Koenigs, Ryan P.; Raabe, Joshua K.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding sampling efficiency and movements of subadult Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens is necessary to facilitate population rehabilitation and recruitment monitoring in large systems with extensive riverine and lacustrine habitats. We used a variety of sampling methods to capture subadult Lake Sturgeon (i.e., fish between 75 and 130 cm TL that had not reached sexual maturity) and monitored their movements using radio telemetry in the lower Wolf River, a tributary to the Lake Winnebago system in Wisconsin. Our objectives were to determine whether (1) capture efficiency (expressed in terms of sampling time) of subadult Lake Sturgeon using multiple sampling methods was sufficient to justify within-river sampling as part of a basin-wide recruitment survey targeting subadults, (2) linear home ranges varied in relation to season or sex, and (3) subadult Lake Sturgeon remained in the lower Wolf River. From 2013 to 2014, 628 h of combined sampling effort that included gill nets, trotlines, electrofishing, and scuba capture was required to collect 18 subadult sturgeon, which were then implanted with radio transmitters and tracked by boat and plane. Linear home ranges did not differ in relation to sex but did vary among seasons, and the majority of movement occurred in spring. Seven of the 18 (39%) Lake Sturgeon left the river and were not detected in the river again during the study. Between 56% and 70% of subadult fish remaining in the river made definitive movements to, or near, known spawning locations when adult Lake Sturgeon were actively spawning. Our results suggest only a small proportion of subadult Lake Sturgeon in the Lake Winnebago population use the lower Wolf River, indicating that riverine sampling may not always be warranted when targeting subadults in large lake–river complexes. More information is needed on distribution of subadult Lake Sturgeon to develop sampling protocols for this population segment.

  19. Testing Models: A Key Aspect to Promote Teaching Activities Related to Models and Modelling in Biology Lessons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krell, Moritz; Krüger, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated biology teachers' (N = 148) understanding of models and modelling (MoMo), their model-related teaching activities and relations between the two. A framework which distinguishes five aspects of MoMo in science ("nature of models," "multiple models," "purpose of models," "testing…

  20. Radicular Cyst: An Update of the Biological Factors Related to Lining Epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Lisiane; Visioli, Fernanda; Nör, Carolina; Rados, Pantelis Varvaki

    2015-12-01

    Radicular cysts are common lesions in daily dentistry practice. However, the mechanisms related to epithelial lining formation and cavity growth are not fully understood. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to review the biological factors implicated in these process. Literature was selected through a search of PubMed electronic databases matching the following key words in the title or abstract: "cyst" OR "granuloma" OR "abscess" AND "radicular" OR "apical" OR "periapical" AND "epithelium" OR "epithelial" OR "epithelial lining." The PubMed database was searched for articles published between 1975 and 2014. Only English language was applied to the search. The literature search yielded a total of 187 articles. After duplicate references were discarded, a subsequent search at the title and abstract level revealed 42 articles for full-text reading. The articles were categorized into 5 main subtopics: (1) cell proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis; (2) extracellular matrix constituents; (3) inflammatory components; (4) bone metabolic factors and; (5) others. These subtopics described the characteristics of radicular cysts focusing on the epithelial tissue effects. Several factors from different sources (epithelial cells, stromal cells, extracellular matrix, and bone matrix) were implicated on apical cyst pathogenesis. Probably a combination of many factors involving an epithelial-stromal interaction is responsible for the sustenance and growth of apical cysts. Copyright © 2015 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. [Assessment of relative biological effectiveness of tritium using chromosome aberration frequency in human blood lymphocytes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snigireva, G P; Khaĭmovich, T I; Nagiba, V I

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this work is to determine Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of tritium beta-irradiation using chromosome aberration frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes after radiation exposure in vitro and in vivo. The results of the experimental estimation of tritium beta-irradiation RBE in comparison with 60Co gamma-irradiation using analysis of unstable chromosome aberration frequencies in peripheral blood lymphocytes in reference to concrete conditions of the investigation were presented. It was demonstrated that tritium beta-irradiation is in total more effective than gamma-irradiation up to 1 Gy. RBE of tritium beta-irradiation was determined as 2.2 at minimum doses and decreased at higher doses (1 Gy) up to 1.25. For the first time results of the comparative analysis of frequencies of stable chromosome aberrations in two groups of professional nuclear workers (town Sarov) exposed to chronic tritium beta- and gamma-irradiation in remote period were presented. The grater RBE of tritium beta-irradiation was demonstrated. It has been estimated as 2.5.

  2. Molecular biological approaches to the study of vectors in relation to malaria control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Crampton

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available To a large extent, control of malaria vectors relies on the elimination of breeding sites and the application of chemical agents. There are increasing problems associated with the use of synthetic insecticides for vector control, including the evolution of resistance, the high cost of developing and registering new insecticides and an awareness of pollution from insecticide residues. These factors have stimulated interest in the application of molecular biology to the study of mosquito vectors of malaria; focussing primarily on two aspects. First, the improvement of existing control measures through the development of simplified DNA probe systems suitable for identification of vectors of malaria. The development of synthetic, non-radioactive DNA probes suitable for identification of species in the Anopheles gambiae complex is described with the aim of defining a simplified methodology wich is suitable for entomologist in the field. The second aspect to be considered is the development of completely novel strategies through the development of completely novel strategies through the genetic manipulation of insect vectors of malaria in order to alter their ability to transmit the disease. The major requirements for producing transgenic mosquitoes are outlined together with the progress wich has been made to date and discussed in relation to the prospects which this type of approach has for the future control of malaria.

  3. Level of Awareness of Biology and Geography Students Related to Recognizing Some Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aladag, Caner; Kaya, Bastürk; Dinç, Muhittin

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the awareness of the geography and biology students about recognizing some plants which they see frequently around them in accordance with the information they gained during their education process. The sample of the study consists of 37 biology and 40 geography students studying at the Ahmet Kelesoglu…

  4. Sensory Gain Outperforms Efficient Readout Mechanisms in Predicting Attention-Related Improvements in Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ester, Edward F.; Deering, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient readout). Even in the context of simple behavioral tasks, it is unclear how well each of these mechanisms can account for the relationship between attention-modulated changes in behavior and neural activity because few studies have systematically mapped changes between stimulus intensity, attentional focus, neural activity, and behavioral performance. Here, we used a combination of psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and quantitative modeling to explicitly link attention-related changes in perceptual sensitivity with changes in the ERP amplitudes recorded from human observers. Spatial attention led to a multiplicative increase in the amplitude of an early sensory ERP component (the P1, peaking ∼80–130 ms poststimulus) and in the amplitude of the late positive deflection component (peaking ∼230–330 ms poststimulus). A simple model based on signal detection theory demonstrates that these multiplicative gain changes were sufficient to account for attention-related improvements in perceptual sensitivity, without a need to invoke noise modulation. Moreover, combining the observed multiplicative gain with a postsensory readout mechanism resulted in a significantly poorer description of the observed behavioral data. We conclude that, at least in the context of relatively simple visual discrimination tasks, spatial attention modulates perceptual sensitivity primarily by modulating the gain of neural responses during early sensory processing PMID:25274817

  5. Efficient α, β-motif finder for identification of phenotype-related functional modules

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    Schmidt Matthew C

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial communities in their natural environments exhibit phenotypes that can directly cause particular diseases, convert biomass or wastewater to energy, or degrade various environmental contaminants. Understanding how these communities realize specific phenotypic traits (e.g., carbon fixation, hydrogen production is critical for addressing health, bioremediation, or bioenergy problems. Results In this paper, we describe a graph-theoretical method for in silico prediction of the cellular subsystems that are related to the expression of a target phenotype. The proposed (α, β-motif finder approach allows for identification of these phenotype-related subsystems that, in addition to metabolic subsystems, could include their regulators, sensors, transporters, and even uncharacterized proteins. By comparing dozens of genome-scale networks of functionally associated proteins, our method efficiently identifies those statistically significant functional modules that are in at least α networks of phenotype-expressing organisms but appear in no more than β networks of organisms that do not exhibit the target phenotype. It has been shown via various experiments that the enumerated modules are indeed related to phenotype-expression when tested with different target phenotypes like hydrogen production, motility, aerobic respiration, and acid-tolerance. Conclusion Thus, we have proposed a methodology that can identify potential statistically significant phenotype-related functional modules. The functional module is modeled as an (α, β-clique, where α and β are two criteria introduced in this work. We also propose a novel network model, called the two-typed, divided network. The new network model and the criteria make the problem tractable even while very large networks are being compared. The code can be downloaded from http://www.freescience.org/cs/ABClique/

  6. Variation of Phenolic Content in Globe Artichoke in Relation to Biological, Technical and Environmental Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Mauromicale

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In Italy, globe artichoke production is prevailingly concentrated in the South and islands, where it provides an important contribution to the agricultural economy. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this crop as a promising source of polyphenols, a heterogeneous class of secondary metabolites characterized by various healthy properties well-documented in literature. The phenolic fraction, present in the different artichoke plant parts, varies widely in relation to biotic and abiotic factors. Therefore, the present study aimed at evaluating the variation of phenolic content in globe artichoke in relation to biological, technical and environmental factors. Two field-experiments were carried out in Sicily (South Italy in two representative cultivation areas, in order to examine the effects of genotype, head fraction, season conditions, planting density and arrangement on the globe artichoke phenolic concentration. Both the total polyphenols and the individual phenolic compounds detected were notably genotype- dependent. Particularly, the high level of caffeoylquinic acids (chlorogenic acid, among others and apigenin 7- O-glucuronide, reported respectively by “Violetto di Sicilia” and “Romanesco clone C3”, could be used to encourage globe artichoke fresh consumption. Total polyphenols content also resulted more abundant in specific accumulation sites within the inflorescence, such as the floral stem and receptacle, and for most of genotypes it decreased during the second year in response to the different meteorological conditions. Additionally, total polyphenols content significantly and linearly increased as plant density increased from 1.0 to 1.8 plant m-2 and it significantly increased by 13% passing from single to twin rows plant arrangement.

  7. Premature mortality in Slovenia in relation to selected biological, socioeconomic, and geographical determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artnik, Barbara; Vidmar, Gaj; Javornik, Jana; Laaser, Ulrich

    2006-02-01

    To determine biological (sex and age), socioeconomic (marital status, education, and mother tongue) and geographical (region) factors connected with causes of death and lifespan (age at death, years-of-potential-life-lost, and mortality rate) in Slovenia in the 1990s. In this population-based cross-sectional study, we analyzed all deaths in the 25-64 age group (N=14 816) in Slovenia in 1992, 1995, and 1998. Causes of death, classified into groups according to the 10th revision of International Classification of Diseases, were linked to the data on the deceased from the 1991 Census. Stratified contingency-table analyses were performed. Years-of-potential-life-lost (YPLL) were calculated on the basis of population life-tables stratified by region and linearly modeled by the characteristics of the deceased. Poisson regression was applied to test the differences in mortality rate. Across all socioeconomic strata, men died at younger age than women (index of excess mortality in men exceeded 200 for all studied years) and from different prevailing causes (injuries in men aged women aged >35 years). For men, higher education was associated with fewer deaths from digestive and respiratory system diseases. The least educated women died relatively often from circulatory diseases, but rarely from neoplasms. Single people died from neoplasms less often. Marriage in comparison with divorce reduced the mortality rate by 1.9-fold in both men and women (Pwomen decreased with increasing education level (Pimpact of education level on premature mortality. The share of neoplasms was the highest in the cluster of socioeconomically prosperous regions, whereas the share of circulatory diseases was increased in poorer regions. Significant differences were found between individual regions in age at death and mortality rate, and the differences decreased over the studied period. These data may aid in understanding the nature, prevalence and consequences of mortality as related to

  8. Beryllium uptake and related biological effects studied in THP-1 differentiated macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jian; Lin, Lin; Hang, Wei; Yan, Xiaomei

    2009-11-01

    Investigation of cellular uptake of metal compounds is important in understanding metal-related toxicity and diseases. Inhalation of beryllium aerosols can cause chronic beryllium disease, a progressive, granulomatous fibrosis of the lung. Studies in laboratory animals and cultured animal cells indicate that alveolar macrophages take up beryllium compounds and participate in a hypersensitivity immune response to a beryllium-containing antigen. In the present work, human monocyte cell line THP-1 was induced with phorbol myristate acetate to differentiate into a macrophage. This cell with characteristics of human alveolar macrophages was employed to study cellular beryllium uptake and related biological effects. Morphological changes, phagocytosis of fluorescent latex beads, and cell surface CD14 expression were used to verify the successful differentiation of THP-1 monocytes into macrophages. An improved mass spectrometry method for quantitative analysis of intracellular beryllium as opposed to the traditional radioisotopic approach was developed using ICP-MS. The influence of the solubility of beryllium compounds, exposure duration, and beryllium concentration on the incorporation of beryllium was studied. Our data indicated that the uptake of particulate BeO was much more significant than that of soluble BeSO(4), suggesting the major cellular uptake pathway is phagocytosis. Nevertheless, subsequent DAPI nuclear staining and PARP cleavage study indicated that beryllium uptake had a negligible effect on the apoptosis of THP-1 macrophages compared to the unstimulated macrophage control. Meanwhile, no substantial variation of tumour necrosis factor-alpha production was observed for THP-1 macrophages upon beryllium exposure. These data imply alveolar macrophages could have some level of tolerance to beryllium and this may explain why most Be-exposed individuals remain healthy throughout life.

  9. Radiobiology of boron neutron capture therapy: Problems with the concept of relative biological effectiveness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coderre, J.A.; Makar, M.S.

    1990-01-01

    The radiation dose delivered to cells in vitro or vivo during boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a mixture of photons, fast neutrons and heavy charged particles from the interaction of neutrons with nitrogen and born. The concept of relative biological effectiveness (RBE) had been developed to allow comparison of the effects of these radiations with the effects of standard photon treatments such as 250 kVp x-rays or {sup 60}Co gamma rays. The RBE value for all of these high linear energy transfer radiations can vary considerably depending upon the experimental conditions and endpoint utilized. The short range of the particles from the {sup 10}B(n,{alpha}) {sup 7}Li reaction make the precise subcellular location of the {sup 10}B atom of critical importance. The microscopic distribution of the {sup 10}B has a decided effect on the dosimetry. Monte Carlo simulations have shown that, at the cellular level, there is a profound difference in the probability of cell kill depending on the location of the {sup 10}B relative to the nucleus. Different boron-delivery agents will almost certainly have different distribution patterns at the subcellular level. The effect of BNCT with the amino acid p-boronophenylalanine (BPA) was compared with the effect of 250 kVp x-rays on a pigmented B16 melanoma subclone, both in vitro and in vivo. Generally accepted RBE values were applied to the relevant components of the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR) thermal neutron beam, however, there were still discrepancies when the resulting dose response curves were compared with the response to 250 kVp x-rays.

  10. Efficient Targeted Next Generation Sequencing-Based Workflow for Differential Diagnosis of Alport-Related Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Gábor; Kalmár, Tibor; Endreffy, Emőke; Ondrik, Zoltán; Iványi, Béla; Rikker, Csaba; Haszon, Ibolya; Túri, Sándor; Sinkó, Mária; Bereczki, Csaba; Maróti, Zoltán

    2016-01-01

    Alport syndrome (AS) is an inherited type IV collagen nephropathies characterized by microscopic hematuria during early childhood, the development of proteinuria and progression to end-stage renal disease. Since choosing the right therapy, even before the onset of proteinuria, can delay the onset of end-stage renal failure and improve life expectancy, the earliest possible differential diagnosis is desired. Practically, this means the identification of mutation(s) in COL4A3-A4-A5 genes. We used an efficient, next generation sequencing based workflow for simultaneous analysis of all three COL4A genes in three individuals and fourteen families involved by AS or showing different level of Alport-related symptoms. We successfully identified mutations in all investigated cases, including 14 unpublished mutations in our Hungarian cohort. We present an easy to use unified clinical/diagnostic terminology and workflow not only for X-linked but for autosomal AS, but also for Alport-related diseases. In families where a diagnosis has been established by molecular genetic analysis, the renal biopsy may be rendered unnecessary.

  11. Drawing skill is related to the efficiency of encoding object structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdreau, Florian; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Accurate drawing calls on many skills beyond simple motor coordination. A good internal representation of the target object's structure is necessary to capture its proportion and shape in the drawing. Here, we assess two aspects of the perception of object structure and relate them to participants' drawing accuracy. First, we assessed drawing accuracy by computing the geometrical dissimilarity of their drawing to the target object. We then used two tasks to evaluate the efficiency of encoding object structure. First, to examine the rate of temporal encoding, we varied presentation duration of a possible versus impossible test object in the fovea using two different test sizes (8° and 28°). More skilled participants were faster at encoding an object's structure, but this difference was not affected by image size. A control experiment showed that participants skilled in drawing did not have a general advantage that might have explained their faster processing for object structure. Second, to measure the critical image size for accurate classification in the periphery, we varied image size with possible versus impossible object tests centered at two different eccentricities (3° and 8°). More skilled participants were able to categorise object structure at smaller sizes, and this advantage did not change with eccentricity. A control experiment showed that the result could not be attributed to differences in visual acuity, leaving attentional resolution as a possible explanation. Overall, we conclude that drawing accuracy is related to faster encoding of object structure and better access to crowded details. PMID:25469216

  12. Efficient Targeted Next Generation Sequencing-Based Workflow for Differential Diagnosis of Alport-Related Disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gábor Kovács

    Full Text Available Alport syndrome (AS is an inherited type IV collagen nephropathies characterized by microscopic hematuria during early childhood, the development of proteinuria and progression to end-stage renal disease. Since choosing the right therapy, even before the onset of proteinuria, can delay the onset of end-stage renal failure and improve life expectancy, the earliest possible differential diagnosis is desired. Practically, this means the identification of mutation(s in COL4A3-A4-A5 genes. We used an efficient, next generation sequencing based workflow for simultaneous analysis of all three COL4A genes in three individuals and fourteen families involved by AS or showing different level of Alport-related symptoms. We successfully identified mutations in all investigated cases, including 14 unpublished mutations in our Hungarian cohort. We present an easy to use unified clinical/diagnostic terminology and workflow not only for X-linked but for autosomal AS, but also for Alport-related diseases. In families where a diagnosis has been established by molecular genetic analysis, the renal biopsy may be rendered unnecessary.

  13. Drawing skill is related to the efficiency of encoding object structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdreau, Florian; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Accurate drawing calls on many skills beyond simple motor coordination. A good internal representation of the target object's structure is necessary to capture its proportion and shape in the drawing. Here, we assess two aspects of the perception of object structure and relate them to participants' drawing accuracy. First, we assessed drawing accuracy by computing the geometrical dissimilarity of their drawing to the target object. We then used two tasks to evaluate the efficiency of encoding object structure. First, to examine the rate of temporal encoding, we varied presentation duration of a possible versus impossible test object in the fovea using two different test sizes (8° and 28°). More skilled participants were faster at encoding an object's structure, but this difference was not affected by image size. A control experiment showed that participants skilled in drawing did not have a general advantage that might have explained their faster processing for object structure. Second, to measure the critical image size for accurate classification in the periphery, we varied image size with possible versus impossible object tests centered at two different eccentricities (3° and 8°). More skilled participants were able to categorise object structure at smaller sizes, and this advantage did not change with eccentricity. A control experiment showed that the result could not be attributed to differences in visual acuity, leaving attentional resolution as a possible explanation. Overall, we conclude that drawing accuracy is related to faster encoding of object structure and better access to crowded details.

  14. Survey and biological insights of pemetrexed-related therapeutic improvement in mesothelioma: The Nancy Centre of Biological Resources' Mesothelioma Cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlastos, Fotis; Hillas, Georgios; Vidal, Philippe; Lacomme, Stéphanie; Galateau-Sallé, Françoise; Vollmer, Ekkehard; Guzman-Costabel, Josune; Vignaud, Jean Michel; Martinet, Nadine

    2009-10-01

    We report a survey of mesothelioma survival rates with insights into the survival benefit because of pemetrexed. We also studied a potential link between specific single nucleotide polymorphisms of transcobalamin II (TCII) gene and susceptibility to both asbestos and pemetrexed. Clinical and occupational data from 287 consecutive mesothelioma patients were collected from the north-east region of France (1989-2007). Blood or paired tumoral and normal samples were collected from the last 210 French patients to study the TCII single nucleotide polymorphisms at the codon 259 (quantitative polymerase chain reaction). Results were compared with those obtained from a group of 263 French control healthy subjects and to a group of 91 German mesothelioma patients. Patients' characteristics and genotypes results were statistically analyzed for significant correlations. The mean overall patient's survival was 18.19 +/- 21.07 months. Pemetrexed increased the patients' survival by 50% (21.81 versus 16.99 months). The TCII allele Proline (Pro) was overrepresented into the mesothelioma cohort when compared with the controls (35 versus 19.77%). This also concerned German patients. The alleles Pro and Proline Arginine (ProArg) were more frequent among patients exposed to asbestos (p = 0.005, p < 0.001, respectively). The allele ProArg was associated with the longest survival while under pemetrexed (p = 0.007). No difference was found in the genotypes of patients untreated with pemetrexed. Pemetrexed treatment is related to a survival increase in mesothelioma patients. The allele Pro seems overrepresented in mesothelioma patients. Those having the allele ProArg present a better outcome under pemetrexed.

  15. Efficient Storage and Querying of Horizontal Tables Using a PIVOT Operation in Commercial Relational DBMSs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Sung-Hyun; Moon, Yang-Sae; Kim, Jinho; Kim, Sang-Wook

    In recent years, a horizontal table with a large number of attributes is widely used in OLAP or e-business applications to analyze multidimensional data efficiently. For efficient storing and querying of horizontal tables, recent works have tried to transform a horizontal table to a traditional vertical table. Existing works, however, have the drawback of not considering an optimized PIVOT operation provided (or to be provided) in recent commercial RDBMSs. In this paper we propose a formal approach that exploits the optimized PIVOT operation of commercial RDBMSs for storing and querying of horizontal tables. To achieve this goal, we first provide an overall framework that stores and queries a horizontal table using an equivalent vertical table. Under the proposed framework, we then formally define 1) a method that stores a horizontal table in an equivalent vertical table and 2) a PIVOT operation that converts a stored vertical table to an equivalent horizontal view. Next, we propose a novel method that transforms a user-specified query on horizontal tables to an equivalent PIVOT-included query on vertical tables. In particular, by providing transformation rules for all five elementary operations in relational algebra as theorems, we prove our method is theoretically applicable to commercial RDBMSs. Experimental results show that, compared with the earlier work, our method reduces storage space significantly and also improves average performance by several orders of magnitude. These results indicate that our method provides an excellent framework to maximize performance in handling horizontal tables by exploiting the optimized PIVOT operation in commercial RDBMSs.

  16. Fast stimulus sequences improve the efficiency of event-related potential P300 recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mell, Dominik; Bach, Michael; Heinrich, Sven P

    2008-09-30

    The P300 is an easily recorded component of the event-related potential (ERP). Yet, it is desirable to reduce the recording duration, for instance in patient examinations. A limiting factor is the time between stimuli that is necessary for the ERP to return to baseline. We explored whether this time could be reduced, despite an overlap of responses to successive stimuli, by presenting visual stimuli at a fast rate of 4.7 s(-1)using a standard oddball paradigm. Rare stimuli occurred at a probability of 14%. The P300 was isolated by subtracting the responses to the frequent stimuli from those to the rare stimuli, thereby eliminating the influence of response overlap. We compared the efficiency of fast stimulation to that of conventionally slow stimulation by assessing the signal-to-noise ratio of the P300 amplitude. Two presentation durations of individual stimuli, namely 53 ms and 93 ms, were tested. Not unexpectedly, P300 amplitudes were smaller for the fast sequence. However, the signal-to-noise ratio improved significantly by more than 50% due to the larger number of trials within a given time interval. When targeting a given signal-to-noise ratio, fast stimulation allows for a reduction in recording time of around 35%. Median peak times were 16-56 ms shorter for the fast stimulus sequence. Topography was comparable for fast and slow stimulation, suggesting a similar functional composition of the respective responses. Fast stimulation may thus be used to replace less efficient slow stimulation schemes in clinical diagnosis and for certain experimental questions.

  17. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghahramanzadeh, R; Esselink, G; Kodde, L P; Duistermaat, H; van Valkenburg, J L C H; Marashi, S H; Smulders, M J M; van de Wiel, C C M

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to prevent them from entering a country. However, many related species are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is often difficult for plants in a vegetative stage. In this regard, DNA barcoding could become a good alternative. In this study, 242 samples belonging to 26 species from 10 genera of aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL. Despite testing a large number of primer sets and several PCR protocols, the matK locus could not be amplified or sequenced reliably and therefore was left out of the analysis. Using the other two loci, eight invasive species could be distinguished from their respective related species, a ninth one failed to produce sequences of sufficient quality. Based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination, the trnH-psbA noncoding spacer was the best performing barcode in the aquatic plant species studied. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species, such as is already in place in the Netherlands. This will become even more so once DNA barcoding would be turned into machinery routinely operable by a nonspecialist in botany and molecular genetics. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Biologically Induced Hydrogen Production Drives High Rate/High Efficiency Microbial Electrosynthesis of Acetate from Carbon Dioxide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jourdin, Ludovic; Lu, Yang; Flexer, Victoria; Keller, Jurg; Freguia, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Electron-transfer pathways occurring in biocathodes are still unknown. We demonstrate here that high rates of acetate production by microbial electrosynthesis are mainly driven by an electron flux from the electrode to carbon dioxide, occurring via biologically induced hydrogen, with (99±1)%

  19. Biological pretreatment of corn stover with Phlebia brevispora NRRL-13108 for enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis and efficient ethanol production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass by white-rot fungus can represent a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative to harsh physical, chemical, or physico-chemical pretreatment methods to facilitate enzymatic hydrolysis. In this work, solid state cultivation of corn stover with Phlebia bre...

  20. A new approach for efficient genotype imputation using information from relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargolzaei, Mehdi; Chesnais, Jacques P; Schenkel, Flavio S

    2014-06-17

    Genotype imputation can help reduce genotyping costs particularly for implementation of genomic selection. In applications entailing large populations, recovering the genotypes of untyped loci using information from reference individuals that were genotyped with a higher density panel is computationally challenging. Popular imputation methods are based upon the Hidden Markov model and have computational constraints due to an intensive sampling process. A fast, deterministic approach, which makes use of both family and population information, is presented here. All individuals are related and, therefore, share haplotypes which may differ in length and frequency based on their relationships. The method starts with family imputation if pedigree information is available, and then exploits close relationships by searching for long haplotype matches in the reference group using overlapping sliding windows. The search continues as the window size is shrunk in each chromosome sweep in order to capture more distant relationships. The proposed method gave higher or similar imputation accuracy than Beagle and Impute2 in cattle data sets when all available information was used. When close relatives of target individuals were present in the reference group, the method resulted in higher accuracy compared to the other two methods even when the pedigree was not used. Rare variants were also imputed with higher accuracy. Finally, computing requirements were considerably lower than those of Beagle and Impute2. The presented method took 28 minutes to impute from 6 k to 50 k genotypes for 2,000 individuals with a reference size of 64,429 individuals. The proposed method efficiently makes use of information from close and distant relatives for accurate genotype imputation. In addition to its high imputation accuracy, the method is fast, owing to its deterministic nature and, therefore, it can easily be used in large data sets where the use of other methods is impractical.

  1. Adenovirus platform enhances transduction efficiency of human mesenchymal stem cells: An opportunity for cellular carriers of targeted TRAIL-based TR3 biologics in ovarian cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay M Kuroki

    Full Text Available Clinical application of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL-based cancer therapeutics has not reached optimal potencies in part due to inadequate drug stability and inefficiencies in cancer-selective drug delivery. As such, innovative strategies regarding drug design and delivery are of utmost importance to achieve improved treatment results. With our current study, we aimed at exploring the groundwork for a two-stage targeting concept, which is based on the intrinsic tumor homing capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs as cellular drug factories for the in situ production of our newly designed and biomarker-targeted TRAIL-based TR3 therapeutics. Since MSCs are primary cells, capable in vitro of only a limited number of cell divisions, identification of suitable strategies for their efficient genetic manipulation is of critical importance. We chose adenoviral (Ad vectors as a transduction vehicle due to its ability to infect dividing and non-dividing cells and because of their limited restrictions regarding the packaging capacity of their genetic payload. In order to enhance the transduction efficacy of MSCs using Ad5 wild-type-based vectors, we tested a variety of fiber knob modifications on a panel of patient-derived MSC lines established from adipose tissue. We identified Ad5pK7, an Ad5 vector containing a polylysine fiber knob modification, exhibiting the highest transduction rates across a panel of 16 patient-derived MSC lines. We further demonstrated that MSCs could be efficiently transduced with an Ad5pK7 vector containing membrane-anchored and secreted TR3 expression units, including the MUC16 (CA125-targeted variant Meso64-TR3. In both in vitro and in vivo experiments, MSC-derived Meso64-TR3 was far more potent on MUC16-expressing ovarian cancer compared to its non-targeted TR3 counterpart. Our findings thus provide the foundation to initiate further preclinical investigations on MSC-mediated treatment

  2. Transfer efficiency of bacteria and viruses from porous and nonporous fomites to fingers under different relative humidity conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Gerardo U; Gerba, Charles P; Tamimi, Akrum H; Kitajima, Masaaki; Maxwell, Sheri L; Rose, Joan B

    2013-09-01

    Fomites can serve as routes of transmission for both enteric and respiratory pathogens. The present study examined the effect of low and high relative humidity on fomite-to-finger transfer efficiency of five model organisms from several common inanimate surfaces (fomites). Nine fomites representing porous and nonporous surfaces of different compositions were studied. Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus thuringiensis, MS2 coliphage, and poliovirus 1 were placed on fomites in 10-μl drops and allowed to dry for 30 min under low (15% to 32%) or high (40% to 65%) relative humidity. Fomite-to-finger transfers were performed using 1.0 kg/cm(2) of pressure for 10 s. Transfer efficiencies were greater under high relative humidity for both porous and nonporous surfaces. Most organisms on average had greater transfer efficiencies under high relative humidity than under low relative humidity. Nonporous surfaces had a greater transfer efficiency (up to 57%) than porous surfaces (humidity, as well as under high relative humidity (nonporous, up to 79.5%; porous, <13.4%). Transfer efficiency also varied with fomite material and organism type. The data generated can be used in quantitative microbial risk assessment models to assess the risk of infection from fomite-transmitted human pathogens and the relative levels of exposure to different types of fomites and microorganisms.

  3. Guidelines for biological treatment of substance use and related disorders, part 1: Alcoholism, first revision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soyka, Michael; Kranzler, Henry R; Hesselbrock, Victor; Kasper, Siegfried; Mutschler, Jochen; Möller, Hans-Jürgen

    2017-03-01

    These practice guidelines for the biological treatment of alcohol use disorders are an update of the first edition, published in 2008, which was developed by an international Task Force of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP). For this 2016 revision, we performed a systematic review (MEDLINE/PUBMED database, Cochrane Library) of all available publications pertaining to the biological treatment of alcoholism and extracted data from national guidelines. The Task Force evaluated the identified literature with respect to the strength of evidence for the efficacy of each medication and subsequently categorised it into six levels of evidence (A-F) and five levels of recommendation (1-5). Thus, the current guidelines provide a clinically and scientifically relevant, evidence-based update of our earlier recommendations. These guidelines are intended for use by clinicians and practitioners who evaluate and treat people with alcohol use disorders and are primarily concerned with the biological treatment of adults with such disorders.

  4. Incorporation of relative biological effectiveness uncertainties into proton plan robustness evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ödén, Jakob; Eriksson, Kjell; Toma-Dasu, Iuliana

    2017-06-01

    The constant relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of 1.1 is typically assumed in proton therapy. This study presents a method of incorporating the variable RBE and its uncertainties into the proton plan robustness evaluation. The robustness evaluation was split into two parts. In part one, the worst-case physical dose was estimated using setup and range errors, including the fractionation dependence. The results were fed into part two, in which the worst-case RBE-weighted doses were estimated using a Monte Carlo method for sampling the input parameters of the chosen RBE model. The method was applied to three prostate, breast and head and neck (H&N) plans for several fractionation schedules using two RBE models. The uncertainties in the model parameters, linear energy transfer and α/β were included. The resulting DVH error bands were compared with the use of a constant RBE without uncertainties. All plans were evaluated as robust using the constant RBE. Applying the proposed methodology using the variable RBE models broadens the DVH error bands for all structures studied. The uncertainty in α/β was the dominant factor. The variable RBE also shifted the nominal DVHs towards higher doses for most OARs, whereas the direction of this shift for the clinical target volumes (CTVs) depended on the treatment site, RBE model and fractionation schedule. The average RBE within the CTV, using one of the RBE models and 2 Gy(RBE) per fraction, varied between 1.11-1.26, 1.06-1.16 and 1.14-1.25 for the breast, H&N and prostate patients, respectively. A method of incorporating RBE uncertainties into the robustness evaluation has been proposed. By disregarding the variable RBE and its uncertainties, the variation in the RBE-weighted CTV and OAR doses may be underestimated. This could be an essential factor to take into account, especially in normal tissue complication probabilities based comparisons between proton and photon plans.

  5. Sociodemographic, behavioral, and biological variables related to weight loss in native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe'aimoku; Townsend, Claire K M; Ige, Arlene; Sinclair, Ka' imi A; Mau, Marjorie K; Leake, Anne; Palakiko, Donna-Marie; Yoshimura, Sheryl R; Kekauoha, Puni; Hughes, Claire

    2013-03-01

    Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHs/PIs) have a high obesity prevalence compared to other ethnic groups. We examined socio-demographic, behavioral, and biological factors related to ≥3% weight loss in 100 overweight/obese NHs/PIs who completed a lifestyle intervention. Data were from 56 Native Hawaiians, 22 Chuukese, and 22 Other Pacific Islanders who participated in a randomized controlled trial of the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Intervention (PILI) 'Ohana Project. All completed a 3-month weight loss program (WLP) to initiate weight loss and were then randomized into either a 6-month family/community focused WLP called the PILI Lifestyle Program (PLP; n = 49) or a standard behavior WLP (SBP; n = 51). We collected baseline, 3- and 9-month follow-up data on socio-demographics, weight (kg), a 6-min. walk test, dietary fat, exercise frequency, and blood pressure. Based on ANCOVA or logistic fit, ethnicity, sex, initial weight loss, fat in diet at baseline, change in systolic blood pressure, and intervention type were significantly associated (P ≤ .05) with ≥3% weight loss at 9-month follow-up. A logistic regression model indicated that Chuukese (OR = 6.04; CI = 1.14-32.17) and participants who had more weight loss in the first 3-months (OR = 1.47; CI = 1.22-1.86) and who were in the PLP (OR = 4.50; CI = 1.50-15.14) were more likely to achieve ≥3% weight loss [model; χ(2) (7, N = 100) = 45.50, P importance of initial weight loss to sustain motivation toward long-term weight loss maintenance. Copyright © 2012 The Obesity Society.

  6. Neutron Exposures in Human Cells: Bystander Effect and Relative Biological Effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth, Isheeta; Schwartz, Jeffrey L.; Stewart, Robert D.; Emery, Robert; Joiner, Michael C.; Tucker, James D.

    2014-01-01

    Bystander effects have been observed repeatedly in mammalian cells following photon and alpha particle irradiation. However, few studies have been performed to investigate bystander effects arising from neutron irradiation. Here we asked whether neutrons also induce a bystander effect in two normal human lymphoblastoid cell lines. These cells were exposed to fast neutrons produced by targeting a near-monoenergetic 50.5 MeV proton beam at a Be target (17 MeV average neutron energy), and irradiated-cell conditioned media (ICCM) was transferred to unirradiated cells. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was used to quantify genetic damage in radiation-naïve cells exposed to ICCM from cultures that received 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 or 4 Gy neutrons. Cells grown in ICCM from irradiated cells showed no significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or nucleoplasmic bridges compared to cells grown in ICCM from sham irradiated cells for either cell line. However, the neutron beam has a photon dose-contamination of 5%, which may modulate a neutron-induced bystander effect. To determine whether these low doses of contaminating photons can induce a bystander effect, cells were irradiated with cobalt-60 at doses equivalent to the percent contamination for each neutron dose. No significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or bridges was observed at these doses of photons for either cell line when cultured in ICCM. As expected, high doses of photons induced a clear bystander effect in both cell lines for micronuclei and bridges (pneutrons do not induce a bystander effect in these cells. Finally, neutrons had a relative biological effectiveness of 2.0±0.13 for micronuclei and 5.8±2.9 for bridges compared to cobalt-60. These results may be relevant to radiation therapy with fast neutrons and for regulatory agencies setting standards for neutron radiation protection and safety. PMID:24896095

  7. Neutron exposures in human cells: bystander effect and relative biological effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth, Isheeta; Schwartz, Jeffrey L; Stewart, Robert D; Emery, Robert; Joiner, Michael C; Tucker, James D

    2014-01-01

    Bystander effects have been observed repeatedly in mammalian cells following photon and alpha particle irradiation. However, few studies have been performed to investigate bystander effects arising from neutron irradiation. Here we asked whether neutrons also induce a bystander effect in two normal human lymphoblastoid cell lines. These cells were exposed to fast neutrons produced by targeting a near-monoenergetic 50.5 MeV proton beam at a Be target (17 MeV average neutron energy), and irradiated-cell conditioned media (ICCM) was transferred to unirradiated cells. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was used to quantify genetic damage in radiation-naïve cells exposed to ICCM from cultures that received 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 or 4 Gy neutrons. Cells grown in ICCM from irradiated cells showed no significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or nucleoplasmic bridges compared to cells grown in ICCM from sham irradiated cells for either cell line. However, the neutron beam has a photon dose-contamination of 5%, which may modulate a neutron-induced bystander effect. To determine whether these low doses of contaminating photons can induce a bystander effect, cells were irradiated with cobalt-60 at doses equivalent to the percent contamination for each neutron dose. No significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or bridges was observed at these doses of photons for either cell line when cultured in ICCM. As expected, high doses of photons induced a clear bystander effect in both cell lines for micronuclei and bridges (pbystander effect in these cells. Finally, neutrons had a relative biological effectiveness of 2.0 ± 0.13 for micronuclei and 5.8 ± 2.9 for bridges compared to cobalt-60. These results may be relevant to radiation therapy with fast neutrons and for regulatory agencies setting standards for neutron radiation protection and safety.

  8. Economic Incentives for Controlling Trade-Related Biological Invasions in the Great Lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Lupi, Frank; Horan, Richard D.

    2005-01-01

    Ballast water from commercial ships engaged in international trade has been implicated as the primary invasion pathway in over 60 percent of new introductions of invasive alien species (IAS) in the Great Lakes since 1960. Recent policies have recognized that IAS are a form of biological pollution and have become focused on preventing new introductions. Given that emissions-based incentives are infeasible for the case of biological emissions, we investigate the cost-effectiveness of various pe...

  9. Removal Efficiency of Different Gemini Surfactants and Related Modified Clay toChattonella marina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen-Wen; Yan, Xin-Ya; Li, Yun-Hui; Yu, De-Ren; Li, Hong-Ye; Yang, Wei-Dong; Liu, Jie-Sheng

    2017-11-01

      To obtain new modified clays with excellent algae removal efficiency, three gemini surfactants including ethylene bis (dodecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride), ethylene bis (octadecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) and ethylene bis (dodecyl dimethyl ammonium bromide) (EDAB), and a poly quaternary ammonium salt, poly dimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride, were screened with Chattonella marina. The four chemicals all exhibited high removal efficiencies against C. marina, with EDAB achieving the highest. A series of organ-clays with different ratios of EDAB were prepared, and the associated removal efficiencies were evaluated. The removal efficiencies of the organ-clays were improved by the EDAB intercalation and the organ-clay with 15% EDAB had the highest removal efficiency. The LC50 of EDAB intercalated clay for zebrafish and shrimp was much higher than the values of intercalated clay required to obtain a desirable removal efficiency of algae. Taken together, EDAB intercalated clay might be a potential alternative to control harmful algal blooms (HABs).

  10. Interactions at the Dimer Interface Influence the Relative Efficiencies for Purine Nucleotide Synthesis and Pyrophosphorolysis in a Phosphoribosyltransferase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canyuk, Bhutorn; Medrano, Francisco J.; Wenck, MaryAnne; Focia, Pamela J.; Eakin, Ann E.; Craig III, Sydney P. (UNC); (Connecticut)

    2010-03-05

    Enzymes that salvage 6-oxopurines, including hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferases (HPRTs), are potential targets for drugs in the treatment of diseases caused by protozoan parasites. For this reason, a number of high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of the HPRTs from protozoa have been reported. Although these structures did not reveal why HPRTs need to form dimers for catalysis, they revealed the existence of potentially relevant interactions involving residues in a loop of amino acid residues adjacent to the dimer interface, but the contributions of these interactions to catalysis remained poorly understood. The loop, referred to as active-site loop I, contains an unusual non-proline cis-peptide and is composed of residues that are structurally analogous with Leu67, Lys68, and Gly69 in the human HPRT. Functional analyses of site-directed mutations (K68D, K68E, K68N, K68P, and K68R) in the HPRT from Trypanosoma cruzi, etiologic agent of Chagas disease, show that the side-chain at position 68 can differentially influence the K{sub m} values for all four substrates as well as the k{sub cat} values for both IMP formation and pyrophosphorolysis. Also, the results for the K68P mutant are inconsistent with a cis-trans peptide isomerization-assisted catalytic mechanism. These data, together with the results of structural studies of the K68R mutant, reveal that the side-chain of residue 68 does not participate directly in reaction chemistry, but it strongly influences the relative efficiencies for IMP formation and pyrophosphorolysis, and the prevalence of lysine at position 68 in the HPRT of the majority of eukaryotes is consistent with there being a biological role for nucleotide pyrophosphorolysis.

  11. Diabetes mortality in Panama and related biological and socioeconomic risk factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motta, Jorge A; Ortega-Paz, Luis G; Gordón, Carlos A; Gómez, Beatriz; Castillo, Eva; Herrera Ballesteros, Víctor; Pereira, Manuel

    2013-08-01

    To estimate mortality from diabetes mellitus (DM) for the period 2001-2011 in the Republic of Panama, by province/indigenous territory, and determine its relationship with biological and socioeconomic risk factors. Cases for the years 2001-2011 with DM listed as the principal cause of death were selected from Panama's National Mortality Registry. Crude and adjusted mortality rates were generated by sex, age, and geographic area. Linear regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between DM mortality and biological and socioeconomic risk factors. A composite health index (CHI) calculated from biological and socioeconomic risk factors was estimated for each province/indigenous territory in Panama. DM mortality rates did not increase for men or women during 2001-2011. Of the biological risk factors, being overweight had the strongest association with DM mortality. Of the socioeconomic risk factors, earning less than US$ 100 per month had the strongest association with DM mortality. The highest socioeconomic CHI scores were found in a province that is predominantly rural and in areas with indigenous populations. The highest biological CHI scores were found in urban-rural provinces and those with the highest percentage of elderly people. Regional disparities in the association between DM mortality and DM risk factors reaffirm the heterogeneous composition of the Panamanian population and the uneven distribution of biological and social determinant risk factors in the country and point to the need to vary management strategies by geographic area for this important cause of disability and death in Panama.

  12. First International Conference on Lysophospholipids and Related Bioactive Lipids in Biology and Disease Sponsored by the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J. Goetzl

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The First International Conference on “Lysophospholipids and Related Bioactive Lipids in Biology and Diseases” was held in Tucson, AZ on June 10�14, 2001, under the sponsorship of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB. More than 100 scientists from 11 countries discussed the recent results of basic and clinical research in the broad biology of this emerging field. Immense progress was reported in defining the biochemistry of generation and biology of cellular effects of the bioactive lysophospholipids (LPLs. These aspects of LPLs described at the conference parallel in many ways those of the eicosanoid mediators, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. As for eicosanoids, the LPLs termed lysophosphatidic acid (LPA and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P are produced enzymatically from phospholipid precursors in cell membranes and act on cells at nanomolar concentrations through subfamilies of receptors of the G protein–coupled superfamily. The rate-limiting steps in production of LPLs were reported to be controlled by specific phospholipases for LPA and sphingosine kinases for S1P. The receptor subfamilies formerly were designated endothelial differentiation gene-encoded receptors or Edg Rs for their original discovery in endothelial cells. A currently active nomenclature committee at this conference suggested the ligand-based names: S1P1 = Edg-1, S1P2 = Edg-5, S1P3 = Edg-3, S1P4 = Edg-6, and S1P5 = Edg-8; LPA1 = Edg-2, LPA2 = Edg-4, and LPA3 = Edg-7 receptors. Several families of lysophospholipid phosphatases (LPPs have been characterized, which biodegrade LPA, whereas S1P is inactivated with similar rapidity by both a lyase and S1P phosphatases.

  13. A bootstrap based analysis pipeline for efficient classification of phylogenetically related animal miRNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Xun

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetically related miRNAs (miRNA families convey important information of the function and evolution of miRNAs. Due to the special sequence features of miRNAs, pair-wise sequence identity between miRNA precursors alone is often inadequate for unequivocally judging the phylogenetic relationships between miRNAs. Most of the current methods for miRNA classification rely heavily on manual inspection and lack measurements of the reliability of the results. Results In this study, we designed an analysis pipeline (the Phylogeny-Bootstrap-Cluster (PBC pipeline to identify miRNA families based on branch stability in the bootstrap trees derived from overlapping genome-wide miRNA sequence sets. We tested the PBC analysis pipeline with the miRNAs from six animal species, H. sapiens, M. musculus, G. gallus, D. rerio, D. melanogaster, and C. elegans. The resulting classification was compared with the miRNA families defined in miRBase. The two classifications were largely consistent. Conclusion The PBC analysis pipeline is an efficient method for classifying large numbers of heterogeneous miRNA sequences. It requires minimum human involvement and provides measurements of the reliability of the classification results.

  14. Capture Efficiency of Cooking-Related Fine and Ultrafine Particles by Residential Exhaust Hoods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lunden, Melissa M.; Delp, William W.

    2014-06-05

    Effective exhaust hoods can mitigate the indoor air quality impacts of pollutant emissions from residential cooking. This study reports capture efficiencies (CE) measured for cooking generated particles for scripted cooking procedures in a 121-m3 chamber with kitchenette. CEs also were measured for burner produced CO2 during cooking and separately for pots and pans containing water. The study used four exhaust hoods previously tested by Delp and Singer (Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46, 6167-6173). For pan-frying a hamburger over medium heat on the back burner, CEs for particles were similar to those for burner produced CO2 and mostly above 80percent. For stir-frying green beans in a wok (high heat, front burner), CEs for burner CO2 during cooking varied by hood and airflow: CEs were 34-38percent for low (51?68 L s-1) and 54?72percent for high (109?138 L s-1) settings. CEs for 0.3?2.0 ?m particles during front burner stir-frying were 3?11percent on low and 16?70percent on high settings. Results indicate that CEs measured for burner CO2 are not predictive of CEs of cooking-generated particles under all conditions, but they may be suitable to identify devices with CEs above 80percent both for burner combustion products and for cooking-related particles.

  15. Particle acceleration efficiency and MHD characteristics of CIR-related shocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classen, H.-T.; Mann, G.; Keppler, E.

    1998-07-01

    During its southbound journey the Ulysses spacecraft crossed a series of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) building up due to the interaction of fast and slow solar wind streams. We analyse the forward and the reverse shocks marking off the 18 CIR encounters between July 1992 and December 1993. Our investigations look for a correlation between the particle acceleration efficiency expressed by the particle flux measured at the time of shock crossing and the MHD characteristics of the shocks; i.e., Alfven-Mach number (MA1), density and magnetic field compression ratios (r_N, r_B), and the angle between shock normal and upstream magnetic field (theta_ {Bn}). The results of this analysis show that the highest fluxes of 300 keV electrons and 1 MeV protons are observed when the conditions MA1 > 2.5 and 50(deg) <= theta_ {Bn} <= 75(deg) are simultaneously fulfilled by the shocks. These investigations are supplemented by a computation of the first critical Alfven-Mach number for typical parameters of CIR-related shocks. Furthermore, we discuss possible acceleration mechanisms by an analysis of the spectral indices of protons and Helium.

  16. Relative Efficiency of ALS and InSAR for Biomass Estimation in a Tanzanian Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Endre Hofstad Hansen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Forest inventories based on field sample surveys, supported by auxiliary remotely sensed data, have the potential to provide transparent and confident estimates of forest carbon stocks required in climate change mitigation schemes such as the REDD+ mechanism. The field plot size is of importance for the precision of carbon stock estimates, and better information of the relationship between plot size and precision can be useful in designing future inventories. Precision estimates of forest biomass estimates developed from 30 concentric field plots with sizes of 700, 900, …, 1900 m2, sampled in a Tanzanian rainforest, were assessed in a model-based inference framework. Remotely sensed data from airborne laser scanning (ALS and interferometric synthetic aperture radio detection and ranging (InSAR were used as auxiliary information. The findings indicate that larger field plots are relatively more efficient for inventories supported by remotely sensed ALS and InSAR data. A simulation showed that a pure field-based inventory would have to comprise 3.5–6.0 times as many observations for plot sizes of 700–1900 m2 to achieve the same precision as an inventory supported by ALS data.

  17. Physiological and morphological adaptations in relation to water use efficiency in Mediterranean accessions of Solanum lycopersicum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galmés, Jeroni; Conesa, Miquel Àngel; Ochogavía, Joan Manuel; Perdomo, Juan Alejandro; Francis, David M; Ribas-Carbó, Miquel; Savé, Robert; Flexas, Jaume; Medrano, Hipólito; Cifre, Josep

    2011-02-01

    The physiological traits underlying the apparent drought resistance of 'Tomàtiga de Ramellet' (TR) cultivars, a population of Mediterranean tomato cultivars with delayed fruit deterioration (DFD) phenotype and typically grown under non-irrigation conditions, are evaluated. Eight different tomato accessions were selected and included six TR accessions, one Mediterranean non-TR accession (NTR(M)) and a processing cultivar (NTR(O)). Among the TR accessions two leaf morphology types, normal divided leaves and potato-leaf, were selected. Plants were field grown under well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) treatments, with 30 and 10% of soil water capacity, respectively. Accessions were clustered according to the leaf type and TR phenotype under WW and WS, respectively. Correlation among parameters under the different water treatments suggested that potential improvements in the intrinsic water-use efficiency (A(N)/g(s)) are possible without negative impacts on yield. Under WS TR accessions displayed higher A(N)/g(s), which was not due to differences in Rubisco-related parameters, but correlated with the ratio between the leaf mesophyll and stomatal conductances (g(m)/g(s)). The results confirm the existence of differential traits in the response to drought stress in Mediterranean accessions of tomato, and demonstrate that increases in the g(m)/g(s) ratio would allow improvements in A(N)/g(s) in horticultural crops. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Age-related changes in the efficiency of cognitive processing across the life span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Span, Mark M; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; van der Molen, Maurits W

    2004-10-01

    The global-speed and the specific-gain/loss hypotheses have been dominant theoretical frameworks in the recent literature on cognitive development and aging. Few attempts have been made to explicitly assess the predictive power of the two frameworks against each other. We evaluated the extent to which age changes in performance in executive function tasks (involving response selection, response suppression, working memory, and adaptive control) depend on age-related changes in global information-processing speed. Our sample consisted of children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Analysis of covariance and structural equation modeling revealed a mixed pattern of results. Controlling for global speed removed the child vs. adult differences in the speed of responding on the executive function tasks but the senior vs. adult differences remained. This mixed pattern of findings was interpreted to suggest that the effects of advancing age on the speed of responding are mediated by a global mechanism during childhood but during senescence the efficiency of executive functioning seems particularly vulnerable to the effects of age. Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.

  19. How is light interception efficiency related to shoot structure in tall canopy species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osada, Noriyuki; Hiura, Tsutom

    2017-08-11

    Coexistence of multiple species is a fundamental aspect of plant and forest ecology. Although spatial arrangement of leaves within crowns is an important determinant of light interception and productivity, shoot structure varies considerably among coexisting canopy species. We investigated the relative importance of structural traits in determining the light availability of leaves (I) and light interception efficiency at the current-year shoot level (LIECS; the total light interception of leaves divided by shoot biomass) at the top of crowns of 11 canopy species in a cool-temperate forest in Japan. In accordance with Corner's rules, the total mass, stem mass, total mass of leaf laminae, individual leaf area, and stem cross-sectional area of current-year shoot were positively correlated with each other, and branching intensity (the number of current-year shoots per branch unit of 1-m length) was inversely correlated with these traits across species. In contrast, I was correlated not with these traits, but with leaf elevation angle (a L). Moreover, variation in LIECS across species was caused by variation in I (thus in a L). Thus, a L is a key parameter for the leaf light interception of canopy shoots in this cool-temperate forest. Differences in a L across species might be related to different physiological strategies that developed in the high light and water-limited environment of forest canopies. Small variation in the length of current-year shoots among species implies that variations in I and LIECS would be important for the coexistence of these canopy species.

  20. Adult bipolar diathermy circumcision and related procedures in adults – a safe and efficient technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nalavenkata S

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Sunny Nalavenkata, Matthew Winter, Rachel Kour, Nam-Wee Kour, Paul RuljancichDepartment of Urology, Eastern Health, Box Hill Hospital, Box Hill, VIC, AustraliaObjectives: To present our novel technique and step-by-step approach to bipolar diathermy circumcision and related procedures in adult males.Methods: We reviewed our technique of bipolar circumcision and related procedures in 54 cases over a 22-month period at our day procedure center. Bipolar diathermy cutting and hemostasis was performed using bipolar forceps with a Valleylab machine set at 15. Sleeve circumcision was used. A dorsal slit was made, followed by frenulum release and ventral slit, and was completed with bilateral circumferential cutting. Frenuloplasties released the frenulum. Preputioplasties used multiple 2–3 mm longitudinal cuts to release the constriction, with frenulum left intact. All wounds were closed with interrupted 4/0 Vicryl Rapide™.Results: A total of 54 nonemergency bipolar circumcision procedures were carried out from November 2010–August 2012 (42 circumcisions, eight frenuloplasties, and four preputioplasties. Patients were aged 18–72 years (mean, 34 years. There was minimal to no intraoperative bleeding in all cases, allowing for precise dissection. All patients were requested to attend outpatient reviews; three frenuloplasty and two circumcision patients failed to return. Of the remaining 49, mean interval to review was 49 days, with a range of 9–121 days. Two circumcision patients reported mild bleeding with nocturnal erections within a week postoperatively, but they did not require medical attention. Two others presented to family practitioners with possible wound infections which resolved with oral antibiotics. All 49 patients had well-healed wounds.Conclusion: The bipolar diathermy technique is a simple procedure, easily taught, and reproducible. It is associated with minimal bleeding, is safe and efficient, uses routine operating equipment and

  1. Age-related changes of frontal-midline theta is predictive of efficient memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kardos, Z; Tóth, B; Boha, R; File, B; Molnár, M

    2014-07-25

    Frontal areas are thought to be the coordinators of working memory processes by controlling other brain areas reflected by oscillatory activities like frontal-midline theta (4-7 Hz). With aging substantial changes can be observed in the frontal brain areas, presumably leading to age-associated changes in cortical correlates of cognitive functioning. The present study aimed to test whether altered frontal-midline theta dynamics during working memory maintenance may underlie the capacity deficits observed in older adults. 33-channel EEG was recorded in young (18-26 years, N=20) and old (60-71 years, N=16) adults during the retention period of a visual delayed match-to-sample task, in which they had to maintain arrays of 3 or 5 colored squares. An additional visual odd-ball task was used to be able to measure the electrophysiological indices of sustained attentional processes. Old participants showed reduced frontal theta activity during both tasks compared to the young group. In the young memory maintenance-related frontal-midline theta activity was shown to be sensitive both to the increased memory demands and to efficient subsequent memory performance, whereas the old adults showed no such task-related difference in the frontal theta activity. The decrease of frontal-midline theta activity in the old group indicates that cerebral aging may alter the cortical circuitries of theta dynamics, thereby leading to age-associated decline of working memory maintenance function. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Determination of energy efficiency in the design phase of the enterprise by the method of finite relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karpov V. N.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The algorithm for estimating engineering solutions at the design stage in terms of the relative energy intensity by means of the finite relations has been considered. The description and diagram of energy consumer system serving as the base object in analysis of energy efficiency for production of products have been given. The basic features of using the finite relations' method at the design stage have been revealed. Based on energy estimation the usefulness of the integrated approach to design for improving the energy efficiency of agricultural enterprises has been proved

  3. Relative efficiencies of three ultraviolet radiation wavelengths for cell killing and transformation in mouse cells in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papadopoulo, D.; Muel, B.; Latarjet, R. (Institut du Radium, 75 - Paris (France). Lab. Curie)

    1983-09-01

    C3H 10 T 1/2 clone 8 mouse cells were irradiated in vitro with three U.V. wavelengths 280, 254, and 230 nm. Two effects were investigated, survival and malignant transformation, and the relative efficiences were determined for the three radiation. For transformation, these efficiences were: 280 nm: 3.9; 254 nm: 5.1; 230 nm: 2.3 (transformations produced by 5 J m/sup -2/ of U.V. for 1000 surviving cells). For cell killing the efficiencies were, in relative units, 34, 100, and 50 respectively. These efficiencies are in agreement with the hypothesis that the main chromophore for both effects is the nucleic acid, and not the protein moiety of the genome. This conclusion agrees with that previously reached by other investigators, but our present results obtained with the short wave-length 230 nm provide an especially strong new argument.

  4. In vivo evaluation of the effect of stimulus distribution on FIR statistical efficiency in event-related fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansma, J Martijn; de Zwart, Jacco A; van Gelderen, Peter; Duyn, Jeff H; Drevets, Wayne C; Furey, Maura L

    2013-05-15

    Technical developments in MRI have improved signal to noise, allowing use of analysis methods such as Finite impulse response (FIR) of rapid event related functional MRI (er-fMRI). FIR is one of the most informative analysis methods as it determines onset and full shape of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) without any a priori assumptions. FIR is however vulnerable to multicollinearity, which is directly related to the distribution of stimuli over time. Efficiency can be optimized by simplifying a design, and restricting stimuli distribution to specific sequences, while more design flexibility necessarily reduces efficiency. However, the actual effect of efficiency on fMRI results has never been tested in vivo. Thus, it is currently difficult to make an informed choice between protocol flexibility and statistical efficiency. The main goal of this study was to assign concrete fMRI signal to noise values to the abstract scale of FIR statistical efficiency. Ten subjects repeated a perception task with five random and m-sequence based protocol, with varying but, according to literature, acceptable levels of multicollinearity. Results indicated substantial differences in signal standard deviation, while the level was a function of multicollinearity. Experiment protocols varied up to 55.4% in standard deviation. Results confirm that quality of fMRI in an FIR analysis can significantly and substantially vary with statistical efficiency. Our in vivo measurements can be used to aid in making an informed decision between freedom in protocol design and statistical efficiency. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Disentangling the relative roles of resource acquisition and allocation on animal feed efficiency: insights from a dairy cow model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puillet, Laurence; Réale, Denis; Friggens, Nicolas C

    2016-09-26

    Feed efficiency of farm animals has greatly improved through genetic selection for production. Today, we are faced with the limits of our ability to predict the effect of selection on feed efficiency, partly because the relative importance of the components of this complex phenotype changes across environments. Thus, we developed a dairy cow model that incorporates the dynamic interplay between life functions and evaluated its behaviour with a global sensitivity analysis on two definitions of feed efficiency. A key model feature is to consider feed efficiency as the result of two processes, acquisition and allocation of resources. Acquisition encapsulates intake and digestion, and allocation encapsulates partitioning rules between physiological functions. The model generates genetically-driven trajectories of energy acquisition and allocation, with four genetic-scaling parameters controlling these processes. Model sensitivity to these parameters was assessed with a complete factorial design. Acquisition and allocation had contrasting effects on feed efficiency (ratio between energy in milk and energy acquired from the environment). When measured over a lactation period, feed efficiency was increased by increasing allocation to lactation. However, at the lifetime level, efficiency was increased by decreasing allocation to growth and increasing lactation acquisition. While there is a strong linear increase in feed efficiency with more allocation to lactation within a lactation cycle, our results suggest that there is an optimal level of allocation to lactation beyond which increasing allocation to lactation negatively affects lifetime feed efficiency. We developed a model to predict lactation and lifetime feed efficiency and show that breaking-down feed conversion into acquisition and allocation, and introducing genetically-driven trajectories that control these mechanisms, permitted quantification of their relative roles on feed efficiency. The life stage at which

  6. Biological monitoring of isocyanates and related amines. III. Test chamber exposure of humans to toluene diisocyanate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skarping, G; Brorson, T; Sangö, C

    1991-01-01

    Five men were exposed to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) atmospheres for 7.5 h. The TDI atmospheres were generated by a gas-phase permeation method, and the exposures were performed in an 8-m3 stainless-steel test chamber. The mean air concentration of TDI was ca. 40 micrograms/m3, which corresponds to the threshold limit value (TLV) of Sweden. The inhaled doses of 2,4- and 2,6-TDI were ca. 120 micrograms. TDI in the test chamber air was determined by an HPLC method using the 9-(N-methylaminomethyl)-anthracene reagent and by a continuous-monitoring filter-tape instrument. After hydrolysis of plasma and urine, the related amines, 2,4- and 2,6-toluenediamine 2,4-, and 2,6-TDA), were determined as pentafluoropropionic anhydride (PFPA) derivatives by capillary gas-chromatography using selected ion monitoring (SIM) in the electron-impact mode. The urinary elimination of the TDAs showed a possible biphasic pattern, with rapid first phases for 2,4-TDA (mean t1/2 for the concentration in urine, 1.9 h) and for 2,6-TDA (mean t1/2 for the concentration in urine, 1.6 h). The cumulative amount of 2,4-TDA excreted in urine within 28 h ranged from 8% to 14% of the estimated dose of 2,4-TDI, and the cumulative amount of 2,6-TDA in urine ranged from 14% to 18% of the 2,6-TDI dose. The average urinary level of 2,4-TDA was 5 micrograms/l in the 6 to 8-h sample (range 2.8-9.6 micrograms/l), and the corresponding value for 2,6-TDA was 8.6 micrograms/l (range, 5.6-16.6 micrograms/l). Biological monitoring of exposure to 2,4- and 2,6-TDI by analysis of 2,4- and 2,6-TDA in urine is feasible.

  7. Neutron exposures in human cells: bystander effect and relative biological effectiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isheeta Seth

    Full Text Available Bystander effects have been observed repeatedly in mammalian cells following photon and alpha particle irradiation. However, few studies have been performed to investigate bystander effects arising from neutron irradiation. Here we asked whether neutrons also induce a bystander effect in two normal human lymphoblastoid cell lines. These cells were exposed to fast neutrons produced by targeting a near-monoenergetic 50.5 MeV proton beam at a Be target (17 MeV average neutron energy, and irradiated-cell conditioned media (ICCM was transferred to unirradiated cells. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was used to quantify genetic damage in radiation-naïve cells exposed to ICCM from cultures that received 0 (control, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 or 4 Gy neutrons. Cells grown in ICCM from irradiated cells showed no significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or nucleoplasmic bridges compared to cells grown in ICCM from sham irradiated cells for either cell line. However, the neutron beam has a photon dose-contamination of 5%, which may modulate a neutron-induced bystander effect. To determine whether these low doses of contaminating photons can induce a bystander effect, cells were irradiated with cobalt-60 at doses equivalent to the percent contamination for each neutron dose. No significant increase in the frequencies of micronuclei or bridges was observed at these doses of photons for either cell line when cultured in ICCM. As expected, high doses of photons induced a clear bystander effect in both cell lines for micronuclei and bridges (p<0.0001. These data indicate that neutrons do not induce a bystander effect in these cells. Finally, neutrons had a relative biological effectiveness of 2.0 ± 0.13 for micronuclei and 5.8 ± 2.9 for bridges compared to cobalt-60. These results may be relevant to radiation therapy with fast neutrons and for regulatory agencies setting standards for neutron radiation protection and safety.

  8. Biological, psychological and social processes that explain celebrities' influence on patients' health-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Steven J; Tan, Charlie

    2015-01-01

    Celebrities can have substantial influence as medical advisors. However, their impact on public health is equivocal: depending on the advice's validity and applicability, celebrity engagements can benefit or hinder efforts to educate patients on evidence-based practices and improve their health literacy. This meta-narrative analysis synthesizes multiple disciplinary insights explaining the influence celebrities have on people's health-related behaviors. Systematic searches of electronic databases BusinessSource Complete, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Humanities Abstracts, ProQuest Political Science, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Sociology Abstracts were conducted. Retrieved articles were used to inform a conceptual analysis of the possible processes accounting for the substantial influence celebrities may have as medical advisors. Fourteen mechanisms of celebrity influence were identified. According to the economics literature, celebrities distinguish endorsed items from competitors and can catalyze herd behavior. Marketing studies tell us that celebrities' characteristics are transferred to endorsed products, and that the most successful celebrity advisors are those viewed as credible, a perception they can create with their success. Neuroscience research supports these explanations, finding that celebrity endorsements activate brain regions involved in making positive associations, building trust and encoding memories. The psychology literature tells us that celebrity advice conditions people to react positively toward it. People are also inclined to follow celebrities if the advice matches their self-conceptions or if not following it would generate cognitive dissonance. Sociology explains how celebrities' advice spreads through social networks, how their influence is a manifestation of people's desire to acquire celebrities' social capital, and how they affect the ways people acquire and interpret health information. There are clear and deeply rooted biological

  9. Effect of edema, relative biological effectiveness, and dose heterogeneity on prostate brachytherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian Z; Mayr, Nina A; Nag, Subir; Montebello, Joseph; Gupta, Nilendu; Samsami, Nina; Kanellitsas, Christos

    2006-04-01

    Many factors influence response in low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy of prostate cancer. Among them, edema, relative biological effectiveness (RBE), and dose heterogeneity have not been fully modeled previously. In this work, the generalized linear-quadratic (LQ) model, extended to account for the effects of edema, RBE, and dose heterogeneity, was used to assess these factors and their combination effect. Published clinical data have shown that prostate edema after seed implant has a magnitude (ratio of post- to preimplant volume) of 1.3-2.0 and resolves exponentially with a half-life of 4-25 days over the duration of the implant dose delivery. Based on these parameters and a representative dose-volume histogram (DVH), we investigated the influence of edema on the implant dose distribution. The LQ parameters (alpha=0.15 Gy(-1) and alpha/beta=3.1 Gy) determined in earlier studies were used to calculate the equivalent uniform dose in 2 Gy fractions (EUD2) with respect to three effects: edema, RBE, and dose heterogeneity for 125I and 103Pd implants. The EUD2 analysis shows a negative effect of edema and dose heterogeneity on tumor cell killing because the prostate edema degrades the dose coverage to tumor target. For the representative DVH, the V100 (volume covered by 100% of prescription dose) decreases from 93% to 91% and 86%, and the D90 (dose covering 90% of target volume) decrease from 107% to 102% and 94% of prescription dose for 125I and 103Pd implants, respectively. Conversely, the RBE effect of LDR brachytherapy [versus external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy] enhances dose effect on tumor cell kill. In order to balance the negative effects of edema and dose heterogeneity, the RBE of prostate brachytherapy was determined to be approximately 1.2-1.4 for 125I and 1.3-1.6 for 103Pd implants. These RBE values are consistent with the RBE data published in the literature. These results may explain why in earlier modeling studies

  10. New improved method for evaluation of growth by food related fungi on biologically derived materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergenholtz, Karina P.; Nielsen, Per Væggemose

    2002-01-01

    Biologically derived materials, obtained as commercial and raw materials (Polylactate (PLA), Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), potato, wheat and corn starch) were tested for their ability to support fungal growth using a modified ASTM G21-96 (American Society for Testing and Materials) standard as well...... as a new method where 10 mul of a spore suspension is placed in a spot on the test sample. The new method gave additional information about fungal growth on biologically derived materials, revealing a clear difference between survival and growth. PHB and PIA turned out to be most suitable for food...

  11. Yield, yield components and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. in mushroom compost, biological fertilizer and urea application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Seyedi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available More nitrogen use efficiency in crops is important for maintaining and developing sustainable agriculture. In order to study the effect of different levels of mushroom compost and different resource of nitrogen on yield, yield attributes and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat (Triticum aestivum L., an experiment was conducted at Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, during 2009-2010. A completely randomized block design with three replications and 18 treatments was used. The experimental treatments were all combination of different levels of mushroom compost (0, 10, 20, 40, 80 and 160 t.ha-1 and three different resources of nitrogen [control (no fertilizer, urea fertilizer (150 kg.ha-1 and nitroxin biofertilizer (including Azotobacter sp. and Azospirillum sp.]. Results indicated that dry matter, plant height, number of grains per plant, grain weight per plant and 1000 grain weight were increased significantly with gradually increasing levels of mushroom compost, while harvest index and nitrogen use efficiency were decreased with increasing mushroom compost levels. Grain weight and number of grains per plant and 1000 grains weight were increased 4.70, 2.98 and 1.56 times compared with control (without any fertilizer or any additives, respectively. In addition, results showed that urea fertilizer and nitroxin biofertilizer had significant effects on mentioned traits. However, results of present study suggest that nitroxin might not be suitable and successful biofertilizer to wheat production, if there is organic matter deficiency in the soil.

  12. Carotenoid coloration is related to fat digestion efficiency in a wild bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madonia, Christina; Hutton, Pierce; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Sepp, Tuul

    2017-12-01

    Some of the most spectacular visual signals found in the animal kingdom are based on dietarily derived carotenoid pigments (which cannot be produced de novo), with a general assumption that carotenoids are limited resources for wild organisms, causing trade-offs in allocation of carotenoids to different physiological functions and ornamentation. This resource trade-off view has been recently questioned, since the efficiency of carotenoid processing may relax the trade-off between allocation toward condition or ornamentation. This hypothesis has so far received little exploratory support, since studies of digestive efficiency of wild animals are limited due to methodological difficulties. Recently, a method for quantifying the percentage of fat in fecal samples to measure digestive efficiency has been developed in birds. Here, we use this method to test if the intensity of the carotenoid-based coloration predicts digestive efficiency in a wild bird, the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus). The redness of carotenoid feather coloration (hue) positively predicted digestion efficiency, with redder birds being more efficient at absorbing fats from seeds. We show for the first time in a wild species that digestive efficiency predicts ornamental coloration. Though not conclusive due to the correlative nature of our study, these results strongly suggest that fat extraction might be a crucial but overlooked process behind many ornamental traits.

  13. Biological mechanisms related to differences in residual feed intake in dairy cows

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Xi, Y M; Wu, F; Zhao, D Q; Yang, Z; Li, L; Han, Z Y; Wang, G L

    2016-01-01

    Residual feed intake (RFI), defined as the difference between an animal's actual feed intake and expected feed intake over a specific period, is an inheritable character of feed conversion efficiency in dairy cows...

  14. Cell nuclei attributed relational graphs for efficient representation and classification of gastric cancer in digital histopathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Harshita; Zerbe, Norman; Heim, Daniel; Wienert, Stephan; Lohmann, Sebastian; Hellwich, Olaf; Hufnagl, Peter

    2016-03-01

    This paper describes a novel graph-based method for efficient representation and subsequent classification in histological whole slide images of gastric cancer. Her2/neu immunohistochemically stained and haematoxylin and eosin stained histological sections of gastric carcinoma are digitized. Immunohistochemical staining is used in practice by pathologists to determine extent of malignancy, however, it is laborious to visually discriminate the corresponding malignancy levels in the more commonly used haematoxylin and eosin stain, and this study attempts to solve this problem using a computer-based method. Cell nuclei are first isolated at high magnification using an automatic cell nuclei segmentation strategy, followed by construction of cell nuclei attributed relational graphs of the tissue regions. These graphs represent tissue architecture comprehensively, as they contain information about cell nuclei morphology as vertex attributes, along with knowledge of neighborhood in the form of edge linking and edge attributes. Global graph characteristics are derived and ensemble learning is used to discriminate between three types of malignancy levels, namely, non-tumor, Her2/neu positive tumor and Her2/neu negative tumor. Performance is compared with state of the art methods including four texture feature groups (Haralick, Gabor, Local Binary Patterns and Varma Zisserman features), color and intensity features, and Voronoi diagram and Delaunay triangulation. Texture, color and intensity information is also combined with graph-based knowledge, followed by correlation analysis. Quantitative assessment is performed using two cross validation strategies. On investigating the experimental results, it can be concluded that the proposed method provides a promising way for computer-based analysis of histopathological images of gastric cancer.

  15. [Transfection Efficiency of Ad5F11p-GFP on CIK and NK-92 Cells and Its Influence on Biological Characteristics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zan-Mei; Lu, Ying; Zhao, Lan-Jun; Liu, Jin; Hu, Xian-Wen; Wu, Chu-Tse; Duan, Hai-Feng

    2016-06-01

    To study transfection efficiency of Ad5F11p-GFP and its influence on biological characteristics of CIK and NK-92 cells in order to predict the application of Ad5F11p vector in immunotherapy. Two kinds of immune cells, cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells and natural-killer (NK) cell line NK-92 cells, were transfected by Ad5F11p-GFP at different multiplicity of transfection (MOI), and untransfected immune cells were used as negative control. GFP expression was determined by flow cytometry, the cell morphology was observed with microscope, the cell proliferation was analyzed by trypan blue staining, specific cytotoxicity of NK-92 cells was determined by LDH assay. About 90% of transfection efficiency for NK-92 cells could be achieved at a MOI of 25, while the transfection efficiency for CIK was less than 40% at a MOI of 200. In addition, the transfection efficiency basically unchanged at the same MOI for 48 h and 96 h, and the immune cells transfected with the virus trended to form agglomeration, displaying slower proliferation, increase of IFN-γ release and enhancement of tumor killing activity. Ad5F11p- modified NK-92 shows a good prospect for adoptive immunotherapy.

  16. Efficiency of Some Selective Herbicides in Canola (Brassica napus L. Cultivation and Their Interaction with Biofarm Biological Fertilizer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Pouri,

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the effect of herbicides and biofarm (Pseudomonas spp. as biological fertilizer on weeds and yield components of canola, a factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with three replications was conducted at Agricultural Research Center of East Azarbaijan in 2009. The treatment factors consisted of herbicide (factor A at 4 levels (application of trifloralin, Treflan, at 2.5 l/ha as pre-planting, chlopyralid, Lontrel, at 0.8 l/ha when canola plants were at 2-4 leaf stage, metazachlor+quinmerac, Butizan star, at 2.5 l/ha at cotyledonous stage of canola, and not controlling the weeds as check. Biological fertilizer (factor B at 2 levels, using or not using the biofarm. Wild mustard (Sinapis arvvensis and tansy mustard (Descurainia sophia, being in same family with canola, were the dominant weeds in the field. Traits like number of species and biomass of weeds, biomass and yield of the crop were recorded to evaluate the effects of the treatments. The statistical analysis indicated that Botizan star and Treflan, compared with control, significantly reduced the number and biomass of wild mustard. In spite of non significant effect of the herbicide on number of tansy mustard and total weed, Botizan star and Treflan significantly reduced their biomasses. Application of biofarm and its interaction with herbicides did not influence the evaluated traits significantly. The herbicides, also, did not have significant effect on biomass and yield of the crop.

  17. Biological Technicians

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the direction of biologists or other scientists. Work Schedules Most biological technicians work full time and keep ... more efficient ways than are currently used. New applications of biotechnology may be the subject of research ...

  18. Biological indicators in relation to coastal pollution along Karnataka coast, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Verlecar, X.N.; Desai, S.R.; Sarkar, A.; Dalal, S.G.

    sealed in plastic bottles and frozen till analysis in shore laboratory. The sediment samples were collected using van- Veen grab with an area of 0.04 m2. Those for chemical analysis were sealed in plastic bags and frozen. For biological analysis...

  19. Biological lifestyle factors related to cognition and learning performance in adults in distance education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijselaers, Jérôme; De Groot, Renate; Kirschner, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    An important part of learning performance is influenced by individual characteristics. One of those are the environmental influences determined by lifestyle. We call these influences biological lifestyle factors (BLFs). Physical activity, sleep and nutrition are such BLFs and they contribute to

  20. Physics of Non-Newtonian Fluids and Interdisciplinary Relations (Biology and Criminology)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holubova, R.

    2018-01-01

    The aim of the paper is the presentation of an interdisciplinary topic that allows applying content knowledge in physics, mathematics and biology in real life environment. Students use to play games and view crime scenes but in common they have little knowledge about the science used during crime scene investigation. In this paper the science…

  1. Biodegradation of chlorinated unsaturated hydrocarbons in relation to biological waste-gas treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartmans, S.

    1993-01-01

    The original goal of the research described in this thesis was to develop a biological process for the removal of vinyl chloride from waste gases. The gaseous and carcinogenic vinyl chloride is used to produce the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC). During this production process waste gases

  2. How vocabulary size in two languages relates to efficiency in spoken word recognition by young Spanish-English bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchman, Virginia A; Fernald, Anne; Hurtado, Nereyda

    2010-09-01

    Research using online comprehension measures with monolingual children shows that speed and accuracy of spoken word recognition are correlated with lexical development. Here we examined speech processing efficiency in relation to vocabulary development in bilingual children learning both Spanish and English (n=26 ; 2 ; 6). Between-language associations were weak: vocabulary size in Spanish was uncorrelated with vocabulary in English, and children's facility in online comprehension in Spanish was unrelated to their facility in English. Instead, efficiency of online processing in one language was significantly related to vocabulary size in that language, after controlling for processing speed and vocabulary size in the other language. These links between efficiency of lexical access and vocabulary knowledge in bilinguals parallel those previously reported for Spanish and English monolinguals, suggesting that children's ability to abstract information from the input in building a working lexicon relates fundamentally to mechanisms underlying the construction of language.

  3. The importance of additionality in evaluating the economic viability of motor-related energy efficiency measures

    OpenAIRE

    Zuberi, Muhammad Jibran Shahzad; Patel, Martin Kumar

    2017-01-01

    The additionality of an energy efficiency (EE) measure is defined as the supplementary impact of a measure beyond standard practices and autonomous changes. The consideration of additionality and the manner of accounting for it may strongly influence the cost-effectiveness of the EE measures and consequently the decision by policy makers. Many studies on energy efficiency improvement potentials fail to provide transparency regarding the methodology and underlying data (discount rate, lifetime...

  4. Antagonistic Activity of Trichoderma ISolates against Sclerotium rolfsii : Screening of Efficient Isolates from Morocco Soils for Biological Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Khattabi

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Seventy Trichoderma spp. isolates collected from different regions of Morocco were tested for their capacity to inhibit in vitro mycelial growth of Sclerotium rolfsii, and for their effect on the viability of S. rolfsii sclerotia in the soil. The Trichoderma spp. isolates inhibited mycelial growth of S. rolfsii to various degrees, with 52% of isolates expressing an average inhibition, varying between 45 and 55%. The effect on the viability of sclerotia in the soil also varied between isolates of Trichoderma, with the majority (84% having a slight effect. A group of twenty isolates identified as Trichoderma harzianum when tested in sterilized soil, significantly reduced sclerotial viability though not in natural soil. Four of these isolates (Nz, Kb2, Kb3 and Kf1 showed good antagonistic activity against S. rolfsii and were also highly competitive in natural soil. These isolates would therefore be candidates for development in biological control program.

  5. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghahramanzadeh, R.; Esselink, G.; Kodde, L.P.; Duistermaat, H.; Valkenburg, van J.L.C.H.; Marashi, S.H.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to

  6. Efficient one-pot synthesis of hydrophilic and fluorescent molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles for direct drug quantification in real biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Hui; Yang, Yaqiong; Zhang, Huiqi

    2015-12-15

    Efficient one-pot synthesis of hydrophilic and fluorescent molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) nanoparticles and their application as optical chemosensor for direct drug quantification in real, undiluted biological samples are described. The general principle was demonstrated by preparing tetracycline (Tc, a broad-spectrum antibiotic)-imprinted fluorescent polymer nanoparticles bearing hydrophilic polymer brushes via poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) macromolecular chain transfer agent-mediated reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) precipitation polymerization in the presence of a fluorescent monomer. The introduction of hydrophilic PHEMA brushes and fluorescence labeling onto/into the MIP nanoparticles proved to not only significantly improve their surface hydrophilicity and lead to their obvious specific binding and high selectivity toward Tc in the undiluted bovine serum, but also impart them with strong fluorescent properties. In particular, significant fluorescence quenching was observed upon their binding with Tc in such complex biological milieu, which makes these Tc-MIP nanoparticles useful optical chemosensor with a detection limit of 0.26 μM. Furthermore, such advanced functional MIP nanoparticles-based chemosensor was also successfully utilized for the direct, sensitive, and accurate determination of Tc in another biological medium (i.e., the undiluted pig serum) with average recoveries ranging from 98% to 102%, even in the presence of several interfering drugs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Estimation of Resource Productivity and Efficiency: An Extended Evaluation of Sustainability Related to Material Flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pin-Chih Wang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study is intended to conduct an extended evaluation of sustainability based on the material flow analysis of resource productivity. We first present updated information on the material flow analysis (MFA database in Taiwan. Essential indicators are selected to quantify resource productivity associated with the economy-wide MFA of Taiwan. The study also applies the IPAT (impact-population-affluence-technology master equation to measure trends of material use efficiency in Taiwan and to compare them with those of other Asia-Pacific countries. An extended evaluation of efficiency, in comparison with selected economies by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA, is conducted accordingly. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI is thereby adopted to quantify the patterns and the associated changes of efficiency. Observations and summaries can be described as follows. Based on the MFA of the Taiwanese economy, the average growth rates of domestic material input (DMI; 2.83% and domestic material consumption (DMC; 2.13% in the past two decades were both less than that of gross domestic product (GDP; 4.95%. The decoupling of environmental pressures from economic growth can be observed. In terms of the decomposition analysis of the IPAT equation and in comparison with 38 other economies, the material use efficiency of Taiwan did not perform as well as its economic growth. The DEA comparisons of resource productivity show that Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Japan performed the best in 2008. Since the MPI consists of technological change (frontier-shift or innovation and efficiency change (catch-up, the change in efficiency (catch-up of Taiwan has not been accomplished as expected in spite of the increase in its technological efficiency.

  8. Relative efficiency of anuran sampling methods in a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. D. Rocha

    Full Text Available Studies on anurans in restinga habitats are few and, as a result, there is little information on which methods are more efficient for sampling them in this environment. Ten methods are usually used for sampling anuran communities in tropical and sub-tropical areas. In this study we evaluate which methods are more appropriate for this purpose in the restinga environment of Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba. We analyzed six methods among those usually used for anuran samplings. For each method, we recorded the total amount of time spent (in min., the number of researchers involved, and the number of species captured. We calculated a capture efficiency index (time necessary for a researcher to capture an individual frog in order to make comparable the data obtained. Of the methods analyzed, the species inventory (9.7 min/searcher /ind.- MSI; richness = 6; abundance = 23 and the breeding site survey (9.5 MSI; richness = 4; abundance = 22 were the most efficient. The visual encounter inventory (45.0 MSI and patch sampling (65.0 MSI methods were of comparatively lower efficiency restinga, whereas the plot sampling and the pit-fall traps with drift-fence methods resulted in no frog capture. We conclude that there is a considerable difference in efficiency of methods used in the restinga environment and that the complete species inventory method is highly efficient for sampling frogs in the restinga studied and may be so in other restinga environments. Methods that are usually efficient in forested areas seem to be of little value in open restinga habitats.

  9. The relative importance of physicochemical factors to stream biological condition in urbanizing basins: Evidence from multimodel inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Daren M.; Bryant, Wade L.

    2011-01-01

    Many physicochemical factors potentially impair stream ecosystems in urbanizing basins, but few studies have evaluated their relative importance simultaneously, especially in different environmental settings. We used data collected in 25 to 30 streams along a gradient of urbanization in each of 6 metropolitan areas (MAs) to evaluate the relative importance of 11 physicochemical factors on the condition of algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish assemblages. For each assemblage, biological condition was quantified using 2 separate metrics, nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordination site scores and the ratio of observed/expected taxa, both derived in previous studies. Separate linear regression models with 1 or 2 factors as predictors were developed for each MA and assemblage metric. Model parsimony was evaluated based on Akaike’s Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc) and Akaike weights, and variable importance was estimated by summing the Akaike weights across models containing each stressor variable. Few of the factors were strongly correlated (Pearson |r| > 0.7) within MAs. Physicochemical factors explained 17 to 81% of variance in biological condition. Most (92 of 118) of the most plausible models contained 2 predictors, and generally more variance could be explained by the additive effects of 2 factors than by any single factor alone. None of the factors evaluated was universally important for all MAs or biological assemblages. The relative importance of factors varied for different measures of biological condition, biological assemblages, and MA. Our results suggest that the suite of physicochemical factors affecting urban stream ecosystems varies across broad geographic areas, along gradients of urban intensity, and among basins within single MAs.

  10. Efficient biological conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and for utilization in bioplastic production by Ralstonia eutropha through the display of an enzyme complex on the cell surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyeon, Jeong Eun; Kim, Seung Wook; Park, Chulhwan; Han, Sung Ok

    2015-06-25

    An enzyme complex for biological conversion of CO to CO2 was anchored on the cell surface of the CO2-utilizing Ralstonia eutropha and successfully resulted in a 3.3-fold increase in conversion efficiency. These results suggest that this complexed system may be a promising strategy for CO2 utilization as a biological tool for the production of bioplastics.

  11. Review and needs in actinide chemistry in relation with biological purposes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ansoborlo, E.; Moulin, V.; Bion, L.; Doizi, D.; Moulin, C.; Cote, G.; Madic, C.; Van der Lee, J

    2004-07-01

    In case of accidental release of radionuclides in the environment, actinides could occur and may present an healthy risk for human beings. In order to study their behavior in human organism (metabolism, retention, excretion), it is of prime importance to know solution actinide chemistry, and more particularly thermodynamic constants, which will allow to determine their speciation: speciation governs biological availability and toxicity of elements and is also of great interest for decorporation purposes. In this framework, a CEA working group on speciation has been created in order to share data both on thermodynamic constants and on speciation analytical methods, interesting chemists, environmentalists and biologists. It has been focused, in a first time, on actinides. The purpose of this paper is to present the state of the art on actinide speciation within biological media and to focus on the lack of information in order to orientate future research. (authors)

  12. Fecal Microbiota Transplant from Highly Feed-Efficient Donors Shows Little Effect on Age-Related Changes in Feed-Efficiency-Associated Fecal Microbiota from Chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Petri, Renée M; Magowan, Elizabeth; Lawlor, Peadar G; Zebeli, Qendrim; O'Connell, Niamh E; Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U

    2018-01-15

    Chickens with good or poor feed efficiency (FE) have been shown to differ in their intestinal microbiota composition. This study investigated differences in the fecal bacterial community of highly and poorly feed-efficient chickens at 16 and 29 days posthatch (dph) and evaluated whether a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) from feed-efficient donors early in life can affect the fecal microbiota in chickens at 16 and 29 dph and chicken FE and nutrient retention at 4 weeks of age. A total of 110 chickens were inoculated with a FMT or a control transplant (CT) on dph 1, 6, and 9 and ranked according to residual feed intake (RFI; the metric for FE) on 30 dph. Fifty-six chickens across both inoculation groups were selected as the extremes in RFI (29 low, 27 high). RFI-related fecal bacterial profiles were discernible at 16 and 29 dph. In particular, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus crispatus, and Anaerobacterium operational taxonomic units were associated with low RFI (good FE). Multiple administrations of the FMT only slightly changed the fecal bacterial composition, which was supported by weighted UniFrac analysis, showing similar bacterial communities in the feces of both inoculation groups at 16 and 29 dph. Moreover, the FMT did not change the RFI and nutrient retention of highly and poorly feed-efficient recipients, whereas it tended to increase feed intake and body weight gain in female chickens. This finding suggests that host- and environment-related factors may more strongly affect chicken fecal microbiota and FE than the FMT.IMPORTANCE Modulating the chicken's early microbial colonization using a FMT from highly feed-efficient donor chickens may be a promising tool to establish a more desirable bacterial profile in recipient chickens, thereby improving host FE. Although FE-associated fecal bacterial profiles at 16 and 29 dph could be established, the microbiota composition of a FMT, when administered early in life, may not be a strong factor modulating

  13. Biodegradation of chlorinated unsaturated hydrocarbons in relation to biological waste-gas treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Hartmans, S.

    1993-01-01

    The original goal of the research described in this thesis was to develop a biological process for the removal of vinyl chloride from waste gases. The gaseous and carcinogenic vinyl chloride is used to produce the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC). During this production process waste gases containing vinyl chloride are generated. As a microorganism capable of growth on vinyl chloride as the sole carbon and energy source had been isolated it was envisaged that it might be possible to ...

  14. Curcumin and Its Carbocyclic Analogs: Structure-Activity in Relation to Antioxidant and Selected Biological Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. P. Vasantha Rupasinghe

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin is the major phenolic compound present in turmeric (Curcuma longa L.. Curcumin and 15 novel analogs were investigated for their antioxidant and selected biological activities. Strong relationships between the structure and evaluated activity revealed that the compounds with specific functional groups and carbon skeleton had specific biological profiles. Among the compounds tested, the derivatives (E-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene-5-((E-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenylacryloylcyclopentanone (3e, and (E-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene-5-((E-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylacryloyl-cyclopentanone (3d and the parent compound curcumin exhibited the strongest free radical scavenging and antioxidant capacity. Concerning the other biological activities studied the compound (E-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene-5-((E-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenyl-acryloylcyclopentanone (3d was the most potent angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE inhibitor, while the derivatives (E-2-(4-hydroxybenzylidene-6-((E-3-(4-hydroxyphenylacryloylcyclohexanone (2b, (E-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene-6-((E-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenylacryloylcyclohexanone (2e and (E-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene-5-((E-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenylacryloylcyclopentanone (3e exhibited strong tyrosinase inhibition. Moreover, (E-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene-6-((E-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl-acryloylcyclohexanone (2e was also found to be the strongest human HIV-1 protease inhibitor in vitro among the tested compounds. Cytotoxicity studies using normal human lung cells revealed that the novel curcumin as well as its carbocyclic analogs are not toxic.

  15. Biological Importance of Cotton By-Products Relative to Chemical Constituents of the Cotton Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary A. Egbuta

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Although cultivated for over 7000 years, mainly for production of cotton fibre, the cotton plant has not been fully explored for potential uses of its other parts. Despite cotton containing many important chemical compounds, limited understanding of its phytochemical composition still exists. In order to add value to waste products of the cotton industry, such as cotton gin trash, this review focuses on phytochemicals associated with different parts of cotton plants and their biological activities. Three major classes of compounds and some primary metabolites have been previously identified in the plant. Among these compounds, most terpenoids and their derivatives (51, fatty acids (four, and phenolics (six, were found in the leaves, bolls, stalks, and stems. Biological activities, such as anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activities, are associated with some of these phytochemicals. For example, β-bisabolol, a sesquiterpenoid enriched in the flowers of cotton plants, may have anti-inflammatory product application. Considering the abundance of biologically active compounds in the cotton plant, there is scope to develop a novel process within the current cotton fibre production system to separate these valuable phytochemicals, developing them into potentially high-value products. This scenario may present the cotton processing industry with an innovative pathway towards a waste-to-profit solution.

  16. Biological Importance of Cotton By-Products Relative to Chemical Constituents of the Cotton Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egbuta, Mary A; McIntosh, Shane; Waters, Daniel L E; Vancov, Tony; Liu, Lei

    2017-01-06

    Although cultivated for over 7000 years, mainly for production of cotton fibre, the cotton plant has not been fully explored for potential uses of its other parts. Despite cotton containing many important chemical compounds, limited understanding of its phytochemical composition still exists. In order to add value to waste products of the cotton industry, such as cotton gin trash, this review focuses on phytochemicals associated with different parts of cotton plants and their biological activities. Three major classes of compounds and some primary metabolites have been previously identified in the plant. Among these compounds, most terpenoids and their derivatives (51), fatty acids (four), and phenolics (six), were found in the leaves, bolls, stalks, and stems. Biological activities, such as anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activities, are associated with some of these phytochemicals. For example, β-bisabolol, a sesquiterpenoid enriched in the flowers of cotton plants, may have anti-inflammatory product application. Considering the abundance of biologically active compounds in the cotton plant, there is scope to develop a novel process within the current cotton fibre production system to separate these valuable phytochemicals, developing them into potentially high-value products. This scenario may present the cotton processing industry with an innovative pathway towards a waste-to-profit solution.

  17. Effects of amendment of different biochars on soil physical and biological properties related to carbon mineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Renduo; Zhu, Shuzhi; Ouyang, Lei

    2014-05-01

    Biochar addition to soils potentially affects various soil properties, and these effects are dependent on biochars derived from different feedstock materials and pyrolysis processes. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of amendment of different biochars on soil physical and biological properties. Biochars were produced with dairy manure and woodchip at temperatures of 300, 500, and 700°C, respectively. Each biochar was mixed at 5% (w/w) with a forest soil and the mixture was incubated for 180 days, during which soil physical and biological properties, and soil respiration rates were measured. Results showed that the biochar addition significantly enhanced the formation of soil macroaggregates at the early incubation time. The biochar application significantly reduced soil bulk density, increased the amount of soil organic matter, and stimulated microbial activity and soil respiration rates at the early incubation stage. Biochar applications improved water retention capacity, with stronger effects by biochars produced at higher pyrolysis temperatures. At the same suction, the soil with woodchip biochars possessed higher water content than with the dairy manure biochars. Biochar addition significantly affected the soil physical and biological properties, which resulted in different soil carbon mineralization rates.

  18. An efficient biological pathway layout algorithm combining grid-layout and spring embedder for complicated cellular location information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Kaname; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2010-06-18

    Graph drawing is one of the important techniques for understanding biological regulations in a cell or among cells at the pathway level. Among many available layout algorithms, the spring embedder algorithm is widely used not only for pathway drawing but also for circuit placement and www visualization and so on because of the harmonized appearance of its results. For pathway drawing, location information is essential for its comprehension. However, complex shapes need to be taken into account when torus-shaped location information such as nuclear inner membrane, nuclear outer membrane, and plasma membrane is considered. Unfortunately, the spring embedder algorithm cannot easily handle such information. In addition, crossings between edges and nodes are usually not considered explicitly. We proposed a new grid-layout algorithm based on the spring embedder algorithm that can handle location information and provide layouts with harmonized appearance. In grid-layout algorithms, the mapping of nodes to grid points that minimizes a cost function is searched. By imposing positional constraints on grid points, location information including complex shapes can be easily considered. Our layout algorithm includes the spring embedder cost as a component of the cost function. We further extend the layout algorithm to enable dynamic update of the positions and sizes of compartments at each step. The new spring embedder-based grid-layout algorithm and a spring embedder algorithm are applied to three biological pathways; endothelial cell model, Fas-induced apoptosis model, and C. elegans cell fate simulation model. From the positional constraints, all the results of our algorithm satisfy location information, and hence, more comprehensible layouts are obtained as compared to the spring embedder algorithm. From the comparison of the number of crossings, the results of the grid-layout-based algorithm tend to contain more crossings than those of the spring embedder algorithm due to

  19. Relation between the charge efficiency of activated carbon fiber and its desalination performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zheng-Hong; Wang, Ming; Wang, Lei; Kang, Feiyu

    2012-03-20

    Four types of activated carbon fibers (ACFs) with different specific surface areas (SSA) were used as electrode materials for water desalination using capacitive deionization (CDI). The carbon fibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and N(2) adsorption at 77 K, and the CDI process was investigated by studying the salt adsorption, charge transfer, and also the charge efficiency of the electric double layers that are formed within the micropores inside the carbon electrodes. It is found that the physical adsorption capacity of NaCl by the ACFs increases with increasing Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area of the fibers. However, the two ACF materials with the highest BET surface area have the lowest electrosorptive capability. Experiments indicate that the charge efficiency of the double layers is a key property of the ACF-based electrodes because the ACF material which has the maximum charge efficiency also shows the highest salt adsorption capacity for CDI.

  20. Fast and efficient extraction methods for the analysis of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in biological matrices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tapie, N.; Budzinski, H.; Le Menach, K. [Universite Bordeaux 1, Laboratoire de Physico-Toxico Chimie des systemes naturels (UMR 5472 CNRS), Talence (France)

    2008-07-15

    This paper describes fast and simple extraction methods for the determination of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in biological matrices. Four extraction protocols were tested. The first protocol used microwave-assisted extraction combined with two purification steps. The second one was similar, except that microwave-assisted extraction was replaced by accelerated solvent extraction. The third one combined extraction/purification by accelerated solvent extraction with final purification on a silica gel column. The last one combined microwave-assisted extraction with purification on an acidic silica gel column. The protocols were tested on various matrices: a spiked matrix, two certified matrices (SRM 2977, WMF 01), and natural matrices (mysids and fish). All of the protocols produced good performance in terms of recovery and reproducibility. The two last protocols showed promising results in terms of applicability to natural matrices, as they required a minimum of sample handling and minimal amounts of solvent and time. These methods allowed at least 24 samples to be handled per day, and could easily be used for routine analysis. (orig.)

  1. Comparisons of labeling efficiency, biological activity and biodistribution among /sup 125/I, /sup 67/Ga-DTPA- and /sup 67/Ga-DFO-lectins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kojima, Shuji; Jay, M.

    1987-10-01

    The labeling efficiency, biological activity and biodistribution of /sup 125/I labeled and /sup 67/Ga chelating agent conjugated lectins were investigated. Pisum sativum agglutinin (PSA) and Lens culinaris agglutinin (LCH) were efficiently labeled with /sup 67/Ga using bifunctional chelating agents such as diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and deferoxamine (DFO), whereas labeling with /sup 125/I was significantly less efficient. The agglutinating activity of these lectins towards Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) cells was retained on conjugation with DFO, but not with DTPA. The in vitro binding ratio of /sup 67/Ga-DFO-lectins for EAT cells was almost the same as that of /sup 125/I-lectins. However, the value was significantly decreased in the case of /sup 67/Ga-DTPA-lectins. In the biodistribution study of radiolabeled lectins in Ehrlich solid tumor (EST) bearing mice, the accumulation of radioactivity in tumor tissue was very much less with /sup 67/Ga-DTPA-lectins than with /sup 125/I-lectins. However, the concentration was significantly elevated in the case of /sup 67/Ga-DFO-lectins. While, these lectins accumulated in liver, spleen, lung, and kidney to a greater extent than /sup 67/Ga citrate, the tumor to organ ratios became very low. These low tumor to organ ratios, in contrast to /sup 67/Ga citrate, will certainly inhibit the tumor delineation, and therefore it seems that in spite of a high accumulation ratio of /sup 67/Ga-DFO-lectins in tumor tissue, these agents are not useful in tumor detection.

  2. Chronic Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Stress Interact to Predict Biologic and Clinical Outcomes in Asthma

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Edith; Schreier, Hannah M. C.; Strunk, Robert C.; Brauer, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Background Previous research has documented effects of both physical and social environmental exposures on childhood asthma. However, few studies have considered how these two environments might interact to affect asthma. Objective This study aimed to test interactions between chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution and chronic family stress in predicting biologic and clinical outcomes in children with asthma. Method Children with asthma (n = 73, 9–18 years of age) were interviewed ...

  3. Variation in phosphorus acquisition efficiency among maize varieties as related to mycorrhizal functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.X.

    2016-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a main limiting factor for agricultural production, but overusing P fertilizer has brought serious environmental damages in China. Improving P acquisition efficiency of agricultural crops is an urgent topic. It has been proven repeatedly that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and

  4. Prediction of Genomic Breeding Values for feed efficiency and related traits in pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Do, Duy Ngoc; Janss, Luc; Strathe, Anders Bjerring

    Improvement of feed efficiency is essential in pig breeding and selection for reduced residual feed intake (RFI) is an option. Accuracy of genomic prediction (GP) relies on assumptions of genetic architecture of the traits. This study applied five different Bayesian Power LASSO (BPL) models with ...

  5. Efficient generation of the cartesian coordinates of truncated icosahedron and related polyhedra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosoya, H; Maruyama, Y

    2001-01-01

    Efficient algorithms for deriving the analytical expressions of the rectangular coordinates of the vertices of regular polyhedra and truncated icosahedron inscribed in a cube is described and the results are exposed. Various characteristic quantities of the geometrical structure of truncated icosahedron are obtained. Kaleidoscopes for projecting the truncated icosahedron are discussed.

  6. Genetic parameters and predicted selection results for maternal traits related to lactation efficiency in sows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergsma, R.; Kanis, E.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    2008-01-01

    The increased productivity of sows increases the risk of a more pronounced negative energy balance during lactation. One possibility to prevent this is to increase the lactation efficiency (LE) genetically and thereby increase milk output for a given feed intake and mobilization of body tissue. The

  7. Human Resource Management Strategies and Teacher's Efficiency within Schools: A Co-Relational Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashmi, Kiran

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the paper is to study Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD) strategies and their effect on teachers' efficiency within the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) schools of Pakistan whose teachers are graduates in educational leadership courses from a private teacher education institutes in Karachi. The study endeavored to build a…

  8. How Vocabulary Size in Two Languages Relates to Efficiency in Spoken Word Recognition by Young Spanish-English Bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchman, Virginia A.; Fernald, Anne; Hurtado, Nereyda

    2010-01-01

    Research using online comprehension measures with monolingual children shows that speed and accuracy of spoken word recognition are correlated with lexical development. Here we examined speech processing efficiency in relation to vocabulary development in bilingual children learning both Spanish and English (n=26 ; 2 ; 6). Between-language…

  9. Relative Efficiency Indicators of the Credit Management Process in a Colombian Bank by Means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sandra Paola Sánchez-Gooding; Gloria Isabel Rodríguez-Lozano

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this work is to measure the relative efficiency of the units that take part in the credit management process in a Colombian bank by means of the use of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Using a doublé...

  10. Exploring the relation between process design and efficiency in high-volume cataract pathways from a lean thinking perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vliet, Ellen J.; Bredenhoff, E.; Bredenhoff, Eelco; Sermeus, Walter; Kop, Lucas M.; Sol, Johannes C.A.; van Harten, Willem H.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To compare process designs of three high-volume cataract pathways in a lean thinking framework and to explore how efficiency in terms of lead times, hospital visits and costs is related to process design. Design: International retrospective comparative benchmark study with a mixed-method

  11. Curcumin and its carbocyclic analogs: structure-activity in relation to antioxidant and selected biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Khushwant S; Jha, Amitabh; Youssef, Dani; Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha

    2013-05-10

    Curcumin is the major phenolic compound present in turmeric (Curcuma longa L.). Curcumin and 15 novel analogs were investigated for their antioxidant and selected biological activities. Strong relationships between the structure and evaluated activity revealed that the compounds with specific functional groups and carbon skeleton had specific biological profiles. Among the compounds tested, the derivatives (E)-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclopentanone (3e), and (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)acryloyl)-cyclopentanone (3d) and the parent compound curcumin exhibited the strongest free radical scavenging and antioxidant capacity. Concerning the other biological activities studied the compound (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenyl)-acryloyl)cyclopentanone (3d) was the most potent angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, while the derivatives (E)-2-(4-hydroxybenzylidene)-6-((E)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclohexanone (2b), (E)-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)-6-((E)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclohexanone (2e) and (E)-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclopentanone (3e) exhibited strong tyrosinase inhibition. Moreover, (E)-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)-6-((E)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-acryloyl)cyclohexanone (2e) was also found to be the strongest human HIV-1 protease inhibitor in vitro among the tested compounds. Cytotoxicity studies using normal human lung cells revealed that the novel curcumin as well as its carbocyclic analogs are not toxic.

  12. [Biological contamination in office buildings related to ventilation/air conditioning system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bródka, Karolina; Sowiak, Małgorzata; Kozajda, Anna; Cyprowski, Marcin; Irena, Szadkowska-Stańczyk

    2012-01-01

    Indoor air is contaminated with microorganisms coming from both the atmospheric air and sources present in premises. The aim of this study was to analyze the concentrations of biological agents in office buildings, dependending on ventilation/air conditioning system and season. The study covered office buildings (different in the system of ventila-tion/air conditioning). Air samples for assessing the levels of inhalable dust, endotoxins and (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans, were taken at the selected stationary points of each building during summer and winter. The air was sampled for 6 h, using portable sets consisting of the GilAir 5 pump and the head filled with a filter of fiber glass. The samples for the presence of airborne bacteria and fungi were collected twice during the day using the impaction method. Average concentrations of inhalable dust, bacteria, fungi, endotoxins and (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans in office premises were 0.09 mg/m3, 6.00 x 10(2) cfu/m3, 4.59 x 10(1) cfu/m3, 0.42 ng/m3 and 3.91 ng/m3, respectively. Higher concentrations of the investigated agents were found in summer. In premises with air conditioning concentrations of airborne fungi, (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans and inhalable dust were significantly lower in winter. In summer the trend was reverse except for (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans. Concentrations of biological agents were affected by the season and the presence of air conditioning. Concentrations of inhalable dust, bacteria, fungi, endotoxins and (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans, observed inside the office buildings, were significantly higher in summer than in winter. The presence of the air conditioning system modified in various ways the levels of biological agents. Its influence was greater on the concentration of fungi and (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans than on that of bacteria and endotoxins.

  13. Assessment of biological chromium among stainless steel and mild steel welders in relation to welding processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmé, J L; Shirali, P; Mereau, M; Sobaszek, A; Boulenguez, C; Diebold, F; Haguenoer, J M

    1997-01-01

    Air and biological monitoring were used for assessing external and internal chromium exposure among 116 stainless steel welders (SS welders) using manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding processes (MMA: n = 57; MIG: n = 37; TIG: n = 22) and 30 mild steel welders (MS welders) using MMA and MIG welding processes (MMA: n = 14; MIG: n = 16). The levels of atmospheric total chromium were evaluated after personal air monitoring. The mean values for the different groups of SS welders were 201 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 185 micrograms/m3 (MIG), 52 micrograms/m3 (TIG) and for MS welders 8.1 micrograms/m3 (MMA) and 7.3 micrograms/m3 (MIG). The curve of cumulative frequency distribution from biological monitoring among SS welders showed chromium geometric mean concentrations in whole blood of 3.6 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 19.9), in plasma of 3.3 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 21.0) and in urine samples of 6.2 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 58.0). Among MS welders, mean values in whole blood and plasma were rather more scattered (1.8 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 9.3 and 1.3 micrograms/l, 95th percentile = 8.4, respectively) and in urine the value was 2.4 micrograms/l (95th percentile = 13.3). The analysis of variance of chromium concentrations in plasma previously showed a metal effect (F = 29.7, P welding process. MMA-SS is definitely different from other processes because the biological values are clearly higher. These higher levels are due to the very significant concentrations of total soluble chromium, mainly hexavalent chromium, in welding fumes.

  14. Peanut protein in household dust is related to household peanut consumption and is biologically active.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brough, Helen A; Santos, Alexandra F; Makinson, Kerry; Penagos, Martin; Stephens, Alick C; Douiri, Abdel; Fox, Adam T; Du Toit, George; Turcanu, Victor; Lack, Gideon

    2013-09-01

    Peanut allergy is an important public health concern. To understand the pathogenesis of peanut allergy, we need to determine the route by which children become sensitized. A dose-response between household peanut consumption (HPC; used as an indirect marker of environmental peanut exposure) and the development of peanut allergy has been observed; however, environmental peanut exposure was not directly quantified. We sought to explore the relationship between reported HPC and peanut protein levels in an infant's home environment and to determine the biological activity of environmental peanut. Peanut protein was quantified in wipe and dust samples collected from 45 homes with infants by using a polyclonal peanut ELISA. Environmental peanut protein levels were compared with peanut consumption assessed by using a validated peanut food frequency questionnaire and other clinical and household factors. Biological activity of peanut protein in dust was assessed with a basophil activation assay. There was a positive correlation between peanut protein levels in the infant's bed, crib rail, and play area and reported HPC over 1 and 6 months. On multivariate regression analysis, HPC was the most important variable associated with peanut protein levels in the infant's bed sheet and play area. Dust samples containing high peanut protein levels induced dose-dependent activation of basophils in children with peanut allergy. We have shown that an infant's environmental exposure to peanut is most likely to be due to HPC. Peanut protein in dust is biologically active and should be assessed as a route of possible early peanut sensitization in infants. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A systems biology approach to identify intelligence quotient score-related genomic regions, and pathways relevant to potential therapeutic treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Min; Kong, Lei; Qu, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Although the intelligence quotient (IQ) is the most popular intelligence test in the world, little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to the differences in human. To improve our understanding of cognitive processes and identify potential biomarkers, we conducted a comprehensive investigation of 158 IQ-related genes selected from the literature. A genomic distribution analysis demonstrated that IQ-related genes were enriched in seven regions of chromosome 7 and the X chromosome. In addition, these genes were enriched in target lists of seven transcription factors and sixteen microRNAs. Using a network-based approach, we further reconstructed an IQ-related pathway from known human pathway interaction data. Based on this reconstructed pathway, we incorporated enriched drugs and described the importance of dopamine and norepinephrine systems in IQ-related biological process. These findings not only reveal several testable genes and processes related to IQ scores, but also have potential therapeutic implications for IQ-related mental disorders. PMID:24566931

  16. A systems biology approach to identify intelligence quotient score-related genomic regions, and pathways relevant to potential therapeutic treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Min; Kong, Lei; Qu, Hong

    2014-02-25

    Although the intelligence quotient (IQ) is the most popular intelligence test in the world, little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to the differences in human. To improve our understanding of cognitive processes and identify potential biomarkers, we conducted a comprehensive investigation of 158 IQ-related genes selected from the literature. A genomic distribution analysis demonstrated that IQ-related genes were enriched in seven regions of chromosome 7 and the X chromosome. In addition, these genes were enriched in target lists of seven transcription factors and sixteen microRNAs. Using a network-based approach, we further reconstructed an IQ-related pathway from known human pathway interaction data. Based on this reconstructed pathway, we incorporated enriched drugs and described the importance of dopamine and norepinephrine systems in IQ-related biological process. These findings not only reveal several testable genes and processes related to IQ scores, but also have potential therapeutic implications for IQ-related mental disorders.

  17. Synthesis of New Indole Derivatives Structurally Related to Donepezil and Their Biological Evaluation as Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samar I. Faggal

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available New series of indole derivatives analogous to donepezil, a well known anti-Alzheimer and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drug, was synthesized. A full chemical characterization of the new compounds is provided. Biological evaluation of the new compounds as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors was performed. Most of the compounds were found to have potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor activity compared to donepezil as standard. The compound 1-(2-(4-(2-fluorobenzyl piperazin-1-ylacetylindoline-2,3-dione (IIId was found to be the most potent.

  18. Solid Phase Microextraction and Related Techniques for Drugs in Biological Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moein, Mohammad Mahdi; Said, Rana; Bassyouni, Fatma

    2014-01-01

    In drug discovery and development, the quantification of drugs in biological samples is an important task for the determination of the physiological performance of the investigated drugs. After sampling, the next step in the analytical process is sample preparation. Because of the low concentration levels of drug in plasma and the variety of the metabolites, the selected extraction technique should be virtually exhaustive. Recent developments of sample handling techniques are directed, from one side, toward automatization and online coupling of sample preparation units. The primary objective of this review is to present the recent developments in microextraction sample preparation methods for analysis of drugs in biological fluids. Microextraction techniques allow for less consumption of solvent, reagents, and packing materials, and small sample volumes can be used. In this review the use of solid phase microextraction (SPME), microextraction in packed sorbent (MEPS), and stir-bar sorbtive extraction (SBSE) in drug analysis will be discussed. In addition, the use of new sorbents such as monoliths and molecularly imprinted polymers will be presented. PMID:24688797

  19. Physics of non-Newtonian fluids and interdisciplinary relations (biology and criminology)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holubova, R.

    2018-03-01

    The aim of the paper is the presentation of an interdisciplinary topic that allows applying content knowledge in physics, mathematics and biology in real life environment. Students use to play games and view crime scenes but in common they have little knowledge about the science used during crime scene investigation. In this paper the science background of blood spatter analysis is presented—the physics of non-Newtonian fluids, the biology of blood and mathematics—the measurement and calculation of the angle of inpact, the relationship between height and spatter diameter. This topic was choosen according to the analysis of interviews with secondary and high school learners realized at four schools in Moravia, Czech Republic. The topic can be taught at secondary schools so as at a higher level at high schools. Hands-on activities are included. The teaching strategy supports group work. The appropriateness and reasonableness of the topic was checked in the real teaching process and the activities have had a positive feedback.

  20. Solid Phase Microextraction and Related Techniques for Drugs in Biological Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Mahdi Moein

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In drug discovery and development, the quantification of drugs in biological samples is an important task for the determination of the physiological performance of the investigated drugs. After sampling, the next step in the analytical process is sample preparation. Because of the low concentration levels of drug in plasma and the variety of the metabolites, the selected extraction technique should be virtually exhaustive. Recent developments of sample handling techniques are directed, from one side, toward automatization and online coupling of sample preparation units. The primary objective of this review is to present the recent developments in microextraction sample preparation methods for analysis of drugs in biological fluids. Microextraction techniques allow for less consumption of solvent, reagents, and packing materials, and small sample volumes can be used. In this review the use of solid phase microextraction (SPME, microextraction in packed sorbent (MEPS, and stir-bar sorbtive extraction (SBSE in drug analysis will be discussed. In addition, the use of new sorbents such as monoliths and molecularly imprinted polymers will be presented.

  1. The Yeast ATF1 Acetyltransferase Efficiently Acetylates Insect Pheromone Alcohols: Implications for the Biological Production of Moth Pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Lager, Ida; Bansal, Sunil; Durrett, Timothy P; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2016-04-01

    Many moth pheromones are composed of mixtures of acetates of long-chain (≥10 carbon) fatty alcohols. Moth pheromone precursors such as fatty acids and fatty alcohols can be produced in yeast by the heterologous expression of genes involved in insect pheromone production. Acetyltransferases that subsequently catalyze the formation of acetates by transfer of the acetate unit from acetyl-CoA to a fatty alcohol have been postulated in pheromone biosynthesis. However, so far no fatty alcohol acetyltransferases responsible for the production of straight chain alkyl acetate pheromone components in insects have been identified. In search for a non-insect acetyltransferase alternative, we expressed a plant-derived diacylglycerol acetyltransferase (EaDAcT) (EC 2.3.1.20) cloned from the seed of the burning bush (Euonymus alatus) in a yeast system. EaDAcT transformed various fatty alcohol insect pheromone precursors into acetates but we also found high background acetylation activities. Only one enzyme in yeast was shown to be responsible for the majority of that background activity, the acetyltransferase ATF1 (EC 2.3.1.84). We further investigated the usefulness of ATF1 for the conversion of moth pheromone alcohols into acetates in comparison with Ea DAcT. Overexpression of ATF1 revealed that it was capable of acetylating these fatty alcohols with chain lengths from 10 to 18 carbons with up to 27- and 10-fold higher in vivo and in vitro efficiency, respectively, compared to Ea DAcT. The ATF1 enzyme thus has the potential to serve as the missing enzyme in the reconstruction of the biosynthetic pathway of insect acetate pheromones from precursor fatty acids in yeast.

  2. Biological evaluation of a novel Herceptin-platinum (II) conjugate for efficient and cancer cell specific delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rong; Sun, Yu; Zhang, Xiang-yang; Sun, Bai-wang; Wang, Qiu-cui; Zhu, Jin

    2015-07-01

    Platinum-based drugs have been widely used for the treatment of malignant tumors. However, their applications are limited by severe side effects for their lack of selectivity for cancer cells. The development of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) have provided a platform to reduce drug toxicity and improve drug efficacy. Here we describe a nover conjugate comprising of Herceptin (an anti-HER2 antibody) and platinum drug via a cathepsin B cleavable dipetide for enhancing drug accumulation and HER2-positive cancer cell specific delivery. This conjugate is believed to be cleaved by cathepsin B, leading to a 1,6-elimination reaction and activation of drug release. Herceptin-Pt(II) is evaluated to have approximately loaded with 6.4 moles platinum drugs per mole of antibody. We demonstrate that Herceptin-Pt(II) retain high and selective binding affinity for HER2 protein and HER2-positive SK-BR-3 cancer cells. The in vitro cytotoxicity tests indicate that Herceptin-Pt(II) exhibits much higher cytotoxicity than oxaliplatin against SK-BR-3 cells. More importantly, Herceptin-Pt(II) shows no obvious inhibition against the growth of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, which express lower levels of HER2. Furthermore, compared with free oxaliplatin, Herceptin significantly improved the cellular uptake of platinum drugs in SK-BR-3 cells. In summary, Herceptin-platinum (II) conjugate is a remarkable and potent platform for efficient and cancer cell specific delivery. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Efficiency of physicochemical and biological treatments of vinasse and their influence on indigenous microbiota for disposal into the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Cassia Roberta; Mesquita, Vanessa Alvarenga; Silva, Cristina Ferreira; Schwan, Rosane Freitas

    2014-11-01

    Molasses-based distilleries are one of the most polluting industries generating large volumes of high strength wastewater called vinasse. Different processes covering anaerobic, aerobic as well as physicochemical methods have been employed to treat this effluent. This study evaluated the microbial communities present in the vinasse during different stages of its treatment by traditional and molecular methods. The analysis of the efficiency of each treatment was performed by physicochemical parameters and toxicity analysis. The treatment of vinasse was performed in the following steps: high flow fermentation; filtration; chemical flakes; low-flow fermentation; filtration; and neutralization. The physicochemical analysis in different stages of the vinasse treatment demonstrated that phases of treatment influenced the performance of the evaluated parameters. Among the 37 parameters, 9 were within the limits established by the Commission for Environmental Policy of Minas Gerais, Brazil (COPAM), especially BOD (96.7% of pollution reduction), suspended solids (99.9%), pH, copper (88%), iron (92.9%), and manganese (88%). Some parameters, even after treatment, did not fit the maximum allowed by legislation. The microbial population decreased reaching 3 log CFU/ml present in the steps of the flakes chemical and disinfection treatment of vinasse. Lactobacillus brevis and Pichia kudriavzevii were present in all stages of the treatments, showing that these microorganisms were resistant and demonstrated that they might be important in the treatment of vinasse. The vinasse showed a significant reduction of pollution load after the disinfection treatment however still should not be discarded into water bodies because the high values of tannins and sediment solids, but suggest the use of the effluent in the cooling coil during the distillation process of the beverage. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Low-pressure reversible axial fan with straight profile blades and relatively high efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spasić Živan T.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the design and operating characteristics of a model of reversible axial fan with only one impeller, whose reversibility is achieved by changing the direction of rotation. The fan is designed for the purpose of providing alternating air circulation in wood dryers in order to reduce the consumption of electricity for the fan and increase energy efficiency of the entire dryer. To satisfy the reversibility of flow, the shape of the blade profile is symmetrical along the longitudinal and transversal axes of the profile. The fan is designed with equal specific work of all elementary stages, using the method of lift forces. The impeller blades have straight mean line profiles. The shape of the blade profile was adopted after the numerical simulations were carried out and high efficiency was achieved. Based on the calculation and conducted numerical simulations, a physical model of the fan was created and tested on a standard test rig, with air loading at the suction side of the fan. The operating characteristics are shown for different blade angles. The obtained maximum efficiency was around 0.65, which represents a rather high value for axial fans with straight profile blades.

  5. Lipofectamine and related cationic lipids strongly improve adenoviral infection efficiency of primitive human hematopoietic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byk, T; Haddada, H; Vainchenker, W; Louache, F

    1998-11-20

    Adenoviral vectors have the potential to infect a large number of cell types including quiescent cells. Their use in hematopoietic cells is limited by the episomal form of their DNA, leading to transgene loss in the progeny cells. However, the use of this vector may be interesting for short-term in vitro modifications of primitive human hematopoietic cells. Therefore, we have investigated the ability of adenovirus to transduce cord blood CD34+ cells. Several promoters were tested using the lacZ reporter gene. The PGK and CMV promoters induced transgene expression in 18-25% of the cells, whereas the HTLV-I and especially the RSV promoter were almost inactive. To improve infection efficiency, adenovirus was complexed with cationic lipids. Lipofectamine, Cellfectin, and RPR120535b, but not Lipofectin, Lipofectace, or DOTAP, markedly improved transgene expression in CD34+ cells (from 19 to 35%). Lipofectamine strongly enhanced infection efficiency of the poorly infectable primitive CD34+CD38low cells (from 11 to 28%) whereas the more mature CD34+CD38+ cells were only slightly affected (from 24 to 31%). Lipofectamine tripled the infection of CFU-GMs and LTC-ICs derived from the CD34+CD38low cell fraction (from 4 to 12% and from 5 to 16%, respectively) and doubled that of BFU-Es (from 13 to 26%). We conclude that cationic lipids can markedly increase the efficiency of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer into primitive hematopoietic cells.

  6. Relative distribution and biological characterization of CXCL4L1 isoforms in platelets from healthy donors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruytinx, Pieter; Janssens, Rik; Berghmans, Nele; Gouwy, Mieke; Ronsse, Isabelle; Liekens, Sandra; Proost, Paul; Van Damme, Jo; Struyf, Sofie

    2017-12-01

    CXCL4L1, a platelet-derived ELR-negative CXC chemokine, is a powerful angiostatic and anti-tumoral chemokine. We developed a mass spectrometric assay for the detection of different natural CXCL4L1 isoforms. Using this assay, we identified 4 different CXCL4L1 isoforms in the supernatant of thrombin-stimulated platelets from healthy volunteers: the classical isoform CXCL4L1(1-70), CXCL4L1(-4-70), which probably arises through alternative signal peptide removal and two COOH-terminally truncated isoforms CXCL4L1(1-69) and CXCL4L1(-4-69). CXCL4L1(1-70) was the most abundant isoform, whereas CXCL4L1(-4-70) was detected in 50% of the platelet preparations. Since alterations to the NH2-terminus of chemokines can have severe biological consequences, we investigated the impact of the extension with 4 NH2-terminal amino acids on the biological activity of CXCL4L1. In vitro, CXCL4L1(-4-70) was as potent as CXCL4L1(1-70) in inhibiting signal transduction and migration of human microvascular endothelial cells towards vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). In a FITC-conjugated dextran cell permeability assay, both splice variants showed a strong but comparable anti-permeable effect upon VEGF stimulation of the endothelial cell monolayer. In vivo angiogenesis induced by FGF-2 was equally reduced by CXCL4L1(1-70) and CXCL4L1(-4-70). In chemotaxis assays with CXCR3A-transfected cells the CXCL4L1 isoforms both induced migration from 125ng/ml onward. Finally, CXCL4L1(1-70) and CXCL4L1(-4-70) showed the same affinity for heparin. In conclusion, the investigated biological activities of CXCL4L1 are not influenced by the four extra NH2-terminal residues present in the alternatively spliced isoform CXCL4L1(-4-70). Therefore, our results suggest that both isoforms equally interact with the CXCR3A and CXCR3B receptor. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Efficiency of soil organic and inorganic amendments on the remediation of a contaminated mine soil: II. Biological and ecotoxicological evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, T; Clemente, R; Alvarenga, P; Bernal, M P

    2014-07-01

    The feasibility of two organic materials (pig slurry and compost) in combination with hydrated lime for the remediation of a highly acidic trace elements (TEs) contaminated mine soil was assessed in a mesocosm experiment. The effects of the amendments on soil biochemical and ecotoxicological properties were evaluated and related with the main physicochemical characteristics of soil and soil solution. The original soil showed impaired basic ecological functions due to the high availability of TEs, its acidic pH and high salinity. The three amendments slightly reduced the direct and indirect soil toxicity to plants, invertebrates and microorganisms as a consequence of the TEs' mobility decrease in topsoil, reducing therefore the soil associated risks. The organic amendments, especially compost, thanks to the supply of essential nutrients, were able to improve soil health, as they stimulated plant growth and significantly increased enzyme activities related with the key nutrients in soil. Therefore, the use of compost or pig slurry, in combination with hydrated lime, decreased soil ecotoxicity and seems to be a suitable management strategy for the remediation of highly acidic TEs contaminated soils. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Assessing the relative efficiency of water companies in the English and Welsh water industry: a metafrontier approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2015-11-01

    The assessment of relative efficiency of water companies is essential for managers and authorities. This is evident in the UK water sector where there are companies with different services such as water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) and water-only companies (WoCs). Therefore, it is a critical limitation to estimate a common production frontier for both types of companies, as it might lead to biased efficiency estimates. In this paper, a robust and reliable methodology, the metafrontier model, is applied to compare the efficiency of water companies providing different services. The results illustrate the superior performance of WaSCs compared to WoCs. It also confirms the presence of economies of scope in the UK water industry. The methodology and results of this study are of great interest for both regulators and water utility managers to make informed decisions.

  9. Wave simulation in biologic media based on the Kelvin-Voigt fractional-derivative stress-strain relation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputo, Michele; Carcione, José M; Cavallini, Fabio

    2011-06-01

    The acoustic behavior of biologic media can be described more realistically using a stress-strain relation based on fractional time derivatives of the strain, since the fractional exponent is an additional fitting parameter. We consider a generalization of the Kelvin-Voigt rheology to the case of rational orders of differentiation, the so-called Kelvin-Voigt fractional-derivative (KVFD) constitutive equation, and introduce a novel modeling method to solve the wave equation by means of the Grünwald-Letnikov approximation and the staggered Fourier pseudospectral method to compute the spatial derivatives. The algorithm can handle complex geometries and general material-property variability. We verify the results by comparison with the analytical solution obtained for wave propagation in homogeneous media. Moreover, we illustrate the use of the algorithm by simulation of wave propagation in normal and cancerous breast tissue. Copyright © 2011 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Content-Related Knowledge of Biology Teachers from Secondary Schools: Structure and Learning Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Großschedl, Jörg; Mahler, Daniela; Kleickmann, Thilo; Harms, Ute

    2014-01-01

    Teachers' content-related knowledge is a key factor influencing the learning progress of students. Different models of content-related knowledge have been proposed by educational researchers; most of them take into account three categories: content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and curricular knowledge. As there is no consensus about…

  11. Migrating Relational Data to an ODBMS: Strategies and Lessons from a Molecular Biology Experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oler, J.; Lindstrom, G.; Critchlow, T.

    1999-12-01

    The growing maturity of ODBMS technology is causing many enterprises to consider migrating relational databases to ODBIMS's. While data remapping is relatively straight-forward in most cases, greater challenges lie in economically and non-invasively adapting legacy application software. We report on a genetics laboratory database migration experiment, which was facilitated by both organization of the relational data in object-like form and a C++-framework designed to insulate application code from relational artifacts. Although this experiment was largely successful, we discovered to our surprise that the framework failed to encapsulate three subtle aspects of the relational implementation, thereby ''contaminating'' application code. We analyze the underlying issues, and offer cautionary guidance to future migrators.

  12. The use of biologically related model (Eclipse) for the intensity-modulated radiation therapy planning of nasopharyngeal carcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Monica W K; Leung, Lucullus H T; Yu, Peter K N

    2014-01-01

    Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is the most common treatment technique for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Physical quantities such as dose/dose-volume parameters are used conventionally for IMRT optimization. The use of biological related models has been proposed and can be a new trend. This work was to assess the performance of the biologically based IMRT optimization model installed in a popular commercial treatment planning system (Eclipse) as compared to its dose/dose volume optimization model when employed in the clinical environment for NPC cases. Ten patients of early stage NPC and ten of advanced stage NPC were selected for this study. IMRT plans optimized using biological related approach (BBTP) were compared to their corresponding plans optimized using the dose/dose volume based approach (DVTP). Plan evaluation was performed using both biological indices and physical dose indices such as tumor control probability (TCP), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), target coverage, conformity, dose homogeneity and doses to organs at risk. The comparison results of the more complex advanced stage cases were reported separately from those of the simpler early stage cases. The target coverage and conformity were comparable between the two approaches, with BBTP plans producing more hot spots. For the primary targets, BBTP plans produced comparable TCP for the early stage cases and higher TCP for the advanced stage cases. BBTP plans reduced the volume of parotid glands receiving doses of above 40 Gy compared to DVTP plans. The NTCP of parotid glands produced by BBTP were 8.0 ± 5.8 and 7.9 ± 8.7 for early and advanced stage cases, respectively, while those of DVTP were 21.3 ± 8.3 and 24.4 ± 12.8, respectively. There were no significant differences in the NTCP values between the two approaches for the serial organs. Our results showed that the BBTP approach could be a potential alternative approach to the DVTP approach for NPC.

  13. Measuring the relative efficiency and output potential of public sector organizations: An application of data envelopment analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewin, A.Y.; Morey, R.C.

    1981-12-01

    The problem of measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of any organization---private or public---has been of concern to practioners and organization researchers at least since the writings of Taylor and Fayol. It has become fundamental to any society concerned with accountability and the social and economic performance of its institutions. The concept of measuring effectiveness and efficiency is based on the view of organizations as production systems, transforming multiple inputs (resources) into multiple outputs (goods and services) through organization, management, and technology. Although normative theories, models, and methodologies of organization design abound, the state of the art of the field precludes choosing between different organization designs in terms of tradeoffs in performance. Furthermore, the problem of assessing the efficiency of an organization has in the past been made difficult due to the noncommensurate nature of the many inputs and outputs involved and the difficulty in accounting for factors not under the control of the organization. This paper describes the application of the Data Envelopment Analysis Methodology (DEA)---an application of fractional linear programming---to the measurement of the relative efficiency of public sector organizations performing like tasks, such as municipalties, courts, police departments, schools, etc. The DEA methodology, using the principle of Pareto optimality, can decompose the overall efficiency of an organization into technical and managerial components and adjust for variables not under management control. The methodology can also be used to calculate the resource conservation potential of an organization as well as the maximum outputs that could be obtained by the organization if it were to become as efficient as the most efficient unit in the set. The DEA approach is illustrated using actual data comparing the performance of 43 Navy recruiting district over a three-year period.

  14. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes for drug delivery: Efficiency related to length and incubation time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciortino, Niccolò; Fedeli, Stefano; Paoli, Paolo; Brandi, Alberto; Chiarugi, Paola; Severi, Mirko; Cicchi, Stefano

    2017-04-15

    Batches of oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes differing in length were adopted to prepare two drug delivery systems (DDS) loaded with doxorubicin. The different internalization of the two batches, verified by atomic emission spectroscopy onto cell lysates, was also confirmed by the different toxicity of the same DDS loaded with doxorubicin. In vitro experiments evidenced, after 48h of incubation, the superior efficacy of the shortest nanotubes. However, upon prolonging the incubation time up to 72h the difference in efficiency was minimized due to the spontaneous release of doxorubicin by the non-internalized long nanotubes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Innovations with services relating to energy efficiency. Basic information and examples; Innovationen mit Dienstleistungen im Bereich Energieeffizienz. Basisinformationen und Beispiele

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knoll, Michael; Kollnig, Sarah; Oertel, Britta

    2010-07-01

    This study describes how the ''Energy Efficient City'' competition is intended to promote activities towards greater energy efficiency which relate to cities as systems, are innovative, and conceive of and incorporate services as part of the solution. ''Innovation with services'' is not only about the further development of existing services but more particularly about the creation of high-quality services in growth areas which can serve to speed up innovation and create new application potentials for technical developments. They should be based on a holistic view on urban processes of energy use and energy supply and give consideration to all relevant stakeholders. The ''Energy Efficient City'' competition is aimed at systematically linking innovations with services to energy efficiency issues. The implementation of these goals will be facilitated by accompanying research. To this end the present text provides information on how services can be geared to energy efficiency.

  16. Natural gas and CO2price variation: impact on the relative cost-efficiency of LNG and pipelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulvestad, Marte; Overland, Indra

    2012-06-01

    THIS ARTICLE DEVELOPS A FORMAL MODEL FOR COMPARING THE COST STRUCTURE OF THE TWO MAIN TRANSPORT OPTIONS FOR NATURAL GAS: liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipelines. In particular, it evaluates how variations in the prices of natural gas and greenhouse gas emissions affect the relative cost-efficiency of these two options. Natural gas is often promoted as the most environmentally friendly of all fossil fuels, and LNG as a modern and efficient way of transporting it. Some research has been carried out into the local environmental impact of LNG facilities, but almost none into aspects related to climate change. This paper concludes that at current price levels for natural gas and CO 2 emissions the distance from field to consumer and the volume of natural gas transported are the main determinants of transport costs. The pricing of natural gas and greenhouse emissions influence the relative cost-efficiency of LNG and pipeline transport, but only to a limited degree at current price levels. Because more energy is required for the LNG process (especially for fuelling the liquefaction process) than for pipelines at distances below 9100 km, LNG is more exposed to variability in the price of natural gas and greenhouse gas emissions up to this distance. If the prices of natural gas and/or greenhouse gas emission rise dramatically in the future, this will affect the choice between pipelines and LNG. Such a price increase will be favourable for pipelines relative to LNG.

  17. Protein synthesis and degradation gene SNPs related to feed intake, feed efficiency, growth, and ultrasound carcass traits in Nellore cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, R C; Silva, S L; Carvalho, M E; Rezende, F M; Pinto, L F B; Santana, M H A; Stella, T R; Meirelles, F V; Rossi Júnior, P; Leme, P R; Ferraz, J B S

    2013-08-12

    We looked for possible associations of SNPs in genes related to protein turnover, with growth, feed efficiency and carcass traits in feedlot Nellore cattle. Purebred Nellore bulls and steers (N = 290; 378 ± 42 kg body weight, 23 months ± 42 days old) were evaluated for daily feed intake, body weight gain (BWG), gross feed efficiency, feed conversion ratio, partial efficiency of growth, residual feed intake (RFI), ultrasound backfat, rump fat, and ribeye area. Genotypes were obtained for SNPs in the growth hormone receptor (GHR-1 and GHR-2); calpain (CAPN4751); calpastatin (UoGCAST); ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 2I (UBE2I-1 and UBE2I-2); R3H domain containing 1 (R3HDM1-1, -2, -3, and -4), ring finger protein 19 (RNF19); proteasome 26S subunit, non-ATPase, 13 (PSMD13); ribosomal protein, large, P2 (RPLP2); and isoleucine-tRNA synthetase 2, mitochondrial (IARS2) genes. Allelic substitution, additive and dominant effects were tested and molecular breeding values were computed. CAPN4751, GHR-1 and -2, IARS2, R3HDM1-4, and UoGCAST were found to be normally segregating polymorphisms. Additive and dominance effects were observed on BWG, feed efficiency and carcass traits, although dominant effects predominated. Significant allelic substitution effects were observed for CAPN4751, GHR-1 and -2, and UoGCAST on BWG, gross feed efficiency, RFI, and carcass traits, under single- or multiple-marker analyses. Correlations between molecular breeding values and phenotypes were low, excepted for RFI, based on allelic substitution estimates obtained by stepwise linear regression. We conclude that SNPs in genes related to protein turnover are related to economically important traits in Nellore cattle.

  18. Constitutive relation for nonlinear response and universality of efficiency at maximum power for tight-coupling heat engines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Shiqi; Tu, Z C

    2015-02-01

    We present a unified perspective on nonequilibrium heat engines by generalizing nonlinear irreversible thermodynamics. For tight-coupling heat engines, a generic constitutive relation for nonlinear response accurate up to the quadratic order is derived from the stalling condition and the symmetry argument. By applying this generic nonlinear constitutive relation to finite-time thermodynamics, we obtain the necessary and sufficient condition for the universality of efficiency at maximum power, which states that a tight-coupling heat engine takes the universal efficiency at maximum power up to the quadratic order if and only if either the engine symmetrically interacts with two heat reservoirs or the elementary thermal energy flowing through the engine matches the characteristic energy of the engine. Hence we solve the following paradox: On the one hand, the quadratic term in the universal efficiency at maximum power for tight-coupling heat engines turned out to be a consequence of symmetry [Esposito, Lindenberg, and Van den Broeck, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 130602 (2009); Sheng and Tu, Phys. Rev. E 89, 012129 (2014)]; On the other hand, typical heat engines such as the Curzon-Ahlborn endoreversible heat engine [Curzon and Ahlborn, Am. J. Phys. 43, 22 (1975)] and the Feynman ratchet [Tu, J. Phys. A 41, 312003 (2008)] recover the universal efficiency at maximum power regardless of any symmetry.

  19. Exploring the relation between process design and efficiency in high-volume cataract pathways from a lean thinking perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vliet, Ellen J; Bredenhoff, Eelco; Sermeus, Walter; Kop, Lucas M; Sol, Johannes C A; Van Harten, Wim H

    2011-02-01

    To compare process designs of three high-volume cataract pathways in a lean thinking framework and to explore how efficiency in terms of lead times, hospital visits and costs is related to process design. International retrospective comparative benchmark study with a mixed-method design. Three eye hospitals in the UK, the USA and the Netherlands participated in this study. All are major international tertiary care and training centres in ophthalmology. Data on all patients who underwent first eye cataract surgery in 2006 were used. The study related six operational aspects of lean thinking in the process design to efficiency. Measures of lean aspects were operational focus, autonomous work cell, physical lay-out of resources, multi-skilled team, pull planning and elimination of wastes. Efficiency was measured with lead times (access time plus waiting time for surgery), hospital visits and direct costs. Operational focus was influenced by external circumstances leading to different orientations on efficiency. Pull planning with integrating activities in one-stop procedures conducted by multi-skilled nurses as well as eliminating wastes reduced both the number of hospital visits and costs. Short lead times were associated with the use of a general outpatient clinic and a high-volume cataract surgery clinic. The environmental context and operational focus primarily influenced process design of the cataract pathways. When pressed to further optimize their processes, hospitals can use these systematic benchmarking data to decrease the frequency of hospital visits, lead times and costs.

  20. Biological mechanisms related to differences in residual feed intake in dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xi, Y M; Wu, F; Zhao, D Q; Yang, Z; Li, L; Han, Z Y; Wang, G L

    2016-08-01

    Residual feed intake (RFI), defined as the difference between an animal's actual feed intake and expected feed intake over a specific period, is an inheritable character of feed conversion efficiency in dairy cows. Research has shown that a lower RFI could improve the profitability of milk production. This study explored variation in RFI by comparing the differences in body size, milk performance, feeding behavior, and serum metabolites in 29 Holstein cows in mid lactation. The cows were selected from a total of 84 animals based on their RFI following feedlot tests. Selected cows were ranked into high RFI (RFI >1 SD above the mean, n=14) and low RFI (RFImilk. The milk : feed ratio was higher for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (Pmilk protein (Pmilk urea nitrogen was lower (Pfeeding duration was shorter for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (Pmilk protein metabolism and fat mobilization.

  1. Model for assessing the efficiency of biologic drugs in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis for one year in clinical practice in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, L; López-Ferrer, A; Vilarrasa, E; García, I; Fernández-del Olmo, R

    2016-01-01

    Most economic evaluations in the literature on the subject of biologic therapy for the treatment of psoriasis do not reflect normal clinical practice or consider the cost of patient management. The objective of the present study is to establish a model for assessing the efficiency of biologic therapies in the treatment of psoriasis taking into account the cost of managing treatment which, in routine clinical practice, depends on patient response. We developed a model based on a decision tree that incorporates the probability of treatment response or failure with adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, and ustekinumab after 24 weeks of therapy (end of the induction phase). The probability in each case was calculated using data from a meta-analysis. The following direct health costs were taken into account: the cost of drugs and their administration in euro (2015). Our analysis was based on the cost of 12 months of treatment administered in a hospital setting. According to the proposed model, the mean cost per year by initial treatment strategy was lowest for patients who started treatment with ustekinumab, although the percentage cost difference between ustekinumab and infliximab or adalimumab was less than 3%. With a fixed budget of €1,000,000, the initial treatment option that would achieve success in the largest number of patients for one year would, according to this model, be ustekinumab (66 patients), followed by infliximab (n = 62), adalimumab (n = 59), and etanercept (n = 50). Sensitivity analysis confirmed the reliability of these results. However, considering the confidence intervals of the incremental efficacy observed in the meta-analysis, the differences found are probably not significant in all the possible binary comparisons. Likewise, possible differences in actual price structures, populations, and the strategies and therapeutic objectives of each hospital could all give rise to considerable variations in real life. The cost of managing treatment in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  3. Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) and distal edge effects of proton radiation on early damage in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Brita Singers; Bassler, Niels; Nielsen, Steffen

    2017-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to examine the RBE for early damage in an in vivo mouse model, and the effect of the increased linear energy transfer (LET) towards the distal edge of the spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP). METHOD: The lower part of the right hind limb of CDF1 mice......, where LETd,z =1 was 3.3 keV/μm. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is a need to expand the current study to be able to calculate an exact enhancement ratio, an enhanced biological effect in vivo for early skin damage in the distal edge was demonstrated....... was irradiated with single fractions of either 6 MV photons, 240 kV photons or scanning beam protons and graded doses were applied. For the proton irradiation, the leg was either placed in the middle of a 30-mm SOBP, or to assess the effect in different positions, irradiated in 4 mm intervals from the middle...

  4. A causal analysis relating previous achievement, attitudes, discourse, and intervention to achievement in biology and chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, C. Thomas; Swift, J. Nathan; Schell, Robert E.; Swift, Patricia R.; McCroskery, James H.

    This study described the relationship of 38 variates to achievement in high school biology and chemistry classes. Forty-four teachers prepared audio tape recordings of discussions throughout a nine-month period. Equal-sized groups received treatment consisting of wait time feedback and/or supportive intervention, a form of peer coaching. Other variables were initial measures, which included the variates of class size and previous science grade, pre- and posttest scores on student attitudes and perceptions, and prediscourse and discourse analyses, which included the variates of wait times, actions, and response durations. While previous research has shown that wait time feedback and supportive intervention are effective means of changing teacher behavior, the results of the present study revealed that previous student achievement and the attitudes of students accounted for 70% of the variation in the final examination scores (New York State Regents) on the basis of only the first three weeks of data collection on the variables assessed. Generally, little emphasis on higher-level thinking, wait time, or problem solving was found at the beginning of the school year, and only minimal changes resulted from the application of the treatment variables. Pressures for content coverage and preparation for externally imposed statewide examinations that emphasize memory-level learning augured against the changes that the independent variables were designed to produce.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Yang, Jian-Guo; Chen, Li; Wang, Ji-Long; Cheng, Qi; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2013-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54)-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54)-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  6. An empirical study on measuring the relative efficiency using DEA method: A case study of bank industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Fallah

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA has been widely used as an effective tool for measuring the relative efficiency of similar units by considering various input/output parameters. This paper examines DEA models for the estimation and improvement of organizational inputs and outputs in order to enhance management and decision making processes. We propose an empirical DEA analysis on banking sector by considering several financial and non-financial inputs and outputs. The relative efficiencies of various branches of banks are analyzed in different scenarios. The preliminary results indicate that there are some non-financial items that could significantly change the overall performance of a unit along with other financial items.

  7. Metabolic efficiency in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in relation to temperature dependent growth and biomass yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakhartsev, Maksim; Yang, Xuelian; Reuss, Matthias; Pörtner, Hans Otto

    2015-08-01

    Canonized view on temperature effects on growth rate of microorganisms is based on assumption of protein denaturation, which is not confirmed experimentally so far. We develop an alternative concept, which is based on view that limits of thermal tolerance are based on imbalance of cellular energy allocation. Therefore, we investigated growth suppression of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the supraoptimal temperature range (30-40°C), i.e. above optimal temperature (Topt). The maximal specific growth rate (μmax) of biomass, its concentration and yield on glucose (Yx/glc) were measured across the whole thermal window (5-40°C) of the yeast in batch anaerobic growth on glucose. Specific rate of glucose consumption, specific rate of glucose consumption for maintenance (mglc), true biomass yield on glucose (Yx/glc(true)), fractional conservation of substrate carbon in product and ATP yield on glucose (Yatp/glc) were estimated from the experimental data. There was a negative linear relationship between ATP, ADP and AMP concentrations and specific growth rate at any growth conditions, whilst the energy charge was always high (~0.83). There were two temperature regions where mglc differed 12-fold, which points to the existence of a 'low' (within 5-31°C) and a 'high' (within 33-40°C) metabolic mode regarding maintenance requirements. The rise from the low to high mode occurred at 31-32°C in step-wise manner and it was accompanied with onset of suppression of μmax. High mglc at supraoptimal temperatures indicates a significant reduction of scope for growth, due to high maintenance cost. Analysis of temperature dependencies of product formation efficiency and Yatp/glc revealed that the efficiency of energy metabolism approaches its lower limit at 26-31°C. This limit is reflected in the predetermined combination of Yx/glc(true), elemental biomass composition and degree of reduction of the growth substrate. Approaching the limit implies a reduction of the safety margin

  8. Fluctuation relations between hierarchical kinetically equivalent networks with Arrhenius-type transitions and their roles in systems and structural biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, De-Ming; Lu, Yi-Ta; Chang, Cheng-Hung

    2017-06-01

    The legality of using simple kinetic schemes to determine the stochastic properties of a complex system depends on whether the fluctuations generated from hierarchical equivalent schemes are consistent with one another. To analyze this consistency, we perform lumping processes on the stochastic differential equations and the generalized fluctuation-dissipation theorem and apply them to networks with the frequently encountered Arrhenius-type transition rates. The explicit Langevin force derived from those networks enables us to calculate the state fluctuations caused by the intrinsic and extrinsic noises on the free energy surface and deduce their relations between kinetically equivalent networks. In addition to its applicability to wide classes of network related systems, such as those in structural and systems biology, the result sheds light on the fluctuation relations for general physical variables in Keizer's canonical theory.

  9. Energy-Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Withers, Jr., Charles R. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States)

    2016-12-01

    In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split on seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.

  10. Achievement-Relevant Personality: Relations with the Big Five and Validation of an Efficient Instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briley, Daniel A; Domiteaux, Matthew; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M

    2014-05-01

    Many achievement-relevant personality measures (APMs) have been developed, but the interrelations among APMs or associations with the broader personality landscape are not well-known. In Study 1, 214 participants were measured on 36 APMs and a measure of the Big Five. Factor analytic results supported the convergent and discriminant validity of five latent dimensions: performance, mastery, self-doubt, effort, and intellectual investment. Conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience had the most consistent associations with APMs. We constructed a more efficient scale- the Multidimensional Achievement-Relevant Personality Scale (MAPS). In Study 2, we replicated the factor structure and external correlates of the MAPS in a sample of 359 individuals. Finally, we validated the MAPS with four indicators of academic performance and demonstrated incremental validity.

  11. Extremely efficient crystallization of HKUST-1 and Keggin-loaded related phases through the epoxide route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oestreicher, Víctor; Jobbágy, Matías

    2017-03-25

    Highly crystalline HKUST-1 and COK-16-like phases were obtained based on a mild in situ alkalinization one-pot epoxide driven method. A slurry composed of finely ground trimesic acid, H3BTC, dispersed in a CuCl2 aqueous solution quantitatively developed well crystallized HKUST-1 after the addition of propylene oxide. The use of solid H3BTC ensures a low concentration of free linker, favoring crystalline growth over the precipitation of amorphous or metastable impurities. An extreme space-time yield of 2.1 × 10(5) kg m(-3) day(-1) was reached, with no linker excess and minimum use of solvent. The method was equally efficient in the achievement of pure NENU/COK-16 phases, containing [PW12O40](3-), [PMo12O40](3-) and [SiMo12O40](4-) polyoxometalates.

  12. Review: Improving our knowledge of male mosquito biology in relation to genetic control programmes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lees, Rosemary Susan; Knols, Bart; Bellini, Romeo; Benedict, Mark Q; Bheecarry, Ambicadutt; Bossin, Hervé Christophe; Chadee, Dave D; Charlwood, Jacques; Dabiré, Roch K; Djogbenou, Luc; Egyir-Yawson, Alexander; Gato, René; Gouagna, Louis Clément; Hassan, Mo'awia Mukhtar; Khan, Shakil Ahmed; Koekemoer, Lizette L; Lemperiere, Guy; Manoukis, Nicholas C; Mozuraitis, Raimondas; Pitts, R Jason; Simard, Frederic; Gilles, Jeremie R L

    2014-04-01

    The enormous burden placed on populations worldwide by mosquito-borne diseases, most notably malaria and dengue, is currently being tackled by the use of insecticides sprayed in residences or applied to bednets, and in the case of dengue vectors through reduction of larval breeding sites or larviciding with insecticides thereof. However, these methods are under threat from, amongst other issues, the development of insecticide resistance and the practical difficulty of maintaining long-term community-wide efforts. The sterile insect technique (SIT), whose success hinges on having a good understanding of the biology and behaviour of the male mosquito, is an additional weapon in the limited arsenal against mosquito vectors. The successful production and release of sterile males, which is the mechanism of population suppression by SIT, relies on the release of mass-reared sterile males able to confer sterility in the target population by mating with wild females. A five year Joint FAO/IAEA Coordinated Research Project brought together researchers from around the world to investigate the pre-mating conditions of male mosquitoes (physiology and behaviour, resource acquisition and allocation, and dispersal), the mosquito mating systems and the contribution of molecular or chemical approaches to the understanding of male mosquito mating behaviour. A summary of the existing knowledge and the main novel findings of this group is reviewed here, and further presented in the reviews and research articles that form this Acta Tropica special issue. Copyright © 2013 International Atomic Energy Agency 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Using redescription mining to relate clinical and biological characteristics of cognitively impaired and Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matej Mihelčić

    Full Text Available Based on a set of subjects and a collection of attributes obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, we used redescription mining to find interpretable rules revealing associations between those determinants that provide insights about the Alzheimer's disease (AD. We extended the CLUS-RM redescription mining algorithm to a constraint-based redescription mining (CBRM setting, which enables several modes of targeted exploration of specific, user-constrained associations. Redescription mining enabled finding specific constructs of clinical and biological attributes that describe many groups of subjects of different size, homogeneity and levels of cognitive impairment. We confirmed some previously known findings. However, in some instances, as with the attributes: testosterone, ciliary neurotrophic factor, brain natriuretic peptide, Fas ligand, the imaging attribute Spatial Pattern of Abnormalities for Recognition of Early AD, as well as the levels of leptin and angiopoietin-2 in plasma, we corroborated previously debatable findings or provided additional information about these variables and their association with AD pathogenesis. Moreover, applying redescription mining on ADNI data resulted with the discovery of one largely unknown attribute: the Pregnancy-Associated Protein-A (PAPP-A, which we found highly associated with cognitive impairment in AD. Statistically significant correlations (p ≤ 0.01 were found between PAPP-A and clinical tests: Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes, Mini Mental State Examination, etc. The high importance of this finding lies in the fact that PAPP-A is a metalloproteinase, known to cleave insulin-like growth factor binding proteins. Since it also shares similar substrates with A Disintegrin and the Metalloproteinase family of enzymes that act as α-secretase to physiologically cleave amyloid precursor protein (APP in the non-amyloidogenic pathway

  14. Assessing biological and chemical signatures related to nutrient removal by floating islands in stormwater mesocosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ni-Bin; Islam, Kamrul; Marimon, Zachary; Wanielista, Martin P

    2012-07-01

    Aquatic floating plants on BioHaven mats were tested for their potential use as a Best Management Practice to be incorporated within existing stormwater detention ponds. Plants were analyzed for their capability to remove nutrient-pollution in parallel with the study of ecological dynamics. Experiments were carried out in cylindrical mesocosms of 5 m diameter and 1.2 m height, above-ground pools with a water volume of 14 m(3). The design parameters tested were for 5% and 10% vegetated floating island coverage of the mesocosm, both with and without shoreline plants called littoral zone. This littoral shelf was 0.5 m thick, graded at a downward slope of 1:5 toward the center using loamy soil with low organic matter content, excavated from below turf grass. Endemic plant species were chosen for the experimental location in central Florida based on a wetland identification manual by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to ensure the study was not compromised by unique climate requirements of the plants. Nutrient and aquatic chemical conditions such as pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, and chlorophyll a were monitored to understand their relationships to the general wetland ecosystem. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis identified the microbial activity near the rhizospheric zone. Logistical placement considerations were made using spatial sampling across the horizontal plane of the mesocosms, beneath and around the root zone, to determine if nutrients tend to aggregate around the floating island. This study concluded that the application of floating islands as a stormwater technology can remove nutrients through plant uptake and biological activity. The most cost-effective size in the outdoor mesocosms was 5% surface area coverage of the mat. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. [Catheter-related bladder discomfort after urological surgery: importance of the type of surgery and efficiency of treatment by clonazepam].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maro, S; Zarattin, D; Baron, T; Bourez, S; de la Taille, A; Salomon, L

    2014-09-01

    Bladder catheter can induce a Catheter-Related Bladder Discomfort (CRBD). Antagonist of muscarinic receptor is the gold standard treatment. Clonazepam is an antimuscarinic, muscle relaxing oral drug. The aim of this study is to look for a correlation between the type of surgical procedure and the existence of CRBD and to evaluate the efficiency of clonazepam. One hundred patients needing bladder catheter were evaluated. Sexe, age, BMI, presence of diabetes, surgical procedure and existence of CRBD were noted. Pain was evaluated with analogic visual scale. Timing of pain, need for specific treatment by clonazepam and its efficiency were noted. Correlation between preoperative data, type of surgical procedure, existence of CRBD and efficiency of treatment were evaluated. There were 79 men and 21 women (age: 65.9 years, BMI: 25.4). Twelve patients presented diabetes. Surgical procedure concerned prostate in 39 cases, bladder in 19 cases (tumor resections), endo-urology in 20 cases, upper urinary tract in 12 cases (nephrectomy…) and lower urinary tract in 10 cases (sphincter, sub-uretral tape). Forty patients presented CRBD, (pain 4.5 using VAS). This pain occurred 0.6 days after surgery. No correlation was found between preoperative data and CRBD. Bladder resection and endo-urological procedures were surgical procedures which procured CRBD. Clonazepam was efficient in 30 (75 %) out of 40 patients with CRBD. However, it was less efficient in case of bladder tumor resection. CRBD is frequent and occurred immediately after surgery. Bladder resection and endo-urology were the main surgical procedures which induced CRBD. Clonazepam is efficient in 75 %. Bladder resection is the surgical procedure which is the most refractory to treatment. 5. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. The effect of right ventricular pacing on myocardial oxidative metabolism and efficiency: relation with left ventricular dyssynchrony

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ukkonen, Heikki; Saraste, Antti; Koistinen, Juhani [Turku University Hospital, Department of Medicine, P.O. Box 52, Turku (Finland); Tops, Laurens; Bax, Jeroen [Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands); Naum, Alexander [University of Turku, Turku PET Centre, Turku (Finland); Knuuti, Juhani [University of Turku, Turku PET Centre, Turku (Finland); Turku University Hospital, Turku PET Centre, P.O. Box 52, Turku (Finland)

    2009-12-15

    Right ventricular (RV) apical pacing induces dyssynchrony by a left bundle branch block type electrical activation sequence in the heart and may impair left ventricular (LV) function. Whether these functional changes are accompanied by changes in myocardial perfusion, oxidative metabolism and efficiency, and the relation with the induction of LV dyssynchrony are unknown. Our study was designed to investigate the acute effects of RV pacing on these parameters. Ten patients with normal LV ejection fraction and VVI/DDD pacemaker were studied during AAI pacing/sinus rhythm without RV pacing (pacing-OFF) and with RV pacing (pacing-ON) at the same heart rate. Dynamic [{sup 15}O]water and [{sup 11}C]acetate positron emission tomography was used to measure perfusion and oxidative metabolism (k{sub mono}) of the LV. An echocardiographic examination was used to assess LV stroke volume (SV) and LV dyssynchrony. Myocardial efficiency of forward work was calculated as systolic blood pressure x cardiac output/LV mass/k{sub mono}. RV pacing decreased SV in all subjects (mean decrease 13%, from 76 {+-} 7 to 66 {+-} 7 ml, p = 0.004), but global perfusion and k{sub mono} were unchanged. The efficiency tended to be lower with pacing-ON (70 {+-} 20 vs 81 {+-} 21 mmHg l/g, p = 0.066). In patients with dyssynchrony during pacing (n = 6) efficiency decreased by 23% (from 78 {+-} 25 to 60 {+-} 14 mmHg l/g, p = 0.02), but in patients without dyssynchrony no change in efficiency was detected. Accordingly, heterogeneity in myocardial perfusion and oxidative metabolism was detected during pacing in patients with dyssynchrony but not in those without dyssynchrony. RV pacing resulted in a significant decrease in SV. However, deleterious effects on LV oxidative metabolism and efficiency were observed only in patients with dyssynchrony during RV pacing. (orig.)

  17. Rethinking the biological clock: eleventh-hour moms, miracle moms and meanings of age-related infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friese, Carrie; Becker, Gay; Nachtigall, Robert D

    2006-09-01

    Over the past generation, aging and female reproduction have been lodged within the gendered and gendering debates regarding women's involvement in the workforce and demographic shifts toward delayed parenting that culminate in discourses on the "biological clock". Technological solutions to the biological clock, specifically in vitro fertilization, have led to clinical attempts to assess "ovarian reserve", or qualitative and quantitative changes in the ovary that correlate with aging and with successful infertility treatment. Rupturing the longstanding historical connections between menstruation and female reproductive capacity by specifically focusing on the aging of a woman's eggs, the clinical designation of "diminished ovarian reserve" has come to imply that a woman has "old eggs". This is associated in practitioners' and patients' minds with the eclipse of a woman's reproductive potential and with hidden harbingers of menopause. In an ethnographic interview study of 79 couples in the US who conceived after using donor oocytes, we found that women voiced two different narratives that described their experience and attitudes when confronted with an apparent age-related decline in their fertility. The "eleventh-hour mom" narrative was voiced by women who initially tried to become pregnant with their own eggs and turned to donated oocytes as a second-choice option, whereas the "miracle mom" narrative was expressed by women who were generally older, some of whom had entered infertility treatment hoping to conceive with their own eggs, but some who knew from the outset that it was not going to be possible. Through their narratives women not only embodied and made meaningful "diminished ovarian reserve" in varying ways that connect with cultural, social, structural/organizational, symbolic and physical aspects of aging, they reproduced the socio-biological project of the biological clock, but rooted this social project in the metaphor of "old eggs" rather than

  18. A phenomenological relative biological effectiveness approach for proton therapy based on an improved description of the mixed radiation field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairani, A.; Dokic, I.; Magro, G.; Tessonnier, T.; Bauer, J.; Böhlen, T. T.; Ciocca, M.; Ferrari, A.; Sala, P. R.; Jäkel, O.; Debus, J.; Haberer, T.; Abdollahi, A.; Parodi, K.

    2017-02-01

    Proton therapy treatment planning systems (TPSs) are based on the assumption of a constant relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of 1.1 without taking into account the found in vitro experimental variations of the RBE as a function of tissue type, linear energy transfer (LET) and dose. The phenomenological RBE models available in literature are based on the dose-averaged LET (LET D ) as an indicator of the physical properties of the proton radiation field. The LET D values are typically calculated taking into account primary and secondary protons, neglecting the biological effect of heavier secondaries. In this work, we have introduced a phenomenological RBE approach which considers the biological effect of primary protons, and of secondary protons, deuterons, tritons (Z  =  1) and He fragments (3He and 4He, Z  =  2). The calculation framework, coupled with a Monte Carlo (MC) code, has been successfully benchmarked against clonogenic in vitro data measured in this work for two cell lines and then applied to determine biological quantities for spread-out Bragg peaks and a prostate and a head case. The introduced RBE formalism, which depends on the mixed radiation field, the dose and the ratio of the linear-quadratic model parameters for the reference radiation {{≤ft(α /β \\right)}\\text{ph}} , predicts, when integrated in an MC code, higher RBE values in comparison to LET D -based parameterizations. This effect is particular enhanced in the entrance channel of the proton field and for low {{≤ft(α /β \\right)}\\text{ph}} tissues. For the prostate and the head case, we found higher RBE-weighted dose values up to about 5% in the entrance channel when including or neglecting the Z  =  2 secondaries in the RBE calculation. TPSs able to proper account for the mixed radiation field in proton therapy are thus recommended for an accurate determination of the RBE in the whole treatment field.

  19. German National Proficiency Scales in Biology: Internal Structure, Relations to General Cognitive Abilities and Verbal Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kampa, Nele; Köller, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    National and international large-scale assessments (LSA) have a major impact on educational systems, which raises fundamental questions about the validity of the measures regarding their internal structure and their relations to relevant covariates. Given its importance, research on the validity of instruments specifically developed for LSA is…

  20. EBI2, GPR18 and GPR17--three structurally related, but biologically distinct 7TM receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørregaard, Kristine; Benned-Jensen, Tau; Rosenkilde, Mette Marie

    2011-01-01

    have been deorphanized, many remain orphan, and these orphan receptors constitute a large pool of potential drug targets. This review focuses on one of these orphan targets, the Epstein-Barr Virus-induced receptor 2, EBI2 (or GPR183), together with two structurally related receptors, GPR17 and GPR18...

  1. Variability of photovoltaic panels efficiency depending on the value of the angle of their inclination relative to the horizon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majdak Marek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper was to determine the relationship between the efficiency of photovoltaic panels and the value of the angle of their inclination relative to the horizon. For the purpose of experimental research have been done tests on the photovoltaic modules made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous silicon. The experiment consisted of measurement of the voltage and current generated by photovoltaic panels at a known value of solar radiation and a specified resistance value determined by using resistor with variable value of resistance and known value of the angle of their inclination relative to the horizon.

  2. In Situ Methylene Capping: A General Strategy for Efficient Stereoretentive Catalytic Olefin Metathesis. The Concept, Methodological Implications, and Applications to Synthesis of Biologically Active Compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chaofan; Shen, Xiao; Hoveyda, Amir H

    2017-08-09

    In situ methylene capping is introduced as a practical and broadly applicable strategy that can expand the scope of catalyst-controlled stereoselective olefin metathesis considerably. By incorporation of commercially available Z-butene together with robust and readily accessible Ru-based dithiolate catalysts developed in these laboratories, a large variety of transformations can be made to proceed with terminal alkenes, without the need for a priori synthesis of a stereochemically defined disubstituted olefin. Reactions thus proceed with significantly higher efficiency and Z selectivity as compared to when other Ru-, Mo-, or W-based complexes are utilized. Cross-metathesis with olefins that contain a carboxylic acid, an aldehyde, an allylic alcohol, an aryl olefin, an α substituent, or amino acid residues was carried out to generate the desired products in 47-88% yield and 90:10 to >98:2 Z:E selectivity. Transformations were equally efficient and stereoselective with a ∼70:30 Z-:E-butene mixture, which is a byproduct of crude oil cracking. The in situ methylene capping strategy was used with the same Ru catechothiolate complex (no catalyst modification necessary) to perform ring-closing metathesis reactions, generating 14- to 21-membered ring macrocyclic alkenes in 40-70% yield and 96:4-98:2 Z:E selectivity; here too, reactions were more efficient and Z-selective than when the other catalyst classes are employed. The utility of the approach is highlighted by applications to efficient and stereoselective syntheses of several biologically active molecules. This includes a platelet aggregate inhibitor and two members of the prostaglandin family of compounds by catalytic cross-metathesis reactions, and a strained 14-membered ring stapled peptide by means of macrocyclic ring-closing metathesis. The approach presented herein is likely to have a notable effect on broadening the scope of olefin metathesis, as the stability of methylidene complexes is a generally

  3. Biological, psychological and social processes that explain celebrities’ influence on patients’ health-related behaviors

    OpenAIRE

    Hoffman, Steven J.; Tan,Charlie

    2015-01-01

    Background: Celebrities can have substantial influence as medical advisors. However, their impact on public health is equivocal: depending on the advice’s validity and applicability, celebrity engagements can benefit or hinder efforts to educate patients on evidence-based practices and improve their health literacy. This meta-narrative analysis synthesizes multiple disciplinary insights explaining the influence celebrities have on people’s health-related behaviors. Methods: Systematic searche...

  4. Biology and behaviour of male mosquitoes in relation to new approaches to control disease transmitting mosquitoes

    OpenAIRE

    Pitts, R.J.; Mozuraitis, R.; Gauvin-Bialecki, A.; Lampérière, Guy

    2014-01-01

    Despite decades of intensive study of the chemical ecology of female mosquitoes, relatively little is known about the chemical ecology of males. This short review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the chemicals that mediate male mosquito behaviour. Various trophic interactions including insect plant, insect host, and insect insect responses are emphasized. The relevance of the chemical ecology of male mosquitoes in the context of vector control programmes is discussed.

  5. Relative Efficiency of Field and Online Strategies in the Recruitment of HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vial, Andrea C; Starks, Tyrel J; Parsons, Jeffrey T

    2015-04-01

    Efforts to reach HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and link them to care must be expanded; however, finding and recruiting them remains a challenge. We compared the efficiency of three recruitment sources in reaching self-identified HIV-positive MSM with various characteristics. Relative to recruitment online and at clubs and bars, AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) were significantly more efficient in reaching HIV-positive MSM in general. This was also true for those with specific characteristics of interest such as substance/stimulant use, and HIV-positive MSM who were racial/ethnic minorities. Both ASOs and online recruitment were more efficient than clubs and bars in reaching HIV-positive MSM not taking HIV medication. This was also the case for White HIV-positive MSM in general, and White HIV-positive MSM who used substances and stimulants. Online recruitment was also more efficient than clubs and bars in reaching HIV-positive MSM who were young across the board.

  6. Monte Carlo simulations of the relative biological effectiveness for DNA double strand breaks from 300 MeV u-1 carbon-ion beams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Y. W.; Pan, C. Y.; Hsiao, Y. Y.; Chao, T. C.; Lee, C. C.; Tung, C. J.

    2015-08-01

    Monte Carlo simulations are used to calculate the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of 300 MeV u-1 carbon-ion beams at different depths in a cylindrical water phantom of 10 cm radius and 30 cm long. RBE values for the induction of DNA double strand breaks (DSB), a biological endpoint closely related to cell inactivation, are estimated for monoenergetic and energy-modulated carbon ion beams. Individual contributions to the RBE from primary ions and secondary nuclear fragments are simulated separately. These simulations are based on a multi-scale modelling approach by first applying the FLUKA (version 2011.2.17) transport code to estimate the absorbed doses and fluence energy spectra, then using the MCDS (version 3.10A) damage code for DSB yields. The approach is efficient since it separates the non-stochastic dosimetry problem from the stochastic DNA damage problem. The MCDS code predicts the major trends of the DSB yields from detailed track structure simulations. It is found that, as depth is increasing, RBE values increase slowly from the entrance depth to the plateau region and change substantially in the Bragg peak region. RBE values reach their maxima at the distal edge of the Bragg peak. Beyond this edge, contributions to RBE are entirely from nuclear fragments. Maximum RBE values at the distal edges of the Bragg peak and the spread-out Bragg peak are, respectively, 3.0 and 2.8. The present approach has the flexibility to weight RBE contributions from different DSB classes, i.e. DSB0, DSB+ and DSB++.

  7. Relating freshwater organic matter fluorescence to organic carbon removal efficiency in drinking water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Baker, Andy; Bridgeman, John

    2009-02-15

    Monthly raw and clarified water samples were obtained for 16 UK surface water treatment works. The fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) technique was used for the assessment of total organic carbon (TOC) removal and organic matter (OM) characterisation. The impact of algae presence in water on TOC removal, and its relationship with fluorescence, was analysed. Fluorescence peak C intensity was found to be a sensitive and reliable measure of OM content. Fluorescence peak C emission wavelength and peak T intensity (reflecting the degree of hydrophobicity and the microbial fraction, respectively) were found to characterize the OM; the impact of both on TOC removal efficiency was apparent. OM fluorescence properties were shown to predict TOC removal, and identify spatial and temporal variations. Previous work indicates that the trihalomethane (THM) concentration of treated water can be predicted from the raw water TOC concentration. The simplicity, sensitivity, speed of analysis and low cost, combined with potential for incorporation into on-line monitoring systems, mean that fluorescence spectroscopy offers a robust analytical technique to be used in conjunction with, or in place of, other approaches to OM characterisation and THM formation prediction.

  8. Energy-Efficient Hosting Rich Content from Mobile Platforms with Relative Proximity Sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ki-Woong; Lee, Younho; Baek, Sung Hoon

    2017-08-08

    In this paper, we present a tiny networked mobile platform, termed Tiny-Web-Thing (T-Wing), which allows the sharing of data-intensive content among objects in cyber physical systems. The object includes mobile platforms like a smartphone, and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms for Human-to-Human (H2H), Human-to-Machine (H2M), Machine-to-Human (M2H), and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. T-Wing makes it possible to host rich web content directly on their objects, which nearby objects can access instantaneously. Using a new mechanism that allows the Wi-Fi interface of the object to be turned on purely on-demand, T-Wing achieves very high energy efficiency. We have implemented T-Wing on an embedded board, and present evaluation results from our testbed. From the evaluation result of T-Wing, we compare our system against alternative approaches to implement this functionality using only the cellular or Wi-Fi (but not both), and show that in typical usage, T-Wing consumes less than 15× the energy and is faster by an order of magnitude.

  9. Energy-Efficient Hosting Rich Content from Mobile Platforms with Relative Proximity Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Sung Hoon

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we present a tiny networked mobile platform, termed Tiny-Web-Thing (T-Wing), which allows the sharing of data-intensive content among objects in cyber physical systems. The object includes mobile platforms like a smartphone, and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms for Human-to-Human (H2H), Human-to-Machine (H2M), Machine-to-Human (M2H), and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. T-Wing makes it possible to host rich web content directly on their objects, which nearby objects can access instantaneously. Using a new mechanism that allows the Wi-Fi interface of the object to be turned on purely on-demand, T-Wing achieves very high energy efficiency. We have implemented T-Wing on an embedded board, and present evaluation results from our testbed. From the evaluation result of T-Wing, we compare our system against alternative approaches to implement this functionality using only the cellular or Wi-Fi (but not both), and show that in typical usage, T-Wing consumes less than 15× the energy and is faster by an order of magnitude. PMID:28786942

  10. The Importance of Failure: Feedback-Related Negativity Predicts Motor Learning Efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helden, J. van der; Boksem, M.A.S.; Blom, J.H.G.

    2010-01-01

    Learning from past mistakes is of prominent importance for successful future behavior. In the present study, we tested whether reinforcement learning signals in the brain are predictive of adequate learning of a sequence of motor actions. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) while subjects

  11. Genetic Dissection of Root Morphological Traits Related to Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Brassica napus L. under Two Contrasting Nitrogen Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available As the major determinant for nutrient uptake, root system architecture (RSA has a massive impact on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE. However, little is known the molecular control of RSA as related to NUE in rapeseed. Here, a rapeseed recombinant inbred line population (BnaZNRIL was used to investigate root morphology (RM, an important component for RSA and NUE-related traits under high-nitrogen (HN and low-nitrogen (LN conditions by hydroponics. Data analysis suggested that RM-related traits, particularly root size had significantly phenotypic correlations with plant dry biomass and N uptake irrespective of N levels, but no or little correlation with N utilization efficiency (NUtE, providing the potential to identify QTLs with pleiotropy or specificity for RM- and NUE-related traits. A total of 129 QTLs (including 23 stable QTLs, which were repeatedly detected at least two environments or different N levels were identified and 83 of them were integrated into 22 pleiotropic QTL clusters. Five RM-NUE, ten RM-specific and three NUE-specific QTL clusters with same directions of additive-effect implied two NUE-improving approaches (RM-based and N utilization-based directly and provided valuable genomic regions for NUE improvement in rapeseed. Importantly, all of four major QTLs and most of stable QTLs (20 out of 23 detected here were related to RM traits under HN and/or LN levels, suggested that regulating RM to improve NUE would be more feasible than regulating N efficiency directly. These results provided the promising genomic regions for marker-assisted selection on RM-based NUE improvement in rapeseed.

  12. Genetic Dissection of Root Morphological Traits Related to Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Brassica napus L. under Two Contrasting Nitrogen Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie; Dun, Xiaoling; Shi, Jiaqin; Wang, Xinfa; Liu, Guihua; Wang, Hanzhong

    2017-01-01

    As the major determinant for nutrient uptake, root system architecture (RSA) has a massive impact on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). However, little is known the molecular control of RSA as related to NUE in rapeseed. Here, a rapeseed recombinant inbred line population (BnaZNRIL) was used to investigate root morphology (RM, an important component for RSA) and NUE-related traits under high-nitrogen (HN) and low-nitrogen (LN) conditions by hydroponics. Data analysis suggested that RM-related traits, particularly root size had significantly phenotypic correlations with plant dry biomass and N uptake irrespective of N levels, but no or little correlation with N utilization efficiency (NUtE), providing the potential to identify QTLs with pleiotropy or specificity for RM- and NUE-related traits. A total of 129 QTLs (including 23 stable QTLs, which were repeatedly detected at least two environments or different N levels) were identified and 83 of them were integrated into 22 pleiotropic QTL clusters. Five RM-NUE, ten RM-specific and three NUE-specific QTL clusters with same directions of additive-effect implied two NUE-improving approaches (RM-based and N utilization-based directly) and provided valuable genomic regions for NUE improvement in rapeseed. Importantly, all of four major QTLs and most of stable QTLs (20 out of 23) detected here were related to RM traits under HN and/or LN levels, suggested that regulating RM to improve NUE would be more feasible than regulating N efficiency directly. These results provided the promising genomic regions for marker-assisted selection on RM-based NUE improvement in rapeseed. PMID:29033971

  13. [Biological exposure-related injuries in workers in a health system of the health service of Galicia, Spain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cores Calvo, Juan; Muñiz Saborido, José Ramón; González Iglesias, Marta Clara

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the factors involved in biological exposure-related injuries occurring in worker from a health system in Galicia, Spain. The study was conducted in a health system of the Health Service of Galicia, that included four hospitals and 72 primary care centers, with nearly 6000 workers. The study used occupational injury data available o in the injury registry of the Health Service of Galicia for the year 2011. We identified 194 biohazard-related injuries. Exposures, locations, devices, tasks and causes of these incidents were analysed. The majority of biological exposures occurred through needlestick injuries (82%). The areas where more injuries occurred were in inpatient wards (37%) and operating rooms (25%). The devices most frequently involved were suture needles (15%) and insulin needles (15%). The most frequently recorded causes were lack of training and information, together with lack of biosafety devices. Worker training and information should be promoted along with the implementation of biosafety devices, as the latter measure alone does not seem sufficient to reduce the number of injuries. Copyright belongs to the Societat Catalana de Seguretat i Medicina del Treball.

  14. Measuring relative efficiency of applied science and technology universities in province of Semnan, Iran and providing suggestions for merging units

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abolfazl Danaei

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available University of applied science and technology has been designed to create a platform for multilateral activities such as industrial, military and academic in developing countries to promote science and scientific research applications. These universities are responsible to promote practical training in quantitative and qualitative indicators and they provide appropriate infrastructure to implement theoretical graduates to solve practical problems to build necessary infrastructure to transfer modern technology into developing countries. During the past few years, there have been tremendous development on these units but some of them have not been efficient. In this paper, we present an empirical study to measure the relative efficiencies of various units of applied science and technology universities using data envelopment analysis. The proposed model of this paper uses two inputs including human resources as well as total assets and two outputs including the number of graduate students as well as operating profit. The results of the study have indicated that some of the units are inefficient and need to be merged with other units to increase the relative efficiency of these universities.

  15. Relation between efficiency and energy cost with coordination in aquatic locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Pedro; Toussaint, Huub M; Vilas-Boas, João Paulo; Fernandes, Ricardo J

    2013-03-01

    The aim of this study was to establish the relationships between the intracycle velocity variation (IVV) and Froude efficiency (η(T)), energy cost (C), and index of coordination (IdC) throughout a 200-m freestyle race. Ten male international level swimmers performed a maximum 200 m front crawl swim. Performance was recorded with four below- and two above-water synchronized cameras. Oxygen consumption was measured continuously during the effort, and blood samples were collected before and after the test. IdC, body center of mass' IVV (x, y and z), and η(T) were also calculated. For assessing C swimmers performed also 50, 100 and 150 m at the same pace as in the 200-m splits to capture blood lactate samples after each 50-m lap of the 200-m effort. Swimmers attained a stable IVV (x, y, and z), as fatigue development along the 200-m effort induced a decrease in velocity, stroke length, stroke frequency, η(T), and an increase of IdC. Direct relationships between C and IdC for the second and fourth lap were found: R = 0.63 and R = 0.69 (P < 0.05), respectively. Computing partial correlation, also IdC and η(T) in the first lap were significantly correlated (R = -0.63, P < 0.05). IdC and η(T) showed to be significant for the within-subjects correlation (R = -0.45, P = 0.01), and IdC and C for the between-subjects correlation (R = 0.66, P = 0.04). Patterns of coordination modified during the 200-m event in response to the task constraints, observed by the changes in the other studied parameters, and allowing the IVV stability along the effort.

  16. Regression relation for pure quantum states and its implications for efficient computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsayed, Tarek A; Fine, Boris V

    2013-02-15

    We obtain a modified version of the Onsager regression relation for the expectation values of quantum-mechanical operators in pure quantum states of isolated many-body quantum systems. We use the insights gained from this relation to show that high-temperature time correlation functions in many-body quantum systems can be controllably computed without complete diagonalization of the Hamiltonians, using instead the direct integration of the Schrödinger equation for randomly sampled pure states. This method is also applicable to quantum quenches and other situations describable by time-dependent many-body Hamiltonians. The method implies exponential reduction of the computer memory requirement in comparison with the complete diagonalization. We illustrate the method by numerically computing infinite-temperature correlation functions for translationally invariant Heisenberg chains of up to 29 spins 1/2. Thereby, we also test the spin diffusion hypothesis and find it in a satisfactory agreement with the numerical results. Both the derivation of the modified regression relation and the justification of the computational method are based on the notion of quantum typicality.

  17. Biological markers of amyloid beta-related mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hampel, Harald

    2010-06-01

    Recent research progress has given detailed knowledge on the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD), which has been translated into an intense, ongoing development of disease-modifying treatments. Most new drug candidates are targeted on inhibiting amyloid beta (Abeta) production and aggregation. In drug development, it is important to co-develop biomarkers for Abeta-related mechanisms to enable early diagnosis and patient stratification in clinical trials, and to serve as tools to identify and monitor the biochemical effect of the drug directly in patients. Biomarkers are also requested by regulatory authorities to serve as safety measurements. Molecular aberrations in the AD brain are reflected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Core CSF biomarkers include Abeta isoforms (Abeta40\\/Abeta42), soluble APP isoforms, Abeta oligomers and beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1). This article reviews recent research advances on core candidate CSF and plasma Abeta-related biomarkers, and gives a conceptual review on how to implement biomarkers in clinical trials in AD.

  18. Biological markers of amyloid beta-related mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hampel, Harald

    2012-02-01

    Recent research progress has given detailed knowledge on the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD), which has been translated into an intense, ongoing development of disease-modifying treatments. Most new drug candidates are targeted on inhibiting amyloid beta (Abeta) production and aggregation. In drug development, it is important to co-develop biomarkers for Abeta-related mechanisms to enable early diagnosis and patient stratification in clinical trials, and to serve as tools to identify and monitor the biochemical effect of the drug directly in patients. Biomarkers are also requested by regulatory authorities to serve as safety measurements. Molecular aberrations in the AD brain are reflected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Core CSF biomarkers include Abeta isoforms (Abeta40\\/Abeta42), soluble APP isoforms, Abeta oligomers and beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1). This article reviews recent research advances on core candidate CSF and plasma Abeta-related biomarkers, and gives a conceptual review on how to implement biomarkers in clinical trials in AD.

  19. Relative Contributions of Selected Teachers' Variables and Students' Attitudes toward Academic Achievement in Biology among Senior Secondary School Students in Ondo State, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbore, L. O.; Daramola, C. A.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the relative contributions of selected teachers' variables and students' attitude towards academic achievement in biology among senior secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. It involved descriptive survey research and ex-post facto research designs. The sample, 360 respondents which consists of 180 biology teachers and…

  20. Interest, Attitudes and Self-Efficacy Beliefs Explaining Upper-Secondary School Students' Orientation Towards Biology-Related Careers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uitto, Anna

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to discover the contribution of students' interest in school biology, as well as their self-efficacy and attitudes towards different science subjects and mathematics when explaining students' orientation towards biology-related careers at upper-secondary school. The data of 321 K-11 students (49% women) were…

  1. Clever generation of rich SPARQL queries from annotated relational schema: application to Semantic Web Service creation for biological databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollbrett, Julien; Larmande, Pierre; de Lamotte, Frédéric; Ruiz, Manuel

    2013-04-15

    In recent years, a large amount of "-omics" data have been produced. However, these data are stored in many different species-specific databases that are managed by different institutes and laboratories. Biologists often need to find and assemble data from disparate sources to perform certain analyses. Searching for these data and assembling them is a time-consuming task. The Semantic Web helps to facilitate interoperability across databases. A common approach involves the development of wrapper systems that map a relational database schema onto existing domain ontologies. However, few attempts have been made to automate the creation of such wrappers. We developed a framework, named BioSemantic, for the creation of Semantic Web Services that are applicable to relational biological databases. This framework makes use of both Semantic Web and Web Services technologies and can be divided into two main parts: (i) the generation and semi-automatic annotation of an RDF view; and (ii) the automatic generation of SPARQL queries and their integration into Semantic Web Services backbones. We have used our framework to integrate genomic data from different plant databases. BioSemantic is a framework that was designed to speed integration of relational databases. We present how it can be used to speed the development of Semantic Web Services for existing relational biological databases. Currently, it creates and annotates RDF views that enable the automatic generation of SPARQL queries. Web Services are also created and deployed automatically, and the semantic annotations of our Web Services are added automatically using SAWSDL attributes. BioSemantic is downloadable at http://southgreen.cirad.fr/?q=content/Biosemantic.

  2. Sleep quality and efficiency in adolescents with chronic pain: relationship with activity limitations and health-related quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palermo, Tonya M; Fonareva, Irina; Janosy, Norah R

    2008-01-01

    The primary purpose of this report was to test hypothesized relationships among poorer sleep quality, increased activity limitations, and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adolescents with and without chronic pain. Forty adolescents (20 with chronic pain, 20 healthy) completed measures of HRQOL, activity limitations, pain, depression, and sleep quality. Actigraphy was completed over 7 days. Correlational analyses demonstrated significant relationships where poorer subjective sleep quality was associated with greater activity limitations and reduced HRQOL. Lower actigraphic sleep efficiency was associated with greater activity limitations. In multiple regression analyses, frequency of pain predicted activity limitations and HRQOL. Controlling for pain and depression, lower sleep efficiency was a significant predictor of greater activity limitations but not of HRQOL. Adolescents with chronic pain would benefit from thorough assessment and treatment of sleep disturbances, as alleviation of sleep complaints might enhance HRQOL and physical functioning in this population.

  3. To The Question Of Efficiency Of Standard And Legal Regulation Of Relations Between Employers And Workers In Germany Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksey I. Sosov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the present article topical issues of an assessment of efficiency of standard and legal regulation of the relations between employers and workers in Germany are considered. In the conclusion the conclusion that the German labor legislation differs in the high level of efficiency regarding protection as the rights of the worker, and the rights of the employer that is confirmed by the following is drawn: a work of labor unions, is capable to resolve fully the contradictions arising between the worker (workers and the employer practically at any level that helps to avoid the address for protection of the rights to court; b the social guarantees provided to the worker fully guarantee his worthy life, etc.

  4. Psychological, Relational, and Biological Correlates of Ego-Dystonic Masturbation in a Clinical Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, Giovanni; Fanni, Egidia; Corona, Giovanni; Maseroli, Elisa; Ricca, Valdo; Maggi, Mario

    2016-09-01

    Attitudes toward masturbation are extremely varied, and this practice is often perceived with a sense of guilt. To evaluate the prevalence of ego-dystonic masturbation (EM), defined as masturbation activity followed by a sense of guilt, in a clinical setting of sexual medicine and the impact of EM on psychological and relational well-being. A series of 4,211 men attending an andrology and sexual medicine outpatient clinic was studied retrospectively. The presence and severity of EM were defined according to ANDROTEST items related to masturbation, determined by the mathematical product of the frequency of masturbation and the sense of guilt after masturbation. Clinical, biochemical, and psychological parameters were studied using the Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction, ANDROTEST, and modified Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire. Three hundred fifty-two subjects (8.4%) reported any sense of guilt after masturbation. Subjects with EM were younger than the remaining sample (mean age ± SD = 51.27 ± 13.43 vs 48.31 ± 12.04 years, P < .0001) and had more psychiatric comorbidities. EM severity was positively associated with higher free-floating (Wald = 35.94, P < .001) and depressive (Wald = 16.85, P < .001) symptoms, and subjects with a higher EM score reported less phobic anxiety (Wald = 4.02, P < .05) and obsessive-compulsive symptoms (Wald = 7.6, P < .01). A higher EM score was associated with a higher alcohol intake. Subjects with EM more often reported the partner's lower frequency of climax and more problems achieving an erection during sexual intercourse. EM severity was positively associated with worse relational and intrapsychic domain scores. Clinicians should consider that some subjects seeking treatment in a sexual medicine setting might report compulsive sexual behaviors. EM represents a clinically relevant cause of disability, given the high level of psychological distress reported by subjects with this condition, and the severe impact on

  5. Biological and Pharmacological Activities of Squalene and Related Compounds: Potential Uses in Cosmetic Dermatology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-You Fang

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Squalene is a triterpene that is an intermediate in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. It was so named because of its occurrence in shark liver oil, which contains large quantities and is considered its richest source. However, it is widely distributed in nature, with reasonable amounts found in olive oil, palm oil, wheat-germ oil, amaranth oil, and rice bran oil. Squalene, the main component of skin surface polyunsaturated lipids, shows some advantages for the skin as an emollient and antioxidant, and for hydration and its antitumor activities. It is also used as a material in topically applied vehicles such as lipid emulsions and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs. Substances related to squalene, including β-carotene, coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone and vitamins A, E, and K, are also included in this review article to introduce their benefits to skin physiology. We summarize investigations performed in previous reports from both in vitro and in vivo models.

  6. The use of biologically related model (Eclipse for the intensity-modulated radiation therapy planning of nasopharyngeal carcinomas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica W K Kan

    Full Text Available Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT is the most common treatment technique for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC. Physical quantities such as dose/dose-volume parameters are used conventionally for IMRT optimization. The use of biological related models has been proposed and can be a new trend. This work was to assess the performance of the biologically based IMRT optimization model installed in a popular commercial treatment planning system (Eclipse as compared to its dose/dose volume optimization model when employed in the clinical environment for NPC cases.Ten patients of early stage NPC and ten of advanced stage NPC were selected for this study. IMRT plans optimized using biological related approach (BBTP were compared to their corresponding plans optimized using the dose/dose volume based approach (DVTP. Plan evaluation was performed using both biological indices and physical dose indices such as tumor control probability (TCP, normal tissue complication probability (NTCP, target coverage, conformity, dose homogeneity and doses to organs at risk. The comparison results of the more complex advanced stage cases were reported separately from those of the simpler early stage cases.The target coverage and conformity were comparable between the two approaches, with BBTP plans producing more hot spots. For the primary targets, BBTP plans produced comparable TCP for the early stage cases and higher TCP for the advanced stage cases. BBTP plans reduced the volume of parotid glands receiving doses of above 40 Gy compared to DVTP plans. The NTCP of parotid glands produced by BBTP were 8.0 ± 5.8 and 7.9 ± 8.7 for early and advanced stage cases, respectively, while those of DVTP were 21.3 ± 8.3 and 24.4 ± 12.8, respectively. There were no significant differences in the NTCP values between the two approaches for the serial organs.Our results showed that the BBTP approach could be a potential alternative approach to the DVTP approach for NPC.

  7. An Efficient Quality-Related Fault Diagnosis Method for Real-Time Multimode Industrial Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaixiang Peng

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Focusing on quality-related complex industrial process performance monitoring, a novel multimode process monitoring method is proposed in this paper. Firstly, principal component space clustering is implemented under the guidance of quality variables. Through extraction of model tags, clustering information of original training data can be acquired. Secondly, according to multimode characteristics of process data, the monitoring model integrated Gaussian mixture model with total projection to latent structures is effective after building the covariance description form. The multimode total projection to latent structures (MTPLS model is the foundation of problem solving about quality-related monitoring for multimode processes. Then, a comprehensive statistics index is defined which is based on the posterior probability of the monitored samples belonging to each Gaussian component in the Bayesian theory. After that, a combined index is constructed for process monitoring. Finally, motivated by the application of traditional contribution plot in fault diagnosis, a gradient contribution rate is applied for analyzing the variation of variable contribution rate along samples. Our method can ensure the implementation of online fault monitoring and diagnosis for multimode processes. Performances of the whole proposed scheme are verified in a real industrial, hot strip mill process (HSMP compared with some existing methods.

  8. The role of external pressure and support on teacher choices related to evolution curriculum in the secondary biology classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oschman, Scot

    The scientific community strongly and virtually universally supports the teaching of biological evolution in our public schools. However, there are many in the general public who object to the teaching of biological evolution in our nation's science classrooms. Groups such as Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute, along with parents, students, school boards, and school administrators are alleged by many in the scientific and science education communities to be pressuring teachers in a variety of ways regarding the teaching of evolution. The purpose of this study was to examine the sources of, extent of, and ways in which science teachers deal with external influences that attempt to alter their science curriculum related to the teaching of the theory of biological evolution in order to support it, deemphasize it or remove it from their classrooms. It also attempted to determine the impact these outside influences have on evolution education in the classroom. Internal influences were examined in order to ascertain other possible reasons why teachers might or might not de-emphasize, omit, or teach evidence contrary to evolution. Two thousand cover letters were sent out to high school biology teachers selected at random from three states in the U.S. Registry of Teachers, directing them to a web site where they could complete the questionnaire online. One hundred seventy eight teachers responded to the survey. The statistical analyses used in this study to examine the results included analysis of variance (ANOVA), independent samples t tests for means comparisons, as well as a variety of descriptive statistics. This study found that 59% of the teachers who responded had experienced some form of pressure related to their evolution curriculum, and that the majority of this pressure came from students, groups or individuals not affiliated with their school district, and parents. The most common manifestations of pressure were to teach that evolution was "only" a

  9. Economic efficiency assessment of a mechanical/biological residual waste treatment plant as compared to dumping and incineration; Wirtschaftlichkeitsbetrachtung einer Mechanisch-Biologischen Restabfallbehandlungsanlage (MBA) im Vergleich zur Ablagerung bzw. thermischen Behandlung von Restabfaellen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kippenberger, F.; Wollenweber, J. [AEW Plan GmbH, Koeln (Germany)

    1998-06-01

    The economic efficiency of mechanical/biological waste treatment systems (MBA) was assessed. It was found that MBA is not only an alternative but also a supplementary technique incineration and will make waste disposal more efficient. (orig.) [Deutsch] Im Rahmen einer Wirtschaftlichkeitsuntersuchung wurde auf Basis unterschiedlicher Entsorgungsmodelle die Wirtschaftlichlichkeit Mechanisch-Biologischer Behandlungsanlagen (MBA) ermittelt. Es zeigt sich, dass die MBA nicht nur als Alternative, sondern durchaus auch als Ergaenzung zur thermischen Entsorgung in einer Muellverbrennungsanlage zu einer wirtschaftlichen Abfallentsorgung fuehren kann. (orig.)

  10. Sand lance: A review of biology and predator relations and annotated bibliography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robards, Martin D.; Willson, Mary F.; Armstrong, Robert H.; Piatt, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Six species of sand lance (Ammodytes) in temperate and boreal regions are currently recognized. Sand lance can occupy a wide range of environmental conditions, but all appear to be dormant predominantly in winter, and one species is in summer also. They lack a swim bladder and spend much of their time buried in specific substrates. Copepods are the primary food. Spawning usually occurs in fall or winter (although some species also spawn in spring), eggs are demersal, and larvae may hatch at times of low food abundance. Sand lance usually occur in schools and are regarded as a relatively high-quality forage fish.Sand lance constitute a major prey for at least some populations of over 100 species of consumer, including 40 species of birds, 12 species of marine mammals, 45 species of fishes, and some invertebrates. Variation in the availability of sand lance (and other forage fishes) can have major effects on the breeding success and survival of their predators. Commercial fishing and other pressures on sand lance populations potentially have ramifying effects on many species of wildlife.The bibliography contains over 1,700 references on the family Ammodytidae, with an emphasis on the genus Ammodytes. Keywords are provided for each reference and have been further organized into taxonomic, geographic, subject, and predator indexes.

  11. Tide-related biological rhythm in the oxygen consumption rate of ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea uncinata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, Félix P; Niklitschek, Edwin J; Paschke, Kurt; Gebauer, Paulina; Urbina, Mauricio A

    2016-07-01

    The effects of tidal height (high and low), acclimation to laboratory conditions (days in captivity) and oxygen level (hypoxia and normoxia) were evaluated in the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) of the ghost shrimp Neotrypaea uncinata We evaluated the hypothesis that N. uncinata reduces its OCR during low tide and increases it during high tide, regardless of oxygen level or acclimation. Additionally, the existence of an endogenous rhythm in OCR was explored, and we examined whether it synchronized with tidal, diurnal or semidiurnal cycles. Unexpectedly, high OCRs were observed at low tide, during normoxia, in non-acclimated animals. Results from a second, longer experiment under normoxic conditions suggested the presence of a tide-related metabolic rhythm, a response pattern not yet demonstrated for a burrowing decapod. Although rhythms persisted for only 2 days after capture, their period of 12.8 h closely matched the semidiurnal tidal cycle that ghost shrimp confront inside their burrows. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Perfluorooctanesulfonate and related fluorochemicals in biological samples from the north coast of Colombia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olivero-Verbel, Jesus [Environmental and Computational Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cartagena, A.A. 6541 Cartagena (Colombia)]. E-mail: jesusolivero@yahoo.com; Tao, Lin [Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, PO Box 509, Albany, NY 12201-0509 (United States); Johnson-Restrepo, Boris [Environmental and Computational Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cartagena, A.A. 6541 Cartagena (Colombia); Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, PO Box 509, Albany, NY 12201-0509 (United States); Guette-Fernandez, Jorge [Environmental and Computational Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cartagena, A.A. 6541 Cartagena (Colombia); Baldiris-Avila, Rosa [Environmental and Computational Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cartagena, A.A. 6541 Cartagena (Colombia); O' byrne-Hoyos, Indira [Environmental and Computational Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cartagena, A.A. 6541 Cartagena (Colombia); Kannan, Kurunthachalam [Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, PO Box 509, Albany, NY 12201-0509 (United States)

    2006-07-15

    Perfluorinated compounds are widespread pollutants of toxicological importance that have been detected in environmental matrices. However, little is known on their distribution in South America. In this study, distribution of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA) was determined in the bile of mullet, Mugil incilis, and in tissues of pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) collected from North Colombia. Analysis was performed by HPLC mass spectrometry after ion-pair extraction. PFOS was found in all bile samples and PFOA and PFHxS were detected at lower frequency. Average concentrations of PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS in bile of fish from Cartagena Bay, an industrialized site, and Totumo marsh, a reference site, were 3673, 370, 489 and 713, 47.4, 1.27 ng/mL, respectively. PFOS concentrations in pelican organs decreased in the order of spleen > liver > lung > kidney > brain > heart > muscle. These results suggest, for the first time, that perfluorinated compounds are also found in wildlife from Latin American countries. - Perfluorooctanesulfonate and related perfluorinated compounds have been found in a tropical ecosystem of South America.

  13. Supplementary Material for: Lignocellulose-derived thin stillage composition and efficient biological treatment with a high-rate hybrid anaerobic bioreactor system

    KAUST Repository

    Oosterkamp, Margreet

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background This study aims to chemically characterize thin stillage derived from lignocellulosic biomass distillation residues in terms of organic strength, nutrient, and mineral content. The feasibility of performing anaerobic digestion on these stillages at mesophilic (40 °C) and thermophilic (55 °C) temperatures to produce methane was demonstrated. The microbial communities involved were further characterized. Results Energy and sugar cane stillage have a high chemical oxygen demand (COD of 43 and 30 g/L, respectively) and low pH (pH 4.3). Furthermore, the acetate concentration in sugar cane stillage was high (45 mM) but was not detected in energy cane stillage. There was also a high amount of lactate in both types of stillage (35–37 mM). The amount of sugars was 200 times higher in energy cane stillage compared to sugar cane stillage. Although there was a high concentration of sulfate (18 and 23 mM in sugar and energy cane stillage, respectively), both thin stillages were efficiently digested anaerobically with high COD removal under mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions and with an organic loading rate of 15–21 g COD/L/d. The methane production rate was 0.2 L/g COD, with a methane percentage of 60 and 64, and 92 and 94 % soluble COD removed, respectively, by the mesophilic and thermophilic reactors. Although both treatment processes were equally efficient, there were different microbial communities involved possibly arising from the differences in the composition of energy cane and sugar cane stillage. There was more acetic acid in sugar cane stillage which may have promoted the occurrence of aceticlastic methanogens to perform a direct conversion of acetate to methane in reactors treating sugar cane stillage. Conclusions Results showed that thin stillage contains easily degradable compounds suitable for anaerobic digestion and that hybrid reactors can efficiently convert thin stillage to methane under mesophilic and

  14. Parathyroid hormone-related protein is a gravisensor in lung and bone cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J. S.

    2003-10-01

    Parathyroid Hormone-related Protein (PTHrP) has been shown to be essential for the development and homeostatic regulation of lung and bone. Since both lung and bone structure and function are affected by microgravity, we hypothesized that 0 × g down-regulates PTHrP signaling. To test this hypothesis, we suspended lung and bone cells in the simulated microgravity environment of a Rotating Wall Vessel Bioreactor, which simulates microgravity, for up to 72 hours. During the first 8 hours of exposure to simulated 0 × g, PTHrP expression fell precipitously, decreasing by 80-90%; during the subsequent 64 hours, PTHrP expression remained at this newly established level of expression. PTHrP production decreased from 12 pg/ml/hour to 1 pg/ml/hour in culture medium from microgravity-exposed cells. The cells were then recultured at unit gravity for 24hours, and PTHrP expression and production returned to normal levels. Based on these findings, we have obtained bones from rats flown in space for 2 weeks (Mission STS-58, SL-2). Analysis of PTHrP expression by femurs and tibias from these animals (n=5) revealed that PTHrP expression was 60% lower than in bones from control ground-based rats. Interestingly, there were no differences in PTHrP expression by parietal bone from space-exposed versus ground-based animals, indicating that the effect of weightlessness on PTHrP expression is due to the unweighting of weight-bearing bones. This finding is consistent with other studies of microgravity-induced osteoporosis. The loss of the PTHrP signaling mechanism may be corrected using chemical agents that up-regulate this pathway. In conclusion, PTHrP represents a stretch-sensitive paracrine signaling mechanism that may sense gravity.

  15. Nitric Oxide-Related Biological Pathways in Patients with Major Depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Baranyi

    Full Text Available Major depression is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and increased mortality following myocardial infarction. However, biomarkers of depression and increased cardiovascular risk are still missing. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate, whether nitric-oxide (NO related factors for endothelial dysfunction, such as global arginine bioavailability, arginase activity, L-arginine/ADMA ratio and the arginine metabolites asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA might be biomarkers for depression-induced cardiovascular risk.In 71 in-patients with major depression and 48 healthy controls the Global Arginine Bioavailability Ratio (GABR, arginase activity (arginine/ornithine ratio, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio, ADMA, and SDMA were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Psychiatric and laboratory assessments were obtained at baseline at the time of in-patient admittance and at the time of hospital discharge.The ADMA concentrations in patients with major depression were significantly elevated and the SDMA concentrations were significantly decreased in comparison with the healthy controls. Even after a first improvement of depression, ADMA and SDMA levels remained nearly unchanged. In addition, after a first improvement of depression at the time of hospital discharge, a significant decrease in arginase activity, an increased L-arginine/ADMA ratio and a trend for increased global arginine bioavailability were observed.Our study results are evidence that in patients with major depression ADMA and SDMA might be biomarkers to indicate an increased cardiovascular threat due to depression-triggered NO reduction. GABR, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio and arginase activity might be indicators of therapy success and increased NO production after remission.

  16. The relative biological effectiveness for carbon and oxygen ion beams using the raster-scanning technique in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Habermehl, Daniel; Ilicic, Katarina; Dehne, Sarah; Rieken, Stefan; Orschiedt, Lena; Brons, Stephan; Haberer, Thomas; Weber, Klaus-Josef; Debus, Jürgen; Combs, Stephanie E

    2014-01-01

    Aim of this study was to evaluate the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of carbon (12C) and oxygen ion (16O)-irradiation applied in the raster-scanning technique at the Heidelberg Ion beam Therapy center...

  17. A cause and effect two-stage BSC-DEA method for measuring the relative efficiency of organizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Esmaeel Najafi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an integration of balanced score card (BSE with two-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA. The proposed model of this paper uses different financial and non-financial perspectives to evaluate the performance of decision making units in different BSC stages. At each stage, a two-stage DEA method is implemented to measure the relative efficiency of decision making units and the results are monitored using the cause and effect relationships. An empirical study for a banking sector is also performed using the method developed in this paper and the results are briefly analyzed.

  18. MICRODOSIMETRIC MODELING OF THE RELATIVE LUMINESCENCE EFFICIENCY OF LiF:Mg,Ti (MTS) DETECTORS EXPOSED TO CHARGED PARTICLES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parisi, Alessio; Van Hoey, Olivier; Vanhavere, Filip

    2017-09-29

    A microdosimetric model has been developed to predict the relative efficiency of luminescent detectors for measuring different radiation qualities. The model has been tested for LiF:Mg,Ti (MTS) detectors exposed to charged particles from 1H to 132Xe in the energy range 3-1000 MeV/u. The obtained results have been compared with experimental data present in literature showing very good agreement in case of calculations performed in a site size of 40 nm. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Mathematical anxiety effects on simple arithmetic processing efficiency: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Pellicioni, M; Núñez-Peña, M I; Colomé, A

    2013-12-01

    This study uses event-related brain potentials to investigate the difficulties that high math anxious individuals face when processing dramatically incorrect solutions to simple arithmetical problems. To this end, thirteen high math-anxious (HMA) and thirteen low math-anxious (LMA) individuals were presented with simple addition problems in a verification task. The proposed solution could be correct, incorrect but very close to the correct one (small-split), or dramatically incorrect (large-split). The two groups did not differ in mathematical ability or trait anxiety. We reproduced previous results for flawed scores suggesting HMA difficulties in processing large-split solutions. Moreover, large-split solutions elicited a late positive component (P600/P3b) which was more enhanced and delayed in the HMA group. Our study proposes that the pattern of flawed scores found by previous studies (and that we replicate) has to do with HMA individuals'difficulties in inhibiting an extended processing of irrelevant information (large-split solutions). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Microbial density and diversity in constructed wetland systems and the relation to pollutant removal efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yang; Carvalho, Pedro N; Lv, Tao; Arias, Carlos; Brix, Hans; Chen, Zhanghe

    2016-01-01

    Microbes are believed to be at the core of the wastewater treatment processes in constructed wetlands (CWs). The aim of this study was to assess the microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and Shannon's diversity index (SDI) in the substrate of CWs planted with Phragmites australis, Hymenocallis littoralis, Canna indica and Cyperus flabelliformis, and to relate MBC and SDI to the pollutant removal in the systems. Significant higher MBC was observed in CWs with H. littoralis and C. indica than in CWs with P. australis, and the MBC differed with season and substrate depth. The microbial community in the wetlands included four phyla: Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria, with a more diverse community structure in wetlands with C. flabelliformis. The MBC in the substrate and the SDI of the 15-20 cm depth correlated with the removal of biochemical oxygen demand, NH4-N and NO3-N. Our results indicate that substrate SDI and MBC can both be regarded as bioindicators of the pollutant removal ability in CWs.

  1. Biological and analytical variations of 16 parameters related to coagulation screening tests and the activity of coagulation factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qian; Shou, Weiling; Wu, Wei; Guo, Ye; Zhang, Yujuan; Huang, Chunmei; Cui, Wei

    2015-04-01

    To accurately estimate longitudinal changes in individuals, it is important to take into consideration the biological variability of the measurement. The few studies available on the biological variations of coagulation parameters are mostly outdated. We confirmed the published results using modern, fully automated methods. Furthermore, we added data for additional coagulation parameters. At 8:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 4:00 pm on days 1, 3, and 5, venous blood was collected from 31 healthy volunteers. A total of 16 parameters related to coagulation screening tests as well as the activity of coagulation factors were analyzed; these included prothrombin time, fibrinogen (Fbg), activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, international normalized ratio, prothrombin time activity, activated partial thromboplastin time ratio, fibrin(-ogen) degradation products, as well as the activity of factor II, factor V, factor VII, factor VIII, factor IX, and factor X. All intraindividual coefficients of variation (CVI) values for the parameters of the screening tests (except Fbg) were less than 5%. Conversely, the CVI values for the activity of coagulation factors were all greater than 5%. In addition, we calculated the reference change value to determine whether a significant difference exists between two test results from the same individual. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  2. Expression of Msx-1 is suppressed in bisphosphonate associated osteonecrosis related jaw tissue-etiopathology considerations respecting jaw developmental biology-related unique features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlegel Karl A

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bone-destructive disease treatments include bisphosphonates and antibodies against the osteoclast differentiator, RANKL (aRANKL; however, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ is a frequent side-effect. Current models fail to explain the restriction of bisphosphonate (BP-related and denosumab (anti-RANKL antibody-related ONJ to jaws. Msx-1 is exclusively expressed in craniofacial structures and pivotal to cranial neural crest (CNC-derived periodontal tissue remodeling. We hypothesised that Msx-1 expression might be impaired in bisphosphonate-related ONJ. The study aim was to elucidate Msx-1 and RANKL-associated signal transduction (BMP-2/4, RANKL in ONJ-altered and healthy periodontal tissue. Methods Twenty ONJ and twenty non-BP exposed periodontal samples were processed for RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. An automated staining-based alkaline phosphatase-anti-alkaline phosphatase method was used to measure the stained cells:total cell-number ratio (labelling index, Bonferroni adjustment. Real-time RT-PCR was performed on ONJ-affected and healthy jaw periodontal samples (n = 20 each to quantitatively compare Msx-1, BMP-2, RANKL, and GAPDH mRNA levels. Results Semi-quantitative assessment of the ratio of stained cells showed decreased Msx-1 and RANKL and increased BMP-2/4 (all p Conclusions These results explain the sclerotic and osteopetrotic changes of periodontal tissue following BP application and substantiate clinical findings of BP-related impaired remodeling specific to periodontal tissue. RANKL suppression substantiated the clinical finding of impaired bone remodelling in BP- and aRANKL-induced ONJ-affected bone structures. Msx-1 suppression in ONJ-adjacent periodontal tissue suggested a bisphosphonate-related impairment in cellular differentiation that occurred exclusively jaw remodelling. Further research on developmental biology-related unique features of jaw bone structures will help to elucidate pathologies restricted to

  3. Spot Scanning and Passive Scattering Proton Therapy: Relative Biological Effectiveness and Oxygen Enhancement Ratio in Cultured Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iwata, Hiromitsu, E-mail: h-iwa-ncu@nifty.com [Department of Radiation Oncology, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya (Japan); Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya (Japan); Ogino, Hiroyuki [Department of Radiation Oncology, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya (Japan); Hashimoto, Shingo [Department of Radiation Oncology, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya (Japan); Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya (Japan); Yamada, Maho [Department of Radiation Oncology, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya (Japan); Shibata, Hiroki; Yasui, Keisuke [Department of Proton Therapy Technology, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya (Japan); Toshito, Toshiyuki; Omachi, Chihiro [Department of Proton Therapy Physics, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya (Japan); Tatekawa, Kotoha [Department of Radiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Manabe, Yoshihiko [Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya (Japan); Mizoe, Jun-etsu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Nagoya Proton Therapy Center, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya (Japan); Shibamoto, Yuta [Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya (Japan)

    2016-05-01

    Purpose: To determine the relative biological effectiveness (RBE), oxygen enhancement ratio (OER), and contribution of the indirect effect of spot scanning proton beams, passive scattering proton beams, or both in cultured cells in comparison with clinically used photons. Methods and Materials: The RBE of passive scattering proton beams at the center of the spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) was determined from dose-survival curves in 4 cell lines using 6-MV X rays as controls. Survival of 2 cell lines after spot scanning and passive scattering proton irradiation was then compared. Biological effects at the distal end region of the SOBP were also investigated. The OER of passive scattering proton beams and 6 MX X rays were investigated in 2 cell lines. The RBE and OER values were estimated at a 10% cell survival level. The maximum degree of protection of radiation effects by dimethyl sulfoxide was determined to estimate the contribution of the indirect effect against DNA damage. All experiments comparing protons and X rays were made under the same biological conditions. Results: The RBE values of passive scattering proton beams in the 4 cell lines examined were 1.01 to 1.22 (average, 1.14) and were almost identical to those of spot scanning beams. Biological effects increased at the distal end of the SOBP. In the 2 cell lines examined, the OER was 2.74 (95% confidence interval, 2.56-2.80) and 3.08 (2.84-3.11), respectively, for X rays, and 2.39 (2.38-2.43) and 2.72 (2.69-2.75), respectively, for protons (P<.05 for both cells between X rays and protons). The maximum degree of protection was significantly higher for X rays than for proton beams (P<.05). Conclusions: The RBE values of spot scanning and passive scattering proton beams were almost identical. The OER was lower for protons than for X rays. The lower contribution of the indirect effect may partly account for the lower OER of protons.

  4. Excited-state behavior of tryptamine and related indoles. Remarkably efficient intramolecular proton-induced quenching

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shizuka, H.; Serizawa, M.; Kobayashi, H.; Kameta, K.; Sugiyama, H.; Matsuura, T.; Saito, I.

    1988-03-16

    The excited state behavior of tryptamine and 1,2,3,4-tetrahydrocarbazoles possessing alkylamino side chains in the absence and presence of 18-crown-6 in MeOH-H/sub 2/O (9:1) mixtures has been studied by means of nanosecond single-photon counting, fluorimetry, and photochemical H-D isotope exchange. The fluorescence intensity of these indoles increases significantly with increasing concentration of 18-crown-6. The relatively short lifetime of the tryptamine ammonium ion 1 is not ascribed to external quenching but rather to internal quenching. The rate constant k/sub q/ for internal quenching can be estimated from the equation k/sub q/ = tau/sub 0//sup -1/ - tau/sub max//sup -1/, where tau/sub 0/ and tau/sub max/ represent the fluorescence lifetimes for free 1 and the 1:1 1-crown ether complex, respectively. Internal quenching originates from electrophilic proton attack by the -N/sup +/H/sub 3/ (or -N/sup +/D/sub 3/) group of 1 at the C-4 position of the excited indole ring. For 3 (the tetrahydrocarbazole derivative R(CH/sub 2/)/sub 3/N/sup +/H/sub 3/) the k/sub q/ value comprises the electrophilic proton attack at the C-8 position plus other quenching (probably charge-transfer quenching) between the excited indole moiety (R*) and the -N/sup +/H/sub 3/ (or -N/sup +/D/sub 3/) group. The stabilization constant K/sub g/ for the corresponding ammonium ion and 18-crown-6 can be determined by fluorimetry. The kinetic and thermodynamic parameters for the internal quenching and the complex formation, respectively, have been described.

  5. The normal limits, subclinical significance, related metabolic derangements and distinct biological effects of body site-specific adiposity in relatively healthy population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Ho Yun

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The accumulation of visceral adipose tissue that occurs with normal aging is associated with increased cardiovascular risks. However, the clinical significance, biological effects, and related cardiometabolic derangements of body-site specific adiposity in a relatively healthy population have not been well characterized. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we consecutively enrolled 608 asymptomatic subjects (mean age: 47.3 years, 27% female from 2050 subjects undergoing an annual health survey in Taiwan. We measured pericardial (PCF and thoracic peri-aortic (TAT adipose tissue volumes by 16-slice multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT (Aquarius 3D Workstation, TeraRecon, San Mateo, CA, USA and related these to clinical characteristics, body fat composition (Tanita 305 Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, coronary calcium score (CCS, serum insulin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP level and circulating leukocytes count. Metabolic risk was scored by Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. RESULTS: TAT, PCF, and total body fat composition all increased with aging and higher metabolic scores (all p<0.05. Only TAT, however, was associated with higher circulating leukocyte counts (ß-coef.:0.24, p<0.05, serum insulin (ß-coef.:0.17, p<0.05 and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (ß-coef.:0.24, p<0.05. These relationships persisted after adjustment in multivariable models (all p<0.05. A TAT volume of 8.29 ml yielded the largest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC: 0.79, 95%CI: 0.74-0.83 to identify metabolic syndrome. TAT but not PCF correlated with higher coronary calcium score after adjustment for clinical variables (all p<0.05. CONCLUSION: In our study, we observe that age-related body-site specific accumulation of adipose tissue may have distinct biological effects. Compared to other adiposity measures, peri-aortic adiposity is more tightly associated with cardiometabolic risk profiles and

  6. The World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Guidelines for the Biological Treatment of Substance Use and Related Disorders. Part 2: Opioid dependence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soyka, Michael; Kranzler, Henry R.; van den Brink, Wim; Krystal, John; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Kasper, Siegfried

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. To develop evidence-based practice guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of opioid abuse and dependence. Methods. An international task force of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) developed these practice guidelines after a systematic review of the

  7. The use of remote sensors to relate biological and physical indicators to environmental and public health problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    Relationships between biological, ecological and botanical structures, and disease organisms and their vectors which might be detected and measured by remote sensing are determined. In addition to the use of trees as indicators of disease or potential disease, an attempt is made to identify environmental factors such as soil moisture and soil and water temperatures as they relate to disease or health problems and may be detected by remote sensing. The following three diseases and one major health problem are examined: Malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Encephalitis and Red Tide. It is shown that no single species of vascular plant nor any one environmental factor can be used as the indicator of disease or health problems. Entire vegetation types, successional stages and combinations of factors must be used.

  8. Dissecting functions of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor and the related pocket proteins by integrating genetic, cell biology, and electrophoretic techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus; Lukas, J; Holm, K

    1999-01-01

    The members of the 'pocket protein' family, comprising the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (pRB) and its relatives, p107 and p130, negatively regulate cell proliferation and modulate fundamental biological processes including embryonic development, differentiation, homeostatic tissue renewal......, and defense against cancer. The large, multidomain pocket proteins act by binding a plethora of cell fate-determining and growth-stimulatory proteins, the most prominent of which are the E2F/DP transcription factors. These protein-protein interactions are in turn regulated by carefully orchestrated...... phosphorylation events on multiple serine and threonine residues of pRB, p107, and p130, events which are carried out, at least in part, by the cyclin-dependent kinases that form the key elements of the cell cycle machinery. Here we discuss the recently obtained new insights into the diverse functions of the pRB...

  9. Microautoradiographic Study of Rhodocyclus-Related Polyphosphate-Accumulating Bacteria in Full-Scale Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Yunhong; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Nielsen, Per Halkjær

    2004-01-01

    The ecophysiology of uncultured Rhodocyclus-related polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAO) present in three full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) activated sludge plants was studied by using microautoradiography combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization. The investigations showed that these organisms were present in all plants examined and constituted 5 to 10, 10 to 15, and 17 to 22% of the community biomass. The behavior of these bacteria generally was consistent with the biochemical models proposed for PAO, based on studies of lab-scale investigations of enriched and often unknown PAO cultures. Rhodocyclus-related PAO were able to accumulate short-chain substrates, including acetate, propionate, and pyruvate, under anaerobic conditions, but they could not assimilate many other low-molecular-weight compounds, such as ethanol and butyrate. They were able to assimilate two substrates (e.g., acetate and propionate) simultaneously. Leucine and thymidine could not be assimilated as sole substrates and could only be assimilated as cosubstrates with acetate, perhaps serving as N sources. Glucose could not be assimilated by the Rhodocyclus-related PAO, but it was easily fermented in the sludge to products that were subsequently consumed. Glycolysis, and not the tricarboxylic acid cycle, was the source that provided the reducing power needed by the Rhodocyclus-related PAO to form the intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoate storage compounds during anaerobic substrate assimilation. The Rhodocyclus-related PAO were able to take up orthophosphate and accumulate polyphosphate when oxygen, nitrate, or nitrite was present as an electron acceptor. Furthermore, in the presence of acetate growth was sustained by using oxygen, as well as nitrate or nitrite, as an electron acceptor. This strongly indicates that Rhodocyclus-related PAO were able to denitrify and thus played a role in the denitrification occurring in full-scale EBPR plants. PMID:15345424

  10. Nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to resource availability in field enclosures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Bosch, Jordi

    2010-02-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is used to pollinate alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., for seed production in the United States and Canada. It is difficult to reliably sustain commercial M. rotundata populations in the United States because of problems with disease, parasites, predators, and unexplained mortality. One possible explanation for early immature mortality is that, relative to floral availability, superfluous numbers of bees are released in alfalfa fields where resources quickly become limited. Our objective was to determine how M. rotundata density affects bee nesting, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success. Various numbers of bees were released into enclosures on an alfalfa field, but only 10-90% of released female bees established nests. Therefore, a "bee density index" was derived for each enclosure from the number of established females and number of open flowers over time. As the density index increased, significant reductions occurred in the number of pollinated flowers, number of nests, and number of cells produced per bee, as well as the percentage of cells that produced viable prepupae by summer's end and the percentage that produced adult bees. The percentage of cells resulting in early brood mortality (i.e., pollen balls) significantly increased as the density index increased. We conclude that bee nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success are compromised when bee densities are high relative to floral resource availability. Open field studies are needed to determine commercial bee densities that result in sustainable bee populations and adequate pollination for profitable alfalfa seed production.

  11. Different Views about the Nature of Gender-Related Asymmetries in Tasks Based on Biological or Artefact Categories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Gainotti

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Sex-related asymmetries in the ability to process different semantic categories have been reported both in normal subjects and in brain-damaged patients, but the nature of these asymmetries is still controversial. Some authors suggest that these differences might be due to social-role related familiarity factors, whereas others attribute them to inborn neural differences rooted in evolution. Drawing in part on this second line of thought, some authors have suggested that gender-related asymmetries might be due to differences in stimulus processing between men and women, namely, to the tendency of females to focus mainly on perceptual features and of males to focus equally on both perceptual and functional features. To test this hypothesis, we asked 53 male and 65 female undergraduate students to evaluate the relevance of a number of perceptual and functional features in the representation of various kinds of biological and artefact categories. Contrary to the hypothesis, evaluation of the weight of different sources of knowledge in representing living and artefact categories was similar in males and females.

  12. Treatment efficiency and economic feasibility of biological oxidation, membrane filtration and separation processes, and advanced oxidation for the purification and valorization of olive mill wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannou-Ttofa, L; Michael-Kordatou, I; Fattas, S C; Eusebio, A; Ribeiro, B; Rusan, M; Amer, A R B; Zuraiqi, S; Waismand, M; Linder, C; Wiesman, Z; Gilron, J; Fatta-Kassinos, D

    2017-05-01

    Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is a major waste stream resulting from numerous operations that occur during the production stages of olive oil. The resulting effluent contains various organic and inorganic contaminants and its environmental impact can be notable. The present work aims at investigating the efficiency of (i) jet-loop reactor with ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system (Jacto.MBR), (ii) solar photo-Fenton oxidation after coagulation/flocculation pre-treatment and (iii) integrated membrane filtration processes (i.e. UF/nanofiltration (NF)) used for the treatment of OMW. According to the results, the efficiency of the biological treatment was high, equal to 90% COD and 80% total phenolic compounds (TPh) removal. A COD removal higher than 94% was achieved by applying the solar photo-Fenton oxidation process as post-treatment of coagulation/flocculation of OMW, while the phenolic fraction was completely eliminated. The combined UF/NF process resulted in very high conductivity and COD removal, up to 90% and 95%, respectively, while TPh were concentrated in the NF concentrate stream (i.e. 93% concentration). Quite important is the fact that the NF concentrate, a valuable and polyphenol rich stream, can be further valorized in various industries (e.g. food, pharmaceutical, etc.). The above treatment processes were found also to be able to reduce the initial OMW phytotoxicity at greenhouse experiments; with the effluent stream of solar photo-Fenton process to be the least phytotoxic compared to the other treated effluents. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis was performed, in order to determine both the strengths of each technology, as well as the possible obstacles that need to overcome for achieving the desired levels of treatment. Finally, an economic evaluation of the tested technologies was performed in an effort to measure the applicability and viability of these systems at real scale; highlighting that the cost cannot be regarded as

  13. Separating biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, D. E.

    1979-01-01

    Technique utilizing electric field to promote biological cell separation from suspending medium in zero gravity increases speed, reduces sedimentation, and improves efficiency of separation in normal gravity.

  14. A highly efficient maize nucellus protoplast system for transient gene expression and studying programmed cell death-related processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiang; Yi, Qiang; Song, Qiaoheng; Gu, Yong; Zhang, Junjie; Hu, Yufeng; Liu, Hanmei; Liu, Yinghong; Yu, Guowu; Huang, Yubi

    2015-07-01

    Conditions for the isolation and transfection of maize nucellus protoplasts were established. We demonstrated its utilization for protein expression, localization, protein-protein interaction, and the investigation of PCD-related processes. Plant protoplasts are an important and versatile cell system that is widely used in the analysis of gene characterization and diverse signaling pathways. Programmed cell death (PCD) occurs throughout the life of plants from embryogenesis to fertilization. The maize nucellus undergoes typical PCD during development of the embryo sac. The nucellus protoplast shows potential for use in research of PCD-related processes. No studies have reported previously the isolation and transfection of nucellus protoplasts. In this study, conditions for the isolation and transfection of maize nucellus protoplasts were established. The maize protoplast system can be used for protein expression, localization, and protein-protein interaction. We applied this system to investigate PCD-related processes. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that transient expression of MADS29 in the maize nucellus protoplast increases Cys-protease gene transcript level. In addition, β-glucuronidase and luciferase activity assays showed that MADS29 could enhance the promoter activities of the Cys-protease gene. Thus, we demonstrated the potential of a highly efficient maize nucellus protoplast system for transient gene expression and investigation of PCD-related processes.

  15. Differences in clinical and biological characteristics and prevalence of chronic complications related to aging in patients with type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basanta-Alario, María Luisa; Ferri, Jordi; Civera, Miguel; Martínez-Hervás, Sergio; Ascaso, Juan Francisco; Real, José Tomás

    2016-02-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic, highly prevalent disease that increases with age. Because of this, and due to its chronic complications, T2DM causes high human, social, and financial costs. In addition, the elderly population with T2DM has a marked clinical heterogeneity. Therefore, our main objective was to analyze the relationship of age with the clinical and biological manifestations of the disease and the prevalence of chronic complications in patients with T2DM. A cross-sectional study of a large population with T2DM (n=405) randomly selected from a Diabetes Unit and 2 health care centers (60%). The clinical, anthropometric, and biochemical variables of the subjects were collected using standard methods to assess the effect of age on the clinical and biochemical phenotype of patients with T2DM. We have noted that patients with T2DM > 70 years old have a clinical and biochemical phenotype different from younger subjects (diabetes onset, higher diastolic blood pressure levels, and lower body mass index (BMI) values. As regards to biological variables, these patients have lower triglyceride levels, impaired kidney function, and lower HbA1c values. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome is lower in patients with T2DM > 70 years of age. Age was inversely related to parameters associated to metabolic syndrome (BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels). We have defined the clinical and biochemical profile of patients with T2DM > 70 years attending health care centers. In addition, the prevalence of stroke, kidney disease, and distal symmetrical polyneuropathy is higher in patients with T2DM >70 years as compared to younger patients (2015 SEEN. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  16. Nature, correlates, and consequences of stress-related biological reactivity and regulation in Army nurses during combat casualty simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Leigh K; Out, Dorothée; Hammermeister, Jon J; Ohlson, Carl J; Pickering, Michael A; Granger, Douglas A

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the nature, concomitants, and consequences of stress-related biological reactivity and regulation among Army nurses. Saliva was collected, heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) recorded from 38 Army nurses (74% female; mean age 28.5 years [SD=6.5]) before, during, and after participation in the Combat Casualty Stress Scenario (CCSS). Saliva was assayed for cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA). The CCSS simulates emergency combat rescue, employing two simulated combat casualties, aversive body odors, recorded battlefield sounds, and smoke in a low light environment. Participants locate and conduct preliminary assessments of the simulated patients, triage based on injury severity, initiate treatment, and coordinate medical evacuation by radio. Results revealed large magnitude increases in cortisol, sAA, HR, systolic BP and diastolic BP in response to the CCSS, followed by recovery to baseline levels 30min after the task for all physiological parameters except cortisol. Age, gender, perceived difficulty of the CCSS, and previous nursing experience were associated with individual differences in the magnitude of the physiological responses. Lower levels of performance related to triage and treatment were associated with higher levels of reactivity and slower recovery for some of the physiological measures. The findings raise important questions regarding the utility of integrating measures of the psychobiology of the stress response into training programs designed to prepare first responders to handle highly complex and chaotic rescue situations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Photoabsorption study of Bacillus megaterium, DNA and Related Biological Materials in the Phosphorus K-edge Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigo, Sean P.; McNulty,Ian; Richmond, Robert C.; Ehret, Charles F.

    2003-01-01

    We have measured the x-ray transmission spectra of several biologically related samples in the phosphorus K-edge absorption region. These include red phosphorus, hydrated sodium phosphate (Na3PO4 12 H2O), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), adenosinetriphosphate (ATP), diolylphosphatidyl choline (DOPC), and Bacillus megaterium spores. Red phosphorus essentially displays an edge-jump. All other spectra are similar in form and energy position, where each is dominated by a narrower, more intense first peak and a broader but less intense second peak. The corresponding K-edge absorption thresholds are shifted towards higher energy relative to that for red phosphorus, as expected for increasing degrees of phosphorus oxidation. The B.meguterium spectrum has aspects common to both the phosphate and DNA spectra and is therefore interpreted as a composite of spectra arising from DNA/RNA and phosphates within the spore. The B. megaterium spore spectrum provides needed information for resonant radiation damage studies in the phosphorus K-edge absorption region by identifying candidate photoexcitations. In addition, the absorption spectra will be useful in macromolecular crystallography studies employing anomalous dispersion effects at the phosphorus K-edge.

  18. Explaining the variability of Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI): deconvolution of variability related to Light Use Efficiency and Canopy attributes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlier, Elodie; Hmimina, Gabriel; Dufrêne, Eric; Soudani, Kamel

    2014-05-01

    The Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) was designed as a proxy of the state of xanthophyll cycle which is used as a response of plants to excess of light (Gamon et al., 1990; 1992). Strong relationships between PRI and LUE were shown at leaf and canopy scales and over a wide range of species (Garbulsky et al., 2011). However, its use at canopy scale was shown to be significantly hampered by effects of confounding factors such as the PRI sensitivity to leaf pigment content (Gamon et al. 2001; Nakaji et al. 2006) and to canopy structure (Hilker et al. 2008). Several approaches aimed at correcting such effects and recent works focused on the deconvolution of LUE related and LUE unrelated PRI variability (Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran et al. 2012).In this study, the PRI variability at canopy scale is investigated over two years on three species (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur and Pinus sylvestris) growing under two water regimes. At daily scale, PRI variability is mainly explained by radiation conditions. As already reported at leaf scale in Hmimina et al. (2014), analysis of PRI responses to incoming photosynthetically active radiation over seasonal scale allowed to separate two sources of variability : a constitutive variability mainly related to canopy structure and leaf chlorophyll content and a facultative variability mainly related to LUE and soil moisture content. These results highlight the composite nature of PRI signal measured at canopy scale and the importance of disentangling its sources of variability in order to accurately assess ecosystem light use efficiency. Gamon JA, Field CB, Bilger W, Björkman O, Fredeen AL, Peñuelas J. 1990. Remote sensing of the xanthophyll cycle and chlorophyll fluorescence in sunflower leaves and canopies. Oecologia 85, 1-7. Gamon JA, Field CB, Fredeen A AL, Thayer S. 2001. Assessing photosynthetic downregulation in sunflower stands with an optically-based model. Photosynthesis Research 67, 113-125. Gamon JA, Peñuelas J, Field CB

  19. Mississippi Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Report. A snap shot of related activities in the state of Mississippi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arora, Sumesh M. [Mississippi Technology Alliance, Jackson, MS (United States); Linton, Joseph A. [Mississippi Technology Alliance, Jackson, MS (United States)

    2011-05-11

    In recent years, due to concerns over national security from both economic and military standpoints, increased attention has been given to the production of renewable energy in order to reduce American dependence on foreign supplies of energy. These concerns, along with those related to the effect of fossil fuels on the environment, have served to heighten the enthusiasm for finding replacements for traditional energy sources, along with helping to highlight the need for energy efficiency in American homes and businesses. Throughout the nation, this has been exemplified in an increased entrepreneurial activity to produce liquid fuels, thermal energy and electricity from a vast range of sources such as plants, trees, bacteria, the sun, wind, waves and the Earth itself. Coupled with tax subsidies, loan guarantees, renewable fuel standards, and various other government incentives and legislative encouragements we have seen a big jump in the production of renewable energy in the United States in the last ten years. But we are just getting started!

  20. Redefining relative biological effectiveness in the context of the EQDX formalism: implications for alpha-particle emitter therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, Robert F; Howell, Roger W; Song, Hong; Baechler, Sébastien; Sgouros, George

    2014-01-01

    Alpha-particle radiopharmaceutical therapy (αRPT) is currently enjoying increasing attention as a viable alternative to chemotherapy for targeting of disseminated micrometastatic disease. In theory, αRPT can be personalized through pre-therapeutic imaging and dosimetry. However, in practice, given the particularities of α-particle emissions, a dosimetric methodology that accurately predicts the thresholds for organ toxicity has not been reported. This is in part due to the fact that the biological effects caused by α-particle radiation differ markedly from the effects caused by traditional external beam (photon or electron) radiation or β-particle emitting radiopharmaceuticals. The concept of relative biological effectiveness (RBE) is used to quantify the ratio of absorbed doses required to achieve a given biological response with alpha particles versus a reference radiation (typically a beta emitter or external beam radiation). However, as conventionally defined, the RBE varies as a function of absorbed dose and therefore a single RBE value is limited in its utility because it cannot be used to predict response over a wide range of absorbed doses. Therefore, efforts are underway to standardize bioeffect modeling for different fractionation schemes and dose rates for both nuclear medicine and external beam radiotherapy. Given the preponderant use of external beams of radiation compared to nuclear medicine in cancer therapy, the more clinically relevant quantity, the 2 Gy equieffective dose, EQD2(α/β), has recently been proposed by the ICRU. In concert with EQD2(α/β), we introduce a new, redefined RBE quantity, named RBE2(α/β), as the ratio of the two linear coefficients that characterize the α particle absorbed dose-response curve and the low-LET megavoltage photon 2 Gy fraction equieffective dose-response curve. The theoretical framework for the proposed new formalism is presented along with its application to experimental data obtained from

  1. The Relative Efficiencies of Research Universities of Science and Technology in China: Based on the Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuanyi, Wang; Xiaohong, Lv; Shikui, Zhao

    2016-01-01

    This paper applies data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) to explore the relative efficiency of China's research universities of science and technology. According to the finding, when talent training is the only output, the efficiency of research universities of science and technology is far lower than that of…

  2. Polypyrrole/magnetic nanoparticles composite as an efficient sorbent for dispersive micro-solid-phase extraction of antidepressant drugs from biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgharinezhad, Ali Akbar; Karami, Sara; Ebrahimzadeh, Homeira; Shekari, Nafiseh; Jalilian, Niloofar

    2015-10-15

    In this study, polypyrrole/magnetic nanoparticles composites in the presence of two different dopants were synthesized with the aid of chemical oxidative polymerization process for dispersive-μ-solid phase extraction (D-μ-SPE). The synthesized magnetic sorbents were characterized by various techniques. The results exhibited that the nanocomposite modified by polypyrrole with sodium perchlorate as a dopant demonstrated higher extraction efficiency for citalopram (CIT) and sertraline (STR) as the model compounds. This nanosorbent in combination with high performance liquid chromatography-UV detection was applied for extraction, preconcentration and determination of CIT and STR in urine and plasma samples. The effect of various parameters on the extraction efficiency including: sample pH, amount of sorbent, sorption time, eluent and its volume, salt content, and elution time were investigated and optimized. The opted conditions were: sample pH, 9.0; sorbent dosage, 10mg; sorption time, 7 min; elution solvent and its volume, 0.06 mol L(-1) HCl in methanol, 120 μL; elution time, 2 min and without addition of salt to the sample. The calibration curves were linear in the concentration range of 1-800 μg L(-1). The limits of detection (LODs) were obtained in the range of 0.2-1.0 μg L(-1) for CIT and 0.3-0.7 μg L(-1) for STR, respectively. The percent of extraction recoveries and relative standard deviations (n=5) were in the range of 93.4-99, 4.8-8.4 for CIT and 94-98.4, 4.3-9.2 for STR, respectively. Finally, the applicability of the method was successfully confirmed by the extraction and determination of CIT and STR in human urine and plasma samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Are UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process efficient to treat estrogens in waters? Chemical and biological assessment at pilot scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cédat, Bruno; de Brauer, Christine; Métivier, Hélène; Dumont, Nathalie; Tutundjan, Renaud

    2016-09-01

    In this study, UV based treatments were implemented at pilot scale to assess their ability to remove hormones from treated wastewater, especially with the view to equip small and medium size Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). To this end, the degradation of a mixture of estrogenic hormones (Estrone (E1), β-Estradiol (E2), and 17α-Ethinyl Estradiol (EE2)) in waters by UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process was investigated in real conditions. A particular attention was paid at designing a well validated laboratory scale pilot in order to optimise oxidant concentrations and UV fluence. A Low pressure lamp (254 nm) was used in a flow through commercial reactor. The effects of water matrices (drinking water and treated wastewater) and H2O2 concentrations (10, 40, and 90 mg/L) on the pilot efficiency were first determined. Only E1 could be partially degraded by UV photolysis whereas hormones were all well removed by UV/H2O2 process in both matrices. The second part of the study focused on a chemical and biological assessment of UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process (30 and 50 mg/L). Degradation rate constants of hormones as well as changes in estrogenic activity (YES bioassay) and toxicity (Vibrio fischeri) were followed at the same time. UV photolysis could not remove neither estrogens nor estrogenic activity at relevant UV fluence in waters. However 80% of initial estrogenic compounds and estrogenic activity could be removed from treated wastewater by combining UV fluence of 423 and 520 mJ/cm(2) with 50 and 30 mg/L of H2O2, respectively. No high estrogenic or toxic by-products were detected by the two bioassays following UV photolysis or UV/H2O2 process. Operating costs were estimated for a full scale pilot. H2O2 was the major cost. By combining the appropriate concentration of H2O2 and UV fluence, it could be possible to design a cost effective treatment for treating estrogens in small and medium size WTPs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Energy management and concept of energy-related advice all in all. Enhancement of the efficiency; Energiemanagement und Energieberatungskonzept in einem. Effizienz steigern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammer, Reinhold [Ingsoft GmbH, Nuernberg (Germany)

    2012-01-30

    In recent years, not only for the energy consumer in trade, industry and public sector energy management has gained in importance. Also, energy suppliers recognize the issue of energy management and energy efficiency a well as the related business opportunities.

  5. Breeding biology and relation of pollutants to black skimmers and gull-billed terns in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, Lawrence J.; Stafford, Charles J.

    1980-01-01

    The breeding biology and relation of pollutants to black skimmers (Ryn chops niger) and gull-billed terns (Gelochelidon nilotica) were investigated in South Carolina from 1969 through 1975. With few exceptions, the two species nested together in colonies located on barrier islands. We located 10 colonies, 7 of which were on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (Cape Romain); references were located that described nesting on seven other islands in South Carolina that no longer support colonies. Gull-billed terns nested from early May through July; the skimmers started later (late May) but also continued later (early September). Both species nested in areas subject to tidal flooding, and the two species persisted in nesting in several colonies despite intense predation by rats and gulls. Estimated reproductive success varied greatly from year to year and colony to colony; success in most colonies seemed low, particularly for the gull-billed tern. Residues of organochlorine pollutants in several eggs seemed of sufficient magnitude to induce adverse effects on reproductivity and eggshell thickness: however, the overall effect of organochlorines appeared negligible. Maximum numbers of nests located in a single year were 790 for the skimmer and 340 for the gull-billed tern: the total breeding population in South Carolina is unknown. Although nesting islands at Cape Romain and Deveaux Bank are sanctuaries for nesting birds, both species will continue to lose nesting habitat as additional sea islands are developed and inhabited by man.

  6. Detrimental effect of fast neutrons on cultured immature rat hippocampal cells: relative biological effectiveness of in vitro cell death indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, M; Kim, J S; Son, Y; Kim, J; Kim, J Y; Kim, S H; Kim, J C; Shin, T; Moon, C

    2011-09-01

    This in vitro study compared the detrimental effect and relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of high-linear energy transfer (LET) fast neutrons on rat immature hippocampal cultured cells with those of low-LET γ rays. Immature hippocampal cells were exposed to fast neutrons or γ rays. Cytotoxicity and cell viability were analyzed using a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-release assay and a 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, respectively. The cytotoxicity and cell viability with fast neutrons or γ rays varied in a dose-dependent pattern. In the LDH release and MTT assay indices, the RBEs of fast neutrons were approximately 2.35 and 2.42, respectively. Fast neutrons markedly induced apoptotic changes in immature hippocampal cells with increased expression of active caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Increased cytotoxicity and decreased cell viability in immature hippocampal cells were seen in a dose-dependent pattern after fast-neutron and γ irradiation. Fast neutrons have a higher RBE for cell death indices than γ rays.

  7. Experimental derivation of relative biological effectiveness of A-bomb neutrons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and implications for risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, M S; Nomura, T; Ejima, Y; Utsumi, H; Endo, S; Saito, I; Itoh, T; Hoshi, M

    2008-07-01

    Epidemiological data on the health effects of A-bomb radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide the framework for setting limits for radiation risk and radiological protection. However, uncertainty remains in the equivalent dose, because it is generally believed that direct derivation of the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of neutrons from the epidemiological data on the survivors is difficult. To solve this problem, an alternative approach has been taken. The RBE of polyenergetic neutrons was determined for chromosome aberration formation in human lymphocytes irradiated in vitro, compared with published data for tumor induction in experimental animals, and validated using epidemiological data from A-bomb survivors. The RBE of fission neutrons was dependent on dose but was independent of the energy spectrum. The same RBE regimen was observed for lymphocyte chromosome aberrations and tumors in mice and rats. Used as a weighting factor for A-bomb survivors, this RBE system was superior in eliminating the city difference in chromosome aberration frequencies and cancer mortality. The revision of the equivalent dose of A-bomb radiation using DS02 weighted by this RBE system reduces the cancer risk by a factor of 0.7 compared with the current estimates using DS86, with neutrons weighted by a constant RBE of 10.

  8. Temporal sequence learning, prediction, and control: a review of different models and their relation to biological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wörgötter, Florentin; Porr, Bernd

    2005-02-01

    In this review, we compare methods for temporal sequence learning (TSL) across the disciplines machine-control, classical conditioning, neuronal models for TSL as well as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). This review introduces the most influential models and focuses on two questions: To what degree are reward-based (e.g., TD learning) and correlation-based (Hebbian) learning related? and How do the different models correspond to possibly underlying biological mechanisms of synaptic plasticity? We first compare the different models in an open-loop condition, where behavioral feedback does not alter the learning. Here we observe that reward-based and correlation-based learning are indeed very similar. Machine control is then used to introduce the problem of closed-loop control (e.g., actor-critic architectures). Here the problem of evaluative (rewards) versus nonevaluative (correlations) feedback from the environment will be discussed, showing that both learning approaches are fundamentally different in the closed-loop condition. In trying to answer the second question, we compare neuronal versions of the different learning architectures to the anatomy of the involved brain structures (basal-ganglia, thalamus, and cortex) and the molecular biophysics of glutamatergic and dopaminergic synapses. Finally, we discuss the different algorithms used to model STDP and compare them to reward-based learning rules. Certain similarities are found in spite of the strongly different timescales. Here we focus on the biophysics of the different calcium-release mechanisms known to be involved in STDP.

  9. Synthesis and biological activity assays of some new N1-(flavon-7-yl)amidrazone derivatives and related congeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Aisheh, Marwa N; Mustafa, Mohammad S; El-Abadelah, Mustafa M; Naffa, Randa G; Ismail, Said I; Zihlif, Malek A; Taha, Mutasem O; Mubarak, Mohammad S

    2012-08-01

    A series of new N1-(flavon-7-yl)amidrazones incorporating N-piperazines and related congeners were synthesized by reacting the hydrazonoyl chloride derived from 7-aminoflavone and 7-amino-2-methylchromen-4-one with the appropriate piperazine. The chemical structures of the newly prepared compounds were confirmed by elemental analyses, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, and ESI-HRMS spectral data. The antitumor activity of these compounds was evaluated on breast cancer (MCF-7 and T47D) and Leukemic (K562) cell lines by a cell viability assay utilizing the tetrazolium dye 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). Although with varying degrees, a significant growth inhibitory and cytotoxic effect was observed on all three cancer cell lines. Among the compounds tested compounds, 5a, 15a, and 18b, were the most active against T47D cell line with IC(50) values of 1.42, 1.92, and 2.92 μM, respectively. By using other cancer cell lines and with further characterization of their biological mechanism of action, these compounds could prove to be useful candidates as anticancer drugs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Impact of energy efficiency interventions in public housing buildings on cold-related mortality: a case-crossover analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta, Andrés; Camprubí, Lluís; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Basagaña, Xavier; Borrell, Carme; Marí-Dell'Olmo, Marc

    2017-08-01

    Interventions to mitigate fuel poverty and particularly energy efficiency façade retrofitting (EEFR) have demonstrated positive impacts on health but the impacts of EEFR interventions on cold-related mortality have not been studied in depth. We evaluated the impact of EEFR interventions in Barcelona on the association between cold outdoor temperatures and mortality (from all natural causes and from neoplasms, circulatory system and respiratory system causes) from 1986 to 2012. A time-stratified case-crossover analysis was used. Relative risks (RR) for death related to extreme cold (lowest fifth percentile) in the no-intervention and intervention groups were obtained for temperature lag windows covering the day of the death and the previous 20 days (0-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-20). The statistical significance of the observed changes was evaluated using the RR for the cold temperature-intervention interaction. In men, interventions significantly increased the extreme cold-death association for the lag window 15-17 [interaction RR 2.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14-4.36]. The impacts were stronger for respiratory system causes and in men aged 75 or older. In women, on lag window 0-2, the extreme cold-death association was not significantly reduced when analysing all natural causes of death (interaction RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.21-1.01), but it was reduced significantly when analysing only deaths from neoplasms, circulatory system and respiratory system causes together. The impacts were stronger in women who died from circulatory system causes, in women with no education and in those aged 75 or older. EEFR interventions had differentiated effects on cold-related mortality in men and women. Differentiated effects were also observed by cause, educational level and age.

  11. Sensing the Coherence of Biology in Contrast to Psychology: Young Children's Use of Causal Relations to Distinguish Two Foundational Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Jane E.; Keil, Frank C.; Lockhart, Kristi L.

    2010-01-01

    To what extent do children understand that biological processes fall into 1 coherent domain unified by distinct causal principles? In Experiments 1 and 2 (N = 125) kindergartners are given triads of biological and psychological processes and asked to identify which 2 members of the triad belong together. Results show that 5-year-olds correctly…

  12. Evaluation of Biofertilizer “Myco-green” on Water Relation and Efficiency of Potato Minituber Production in Drought Stress Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Parvizi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Today biological fertilizers are suitable substitutes for chemical manure. Hence they can improve soil fertility in sustainable agriculture system (Mandal et al, 2007. Moreover, in some composition they are accompanied with plant growth promoting rhizibacteria (PGPR, namely Pseudomonas and some Bacillus species. These bacteria can improve growth rate of the plants by some physiological aspects namely, cidrophore acid production, increasing endogenously phytohormone and helping more phosphor absorption and fixation of biological nitrogen (Tilack et al., 2005. The symbiosis of mycorrhiza with plants confers numerous benefits to host plants including improved plant growth and mineral nutrient absorption, tolerance to diseases and stresses such as drought, temperature fluctuation, metal toxicity, salinity and other adverse conditions (Fortin et al, 2002. Ryan et al, (2003 and Smith and Reed, (2008.Mycorrhizal plants are capable of absorbing more water in lower potential of water as compared with non-mycorrhizal plants (Sanchez and Blanco, 2001. Micro propagation of potato by micro and mini tubers have been established for improving multiplication rate and possibility of reserving some more stock plants as germplasm. Multiplication of the minitubers already have been accompanied by lower establishment that causes low vigor and performance of the plant. This experiment was performedto study the effect of biological manure accompanied with mycorrhiza and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria on water relationship and vigor of the plantlets derived from minituber in water stress condition. Material and Methods Myco-green is produced by Peat grow company in Malaysia and has been spreading in floriculture, seed beds, vegetable crops, seedling plant of oil palm and many other plants. The experiment was performedatthe University of International Technology Mara Sarawak (UITM. As first step, soil bed composition was combined with peat and perlite

  13. Systems biology analysis merging phenotype, metabolomic and genomic data identifies Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG and cellular maintenance processes as major contributors to genetic variability in bovine feed efficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Widmann

    Full Text Available Feed efficiency is a paramount factor for livestock economy. Previous studies had indicated a substantial heritability of several feed efficiency traits. In our study, we investigated the genetic background of residual feed intake, a commonly used parameter of feed efficiency, in a cattle resource population generated from crossing dairy and beef cattle. Starting from a whole genome association analysis, we subsequently performed combined phenotype-metabolome-genome analysis taking a systems biology approach by inferring gene networks based on partial correlation and information theory approaches. Our data about biological processes enriched with genes from the feed efficiency network suggest that genetic variation in feed efficiency is driven by genetic modulation of basic processes relevant to general cellular functions. When looking at the predicted upstream regulators from the feed efficiency network, the Tumor Protein P53 (TP53 and Transforming Growth Factor beta 1 (TGFB1 genes stood out regarding significance of overlap and number of target molecules in the data set. These results further support the hypothesis that TP53 is a major upstream regulator for genetic variation of feed efficiency. Furthermore, our data revealed a significant effect of both, the Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG I442M (rs109570900 and the Growth /differentiation factor 8 (GDF8 Q204X (rs110344317 loci, on residual feed intake and feed conversion. For both loci, the growth promoting allele at the onset of puberty was associated with a negative, but favorable effect on residual feed intake. The elevated energy demand for increased growth triggered by the NCAPG 442M allele is obviously not fully compensated for by an increased efficiency in converting feed into body tissue. As a consequence, the individuals carrying the NCAPG 442M allele had an additional demand for energy uptake that is reflected by the association of the allele with increased daily

  14. Systems biology analysis merging phenotype, metabolomic and genomic data identifies Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG) and cellular maintenance processes as major contributors to genetic variability in bovine feed efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmann, Philipp; Reverter, Antonio; Weikard, Rosemarie; Suhre, Karsten; Hammon, Harald M; Albrecht, Elke; Kuehn, Christa

    2015-01-01

    Feed efficiency is a paramount factor for livestock economy. Previous studies had indicated a substantial heritability of several feed efficiency traits. In our study, we investigated the genetic background of residual feed intake, a commonly used parameter of feed efficiency, in a cattle resource population generated from crossing dairy and beef cattle. Starting from a whole genome association analysis, we subsequently performed combined phenotype-metabolome-genome analysis taking a systems biology approach by inferring gene networks based on partial correlation and information theory approaches. Our data about biological processes enriched with genes from the feed efficiency network suggest that genetic variation in feed efficiency is driven by genetic modulation of basic processes relevant to general cellular functions. When looking at the predicted upstream regulators from the feed efficiency network, the Tumor Protein P53 (TP53) and Transforming Growth Factor beta 1 (TGFB1) genes stood out regarding significance of overlap and number of target molecules in the data set. These results further support the hypothesis that TP53 is a major upstream regulator for genetic variation of feed efficiency. Furthermore, our data revealed a significant effect of both, the Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG) I442M (rs109570900) and the Growth /differentiation factor 8 (GDF8) Q204X (rs110344317) loci, on residual feed intake and feed conversion. For both loci, the growth promoting allele at the onset of puberty was associated with a negative, but favorable effect on residual feed intake. The elevated energy demand for increased growth triggered by the NCAPG 442M allele is obviously not fully compensated for by an increased efficiency in converting feed into body tissue. As a consequence, the individuals carrying the NCAPG 442M allele had an additional demand for energy uptake that is reflected by the association of the allele with increased daily energy intake as

  15. Impact of respiratory motion on variable relative biological effectiveness in 4D-dose distributions of proton therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Silke; Wieser, Hans-Peter; Cao, Wenhua; Mohan, Radhe; Bangert, Mark

    2017-11-01

    Organ motion during radiation therapy with scanned protons leads to deviations between the planned and the delivered physical dose. Using a constant relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of 1.1 linearly maps these deviations into RBE-weighted dose. However, a constant value cannot account for potential nonlinear variations in RBE suggested by variable RBE models. Here, we study the impact of motion on recalculations of RBE-weighted dose distributions using a phenomenological variable RBE model. 4D-dose calculation including variable RBE was implemented in the open source treatment planning toolkit matRad. Four scenarios were compared for one field and two field proton treatments for a liver cancer patient assuming (α∕β)x = 2 Gy and (α∕β)x = 10 Gy: (A) the optimized static dose distribution with constant RBE, (B)