WorldWideScience

Sample records for underlying biological mechanisms

  1. Nanomaterials modulate stem cell differentiation: biological interaction and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong

    2017-10-25

    Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the potential for self-renewal and differentiation into more specialized cell types. The chemical and physical properties of surrounding microenvironment contribute to the growth and differentiation of stem cells and consequently play crucial roles in the regulation of stem cells' fate. Nanomaterials hold great promise in biological and biomedical fields owing to their unique properties, such as controllable particle size, facile synthesis, large surface-to-volume ratio, tunable surface chemistry, and biocompatibility. Over the recent years, accumulating evidence has shown that nanomaterials can facilitate stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and great effort is undertaken to explore their possible modulating manners and mechanisms on stem cell differentiation. In present review, we summarize recent progress in the regulating potential of various nanomaterials on stem cell differentiation and discuss the possible cell uptake, biological interaction and underlying mechanisms.

  2. Mitral valve replacement in patients under 65 years of age: mechanical or biological valves?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reineke, David C; Heinisch, Paul Philipp; Winkler, Bernhard; Englberger, Lars; Carrel, Thierry P

    2015-03-01

    There is controversy regarding the optimal choice of prosthetic valves in patients less than 65 years of age requiring mitral valve replacement (MVR). Recently, trends for valve replacement are moving towards biological prosthesis also in younger patients, which is justified by the fact that a later valve-in-valve procedure is feasible in the case of degeneration of the tissue valve. This strategy is increasingly recommended in aortic valve surgery but is questionable for MVR. The purpose of this review is to evaluate current guidelines and analyse evidence for biological MVR in patients under 65 years. There are differences between guidelines of the American Heart Association and those of the European Society of Cardiology concerning the choice of prostheses in patients undergoing MVR. Although the European Society of Cardiology recommends a mechanical mitral valve in patients under 65 years of age, the American Heart Association does not provide detailed advice for these patients. Mitral valve replacement with biological valves in patients under 65 years is associated with higher rates of reoperation due to structural valve deterioration. In addition, several studies showed a decreased survival after biological MVR. Evidence for biological MVR in patients less than 65 years without comorbidities or contraindication for oral anticoagulation does not exist. Recommendations for patients less than 65 years of age should not be blurred by current 'en-vogue' methods for promising but not yet proven valve-in-valve strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  5. Opto-mechanical coupling in interfaces under static and propagative conditions and its biological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrivastava, Shamit; Schneider, Matthias F

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescent dyes are vital for studying static and dynamic patterns and pattern formation in cell biology. Emission properties of the dyes incorporated in a biological interface are known to be sensitive to their local environment. We report that the fluorescence intensity of dye molecules embedded in lipid interfaces is indeed a thermodynamic observable of the system. Opto-mechanical coupling of lipid-dye system was measured as a function of the thermodynamic state of the interface. The corresponding state diagrams quantify the thermodynamic coupling between intensity I and lateral pressure π. We further demonstrate that the coupling is conserved upon varying the temperature T. Notably, the observed opto-mechanical coupling is not limited to equilibrium conditions, but also holds for propagating pressure pulses. The non-equilibrium data show, that fluorescence is especially sensitive to dynamic changes in state such as the LE-LC phase transition. We conclude that variations in the thermodynamic state (here π and T, in general pH, membrane potential V, etc also) of lipid membranes are capable of controlling fluorescence intensity. Therefore, interfacial thermodynamic state diagrams of I should be obtained for a proper interpretation of intensity data.

  6. Opto-mechanical coupling in interfaces under static and propagative conditions and its biological implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamit Shrivastava

    Full Text Available Fluorescent dyes are vital for studying static and dynamic patterns and pattern formation in cell biology. Emission properties of the dyes incorporated in a biological interface are known to be sensitive to their local environment. We report that the fluorescence intensity of dye molecules embedded in lipid interfaces is indeed a thermodynamic observable of the system. Opto-mechanical coupling of lipid-dye system was measured as a function of the thermodynamic state of the interface. The corresponding state diagrams quantify the thermodynamic coupling between intensity I and lateral pressure π. We further demonstrate that the coupling is conserved upon varying the temperature T. Notably, the observed opto-mechanical coupling is not limited to equilibrium conditions, but also holds for propagating pressure pulses. The non-equilibrium data show, that fluorescence is especially sensitive to dynamic changes in state such as the LE-LC phase transition. We conclude that variations in the thermodynamic state (here π and T, in general pH, membrane potential V, etc also of lipid membranes are capable of controlling fluorescence intensity. Therefore, interfacial thermodynamic state diagrams of I should be obtained for a proper interpretation of intensity data.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Geiselhart

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan Wujie; Luo Xiaoshu; Jiang Pinqun

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Mechanical Biological Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilitewski, B-; Oros, Christiane; Christensen, Thomas Højlund

    2011-01-01

    The basic processes and technologies of composting and anaerobic digestion, as described in the previous chapters, are usually used for specific or source-separated organic waste flows. However, in the 1990s mechanical biological waste treatment technologies (MBT) were developed for unsorted...... or residual waste (after some recyclables removed at the source). The concept was originally to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but MBT technologies are today also seen as plants recovering fuel as well as material fractions. As the name suggests the technology combines mechanical treatment...... technologies (screens, sieves, magnets, etc.) with biological technologies (composting, anaerobic digestion). Two main technologies are available: Mechanical biological pretreatment (MBP), which first removes an RDF fraction and then biologically treats the remaining waste before most of it is landfilled...

  10. Defining a Research Agenda to Address the Converging Epidemics of Tuberculosis and Diabetes: Part 2: Underlying Biologic Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronacher, Katharina; van Crevel, Reinout; Critchley, Julia A; Bremer, Andrew A; Schlesinger, Larry S; Kapur, Anil; Basaraba, Randall; Kornfeld, Hardy; Restrepo, Blanca I

    2017-07-01

    There is growing interest in the re-emerging interaction between type 2 diabetes (DM) and TB, but the underlying biologic mechanisms are poorly understood despite their possible implications in clinical management. Experts in epidemiologic, public health, basic science, and clinical studies recently convened and identified research priorities for elucidating the underlying mechanisms for the co-occurrence of TB and DM. We identified gaps in current knowledge of altered immunity in patients with DM during TB, where most studies suggest an underperforming innate immunity, but exaggerated adaptive immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Various molecular mechanisms and pathways may underlie these observations in the DM host. These include signaling induced by excess advanced glycation end products and their receptor, higher levels of reactive oxidative species and oxidative stress, epigenetic changes due to chronic hyperglycemia, altered nuclear receptors, and/or differences in cell metabolism (immunometabolism). Studies in humans at different stages of DM (no DM, pre-DM, and DM) or TB (latent or active TB) should be complemented with findings in animal models, which provide the unique opportunity to study early events in the host-pathogen interaction. Such studies could also help identify biomarkers that will complement clinical studies in order to tailor the prevention of TB-DM, or to avoid the adverse TB treatment outcomes that are more likely in these patients. Such studies will also inform new approaches to host-directed therapies. Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. All rights reserved.

  11. The underlying biological mechanisms of biocompatibility differences between bare and TiN-coated NiTi alloys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifeng, Zhao; Yan, Hong; Dayun, Yang; Xiaoying, Lü; Tingfei, Xi; Deyuan, Zhang; Ying, Hong; Jinfeng, Yuan

    2011-04-01

    TiN coating has been demonstrated to improve the biocompatibility of bare NiTi alloys; however, essential biocompatibility differences between NiTi alloys before and after TiN coating are not known so far. In this study, to explore the underlying biological mechanisms of biocompatibility differences between them, the changes of bare and TiN-coated NiTi alloys in surface chemical composition, morphology, hydrophilicity, Ni ions release, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and gene expression profiles were compared using energy-dispersive spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, contact angle, surface energy, Ni ions release analysis, the methylthiazoltetrazolium (MTT) method, flow cytometry and microarray methods, respectively. Pathways binding to networks and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were employed to analyze and validate the microarray data, respectively. It was found that, compared with the bare NiTi alloys, TiN coating significantly decreased Ni ions content on the surfaces of the NiTi alloys and reduced the release of Ni ions from the alloys, attenuated the inhibition of Ni ions to the expression of genes associated with anti-inflammatory, and also suppressed the promotion of Ni ions to the expression of apoptosis-related genes. Moreover, TiN coating distinctly improved the hydrophilicity and uniformity of the surfaces of the NiTi alloys, and contributed to the expression of genes participating in cell adhesion and other physiological activities. These results indicate that the TiN-coated NiTi alloys will help overcome the shortcomings of NiTi alloys used in clinical application currently, and can be expected to be a replacement of biomaterials for a medical device field.

  12. The underlying biological mechanisms of biocompatibility differences between bare and TiN-coated NiTi alloys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao Lifeng; Hong Yan; Yang Dayun; Lue Xiaoying [State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096 (China); Xi Tingfei [Shenzhen Research Institute, Peking University, Shenzhen, 518055 (China); Deyuan, Zhang [R and D Center of Lifetech Scientific (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd, Shenzhen, 518057 (China); Hong Ying [Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Nanjing Drum-Tower Hospital, Nanjing, 210096 (China); Yuan Jinfeng, E-mail: luxy@seu.edu.cn [Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Xuanwu Hospital, Nanjing, 210096 (China)

    2011-04-15

    TiN coating has been demonstrated to improve the biocompatibility of bare NiTi alloys; however, essential biocompatibility differences between NiTi alloys before and after TiN coating are not known so far. In this study, to explore the underlying biological mechanisms of biocompatibility differences between them, the changes of bare and TiN-coated NiTi alloys in surface chemical composition, morphology, hydrophilicity, Ni ions release, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and gene expression profiles were compared using energy-dispersive spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, contact angle, surface energy, Ni ions release analysis, the methylthiazoltetrazolium (MTT) method, flow cytometry and microarray methods, respectively. Pathways binding to networks and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were employed to analyze and validate the microarray data, respectively. It was found that, compared with the bare NiTi alloys, TiN coating significantly decreased Ni ions content on the surfaces of the NiTi alloys and reduced the release of Ni ions from the alloys, attenuated the inhibition of Ni ions to the expression of genes associated with anti-inflammatory, and also suppressed the promotion of Ni ions to the expression of apoptosis-related genes. Moreover, TiN coating distinctly improved the hydrophilicity and uniformity of the surfaces of the NiTi alloys, and contributed to the expression of genes participating in cell adhesion and other physiological activities. These results indicate that the TiN-coated NiTi alloys will help overcome the shortcomings of NiTi alloys used in clinical application currently, and can be expected to be a replacement of biomaterials for a medical device field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Tracy S.

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

  14. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-01-11

    Nowhere are the shortcomings of conventional descriptive biology more evident than in the literature on Quantum Biology. In the on-going effort to apply Quantum Mechanics to evolutionary biology, merging Quantum Mechanics with the fundamentals of evolution as the First Principles of Physiology-namely negentropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis-offers an authentic opportunity to understand how and why physics constitutes the basic principles of biology. Negentropy and chemiosmosis confer determinism on the unicell, whereas homeostasis constitutes Free Will because it offers a probabilistic range of physiologic set points. Similarly, on this basis several principles of Quantum Mechanics also apply directly to biology. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is both deterministic and probabilistic, whereas non-localization and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are both probabilistic, providing the long-sought after ontologic and causal continuum from physics to biology and evolution as the holistic integration recognized as consciousness for the first time. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Foreword to 'Multiscale structural biology: biophysical principles and mechanisms underlying the action of bio-nanomachines', a special issue in Honour of Fumio Arisaka's 70th birthday.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Damien; Takagi, Junichi; Nakamura, Haruki

    2018-03-02

    This issue of Biophysical Reviews, titled 'Multiscale structural biology: biophysical principles and mechanisms underlying the action of bio-nanomachines', is a collection of articles dedicated in honour of Professor Fumio Arisaka's 70th birthday. Initially, working in the fields of haemocyanin and actin filament assembly, Fumio went on to publish important work on the elucidation of structural and functional aspects of T4 phage biology. As his career has transitioned levels of complexity from proteins (hemocyanin) to large protein complexes (actin) to even more massive bio-nanomachinery (phage), it is fitting that the subject of this special issue is similarly reflective of his multiscale approach to structural biology. This festschrift contains articles spanning biophysical structure and function from the bio-molecular through to the bio-nanomachine level.

  16. Mechanics of biological polymer composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomakin, Joseph

    2009-12-01

    Cartilage and cuticle are two natural materials capable of remarkable mechanical performance, especially considering the limitations on composition and processing conditions under which they are constructed. Their impressive properties are postulated to be a consequence of their complex multi-scale organization which has commonly been characterized by biochemical and microscopic methods. The objective of this dissertation is to overcome the limitations of such methods with mechanical analysis techniques generally reserved for the study of synthetic polymers. Methods for transient and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) of porcine TMJ disc sections and Tribolium castaneum and Tenebrio molitor elytral (modified forewing) cuticle were developed to characterize the mechanical performance of these biomaterials. The TMJ disc dynamic elastic modulus (E') was determined to be a strong function of disc orientation and pretension ranging from 700+/-240 kPa at (1g pretension) in the mediolateral direction to 73+/-8.5 MPa (150g preload) in the anteroposterior direction. Analogous mechanical testing was used to understand the relationship between composition and mechanical properties of beetle elytral cuticle at variable stages of maturation (tanning). Untanned elytra of both beetle species were ductile with a Young's modulus (E) of 44+/-8 MPa, but became brittle with an E of 2400+/-1100 MPa when fully tanned. Significantly, the E' of the TMJ disc and elytral cuticle exhibited a weak power law increase as a function of oscillation frequency. The exponent of the power law fit ( n) was determined to be a sensitive measure of molecular structure within these biomaterials. With increasing cuticular tanning, more so than with drying, the frequency dependence of cuticle E' diminished, suggesting cuticular cross-linking was an important component of tanning, as postulated by the quinone tanning hypothesis. The natural Black phenotype as well as TcADC iRNA suppressed Tribolium cuticle

  17. Child abuse: underlying mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez, Gladys S.

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to traumatic stress during childhood, in the form of abuse or neglect, is related to an increased vulnerability resulting in the development of several pathologies, this relation has been confi rmed by epidemiological studies; however, the neural mechanisms underlying such abnormalities are still unknown. Most of the research done has focused on the effects in the infant, and only recently it has begun to focus on the neurobiological changes in the abusive parents. In this article, I...

  18. Emergent mechanics of biological structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumont, Sophie; Prakash, Manu

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical force organizes life at all scales, from molecules to cells and tissues. Although we have made remarkable progress unraveling the mechanics of life's individual building blocks, our understanding of how they give rise to the mechanics of larger-scale biological structures is still poor. Unlike the engineered macroscopic structures that we commonly build, biological structures are dynamic and self-organize: they sculpt themselves and change their own architecture, and they have structural building blocks that generate force and constantly come on and off. A description of such structures defies current traditional mechanical frameworks. It requires approaches that account for active force-generating parts and for the formation of spatial and temporal patterns utilizing a diverse array of building blocks. In this Perspective, we term this framework “emergent mechanics.” Through examples at molecular, cellular, and tissue scales, we highlight challenges and opportunities in quantitatively understanding the emergent mechanics of biological structures and the need for new conceptual frameworks and experimental tools on the way ahead. PMID:25368421

  19. Decarboxylation mechanisms in biological system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tingfeng; Huo, Lu; Pulley, Christopher; Liu, Aimin

    2012-08-01

    This review examines the mechanisms propelling cofactor-independent, organic cofactor-dependent and metal-dependent decarboxylase chemistry. Decarboxylation, the removal of carbon dioxide from organic acids, is a fundamentally important reaction in biology. Numerous decarboxylase enzymes serve as key components of aerobic and anaerobic carbohydrate metabolism and amino acid conversion. In the past decade, our knowledge of the mechanisms enabling these crucial decarboxylase reactions has continued to expand and inspire. This review focuses on the organic cofactors biotin, flavin, NAD, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, pyruvoyl, and thiamin pyrophosphate as catalytic centers. Significant attention is also placed on the metal-dependent decarboxylase mechanisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Collaborative explanation and biological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagan, Melinda Bonnie

    2015-08-01

    This paper motivates and outlines a new account of scientific explanation, which I term 'collaborative explanation.' My approach is pluralist: I do not claim that all scientific explanations are collaborative, but only that some important scientific explanations are-notably those of complex organic processes like development. Collaborative explanation is closely related to what philosophers of biology term 'mechanistic explanation' (e.g., Machamer et al., Craver, 2007). I begin with minimal conditions for mechanisms: complexity, causality, and multilevel structure. Different accounts of mechanistic explanation interpret and prioritize these conditions in different ways. This framework reveals two distinct varieties of mechanistic explanation: causal and constitutive. The two have heretofore been conflated, with philosophical discussion focusing on the former. This paper addresses the imbalance, using a case study of modeling practices in Systems Biology to reveals key features of constitutive mechanistic explanation. I then propose an analysis of this variety of mechanistic explanation, in terms of collaborative concepts, and sketch the outlines of a general theory of collaborative explanation. I conclude with some reflections on the connection between this variety of explanation and social aspects of scientific practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The mechanics of soft biological composites.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Thao D. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Grazier, John Mark; Boyce, Brad Lee; Jones, Reese E. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2007-10-01

    Biological tissues are uniquely structured materials with technologically appealing properties. Soft tissues such as skin, are constructed from a composite of strong fibrils and fluid-like matrix components. This was the first coordinated experimental/modeling project at Sandia or in the open literature to consider the mechanics of micromechanically-based anisotropy and viscoelasticity of soft biological tissues. We have exploited and applied Sandia's expertise in experimentation and mechanics modeling to better elucidate the behavior of collagen fibril-reinforced soft tissues. The purpose of this project was to provide a detailed understanding of the deformation of ocular tissues, specifically the highly structured skin-like tissue in the cornea. This discovery improved our knowledge of soft/complex materials testing and modeling. It also provided insight into the way that cornea tissue is bio-engineered such that under physiologically-relevant conditions it has a unique set of properties which enhance functionality. These results also provide insight into how non-physiologic loading conditions, such as corrective surgeries, may push the cornea outside of its natural design window, resulting in unexpected non-linear responses. Furthermore, this project created a clearer understanding of the mechanics of soft tissues that could lead to bio-inspired materials, such as highly supple and impact resistant body armor, and improve our design of human-machine interfaces, such as micro-electrical-mechanical (MEMS) based prosthetics.

  2. Biomolecular Cell-Signaling Mechanisms and Dental Implants: A Review on the Regulatory Molecular Biologic Patterns Under Functional and Immediate Loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanos, Georgios E

    2016-01-01

    Bone tissue adapts its structure and mass to the stresses of mechanical loading. The purpose of this review article was to summarize recent advances on cell signaling relating to the phenomenon of bone remodeling, focused on bone ossification and healing at the interface of dental implants and bone under loading conditions. When a dental implant is placed within an osteotomy, osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts are all present. As functional loads are imposed, the remodeling processes adapt the peri-implant bony tissues to mechanical stimuli over time and reestablish a steady state. Based on the current literature, this article demonstrates fundamental information to these remodeling processes, such as the conversion of mechanical cues to electrical or biochemical signals. Multiple intracellular signals are involved in cellular mechanotransduction; the two Wnt signaling pathways (the canonical, β-catenin-dependent and the noncanonical, β-catenin-independent Wnt pathway) are particularly significant. Knowledge of how these molecular signaling pathways are translated into intracellular signals that regulate cell behavior may provide new therapeutic approaches to enhancing osteogenesis, especially around implants with immediate function or placed in areas of poor bone quality. New knowledge about the primary cilia as an organelle and bone cellular mechanosensor is critical for endochondral ossification and proper signal transduction. Other mechanisms, such as the expression of sclerostin as a negative regulator of bone formation (due to deactivation of the Wnt receptor) and downregulation of sclerostin under loading conditions, also present new understanding of the cellular and pericellular mechanics of bone. The complexity of the cell signaling pathways and the mechanisms involved in the mechanoregulation of the bone formation provide new technologies and perspectives for mechanically induced cellular response. Future novel therapeutic approaches based on the

  3. Toward mechanical systems biology in bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trüssel, Andreas; Müller, Ralph; Webster, Duncan

    2012-11-01

    Cyclic mechanical loading is perhaps the most important physiological factor regulating bone mass and shape in a way which balances optimal strength with minimal weight. This bone adaptation process spans multiple length and time scales. Forces resulting from physiological exercise at the organ scale are sensed at the cellular scale by osteocytes, which reside inside the bone matrix. Via biochemical pathways, osteocytes orchestrate the local remodeling action of osteoblasts (bone formation) and osteoclasts (bone resorption). Together these local adaptive remodeling activities sum up to strengthen bone globally at the organ scale. To resolve the underlying mechanisms it is required to identify and quantify both cause and effect across the different scales. Progress has been made at the different scales experimentally. Computational models of bone adaptation have been developed to piece together various experimental observations at the different scales into coherent and plausible mechanisms. However additional quantitative experimental validation is still required to build upon the insights which have already been achieved. In this review we discuss emerging as well as state of the art experimental and computational techniques and how they might be used in a mechanical systems biology approach to further our understanding of the mechanisms governing load induced bone adaptation, i.e., ways are outlined in which experimental and computational approaches could be coupled, in a quantitative manner to create more reliable multiscale models of bone.

  4. Multiscale mechanical modeling of soft biological tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stylianopoulos, Triantafyllos

    2008-10-01

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

  5. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper discusses the underlying causal mechanisms that enabled or constrained institutionalisation of environmental education in 12 institutions in eight countries in southern Africa. The study was carried out in the context of the Southern Africa Development Community Regional Environmental Education Support ...

  6. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    doctoral study and draws on critical realism as the ontological lens. Data analysis was done by means of a retroductive mode of inference, as articulated by Danermark, Ekström, Jakosben and Karlsson (2002). The paper demonstrates that there are a number of underlying causal mechanisms, which may enable or.

  7. Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maisonneuve, Etienne; Gerdes, Kenn

    2014-01-01

    All bacteria form persisters, cells that are multidrug tolerant and therefore able to survive antibiotic treatment. Due to the low frequencies of persisters in growing bacterial cultures and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms, the phenomenon has been challenging to study. However, recent...

  8. Mechanism and Finality in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Luis JAUME RODRÍGUEZ

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This article defends a teleological approach which is compatible with our scientific image. It is held that organisms can be depicted as autonomous systems in which occurs autorregulation processes and exhibits a teleological behaviour oriented to an equilibrium. Furthermore, the aforementioned systems are well depicted as mechanical ones. In sum, finality can be understood as a search of an equilibrium by the natural systems in their adaptation to environment. So, we conciliate finalism and mechanicism.

  9. Discovering biological progression underlying microarray samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Qiu

    2011-04-01

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

  10. Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows Part I: Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Thiriet, Marc

    2008-01-01

    Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows presents the basic knowledge and state-of-the-art techniques necessary to carry out investigations of the cardiovascular system using modeling and simulation. Part I of this two-volume sequence, Biology, addresses the nanoscopic and microscopic scales. The nanoscale corresponds to the scale of biochemical reaction cascades involved in cell adaptation to mechanical stresses among other stimuli. The microscale is the scale of stress-induced tissue remodeling associated with acute or chronic loadings. The cardiovascular system, like any physiological system, has a complicated three-dimensional structure and composition. Its time dependent behavior is regulated, and this complex system has many components. In this authoritative work, the author provides a survey of relevant cell components and processes, with detailed coverage of the electrical and mechanical behaviors of vascular cells, tissues, and organs. Because the behaviors of vascular cells and tissues are tightly coupl...

  11. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, John H. Jr.; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L.; Claycomb, James R.; Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T.

    2009-01-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors

  12. The mathematics and mechanics of biological growth

    CERN Document Server

    Goriely, Alain

    2017-01-01

    This monograph presents a general mechanical theory for biological growth. It provides both a conceptual and a technical foundation for the understanding and analysis of problems arising in biology and physiology. The theory and methods is illustrated on a wide range of examples and applications. A process of extreme complexity, growth plays a fundamental role in many biological processes and is considered to be the hallmark of life itself. Its description has been one of the fundamental problems of life sciences, but until recently, it has not attracted much attention from mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. The author herein presents the first major technical monograph on the problem of growth since D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s 1917 book On Growth and Form. The emphasis of the book is on the proper mathematical formulation of growth kinematics and mechanics. Accordingly, the discussion proceeds in order of complexity and the book is divided into five parts. First, a general introduction on the pro...

  13. Promoting Mastery of Complex Biological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, William S.; Groneman, Kathryn J.; Nelson, Jennifer; Bell, John D.

    2018-01-01

    This article describes efforts aimed at improving comprehension and retention of complex molecular mechanisms commonly studied in undergraduate biology and biochemistry courses. The focus is on the design of appropriate assessments, an active classroom emphasizing formative practice, and more effective out-of-class study habits. Assessments that…

  14. Biological degradation of chernozems under irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Naydyonova

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L.

    2011-01-01

    The last 15 years have witnessed the development of tools that allow the observation and manipulation of single molecules. The rapidly expanding application of these technologies for investigating biological systems of ever-increasing complexity is revolutionizing our ability to probe the mechanisms of biological reactions. Here, we compare the mechanistic information available from single-molecule experiments with the information typically obtained from ensemble studies and show how these two experimental approaches interface with each other. We next present a basic overview of the toolkit for observing and manipulating biology one molecule at a time. We close by presenting a case study demonstrating the impact that single-molecule approaches have had on our understanding of one of life's most fundamental biochemical reactions: the translation of a messenger RNA into its encoded protein by the ribosome. PMID:21685361

  16. Quantum mechanics formalism for biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bianconi, Ginestra; Rahmede, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Biological evolution is an off-equilibrium process described by path integrals over phylogenies. ► The phylogenies are sums of linear lineages for asexual populations. ► For sexual populations, each lineage is a tree and the path integral is given by a sum over these trees. ► Quantum statistics describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases. - Abstract: We study the evolution of sexual and asexual populations in fitness landscapes compatible with epistatic interactions. We find intriguing relations between the mathematics of biological evolution and quantum mechanics formalism. We give the general structure of the evolution of sexual and asexual populations which is in general an off-equilibrium process that can be expressed by path integrals over phylogenies. These phylogenies are the sum of linear lineages for asexual populations. For sexual populations, instead, each lineage is a tree of branching ratio two and the path integral describing the evolving population is given by a sum over these trees. Finally we show that the Bose–Einstein and the Fermi–Dirac distributions describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases.

  17. Promoting mastery of complex biological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, William S; Groneman, Kathryn J; Nelson, Jennifer; Bell, John D

    2018-01-01

    This article describes efforts aimed at improving comprehension and retention of complex molecular mechanisms commonly studied in undergraduate biology and biochemistry courses. The focus is on the design of appropriate assessments, an active classroom emphasizing formative practice, and more effective out-of-class study habits. Assessments that require students to articulate their understanding through writing are the most effective. Frequent formative practice improves performance on problems that require intellectual transfer, the ability to apply conceptual principles in novel settings. We show that success with such problems is a function of mastery of the intrinsic logic of the biology in play, not variations in the way they are written. Survey data demonstrate that many students would prefer a learning style not dominated by memorization of factual details, but how to develop a more effective strategy is rarely intuitive. Matching individual students with specific learning styles has not proven useful. Instead, teachers can strongly promote individual metacognitive appraisal during both classroom activities and other study environments. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 46(1):7-21, 2018. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    This workshop, entitled "The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions," was sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Space Life Sciences at the Marine Biological Laboratory. This Center was established through a cooperative agreement between the MBL and the Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. To achieve these goals, the Center sponsors a series of workshops on various topics in the life sciences. Elements of the cytoskeleton have been implicated in the effects of gravity on the growth of plants fungi. An intriguing finding in this regard is the report indicating that an integrin-like protein may be the gravireceptor in the internodal cells of Chara. Involvement of the cytoskeleton in cellular graviperception of the basidiomycete Flammulina velutipes has also been reported. Although the responses of mammalian cells to gravity are not well documented, it has been proposed that integrins can act as mechanochemical transducers in mammalian cells. Little is known about the integrated mechanical and physical properties of cytoplasm, this workshop would be the best place to begin developing interdisciplinary approaches to the effects of mechanical stresses on cells and their most likely responsive cytoplasmic elements- the fibrous proteins comprising the cytoskeleton.

  19. Xenon preconditioning: molecular mechanisms and biological effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Wenwu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.

  20. Biological mechanisms of bone and cartilage remodelling—genomic perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Borovecki, F.; Pecina-Slaus, N.; Vukicevic, S.

    2007-01-01

    Rapid advancements in the field of genomics, enabled by the achievements of the Human Genome Project and the complete decoding of the human genome, have opened an unimaginable set of opportunities for scientists to further unveil delicate mechanisms underlying the functional homeostasis of biological systems. The trend of applying whole-genome analysis techniques has also contributed to a better understanding of physiological and pathological processes involved in homeostasis of bone and cart...

  1. Chemo-mechanical model of biological membranes for actuation mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaresan, Vishnu-Baba; Leo, Donald J.

    2005-05-01

    Plants have the ability to develop large mechanical force from chemical energy available with bio-fuels. The energy released by ATP hydrolysis assists the transport of ions and fluids to achieve volumetric expansion and homeostasis. Materials that develop pressure and hence strain similar to bio-materials are classified as nastic materials. Recent calculations for controlled actuation of an active material inspired by biological transport mechanism demonstrated the feasibility of developing such a material with actuation energy densities on the order of 100 kJ/m3. Our initial investigation was based on capsules that generate pressure thus causing strain in the surrounding matrix material. Our present work focuses on our efforts to fabricate a representative actuation structure and describes the chemo-mechanical constitutive equation for such a material. The actuator considered in this work is a laminated arrangement of a hydraulic actuator plate with microscopic barrels and a fluid reservoir kept separated by a semi-permeable membrane dispersed with biological transporters. We present here our initial design and a mathematical model to predict the fluid flux and strain developed in such an actuator.

  2. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filevich, Elisa; Dresler, Martin; Brick, Timothy R; Kühn, Simone

    2015-01-21

    Lucid dreaming is a state of awareness that one is dreaming, without leaving the sleep state. Dream reports show that self-reflection and volitional control are more pronounced in lucid compared with nonlucid dreams. Mostly on these grounds, lucid dreaming has been associated with metacognition. However, the link to lucid dreaming at the neural level has not yet been explored. We sought for relationships between the neural correlates of lucid dreaming and thought monitoring. Human participants completed a questionnaire assessing lucid dreaming ability, and underwent structural and functional MRI. We split participants based on their reported dream lucidity. Participants in the high-lucidity group showed greater gray matter volume in the frontopolar cortex (BA9/10) compared with those in the low-lucidity group. Further, differences in brain structure were mirrored by differences in brain function. The BA9/10 regions identified through structural analyses showed increases in blood oxygen level-dependent signal during thought monitoring in both groups, and more strongly in the high-lucidity group. Our results reveal shared neural systems between lucid dreaming and metacognitive function, in particular in the domain of thought monitoring. This finding contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms enabling higher-order consciousness in dreams. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351082-07$15.00/0.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21Cip1 and p16INK4a/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.

  4. Mechanical properties of nanostructure of biological materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Baohua; Gao, Huajian

    2004-09-01

    Natural biological materials such as bone, teeth and nacre are nanocomposites of protein and mineral with superior strength. It is quite a marvel that nature produces hard and tough materials out of protein as soft as human skin and mineral as brittle as classroom chalk. What are the secrets of nature? Can we learn from this to produce bio-inspired materials in the laboratory? These questions have motivated us to investigate the mechanics of protein-mineral nanocomposite structure. Large aspect ratios and a staggered alignment of mineral platelets are found to be the key factors contributing to the large stiffness of biomaterials. A tension-shear chain (TSC) model of biological nanostructure reveals that the strength of biomaterials hinges upon optimizing the tensile strength of the mineral crystals. As the size of the mineral crystals is reduced to nanoscale, they become insensitive to flaws with strength approaching the theoretical strength of atomic bonds. The optimized tensile strength of mineral crystals thus allows a large amount of fracture energy to be dissipated in protein via shear deformation and consequently enhances the fracture toughness of biocomposites. We derive viscoelastic properties of the protein-mineral nanostructure and show that the toughness of biocomposite can be further enhanced by the viscoelastic properties of protein.

  5. Biological Mechanism of Silver Nanoparticle Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Najealicka Nicole

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), like almost all nanoparticles, are potentially toxic beyond a certain concentration because the survival of the organism is compromised due to scores of pathophysiological abnormalities above that concentration. However, the mechanism of AgNP toxicity remains undetermined. Instead of applying a toxic dose, these investigations were attempted to monitor the effects of AgNPs at a non-lethal concentration on wild type Drosophila melanogaster by exposing them to nanoparticles throughout their development. All adult flies raised in AgNP doped food indicated that of not more than 50 mg/L had no negative influence on median survival; however, these flies appeared uniformly lighter in body color due to the loss of melanin pigments in their cuticle. Additionally, fertility and vertical movement ability were compromised after AgNP feeding. The determination of the amount of free ionic silver (Ag+) indicated that the observed biological effects had resulted from the AgNPs and not from Ag+. Biochemical analysis suggests that the activity of copper dependent enzymes, namely tyrosinase and Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase, were decreased significantly following the consumption of AgNPs, despite the constant level of copper present in the tissue. Furthermore, copper supplementation restored the loss of AgNP induced demelanization, and the reduction of functional Ctr1 in Ctr1 heterozygous mutants caused the flies to be resistant to demelanization. Consequently, these studies proposed a mechanism whereby consumption of excess AgNPs in association with membrane bound copper transporter proteins cause sequestration of copper, thus creating a condition that resembles copper starvation. This model also explained the cuticular demelanization effect resulting from AgNP since tyrosinase activity is essential for melanin biosynthesis. Finally, these investigations demonstrated that Drosophila, an established genetic model system, can be well utilized for further

  6. Proteoglycans remodeling in cancer: Underlying molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theocharis, Achilleas D; Karamanos, Nikos K

    2017-11-08

    Extracellular matrix is a highly dynamic macromolecular network. Proteoglycans are major components of extracellular matrix playing key roles in its structural organization and cell signaling contributing to the control of numerous normal and pathological processes. As multifunctional molecules, proteoglycans participate in various cell functions during morphogenesis, wound healing, inflammation and tumorigenesis. Their interactions with matrix effectors, cell surface receptors and enzymes enable them with unique properties. In malignancy, extensive remodeling of tumor stroma is associated with marked alterations in proteoglycans' expression and structural variability. Proteoglycans exert diverse functions in tumor stroma in a cell-specific and context-specific manner and they mainly contribute to the formation of a permissive provisional matrix for tumor growth affecting tissue organization, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and tumor cell signaling. Proteoglycans also modulate cancer cell phenotype and properties, the development of drug resistance and tumor stroma angiogenesis. This review summarizes the proteoglycans remodeling and their novel biological roles in malignancies with particular emphasis to the underlying molecular mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Discriminative topological features reveal biological network mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levovitz Chaya

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent genomic and bioinformatic advances have motivated the development of numerous network models intending to describe graphs of biological, technological, and sociological origin. In most cases the success of a model has been evaluated by how well it reproduces a few key features of the real-world data, such as degree distributions, mean geodesic lengths, and clustering coefficients. Often pairs of models can reproduce these features with indistinguishable fidelity despite being generated by vastly different mechanisms. In such cases, these few target features are insufficient to distinguish which of the different models best describes real world networks of interest; moreover, it is not clear a priori that any of the presently-existing algorithms for network generation offers a predictive description of the networks inspiring them. Results We present a method to assess systematically which of a set of proposed network generation algorithms gives the most accurate description of a given biological network. To derive discriminative classifiers, we construct a mapping from the set of all graphs to a high-dimensional (in principle infinite-dimensional "word space". This map defines an input space for classification schemes which allow us to state unambiguously which models are most descriptive of a given network of interest. Our training sets include networks generated from 17 models either drawn from the literature or introduced in this work. We show that different duplication-mutation schemes best describe the E. coli genetic network, the S. cerevisiae protein interaction network, and the C. elegans neuronal network, out of a set of network models including a linear preferential attachment model and a small-world model. Conclusions Our method is a first step towards systematizing network models and assessing their predictability, and we anticipate its usefulness for a number of communities.

  8. On the mechanics of growing thin biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rausch, Manuel K.; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-02-01

    Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, thin biological membranes fulfill various crucial roles in the human body and can sustain substantial mechanical loads. Unlike engineering structures, biological membranes are able to grow and adapt to changes in their mechanical environment. Finite element modeling of biological growth holds the potential to better understand the interplay of membrane form and function and to reliably predict the effects of disease or medical intervention. However, standard continuum elements typically fail to represent thin biological membranes efficiently, accurately, and robustly. Moreover, continuum models are typically cumbersome to generate from surface-based medical imaging data. Here we propose a computational model for finite membrane growth using a classical midsurface representation compatible with standard shell elements. By assuming elastic incompressibility and membrane-only growth, the model a priori satisfies the zero-normal stress condition. To demonstrate its modular nature, we implement the membrane growth model into the general-purpose non-linear finite element package Abaqus/Standard using the concept of user subroutines. To probe efficiently and robustness, we simulate selected benchmark examples of growing biological membranes under different loading conditions. To demonstrate the clinical potential, we simulate the functional adaptation of a heart valve leaflet in ischemic cardiomyopathy. We believe that our novel approach will be widely applicable to simulate the adaptive chronic growth of thin biological structures including skin membranes, mucous membranes, fetal membranes, tympanic membranes, corneoscleral membranes, and heart valve membranes. Ultimately, our model can be used to identify diseased states, predict disease evolution, and guide the design of interventional or pharmaceutic therapies to arrest or revert disease progression.

  9. On the mechanics of growing thin biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rausch, Manuel K; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-02-01

    Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, thin biological membranes fulfill various crucial roles in the human body and can sustain substantial mechanical loads. Unlike engineering structures, biological membranes are able to grow and adapt to changes in their mechanical environment. Finite element modeling of biological growth holds the potential to better understand the interplay of membrane form and function and to reliably predict the effects of disease or medical intervention. However, standard continuum elements typically fail to represent thin biological membranes efficiently, accurately, and robustly. Moreover, continuum models are typically cumbersome to generate from surface-based medical imaging data. Here we propose a computational model for finite membrane growth using a classical midsurface representation compatible with standard shell elements. By assuming elastic incompressibility and membrane-only growth, the model a priori satisfies the zero-normal stress condition. To demonstrate its modular nature, we implement the membrane growth model into the general-purpose non-linear finite element package Abaqus/Standard using the concept of user subroutines. To probe efficiently and robustness, we simulate selected benchmark examples of growing biological membranes under different loading conditions. To demonstrate the clinical potential, we simulate the functional adaptation of a heart valve leaflet in ischemic cardiomyopathy. We believe that our novel approach will be widely applicable to simulate the adaptive chronic growth of thin biological structures including skin membranes, mucous membranes, fetal membranes, tympanic membranes, corneoscleral membranes, and heart valve membranes. Ultimately, our model can be used to identify diseased states, predict disease evolution, and guide the design of interventional or pharmaceutic therapies to arrest or revert disease progression.

  10. Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying Auditory Learning. This project seeks to understand the brain mechanisms necessary for people to learn to perceive sounds. Neural circuits and learning. The research team will test people with and without musical training to evaluate their capacity to learn ...

  11. Biological clockwork underlying adaptive rhythmic movements

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Silk-polypyrrole biocompatible actuator performance under biologically relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Jo'elen; Peterson, Ben; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    Biocompatible actuators that are capable of controlled movement and can function under biologically relevant conditions are of significant interest in biomedical fields. Previously, we have demonstrated that a composite material of silk biopolymer and the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy) can be formed into a bilayer device that can bend under applied voltage. Further, these silk-PPy composites can generate forces comparable to human muscle (>0.1 MPa) making them ideal candidates for interfacing with biological tissues. Here silk-PPy composite films are tested for performance under biologically relevant conditions including exposure to a complex protein serum and biologically relevant temperatures. Free-end bending actuation performance, current response, force generation and, mass degradation were investigated . Preliminary results show that when exposed to proteins and biologically relevant temperatures, these silk-PPy composites show minimal degradation and are able to generate forces and conduct currents comparable to devices tested under standard conditions. NSF.

  13. Biology: An Important Agricultural Engineering Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Describes the field of bioengineering with particular emphasis on agricultural engineering, and presents the results of a survey of schools that combine biology and engineering in their curricula. (JR)

  14. Mechanical buckling of artery under pulsatile pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qin; Han, Hai-Chao

    2012-04-30

    Tortuosity that often occurs in carotid and other arteries has been shown to be associated with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. However the mechanisms of tortuosity development are not clear. Our previous studies have suggested that arteries buckling could be a possible mechanism for the initiation of tortuous shape but artery buckling under pulsatile flow condition has not been fully studied. The objectives of this study were to determine the artery critical buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure both experimentally and theoretically, and to elucidate the relationship of critical pressures under pulsatile flow, steady flow, and static pressure. We first tested the buckling pressures of porcine carotid arteries under these loading conditions, and then proposed a nonlinear elastic artery model to examine the buckling pressures under pulsatile pressure conditions. Experimental results showed that under pulsatile pressure arteries buckled when the peak pressures were approximately equal to the critical buckling pressures under static pressure. This was also confirmed by model simulations at low pulse frequencies. Our results provide an effective tool to predict artery buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Modeling the mechanisms of biological GTP hydrolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carvalho, Alexandra T.P.; Szeler, Klaudia; Vavitsas, Konstantinos

    2015-01-01

    in which GTP hydrolysis is activated and regulated is still a controversial topic and well-designed simulations can play an important role in resolving and rationalizing the experimental data. In this review, we discuss the contributions of computational biology to our understanding of GTP hydrolysis...

  16. Amorphization of ice under mechanical stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordonskii, G. S.; Krylov, S. D.

    2017-11-01

    The dielectric parameters of freshly produced freshwater ice in the microwave range are investigated. It is established that this kind of ice contains a noticeable amount of amorphous ice. Its production is associated with plastic deformation under mechanical stresses. An assessment of the dielectric-permeability change caused by amorphous ice in the state of a slowly flowing medium is given.

  17. Gas Bubble Dynamics under Mechanical Vibrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohagheghian, Shahrouz; Elbing, Brian

    2017-11-01

    The scientific community has a limited understanding of the bubble dynamics under mechanical oscillations due to over simplification of Navier-Stockes equation by neglecting the shear stress tensor and not accounting for body forces when calculating the acoustic radiation force. The current work experimental investigates bubble dynamics under mechanical vibration and resulting acoustic field by measuring the bubble size and velocity using high-speed imaging. The experimental setup consists of a custom-designed shaker table, cast acrylic bubble column, compressed air injection manifold and an optical imaging system. The mechanical vibrations resulted in accelerations between 0.25 to 10 times gravitational acceleration corresponding to frequency and amplitude range of 8 - 22Hz and 1 - 10mm respectively. Throughout testing the void fraction was limited to definition of Bjerknes force in combination with Rayleigh-Plesset equation. Physical behavior of the system was capture and classified. Bubble size, velocity as well as size and spatial distribution will be presented.

  18. Increasing Diversity of Biological Membrane Fission Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renard, Henri-François; Johannes, Ludger; Morsomme, Pierre

    2018-01-04

    Membrane fission is essential to life. It is required for many fundamental cellular processes, as diverse as cyto- and karyokinesis, organelle division, membrane repair, and membrane trafficking and endocytosis. While membrane fission was originally seen as resulting from the action of mechanoenzymes such as dynamin, it is clear that the reality is more complex. In this review, we propose an updated overview of fission mechanisms, and try to extract essential requirements for each. We also present examples of cellular processes that involve these fission mechanisms. Finally, we list pending questions, whether they are specific to a peculiar fission mechanism or more general to the field. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular biological mechanisms I. DNA repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedl, A.A.

    2000-01-01

    Cells of all living systems possess a variety of mechanisms that allow to repair spontaneous and exogeneously induced DNA damage. DNA repair deficiencies may invoke enhanced sensitivity towards DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. They may also enhance the risk of cancer development, both spontaneously or after induction. This article reviews several DNA repair mechanisms, especially those dealing with DNA double-strand breaks, and describes hereditary diseases associated with DNA repair defects. (orig.) [de

  20. DNA under Force: Mechanics, Electrostatics, and Hydration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingqiang Li

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the basic intra- and inter-molecular forces of DNA has helped us to better understand and further predict the behavior of DNA. Single molecule technique elucidates the mechanics of DNA under applied external forces, sometimes under extreme forces. On the other hand, ensemble studies of DNA molecular force allow us to extend our understanding of DNA molecules under other forces such as electrostatic and hydration forces. Using a variety of techniques, we can have a comprehensive understanding of DNA molecular forces, which is crucial in unraveling the complex DNA functions in living cells as well as in designing a system that utilizes the unique properties of DNA in nanotechnology.

  1. Theory Vs. Mechanics in an Application of Calculus to Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Rochelle W.

    1977-01-01

    An example is given of an application of calculus to biology in which a straightforward mechanical approach leads to a difficult situation, but the theory of beginning calculus leads quickly to a solution. (Author/DT)

  2. Environmental genotoxicity: Probing the underlying mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shugart, L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Theodorakis, C. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Environmental pollution is a complex issue because of the diversity of anthropogenic agents, both chemical and physical, that have been detected and catalogued. The consequences to biota from exposure to genotoxic agents present an additional problem because of the potential for these agents to produce adverse change at the cellular and organismal levels. Past studies in genetic toxicology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have focused on structural damage to the DNA of environmental species that may occur after exposure to genotoxic agents and the use of this information to document exposure and to monitor remediation. In an effort to predict effects at the population, community and ecosystem levels, current studies in genetic ecotoxicology are attempting to characterize the biological mechanisms at the gene level that regulate and limit the response of an individual organism to genotoxic factors in their environment.

  3. Fluid Mechanics of Biological Surfaces and their Technological Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechert, D. W.; Bruse, M.; Hage, W.; Meyer, R.

    A survey is given on fluid-dynamic effects caused by the structure and properties of biological surfaces. It is demonstrated that the results of investigations aiming at technological applications can also provide insights into biophysical phenomena. Techniques are described both for reducing wall shear stresses and for controlling boundary-layer separation. (a) Wall shear stress reduction was investigated experimentally for various riblet surfaces including a shark skin replica. The latter consists of 800 plastic model scales with compliant anchoring. Hairy surfaces are also considered, and surfaces in which the no-slip condition is modified. Self-cleaning surfaces such as that of lotus leaves represent an interesting option to avoid fluid-dynamic deterioration by the agglomeration of dirt. An example of technological implementation is discussed for riblets in long-range commercial aircraft. (b) Separation control is also an important issue in biology. After a few brief comments on vortex generators, the mechanism of separation control by bird feathers is described in detail. Self-activated movable flaps (=artificial bird feathers) represent a high-lift system enhancing the maximum lift of airfoils by about 20%. This is achieved without perceivable deleterious effects under cruise conditions. Finally, flight experiments on an aircraft with laminar wing and movable flaps are presented.

  4. A proposed chemical mechanism for biological phosphate removal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper presents an alternative for the ";all biological"; phosphate removal model. It is postulated that a chemical substance in wastewater reacts with orthophosphate under anaerobic conditions to make the so-called luxury uptake of phosphorus possible in biological nutrient removal (BNR) activated sludge plants.

  5. Mechanical and biological properties of keratose biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Guzman, Roche C; Merrill, Michelle R; Richter, Jillian R; Hamzi, Rawad I; Greengauz-Roberts, Olga K; Van Dyke, Mark E

    2011-11-01

    The oxidized form of extractable human hair keratin proteins, commonly referred to as keratose, is gaining interest as a biomaterial for multiple tissue engineering studies including those directed toward peripheral nerve, spinal cord, skin, and bone regeneration. Unlike its disulfide cross-linked counterpart, kerateine, keratose does not possess a covalently cross-linked network structure and consequently displays substantially different characteristics. In order to understand its mode(s) of action and potential for clinical translatability, detailed characterization of the composition, physical properties, and biological responses of keratose biomaterials are needed. Keratose was obtained from end-cut human hair fibers by peracetic acid treatment, followed by base extraction, and subsequent dialysis. Analysis of lyophilized keratose powder determined that it contains 99% proteins by mass with amino acid content similar to human hair cortex. Metallic elements were also found in minute quantities. Protein oxidation led to disulfide bond cleavage and drastic reduction of free thiols due to conversion of sulfhydryl to sulfonic acid, chain fragmentation, and amino acid modifications. Mass spectrometry identified the major protein constituents as a heterogeneous mixture of 15 hair keratins (type I: K31-35 and K37-39, and type II: K81-86) with small amounts of epithelial keratins which exist in monomeric, dimeric, multimeric, and even degraded forms. Re-hydration with PBS enabled molecular assembly into an elastic solid-like hydrogel. Highly-porous scaffolds formed by lyophilization of the gel had the compression behavior of a cellular foam material and reverted back to gel upon wetting. Cytotoxicity assays showed that the EC50 for various cell lines were attained at 8-10 mg/mL keratose, indicating the non-toxic nature of the material. Implantation in mouse subcutaneous tissue pockets demonstrated that keratose resorption follows a rectangular hyperbolic regression

  6. CRISPR-Cas: biology, mechanisms and relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hille, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Prokaryotes have evolved several defence mechanisms to protect themselves from viral predators. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated proteins (Cas) display a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that memorizes previous infections by integrating short sequences of invading genomes—termed spacers—into the CRISPR locus. The spacers interspaced with repeats are expressed as small guide CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) that are employed by Cas proteins to target invaders sequence-specifically upon a reoccurring infection. The ability of the minimal CRISPR-Cas9 system to target DNA sequences using programmable RNAs has opened new avenues in genome editing in a broad range of cells and organisms with high potential in therapeutical applications. While numerous scientific studies have shed light on the biochemical processes behind CRISPR-Cas systems, several aspects of the immunity steps, however, still lack sufficient understanding. This review summarizes major discoveries in the CRISPR-Cas field, discusses the role of CRISPR-Cas in prokaryotic immunity and other physiological properties, and describes applications of the system as a DNA editing technology and antimicrobial agent. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’. PMID:27672148

  7. Epigenetic and genetic mechanisms in red cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Kyle J; Sanalkumar, Rajendran; Johnson, Kirby D; Keles, Sunduz; Bresnick, Emery H

    2014-05-01

    Erythropoiesis, in which hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) generate lineage-committed progenitors that mature into erythrocytes, is regulated by numerous chromatin modifying and remodeling proteins. We will focus on how epigenetic and genetic mechanisms mesh to establish the erythroid transcriptome and how studying erythropoiesis can yield genomic principles. Trans-acting factor binding to small DNA motifs (cis-elements) underlies regulatory complex assembly at specific chromatin sites, and therefore unique transcriptomes. As cis-elements are often very small, thousands or millions of copies of a given element reside in a genome. Chromatin restricts factor access in a context-dependent manner, and cis-element-binding factors recruit chromatin regulators that mediate functional outputs. Technologies to map chromatin attributes of loci in vivo, to edit genomes and to sequence whole genomes have been transformative in discovering critical cis-elements linked to human disease. Cis-elements mediate chromatin-targeting specificity, and chromatin regulators dictate cis-element accessibility/function, illustrating an amalgamation of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Cis-elements often function ectopically when studied outside of their endogenous loci, and complex strategies to identify nonredundant cis-elements require further development. Facile genome-editing technologies provide a new approach to address this problem. Extending genetic analyses beyond exons and promoters will yield a rich pipeline of cis-element alterations with importance for red cell biology and disease.

  8. TNF biology, pathogenic mechanisms and emerging therapeutic strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalliolias, George D.; Ivashkiv, Lionel B.

    2016-01-01

    TNF is a pleiotropic cytokine with important functions in homeostasis and disease pathogenesis. Recent discoveries have provided insights into TNF biology that introduce new concepts for the development of therapeutics for TNF-mediated diseases. The model of TNF receptor signalling has been extended to include linear ubiquitination and the formation of distinct signalling complexes that are linked with different functional outcomes, such as inflammation, apoptosis and necroptosis. Our understanding of TNF-induced gene expression has been enriched by the discovery of epigenetic mechanisms and concepts related to cellular priming, tolerization and induction of ‘short-term transcriptional memory’. Identification of distinct homeostatic or pathogenic TNF-induced signalling pathways has introduced the concept of selectively inhibiting the deleterious effects of TNF while preserving its homeostatic bioactivities for therapeutic purposes. In this Review, we present molecular mechanisms underlying the roles of TNF in homeostasis and inflammatory disease pathogenesis, and discuss novel strategies to advance therapeutic paradigms for the treatment of TNF-mediated diseases. PMID:26656660

  9. Biological factors underlying regularity and chaos in aquatic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 26; Issue 1. Biological factors underlying regularity and chaos in aquatic ecosystems: Simple models of complex dynamics. A B Medvinsky S V Petrovskii D A Tikhonov I A Tikhonova G R Ivanitsky E Venturino H Malchow. Articles Volume 26 Issue 1 March 2001 pp 77-108 ...

  10. Biological phosphorus uptake under anoxic and aerobic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens

    1993-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated under anoxic and aerobic conditions. Tests were made to establish whether phosphorus accumulating bacteria can take up phosphate under anoxic conditions and thus utilise nitrate as oxidant. Furthermore, it was tested how the amount of organic matter...... taken up by the phosphorus accumulating bacteria during the anaerobic phase affects the total denitrification rate, as well as the rate at which the phosphorus accumulating bacteria take up phosphate under anoxic conditions. The tests were conducted as batch experiments in 21. reactors with activated...... conditions. There was a linear relationship between the amount of acetate taken up in the anaerobic phase, the denitrification rate and the phosphorus uptake rate....

  11. Evolved Mechanisms Versus Underlying Conditional Relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astorga Miguel López

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The social contracts theory claims that, in social exchange circumstances, human reasoning is not necessarily led by logic, but by certain evolved mental mechanisms that are useful for catching offenders. An emblematic experiment carried out with the intention to prove this thesis is the first experiment described by Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby in their paper of 2000. Lopez Astorga has questioned that experiment claiming that its results depend on an underlying conditional logical form not taken into account by Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby. In this paper, I propose an explanation alternative to that of Lopez Astorga, which does not depend on logical forms and is based on the mental models theory. Thus, I conclude that this other alternative explanation is one more proof that the experiment in question does not demonstrate the fundamental thesis of the social contracts theory.

  12. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ullrich, Stephen E. [Department of Immunology, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, South Campus Research Building 1, 7455 Fannin St., P.O. Box 301402, Houston, TX 77030-1903 (United States)]. E-mail: sullrich@mdanderson.org

    2005-04-01

    Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of human neoplasia. Estimates suggest that in excess of one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in the United States (www.cancer.org/statistics). Fortunately, because of their highly visible location, skin cancers are more rapidly diagnosed and more easily treated than other types of cancer. Be that as it may, approximately 10,000 Americans a year die from skin cancer. The cost of treating non-melanoma skin cancer is estimated to be in excess of US$ 650 million a year [J.G. Chen, A.B. Fleischer, E.D. Smith, C. Kancler, N.D. Goldman, P.M. Williford, S.R. Feldman, Cost of non-melanoma skin cancer treatment in the United States, Dermatol. Surg. 27 (2001) 1035-1038], and when melanoma is included, the estimated cost of treating skin cancer in the United States is estimated to rise to US$ 2.9 billion annually (www.cancer.org/statistics). Because the morbidity and mortality associated with skin cancer is a major public health problem, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying skin cancer development. The primary cause of skin cancer is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. In addition to its carcinogenic potential, UV radiation is also immune suppressive. In fact, data from studies with both experimental animals and biopsy proven skin cancer patients suggest that there is an association between the immune suppressive effects of UV radiation and its carcinogenic potential. The focus of this manuscript will be to review the mechanisms underlying the induction of immune suppression following UV exposure. Particular attention will be directed to the role of soluble mediators in activating immune suppression.

  13. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullrich, Stephen E.

    2005-01-01

    Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of human neoplasia. Estimates suggest that in excess of one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in the United States (www.cancer.org/statistics). Fortunately, because of their highly visible location, skin cancers are more rapidly diagnosed and more easily treated than other types of cancer. Be that as it may, approximately 10,000 Americans a year die from skin cancer. The cost of treating non-melanoma skin cancer is estimated to be in excess of US$ 650 million a year [J.G. Chen, A.B. Fleischer, E.D. Smith, C. Kancler, N.D. Goldman, P.M. Williford, S.R. Feldman, Cost of non-melanoma skin cancer treatment in the United States, Dermatol. Surg. 27 (2001) 1035-1038], and when melanoma is included, the estimated cost of treating skin cancer in the United States is estimated to rise to US$ 2.9 billion annually (www.cancer.org/statistics). Because the morbidity and mortality associated with skin cancer is a major public health problem, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying skin cancer development. The primary cause of skin cancer is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. In addition to its carcinogenic potential, UV radiation is also immune suppressive. In fact, data from studies with both experimental animals and biopsy proven skin cancer patients suggest that there is an association between the immune suppressive effects of UV radiation and its carcinogenic potential. The focus of this manuscript will be to review the mechanisms underlying the induction of immune suppression following UV exposure. Particular attention will be directed to the role of soluble mediators in activating immune suppression

  14. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Takezawa, Masanori; Nakawake, Yo; Kunimatsu, Akira; Yamasue, Hidenori; Nakamura, Mitsuhiro; Miyashita, Yasushi; Masuda, Naoki

    2014-03-18

    Cooperation is a hallmark of human society. Humans often cooperate with strangers even if they will not meet each other again. This so-called indirect reciprocity enables large-scale cooperation among nonkin and can occur based on a reputation mechanism or as a succession of pay-it-forward behavior. Here, we provide the functional and anatomical neural evidence for two distinct mechanisms governing the two types of indirect reciprocity. Cooperation occurring as reputation-based reciprocity specifically recruited the precuneus, a region associated with self-centered cognition. During such cooperative behavior, the precuneus was functionally connected with the caudate, a region linking rewards to behavior. Furthermore, the precuneus of a cooperative subject had a strong resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with the caudate and a large gray matter volume. In contrast, pay-it-forward reciprocity recruited the anterior insula (AI), a brain region associated with affective empathy. The AI was functionally connected with the caudate during cooperation occurring as pay-it-forward reciprocity, and its gray matter volume and rsFC with the caudate predicted the tendency of such cooperation. The revealed difference is consistent with the existing results of evolutionary game theory: although reputation-based indirect reciprocity robustly evolves as a self-interested behavior in theory, pay-it-forward indirect reciprocity does not on its own. The present study provides neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity and suggests that pay-it-forward reciprocity may not occur as myopic profit maximization but elicit emotional rewards.

  15. Reliability Issues and Solutions in Flexible Electronics Under Mechanical Fatigue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Seol-Min; Choi, In-Suk; Kim, Byoung-Joon; Joo, Young-Chang

    2018-03-01

    Flexible devices are of significant interest due to their potential expansion of the application of smart devices into various fields, such as energy harvesting, biological applications and consumer electronics. Due to the mechanically dynamic operations of flexible electronics, their mechanical reliability must be thoroughly investigated to understand their failure mechanisms and lifetimes. Reliability issue caused by bending fatigue, one of the typical operational limitations of flexible electronics, has been studied using various test methodologies; however, electromechanical evaluations which are essential to assess the reliability of electronic devices for flexible applications had not been investigated because the testing method was not established. By employing the in situ bending fatigue test, we has studied the failure mechanism for various conditions and parameters, such as bending strain, fatigue area, film thickness, and lateral dimensions. Moreover, various methods for improving the bending reliability have been developed based on the failure mechanism. Nanostructures such as holes, pores, wires and composites of nanoparticles and nanotubes have been suggested for better reliability. Flexible devices were also investigated to find the potential failures initiated by complex structures under bending fatigue strain. In this review, the recent advances in test methodology, mechanism studies, and practical applications are introduced. Additionally, perspectives including the future advance to stretchable electronics are discussed based on the current achievements in research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Nondestructive mechanical characterization of developing biological tissues using inflation testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oomen, P J A; van Kelle, M A J; Oomens, C W J; Bouten, C V C; Loerakker, S

    2017-10-01

    One of the hallmarks of biological soft tissues is their capacity to grow and remodel in response to changes in their environment. Although it is well-accepted that these processes occur at least partly to maintain a mechanical homeostasis, it remains unclear which mechanical constituent(s) determine(s) mechanical homeostasis. In the current study a nondestructive mechanical test and a two-step inverse analysis method were developed and validated to nondestructively estimate the mechanical properties of biological tissue during tissue culture. Nondestructive mechanical testing was achieved by performing an inflation test on tissues that were cultured inside a bioreactor, while the tissue displacement and thickness were nondestructively measured using ultrasound. The material parameters were estimated by an inverse finite element scheme, which was preceded by an analytical estimation step to rapidly obtain an initial estimate that already approximated the final solution. The efficiency and accuracy of the two-step inverse method was demonstrated on virtual experiments of several material types with known parameters. PDMS samples were used to demonstrate the method's feasibility, where it was shown that the proposed method yielded similar results to tensile testing. Finally, the method was applied to estimate the material properties of tissue-engineered constructs. Via this method, the evolution of mechanical properties during tissue growth and remodeling can now be monitored in a well-controlled system. The outcomes can be used to determine various mechanical constituents and to assess their contribution to mechanical homeostasis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Dissociable cognitive mechanisms underlying human path integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiener, Jan M; Berthoz, Alain; Wolbers, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Path integration is a fundamental mechanism of spatial navigation. In non-human species, it is assumed to be an online process in which a homing vector is updated continuously during an outward journey. In contrast, human path integration has been conceptualized as a configural process in which travelers store working memory representations of path segments, with the computation of a homing vector only occurring when required. To resolve this apparent discrepancy, we tested whether humans can employ different path integration strategies in the same task. Using a triangle completion paradigm, participants were instructed either to continuously update the start position during locomotion (continuous strategy) or to remember the shape of the outbound path and to calculate home vectors on basis of this representation (configural strategy). While overall homing accuracy was superior in the configural condition, participants were quicker to respond during continuous updating, strongly suggesting that homing vectors were computed online. Corroborating these findings, we observed reliable differences in head orientation during the outbound path: when participants applied the continuous updating strategy, the head deviated significantly from straight ahead in direction of the start place, which can be interpreted as a continuous motor expression of the homing vector. Head orientation-a novel online measure for path integration-can thus inform about the underlying updating mechanism already during locomotion. In addition to demonstrating that humans can employ different cognitive strategies during path integration, our two-systems view helps to resolve recent controversies regarding the role of the medial temporal lobe in human path integration.

  19. Mechanics of carbon nanotube scission under sonication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, J

    2014-06-28

    As-produced carbon nanotubes come in bundles that must be exfoliated for practical applications in nanocomposites. Sonication not only causes the exfoliation of nanotube bundles but also unwanted scission. An understanding of how precisely sonication induces the scission and exfoliation of nanotubes will help maximising the degree of exfoliation while minimising scission. We present a theoretical study of the mechanics of carbon nanotube scission under sonicaton, based on the accepted view that it is caused by strong gradients in the fluid velocity near a transiently collapsing bubble. We calculate the length-dependent scission rate by taking the actual movement of the nanotube during the collapse of a bubble into account, allowing for the prediction of the temporal evolution of the length distribution of the nanotubes. We show that the dependence of the scission rate on the sonication settings and the nanotube properties results in non-universal, experiment-dependent scission kinetics potentially explaining the variety in experimentally observed scission kinetics. The non-universality arises from the dependence of the maximum strain rate of the fluid experienced by a nanotube on its length. The maximum strain rate that a nanotube experiences increases with decreasing distance to the bubble. As short nanotubes are dragged along more easily by the fluid flow they experience a higher maximum strain rate than longer nanotubes. This dependence of the maximum strain rate on nanotube length affects the scaling of tensile strength with terminal length. We find that the terminal length scales with tensile strength to the power of 1/1.16 instead of with an exponent of 1/2 as found when nanotube motion is neglected. Finally, we show that the mechanism we propose responsible for scission can also explain the exfoliation of carbon nanotube bundles.

  20. Mechanism of biological liquid superlubricity of Brasenia schreberi mucilage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Pengxiao; Liu, Yuhong; Yang, Ye; Chen, Zhe; Li, Jinjin; Luo, Jianbin

    2014-04-08

    In the present work, an excellent biological lubricant extracted from an aquatic plant called Brasenia schreberi (B.s) is reported. With a rotary cylinder-on-ring tribometer, the lubrication properties of the B.s mucilage between quartz glass surfaces have been investigated under different rotation velocity, and an ultralow friction coefficient between 0.004 and 0.006 is obtained. It is observed that the ultralow friction coefficient is independent of the rotation speed, when it is less than 0.1 m/s. SEM images indicate that the mucilage surrounding B.s is composed of polysaccharide gels with a layered structure, which are called nanosheets in the following work. Moreover, it can be deduced that the liquid superlubricity is closely related to the B.s mucilage layer absorbed on the quartz glass surface by hydrogen bonds and the superlubricity behavior only occurs when the adsorption layer stably forms between the quartz glass surface and the B.s mucilage. It is also found that superlubricity is closely dependent upon the sheet structure of the B.s mucilage and water molecules in the mucilage. According to these results, a layered nanosheets lubrication mechanism has been revealed, i.e., the ultralow friction coefficient is due to the adsorption layer of polysaccharide on the quartz glass surface and the hydration layers of water molecules bonded on the polysaccharide nanosheets between the sliding surfaces.

  1. Quantum mechanical simulation methods for studying biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bicout, D.; Field, M.

    1996-01-01

    Most known biological mechanisms can be explained using fundamental laws of physics and chemistry and a full understanding of biological processes requires a multidisciplinary approach in which all the tools of biology, chemistry and physics are employed. An area of research becoming increasingly important is the theoretical study of biological macromolecules where numerical experimentation plays a double role of establishing a link between theoretical models and predictions and allowing a quantitative comparison between experiments and models. This workshop brought researchers working on different aspects of the development and application of quantum mechanical simulation together, assessed the state-of-the-art in the field and highlighted directions for future research. Fourteen lectures (theoretical courses and specialized seminars) deal with following themes: 1) quantum mechanical calculations of large systems, 2) ab initio molecular dynamics where the calculation of the wavefunction and hence the energy and forces on the atoms for a system at a single nuclear configuration are combined with classical molecular dynamics algorithms in order to perform simulations which use a quantum mechanical potential energy surface, 3) quantum dynamical simulations, electron and proton transfer processes in proteins and in solutions and finally, 4) free seminars that helped to enlarge the scope of the workshop. (N.T.)

  2. Vascular Adventitia Calcification and Its Underlying Mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Li

    Full Text Available Previous research on vascular calcification has mainly focused on the vascular intima and media. However, we show here that vascular calcification may also occur in the adventitia. The purpose of this work is to help elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms underlying vascular calcification. The calcified lesions were examined by Von Kossa staining in ApoE-/- mice which were fed high fat diets (HFD for 48 weeks and human subjects aged 60 years and older that had died of coronary heart disease, heart failure or acute renal failure. Explant cultured fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells (SMCswere obtained from rat adventitia and media, respectively. After calcification induction, cells were collected for Alizarin Red S staining. Calcified lesions were observed in the aorta adventitia and coronary artery adventitia of ApoE-/-mice, as well as in the aorta adventitia of human subjects examined. Explant culture of fibroblasts, the primary cell type comprising the adventitia, was successfully induced for calcification after incubation with TGF-β1 (20 ng/ml + mineralization media for 4 days, and the phenotype conversion vascular adventitia fibroblasts into myofibroblasts was identified. Culture of SMCs, which comprise only a small percentage of all cells in the adventitia, in calcifying medium for 14 days resulted in significant calcification.Vascular calcification can occur in the adventitia. Adventitia calcification may arise from the fibroblasts which were transformed into myofibroblasts or smooth muscle cells.

  3. Fundamental Mechanisms of Pulsed Laser Ablation of Biological Tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albagli, Douglas

    The ability to cut and remove biological tissue with short pulsed laser light, a process called laser ablation, has the potential to revolutionize many surgical procedures. Ablation procedures using short pulsed lasers are currently being developed or used in many fields of medicine, including cardiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry, orthopedics, and urology. Despite this, the underlying physics of the ablation process is not well understood. In fact, there is wide disagreement over whether the fundamental mechanism is primarily photothermal, photomechanical, or photochemical. In this thesis, both experimental and theoretical techniques are developed to explore this issue. The photothermal model postulates that ablation proceeds through vaporization of the target material. The photomechanical model asserts that ablation is initiated when the laser-induced tensile stress exceeds the ultimate tensile strength of the target. I have developed a three dimensional model of the thermoelastic response of tissue to short pulsed laser irradiation which allows the time dependent stress distribution to be calculated given the optical, thermal and mechanical properties of the target. A complimentary experimental technique has been developed to verify this model, measure the needed physical properties of the tissue, and record the thermoelastic response of the tissue at the onset of ablation. The results of this work have been widely disseminated to the international research community and have led to significant findings which support the photomechanical model of ablation of tissue. First, the energy deposited in tissue is an order of magnitude less than that required for vaporization. Second, unlike the one-dimensional thermoelastic model of laser-induced stress generation that has appeared in the literature, the full three-dimensional model predicts the development of significant tensile stresses on the surface of the target, precisely where ablation is observed to

  4. Mechanical behaviour of nuclear fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerin, Y.

    1985-01-01

    The main mechanical properties (fracture, thermal and irradiation creep) of oxide and carbide fuels are summarised and discussed. Some examples are given of the influence of these mechanical properties on the in-pile behaviour of fuel pins [fr

  5. Biology of Dermacentor marginatus (Acari: Ixodidae under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Mehdi Darvishi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate and survey the biology of Dermacentor marginatus (D. marginatus under laboratory conditions. Methods: In this investigation, D. marginatus adult ticks were collected from sheep in Semnan province. Then various developmental stages of D. marginatus including larvae, nymphs and adult males and females under laboratory condition were bred and their biology was scrutinized. Results: The requisite time to complete the life cycle of D. marginatus under controlled laboratory conditions for larvae (26 °C, 75% relative humidity and nymph (26 °C, 95% relative humidity moulting, was on average 92 d (range 75-104 d, including preoviposition and egg incubation (22.5 d, larvae incubation (20.5 d, nymphal stage (28 d along with male maturation (21 d. The index of conversion efficiency and the index of reproduction efficiency in females were 0.397 and 8.300, respectively. Conclusions: Although in this investigation, there was no meaningful correlation between preoviposition period and the weight of female ticks which were laid successfully. The significant linear relationship was fully observed between the weight of engorged female of D. marginatus and the number of eggs laid. The mean of preoviposition period from 5.4 d in autumn to 34.2 d in spring increased. The minimum weight of ticks with laying capacity was 69 mg and lighter ticks (21 mg either did not lay or if they did their eggs did not hatch.

  6. On the mechanical theory for biological pattern formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentil, D. E.; Murray, J. D.

    1993-02-01

    We investigate the pattern-forming potential of mechanical models in embryology proposed by Oster, Murray and their coworkers. We show that the presence of source terms in the tissue extracellular matrix and cell density equations give rise to spatio-temporal oscillations. An extension of one such model to include ‘biologically realistic long range effects induces the formation of stationary spatial patterns. Previous attempts to solve the full system were in one dimension only. We obtain solutions in one dimension and extend our simulations to two dimensions. We show that a single mechanical model alone is capable of generating complex but regular spatial patterns rather than the requirement of model interaction as suggested by Nagorcka et al. and Shaw and Murray. We discuss some biological applications of the models among which are would healing and formation of dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) patterns.

  7. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management

    OpenAIRE

    Deng, Yanyong; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Dai, Ning; Fox, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Lactose intolerance related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency is characterized by abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. The biological mechanism and lactose malabsorption is established and several investigations are available, including genetic, endoscopic and physiological tests. Lactose intolerance depends not only on the expression of lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motilit...

  8. Mechanisms of the formation of biological signaling profiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teimouri, Hamid; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B

    2016-01-01

    The formation and growth of multi-cellular organisms and tissues from several genetically identical embryo cells is one of the most fundamental natural phenomena. These processes are stimulated and governed by multiple biological signaling molecules, which are also called morphogens. Embryo cells are able to read and pass genetic information by measuring the non-uniform concentration profiles of signaling molecules. It is widely believed that the establishment of concentration profiles of morphogens, commonly referred as morphogen gradients, is a result of complex biophysical and biochemical processes that might involve diffusion and degradation of locally produced signaling molecules. In this review, we discuss various theoretical aspects of the mechanisms for morphogen gradient formation, including stationary and transient dynamics, the effect of source delocalization, diffusion, different degradation mechanisms, and the role of spatial dimensions. Theoretical predictions are compared with experimental observations. In addition, we analyze the potential alternative mechanisms of the delivery of biological signals in embryo cells and tissues. Current challenges in understanding the mechanisms of morphogen gradients and future directions are also discussed. (topical review)

  9. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying nervous system diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2018-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms act as control systems for modulating genomic structure and activity in response to evolving profiles of cell-extrinsic, cell-cell, and cell-intrinsic signals. These dynamic processes are responsible for mediating cell- and tissue-specific gene expression and function and gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions. The major epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation; histone protein posttranslational modifications, nucleosome remodeling/repositioning, and higher-order chromatin reorganization; noncoding RNA regulation; and RNA editing. These mechanisms are intimately involved in executing fundamental genomic programs, including gene transcription, posttranscriptional RNA processing and transport, translation, X-chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting, retrotransposon regulation, DNA replication, and DNA repair and the maintenance of genomic stability. For the nervous system, epigenetics offers a novel and robust framework for explaining how brain development and aging occur, neural cellular diversity is generated, synaptic and neural network connectivity and plasticity are mediated, and complex cognitive and behavioral phenotypes are inherited transgenerationally. Epigenetic factors and processes are, not surprisingly, implicated in nervous system disease pathophysiology through several emerging paradigms - mutations and genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors; impairments in epigenetic factor expression, localization, and function; epigenetic mechanisms modulating disease-associated factors and pathways; and the presence of deregulated epigenetic profiles in central and peripheral tissues. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A

    2016-07-01

    A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that link different POPs to common metabolic diseases. Environ

  11. Interaction mechanisms and biological effects of static magnetic fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tenforde, T.S.

    1994-06-01

    Mechanisms through which static magnetic fields interact with living systems are described and illustrated by selected experimental observations. These mechanisms include electrodynamic interactions with moving, ionic charges (blood flow and nerve impulse conduction), magnetomechanical interactions (orientation and translation of molecules structures and magnetic particles), and interactions with electronic spin states in charge transfer reactions (photo-induced electron transfer in photosynthesis). A general summary is also presented of the biological effects of static magnetic fields. There is convincing experimental evidence for magnetoreception mechanisms in several classes of lower organisms, including bacteria and marine organisms. However, in more highly evolved species of animals, there is no evidence that the interactions of static magnetic fields with flux densities up to 2 Tesla (1 Tesla [T] = 10{sup 4} Gauss) produce either behavioral or physiolocical alterations. These results, based on controlled studies with laboratory animals, are consistent with the outcome of recent epidemiological surveys on human populations exposed occupationally to static magnetic fields.

  12. An investigation into the mechanism underlying enhanced ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The solubilisation of primary sewage sludge under sulphate reducing conditions was conducted in controlled flask studies and previously reported findings of enhanced hydrolysis were confirmed. The maximum percentage solubilisation obtained in this study over a 10-day period was 31% and 64% for the methanogenic ...

  13. Supersymmetric quantum mechanics under point singularities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uchino, Takashi; Tsutsui, Izumi

    2003-01-01

    We provide a systematic study on the possibility of supersymmetry (SUSY) for one-dimensional quantum mechanical systems consisting of a pair of lines R or intervals [-l, l] each having a point singularity. We consider the most general singularities and walls (boundaries) at x = ±l admitted quantum mechanically, using a U(2) family of parameters to specify one singularity and similarly a U(1) family of parameters to specify one wall. With these parameter freedoms, we find that for a certain subfamily the line systems acquire an N = 1 SUSY which can be enhanced to N = 4 if the parameters are further tuned, and that these SUSY are generically broken except for a special case. The interval systems, on the other hand, can accommodate N = 2 or N = 4 SUSY, broken or unbroken, and exhibit a rich variety of (degenerate) spectra. Our SUSY systems include the familiar SUSY systems with the Dirac δ(x)-potential, and hence are extensions of the known SUSY quantum mechanics to those with general point singularities and walls. The self-adjointness of the supercharge in relation to the self-adjointness of the Hamiltonian is also discussed

  14. Elastic Multi-scale Mechanisms: Computation and Biological Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz Ochoa, Juan G

    2018-01-01

    Explanations based on low-level interacting elements are valuable and powerful since they contribute to identify the key mechanisms of biological functions. However, many dynamic systems based on low-level interacting elements with unambiguous, finite, and complete information of initial states generate future states that cannot be predicted, implying an increase of complexity and open-ended evolution. Such systems are like Turing machines, that overlap with dynamical systems that cannot halt. We argue that organisms find halting conditions by distorting these mechanisms, creating conditions for a constant creativity that drives evolution. We introduce a modulus of elasticity to measure the changes in these mechanisms in response to changes in the computed environment. We test this concept in a population of predators and predated cells with chemotactic mechanisms and demonstrate how the selection of a given mechanism depends on the entire population. We finally explore this concept in different frameworks and postulate that the identification of predictive mechanisms is only successful with small elasticity modulus.

  15. Polymers under mechanical stress- an NMR investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehme, Ute; Scheler, Ulrich [Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Germany); Xu, Bo; Leisen, Johannes; Beckham, Haskell W. [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Low-field NMR using permanent magnets in Halbach arrangements permit NMR investigation without the limits present in high-field NMR. The lower field in conjunction with confined stray field permit the application of NMR, in particular relaxation NMR in a stretching apparatus and a rheometer. Crystalline and amorphous fraction of semi-crystalline polymers are distinguished by their transverse relaxation times. Upon mechanical load the relaxation times of the amorphous fraction changes as seen in in-situ measurements on polypropylene rods. During the formation of a neck the crystalline fraction becomes more prominent.

  16. Neural mechanisms and models underlying joint action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chersi, Fabian

    2011-06-01

    Humans, in particular, and to a lesser extent also other species of animals, possess the impressive capability of smoothly coordinating their actions with those of others. The great amount of work done in recent years in neuroscience has provided new insights into the processes involved in joint action, intention understanding, and task sharing. In particular, the discovery of mirror neurons, which fire both when animals execute actions and when they observe the same actions done by other individuals, has shed light on the intimate relationship between perception and action elucidating the direct contribution of motor knowledge to action understanding. Up to date, however, a detailed description of the neural processes involved in these phenomena is still mostly lacking. Building upon data from single neuron recordings in monkeys observing the actions of a demonstrator and then executing the same or a complementary action, this paper describes the functioning of a biologically constraint neural network model of the motor and mirror systems during joint action. In this model, motor sequences are encoded as independent neuronal chains that represent concatenations of elementary motor acts leading to a specific goal. Action execution and recognition are achieved through the propagation of activity within specific chains. Due to the dual property of mirror neurons, the same architecture is capable of smoothly integrating and switching between observed and self-generated action sequences, thus allowing to evaluate multiple hypotheses simultaneously, understand actions done by others, and to respond in an appropriate way.

  17. Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Cannabis Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calakos, Katina C; Bhatt, Shivani; Foster, Dawn W; Cosgrove, Kelly P

    2017-12-01

    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance worldwide. In recent decades, highly concentrated products have flooded the market, and prevalence rates have increased. Gender differences exist in cannabis use, as men have higher prevalence of both cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD), while women progress more rapidly from first use to CUD. This paper reviews findings from preclinical and human studies examining the sex-specific neurobiological underpinnings of cannabis use and CUD, and associations with psychiatric symptoms. Sex differences exist in the endocannabinoid system, in cannabis exposure effects on brain structure and function, and in the co-occurrence of cannabis use with symptoms of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. In female cannabis users, anxiety symptoms correlate with larger amygdala volume and social anxiety disorder symptoms correlate with CUD symptoms. Female cannabis users are reported to be especially vulnerable to earlier onset of schizophrenia, and mixed trends emerge in the correlation of depressive symptoms with cannabis exposure in females and males. As prevalence of cannabis use may continue to increase given the shifting policy landscape regarding marijuana laws, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of cannabis exposure in females and males is key. Examining these mechanisms may help inform future research on sex-specific pharmacological and behavioral interventions for women and men with high-risk cannabis use, comorbid psychiatric disease, and CUD.

  18. Habitats under Mechanical and Herbicide Management Regimes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy-Ann P. Isaac

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Commelina diffusa is a colonising species of banana orchard habitats in St. Vincent in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. In the present study, the population dynamics of C. diffusa were investigated in response to mechanical weed management with either a rotary string trimmer or glufosinate in ruderal and banana habitats. The study focused on density and size distribution of the weed over time and their response to two weed management strategies. The population dynamics of C. diffusa differed between the two habitats. Seedling establishment appeared to be an important factor influencing the dynamics of C. diffusa in banana orchards as there was little recruitment of seeds with less flower production compared with ruderal habitats where plants produced more flowers. Plants of C. diffusa in the banana orchard habitat had a longer growth cycle. In the banana orchard habitat, the C. diffusa population was greater and the plants were shorter with mechanical management than in areas treated with glufosinate. The results suggest that it is possible to manipulate the dynamics of C. diffusa in banana orchards as there is less chance of seed recruitment. Further research is necessary to refine an IPM approach for the management of C. diffusa.

  19. Physical and chemical mechanisms underlying hematoma evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cho, K.J.; Fanders, B.L.; Smid, A.R.; McLaughlin, P.

    1986-01-01

    Angiostat, a new collagen embolic material supplied at a concentration of 35 mg/ml (Target Therapeutics, Los Angeles) was used for flow-directed hepatic artery embolization in a series of rabbits to examine its acute effects on hepatic microcirculation. Arteriograms were obtained both before and after embolization. The aorta and portal vein were perfused with two different colors of Microfil after the animals were killed,. Cleared liver specimens were examined under a dissection microscope. Extent of dearterialization, status of portal sinusoidal perfusion, and collateral formation after embolization with Angiostat were evaluated. Results will be compared with results achieved using other liquid and particulate embolic agents

  20. Direct landfill disposal versus Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulhawik Katarzyna

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available After the implementation of a new waste management system, in which recycling is the most dominating process, landfill disposal still appears to be the most popular method of waste management in Poland, in which waste undergoes gradual decomposition and the influence of climate conditions, for example, air and atmospheric fallout, leads to the production of leachate and biogas emissions, which contribute to continual threats to the natural environment and humans. The above-mentioned threats can be limited by applying suitable techniques of waste treatment before its disposal. A technology that is oriented to these aims is a mechanical biological treatment (MBT before disposal.

  1. Immunopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease and mechanisms of biological therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahluwalia, Bani; Moraes, Luiza; Magnusson, Maria K; Öhman, Lena

    2018-03-09

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract with a multifactorial pathophysiology. Full comprehension of IBD pathology is still out of reach and, therefore, treatment is far from ideal. Nevertheless, components involved in IBD pathogenesis including environmental, genetic, microbial, and immunological factors are continuously being investigated and the improved knowledge contributes to the development of new therapies. In this article we review the aspects of the immunopathogenesis of IBD, with focus on mucosal immunity, and discuss mechanisms of action for current and emerging biological therapies.

  2. Quantum selfish gene (biological evolution in terms of quantum mechanics)

    OpenAIRE

    Ozhigov, Yuri I.

    2013-01-01

    I propose to treat the biological evolution of genoms by means of quantum mechanical tools. We start with the concept of meta- gene, which specifies the "selfish gene" of R.Dawkins. Meta- gene encodes the abstract living unity, which can live relatively independently of the others, and can contain a few real creatures. Each population of living creatures we treat as the wave function on meta- genes, which module squared is the total number of creatures with the given meta-gene, and the phase ...

  3. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yanyong; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Dai, Ning; Fox, Mark

    2015-09-18

    Lactose intolerance related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency is characterized by abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. The biological mechanism and lactose malabsorption is established and several investigations are available, including genetic, endoscopic and physiological tests. Lactose intolerance depends not only on the expression of lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motility, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract to the generation of gas and other fermentation products of lactose digestion. Treatment of lactose intolerance can include lactose-reduced diet and enzyme replacement. This is effective if symptoms are only related to dairy products; however, lactose intolerance can be part of a wider intolerance to variably absorbed, fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). This is present in at least half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and this group requires not only restriction of lactose intake but also a low FODMAP diet to improve gastrointestinal complaints. The long-term effects of a dairy-free, low FODMAPs diet on nutritional health and the fecal microbiome are not well defined. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic basis, biological mechanism, diagnosis and dietary management of lactose intolerance.

  4. Review: Bioenergetic Fields and Their Biologic Effects Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Movaffaghi

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available As interests in complementary and alternative medicine grows, the scientists are looking forward in researches which determine the mechanisms in which they exert their effectiveness. Some of these modalities like Yoga, Acupuncture, and especially other bio-field therapies such as none contact therapeutic touch, affects the bio-field which spreads throughout the body and into the space around it. According to physic’s law, when electricity flows throw the living tissues, like what happens in our heart and brain, biomagnetic fields are being induced in the surrounding space. Beside that moving charges like ions and free radicals which finally produce electromagnetic fields. Using very sensitive magnetometers, biomagnetic fields have been detected and get amplified up to 1000 times by meditation. This phenomenon could be the basis for most of most complementaty therapeutic approaches like therapeutic touch. On the other hand the electrical, magnetic and bio-magnetic fields have a well known application in conventional medicine. Modern research about bio-magnetism and magneto-biology suggests that in term of both aspects, the effects and the mechanisms for all the different looking modalities used in conventional medicine and complementary medicine which have commons in their fundamentals. This article reviews some of the recent works on biological effects of natural or artificial electromagnetic fields.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro C Ucero

    2010-04-01

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

  6. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanyong Deng

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Lactose intolerance related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency is characterized by abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. The biological mechanism and lactose malabsorption is established and several investigations are available, including genetic, endoscopic and physiological tests. Lactose intolerance depends not only on the expression of lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motility, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract to the generation of gas and other fermentation products of lactose digestion. Treatment of lactose intolerance can include lactose-reduced diet and enzyme replacement. This is effective if symptoms are only related to dairy products; however, lactose intolerance can be part of a wider intolerance to variably absorbed, fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs. This is present in at least half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS and this group requires not only restriction of lactose intake but also a low FODMAP diet to improve gastrointestinal complaints. The long-term effects of a dairy-free, low FODMAPs diet on nutritional health and the fecal microbiome are not well defined. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic basis, biological mechanism, diagnosis and dietary management of lactose intolerance.

  7. On the mechanism of biological activation by tritium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozhko, T V; Badun, G A; Razzhivina, I A; Guseynov, O A; Guseynova, V E; Kudryasheva, N S

    2016-06-01

    The mechanism of biological activation by beta-emitting radionuclide tritium was studied. Luminous marine bacteria were used as a bioassay to monitor the biological effect of tritium with luminescence intensity as the physiological parameter tested. Two different types of tritium sources were used: HTO molecules distributed regularly in the surrounding aqueous medium, and a solid source with tritium atoms fixed on its surface (tritium-labeled films, 0.11, 0.28, 0.91, and 2.36 MBq/cm(2)). When using the tritium-labeled films, tritium penetration into the cells was prevented. The both types of tritium sources revealed similar changes in the bacterial luminescence kinetics: a delay period followed by bioluminescence activation. No monotonic dependences of bioluminescence activation efficiency on specific radioactivities of the films were found. A 15-day exposure to tritiated water (100 MBq/L) did not reveal mutations in bacterial DNA. The results obtained give preference to a "non-genomic" mechanism of bioluminescence activation by tritium. An activation of the intracellular bioluminescence process develops without penetration of tritium atoms into the cells and can be caused by intensification of trans-membrane cellular processes stimulated by ionization and radiolysis of aqueous media. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Physiological mechanisms underlying animal social behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Krause, Jens

    2017-08-19

    Many species of animal live in groups, and the group represents the organizational level within which ecological and evolutionary processes occur. Understanding these processes, therefore, relies on knowledge of the mechanisms that permit or constrain group formation. We suggest that physiological capacities and differences in physiology between individuals modify fission-fusion dynamics. Differences between individuals in locomotor capacity and metabolism may lead to fission of groups and sorting of individuals into groups with similar physiological phenotypes. Environmental impacts such as hypoxia can influence maximum group sizes and structure in fish schools by altering access to oxygenated water. The nutritional environment determines group cohesion, and the increase in information collected by the group means that individuals should rely more on social information and form more cohesive groups in uncertain environments. Changing environmental contexts require rapid responses by individuals to maintain group coordination, which are mediated by neuroendocrine signalling systems such as nonapeptides and steroid hormones. Brain processing capacity may constrain social complexity by limiting information processing. Failure to evaluate socially relevant information correctly limits social interactions, which is seen, for example, in autism. Hence, functioning of a group relies to a large extent on the perception and appropriate processing of signals from conspecifics. Many if not all physiological systems are mechanistically linked, and therefore have synergistic effects on social behaviour. A challenge for the future lies in understanding these interactive effects, which will improve understanding of group dynamics, particularly in changing environments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Physiological determinants of social behaviour in animals'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Fluctuating Nonlinear Spring Model of Mechanical Deformation of Biological Particles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Kononova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanical properties of virus capsids correlate with local conformational dynamics in the capsid structure. They also reflect the required stability needed to withstand high internal pressures generated upon genome loading and contribute to the success of important events in viral infectivity, such as capsid maturation, genome uncoating and receptor binding. The mechanical properties of biological nanoparticles are often determined from monitoring their dynamic deformations in Atomic Force Microscopy nanoindentation experiments; but a comprehensive theory describing the full range of observed deformation behaviors has not previously been described. We present a new theory for modeling dynamic deformations of biological nanoparticles, which considers the non-linear Hertzian deformation, resulting from an indenter-particle physical contact, and the bending of curved elements (beams modeling the particle structure. The beams' deformation beyond the critical point triggers a dynamic transition of the particle to the collapsed state. This extreme event is accompanied by a catastrophic force drop as observed in the experimental or simulated force (F-deformation (X spectra. The theory interprets fine features of the spectra, including the nonlinear components of the FX-curves, in terms of the Young's moduli for Hertzian and bending deformations, and the structural damage dependent beams' survival probability, in terms of the maximum strength and the cooperativity parameter. The theory is exemplified by successfully describing the deformation dynamics of natural nanoparticles through comparing theoretical curves with experimental force-deformation spectra for several virus particles. This approach provides a comprehensive description of the dynamic structural transitions in biological and artificial nanoparticles, which is essential for their optimal use in nanotechnology and nanomedicine applications.

  10. ALTERED IRON HOMEOSTATIS AND THE MECHANISM OF BIOLOGIC EFFECT BY PARTICLES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several features of the clinical presentation and changes in physiology and pathology following exposure to many diverse ambient air pollution particles are comparable, suggesting a common mechanism for their biological effect. We propose that a mechanism of biological effect com...

  11. Complex systems of biological interest stability under ionising radiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maclot, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    This PhD work presents the study of stability of molecular systems of biological interest in the gas phase after interaction with ionising radiations. The use of ionising radiation can probe the physical chemistry of complex systems at the molecular scale and thus consider their intrinsic properties. Beyond the fundamental aspect, this work is part of the overall understanding of radiation effects on living organisms and in particular the use of ionizing radiation in radiotherapy. Specifically, this study focused on the use of low-energy multiply charged ions (tens of keV) provided by the GANIL (Caen), which includes most of the experiments presented. In addition, experiments using VUV photons were also conducted at synchrotron ELETTRA (Trieste, Italy). The bio-molecular systems studied are amino acids and nucleic acid constituents. Using an experimental crossed beams device allows interaction between biomolecules and ionising radiation leads mainly to the ionization and fragmentation of the system. The study of its relaxation dynamics is by time-of-flight mass spectrometry coupled to a coincidences measurements method. It is shown that an approach combining experiment and theory allows a detailed study of the fragmentation dynamics of complex systems. The results indicate that fragmentation is generally governed by the Coulomb repulsion but the intramolecular rearrangements involve specific relaxation mechanisms. (author) [fr

  12. A model of how different biology experts explain molecular and cellular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M; Anderson, Trevor R; Pelaez, Nancy J

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations. © 2015 C. M. Trujillo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  13. 3D deformation field in growing plant roots reveals both mechanical and biological responses to axial mechanical forces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizet, François; Bengough, A Glyn; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice; Dupuy, Lionel X

    2016-10-01

    Strong regions and physical barriers in soils may slow root elongation, leading to reduced water and nutrient uptake and decreased yield. In this study, the biomechanical responses of roots to axial mechanical forces were assessed by combining 3D live imaging, kinematics and a novel mechanical sensor. This system quantified Young's elastic modulus of intact poplar roots (32MPa), a rapid 3D. Measured critical elongation force was accurately predicted from an Euler buckling model, indicating that no biologically mediated accommodation to mechanical forces influenced bending during this short period of time. Force applied by growing roots increased more than 15-fold when buckling was prevented by lateral bracing of the root. The junction between the growing and the mature zones was identified as a zone of mechanical weakness that seemed critical to the bending process. This work identified key limiting factors for root growth and buckling under mechanical constraints. The findings are relevant to crop and soil sciences, and advance our understanding of root growth in heterogeneous structured soils. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  14. Biology of Triatoma sherlocki (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) Under Laboratory Conditions: Biological Cycle and Resistance to Starvation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima-Neiva, Vanessa; Gonçalves, Teresa C M; Bastos, Leonardo S; Gumiel, Marcia; Correia, Nathália C; Silva, Catia C; Almeida, Carlos E; Costa, Jane

    2017-07-01

    Triatoma sherlocki Papa, Jurberg, Carcavallo, Cerqueira & Barata was described in 2002, based on specimens caught in the wild in the municipality of Gentio do Ouro, Bahia, Brazil. In 2009, nymphs and adults were detected inside homes and sylvatic specimens were positive for Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas). No information on the bionomics of T. sherlocki exists, although such data are considered essential to estimate its vector and colonization potential in domestic environments. Herein, the biological cycle of T. sherlocki was studied based on 123 eggs, with nymphs and adults fed on Mus musculus (Linnaeus). Nymphal development time phases, number of meals consumed, and stage-specific mortality rates were analyzed. Survival time under starvation conditions was measured between ecdysis and death among 50 nymphs (first to fifth instar) and 50 male and female adults. The median development time from egg to adult was 621.0 (CI: 489-656) d. The number of meals consumed ranged from 1 to 20 for nymphs of the first to fifth instar. The fifth instar showed the greatest resistance to starvation, with a mean of 156.5 d. The high number of meals consumed by T. sherlocki favored infection with and transmission of T. cruzi. The full development of this species under laboratory conditions with a low mortality rate indicates that this vector presents biological characteristics that may contribute to its adaptation to artificial human ecotopes. Its high resistance to starvation emphasizes the importance of entomological surveillance for this species. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casper Nyamukondiwa

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chidawanyika, Frank; Mudavanhu, Pride; Nyamukondiwa, Casper

    2012-11-09

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

  17. Neural mechanisms underlying the induction and relief of perceptual curiosity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke eJepma

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Curiosity is one of the most basic biological drives in both animals and humans, and has been identified as a key motive for learning and discovery. Despite the importance of curiosity and related behaviors, the topic has been largely neglected in human neuroscience; hence little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying curiosity. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate what happens in our brain during the induction and subsequent relief of perceptual curiosity. Our core findings were that (i the induction of perceptual curiosity, through the presentation of ambiguous visual input, activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions sensitive to conflict and arousal; (ii the relief of perceptual curiosity, through visual disambiguation, activated regions of the striatum that have been related to reward processing; and (iii the relief of perceptual curiosity was associated with hippocampal activation and enhanced incidental memory. These findings provide the first demonstration of the neural basis of human perceptual curiosity. Our results provide neurobiological support for a classic psychological theory of curiosity, which holds that curiosity is an aversive condition of increased arousal whose termination is rewarding and facilitates memory.

  18. Quantum information and the problem of mechanisms of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important conditions for replication in early evolution is the de facto elimination of the conformational degrees of freedom of the replicators, the mechanisms of which remain unclear. In addition, realistic evolutionary timescales can be established based only on partially directed evolution, further complicating this issue. A division of the various evolutionary theories into two classes has been proposed based on the presence or absence of a priori information about the evolving system. A priori information plays a key role in solving problems in evolution. Here, a model of partially directed evolution, based on the learning automata theory, which includes a priori information about the fitness space, is proposed. A potential repository of such prior information is the states of biologically important molecules. Thus, the need for extended evolutionary synthesis is discussed. Experiments to test the hypothesis of partially directed evolution are proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Universal biology and the statistical mechanics of early life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldenfeld, Nigel; Biancalani, Tommaso; Jafarpour, Farshid

    2017-11-01

    All known life on the Earth exhibits at least two non-trivial common features: the canonical genetic code and biological homochirality, both of which emerged prior to the Last Universal Common Ancestor state. This article describes recent efforts to provide a narrative of this epoch using tools from statistical mechanics. During the emergence of self-replicating life far from equilibrium in a period of chemical evolution, minimal models of autocatalysis show that homochirality would have necessarily co-evolved along with the efficiency of early-life self-replicators. Dynamical system models of the evolution of the genetic code must explain its universality and its highly refined error-minimization properties. These have both been accounted for in a scenario where life arose from a collective, networked phase where there was no notion of species and perhaps even individuality itself. We show how this phase ultimately terminated during an event sometimes known as the Darwinian transition, leading to the present epoch of tree-like vertical descent of organismal lineages. These examples illustrate concrete examples of universal biology: the quest for a fundamental understanding of the basic properties of living systems, independent of precise instantiation in chemistry or other media. This article is part of the themed issue 'Reconceptualizing the origins of life'.

  20. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases through Network Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose A. Santiago

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases are rarely caused by a mutation in a single gene but rather influenced by a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Emerging high-throughput technologies such as RNA sequencing have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular landscape of neurodegenerative diseases, however, the interpretation of such large amounts of data remains a challenge. Network biology has become a powerful platform to integrate multiple omics data to comprehensively explore the molecular networks in the context of health and disease. In this review article, we highlight recent advances in network biology approaches with an emphasis in brain-networks that have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s (AD, Parkinson’s (PD and Huntington’s diseases (HD. We discuss how integrative approaches using multi-omics data from different tissues have been valuable for identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In addition, we discuss the challenges the field of network medicine faces toward the translation of network-based findings into clinically actionable tools for personalized medicine applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that all Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors must understand to complete their major coursework. The allied fields working group created a survey to validate foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics identified from participant feedback at various workshops. One-hundred twenty participants responded to the survey and 68% of the respondents answered yes to the question: "We have identified the following as the core concepts and underlying theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that Biochemistry majors or Molecular Biology majors need to understand after they complete their major courses: 1) mechanical concepts from Physics, 2) energy and thermodynamic concepts from Physics, 3) critical concepts of structure from chemistry, 4) critical concepts of reactions from Chemistry, and 5) essential Mathematics. In your opinion, is the above list complete?" Respondents also delineated subcategories they felt should be included in these broad categories. From the results of the survey and this analysis the allied fields working group constructed a consensus list of allied fields concepts, which will help inform Biochemistry and Molecular Biology educators when considering the ASBMB recommended curriculum for Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors and in the development of appropriate assessment tools to gauge student understanding of how these concepts relate to biochemistry and molecular biology. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  2. A mechanism for biologically induced iodine emissions from sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz-Lopez, A.; Blaszczak-Boxe, C. S.; Carpenter, L. J.

    2015-09-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements have reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, ultimately accumulating in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest that iodine is released to the atmosphere via three possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea ice, from where it is released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, the results nevertheless show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e. I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during

  3. Mechanisms underlying epithelium-dependent relaxation in rat bronchioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroigaard, Christel; Dalsgaard, Thomas; Simonsen, Ulf

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the mechanisms underlying epithelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EpDHF)-type relaxation in rat bronchioles. Immunohistochemistry was performed, and rat bronchioles and pulmonary arteries were mounted in microvascular myographs for functional studies. An opener of small...

  4. Underlying Mechanisms of Improving Physical Activity Behavior after Rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ploeg, Hidde P.; Streppel, Kitty R.M.; van der Beek, Allard J.; Woude, Luc H.V.; van Harten, Willem H.; Vollenbroek-Hutten, Miriam Marie Rosé; van Mechelen, Willem

    2008-01-01

    Background: Regular physical activity is beneficial for the health and functioning of people with a disability. Effective components of successful physical activity promotion interventions should be identified and disseminated. Purpose: To study the underlying mechanisms of the combined sport

  5. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  6. Stress analysis in a functionally graded disc under mechanical loads ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Stress analysis in a functionally graded disc under mechanical loads and a steady state temperature distribution. HASAN ÇALLIO ˘GLU. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pamukkale University, 20070,. Denizli, Turkey e-mail: hcallioglu@pau.edu.tr. MS received 25 November 2009; revised 12 August 2010; accepted.

  7. [Molecular Biology on the Mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Clinical Psychiatrists].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    While, in general, a certain number of clinical psychiatrists might not be familiar with molecular biology, the mechanisms of mental illnesses have been uncovered by molecular biology for decades. Among mental illnesses, even biological psychiatrists and neuroscientists have paid less attention to the biological treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia since ASD has been regarded as a developmental disorder that was seemingly untreatable. However, multifaceted methods of molecular biology have revealed the mechanisms that would lead to the medication of ASD. In this article, how molecular biology dissects the pathobiology of ASD is described in order to announce the possibilities of biological treatment for clinical psychiatrists.

  8. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ordonana, J.R.; Bartels, M.; Boomsma, D.I.; Cella, D.; Mosing, M.; Oliveira, J.R.; Patrick, D.L.; Veenhoven, R.; Wagner, G.G.; Sprangers, M.A.G.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To describe the major findings in the literature regarding associations between biological and genetic factors and social functioning, paying special attention to: (1) heritability studies on social functioning and related concepts; (2) hypothesized biological pathways and genetic variants

  9. Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows Part II: Mechanics and Medical Aspects

    CERN Document Server

    Thiriet, Marc

    2008-01-01

    Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows presents the basic knowledge and state-of-the-art techniques necessary to carry out investigations of the cardiovascular system using modeling and simulation. Part II of this two-volume sequence, Mechanics and Medical Aspects, refers to the extraction of input data at the macroscopic scale for modeling the cardiovascular system, and complements Part I, which focuses on nanoscopic and microscopic components and processes. This volume contains chapters on anatomy, physiology, continuum mechanics, as well as pathological changes in the vasculature walls including the heart and their treatments. Methods of numerical simulations are given and illustrated in particular by application to wall diseases. This authoritative book will appeal to any biologist, chemist, physicist, or applied mathematician interested in the functioning of the cardiovascular system.

  10. Biological Mechanisms by Which Antiproliferative Actions of Resveratrol Are Minimized.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Yih; Lin, Yu-Syuan; Liu, Hsuan-Liang; Shih, Ya-Jung; Lin, Shin-Ying; Shih, Ai; Chin, Yu-Tang; Chen, Yi-Ru; Lin, Hung-Yun; Davis, Paul J

    2017-09-21

    Preclinical and clinical studies have offered evidence for protective effects of various polyphenol-rich foods against cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers. Resveratrol is among the most widely studied polyphenols. However, the preventive and treatment effectiveness of resveratrol in cancer remain controversial because of certain limitations in existing studies. For example, studies of the activity of resveratrol against cancer cell lines in vitro have often been conducted at concentrations in the low μM to mM range, whereas dietary resveratrol or resveratrol-containing wine rarely achieve nM concentrations in the clinic. While the mechanisms underlying the failure of resveratrol to inhibit cancer growth in the intact organism are not fully understood, the interference by thyroid hormones with the anticancer activity of resveratrol have been well documented in both in vitro and xenograft studies. Thus, endogenous thyroid hormones may explain the failure of anticancer actions of resveratrol in intact animals, or in the clinic. In this review, mechanisms involved in resveratrol-induced antiproliferation and effects of thyroid hormones on these mechanisms are discussed.

  11. Biological Mechanisms by Which Antiproliferative Actions of Resveratrol Are Minimized

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yih Ho

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Preclinical and clinical studies have offered evidence for protective effects of various polyphenol-rich foods against cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers. Resveratrol is among the most widely studied polyphenols. However, the preventive and treatment effectiveness of resveratrol in cancer remain controversial because of certain limitations in existing studies. For example, studies of the activity of resveratrol against cancer cell lines in vitro have often been conducted at concentrations in the low μM to mM range, whereas dietary resveratrol or resveratrol-containing wine rarely achieve nM concentrations in the clinic. While the mechanisms underlying the failure of resveratrol to inhibit cancer growth in the intact organism are not fully understood, the interference by thyroid hormones with the anticancer activity of resveratrol have been well documented in both in vitro and xenograft studies. Thus, endogenous thyroid hormones may explain the failure of anticancer actions of resveratrol in intact animals, or in the clinic. In this review, mechanisms involved in resveratrol-induced antiproliferation and effects of thyroid hormones on these mechanisms are discussed.

  12. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara B. Duncan

    2011-08-01

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

  13. Green house gas emissions from composting and mechanical biological treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amlinger, Florian; Peyr, Stefan; Cuhls, Carsten

    2008-02-01

    In order to carry out life-cycle assessments as a basis for far-reaching decisions about environmentally sustainable waste treatment, it is important that the input data be reliable and sound. A comparison of the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with each solid waste treatment option is essential. This paper addresses GHG emissions from controlled composting processes. Some important methodological prerequisites for proper measurement and data interpretation are described, and a common scale and dimension of emission data are proposed so that data from different studies can be compared. A range of emission factors associated with home composting, open windrow composting, encapsulated composting systems with waste air treatment and mechanical biological waste treatment (MBT) are presented from our own investigations as well as from the literature. The composition of source materials along with process management issues such as aeration, mechanical agitation, moisture control and temperature regime are the most important factors controlling methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ammoniac (NH3) emissions. If ammoniac is not stripped during the initial rotting phase or eliminated by acid scrubber systems, biofiltration of waste air provides only limited GHG mitigation, since additional N2O may be synthesized during the oxidation of NH3, and only a small amount of CH4 degradation occurs in the biofilter. It is estimated that composting contributes very little to national GHG inventories generating only 0.01-0.06% of global emissions. This analysis does not include emissions from preceding or post-treatment activities (such as collection, transport, energy consumption during processing and land spreading), so that for a full emissions account, emissions from these activities would need to be added to an analysis.

  14. Biological Nanomotors with a Revolution, Linear, or Rotation Motion Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Peixuan; Noji, Hiroyuki; Yengo, Christopher M; Zhao, Zhengyi; Grainge, Ian

    2016-03-01

    The ubiquitous biological nanomotors were classified into two categories in the past: linear and rotation motors. In 2013, a third type of biomotor, revolution without rotation (http://rnanano.osu.edu/movie.html), was discovered and found to be widespread among bacteria, eukaryotic viruses, and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages. This review focuses on recent findings about various aspects of motors, including chirality, stoichiometry, channel size, entropy, conformational change, and energy usage rate, in a variety of well-studied motors, including FoF1 ATPase, helicases, viral dsDNA-packaging motors, bacterial chromosome translocases, myosin, kinesin, and dynein. In particular, dsDNA translocases are used to illustrate how these features relate to the motion mechanism and how nature elegantly evolved a revolution mechanism to avoid coiling and tangling during lengthy dsDNA genome transportation in cell division. Motor chirality and channel size are two factors that distinguish rotation motors from revolution motors. Rotation motors use right-handed channels to drive the right-handed dsDNA, similar to the way a nut drives the bolt with threads in same orientation; revolution motors use left-handed motor channels to revolve the right-handed dsDNA. Rotation motors use small channels (3 nm) with room for the bolt to revolve. Binding and hydrolysis of ATP are linked to different conformational entropy changes in the motor that lead to altered affinity for the substrate and allow work to be done, for example, helicase unwinding of DNA or translocase directional movement of DNA. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1:e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting.

  16. Biological mechanisms discriminating growth rate and adult body weight phenotypes in two Chinese indigenous chicken breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, Tengfei; Zhao, Sumei; Rong, Hua; Gu, Dahai; Li, Qihua; Huang, Ying; Xu, Zhiqiang; Chu, Xiaohui; Tao, Linli; Liu, Lixian; Ge, Changrong; Te Pas, Marinus F W; Jia, Junjing

    2017-06-20

    Intensive selection has resulted in increased growth rates and muscularity in broiler chickens, in addition to adverse effects, including delayed organ development, sudden death syndrome, and altered metabolic rates. The biological mechanisms underlying selection responses remain largely unknown. Non-artificially-selected indigenous Chinese chicken breeds display a wide variety of phenotypes, including differential growth rate, body weight, and muscularity. The Wuding chicken breed is a fast growing large chicken breed, and the Daweishan mini chicken breed is a slow growing small chicken breed. Together they form an ideal model system to study the biological mechanisms underlying broiler chicken selection responses in a natural system. The objective of this study was to study the biological mechanisms underlying differential phenotypes between the two breeds in muscle and liver tissues, and relate these to the growth rate and body development phenotypes of the two breeds. The muscle tissue in the Wuding breed showed higher expression of muscle development genes than muscle tissue in the Daweishan chicken breed. This expression was accompanied by higher expression of acute inflammatory response genes in Wuding chicken than in Daweishan chicken. The muscle tissue of the Daweishan mini chicken breed showed higher expression of genes involved in several metabolic mechanisms including endoplasmic reticulum, protein and lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, as well as specific immune traits than in the Wuding chicken. The liver tissue showed fewer differences between the two breeds. Genes displaying higher expression in the Wuding breed than in the Daweishan breed were not associated with a specific gene network or biological mechanism. Genes highly expressed in the Daweishan mini chicken breed compared to the Wuding breed were enriched for protein metabolism, ABC receptors, signal transduction, and IL6-related mechanisms. We conclude that faster growth rates and larger

  17. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. © 2016 K. Southard et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  18. Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Biological Molecules—Mechanisms of Damage and Emerging Methods of Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisz, Julie A.; Bansal, Nidhi; Qian, Jiang; Zhao, Weiling

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The detrimental effects of ionizing radiation (IR) involve a highly orchestrated series of events that are amplified by endogenous signaling and culminating in oxidative damage to DNA, lipids, proteins, and many metabolites. Despite the global impact of IR, the molecular mechanisms underlying tissue damage reveal that many biomolecules are chemoselectively modified by IR. Recent Advances: The development of high-throughput “omics” technologies for mapping DNA and protein modifications have revolutionized the study of IR effects on biological systems. Studies in cells, tissues, and biological fluids are used to identify molecular features or biomarkers of IR exposure and response and the molecular mechanisms that regulate their expression or synthesis. Critical Issues: In this review, chemical mechanisms are described for IR-induced modifications of biomolecules along with methods for their detection. Included with the detection methods are crucial experimental considerations and caveats for their use. Additional factors critical to the cellular response to radiation, including alterations in protein expression, metabolomics, and epigenetic factors, are also discussed. Future Directions: Throughout the review, the synergy of combined “omics” technologies such as genomics and epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics is highlighted. These are anticipated to lead to new hypotheses to understand IR effects on biological systems and improve IR-based therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21: 260–292. PMID:24382094

  19. An Integrated Review of Psychological Stress in Parkinson's Disease: Biological Mechanisms and Symptom and Health Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by complex symptoms and medication-induced motor complications that fluctuate in onset, severity, responsiveness to treatment, and disability. The unpredictable and debilitating nature of PD and the inability to halt or slow disease progression may result in psychological stress. Psychological stress may exacerbate biological mechanisms believed to contribute to neuronal loss in PD and lead to poorer symptom and health outcomes. The purpose of this integrated review is to summarize and appraise animal and human research studies focused on biological mechanisms, symptom, and health outcomes of psychological stress in PD. A search of the electronic databases PubMed/Medline and CINAHL from 1980 to the present using the key words Parkinson's disease and stress, psychological stress, mental stress, and chronic stress resulted in 11 articles that met inclusion criteria. The results revealed significant associations between psychological stress and increased motor symptom severity and loss of dopamine-producing neurons in animal models of PD and between psychological stress and increased symptom severity and poorer health outcomes in human subjects with PD. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms responsible for these relationships, for the ultimate purpose of designing targeted interventions that may modify the disease trajectory. PMID:28058129

  20. Strategic considerations under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquardt, John L; Auten, Stephen R

    2013-08-01

    The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act provides a pathway for regulatory approval of generic drugs and the associated patent challenge. This article reviews strategic considerations during the patent litigation and injunction phases. Considerations during the initial patent litigation phase include when and whether to exchange a paragraph k application and the listing and exchange of patent information during the volley phase.

  1. Systems biology elucidates common pathogenic mechanisms between nonalcoholic and alcoholic-fatty liver disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Sookoian

    Full Text Available The abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver is often related either to metabolic risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome in the absence of alcohol consumption (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD or to chronic alcohol consumption (alcoholic fatty liver disease, AFLD. Clinical and histological studies suggest that NAFLD and AFLD share pathogenic mechanisms. Nevertheless, current data are still inconclusive as to whether the underlying biological process and disease pathways of NAFLD and AFLD are alike. Our primary aim was to integrate omics and physiological data to answer the question of whether NAFLD and AFLD share molecular processes that lead to disease development. We also explored the extent to which insulin resistance (IR is a distinctive feature of NAFLD. To answer these questions, we used systems biology approaches, such as gene enrichment analysis, protein-protein interaction networks, and gene prioritization, based on multi-level data extracted by computational data mining. We observed that the leading disease pathways associated with NAFLD did not significantly differ from those of AFLD. However, systems biology revealed the importance of each molecular process behind each of the two diseases, and dissected distinctive molecular NAFLD and AFLD-signatures. Comparative co-analysis of NAFLD and AFLD clarified the participation of NAFLD, but not AFLD, in cardiovascular disease, and showed that insulin signaling is impaired in fatty liver regardless of the noxa, but the putative regulatory mechanisms associated with NAFLD seem to encompass a complex network of genes and proteins, plausible of epigenetic modifications. Gene prioritization showed a cancer-related functional map that suggests that the fatty transformation of the liver tissue is regardless of the cause, an emerging mechanism of ubiquitous oncogenic activation. In conclusion, similar underlying disease mechanisms lead to NAFLD and AFLD, but specific ones depict a

  2. Amount of fear extinction changes its underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bobae; Kim, Jihye; Park, Kyungjoon; Lee, Sukwon; Song, Sukwoon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-07-03

    There has been a longstanding debate on whether original fear memory is inhibited or erased after extinction. One possibility that reconciles this uncertainty is that the inhibition and erasure mechanisms are engaged in different phases (early or late) of extinction. In this study, using single-session extinction training and its repetition (multiple-session extinction training), we investigated the inhibition and erasure mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of rats, where neural circuits underlying extinction reside. The inhibition mechanism was prevalent with single-session extinction training but faded when single-session extinction training was repeated. In contrast, the erasure mechanism became prevalent when single-session extinction training was repeated. Moreover, ablating the intercalated neurons of amygdala, which are responsible for maintaining extinction-induced inhibition, was no longer effective in multiple-session extinction training. We propose that the inhibition mechanism operates primarily in the early phase of extinction training, and the erasure mechanism takes over after that.

  3. The potential biological mechanisms of arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tseng, C.-H.

    2004-01-01

    Although epidemiologic studies carried out in Taiwan, Bangladesh, and Sweden have demonstrated a diabetogenic effect of arsenic, the mechanisms remain unclear and require further investigation. This paper reviewed the potential biological mechanisms of arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus based on the current knowledge of the biochemical properties of arsenic. Arsenate can substitute phosphate in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and other phosphate intermediates involved in glucose metabolism, which could theoretically slow down the normal metabolism of glucose, interrupt the production of energy, and interfere with the ATP-dependent insulin secretion. However, the concentration of arsenate required for such reaction is high and not physiologically relevant, and these effects may only happen in acute intoxication and may not be effective in subjects chronically exposed to low-dose arsenic. On the other hand, arsenite has high affinity for sulfhydryl groups and thus can form covalent bonds with the disulfide bridges in the molecules of insulin, insulin receptors, glucose transporters (GLUTs), and enzymes involved in glucose metabolism (e.g., pyruvate dehydrogenase and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase). As a result, the normal functions of these molecules can be hampered. However, a direct effect on these molecules caused by arsenite at physiologically relevant concentrations seems unlikely. Recent evidence has shown that treatment of arsenite at lower and physiologically relevant concentrations can stimulate glucose transport, in contrary to an inhibitory effect exerted by phenylarsine oxide (PAO) or by higher doses of arsenite. Induction of oxidative stress and interferences in signal transduction or gene expression by arsenic or by its methylated metabolites are the most possible causes to arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus through mechanisms of induction of insulin resistance and β cell dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that, in subjects with chronic

  4. Mechanism of aerobic biological destabilisation of wool scour effluent emulsions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Andrew J; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf; William Jones, F

    2005-07-01

    Wool scouring effluent is a highly polluted industrial wastewater in which the main pollutant, wool wax, is held in a stable oil-in-water emulsion by non-ionic detergent. The use of microbial action to cause emulsion destabilisation has been proposed as a new treatment strategy for this effluent stream. This strategy aims at improving aerobic treatment performance by physically removing the high-COD, slowly bio-degradable wool wax from the system without bio-degradation. The mechanism by which an aerobic-mixed culture destabilises the wool scouring effluent emulsion was investigated. Our results show that destabilisation is due to partial bio-degradation of both the scouring detergent and the wool wax. Cleavage of the wool wax esters was the first stage in wax degradation, when 40-50% of wax was de-emulsified. Over the same period, detergent degradation was low, at 7-21%. With further incubation, detergent degradation increased, aiding further breakdown of the emulsion. The degradation of the detergent, a nonylphenol ethoxylate, resulted in both a reduction in molar concentration (of up to 82%) and a shortening of the ethoxylate chain length. The latter reduced the hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) from 12 to approximately 7, thereby reducing the ability of the residual detergent to stabilise the emulsion. Analysis of the emulsified and de-emulsified wax fractions could not identify a group of compounds that were preferentially de-emulsified based on molecular weight or polarity. These findings will assist in using a de-emulsification strategy in both existing and new treatment systems in order to save on aeration costs and treatment times for biological treatment of this highly polluted wastewater.

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurogenetic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-10-01

    There have been considerable advances in uncovering the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie nervous system disease pathogenesis, particularly with the advent of exome and whole genome sequencing techniques. The emerging field of epigenetics is also providing further insights into these mechanisms. Here, we discuss our understanding of the interplay that exists between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in these disorders, highlighting the nascent field of epigenetic epidemiology-which focuses on analyzing relationships between the epigenome and environmental exposures, development and aging, other health-related phenotypes, and disease states-and next-generation research tools (i.e., those leveraging synthetic and chemical biology and optogenetics) for examining precisely how epigenetic modifications at specific genomic sites affect disease processes.

  6. Biologically Safe Poly(l-lactic acid) Blends with Tunable Degradation Rate: Microstructure, Degradation Mechanism, and Mechanical Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyama, Hideko T; Tanishima, Daisuke; Ogawa, Ryohei

    2017-04-10

    Although poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) is reputed to be biodegradable in the human body, its hydrophobic nature lets it persist for ca. 5.5 years. This study demonstrates that biologically safe lactide copolymers, poly(aspartic acid-co-l-lactide) (PAL) and poly(malic acid-co-l-lactide) (PML), dispersed in the PLLA function as detonators (triggers) for its hydrolytic degradation under physiological conditions. The copolymers significantly enhance hydrolysis, and consequently, the degradation rate of PLLA becomes easily tunable by controlling the amounts of PAL and PML. The present study elucidates the effects of uniaxial drawing on the structural development, mechanical properties, and hydrolytic degradation under physiological conditions of PLLA blend films. At initial degradation stages, the mass loss was not affected by uniaxial drawing; however, at late degradation stages, less developed crystals as well as amorphous chains were degradable at low draw ratio (DR), whereas not only highly developed crystals but also the oriented amorphous chains became insensitive to hydrolysis at high DR. Our work provides important molecular level results that demonstrate that biodegradable materials can have superb mechanical properties and also disappear in a required time under physiological conditions.

  7. N-Cadherin Maintains the Healthy Biology of Nucleus Pulposus Cells under High-Magnitude Compression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Leng, Jiali; Zhao, Yuguang; Yu, Dehai; Xu, Feng; Song, Qingxu; Qu, Zhigang; Zhuang, Xinming; Liu, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical load can regulate disc nucleus pulposus (NP) biology in terms of cell viability, matrix homeostasis and cell phenotype. N-cadherin (N-CDH) is a molecular marker of NP cells. This study investigated the role of N-CDH in maintaining NP cell phenotype, NP matrix synthesis and NP cell viability under high-magnitude compression. Rat NP cells seeded on scaffolds were perfusion-cultured using a self-developed perfusion bioreactor for 5 days. NP cell biology in terms of cell apoptosis, matrix biosynthesis and cell phenotype was studied after the cells were subjected to different compressive magnitudes (low- and high-magnitudes: 2% and 20% compressive deformation, respectively). Non-loaded NP cells were used as controls. Lentivirus-mediated N-CDH overexpression was used to further investigate the role of N-CDH under high-magnitude compression. The 20% deformation compression condition significantly decreased N-CDH expression compared with the 2% deformation compression and control conditions. Meanwhile, 20% deformation compression increased the number of apoptotic NP cells, up-regulated the expression of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3 and down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2, matrix macromolecules (aggrecan and collagen II) and NP cell markers (glypican-3, CAXII and keratin-19) compared with 2% deformation compression. Additionally, N-CDH overexpression attenuated the effects of 20% deformation compression on NP cell biology in relation to the designated parameters. N-CDH helps to restore the cell viability, matrix biosynthesis and cellular phenotype of NP cells under high-magnitude compression. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. N-Cadherin Maintains the Healthy Biology of Nucleus Pulposus Cells under High-Magnitude Compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu Wang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Mechanical load can regulate disc nucleus pulposus (NP biology in terms of cell viability, matrix homeostasis and cell phenotype. N-cadherin (N-CDH is a molecular marker of NP cells. This study investigated the role of N-CDH in maintaining NP cell phenotype, NP matrix synthesis and NP cell viability under high-magnitude compression. Methods: Rat NP cells seeded on scaffolds were perfusion-cultured using a self-developed perfusion bioreactor for 5 days. NP cell biology in terms of cell apoptosis, matrix biosynthesis and cell phenotype was studied after the cells were subjected to different compressive magnitudes (low- and high-magnitudes: 2% and 20% compressive deformation, respectively. Non-loaded NP cells were used as controls. Lentivirus-mediated N-CDH overexpression was used to further investigate the role of N-CDH under high-magnitude compression. Results: The 20% deformation compression condition significantly decreased N-CDH expression compared with the 2% deformation compression and control conditions. Meanwhile, 20% deformation compression increased the number of apoptotic NP cells, up-regulated the expression of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3 and down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2, matrix macromolecules (aggrecan and collagen II and NP cell markers (glypican-3, CAXII and keratin-19 compared with 2% deformation compression. Additionally, N-CDH overexpression attenuated the effects of 20% deformation compression on NP cell biology in relation to the designated parameters. Conclusion: N-CDH helps to restore the cell viability, matrix biosynthesis and cellular phenotype of NP cells under high-magnitude compression.

  9. Viral immune evasion strategies and the underlying cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo, M E; Ploegh, H L; Tirabassi, R S

    2001-02-01

    Evasion of the immune system by viruses is a well-studied field. It remains a challenge to understand how these viral tactics affect pathogenesis and the viral lifecycle. At the same time, the study of viral proteins involved in immune evasion has helped us to better understand a number of cellular processes at the molecular level. Here we review recent data on different viral tactics for immune evasion and highlight what these viral interventions might teach us about cell biology. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  10. Mechanical Property Analysis of Circular Polymer Membrane under Uniform Pressure

    OpenAIRE

    Jianbing, Sang; Xiang, Li; Sufang, Xing; Wenjia, Wang

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical property analysis of circular hyperelastic polymer membrane under uniform pressure has been researched in this work. The polymer membrane material is assumed to be homogeneous and isotropic and incompressibility of materials has been considered. Based on the modified stain energy function from Gao and nonmomental theory of axial symmetry thin shell, finite deformation analysis of polymer membrane under uniform pressure has been proposed in current configuration and governing equati...

  11. Emotional responses to music: the need to consider underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juslin, Patrik N; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    Research indicates that people value music primarily because of the emotions it evokes. Yet, the notion of musical emotions remains controversial, and researchers have so far been unable to offer a satisfactory account of such emotions. We argue that the study of musical emotions has suffered from a neglect of underlying mechanisms. Specifically, researchers have studied musical emotions without regard to how they were evoked, or have assumed that the emotions must be based on the "default" mechanism for emotion induction, a cognitive appraisal. Here, we present a novel theoretical framework featuring six additional mechanisms through which music listening may induce emotions: (1) brain stem reflexes, (2) evaluative conditioning, (3) emotional contagion, (4) visual imagery, (5) episodic memory, and (6) musical expectancy. We propose that these mechanisms differ regarding such characteristics as their information focus, ontogenetic development, key brain regions, cultural impact, induction speed, degree of volitional influence, modularity, and dependence on musical structure. By synthesizing theory and findings from different domains, we are able to provide the first set of hypotheses that can help researchers to distinguish among the mechanisms. We show that failure to control for the underlying mechanism may lead to inconsistent or non-interpretable findings. Thus, we argue that the new framework may guide future research and help to resolve previous disagreements in the field. We conclude that music evokes emotions through mechanisms that are not unique to music, and that the study of musical emotions could benefit the emotion field as a whole by providing novel paradigms for emotion induction.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gumí-Audenis, B.; Carlà, F.; Vitorino, M. V.; Panzarella, A.; Porcar, L.; Boilot, M.; Guerber, S.; Bernard, P.; Rodrigues, M. S.; Sanz, F.; Giannotti, M. I.; Costa, L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-30

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

  14. Study on Mechanical Properties of Barite Concrete under Impact Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z. F.; Cheng, K.; Wu, D.; Gan, Y. C.; Tao, Q. W.

    2018-03-01

    In order to research the mechanical properties of Barite concrete under impact load, a group of concrete compression tests was carried out under the impact load by using the drop test machine. A high-speed camera was used to record the failure process of the specimen during the impact process. The test results show that:with the increase of drop height, the loading rate, the peak load, the strain under peak load, the strain rate and the dynamic increase factor (DIF) all increase gradually. The ultimate tensile strain is close to each other, and the time of impact force decreases significantly, showing significant strain rate effect.

  15. Damage mechanisms in PBT-GF30 under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaaf, A.; De Monte, M.; Hoffmann, C.; Vormwald, M.; Quaresimin, M.

    2014-01-01

    The scope of this paper is the investigation of damage mechanisms at microscopic scale on a short glass fiber reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT-GF30) under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. In addition the principal mechanisms are verified through micro mechanical FE models. In order to investigate the fatigue behavior of the material both isothermal strain controlled fatigue (ISCF) tests at three different temperatures and thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) tests were conducted on plain and notched specimens, manufactured by injection molding. The goal of the work is to determine the damage mechanisms occurring under TMF conditions and to compare them with the mechanisms occurring under ISCF. For this reason fracture surfaces of TMF and ISCF samples loaded at different temperature levels were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, specimens that failed under TMF were examined on microsections revealing insight into both crack initiation and crack propagation. The findings of this investigation give valuable information about the main damage mechanisms of PBT-GF30 under TMF loading and serve as basis for the development of a TMF life estimation methodology

  16. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of…

  17. Mechanical properties of the beetle elytron, a biological composite material

    Science.gov (United States)

    We determined the relationship between composition and mechanical properties of elytral (modified forewing) cuticle of the beetles Tribolium castaneum and Tenebrio molitor. Elytra of both species have similar mechanical properties at comparable stages of maturation (tanning). Shortly after adult ecl...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie A. MENNELLA, Alison K. VENTURA

    2010-12-01

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

  19. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bone Biology and Osteoporosis: Can They Drive Therapeutic Choices?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, Francesca; Cianferotti, Luisella; Brandi, Maria Luisa

    2016-08-12

    Osteoporosis is a complex multifactorial disorder of the skeleton. Genetic factors are important in determining peak bone mass and structure, as well as the predisposition to bone deterioration and fragility fractures. Nonetheless, genetic factors alone are not sufficient to explain osteoporosis development and fragility fracture occurrence. Indeed, epigenetic factors, representing a link between individual genetic aspects and environmental influences, are also strongly suspected to be involved in bone biology and osteoporosis. Recently, alterations in epigenetic mechanisms and their activity have been associated with aging. Also, bone metabolism has been demonstrated to be under the control of epigenetic mechanisms. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), the master transcription factor of osteoblast differentiation, has been shown to be regulated by histone deacetylases and microRNAs (miRNAs). Some miRNAs were also proven to have key roles in the regulation of Wnt signalling in osteoblastogenesis, and to be important for the positive or negative regulation of both osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Exogenous and environmental stimuli, influencing the functionality of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of bone metabolism, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, in synergy with genetic determinants. The progressive understanding of roles of epigenetic mechanisms in normal bone metabolism and in multifactorial bone disorders will be very helpful for a better comprehension of disease pathogenesis and translation of this information into clinical practice. A deep understanding of these mechanisms could help in the future tailoring of proper individual treatments, according to precision medicine's principles.

  20. A possible realization of Einstein's causal theory underlying quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yussouff, M.

    1979-06-01

    It is shown that a new microscopic mechanics formulated earlier can be looked upon as a possible causal theory underlying quantum mechanics, which removes Einstein's famous objections against quantum theory. This approach is free from objections raised against Bohm's hidden variable theory and leads to a clear physical picture in terms of familiar concepts, if self interactions are held responsible for deviations from classical behaviour. The new level of physics unfolded by this approach may reveal novel frontiers in high-energy physics. (author)

  1. Permeability and mechanical properties of cracked glass under pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ougier-Simonin, A.

    2010-01-01

    Crack initiation and growth in brittle solids under tension have been extensively studied by various experimental, theoretical and numerical approaches. If has been established that dynamic brittle fracture is related to fundamental physical parameters and processes, such as crack speed, crack branching, surface roughening, and dynamic instabilities. On the other hand, less studies have been done in the area of compressive fracture despite its vital importance in geology, material science and engineering applications (such as the improvement and the insurance of the nuclear wastes storage). The present work aims to investigate thermo-mechanical cracking effects on elastic wave velocities, mechanical strength and permeability und r pressure to evaluate damage evolution, brittle failure and transport properties on a synthetic glass (SON 68), and to highlight the very different behavior of the glass amorphous structure compared to any rock structure. The original glass, produced in ideal conditions of slow cooling that prevent from any crack formation, exhibits a linear and reversible mechanical behavior and isotropic elastic velocities, as expected. It also presents a high strength as it fails at about 700 MPa of deviatoric stress for a confining pressure of 15 MPa. We choose to apply to some original glass samples a reproducible method (thermal treatment with a thermal shock of T=100,200 and 300 C) which creates cracks with a homogeneous distribution. The impact of the thermal treatment is clearly visible through the elastic wave velocity measurements as we observe crack closure under hydrostatic conditions (at about 30 MPa). For T ≥ 200 C, the glass mechanical behavior becomes non linear and records an irreversible damage. The total damage observed with the acoustic emissions in these samples underlines the combination of the thermal and the mechanical cracks which drive to the sample failure. The results obtained with pore fluid pressure show a very small

  2. Mechanism of biological control of Rhizoctonia damping-off of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MOHSEN

    2014-01-29

    Jan 29, 2014 ... 4Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido,. Gifu City 501-1193, ... isolate of R. solani AG-4 isolate C4 and examined with light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron ... 1987b), bedding plants (capsicum and celosia) and cucumber ...

  3. Biologically Driven Differences in Decomposition Dynamics Under Changing Ecosystems (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandy, S.

    2010-12-01

    Predicting the effects of environmental changes on soil organic matter dynamics remains difficult. Here I explore the possibility that differences in decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics are due in part to links between litter decomposition processes, changes in litter chemistry, and variation in decomposer communities. I explored these relationships under three types of ecosystem changes: 1) N enrichment of forest ecosystems; 2) elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in forest ecosystems; and 3) agricultural land-use intensification. My overarching hypothesis was that litter mass loss and litter chemistry would vary under different environmental conditions, and those differences would correlate with ecosystem-specific variations in decomposer community structure and function. In three separate field experiments, I found strong evidence that decomposer communities influenced the chemistry of decomposing litter. In a related laboratory study I found that the presence of the oribatid mite Scheloribates moestus Banks (Acari: Oribatida) can substantially change litter decomposition dynamics and the molecular chemistry of decomposing litter. Most current conceptual models estimate changes in litter chemistry over the course of decomposition from initial litter chemistry and the extent of mass loss. These models suggest consistent and predictable changes in the chemical structure of organic matter during decomposition and do not explicitly consider the potential effects of variations in decomposer community structure on decomposition. In contrast, my results show that differences in decomposer communities lead to changes in litter chemistry during decomposition. Accurately predicting management effects on litter chemistry. and thus also soil organic matter dynamics, through time may require accounting for the degree to which variations in decomposer community composition influence organic matter chemistry.

  4. Frictional behaviour of polymer films under mechanical and electrostatic loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ginés, R; Christen, R; Motavalli, M; Bergamini, A; Ermanni, P

    2013-01-01

    Different polymer foils, namely polyimide, FEP, PFA and PVDF were tested on a setup designed to measure the static coefficient of friction between them. The setup was designed according to the requirements of a damping device based on electrostatically tunable friction. The foils were tested under different mechanically applied forces and showed reproducible results for the static coefficient of friction. With the same setup the measurements were performed under an electric field as the source of the normal force. Up to a certain electric field the values were in good agreement. Beyond this field discrepancies were found. (paper)

  5. Control of a perturbed under-actuated mechanical system

    KAUST Repository

    Zayane, Chadia

    2015-11-05

    In this work, the trajectory tracking problem for an under-actuated mechanical system in presence of unknown input disturbances is addressed. The studied inertia wheel inverted pendulum falls in the class of non minimum phase systems. The proposed high order sliding mode control architecture including a controller and differentiator allows to track accurately the predefined trajectory and to stabilize the internal dynamics. The robustness of the proposed approach is illustrated through different perturbation and output noise configurations.

  6. Spectroscopic analysis of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles under clinorotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagtap, Sagar; Vidyasagar, Pandit; Ghemud, Vipul; Dixit, Jyotsana

    Nanoparticles are one of the hot topics of research due to their size dependent optical, electrical and magnetic properties & their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal nature. Synthesis of nano particles can be done by various physical and chemical methods. However, Biosynthesis of nanoparticles is environment friendly, can take place around room temperature, and require little intervention or input of energy. In the present study, the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using bacteria and the effect of clinorotation on rate of synthesis is discussed. The freshly grown bacterial isolate was inoculated in to 250-ml Erlenmeyer flask containing 50 ml sterile nutrient broth (LB). The cultured flasks were incubated in a shaker at 120 rpm for 24 h at 370C. Culture was centrifuged at 10,000 rpm for 10 min. The supernatant was used for carrying extracellular production of silver nanoparticles by mixing it with 5mM AgNO3 solution. The above solution was clinorotated at 2 rpm for 24 h. The synthesis was carried out at 60oC. Visual observation was conducted periodically to check for the nanoparticles formation in normal gravity as well as under clinorotation. UV-visible spectroscopic analysis showed that rate of synthesis was faster in case of clinorotated sample than control. Further, the results of FTIR and XRD characterization will be discussed.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying morphine withdrawal in addicted patients: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Babhadiashar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Morphine is one of the most potent alkaloid in opium, which has substantial medical uses and needs and it is the first active principle purified from herbal source. Morphine has commonly been used for relief of moderate to severe pain as it acts directly on the central nervous system; nonetheless, its chronic abuse increases tolerance and physical dependence, which is commonly known as opiate addiction. Morphine withdrawal syndrome is physiological and behavioral symptoms that stem from prolonged exposure to morphine. A majority of brain regions are hypofunctional over prolonged abstinence and acute morphine withdrawal. Furthermore, several neural mechanisms are likely to contribute to morphine withdrawal. The present review summarizes the literature pertaining to neural mechanisms underlying morphine withdrawal. Despite the fact that morphine withdrawal is a complex process, it is suggested that neural mechanisms play key roles in morphine withdrawal.

  8. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

  9. Mechanisms and models of the dehydration self-organization in biological fluids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarasevich, Yurii Yu

    2004-01-01

    The dehydration self-organization phenomenon in biological fluids attracted the attention of researchers slightly more than a decade ago. While seemingly simple (the structure formation is possible to observe even in domestic conditions), the effect turned out to be extremely complicated and to involve a number of interrelated processes of a different physical nature. The dehydration self-organization effect in biological fluids underlies a medical diagnostic technique patented in 40 countries of the world, while the mechanisms that underlie the technique still remain largely obscure. This review is an attempt to draw an integrated picture of the current state of the problem: to emphasize reliably established facts and the problems that remain to be solved, to put an end to speculation, and to characterize the available theories and models. An analysis of the literature sources allows us to draw the conclusion that the effects observed in the dehydration of biological fluids are typical for colloidal solutions in general and can be described in the framework of conventional physical approaches. (from the current literature)

  10. Structural biological materials: critical mechanics-materials connections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Marc André; McKittrick, Joanna; Chen, Po-Yu

    2013-02-15

    Spider silk is extraordinarily strong, mollusk shells and bone are tough, and porcupine quills and feathers resist buckling. How are these notable properties achieved? The building blocks of the materials listed above are primarily minerals and biopolymers, mostly in combination; the first weak in tension and the second weak in compression. The intricate and ingenious hierarchical structures are responsible for the outstanding performance of each material. Toughness is conferred by the presence of controlled interfacial features (friction, hydrogen bonds, chain straightening and stretching); buckling resistance can be achieved by filling a slender column with a lightweight foam. Here, we present and interpret selected examples of these and other biological materials. Structural bio-inspired materials design makes use of the biological structures by inserting synthetic materials and processes that augment the structures' capability while retaining their essential features. In this Review, we explain this idea through some unusual concepts.

  11. High Energy Density Nastic Structures Using Biological Transport Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-28

    DATES COVERED Final Progress Report; 9/27/04 to 11/30/06 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE High Energy Density Nastic Structures Using Biological Transport...permeable membranes. This concept is based on the pressurization of cells similar to the process that plants use to maintain homeostasis and regulate...cell function. In all plant systems, the transport of ions and fluid produce localized pressure changes (called turgor pressure) that perform many

  12. Respirator Filter Efficiency Testing Against Particulate and Biological Aerosols Under Moderate to High Flow Rates

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Richardson, Aaron W; Eshbaugh, Jonathan P; Hofacre, Kent C; Gardner, Paul D

    2006-01-01

    ...) and biological test aerosols under breather flow rates associated with high work rates. The inert test challenges consisted of solid and oil aerosols having nominal diameters ranging from 0.02...

  13. Giant panda׳s tooth enamel: Structure, mechanical behavior and toughening mechanisms under indentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Z Y; Liu, Z Q; Ritchie, R O; Jiao, D; Li, D S; Wu, H L; Deng, L H; Zhang, Z F

    2016-12-01

    The giant panda׳s teeth possess remarkable load-bearing capacity and damage resistance for masticating bamboos. In this study, the hierarchical structure and mechanical behavior of the giant panda׳s tooth enamel were investigated under indentation. The effects of loading orientation and location on mechanical properties of the enamel were clarified and the evolution of damage in the enamel under increasing load evaluated. The nature of the damage, both at and beneath the indentation surfaces, and the underlying toughening mechanisms were explored. Indentation cracks invariably were seen to propagate along the internal interfaces, specifically the sheaths between enamel rods, and multiple extrinsic toughening mechanisms, e.g., crack deflection/twisting and uncracked-ligament bridging, were active to shield the tips of cracks from the applied stress. The giant panda׳s tooth enamel is analogous to human enamel in its mechanical properties, yet it has superior hardness and Young׳s modulus but inferior toughness as compared to the bamboo that pandas primarily feed on, highlighting the critical roles of the integration of underlying tissues in the entire tooth and the highly hydrated state of bamboo foods. Our objective is that this study can aid the understanding of the structure-mechanical property relations in the tooth enamel of mammals and further provide some insight on the food habits of the giant pandas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparative proteomics of peanut gynophore development under dark and mechanical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yong; Wang, Qingguo; Li, Zhen; Hou, Lei; Dai, Shaojun; Liu, Wei

    2013-12-06

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea. L) is an important leguminous crop and source of proteins and lipids. It has attracted widespread attention of researchers due to its unique growth habit of geocarpy, which is regulated by geotropism, negative phototropism, and haptotropism. However, the protein expression pattern and molecular regulatory mechanism underlying the physiological processes of peanut remain unknown. In this study, the peanut gynophores under five treatment conditions were used for proteomic analysis, including aerial growth of the gynophores, the gynophores penetrated into the soil, as well as aerial growth of the gynophores under mechanical stimulation, dark, and mechanical stimulation combined with dark. The analysis of protein abundances in peanut gynophores under these conditions were conducted using comparative proteomic approaches. A total of 27 differentially expressed proteins were identified and further classified into nine biological functional groups of stress and defense, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, metabolism, photosynthesis, cell structure, signaling, transcription, protein folding and degradation, and function unknown. By searching gene functions against peanut database, 10 genes with similar annotations were selected as corresponding changed proteins, and their variation trends in gynophores under such growth conditions were further verified using quantitative real-time PCR. Overall, the investigation will benefit to enrich our understanding of the internal mechanisms of peanut gynophore development and lay a foundation for breeding and improving crop varieties and qualities.

  15. Spatial Cell Biology : Dissecting and directing intracellular transport mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adrian, M.

    2017-01-01

    Cellular compartmentalization and intracellular transport mechanisms are important to establish and maintain the spatial organisation of proteins and organelles needed to ensure proper cellular functioning. Especially in polarized cells like neurons, the proper distribution of proteins into the

  16. Mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons under uniaxial tensile strain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneyama, Kazufumi; Yamanaka, Ayaka; Okada, Susumu

    2018-03-01

    Based on the density functional theory with the generalized gradient approximation, we investigated the mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons in terms of their edge shape under a uniaxial tensile strain. The nanoribbons with armchair and zigzag edges retain their structure under a large tensile strain, while the nanoribbons with chiral edges are fragile against the tensile strain compared with those with armchair and zigzag edges. The fracture started at the cove region, which corresponds to the border between the zigzag and armchair edges for the nanoribbons with chiral edges. For the nanoribbons with armchair edges, the fracture started at one of the cove regions at the edges. In contrast, the fracture started at the inner region of the nanoribbons with zigzag edges. The bond elongation under the tensile strain depends on the mutual arrangement of covalent bonds with respect to the strain direction.

  17. Peripheral Receptor Mechanisms Underlying Orofacial Muscle Pain and Hyperalgesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saloman, Jami L.

    Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMD) are severely debilitating and affect approximately 12% of the population. Identifying peripheral nociceptive mechanisms underlying mechanical hyperalgesia, a prominent feature of persistent muscle pain, could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. This study provides evidence of functional interactions between ligand-gated channels, P2X3 and TRPV1/TRPA1, in trigeminal sensory neurons, and proposes that these interactions underlie the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. In the masseter muscle, direct P2X3 activation, via the selective agonist αβmeATP, induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810, or the TRPA1 antagonist, AP18. P2X3 was co-expressed with both TRPV1 and TRPA1 in masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Moreover, in a subpopulation of P2X3 /TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca2+ transients were significantly potentiated following P2X3 activation. Inhibition of Ca2+-dependent kinases, PKC and CaMKII, prevented P2X3-mechanical hyperalgesia whereas blockade of Ca2+-independent PKA did not. Finally, activation of P2X3 induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal sensory neurons. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 minutes, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Similar data were obtained regarding another nonselective cation channel, the NMDA receptor (NMDAR). Our data propose P2X3 and NMDARs interact with TRPV1 in a facilitatory manner, which could contribute to the peripheral sensitization underlying masseter hyperalgesia. This study offers novel mechanisms by which individual pro-nociceptive ligand

  18. Mechanical properties of a collagen fibril under simulated degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaspina, David C; Szleifer, Igal; Dhaher, Yasin

    2017-11-01

    Collagen fibrils are a very important component in most of the connective tissue in humans. An important process associated with several physiological and pathological states is the degradation of collagen. Collagen degradation is usually mediated by enzymatic and non-enzymatic processes. In this work we use molecular dynamics simulations to study the influence of simulated degradation on the mechanical properties of the collagen fibril. We applied tensile stress to the collagen fiber at different stages of degradation. We compared the difference in the fibril mechanical priorities due the removal of enzymatic crosslink, surface degradation and volumetric degradation. As anticipated, our results indicated that, regardless of the degradation scenario, fibril mechanical properties is reduced. The type of degradation mechanism (crosslink, surface or volumetric) expressed differential effect on the change in the fibril stiffness. Our simulation results showed dramatic change in the fibril stiffness with a small amount of degradation. This suggests that the hierarchical structure of the fibril is a key component for the toughness and is very sensitive to changes in the organization of the fibril. The overall results are intended to provide a theoretical framework for the understanding the mechanical behavior of collagen fibrils under degradation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mechanisms underlying the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Federico; Huangfu, Danwei

    2015-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) offer unique opportunities for studying human biology, modeling diseases and for therapeutic applications. The simplest approach so far to generate human PSCs lines is through reprogramming of somatic cells from an individual by defined factors, referred to simply as reprogramming. Reprogramming circumvents the ethical issues associated with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and nuclear transfer hESCs (nt-hESCs), and the resulting induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) retain the same basic genetic makeup as the somatic cell used for reprogramming. Since the first report of iPSCs by Takahashi and Yamanaka, the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming have been extensively investigated. A better mechanistic understanding of reprogramming is fundamental not only to iPSC biology and improving the quality of iPSCs for therapeutic use, but also to our understanding of the molecular basis of cell identity, pluripotency and plasticity. Here we summarize the genetic, epigenetic and cellular events during reprogramming, and the roles of various factors identified thus far in the reprogramming process. PMID:26383234

  20. [Progress of researches on mechanism of acupuncture therapy underlying improvement of acute cerebral hemorrhage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fan; Wang, Hai-qiao; Dong, Gui-rong

    2011-04-01

    In the present paper, the authors review the progress of researches on the mechanism of acupuncture therapy underlying improvement of acute cerebral hemorrhage from experimental studies and research methods. The effects of acupuncture intervention mainly involve (1) lessening inflammatory reactions, (2) reducing impairment of free radicals and excitatory amino acids on cerebral neurons, (3) balancing release of vascular bioactive substances to increase regional cerebral blood flow, and (4) promoting repair and regeneration of the neural tissue, etc. In regard to the research methods, many new biological techniques such as biological molecular approaches, neuro-cellular chemical methods, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or quantitative real time-PCR, situ hybridization, western blotting, electron microscope, etc., have been extensively applied to researches on the underlying mechanism of acupuncture therapy for cerebral infarction. In addition, the authors also pointed out that in spite of achieving some bigger progresses in experimental studies, most of the results basically reflect static, isolated and regional changes rather than dynamic and whole body changes. For this reason, more vivo research techniques and noninvasive research methods are highly recommended to be used in the future research on the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture therapy for acute cerebral ischemia.

  1. Temporomandibular disorders and painful comorbidities: clinical association and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Yuri Martins; Conti, Paulo César Rodrigues; de Faria, Flavio Augusto Cardoso; Bonjardim, Leonardo Rigoldi

    2017-03-01

    The association between temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and headaches, cervical spine dysfunction, and fibromyalgia is not artefactual. The aim of this review is to describe the comorbid relationship between TMD and these three major painful conditions and to discuss the clinical implications and the underlying pain mechanisms involved in these relationships. Common neuronal pathways and central sensitization processes are acknowledged as the main factors for the association between TMD and primary headaches, although the establishment of cause-effect mechanisms requires further clarification and characterization. The biomechanical aspects are not the main factors involved in the comorbid relationship between TMD and cervical spine dysfunction, which can be better explained by the neuronal convergence of the trigeminal and cervical spine sensory pathways as well as by central sensitization processes. The association between TMD and fibromyalgia also has supporting evidence in the literature, and the proposed main mechanism underlying this relationship is the impairment of the descending pain inhibitory system. In this particular scenario, a cause-effect relationship is more likely to occur in one direction, that is, fibromyalgia as a risk factor for TMD. Therefore, clinical awareness of the association between TMD and painful comorbidities and the support of multidisciplinary approaches are required to recognize these related conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morales-Bonilla, S; Torres-Torres, C; Urriolagoitia-Sosa, G; Hernandez-Gomez, L H; Urriolagoitia-Calderon, G

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Bonilla, S.; Torres-Torres, C.; Urriolagoitia-Sosa, G.; Hernández-Gómez, L. H.; Urriolagoitia-Calderón, G.

    2011-07-01

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

  4. Effect of calcium hydroxide on mechanical strength and biological properties of bioactive glass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Asma Tufail; Batool, Madeeha; Chaudhry, Aqif Anwar; Iqbal, Farasat; Javaid, Ayesha; Zahid, Saba; Ilyas, Kanwal; Bin Qasim, Saad; Khan, Ather Farooq; Khan, Abdul Samad; Ur Rehman, Ihtesham

    2016-08-01

    In this manuscript for the first time calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) has been used for preparation of bioactive glass (BG-2) by co-precipitation method and compared with glass prepared using calcium nitrate tetrahydrate Ca(NO3)2·4H2O (BG-1), which is a conventional source of calcium. The new source positively affected physical, biological and mechanical properties of BG-2. The glasses were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis/Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TGA-DSC), BET surface area analysis and Knoop hardness. The results showed that BG-2 possessed relatively larger surface properties (100m(2)g(-1) surface area) as compared to BG-1 (78m(2)g(-1)), spherical morphology and crystalline phases (wollastonite and apatite) after sintering at lower than conventional temperature. These properties contribute critical role in both mechanical and biological properties of glasses. The Knoop hardness measurements revealed that BG-2 possessed much better hardness (0.43±0.06GPa at 680°C and 2.16±0.46GPa at 980°C) than BG-1 (0.24±0.01 at 680°C and 0.57±0.07GPA at 980°C) under same conditions. Alamar blue Assay and confocal microscopy revealed that BG-2 exhibited better attachment and proliferation of MG63 cells. Based on the improved biological properties of BG-2 as a consequent of novel calcium source selection, BG-2 is proposed as a bioactive ceramic for hard tissue repair and regeneration applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Understanding the biological mechanisms of Zika virus disease ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    This project will use advanced biomolecular, genomics and proteomics techniques to explain the molecular mechanisms by which the Zika virus infects and persists in the human body, how it affects the human reproductive and central nervous system, and how the risk of fetal abnormalities can be better predicted in infected ...

  6. Fluctuating Nonlinear Spring Model of Mechanical Deformation of Biological Particles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kononova, Olga; Snijder, Joost; Kholodov, Yaroslav; Marx, Kenneth A; Wuite, Gijs J L; Roos, Wouter H; Barsegov, Valeri

    The mechanical properties of virus capsids correlate with local conformational dynamics in the capsid structure. They also reflect the required stability needed to withstand high internal pressures generated upon genome loading and contribute to the success of important events in viral infectivity,

  7. Mechanism of biological control of Rhizoctonia damping-off of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The interaction of binucleate Rhizoctonia (BNR) anastomosis group (AG)-A isolate W7, Rhizoctonia solani AG-4 and cucumber seedlings were investigated to elucidate the mechanism of biocontrol of Rhizoctonia solani by BNR. Hypocotyls of Cucumis sativus L. cv. Jibai were inoculated with a virulent isolate of R. solani ...

  8. Failure Mechanisms of Brittle Rocks under Uniaxial Compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Taoying

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The behaviour of a rock mass is determined not only by the properties of the rock matrix, but mostly by the presence and properties of discontinuities or fractures within the mass. The compression test on rock-like specimens with two prefabricated transfixion fissures, made by pulling out the embedded metal inserts in the pre-cured period was carried out on the servo control uniaxial loading tester. The influence of the geometry of pre-existing cracks on the cracking processes was analysed with reference to the experimental observation of crack initiation and propagation from pre-existing flaws. Based on the rock fracture mechanics and the stress-strain curves, the evolution failure mechanism of the fissure body was also analyzed on the basis of exploring the law of the compression-shear crack initiation, wing crack growth and rock bridge connection. Meanwhile, damage fracture mechanical models of a compression-shear rock mass are established when the rock bridge axial transfixion failure, tension-shear combined failure, or wing crack shear connection failure occurs on the specimen under axial compression. This research was of significance in studying the failure mechanism of fractured rock mass.

  9. The mechanism underlying fast germination of tomato cultivar LA2711.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Rongchao; Chu, Zhuannan; Zhang, Haijun; Li, Ying; Wang, Jinfang; Li, Dianbo; Weeda, Sarah; Ren, Shuxin; Ouyang, Bo; Guo, Yang-Dong

    2015-09-01

    Seed germination is important for early plant morphogenesis as well as abiotic stress tolerance, and is mainly controlled by the phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA). Our previous studies identified a salt-tolerant tomato cultivar, LA2711, which is also a fast-germinating genotype, compared to its salt-sensitive counterpart, ZS-5. In an effort to further clarify the mechanism underlying this phenomenon, we compared the dynamic levels of ABA and GA4, the transcript abundance of genes involved in their biosynthesis and catabolism as well as signal transduction between the two cultivars. In addition, we tested seed germination sensitivity to ABA and GAs. Our results revealed that insensitivity of seed germination to exogenous ABA and low ABA content in seeds are the physiological mechanisms conferring faster germination rates of LA2711 seeds. SlCYP707A2, which encodes an ABA catabolic enzyme, may play a decisive role in the fast germination rate of LA2711, as it showed a significantly higher level of expression in LA2711 than ZS-5 at most time points tested during germination. The current results will enable us to gain insight into the mechanism(s) regarding seed germination of tomato and the role of fast germination in stress tolerance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanisms underlying HIV-1 Vpu-mediated viral egress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eRoy

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Viruses such as lentiviruses that are responsible for long lasting infections, have to evade several level of cellular immune mechanisms to persist and efficiently disseminate in the host. Over the past decades, many evidences have emerged regarding the major role of accessory proteins of primate lentiviruses (Human (HIV and simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV in viral evasion from the host immune defense. This short review will provide an overview of the mechanism whereby the accessory protein Vpu contributes to this escape. Vpu is a multifunctional protein that was shown to contribute to viral egress by down-regulating several mediators of the immune system such as CD4, CD1d, NTB-A and the restriction factor BST2. The mechanisms underlying its activity are not fully characterized but rely on its ability to interfere with the host machinery regulating proteins turnover and vesicular trafficking. This review will focus on our current understanding of the mechanisms whereby Vpu down-regulates CD4 and BST2 expression level to favour viral egress.

  11. New insight into the molecular mechanisms of the biological effects of DNA minor groove binders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinbo Zhang

    Full Text Available Bisbenzimides, or Hoechst 33258 (H258, and its derivative Hoechst 33342 (H342 are archetypal molecules for designing minor groove binders, and widely used as tools for staining DNA and analyzing side population cells. They are supravital DNA minor groove binders with AT selectivity. H342 and H258 share similar biological effects based on the similarity of their chemical structures, but also have their unique biological effects. For example, H342, but not H258, is a potent apoptotic inducer and both H342 and H258 can induce transgene overexpression in in vitro studies. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Hoechst dyes induce apoptosis and enhance transgene overexpression are unclear.To determine the molecular mechanisms underlying different biological effects between H342 and H258, microarray technique coupled with bioinformatics analyses and multiple other techniques has been utilized to detect differential global gene expression profiles, Hoechst dye-specific gene expression signatures, and changes in cell morphology and levels of apoptosis-associated proteins in malignant mesothelioma cells. H342-induced apoptosis occurs in a dose-dependent fashion and is associated with morphological changes, caspase-3 activation, cytochrome c mitochondrial translocation, and cleavage of apoptosis-associated proteins. The antagonistic effect of H258 on H342-induced apoptosis indicates a pharmacokinetic basis for the two dyes' different biological effects. Differential global gene expression profiles induced by H258 and H342 are accompanied by unique gene expression signatures determined by DNA microarray and bioinformatics software, indicating a genetic basis for their different biological effects.A unique gene expression signature associated with H342-induced apoptosis provides a new avenue to predict and classify the therapeutic class of minor groove binders in the drug development process. Further analysis of H258-upregulated genes of transcription

  12. Mechanical Design of AM Fabricated Prismatic Rods under Torsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manzhirov Alexander V.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the stress-strain state of viscoelastic prismatic rods fabricated or repaired by additive manufacturing technologies under torsion. An adequate description of the processes involved is given by methods of a new scientific field, mechanics of growing solids. Three main stages of the deformation process (before the beginning of growth, in the course of growth, and after the termination of growth are studied. Two versions of statement of two problems are given: (i given the torque, find the stresses, displacements, and torsion; (ii given the torsion, find the stresses, displacements, and torque. Solution methods using techniques of complex analysis are presented. The results can be used in mechanical and instrument engineering.

  13. TRAFFIC SIGN DETECTION BASED ON BIOLOGICALLY VISUAL MECHANISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Hu

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available TSR (Traffic sign recognition is an important problem in ITS (intelligent traffic system, which is being paid more and more attention for realizing drivers assisting system and unmanned vehicle etc. TSR consists of two steps: detection and recognition, and this paper describe a new traffic sign detection method. The design principle of the traffic sign is comply with the visual attention mechanism of human, so we propose a method using visual attention mechanism to detect traffic sign ,which is reasonable. In our method, the whole scene will firstly be analyzed by visual attention model to acquire the area where traffic signs might be placed. And then, these candidate areas will be analyzed according to the shape characteristics of the traffic sign to detect traffic signs. In traffic sign detection experiments, the result shows the proposed method is effectively and robust than other existing saliency detection method.

  14. Molecular biology of cancer: mechanisms, targets and therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pecorino, Lauren

    2012-01-01

    ... Edition copyright 2008 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights ...

  15. Age differences in the underlying mechanisms of stereotype threat effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popham, Lauren E; Hess, Thomas M

    2015-03-01

    The goals of the present study were to (a) examine whether age differences exist in the mechanisms underlying stereotype threat effects on cognitive performance and (b) examine whether emotion regulation abilities may buffer against threat effects on performance. Older and younger adults were exposed to positive or negative age-relevant stereotypes, allowing us to examine the impact of threat on regulatory focus and working memory. Self-reported emotion regulation measures were completed prior to the session. Older adults' performance under threat suggested a prevention-focused approach to the task, indexed by increased accuracy and reduced speed. The same pattern was observed in younger adults, but the effects were not as strong. Age differences emerged when examining the availability of working memory resources under threat, with young adults showing decrements, whereas older adults did not. Emotion regulation abilities moderated threat effects in young adults but not in older adults. The results provide support for the notion that stereotype threat may lead to underperformance through somewhat different pathways in older and younger adults. Future research should further examine whether the underlying reason for this age difference is rooted in age-related improvements in emotion regulation. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Energy implications of mechanical and mechanical-biological treatment compared to direct waste-to-energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimpan, Ciprian; Wenzel, Henrik

    2013-07-01

    Primary energy savings potential is used to compare five residual municipal solid waste treatment systems, including configurations with mechanical (MT) and mechanical-biological (MBT) pre-treatment, which produce waste-derived fuels (RDF and SRF), biogas and/or recover additional materials for recycling, alongside a system based on conventional mass burn waste-to-energy and ash treatment. To examine the magnitude of potential savings we consider two energy efficiency levels (state-of-the-art and best available technology), the inclusion/exclusion of heat recovery (CHP vs. PP) and three different background end-use energy production systems (coal condensing electricity and natural gas heat, Nordic electricity mix and natural gas heat, and coal CHP energy quality allocation). The systems achieved net primary energy savings in a range between 34 and 140 MJprimary/100 MJinput waste, in the different scenario settings. The energy footprint of transportation needs, pre-treatment and reprocessing of recyclable materials was 3-9.5%, 1-18% and 1-8% respectively, relative to total energy savings. Mass combustion WtE achieved the highest savings in scenarios with CHP production, nonetheless, MBT-based systems had similarly high performance if SRF streams were co-combusted with coal. When RDF and SRF was only used in dedicated WtE plants, MBT-based systems totalled lower savings due to inherent system losses and additional energy costs. In scenarios without heat recovery, the biodrying MBS-based system achieved the highest savings, on the condition of SRF co-combustion. As a sensitivity scenario, alternative utilisation of SRF in cement kilns was modelled. It supported similar or higher net savings for all pre-treatment systems compared to mass combustion WtE, except when WtE CHP was possible in the first two background energy scenarios. Recovery of plastics for recycling before energy recovery increased net energy savings in most scenario variations, over those of full

  18. Electrochemical mechanism of tin membrane electrodeposition under ultrasonic waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan, Tianxiang; Yang, Jianguang; Chen, Bing

    2018-04-01

    Tin was electrodeposited from chloride solutions using a membrane cell under ultrasonic waves. Cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), chronoamperometry (CHR), and chronopotentiometry were applied to investigate the electrochemical mechanism of tin electrodeposition under ultrasonic field. Chronoamperometry curves showed that the initial process of tin electrodeposition followed the diffusion controlled three-dimensional nucleation and grain growth mechanism. The analysis of the cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry diagrams showed that the application of ultrasound can change the tin membrane electro-deposition reaction from diffusion to electrochemical control, and the optimum parameters for tin electrodeposition were H + concentration 3.5 mol·L -1 , temperature 35 °C and ultrasonic power 100 W. The coupling ultrasonic field played a role in refining the grain in this process. The growth of tin crystals showed no orientation preferential, and the tin deposition showed a tendency to form a regular network structure after ultrasonic coupling. While in the absence of ultrasonic coupling, the growth of tin crystals has a high preferential orientation, and the tin deposition showed a tendency to form tin whiskers. Ultrasonic coupling was more favorable for obtaining a more compact and smoother cathode tin layer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Mechanisms Underlying the Antidepressant Response and Treatment Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjorie Rose Levinstein

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Depression is a complex and heterogeneous disorder affecting millions of Americans. There are several different medications and other treatments that are available and effective for many patients with depression. However, a substantial percentage of patients fail to achieve remission with these currently available interventions, and relapse rates are high. Therefore, it is necessary to determine both the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant response and the differences between responders and non-responders to treatment. Delineation of these mechanisms largely relies on experiments that utilize animal models. Therefore, this review provides an overview of the various mouse models that are currently used to assess the antidepressant response, such as chronic mild stress, social defeat, and chronic corticosterone. We discuss how these mouse models can be used to advance our understanding of the differences between responders and non-responders to antidepressant treatment. We also provide an overview of experimental treatment modalities that are used for treatment-resistant depression, such as deep brain stimulation and ketamine administration. We will then review the various genetic polymorphisms and transgenic mice that display resistance to antidepressant treatment. Finally, we synthesize the published data to describe a potential neural circuit underlying the antidepressant response and treatment resistance.

  20. Mechanisms of sound seattering by biological targets and their aggregates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Gorska

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Natalia Gorska's thesis is based on a set of 9 papers published in scientific journals (Gorska & Klusek 1998, Gorska 2000, Gorska & Chu 2001a, b, Gorska & Ona 2003a, b and conference proceedings (Gorska & Klusek 1994, Gorska 1999, Gorska & Chu 2000, which broadly summarise her integrated research achievements in underwater acoustics from 1994 to 2003. She is the sole author of two of the articles (Gorska 1999, 2000, and is the first co-author, taking a leading part, in the others (Gorska & Klusek 1994, 1998, Gorska & Chu 2000, Gorska & Chu 200la, b, Gorska & Ona 2003a, b.     Her research objective was to work out the theoretical background to certain problems of sound scattering by biological targets - single individuals and aggregated layers of fish and zooplankton - in relation to environmental conditions in the sea. In the study she focused on acoustical extinction and backscattering, including the phenomenon of echo interference. In conjunction wit h the co-authors of papers Gorska & Ona 2003a, b, Gorska & Chu 2001a, b and Gorska & Chu 2000, she was able to apply and verify her theoretical results empirically.

  1. Bioactive glass/hydroxyapatite composites: mechanical properties and biological evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, Devis; Sola, Antonella; Anesi, Alexandre; Salvatori, Roberta; Chiarini, Luigi; Cannillo, Valeria

    2015-06-01

    Bioactive glass/hydroxyapatite composites for bone tissue repair and regeneration have been produced and discussed. The use of a recently developed glass, namely BG_Ca/Mix, with its low tendency to crystallize, allowed one to sinter the samples at a relatively low temperature thus avoiding several adverse effects usually reported in the literature, such as extensive crystallization of the glassy phase, hydroxyapatite (HA) decomposition and reaction between HA and glass. The mechanical properties of the composites with 80wt.% BG_Ca/Mix and 20wt.% HA are sensibly higher than those of Bioglass® 45S5 reference samples due to the presence of HA (mechanically stronger than the 45S5 glass) and to the thermal behaviour of the BG_Ca/Mix, which is able to favour the sintering process of the composites. Biocompatibility tests, performed with murine fibroblasts BALB/3T3 and osteocites MLO-Y4 throughout a multi-parametrical approach, allow one to look with optimism to the produced composites, since both the samples themselves and their extracts do not induce negative effects in cell viability and do not cause inhibition in cell growth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Autophagy as a Possible Underlying Mechanism of Nanomaterial Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Cohignac

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The rapid development of nanotechnologies is raising safety concerns because of the potential effects of engineered nanomaterials on human health, particularly at the respiratory level. Since the last decades, many in vivo studies have been interested in the pulmonary effects of different classes of nanomaterials. It has been shown that some of them can induce toxic effects, essentially depending on their physico-chemical characteristics, but other studies did not identify such effects. Inflammation and oxidative stress are currently the two main mechanisms described to explain the observed toxicity. However, the exact underlying mechanism(s still remain(s unknown and autophagy could represent an interesting candidate. Autophagy is a physiological process in which cytoplasmic components are digested via a lysosomal pathway. It has been shown that autophagy is involved in the pathogenesis and the progression of human diseases, and is able to modulate the oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory responses. A growing amount of literature suggests that a link between nanomaterial toxicity and autophagy impairment could exist. In this review, we will first summarize what is known about the respiratory effects of nanomaterials and we will then discuss the possible involvement of autophagy in this toxicity. This review should help understand why autophagy impairment could be taken as a promising candidate to fully understand nanomaterials toxicity.

  3. Effects of manual hyperinflation in preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Camila Chaves; Nicolau, Carla Marques; Juliani, Regina Celia Turola Passos; Carvalho, Werther Brunow de; Krebs, Vera Lucia Jornada

    2016-09-01

    To assess the effects of manual hyperinflation, performed with a manual resuscitator with and without the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, on the respiratory function of preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation. Cross-sectional study of hemodynamically stable preterm newborns with gestational age of less than 32 weeks, under mechanical ventilation and dependent on it at 28 days of life. Manual hyperinflation was applied randomly, alternating the use or not of the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, followed by tracheal aspiration for ending the maneuver. For nominal data, the two-tailed Wilcoxon test was applied at the 5% significance level and 80% power. Twenty-eight preterm newborns, with an average birth weight of 1,005.71 ± 372.16g, an average gestational age of 28.90 ± 1.79 weeks, an average corrected age of 33.26 ± 1.78 weeks, and an average mechanical ventilation time of 29.5 (15 - 53) days, were studied. Increases in inspiratory and expiratory volumes occurred between time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in both the maneuver with the valve (p = 0.001 and p = 0.009) and without the valve (p = 0.026 and p = 0.001), respectively. There was also an increase in expiratory resistance between time-points A5 and C1 (p = 0.044). Lung volumes increased when performing the maneuver with and without the valve, with a significant difference in the first minute after aspiration. There was a significant difference in expiratory resistance between the time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in the first minute after aspiration within each maneuver.

  4. Exploration of mechanisms underlying the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of single chondrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Trung Dung; Gu, YuanTong, E-mail: yuantong.gu@qut.edu.au [School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)

    2014-05-05

    Based on the characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy, we report that the mechanical property of single chondrocytes has dependency on the strain-rates. By comparing the mechanical deformation responses and the Young's moduli of living and fixed chondrocytes at four different strain-rates, we explore the deformation mechanisms underlying this dependency property. We found that the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of living cells is governed by both of the cellular cytoskeleton and the intracellular fluid when the fixed chondrocytes are mainly governed by their intracellular fluid, which is called the consolidation-dependent deformation behavior. Finally, we report that the porohyperelastic constitutive material model which can capture the consolidation-dependent behavior of both living and fixed chondrocytes is a potential candidature to study living cell biomechanics.

  5. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bone Biology and Osteoporosis: Can They Drive Therapeutic Choices?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Marini

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Osteoporosis is a complex multifactorial disorder of the skeleton. Genetic factors are important in determining peak bone mass and structure, as well as the predisposition to bone deterioration and fragility fractures. Nonetheless, genetic factors alone are not sufficient to explain osteoporosis development and fragility fracture occurrence. Indeed, epigenetic factors, representing a link between individual genetic aspects and environmental influences, are also strongly suspected to be involved in bone biology and osteoporosis. Recently, alterations in epigenetic mechanisms and their activity have been associated with aging. Also, bone metabolism has been demonstrated to be under the control of epigenetic mechanisms. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2, the master transcription factor of osteoblast differentiation, has been shown to be regulated by histone deacetylases and microRNAs (miRNAs. Some miRNAs were also proven to have key roles in the regulation of Wnt signalling in osteoblastogenesis, and to be important for the positive or negative regulation of both osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Exogenous and environmental stimuli, influencing the functionality of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of bone metabolism, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, in synergy with genetic determinants. The progressive understanding of roles of epigenetic mechanisms in normal bone metabolism and in multifactorial bone disorders will be very helpful for a better comprehension of disease pathogenesis and translation of this information into clinical practice. A deep understanding of these mechanisms could help in the future tailoring of proper individual treatments, according to precision medicine’s principles.

  6. Biological mechanisms supporting adaptation to ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriks, Iris E.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Olsen, Ylva S.; Steckbauer, Alexandra; Ramajo, Laura; Moore, Tommy S.; Trotter, Julie A.; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-01-01

    The direct influence of anthropogenic CO2 might play a limited role in pH regulation in coastal ecosystems as pH regulation in these areas can be complex. They experience large variability across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, with complex external and internal drivers. Organisms influence pH at a patch scale, where community metabolic effects and hydrodynamic processes interact to produce broad ranges in pH, (˜0.3-0.5 pH units) over daily cycles and spatial scales (mm to m) particularly in shallow vegetated habitats and coral reefs where both respiration and photosynthetic activity are intense. Biological interactions at the ecosystem scale, linked to patchiness in habitat landscapes and seasonal changes in metabolic processes and temperature lead to changes of about 0.3-0.5 pH units throughout a year. Furthermore, on the scale of individual organisms, small-scale processes including changes at the Diffusive Boundary Layer (DBL), interactions with symbionts, and changes to the specific calcification environment, induce additional changes in excess of 0.5 pH units. In these highly variable pH environments calcifying organisms have developed the capacity to alter the pH of their calcifying environment, or specifically within critical tissues where calcification occurs, thus achieving a homeostasis. This capacity to control the conditions for calcification at the organism scale may therefore buffer the full impacts of ocean acidification on an organism scale, although this might be at a cost to the individual. Furthermore, in some areas, calcifiers may potentially benefit from changes to ambient seawater pH, where photosynthetic organisms drawdown CO2.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying neurooptometric rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hudac CM

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Caitlin M Hudac1, Srinivas Kota1, James L Nedrow2, Dennis L Molfese1,31Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2Oculi Vision Rehabilitation, 3Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NEAbstract: Mild to severe traumatic brain injuries have lasting effects on everyday functioning. Issues relating to sensory problems are often overlooked or not addressed until well after the onset of the injury. In particular, vision problems related to ambient vision and the magnocellular pathway often result in posttrauma vision syndrome or visual midline shift syndrome. Symptoms from these syndromes are not restricted to the visual domain. Patients commonly experience proprioceptive, kinesthetic, vestibular, cognitive, and language problems. Neurooptometric rehabilitation often entails the use of corrective lenses, prisms, and binasal occlusion to accommodate the unstable magnocellular system. However, little is known regarding the neural mechanisms engaged during neurooptometric rehabilitation, nor how these mechanisms impact other domains. Event-related potentials from noninvasive electrophysiological recordings can be used to assess rehabilitation progress in patients. In this case report, high-density visual event-related potentials were recorded from one patient with posttrauma vision syndrome and secondary visual midline shift syndrome during a pattern reversal task, both with and without prisms. Results indicate that two factors occurring during the end portion of the P148 component (168–256 milliseconds poststimulus onset map onto two separate neural systems that were engaged with and without neurooptometric rehabilitation. Without prisms, neural sources within somatosensory, language, and executive brain regions engage inefficient magnocellular system processing. However, when corrective prisms were worn, primary visual areas were appropriately engaged. The impact of using early

  8. The role of mechanics in biological and bio-inspired systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Paul; Sinko, Robert; LeDuc, Philip R; Keten, Sinan

    2015-07-06

    Natural systems frequently exploit intricate multiscale and multiphasic structures to achieve functionalities beyond those of man-made systems. Although understanding the chemical make-up of these systems is essential, the passive and active mechanics within biological systems are crucial when considering the many natural systems that achieve advanced properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratios and stimuli-responsive adaptability. Discovering how and why biological systems attain these desirable mechanical functionalities often reveals principles that inform new synthetic designs based on biological systems. Such approaches have traditionally found success in medical applications, and are now informing breakthroughs in diverse frontiers of science and engineering.

  9. Transient resetting: a novel mechanism for synchrony and its biological examples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunguang Li

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of synchronization in biological systems is essential for the understanding of the rhythmic phenomena of living organisms at both molecular and cellular levels. In this paper, by using simple dynamical systems theory, we present a novel mechanism, named transient resetting, for the synchronization of uncoupled biological oscillators with stimuli. This mechanism not only can unify and extend many existing results on (deterministic and stochastic stimulus-induced synchrony, but also may actually play an important role in biological rhythms. We argue that transient resetting is a possible mechanism for the synchronization in many biological organisms, which might also be further used in the medical therapy of rhythmic disorders. Examples of the synchronization of neural and circadian oscillators as well as a chaotic neuron model are presented to verify our hypothesis.

  10. The mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alice Victoria; Kiat, Hosen

    2015-01-01

    We are currently in the midst of an epidemic of metabolic disorders, which may, in part, be explained by excess fructose intake. This theory is supported by epidemiological observations as well as experimental studies in animals and humans. Rising consumption of fructose has been matched with growing rates of hypertension, leading to concern from public health experts. At this stage, the mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension have not been fully characterized and the bulk of our knowledge is derived from animal models. Animal studies have shown that high-fructose diets up-regulate sodium and chloride transporters, resulting in a state of salt overload that increases blood pressure. Excess fructose has also been found to activate vasoconstrictors, inactivate vasodilators, and over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Further work is required to determine the relevance of these findings to humans and to establish the level at which dietary fructose increases the risk of developing hypertension PMID:25715094

  11. Degradation Mechanisms of Transparent Polyurethane Interlayer under UV Irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OU Yingchun

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the ageing problem of laminated transparency, the trasparent polyurethane film used as interlayer had been irradiated by fluorescent ultraviolet lamp for 0 h, 200 h, 300 h, and 500 h respectively. With the aid of ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometer, FTIR and SEM etc., the color, structure and morphology of the materials were studied. SEM shows that when the irradiation time is increased to 500 h, the film surface cracks. The UV degradation mechanisms are that -CH2- of the position connecting the O and N from hard segment and the soft segment are easy to oxidize and produce hydrogen peroxide under UV and oxygen, which is furtherly oxidized to CO, and some part of the C-O and C-N bonds is cracked through β scission, and then the materials are fractured.

  12. Nonlinear mechanical response of supercooled melts under applied forces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas, Heliana; Frahsa, Fabian; Fritschi, Sebastian; Nicolas, Alexandre; Papenkort, Simon; Voigtmann, Thomas; Fuchs, Matthias

    2017-08-01

    We review recent progress on a microscopic theoretical approach to describe the nonlinear response of glass-forming colloidal dispersions under strong external forcing leading to homogeneous and inhomogeneous flow. Using mode-coupling theory (MCT), constitutive equations for the rheology of viscoelastic shear-thinning fluids are obtained. These are, in suitably simplified form, employed in continuum fluid dynamics, solved by a hybrid-Lattice Boltzmann (LB) algorithm that was developed to deal with long-lasting memory effects. The combined microscopic theoretical and mesoscopic numerical approach captures a number of phenomena far from equilibrium, including the yielding of metastable states, process-dependent mechanical properties, and inhomogeneous pressure-driven channel flow.

  13. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  14. Simulated airplane headache: a proxy towards identification of underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bui, Sebastian Bao Dinh; Petersen, Torben; Poulsen, Jeppe Nørgaard; Gazerani, Parisa

    2017-12-01

    Airplane Headache (AH) occurs during flights and often appears as an intense, short lasting headache during take-off or landing. Reports are limited on pathological mechanisms underlying the occurrence of this headache. Proper diagnosis and treatments would benefit from identification of potential pathways involved in AH pathogenesis. This study aimed at providing a simulated airplane headache condition as a proxy towards identification of its underlying mechanisms. Fourteen participants including 7 volunteers suffering from AH and 7 healthy matched controls were recruited after meeting the diagnostic and safety criteria based on an approved study protocol. Simulation of AH was achieved by entering a pressure chamber with similar characteristics of an airplane flight. Selected potential biomarkers including salivary prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ), cortisol, facial thermo-images, blood pressure, pulse, and saturation pulse oxygen (SPO) were defined and values were collected before, during and after flight simulation in the pressure chamber. Salivary samples were analyzed with ELISA techniques, while data analysis and statistical tests were handled with SPSS version 22.0. All participants in the AH-group experienced a headache attack similar to AH experience during flight. The non-AH-group did not experience any headaches. Our data showed that the values for PGE 2 , cortisol and SPO were significantly different in the AH-group in comparison with the non-AH-group during the flight simulation in the pressure chamber. The pressure chamber proved useful not only to provoke AH-like attack but also to study potential biomarkers for AH in this study. PGE 2 , and cortisol levels together with SPO presented dysregulation during the simulated AH-attack in affected individuals compared with healthy controls. Based on these findings we propose to use pressure chamber as a model to induce AH, and thus assess new potential biomarkers for AH in future studies.

  15. POSSIBLE MECHANISMS UNDERLYING THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eChervyakov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is an effective method used to diagnose and treat many neurological disorders. Although repetitive TMS (rTMS has been used to treat a variety of serious pathological conditions including stroke, depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, pain, and migraines, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of long-term TMS remain unclear. In the present review, the effects of rTMS on neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity are described, including the classic interpretations of TMS effects on synaptic plasticity via long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. We also discuss the effects of rTMS on the genetic apparatus of neurons, glial cells and the prevention of neuronal death. The neurotrophic effects of rTMS on dendritic growth and sprouting and neurotrophic factors are described, including change in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF concentration under the influence of rTMS. Also, non-classical effects of TMS related to biophysical effects of magnetic fields are described, including the quantum effects, the magnetic spin effects, genetic magnetoreception, the macromolecular effects of TMS, and the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. Finally, we discuss possible interpretations of TMS effects according to dynamical systems theory. Evidence suggests that a rTMS-induced magnetic field should be considered a separate physical factor that can be impactful at the subatomic level and that rTMS is capable of significantly altering the reactivity of molecules (radicals. It is thought that these factors underlie the therapeutic benefits of therapy with TMS. Future research on these mechanisms will be instrumental to the development of more powerful and reliable TMS treatment protocols.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-29

    Humans are experts at face recognition. The mechanisms underlying this complex capacity are not fully understood. Recently, it has been proposed that face recognition is supported by a coarse-scale analysis of visual information contained in horizontal bands of contrast distributed along the vertical image axis-a biological facial "barcode" (Dakin & Watt, 2009). A critical prediction of the facial barcode hypothesis is that the distribution of image contrast along the vertical axis will be more important for face recognition than image distributions along the horizontal axis. Using a novel paradigm involving dynamic image distortions, a series of experiments are presented examining famous face recognition impairments from selectively disrupting image distributions along the vertical or horizontal image axes. Results show that disrupting the image distribution along the vertical image axis is more disruptive for recognition than matched distortions along the horizontal axis. Consistent with the facial barcode hypothesis, these results suggest that human face recognition relies disproportionately on appropriately scaled distributions of image contrast along the vertical image axis. © 2014 ARVO.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    Phenology refers to the study of seasonal schedules of organisms. Molecular phenology is defined here as the study of the seasonal patterns of organisms captured by molecular biology techniques. The history of molecular phenology is reviewed briefly in relation to advances in the quantification technology of gene expression. High-resolution molecular phenology (HMP) data have enabled us to study phenology with an approach of in natura systems biology. I review recent analyses of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a temperature-responsive repressor of flowering, along the six steps in the typical flow of in natura systems biology. The extensive studies of the regulation of FLC have made this example a successful case in which a comprehensive understanding of gene functions has been progressing. The FLC-mediated long-term memory of past temperatures creates time lags with other seasonal signals, such as photoperiod and short-term temperature. Major signals that control flowering time have a phase lag between them under natural conditions, and hypothetical phase lag calendars are proposed as mechanisms of season detection in plants. Transcriptomic HMP brings a novel strategy to the study of molecular phenology, because it provides a comprehensive representation of plant functions. I discuss future perspectives of molecular phenology from the standpoints of molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology. © 2015 The Author. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  18. Nonlinear Mechanics of MEMS Rectangular Microplates under Electrostatic Actuation

    KAUST Repository

    Saghir, Shahid

    2016-12-01

    The first objective of the dissertation is to develop a suitable reduced order model capable of investigating the nonlinear mechanical behavior of von-Karman plates under electrostatic actuation. The second objective is to investigate the nonlinear static and dynamic behavior of rectangular microplates under small and large actuating forces. In the first part, we present and compare various approaches to develop reduced order models for the nonlinear von-Karman rectangular microplates actuated by nonlinear electrostatic forces. The reduced-order models aim to investigate the static and dynamic behavior of the plate under small and large actuation forces. A fully clamped microplate is considered. Different types of basis functions are used in conjunction with the Galerkin method to discretize the governing equations. First we investigate the convergence with the number of modes retained in the model. Then for validation purpose, a comparison of the static results is made with the results calculated by a nonlinear finite element model. The linear eigenvalue problem for the plate under the electrostatic force is solved for a wide range of voltages up to pull-in. In the second part, we present an investigation of the static and dynamic behavior of a fully clamped microplate. We investigate the effect of different non-dimensional design parameters on the static response. The forced-vibration response of the plate is then investigated when the plate is excited by a harmonic AC load superimposed to a DC load. The dynamic behavior is examined near the primary and secondary (superharmonic and subharmonic) resonances. The microplate shows a strong hardening behavior due to the cubic nonlinearity of midplane stretching. However, the behavior switches to softening as the DC load is increased. Next, near-square plates are studied to understand the effect of geometric imperfections of microplates. In the final part of the dissertation, we investigate the mechanical behavior of

  19. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  20. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Environmental Toxicants: Epigenetics as an Underlying Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Quoc Vuong Tran

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism spectrum disorders (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, calls for more research into the identification of etiologic and risk factors. The Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD hypothesizes that the environment during fetal and childhood development affects the risk for many chronic diseases in later stages of life, including neurodevelopmental disorders. Epigenetics, a term describing mechanisms that cause changes in the chromosome state without affecting DNA sequences, is suggested to be the underlying mechanism, according to the DOHaD hypothesis. Moreover, many neurodevelopmental disorders are also related to epigenetic abnormalities. Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to prenatal environmental toxicants is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, there is also evidence that environmental toxicants can result in epigenetic alterations, notably DNA methylation. In this review, we first focus on the relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and environmental toxicants, in particular maternal smoking, plastic-derived chemicals (bisphenol A and phthalates, persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals. We then review studies showing the epigenetic effects of those environmental factors in humans that may affect normal neurodevelopment.

  1. Thermal stability of nafion membranes under mechanical stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintilii, M.; Struis, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The feasibility of adequately modified fluoro-ionomer membranes (NAFION{sup R}) is demonstrated for the selective separation of methanol synthesis products from the raw reactor gas at temperatures around 200{sup o}C. For an economically relevant application of this concept on a technical scale the Nafion membranes should be thin ({approx_equal}10 {mu}m) and thermally stable over a long period of time (1-2 years). In cooperation with industry (Methanol Casale SA, Lugano (CH)), we test the thermal stability of Nafion hollow fibers and supported Nafion thin sheet membranes at temperatures between 160 and 200{sup o}C under mechanical stress by applying a gas pressure difference over the membrane surface ({Delta}P{<=} 40 bar). Tests with the hollow fibers revealed that Nafion has visco-elastic properties. Tests with 50 {mu}m thin Nafion sheets supported by a porous metal carrier at 200{sup o}C and {Delta}P=39 bar showed no mechanical defects over a period of 92 days. (author) 5 figs., 4 refs.

  2. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald W. Alfa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of glucose homeostasis are remarkably well conserved between the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. From the initial characterization of insulin signaling in the fly came the identification of downstream metabolic pathways for nutrient storage and utilization. Defects in these pathways lead to phenotypes that are analogous to diabetic states in mammals. These discoveries have stimulated interest in leveraging the fly to better understand the genetics of type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin insufficiency in the context of ongoing insulin resistance. Although genetic susceptibility is thought to govern the propensity of individuals to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus under appropriate environmental conditions, many of the human genes associated with the disease in genome-wide association studies have not been functionally studied. Recent advances in the phenotyping of metabolic defects have positioned Drosophila as an excellent model for the functional characterization of large numbers of genes associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Here, we examine results from studies modeling metabolic disease in the fruit fly and compare findings to proposed mechanisms for diabetic phenotypes in mammals. We provide a systematic framework for assessing the contribution of gene candidates to insulin-secretion or insulin-resistance pathways relevant to diabetes pathogenesis.

  3. Mechanisms underlying temperature extremes in Iberia: a Lagrangian perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João A. Santos

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms underlying the occurrence of temperature extremes in Iberia are analysed considering a Lagrangian perspective of the atmospheric flow, using 6-hourly ERA-Interim reanalysis data for the years 1979–2012. Daily 2-m minimum temperatures below the 1st percentile and 2-m maximum temperatures above the 99th percentile at each grid point over Iberia are selected separately for winter and summer. Four categories of extremes are analysed using 10-d backward trajectories initialized at the extreme temperature grid points close to the surface: winter cold (WCE and warm extremes (WWE, and summer cold (SCE and warm extremes (SWE. Air masses leading to temperature extremes are first transported from the North Atlantic towards Europe for all categories. While there is a clear relation to large-scale circulation patterns in winter, the Iberian thermal low is important in summer. Along the trajectories, air mass characteristics are significantly modified through adiabatic warming (air parcel descent, upper-air radiative cooling and near-surface warming (surface heat fluxes and radiation. High residence times over continental areas, such as over northern-central Europe for WCE and, to a lesser extent, over Iberia for SWE, significantly enhance these air mass modifications. Near-surface diabatic warming is particularly striking for SWE. WCE and SWE are responsible for the most extreme conditions in a given year. For WWE and SCE, strong temperature advection associated with important meridional air mass transports are the main driving mechanisms, accompanied by comparatively minor changes in the air mass properties. These results permit a better understanding of mechanisms leading to temperature extremes in Iberia.

  4. Different neurophysiological mechanisms underlying word and rule extraction from speech.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth De Diego Balaguer

    Full Text Available The initial process of identifying words from spoken language and the detection of more subtle regularities underlying their structure are mandatory processes for language acquisition. Little is known about the cognitive mechanisms that allow us to extract these two types of information and their specific time-course of acquisition following initial contact with a new language. We report time-related electrophysiological changes that occurred while participants learned an artificial language. These changes strongly correlated with the discovery of the structural rules embedded in the words. These changes were clearly different from those related to word learning and occurred during the first minutes of exposition. There is a functional distinction in the nature of the electrophysiological signals during acquisition: an increase in negativity (N400 in the central electrodes is related to word-learning and development of a frontal positivity (P2 is related to rule-learning. In addition, the results of an online implicit and a post-learning test indicate that, once the rules of the language have been acquired, new words following the rule are processed as words of the language. By contrast, new words violating the rule induce syntax-related electrophysiological responses when inserted online in the stream (an early frontal negativity followed by a late posterior positivity and clear lexical effects when presented in isolation (N400 modulation. The present study provides direct evidence suggesting that the mechanisms to extract words and structural dependencies from continuous speech are functionally segregated. When these mechanisms are engaged, the electrophysiological marker associated with rule-learning appears very quickly, during the earliest phases of exposition to a new language.

  5. Understanding and imitating unfamiliar actions: distinct underlying mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana C Carmo

    Full Text Available The human "mirror neuron system" has been proposed to be the neural substrate that underlies understanding and, possibly, imitating actions. However, since the brain activity with mirror properties seems insufficient to provide a good description for imitation of actions outside one's own repertoire, the existence of supplementary processes has been proposed. Moreover, it is unclear whether action observation requires the same neural mechanisms as the explicit access to their meaning. The aim of this study was two-fold as we investigated whether action observation requires different processes depending on 1 whether the ultimate goal is to imitate or understand the presented actions and 2 whether the to-be-imitated actions are familiar or unfamiliar to the subject. Participants were presented with both meaningful familiar actions and meaningless unfamiliar actions that they had to either imitate or discriminate later. Event-related Potentials were used as differences in brain activity could have been masked by the use of other techniques with lower temporal resolution. In the imitation task, a sustained left frontal negativity was more pronounced for meaningless actions than for meaningful ones, starting from an early time-window. Conversely, observing unfamiliar versus familiar actions with the intention of discriminating them led to marked differences over right centro-posterior scalp regions, in both middle and latest time-windows. These findings suggest that action imitation and action understanding may be sustained by dissociable mechanisms: while imitation of unfamiliar actions activates left frontal processes, that are likely to be related to learning mechanisms, action understanding involves dedicated operations which probably require right posterior regions, consistent with their involvement in social interactions.

  6. Escarificação mecânica e biológica para a redução da compactação em argissolo franco-arenoso sob plantio direto Mechanical and biological chiseling to reduce compaction of a sandy loam alfisol under no-tillage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Abreu

    2004-06-01

    saturado, em médio prazo, a "escarificação biológica" (CM-crot mostrou-se mais eficaz na ruptura da camada compactada e estabelecimento de poros condutores de água do que a escarificação mecânica (Esc-soja do solo. Em contrapartida, se o indicador for a RP, o resultado é inverso. Assim, a propriedade hídrica ou mecânica do solo a ser usada como indicadora para a avaliação da eficácia da ruptura da camada compactada do solo depende do processo físico priorizado: a infiltração e redistribuição de água ou a penetração e crescimento de raízes.Soil management alters the physical soil properties and changes the soil air, water, and solute dynamics. Physical soil properties as affected by conservationist soil management systems were studied in a sandy loam Typic Hapludalf. The treatments were established on a soil that has been under no-tillage for 10 years, and consisted of: no-tillage soybeans, chisel tillage soybeans, reduced tillage Crotalaria, and bare soil without tillage. The evaluated soil properties were soil penetration resistance, bulk density, porosity, pore size distribution, saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, water infiltration using concentric rings or natural rainfall, variation of the volumetric soil moisture throughout the cropping cycle, and water retention curve. Soil penetration resistance (PR was highest at 0.075 m and 0.175 m depth in no-tillage and chiseled soil, respectively. Soil subsurface mobilization with chiseling and surface mobilization due to disking and sowing did not influence the bulk density (BD after the crop harvest. No-till soil under soybean crop had greater macroporosity than reduced tillage crotalaria and bare soil at 0.02 to 0.05 m depth, resulting in a greater saturated hydraulic conductivity and lower water retention during periods of low water availability. Among the analyzed soil physical-mechanical properties, PR seemed to be more sensitive to detect soil compaction than BD or porosities

  7. Mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of graphene under a central load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuaiwei; Yang, Baocheng; Zhang, Shouren; Yuan, Jinyun; Si, Yubing; Chen, Houyang

    2014-09-15

    By employing molecular dynamics simulations, the evolution of deformation of a monolayer graphene sheet under a central transverse loading are investigated. Dependence of mechanical responses on the symmetry (shape) of the loading domain, on the size of the graphene sheet, and on temperature, is determined. It is found that the symmetry of the loading domain plays a central role in fracture strength and strain. By increasing the size of the graphene sheet or increasing temperature, the tensile strength and fracture strain decrease. The results have demonstrated that the breaking force and breaking displacement are sensitive to both temperature and the symmetry of the loading domain. In addition, we find that the intrinsic strength of graphene under a central load is much smaller than that of graphene under a uniaxial load. By examining the deformation processes, two failure mechanisms are identified namely, brittle bond breaking and plastic relaxation. In the second mechanism, the Stone-Wales transformation occurs. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Microcracking in composite laminates under thermal and mechanical loading. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddocks, Jason R.

    1995-01-01

    Composites used in space structures are exposed to both extremes in temperature and applied mechanical loads. Cracks in the matrix form, changing the laminate thermoelastic properties. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a predictive methodology to quantify microcracking in general composite laminates under both thermal and mechanical loading. This objective is successfully met through a combination of analytical modeling and experimental investigation. In the analysis, the stress and displacement distributions in the vicinity of a crack are determined using a shear lag model. These are incorporated into an energy based cracking criterion to determine the favorability of crack formation. A progressive damage algorithm allows the inclusion of material softening effects and temperature-dependent material properties. The analysis is implemented by a computer code which gives predicted crack density and degraded laminate properties as functions of any thermomechanical load history. Extensive experimentation provides verification of the analysis. AS4/3501-6 graphite/epoxy laminates are manufactured with three different layups to investigate ply thickness and orientation effects. Thermal specimens are cooled to progressively lower temperatures down to -184 C. After conditioning the specimens to each temperature, cracks are counted on their edges using optical microscopy and in their interiors by sanding to incremental depths. Tensile coupons are loaded monotonically to progressively higher loads until failure. Cracks are counted on the coupon edges after each loading. A data fit to all available results provides input parameters for the analysis and shows them to be material properties, independent of geometry and loading. Correlation between experiment and analysis is generally very good under both thermal and mechanical loading, showing the methodology to be a powerful, unified tool. Delayed crack initiation observed in a few cases is attributed to a

  9. Comparative developmental biology of the uterus: insights into mechanisms and developmental disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Thomas E; Dunlap, Kathrin A; Filant, Justyna

    2012-05-06

    The uterus is an essential organ for reproduction in mammals that derives from the Müllerian duct. Despite the importance of the uterus for the fertility and health of women and their offspring, relatively little is known about the hormonal, cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate development of the Müllerian duct and uterus. This review aims to summarize the hormonal, cellular and molecular mechanisms and pathways governing development of the Müllerian duct and uterus as well as highlight developmental programming effects of endocrine disruptor compounds. Organogenesis, morphogenesis, and functional differentiation of the uterus are complex, multifactorial processes. Disruption of uterine development in the fetus and neonate by genetic defects and exposure to endocrine disruptor compounds can cause infertility and cancer in the adult and their offspring via developmental programming. Clear conservation of some factors and pathways are observed between species; therefore, comparative biology is useful to identify candidate genes and pathways underlying congenital abnormalities in humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Radon as a medicine. Therapeutic effectiveness, biological mechanism and comparative risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deetjen, Peter; Falkenbach, Albrecht; Harder, Dietrich; Joeckel, Hans; Kaul, Alexander; Philipsborn, Henning von

    2014-07-01

    Proofs of the therapeutic efficiency of balneological radon applications administered to patients suffering from rheumatic diseases, investigations into the biological action mechanism associated with the alpha particles emitted by radon and its radioactive daughter products, and the comparative risk assessment of radon treatment and medicinal pain therapy have been the research projects whose results are summarized in this book. Controlled clinical studies, if possible performed as prospective, randomized and placebo-controlled double blind studies, have given evidence that the therapeutic effects of balneological radon applications - long-lasting pain reduction and reduced consumption of medicines compared with controls - are significantly persisting over many post-treatment months. The molecular and cellular mechanism of action underlying these long-lasting therapeutic effects has been identified as the down-regulation of cellular immune responses, initiated by cellular apoptosis sequential to low alpha particle doses and by the subsequent release of anti-inflammatory cytokines. The unwanted side-effects of non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drug treatments have to be compared with the absence of side effects from the balneological radon applications which merely involve radiation doses well below the mean value and the fluctuation width of the annual doses attributable to everybody's natural radiation exposure.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Origin and Diversification of the Angiosperm Flower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, Guenter; Melzer, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    Background Understanding the mode and mechanisms of the evolution of the angiosperm flower is a long-standing and central problem of evolutionary biology and botany. It has essentially remained unsolved, however. In contrast, considerable progress has recently been made in our understanding of the genetic basis of flower development in some extant model species. The knowledge that accumulated this way has been pulled together in two major hypotheses, termed the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’. These models explain how the identity of the different types of floral organs is specified during flower development by homeotic selector genes encoding transcription factors. Scope We intend to explain how the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’ are now guiding investigations that help to understand the origin and diversification of the angiosperm flower. Conclusions Investigation of orthologues of class B and class C floral homeotic genes in gymnosperms suggest that bisexuality was one of the first innovations during the origin of the flower. The transition from dimer to tetramer formation of floral homeotic proteins after establishment of class E proteins may have increased cooperativity of DNA binding of the transcription factors controlling reproductive growth. That way, we hypothesize, better ‘developmental switches’ originated that facilitated the early evolution of the flower. Expression studies of ABC genes in basally diverging angiosperm lineages, monocots and basal eudicots suggest that the ‘classical’ ABC system known from core eudicots originated from a more fuzzy system with fading borders of gene expression and gradual transitions in organ identity, by sharpening of ABC gene expression domains and organ borders. Shifting boundaries of ABC gene expression may have contributed to the diversification of the angiosperm flower many times independently, as may have changes in interactions between ABC genes and their target

  12. Mechanisms Underlying the Risk to Develop Drug Addiction, Insights From Studies in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Ryvkin

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability to adapt to environmental changes is an essential feature of biological systems, achieved in animals by a coordinated crosstalk between neuronal and hormonal programs that allow rapid and integrated organismal responses. Reward systems play a key role in mediating this adaptation by reinforcing behaviors that enhance immediate survival, such as eating or drinking, or those that ensure long-term survival, such as sexual behavior or caring for offspring. Drugs of abuse co-opt neuronal and molecular pathways that mediate natural rewards, which under certain circumstances can lead to addiction. Many factors can contribute to the transition from drug use to drug addiction, highlighting the need to discover mechanisms underlying the progression from initial drug use to drug addiction. Since similar responses to natural and drug rewards are present in very different animals, it is likely that the central systems that process reward stimuli originated early in evolution, and that common ancient biological principles and genes are involved in these processes. Thus, the neurobiology of natural and drug rewards can be studied using simpler model organisms that have their systems stripped of some of the immense complexity that exists in mammalian brains. In this paper we review studies in Drosophila melanogaster that model different aspects of natural and drug rewards, with an emphasis on how motivational states shape the value of the rewarding experience, as an entry point to understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the vulnerability of drug addiction.

  13. Mechanical Modeling of a WIPP Drum Under Pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Jeffrey A. [Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2014-11-25

    Mechanical modeling was undertaken to support the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) technical assessment team (TAT) investigating the February 14th 2014 event where there was a radiological release at the WIPP. The initial goal of the modeling was to examine if a mechanical model could inform the team about the event. The intention was to have a model that could test scenarios with respect to the rate of pressurization. It was expected that the deformation and failure (inability of the drum to contain any pressure) would vary according to the pressurization rate. As the work progressed there was also interest in using the mechanical analysis of the drum to investigate what would happen if a drum pressurized when it was located under a standard waste package. Specifically, would the deformation be detectable from camera views within the room. A finite element model of a WIPP 55-gallon drum was developed that used all hex elements. Analyses were conducted using the explicit transient dynamics module of Sierra/SM to explore potential pressurization scenarios of the drum. Theses analysis show similar deformation patterns to documented pressurization tests of drums in the literature. The calculated failure pressures from previous tests documented in the literature vary from as little as 16 psi to 320 psi. In addition, previous testing documented in the literature shows drums bulging but not failing at pressures ranging from 69 to 138 psi. The analyses performed for this study found the drums failing at pressures ranging from 35 psi to 75 psi. When the drums are pressurized quickly (in 0.01 seconds) there is significant deformation to the lid. At lower pressurization rates the deformation of the lid is considerably less, yet the lids will still open from the pressure. The analyses demonstrate the influence of pressurization rate on deformation and opening pressure of the drums. Analyses conducted with a substantial mass on top of the closed drum demonstrate that the

  14. Design principles and developmental mechanisms underlying retinal mosaics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Benjamin E; Keeley, Patrick W

    2015-08-01

    Most structures within the central nervous system (CNS) are composed of different types of neuron that vary in both number and morphology, but relatively little is known about the interplay between these two features, i.e. about the population dynamics of a given cell type. How such arrays of neurons are distributed within a structure, and how they differentiate their dendrites relative to each other, are issues that have recently drawn attention in the invertebrate nervous system, where the genetic and molecular underpinnings of these organizing principles are being revealed in exquisite detail. The retina is one of the few locations where these principles have been extensively studied in the vertebrate CNS, indeed, where the design principles of 'mosaic regularity' and 'uniformity of coverage' were first explicitly defined, quantified, and related to each other. Recent studies have revealed a number of genes that influence the formation of these histotypical features in the retina, including homologues of those invertebrate genes, although close inspection reveals that they do not always mediate comparable developmental processes nor elucidate fundamental design principles. The present review considers just how pervasive these features of 'mosaic regularity' and 'uniform dendritic coverage' are within the mammalian retina, discussing the means by which such features can be assessed in the mature and developing nervous system and examining the limitations associated with those assessments. We then address the extent to which these two design principles co-exist within different populations of neurons, and how they are achieved during development. Finally, we consider the neural phenotypes obtained in mutant nervous systems, to address whether a prospective gene of interest underlies those very design principles. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. Quantum Information Biology: From Information Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to Applications in Molecular Biology and Cognitive Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    2015-10-01

    We discuss foundational issues of quantum information biology (QIB)—one of the most successful applications of the quantum formalism outside of physics. QIB provides a multi-scale model of information processing in bio-systems: from proteins and cells to cognitive and social systems. This theory has to be sharply distinguished from "traditional quantum biophysics". The latter is about quantum bio-physical processes, e.g., in cells or brains. QIB models the dynamics of information states of bio-systems. We argue that the information interpretation of quantum mechanics (its various forms were elaborated by Zeilinger and Brukner, Fuchs and Mermin, and D' Ariano) is the most natural interpretation of QIB. Biologically QIB is based on two principles: (a) adaptivity; (b) openness (bio-systems are fundamentally open). These principles are mathematically represented in the framework of a novel formalism— quantum adaptive dynamics which, in particular, contains the standard theory of open quantum systems.

  16. T Cell Response in Patients with Implanted Biological and Mechanical Prosthetic Heart Valves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbarash, L; Kudryavtsev, I; Rutkovskaya, N; Golovkin, A

    2016-01-01

    The study was aimed at assessing T cell subsets of peripheral blood from recipients of long-term functioning (more than 60 months) biological and mechanical heart valve prostheses. The absolute and relative number of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets was analyzed: naïve (N, CD45RA(+)CD62L(+)), central memory (CM, CD45RA(-)CD62L(+)), effector memory (EM, CD45RA(-)CD62L(-)), and terminally differentiated CD45RA-positive effector memory (TEMRA, CD45RA(+)CD62L(-)) in 25 persons with biological and 7 with mechanical prosthesis compared with 48 apparently healthy volunteers. The relative and absolute number of central memory and naïve CD3(+)CD8(+) in patients with biological prosthesis was decreased (p biological heart valve prostheses.

  17. Access and benefit sharing (ABS) under the convention on biological diversity (CBD): implications for microbial biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers and implementers of biological control are confronted with a variety of scientific, regulatory and administrative challenges to their biological control programs. One developing challenge will arise from the implementation of provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) co...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, Sharief; O'Connor, Sam; Lambert, Michael; Brown, James C; Burger, Nicholas; Mc Fie, Sarah; Readhead, Clint; Viljoen, Wayne

    2016-01-01

    Background Understanding the mechanism of injury is necessary for the development of effective injury prevention strategies. Video analysis of injuries provides valuable information on the playing situation and athlete-movement patterns, which can be used to formulate these strategies. Therefore, we conducted a video analysis of the mechanism of concussion injury in junior-level rugby union and compared it with a representative and matched non-injury sample. Methods Injury reports for 18 concussion events were collected from the 2011 to 2013 under-18 Craven Week tournaments. Also, video footage was recorded for all 3 years. On the basis of the injury events, a representative ‘control’ sample of matched non-injury events in the same players was identified. The video footage, which had been recorded at each tournament, was then retrospectively analysed and coded. 10 injury events (5 tackle, 4 ruck, 1 aerial collision) and 83 non-injury events were analysed. Results All concussions were a result of contact with an opponent and 60% of players were unaware of the impending contact. For the measurement of head position on contact, 43% had a ‘down’ position, 29% the ‘up and forward’ and 29% the ‘away’ position (n=7). The speed of the injured tackler was observed as ‘slow’ in 60% of injurious tackles (n=5). In 3 of the 4 rucks in which injury occurred (75%), the concussed player was acting defensively either in the capacity of ‘support’ (n=2) or as the ‘jackal’ (n=1). Conclusions Training interventions aimed at improving peripheral vision, strengthening of the cervical muscles, targeted conditioning programmes to reduce the effects of fatigue, and emphasising safe and effective playing techniques have the potential to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion injury. PMID:27900149

  20. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, Sharief; O'Connor, Sam; Lambert, Michael; Brown, James C; Burger, Nicholas; Mc Fie, Sarah; Readhead, Clint; Viljoen, Wayne

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the mechanism of injury is necessary for the development of effective injury prevention strategies. Video analysis of injuries provides valuable information on the playing situation and athlete-movement patterns, which can be used to formulate these strategies. Therefore, we conducted a video analysis of the mechanism of concussion injury in junior-level rugby union and compared it with a representative and matched non-injury sample. Injury reports for 18 concussion events were collected from the 2011 to 2013 under-18 Craven Week tournaments. Also, video footage was recorded for all 3 years. On the basis of the injury events, a representative 'control' sample of matched non-injury events in the same players was identified. The video footage, which had been recorded at each tournament, was then retrospectively analysed and coded. 10 injury events (5 tackle, 4 ruck, 1 aerial collision) and 83 non-injury events were analysed. All concussions were a result of contact with an opponent and 60% of players were unaware of the impending contact. For the measurement of head position on contact , 43% had a 'down' position, 29% the 'up and forward' and 29% the 'away' position (n=7). The speed of the injured tackler was observed as 'slow' in 60% of injurious tackles (n=5). In 3 of the 4 rucks in which injury occurred (75%), the concussed player was acting defensively either in the capacity of 'support' (n=2) or as the 'jackal' (n=1). Training interventions aimed at improving peripheral vision, strengthening of the cervical muscles, targeted conditioning programmes to reduce the effects of fatigue, and emphasising safe and effective playing techniques have the potential to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion injury.

  1. Underlying Mechanisms of Tinnitus: Review and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, James A.; Roberts, Larry E.; Caspary, Donald M.; Theodoroff, Sarah M.; Salvi, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Background The study of tinnitus mechanisms has increased tenfold in the last decade. The common denominator for all of these studies is the goal of elucidating the underlying neural mechanisms of tinnitus with the ultimate purpose of finding a cure. While these basic science findings may not be immediately applicable to the clinician who works directly with patients to assist them in managing their reactions to tinnitus, a clear understanding of these findings is needed to develop the most effective procedures for alleviating tinnitus. Purpose The goal of this review is to provide audiologists and other health-care professionals with a basic understanding of the neurophysiological changes in the auditory system likely to be responsible for tinnitus. Results It is increasingly clear that tinnitus is a pathology involving neuroplastic changes in central auditory structures that take place when the brain is deprived of its normal input by pathology in the cochlea. Cochlear pathology is not always expressed in the audiogram but may be detected by more sensitive measures. Neural changes can occur at the level of synapses between inner hair cells and the auditory nerve and within multiple levels of the central auditory pathway. Long-term maintenance of tinnitus is likely a function of a complex network of structures involving central auditory and nonauditory systems. Conclusions Patients often have expectations that a treatment exists to cure their tinnitus. They should be made aware that research is increasing to discover such a cure and that their reactions to tinnitus can be mitigated through the use of evidence-based behavioral interventions. PMID:24622858

  2. Mechanisms underlying recovery of zooplankton in Lake Orta after liming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Piscia

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to improve the understanding of the large-scale mechanisms underlying the recovery of the zooplankton of Lake Orta from historical contamination, following reduced input of ammonia and metals and the subsequent 1989/90 liming intervention. The industrial pollution had been severe and long-lasting (1929-1990. Zooplankton biodiversity has improved, but most of the new taxa appearing in our counts are rotifers, while many calanoids and the large cladoceran predators (Bythotrephes and Leptodora that are common in the nearby Lake Maggiore, were still absent from Lake Orta 17 years after liming. To aid understanding of the large-scale mechanisms controlling changes in annual richness, we assessed the annual persistence (P of Crustacea and Rotifera taxa as an estimator of whether propagules that survived introduction, as result of the natural recolonization process, also thrived. We found that the rate of introduction of zooplankton colonists and their persistence in the water column of Lake Orta changed from 1971 to 2007. New rotifer taxa appeared in the lake after the mid-1980s, when discharge of toxic substances decreased, but their annual persistence was low (P<0.5 until the turn of the century. The numerical values of rotifer and crustacean persistence in Lake Orta were unexpectedly high in 2001 and 2007 (0.55 and 0.72 for rotifers, 0.85 and 0.86 for crustacean, respectively, much higher than in limed lakes in Sudbury, Canada, and in adjacent Lake Maggiore. We hypothesize this could be related to the lack of Cladoceran predators and zooplanktivorous fish in the pelagic waters of Lake Orta.

  3. Mechanisms underlying stage-1 TRPL channel translocation in Drosophila photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minh-Ha Lieu

    Full Text Available TRP channels function as key mediators of sensory transduction and other cellular signaling pathways. In Drosophila, TRP and TRPL are the light-activated channels in photoreceptors. While TRP is statically localized in the signaling compartment of the cell (the rhabdomere, TRPL localization is regulated by light. TRPL channels translocate out of the rhabdomere in two distinct stages, returning to the rhabdomere with dark-incubation. Translocation of TRPL channels regulates their availability, and thereby the gain of the signal. Little, however, is known about the mechanisms underlying this trafficking of TRPL channels.We first examine the involvement of de novo protein synthesis in TRPL translocation. We feed flies cycloheximide, verify inhibition of protein synthesis, and test for TRPL translocation in photoreceptors. We find that protein synthesis is not involved in either stage of TRPL translocation out of the rhabdomere, but that re-localization to the rhabdomere from stage-1, but not stage-2, depends on protein synthesis. We also characterize an ex vivo eye preparation that is amenable to biochemical and genetic manipulation. We use this preparation to examine mechanisms of stage-1 TRPL translocation. We find that stage-1 translocation is: induced with ATP depletion, unaltered with perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton or inhibition of endocytosis, and slowed with increased membrane sterol content.Our results indicate that translocation of TRPL out of the rhabdomere is likely due to protein transport, and not degradation/re-synthesis. Re-localization from each stage to the rhabdomere likely involves different strategies. Since TRPL channels can translocate to stage-1 in the absence of ATP, with no major requirement of the cytoskeleton, we suggest that stage-1 translocation involves simple diffusion through the apical membrane, which may be regulated by release of a light-dependent anchor in the rhabdomere.

  4. The behavior of the planetary rings under the Kozai Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sucerquia, M. A.; Ramírez, C. V.; Zuluaga, J. I.

    2017-07-01

    Rings are one of the main feature of almost all giant planets in the Solar System. Even though thousands of exoplanets have been discovered to date, no evidence of exoplanetary rings have been found despite the effort made in the development and enhancing of techniques and methods for direct or indirect detection. In the transit of a ringed planet, the dynamic of the ring itself could play a meaningful role due to the so called Kozai Mechanism (KM) acting on each particle of it. When some specific initial conditions of the ring are fulfilled (as a ring inclination greater than ˜ 39°), KM generates short periodic changes in the inclination and eccentricity of each particle, leading to a meaningful characteristic collective behavior of the ring: it changes its width, inclination and optical depth. These changes induce periodic variations on the eclipsed area of the parent star, generating slight changes in the observed transit signal. Under this mechanism, light curves depths and shapes oscillate according to the fluctuations of the ring. To show this effect we have performed numerical simulations of the dynamic of a system of particles to asses the ring inclination and width variations over time. We have calculated the expected variations in the transit depth and finally, we have estimated the effect on the light curve of a hypothetical ringed exoplanet affected by the KM. The detection of this effect could be used as an alternative method to detect/confirm exoplanetary rings, and also it could be considered as a way to explain anomalous light curves patterns of exoplanets, as the case of KIC 8462852 star.

  5. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Hyperphagia in Prader-Willi Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holsen, Laura M.; Zarcone, Jennifer R.; Brooks, William M.; Butler, Merlin G.; Thompson, Travis I.; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S.; Nollen, Nicole L.; Savage, Cary R.

    2006-01-01

    Objective Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and obsessive behavior related to food consumption. The most striking symptom of PWS is hyperphagia; as such, PWS may provide important insights into factors leading to overeating and obesity in the general population. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural mechanisms underlying responses to visual food stimuli, before and after eating, in individuals with PWS and a healthy weight control (HWC) group. Research Methods and Procedures Participants were scanned once before (pre-meal) and once after (post-meal) eating a standardized meal. Pictures of food, animals, and blurred control images were presented in a block design format during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Results Statistical contrasts in the HWC group showed greater activation to food pictures in the pre-meal condition compared with the post-meal condition in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), and frontal operculum. In comparison, the PWS group exhibited greater activation to food pictures in the post-meal condition compared with the pre-meal condition in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial PFC, insula, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Between-group contrasts in the pre- and post-meal conditions confirmed group differences, with the PWS group showing greater activation than the HWC group after the meal in food motivation networks. Discussion Results point to distinct neural mechanisms associated with hyperphagia in PWS. After eating a meal, the PWS group showed hyperfunction in limbic and para-limbic regions that drive eating behavior (e.g., the amygdala) and in regions that suppress food intake (e.g., the medial PFC). PMID:16861608

  6. Neural mechanisms underlying hyperphagia in Prader-Willi syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holsen, Laura M; Zarcone, Jennifer R; Brooks, William M; Butler, Merlin G; Thompson, Travis I; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S; Nollen, Nicole L; Savage, Cary R

    2006-06-01

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and obsessive behavior related to food consumption. The most striking symptom of PWS is hyperphagia; as such, PWS may provide important insights into factors leading to overeating and obesity in the general population. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural mechanisms underlying responses to visual food stimuli, before and after eating, in individuals with PWS and a healthy weight control (HWC) group. Participants were scanned once before (pre-meal) and once after (post-meal) eating a standardized meal. Pictures of food, animals, and blurred control images were presented in a block design format during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Statistical contrasts in the HWC group showed greater activation to food pictures in the pre-meal condition compared with the post-meal condition in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), and frontal operculum. In comparison, the PWS group exhibited greater activation to food pictures in the post-meal condition compared with the pre-meal condition in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial PFC, insula, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Between-group contrasts in the pre- and post-meal conditions confirmed group differences, with the PWS group showing greater activation than the HWC group after the meal in food motivation networks. Results point to distinct neural mechanisms associated with hyperphagia in PWS. After eating a meal, the PWS group showed hyperfunction in limbic and paralimbic regions that drive eating behavior (e.g., the amygdala) and in regions that suppress food intake (e.g., the medial PFC).

  7. The Biological “Invariant of Motion” vs. “Struggle for Life”? On the Possible Quantum Mechanical Origin and Evolution of Semiotic Controls in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    András Balázs

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A novel, alternative and deeper view to the “selfish gene” paradigm is presented, describable as the “selfish code” frame. Introducing it, we put forth a quantum mechanical algorithm as a new description of the intracellular protein synthetizing machinery. The successive steps of the algorithm are, tentatively, semiotic constraints of the well-known quantum mechanical molecular “internal measurement” type. It is proposed that this molecular algorithm mediates a quantum mechanical time reversed dynamics with a primordial special version of this latter molecular measurement type (“mixed measurement” as its origin. It is furthermore suggested that this intracellular regressive algorithmical dynamics is a component of biological “motion”, the other, strongly coupled component being the macroscopic phenotypic motion. The biological “invariant of motion” of this hierarchically coupled overall generalized dynamics is suggested to be the evolutionally converged invariant genetic code vocabulary. It forms, possibly, the underlying internal “driving force” of evolution, as being “struggle for life”.

  8. Biological armors under impact—effect of keratin coating, and synthetic bio-inspired analogues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Achrai, B; Wagner, H D; Bar-On, B

    2015-01-01

    A number of biological armors, such as turtle shells, consist of a strong exoskeleton covered with a thin keratin coating. The mechanical role upon impact of this keratin coating has surprisingly not been investigated thus far. Low-velocity impact tests on the turtle shell reveal a unique toughening phenomenon attributed to the thin covering keratin layer, the presence of which noticeably improves the fracture energy and shell integrity. Synthetic substrate/coating analogues were subsequently prepared and exhibit an impact behavior similar to the biological ones. The results of the present study may improve our understanding, and even future designs, of impact-tolerant structures. (paper)

  9. Changes in diffusion properties of biological tissues associated with mechanical strain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Kenichiro; Imae, T.; Mima, Kazuo; Sekino, Masaki; Ohsaki, Hiroyuki; Ueno, Shogo

    2007-01-01

    Mechanical strain in biological tissues causes a change in the diffusion properties of water molecules. This paper proposes a method of estimating mechanical strain in biological tissues using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Measurements were carried out on uncompressed and compressed chicken skeletal muscles. A theoretical model of the diffusion of water molecules in muscle fibers was derived based on Tanner's equation. Diameter of the muscle fibers was estimated by fitting the model equation to the measured signals. Changes in the mean diffusivity (MD), the fractional anisotropy (FA), and diameter of the muscle fiber did not have any statistical significance. The intracellular diffusion coefficient (D int ) was changed by mechanical strain (p<.05). This method has potential applications in the quantitative evaluation of strain in biological tissues, a though it poses several technical challenges. (author)

  10. Mechanisms Underlying HIV-Associated Noninfectious Lung Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presti, Rachel M; Flores, Sonia C; Palmer, Brent E; Atkinson, Jeffrey J; Lesko, Catherine R; Lau, Bryan; Fontenot, Andrew P; Roman, Jesse; McDyer, John F; Twigg, Homer L

    2017-11-01

    Pulmonary disease remains a primary source of morbidity and mortality in persons living with HIV (PLWH), although the advent of potent combination antiretroviral therapy has resulted in a shift from predominantly infectious to noninfectious pulmonary complications. PLWH are at high risk for COPD, pulmonary hypertension, and lung cancer even in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy. The underlying mechanisms of this are incompletely understood, but recent research in both human and animal models suggests that oxidative stress, expression of matrix metalloproteinases, and genetic instability may result in lung damage, which predisposes PLWH to these conditions. Some of the factors that drive these processes include tobacco and other substance use, direct HIV infection and expression of specific HIV proteins, inflammation, and shifts in the microbiome toward pathogenic and opportunistic organisms. Further studies are needed to understand the relative importance of these factors to the development of lung disease in PLWH. Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Neurophysiologic mechanisms of arterial hypertension under experimental chronic emotional stress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, H; Martin, G; Urmantscheeva, T G; Degen, G; Wolter, F; Chasabova, W A; Gurk, C; Hinays, I; Läuter, J

    1976-01-01

    Neurophysiological studies were conducted with subhuman primates (macaca mulatta) in order to obtain an estimate of central nervous effects of socio-emotional stress. This was combined with continuously aggravated conditioning procedures in view of the possible significance of chronic environmental stress escalation for etiology and pathogenesis of an arterial hypertension model. Our conclusions are based on evoked potentials (EP) as integrative characteristics of cerebral information processing. The EPs were recorded by means of electrodes chronically implanted in brain structures of emotional and cardio-vascular relevance. Multivariate mathematico-statistical analyses of average EPs (AEP) provide an objective measure of stress sensibility of the individual, particularly of the effects of acute and chronic environmental stress factors upon the functional organization of the CNS. By means of a quantitative approach to AEP we were able to demonstrate a disjunction between distinct limbic and hypothalamic structures starting under stress conditions of subchronic character. We assume that the constancy of functionally antagonistic hyperactive excitation foci at diencephalic and supradiencephalic levels and their specific interaction with the equally stress related neocortical functional insufficiency constitutes a decisive pathogenetic central mechanism of neurotic behaviour. Long-term changes of amplification of external and internal afferences could be demonstrated on the basis of hypo- and hyperreactive neuroelectric functional patterns. These processes cause cerebro-visceral regulatory diseases as, e. g., a primary arterial hypertension by restriction of neocortical control and the corresponding efferent reactions for re-establishment of the dynamic homeostasis.

  12. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA and oleanolic acid (OA at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0 to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139 μM, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT.

  13. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies. © 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  14. Fatigue life prediction of mechanical structures under stochastic loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leitner Bohuš

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Problems of fatigue life prediction of materials and structures are discussed in the paper. Service loading is assumed as a continuous loading process with possible discontinuous events, which are caused by various operating conditions. The damage in a material is due to a cumulative degradation process. The damaging process is then represented either by rain-flow matrices or by a fatigue damage function which is derived using some hypothesis of a fatigue failure criterion. Presented theoretical procedure enables a very effective estimation of a service life and/or reliable evaluation of residual life of any structures under various types of loading and environmental conditions. This approach creates a good basis for powerful expert systems in structural and mechanical engineering. The aim of the paper is to present briefly some results of analysis of load-bearing steel structure loads of special railway crane PKP 25/20i which was utilized in some specific ad relatively hard operating conditions. Virtual models of the structure were being used in an analysis of acting working dynamics loads influence to be able to forecast fatigue life of load-bearing of the crane jib.

  15. Spread of Epidemic on Complex Networks Under Voluntary Vaccination Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Shengjun; Ruan, Feng; Yin, Chuanyang; Zhang, Haifeng; Wang, Binghong

    Under the assumption that the decision of vaccination is a voluntary behavior, in this paper, we use two forms of risk functions to characterize how susceptible individuals estimate the perceived risk of infection. One is uniform case, where each susceptible individual estimates the perceived risk of infection only based on the density of infection at each time step, so the risk function is only a function of the density of infection; another is preferential case, where each susceptible individual estimates the perceived risk of infection not only based on the density of infection but only related to its own activities/immediate neighbors (in network terminology, the activity or the number of immediate neighbors is the degree of node), so the risk function is a function of the density of infection and the degree of individuals. By investigating two different ways of estimating the risk of infection for susceptible individuals on complex network, we find that, for the preferential case, the spread of epidemic can be effectively controlled; yet, for the uniform case, voluntary vaccination mechanism is almost invalid in controlling the spread of epidemic on networks. Furthermore, given the temporality of some vaccines, the waves of epidemic for two cases are also different. Therefore, our work insight that the way of estimating the perceived risk of infection determines the decision on vaccination options, and then determines the success or failure of control strategy.

  16. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive effects of garlic bioactives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shouk, Reem; Abdou, Aya; Shetty, Kalidas; Sarkar, Dipayan; Eid, Ali H

    2014-02-01

    Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide with hypertension being a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease-associated mortality. On a population level, non-pharmacological approaches, such as alternative/complementary medicine, including phytochemicals, have the potential to ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure. Several epidemiological studies suggest an antihypertensive effect of garlic (Allium sativum) and of many its bioactive components. The aim of this review is to present an in-depth discussion regarding the molecular, biochemical and cellular rationale underlying the antihypertensive properties of garlic and its bioactive constituents with a primary focus on S-allyl cysteine and allicin. Key studies, largely from PubMed, were selected and screened to develop a comprehensive understanding of the specific role of garlic and its bioactive constituents in the management of hypertension. We also reviewed recent advances focusing on the role of garlic bioactives, S-allyl cysteine and allicin, in modulating various parameters implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. These parameters include oxidative stress, nitric oxide bioavailability, hydrogen sulfide production, angiotensin converting enzyme activity, expression of nuclear factor-κB and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. This review suggests that garlic and garlic derived bioactives have significant medicinal properties with the potential for ameliorating hypertension and associated morbidity; however, further clinical and epidemiological studies are required to determine completely the specific physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in disease prevention and management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Recent advances in biological effect and molecular mechanism of arabidopsis thaliana irradiated by ion beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Dali; Hou Suiwen; Li Wenjian

    2008-01-01

    Newly research progresses were summarized in effect of ion beams on seed surface, biological effect, growth, development, gravitropism and so on. Furthermore, mutation molecular mechanism of Arabidopsis thaliana was discussed, for example, alteration of DNA bases, DNA damage, chromosomal recombination, characteristics of mutant transmissibility, etc. Meanwhile, the achievements of transfer- ring extraneous gene to Arabidopsis thaliana by ion beams were reviewed in the paper. At last, the future prospective are also discussed here in mutation molecular mechanism and the potential application of biological effect of heavy ion beams. (authors)

  18. T Cell Response in Patients with Implanted Biological and Mechanical Prosthetic Heart Valves

    OpenAIRE

    Barbarash, L.; Kudryavtsev, I.; Rutkovskaya, N.; Golovkin, A.

    2016-01-01

    The study was aimed at assessing T cell subsets of peripheral blood from recipients of long-term functioning (more than 60 months) biological and mechanical heart valve prostheses. The absolute and relative number of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets was analyzed: na?ve (N, CD45RA+CD62L+), central memory (CM, CD45RA?CD62L+), effector memory (EM, CD45RA?CD62L?), and terminally differentiated CD45RA-positive effector memory (TEMRA, CD45RA+CD62L?) in 25 persons with biological and 7 with mechanical pro...

  19. Global stability analysis and robust design of multi-time-scale biological networks under parametric uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Baese, Anke; Koshkouei, Ali J; Emmett, Mark R; Goodall, David P

    2009-01-01

    Biological networks are prone to internal parametric fluctuations and external noises. Robustness represents a crucial property of these networks, which militates the effects of internal fluctuations and external noises. In this paper biological networks are formulated as coupled nonlinear differential systems operating at different time-scales under vanishing perturbations. In contrast to previous work viewing biological parametric uncertain systems as perturbations to a known nominal linear system, the perturbed biological system is modeled as nonlinear perturbations to a known nonlinear idealized system and is represented by two time-scales (subsystems). In addition, conditions for the existence of a global uniform attractor of the perturbed biological system are presented. By using an appropriate Lyapunov function for the coupled system, a maximal upper bound for the fast time-scale associated with the fast state is derived. The proposed robust system design principles are potentially applicable to robust biosynthetic network design. Finally, two examples of two important biological networks, a neural network and a gene regulatory network, are presented to illustrate the applicability of the developed theoretical framework.

  20. Quantum solid state mechanisms of biological effects of electromagnetic radiation with emphasis on local superconductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achimowicz, J.

    1982-01-01

    The aim of the paper is to review quantum solid state mechanisms of nonthermal (specific) bioeffects of nonionizing radiation and to present the author's own hypothesis concerning mechanisms based on biological superconductivity. Classical and quantum mechanisms of bioeffects are compared stressing the necessity of not only considering quantum absorption, transfer, and conversion of radiation energy in biological systems, but also of appropriate systems modeling. The need is stressed for developing quantum models of the biological solid state on the supramolecular level to fill the gap between molecular and cell biology. The supramolecular models of macromolecules and enzyme complexes will be reviewed. The high-temperature superconductivity problem in organic systems will be discussed with stress on the importance of system structure and the excitation quasi-particle (phonon and electron) spectra relationship. New mechanisms of enzymatic activity assuming enzyme-substrate complex electron spectrum instability induced by electron- and phonon-mediated electron-electron interaction are proposed. Since this quantum cooperative phenomenon is the possible origin of specificity and efficiency of enzyme action it is extremely sensitive to system-generated electromagnetic fields, which gives the possibility of enzymatic regulation and also may explain some nonthermal resonant bioeffects. Local superconductivity (coherent electron states) and Josephson effects as the possible mechanisms of bioeffects are discussed.

  1. Mechanism of crack initiation and crack growth under thermal and mechanical fatigue loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Utz, S.; Soppa, E.; Silcher, H.; Kohler, C.

    2013-01-01

    The present contribution is focused on the experimental investigations and numerical simulations of the deformation behaviour and crack development in the austenitic stainless steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal and mechanical cyclic loading in HCF and LCF regimes. The main objective of this research is the understanding of the basic mechanisms of fatigue damage and the development of simulation methods, which can be applied further in safety evaluations of nuclear power plant components. In this context the modelling of crack initiation and crack growth inside the material structure induced by varying thermal or mechanical loads are of particular interest. The mechanisms of crack initiation depend among other things on the type of loading, microstructure, material properties and temperature. The Nb-stabilized austenitic stainless steel in the solution-annealed condition was chosen for the investigations. Experiments with two kinds of cyclic loading - pure thermal and pure mechanical - were carried out and simulated. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal loading was studied within the framework of the joint research project [4]. Interrupted thermal cyclic tests in the temperature range of 150 C to 300 C combined with non-destructive residual stress measurements (XRD) and various microscopic investigations, e.g. in SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), were used to study the effects of thermal cyclic loading on the material. This thermal cyclic loading leads to thermal induced stresses and strains. As a result intrusions and extrusions appear inside the grains (at the surface), at which microcracks arise and evolve to a dominant crack. Finally, these microcracks cause a continuous and significant decrease of residual stresses. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under mechanical loading at room temperature was studied within the framework of the research project [5], [8]. With a combination of interrupted LCF tests and EBSD

  2. Mechanism of crack initiation and crack growth under thermal and mechanical fatigue loading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Utz, S.; Soppa, E.; Silcher, H.; Kohler, C. [Stuttgart Univ. (Germany). Materials Testing Inst.

    2013-07-01

    The present contribution is focused on the experimental investigations and numerical simulations of the deformation behaviour and crack development in the austenitic stainless steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal and mechanical cyclic loading in HCF and LCF regimes. The main objective of this research is the understanding of the basic mechanisms of fatigue damage and the development of simulation methods, which can be applied further in safety evaluations of nuclear power plant components. In this context the modelling of crack initiation and crack growth inside the material structure induced by varying thermal or mechanical loads are of particular interest. The mechanisms of crack initiation depend among other things on the type of loading, microstructure, material properties and temperature. The Nb-stabilized austenitic stainless steel in the solution-annealed condition was chosen for the investigations. Experiments with two kinds of cyclic loading - pure thermal and pure mechanical - were carried out and simulated. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal loading was studied within the framework of the joint research project [4]. Interrupted thermal cyclic tests in the temperature range of 150 C to 300 C combined with non-destructive residual stress measurements (XRD) and various microscopic investigations, e.g. in SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), were used to study the effects of thermal cyclic loading on the material. This thermal cyclic loading leads to thermal induced stresses and strains. As a result intrusions and extrusions appear inside the grains (at the surface), at which microcracks arise and evolve to a dominant crack. Finally, these microcracks cause a continuous and significant decrease of residual stresses. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under mechanical loading at room temperature was studied within the framework of the research project [5], [8]. With a combination of interrupted LCF tests and EBSD

  3. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive properties of Urtica dioica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qayyum, Rahila; Qamar, Hafiz Misbah-Ud-Din; Khan, Shamim; Salma, Umme; Khan, Taous; Shah, Abdul Jabbar

    2016-09-01

    Urtica dioica has traditionally been used in the management of cardiovascular disorders especially hypertension. The aim of this study was to explore pharmacological base of its use in hypertension. Crude methanolic extract of U. dioica (Ud.Cr) and its fractions (Ud.EtAc, Ud.nHex, Ud.Chl and Ud.Aq) were tested in vivo on normotensive and hypertensive rats under anesthesia for blood pressure lowering effect. In-vitro experiments on rat and rabbit aortae were employed to probe the vasorelaxation mechanism(s). The responses were measured using pressure and force transducers connected to PowerLab Data Acquisition System. Ud.Cr and fractions were found more effective antihypertensive in hypertensive rats than normotensive with remarkable potency exhibited by the ethyl acetate fraction. The effect was same in the presence of atropine. In isolated rat aortic rings, Ud.Cr and all its fractions exhibited L-NAME sensitive endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect and also inhibit K(+) (80 mM)-induced pre-contractions. In isolated rabbit thoracic aortic rings Ud.Cr and its fractions induced relaxation with more potency against K(+) (80 mM) than phenylephrine (1 µM) like verapamil, showing Ud.EtAc fraction the most potent one. Pre-incubation of aortic rings with Ud.Cr and its fractions exhibited Ca(2+) channel blocking activity comparable with verapamil by shifting Ca(2+) concentration response curves to the right. Ud.Cr and its fractions also ablated the intracellular Ca(2+) release by suppressing PE peak formation in Ca(2+) free medium. When tested on basal tension, the crude extract and all fractions were devoid of any vasoconstrictor effect. These data indicate that crude methanolic extract and its fractions possess antihypertensive effect. Identification of NO-mediated vasorelaxation and calcium channel blocking effects explain the antihypertensive potential of U. dioica and provide a potential pharmacological base to its medicinal use in the management of hypertension.

  4. Antioxidant Property of Jobelyn as the Possible Mechanism Underlying

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solomon Umukoro

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available   Introduction: Amnesia or loss of memory is the cardinal hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with ageing process. Although, AD had been discovered over a century ago, drugs which could cure or halt the progression of the disease are yet to see the light of the day. However, there has been a growing interest in the use of phytomedicines with multipronged mechanisms of action that could target various aspects of the pathologies of AD. Jobelyn (JB is a potent antioxidant African polyherbal formulation with active components that have been acclaimed to show neuroprotection. T his investigation was carried out to evaluate whether JB has anti-amnesic and antioxidant activities.   Methods: The alteration of alternation behavior in the Y-maze paradigm was utilized as the test for memory function in mice. The effect of JB on a cetylcholinesterase (AChE activity, malondialdehyde (MDA level and the concentrations of glutathione (GSH in the frontal cortex and hippocampus were assessed in rats as means of providing insight into the mechanism underlying its anti-amnesic activity. The animals were given JB (1, 2.5 or 5mg/kg, i.p. daily for 7 days before the biochemical assays or test for memory functions were carried out.   Results: JB was found to produce a significant increase in the level of alternation behavior compared with the control, suggesting anti-amnesic activity. Also, JB reversed the memory impairment induced by scopolamine, which further indicates anti-amnesic property. Furthermore, JB demonstrated a significant inhibition of MDA formation in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats, indicating antioxidant property. In addition, it increased the defense armory of the brain tissues, as it significantly increased the concentrations of GSH in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats. However, JB did not demonstrate any inhibitory effect against AChE activity in the frontal cortex and

  5. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Fanni

    2014-06-01

    better understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms of BPD might provide insight into development of new therapeutic and preventive strategies.  Proceedings of the International Course on Perinatal Pathology (part of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · Cagliari (Italy · October 25th, 2014 · The role of the clinical pathological dialogue in problem solving Guest Editors: Gavino Faa, Vassilios Fanos, Peter Van Eyken

  6. Mechanical or Biologic Prostheses for Aortic-Valve and Mitral-Valve Replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstone, Andrew B; Chiu, Peter; Baiocchi, Michael; Lingala, Bharathi; Patrick, William L; Fischbein, Michael P; Woo, Y Joseph

    2017-11-09

    In patients undergoing aortic-valve or mitral-valve replacement, either a mechanical or biologic prosthesis is used. Biologic prostheses have been increasingly favored despite limited evidence supporting this practice. We compared long-term mortality and rates of reoperation, stroke, and bleeding between inverse-probability-weighted cohorts of patients who underwent primary aortic-valve replacement or mitral-valve replacement with a mechanical or biologic prosthesis in California in the period from 1996 through 2013. Patients were stratified into different age groups on the basis of valve position (aortic vs. mitral valve). From 1996 through 2013, the use of biologic prostheses increased substantially for aortic-valve and mitral-valve replacement, from 11.5% to 51.6% for aortic-valve replacement and from 16.8% to 53.7% for mitral-valve replacement. Among patients who underwent aortic-valve replacement, receipt of a biologic prosthesis was associated with significantly higher 15-year mortality than receipt of a mechanical prosthesis among patients 45 to 54 years of age (30.6% vs. 26.4% at 15 years; hazard ratio, 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.48; P=0.03) but not among patients 55 to 64 years of age. Among patients who underwent mitral-valve replacement, receipt of a biologic prosthesis was associated with significantly higher mortality than receipt of a mechanical prosthesis among patients 40 to 49 years of age (44.1% vs. 27.1%; hazard ratio, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.35 to 2.63; Pbiologic prosthesis than among recipients of a mechanical prosthesis. Patients who received mechanical valves had a higher cumulative incidence of bleeding and, in some age groups, stroke than did recipients of a biologic prosthesis. The long-term mortality benefit that was associated with a mechanical prosthesis, as compared with a biologic prosthesis, persisted until 70 years of age among patients undergoing mitral-valve replacement and until 55 years of age among those undergoing

  7. Alteration mechanisms of UOX spent fuel under water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muzeau, B.

    2008-06-01

    The mechanisms of spent fuel alteration in aqueous media need to be understood on the assumption of a direct disposal of the assemblies in a geological formation or for long duration storage in pool. This work is a contribution to the study of the effects of the alpha and/or beta/gamma radiolysis of water on the oxidation and the dissolution of the UO 2 matrix of UOX spent fuel. The effects of the alpha radiolysis, predominant in geological disposal conditions, were quantified by using samples of UO 2 doped with plutonium. The leaching experiments highlighted two types of control for the matrix alteration according to the alpha activity. The first is based on the radiolytic oxidation of the surface and leads to a continuous release of uranium in solution whereas the second is based on a control by the solubility of uranium. An activity threshold, between 18 MBq.g -1 and 33 MBq.g -1 , was defined in a carbonated water. The value of this threshold is dependent on the experimental conditions and the presence or not of electro-active species such as hydrogen in the system. The effects of the alpha/beta/gamma radiolysis in relation with the storage conditions were also quantified. The experimental data obtained on spent fuel indicate that the alteration rate of the matrix based on the behaviour of tracer elements (caesium and strontium) reached a maximum value of some mg.m -2 .d -1 , even under very oxidizing conditions. The solubility of uranium and the nature of the secondary phases depend however on the extent of the oxidizing conditions. (author)

  8. Cognitive mechanisms underlying instructed choice exploration of small city maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia eSakellaridi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the cognitive mechanisms underlying the exploration and decision-making in realistic and novel environments. Twelve human subjects were shown small circular U.S. city maps with two locations highlighted on the circumference, as possible choices for a post office (targets. At the beginning of a trial, subjects fixated a spot at the center of the map and ultimately chose one of the two locations. A space syntax analysis of the map paths (from the center to each target revealed that the chosen location was associated with the less convoluted path, as if subjects navigated mentally the paths in an ant’s way, i.e. by staying within street boundaries, and ultimately choosing the target that could be reached from the center in the shortest way, and the fewest turns and intersections. The subjects’ strategy for map exploration and decision making was investigated by monitoring eye position during the task. This revealed a restricted exploration of the map delimited by the location of the two alternative options and the center of the map. Specifically, subjects explored the areas around the two target options by repeatedly looking at them before deciding which one to choose, presumably implementing an evaluation and decision-making process. The ultimate selection of a specific target was significantly associated with the time spent exploring the area around that target. Finally, an analysis of the sequence of eye fixations revealed that subjects tended to look systematically towards the target ultimately chosen even from the beginning of the trial. This finding indicates an early cognitive selection bias for the ensuing decision process.

  9. Epigenetic Mechanisms Shape the Biological Response to Trauma and Risk for PTSD: A Critical Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan Heinzelmann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD develops in approximately one-quarter of trauma-exposed individuals, leading us and others to question the mechanisms underlying this heterogeneous response to trauma. We suggest that the reasons for the heterogeneity relate to a complex interaction between genes and the environment, shaping each individual’s recovery trajectory based on both historical and trauma-specific variables. Epigenetic modifications provide a unique opportunity to elucidate how preexisting risk factors may contribute to PTSD risk through changes in the methylation of DNA. Preexisting risks for PTSD, including depression, stress, and trauma, result in differential DNA methylation of endocrine genes, which may then result in a different biological responses to trauma and subsequently a greater risk for PTSD onset. Although these relationships are complex and currently inadequately described, we provide a critical review of recent studies to examine how differences in genetic and proteomic biomarkers shape an individual’s vulnerability to PTSD development, thereby contributing to a heterogeneous response to trauma.

  10. Quinoxaline 1, 4-di-N-oxides: Biological activities and mechanisms of actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guyue eCheng

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Quinoxaline 1, 4-di-N-oxides (QdNOs have manifold biological properties, including antimicrobial, antitumoral, antitrypanosomal and antiinflammatory/antioxidant activities. These diverse activities endow them broad applications and prospects in human and veterinary medicines. As QdNOs arouse widespread interest, the evaluation of their medicinal chemistry is still in progress. In the meantime, adverse effects have been reported in some of the QdNO derivatives. For example, genotoxicity and bacterial resistance have been found in QdNO antibacterial growth promoters, conferring urgent need for discovery of new QdNO drugs. However, the modes of actions of QdNOs are not fully understood, hindering the development and innovation of these promising compounds. Here, QdNOs are categorized based on the activities and usages, among which the antimicrobial activities are consist of antibacterial, antimycobacterial and anticandida activities, and the antiprotozoal activities include antitrypanosomal, antimalarial, antitrichomonas and antiamoebic activities. The structure-activity relationship and the mode of actions of each type of activity of QdNOs are summarized, and the toxicity and the underlying mechanisms are also discussed, providing insight for the future research and development of these fascinating compounds.

  11. An easily reversible structural change underlies mechanisms enabling desert crust cyanobacteria to survive desiccation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Eyal, Leeat; Eisenberg, Ido; Faust, Adam; Raanan, Hagai; Nevo, Reinat; Rappaport, Fabrice; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Sétif, Pierre; Thurotte, Adrien; Reich, Ziv; Kaplan, Aaron; Ohad, Itzhak; Paltiel, Yossi; Keren, Nir

    2015-10-01

    Biological desert sand crusts are the foundation of desert ecosystems, stabilizing the sands and allowing colonization by higher order organisms. The first colonizers of the desert sands are cyanobacteria. Facing the harsh conditions of the desert, these organisms must withstand frequent desiccation-hydration cycles, combined with high light intensities. Here, we characterize structural and functional modifications to the photosynthetic apparatus that enable a cyanobacterium, Leptolyngbya sp., to thrive under these conditions. Using multiple in vivo spectroscopic and imaging techniques, we identified two complementary mechanisms for dissipating absorbed energy in the desiccated state. The first mechanism involves the reorganization of the phycobilisome antenna system, increasing excitonic coupling between antenna components. This provides better energy dissipation in the antenna rather than directed exciton transfer to the reaction center. The second mechanism is driven by constriction of the thylakoid lumen which limits diffusion of plastocyanin to P700. The accumulation of P700(+) not only prevents light-induced charge separation but also efficiently quenches excitation energy. These protection mechanisms employ existing components of the photosynthetic apparatus, forming two distinct functional modes. Small changes in the structure of the thylakoid membranes are sufficient for quenching of all absorbed energy in the desiccated state, protecting the photosynthetic apparatus from photoinhibitory damage. These changes can be easily reversed upon rehydration, returning the system to its high photosynthetic quantum efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparison of mechanical and biological prostheses when used to replace heart valves in children and adolescents with rheumatic fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travancas, Paulo R; Dorigo, Ana H; Simões, Luiz C; Fonseca, Sandra C; Bloch, Kátia V; Herdy, Gesmar V

    2009-04-01

    To assess the outcomes in children and adolescents with rheumatic fever of the implantation of mechanical as opposed to biological heart valves. We assessed 73 patients with rheumatic heart disease under the age of 18 years, who underwent replacement of heart valves between January, 1996, and December, 2005, at the National Institute of Cardiology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Of the group, 71 patients survived, and were divided into a group of 52 receiving mechanical prostheses, and 19 with biological prostheses. We compared endpoints between the groups in terms of mortality, reoperation, haemorrhage, and stroke. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and were compared by the Mantel (log-rank) test. Overall mortality was 8.2%. In those receiving mechanical prostheses, 2 (3.8%) patients died, 5 (9.6%) underwent reoperation, 2 (3.8%) suffered severe haemorrhage, and 3 (5.8%) had strokes. In those receiving biological valves, 2 (10.5%) patients died, and 4 (21%) underwent reoperation. After 2, 4, and 8 years, overall survival was 96%, 93% and 86%, respectively, with a borderline difference between the groups (p = 0.06). The probabilities of remaining free from reoperation (p = 0.13), and from combined endpoints, showed no statistically significant difference between the groups (p = 0.28). Patients with mechanical prostheses had lower mortality and required fewer reoperations, but when all combined endpoints were considered, the groups did not differ. The biological prosthesis proved to be a good option for cardiac surgery in children and adolescents with difficulties or risks of anticoagulation.

  13. T Cell Response in Patients with Implanted Biological and Mechanical Prosthetic Heart Valves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Barbarash

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study was aimed at assessing T cell subsets of peripheral blood from recipients of long-term functioning (more than 60 months biological and mechanical heart valve prostheses. The absolute and relative number of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets was analyzed: naïve (N, CD45RA+CD62L+, central memory (CM, CD45RA−CD62L+, effector memory (EM, CD45RA−CD62L−, and terminally differentiated CD45RA-positive effector memory (TEMRA, CD45RA+CD62L− in 25 persons with biological and 7 with mechanical prosthesis compared with 48 apparently healthy volunteers. The relative and absolute number of central memory and naïve CD3+CD8+ in patients with biological prosthesis was decreased (p<0.001. Meanwhile the number of CD45RA+CD62L−CD3+CD8+ and CD3+CD4+ was increased (p<0.001. Patients with mechanical prosthesis had increased absolute and relative number of CD45RA+CD62L−CD3+CD8+ cells (p=0.006. Also the relative number of CD3+CD4+ cells was reduced (p=0.04. We assume that altered composition of T cell subsets points at development of xenograft rejection reaction against both mechanical and biological heart valve prostheses.

  14. Combined Biological and Chemical Mechanisms for Degradation of Insensitive Munitions in the Presence of Alternate Explosives

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-21

    explosive composites. b) Determine the intermediates and final products of IM degradation. c) Characterize the mixed “biological-abiotic” degradation...mechanisms in controlled system. d) Characterize microbial communities present in contaminated aquifer material. These objectives were met by...components of growth medium, leaving only a 15 dense pallet of cells. Final biomass was resuspended in 4ml of bicarbonate or

  15. On the mechanisms of interaction of low-intensity millimeter waves with biological objects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betskii, O.V.

    1994-07-01

    The interaction of low-intensity millimeter-band electromagnetic waves with biological objects is examined. These waves are widely used in medical practice as a means of physiotherapy for the treatment of various human disorders. Principal attention is given to the mechanisms through which millimeter waves act on the human organism.

  16. Mechanisms Mediating the Biologic Activity of Synthetic Proline, Glycine, and Hydroxyproline Polypeptides in Human Neutrophils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberger, Barry; Hanna, Nazeeh; Laskin, Jeffrey D.; Heck, Diane E.; Gardner, Carol R.; Gerecke, Donald R.; Laskin, Debra L.

    2005-01-01

    The accumulation of neutrophils at sites of tissue injury or infection is mediated by chemotactic factors released as part of the inflammatory process. Some of these factors are generated as a direct consequence of tissue injury or infection, including degradation fragments of connective tissue collagen and bacterial- or viral-derived peptides containing collagen-related structural motifs. In these studies, we examined biochemical mechanisms mediating the biologic activity of synthetic polypeptides consisting of repeated units of proline (Pro), glycine (Gly), and hydroxyproline (Hyp), major amino acids found within mammalian and bacterial collagens. We found that the peptides were chemoattractants for neutrophils. Moreover, their chemotactic potency was directly related to their size and composition. Thus, the pentameric peptides (Pro-Pro-Gly)5 and (Pro-Hyp-Gly)5 were more active in inducing chemotaxis than the corresponding decameric peptides (Pro-Pro-Gly)10 and (Pro-Hyp-Gly)10. In addition, the presence of Hyp in peptides reduced chemotactic activity. The synthetic peptides were also found to reduce neutrophil apoptosis. In contrast to chemotaxis, this activity was independent of peptide size or composition. The effects of the peptides on both chemotaxis and apoptosis were blocked by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. However, only (Pro-Pro-Gly)5 and (Pro-Pro-Gly)10 induced expression of PI3-K and phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase, suggesting a potential mechanism underlying reduced chemotactic activity of Hyp-containing peptides. Although none of the synthetic peptides tested had any effect on intracellular calcium mobilization, each induced nuclear binding activity of the transcription factor NF-κB. These findings indicate that polymeric polypeptides containing Gly-X-Y collagen-related structural motifs promote inflammation by inducing chemotaxis and blocking apoptosis. However, distinct calcium

  17. Integrated structural biology to unravel molecular mechanisms of protein-RNA recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlundt, Andreas; Tants, Jan-Niklas; Sattler, Michael

    2017-04-15

    Recent advances in RNA sequencing technologies have greatly expanded our knowledge of the RNA landscape in cells, often with spatiotemporal resolution. These techniques identified many new (often non-coding) RNA molecules. Large-scale studies have also discovered novel RNA binding proteins (RBPs), which exhibit single or multiple RNA binding domains (RBDs) for recognition of specific sequence or structured motifs in RNA. Starting from these large-scale approaches it is crucial to unravel the molecular principles of protein-RNA recognition in ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) to understand the underlying mechanisms of gene regulation. Structural biology and biophysical studies at highest possible resolution are key to elucidate molecular mechanisms of RNA recognition by RBPs and how conformational dynamics, weak interactions and cooperative binding contribute to the formation of specific, context-dependent RNPs. While large compact RNPs can be well studied by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, analysis of dynamics and weak interaction necessitates the use of solution methods to capture these properties. Here, we illustrate methods to study the structure and conformational dynamics of protein-RNA complexes in solution starting from the identification of interaction partners in a given RNP. Biophysical and biochemical techniques support the characterization of a protein-RNA complex and identify regions relevant in structural analysis. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful tool to gain information on folding, stability and dynamics of RNAs and characterize RNPs in solution. It provides crucial information that is complementary to the static pictures derived from other techniques. NMR can be readily combined with other solution techniques, such as small angle X-ray and/or neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), which provide information about overall shapes, internal domain

  18. Molecular mechanisms underlying thermal adaptation of xeric animals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2007-03-15

    Mar 15, 2007 ... Author Affiliations. M B Evgen'Ev1 2 D G Garbuz1 V Y Shilova1 O G Zatsepina1. Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilov Street 32, Moscow 199991, Russia; Institute of Cell Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, 142292, Russia ...

  19. Foundational concepts and underlying theories for majors in "biochemistry and molecular biology".

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members and science educators from around the country that focused on identifying: 1) core principles of biochemistry and molecular biology, 2) essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and 3) foundational skills that undergraduate majors in biochemistry and molecular biology must understand to complete their major coursework. Using information gained from these workshops, as well as from the ASBMB accreditation working group and the NSF Vision and Change report, the Core Concepts working group has developed a consensus list of learning outcomes and objectives based on five foundational concepts (evolution, matter and energy transformation, homeostasis, information flow, and macromolecular structure and function) that represent the expected conceptual knowledge base for undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. This consensus will aid biochemistry and molecular biology educators in the development of assessment tools for the new ASBMB recommended curriculum. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  20. Possibilities under the `Kreislaufwirtschaft- und Abfallgesetz` for the recycling or for energy generation from waste with a high calorific value having undergone mechanical-biological conditioning; Moeglichkeiten der energetischen und stofflichen Verwertung von heizwertreichen Reststoffen aus der mechanisch-biologischen Restabfallbehandlung im Rahmen des Kreislaufwirtschafts- und Abfallgesetzes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franke, J.; Fricke, K. [Ingenieurgemeinschaft Witzenhausen Fricke und Turk GmbH, Witzenhausen (Germany)

    1998-12-31

    This (partial) project has the following aims: to describe comprehensively the possibilities for the recycling, or generation of energy from, waste with a high calorific value having undergone mechanical-biological conditioning; further, to formulate demands regarding the quality of the separated partial fractions. This basic study takes all relevant, commercial thermal processes into account (power plants, cement works, blast furnaces, etc.). Furthermore, the question is investigated of whether the thermal waste processing plants in the area of the Suedhessische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Abfall (SAGA) are suitable for waste utilization. An environmental compatibility statement is made, and the economic and legal boundary conditions are studied. (orig.) [Deutsch] Ziel des (Teil-)Forschungsvorhabens soll es sein, die Moeglichkeiten der energetischen und stofflichen Verwertung heizwertreicher Abfaelle aus der mechanisch-biologischen Restabfallbehandlung umfassend darzustellen und die Anforderungen an die Qualitaet der abgretrennten Teilfraktionen zu formulieren. Bei der Grundlagenermittlung sollen alle relevanten auf dem Markt angebotenen thermischen Verfahren (Kraftwerke, Zementwerke, Hochoefen usw.) mit einbezogen werden. Weiterhin sollen die im SAGA-Gebiet (Suedhessische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Abfall) vorhandenen thermsichen Anlagen auf ihre Eignung zur energetischen bzw. stofflichen Verwertung hin ueberprueft werden. Neben der Bewertung der Umweltvertraeglichkeit werden die oekonomischen und rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen untersucht. (orig.)

  1. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  2. Potential Mechanisms Underlying Centralized Pain and Emerging Therapeutic Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia C. Eller-Smith

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Centralized pain syndromes are associated with changes within the central nervous system that amplify peripheral input and/or generate the perception of pain in the absence of a noxious stimulus. Examples of idiopathic functional disorders that are often categorized as centralized pain syndromes include fibromyalgia, chronic pelvic pain syndromes, migraine, and temporomandibular disorder. Patients often suffer from widespread pain, associated with more than one specific syndrome, and report fatigue, mood and sleep disturbances, and poor quality of life. The high degree of symptom comorbidity and a lack of definitive underlying etiology make these syndromes notoriously difficult to treat. The main purpose of this review article is to discuss potential mechanisms of centrally-driven pain amplification and how they may contribute to increased comorbidity, poorer pain outcomes, and decreased quality of life in patients diagnosed with centralized pain syndromes, as well as discuss emerging non-pharmacological therapies that improve symptomology associated with these syndromes. Abnormal regulation and output of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis is commonly associated with centralized pain disorders. The HPA axis is the primary stress response system and its activation results in downstream production of cortisol and a dampening of the immune response. Patients with centralized pain syndromes often present with hyper- or hypocortisolism and evidence of altered downstream signaling from the HPA axis including increased Mast cell (MC infiltration and activation, which can lead to sensitization of nearby nociceptive afferents. Increased peripheral input via nociceptor activation can lead to “hyperalgesic priming” and/or “wind-up” and eventually to central sensitization through long term potentiation in the central nervous system. Other evidence of central modifications has been observed through brain imaging studies of functional

  3. [Study on main pharmacodynamics and underlying mechanisms of 999 Ganmaoling].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qi-Hua; He, Rong; Peng, Bo; Ye, Zu-Guang; Li, Jian-Rong; Zhang, Yue-Fei; Dai, Zhi

    2016-04-01

    To observe synergistic effects of 999 Ganmaoling (GML) and its Chinese/Western materia medica (CMM and WMM) on pharmacodynamic action and to study underlying mechanisms, their anti-inflammatory, antipyretic effects were compared by assaying the increased capillary permeability induced by glacial acetic acid in mice, ear swelling induced by Xylene in mice, non-specific pleurisy induced by carrageenan in rats, and yeast induced fever in rats. Crystal violet (CV) and microbial activity (XTT) assay were used to evaluate the inhibition of GML and its CMM and WMM on KPN biofilm formation, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was applied for observing KPN biofilm morphology changes. The results showed that compared with control group, GML could reduce exudation amount of Evans-Blue and the degree of Ear swelling significantly, and CMM and WMM have no significant effects. The concentration of TNF-α and IL-1β of rat pleural effusion in GML, CMM and WMM group decreased significantly. The concentration of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8 in GML group, TNF-α, IL-8 in WMM group and IL-8 in CMM in rats serum decreased significantly. The body temperature in rats decreased significantly in GML and WMM group after 4-8 h of administration. CMM group showed no significant difference in rat body temperature compare with control. Compared with control group, GML (55-13.75 g•L⁻¹) could inhibit KPN biofilm formation and reduce number of viable cells in the KPN biofilm. CMM (45-22.5 g•L⁻¹) and WMM (10 g•L⁻¹) could also inhibit KPN biofilm formation and reduce number of viable cells (P<0.01). Result of SEM also showed that GML (55 g•L⁻¹) and its CMM (45 g•L⁻¹) and WMM (10 g•L⁻¹) could interfere the bacterial arrangement of KPN biofilm and extracellular matrix. GML and its CMM & WMM could inhibit the formation of KPN biofilm, CMM & WMM in GML showed synergism and complementation in inhibit KPN biofilm. Results showed that GML had obvious anti-inflammatory and

  4. Mechanisms and pharmacogenetic signals underlying thiazide diuretics blood pressure response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahin, Mohamed H; Johnson, Julie A

    2016-04-01

    Thiazide (TZD) diuretics are among the most commonly prescribed antihypertensives globally; however their chronic blood pressure (BP) lowering mechanism remains unclear. Herein we discuss the current evidence regarding specific mechanisms regulating the antihypertensive effects of TZDs, suggesting that TZDs act via multiple complex and interacting mechanisms, including natriuresis with short term use and direct vasodilatory effects chronically. Additionally, we review pharmacogenomics signals that have been associated with TZDs BP-response in several cohorts (i.e. NEDD4L, PRKCA, EDNRA-GNAS, and YEATS4) and discuss how these genes might be related to TZD BP-response mechanism. Understanding the association between these genes and TZD BP mechanism might facilitate the development of new drugs and therapeutic approaches based on a deeper understanding of the determinants of BP-response. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Thermo-electrical equivalents for simulating the electro-mechanical behavior of biological tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cinelli, I; Duffy, M; McHugh, P E

    2015-01-01

    Equivalence is one of most popular techniques to simulate the behavior of systems governed by the same type of differential equation. In this case, a thermo-electrical equivalence is considered as a method for modelling the inter-dependence of electrical and mechanical phenomena in biological tissue. We seek to assess this approach for multi-scale models (from micro-structure to tissue scale) of biological media, such as nerve cells and cardiac tissue, in which the electrical charge distribution is modelled as a heat distribution in an equivalent thermal system. This procedure allows for the reduction in problem complexity and it facilitates the coupling of electrical and mechanical phenomena in an efficient and practical way. Although the findings of this analysis are mainly addressed towards the electro-mechanics of tissue within the biomedical domain, the same approach could be used in other studies in which a coupled finite element analysis is required.

  6. Shell and membrane theories in mechanics and biology from macro- to nanoscale structures

    CERN Document Server

    Mikhasev, Gennadi

    2015-01-01

    This book presents the latest results related to shells  characterize and design shells, plates, membranes and other thin-walled structures, a multidisciplinary approach from macro- to nanoscale is required which involves the classical disciplines of mechanical/civil/materials engineering (design, analysis, and properties) and physics/biology/medicine among others. The book contains contributions of a meeting of specialists (mechanical engineers, mathematicians, physicists and others) in such areas as classical and non-classical shell theories. New trends with respect to applications in mechanical, civil and aero-space engineering, as well as in new branches like medicine and biology are presented which demand improvements of the theoretical foundations of these theories and a deeper understanding of the material behavior used in such structures.

  7. Modulation of MicroRNAs by Phytochemicals in Cancer: Underlying Mechanisms and Translational Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Sanjeev K.; Arora, Sumit; Averett, Courey; Singh, Ajay P.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenous noncoding RNAs that regulate a variety of biological processes such as differentiation, development, and survival. Recent studies suggest that miRNAs are dysregulated in cancer and play critical roles in cancer initiation, progression, and chemoresistance. Therefore, exploitation of miRNAs as targets for cancer prevention and therapy could be a promising approach. Extensive evidence suggests that many naturally occurring phytochemicals regulate the expression of numerous miRNAs involved in the pathobiology of cancer. Therefore, an understanding of the regulation of miRNAs by phytochemicals in cancer, their underlying molecular mechanisms, and functional consequences on tumor pathophysiology may be useful in formulating novel strategies to combat this devastating disease. These aspects are discussed in this review paper with an objective of highlighting the significance of these observations from the translational standpoint. PMID:25853141

  8. Mechanical response of collagen molecule under hydrostatic compression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saini, Karanvir; Kumar, Navin

    2015-01-01

    Proteins like collagen are the basic building blocks of various body tissues (soft and hard). Collagen molecules find their presence in the skeletal system of the body where they bear mechanical loads from different directions, either individually or along with hydroxy-apatite crystals. Therefore, it is very important to understand the mechanical behavior of the collagen molecule which is subjected to multi-axial state of loading. The estimation of strains of collagen molecule along different directions resulting from the changes in hydrostatic pressure magnitude, can provide us new insights into its mechanical behavior. In the present work, full atomistic simulations have been used to study global (volumetric) as well as local (along different directions) mechanical properties of the hydrated collagen molecule which is subjected to different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. To estimate the local mechanical properties, the strains of collagen molecule along its longitudinal and transverse directions have been acquired at different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. In spite of non-homogeneous distribution of atoms within the collagen molecule, the calculated values of local mechanical properties have been found to carry the same order of magnitude along the longitudinal and transverse directions. It has been demonstrated that the values of global mechanical properties like compressibility, bulk modulus, etc. as well as local mechanical properties like linear compressibility, linear elastic modulus, etc. are functions of magnitudes of applied hydrostatic pressures. The mechanical characteristics of collagen molecule based on the atomistic model have also been compared with that of the continuum model in the present work. The comparison showed up orthotropic material behavior for the collagen molecule. The information on collagen molecule provided in the present study can be very helpful in designing the future bio-materials.

  9. Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, C E P; Amorim, F W; Mayer, J L S; Sazima, M

    2016-01-01

    Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such a form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit set in hand-pollination experiments was more than twice that under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these sympatric co-flowering species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinarium to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to our knowledge of orchid pollination. In E. crinipes, pollinarium attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around it. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. Brown seaweed fucoidan: biological activity and apoptosis, growth signaling mechanism in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthilkumar, Kalimuthu; Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-09-01

    Seaweeds, being abundant sources of bioactive components have much interest in recent times. The complex polysaccharides from the brown, red and green seaweeds possess broad spectrum therapeutic properties. The sulfated polysaccharides are routinely used in biomedical research and have known biological activities. Fucoidan, a fucose-rich polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed has various biological functions including anticancer effects. Cellular damage induces growth arrest and tumor suppression by inducing apoptosis, the mechanism of cell death depends on the magnitude of DNA damage following exposure to anticancer agents. Apoptosis is mainly regulated by cell growth signaling molecules. Number of research studies evidenced that fucoidan shown to induce cytotoxicity of various cancer cells, induces apoptosis, and inhibits invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis of cancer cells. There are few articles discussing on fucoidan biological activity but no specific review on cancer and its signaling mechanism. Hence, this review discusses the brown seaweed fucoidan structure and some biological function and role in apoptosis, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis and growth signal mechanism on cancer. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Biologically inspired control and modeling of (biorobotic systems and some applications of fractional calculus in mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazarević Mihailo P.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the applications of biologically inspired modeling and control of (biomechanical (nonredundant mechanisms are presented, as well as newly obtained results of author in mechanics which are based on using fractional calculus. First, it is proposed to use biological analog-synergy due to existence of invariant features in the execution of functional motion. Second, the model of (biomechanical system may be obtained using another biological concept called distributed positioning (DP, which is based on the inertial properties and actuation of joints of considered mechanical system. In addition, it is proposed to use other biological principles such as: principle of minimum interaction, which takes a main role in hierarchical structure of control and self-adjusting principle (introduce local positive/negative feedback on control with great amplifying, which allows efficiently realization of control based on iterative natural learning. Also, new, recently obtained results of the author in the fields of stability, electroviscoelasticity, and control theory are presented which are based on using fractional calculus (FC. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 35006

  12. Mechanical Characterization of Anion Exchange Membranes Under Controlled Environmental Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-11

    supporting textiles and test the mechanical properties. Even though their films were only 10 microns, the SER fixture was used by applying double stick tape...aramid and stainless steel. The authors conclude that supporting textile has a large impact on mechanical properties due to the difference in...Elongation) are depicted. 2.2 Conductivity Ionic conductivity was measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy using a four- electrode in-plane

  13. Features wear nodes mechanization wing aircraft operating under dynamic loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А.М. Хімко

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available  The conducted researches of titanic alloy ВТ-22 at dynamic loading with cycled sliding and dynamic loading in conditions of rolling with slipping. It is established that roller jamming in the carriage increases wear of rod of mechanization of a wing to twenty times. The optimum covering for strengthening wearied sites and restoration of working surfaces of wing’s mechanization rod is defined.

  14. Mechanisms of action underlying the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of propolis: a brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio A. R. Araujo

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Many biological properties have been attributed to various types of propolis, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, wound healing, and immunomodulatory activities. This article reviewed studies published that investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis of different origins and/or its isolated components, focusing on the mechanisms of action underlying this activity and also addressing some aspects of immunomodulatory effects. The search was performed of the following databases: PubMed, Science Direct, HighWire Press, Scielo, Google Academics, Research Gate and ISI Web of Knowledgement. The anti-inflammatory activity was associated with propolis or compounds such as polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids and their esters, terpenoids, steroids and amino acids. CAPE is the most studied compounds. The main mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis included the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and consequent inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis, free radical scavenging, inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, reduction in the concentration of inflammatory cytokines and immunosuppressive activity. Propolis was found to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro models of acute and chronic inflammation and others studies, indicating its promising potential as anti-inflammatory agent of natural origin and as a source of chemical compounds for the development of new drugs.

  15. Mechanisms of action underlying the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of propolis: a brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio A. R. Araujo

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Many biological properties have been attributed to various types of propolis, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, wound healing, and immunomodulatory activities. This article reviewed studies published that investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis of different origins and/or its isolated components, focusing on the mechanisms of action underlying this activity and also addressing some aspects of immunomodulatory effects. The search was performed of the following databases: PubMed, Science Direct, HighWire Press, Scielo, Google Academics, Research Gate and ISI Web of Knowledgement. The anti-inflammatory activity was associated with propolis or compounds such as polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids and their esters, terpenoids, steroids and amino acids. CAPE is the most studied compounds. The main mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis included the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and consequent inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis, free radical scavenging, inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, reduction in the concentration of inflammatory cytokines and immunosuppressive activity. Propolis was found to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro models of acute and chronic inflammation and others studies, indicating its promising potential as anti-inflammatory agent of natural origin and as a source of chemical compounds for the development of new drugs.

  16. Synthetic oligorotaxanes exert high forces when folding under mechanical load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sluysmans, Damien; Hubert, Sandrine; Bruns, Carson J.; Zhu, Zhixue; Stoddart, J. Fraser; Duwez, Anne-Sophie

    2018-01-01

    Folding is a ubiquitous process that nature uses to control the conformations of its molecular machines, allowing them to perform chemical and mechanical tasks. Over the years, chemists have synthesized foldamers that adopt well-defined and stable folded architectures, mimicking the control expressed by natural systems1,2. Mechanically interlocked molecules, such as rotaxanes and catenanes, are prototypical molecular machines that enable the controlled movement and positioning of their component parts3-5. Recently, combining the exquisite complexity of these two classes of molecules, donor-acceptor oligorotaxane foldamers have been synthesized, in which interactions between the mechanically interlocked component parts dictate the single-molecule assembly into a folded secondary structure6-8. Here we report on the mechanochemical properties of these molecules. We use atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy to mechanically unfold oligorotaxanes, made of oligomeric dumbbells incorporating 1,5-dioxynaphthalene units encircled by cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) rings. Real-time capture of fluctuations between unfolded and folded states reveals that the molecules exert forces of up to 50 pN against a mechanical load of up to 150 pN, and displays transition times of less than 10 μs. While the folding is at least as fast as that observed in proteins, it is remarkably more robust, thanks to the mechanically interlocked structure. Our results show that synthetic oligorotaxanes have the potential to exceed the performance of natural folding proteins.

  17. Evaluation of Possible Proximate Mechanisms Underlying the Kinship Theory of Intragenomic Conflict in Social Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, David A; Yi, Soojin V; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-12-01

    Kinship theory provides a universal framework in which to understand the evolution of altruism, but there are many molecular and genetic mechanisms that can generate altruistic behaviors. Interestingly, kinship theory specifically predicts intragenomic conflict between maternally-derived alleles (matrigenes) and paternally-derived alleles (patrigenes) over the generation of altruistic behavior in cases where the interests of the matrigenes and patrigenes are not aligned. Under these conditions, individual differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior are predicted to arise from differential expression of the matrigenes and patrigenes (parent-specific gene expression or PSGE) that regulate selfish versus altruistic behaviors. As one of the leading theories to describe PSGE and genomic imprinting, kinship theory has been used to generate predictions to describe the reproductive division of labor in social insect colonies, which represents an excellent model system to test the hypotheses of kinship theory and examine the underlying mechanisms driving it. Recent studies have confirmed the predicted differences in the influence of matrigenes and patrigenes on reproductive division of labor in social insects, and demonstrated that these differences are associated with differences in PSGE of key genes involved in regulating reproductive physiology, providing further support for kinship theory. However, the mechanisms mediating PSGE in social insects, and how PSGE leads to differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior, remain to be determined. Here, we review the available supporting evidence for three possible epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, piRNAs, and histone modification) that may generate PSGE in social insects, and discuss how these may lead to variation in social behavior. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email

  18. Herb pair Danggui-Honghua: mechanisms underlying blood stasis syndrome by system pharmacology approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Shi-Jun; Xin, Lan-Ting; Fan, Ya-Chu; Li, Shu-Jiao; Tang, Yu-Ping; Duan, Jin-Ao; Guan, Hua-Shi; Wang, Chang-Yun

    2017-01-01

    Herb pair Danggui-Honghua has been frequently used for treatment of blood stasis syndrome (BSS) in China, one of the most common clinical pathological syndromes in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, its therapeutic mechanism has not been clearly elucidated. In the present study, a feasible system pharmacology model based on chemical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacological data was developed via network construction approach to clarify the mechanisms of this herb pair. Thirty-one active ingredients of Danggui-Honghua possessing favorable pharmacokinetic profiles and biological activities were selected, interacting with 42 BSS-related targets to provide potential synergistic therapeutic actions. Systematic analysis of the constructed networks revealed that these targets such as HMOX1, NOS2, NOS3, HIF1A and PTGS2 were mainly involved in TNF signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, estrogen signaling pathway and neurotrophin signaling pathway. The contribution index of every active ingredient also indicated six compounds, including hydroxysafflor yellow A, safflor yellow A, safflor yellow B, Z-ligustilide, ferulic acid, and Z-butylidenephthalide, as the principal components of this herb pair. These results successfully explained the polypharmcological mechanisms underlying the efficiency of Danggui-Honghua for BSS treatment, and also probed into the potential novel therapeutic strategies for BSS in TCM.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Yeh, Chin-Hsun

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Biological and mechanical evaluation of a Bio-Hybrid scaffold for autologous valve tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnavi, S; Saravanan, U; Arthi, N; Bhuvaneshwar, G S; Kumary, T V; Rajan, S; Verma, R S

    2017-04-01

    Major challenge in heart valve tissue engineering for paediatric patients is the development of an autologous valve with regenerative capacity. Hybrid tissue engineering approach is recently gaining popularity to design scaffolds with desired biological and mechanical properties that can remodel post implantation. In this study, we fabricated aligned nanofibrous Bio-Hybrid scaffold made of decellularized bovine pericardium: polycaprolactone-chitosan with optimized polymer thickness to yield the desired biological and mechanical properties. CD44 + , αSMA + , Vimentin + and CD105 - human valve interstitial cells were isolated and seeded on these Bio-Hybrid scaffolds. Subsequent biological evaluation revealed interstitial cell proliferation with dense extra cellular matrix deposition that indicated the viability for growth and proliferation of seeded cells on the scaffolds. Uniaxial mechanical tests along axial direction showed that the Bio-Hybrid scaffolds has at least 20 times the strength of the native valves and its stiffness is nearly 3 times more than that of native valves. Biaxial and uniaxial mechanical studies on valve interstitial cells cultured Bio-Hybrid scaffolds revealed that the response along the axial and circumferential direction was different, similar to native valves. Overall, our findings suggest that Bio-Hybrid scaffold is a promising material for future development of regenerative heart valve constructs in children. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Mechanism and kinetics of mineral weathering under acid conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anbeek, C.

    1994-01-01

    This study deals with the relationships between crystal structure, grain diameter, surface morphology and dissolution kinetics for feldspar and quartz under acid conditions.

    Intensively ground samples from large, naturally weathered mineral fragments are frequently used in

  2. Performance of multifilamentary Nb3Sn under mechanical load

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easton, D.S.; Schwall, R.E.

    1976-01-01

    The critical current of a commercial multifilamentary Nb 3 Sn conductor has been measured under the application of uniaxial tension at 4.2 K and following bending at room temperature. Significant reductions in J/subc/ are observed under uniaxial loading. Results are presented for a monolithic conductor manufactured by the bronze diffusion technique and for cable conductors formed by the tin-dip technique

  3. Decentralized control mechanism underlying interlimb coordination of millipedes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kano, Takeshi; Sakai, Kazuhiko; Yasui, Kotaro; Owaki, Dai; Ishiguro, Akio

    2017-04-04

    Legged animals exhibit adaptive and resilient locomotion through interlimb coordination. The long-term goal of this study is to clarify the relationship between the number of legs and the inherent decentralized control mechanism for interlimb coordination. As a preliminary step, the study focuses on millipedes as they represent the species with the greatest number of legs among various animal species. A decentralized control mechanism involving local force feedback was proposed based on the qualitative findings of behavioural experiments in which responses to the removal of part of the terrain and leg amputation were observed. The proposed mechanism was implemented in a developed millipede-like robot to demonstrate that the robot can adapt to the removal of the part of the terrain and leg amputation in a manner similar to that in behavioural experiments.

  4. Advanced waterflooding in chalk reservoirs: Understanding of underlying mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zahid, Adeel; Sandersen, Sara Bülow; Stenby, Erling Halfdan

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recove...... of a microemulsion phase could be the possible reasons for the observed increase in oil recovery with sulfate ions at high temperature in chalk reservoirs besides the mechanism of the rock wettability alteration, which has been reported in most previous studies.......Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recovery...

  5. A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeven, D.T.H.; Verhagen, H.; Goldbohm, R.A.; Brandt, P.A. van den; Poppel, G. van

    1997-01-01

    The mechanisms by which brassica vegetables might decrease the risk of cancer are reviewed in this paper. Brassicas, including all types of cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, may be protective against cancer due to their relatively high glucosinolate content. Glucosinolates are

  6. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stallen, M.; Smidts, A.; Sanfey, A.G.

    2013-01-01

    People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed

  7. Peer influence: Neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Stallen (Mirre); A. Smidts (Ale); A.G. Sanfey (Alan)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractPeople often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

  8. Survival under stress: molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies in my laboratory are analysing the molecular mechanisms and regulatory events that underlie transitions to and from hypometabolic states In systems including anoxia-tolerant turtles and molluscs, estivating snails and toads, hibernating small mammals, and freeze tolerant frogs and insects. Our newest research ...

  9. Paramecium tetraurelia growth stimulation under low-level chronic irradiation: investigations on a possible mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croute, F.; Soleilhavoup, J.P.; Vidal, S.; Dupouy, D.; Planel, H.

    1982-01-01

    Experiments were carried out to demonstrate the effects of low-level chronic irradiation on Paramecium tetraurelia proliferation. Biological effects were strongly dependent on the bacterial density of culture medium and more exactly on the catalase content of the medium. Significant growth stimulation was found under 60 Co chronic irradiation at a dose rate of 2 rad/year when paramecia were grown in a medium containing a high bacterial concentration (2.5 x 10 2 cells/m) or supplemented with catalase (300 U/ml). In a medium with a low bacterial density (1 x 10 6 cell/ml) or supplemented with a catalase activity inhibitor, growth simulation was preceded by a transitory inhibiting effect which could be correlated with extracellularly radioproduced H 2 O 2 . H 2 O 2 addition appeared to be able to simulate the biological effects of chronic irradiation. A possible mechanism is discussed.We proposed that the stimulating effects were the result of intracellular enzymatic scavenging of radioproduced H 2 O 2

  10. Underlying mechanisms of transient luminous events: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Surkov

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Transient luminous events (TLEs occasionally observed above a strong thunderstorm system have been the subject of a great deal of research during recent years. The main goal of this review is to introduce readers to recent theories of electrodynamics processes associated with TLEs. We examine the simplest versions of these theories in order to make their physics as transparent as possible. The study is begun with the conventional mechanism for air breakdown at stratospheric and mesospheric altitudes. An electron impact ionization and dissociative attachment to neutrals are discussed. A streamer size and mobility of electrons as a function of altitude in the atmosphere are estimated on the basis of similarity law. An alternative mechanism of air breakdown, runaway electron mechanism, is discussed. In this section we focus on a runaway breakdown field, characteristic length to increase avalanche of runaway electrons and on the role played by fast seed electrons in generation of the runaway breakdown. An effect of thunderclouds charge distribution on initiation of blue jets and gigantic jets is examined. A model in which the blue jet is treated as upward-propagating positive leader with a streamer zone/corona on the top is discussed. Sprite models based on streamer-like mechanism of air breakdown in the presence of atmospheric conductivity are reviewed. To analyze conditions for sprite generation, thunderstorm electric field arising just after positive cloud-to-ground stroke is compared with the thresholds for propagation of positively/negatively charged streamers and with runway breakdown. Our own estimate of tendril's length at the bottom of sprite is obtained to demonstrate that the runaway breakdown can trigger the streamer formation. In conclusion we discuss physical mechanisms of VLF (very low frequency and ELF (extremely low frequency phenomena associated with sprites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Mini-review of the geotechnical parameters of municipal solid waste: Mechanical and biological pre-treated versus raw untreated waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovic, Igor

    2016-09-01

    The most viable option for biostabilisation of old sanitary landfills, filled with raw municipal solid waste, is the so-called bioreactor landfill. Even today, bioreactor landfills are viable options in many economically developing countries. However, in order to reduce the biodegradable component of landfilled waste, mechanical and biological treatment has become a widely accepted waste treatment technology, especially in more prosperous countries. Given that mechanical and biological treatment alters the geotechnical properties of raw waste material, the design of sanitary landfills which accepts mechanically and biologically treated waste, should be carried out with a distinct set of geotechnical parameters. However, under the assumption that 'waste is waste', some design engineers might be tempted to use geotechnical parameters of untreated raw municipal solid waste and mechanical and biological pre-treated municipal solid waste interchangeably. Therefore, to provide guidelines for use and to provide an aggregated source of this information, this mini-review provides comparisons of geotechnical parameters of mechanical and biological pre-treated waste and raw untreated waste at various decomposition stages. This comparison reveals reasonable correlations between the hydraulic conductivity values of untreated and mechanical and biological pre-treated municipal solid waste. It is recognised that particle size might have a significant influence on the hydraulic conductivity of both municipal solid waste types. However, the compression ratios and shear strengths of untreated and pre-treated municipal solid waste do not show such strong correlations. Furthermore, another emerging topic that requires appropriate attention is the recovery of resources that are embedded in old landfills. Therefore, the presented results provide a valuable tool for engineers designing landfills for mechanical and biological pre-treated waste or bioreactor landfills for untreated raw

  13. Clinical indications and biological mechanisms of splenic irradiation in autoimmune diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weinmann, M.; Becker, G.; Einsele, H.; Bamberg, M.

    2001-01-01

    Background: Splenic irradiation (SI) is a fairly unknown treatment modality in autoimmune disorders like autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AIT) or autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), which may provide an effective, low toxic and cost-effective treatment for selected patients. Patients, Materials and Methods: This article reviews the limited experiences on splenic irradiation in autoimmune thrombocytopenia by analyzing the current studies including 71 patients and some preliminary reports on splenic irradiation in autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Results: In autoimmune thrombocytopenia between 40 and 90% of all patients responded, but most of them relapsed within 4 to 6 months after splenic irradiation. Between 10 and 20% of all patients had a sustained response. The efficacy of splenic irradiation in HIV-associated cases of thrombocytopenia is probably lower than in other forms of autoimmune thrombocytopenia, but especially in this group immunosuppressive drug treatment of autoimmune thrombocytopenia exposes some problems. In autoimmune hemolytic anemia there are some case reports about efficacy of splenic irradiation. Toxicity of splenic irradiation in both diseases was very moderate. Conclusions: For HIV patients, for elderly patients or patients at high risk for complications following splenectomy splenic irradiation might be a treatment option. Splenic irradiation as preoperative treatment in patients not responding to or not suitable for immunosuppressive drugs prior to splenectomy may be a promising new application of splenic irradiation to reduce adverse effects of splenectomy in thrombocytopenic patients. A further analysis of the biological mechanisms underlying splenic irradiation may help to improve patient selection, to optimize dose concepts and treatment schedules and will improve understanding of radiotherapy as an immunomodulatory treatment modality. (orig.) [de

  14. Mechanical-biological waste conditioning with controlled venting - the Meisenheim mechanical-biological waste conditioning plant; Mechanisch-biologische Restabfallbehandlung nach dem Kaminzugverfahren - MBRA Meisenheim

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hangen, H.O. [Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb Landkreis Bad Kreuznach, Bad Kreuznach (Germany)

    1998-12-31

    The decision of the rural district of Bad Kreuznach to propose creating facilities for mechanical-biological waste conditioning at the new northern Meisenheim landfill was consistent and correct. It will ensure that the material deposited at this new, state-of-the-art landfill is organically `lean` and can be deposited with a high density. Preliminary sifting of the material prior to depositing safeguards that no improper components are inadvertently included. Three years of operation warrant the statement that waste components that cannot be appropriately biologically conditioned should be eliminated prior to rotting. (orig.) [Deutsch] Die Entscheidung des Landkreises Bad Kreuznach, der neu eingerichteten Norddeponie Meisenheim eine MBRA vorzuschlaten, war auf jeden Fall konsequent und richtig. Es ist damit sicher gestellt, dass in diesem neuen nach dem Stand der Technik eingerichteten Deponiebereich von Anfang an ein Material eingelagert wird, das `organisch abgemagert` ist und mit hoher Einbaudichte eingebaut werden kann. Die Sichtung des gesamten Deponie-Inputs in der Vorsortierhalle gibt ein Stueck Sicherheit, dass keine nicht zugelassenen Stoffe verdeckt dem Ablagerungsbereich der Deponie zugefuehrt werden. Nach mehr als 3 Jahren Betriebszeit kann festgestellt werden, dass biologisch nicht sinnvoll behandelbare Abfallbestandteile vor dem Rotteprozess abgetrennt werden sollten. (orig.)

  15. Mechanisms underlying social inequality in post-menopausal breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur

    2014-10-01

    This thesis is based on studies conducted in the period 2010-2014 at Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen and at Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. The results are presented in three scientific papers and a synopsis. The main objective of the thesis was to determine mechanisms underlying social inequality (defined by educational level) in postmenopausal breast cancer (BC) by addressing mediating effects through hormone therapy (HT) use, BMI, lifestyle and reproductive factors. The results of previous studies suggest that the higher risk of postmenopausal BC among women of high socioeconomic position (SEP) may be explained by reproductive factors and health behaviors. Women of higher SEP generally have fewer children and give birth at older ages than women of low SEP, and these factors have been found to affect the risk of BC - probably through altered hormone levels. Adverse effects on BC risk have also been documented for modifiable health behaviors that may affect hormone levels, such as alcohol consumption, high BMI, physical inactivity, and HT use. Alcohol consumption and HT use are likewise more common among women of higher SEP. The analyses were based on the Social Inequality in Cancer (SIC) cohort and a subsample of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). The SIC cohort was derived by pooling 6 individual studies from the Copenhagen area including 33,562 women (1,733 BC cases) aged 50-70 years at baseline. The subsample of WHI-OS consisted of two case-cohort studies with measurements of endogenous estradiol (N = 1,601) and insulin (N = 791). Assessment of mediation often relies on comparing multiplicative models with and without the potential mediator. Such approaches provide potentially biased results, because they do not account for mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-dependent mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-mediator interaction and interactions

  16. The radical mechanism of biological methane synthesis by methyl-coenzyme M reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wongnate, T.; Sliwa, D.; Ginovska, B.; Smith, D.; Wolf, M. W.; Lehnert, N.; Raugei, S.; Ragsdale, S. W.

    2016-05-19

    Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR), the rate-limiting enzyme in methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation, is responsible for the production of over one billion tons of methane per year. The mechanism of methane synthesis is unknown, with the two leading proposals involving either a methyl-nickel(III) (Mechanism I) or methyl radical/Ni(II)-thiolate (Mechanism II) intermediate(s). When the reaction between the active Ni(I) enzyme with substrates was studied by transient kinetic, spectroscopic and computational methods, formation of an EPR-silent Ni(II)-thiolate intermediate was positively identified by magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy. There was no evidence for an EPR-active methyl-Ni(III) species. Temperature-dependent transient kinetic studies revealed that the activation energy for the initial catalytic step closely matched the value computed by density functional theory for Mechanism II. Thus, our results demonstrate that biological methane synthesis occurs by generation of a methyl radical.

  17. Bobbing of Oxysterols: Molecular Mechanism for Translocation of Tail-Oxidized Sterols through Biological Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulig, Waldemar; Mikkolainen, Heikki; Olżyńska, Agnieszka; Jurkiewicz, Piotr; Cwiklik, Lukasz; Hof, Martin; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Jungwirth, Pavel; Rog, Tomasz

    2018-03-01

    Translocation of sterols between cellular membrane leaflets is of key importance in membrane organization, dynamics, and signaling. We present a novel translocation mechanism that differs in a unique manner from the established ones. The bobbing mechanism identified here is demonstrated for tail-oxidized sterols, but is expected to be viable for any molecule containing two polar centers at the opposite sides of the molecule. The mechanism renders translocation across a lipid membrane possible without a change in molecular orientation. For tail-oxidized sterols, the bobbing mechanism provides an exceptionally facile means to translocate these signaling molecules across membrane structures and may thus represent an important pathway in the course of their biological action.

  18. Exploring the MACH Model's Potential as a Metacognitive Tool to Help Undergraduate Students Monitor Their Explanations of Biological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of…

  19. Molecular mechanisms of acetylcholine receptor-lipid interactions: from model membranes to human biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baenziger, John E; daCosta, Corrie J B

    2013-03-01

    Lipids are potent modulators of the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Lipids influence nicotinic receptor function by allosteric mechanisms, stabilizing varying proportions of pre-existing resting, open, desensitized, and uncoupled conformations. Recent structures reveal that lipids could alter function by modulating transmembrane α-helix/α-helix packing, which in turn could alter the conformation of the allosteric interface that links the agonist-binding and transmembrane pore domains-this interface is essential in the coupling of agonist binding to channel gating. We discuss potential mechanisms by which lipids stabilize different conformational states in the context of the hypothesis that lipid-nicotinic receptor interactions modulate receptor function at biological synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Mechanical response of human female breast skin under uniaxial stretching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumaraswamy, N; Khatam, Hamed; Reece, Gregory P; Fingeret, Michelle C; Markey, Mia K; Ravi-Chandar, Krishnaswamy

    2017-10-01

    Skin is a complex material covering the entire surface of the human body. Studying the mechanical properties of skin to calibrate a constitutive model is of great importance to many applications such as plastic or cosmetic surgery and treatment of skin-based diseases like decubitus ulcers. The main objective of the present study was to identify and calibrate an appropriate material constitutive model for skin and establish certain universal properties that are independent of patient-specific variability. We performed uniaxial tests performed on breast skin specimens freshly harvested during mastectomy. Two different constitutive models - one phenomenological and another microstructurally inspired - were used to interpret the mechanical responses observed in the experiments. Remarkably, we found that the model parameters that characterize dependence on previous maximum stretch (or preconditioning) exhibited specimen-independent universal behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Peer influence: Neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre eStallen

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Participants completed a perceptual decision-making task while undergoing fMRI, during which they were exposed to the judgments of both in-group and out-group members. Our data suggest that conformity to the in-group is mediated by both positive affect as well as the cognitive capacity of perspective taking. Examining the processes that drive in-group conformity by utilizing a basic decision-making paradigm combined with neuroimaging methods provides important insights into the potential mechanisms of conformity. These results may provide an integral step in developing more effective campaigns using group conformity as a tool for behavioral change.

  3. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stallen, Mirre; Smidts, Ale; Sanfey, Alan G

    2013-01-01

    People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed a perceptual decision-making task while undergoing fMRI, during which they were exposed to the judgments of both in-group and out-group members. Our data suggest that conformity to the in-group is mediated by both positive affect as well as the cognitive capacity of perspective taking. Examining the processes that drive in-group conformity by utilizing a basic decision-making paradigm combined with neuroimaging methods provides important insights into the potential mechanisms of conformity. These results may provide an integral step in developing more effective campaigns using group conformity as a tool for behavioral change.

  4. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

  5. Mental imagery in music performance: underlying mechanisms and potential benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Peter E

    2012-04-01

    This paper examines the role of mental imagery in music performance. Self-reports by musicians, and various other sources of anecdotal evidence, suggest that covert auditory, motor, and/or visual imagery facilitate multiple aspects of music performance. The cognitive and motor mechanisms that underlie such imagery include working memory, action simulation, and internal models. Together these mechanisms support the generation of anticipatory images that enable thorough action planning and movement execution that is characterized by efficiency, temporal precision, and biomechanical economy. In ensemble performance, anticipatory imagery may facilitate interpersonal coordination by enhancing online predictions about others' action timing. Overlap in brain regions subserving auditory imagery and temporal prediction is consistent with this view. It is concluded that individual differences in anticipatory imagery may be a source of variation in expressive performance excellence and the quality of ensemble cohesion. Engaging in effortful musical imagery is therefore justified when artistic perfection is the goal. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Neural mechanisms underlying context-dependent shifts in risk preferences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Losecaat Vermeer, A.B.; Boksem, M.A.S.; Sanfey, A.G.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of risky decision-making have demonstrated that humans typically prefer risky options after incurring a financial loss, while generally preferring safer options after a monetary gain. Here, we examined the neural processes underlying these inconsistent risk preferences by investigating the

  7. Electron and Proton Transfer by the Grotthuss Mechanism in Aqueous Solution and in Biological Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horne, R.A.; Courant, R.A.; Johnson, D.S.

    1965-01-01

    TheFe ll -Fe III electron-exchange reaction and certain long-range biological redox reactions involve the transfer of electrons by a Grotthuss-type mechanism over water bridges. The Grotthuss mechanism is also responsible for the anomalously great electrical conductivity of acidic aqueous solutions. At ordinary pressures the rate-determining step of the Grotthuss mechanism is the rotation of H 2 O, or possibly H 3 O+, and not the actual proton flip itself. The Grotthuss mechanism is confined to the ''free'' rotatable monomeric water between the Frank-Wen clusters in liquid water and avoids areas of relative order. The concentration dependence of protonic conduction can be represented by an equation based upon a cube root of concentration extrapolation and containing Arrhenius terms in which the activation energies are those for the rotation of and the formation of ''holes'' in the solvent water. Thus chemical energy and/or electrical energy can be transmitted rapidly over relatively great distances by the Grotthuss mechanism. Such processes are involved in a variety of phenomena of biological significance, examples being muscular contraction and the chemistry of the respiratory pigments. (author) [fr

  8. [Mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid resistance in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y Y; Lou, H F; Wang, C S; Zhang, L

    2018-02-07

    Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs in the nasal and sinus mucosa, which is a common disease in otorhinolaryngology. At present, CRSwNP can be effectively treated by glucocorticoids (GC). GC binds to GC receptors in the nasal mucosa, affects the expression of inflammatory genes, inhibits the activation and action of eosinophils, T cell-associated inflammatory responses in nasal polyps, as well as tissue remodeling. However, there are some patients fall reponse to GC, so called GC resistance. The study suggests that the possible mechanism of CRSwNP GC resistance is mainly related to GC receptor abnormal, the role of cytokines and transcription factors, such as Th cells and IL-8. In addition, MAPK-related kinases and histone deacetylase in the GC signaling pathway also play important roles in the GC resistance process. This paper reviews the mechanism of GC treatment of CRSwNP, the mechanism of GC resistance and alternative treatment of GC.

  9. The Survival Advantage: Underlying Mechanisms and Extant Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the function of memory in our evolutionary history. According to Nairne and colleagues (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, and Thompson, 2008; Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada, 2007, the best mnemonic strategy for learning lists of unrelated words may be one that addresses the same problems that our Pleistocene ancestors faced: fitness-relevant problems including securing food and water, as well as protecting themselves from predators. Survival processing has been shown to promote better recall and recognition memory than many well-known mnemonic strategies (e.g., pleasantness ratings, imagery, generation, etc.. However, the survival advantage does not extend to all types of stimuli and tasks. The current review presents research that has replicated Nairne et al.'s (2007 original findings, in addition to the research designs that fail to replicate the survival advantage. In other words, there are specific manipulations in which survival processing does not appear to benefit memory any more than other strategies. Potential mechanisms for the survival advantage are described, with an emphasis on those that are the most plausible. These proximate mechanisms outline the memory processes that may contribute to the advantage, although the ultimate mechanism may be the congruity between the survival scenario and Pleistocene problem-solving.

  10. Passive and active response of bacteria under mechanical compression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garces, Renata; Miller, Samantha; Schmidt, Christoph F.; Byophysics Team; Institute of Medical Sciences Collaboration

    Bacteria display simple but fascinating cellular structures and geometries. Their shapes are the result of the interplay between osmotic pressure and cell wall construction. Typically, bacteria maintain a high difference of osmotic pressure (on the order of 1 atm) to the environment. This pressure difference (turgor pressure) is supported by the cell envelope, a composite of lipid membranes and a rigid cell wall. The response of the cell envelope to mechanical perturbations such as geometrical confinements is important for the cells survival. Another key property of bacteria is the ability to regulate turgor pressure after abrupt changes of external osmotic conditions. This response relies on the activity of mechanosensitive (MS) channels: membrane proteins that release solutes in response to excessive stress in the cell envelope. We here present experimental data on the mechanical response of the cell envelope and on turgor regulation of bacteria subjected to compressive forces. We indent living cells with micron-sized beads attached to the cantilever of an atomic force microscope (AFM). This approach ensures global deformation of the cell. We show that such mechanical loading is sufficient to gate mechanosensitive channels in isosmotic conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

    Iron oxidation under neutral conditions (pH 6.5-8) may be a homo- or heterogeneous chemically- or a biologically-mediated process. The chemical oxidation is supposed to outpace the biological process under slightly alkaline conditions (pH 7-8). The iron oxidation kinetics and growth of Gallionella spp. - obligatory chemolithotrophic iron oxidizers - were assessed in natural, organic carbon-containing water, in continuous lab-scale reactors and full-scale groundwater trickling filters in the Netherlands. From Gallionella cell numbers determined by qPCR, balances were made for all systems. The homogeneous chemical iron oxidation occurred in accordance with the literature, but was retarded by a low water temperature (13 °C). The contribution of the heterogeneous chemical oxidation was, despite the presence of freshly formed iron oxyhydroxides, much lower than in previous studies in ultrapure water. This could be caused by the adsorption of natural organic matter (NOM) on the iron oxide surfaces. In the oxygen-saturated natural water with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.7, Gallionella spp. grew uninhibited and biological iron oxidation was an important, and probably the dominant, process. Gallionella growth was not even inhibited in a full-scale filter after plate aeration. From this we conclude that Gallionella spp. can grow under neutral pH and fully aerated conditions when the chemical iron oxidation is retarded by low water temperature and inhibition of the autocatalytic iron oxidation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Towards biologically conformal radiation therapy (BCRT): Selective IMRT dose escalation under the guidance of spatial biology distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Yong; Xing Lei

    2005-01-01

    It is well known that the spatial biology distribution (e.g., clonogen density, radiosensitivity, tumor proliferation rate, functional importance) in most tumors and sensitive structures is heterogeneous. Recent progress in biological imaging is making the mapping of this distribution increasingly possible. The purpose of this work is to establish a theoretical framework to quantitatively incorporate the spatial biology data into intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) inverse planning. In order to implement this, we first derive a general formula for determining the desired dose to each tumor voxel for a known biology distribution of the tumor based on a linear-quadratic model. The desired target dose distribution is then used as the prescription for inverse planning. An objective function with the voxel-dependent prescription is constructed with incorporation of the nonuniform dose prescription. The functional unit density distribution in a sensitive structure is also considered phenomenologically when constructing the objective function. Two cases with different hypothetical biology distributions are used to illustrate the new inverse planning formalism. For comparison, treatments with a few uniform dose prescriptions and a simultaneous integrated boost are also planned. The biological indices, tumor control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), are calculated for both types of plans and the superiority of the proposed technique over the conventional dose escalation scheme is demonstrated. Our calculations revealed that it is technically feasible to produce deliberately nonuniform dose distributions with consideration of biological information. Compared with the conventional dose escalation schemes, the new technique is capable of generating biologically conformal IMRT plans that significantly improve the TCP while reducing or keeping the NTCPs at their current levels. Biologically conformal radiation therapy (BCRT

  13. Influences of mechanical pretreatment on the non-biological treatment of municipal wastewater by forward osmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hey, Tobias; Zarebska, Agata; Bajraktari, Niada; Vogel, Jörg; Hélix-Nielsen, Claus; la Cour Jansen, Jes; Jönsson, Karin

    2017-09-01

    Municipal wastewater treatment involves mechanical, biological and chemical treatment steps for protecting the environment from adverse effects. The biological treatment step consumes the most energy and can create greenhouse gases. This study investigates municipal wastewater treatment without the biological treatment step, including the effects of different pretreatment configurations, for example, direct membrane filtration before forward osmosis. Forward osmosis was tested using raw wastewater and wastewater subjected to different types of mechanical pretreatment, for example, microsieving and microfiltration permeation, as a potential technology for municipal wastewater treatment. Forward osmosis was performed using Aquaporin Inside™ and Hydration Technologies Inc. (HTI) membranes with NaCl as the draw solution. Both types of forward osmosis membranes were tested in parallel for the different types of pretreated feed and evaluated in terms of water flux and solute rejection, that is, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 7 ) and total and soluble phosphorus contents. The Aquaporin and HTI membranes achieved a stable water flux with rejection rates of more than 96% for BOD 7 and total and soluble phosphorus, regardless of the type of mechanical pretreated wastewater considered. This result indicates that forward osmosis membranes can tolerate exposure to municipal waste water and that the permeate can fulfil the Swedish discharge limits.

  14. MORPHOMETRIC CHARACTERISTIC OF RATS LIVER UNDER PRE-SLAUGHTER STRESS AND USAGE OF BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE SUBSTANCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grabovskyi S. S.

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We have studied morphometric parameters of rats’ liver under stress conditions using the biologically active substances of plant and animal origin: spleen, Echinacea and Chinese lemon extracts, sprouted grain. Aerosol introduction of spleen extract to the rats feed for five days before slaughter was caused to liver morphological state moderate deviation, indicating the antistressors properties of polyamines contained in this extract. The results of model experiment on rats can be used in research of farm animals for correction of pre-slaughter stress influence and getting the receiving of quality industrial production.

  15. Phosphorene under strain:electronic, mechanical and piezoelectric responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drissi, L. B.; Sadki, S.; Sadki, K.

    2018-01-01

    Structural, electronic, elastic and piezoelectric properties of pure phosphorene under in-plane strain are investigated using first-principles calculations based on density functional theory. The two critical yielding points are determined along armchair and zigzag directions. It is shown that the buckling, the band gap and the charge transfer can be controlled under strains. A semiconductor to metallic transition is observed in metastable region. Polar plots of Young's modulus, Poisson ratio, sound velocities and Debye temperature exhibit evident anisotropic feature of phosphorene and indicate auxetic behavior for some angles θ. Our calculations show also that phosphorene has both in-plane and out-of-plane piezoelectric responses comparable to known 2D materials. The findings of this work reveal the great potential of pure phosphorene in nanomechanical applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jamdagni, Pooja, E-mail: j.poojaa1228@gmail.com; Sharma, Munish; Ahluwalia, P. K. [Physics Department, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India 171005 (India); Kumar, Ashok [Physics Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, 160014 (India); Thakur, Anil [Physics Department, Govt. Collage Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India,173212 (India)

    2015-05-15

    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices.

  18. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamdagni, Pooja; Sharma, Munish; Ahluwalia, P. K.; Kumar, Ashok; Thakur, Anil

    2015-01-01

    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices

  19. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

    The polyglutamine (polyQ) disorders comprise nine diseases characterized by an expanded polyQ tract within the respective proteins. These disorders are rare but include the well-known Huntington’s disease, and several spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs). The diseases usually strike midlife and progress....... Even though a range of mechanisms contributing to polyQ diseases have been uncovered, there is still no treatment available. One of the more common polyQ diseases is SCA3, which is caused by a polyQ expansion in the ataxin-3 protein that normally functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme involved...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisol Rivero Herrada

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Space radiation-induced bystander effect: kinetics of biologic responses, mechanisms, and significance of secondary radiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonon, Geraldine

    2011-01-01

    Widespread evidence indicates that exposure of cell cultures to a particles results in significant biological changes in both the irradiated and non-irradiated bystander cells in the population. The induction of non-targeted biological responses in cell cultures exposed to low fluences of high charge (Z) and high energy (E) particles is relevant to estimates of the health risks of space radiation and to radiotherapy. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the induction of stressful effects in confluent normal human fibroblast cultures exposed to low fluences of 1000 MeV/u iron ions (linear energy transfer (LET) 151 keV/μm), 600 MeV/u silicon ions (LET 50 keV/μm) or 290 MeV/u carbon ions (LET 13 keV/μm). We compared the results with those obtained in cell cultures exposed, in parallel, to low fluences of 0.92 MeV/u a particles (LET 109 keV/μm). Induction of DNA damage, changes in gene expression, protein carbonylation and lipid peroxidation during 24 h after exposure of confluent cultures to mean doses as low as 0.2 cGy of iron or silicon ions strongly supported the propagation of stressful effects from irradiated to bystander cells. At a mean dose of 0.2 cGy, only 1 and 3 % of the cells would be targeted through the nucleus by an iron or silicon ion, respectively. Within 24 h post-irradiation, immunoblot analyses revealed significant increases in the levels of phospho-TP53 (serine 15), p21Waf1 (also known as CDKN1A), HDM2, phospho-ERK1/2, protein carbonylation and lipid peroxidation. The magnitude of the responses suggested participation of non-targeted cells in the response. Furthermore, when the irradiated cell populations were subcultured in fresh medium shortly after irradiation, greater than expected increases in the levels of these markers were also observed during 24 h. Together, the results imply a rapidly propagated and persistent bystander effect. In situ analyses in confluent cultures showed 53BP1 foci formation, a marker of DNA damage, in

  2. Ethanol Neurotoxicity in the Developing Cerebellum: Underlying Mechanisms and Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ambrish Kumar

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ethanol is the main constituent of alcoholic beverages that exerts toxicity to neuronal development. Ethanol affects synaptogenesis and prevents proper brain development. In humans, synaptogenesis takes place during the third trimester of pregnancy, and in rodents this period corresponds to the initial few weeks of postnatal development. In this period neuronal maturation and differentiation begin and neuronal cells start migrating to their ultimate destinations. Although the neuronal development of all areas of the brain is affected, the cerebellum and cerebellar neurons are more susceptible to the damaging effects of ethanol. Ethanol’s harmful effects include neuronal cell death, impaired differentiation, reduction of neuronal numbers, and weakening of neuronal plasticity. Neuronal development requires many hormones and growth factors such as retinoic acid, nerve growth factors, and cytokines. These factors regulate development and differentiation of neurons by acting through various receptors and their signaling pathways. Ethanol exposure during development impairs neuronal signaling mechanisms mediated by the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA receptors, the retinoic acid receptors, and by growth factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I, and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF. In combination, these ethanol effects disrupt cellular homeostasis, reduce the survival and migration of neurons, and lead to various developmental defects in the brain. Here we review the signaling mechanisms that are required for proper neuronal development, and how these processes are impaired by ethanol resulting in harmful consequences to brain development.

  3. Brainstem mechanisms underlying the cough reflex and its regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutolo, Donatella

    2017-09-01

    Cough is a very important airway protective reflex. Cough-related inputs are conveyed to the caudal nucleus tractus solitarii (cNTS) that projects to the brainstem respiratory network. The latter is reconfigured to generate the cough motor pattern. A high degree of modulation is exerted on second-order neurons and the brainstem respiratory network by sensory inputs and higher brain areas. Two medullary structures proved to have key functions in cough production and to be strategic sites of action for centrally active drugs: the cNTS and the caudal ventral respiratory group (cVRG). Drugs microinjected into these medullary structures caused downregulation or upregulation of the cough reflex. The results suggest that inhibition and disinhibition are prominent regulatory mechanisms of this reflex and that both the cNTS and the cVRG are essential in the generation of the entire cough motor pattern. Studies on the basic neural mechanisms subserving the cough reflex may provide hints for novel therapeutic approaches. Different proposals for further investigations are advanced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Mechanisms Underlying Cytotoxicity Induced by Engineered Nanomaterials: A Review of In Vitro Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Daniele R.; Mitjans, Montserrat; Rolim, Clarice M. B.; Vinardell, M. Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Engineered nanomaterials are emerging functional materials with technologically interesting properties and a wide range of promising applications, such as drug delivery devices, medical imaging and diagnostics, and various other industrial products. However, concerns have been expressed about the risks of such materials and whether they can cause adverse effects. Studies of the potential hazards of nanomaterials have been widely performed using cell models and a range of in vitro approaches. In the present review, we provide a comprehensive and critical literature overview on current in vitro toxicity test methods that have been applied to determine the mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effects induced by the nanostructures. The small size, surface charge, hydrophobicity and high adsorption capacity of nanomaterial allow for specific interactions within cell membrane and subcellular organelles, which in turn could lead to cytotoxicity through a range of different mechanisms. Finally, aggregating the given information on the relationships of nanomaterial cytotoxic responses with an understanding of its structure and physicochemical properties may promote the design of biologically safe nanostructures. PMID:28344232

  5. Physical plasma in biological solids: a possible mechanism for resonant interactions between low intensity microwaves and biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zon, J R

    1979-01-01

    Observed semiconductor properties of biological material in vitro indicate possible involvement of semiconduction in biological processes. Since in inorganic semiconductors solid-state plasma occurs, it is hypothesized that in organic semiconductors solid-state plasma similarly occurs. Some results of experimental investigation of resonant effects of microwaves in biological systems are considered in the light of that hypothesis. The conditions necessary for the existence of physical plasma in biological solid structures are discussed, and certain parameters of physical plasma in these structures are evaluated. Its is proposed that microwave radiation may support or damp plasma oscillations, thereby stimulating or suppressing biological functions.

  6. Pet Face: Mechanisms Underlying Human-Animal Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgi, Marta; Cirulli, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating behavioral and neurophysiological studies support the idea of infantile (cute) faces as highly biologically relevant stimuli rapidly and unconsciously capturing attention and eliciting positive/affectionate behaviors, including willingness to care. It has been hypothesized that the presence of infantile physical and behavioral features in companion (or pet) animals (i.e., dogs and cats) might form the basis of our attraction to these species. Preliminary evidence has indeed shown that the human attentional bias toward the baby schema may extend to animal facial configurations. In this review, the role of facial cues, specifically of infantile traits and facial signals (i.e., eyes gaze) as emotional and communicative signals is highlighted and discussed as regulating the human-animal bond, similarly to what can be observed in the adult-infant interaction context. Particular emphasis is given to the neuroendocrine regulation of the social bond between humans and animals through oxytocin secretion. Instead of considering companion animals as mere baby substitutes for their owners, in this review we highlight the central role of cats and dogs in human lives. Specifically, we consider the ability of companion animals to bond with humans as fulfilling the need for attention and emotional intimacy, thus serving similar psychological and adaptive functions as human-human friendships. In this context, facial cuteness is viewed not just as a releaser of care/parental behavior, but, more in general, as a trait motivating social engagement. To conclude, the impact of this information for applied disciplines is briefly described, particularly in consideration of the increasing evidence of the beneficial effects of contacts with animals for human health and wellbeing.

  7. PET FACE: MECHANISMS UNDERLYING HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta eBorgi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating behavioral and neurophysiological studies support the idea of infantile (cute faces as highly biologically relevant stimuli rapidly and unconsciously capturing attention and eliciting positive/affectionate behaviors, including willingness to care. It has been hypothesized that the presence of infantile physical and behavioral features in companion (or pet animals (i.e. dogs and cats might form the basis of our attraction to these species. Preliminary evidence has indeed shown that the human attentional bias toward the baby schema may extend to animal facial configurations. In this review, the role of facial cues, specifically of infantile traits and facial signals (i.e. eyes gaze as emotional and communicative signals is highlighted and discussed as regulating human-animal bond, similarly to what can be observed in the adult-infant interaction context. Particular emphasis is given to the neuroendocrine regulation of social bond between humans and animals through oxytocin secretion. Instead of considering companion animals as mere baby substitutes for their owners, in this review we highlight the central role of cats and dogs in human lives. Specifically, we consider the ability of companion animals to bond with humans as fulfilling the need for attention and emotional intimacy, thus serving similar psychological and adaptive functions as human-human friendships. In this context, facial cuteness is viewed not just as a releaser of care/parental behavior, but more in general as a trait motivating social engagement. To conclude, the impact of this information for applied disciplines is briefly described, particularly in consideration of the increasing evidence of the beneficial effects of contacts with animals for human health and wellbeing.

  8. Internal insulation failure mechanisms of HV equipment under service conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lokhanin, A.K.; Morozova, T.I. [All-Russian Electrochemical Inst. (Russian Federation); Shneider, G.Y. [Electrozavod Holding Company (Russian Federation); Sokolov, V.V. [Scientific and Engineering Centre, ZTZ Service Research Inst. (Russian Federation); Chornogotsky, V.M. [Ukrainian Transformer Research Inst. (Ukraine)

    2005-09-01

    Failure mechanisms in oil-barrier transformer insulation and oil-paper condenser type insulation of transformers and HV bushing were discussed with reference to typical defects and failure modes of oil-barrier insulation of transformers, shunt reactor, condenser type bushing and instrument current transformers. It was noted that insulation problems predominantly involve the impairment of insulation, and that the relative rate of major failures in shunt reactors is about 1 per cent. It was suggested that bushings can cause about 45 per cent of major transformer failures, with aged mode failure occurring most frequently. The failure rate of 220-500 kV CTs accounts for more than 60 per cent of total instrument transformer failures. Two failure modes were observed: ionisation-mode and aging-mode failures. The reduction of switching surge breakdown voltage due to deposit of insoluble aging products was discussed. A long-term dielectric strength test revealed the following 2 mechanisms of insulation breakdown: accidental breakdown during the first period of aging and wearing mode breakdown due to degradation of materials at the last stage of the calculated terms of aging. Issues concerning the mechanism of the incipient irreversible failure in oil-barrier insulation were discussed, as well as issues concerning creeping discharge and large failures during normal operating conditions. It was suggested that the occurrence of surface discharge is associated with increased voltage due to oil breakdown progressing into insulation destruction and surface discharge as a self-firing phenomenon. Failure modes induced by peculiar oil and staining of internal porcelain were reviewed. It was noted that the discharges across the inner part of the transformer and porcelain were the out-come of a typical aging-mode phenomenon in the bushing. In addition, failure modes induced by staining the outer surface of bottom porcelain were discussed, as well as failure of oil-filled paper

  9. Biological Control Outcomes Using the Generalist Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza under Multi-Prey Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Jandricic

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aphidophagous midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae is used in biological control programs against aphids in many crops. Short-term trials with this natural enemy demonstrated that that females prefer to oviposit among aphids colonizing the new growth of plants, leading to differential attack rates for aphid species that differ in their within-plant distributions. Thus, we hypothesized that biological control efficacy could be compromised when more than one aphid species is present. We further hypothesized that control outcomes may be different at different crop stages if aphid species shift their preferred feeding locations. Here, we used greenhouse trials to determine biological control outcomes using A. aphidimyza under multi-prey conditions and at different crop stages. At all plant stages, aphid species had a significant effect on the number of predator eggs laid. More eggs were found on M. persicae versus A. solani-infested plants, since M. persicae consistently colonized plant meristems across plant growth stages. This translated to higher numbers of predatory larvae on M. periscae-infested plants in two out of our three experiments, and more consistent control of this pest (78%–95% control across all stages of plant growth. In contrast, control of A. solani was inconsistent in the presence of M. persicae, with 36%–80% control achieved. An additional experiment demonstrated control of A. solani by A. aphidimyza was significantly greater in the absence of M. persicae than in its presence. Our study illustrates that suitability of a natural enemy for pest control may change over a crop cycle as the position of prey on the plant changes, and that prey preference based on within-plant prey location can negatively influence biological control programs in systems with pest complexes. Careful monitoring of the less-preferred pest and its relative position on the plant is suggested.

  10. Parametric study of control mechanism of cortical bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanan; Qin, Qing-Hua

    2010-03-01

    The control mechanism of mechanical bone remodeling at cellular level was investigated by means of an extensive parametric study on a theoretical model described in this paper. From a perspective of control mechanism, it was found that there are several control mechanisms working simultaneously in bone remodeling which is a complex process. Typically, an extensive parametric study was carried out for investigating model parameter space related to cell differentiation and apoptosis which can describe the fundamental cell lineage behaviors. After analyzing all the combinations of 728 permutations in six model parameters, we have identified a small number of parameter combinations that can lead to physiologically realistic responses which are similar to theoretically idealized physiological responses. The results presented in the work enhanced our understanding on mechanical bone remodeling and the identified control mechanisms can help researchers to develop combined pharmacological-mechanical therapies to treat bone loss diseases such as osteoporosis.

  11. Mechanisms Underlying Profibrotic Epithelial Phenotype and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Crosstalk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bialik, Janne Folke

    , their roles in epithelial reprogramming are unclear. The aim of this thesis was to elucidate (i) the mechanism of TGFβ-induced TAZ expression in kidney fibrosis, (ii) the roles of MRTF and TAZ in PEP, (iii) how MRTF and TAZ regulate the oxidative state of the epithelium, and (iv) if the ensuing ROS production...... and TAZ prevented this, linking the cytoskeleton to the oxidative state of the cell. In Paper II TGFβ-induced increase in TAZ expression was investigated. Using pharmacological inhibition we show that non-canonical signaling via p38 and its downstream target MK2 mediates this upregulation. Furthermore......, MRTF regulates TAZ expression in a translocation-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of Nox4, a known activator of p38, resulted in decreased TAZ, suggesting a feedback loop in which Nox4 regulates TAZ and MRTF, which in turn regulates Nox4. In Paper III we investigated cytokine expression...

  12. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren

    2012-02-01

    The steroid hormone aldosterone is a key regulator of electrolyte transport in the kidney and contributes to both homeostatic whole-body electrolyte balance and the development of renal and cardiovascular pathologies. Aldosterone exerts its action principally through the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor in target tissues. Aldosterone also stimulates the activation of protein kinases and secondary messenger signaling cascades that act independently on specific molecular targets in the cell membrane and also modulate the transcriptional action of aldosterone through MR. This review describes current knowledge regarding the mechanisms and targets of rapid aldosterone action in the nephron and how aldosterone integrates these responses into the regulation of renal physiology.

  13. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren

    2011-03-17

    The steroid hormone aldosterone is a key regulator of electrolyte transport in the kidney and contributes to both homeostatic whole-body electrolyte balance and the development of renal and cardiovascular pathologies. Aldosterone exerts its action principally through the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor in target tissues. Aldosterone also stimulates the activation of protein kinases and secondary messenger signaling cascades that act independently on specific molecular targets in the cell membrane and also modulate the transcriptional action of aldosterone through MR. This review describes current knowledge regarding the mechanisms and targets of rapid aldosterone action in the nephron and how aldosterone integrates these responses into the regulation of renal physiology.

  14. Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergsland, E K

    2001-10-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a disease that is extremely difficult to manage and is markedly increasing in incidence. Malignant transformation generally occurs in the setting of liver dysfunction related to a number of different diseases, including viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and aflatoxin exposure. Short of surgical or ablative approaches, no standard therapy exists for HCC and the prognosis is poor. Perhaps our best hope is that further elucidation of the specific molecular features underlying the disease will translate into innovative, and potentially disease-specific strategies to manage this difficult cancer. Exposure to aflatoxin is associated with a specific mutation in the tumor-suppressor gene p53. The exact molecular events underlying hepatocarcinogenesis in the setting of viral infection have yet to be elucidated, although there is evidence to suggest that virus-encoded proteins contribute to malignant transformation. Both hepatitis B X antigen and hepatitis C core protein appear to interact with a variety of cellular proteins leading to alterations in signal transduction and transcriptional activity. These events presumably cooperate to facilitate malignant progression by promoting extended hepatocyte survival, evasion of the immune response, and acquisition of mutations through genomic instability. Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.

  15. Mechanical characterization of stomach tissue under uniaxial tensile action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Z G; Li, W; Zhou, Z R

    2015-02-26

    In this article, the tensile properties of gastric wall were investigated by using biomechanical test and theoretical analysis. The samples of porcine stomach strips from smaller and greater curvature of the stomach were cut in longitudinal and circumferential direction, respectively. The loading-unloading, stress relaxation, strain creep, tensile fracture tests were performed at mucosa-submucosa, serosa-muscle and intact layer, respectively. Results showed that the biomechanical properties of the porcine stomach depended on the layers, orientations and locations of the gastric wall and presented typical viscoelastic, nonlinear and anisotropic mechanical properties. During loading-unloading test, the stress of serosa-muscle layer in the longitudinal direction was 15-20% more than that in the circumferential direction at 12% stretch ratio, while it could reach about 40% for the intact layer and 50% for the mucosa-submucosa layer. The results of stress relaxation and strain creep showed that the variation degree was obviously faster in the circumferential direction than that in the longitudinal direction, and the ultimate residual values were also different for the different layers, orientations and locations. In the process of fracture test, the serosa-muscle layer fractured firstly followed by the mucosa-submucosa layer when the intact layer was tested, the longitudinal strips firstly began to fracture and the required stress value was about twice as much as that in the circumferential strips. The anisotropy and heterogeneity of mechanical characterization of the porcine stomach were related to its complicated geometry, structure and functions. The results would help us to understand the biomechanics of soft organ tissue. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanisms underlying probucol-induced hERG-channel deficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi YQ

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Yuan-Qi Shi,1,* Cai-Chuan Yan,1,* Xiao Zhang,1 Meng Yan,1 Li-Rong Liu,1 Huai-Ze Geng,1 Lin Lv,1 Bao-Xin Li1,21Department of Pharmacology, Harbin Medical University, 2State-Province Key Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Engineering, Harbin, Heilongjiang, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: The hERG gene encodes the pore-forming α-subunit of the rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium channel (IKr, which is important for cardiac repolarization. Reduction of IhERG due to genetic mutations or drug interferences causes long QT syndrome, leading to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias (torsades de pointes or sudden death. Probucol is a cholesterol-lowering drug that could reduce hERG current by decreasing plasma membrane hERG protein expression and eventually cause long QT syndrome. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of probucol effects on IhERG and hERG-channel expression. Our data demonstrated that probucol reduces SGK1 expression, known as SGK isoform, in a concentration-dependent manner, resulting in downregulation of phosphorylated E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 expression, but not the total level of Nedd4-2. As a result, the hERG protein reduces, due to the enhanced ubiquitination level. On the contrary, carbachol could enhance the phosphorylation level of Nedd4-2 as an alternative to SGK1, and thus rescue the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of hERG channels caused by probucol. These discoveries provide a novel mechanism of probucol-induced hERG-channel deficiency, and imply that carbachol or its analog may serve as potential therapeutic compounds for the handling of probucol cardiotoxicity.Keywords: long QT, hERG potassium channels, probucol, SGK1, Nedd4-2

  17. Mechanisms underlying cellular responses of cells from haemopoietic tissue to low

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadhim, Munira A

    2012-08-22

    The above studies will provide fundamental mechanistic information relating genetic predisposition to important low dose phenomena, and will aid in the development of Department of Energy policy, as well as radiation risk policy for the public and the workplace. We believe the proposed studies accurately reflect the goals of the DOE low dose program. To accurately define the risks associated with human exposure to relevant environmental doses of low LET ionizing radiation, it is necessary to completely understand the biological effects at very low doses (i.e. less than 0.1 Gy), including the lowest possible dose, that of a single electron track traversal. At such low doses, a range of studies have shown responses in biological systems which are not related to the direct interaction of radiation tracks with DNA. The role of these "non-targeted responses in critical tissues is poorly understood and little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms. Although critical for dosimetry and risk assessment, the role of individual genetic susceptibility in radiation risk is not satisfactorily defined at present. The aim of the proposed grant is to critically evaluate non-targeted effects of ionizing radiation with a focus on the induction of genomic instability (GI) in key stem cell populations from haemopoietic tissue. Using stem cells from two mouse strains (CBA/CaH and C57BL/6J) known to differ in their susceptibility to radiation effects, we plan to carefully dissect the role of genetic predisposition in these models on genomic instability. We will specifically focus on the effects of low doses of low LET radiation, down to the dose of 10mGy (0.01Gy) X-rays. Using conventional X-ray and we will be able to assess the role of genetic variation under various conditions at a range of doses down to the very low dose of 0.01Gy. Irradiations will be carried out using facilities in routine operation for such studies. Mechanistic studies of instability in different cell

  18. Algorithmic mechanisms for reliable crowdsourcing computation under collusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández Anta, Antonio; Georgiou, Chryssis; Mosteiro, Miguel A; Pareja, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We consider a computing system where a master processor assigns a task for execution to worker processors that may collude. We model the workers' decision of whether to comply (compute the task) or not (return a bogus result to save the computation cost) as a game among workers. That is, we assume that workers are rational in a game-theoretic sense. We identify analytically the parameter conditions for a unique Nash Equilibrium where the master obtains the correct result. We also evaluate experimentally mixed equilibria aiming to attain better reliability-profit trade-offs. For a wide range of parameter values that may be used in practice, our simulations show that, in fact, both master and workers are better off using a pure equilibrium where no worker cheats, even under collusion, and even for colluding behaviors that involve deviating from the game.

  19. Mechanisms of microstructural changes of fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, P.; Carlot, G.; Dorado, B.; Maillard, S.; Sabathier, C.; Martin, G.; Oh, J.Y.; Welland, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear fuels are subjected to high levels of radiation damage mainly due to the slowing of fission fragments, which results in substantial modifications of the initial fuel microstructure. Microstructure changes alter practically all engineering fuel properties such as atomic transport or thermomechanical properties so understanding these changes is essential to predicting the performance of fuel elements. Also, with increasing burn-up, the fuel drifts away from its initial composition as the fission process produces new chemical elements. Because nuclear fuels operate at high temperature and usually under high-temperature gradients, damage annealing, foreign atom or defect clustering and migration occur on multiple time and length scales, which make long-term predictions difficult. The end result is a fuel microstructure which may show extensive differences on the scale of a single fuel pellet. The main challenge we are faced with is, therefore, to identify the phenomena occurring on the atom scale that are liable to have macroscopic effects that will determine the microstructure changes and ultimately the life-span of a fuel element. One step towards meeting this challenge is to develop and apply experimental or modelling methods capable of connecting events that occur over very short length and timescales to changes in the fuel microstructure over engineering length and timescales. In the first part of this chapter, we provide an overview of some of the more important microstructure modifications observed in nuclear fuels. The emphasis is placed on oxide fuels because of the extensive amount of data available in relation to these materials under neutron or ion irradiation. When possible and relevant, the specifics of other types of fuels such as metallic or carbide fuels are alluded to. Throughout this chapter but more specifically in the latter part, we attempt to give examples of how modelling and experimentation at various scales can provide us with

  20. Separable mechanisms underlying global feature-based attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondarenko, Rowena; Boehler, Carsten N; Stoppel, Christian M; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2012-10-31

    Feature-based attention is known to operate in a spatially global manner, in that the selection of attended features is not bound to the spatial focus of attention. Here we used electromagnetic recordings in human observers to characterize the spatiotemporal signature of such global selection of an orientation feature. Observers performed a simple orientation-discrimination task while ignoring task-irrelevant orientation probes outside the focus of attention. We observed that global feature-based selection, indexed by the brain response to unattended orientation probes, is composed of separable functional components. One such component reflects global selection based on the similarity of the probe with task-relevant orientation values ("template matching"), which is followed by a component reflecting selection based on the similarity of the probe with the orientation value under discrimination in the focus of attention ("discrimination matching"). Importantly, template matching occurs at ∼150 ms after stimulus onset, ∼80 ms before the onset of discrimination matching. Moreover, source activity underlying template matching and discrimination matching was found to originate from ventral extrastriate cortex, with the former being generated in more anterolateral and the latter in more posteromedial parts, suggesting template matching to occur in visual cortex higher up in the visual processing hierarchy than discrimination matching. We take these observations to indicate that the population-level signature of global feature-based selection reflects a sequence of hierarchically ordered operations in extrastriate visual cortex, in which the selection based on task relevance has temporal priority over the selection based on the sensory similarity between input representations.

  1. Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zatorre, R J; Evans, A C; Meyer, E

    1994-04-01

    The neural correlates of music perception were studied by measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes with positron emission tomography (PET). Twelve volunteers were scanned using the bolus water method under four separate conditions: (1) listening to a sequence of noise bursts, (2) listening to unfamiliar tonal melodies, (3) comparing the pitch of the first two notes of the same set of melodies, and (4) comparing the pitch of the first and last notes of the melodies. The latter two conditions were designed to investigate short-term pitch retention under low or high memory load, respectively. Subtraction of the obtained PET images, superimposed on matched MRI scans, provides anatomical localization of CBF changes associated with specific cognitive functions. Listening to melodies, relative to acoustically matched noise sequences, resulted in CBF increases in the right superior temporal and right occipital cortices. Pitch judgments of the first two notes of each melody, relative to passive listening to the same stimuli, resulted in right frontal-lobe activation. Analysis of the high memory load condition relative to passive listening revealed the participation of a number of cortical and subcortical regions, notably in the right frontal and right temporal lobes, as well as in parietal and insular cortex. Both pitch judgment conditions also revealed CBF decreases within the left primary auditory cortex. We conclude that specialized neural systems in the right superior temporal cortex participate in perceptual analysis of melodies; pitch comparisons are effected via a neural network that includes right prefrontal cortex, but active retention of pitch involves the interaction of right temporal and frontal cortices.

  2. Biological and Ecological Mechanisms Supporting Marine Self-Governance: the Seri Callo de Hacha Fishery in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Basurto

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available My goal was to describe how biological and ecological factors give shape to fishing practices that can contribute to the successful self-governance of a small-scale fishing system in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The analysis was based on a comparison of the main ecological and biological indicators that fishers claim to use to govern their day-to-day decision making about fishing and data collected in situ. I found that certain indicators allow fishers to learn about differences and characteristics of the resource system and its units. Fishers use such information to guide their day-to-day fishing decisions. More importantly, these decisions appear unable to shape the reproductive viability of the fishery because no indicators were correlated to the reproductive cycle of the target species. As a result, the fishing practices constitute a number of mechanisms that might provide short-term buffering capacity against perturbations or stress factors that otherwise would threaten the overall sustainability and self-governance of the system. The particular biological circumstances that shape the harvesting practices might also act as a precursor of self-governance because they provide fishers with enough incentives to meet the costs of organizing the necessary rule structure that underlies a successful self-governance system.

  3. Flexible mechanisms: the diverse roles of biological springs in vertebrate movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Thomas J; Azizi, Emanuel

    2011-02-01

    The muscles that power vertebrate locomotion are associated with springy tissues, both within muscle and in connective tissue elements such as tendons. These springs share in common the same simple action: they stretch and store elastic strain energy when force is applied to them and recoil to release energy when force decays. Although this elastic action is simple, it serves a diverse set of functions, including metabolic energy conservation, amplification of muscle power output, attenuation of muscle power input, and rapid mechanical feedback that may aid in stability. In recent years, our understanding of the mechanisms and importance of biological springs in locomotion has advanced significantly, and it has been demonstrated that elastic mechanisms are essential for the effective function of the muscle motors that power movement. Here, we review some recent advances in our understanding of elastic mechanisms, with an emphasis on two proposed organizing principles. First, we review the evidence that the various functions of biological springs allow the locomotor system to operate beyond the bounds of intrinsic muscle properties, including metabolic and mechanical characteristics, as well as motor control processes. Second, we propose that an energy-based framework is useful for interpreting the diverse functions of series-elastic springs. In this framework, the direction and timing of the flow of energy between the body, the elastic element and the contracting muscle determine the function served by the elastic mechanism (e.g. energy conservation vs power amplification). We also review recent work demonstrating that structures such as tendons remodel more actively and behave more dynamically than previously assumed.

  4. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    Animals utilize photoperiodic changes as a calendar to regulate seasonal reproduction. Birds have highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanisms and functional genomics analysis in quail uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating avian seasonal reproduction. Birds detect light with deep brain photoreceptors. Long day (LD) stimulus induces secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. PT-derived TSH locally activates thyroid hormone (TH) in the hypothalamus, which induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and hence gonadotropin secretion. However, during winter, low temperatures increase serum TH for adaptive thermogenesis, which accelerates germ cell apoptosis by activating the genes involved in metamorphosis. Therefore, TH has a dual role in the regulation of seasonal reproduction. Studies using TSH receptor knockout mice confirmed the involvement of PT-derived TSH in mammalian seasonal reproduction. In addition, studies in mice revealed that the tissue-specific glycosylation of TSH diversifies its function in the circulation to avoid crosstalk. In contrast to birds and mammals, one of the molecular machineries necessary for the seasonal reproduction of fish are localized in the saccus vasculosus from the photoreceptor to the neuroendocrine output. Thus, comparative analysis is a powerful tool to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental properties in various organisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The neural sociometer: brain mechanisms underlying state self-esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberger, Naomi I; Inagaki, Tristen K; Muscatell, Keely A; Byrne Haltom, Kate E; Leary, Mark R

    2011-11-01

    On the basis of the importance of social connection for survival, humans may have evolved a "sociometer"-a mechanism that translates perceptions of rejection or acceptance into state self-esteem. Here, we explored the neural underpinnings of the sociometer by examining whether neural regions responsive to rejection or acceptance were associated with state self-esteem. Participants underwent fMRI while viewing feedback words ("interesting," "boring") ostensibly chosen by another individual (confederate) to describe the participant's previously recorded interview. Participants rated their state self-esteem in response to each feedback word. Results demonstrated that greater activity in rejection-related neural regions (dorsal ACC, anterior insula) and mentalizing regions was associated with lower-state self-esteem. Additionally, participants whose self-esteem decreased from prescan to postscan versus those whose self-esteem did not showed greater medial prefrontal cortical activity, previously associated with self-referential processing, in response to negative feedback. Together, the results inform our understanding of the origin and nature of our feelings about ourselves.

  6. Raynaud's Phenomenon: A Brief Review of the Underlying Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fardoun, Manal M; Nassif, Joseph; Issa, Khodr; Baydoun, Elias; Eid, Ali H

    2016-01-01

    Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is characterized by exaggerated cold-induced vasoconstriction. This augmented vasoconstriction occurs by virtue of a reflex response to cooling via the sympathetic nervous system as well as by local activation of α 2C adrenoceptors (α 2C -AR). In a cold-initiated, mitochondrion-mediated mechanism involving reactive oxygen species and the Rho/ROCK pathway, cytoskeletal rearrangement in vascular smooth muscle cells orchestrates the translocation of α 2C -AR to the cell membrane, where this receptor readily interacts with its ligand. Different parameters are involved in this spatial and functional rescue of α 2C -AR. Of notable relevance is the female hormone, 17β-estradiol, or estrogen. This is consistent with the high prevalence of RP in premenopausal women compared to age-matched males. In addition to dissecting the role of these various players, the contribution of pollution as well as genetic background to the onset and prevalence of RP are also discussed. Different therapeutic approaches employed as treatment modalities for this disease are also highlighted and analyzed. The lack of an appropriate animal model for RP mandates that more efforts be undertaken in order to better understand and eventually treat this disease. Although several lines of treatment are utilized, it is important to note that precaution is often effective in reducing severity or frequency of RP attacks.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying social conformity in an ultimatum game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu eWei

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available When individuals’ actions are incongruent with those of the group they belong to, they may change their initial behavior in order to conform to the group norm. This phenomenon is known as social conformity. In the present study, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate brain activity in response to group opinion during an ultimatum game. Results showed that participants changed their choices when these choices conflicted with the normative opinion of the group they were members of, especially in conditions of unfair treatment. The fMRI data revealed that a conflict with group norms activated the brain regions involved in norm violations and behavioral adjustment. Furthermore, in the reject-unfair condition, we observed that a conflict with group norms activated the medial frontal gyrus. These findings contribute to recent research examining neural mechanisms involved in detecting violations of social norms, and provide information regarding the neural representation of conformity behavior in an economic game.

  8. Adhesive wear mechanism under combined electric diamond grinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popov Vyacheslav

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article provides a scientific substantiation of loading of metal-bond diamond grinding wheels and describes the mechanism of contact interaction (interlocking of wheels with tool steel as well as its general properties having an influence on combined electric diamond grinding efficiency. The study concluded that a loaded layer can be formed in a few stages different by nature. It is known, that one of the causes of grinding degradation is a continuous loading of active grits (abrasive grinding tool by workpiece chips. It all affects the diamond grinding wheels efficiency and grinding ability with a result in increase of tool pressure, contact temperature and wheels specific removal rate. Science has partially identified some various methods to minimize grinding wheel loading, however, as to loading of metal-bond diamond grinding wheels the search is still in progress. Therefore, research people have to state, that in spite of the fact that the wheels made of cubic boron nitride are of little use as applied to ceramic, ultrahard, hard-alloyed hard-to-machine and nano-materials of the time, but manufactures have to apply cubic boron nitride wheels wherein diamond ones preferable.

  9. Linking Pesticide Exposure with Pediatric Leukemia: Potential Underlying Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Antonio F; Menéndez, Pablo

    2016-03-29

    Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, representing 30% of all childhood cancers. The disease arises from recurrent genetic insults that block differentiation of hematopoietic stem and/or progenitor cells (HSPCs) and drives uncontrolled proliferation and survival of the differentiation-blocked clone. Pediatric leukemia is phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous with an obscure etiology. The interaction between genetic factors and environmental agents represents a potential etiological driver. Although information is limited, the principal toxic mechanisms of potential leukemogenic agents (e.g., etoposide, benzene metabolites, bioflavonoids and some pesticides) include topoisomerase II inhibition and/or excessive generation of free radicals, which may induce DNA single- and double-strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) in early HSPCs. Chromosomal rearrangements (duplications, deletions and translocations) may occur if these lesions are not properly repaired. The initiating hit usually occurs in utero and commonly leads to the expression of oncogenic fusion proteins. Subsequent cooperating hits define the disease latency and occur after birth and may be of a genetic, epigenetic or immune nature (i.e., delayed infection-mediated immune deregulation). Here, we review the available experimental and epidemiological evidence linking pesticide exposure to infant and childhood leukemia and provide a mechanistic basis to support the association, focusing on early initiating molecular events.

  10. Raynaud's Phenomenon: a Brief Review of the Underlying Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manal Fardoun

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Raynaud's phenomenon (RP is characterized by exaggerated cold-induced vasoconstriction. This augmented vasoconstriction occurs by virtue of a reflex response to cooling via the sympathetic nervous system as well as by local activation of α2C adrenoceptors (α2C-AR. In a cold-initiated, mitochondrion-mediated mechanism involving reactive oxygen species and the Rho/ROCK pathway, cytoskeletal rearrangement in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs orchestrates the translocation of α2C-AR to the cell membrane, where this receptor readily interacts with its ligand. Different parameters are involved in this spatial and functional rescue of α2C-AR. Of notable relevance is the female hormone, 17β-estradiol, or estrogen. This is consistent with the high prevalence of RP in pre-menopausal women compared to age-matched males. In addition to dissecting the role of these various players, the contribution of pollution as well as genetic background to the onset and prevalence of RP are also discussed. Different therapeutic approaches employed as treatment modalities for this disease are also highlighted and analyzed. The lack of an appropriate animal model for RP mandates that more efforts be undertaken in order to better understand and eventually treat this disease. Although several lines of treatment are utilized, it is important to note that precaution is often effective in reducing severity or frequency of RP attacks.

  11. Assessing mechanical vulnerability in water distribution networks under multiple failures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berardi, Luigi; Ugarelli, Rita; Røstum, Jon; Giustolisi, Orazio

    2014-03-01

    Understanding mechanical vulnerability of water distribution networks (WDN) is of direct relevance for water utilities since it entails two different purposes. On the one hand, it might support the identification of severe failure scenarios due to external causes (e.g., natural or intentional events) which result into the most critical consequences on WDN supply capacity. On the other hand, it aims at figure out the WDN portions which are more prone to be affected by asset disruptions. The complexity of such analysis stems from the number of possible scenarios with single and multiple simultaneous shutdowns of asset elements leading to modifications of network topology and insufficient water supply to customers. In this work, the search for the most disruptive combinations of multiple asset failure events is formulated and solved as a multiobjective optimization problem. The higher vulnerability failure scenarios are detected as those causing the lower supplied demand due to the lower number of simultaneous failures. The automatic detection of WDN topology, subsequent to the detachments of failed elements, is combined with pressure-driven analysis. The methodology is demonstrated on a real water distribution network. Results show that, besides the failures causing the detachment of reservoirs, tanks, or pumps, there are other different topological modifications which may cause severe WDN service disruptions. Such information is of direct relevance to support planning asset enhancement works and improve the preparedness to extreme events.

  12. Obstructive sleep apnea and dyslipidemia: evidence and underlying mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adedayo, Ajibola Monsur; Olafiranye, Oladipupo; Smith, David; Hill, Alethea; Zizi, Ferdinand; Brown, Clinton; Jean-Louis, Girardin

    2014-03-01

    Over the past half century, evidence has been accumulating on the emergence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most prevalent sleep-disordered breathing, as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A significant body of research has been focused on elucidating the complex interplay between OSA and cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus that portend increased morbidity and mortality in susceptible individuals. Although a clear causal relationship of OSA and dyslipidemia is yet to be demonstrated, there is increasing evidence that chronic intermittent hypoxia, a major component of OSA, is independently associated and possibly the root cause of the dyslipidemia via the generation of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-1 and reactive oxygen species, peroxidation of lipids, and sympathetic system dysfunction. The aim of this review is to highlight the relationship between OSA and dyslipidemia in the development of atherosclerosis and present the pathophysiologic mechanisms linking its association to clinical disease. Issues relating to epidemiology, confounding factors, significant gaps in research and future directions are also discussed.

  13. Experimental and modelling studies on a laboratory scale anaerobic bioreactor treating mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmikanthan, P; Sughosh, P; White, James; Sivakumar Babu, G L

    2017-07-01

    The performance of an anaerobic bioreactor in treating mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste was investigated using experimental and modelling techniques. The key parameters measured during the experimental test period included the gas yield, leachate generation and settlement under applied load. Modelling of the anaerobic bioreactor was carried out using the University of Southampton landfill degradation and transport model. The model was used to simulate the actual gas production and settlement. A sensitivity analysis showed that the most influential model parameters are the monod growth rate and moisture. In this case, pH had no effect on the total gas production and waste settlement, and only a small variation in the gas production was observed when the heat transfer coefficient of waste was varied from 20 to 100 kJ/(m d K) -1 . The anaerobic bioreactor contained 1.9 kg (dry) of mechanically biologically treated waste producing 10 L of landfill gas over 125 days.

  14. Neural mechanism underlying autobiographical memory modulated by remoteness and emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Ruiyang; Fu, Yan; Wang, DaHua; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying

    2012-03-01

    Autobiographical memory is the ability to recollect past events from one's own life. Both emotional tone and memory remoteness can influence autobiographical memory retrieval along the time axis of one's life. Although numerous studies have been performed to investigate brain regions involved in retrieving processes of autobiographical memory, the effect of emotional tone and memory age on autobiographical memory retrieval remains to be clarified. Moreover, whether the involvement of hippocampus in consolidation of autobiographical events is time dependent or independent has been controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of memory remoteness (factor1: recent and remote) and emotional valence (factor2: positive and negative) on neural correlates underlying autobiographical memory by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Although all four conditions activated some common regions known as "core" regions in autobiographical memory retrieval, there are some other regions showing significantly different activation for recent versus remote and positive versus negative memories. In particular, we found that bilateral hippocampal regions were activated in the four conditions regardless of memory remoteness and emotional valence. Thus, our study confirmed some findings of previous studies and provided further evidence to support the multi-trace theory which believes that the role of hippocampus involved in autobiographical memory retrieval is time-independent and permanent in memory consolidation.

  15. Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele eBellesi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Even modest sleep restriction, especially the loss of sleep slow wave activity, is invariably associated with slower EEG activity during wake, the occurrence of local sleep in an otherwise awake brain, and impaired performance due to cognitive and memory deficits. Recent studies not only confirm the beneficial role of sleep in memory consolidation, but also point to a specific role for sleep slow waves. Thus, the implementation of methods to enhance sleep slow waves without unwanted arousals or lightening of sleep could have significant practical implications. Here we first review the evidence that it is possible to enhance sleep slow waves in humans using transcranial direct-current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Since these methods are currently impractical and their safety is questionable, especially for chronic long-term exposure, we then discuss novel data suggesting that it is possible to enhance slow waves using sensory stimuli. We consider the physiology of the K-complex, a peripheral evoked slow wave, and show that, among different sensory modalities, acoustic stimulation is the most effective in increasing the magnitude of slow waves, likely through the activation of non-lemniscal ascending pathways to the thalamo-cortical system. In addition, we discuss how intensity and frequency of the acoustic stimuli, as well as exact timing and pattern of stimulation, affect sleep enhancement. Finally, we discuss automated algorithms that read the EEG and, in real-time, adjust the stimulation parameters in a closed-loop manner to obtain an increase in sleep slow waves and avoid undesirable arousals. In conclusion, while discussing the mechanisms that underlie the generation of sleep slow waves, we review the converging evidence showing that acoustic stimulation is safe and represents an ideal tool for slow wave sleep enhancement.

  16. Thin circular cylinder under axisymmetrical thermal and mechanical loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnaudeau, F.; Zarka, J.; Gerij, J.

    1977-01-01

    To assess structural integrity of components subjected to cyclic thermal loadings one must look at thermal ratchetting as a possible failure mode. Considering a thin circular cylinder subjected to constant internal pressure and cyclically varying thermal gradient through the thickness Bree, J. Strain Analysis 2 (1967) No.3, obtained a diagram that serves as a foundation for many design rules (e.g.: ASME code). The upper part of the french LMFBR main vessel is subjected to an axisymmetrical axial thermal loading and an axial load (own weight). Operation of the reactor leads to cyclic variations of the axial thermal loading. The question that arises is whether or not the Bree diagram is realistic for such loading conditions. A special purpose computer code (Ratch) was developed to analyse a thin circular cylinder subjected to axisymmetrical mechanical and thermal loadings. The Mendelson's approach of this problem is followed. Classical Kirchoff-Love hypothesis of thin shells is used and a state of plane stress is assumed. Space integrations are performed by Gaussian quadrature in the axial direction and by Simpson's one third rule throughout the thickness. Thermoelastic-plastic constitutive equations are solved with an implicit scheme (Nguyen). Thermovisco-plastic constitutive equations are solved with an explicit time integration scheme (Treanor's algorithm especially fitted). A Bree type diagram is obtained for an axial step of temperature which varies cyclically and a sustained constant axial load. The material behavior is assumed perfectly plastic and creep effect is not considered. Results show that the domain where no ratchetting occurs is reduced when compared with the domain predicted by the Bree diagram

  17. Compression under a mechanical counter pressure space suit glove

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldie, James M A.; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Tourbier, Dietmar; Webb, Paul; Jarvis, Christine W.; Hargens, Alan R.

    2002-01-01

    Background: Current gas-pressurized space suits are bulky stiff shells severely limiting astronaut function and capability. A mechanical counter pressure (MCP) space suit in the form of a tight elastic garment could dramatically improve extravehicular activity (EVA) dexterity, but also be advantageous in safety, cost, mass and volume. The purpose of this study was to verify that a prototype MCP glove exerts the design compression of 200 mmHg, a pressure similar to the current NASA EVA suit. Methods: Seven male subjects donned a pressure measurement array and MCP glove on the right hand, which was placed into a partial vacuum chamber. Average compression was recorded on the palm, the bottom of the middle finger, the top of the middle finger and the dorsum of the hand at pressures of 760 (ambient), 660 and 580 mmHg. The vacuum chamber was used to simulate the pressure difference between the low breathing pressure of the current NASA space suits (approximately 200 mmHg) and an unprotected hand in space. Results: At ambient conditions, the MCP glove compressed the dorsum of the hand at 203.5 +/- 22.7 mmHg, the bottom of the middle finger at 179.4 +/- 16.0 mmHg, and the top of the middle finger at 183.8 +/- 22.6 mmHg. The palm compression was significantly lower (59.6 +/- 18.8 mmHg, pglove compression with the chamber pressure reductions. Conclusions: The MCP glove compressed the dorsum of the hand and middle finger at the design pressure.

  18. Confronting actual influence of radiation on human bodies and biological defense mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsubara, Junko

    2012-01-01

    After the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company, social, economical, psychological pressures on local residents and fears of radiation among the general public have not been resolved. Based on the assumption that the negligence of specialists to clearly explain the influence of radiation on human bodies to the general public is the factor for above mentioned pressures and fears, the influence of radiation from a realistic view was discussed. The topics covered are: (1) understanding the meaning of radiation regulation, (2) radiation and threshold values, (3) actual influence of low-dose radiation, (4) chemical and biological defense in defense mechanism against radiation, (5) problems raised by Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Furthermore, the article explains the principles and the applications of biological defense function activation, and suggested that self-help efforts to fight against stress are from now on. (S.K.)

  19. Neural mechanisms underlying cognitive inflexibility in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Florian; Seer, Caroline; Loens, Sebastian; Wegner, Florian; Schrader, Christoph; Dressler, Dirk; Dengler, Reinhard; Kopp, Bruno

    2016-12-01

    Cognitive inflexibility is a hallmark of executive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD). This deficit consistently manifests itself in a PD-related increase in the number of perseverative errors committed on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). However, the neural processes underlying perseverative WCST performance in PD are still largely unknown. The present study is the first to investigate the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of cognitive inflexibility on the WCST in PD patients. Thirty-two PD patients and 35 matched control participants completed a computerized version of the WCST while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Behavioral results revealed the expected increase in perseverative errors in patients with PD. ERP analysis focused on two established indicators of executive processes: the fronto-central P3a as an index of attentional orienting and the sustained parietal positivity (SPP) as an index of set-shifting processes. In comparison to controls, P3a amplitudes were significantly attenuated in PD patients. Regression analysis further revealed that P3a and SPP amplitudes interactively contributed to the prediction of perseverative errors in PD patients: The number of perseverative errors was only increased when both ERP amplitudes were attenuated. Notably, the two ERP markers of executive processes accounted for more than 40% of the variance in perseverative errors in PD patients. We conclude that cognitive inflexibility in PD occurs when the neural bases of multiple executive processes are affected by the pathophysiology of PD. The combined measurement of P3a and SPP might yield an electrophysiological marker of cognitive inflexibility in PD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mechanism of attenuation of leptin signaling under chronic ligand stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bamberg-Lemper Simone

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that acts via its hypothalamic receptor (LEPRb to regulate energy balance. A downstream effect essential for the weight-regulatory action of leptin is the phosphorylation and activation of the latent transcription factor STAT3 by LEPRb-associated Janus kinases (JAKs. Obesity is typically associated with chronically elevated leptin levels and a decreased ability of LEPRb to activate intracellular signal transduction pathways (leptin resistance. Here we have studied the roles of the intracellular tyrosine residues in the negative feedback regulation of LEPRb-signaling under chronic leptin stimulation. Results Mutational analysis showed that the presence of either Tyr985 and Tyr1077 in the intracellular domain of LEPRb was sufficient for the attenuation of STAT3 phosphorylation, whereas mutation of both tyrosines rendered LEPRb resistant to feedback regulation. Overexpression and RNA interference-mediated downregulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3 revealed that both Tyr985 and Tyr1077 were capable of supporting the negative modulatory effect of SOCS3 in reporter gene assays. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of SOCS1 was enhanced by the presence of Tyr985 but not Tyr1077. Finally, the reduction of the STAT-phosphorylating activity of the LEPRb complex after 2 h of leptin stimulation was not accompanied by the dephosphorylation or degradation of LEPRb or the receptor-associated JAK molecule, but depended on Tyr985 and/or Tyr1077. Conclusions Both Tyr985 and Tyr1077 contribute to the negative regulation of LEPRb signaling. The inhibitory effects of SOCS1 and SOCS3 differ in the dependence on the tyrosine residues in the intracellular domain of LEPRb.

  1. Photodegradation kinetics, products and mechanism of timolol under simulated sunlight

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Yong, E-mail: ychen@hust.edu.cn [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Liang, Qi; Zhou, Danna [College of Material Science and Chemical Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074 (China); Wang, Zongping, E-mail: zongpingw@hust.edu.cn [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Tao, Tao [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Zuo, Yuegang [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 (United States)

    2013-05-15

    Highlights: ► The indirect degradation of timolol is first investigated in fulvic acid solution. ► {sup 3}FA{sup *} and {sup 1}O{sub 2} accounted for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. ► The presence of halides inhibited the degradation in the order of Cl{sup −} < Br{sup −} < I{sup −}. ► The role of I{sup −} in the degradation was first found to be concentration-dependent. ► The photoproducts of timolol were identified by LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis. -- Abstract: The photodegradation of β-blocker timolol in fulvic acid (FA) solution was investigated under simulated sunlight. The triplet excited state of FA ({sup 3}FA{sup *}) and singlet oxygen ({sup 1}O{sub 2}) were the main reactive species responsible for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. Both dissolved oxygen and iodide ions (I{sup −}) are the efficient quenchers of {sup 3}FA{sup *}. The photodegradation was drastically accelerated after removing the dissolved oxygen. The presence of I{sup −} inhibited the photosensitized degradation of timolol in the deoxygenated FA solutions, whereas the role of I{sup −} in the reaction was concentration-dependent in the aerated solutions. The other halide ions such as chloride (Cl{sup −}) and bromide (Br{sup −}) exhibited less effect on the photodegradation of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated solutions. By LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis, the photoproducts of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated FA solutions were identified. Electron transfer interaction occurred between {sup 3}FA{sup *} and amine moiety of timolol, leading to the cleavage of C–O bond in the side chain and oxidation of the hexatomic ring. These findings suggest the photosensitized degradation was a significant pathway for the elimination of timolol in natural waters.

  2. Spinocerebellar ataxia: miRNAs expose biological pathways underlying pervasive Purkinje cell degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Stijl, Rogier; Withoff, Sebo; Verbeek, Dineke S

    2017-12-01

    Recent work has demonstrated the importance of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of various brain disorders including the neurodegenerative disorder spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). This review focuses on the role of miRNAs in the shared pathogenesis of the different SCA types. We examine the novel findings of a recent cell-type-specific RNA-sequencing study in mouse brain and discuss how the identification of Purkinje-cell-enriched miRNAs highlights biological pathways that expose the mechanisms behind pervasive Purkinje cell degeneration in SCA. These key pathways are likely to contain targets for therapeutic development and represent potential candidate genes for genetically unsolved SCAs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue: the underlying biology and related theoretical issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Graziella F; Tomassi, Simona; Russell, Alice; Mondelli, Valeria; Pariante, Carmine M

    2015-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in understanding the biological mechanism underpinning fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Despite the presence of mixed findings in this area, a few biological systems have been consistently involved, and the increasing number of studies in the field is encouraging. This chapter will focus on inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways and on the neuroendocrine system, which have been more commonly examined. Chronic inflammation, together with raised levels of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, has been increasingly associated with the manifestation of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, impaired memory, and depression, which largely characterise at least some patients suffering from CFS and FM. Furthermore, the presence of blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, with reduced cortisol secretion both at baseline and in response to stimulation tests, suggests a role for the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and cortisol in the pathogenesis of these syndromes. However, to what extent these systems' abnormalities could be considered as primary or secondary factors causing FM and CFS has yet to be clarified. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Mechanical and Biological Interactions of Implants with the Brain and Their Impact on Implant Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prodanov, Dimiter; Delbeke, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Neural prostheses have already a long history and yet the cochlear implant remains the only success story about a longterm sensory function restoration. On the other hand, neural implants for deep brain stimulation are gaining acceptance for variety of disorders including Parkinsons disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is anticipated that the progress in the field has been hampered by a combination of technological and biological factors, such as the limited understanding of the longterm behavior of implants, unreliability of devices, biocompatibility of the implants among others. While the field's understanding of the cell biology of interactions at the biotic-abiotic interface has improved, relatively little attention has been paid on the mechanical factors (stress, strain), and hence on the geometry that can modulate it. This focused review summarizes the recent progress in the understanding of the mechanisms of mechanical interaction between the implants and the brain. The review gives an overview of the factors by which the implants interact acutely and chronically with the tissue: blood-brain barrier (BBB) breach, vascular damage, micromotions, diffusion etc. We propose some design constraints to be considered in future studies. Aspects of the chronic cell-implant interaction will be discussed in view of the chronic local inflammation and the ways of modulating it.

  5. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

  6. A comparison of molecular biology mechanism of Shewanella putrefaciens between fresh and terrestrial sewage wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiajie Xu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Municipal and industrial wastewater is often discharged into the environment without appropriate treatment, especially in developing countries. As a result, many rivers and oceans are contaminated. It is urgent to control and administer treatments to these contaminated rivers and oceans. However, most mechanisms of bacterial colonization in contaminated rivers and oceans were unknown, especially in sewage outlets. We found Shewanella putrefaciens to be the primary bacteria in the terrestrial sewage wastewater outlets around Ningbo City, China. Therefore, in this study, we applied a combination of differential proteomics, metabolomics, and real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR techniques to identify bacteria intracellular metabolites. We found S. putrefaciens had 12 different proteins differentially expressed in freshwater culture than when grown in wastewater, referring to the formation of biological membranes (Omp35, OmpW, energy metabolism (SOD, deoxyribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase, fatty acid metabolism (beta-ketoacyl synthase, secondary metabolism, TCA cycle, lysine degradation (2-oxoglutarate reductase, and propionic acid metabolism (succinyl coenzyme A synthetase. The sequences of these 12 differentially expressed proteins were aligned with sequences downloaded from NCBI. There are also 27 differentially concentrated metabolites detected by NMR, including alcohols (ethanol, isopropanol, amines (dimethylamine, ethanolamine, amino acids (alanine, leucine, amine compounds (bilinerurine, nucleic acid compounds (nucleosides, inosines, organic acids (formate, acetate. Formate and ethanolamine show significant difference between the two environments and are possibly involved in energy metabolism, glycerophospholipid and ether lipids metabolism to provide energy supply and material basis for engraftment in sewage. Because understanding S. putrefaciens’s biological mechanism of colonization (protein, gene express and metabolites in

  7. Modeling of the bacterial mechanism of methicillin-resistance by a systems biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ida Autiero

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A microorganism is a complex biological system able to preserve its functional features against external perturbations and the ability of the living systems to oppose to these external perturbations is defined "robustness". The antibiotic resistance, developed by different bacteria strains, is a clear example of robustness and of ability of the bacterial system to acquire a particular functional behaviour in response to environmental changes. In this work we have modeled the whole mechanism essential to the methicillin-resistance through a systems biology approach. The methicillin is a beta-lactamic antibiotic that act by inhibiting the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs. These PBPs are involved in the synthesis of peptidoglycans, essential mesh-like polymers that surround cellular enzymes and are crucial for the bacterium survival. METHODOLOGY: The network of genes, mRNA, proteins and metabolites was created using CellDesigner program and the data of molecular interactions are stored in Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML. To simulate the dynamic behaviour of this biochemical network, the kinetic equations were associated with each reaction. CONCLUSIONS: Our model simulates the mechanism of the inactivation of the PBP by methicillin, as well as the expression of PBP2a isoform, the regulation of the SCCmec elements (SCC: staphylococcal cassette chromosome and the synthesis of peptidoglycan by PBP2a. The obtained results by our integrated approach show that the model describes correctly the whole phenomenon of the methicillin resistance and is able to respond to the external perturbations in the same way of the real cell. Therefore, this model can be useful to develop new therapeutic approaches for the methicillin control and to understand the general mechanism regarding the cellular resistance to some antibiotics.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Floral biology and reproductive mechanisms of the Ocimum canum Sims (Lamiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudio Lúcio Fernandes Amaral

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The Ocimum genus (Lamiaceae presents essential oils used in the pharmaceutical, perfume, cosmetics and culinary industries. The aim of this paper was to study the fl oral biology and breeding mechanisms of Ocimum canum Sims. in relation to improved plant breeding. Ocimum canum has inflorescences with white, protandrous and hermaphoditic flowers. The osmophores are located at the anthers and stigma. Anthesis occurs between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The main fl oral visitors were bees of the Apis and Augochloropsis genuses. Ocimum canum presents a breeding system with a predominance of outcrossing that possibly demonstrates the wide reproductive flexibility of this species.

  10. Evolutionary Connectionism: Algorithmic Principles Underlying the Evolution of Biological Organisation in Evo-Devo, Evo-Eco and Evolutionary Transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Richard A; Mills, Rob; Buckley, C L; Kouvaris, Kostas; Jackson, Adam; Powers, Simon T; Cox, Chris; Tudge, Simon; Davies, Adam; Kounios, Loizos; Power, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms of variation, selection and inheritance, on which evolution by natural selection depends, are not fixed over evolutionary time. Current evolutionary biology is increasingly focussed on understanding how the evolution of developmental organisations modifies the distribution of phenotypic variation, the evolution of ecological relationships modifies the selective environment, and the evolution of reproductive relationships modifies the heritability of the evolutionary unit. The major transitions in evolution, in particular, involve radical changes in developmental, ecological and reproductive organisations that instantiate variation, selection and inheritance at a higher level of biological organisation. However, current evolutionary theory is poorly equipped to describe how these organisations change over evolutionary time and especially how that results in adaptive complexes at successive scales of organisation (the key problem is that evolution is self-referential, i.e. the products of evolution change the parameters of the evolutionary process). Here we first reinterpret the central open questions in these domains from a perspective that emphasises the common underlying themes. We then synthesise the findings from a developing body of work that is building a new theoretical approach to these questions by converting well-understood theory and results from models of cognitive learning. Specifically, connectionist models of memory and learning demonstrate how simple incremental mechanisms, adjusting the relationships between individually-simple components, can produce organisations that exhibit complex system-level behaviours and improve the adaptive capabilities of the system. We use the term "evolutionary connectionism" to recognise that, by functionally equivalent processes, natural selection acting on the relationships within and between evolutionary entities can result in organisations that produce complex system-level behaviours in evolutionary

  11. Biological cell as a soft magnetoelectric material: Elucidating the physical mechanisms underpinning the detection of magnetic fields by animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krichen, S.; Liu, L.; Sharma, P.

    2017-10-01

    Sharks, birds, bats, turtles, and many other animals can detect magnetic fields. Aside from using this remarkable ability to exploit the terrestrial magnetic field map to sense direction, a subset is also able to implement a version of the so-called geophysical positioning system. How do these animals detect magnetic fields? The answer to this rather deceptively simple question has proven to be quite elusive. The currently prevalent theories, while providing interesting insights, fall short of explaining several aspects of magnetoreception. For example, minute magnetic particles have been detected in magnetically sensitive animals. However, how is the detected magnetic field converted into electrical signals given any lack of experimental evidence for relevant electroreceptors? In principle, a magnetoelectric material is capable of converting magnetic signals into electricity (and vice versa). This property, however, is rare and restricted to a rather small set of exotic hard crystalline materials. Indeed, such elements have never been detected in the animals studied so far. In this work we quantitatively outline the conditions under which a biological cell may detect a magnetic field and convert it into electrical signals detectable by biological cells. Specifically, we prove the existence of an overlooked strain-mediated mechanism and show that most biological cells can act as nontrivial magnetoelectric materials provided that the magnetic permeability constant is only slightly more than that of a vacuum. The enhanced magnetic permeability is easily achieved by small amounts of magnetic particles that have been experimentally detected in magnetosensitive animals. Our proposed mechanism appears to explain most of the experimental observations related to the physical basis of magnetoreception.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Diego Costa Carvalho

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Effects of added ZnTCP on mechanical and biological properties of apatite cement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishikawa, K.; Suzuki, K. [Okayama Univ. Dental School (Japan). Dept. of Biomaterials; Miyamoto, Y.; Toh, T.; Yuasa, T.; Nagayama, M. [Tokushima Univ. (Japan). First Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Ito, A. [National Inst. for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research, MITT, Ibaragi (Japan)

    2001-07-01

    Effects of added Zn doped {beta}-tricalcium phosphate (ZnTCP) on mechanical and biological properties of apatite cement (AC) was studied. Powder X-ray diffractometer revealed that ZnTCP shows no reactivity with AC. The mechanical strength of AC decreased increasing amounts of added ZnTCP. We observed no effect on the setting time of AC when the amount of ZnTCP was 10% or less. Proliferation of the osteoblastic cells was significantly increased on the surface of AC containing 5% ZnTCP when compared with that containing no ZnTCP. In contrast, proliferation of the cells decreased on the surface of AC containing 10% ZnTCP when compared with that free from ZnTCP; indicating cytotoxity. We concluded therefore, that addition of ZnTCP to AC might be useful to enhance the osteoconductivity of AC when release of Zn{sup 2+} can be carefully regulated. (orig.)

  15. Chitosan fibers with improved biological and mechanical properties for tissue engineering applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanna, Mohammad Z; Bou-Akl, Therese H; Blowytsky, Oksana; Walters, Henry L; Matthew, Howard W T

    2013-04-01

    The low mechanical properties of hydrogel materials such as chitosan hinder their broad utility for tissue engineering applications. Previous research efforts improved the mechanical properties of chitosan fiber through chemical and physical modifications; however, unfavorable toxicity effects on cells were reported. In this paper, we report the preparation of chitosan fibers with improved mechanical and biocompatibility properties. The structure-property relationships of extruded chitosan fibers were explored by varying acetic acid (AA) concentration, ammonia concentration, annealing temperature and degree of heparin crosslinking. Results showed that optimizing AA concentration to 2vol% improved fiber strength and stiffness by 2-fold. Extruding chitosan solution into 25wt% of ammonia solution reduced fiber diameters and improved fiber strength by 2-fold and stiffness by 3-fold, due to an increase in crystallinity as confirmed by XRD. Fiber annealing further reduced fiber diameter and improved fiber strength and stiffness as temperature increased. Chitosan fibers crosslinked with heparin had increased diameter but lower strength and stiffness properties and higher breaking strain values. When individual parameters were combined, further improvement in fiber mechanical properties was achieved. All mechanically improved fibers and heparin crosslinked fibers promoted valvular interstitial cells (VIC) attachment and growth over 10 day cultures. Our results demonstrate the ability to substantially improve the mechanical properties of chitosan fibers without adversely affecting their biological properties. The investigated treatments offer numerous advantages over previous physical/chemical modifications and thus are expected to expand the utility of chitosan fibers with tunable mechanical properties in various tissue engineering applications. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. A few nascent methods for measuring mechanical properties of the biological cell.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thayer, Gayle Echo; de Boer, Maarten Pieter; Corvalan, Carlos (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Corwin, Alex David; Campanella, Osvaldo H. (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Nivens, David (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Werely, Steven (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Sumali, Anton Hartono; Koch, Steven John

    2006-01-01

    This report summarizes a survey of several new methods for obtaining mechanical and rheological properties of single biological cells, in particular: (1) The use of laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV) to measure the natural vibrations of certain cells. (2) The development of a novel micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for obtaining high-resolution force-displacement curves. (3) The use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) for cell imaging. (4) The adaptation of a novel squeezing-flow technique to micro-scale measurement. The LDV technique was used to investigate the recent finding reported by others that the membranes of certain biological cells vibrate naturally, and that the vibration can be detected clearly with recent instrumentation. The LDV has been reported to detect motions of certain biological cells indirectly through the motion of a probe. In this project, trials on Saccharomyces cerevisiae tested and rejected the hypothesis that the LDV could measure vibrations of the cell membranes directly. The MEMS investigated in the second technique is a polysilicon surface-micromachined force sensor that is able to measure forces to a few pN in both air and water. The simple device consists of compliant springs with force constants as low as 0.3 milliN/m and Moire patterns for nanometer-scale optical displacement measurement. Fields from an electromagnet created forces on magnetic micro beads glued to the force sensors. These forces were measured and agreed well with finite element prediction. It was demonstrated that the force sensor was fully functional when immersed in aqueous buffer. These results show the force sensors can be useful for calibrating magnetic forces on magnetic beads and also for direct measurement of biophysical forces on-chip. The use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) for profiling the geometry of red blood cells was the third technique investigated here. An important finding was that the method commonly used for attaching the cells to a

  17. Kinetics and Mechanisms of Chemical and Biological Agents Release from Biopolymeric Microcapsules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinceković, Marko; Jurić, Slaven; Đermić, Edyta; Topolovec-Pintarić, Snježana

    2017-11-08

    Kinetics and mechanisms of copper cations and Trichoderma viride spores release from uncoated and chitosan coated alginate microcapsules were investigated. The gelation of a fixed amount of sodium alginate at different concentrations of copper ion solutions resulted in distinct kinetics and release mechanisms. The increase in copper cation concentration promoted, but the presence of the chitosan layer on the microcapsule surface and the increase in microcapsule size reduced the rate of active agent release. Fitting to simple Korsmeyer-Peppas empirical model revealed that the underlying release mechanism (Fickian diffusion or a combination of the diffusion and erosion mechanisms) depends on the copper cation concentration and presence of T. viride spores. The investigation pointed out that the proper selection of formulation variables helps in designing microcapsules with the desirable release of copper ions and T. viride for plant protection and nutrition.

  18. Biological mechanisms of depression following treatment with interferon for chronic hepatitis C: A critical systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Myrela O; Oriolo, Giovanni; Bortolato, Beatrice; Köhler, Cristiano A; Maes, Michael; Solmi, Marco; Grande, Iria; Martín-Santos, Rocío; Vieta, Eduard; Carvalho, André F

    2017-02-01

    A significant subset of patients infected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) develops a major depressive episode (MDE) during Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) based immunotherapy. We performed a systematic review of studies which examined biological mechanisms contributing to the onset of a MDE during IFN-α-based immunotherapy for HCV. Major electronic databases were searched from inception up until 15th February 2016 for peer-reviewed prospective studies that had enrolled HCV infected patients who received IFN-α treatment. A diagnosis of MDE had to be established by means of a standardized diagnostic interview at baseline and endpoint. Eight unique references met inclusion criteria. A total of 826 participants with HCV (37.3% females, mean age 46.7 years) were included in this systematic review. The overall MDE incidence rate was 34.8%, with follow-up ranging between 4 and 48 weeks. The methodological quality varied across selected studies. It was observed that Interleukin-6, salivary cortisol, arachidonic acid / eicosapentaenoicacid plus docosahexaenoic acid ratio, and genetic polymorphisms may present variations which are linked to a predisposition to INF-α-induced depression. A meta-analysis could not be performed due to the diverse biological mechanisms investigated and the lack of replicated evidence. This systematic review indicates that several potential mechanisms may be implicated in the onset of a MDE following IFN-α-based immunotherapy for chronic HCV. However, replicated evidence is lacking and therefore the mechanisms involved in IFN-α-induced depression in humans remain unclear. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Influences of mechanical pre-treatment on the non-biological treatment of municipal wastewater by forward osmosis

    OpenAIRE

    Hey, Tobias; Zarebska, Agata; Bajraktari, Niada; Vogel, Jörg; Hélix-Nielsen, Claus; La Cour Jansen, Jes; Jönsson, Karin

    2016-01-01

    Municipal wastewater treatment commonly involves mechanical, biological and chemical treatment steps as state-of-the-art technologies for protecting the environment from adverse effects. The biological treatment step consumes the most energy and can create greenhouse gases. This study investigates municipal wastewater treatment without the biological treatment step, including the effects of different pre-treatment configurations, e.g., direct membrane filtration before forward osmosis. Forwar...

  20. Investigations on mechanical biological treatment of waste in South America: Towards more sustainable MSW management strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bezama, Alberto; Aguayo, Pablo; Konrad, Odorico; Navia, Rodrigo; Lorber, Karl E.

    2007-01-01

    This work presents an analysis on the suitability of mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste in South America, based on two previous experimental investigations carried out in two different countries. The first experiment was performed for determining the mass and volume reduction of MSW in the province of Concepcion (Chile). The implemented bench-scale process consisted of a manual classification and separation stage, followed by an in-vessel biological degradation process. The second experiment consisted of a full-scale experiment performed in the city of Estrela (Brazil), where the existing municipal waste management facility was adapted to enhance the materials sorting and separation. Expressed in wet weight composition, 85.5% of the material input in the first experiment was separated for biological degradation. After 27 days of processing, 60% of the initial mass was reduced through degradation and water evaporation. The final fraction destined for landfilling equals 59% of the total input mass, corresponding to about 50% of the initial volume. In the second experiment, the fraction destined to landfill reaches 46.6% of the total input waste mass, whilst also significantly reducing the total volume to be disposed. These results, and the possible recovery of material streams suitable for recycling or for preparing solid recovered fuels, are the main advantages of the studied process

  1. Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakymenko, Igor; Tsybulin, Olexandr; Sidorik, Evgeniy; Henshel, Diane; Kyrylenko, Olga; Kyrylenko, Sergiy

    2016-01-01

    This review aims to cover experimental data on oxidative effects of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in living cells. Analysis of the currently available peer-reviewed scientific literature reveals molecular effects induced by low-intensity RFR in living cells; this includes significant activation of key pathways generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), activation of peroxidation, oxidative damage of DNA and changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes. It indicates that among 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, in general, 93 confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems. A wide pathogenic potential of the induced ROS and their involvement in cell signaling pathways explains a range of biological/health effects of low-intensity RFR, which include both cancer and non-cancer pathologies. In conclusion, our analysis demonstrates that low-intensity RFR is an expressive oxidative agent for living cells with a high pathogenic potential and that the oxidative stress induced by RFR exposure should be recognized as one of the primary mechanisms of the biological activity of this kind of radiation.

  2. N deposition as a threat to the World's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bleeker, A.; Hicks, W.K.; Dentener, F.; Galloway, J.; Erisman, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    This paper combines the world's protected areas (PAs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), common classification systems of ecosystem conservation status, and current knowledge on ecosystem responses to nitrogen (N) deposition to determine areas most at risk. The results show that 40% (approx. 11% of total area) of PAs currently receive >10 kg N/ha/yr with projections for 2030 indicating that this situation is not expected to change. Furthermore, 950 PAs are projected to receive >30 kg N/ha/yr by 2030 (approx. twice the 2000 number), of which 62 (approx. 11,300 km 2 ) are also Biodiversity Hotspots and G200 ecoregions; with forest and grassland ecosystems in Asia particularly at risk. Many of these sites are known to be sensitive to N deposition effects, both in terms of biodiversity changes and ecosystem services they provide. Urgent assessment of high risk areas identified in this study is recommended to inform the conservation efforts of the CBD. - Highlights: → Significant areas of the Protected Areas Programme under the CBD will likely be under threat of high N deposition levels by the year 2030.→ Approx. 950 PAs are projected to receive N deposition levels of more than 30 kg N/ha/yr by 2030.→ 62 of these sites are also Biodiversity Hotspots and G200 ecoregions, where forest and grassland ecosystems in Asia will be particularly at risk.→ Many of these sites are known to be sensitive to N deposition effects, both in terms of biodiversity changes and ecosystem services they provide → Urgent assessment of high risk areas identified in this study is recommended to inform the conservation efforts of the CBD. - Significant areas of the UNEP Protected Areas Programme under the CBD receive high N deposition rates that are likely to increase in the future, especially in Asia, and may pose a significant threat to biodiversity.

  3. Physical-biological coupling induced aggregation mechanism for the formation of high biomass red tides in low nutrient waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhigang; Yin, Kedong

    2014-01-01

    Port Shelter is a semi-enclosed bay in northeast Hong Kong where high biomass red tides are observed to occur frequently in narrow bands along the local bathymetric isobars. Previous study showed that nutrients in the Bay are not high enough to support high biomass red tides. The hypothesis is that physical aggregation and vertical migration of dinoflagellates appear to be the driving mechanism to promote the formation of red tides in this area. To test this hypothesis, we used a high-resolution estuarine circulation model to simulate the near-shore water dynamics based on in situ measured temperature/salinity profiles, winds and tidal constitutes taken from a well-validated regional tidal model. The model results demonstrated that water convergence occurs in a narrow band along the west shore of Port Shelter under a combined effect of stratified tidal current and easterly or northeasterly wind. Using particles as dinoflagellate cells and giving diel vertical migration, the model results showed that the particles aggregate along the convergent zone. By tracking particles in the model predicted current field, we estimated that the physical-biological coupled processes induced aggregation of the particles could cause 20-45 times enhanced cell density in the convergent zone. This indicated that a high cell density red tide under these processes could be initialized without very high nutrients concentrations. This may explain why Port Shelter, a nutrient-poor Bay, is the hot spot for high biomass red tides in Hong Kong in the past 25 years. Our study explains why red tide occurrences are episodic events and shows the importance of taking the physical-biological aggregation mechanism into consideration in the projection of red tides for coastal management. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Fracture mechanics in new designed power module under thermo-mechanical loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durand Camille

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Thermo-mechanically induced failure is a major reliability issue in the microelectronic industry. On this account, a new type of Assembly Interconnected Technology used to connect MOSFETs in power modules has been developed. The reliability is increased by using a copper clip soldered on the top side of the chip, avoiding the use of aluminium wire bonds, often responsible for the failure of the device. Thus the new designed MOSFET package does not follow the same failure mechanisms as standard modules. Thermal and power cycling tests were performed on these new packages and resulting failures were analyzed. Thermo-mechanical simulations including cracks in the aluminium metallization and intermetallics (IMC were performed using Finite Element Analysis in order to better understand crack propagation and module behaviour.

  5. Mechanisms underlying the wound healing potential of propolis based on its in vitro antioxidant activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xue-Ping; Chen, Yi-Fan; Zhang, Jiang-Lin; You, Meng-Meng; Wang, Kai; Hu, Fu-Liang

    2017-10-15

    Propolis is a resinous substance collected by honeybees, Apis mellifera, from various plant sources. Having various pharmacological and biological activities, it has been used in folk medicine and complementary therapies since ancient times. To evaluate the effects and underlying mechanism of the protective effects of the ethanol extract of Chinese propolis (EECP) on L929 cells injured by hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ). The wound healing activities of EECP in L929 cells with H 2 O 2 -induced damage were investigated. The main components of EECP were analyzed by RP-HPLC, and the free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power were also measured. The effects of EECP on the expression of antioxidant-related genes in fibroblast L929 cells were determined using qRT-PCR and western blotting. EECP had significant protective effects against cell death induced by H 2 O 2 and significantly inhibited the decline of collagen mRNA expression caused by H 2 O 2 in L929 cells. EECP induced the expression of antioxidant-related genes, such as HO-1, GCLM, and GCLC, which has great implications for the potential of propolis to alleviate oxidative stress in wound tissues. The protective effects of propolis have great implications for using propolis as a wound healing regent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Mechanisms underlying reductant-induced reactive oxygen species formation by anticancer copper(II) compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowol, Christian R; Heffeter, Petra; Miklos, Walter; Gille, Lars; Trondl, Robert; Cappellacci, Loredana; Berger, Walter; Keppler, Bernhard K

    2012-03-01

    Intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via thiol-mediated reduction of copper(II) to copper(I) has been assumed as the major mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of copper(II) complexes. The aim of this study was to compare the anticancer potential of copper(II) complexes of Triapine (3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone; currently in phase II clinical trials) and its terminally dimethylated derivative with that of 2-formylpyridine thiosemicarbazone and that of 2,2'-bipyridyl-6-carbothioamide. Experiments on generation of oxidative stress and the influence of biologically relevant reductants (glutathione, ascorbic acid) on the anticancer activity of the copper complexes revealed that reductant-dependent redox cycling occurred mainly outside the cells, leading to generation and dismutation of superoxide radicals resulting in cytotoxic amounts of H(2)O(2). However, without extracellular reductants only weak intracellular ROS generation was observed at IC(50) levels, suggesting that cellular thiols are not involved in copper-complex-induced oxidative stress. Taken together, thiol-induced intracellular ROS generation might contribute to the anticancer activity of copper thiosemicarbazone complexes but is not the determining factor.

  7. Dynamic transformations of nitrogen during mechanical-biological pre-treatment of municipal solid waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Gioannis, G; Muntoni, A

    2007-01-01

    Mechanical-biological pre-treatment (MBP) of municipal solid waste (MSW) has gained evidence as a practice capable of accomplishing the requirements for environmental sustainable landfilling. In particular, MBP is effective in reducing the ammoniacal nitrogen content in the leachate. However, few data are available on the modifications of the nitrogen forms occurring during MBP and on the role played by processes such as nitrification and generation of refractory organic compounds. The dynamic transformations of nitrogen were investigated during the MBP. MSW was mechanically and biologically pre-treated; samples were collected at different stages of the process and analysed to investigate the evolution of nitrogen forms; batch and column leaching tests were performed as well. The results indicate that nitrification is negligible and volatilization can only partially explain the low ammoniacal nitrogen content in the leachate. Incorporation of ammoniacal nitrogen into a refractory organic form was assessed and is likely to play an important role. The maximum content of refractory organic nitrogen in the solid waste was achieved after about 60 days of aerobic pre-treatment; therefore, the minimal duration of the MBP should be about 8-9 weeks in order to optimize the ammoniacal nitrogen incorporation, unless the waste is characterized by a low C/N ratio.

  8. Source-sink interaction: a century old concept under the light of modern molecular systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Tian-Gen; Zhu, Xin-Guang; Raines, Christine

    2017-07-20

    Many approaches to engineer source strength have been proposed to enhance crop yield potential. However, a well-co-ordinated source-sink relationship is required finally to realize the promised increase in crop yield potential in the farmer's field. Source-sink interaction has been intensively studied for decades, and a vast amount of knowledge about the interaction in different crops and under different environments has been accumulated. In this review, we first introduce the basic concepts of source, sink and their interactions, then summarize current understanding of how source and sink can be manipulated through both environmental control and genetic manipulations. We show that the source-sink interaction underlies the diverse responses of crops to the same perturbations and argue that development of a molecular systems model of source-sink interaction is required towards a rational manipulation of the source-sink relationship for increased yield. We finally discuss both bottom-up and top-down routes to develop such a model and emphasize that a community effort is needed for development of this model. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Biomechanical walking mechanisms underlying the metabolic reduction caused by an autonomous exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Luke M; Herr, Hugh M

    2016-01-28

    Ankle exoskeletons can now reduce the metabolic cost of walking in humans without leg disability, but the biomechanical mechanisms that underlie this augmentation are not fully understood. In this study, we analyze the energetics and lower limb mechanics of human study participants walking with and without an active autonomous ankle exoskeleton previously shown to reduce the metabolic cost of walking. We measured the metabolic, kinetic and kinematic effects of wearing a battery powered bilateral ankle exoskeleton. Six participants walked on a level treadmill at 1.4 m/s under three conditions: exoskeleton not worn, exoskeleton worn in a powered-on state, and exoskeleton worn in a powered-off state. Metabolic rates were measured with a portable pulmonary gas exchange unit, body marker positions with a motion capture system, and ground reaction forces with a force-plate instrumented treadmill. Inverse dynamics were then used to estimate ankle, knee and hip torques and mechanical powers. The active ankle exoskeleton provided a mean positive power of 0.105 ± 0.008 W/kg per leg during the push-off region of stance phase. The net metabolic cost of walking with the active exoskeleton (3.28 ± 0.10 W/kg) was an 11 ± 4 % (p = 0.019) reduction compared to the cost of walking without the exoskeleton (3.71 ± 0.14 W/kg). Wearing the ankle exoskeleton significantly reduced the mean positive power of the ankle joint by 0.033 ± 0.006 W/kg (p = 0.007), the knee joint by 0.042 ± 0.015 W/kg (p = 0.020), and the hip joint by 0.034 ± 0.009 W/kg (p = 0.006). This study shows that the ankle exoskeleton does not exclusively reduce positive mechanical power at the ankle joint, but also mitigates positive power at the knee and hip. Furthermore, the active ankle exoskeleton did not simply replace biological ankle function in walking, but rather augmented the total (biological + exoskeletal) ankle moment and power. This study

  10. Mechanisms underlying cellular responses of cells from haemopoietic tissue to low dose/low LET radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munira A Kadhim

    2010-03-05

    To accurately define the risks associated with human exposure to relevant environmental doses of low LET ionizing radiation, it is necessary to completely understand the biological effects at very low doses (i.e., less than 0.1 Gy), including the lowest possible dose, that of a single electron track traversal. At such low doses, a range of studies have shown responses in biological systems which are not related to the direct interaction of radiation tracks with DNA. The role of these “non-targeted” responses in critical tissues is poorly understood and little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms. Although critical for dosimetry and risk assessment, the role of individual genetic susceptibility in radiation risk is not satisfactorily defined at present. The aim of the proposed grant is to critically evaluate radiation-induced genomic instability and bystander responses in key stem cell populations from haemopoietic tissue. Using stem cells from two mouse strains (CBA/H and C57BL/6J) known to differ in their susceptibility to radiation effects, we plan to carefully dissect the role of genetic predisposition on two non-targeted radiation responses in these models; the bystander effect and genomic instability, which we believe are closely related. We will specifically focus on the effects of low doses of low LET radiation, down to doses approaching a single electron traversal. Using conventional X-ray and γ-ray sources, novel dish separation and targeted irradiation approaches, we will be able to assess the role of genetic variation under various bystander conditions at doses down to a few electron tracks. Irradiations will be carried out using facilities in routine operation for bystander targeted studies. Mechanistic studies of instability and the bystander response in different cell lineages will focus initially on the role of cytokines which have been shown to be involved in bystander signaling and the initiation of instability. These studies also aim

  11. Diversity Generator Mechanisms Are Essential Components of Biological Systems: The Two Queen Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Muraille

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Diversity is widely known to fuel adaptation and evolutionary processes and increase robustness at the population, species and ecosystem levels. The Neo-Darwinian paradigm proposes that the diversity of biological entities is the consequence of genetic changes arising spontaneously and randomly, without regard for their usefulness. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that the evolutionary process has shaped mechanisms, such as horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, meiosis and the adaptive immune system, which has resulted in the regulated generation of diversity among populations. Though their origins are unrelated, these diversity generator (DG mechanisms share common functional properties. They (i contribute to the great unpredictability of the composition and/or behavior of biological systems, (ii favor robustness and collectivism among populations and (iii operate mainly by manipulating the systems that control the interaction of living beings with their environment. The definition proposed here for DGs is based on these properties and can be used to identify them according to function. Interestingly, prokaryotic DGs appear to be mainly reactive, as they generate diversity in response to environmental stress. They are involved in the widely described Red Queen/arms race/Cairnsian dynamic. The emergence of multicellular organisms harboring K selection traits (longer reproductive life cycle and smaller population size has led to the acquisition of a new class of DGs that act anticipatively to stress pressures and generate a distinct dynamic called the “White Queen” here. The existence of DGs leads to the view of evolution as a more “intelligent” and Lamarckian-like process. Their repeated selection during evolution could be a neglected example of convergent evolution and suggests that some parts of the evolutionary process are tightly constrained by ecological factors, such as the population size, the generation time and

  12. Diversity Generator Mechanisms Are Essential Components of Biological Systems: The Two Queen Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraille, Eric

    2018-01-01

    Diversity is widely known to fuel adaptation and evolutionary processes and increase robustness at the population, species and ecosystem levels. The Neo-Darwinian paradigm proposes that the diversity of biological entities is the consequence of genetic changes arising spontaneously and randomly, without regard for their usefulness. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that the evolutionary process has shaped mechanisms, such as horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, meiosis and the adaptive immune system, which has resulted in the regulated generation of diversity among populations. Though their origins are unrelated, these diversity generator (DG) mechanisms share common functional properties. They (i) contribute to the great unpredictability of the composition and/or behavior of biological systems, (ii) favor robustness and collectivism among populations and (iii) operate mainly by manipulating the systems that control the interaction of living beings with their environment. The definition proposed here for DGs is based on these properties and can be used to identify them according to function. Interestingly, prokaryotic DGs appear to be mainly reactive, as they generate diversity in response to environmental stress. They are involved in the widely described Red Queen/arms race/Cairnsian dynamic. The emergence of multicellular organisms harboring K selection traits (longer reproductive life cycle and smaller population size) has led to the acquisition of a new class of DGs that act anticipatively to stress pressures and generate a distinct dynamic called the "White Queen" here. The existence of DGs leads to the view of evolution as a more "intelligent" and Lamarckian-like process. Their repeated selection during evolution could be a neglected example of convergent evolution and suggests that some parts of the evolutionary process are tightly constrained by ecological factors, such as the population size, the generation time and the intensity of

  13. "Omics" of High Altitude Biology: A Urinary Metabolomics Biomarker Study of Rats Under Hypobaric Hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koundal, Sunil; Gandhi, Sonia; Kaur, Tanzeer; Mazumder, Avik; Khushu, Subash

    2015-12-01

    High altitude medicine is an emerging subspecialty that has crosscutting relevance for 21(st) century science and society: from sports medicine and aerospace industry to urban and rural communities living in high altitude. Recreational travel to high altitude has also become increasingly popular. Rarely has the biology of high altitude biology been studied using systems sciences and omics high-throughput technologies. In the present study, 1H-NMR-based metabolomics, along with multivariate analyses, were employed in a preclinical rat model to characterize the urinary metabolome under hypobaric hypoxia stress. Rats were exposed to simulated altitude of 6700 m above the sea level. The urine samples were collected from pre- and post-exposure (1, 3, 7, and 14 days) of hypobaric hypoxia. Metabolomics urinalysis showed alterations in TCA cycle metabolites (citrate, α-ketoglutarate), cell membrane metabolism (choline), gut micro-flora metabolism (hippurate, phenylacetylglycine), and others (N-acetyl glutamate, creatine, taurine) in response to hypobaric hypoxia. Taurine, a potential biomarker of hepatic function, was elevated after 3 days of hypobaric hypoxia, which indicates altered liver functioning. Liver histopathology confirmed the damage to tissue architecture due to hypobaric hypoxia. The metabolic pathway analysis identified taurine metabolism and TCA as important pathways that might have contributed to hypobaric hypoxia-induced pathophysiology. This study demonstrates the use of metabolomics as a promising tool for discovery and understanding of novel biochemical responses to hypobaric hypoxia exposure, providing new insight in the field of high altitude medicine and the attendant health problems that occur in response to high altitude. The findings reported here also have potential relevance for sports medicine and aviation sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Les

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Hybrid printing of mechanically and biologically improved constructs for cartilage tissue engineering applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Tao; Binder, Kyle W; Albanna, Mohammad Z; Dice, Dennis; Zhao Weixin; Yoo, James J; Atala, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Bioprinting is an emerging technique used to fabricate viable, 3D tissue constructs through the precise deposition of cells and hydrogels in a layer-by-layer fashion. Despite the ability to mimic the native properties of tissue, printed 3D constructs that are composed of naturally-derived biomaterials still lack structural integrity and adequate mechanical properties for use in vivo, thus limiting their development for use in load-bearing tissue engineering applications, such as cartilage. Fabrication of viable constructs using a novel multi-head deposition system provides the ability to combine synthetic polymers, which have higher mechanical strength than natural materials, with the favorable environment for cell growth provided by traditional naturally-derived hydrogels. However, the complexity and high cost associated with constructing the required robotic system hamper the widespread application of this approach. Moreover, the scaffolds fabricated by these robotic systems often lack flexibility, which further restrict their applications. To address these limitations, advanced fabrication techniques are necessary to generate complex constructs with controlled architectures and adequate mechanical properties. In this study, we describe the construction of a hybrid inkjet printing/electrospinning system that can be used to fabricate viable tissues for cartilage tissue engineering applications. Electrospinning of polycaprolactone fibers was alternated with inkjet printing of rabbit elastic chondrocytes suspended in a fibrin–collagen hydrogel in order to fabricate a five-layer tissue construct of 1 mm thickness. The chondrocytes survived within the printed hybrid construct with more than 80% viability one week after printing. In addition, the cells proliferated and maintained their basic biological properties within the printed layered constructs. Furthermore, the fabricated constructs formed cartilage-like tissues both in vitro and in vivo as evidenced by the

  17. Engineering the mechanical and biological properties of nanofibrous vascular grafts for in situ vascular tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Jeffrey J D; Yu, Jian; Wang, Aijun; Lee, Randall; Fang, Jun; Li, Song

    2017-08-17

    Synthetic small diameter vascular grafts have a high failure rate, and endothelialization is critical for preventing thrombosis and graft occlusion. A promising approach is in situ tissue engineering, whereby an acellular scaffold is implanted and provides stimulatory cues to guide the in situ remodeling into a functional blood vessel. An ideal scaffold should have sufficient binding sites for biomolecule immobilization and a mechanical property similar to native tissue. Here we developed a novel method to blend low molecular weight (LMW) elastic polymer during electrospinning process to increase conjugation sites and to improve the mechanical property of vascular grafts. LMW elastic polymer improved the elasticity of the scaffolds, and significantly increased the amount of heparin conjugated to the micro/nanofibrous scaffolds, which in turn increased the loading capacity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and prolonged the release of VEGF. Vascular grafts were implanted into the carotid artery of rats to evaluate the in vivo performance. VEGF treatment significantly enhanced endothelium formation and the overall patency of vascular grafts. Heparin coating also increased cell infiltration into the electrospun grafts, thus increasing the production of collagen and elastin within the graft wall. This work demonstrates that LMW elastic polymer blending is an approach to engineer the mechanical and biological property of micro/nanofibrous vascular grafts for in situ vascular tissue engineering.

  18. Interactivity effects in social media marketing on brand engagement: an investigation of underlying mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antheunis, M.L.; van Noort, G.; Eisend, M.; Langner, T.

    2011-01-01

    Although, SNS advertising spending increases, research on SNS campaigning is still underexposed. First, this study aims to investigate the effect of SNS campaign interactivity on the receivers brand engagement, taking four underlying mechanisms into account (brand identification, campaign

  19. Clinical indications and biological mechanisms of splenic irradiation in autoimmune diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinmann, M.; Becker, G. [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Abt. fuer Strahlenonkologie; Einsele, H.; Bamberg, M. [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Abt. fuer Innere Medizin 2

    2001-02-01

    Background: Splenic irradiation (SI) is a fairly unknown treatment modality in autoimmune disorders like autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AIT) or autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), which may provide an effective, low toxic and cost-effective treatment for selected patients. Patients, Materials and Methods: This article reviews the limited experiences on splenic irradiation in autoimmune thrombocytopenia by analyzing the current studies including 71 patients and some preliminary reports on splenic irradiation in autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Results: In autoimmune thrombocytopenia between 40 and 90% of all patients responded, but most of them relapsed within 4 to 6 months after splenic irradiation. Between 10 and 20% of all patients had a sustained response. The efficacy of splenic irradiation in HIV-associated cases of thrombocytopenia is probably lower than in other forms of autoimmune thrombocytopenia, but especially in this group immunosuppressive drug treatment of autoimmune thrombocytopenia exposes some problems. In autoimmune hemolytic anemia there are some case reports about efficacy of splenic irradiation. Toxicity of splenic irradiation in both diseases was very moderate. Conclusions: For HIV patients, for elderly patients or patients at high risk for complications following splenectomy splenic irradiation might be a treatment option. Splenic irradiation as preoperative treatment in patients not responding to or not suitable for immunosuppressive drugs prior to splenectomy may be a promising new application of splenic irradiation to reduce adverse effects of splenectomy in thrombocytopenic patients. A further analysis of the biological mechanisms underlying splenic irradiation may help to improve patient selection, to optimize dose concepts and treatment schedules and will improve understanding of radiotherapy as an immunomodulatory treatment modality. (orig.) [German] Hintergrund: Die Bestrahlung der Milz zur Behandlung von haematologischen

  20. Soil Physical Characteristics and Biological Indicators of Soil Quality Under Different Biodegradable Mulches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Flury, M.; Sintim, H.; Bandopadhyay, S.; Ghimire, S.; Bary, A.; DeBruyn, J.

    2015-12-01

    Application of conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch in crop production offers benefits of increased water use efficiency, weed control, management of certain plant diseases, and maintenance of a micro-climate conducive for plant growth. These factors improve crop yield and quality, but PE must be retrieved and safely disposed of after usage. Substituting PE with biodegradable plastic mulches (BDM) would alleviate disposal needs, and is potentially a more sustainable practice. However, knowledge of potential impacts of BDMs on agricultural soil ecosystems is needed to evaluate sustainability. We (a) monitored soil moisture and temperature dynamics, and (b) assessed soil quality upon usage of different mulches, with pie pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) as the test crop. Experimental field trials are ongoing at two sites, one at Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA, and the other at East Tennessee Research and Education Center, Knoxville, TN. The treatments constitute four different commercial BDM products, one experimental BDM; no mulch and PE served as the controls. Soil quality parameters being examined include: organic matter content, aggregate stability, water infiltration rate, CO2 flux, pH, and extracellular enzyme activity. In addition, lysimeters were installed to examine the soil water and heat flow dynamics. We present baseline and the first field season results from this study. Mulch cover appeared to moderate soil temperatures, but biodegradable mulches also appeared to lose water more quickly than PE. All mulch types, with the exception of cellulose, reduced the diurnal fluctuations in soil temperature at 10cm depth from 1 to 4ºC. However, volumetric water content ranged from 0.10 to 0.22 m3 m-3 under the five biodegradable mulches compared to 0.22 to 0.28 m3 m-3 under conventional PE. Results from the study will be useful for management practices by providing knowledge on how different mulches impact soil physical and

  1. Intended process water management concept for the mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Weichgrebe

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating operational experience in both aerobic and anaerobic mechanical biological waste treatment (MBT makes it increasingly obvious that controlled water management would substantially reduce the cost of MBT and also enhance resource recovery of the organic and inorganic fraction. The MBT plant at Gescher, Germany, is used as an example in order to determine the quantity and composition of process water and leachates from intensive and subsequent rotting, pressing water from anaerobic digestion and scrubber water from acid exhaust air treatment, and hence prepare an MBT water balance. The potential of, requirements for and limits to internal process water reuse as well as the possibilities of resource recovery from scrubber water are also examined. Finally, an assimilated process water management concept with the purpose of an extensive reduction of wastewater quantity and freshwater demand is presented.

  2. Psychoses and creativity: is the missing link a biological mechanism related to phospholipids turnover?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folley, Bradley S; Doop, Mikisha L; Park, Sohee

    2003-12-01

    Recent evidence suggests that genetic and biochemical factors associated with psychoses may also provide an increased propensity to think creatively. The evolutionary theories linking brain growth and diet to the appearance of creative endeavors have been made recently, but they lack a direct link to research on the biological correlates of divergent and creative thought. Expanding upon Horrobin's theory that changes in brain size and in neural microconnectivity came about as a result of changes in dietary fat and phospholipid incorporation of highly unsaturated fatty acids, we propose a theory relating phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity to the neuromodulatory effects of the noradrenergic system. This theory offers probable links between attention, divergent thinking, and arousal through a mechanism that emphasizes optimal individual functioning of the PLA2 and NE systems as they interact with structural and biochemical states of the brain. We hope that this theory will stimulate new research in the neural basis of creativity and its connection to psychoses.

  3. Energy implications of mechanical and mechanical–biological treatment compared to direct waste-to-energy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cimpan, Ciprian; Wenzel, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Primary energy savings potential is used to compare five residual municipal solid waste treatment systems, including configurations with mechanical (MT) and mechanical–biological (MBT) pre-treatment, which produce waste-derived fuels (RDF and SRF), biogas and/or recover additional materials...... for recycling, alongside a system based on conventional mass burn waste-to-energy and ash treatment. To examine the magnitude of potential savings we consider two energy efficiency levels (state-of-the-art and best available technology), the inclusion/exclusion of heat recovery (CHP vs. PP) and three different...... background end-use energy production systems (coal condensing electricity and natural gas heat, Nordic electricity mix and natural gas heat, and coal CHP energy quality allocation). The systems achieved net primary energy savings in a range between 34 and 140 MJprimary/100 MJinput waste, in the different...

  4. Mechanisms of interaction and biological effects of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tenforde, T.S.

    1994-07-01

    Evidence is mounting, that environmental electric and magnetic fields in the extremely-low-frequency (ELF) band below 300 Hz can influence biological functions by mechanisms that are only poorly understood at the present time. The primary objectives of this paper are to review the physical properties of ELF fields, their interactions with living systems at the tissue, cellular, and subcellular levels, and the key role of cell membranes in the transduction of signals from imposed ELF fields. Topics of discussion include signal-to-noise ratios for single cells and cell aggregates, resonance phenomena involving a combination of static and ELF magnetic fields, and the possible influence of ELF fields on molecular signaling pathways that involve membrane receptors and cytoplasmic second messengers. The implications of these findings for promotion of tumor growth by ELF fields are also reviewed.

  5. Beyond COX-1: the effects of aspirin on platelet biology and potential mechanisms of chemoprevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, Argentina; Zacharias-Millward, Niki; Menter, David G; Davis, Jennifer S; Lichtenberger, Lenard; Hawke, David; Hawk, Ernest; Vilar, Eduardo; Bhattacharya, Pratip; Millward, Steven

    2017-06-01

    After more than a century, aspirin remains one of the most commonly used drugs in western medicine. Although mainly used for its anti-thrombotic, anti-pyretic, and analgesic properties, a multitude of clinical studies have provided convincing evidence that regular, low-dose aspirin use dramatically lowers the risk of cancer. These observations coincide with recent studies showing a functional relationship between platelets and tumors, suggesting that aspirin's chemopreventive properties may result, in part, from direct modulation of platelet biology and biochemistry. Here, we present a review of the biochemistry and pharmacology of aspirin with particular emphasis on its cyclooxygenase-dependent and cyclooxygenase-independent effects in platelets. We also correlate the results of proteomic-based studies of aspirin acetylation in eukaryotic cells with recent developments in platelet proteomics to identify non-cyclooxygenase targets of aspirin-mediated acetylation in platelets that may play a role in its chemopreventive mechanism.

  6. A literature survey of the biological effects and mechanics of electromagnetic radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeh, K.A.

    1985-01-01

    The following report discusses the very controversial subject of electromagnetic interaction with the human body. The project was undertaken in the form of a literature survey to investigate the biological mechanisms responsible for the interaction, the theoretical models and associated mathematical techniques required to model the human body, the resulting energy deposition in the human and the factors which effect this. It was established that at present the most realistic model of man can be obtained using a block model and moment method technique with improved methods such as conjugate gradients or band approximation for the necessary matrix inversion. The impedance method of modelling could be very promising for future research. From the literature studied on biological effects no scientific evidence was found which definitely proves or disproves hazardous effects exist at low field intensities ( -2 ). The testes and the lens of the eye can be harmed, however, if the intensity is sufficient to cause a temperature rise of 1 degree Celsius in these organs

  7. Enhancing combined biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater by applying mechanically disintegrated excess sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrowska-Sudol, Monika; Walczak, Justyna

    2015-06-01

    The goal of the study was to evaluate the possibility of applying disintegrated excess sludge as a source of organic carbon to enhance biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal. The experiment, performed in a sequencing batch reactor, consisted of two two-month series, without and with applying mechanically disintegrated excess sludge, respectively. The effects on carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal were observed. It was shown that the method allows enhancement of combined nitrogen and phosphorus removal. After using disintegrated sludge, denitrification effectiveness increased from 49.2 ± 6.8% to 76.2 ± 2.3%, which resulted in a decline in the NOx-N concentration in the effluent from the SBR by an average of 21.4 mg NOx-N/L. Effectiveness of biological phosphorus removal increased from 28.1 ± 11.3% to 96.2 ± 2.5%, thus resulting in a drop in the [Formula: see text] concentration in the effluent by, on average, 6.05 mg PO4(3-)-P/L. The application of disintegrated sludge did not deteriorate effluent quality in terms of COD and NH4(+)-N. The concentration of NH4(+)-N in both series averaged 0.16 ± 0.11 mg NH4(+)-N/L, and the concentration of COD was 15.36 ± 3.54 mg O2/L. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Screening of biologically important Zn2 + by a chemosensor with fluorescent turn on-off mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Tanveer A.; Sheoran, Monika; Nikhil Raj M., Venkata; Jain, Surbhi; Gupta, Diksha; Naik, Sunil G.

    2018-01-01

    Reported herein the synthesis, characterization and biologically important zinc ion binding propensity of a weakly fluorescent chemosensor, 4-methyl-2,6-bis((E)-(2-(4-phenylthiazol-2-yl)hydrazono)methyl)phenol (1). 1H NMR spectroscopic titration experiment reveals the binding knack of 1 to the essential Zn2 +. The photo-physical studies of 1 exhibit an enhancement in the fluorescence by several folds upon binding with the zinc ions attributed to PET-off process, with a binding constant value of 5.22 × 103 M- 1. 1 exhibits an excellent detection range for Zn2 + with lower detection limit value of 2.31 × 10- 8 M. The selectivity of 1 was studied with various mono and divalent metal cations and it was observed that most cations either quenches the fluorescence or remains unchanged except for Cd2 +, which shows a slight enhancement in fluorescence intensity of 1. The ratiometric displacement of Cd2 + ions by Zn2 + ions shows an excellent selectivity towards in-situ detection of Zn2 + ions. Photo-physical studies also support the reversible binding of 1 to Zn2 + ions having on and off mechanism in presence of EDTA. Such recognition of the biologically important zinc ions finds potential application in live cell imaging.

  9. micro-mechanical experimental investigation and modelling of strain and damage of argillaceous rocks under combined hydric and mechanical loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, L.

    2012-01-01

    The hydro-mechanical behavior of argillaceous rocks, which are possible host rocks for underground radioactive nuclear waste storage, is investigated by means of micro-mechanical experimental investigations and modellings. Strain fields at the micrometric scale of the composite structure of this rock, are measured by the combination of environmental scanning electron microscopy, in situ testing and digital image correlation technique. The evolution of argillaceous rocks under pure hydric loading is first investigated. The strain field is strongly heterogeneous and manifests anisotropy. The observed nonlinear deformation at high relative humidity (RH) is related not only to damage, but also to the nonlinear swelling of the clay mineral itself, controlled by different local mechanisms depending on RH. Irreversible deformations are observed during hydric cycles, as well as a network of microcracks located in the bulk of the clay matrix and/or at the inclusion-matrix interface. Second, the local deformation field of the material under combined hydric and mechanical loadings is quantified. Three types of deformation bands are evidenced under mechanical loading, either normal to stress direction (compaction), parallel (microcracking) or inclined (shear). Moreover, they are strongly controlled by the water content of the material: shear bands are in particular prone to appear at high RH states. In view of understanding the mechanical interactions a local scale, the material is modeled as a composite made of non-swelling elastic inclusions embedded in an elastic swelling clay matrix. The internal stress field induced by swelling strain incompatibilities between inclusions and matrix, as well as the overall deformation, is numerically computed at equilibrium but also during the transient stage associated with a moisture gradient. An analytical micro-mechanical model based on Eshelby's solution is proposed. In addition, 2D finite element computations are performed. Results

  10. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-02-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroscience Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Microbial Mechanisms Underlying Acidity-induced Reduction in Soil Respiration Under Nitrogen Fertilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, S.; Li, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are receiving increasing amounts of reactive nitrogen (N) due to anthropogenic activities, which largely changes soil respiration and its feedback to climate change. N enrichment can not only increase N availability but also induce soil acidification, both may affect soil microbial activity and root growth with a consequent impact on soil respiration. However, it remains unclear whether elevated N availability or soil acidity has greater impact on soil respiration (Rs). We conducted a manipulative experiment to simulate N enrichment (10 g m-2 yr-1 NH4NO3) and soil acidity (0.552 mol H+ m-2 yr-1 sulfuric acid) and studied their effects on Rs and its components in a temperate forest. Our results showed that soil pH was reduced by 0.2 under N addition or acid addition treatment. Acid addition significantly decreased autotrophic respiration (Ra) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh) by 21.5% and 22.7% in 2014, 34.8% and 21.9% in 2015, respectively, resulting in a reduction of Rs by 22.2% in 2014 and 26.1% in 2015. Nitrogen enrichment reduced Ra, Rh, Rs by 21.9%, 16.2%, 18.6% in 2014 and 22.1%, 5.9%, 11.7% in 2015, respectively. The reductions of Rs and its components were attributable to decrease of fine root biomass, microbial biomass, and cellulose degrading enzymes. N addition did not change microbial community but acid addition increased both fungal and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi PLFAs, and N plus acid addition significantly enhanced fungal to bacterial ratio. All the hydrolase enzymes were reduced more by soil acidity (43-50%) than nitrogen addition (30-39%). Structural equation model showed that soil acidity played more important role than N availability in reducing soil respiration mainly by changing microbial extracellular enzymes. We therefore suggest that N deposition induced indirect effect of soil acidification on microbial properties is critical and should be taken into account to better understand and predict ecosystem C cycling in

  12. Geomagnetic polarity reversals as a mechanism for the punctuated equilibrium model of biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, J.S.; Welsh, A.L.; Welsh, W.F.

    2003-01-01

    In contrast to what is predicted by classical Darwinian theory (phyletic gradualism), the fossil record typically displays a pattern of relatively sudden, dramatic changes as detailed by Eldregde and Gould's model of punctuated equilibrium. Evolutionary biologists have been at a loss to explain the ultimate source of the new mutations that drive evolution. One hypothesis holds that the abrupt speciation seen in the punctuated equilibrium model is secondary to an increased mutation rate resulting from periodically increased levels of ionizing radiation on the Earth's surface. Sporadic geomagnetic pole reversals, occurring every few million years on the average, are accompanied by alterations in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field and magnetosphere. This diminution may allow charged cosmic radiation to bombard Earth with less attenuation, thereby resulting in increased mutation rates. This episodic fluctuation in the magnetosphere is an attractive mechanism for the observed fossil record. Selected periods and epochs of geologic history for which data was available were reviewed for both geomagnetic pole reversal history and fossil record. Anomalies in either were scrutinized in greater depth and correlations were made. A 35 million year span (118-83 Ma) was identified during the Early/Middle Cretaceous period that was devoid of geomagnetic polarity reversals(the Cretaceous normal superchron). Examination of the fossil record (including several invertebrate and vertebrate taxons) during the Cretaceous normal superchron does not reveal any significant gap or slowing of speciation. Although increased terrestrial radiation exposure due to a diminution of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a reversal of geomagnetic polarity is an attractive explanation for the mechanism of punctuated equilibrium, our investigation suggests that such polarity reversals cannot fully provide the driving force behind biological evolution. Further research is required to determine if

  13. Shear strength characteristics of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste (MBT-MSW) from Bangalore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivakumar Babu, G.L.; Lakshmikanthan, P.; Santhosh, L.G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Shear strength properties of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste. • Effect of unit weight and particle size on the shear strength of waste. • Effect of particle size on the strength properties. • Stiffness ratio and the strength ratio of MSW. - Abstract: Strength and stiffness properties of municipal solid waste (MSW) are important in landfill design. This paper presents the results of comprehensive testing of shear strength properties of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste (MBT-MSW) in laboratory. Changes in shear strength of MSW as a function of unit weight and particle size were investigated by performing laboratory studies on the MSW collected from Mavallipura landfill site in Bangalore. Direct shear tests, small scale and large scale consolidated undrained and drained triaxial tests were conducted on reconstituted compost reject MSW samples. The triaxial test results showed that the MSW samples exhibited a strain-hardening behaviour and the strength of MSW increased with increase in unit weight. Consolidated drained tests showed that the mobilized shear strength of the MSW increased by 40% for a unit weight increase from 7.3 kN/m 3 to 10.3 kN/m 3 at 20% strain levels. The mobilized cohesion and friction angle ranged from 5 to 9 kPa and 8° to 33° corresponding to a strain level of 20%. The consolidated undrained tests exhibited reduced friction angle values compared to the consolidated drained tests. The friction angle increased with increase in the unit weight from 8° to 55° in the consolidated undrained tests. Minor variations were found in the cohesion values. Relationships for strength and stiffness of MSW in terms of strength and stiffness ratios are developed and discussed. The stiffness ratio and the strength ratio of MSW were found to be 10 and 0.43

  14. Cognitive mechanisms underlying disorganization of thought in a genetic syndrome (47,XXY)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Rijn, Sophie; Aleman, Andre; De Sonneville, Leo; Swaab, Hanna

    Because of the risk for development of psychopathology such as psychotic symptoms, it has been suggested that studying men with the XXY karyotype may help in the search for underlying cognitive, neural and genetic mechanisms. The aim of this study was to identify cognitive mechanisms that may

  15. STATIC AND DYNAMIC ANALYSIS UNDER MECHANICAL AND THERMAL LOADS OF THE DOUBLE SCARA ROBOT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosif TEMPEA

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a synthesis of the Double SCARA Robot modelling, leading to an optimal solution, from workspace point of view, as well as precision and stability of the endeffector in performing the planned trajectory. For the design of the final mechanism CATIA software has been used, as well as NASTRAN/PATRAN software, for the mechanism analysis under mechanical and thermal loads.

  16. The effects of different size gold nanoparticles on mechanical properties of vascular smooth muscle cells under mechanical stretching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieu, Tri Minh

    Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising frontier for medicine and biomedical research due to its potential for applications such as drug delivery, imaging enhancement, and cancer treatment. While these materials may possess significant possibilities, the effects of these particles in the body and how the particles affect the cells is not fully understood. In this study, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) will be exposed to 5 and 20 nm diameter citrate AuNPs under mechanical conditions. The cytotoxicity properties of these particles will be investigated using LDH and MTT assays. Atomic force microscopy will be used to study how the size of the nanoparticles affect the mechanical properties of the VSMCs. Immunofluorescence staining for alpha actin will also be performed to enhance understanding of the phenotypic shift. The LDH and MTT cytotoxicity assay results demonstrated that neither 5 nor 20 nm diameter nanoparticles are cytotoxic to the cells. However, the mechanical properties and cell morphology of the VSMCs was altered. Under static conditions, both AuNP treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells. The size of the nanoparticles had a softening effect on elastic modulus of the cell and sign of a synthetic phenotype was observed. The VSMCs subjected to mechanical stretching exhibited higher elastic modulus compared to the static experimental groups. Again, both AuNPs treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells and signs of more synthetic phenotype was seen. However, the size of the nanoparticles did not have any influence on cell's elastic modulus unlike the static treated cells. The mechanical testing condition provided a better look at how these particles would affect the cells in vivo. While the nanoparticles are not cytotoxic to the VSMCs, they are altering the mechanical properties and phenotype of the cell.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Mechanism of biological denitrification inhibition: procyanidins induce an allosteric transition of the membrane-bound nitrate reductase through membrane alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardon, Clément; Poly, Franck; Piola, Florence; Pancton, Muriel; Comte, Gilles; Meiffren, Guillaume; Haichar, Feth el Zahar

    2016-05-01

    Recently, it has been shown that procyanidins from Fallopia spp. inhibit bacterial denitrification, a phenomenon called biological denitrification inhibition (BDI). However, the mechanisms involved in such a process remain unknown. Here, we investigate the mechanisms of BDI involving procyanidins, using the model strain Pseudomonas brassicacearum NFM 421. The aerobic and anaerobic (denitrification) respiration, cell permeability and cell viability of P. brassicacearum were determined as a function of procyanidin concentration. The effect of procyanidins on the bacterial membrane was observed using transmission electronic microscopy. Bacterial growth, denitrification, NO3- and NO2-reductase activity, and the expression of subunits of NO3- (encoded by the gene narG) and NO2-reductase (encoded by the gene nirS) under NO3 or NO2 were measured with and without procyanidins. Procyanidins inhibited the denitrification process without affecting aerobic respiration at low concentrations. Procyanidins also disturbed cell membranes without affecting cell viability. They specifically inhibited NO3- but not NO2-reductase.Pseudomonas brassicacearum responded to procyanidins by over-expression of the membrane-bound NO3-reductase subunit (encoded by the gene narG). Our results suggest that procyanidins can specifically inhibit membrane-bound NO3-reductase inducing enzymatic conformational changes through membrane disturbance and that P. brassicacearum responds by over-expressing membrane-bound NO3-reductase. Our results lead the way to a better understanding of BDI. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Soil Biological Activity Contributing to Phosphorus Availability in Vertisols under Long-Term Organic and Conventional Agricultural Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nisar A. Bhat

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Mobilization of unavailable phosphorus (P to plant available P is a prerequisite to sustain crop productivity. Although most of the agricultural soils have sufficient amounts of phosphorus, low availability of native soil P remains a key limiting factor to increasing crop productivity. Solubilization and mineralization of applied and native P to plant available form is mediated through a number of biological and biochemical processes that are strongly influenced by soil carbon/organic matter, besides other biotic and abiotic factors. Soils rich in organic matter are expected to have higher P availability potentially due to higher biological activity. In conventional agricultural systems mineral fertilizers are used to supply P for plant growth, whereas organic systems largely rely on inputs of organic origin. The soils under organic management are supposed to be biologically more active and thus possess a higher capability to mobilize native or applied P. In this study we compared biological activity in soil of a long-term farming systems comparison field trial in vertisols under a subtropical (semi-arid environment. Soil samples were collected from plots under 7 years of organic and conventional management at five different time points in soybean (Glycine max -wheat (Triticum aestivum crop sequence including the crop growth stages of reproductive significance. Upon analysis of various soil biological properties such as dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, acid and alkaline phosphatase activities, microbial respiration, substrate induced respiration, soil microbial biomass carbon, organically managed soils were found to be biologically more active particularly at R2 stage in soybean and panicle initiation stage in wheat. We also determined the synergies between these biological parameters by using the methodology of principle component analysis. At all sampling points, P availability in organic and conventional systems was comparable. Our findings

  20. Biologically important conformational features of DNA as interpreted by quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics computations of its simple fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltev, V; Anisimov, V M; Dominguez, V; Gonzalez, E; Deriabina, A; Garcia, D; Rivas, F; Polteva, N A

    2018-02-01

    Deciphering the mechanism of functioning of DNA as the carrier of genetic information requires identifying inherent factors determining its structure and function. Following this path, our previous DFT studies attributed the origin of unique conformational characteristics of right-handed Watson-Crick duplexes (WCDs) to the conformational profile of deoxydinucleoside monophosphates (dDMPs) serving as the minimal repeating units of DNA strand. According to those findings, the directionality of the sugar-phosphate chain and the characteristic ranges of dihedral angles of energy minima combined with the geometric differences between purines and pyrimidines determine the dependence on base sequence of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of WCDs. This work extends our computational study to complementary deoxydinucleotide-monophosphates (cdDMPs) of non-standard conformation, including those of Z-family, Hoogsteen duplexes, parallel-stranded structures, and duplexes with mispaired bases. For most of these systems, except Z-conformation, computations closely reproduce experimental data within the tolerance of characteristic limits of dihedral parameters for each conformation family. Computation of cdDMPs with Z-conformation reveals that their experimental structures do not correspond to the internal energy minimum. This finding establishes the leading role of external factors in formation of the Z-conformation. Energy minima of cdDMPs of non-Watson-Crick duplexes demonstrate different sequence-dependence features than those known for WCDs. The obtained results provide evidence that the biologically important regularities of 3D structure distinguish WCDs from duplexes having non-Watson-Crick nucleotide pairing.

  1. Mechanical measurement of hydrogen bonded host-guest systems under non-equilibrium, near-physiological conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo, Teresa; Cerrón, Fernando; Nieto-Ortega, Belén; Latorre, Alfonso; Somoza, Álvaro; Ibarra, Borja; Pérez, Emilio M

    2017-09-01

    Decades after the birth of supramolecular chemistry, there are many techniques to measure noncovalent interactions, such as hydrogen bonding, under equilibrium conditions. As ensembles of molecules rapidly lose coherence, we cannot extrapolate bulk data to single-molecule events under non-equilibrium conditions, more relevant to the dynamics of biological systems. We present a new method that exploits the high force resolution of optical tweezers to measure at the single molecule level the mechanical strength of a hydrogen bonded host-guest pair out of equilibrium and under near-physiological conditions. We utilize a DNA reporter to unambiguously isolate single binding events. The Hamilton receptor-cyanuric acid host-guest system is used as a test bed. The force required to dissociate the host-guest system is ∼17 pN and increases with the pulling rate as expected for a system under non-equilibrium conditions. Blocking one of the hydrogen bonding sites results in a significant decrease of the force-to-break by 1-2 pN, pointing out the ability of the method to resolve subtle changes in the mechanical strength of the binding due to the individual H-bonding components. We believe the method will prove to be a versatile tool to address important questions in supramolecular chemistry.

  2. Mechanical, Corrosion and Biological Properties of Room-Temperature Sputtered Aluminum Nitride Films with Dissimilar Nanostructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besleaga, Cristina; Dumitru, Viorel; Trinca, Liliana Marinela; Popa, Adrian-Claudiu; Negrila, Constantin-Catalin; Kołodziejczyk, Łukasz; Luculescu, Catalin-Romeo; Ionescu, Gabriela-Cristina; Ripeanu, Razvan-George; Vladescu, Alina; Stan, George E

    2017-11-17

    Aluminum Nitride (AlN) has been long time being regarded as highly interesting material for developing sensing applications (including biosensors and implantable sensors). AlN, due to its appealing electronic properties, is envisaged lately to serve as a multi-functional biosensing platform. Although generally exploited for its intrinsic piezoelectricity, its surface morphology and mechanical performance (elastic modulus, hardness, wear, scratch and tensile resistance to delamination, adherence to the substrate), corrosion resistance and cytocompatibility are also essential features for high performance sustainable biosensor devices. However, information about AlN suitability for such applications is rather scarce or at best scattered and incomplete. Here, we aim to deliver a comprehensive evaluation of the morpho-structural, compositional, mechanical, electrochemical and biological properties of reactive radio-frequency magnetron sputtered AlN nanostructured thin films with various degrees of c -axis texturing, deposited at a low temperature (~50 °C) on Si (100) substrates. The inter-conditionality elicited between the base pressure level attained in the reactor chamber and crystalline quality of AlN films is highlighted. The potential suitability of nanostructured AlN (in form of thin films) for the realization of various type of sensors (with emphasis on bio-sensors) is thoroughly probed, thus unveiling its advantages and limitations, as well as suggesting paths to safely exploit the remarkable prospects of this type of materials.

  3. Performance of mechanical biological treatment of residual municipal waste in Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boer, Emilia; Jędrczak, Andrzej

    2017-11-01

    The number and capacity of mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plants in Europe increased significantly in the past two decades as a response to the legal obligation to limit the landfilling of biodegradable waste in landfills and to increase recycling and energy recovery from waste. The aim of these plants is to prepare residual municipal waste for recovery and disposal operations, including especially separation and stabilization of the easily biodegradable fraction (the biofraction). The final products of MBP technology are recyclables, stabilate, high calorific fraction which is used for the production of refuse derived fuel (RDF) and the remaining residual fraction. The shares of the output fractions, especially of the recyclables and RDF determine the overall efficiency of MBT technology in diverting waste from landfills. In this paper results of an assessment of one exemplary MBT plant are provided. The analysis was performed within a comparative study in which 20 selected MBT plants in Poland were subject to a detailed analysis, focusing, both at the design parameters as well as operational ones. The selected plant showed relatively higher overall materials recovery efficiency. With the view to circular economy targets, increased automation of the mechanical waste treatment will be required to support achieving high level diversion from landfills. The study reviled that stabilisation of biofraction should be improved by a better control of process conditions, especially moisture content.

  4. The Role of Biologically Active Ingredients from Natural Drug Treatments for Arrhythmias in Different Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Hu, Dan; Song, Xiaoli; Han, Tao; Gao, Yonghong; Xing, Yanwei

    2017-01-01

    Arrhythmia is a disease that is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart rate or rhythm. It is the major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Although several antiarrhythmic drugs have been used in clinic for decades, their application is often limited by their adverse effects. As a result, natural drugs, which have fewer side effects, are now being used to treat arrhythmias. We searched for all articles on the role of biologically active ingredients from natural drug treatments for arrhythmias in different mechanisms in PubMed. This study reviews 19 natural drug therapies, with 18 active ingredient therapies, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, quinones, and terpenes, and two kinds of traditional Chinese medicine compound (Wenxin-Keli and Shensongyangxin), all of which have been studied and reported as having antiarrhythmic effects. The primary focus is the proposed antiarrhythmic mechanism of each natural drug agent. Conclusion . We stress persistent vigilance on the part of the provider in discussing the use of natural drug agents to provide a solid theoretical foundation for further research on antiarrhythmia drugs.

  5. Sensitizing curium luminescence through an antenna protein to investigate biological actinide transport mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturzbecher-Hoehne, Manuel; Goujon, Christophe; Deblonde, Gauthier J-P; Mason, Anne B; Abergel, Rebecca J

    2013-02-20

    Worldwide stocks of actinides and lanthanide fission products produced through conventional nuclear spent fuel are increasing continuously, resulting in a growing risk of environmental and human exposure to these toxic radioactive metal ions. Understanding the biomolecular pathways involved in mammalian uptake, transport and storage of these f-elements is crucial to the development of new decontamination strategies and could also be beneficial to the design of new containment and separation processes. To start unraveling these pathways, our approach takes advantage of the unique spectroscopic properties of trivalent curium. We clearly show that the human iron transporter transferrin acts as an antenna that sensitizes curium luminescence through intramolecular energy transfer. This behavior has been used to describe the coordination of curium within the two binding sites of the protein and to investigate the recognition of curium-transferrin complexes by the cognate transferrin receptor. In addition to providing the first protein-curium spectroscopic characterization, these studies prove that transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis is a viable mechanism of intracellular entry for trivalent actinides such as curium and provide a new tool utilizing the specific luminescence of curium for the determination of other biological actinide transport mechanisms.

  6. Mechanical, Corrosion and Biological Properties of Room-Temperature Sputtered Aluminum Nitride Films with Dissimilar Nanostructure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Besleaga

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Aluminum Nitride (AlN has been long time being regarded as highly interesting material for developing sensing applications (including biosensors and implantable sensors. AlN, due to its appealing electronic properties, is envisaged lately to serve as a multi-functional biosensing platform. Although generally exploited for its intrinsic piezoelectricity, its surface morphology and mechanical performance (elastic modulus, hardness, wear, scratch and tensile resistance to delamination, adherence to the substrate, corrosion resistance and cytocompatibility are also essential features for high performance sustainable biosensor devices. However, information about AlN suitability for such applications is rather scarce or at best scattered and incomplete. Here, we aim to deliver a comprehensive evaluation of the morpho-structural, compositional, mechanical, electrochemical and biological properties of reactive radio-frequency magnetron sputtered AlN nanostructured thin films with various degrees of c-axis texturing, deposited at a low temperature (~50 °C on Si (100 substrates. The inter-conditionality elicited between the base pressure level attained in the reactor chamber and crystalline quality of AlN films is highlighted. The potential suitability of nanostructured AlN (in form of thin films for the realization of various type of sensors (with emphasis on bio-sensors is thoroughly probed, thus unveiling its advantages and limitations, as well as suggesting paths to safely exploit the remarkable prospects of this type of materials.

  7. Mechanical, chemical and biological aspects of titanium and titanium alloys in implant dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottria, L; Lauritano, D; Andreasi Bassi, M; Palmieri, A; Candotto, V; Tagliabue, A; Tettamanti, L

    2018-01-01

    Implant dentistry has become a popular restorative option in clinical practice. Titanium and titanium alloys are the gold standard for endo-osseus dental implants production, thanks to their biocompatibility, resistance to corrosion and mechanical properties. The characteristics of the titanium implant surface seem to be particularly relevant in the early phase of osseointegration. Furthermore, the microstructure of implant surface can largely influence the bone remodelling at the level of the bone-implant surface. Recently, research has stated on the long-term of both survival and success rates of osseointegrated implants and mainly on biomechanical aspects, such as load distribution and biochemical and histological processes at the bone-implant interface. This short review reports recent knowledge on chemical and mechanical properties, biological aspects, innovations in preventing peri-implantitis, describing clinical applications and recent improvements of titanium dental implants. In addition, it highlights current knowledge about a new implant coating that has been demonstrated to reduce the number of initially adhering bacteria and peri-implantitis.

  8. A mechanism for biologically-induced iodine emissions from sea-ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boxe, C.

    2015-12-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea-ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea-ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, to accumulate in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea-ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea-ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest iodine is released to the atmosphere via 3 possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea-ice, to be released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea-ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea-ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, nevertheless the results show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e., I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea-ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during this timeframe. The model results

  9. Comparison of mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc titanium under high pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yongmei; Zhao, Yuhong; Hou, Hua; Wen, Zhiqin; Duan, Meiling

    2018-02-01

    The mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc Ti have been discussed based on the first-principles calculation combined with the quasi-harmonic Debye model. We find that the bulk modulus B, shear modulus G, Young’s modulus E of fcc Ti are larger, while Poisson’s ratio σ is smaller than that of bcc Ti under the same pressure, which indicates the better mechanical performance of fcc Ti compared with bcc Ti. The values of B/G and σ indicate that mechanically stable fcc structure is much less ductile than the bcc structure, while mechanically metastable fcc structure has better ductility than stable bcc structure under high pressure. The normalized volume, isothermal bulk modulus, heat capacity, volume thermal expansion coefficient and Debye temperature under pressure and temperature for fcc and bcc Ti are predicted.

  10. Biological Reclaiming of Recycled Rubber and Its Effect on Mechanical Properties of New Rubber Vulcanizates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Mansourirad

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, due to environmental concerns, there has been great attention to recycling and reclaiming of tires. Different methods have been used for reclaiming or desulfurization of rubber. One of these methods, in which desulfurization of rubber happens with no damage to the polymer structure, is desulfurization by biological microorganisms. In this research the application and performance of thermophilic and sulfur oxidizing bacteria, Acidianus brierleyi for this purpose was investigated. Ground tire rubber was detoxified with organic solvents, and the optimum conditions for growing microorganisms in the existence of rubber powder in the shaker flasks were determined. In order to accelerate the process, the suitable conditions for growth of bacteria and desulfurization in the bioreactor were adopted. Fourier transfer infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were employed to characterize desulfurization of bio-treated powder from bioreactor. The results indicated that morphological changes on powder surface and reduction of sulfur bonds have occurred. Samples from bioreactors, with and without bacteria and also untreated rubber powder were compounded with virgin styrene butadiene rubber. Tensile and dynamic properties were investigated using uni-direction tensile test and dynamic-mechanical-thermal analysis, respectively. Although some differences in dynamic-mechanical-thermal properties of samples pointed to stronger interaction between rubber matrix and treated rubber powder, no significant improvements in the mechanical properties of vulcanizates containing A.brierleyi-treated powder were observed. Low concentration of sulfur in rubber vulcanizates, chemical bonds of sulfur, and low efficiency of A. brierleyi in breaking sulfur bonds and reclaiming rubber were considered as the reasons for low efficiency of this treatment process.

  11. Potential of magnetic nanofiber scaffolds with mechanical and biological properties applicable for bone regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Rajendra K; Patel, Kapil D; Lee, Jae Ho; Lee, Eun-Jung; Kim, Joong-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Hyun; Kim, Hae-Won

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic nanofibrous scaffolds of poly(caprolactone) (PCL) incorporating magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) were produced, and their effects on physico-chemical, mechanical and biological properties were extensively addressed to find efficacy for bone regeneration purpose. MNPs 12 nm in diameter were citrated and evenly distributed in PCL solutions up to 20% and then were electrospun into nonwoven nanofibrous webs. Incorporation of MNPs greatly improved the hydrophilicity of the nanofibers. Tensile mechanical properties of the nanofibers (tensile strength, yield strength, elastic modulus and elongation) were significantly enhanced with the addition of MNPs up to 15%. In particular, the tensile strength increase was as high as ∼25 MPa at 15% MNPs vs. ∼10 MPa in pure PCL. PCL-MNP nanofibers exhibited magnetic behaviors, with a high saturation point and hysteresis loop area, which increased gradually with MNP content. The incorporation of MNPs substantially increased the degradation of the nanofibers, with a weight loss of ∼20% in pure PCL, ∼45% in 10% MNPs and ∼60% in 20% MNPs. Apatite forming ability of the nanofibers tested in vitro in simulated body fluid confirmed the substantial improvement gained by the addition of MNPs. Osteoblastic cells favored the MNPs-incorporated nanofibers with significantly improved initial cell adhesion and subsequent penetration through the nanofibers, compared to pure PCL. Alkaline phosphatase activity and expression of genes associated with bone (collagen I, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein) were significantly up-regulated in cells cultured on PCL-MNP nanofibers than those on pure PCL. PCL-MNP nanofibers subcutaneously implanted in rats exhibited minimal adverse tissue reactions, while inducing substantial neoblood vessel formation, which however, greatly limited in pure PCL. In vivo study in radial segmental defects also signified the bone regeneration ability of the PCL-MNP nanofibrous scaffolds. The magnetic, bone

  12. The Biology and some Population Parameters of the Grasshopper, Ronderosia bergi, Under Laboratory Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; de Wysiecki, Maria Laura; Lange, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Some biological and population parameters of Ronderosia bergi (Stål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae) were estimated by monitoring five cohorts of the first generation (F1) of individuals born in captivity from grasshoppers collected in the South of Misiones province, northeastern Argentina, and held under controlled conditions (30° C, 14:10 L:D, 40% RH). The mean embryonic development time was 40.6 ± 1.7 days. Five nymphal instars were recorded. Total duration of nymphal development was 30.8 ± 0.54 days. The mean lifespan of cohorts was 22.6 ± 0.7 weeks. The number of egg-pods per female was 7.6 ± 1.44, and the amount of eggs per egg-pod was 16.45 ± 0.85. Mean fecundity was 125 ± 5.83 eggs per female with an oviposition rate of 1.55 ± 0.57 eggs/female/day. Survivorship curves showed that mortality was concentrated in the final weeks of adulthood, and the life expectancy curve decreased accordingly. The population parameters estimated gave the following values: the net rate of reproduction (R0) was 46.75 ± 11.2, generation time (T) was 18.87 ± 1.67 weeks, duplication time (D) was 3.31 ± 0.34, the intrinsic rate of population growth (rm) was 0.21 ± 0.021 and the finite rate of population increase (λ) was 1.24 ± 0.026. The reproductive values (Vx) indicated that the largest contribution of females to the subsequent generation was between weeks 15 and 25. PMID:20673116

  13. THE STUDY OF THE BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF PROBIOTIC LACTOBACILLUS SPP. STRAINS UNDER AEROBIC AND MICROAEROPHILIC CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babych E.M.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological properties (growth characteristics, adhesive activity and sensitivity to antimicrobial of probiotic Lactobacillus strains were studied under different gas composition of incubation atmosphere. It was found that the number of viable lactobacilli cells in the one dose of investigated probiotic preparations was lower than it was claimed by the manufacturer. Gas composition of incubation atmosphere affects cell viability of probiotic strains. The number of colony forming units of lactobacilli under microaerophilic conditions increased in 1,19-1,33 times as compared with aerobic conditions. It was proved that adhesive activity of probiotic Lactobacillus strains and sensitivity to 2th, 3th, 4th generations of cephalosporins (cefuroxime, cefotaxime, cefepime and tetracyclines (doxycycline also increased under microaerophilic conditions. The changes of the biological properties of lactobacilli under different cultivation conditions require further study for optimization of correction of dysbiotic disorders.

  14. Lead levels in some biological samples of auto-mechanics in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babalola, O O; Ojo, L O; Aderemi, M O

    2005-12-01

    Lead levels were determined in the blood, scalp hair and fingernails of 38, all male auto-mechanics (aged 18-45 years) from Abeokuta, South-western Nigeria. The subjects were classified into four sub-groups based on the period of exposure namely: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and >16 years. Thirty-two occupationally unexposed subjects (mainly office workers) served as the control. The weight, height and body mass indexes of all subjects were noted, in addition to other information obtained through structured questionnaire. The mean values of blood lead (BPb), hair lead (HPb) and fingernail lead (NPb) of the occupationally exposed subjects (n=38) were 48.50 +/- 9.08 microg/dL, 17.75 +/- 5.16 microg/g, and 5.92 +/- 3.30 microg/g respectively, while the corresponding mean values for these parameters in the control subjects (n = 32) were 33.(,5 +/- 10.09 microg/dL, 14.30 +/- 5.90 microg/g and 5.31 +/- 2.77 microg/g respectively. The differences in BPb and HPb levels of the two groups were statistically significant (P <0.05 and P <0.01 respectively), while that of NPb was not significant. The levels of lead in the biological samples appeared to have no relationship with the number of years on the job. From these results, it was obvious that the higher levels of lead in the biological samples of test subjects, compared with those of the controls were from environmental sources.

  15. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. 78 FR 74218 - Imposition of Additional Sanctions on Syria Under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-10

    ... DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 8545] Imposition of Additional Sanctions on Syria Under the... determination was made that the Government of Syria used chemical weapons in violation of international law or... sanctions against the Government of Syria. Section 307(b) of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.P. Beldini; R.C. Oliveira Junior; Michael Keller; P.B. de Camargo; P.M. Crill; A. Damasceno da Silva; D. Bentes dos Santos; D. Rocha de Oliveira

    2015-01-01

    Land-use change in the Amazon basin has occurred at an accelerated pace during the last decade, and it is important that the effects induced by these changes on soil properties are better understood. This study investigated the chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil in a field under cultivation of soy and rice, and at an adjacent primary rain forest....

  19. Mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolabella Portella, P.; Feng Jiao; Oesterle, W.; Ziebs, J.

    1999-01-01

    The mechanical behaviour of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading was investigated at room temperature and at 800 C. The low-cycle fatigue experiments were carried out using tubular specimens under axial and torsional loading with constant total equivalent strain amplitude following either proportional or nonproportional loading paths. The cyclic hardening observed under nonproportional loading was clearly higher than that under proportional loading. The extra hardening due to the nonproportional loading path was more pronounced at room temperature. The evolution of the dislocation structure was characterized by transmission electron microscopy of specimens after interrupted fatigue tests. The changes in the dislocation structure and the precipitation phenomena are in accordance with the observed mechanical behaviour of the specimens. Twinning was observed in very few grains of some specimens and does not influence the extra hardening under nonproportional loading, martensite was not detected in any specimen. (orig.)

  20. Alzheimer's Disease as Subcellular `Cancer' --- The Scale-Invariant Principles Underlying the Mechanisms of Aging ---

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murase, M.

    1996-01-01

    with self-organization, has been thought to underlie `creative' aspects of biological phenomena such as the origin of life, adaptive evolution of viruses, immune recognition and brain function. It therefore must be surprising to find that the same principles will also underlie `non-creative' aspects, for example, the development of cancer and the aging of complex organisms. Although self-organization has extensively been studied in nonliving things such as chemical reactions and laser physics, it is undoubtedly true that the similar sources of the order are available to living things at different levels and scales. Several paradigm shifts are, however, required to realize how the general principles of natural selection can be extensible to non-DNA molecules which do not possess the intrinsic nature of self-reproduction. One of them is, from the traditional, genetic inheritance view that DNA (or RNA) molecules are the ultimate unit of heritable variations and natural selection at any organization level, to the epigenetic (nongenetic) inheritance view that any non-DNA molecule can be the target of heritable variations and molecular selection to accumulate in certain biochemical environment. Because they are all enriched with a β-sheet content, ready to mostly interact with one another, different denatured proteins like β-amyloid, PHF and prions can individually undergo self-templating or self-aggregating processes out of gene control. Other paradigm shifts requisite for a break-through in the etiology of neurodegenerative disorders will be discussed. As it is based on the scale-invariant principles, the present theory also predicts plausible mechanisms underlying quite different classes of disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), atherosclerosis, senile cataract and many other symptoms of aging. The present theory, thus, provides the consistent and comprehensive account to the origin of aging by means of natural selection and self-organization.

  1. Biological activity and mechanical stability of sol-gel-based biofilters using the freeze-gelation technique for immobilization of Rhodococcus ruber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannier, Angela; Mkandawire, Martin; Soltmann, Ulrich; Pompe, Wolfgang; Böttcher, Horst

    2012-02-01

    Biofilters with long lifetime and high storage stability are very important for bioremediation processes to ensure the readiness at the occurrence of sudden contaminations. By using the freeze-gelation technique, living cells can be immobilized within a mechanically and chemically stable ceramic-like matrix. Due to a freeze-drying step, the embedded microorganisms are converted into a preserved form. In that way, they can be stored under dry conditions, which comply better with storage, transport, and handling requirements. Thus, in contrast to other immobilization techniques, there is no need for storage in liquid or under humid atmosphere. The biological activity, mechanical strength, and the structure of the biologically active ceramic-like composites (biocers) produced by freeze gelation have been investigated by using the phenol-degrading bacteria Rhodococcus ruber as model organism. Samples of freeze-gelation biocers have been investigated after defined storage periods, demonstrating nearly unchanged mechanical strength of the immobilization matrix as well as good storage stability of the activity of the immobilized cells over several months of storage at 4 °C. Repeated-batch tests demonstrated further that the freeze-gelation biocers can be repeatedly used over a period of more than 12 months without losing its bioactivity. Thus, these results show that freeze-gelation biocers have high potential of being scaled up from laboratory test systems to applications in real environment because of their long bioactivity as well as mechanical stability.

  2. Mechanism of the biological response to winter cooling in the northeastern Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Madhupratap, M.; PrasannaKumar, S.; Bhattathiri, P.M.A.; DileepKumar, M.; Raghukumar, S.; Nair, K.K.C.; Ramaiah, N.

    The Arabian Sea is one of the most biologically productive ocean regions, mainly due to the upwelling of nutrients during the summer (southwest) monsoon. But the northern Arabian Sea continues to sustain fairly high biological production after...

  3. Distinct Mechanisms Underlying Resveratrol-Mediated Protection from Types of Cellular Stress in C6 Glioma Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Means, John C; Gerdes, Bryan C; Koulen, Peter

    2017-07-14

    The polyphenolic phytostilbene, trans -resveratrol, is found in high amounts in several types and tissues of plants, including grapes, and has been proposed to have beneficial effects in the central nervous system due to its activity as an antioxidant. The objective of the present study was to identify the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of resveratrol under conditions of oxidative stress or DNA damage, induced by the extracellularly applied oxidant, tert -butyl hydrogen peroxide, or UV-irradiation, respectively. In C6 glioma cells, a model system for glial cell biology and pharmacology, resveratrol was protective against both types of insult. Prevention of tau protein cleavage and of the formation of neurofibrillary tangles were identified as mechanisms of action of resveratrol-mediated protection in both paradigms of cellular damage. However, depending on the type of insult, resveratrol exerted its protective activity differentially: under conditions of chemically induced oxidative stress, inhibition of caspase activity, while with DNA damage, resveratrol regulated tau phosphorylation at Ser 422 . Results advance our understanding of resveratrol's complex impact on cellular signaling pathway and contribute to the notion of resveratrol's role as a pleiotropic therapeutic agent.

  4. An investigation of the mechanism underlying teacher aggression : Testing I3 theory and the General Aggression Model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montuoro, Paul; Mainhard, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Background: Considerable research has investigated the deleterious effects of teachers responding aggressively to students who misbehave, but the mechanism underlying this dysfunctional behaviour remains unknown. Aims: This study investigated whether the mechanism underlying teacher aggression

  5. Tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Byeong-Woo; Lim, Jang-Keun; Sinnott, Susan B.

    2007-01-01

    The tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled single-walled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion is examined using classical molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations indicate that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion can be increased by filling the carbon nanotubes, and the amount of this increase depends on the kind of filling material. They also predict that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion decreases linearly under applied torsion. The tensile strength can be modified by adjusting the system temperature and through chemical functionalization to the carbon nanotube walls.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleessen Sabrina

    2012-03-01

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

  7. Biological Communities in Desert Varnish and Potential Implications for Varnish Formation Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang-Yona, Naama; Maier, Stefanie; Macholdt, Dorothea; Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Müller-Germann, Isabell; Yordanova, Petya; Jochum, Klaus-Peter; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine

    2017-04-01

    Desert varnishes are thin, orange to black coatings found on rocks in arid and semi-arid environments on Earth. The formation mechanisms of rock varnish are still under debate and the involvement of microorganisms in this process remains unclear. In this work we aimed to identify the microbial community occurring in rock varnish to potentially gain insights into the varnish formation mechanism. For this purpose, rocks coated with desert varnish were collected from the Anza-Borrego Desert, California, USA, as well as soils from underneath the rocks. DNA from both varnish coatings and soil samples was extracted and subsequently used for metagenomic analysis, as well as for q-PCR analyses for specific species quantification. The element composition of the varnish coatings was analyzed and compared to the soil samples. Rock varnish shows similar depleted elements, compared to soil, but Mn and Pb are 50-60 times enriched compared to the soil samples, and about 100 times enriched compared to the upper continental crust. Our genomic analyses suggest unique populations and different protein functional groups occurring in the varnish compared to soil samples. We discuss these differences and try to shed light on the mechanism of Mn oxyhydroxide production in desert varnish formation.

  8. Integrative network analysis highlights biological processes underlying GLP-1 stimulated insulin secretion: A DIRECT study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valborg Gudmundsdottir

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1 stimulated insulin secretion has a considerable heritable component as estimated from twin studies, yet few genetic variants influencing this phenotype have been identified. We performed the first genome-wide association study (GWAS of GLP-1 stimulated insulin secretion in non-diabetic individuals from the Netherlands Twin register (n = 126. This GWAS was enhanced using a tissue-specific protein-protein interaction network approach. We identified a beta-cell protein-protein interaction module that was significantly enriched for low gene scores based on the GWAS P-values and found support at the network level in an independent cohort from Tübingen, Germany (n = 100. Additionally, a polygenic risk score based on SNPs prioritized from the network was associated (P < 0.05 with glucose-stimulated insulin secretion phenotypes in up to 5,318 individuals in MAGIC cohorts. The network contains both known and novel genes in the context of insulin secretion and is enriched for members of the focal adhesion, extracellular-matrix receptor interaction, actin cytoskeleton regulation, Rap1 and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways. Adipose tissue is, like the beta-cell, one of the target tissues of GLP-1 and we thus hypothesized that similar networks might be functional in both tissues. In order to verify peripheral effects of GLP-1 stimulation, we compared the transcriptome profiling of ob/ob mice treated with liraglutide, a clinically used GLP-1 receptor agonist, versus baseline controls. Some of the upstream regulators of differentially expressed genes in the white adipose tissue of ob/ob mice were also detected in the human beta-cell network of genes associated with GLP-1 stimulated insulin secretion. The findings provide biological insight into the mechanisms through which the effects of GLP-1 may be modulated and highlight a potential role of the beta-cell expressed genes RYR2, GDI2, KIAA0232, COL4A1 and COL4A2 in GLP-1 stimulated

  9. Regio-controlled hydrogen-deuterium exchange of biologically important indoles under uv irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, Isao; Muramatsu, Shigeru; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Akihiro; Matsuura, Teruo

    1985-01-01

    Photochemical hydrogen-deuterium exchange reaction of biologically important indoles is reported. The regioselectivity of the photodeuteration was found to be controlled by the ammonium group of the side chain. (author)

  10. Molecular Biology and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maxwell, George

    2003-01-01

    To increase our understanding of the molecular aberrations associated with endometrial carcinogenesis and the biologic mechanisms underlying the protective effect of oral contraceptive therapy. Methods: 1...

  11. Molecular Biology and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maxwell, George L

    2004-01-01

    To increase our understanding of the molecular aberrations associated with endometrial carcinogenesis and the biologic mechanisms underlying the protective effect of oral contraceptive therapy. Methods: 1...

  12. Molecular Biology and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maxwell, George L

    2006-01-01

    To increase our understanding of the molecular aberrations associated with endometrial carcinogenesis and the biologic mechanisms underlying the protective effect of oral contraceptive (OC) therapy. 1...

  13. Formation of organizational and economic mechanism of rational use of aquatic biological resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stolbov A. G.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The state of fisheries has been researched based on a systematic approach and comprehensive analysis of statistical data, the following issues have been characterized: the catch of aquatic biological resources (ABR, consumption of fish products, problems in the development of the fishing industry (fleet aging, lack of innovative technologies, the proliferation of IUU fishing4 , the high level of retail prices for fish, low degree of processing export products, overshoot "improper objects" of fishing, the gap in aquaculture development, low economic efficiency. To improve the quality of fishery management it has been proposed to form the organizational and economic mechanism of ABR rational use, which should include effective tools for the implementation of management decisions. Instead of the so-called "historical" principle it has been suggested to use the investment principle of quota allocation and rental payments. The basis for management of fishing industry should be scientifically based on the bioeconomic concept of ABR rational use, the essence of which is to preserve the ABR and at the same time to obtain the maximum output of finished products with high added value. To form the organizational and economic mechanism it is necessary to develop a programme of innovative development of the fisheries sector, a calendar programme of upgrading of fishing fleet, wellreasoned differential rates of rent payments for the ABR use, scenarios and graphic organization of work of fishing vessels in specific fishing areas, to form regional financial and industrial clusters, to expand the authority of the Fisheries Agency, to improve corporate social responsibility of the fishing business communities. Modernization of management system for ABR rational use can significantly reduce environmental pollution, ensure the effective delivery of catch to shore, their high-quality processing and the needs of the population in fish products.

  14. How diagnostic tests help to disentangle the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms in painful neuropathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truini, Andrea; Cruccu, Giorgio

    2016-02-01

    Neuropathic pain, ie, pain arising directly from a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory afferent pathway, manifests with various symptoms, the commonest being ongoing burning pain, electrical shock-like sensations, and dynamic mechanical allodynia. Reliable insights into the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms come from diagnostic tests documenting and quantifying somatosensory afferent pathway damage in patients with painful neuropathies. Neurophysiological investigation and skin biopsy studies suggest that ongoing burning pain primarily reflects spontaneous activity in nociceptive-fiber pathways. Electrical shock-like sensations presumably arise from high-frequency ectopic bursts generated in demyelinated, nonnociceptive, Aβ fibers. Although the mechanisms underlying dynamic mechanical allodynia remain debatable, normally innocuous stimuli might cause pain by activating spared and sensitized nociceptive afferents. Extending the mechanistic approach to neuropathic pain symptoms might advance targeted therapy for the individual patient and improve testing for new drugs.

  15. Visualization of hot spot formation in energetic materials under periodic mechanical excitation using phosphor thermography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Alex; Fenoglio, Gabriel; Detrinidad, Humberto

    2017-06-01

    Under mechanical excitation, energy is known to localize within an energetic material resulting in `hot spot' formation. While many formation mechanisms have been proposed, additional insight to heat generation mechanisms, the effect of binder/crystal interfaces, and predication capabilities can be gained by quantifying the initiation and growth of the hot spots. Phosphor thermography is a well established temperature sensing technique wherein an object's temperature is obtained by collecting the temperature dependent luminescence of an optically excited phosphor. Herein, the phosphor thermography technique has been applied to Dow Corning Sylgard® 184/octahydro 1,3,5,7 tetranitro 1,3,5,7 tetrazocine (HMX) composite materials under mechanical excitation in order to visualize the evolution of the temperature field, and thus hot spot formation, within the binder. Funded by AFOSR. Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program.

  16. Biological nitrogen fixation in mung bean under stress environment (acid soils)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosales, C.M.; Grafia, A.O.; Rivera, F.G.

    1996-01-01

    Our previous studies in biological nitrogen fixation by different mung bean varieties showed the 15 N isotope dilution technique proved to be useful and reliable im measuring the amount of N 2 fixed. These studies were done in nearly neutral soil pH. But since acid soils in the Philippines are widely distributed which comprises about 56 percent of the total land area of the country, this prompted us to conduct studies in this kind of soil to help the farmers in the hilly lands and marginal lands. A preliminary pot experiment was first conducted to determine what are limiting factors/elements in mung bean production in an acid soil. Field experiment followed to verify and implement our results. It was conducted at the National Research Center, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal, 73 kms. northeast of Manila to determine the N 2 fixation and yield performance of 3 mung bean varieties grown under stress environment (acid soils) using isotope dilution technique. PAEC (Philippine Atomic Energy Agency) 3 mung bean variety responded better to phosphorous (P) application compared with neither NIAB 92 or M79-25-106. From a mean seed yield of only 50 kg/ha without lime and P, PAEC 3 further increased its yield to 523 kg/ha with the application of both P and lime. The dry matter yields of three mung bean varieties responded well with P application than lime. Without lime or P, the dry matter yield was only 287 kg/ha. The addition increased the dry matter yield to 533 kg/ha. Both P and lime added dry matter yield further increased to 1359 kg/ha. N 2 fixation increased slightly with the application of lime. With both lime and phosphorous, N 2 fixation increased further. M79-25-106 fixed the highest amount of nitrogen (23.56 kg/ha) while PAEC 3 and NIAB 92 fixed only about 18.8 and 18.67 kg/ha respectively. (author)

  17. Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress (“hormetic stress”). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses (“toxic stress”) and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. PMID:24833580

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    Residual cardiovascular (CV) risk remains in dyslipidemic patients despite intensive statin therapy, underscoring the need for additional intervention. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is incorporated into membrane phospholipids and atherosclerotic plaques and exerts beneficial effects on the pathophysiologic cascade from onset of plaque formation through rupture. Specific salutary actions have been reported relating to endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. EPA also improves atherogenic dyslipidemia characterized by reduction of triglycerides without raising low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Other beneficial effects of EPA include vasodilation, resulting in blood pressure reductions, as well as improved membrane fluidity. EPA's effects are at least additive to those of statins when given as adjunctive therapy. In this review, we present data supporting the biologic plausibility of EPA as an anti-atherosclerotic agent with potential clinical benefit for prevention of CV events, as well as its cellular effects and molecular mechanisms of action. REDUCE-IT is an ongoing, randomized, controlled study evaluating whether the high-purity ethyl ester of EPA (icosapent ethyl) at 4 g/day combined with statin therapy is superior to statin therapy alone for reducing CV events in high-risk patients with mixed dyslipidemia. The results from this study are expected to clarify the role of EPA as adjunctive therapy to a statin for reduction of residual CV risk. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Stress biology and aging mechanisms: toward understanding the deep connection between adaptation to stress and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epel, Elissa S; Lithgow, Gordon J

    2014-06-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress ("hormetic stress"). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses ("toxic stress") and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Biological and physical mechanisms of HIFU-induced hyperecho in ultrasound images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabkin, Brian A; Zderic, Vesna; Crum, Lawrence A; Vaezy, Shahram

    2006-11-01

    Guidance and monitoring of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy, using ultrasound imaging, has primarily utilized formation of a hyperechoic region at the HIFU focus. We investigated biologic and physical mechanisms of a hyperecho, as well as safety of this phenomenon, using thermal, acoustic and light microscopy observations. Single, short-duration HIFU pulses (30-60 ms) were able to produce a hyperechoic region at the HIFU focus, 2 cm deep in a rabbit thigh muscle. When hyperechoic regions appeared, inertial cavitation was detected in vivo using a custom-made passive cavitation detection system. Light micrographs showed a large number of cavities (approximately 100/mm3), 1-10 microm in diameter, in a cytoplasm of cells located at the HIFU focus. Blood congestion was observed around a focal region, indicating an injury of microvasculature. Cellular necrosis was observed at 2 d after the treatment, while healing, scar tissue formation and regeneration were observed at 7 d and 14 d. The results indicate that a possibility of adverse tissue effects has to be taken into consideration when the hyperecho formation, induced by very-short HIFU pulses, is used for pretreatment targeting.