WorldWideScience

Sample records for understand complex biological

  1. From structure of the complex to understanding of the biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossmann, Michael G., E-mail: mr@purdue.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Arisaka, Fumio [Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Battisti, Anthony J.; Bowman, Valorie D.; Chipman, Paul R.; Fokine, Andrei; Hafenstein, Susan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Kanamaru, Shuji [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Kostyuchenko, Victor A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Shneider, Mikhail M. [Laboratory of Molecular Bioengineering, Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117997 (Russian Federation); Morais, Marc C.; Leiman, Petr G. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Palermo, Laura M.; Parrish, Colin R. [James A. Baker Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Xiao, Chuan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstructions. This paper concerns itself with the study of the macromolecular complexes that constitute viruses, using structural hybrid techniques. The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle reconstructions. Both techniques lean heavily on imposing icosahedral symmetry, thereby obscuring any deviation from the assumed symmetry. However, tailed bacteriophages have icosahedral or prolate icosahedral heads that have one obvious unique vertex where the genome can enter for DNA packaging and exit when infecting a host cell. The presence of the tail allows cryo-EM reconstructions in which the special vertex is used to orient the head in a unique manner. Some very large dsDNA icosahedral viruses also develop special vertices thought to be required for infecting host cells. Similarly, preliminary cryo-EM data for the small ssDNA canine parvovirus complexed with receptor suggests that these viruses, previously considered to be accurately icosahedral, might have some asymmetric properties that generate one preferred receptor-binding site on the viral surface. Comparisons are made between rhinoviruses that bind receptor molecules uniformly to all 60 equivalent binding sites, canine parvovirus, which appears to have a preferred receptor-binding site, and bacteriophage T4, which gains major biological advantages on account of its unique vertex and tail organelle.

  2. Using chemistry and microfluidics to understand the spatial dynamics of complex biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastrup, Christian J; Runyon, Matthew K; Lucchetta, Elena M; Price, Jessica M; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2008-04-01

    Understanding the spatial dynamics of biochemical networks is both fundamentally important for understanding life at the systems level and also has practical implications for medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry. Studies at the level of individual reactions provide essential information about the function, interactions, and localization of individual molecular species and reactions in a network. However, analyzing the spatial dynamics of complex biochemical networks at this level is difficult. Biochemical networks are nonequilibrium systems containing dozens to hundreds of reactions with nonlinear and time-dependent interactions, and these interactions are influenced by diffusion, flow, and the relative values of state-dependent kinetic parameters. To achieve an overall understanding of the spatial dynamics of a network and the global mechanisms that drive its function, networks must be analyzed as a whole, where all of the components and influential parameters of a network are simultaneously considered. Here, we describe chemical concepts and microfluidic tools developed for network-level investigations of the spatial dynamics of these networks. Modular approaches can be used to simplify these networks by separating them into modules, and simple experimental or computational models can be created by replacing each module with a single reaction. Microfluidics can be used to implement these models as well as to analyze and perturb the complex network itself with spatial control on the micrometer scale. We also describe the application of these network-level approaches to elucidate the mechanisms governing the spatial dynamics of two networkshemostasis (blood clotting) and early patterning of the Drosophila embryo. To investigate the dynamics of the complex network of hemostasis, we simplified the network by using a modular mechanism and created a chemical model based on this mechanism by using microfluidics. Then, we used the mechanism and the model to

  3. Systems-synthetic biology in understanding the complexities and simple devices in immunology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Bhavnita; Nimsarkar, Prajakta; Mol, Milsee; Saha, Bhaskar; Singh, Shailza

    2018-03-23

    Systems and synthetic biology in the coming era has the ability to manipulate, stimulate and engineer cells to counteract the pathogenic immune response. The inherent biological complexities associated with the creation of a device allow capitalizing the biotechnological resources either by simply administering a recombinant cytokine or just reprogramming the immune cells. The strategy outlined, adopted and discussed may mark the beginning with promising therapeutics based on the principles of synthetic immunology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Complex Systems Biology Approach To Understanding Coordination of JAK-STAT Signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Soebiyanto, Radina P.; Sreenath, Sree N.; Qu, Cheng-Kui; Loparo, Kenneth A.; Bunting, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    In this work, we search for coordination as an organizing principle in a complex signaling system using a multilevel hierarchical paradigm. The objective is to explain the underlying mechanism of Interferon (IFNγ) induced JAK-STAT (specifically JAK1/JAK2-STAT1) pathway behavior. Starting with a mathematical model of the pathway from the literature, we modularize the system using biological knowledge via principles of biochemical cohesion, biological significance, and functionality. The modula...

  5. Using multi-criteria analysis of simulation models to understand complex biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maureen C. Kennedy; E. David. Ford

    2011-01-01

    Scientists frequently use computer-simulation models to help solve complex biological problems. Typically, such models are highly integrated, they produce multiple outputs, and standard methods of model analysis are ill suited for evaluating them. We show how multi-criteria optimization with Pareto optimality allows for model outputs to be compared to multiple system...

  6. Understanding pathologic variants of renal cell carcinoma: distilling therapeutic opportunities from biologic complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuch, Brian; Amin, Ali; Armstrong, Andrew J; Eble, John N; Ficarra, Vincenzo; Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Martignoni, Guido; Rini, Brian I; Kutikov, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Once believed to represent a uniform malignant phenotype, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is now viewed as a diverse group of cancers that arise from the nephron. To review the pathologic characteristics, clinical behavior, molecular biology, and systemic therapy options of recognized RCC histologic subtypes. A systematic review of English-language articles was performed using the Medline and Web of Science databases. Manuscripts were selected with consensus of the coauthors and evaluated using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) criteria. The major findings of the evaluated manuscripts are discussed with an emphasis on the description of the pathologic features, clinical behavior, prognosis, and therapeutic strategies. Classification schemes for kidney cancer have undergone dramatic changes over the past two decades. Improvements in these classification schemes are important, as pathologic variants differ not only in disease biology, but also in clinical behavior, prognosis, and response to systemic therapy. In the era of genomic medicine, further refinements in characterization of RCC subtypes will be critical to the progress of this burgeoning clinical space. Kidney cancer can be subdivided into related but different cancers that arise from the kidney's tubules. In this article we review current classifications for kidney cancer, discuss their characteristics, and provide an overview of each subtype's clinical behavior and treatment. We stress that each subtype harbors unique biology and thus responds differently to available treatment strategies. Copyright © 2014 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolution of Biological Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Raymond E.

    It is a general rule of nature that larger organisms are more complex, at least as measured by the number of distinct types of cells present. This reflects the fitness advantage conferred by a division of labor among specialized cells over homogeneous totipotency. Yet, increasing size has both costs and benefits, and the search for understanding the driving forces behind the evolution of multicellularity is becoming a very active area of research. This article presents an overview of recent experimental and theoretical work aimed at understanding this biological problem from the perspective of physics. For a class of model organisms, the Volvocine green algae, an emerging hypothesis connects the transition from organisms with totipotent cells to those with terminal germ-soma differentiation to the competition between diffusion and fluid advection created by beating flagella. A number of challenging problems in fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, and control theory emerge when one probes the workings of the simplest multicellular organisms.

  8. Understanding the addiction cycle: a complex biology with distinct contributions of genotype vs. sex at each stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, C J; Hashimoto, J G; Roberts, M L; Sonmez, M K; Wiren, K M

    2014-10-24

    Ethanol abuse can lead to addiction, brain damage and premature death. The cycle of alcohol addiction has been described as a composite consisting of three stages: intoxication, withdrawal and craving/abstinence. There is evidence for contributions of both genotype and sex to alcoholism, but an understanding of the biological underpinnings is limited. Utilizing both sexes of genetic animal models with highly divergent alcohol withdrawal severity, Withdrawal Seizure-Resistant (WSR) and Withdrawal Seizure-Prone (WSP) mice, the distinct contributions of genotype/phenotype and of sex during addiction stages on neuroadaptation were characterized. Transcriptional profiling was performed to identify expression changes as a consequence of chronic intoxication in the medial prefrontal cortex. Significant expression differences were identified on a single platform and tracked over a behaviorally relevant time course that covered each stage of alcohol addiction; i.e., after chronic intoxication, during peak withdrawal, and after a defined period of abstinence. Females were more sensitive to ethanol with higher fold expression differences. Bioinformatics showed a strong effect of sex on the data structure of expression profiles during chronic intoxication and at peak withdrawal irrespective of genetic background. However, during abstinence, differences were observed instead between the lines/phenotypes irrespective of sex. Confirmation of identified pathways showed distinct inflammatory signaling following intoxication at peak withdrawal, with a pro-inflammatory phenotype in females but overall suppression of immune signaling in males. Combined, these results suggest that each stage of the addiction cycle is influenced differentially by sex vs. genetic background and support the development of stage- and sex-specific therapies for alcohol withdrawal and the maintenance of sobriety. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Understanding Biological Regulation Through Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashor, Caleb J; Collins, James J

    2018-03-16

    Engineering synthetic gene regulatory circuits proceeds through iterative cycles of design, building, and testing. Initial circuit designs must rely on often-incomplete models of regulation established by fields of reductive inquiry-biochemistry and molecular and systems biology. As differences in designed and experimentally observed circuit behavior are inevitably encountered, investigated, and resolved, each turn of the engineering cycle can force a resynthesis in understanding of natural network function. Here, we outline research that uses the process of gene circuit engineering to advance biological discovery. Synthetic gene circuit engineering research has not only refined our understanding of cellular regulation but furnished biologists with a toolkit that can be directed at natural systems to exact precision manipulation of network structure. As we discuss, using circuit engineering to predictively reorganize, rewire, and reconstruct cellular regulation serves as the ultimate means of testing and understanding how cellular phenotype emerges from systems-level network function. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 47 is May 20, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  10. Mathematical Modeling of Complex Biological Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Hans Peter

    2008-01-01

    To understand complex biological systems such as cells, tissues, or even the human body, it is not sufficient to identify and characterize the individual molecules in the system. It also is necessary to obtain a thorough understanding of the interaction between molecules and pathways. This is even truer for understanding complex diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or alcoholism. With recent technological advances enabling researchers to monitor complex cellular processes on the mole...

  11. Use of biological priors enhances understanding of genetic architecture and genomic prediction of complex traits within and between dairy cattle breeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Lingzhao; Sahana, Goutam; Ma, Peipei

    2017-01-01

    sequence variants in Holstein (HOL) and Jersey (JER) cattle were analysed. We first carried out a post-GWAS analysis in a HOL training population to assess the degree of enrichment of the association signals in the gene regions defined by each GO term. We then extended the genomic best linear unbiased......BACKGROUND: A better understanding of the genetic architecture underlying complex traits (e.g., the distribution of causal variants and their effects) may aid in the genomic prediction. Here, we hypothesized that the genomic variants of complex traits might be enriched in a subset of genomic...

  12. Complexity: the organizing principle at the interface of biological (dis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We then introduce a developmental and an evolutionary understanding of what it means for biological systems to be complex.We propose that the complexity of living systems can be understood through two interdependent structural properties: multiscalarity of interconstituent mechanisms and excitability of the biological ...

  13. The `What is a system' reflection interview as a knowledge integration activity for high school students' understanding of complex systems in human biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripto, Jaklin; Ben-Zvi Assaraf, Orit; Snapir, Zohar; Amit, Miriam

    2016-03-01

    This study examined the reflection interview as a tool for assessing and facilitating the use of 'systems language' amongst 11th grade students who have recently completed their first year of high school biology. Eighty-three students composed two concept maps in the 10th grade-one at the beginning of the school year and one at its end. The first part of the interview is dedicated to guiding the students through comparing their two concept maps and by means of both explicit and non-explicit teaching. Our study showed that the explicit guidance in comparing the two concept maps was more effective than the non-explicit, eliciting a variety of different, more specific, types of interactions and patterns (e.g. 'hierarchy', 'dynamism', 'homeostasis') in the students' descriptions of the human body system. The reflection interview as a knowledge integration activity was found to be an effective tool for assessing the subjects' conceptual models of 'system complexity', and for identifying those aspects of a system that are most commonly misunderstood.

  14. 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.

  15. The "What Is a System" Reflection Interview as a Knowledge Integration Activity for High School Students' Understanding of Complex Systems in Human Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripto, Jaklin; Ben-Zvi Assaraf, Orit; Snapir, Zohar; Amit, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the reflection interview as a tool for assessing and facilitating the use of "systems language" amongst 11th grade students who have recently completed their first year of high school biology. Eighty-three students composed two concept maps in the 10th grade--one at the beginning of the school year and one at its end.…

  16. Complex biological and bio-inspired systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ecke, Robert E [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    The understanding and characterization ofthe fundamental processes of the function of biological systems underpins many of the important challenges facing American society, from the pathology of infectious disease and the efficacy ofvaccines, to the development of materials that mimic biological functionality and deliver exceptional and novel structural and dynamic properties. These problems are fundamentally complex, involving many interacting components and poorly understood bio-chemical kinetics. We use the basic science of statistical physics, kinetic theory, cellular bio-chemistry, soft-matter physics, and information science to develop cell level models and explore the use ofbiomimetic materials. This project seeks to determine how cell level processes, such as response to mechanical stresses, chemical constituents and related gradients, and other cell signaling mechanisms, integrate and combine to create a functioning organism. The research focuses on the basic physical processes that take place at different levels ofthe biological organism: the basic role of molecular and chemical interactions are investigated, the dynamics of the DNA-molecule and its phylogenetic role are examined and the regulatory networks of complex biochemical processes are modeled. These efforts may lead to early warning algorithms ofpathogen outbreaks, new bio-sensors to detect hazards from pathomic viruses to chemical contaminants. Other potential applications include the development of efficient bio-fuel alternative-energy processes and the exploration ofnovel materials for energy usages. Finally, we use the notion of 'coarse-graining,' which is a method for averaging over less important degrees of freedom to develop computational models to predict cell function and systems-level response to disease, chemical stress, or biological pathomic agents. This project supports Energy Security, Threat Reduction, and the missions of the DOE Office of Science through its efforts to

  17. Circulating immune complexes – reviewing the biological roles in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Circulating immune complexes – reviewing the biological roles in human immune function and exercise. ... studies that have investigated CIC's following exercise and proposes that a comprehensive understanding and interpretation of immune system responses to exercise should take these complexes into consideration.

  18. PREFACE: Scales of understanding in biological development Scales of understanding in biological development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Timothy

    2011-08-01

    The development of an adult organism from a fertilized egg remains one of the deep mysteries of biology. Great strides have been made in the past three decades, primarily through ever more sophisticated genetic analyses and the advent of live-cell imaging, yet the underlying principles governing development are elusive. Recently, a new generation of biological physicists has entered the field, attracted by the hallmarks of development— coordinated dynamics and pattern formation arising from cell-cell interactions—which reflect tantalizing analogs with many-body systems in condensed matter physics and related fields. There have been corresponding influxes of researchers from other quantitative disciplines. With new workers come new questions and foci at different scales in space, time and complexity. The reductionist philosophy of developmental genetics has become increasingly complemented by a search for effective mechanisms at higher scales, a strategy which has a proven track record of success in the study of complex systems in physics. Are there new and universal mechanisms of development, supra-genetic in nature, waiting to be discovered by focusing on higher scales, or is development fundamentally the intricately scripted unfolding of complex genetic instructions? In this special focus issue of Physical Biology, we present cutting-edge research into embryo development from a broad spectrum of groups representing cell and developmental biology, biological physics, bioengineering and biomathematics. We are provided with a sense of how this multidisciplinary community views the fundamental issue of scale in development and are given some excellent examples of how we can bridge these scales through interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to create new levels of understanding. We start with two reviews which will provide newcomers with a guide to some of the outstanding questions in the field. Winklbauer and Müller use the phenomenon of mesoderm spreading as

  19. Understanding Supply Networks from Complex Adaptive Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamur Johnas Marchi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This theoretical paper is based on complex adaptive systems (CAS that integrate dynamic and holistic elements, aiming to discuss supply networks as complex systems and their dynamic and co-evolutionary processes. The CAS approach can give clues to understand the dynamic nature and co-evolution of supply networks because it consists of an approach that incorporates systems and complexity. This paper’s overall contribution is to reinforce the theoretical discussion of studies that have addressed supply chain issues, such as CAS.

  20. Understanding Complex Construction Systems Through Modularity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tor Clarke; Bekdik, Baris; Thuesen, Christian

    2014-01-01

    finds that the main driver of complexity is the fragmentation of the design and production, which causes the production modules to construct and install new product types and variants for each project as the designers are swapped for every project. The many interfaces are characteristics of an integral......This paper develops a framework for understanding complexity in construction projects by combining theories of complexity management and modularization. The framework incorporates three dimensions of product, process, and organizational modularity with the case of gypsum wall elements. The analysis...... system, rather than a modular, although the industry forces modular organizational structures. This creates a high complexity degree caused by the non-alignment of building parts and organizations and the frequent swapping of modules....

  1. Noncommutative Biology: Sequential Regulation of Complex Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Letsou

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Single-cell variability in gene expression is important for generating distinct cell types, but it is unclear how cells use the same set of regulatory molecules to specifically control similarly regulated genes. While combinatorial binding of transcription factors at promoters has been proposed as a solution for cell-type specific gene expression, we found that such models resulted in substantial information bottlenecks. We sought to understand the consequences of adopting sequential logic wherein the time-ordering of factors informs the final outcome. We showed that with noncommutative control, it is possible to independently control targets that would otherwise be activated simultaneously using combinatorial logic. Consequently, sequential logic overcomes the information bottleneck inherent in complex networks. We derived scaling laws for two noncommutative models of regulation, motivated by phosphorylation/neural networks and chromosome folding, respectively, and showed that they scale super-exponentially in the number of regulators. We also showed that specificity in control is robust to the loss of a regulator. Lastly, we connected these theoretical results to real biological networks that demonstrate specificity in the context of promiscuity. These results show that achieving a desired outcome often necessitates roundabout steps.

  2. 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…

  3. Systems biology approaches to understand natural products biosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cuauhtemoc eLicona-Cassani

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments which impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams and terpenes are well known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed towards a shift in the exploitation of actinomycetes biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets.

  4. Dependency visualization for complex system understanding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smart, J. Allison Cory [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    With the volume of software in production use dramatically increasing, the importance of software maintenance has become strikingly apparent. Techniques now sought and developed for reverse engineering and design extraction and recovery. At present, numerous commercial products and research tools exist which are capable of visualizing a variety of programming languages and software constructs. The list of new tools and services continues to grow rapidly. Although the scope of the existing commercial and academic product set is quite broad, these tools still share a common underlying problem. The ability of each tool to visually organize object representations is increasingly impaired as the number of components and component dependencies within systems increases. Regardless of how objects are defined, complex ``spaghetti`` networks result in nearly all large system cases. While this problem is immediately apparent in modem systems analysis involving large software implementations, it is not new. As will be discussed in Chapter 2, related problems involving the theory of graphs were identified long ago. This important theoretical foundation provides a useful vehicle for representing and analyzing complex system structures. While the utility of directed graph based concepts in software tool design has been demonstrated in literature, these tools still lack the capabilities necessary for large system comprehension. This foundation must therefore be expanded with new organizational and visualization constructs necessary to meet this challenge. This dissertation addresses this need by constructing a conceptual model and a set of methods for interactively exploring, organizing, and understanding the structure of complex software systems.

  5. Defining Kidney Biology to Understand Renal Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Melissa H.; Brown, Dennis; Humphreys, Benjamin D.; McMahon, Andrew P.; Miner, Jeffrey H.; Sands, Jeff M.; Weisz, Ora A.; Mullins, Chris

    2014-01-01

    The Kidney Research National Dialogue represents a novel effort by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to solicit and prioritize research objectives from the renal research and clinical communities. The present commentary highlights selected scientific opportunities specific to the study of renal development, physiology, and cell biology. Describing such fundamental kidney biology serves as a necessary foundation for translational and clinical studies that will advance disease care and prevention. It is intended that these objectives foster and focus scientific efforts in these areas in the coming decade and beyond. PMID:24370769

  6. Using stereoscopy to teach complex biological concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferdig, Richard; Blank, James; Kratcoski, Annette; Clements, Robert

    2015-09-01

    Used effectively, stereoscopic three-dimensional (3D) technologies can engage students with complex disciplinary content as they are presented with informative representations of abstract concepts. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that stereoscopy may enhance learning and retention in some educational settings. Biological concepts particularly benefit from this type of presentation since complex spatially oriented structures frequently define function within these systems. Viewing biological phenomena in 3D as they are in real life allows the user to relate these spatial relationships and easily grasp concepts making the key connection between structure and function. In addition, viewing these concepts interactively in 3D and in a manner that leads to increased engagement for young prospective scientists can further increase the impact. We conducted two studies evaluating the use of this technology as an instructional tool to teach high school students complex biological concepts. The first study tested the use of stereoscopic materials for teaching brain function and human anatomy to four classes. The second study evaluated stereoscopic images to support the learning of cell structure and DNA in four different high school classes. Most important, students who used stereoscopic 3D had significantly higher test scores than those who did not. In addition, students reported enjoying 3D presentations, and it was among their top choices for learning about these complex concepts. In summary, our evidence adds further support for the benefits of 3D images to students' learning of science concepts. Copyright © 2015 The American Physiological Society.

  7. Soft-Bodied Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses – Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil Preservation:Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and Geological Processes

    OpenAIRE

    Parry, Luke A.; Smithwick, Fiann; Nordén, Klara K.; Saitta, Evan T.; Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Tanner, Alastair R.; Caron, Jean Bernard; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Briggs, Derek E.G.; Vinther, Jakob

    2018-01-01

    Exceptionally preserved fossils are the product of complex interplays of biological and geological processes including burial, autolysis and microbial decay, authigenic mineralization, diagenesis, metamorphism, and finally weathering and exhumation. Determining which tissues are preserved and how biases affect their preservation pathways is important for interpreting fossils in phylogenetic, ecological, and evolutionary frameworks. Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspect...

  8. Listening, understanding and interpreting: reflections on complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenberg, J D

    1999-08-01

    Beginning with the premise that a contemporary approach to analytic exchanges has become far more complex and multi-faceted than in earlier times, the author addresses listening, understanding and interpreting. The opening section presents the basis and utility of a proposed theory of five motivational systems and identifies the need for a shift from conceptualising 'structures' to systems. The nature of communication during analysis is considered from several standpoints including listening for needs and intentions, the place of theory as a background to listening, an optimal state for analysand and analyst, and the significance of the distinction between inner monologue and spoken discourse. Differing views of free association and narrative, especially questions arising from findings of the 'adult attachment interview', are discussed. The patient's sensitivity to the presence and influence of the analyst and the analyst's recognition of non-verbal as well as verbal communications completes this section. In the final section a brief clinical example is presented to introduce a differentiated depiction of the variety of interventions that analysts employ. Throughout the paper, the author presents his view of listening, understanding and interpreting in dialectic contrast with the many other perspectives held by analysts in this period of theoretical pluralism.

  9. Understanding the Thermodynamics of Biological Order

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2012-01-01

    By growth in size and complexity (i.e., changing from more probable to less probable states), plants and animals appear to defy the second law of thermodynamics. The usual explanation describes the input of nutrient and sunlight energy into open thermodynamic systems. However, energy input alone does not address the ability to organize and create…

  10. Life: An Introduction to Complex Systems Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2006-01-01

    What is life? Has molecular biology given us a satisfactory answer to this question? And if not, why, and how to carry on from there? This book examines life not from the reductionist point of view, but rather asks the question: what are the universal properties of living systems and how can one construct from there a phenomenological theory of life that leads naturally to complex processes such as reproductive cellular systems, evolution and differentiation? The presentation has been deliberately kept fairly non-technical so as to address a broad spectrum of students and researchers from the natural sciences and informatics.

  11. Systems Biology and Health Systems Complexity in;

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donald Combs, C.; Barham, S.R.; Sloot, P.M.A.

    2016-01-01

    Systems biology addresses interactions in biological systems at different scales of biological organization, from the molecular to the cellular, organ, organism, societal, and ecosystem levels. This chapter expands on the concept of systems biology, explores its implications for individual patients

  12. Towards a comprehensive understanding of emerging dynamics and function of pancreatic islets: A complex network approach. Comment on "Network science of biological systems at different scales: A review" by Gosak et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loppini, Alessandro

    2018-03-01

    Complex network theory represents a comprehensive mathematical framework to investigate biological systems, ranging from sub-cellular and cellular scales up to large-scale networks describing species interactions and ecological systems. In their exhaustive and comprehensive work [1], Gosak et al. discuss several scenarios in which the network approach was able to uncover general properties and underlying mechanisms of cells organization and regulation, tissue functions and cell/tissue failure in pathology, by the study of chemical reaction networks, structural networks and functional connectivities.

  13. Complexities of Parental Understanding of Phenylketonuria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibinga, Maarten S.; Friedman, C. Jack

    1971-01-01

    Parental understanding of PKU, investigated through a questionnaire, was evaluated as to completeness and with respect to distortion. Education of parents was found to be unrelated to their understanding or tendency to distort. Effectiveness of the pediatrician's communication with parents is discussed. (Author/KW)

  14. Integrative Systems Biology: Elucidating Complex Traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pers, Tune Hannes

    Risk-phenotypes and diseases are oen caused by perturbed cellular networks, as biological processes depend on an overwhelming number of heavily intertwined components. e impact of a genetically altered gene may ripple through its molecular neighborhood instead of being confined to the gene...... product itself. My doctoral studies have been focused on the development of integrative approaches to identify systemic risk-modifying and disease-causing patterns. ey have been rooted in the hypothesis that data integration of complementary data sets may yield additional etiologic insights compared...... to analyses conducted within a single type of data. e first line of research presented here outlines two integrative methodologies designed to identify etiological pathways and susceptibility genes. In Paper I, my coworkers and I present an integrative approach that interrogates protein complexes...

  15. Understanding the Etiology of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-01

    of life as infantile spasms that are unresponsive to conventional anti-epileptic drug therapies (Curatolo et al., 2001; Holmes and Stafstrom, 2007... Infantile spasms in tuberous sclerosis complex. Brain Dev 23:502-507. DiMario FJ, Jr. (2004) Brain abnormalities in tuberous sclerosis complex. J...on chromosome 16. Cell, 75, 1305–1315. 3. Curatolo, P., Seri, S., Verdecchia, M. and Bombardieri, R. (2001) Infantile spasms in tuberous sclerosis

  16. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey eKolodkin

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are ‘systems biology diseases’, or ‘network diseases’. Here we focus on neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, as an example. Because of the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases using simply our ‘naked brain’. When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system’s design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called ‘design principles’ of the system. In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design

  17. Epistemological Predictors of Prospective Biology Teachers' Nature of Science Understandings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köseoglu, Pinar; Köksal, Mustafa Serdar

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate epistemological predictors of nature of science understandings of 281 prospective biology teachers surveyed using the Epistemological Beliefs Scale Regarding Science and the Nature of Science Scale. The findings on multiple linear regression showed that understandings about definition of science and…

  18. School Phobia: Understanding a Complex Behavioural Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitiyo, Morgan; Wheeler, John J.

    2006-01-01

    School phobia affects about 5% of the school-age population. If left untreated, school phobia can have devastating long-term consequences in children challenged by this condition. Various treatment approaches have been used to explore this complex behavioural response, major among them being the psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, pharmacological and…

  19. Finding optimal interaction interface alignments between biological complexes

    KAUST Repository

    Cui, Xuefeng

    2015-06-13

    Motivation: Biological molecules perform their functions through interactions with other molecules. Structure alignment of interaction interfaces between biological complexes is an indispensable step in detecting their structural similarities, which are keys to understanding their evolutionary histories and functions. Although various structure alignment methods have been developed to successfully access the similarities of protein structures or certain types of interaction interfaces, existing alignment tools cannot directly align arbitrary types of interfaces formed by protein, DNA or RNA molecules. Specifically, they require a \\'blackbox preprocessing\\' to standardize interface types and chain identifiers. Yet their performance is limited and sometimes unsatisfactory. Results: Here we introduce a novel method, PROSTA-inter, that automatically determines and aligns interaction interfaces between two arbitrary types of complex structures. Our method uses sequentially remote fragments to search for the optimal superimposition. The optimal residue matching problem is then formulated as a maximum weighted bipartite matching problem to detect the optimal sequence order-independent alignment. Benchmark evaluation on all non-redundant protein-DNA complexes in PDB shows significant performance improvement of our method over TM-align and iAlign (with the \\'blackbox preprocessing\\'). Two case studies where our method discovers, for the first time, structural similarities between two pairs of functionally related protein-DNA complexes are presented. We further demonstrate the power of our method on detecting structural similarities between a protein-protein complex and a protein-RNA complex, which is biologically known as a protein-RNA mimicry case. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. Understanding the Complexity of a Rising China

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-26

    at the macro-level are determined by security interests derived from anarchy.48 From this mindset , Waltz attempted to draw on elements of complexity...artificialities. The restrictions prevented the expansion of the PRC multinational corporations, as it was more difficult for Chinese entrepreneurs to receive...unknowable.” This does not mean there is no point in planning. It simply establishes a mindset that there are no universal truths or solution sets. All

  1. Soft-Bodied Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses - Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil Preservation: Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and Geological Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Luke A; Smithwick, Fiann; Nordén, Klara K; Saitta, Evan T; Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Tanner, Alastair R; Caron, Jean-Bernard; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Briggs, Derek E G; Vinther, Jakob

    2018-01-01

    Exceptionally preserved fossils are the product of complex interplays of biological and geological processes including burial, autolysis and microbial decay, authigenic mineralization, diagenesis, metamorphism, and finally weathering and exhumation. Determining which tissues are preserved and how biases affect their preservation pathways is important for interpreting fossils in phylogenetic, ecological, and evolutionary frameworks. Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspects of fossilization, applying the results directly to the interpretation of exceptionally preserved fossils may overlook the impact of other key processes that remove or preserve morphological information. Investigations of fossils preserving non-biomineralized tissues suggest that certain structures that are decay resistant (e.g., the notochord) are rarely preserved (even where carbonaceous components survive), and decay-prone structures (e.g., nervous systems) can fossilize, albeit rarely. As we review here, decay resistance is an imperfect indicator of fossilization potential, and a suite of biological and geological processes account for the features preserved in exceptional fossils. © 2017 The Authors. BioEssays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Understanding the Complexity of Teacher Reflection in Action Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luttenberg, Johan; Meijer, Paulien; Oolbekkink-Marchand, Helma

    2017-01-01

    Reflection in action research is a complex matter, as is action research itself. In recent years, complexity science has regularly been called upon in order to more thoroughly understand the complexity of action research. The present article investigates the benefits that complexity science may yield for reflection in action research. This article…

  3. Complex Macromolecular Architectures for Potential Biological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Hwayoon

    This thesis describes original research aimed at the development of highly efficient synthetic methods towards complex polymer architectures. An explanation of different polymer architectures, their synthesis and applications, in particular as biomaterials, is provided. Dendronized polymers and block copolymers are identified as two classes of polymer architectures that are important for a variety of applications but whose fabrications still pose a challenge. In the macromonomer route for the synthesis of dendronized polymers, the preferred route due to complete and uniform dendron functionalization, high degrees of polymerization are difficult to achieve due to steric crowding. This limitation was overcome by incorporating linkers between the polymerizable group (norbornene) and the poly(amide)-based dendrons. By increasing the length of the linker, the rate of polymerization increased. The synthesis of block copolymers using non-living polymerization methods often requires the copolymerization of monomers by different polymerization mechanisms. This methodology is hampered by non-quantitative conversions of the precursor polymer into the required macroinitiator. This limitation was overcome by using a bifunctional initiator. Poly(norbornene)-block -poly(lactic acid)s were synthesized using a ruthenium initiator for the ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) and a hydroxy group to initiate the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of L-lactide. This method opens up new routes for the creation of functional block copolymers that are created by a combination of ROMP and ROP. Finally, potential strategies towards the synthesis of complex polymer architectures for biomaterials using the methodologies developed in this thesis are described. Firstly, the synthesis of orthogonally functionalizable dendronized polymers for targeted drug-delivery is proposed. Second, studies to establish the relationship between architectures and properties for biological applications

  4. The role of genetics in students' understandings of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Mary Frances

    2001-10-01

    An important element of an education is an understanding of biology. Science education researchers have shown that both high school and college biology students finish their biology instruction with a poor understanding of evolution, an important unifying concept of the discipline. The goal of this study is to examine the role of genetics in students understanding of evolution. Eight introductory college biology students' understandings of evolutionary biology and their use of genetics concepts as they addressed problems in evolution were examined. Data collected included students' classwork and individual student interviews. Data analysis began with an examination of each students understanding of evolution concepts. The framework for this analysis was based on Mayr's (1982) description of Darwin's five theories: evolution as such, common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and multiplication of species. The descriptions of students' understandings of evolution are followed by an account of how students used genetics concepts to support their explanations of evolutionary processes. The data from this study illustrate how students used transmission genetics, molecular biology and population genetics to support their understandings of evolution. The students in this study constructed syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts that they employed to solve problems. These syntheses fell into three categories: productive, semi-productive and obstructive. Students who achieved a productive synthesis of genetics and evolution concepts also held appropriate understandings of common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and speciation. Students who constructed either a semi-productive or obstructive synthesis of genetics and evolution did not benefit in the same way. Productive synthesis students benefited from their syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts in three ways. They were able to construct complete problem solutions for evolutionary problems, to

  5. Understanding complex interactions using social network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pow, Janette; Gayen, Kaberi; Elliott, Lawrie; Raeside, Robert

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this paper is to raise the awareness of social network analysis as a method to facilitate research in nursing research. The application of social network analysis in assessing network properties has allowed greater insight to be gained in many areas including sociology, politics, business organisation and health care. However, the use of social networks in nursing has not received sufficient attention. Review of literature and illustration of the application of the method of social network analysis using research examples. First, the value of social networks will be discussed. Then by using illustrative examples, the value of social network analysis to nursing will be demonstrated. The method of social network analysis is found to give greater insights into social situations involving interactions between individuals and has particular application to the study of interactions between nurses and between nurses and patients and other actors. Social networks are systems in which people interact. Two quantitative techniques help our understanding of these networks. The first is visualisation of the network. The second is centrality. Individuals with high centrality are key communicators in a network. Applying social network analysis to nursing provides a simple method that helps gain an understanding of human interaction and how this might influence various health outcomes. It allows influential individuals (actors) to be identified. Their influence on the formation of social norms and communication can determine the extent to which new interventions or ways of thinking are accepted by a group. Thus, working with key individuals in a network could be critical to the success and sustainability of an intervention. Social network analysis can also help to assess the effectiveness of such interventions for the recipient and the service provider. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Understanding the biological and environmental implications of nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Sijie

    quantified by UV-vis spectrophotometry and fitted with the Freundlich isothem. Effects of the adsorption of QDs on the photosynthetic activities of the algae are evaluated using O2 evolution and CO2 depletion assays, and the ecological impact of such adsorption is discussed. To understand the effects of nanomaterials on the cell membrane, nanoparticles (Au, TiO2, and QDs) of different surface charges and chemical compositions are introduced to HT-29 mammalian cells in Chapter 4. The polarization of the cell membrane is investigated using a FLIPR membrane potential kit. The phase of the cell membrane, in the presence of both positively and negatively charged nanoparticles, are examined using laurden, a lipophilic dye that serves as a molecular reporter on the fluidic or gel phase of the host membrane. To address the effects of nanomaterials on biological and ecological systems within the same context, Chapter 5 offers a first parallel comparison between mammalian and plant cell responses to nanomaterials. This study is conducted using a plant cell viability assay, complimented by bright field, fluorescence, and electron microscopy imaging. Discussions of this study are presented based on the hydrophobicity and solubility of C60(OH) 20 and of supramolecular complex C70-NOM, hydrophobicity and porous structure of the plant Allium cepa cell wall, and the amphiphilic structure and endocytosis of the plasma cell membrane of both Allium cepa and HT-29 cells. Chapter 6 summarizes and rationalizes results obtained from the entire dissertation research. Future work inspired by this research is presented at the end of the chapter. Specifically, this dissertation is structured to embody the following essential and complementary chapters: (1) Chapter 1: Literature review (2) Chapter 2: Nano-Eco interactions at the whole organism level; (3) Chapter 3: Nano-Eco interactions at the cellular level; (4) Chapter 4: Nano-Bio interactions at the cellular level; (5) Chapter 5: Parallel comparison

  7. Neuroanthropological Understanding of Complex Cognition – Numerosity and Arithmetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarja Mursic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Humankind has a long evolutionary history. When we are trying to understand human complex cognition, it is as well important to look back to entire evolution. I will present the thesis that our biological predispositions and culture, together with natural and social environment, are tightly connected. During ontogenetically development we are shaped by various factors, and they enabled humans to develop some aspects of complex cognition, such as mathematics.In the beginning of the article I present the importance of natural and cultural evolution in other animals. In the following part, I briefly examine the field of mathematics – numerosity and arithmetic. Presentation of comparative animal studies, mainly made on primates, provides some interesting examples in animals’ abilities to separate between different quantities. From abilities for numerosity in animals I continue to neuroscientific studies of humans and our ability to solve simple arithmetic tasks. I also mention cross-cultural studies of arithmetic skills. In the final part of the text I present the field neuroanthropology as a possible new pillar of cognitive science. Finally, it is important to connect human evolution and development with animal cognition studies, but as well with cross-cultural studies in shaping of human ability for numerosity and arithmetic.

  8. Understanding the Intersections between Metabolism and Cancer Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Heiden, Matthew G; DeBerardinis, Ralph J

    2017-02-09

    Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress toward answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Understanding the intersections between metabolism and cancer biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiden, Matthew G. Vander; DeBerardinis, Ralph J.

    2017-01-01

    Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress towards answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients. PMID:28187287

  10. Students' Energy Understanding Across Biology, Chemistry, and Physics Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opitz, S. T.; Neumann, K.; Bernholt, S.; Harms, U.

    2017-07-01

    Energy is considered both as a disciplinary core idea and as a concept cutting across science disciplines. Most previous approaches studied progressing energy understanding in specific disciplinary contexts, while disregarding the relation of understanding across them. Hence, this study provides a systematic analysis of cross-disciplinary energy learning. On the basis of a cross-sectional study with n = 742 students from grades 6, 8, and 10, we analyze students' progression in understanding energy across biology, chemistry, and physics contexts. The study is guided by three hypothetical scenarios that describe how the connection between energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts changes across grade levels. These scenarios are compared using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results suggest that, from grade 6 to grade 10, energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts is highly interrelated, thus indicating a parallel progression of energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts. In our study, students from grade 6 onwards appeared to have few problems to apply one energy understanding across the three disciplinary contexts. These findings were unexpected, as previous research concluded that students likely face difficulties in connecting energy learning across disciplinary boundaries. Potential reasons for these results and the characteristics of the observed cross-disciplinary energy understanding are discussed in the light of earlier findings and implications for future research, and the teaching of energy as a core idea and a crosscutting concept are addressed.

  11. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks.

  12. Network biology concepts in complex disease comorbidities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Jessica Xin; Thomas, Cecilia Engel; Brunak, Søren

    2016-01-01

    The co-occurrence of diseases can inform the underlying network biology of shared and multifunctional genes and pathways. In addition, comorbidities help to elucidate the effects of external exposures, such as diet, lifestyle and patient care. With worldwide health transaction data now often being...

  13. Simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding - enhanced sensitivity in observation of information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bering Keiding, Tina

    enhanced transparency in selection of understanding as well as enhanced sensitivity and definition in dept. The contribution suggest that we distinguish between three types of understanding; simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding. Simple understanding is the simultaneous selection of understanding......-order observation. Hyper-complex, or third-order observation, observes conditions for indication; that is conditions for actualization of the specific form of the difference constructed through second-order observation. The three types are partly deduced from Luhmanns concept of understanding, partly generated...

  14. Understanding Learner Agency as a Complex Dynamic System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    This paper attempts to contribute to a fuller understanding of the nature of language learner agency by considering it as a complex dynamic system. The purpose of the study was to explore detailed situated data to examine to what extent it is feasible to view learner agency through the lens of complexity theory. Data were generated through a…

  15. Ecosystemic Complexity Theory of Conflict: Understanding the Fog of Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, Greg; Lassiter, Pamela S.; Hill, Michele B.; Moore, Sarah A.

    2011-01-01

    Counselors often engage in conflict mediation in professional practice. A model for understanding the complex and subtle nature of conflict resolution is presented. The ecosystemic complexity theory of conflict is offered to assist practitioners in navigating the fog of conflict. Theoretical assumptions are discussed with implications for clinical…

  16. Sporothrix schenckii complex biology: environment and fungal pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Téllez, M D; Batista-Duharte, A; Portuondo, D; Quinello, C; Bonne-Hernández, R; Carlos, I Z

    2014-11-01

    Sporothrix schenckii is a complex of various species of fungus found in soils, plants, decaying vegetables and other outdoor environments. It is the aetiological agent of sporotrichosis in humans and several animals. Humans and animals can acquire the disease through traumatic inoculation of the fungus into subcutaneous tissue. Despite the importance of sporotrichosis, it being currently regarded as an emergent disease in several countries, the factors driving its increasing medical importance are still largely unknown. There have only been a few studies addressing the influence of the environment on the virulence of these pathogens. However, recent studies have demonstrated that adverse conditions in its natural habitats can trigger the expression of different virulence factors that confer survival advantages both in animal hosts and in the environment. In this review, we provide updates on the important advances in the understanding of the biology of Spor. schenckii and the modification of its virulence linked to demonstrated or putative environmental factors. © 2014 The Authors.

  17. Biological and social understanding of human nature: biopolitical dimension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Kostiuchkov

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the position of the biopolitical nature of man as a biosocial being given supplies of both the two spheres of life – natural, biological and social. The necessity of understanding of human nature, which by definition are bio-social importance of the approach to the definition of man as an integral, binary-konnotovanoyi of the «social individual – a species» which is characterized by symmetrical opposition – upposition social and biological. It was found that the main task of modern political science, and in particular bio-political studies presented appeals to rethink the political picture of the world in order to predict the development of a new order or a new chaos. Understanding the formation of a new global civilization worldview is today one of the most important problems, which is connected with the main problem of the modern world – the task of preserving life on the planet. It is concluded that the contradictions of human nature – between the biological and the social, physical and spiritual, universal and the particular, natural and artificial, rational and emotional – in today’s conditions are extremely sharp. The said situation requires more in-depth scientific analysis of human nature, the study of the structural level as human biosocial system.

  18. Systems biology for understanding and engineering of heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Beom Gi; Kim, Minsuk; Kim, Joonwon; Yoo, Heewang; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2017-01-01

    Heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms continue to draw interest as they can accumulate a large amount of lipids which is a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and oleochemicals. Nutrient limitation, especially nitrogen limitation, is known to effectively trigger the lipid production in these microorganisms. For the aim of developing improved strains, the mechanisms behind the lipid production have been studied for a long time. Nowadays, system-level understanding of their metabolism and associated metabolic switches is attainable with modern systems biology tools. This work reviews the systems biology studies, based on (i) top-down, large-scale 'omics' tools, and (ii) bottom-up, mathematical modeling methods, on the heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms with an emphasis on further application to metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Biologically relevant heterodinuclear iron-manganese complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, Michaël; Clémancey, Martin; Molton, Florian; Pécaut, Jacques; Lebrun, Colette; Dubois, Lionel; Blondin, Geneviève; Latour, J-M

    2012-10-01

    The heterodinuclear complexes [Fe(III)Mn(II)(L-Bn)(μ-OAc)(2)](ClO(4))(2) (1) and [Fe(II)Mn(II)(L-Bn)(μ-OAc)(2)](ClO(4)) (2) with the unsymmetrical dinucleating ligand HL-Bn {[2-bis[(2-pyridylmethyl)aminomethyl

  20. Understanding complex urban systems multidisciplinary approaches to modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gurr, Jens; Schmidt, J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding Complex Urban Systems takes as its point of departure the insight that the challenges of global urbanization and the complexity of urban systems cannot be understood – let alone ‘managed’ – by sectoral and disciplinary approaches alone. But while there has recently been significant progress in broadening and refining the methodologies for the quantitative modeling of complex urban systems, in deepening the theoretical understanding of cities as complex systems, or in illuminating the implications for urban planning, there is still a lack of well-founded conceptual thinking on the methodological foundations and the strategies of modeling urban complexity across the disciplines. Bringing together experts from the fields of urban and spatial planning, ecology, urban geography, real estate analysis, organizational cybernetics, stochastic optimization, and literary studies, as well as specialists in various systems approaches and in transdisciplinary methodologies of urban analysis, the volum...

  1. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

    Genetic screens were for long the prerogative of those that studied model organisms. The discovery in 2001 that gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) can also be brought about in mammalian cells paved the way for large scale loss-of-function genetic screens in higher organisms. In this article, we describe how functional genetic studies can help us understand the biology of breast cancer, how it can be used to identify novel targets for breast cancer therapy, and how it can help in the identification of those patients that are most likely to respond to a given therapy.

  2. Complexity, Analysis and Control of Singular Biological Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Qingling; Zhang, Xue

    2012-01-01

    Complexity, Analysis and Control of Singular Biological Systems follows the control of real-world biological systems at both ecological and phyisological levels concentrating on the application of now-extensively-investigated singular system theory. Much effort has recently been dedicated to the modelling and analysis of developing bioeconomic systems and the text establishes singular examples of these, showing how proper control can help to maintain sustainable economic development of biological resources. The book begins from the essentials of singular systems theory and bifurcations before tackling  the use of various forms of control in singular biological systems using examples including predator-prey relationships and viral vaccination and quarantine control. Researchers and graduate students studying the control of complex biological systems are shown how a variety of methods can be brought to bear and practitioners working with the economics of biological systems and their control will also find the ...

  3. 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

  4. Mössbauer study of some biological iron complexes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. Some biological complexes containing iron are investigated experimentally at room temperature using the Mössbauer resonance. The complexes show quadrupole doublet and Kramer's degeneracy is found to exist. The electric field gradient, difference in s-electron densities and quadrupole coupling constant ...

  5. Methods of information theory and algorithmic complexity for network biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenil, Hector; Kiani, Narsis A; Tegnér, Jesper

    2016-03-01

    We survey and introduce concepts and tools located at the intersection of information theory and network biology. We show that Shannon's information entropy, compressibility and algorithmic complexity quantify different local and global aspects of synthetic and biological data. We show examples such as the emergence of giant components in Erdös-Rényi random graphs, and the recovery of topological properties from numerical kinetic properties simulating gene expression data. We provide exact theoretical calculations, numerical approximations and error estimations of entropy, algorithmic probability and Kolmogorov complexity for different types of graphs, characterizing their variant and invariant properties. We introduce formal definitions of complexity for both labeled and unlabeled graphs and prove that the Kolmogorov complexity of a labeled graph is a good approximation of its unlabeled Kolmogorov complexity and thus a robust definition of graph complexity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. Characterising the Development of the Understanding of Human Body Systems in High-School Biology Students--A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snapir, Zohar; Eberbach, Catherine; Ben-Zvi-Assaraf, Orit; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; Tripto, Jaklin

    2017-01-01

    Science education today has become increasingly focused on research into complex natural, social and technological systems. In this study, we examined the development of high-school biology students' systems understanding of the human body, in a three-year longitudinal study. The development of the students' system understanding was evaluated…

  8. Understanding complex systems: lessons from Auzoux's and von ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2009-12-09

    Dec 9, 2009 ... Animal and human anatomy is among the most complex systems known, and suitable teaching methods have been of great importance in the progress of knowledge. Examining the human body is part of the process by which medical students come to understand living forms. However, the need to ...

  9. Understanding the Complexity of Social Issues through Process Drama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, Joanne

    2002-01-01

    Attempts to capture the process of understanding and questioning deforestation through process drama (in which students and teacher work both in and out of role to explore a problem, situation, or theme). Notes that moving topics such as the destruction of a rainforest into process drama introduces complexity into social issues. Considers how…

  10. Biomarkers in anal cancer: from biological understanding to stratified treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher M; Goh, Vicky; Sebag-Montefiore, David; Gilbert, Duncan C

    2017-01-17

    Squamous cell carcinomas of the anus and anal canal represent a model of a cancer and perhaps the first where level 1 evidence supported primary chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in treating locoregional disease with curative intent. The majority of tumours are associated with infection with oncogenic subtypes of human papilloma virus and this plays a significant role in their sensitivity to treatment. However, not all tumours are cured with CRT and there remain opportunities to improve outcomes in terms of oncological control and also reducing late toxicities. Understanding the biology of ASCC promises to allow a more personalised approach to treatment, with the development and validation of a range of biomarkers and associated techniques that are the focus of this review.

  11. Next-Generation Sequencing: From Understanding Biology to Personalized Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Meder

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Within just a few years, the new methods for high-throughput next-generation sequencing have generated completely novel insights into the heritability and pathophysiology of human disease. In this review, we wish to highlight the benefits of the current state-of-the-art sequencing technologies for genetic and epigenetic research. We illustrate how these technologies help to constantly improve our understanding of genetic mechanisms in biological systems and summarize the progress made so far. This can be exemplified by the case of heritable heart muscle diseases, so-called cardiomyopathies. Here, next-generation sequencing is able to identify novel disease genes, and first clinical applications demonstrate the successful translation of this technology into personalized patient care.

  12. Understanding the biological responses of nanostructured metals and surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Terry C.; Reiss, Rebecca A.

    2014-08-01

    Metals produced by Severe Plastic Deformation (SPD) offer distinct advantages for medical applications such as orthopedic devices, in part because of their nanostructured surfaces. We examine the current theoretical foundations and state of knowledge for nanostructured biomaterials surface optimization within the contexts that apply to bulk nanostructured metals, differentiating how their microstructures impact osteogenesis, in particular, for Ultrafine Grained (UFG) titanium. Then we identify key gaps in the research to date, pointing out areas which merit additional focus within the scientific community. For example, we highlight the potential of next-generation DNA sequencing techniques (NGS) to reveal gene and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression changes induced by nanostructured metals. While our understanding of bio-nano interactions is in its infancy, nanostructured metals are already being marketed or developed for medical devices such as dental implants, spinal devices, and coronary stents. Our ability to characterize and optimize the biological response of cells to SPD metals will have synergistic effects on advances in materials, biological, and medical science.

  13. Understanding complex urban systems integrating multidisciplinary data in urban models

    CERN Document Server

    Gebetsroither-Geringer, Ernst; Atun, Funda; Werner, Liss

    2016-01-01

    This book is devoted to the modeling and understanding of complex urban systems. This second volume of Understanding Complex Urban Systems focuses on the challenges of the modeling tools, concerning, e.g., the quality and quantity of data and the selection of an appropriate modeling approach. It is meant to support urban decision-makers—including municipal politicians, spatial planners, and citizen groups—in choosing an appropriate modeling approach for their particular modeling requirements. The contributors to this volume are from different disciplines, but all share the same goal: optimizing the representation of complex urban systems. They present and discuss a variety of approaches for dealing with data-availability problems and finding appropriate modeling approaches—and not only in terms of computer modeling. The selection of articles featured in this volume reflect a broad variety of new and established modeling approaches such as: - An argument for using Big Data methods in conjunction with Age...

  14. Increasing process understanding by analyzing complex interactions in experimental data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naelapaa, Kaisa; Allesø, Morten; Kristensen, Henning Gjelstrup

    2009-01-01

    There is a recognized need for new approaches to understand unit operations with pharmaceutical relevance. A method for analyzing complex interactions in experimental data is introduced. Higher-order interactions do exist between process parameters, which complicate the interpretation...... understanding of a coating process. It was possible to model the response, that is, the amount of drug released, using both mentioned techniques. However, the ANOVAmodel was difficult to interpret as several interactions between process parameters existed. In contrast to ANOVA, GEMANOVA is especially suited...... for modeling complex interactions and making easily understandable models of these. GEMANOVA modeling allowed a simple visualization of the entire experimental space. Furthermore, information was obtained on how relative changes in the settings of process parameters influence the film quality and thereby drug...

  15. Complex fluids in biological systems experiment, theory, and computation

    CERN Document Server

    2015-01-01

    This book serves as an introduction to the continuum mechanics and mathematical modeling of complex fluids in living systems. The form and function of living systems are intimately tied to the nature of surrounding fluid environments, which commonly exhibit nonlinear and history dependent responses to forces and displacements. With ever-increasing capabilities in the visualization and manipulation of biological systems, research on the fundamental phenomena, models, measurements, and analysis of complex fluids has taken a number of exciting directions. In this book, many of the world’s foremost experts explore key topics such as: Macro- and micro-rheological techniques for measuring the material properties of complex biofluids and the subtleties of data interpretation Experimental observations and rheology of complex biological materials, including mucus, cell membranes, the cytoskeleton, and blood The motility of microorganisms in complex fluids and the dynamics of active suspensions Challenges and solut...

  16. Systematic synergy modeling: understanding drug synergy from a systems biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Di; Liu, Xi; Yang, Yiping; Yang, Hongjun; Lu, Peng

    2015-09-16

    Owing to drug synergy effects, drug combinations have become a new trend in combating complex diseases like cancer, HIV and cardiovascular diseases. However, conventional synergy quantification methods often depend on experimental dose-response data which are quite resource-demanding. In addition, these methods are unable to interpret the explicit synergy mechanism. In this review, we give representative examples of how systems biology modeling offers strategies toward better understanding of drug synergy, including the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network-based methods, pathway dynamic simulations, synergy network motif recognitions, integrative drug feature calculations, and "omic"-supported analyses. Although partially successful in drug synergy exploration and interpretation, more efforts should be put on a holistic understanding of drug-disease interactions, considering integrative pharmacology and toxicology factors. With a comprehensive and deep insight into the mechanism of drug synergy, systems biology opens a novel avenue for rational design of effective drug combinations.

  17. Understanding Decision Making through Complexity in Professional Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kon Shing Kenneth Chung

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The attitudes of general practitioners (GP play an influential role in their decision making about patient treatment and care. Considering the GP-patient encounter as a complex system, the interactions between the GP and their personal network of peers give rise to “aggregate complexity,” which in turn influences the GP’s decisions about patient treatment. This study models aggregate complexity and its influence in decision making in primary care through the use of social network metrics. Professional network and attitudinal data on decision making responsibility from 107 rural GPs were analysed. Social network measures of “density” and “inclusiveness” were used for computing the “interrelatedness” of components within such a “complex system.” The “number of components” and “degree of interrelatedness” were used to determine the complexity profiles, which was then used to associate with responsibility in decision making for each GP. GPs in simple profiles (i.e., with low components and interactions in contrast to those in nonsimple profiles, indicate a higher responsibility for the decisions they make in medical care. This study suggests that social networks-based complexity profiles are useful for understanding decision making in primary care as it accounts for the role of influence through the professional networks of GPs.

  18. Complexity, Post-genomic Biology and Gene Expression Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rohan B. H.; Luo, Oscar Junhong

    Gene expression represents the fundamental phenomenon by which information encoded in a genome is utilised for the overall biological objectives of the organism. Understanding this level of information transfer is therefore essential for dissecting the mechanistic basis of form and function of organisms. We survey recent developments in the methodology of the life sciences that is relevant for understanding the organisation and function of the genome and review our current understanding of the regulation of gene expression, and finally, outline some new approaches that may be useful in understanding the organisation of gene regulatory systems.

  19. Understanding the complex interplay between tourism, disability and environmental contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Tanya L; McKercher, Bob; Yau, Matthew K

    2007-02-28

    To explore and describe the complex issues and factors related to participation in tourism as perceived by people with disabilities in Hong Kong. Naturalistic inquiry using key informant interviews and focus groups with 86 people with disabilities. Interviews were transcribed, translated and coded to develop themes and relationships. Triangulation of three investigators from different backgrounds occurred. The Process of Becoming Travel Active emerged as a six-stage process, intricately related to the personal/disability context and the environmental/travel context. Personal and environmental factors contribute to the six-stage model explaining the complex interplay between tourism, disability and environmental context. Understanding the complexity provides insight into ways to increase active participation in tourism. Health, tourism and disability sectors have a role to play in the development of accessible tourism.

  20. Biological activities of some Fluoroquinolones-metal complexes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Metal ions play a vital role in the design of more biologically active drugs. Aim: The paper reviewed the antimicrobial, toxicological and DNA cleavage studies of some synthesized metal complexes of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Materials and Methods: Literature searches were done using scientific databases.

  1. From Molecules to Life: Quantifying the Complexity of Chemical and Biological Systems in the Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böttcher, Thomas

    2018-01-01

    Life is a complex phenomenon and much research has been devoted to both understanding its origins from prebiotic chemistry and discovering life beyond Earth. Yet, it has remained elusive how to quantify this complexity and how to compare chemical and biological units on one common scale. Here, a mathematical description of molecular complexity was applied allowing to quantitatively assess complexity of chemical structures. This in combination with the orthogonal measure of information complexity resulted in a two-dimensional complexity space ranging over the entire spectrum from molecules to organisms. Entities with a certain level of information complexity directly require a functionally complex mechanism for their production or replication and are hence indicative for life-like systems. In order to describe entities combining molecular and information complexity, the term biogenic unit was introduced. Exemplified biogenic unit complexities were calculated for ribozymes, protein enzymes, multimeric protein complexes, and even an entire virus particle. Complexities of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, as well as multicellular organisms, were estimated. Thereby distinct evolutionary stages in complexity space were identified. The here developed approach to compare the complexity of biogenic units allows for the first time to address the gradual characteristics of prebiotic and life-like systems without the need for a definition of life. This operational concept may guide our search for life in the Universe, and it may direct the investigations of prebiotic trajectories that lead towards the evolution of complexity at the origins of life.

  2. Disaster forensics understanding root cause and complex causality

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    This book aims to uncover the root causes of natural and man-made disasters by going beyond the typical reports and case studies conducted post-disaster. It opens the black box of disasters by presenting ‘forensic analysis approaches’ to disasters, thereby revealing the complex causality that characterizes them and explaining how and why hazards do, or do not, become disasters. This yields ‘systemic’ strategies for managing disasters. Recently the global threat landscape has seen the emergence of high impact, low probability events. Events like Hurricane Katrina, the Great Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, Super Typhoon Haiyan, global terrorist activities have become the new norm. Extreme events challenge our understanding regarding the interdependencies and complexity of the disaster aetiology and are often referred to as Black Swans. Between 2002 and 2011, there were 4130 disasters recorded that resulted from natural hazards around the world. In these, 1,117,527 people perished and a mi...

  3. Complexity and simplification in understanding recruitment in benthic populations

    KAUST Repository

    Pineda, Jesús

    2008-11-13

    Research of complex systems and problems, entities with many dependencies, is often reductionist. The reductionist approach splits systems or problems into different components, and then addresses these components one by one. This approach has been used in the study of recruitment and population dynamics of marine benthic (bottom-dwelling) species. Another approach examines benthic population dynamics by looking at a small set of processes. This approach is statistical or model-oriented. Simplified approaches identify "macroecological" patterns or attempt to identify and model the essential, "first-order" elements of the system. The complexity of the recruitment and population dynamics problems stems from the number of processes that can potentially influence benthic populations, including (1) larval pool dynamics, (2) larval transport, (3) settlement, and (4) post-settlement biotic and abiotic processes, and larval production. Moreover, these processes are non-linear, some interact, and they may operate on disparate scales. This contribution discusses reductionist and simplified approaches to study benthic recruitment and population dynamics of bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. We first address complexity in two processes known to influence recruitment, larval transport, and post-settlement survival to reproduction, and discuss the difficulty in understanding recruitment by looking at relevant processes individually and in isolation. We then address the simplified approach, which reduces the number of processes and makes the problem manageable. We discuss how simplifications and "broad-brush first-order approaches" may muddle our understanding of recruitment. Lack of empirical determination of the fundamental processes often results in mistaken inferences, and processes and parameters used in some models can bias our view of processes influencing recruitment. We conclude with a discussion on how to reconcile complex and simplified approaches. Although it

  4. "Understanding Adam" multiple reciprocal translocations: complex case presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Carie E; Lu, Xianglan; Kim, Young Mi; Li, Shibo; Pineda, Jose

    2009-01-01

    This article presents a case review of a newborn diagnosed with a complex chromosomal rearrangement, as demonstrated through a painted chromosomal analysis. This infant presented with multiple dysmorphology including cutis aplasia, multiple ocular malformations, bilateral cleft lip and palate, and postnatal hydrocephaly. A chromosomal analysis revealed multiple-ways, balanced translocation involving chromosomes 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9. This case study provides a unique opportunity to, in retrospect, trace each malformation exploring the pathophysiology, etiology, and correlating origin with chromosomal variation. Careful review of this case, enhanced by the visually augmented representation of each translocation, will increase understanding of chromosomal anomalies and their implications in embryological development and clinical presentation.

  5. Understanding Parkinson Disease: A Complex and Multifaceted Illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishna, Apoorva; Alexander, Sheila A

    2015-12-01

    Parkinson disease is an incredibly complex and multifaceted illness affecting millions of people in the United States. Parkinson disease is characterized by progressive dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction and loss, leading to debilitating motor, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Parkinson disease is an enigmatic illness that is still extensively researched today to search for a better understanding of the disease, develop therapeutic interventions to halt or slow progression of the disease, and optimize patient outcomes. This article aims to examine in detail the normal function of the basal ganglia and dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system, the etiology and pathophysiology of Parkinson disease, related signs and symptoms, current treatment, and finally, the profound impact of understanding the disease on nursing care.

  6. Land, power and conflict in Afghanistan: seeking to understand complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Pain

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the diverse links between land and power under conditions of conflict in Afghanistan, taking into account the complexities of Afghan society. These complexities are structured around interconnecting informal institutions and personalised relationships, culturally specific, diverse and shifting patterns of social relations, and spatially specific patterns of land ownership inequalities. The paper draws on a decade of empirical fieldwork in Afghanistan and recent work on livelihood trajectories and the opium economy. An understanding of the evolution of land ownership and access issues needs to be associated with an appreciation of diverse and potentially contradictory long-term drivers of change in the rural economy. The first of these long-term drivers of change relates to the effects of conflict, not only on land but also of water access under conditions of an increasingly scarce water supply. The second driver relates both to the roles played by village elites and to the structural contrasts between villages located in the mountains and in the plains, with the latter displaying major inequalities in land ownership. The third driver relates to the declining economic role of land in rural livelihoods, given long-term agrarian change and falling farm sizes. An understanding of history is fundamental to explaining these phenomena. How such conflicts play out, and which social groups or individuals they involve, also depend to a large degree on spatial positioning.

  7. Context Dependence of Students' Views about the Role of Equations in Understanding Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become…

  8. From globally coupled maps to complex-systems biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneko, Kunihiko, E-mail: kaneko@complex.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Research Center for Complex Systems Biology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902 (Japan)

    2015-09-15

    Studies of globally coupled maps, introduced as a network of chaotic dynamics, are briefly reviewed with an emphasis on novel concepts therein, which are universal in high-dimensional dynamical systems. They include clustering of synchronized oscillations, hierarchical clustering, chimera of synchronization and desynchronization, partition complexity, prevalence of Milnor attractors, chaotic itinerancy, and collective chaos. The degrees of freedom necessary for high dimensionality are proposed to equal the number in which the combinatorial exceeds the exponential. Future analysis of high-dimensional dynamical systems with regard to complex-systems biology is briefly discussed.

  9. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, S.; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, J.; Kohagen, M.; Magarkar, A.; Jungwirth, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016

  10. Modeling complexity: cognitive constraints and computational model-building in integrative systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, Miles; Nersessian, Nancy J

    2018-01-08

    Modern integrative systems biology defines itself by the complexity of the problems it takes on through computational modeling and simulation. However in integrative systems biology computers do not solve problems alone. Problem solving depends as ever on human cognitive resources. Current philosophical accounts hint at their importance, but it remains to be understood what roles human cognition plays in computational modeling. In this paper we focus on practices through which modelers in systems biology use computational simulation and other tools to handle the cognitive complexity of their modeling problems so as to be able to make significant contributions to understanding, intervening in, and controlling complex biological systems. We thus show how cognition, especially processes of simulative mental modeling, is implicated centrally in processes of model-building. At the same time we suggest how the representational choices of what to model in systems biology are limited or constrained as a result. Such constraints help us both understand and rationalize the restricted form that problem solving takes in the field and why its results do not always measure up to expectations.

  11. Understanding Life : The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complexity and Semiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeckenhoff, Helmut K.

    2010-11-01

    Post-Renaissance sciences created different cultures. To establish an epistemological base, Physics were separated from the Mental domain. Consciousness was excluded from science. Life Sciences were left in between e.g. LaMettrie's `man—machine' (1748) and 'vitalism' [e.g. Bergson 4]. Causative thinking versus intuitive arguing limited strictly comprehensive concepts. First ethology established a potential shared base for science, proclaiming the `biology paradigm' in the middle of the 20th century. Initially procured by Cybernetics and Systems sciences, `constructivist' models prepared a new view on human perception and thus also of scientific `objectivity when introducing the `observer'. In sequel Computer sciences triggered the ICT revolution. In turn ICT helped to develop Chaos and Complexity sciences, Non-linear Mathematics and its spin-offs in the formal sciences [Spencer-Brown 49] as e.g. (proto-)logics. Models of life systems, as e.g. Anticipatory Systems, integrated epistemology with mathematics and Anticipatory Computing [Dubois 11, 12, 13, 14] connecting them with Semiotics. Seminal ideas laid in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century [J. v. Uexküll 53] detected the co-action and co-evolvement of environments and life systems. Bio-Semiotics ascribed purpose, intent and meaning as essential qualities of life. The concepts of Systems Biology and Qualitative Research enriched and develop also anthropologies and humanities. Brain research added models of (higher) consciousness. An avant-garde is contemplating a science including consciousness as one additional base. New insights from the extended qualitative approach led to re-conciliation of basic assumptions of scientific inquiry, creating the `epistemological turn'. Paradigmatically, resting on macro- micro- and recently on nano-biology, evolution biology sired fresh scripts of evolution [W. Wieser 60,61]. Its results tie to hypotheses describing the emergence of language, of the human mind and of

  12. Cytoscape ESP: simple search of complex biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Maital; Bader, Gary D; Kuchinsky, Allan; Moshelion, Menachem; States, David J

    2008-06-15

    Cytoscape enhanced search plugin (ESP) enables searching complex biological networks on multiple attribute fields using logical operators and wildcards. Queries use an intuitive syntax and simple search line interface. ESP is implemented as a Cytoscape plugin and complements existing search functions in the Cytoscape network visualization and analysis software, allowing users to easily identify nodes, edges and subgraphs of interest, even for very large networks. Availabiity: http://chianti.ucsd.edu/cyto_web/plugins/ ashkenaz@agri.huji.ac.il.

  13. Choroid plexus papillomas: advances in molecular biology and understanding of tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaee, Michael; Oh, Michael C; Bloch, Orin; Sun, Matthew Z; Kaur, Gurvinder; Auguste, Kurtis I; Tihan, Tarik; Parsa, Andrew T

    2013-03-01

    Choroid plexus papillomas are rare, benign tumors originating from the choroid plexus. Although generally found within the ventricular system, they can arise ectopically in the brain parenchyma or disseminate throughout the neuraxis. We sought to review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular biology and oncogenic pathways associated with this disease. A comprehensive PubMed literature review was conducted to identify manuscripts discussing the clinical, molecular, and genetic features of choroid plexus papillomas. Articles concerning diagnosis, treatment, and long-term patient outcomes were also reviewed. The introduction of atypical choroid plexus papilloma as a distinct entity has increased the need for accurate histopathologic diagnosis. Advances in immunohistochemical staining have improved our ability to differentiate choroid plexus papillomas from other intracranial tumors or metastatic lesions using combinations of key markers and mitotic indices. Recent findings have implicated Notch3 signaling, the transcription factor TWIST1, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand pathway in choroid plexus papilloma tumorigenesis. A combination of commonly occurring chromosomal duplications and deletions has also been identified. Surgical resection remains the standard of care, although chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be considered for recurrent or metastatic lesions. While generally considered benign, these tumors possess a complex biology that sheds insight into other choroid plexus tumors, particularly malignant choroid plexus carcinomas. Improving our understanding of the molecular biology, genetics, and oncogenic pathways associated with this tumor will allow for the development of targeted therapies and improved outcomes for patients with this disease.

  14. Evolution in students’ understanding of thermal physics with increasing complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elon Langbeheim

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the development in students’ understanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic—soft matter—that was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students’ use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation—a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student’s learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies’ management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.

  15. The physics of complex systems in information and biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Dylan

    study the interaction between popularity and quality, we introduce simple stochastic models of user behavior that approximate differing user quality and susceptibility to the common notion of popularity. We define a metric to quantify user reputation in a manner that is self-consistent, adaptable and content-blind and shows good correlation with the probability that a user behaves in an optimal fashion. We further construct a mechanism for ranking documents that take into account user reputation and provides substantial improvement in the time-critical performance of the system. The structure of complex systems have been well studied in the context of both information and biological systems. More recently, dynamics in complex systems that occur over the background of the underlying network has received a great deal of attention. In particular, the study of fluctuations in complex systems has emerged as an issue central to understanding dynamical behavior. We approach the problem of collective effects of the underlying network on dynamical fluctuations by considering the protein-protein interaction networks for the system of the living cell. We consider two types of fluctuations in the mass-action equilibrium in protein binding networks. The first type is driven by relatively slow changes in total concentrations (copy numbers) of interacting proteins. The second type, to which we refer to as spontaneous, is caused by quickly decaying thermodynamic deviations away from the mass-action equilibrium of the system. As such they are amenable to methods of equilibrium statistical mechanics used in our study. We investigate the effects of network connectivity on these fluctuations by comparing them to different scenarios in which the interacting pair is isolated form the rest of the network. Such comparison allows us to analytically derive upper and lower bounds on network fluctuations. The collective effects are shown to sometimes lead to relatively large amplification of

  16. Understanding and measuring quality of care: dealing with complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanefeld, Johanna; Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Balabanova, Dina

    2017-05-01

    Existing definitions and measurement approaches of quality of health care often fail to address the complexities involved in understanding quality of care. It is perceptions of quality, rather than clinical indicators of quality, that drive service utilization and are essential to increasing demand. Here we reflect on the nature of quality, how perceptions of quality influence health systems and what such perceptions indicate about measurement of quality within health systems. We discuss six specific challenges related to the conceptualization and measurement of the quality of care: perceived quality as a driver of service utilization; quality as a concept shaped over time through experience; responsiveness as a key attribute of quality; the role of management and other so-called upstream factors; quality as a social construct co-produced by families, individuals, networks and providers; and the implications of our observations for measurement. Within the communities and societies where care is provided, quality of care cannot be understood outside social norms, relationships, trust and values. We need to improve not only technical quality but also acceptability, responsiveness and levels of patient-provider trust. Measurement approaches need to be reconsidered. An improved understanding of all the attributes of quality in health systems and their interrelationships could support the expansion of access to essential health interventions.

  17. Cognition and Rhetoric: Biological Basis of Meaning and Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Arenas-Dolz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, to explore those approaches that understand cognitive processes as embodied and as a result of our interaction with the environment, and not merely as as a information processing system; and, on the other hand, to show their connexion with the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying meaning and understanding, giving and overview of some of the insights from recent studies in neurorhetorics.

  18. Chemometric and Statistical Analyses of ToF-SIMS Spectra of Increasingly Complex Biological Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, E S; Wu, L; Fortson, S L; Nelson, D O; Kulp, K S; Wu, K J

    2007-10-24

    Characterizing and classifying molecular variation within biological samples is critical for determining fundamental mechanisms of biological processes that will lead to new insights including improved disease understanding. Towards these ends, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) was used to examine increasingly complex samples of biological relevance, including monosaccharide isomers, pure proteins, complex protein mixtures, and mouse embryo tissues. The complex mass spectral data sets produced were analyzed using five common statistical and chemometric multivariate analysis techniques: principal component analysis (PCA), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA), soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA), and decision tree analysis by recursive partitioning. PCA was found to be a valuable first step in multivariate analysis, providing insight both into the relative groupings of samples and into the molecular basis for those groupings. For the monosaccharides, pure proteins and protein mixture samples, all of LDA, PLSDA, and SIMCA were found to produce excellent classification given a sufficient number of compound variables calculated. For the mouse embryo tissues, however, SIMCA did not produce as accurate a classification. The decision tree analysis was found to be the least successful for all the data sets, providing neither as accurate a classification nor chemical insight for any of the tested samples. Based on these results we conclude that as the complexity of the sample increases, so must the sophistication of the multivariate technique used to classify the samples. PCA is a preferred first step for understanding ToF-SIMS data that can be followed by either LDA or PLSDA for effective classification analysis. This study demonstrates the strength of ToF-SIMS combined with multivariate statistical and chemometric techniques to classify increasingly complex biological samples

  19. Pathogen refuge: a key to understanding biological control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kenneth B

    2010-01-01

    Pathogen refuge is the idea that some potentially infectious pathogen propagules are not susceptible to the influence of an antagonistic microbial agent. The existence of a refuge can be attributable to one or more factors, including temporal, spatial, structural, and probabilistic, or to the pathogen's evolved ability to acquire antagonist-free space prior to ingress into a plant host. Within a specific pathosystem, refuge size can be estimated in experiments by measuring the proportion of pathogen propagules that remain infective as a function of the amount of antagonist introduced to the system. Refuge size is influenced by qualities of specific antagonists and by environment but less so by the quantity of antagonist. Consequently, most efforts to improve and optimize biological control are in essence efforts to reduce refuge size. Antagonist mixtures, optimal timing of antagonist introductions, integrated biological and chemical control, environmental optimization, and the utilization of disarmed pathogens as antagonists are strategies with potential to minimize a pathogen refuge.

  20. Complexation of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes in gene delivery and biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shklovskii, Boris

    2009-03-01

    Charge inversion of a DNA double helix by a positively charged flexible polymer (polyelectrolyte) is widely used to facilitate DNA contact with negative cell membranes for gene delivery. Motivated by this application in the first part of the talk I study the phase diagram a solution of long polyanions (PA) with a shorter polycations (PC) as a function the ratio of total charges of PC and PA in the solution, x, and the concentration of monovalent salt. Each PA attracts many PCs to form a complex. When x= 1, the complexes are neutral and condense in a macroscopic drop. When x is far away from 1, complexes are strongly charged and stable. PA are overcharged by PC at x > 1 and undercharged by PC at x < 1. As x approaches 1, PCs attached to PA disproportionate between complexes. Some complexes become neutral and condensed in a macroscopic drop while others become even stronger charged and stay free. The second part of the talk deals with biological example of PA -PC complexes namely self-assembly of vegetable viruses from long ss-RNA molecule paying role of scaffold and identical capsid proteins with long positive tails. I show that optimization Coulomb energy of the virus leads to the charge of RNA twice larger than the total charge of the capsid, in agreement with the experimental data. Then I discuss kinetics of the Coulomb complexation driven virus self-assembly. Capsid proteins stick to unassembled chain of ss RNA (which we call ``antenna'') and slide on it towards the assembly site. I show that at excess of capsid proteins such one-dimensional diffusion accelerates self-assembly more than ten times. On the other hand at excess of ss-RNA, antenna slows self-assembly down. Several experiments are proposed to verify the role of ss-RNA antenna in self-assembly.

  1. Complex Behavior in Simple Models of Biological Coevolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rikvold, Per Arne

    We explore the complex dynamical behavior of simple predator-prey models of biological coevolution that account for interspecific and intraspecific competition for resources, as well as adaptive foraging behavior. In long kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of these models we find quite robust 1/f-like noise in species diversity and population sizes, as well as power-law distributions for the lifetimes of individual species and the durations of quiet periods of relative evolutionary stasis. In one model, based on the Holling Type II functional response, adaptive foraging produces a metastable low-diversity phase and a stable high-diversity phase.

  2. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapedes, A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)]|[Santa Fe Inst., NM (United States)

    1993-09-01

    We report on the containing research program at Santa Fe Institute that applies complex systems methodology to computational molecular biology. Two aspects are stressed here are the use of co-evolving adaptive neutral networks for determining predictable protein structure classifications, and the use of information theory to elucidate protein structure and function. A ``snapshot`` of the current state of research in these two topics is presented, representing the present state of two major research thrusts in the program of Genetic Data and Sequence Analysis at the Santa Fe Institute.

  3. Understanding and controlling complex states arising from magnetic frustration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zapf, Vivien [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-06-01

    Much of our national security relies on capabilities made possible by magnetism, in particular the ability to compute and store huge bodies of information as well as to move things and sense the world. Most of these technologies exploit ferromagnetism, i.e. the global parallel alignment of magnetic spins as seen in a bar magnet. Recent advances in computing technologies, such as spintronics and MRAM, take advantage of antiferromagnetism where the magnetic spins alternate from one to the next. In certain crystal structures, however, the spins take on even more complex arrangements. These are often created by frustration, where the interactions between spins cannot be satisfied locally or globally within the material resulting in complex and often non-coplanar spin textures. Frustration also leads to the close proximity of many different magnetic states, which can be selected by small perturbations in parameters like magnetic fields, temperature and pressure. It is this tunability that makes frustrated systems fundamentally interesting and highly desirable for applications. We move beyond frustration in insulators to itinerant systems where the interaction between mobile electrons and the non-coplanar magnetic states lead to quantum magneto-electric amplification. Here a small external field is amplified by many orders of magnitude by non-coplanar frustrated states. This greatly enhances their sensitivity and opens broader fields for applications. Our objective is to pioneer a new direction for condensed matter science at the Laboratory as well as for international community by discovering, understanding and controlling states that emerge from the coupling of itinerant charges to frustrated spin textures.

  4. PREFACE: Complex Networks: from Biology to Information Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrat, A.; Boccaletti, S.; Caldarelli, G.; Chessa, A.; Latora, V.; Motter, A. E.

    2008-06-01

    The field of complex networks is one of the most active areas in contemporary statistical physics. Ten years after seminal work initiated the modern study of networks, interest in the field is in fact still growing, as indicated by the ever increasing number of publications in network science. The reason for such a resounding success is most likely the simplicity and broad significance of the approach that, through graph theory, allows researchers to address a variety of different complex systems within a common framework. This special issue comprises a selection of contributions presented at the workshop 'Complex Networks: from Biology to Information Technology' held in July 2007 in Pula (Cagliari), Italy as a satellite of the general conference STATPHYS23. The contributions cover a wide range of problems that are currently among the most important questions in the area of complex networks and that are likely to stimulate future research. The issue is organised into four sections. The first two sections describe 'methods' to study the structure and the dynamics of complex networks, respectively. After this methodological part, the issue proceeds with a section on applications to biological systems. The issue closes with a section concentrating on applications to the study of social and technological networks. The first section, entitled Methods: The Structure, consists of six contributions focused on the characterisation and analysis of structural properties of complex networks: The paper Motif-based communities in complex networks by Arenas et al is a study of the occurrence of characteristic small subgraphs in complex networks. These subgraphs, known as motifs, are used to define general classes of nodes and their communities by extending the mathematical expression of the Newman-Girvan modularity. The same line of research, aimed at characterising network structure through the analysis of particular subgraphs, is explored by Bianconi and Gulbahce in Algorithm

  5. Measurements of student understanding on complex scientific reasoning problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izumi, Alisa Sau-Lin

    While there has been much discussion of cognitive processes underlying effective scientific teaching, less is known about the response nature of assessments targeting processes of scientific reasoning specific to biology content. This study used multiple-choice (m-c) and short-answer essay student responses to evaluate progress in high-order reasoning skills. In a pilot investigation of student responses on a non-content-based test of scientific thinking, it was found that some students showed a pre-post gain on the m-c test version while showing no gain on a short-answer essay version of the same questions. This result led to a subsequent research project focused on differences between alternate versions of tests of scientific reasoning. Using m-c and written responses from biology tests targeted toward the skills of (1) reasoning with a model and (2) designing controlled experiments, test score frequencies, factor analysis, and regression models were analyzed to explore test format differences. Understanding the format differences in tests is important for the development of practical ways to identify student gains in scientific reasoning. The overall results suggested test format differences. Factor analysis revealed three interpretable factors---m-c format, genetics content, and model-based reasoning. Frequency distributions on the m-c and open explanation portions of the hybrid items revealed that many students answered the m-c portion of an item correctly but gave inadequate explanations. In other instances students answered the m-c portion incorrectly yet demonstrated sufficient explanation or answered the m-c correctly and also provided poor explanations. When trying to fit test score predictors for non-associated student measures---VSAT, MSAT, high school grade point average, or final course grade---the test scores accounted for close to zero percent of the variance. Overall, these results point to the importance of using multiple methods of testing and of

  6. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  7. AN INTEGRATED NETWORK APPROACH TO IDENTIFYING BIOLOGICAL PATHWAYS AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE INTERACTIONS IN COMPLEX DISEASES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darabos, Christian; Qiu, Jingya; Moore, Jason H

    2016-01-01

    Complex diseases are the result of intricate interactions between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. In previous studies, we used epidemiological and genetic data linking environmental exposure or genetic variants to phenotypic disease to construct Human Phenotype Networks and separately analyze the effects of both environment and genetic factors on disease interactions. To better capture the intricacies of the interactions between environmental exposure and the biological pathways in complex disorders, we integrate both aspects into a single "tripartite" network. Despite extensive research, the mechanisms by which chemical agents disrupt biological pathways are still poorly understood. In this study, we use our integrated network model to identify specific biological pathway candidates possibly disrupted by environmental agents. We conjecture that a higher number of co-occurrences between an environmental substance and biological pathway pair can be associated with a higher likelihood that the substance is involved in disrupting that pathway. We validate our model by demonstrating its ability to detect known arsenic and signal transduction pathway interactions and speculate on candidate cell-cell junction organization pathways disrupted by cadmium. The validation was supported by distinct publications of cell biology and genetic studies that associated environmental exposure to pathway disruption. The integrated network approach is a novel method for detecting the biological effects of environmental exposures. A better understanding of the molecular processes associated with specific environmental exposures will help in developing targeted molecular therapies for patients who have been exposed to the toxicity of environmental chemicals.

  8. Lipids in cell biology: how can we understand them better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muro, Eleonora; Atilla-Gokcumen, G. Ekin; Eggert, Ulrike S.

    2014-01-01

    Lipids are a major class of biological molecules and play many key roles in different processes. The diversity of lipids is on the same order of magnitude as that of proteins: cells express tens of thousands of different lipids and hundreds of proteins to regulate their metabolism and transport. Despite their clear importance and essential functions, lipids have not been as well studied as proteins. We discuss here some of the reasons why it has been challenging to study lipids and outline technological developments that are allowing us to begin lifting lipids out of their “Cinderella” status. We focus on recent advances in lipid identification, visualization, and investigation of their biophysics and perturbations and suggest that the field has sufficiently advanced to encourage broader investigation into these intriguing molecules. PMID:24925915

  9. The complexity of DNA damage: relevance to biological consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ward, J.F.

    1994-01-01

    Ionizing radiation causes both singly and multiply damaged sites in DNA when the range of radical migration is limited by the presence of hydroxyl radical scavengers (e.g. within cells). Multiply damaged sites are considered to be more biologically relevant because of the challenges they present to cellular repair mechanisms. These sites occur in the form of DNA double-strand breaks (dsb) but also as other multiple damages that can be converted to dsb during attempted repair. The presence of a dsb can lead to loss of base sequence information and/or can permit the two ends of a break to separate and rejoin with the wrong partner. (Multiply damaged sites may also be the biologically relevant type of damage caused by other agents, such as UVA, B and/or C light, and some antitumour antibiotics). The quantitative data available from radiation studies of DNA are shown to support the proposed mechanisms for the production of complex damage in cellular DNA, i.e. via scavengable and non-scavengable mechanisms. The yields of complex damages can in turn be used to support the conclusion that cellular mutations are a consequence of the presence of these damages within a gene. (Author)

  10. Proteomics in reproductive biology: beacon for unraveling the molecular complexities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Rahul D; Balasinor, N H; Kumar, Anita V; Sachdeva, Geetanjali; Parte, Priyanka; Dumasia, Kushaan

    2013-01-01

    Proteomics, an interface of rapidly evolving advances in physics and biology, is rapidly developing and expanding its potential applications to molecular and cellular biology. Application of proteomics tools has contributed towards identification of relevant protein biomarkers that can potentially change the strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of several diseases. The emergence of powerful mass spectrometry-based proteomics technique has added a new dimension to the field of medical research in liver, heart diseases and certain forms of cancer. Most proteomics tools are also being used to study physiological and pathological events related to reproductive biology. There have been attempts to generate the proteomes of testes, sperm, seminal fluid, epididymis, oocyte, and endometrium from reproductive disease patients. Here, we have reviewed proteomics based investigations in humans over the last decade, which focus on delineating the mechanism underlying various reproductive events such as spermatogenesis, oogenesis, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, embryo development. The challenge is to harness new technologies like 2-DE, DIGE, MALDI-MS, SELDI-MS, MUDPIT, LC-MS etc., to a greater extent to develop widely applicable clinical tools in understanding molecular aspects of reproduction both in health and disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: understanding its molecular biology at a fine scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Prosenjit; Deka, Himangshu; Malakar, Arup K; Halder, Binata; Chakraborty, Supriyo

    2018-01-01

    Among all cancers, the incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is quite high in the endemic regions. NPC is a head and neck cancer with poor survival rate, and is rare throughout most of the world but common in certain geographic areas, like southern Asia and some regions of North East India (Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram). A clear understanding of its etiology is still lacking, but NPC is widely suspected to be the result of both genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental factors or Epstein-Barr virus infection. Diagnosis in the early stages needs a high index of clinical acumen, and, although most cross-sectional imaging investigations show the tumor with precision, confirmation is dependent on histology. This article reviews all related research reports on NPC histopathological classifications worldwide that have been published within the past 20 years. Genome-wide association studies suggested that there might be common disease mechanisms between that disease and NPC. Personalized management rules, quality assessment of life in patients, and an understanding of the essential mechanisms of recurrence could be directed toward research into recurrent NPC. Hence, this literature would offer otolaryngologists a deeper insight into the etiological and management aspects of NPC.

  12. 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].

  13. Exploitation of complex network topology for link prediction in biological interactomes

    KAUST Repository

    Alanis Lobato, Gregorio

    2014-06-01

    The network representation of the interactions between proteins and genes allows for a holistic perspective of the complex machinery underlying the living cell. However, the large number of interacting entities within the cell makes network construction a daunting and arduous task, prone to errors and missing information. Fortunately, the structure of biological networks is not different from that of other complex systems, such as social networks, the world-wide web or power grids, for which growth models have been proposed to better understand their structure and function. This means that we can design tools based on these models in order to exploit the topology of biological interactomes with the aim to construct more complete and reliable maps of the cell. In this work, we propose three novel and powerful approaches for the prediction of interactions in biological networks and conclude that it is possible to mine the topology of these complex system representations and produce reliable and biologically meaningful information that enriches the datasets to which we have access today.

  14. Toxicity of silver nanoparticles in biological systems: Does the complexity of biological systems matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez-Muñoz, Roberto; Borrego, Belen; Juárez-Moreno, Karla; García-García, Maritza; Mota Morales, Josué D; Bogdanchikova, Nina; Huerta-Saquero, Alejandro

    2017-07-05

    Currently, nanomaterials are more frequently in our daily life, specifically in biomedicine, electronics, food, textiles and catalysis just to name a few. Although nanomaterials provide many benefits, recently their toxicity profiles have begun to be explored. In this work, the toxic effects of silver nanoparticles (35nm-average diameter and Polyvinyl-Pyrrolidone-coated) on biological systems of different levels of complexity was assessed in a comprehensive and comparatively way, through a variety of viability and toxicological assays. The studied organisms included viruses, bacteria, microalgae, fungi, animal and human cells (including cancer cell lines). It was found that biological systems of different taxonomical groups are inhibited at concentrations of silver nanoparticles within the same order of magnitude. Thus, the toxicity of nanomaterials on biological/living systems, constrained by their complexity, e.g. taxonomic groups, resulted contrary to the expected. The fact that cells and virus are inhibited with a concentration of silver nanoparticles within the same order of magnitude could be explained considering that silver nanoparticles affects very primitive cellular mechanisms by interacting with fundamental structures for cells and virus alike. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Applying a complex adaptive system's understanding of health to primary care [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Bircher

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of a new concept of health. Investigations into the nature of health have led to a new definition that explains health as a complex adaptive system (CAS and is based on five components (a-e. Humans like all biological creatures must satisfactorily respond to (a the demands of life. For this purpose they need (b a biologically given potential (BGP and (c a personally acquired potential (PAP. These properties of individuals are embedded within (d social and (e environmental determinants of health. Between these five components of health there are 10 complex interactions that justify viewing health as a CAS. In each patient, the current state of health as a CAS evolved from the past, will move forward to a new future, and has to be analyzed and treated as an autonomous whole. A diagnostic procedure is suggested as follows: together with the patient, the five components and 10 complex interactions are assessed. This may help patients to better understand their situations and to recognize possible next steps that may be useful in order to evolve toward better health by themselves. In this process mutual trust in the patient-physician interaction is critical. The described approach offers new possibilities for helping patients improve their health prospects.

  16. Using STOQS to Understand Molecular Biology and Oceanographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, M. P.; Ryan, J. P.; Messié, M.; Harvey, J.; Cline, D.; Michisaki, R.

    2014-12-01

    Advances in technology enable us to collect massive amounts of diverse data. With the ability to collect more data, the problem of comparative analysis becomes increasing difficult. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) designed the Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) to create new capabilities for scientists to gain insight from data collected by oceanographic platforms. STOQS uses a geospatial database and a web-based user interface (UI) to allow scientists to explore large collections of data. The UI is optimized to provide a quick overview of data in spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as in parameter and platform space. A user may zoom into a feature of interest and select it, initiating a filter operation updating the UI with an overview of all the data in the new filtered selection. When details are desired, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected to generate a number of different types of visualizations. These include color-filled temporal section plots, parameter-parameter plots, and both 2D and 3D spatial visualizations. The ISO/IEC 19775-1, Extensible 3D (X3D) standard provides the technology for presenting 3D data in a web browser. STOQS has been in use at MBARI for four years and is helping us manage and visualize data from month-long multi-platform observational campaigns. These campaigns produce tens of millions of diverse measurements. These volumes are too great to really understand - even with an effective data exploration UI. Effective management of these diverse data in STOQS is achieved through a two-step harmonization process: 1) conversion of all data to OGC CF-NetCDF Discrete Sampling Geometry feature types and 2) loading all data into the STOQS data model. Having all of the data easily accessible via this data model made development of the UI possible. This same method of access is also being used for development of visualization and analysis programs for tasks that cannot be executed within the UI

  17. Understanding the biological concept "bird": A kindergarten case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Dilek

    The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study of 14 students in a metropolitan public school in the Deep South was to find out, during a period of three months, what these kindergarten-aged children knew about birds, whether this knowledge represented current scientific thought, if such science instruction meaningfully affected their prior knowledge, and if so, what the factors during instruction that seemed to influence their understanding of the concept of bird were. The research was conducted in three phases; preinstruction interviews, instruction, and postinstruction interviews. The theoretical framework for this research was based on the Human Constructivism theory of learning (Mintzes, Wandersee and Novak, 1997). Instructional materials consisted of carefully chosen books (both fiction and non-fiction), guest speakers, field trips, a live bird in the classroom, students' observation journals, teacher-made classification and sorting activities, and picture-based concept maps. The findings suggest that young children's knowledge of birds was limited chiefly to birds' anatomical and morphological characteristics, with repeated references being made by the children to human characteristics. There was a positive, significant difference in young children's pre- and postinstruction scientific knowledge of birds. Although performance varied from child to child after instruction, most children were able to identify some common birds by name. Just one child resisted conceptual change. Kindergarten children's basic knowledge of bird behavior was limited to flight and eating. Although the children had more conceptual knowledge at the end, understanding still appeared to be shallow. The children did develop their skill in observing markedly. It also became evident that these kindergarten children needed more (a) experience in asking questions, (b) practice in techniques of visual representation, and (c) language development in order to be able to explain what they

  18. Pathogenesis of biliary atresia: defining biology to understand clinical phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asai, Akihiro; Miethke, Alexander; Bezerra, Jorge A.

    2016-01-01

    Biliary atresia is a severe cholangiopathy of early infancy that destroys extrahepatic bile ducts and disrupts bile flow. With a poorly defined disease pathogenesis, treatment consists of the surgical removal of duct remnants followed by hepatoportoenterostomy. Although this approach can improve the short-term outcome, the liver disease progresses to end-stage cirrhosis in most children. Further improvement in outcome will require a greater understanding of the mechanisms of biliary injury and fibrosis. Here, we review progress in the field, which has been fuelled by collaborative studies in larger patient cohorts and the development of cell culture and animal model systems to directly test hypotheses. Advances include the identification of phenotypic subgroups and stages of disease based on clinical, pathological and molecular features. Stronger evidence exists for viruses, toxins and gene sequence variations in the aetiology of biliary atresia, triggering a proinflammatory response that injures the duct epithelium and produces a rapidly progressive cholangiopathy. The immune response also activates the expression of type 2 cytokines that promote epithelial cell proliferation and extracellular matrix production by nonparenchymal cells. These advances provide insight into phenotype variability and might be relevant to the design of personalized trials to block progression of liver disease. PMID:26008129

  19. Understanding the GPCR biased signaling through G protein and arrestin complex structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X Edward; Melcher, Karsten; Xu, H Eric

    2017-08-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of cell surface receptors and are important drug targets for many human diseases. The determination of the 3-D structure of GPCRs and their signaling complexes has promoted our understanding of GPCR biology and provided templates for structure-based drug discovery. In this review, we focus on the recent structure work on GPCR signaling complexes, the β2-adrenoreceptor-Gs and the rhodopsin-arrestin complexes in particular, and highlight the structural features of GPCR complexes involved in G protein- and arrestin-mediated signal transduction. The crystal structures reveal distinct structural mechanisms by which GPCRs recruit a G protein and an arrestin. A comparison of the two complex structures provides insight into the molecular mechanism of functionally selective GPCR signaling, and a structural basis for the discovery of G protein- and arrestin-biased treatments of human diseases related to GPCR signal transduction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Dermal tumorigen PAH and complex mixtures for biological research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Griest, W.H.; Guerin, M.R.; Ho, C.

    1985-01-01

    Thirteen commercially available, commonly reported four-five ring dermal tumorigen PAHs, were determined in a set of complex mixtures consisting of crude and upgraded coal liquids, and petroleum crude oils and their distillate fractions. Semi-preparative scale, normal phase high performance liquid chromatographic fractionation followed by capillary column gas chromatography or gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy were used for the measurements. Deuterated or carbon-14 labeled PAH served as internal standards or allowed recovery corrections. Approaches for the preparation and measurement of radiolabeled PAH were examined to provide chemical probes for biological study. Synthetic routes for production of 14 C labeled dihydrobenzo[a]pyrene and 14 C- or 3 H 10-azabenzo[a]pyrene are being studied to provide tracers for fundamental studies in tracheal transplant and skin penetration systems. (DT)

  1. Computational Cellular Dynamics Based on the Chemical Master Equation: A Challenge for Understanding Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Qian, Hong

    2010-01-01

    Modern molecular biology has always been a great source of inspiration for computational science. Half a century ago, the challenge from understanding macromolecular dynamics has led the way for computations to be part of the tool set to study molecular biology. Twenty-five years ago, the demand from genome science has inspired an entire generation of computer scientists with an interest in discrete mathematics to join the field that is now called bioinformatics. In this paper, we shall lay out a new mathematical theory for dynamics of biochemical reaction systems in a small volume (i.e., mesoscopic) in terms of a stochastic, discrete-state continuous-time formulation, called the chemical master equation (CME). Similar to the wavefunction in quantum mechanics, the dynamically changing probability landscape associated with the state space provides a fundamental characterization of the biochemical reaction system. The stochastic trajectories of the dynamics are best known through the simulations using the Gillespie algorithm. In contrast to the Metropolis algorithm, this Monte Carlo sampling technique does not follow a process with detailed balance. We shall show several examples how CMEs are used to model cellular biochemical systems. We shall also illustrate the computational challenges involved: multiscale phenomena, the interplay between stochasticity and nonlinearity, and how macroscopic determinism arises from mesoscopic dynamics. We point out recent advances in computing solutions to the CME, including exact solution of the steady state landscape and stochastic differential equations that offer alternatives to the Gilespie algorithm. We argue that the CME is an ideal system from which one can learn to understandcomplex behavior” and complexity theory, and from which important biological insight can be gained. PMID:24999297

  2. Conceptions of Memorizing and Understanding in Learning, and Self-Efficacy Held by University Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Chiang; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2015-02-01

    This study aims to explore Taiwanese university students' conceptions of learning biology as memorizing or as understanding, and their self-efficacy. To this end, two questionnaires were utilized to survey 293 Taiwanese university students with biology-related majors. A questionnaire for measuring students' conceptions of memorizing and understanding was validated through an exploratory factor analysis of participants' responses. As for the questionnaire regarding the students' biology learning self-efficacy (BLSE), an exploratory factor analysis revealed a total of four factors including higher-order cognitive skills (BLSE-HC), everyday application (BLSE-EA), science communication (BLSE-SC), and practical works (BLSE-PW). The results of the cluster analysis according to the participants' conceptions of learning biology indicated that students in the two major clusters either viewed learning biology as understanding or possessed mixed-conceptions of memorizing and understanding. The students in the third cluster mainly focused on memorizing in their learning while the students in the fourth cluster showed less agreement with both conceptions of memorizing and understanding. This study further revealed that the conception of learning as understanding was positively associated with the BLSE of university students with biology-related majors. However, the conception of learning as memorizing may foster students' BLSE only when such a notion co-exists with the conception of learning with understanding.

  3. Quality of Life Philosophy III. Towards a New Biology: Understanding the Biological Connection between Quality of Life, Disease, and Healing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses (in a philosophical way the complex and enigmatic interface between matter, life, and consciousness in modern medical science. The problem today in understanding living matter is not at the molecular level, but at the macro level where all molecular activities in the individual cell are coordinated, and especially at a higher level, where the activities of all the organism’s cells are coordinated. Although we understand very much of the body’s chemistry, we have only just started to get the gist of the tremendous organization of living matter. We are just beginning to acknowledge the enormous flow of information that is needed to make everything function in a healthy organism, including consciousness, where every cell does exactly what it has to do to make the organs function.A concept that seems to be able to bridge the scientifically very different domains of matter, life, and consciousness seems to be “biological information”. If a cell is seen as a liquid crystal in which the cell’s molecules constantly connect in firm mutual relationships only to dissolve again and become fluid and free, whenever the cell needs it, the backbone of the cell seems to be the information that organizes the cell. For example, in cell motion a cell is able to crawl with the help of a skeleton of fibers that can be created guided by biological information, whenever the cell needs the solidity provided by the fibers. The moment it has finished crawling or intends to crawl in another direction, these fibers will dissolve again. The fibers are made of millions of molecules that connect in an arranged pattern, and they dissolve when these molecules again let go of each other. How the cell precisely regulates such processes is today a complete mystery. How cells cocreate consciousness is also an enigma. All we can do is describe the cell and the organisms arising from its cells as filled with energy and information as well as an

  4. Conceptions of Memorizing and Understanding in Learning, and Self-Efficacy Held by University Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Chiang; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore Taiwanese university students' conceptions of learning biology as memorizing or as understanding, and their self-efficacy. To this end, two questionnaires were utilized to survey 293 Taiwanese university students with biology-related majors. A questionnaire for measuring students' conceptions of memorizing and…

  5. Analyzing Students' Understanding of Models and Modeling Referring to the Disciplines Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krell, Moritz; Reinisch, Bianca; Krüger, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    In this study, secondary school students' (N?=?617; grades 7 to 10) understanding of models and modeling was assessed using tasks which explicitly refer to the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics and, as a control, to no scientific discipline. The students' responses are interpreted as their biology-, chemistry-, and…

  6. "Evo in the News:" Understanding Evolution and Students' Attitudes toward the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the "Evo in the News" section of the "Understanding Evolution" website on students' attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students' attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were…

  7. Achieving a Predictive Understanding of Antimicrobial Stress Physiology through Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Sean G; Turner, Randi L; Dwyer, Daniel J

    2018-04-01

    The dramatic spread and diversity of antibiotic-resistant pathogens has significantly reduced the efficacy of essentially all antibiotic classes, bringing us ever closer to a postantibiotic era. Exacerbating this issue, our understanding of the multiscale physiological impact of antimicrobial challenge on bacterial pathogens remains incomplete. Concerns over resistance and the need for new antibiotics have motivated the collection of omics measurements to provide systems-level insights into antimicrobial stress responses for nearly 20 years. Although technological advances have markedly improved the types and resolution of such measurements, continued development of mathematical frameworks aimed at providing a predictive understanding of complex antimicrobial-associated phenotypes is critical to maximize the utility of multiscale data. Here we highlight recent efforts utilizing systems biology to enhance our knowledge of antimicrobial stress physiology. We provide a brief historical perspective of antibiotic-focused omics measurements, highlight new measurement discoveries and trends, discuss examples and opportunities for integrating measurements with mathematical models, and describe future challenges for the field. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding global health governance as a complex adaptive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Peter S

    2011-01-01

    The transition from international to global health reflects the rapid growth in the numbers and nature of stakeholders in health, as well as the constant change embodied in the process of globalisation itself. This paper argues that global health governance shares the characteristics of complex adaptive systems, with its multiple and diverse players, and their polyvalent and constantly evolving relationships, and rich and dynamic interactions. The sheer quantum of initiatives, the multiple networks through which stakeholders (re)configure their influence, the range of contexts in which development for health is played out - all compound the complexity of this system. This paper maps out the characteristics of complex adaptive systems as they apply to global health governance, linking them to developments in the past two decades, and the multiple responses to these changes. Examining global health governance through the frame of complexity theory offers insight into the current dynamics of governance, and while providing a framework for making meaning of the whole, opens up ways of accessing this complexity through local points of engagement.

  9. Understanding sustainability from an exergetic frame in complex adaptive systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguilar Hernandez, Glem Alonso

    2017-01-01

    The concept of sustainability was developed from thermodynamic properties applied to complex adaptive systems. The origins of the perception about sustainable development and limitation in its application to analyze the interaction between a system and its surroundings were described. The properties of a complex adaptive system were taken as basis to determine how a system can to be affected by the resources restriction and irreversibility of the processes. The complex adaptive system was understood using the first and second law of thermodynamics, generating a conceptual framework to define the sustainability of a system. The contributions developed by exergy were shown to analyze the sustainability of systems in an economic, social and environmental context [es

  10. Understanding dyadic promoter-stakeholder relations in complex projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janita Vos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we propose a Bilateral Double Motive framework of stakeholder cooperation in complex projects. The framework analyses and explains dyadic promoter-stakeholder relationships at a micro level by acknowledging both transactional and relational motives. We demonstrate the framework’s usefulness by illustrating its explanatory power in two instances of cooperation and two of non-cooperation within two health information technology projects. The study contributes to project management theory through its combined focus on transactional and relational motives. Further, the study contributes to practice by providing a tool for planning and evaluating cooperation in health Information Technology projects and similar complex multi-stakeholder environments.

  11. Current progress in the biology of members of the Sporothrix schenckii complex following the genomic era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora-Montes, Héctor M; Dantas, Alessandra da Silva; Trujillo-Esquivel, Elías; de Souza Baptista, Andrea R; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M

    2015-09-01

    Sporotrichosis has been attributed for more than a century to one single etiological agent, Sporothrix schencki. Only eight years ago, it was described that, in fact, the disease is caused by several pathogenic cryptic species. The present review will focus on recent advances to understand the biology and virulence of epidemiologically relevant pathogenic species of the S. schenckii complex. The main subjects covered are the new clinical and epidemiological aspects including diagnostic and therapeutic challenges, the development of molecular tools, the genome database and the perspectives for study of virulence of emerging Sporothrix species. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Matrix Models – An Approach to Understand Complex Systems

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Matrices with random matrix elements appear to have applications in physics, mathematics, bi- ology, telecommunications, etc. In fact, experi- mental data of many complex systems, such as the spacing distribution of energy level spectra of heavy nuclei, and the distribution of the non- real zeros of the Riemann zeta function ...

  13. Understanding dyadic promoter-stakeholder relations in complex projects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, Janita F.J.; Boonstra, Albert; Achterkamp, Marjolein C.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we propose a Bilateral Double Motive framework of stakeholder cooperation in complex projects. The framework analyses and explains dyadic promoter-stakeholder relationships at a micro level by acknowledging both transactional and relational motives. We demonstrate the framework’s

  14. A microfluidic dialysis device for complex biological mixture SERS analysis

    KAUST Repository

    Perozziello, Gerardo

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we present a microfluidic device fabricated with a simple and inexpensive process allowing rapid filtering of peptides from a complex mixture. The polymer microfluidic device can be used for sample preparation in biological applications. The device is fabricated by micromilling and solvent assisted bonding, in which a microdialysis membrane (cut-off of 12-14 kDa) is sandwiched in between an upper and a bottom microfluidic chamber. An external frame connects the microfluidic device to external tubes, microvalves and syringe pumps. Bonding strength and interface sealing are pneumatically tested. Microfluidic protocols are also described by using the presented device to filter a sample composed of specific peptides (MW 1553.73 Da, at a concentration of 1.0 ng/μl) derived from the BRCA1 protein, a tumor-suppressor molecule which plays a pivotal role in the development of breast cancer, and albumin (MW 66.5 kDa, at a concentration of 35 μg/μl), the most represented protein in human plasma. The filtered samples coming out from the microfluidic device were subsequently deposited on a SERS (surface enhanced Raman scattering) substrate for further analysis by Raman spectroscopy. By using this approach, we were able to sort the small peptides from the bigger and highly concentrated protein albumin and to detect them by using a label-free technique at a resolution down to 1.0 ng/μl.

  15. How Information Visualization Systems Change Users' Understandings of Complex Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allendoerfer, Kenneth Robert

    2009-01-01

    User-centered evaluations of information systems often focus on the usability of the system rather its usefulness. This study examined how a using an interactive knowledge-domain visualization (KDV) system affected users' understanding of a domain. Interactive KDVs allow users to create graphical representations of domains that depict important…

  16. Biological processing of dinuclear ruthenium complexes in eukaryotic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Heimann, Kirsten; Dinh, Xuyen Thi; Keene, F Richard; Collins, J Grant

    2016-10-20

    The biological processing - mechanism of cellular uptake, effects on the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial membranes, intracellular sites of localisation and induction of reactive oxygen species - of two dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(ii) complexes has been examined in three eukaryotic cells lines. Flow cytometry was used to determine the uptake of [{Ru(phen)2}2{μ-bb12}](4+) (Rubb12) and [Ru(phen)2(μ-bb7)Ru(tpy)Cl](3+) {Rubb7-Cl, where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, tpy = 2,2':6',2''-terpyridine and bbn = bis[4(4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyridyl)]-1,n-alkane} in baby hamster kidney (BHK), human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines. The results demonstrated that the major uptake mechanism for Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl was active transport, although with a significant contribution from carrier-assisted diffusion for Rubb12 and passive diffusion for Rubb7-Cl. Flow cytometry coupled with Annexin V/TO-PRO-3 double-staining was used to compare cell death by membrane damage or apoptosis. Rubb12 induced significant direct membrane damage, particularly with HepG2 cells, while Rubb7-Cl caused considerably less membrane damage but induced greater levels of apoptosis. Confocal microscopy, coupled with JC-1 assays, demonstrated that Rubb12 depolarises the mitochondrial membrane, whereas Rubb7-Cl had a much smaller affect. Cellular localisation experiments indicated that Rubb12 did not accumulate in the mitochondria, whereas significant mitochondrial accumulation was observed for Rubb7-Cl. The effect of Rubb12 and Rubb7-Cl on intracellular superoxide dismutase activity showed that the ruthenium complexes could induce cell death via a reactive oxygen species-mediated pathway. The results of this study demonstrate that Rubb12 predominantly kills eukaryotic cells by damaging the cytoplasmic membrane. As this dinuclear ruthenium complex has been previously shown to exhibit greater toxicity towards bacteria than eukaryotic cells, the results of the present study suggest that

  17. Understanding Biological Roles of Venoms Among the Caenophidia: The Importance of Rear-Fanged Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackessy, Stephen P; Saviola, Anthony J

    2016-11-01

    Snake venoms represent an adaptive trophic response to the challenges confronting a limbless predator for overcoming combative prey, and this chemical means of subduing prey shows several dominant phenotypes. Many front-fanged snakes, particularly vipers, feed on various vertebrate and invertebrate prey species, and some of their venom components (e.g., metalloproteinases, cobratoxin) appear to have been selected for "broad-brush" incapacitation of different prey taxa. Using proteomic and genomic techniques, the compositional diversity of front-fanged snakes is becoming well characterized; however, this is not the case for most rear-fanged colubroid snakes. Because these species consume a high diversity of prey, and because venoms are primarily a trophic adaptation, important clues for understanding specific selective pressures favoring venom component composition will be found among rear-fanged snake venoms. Rear-fanged snakes typically (but not always) produce venoms with lower complexity than front-fanged snakes, and there are even fewer dominant (and, arguably, biologically most relevant) venom protein families. We have demonstrated taxon-specific toxic effects, where lizards and birds show high susceptibility while mammals are largely unaffected, for both Old World and New World rear-fanged snakes, strongly indicating a causal link between toxin evolution and prey preference. New data are presented on myotoxin a, showing that the extremely rapid paralysis induced by this rattlesnake toxin is specific for rodents, and that myotoxin a is ineffectual against lizards. Relatively few rear-fanged snake venoms have been characterized, and basic natural history data are largely lacking, but directed sampling of specialized species indicates that novel compounds are likely among these specialists, particularly among those species feeding on invertebrate prey such as scorpions and centipedes. Because many of the more than 2200 species of colubroid snakes are rear

  18. Fusion in computer vision understanding complex visual content

    CERN Document Server

    Ionescu, Bogdan; Piatrik, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    This book presents a thorough overview of fusion in computer vision, from an interdisciplinary and multi-application viewpoint, describing successful approaches, evaluated in the context of international benchmarks that model realistic use cases. Features: examines late fusion approaches for concept recognition in images and videos; describes the interpretation of visual content by incorporating models of the human visual system with content understanding methods; investigates the fusion of multi-modal features of different semantic levels, as well as results of semantic concept detections, fo

  19. Context dependence of students' views about the role of equations in understanding biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become especially relevant. However, as documented in research in physics education, students' epistemologies are not always stable and fixed entities; they can be dynamic and context-dependent. In this paper, we examine an interview with an introductory student in which she discusses the use of equations in her reformed biology course. In one part of the interview, she expresses what sounds like an entrenched negative stance toward the role equations can play in understanding biology. However, later in the interview, when discussing a different biology topic, she takes a more positive stance toward the value of equations. These results highlight how a given student can have diverse ways of thinking about the value of bringing physics and math into biology. By highlighting how attitudes can shift in response to different tasks, instructional environments, and contextual cues, we emphasize the need to attend to these factors, rather than treating students' beliefs as fixed and stable.

  20. From 'omics' to complex disease: a systems biology approach to gene-environment interactions in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knox Sarah S

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer is a complex disease that involves a sequence of gene-environment interactions in a progressive process that cannot occur without dysfunction in multiple systems, including DNA repair, apoptotic and immune functions. Epigenetic mechanisms, responding to numerous internal and external cues in a dynamic ongoing exchange, play a key role in mediating environmental influences on gene expression and tumor development. Hypothesis The hypothesis put forth in this paper addresses the limited success of treatment outcomes in clinical oncology. It states that improvement in treatment efficacy requires a new paradigm that focuses on reversing systemic dysfunction and tailoring treatments to specific stages in the process. It requires moving from a reductionist framework of seeking to destroy aberrant cells and pathways to a transdisciplinary systems biology approach aimed at reversing multiple levels of dysfunction. Conclusion Because there are many biological pathways and multiple epigenetic influences working simultaneously in the expression of cancer phenotypes, studying individual components in isolation does not allow an adequate understanding of phenotypic expression. A systems biology approach using new modeling techniques and nonlinear mathematics is needed to investigate gene-environment interactions and improve treatment efficacy. A broader array of study designs will also be required, including prospective molecular epidemiology, immune competent animal models and in vitro/in vivo translational research that more accurately reflects the complex process of tumor initiation and progression.

  1. Understanding the Complex Patterns Observed during Hepatitis B Virus Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carracedo Rodriguez, Andrea; Chung, Matthias; Ciupe, Stanca M

    2017-05-19

    Data from human clinical trials have shown that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) follows complex profiles, such as bi-phasic, tri-phasic, stepwise decay and rebound. We utilized a deterministic model of HBV kinetics following antiviral therapy to uncover the mechanistic interactions behind HBV dynamics. Analytical investigation of the model was used to separate the parameter space describing virus decay and rebound. Monte Carlo sampling of the parameter space was used to determine the virological, pharmacological and immunological factors that separate the bi-phasic and tri-phasic virus profiles. We found that the level of liver infection at the start of therapy best separates the decay patterns. Moreover, drug efficacy, ratio between division of uninfected and infected cells, and the strength of cytotoxic immune response are important in assessing the amount of liver damage experienced over time and in quantifying the duration of therapy leading to virus resolution in each of the observed profiles.

  2. Quantifying 'causality' in complex systems: understanding transfer entropy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatimah Abdul Razak

    Full Text Available 'Causal' direction is of great importance when dealing with complex systems. Often big volumes of data in the form of time series are available and it is important to develop methods that can inform about possible causal connections between the different observables. Here we investigate the ability of the Transfer Entropy measure to identify causal relations embedded in emergent coherent correlations. We do this by firstly applying Transfer Entropy to an amended Ising model. In addition we use a simple Random Transition model to test the reliability of Transfer Entropy as a measure of 'causal' direction in the presence of stochastic fluctuations. In particular we systematically study the effect of the finite size of data sets.

  3. Quantifying ‘Causality’ in Complex Systems: Understanding Transfer Entropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Razak, Fatimah; Jensen, Henrik Jeldtoft

    2014-01-01

    ‘Causal’ direction is of great importance when dealing with complex systems. Often big volumes of data in the form of time series are available and it is important to develop methods that can inform about possible causal connections between the different observables. Here we investigate the ability of the Transfer Entropy measure to identify causal relations embedded in emergent coherent correlations. We do this by firstly applying Transfer Entropy to an amended Ising model. In addition we use a simple Random Transition model to test the reliability of Transfer Entropy as a measure of ‘causal’ direction in the presence of stochastic fluctuations. In particular we systematically study the effect of the finite size of data sets. PMID:24955766

  4. Understanding Complex Human Ecosystems: The Case of Ecotourism on Bonaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Abel

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available It is suggested that ecotourism development on the island of Bonaire can be productively understood as a perturbation of a complex human ecosystem. Inputs associated with ecotourism have fueled transformations of the island ecology and sociocultural system. The results of this study indicate that Bonaire's social and economic hierarchy is approaching a new, stable systems state following a 50-yr transition begun by government and industry that stabilized with the appearance of ecotourism development and population growth. Ecotourism can be understood to have "filled in" the middle of the production hierarchy of Bonaire. Interpreted from this perspective, population growth has completed the transformation by expanding into production niches at smaller scales in the production hierarchy. Both a consequence and a cause, ecotourism has transformed the island's social structure and demography. The theory and methods applied in this case study of interdisciplinary research in the field of human ecosystems are also presented.

  5. Effect of Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning on Non-majors Biology Students' Understanding of Biological Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) on non-majors college biology students' understanding of biological classification. This study addressed an area of science instruction, POGIL in the non-majors college biology laboratory, which has yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively researched. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods approach was used. Students' understanding of biological classification was measured in two areas: scores on pre and posttests (consisting of 11 multiple choice questions), and conceptions of classification as elicited in pre and post interviews and instructor reflections. Participants were Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in BIOL 100 Summer Session. One section was taught with the traditional curriculum (n = 6) and the other section in the POGIL curriculum (n = 10) developed by the researcher. Three students from each section were selected to take part in pre and post interviews. There were no significant differences within each teaching method (p group may have scored higher on the posttest (M = 8.830 +/- .477 vs. M = 7.330 +/- .330; z =-1.729, p = .084) and the traditional group may have scored higher on the pretest than the posttest (M = 8.333 +/- .333 vs M = 7.333 +/- .333; z = -1.650 , p = .099). Two themes emerged after the interviews and instructor reflections: 1) After instruction students had a more extensive understanding of classification in three areas: vocabulary terms, physical characteristics, and types of evidence used to classify. Both groups extended their understanding, but only POGIL students could explain how molecular evidence is used in classification. 2) The challenges preventing students from understanding classification were: familiar animal categories and aquatic habitats, unfamiliar organisms, combining and subdividing initial groupings, and the hierarchical nature of classification. The POGIL students were the only group to

  6. Translating inter-individual genetic variation to biological function in complex phenotypes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

    and phosphor-proteome in chemotherapy resistant breast cancer cell lines with high TIMP-1 gene expression. In summary, this thesis work demonstrates applications of various omic variations at different levels of complexity and their integration using systems biology based methodologies to associate them...... artificial neural network (ANN) based methodology of selecting genetic and clinical features with predictive power for childhood asthma. The goal of these studies is to understand the complex genetics of childhood asthma. The third part of this thesis (chapters 5 and 6) focuses on various mechanisms involved...... populations. Next, the second portion of this chapter describes a personalised genome study of an ancient genome which was conducted by calculating the genetic risk scores to unravel phenotypes. Appendix section (Chapter 8) comprises of an integrative functional analysis study of the changing proteome...

  7. Understanding complex host-microbe interactions in Hydra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Thomas C.G.

    2012-01-01

    Any multicellular organism may be considered a metaorganism or holobiont—comprised of the macroscopic host and synergistic interdependence with bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, and numerous other microbial and eukaryotic species including algal symbionts. Defining the individual microbe-host conversations in these consortia is a challenging but necessary step on the path to understanding the function of the associations as a whole. Dissecting the fundamental principles that underlie all host-microbe interactions requires simple animal models with only a few specific bacterial species. Here I present Hydra as such a model with one of the simplest epithelia in the animal kingdom, with the availability of a fully sequenced genome and numerous genomic tools, and with few associated bacterial species. PMID:22688725

  8. Galectin-9: From cell biology to complex disease dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. SEBASTIAN JOHN1 RASHMI MISHRA1. Department of Neurobiology and Genetics, Division of Disease Biology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram 695014, India ...

  9. Biological significance of complex N-glycans in plants and their impact on plant physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Asparagine (N)-linked protein glycosylation is a ubiquitous co- and post-translational modification which can alter the biological function of proteins and consequently affects the development, growth, and physiology of organisms. Despite an increasing knowledge of N-glycan biosynthesis and processing, we still understand very little about the biological function of individual N-glycan structures in plants. In particular, the N-glycan-processing steps mediated by Golgi-resident enzymes create a structurally diverse set of protein-linked carbohydrate structures. Some of these complex N-glycan modifications like the presence of β1,2-xylose, core α1,3-fucose or the Lewis a-epitope are characteristic for plants and are evolutionary highly conserved. In mammals, complex N-glycans are involved in different cellular processes including molecular recognition and signaling events. In contrast, the complex N-glycan function is still largely unknown in plants. Here, in this short review, I focus on important recent developments and discuss their implications for future research in plant glycobiology and plant biotechnology.

  10. Comprehension of complex biological processes by analytical methods: how far can we go using mass spectrometry?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerner, C.

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensive understanding of complex biological processes is the basis for many biomedical issues of great relevance for modern society including risk assessment, drug development, quality control of industrial products and many more. Screening methods provide means for investigating biological samples without research hypothesis. However, the first boom of analytical screening efforts has passed and we again need to ask whether and how to apply screening methods. Mass spectrometry is a modern tool with unrivalled analytical capacities. This applies to all relevant characteristics of analytical methods such as specificity, sensitivity, accuracy, multiplicity and diversity of applications. Indeed, mass spectrometry qualifies to deal with complexity. Chronic inflammation is a common feature of almost all relevant diseases challenging our modern society; these diseases are apparently highly diverse and include arteriosclerosis, cancer, back pain, neurodegenerative diseases, depression and other. The complexity of mechanisms regulating chronic inflammation is the reason for the practical challenge to deal with it. The presentation shall give an overview of capabilities and limitations of the application of this analytical tool to solve critical questions with great relevance for our society. (author)

  11. The ultimate complex system: networks in molecular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Andreas W.

    2010-07-01

    This contribution provides a brief survey of networks as they occur in molecular biology. It is intended as an introduction for a physics audience with no prior knowledge of molecular biology. References to key papers and reviews are included for the reader who wishes to explore this fascinating area further.

  12. A Thai pre-service teacher's understanding of nature of science in biology teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srisawat, Akkarawat; Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    This study was conducted on the effect of understanding and instruction of the nature of science of Ms. Wanida, a pre-service student under science education program in biology, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University. Wanida was a teaching practicum student majoring in biology at Khon Kaen University Demonstration School (Modindaeng). She was teaching biology for 38 Grade 10 students. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. The study aimed to examine 1) Wanida's understanding of the nature of science, 2) Wanida's instruction of the nature of science, 3 students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction, and 4) the effects of Wanida's understanding and instruction of the nature of science on students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction. Tools of interpretation included teaching observation, a semi-structured interview, open-ended questionnaire, and an observation record form for the instruction of the nature of science. The data obtained was interpreted, encoded, and classified, using the descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that Wanida held good understanding of the nature of science. She could apply the deficient nature of science approach mostly, followed by the implicit nature of science approach. Unfortunately, she could not show her teaching as explicit nature of science. However, her students' the understanding of the nature of science was good.

  13. Catalytic aspects of a copper (II) complex: biological oxidase to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This copper complex displays excellent catalytic efficiency, kcat /KM (h⁻¹) = 6.17 × 10⁵ towards the oxidative coupling of 2-aminophenol (2-AP) to aminophenoxazin-3-one. Further, upon stoichiometric addition of copper(II) complex to 3,5-DTBC in presence of molecular oxygen in ethanol medium, the copper complex ...

  14. Venom Resistance as a Model for Understanding the Molecular Basis of Complex Coevolutionary Adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Drabeck, Danielle H; Jansa, Sharon A; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-11-01

    SynopsisVenom and venom resistance are molecular phenotypes widely considered to have diversified through coevolution between predators and prey. However, while evolutionary and functional studies on venom have been extensive, little is known about the molecular basis, variation, and complexity of venom resistance. We review known mechanisms of venom resistance and relate these mechanisms to their predicted impact on coevolutionary dynamics with venomous enemies. We then describe two conceptual approaches which can be used to examine venom/resistance systems. At the intraspecific level, tests of local adaptation in venom and resistance phenotypes can identify the functional mechanisms governing the outcomes of coevolution. At deeper evolutionary timescales, the combination of phylogenetically informed analyses of protein evolution coupled with studies of protein function promise to elucidate the mode and tempo of evolutionary change on potentially coevolving genes. We highlight case studies that use each approach to extend our knowledge of these systems as well as address larger questions about coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that resistance and venom are phenotypic traits which hold exceptional promise for investigating the mechanisms, dynamics, and outcomes of coevolution at the molecular level. Furthermore, extending the understanding of single gene-for-gene interactions to the whole resistance and venom phenotypes may provide a model system for examining the molecular and evolutionary dynamics of complex multi-gene interactions. © 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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Network biology: Describing biological systems by complex networks. Comment on "Network science of biological systems at different scales: A review" by M. Gosak et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2018-03-01

    I enjoyed reading Gosak et al. review on analysing biological systems from network science perspective [1]. Network science, first started within Physics community, is now a mature multidisciplinary field of science with many applications ranging from Ecology to biology, medicine, social sciences, engineering and computer science. Gosak et al. discussed how biological systems can be modelled and described by complex network theory which is an important application of network science. Although there has been considerable progress in network biology over the past two decades, this is just the beginning and network science has a great deal to offer to biology and medical sciences.

  16. Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Serban, Maria; Scholl, Raphael

    2018-01-01

    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research...

  17. Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    us now address complex systems which include a substantial social component. We may start with economics and theory of finance. Given the long memory ...Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems * Constantino Tsallis Centro Brasileiro de...Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA23861114006 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  18. The Effectiveness of an Online Curriculum on High School Students' Understanding of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsteller, Robert B.; Bodzin, Alec M.

    2015-12-01

    An online curriculum about biological evolution was designed to promote increased student content knowledge and evidentiary reasoning. A feasibility study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students who learned with the online biological evolution unit. Data sources included the Biological Evolution Assessment Measure (BEAM), an analysis of discussion forum posts, and a post-implementation perceptions and attitudes questionnaire. BEAM posttest scores were significantly higher than the pretest scores. However, the findings revealed that the students required additional support to develop evidentiary reasoning. Many students perceived that the Web-based curriculum would have been enhanced by increased immediate interaction and feedback. Students required greater scaffolding to support complex, process-oriented tasks. Implications for designing Web-based science instruction with curriculum materials to support students' acquisition of content knowledge and science process skills in a Web-based setting are discussed.

  19. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-05-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory chain complexity. The theory originated as a welcome explanation of isolated small scale cellular idiosyncrasies and as a reaction to 'overselectionism'. Here I contend, that in its extended form, it has major conceptual problems, can not explain observed patterns of complex processes, is too easily dismissive of alternative selectionist models, underestimates the creative force of complexity as such, and--if seen as a major evolutionary mechanism for all organisms--could stifle further thought regarding the evolution of highly complex biological processes. Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  20. The complex biology and contribution of Staphylococcus aureus in atopic dermatitis, current and future therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepburn, L; Hijnen, D J; Sellman, B R; Mustelin, T; Sleeman, M A; May, R D; Strickland, I

    2017-07-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, chronic inflammatory skin disorder affecting more than 10% of U.K. children and is a major cause of occupation-related disability. A subset of patients, particularly those with severe AD, are persistently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus and exacerbation of disease is commonly associated with this bacterium by virtue of increased inflammation and allergic sensitization, aggravated by skin barrier defects. Understanding the complex biology of S. aureus is an important factor when developing new drugs to combat infection. Staphylococcus aureus generates exoproteins that enable invasion and dissemination within the host skin but can also damage the skin and activate the host immune system. Antibiotics are often used by dermatologists to aid clearance of S. aureus; however, these are becoming less effective and chronic usage is discouraged with the emergence of multiple antibiotic-resistant strains. New ways to target S. aureus using monoclonal antibodies and vaccines are now being developed. This review will attempt to evaluate the key biology of S. aureus, current treatment of S. aureus infections in AD and recent advances in developing new anti-S. aureus therapies that have potential in severe AD. © 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.

  1. Electron Transfer Studies of Ruthenium(II) Complexes with Biologically Important Phenolic Acids and Tyrosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajeswari, Angusamy; Ramdass, Arumugam; Muthu Mareeswaran, Paulpandian; Rajagopal, Seenivasan

    2016-03-01

    The ruthenium(II) complexes having 2,2'-bipyridine and phenanthroline derivatives are synthesized and characterized. The photophysical properties of these complexes at pH 12.5 are studied. The electron transfer reaction of biologically important phenolic acids and tyrosine are studied using absorption, emission and transient absorption spectral techniques. Semiclassical theory is applied to calculate the rate of electron transfer between ruthenium(II) complexes and biologically important phenolic acids.

  2. Biological activities of some Fluoroquinolones-metal complexes

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    McRoy

    synthesis of two zinc (II) complexes with ciprofloxacin,. [cfH2]2[ZnCl4].2H2O and. [Zn(cf)2]3H2O[32] and a cobalt complex, compound. [Co(cf)2].3H2O.[33] The complex [cfH2]2[ZnCl4].2H2O was shown to be ionic consisting of a tetrachlorozincate(II) dianion and two protonated monatomic ciprofloxacin molecules, while.

  3. Complexity: the organizing principle at the interface of biological (dis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    RAMRAY BHAT

    2017-07-05

    Jul 5, 2017 ... is used to signify the sheer complicatedness of living systems, especially as a result of the multicomponent aspect of biological form. On the other hand, it has ... one particular process that could give rise to the pattern. Therefore ..... tion, cell division and death, multicellular polarization etc. (Newman and ...

  4. Methylene Diphosphonate Chemical and Biological control of MDP complex

    CERN Document Server

    Aungurarat, A

    2000-01-01

    Technetium-9 sup 9 sup m MDP easy prepared from MDP kits which different sources such as OAP (In house), SIGMA. The resulting Tc 9 sup 9 sup m -MDP preparations were controlled in chemical and biological tests to compare the different results in these cases: radiochemical purity, the quantity of starting material and biodistribution result.

  5. Simulation and Analysis of Complex Biological Processes: an Organisation Modelling Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Jonker, C.M.; Treur, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores how the dynamics of complex biological processes can be modelled and simulated as an organisation of multiple agents. This modelling perspective identifies organisational structure occurring in complex decentralised processes and handles complexity of the analysis of the dynamics

  6. Considerations in starting a patient with advanced frailty on dialysis: complex biology meets challenging ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swidler, Mark

    2013-08-01

    Nephrologists have focused on the uremic syndrome as an indication for dialysis. The elderly frail renal patient approaching ESRD represents a complex biologic system that is already failing. This patient phenotype exhibits progressive geriatric disabilities and dependence interspersed with shrinking periods of stability regardless of whether dialysis is started. Consequently, the frail renal patient faces challenging treatment choices underpinned by ethical tensions. Identifying the advanced frail renal patient and optimizing the shared decision-making process will enable him or her to make well informed choices based on an understanding of his or her overall condition and personal values and preferences. This approach will also permit nephrologists to fulfill their ethical obligations to respect patient autonomy, promote patient benefit, and minimize patient harm.

  7. Structure and Bonding in Heme-Nitrosyl Complexes and Implications for Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehnert, Nicolai; Scheidt, W. Robert; Wolf, Matthew W. [Michigan; (Notre)

    2016-09-13

    This review summarizes our current understanding of the geometric and electronic structures of ferrous and ferric heme–nitrosyls, which are of key importance for the biological functions and transformations of NO. In-depth correlations are made between these properties and the reactivities of these species. Here, a focus is put on the discoveries that have been made in the last 10 years, but previous findings are also included as necessary. Besides this, ferrous heme–nitroxyl complexes are also considered, which have become of increasing interest recently due to their roles as intermediates in NO and multiheme nitrite reductases, and because of the potential role of HNO as a signaling molecule in mammals. In recent years, computational methods have received more attention as a means of investigating enzyme reaction mechanisms, and some important findings from these theoretical studies are also highlighted in this chapter.

  8. Understanding schizophrenia as a disorder of consciousness: biological correlates and translational implications from quantum theory perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan

    2015-04-30

    From neurophenomenological perspectives, schizophrenia has been conceptualized as "a disorder with heterogeneous manifestations that can be integrally understood to involve fundamental perturbations in consciousness". While these theoretical constructs based on consciousness facilitate understanding the 'gestalt' of schizophrenia, systematic research to unravel translational implications of these models is warranted. To address this, one needs to begin with exploration of plausible biological underpinnings of "perturbed consciousness" in schizophrenia. In this context, an attractive proposition to understand the biology of consciousness is "the orchestrated object reduction (Orch-OR) theory" which invokes quantum processes in the microtubules of neurons. The Orch-OR model is particularly important for understanding schizophrenia especially due to the shared 'scaffold' of microtubules. The initial sections of this review focus on the compelling evidence to support the view that "schizophrenia is a disorder of consciousness" through critical summary of the studies that have demonstrated self-abnormalities, aberrant time perception as well as dysfunctional intentional binding in this disorder. Subsequently, these findings are linked with 'Orch-OR theory' through the research evidence for aberrant neural oscillations as well as microtubule abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. Further sections emphasize the applicability and translational implications of Orch-OR theory in the context of schizophrenia and elucidate the relevance of quantum biology to understand the origins of this puzzling disorder as "fundamental disturbances in consciousness".

  9. Understanding and Enhancing Soil Biological Health: The Solution for Reversing Soil Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Michael Lehman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Our objective is to provide an optimistic strategy for reversing soil degradation by increasing public and private research efforts to understand the role of soil biology, particularly microbiology, on the health of our world’s soils. We begin by defining soil quality/soil health (which we consider to be interchangeable terms, characterizing healthy soil resources, and relating the significance of soil health to agroecosystems and their functions. We examine how soil biology influences soil health and how biological properties and processes contribute to sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services. We continue by examining what can be done to manipulate soil biology to: (i increase nutrient availability for production of high yielding, high quality crops; (ii protect crops from pests, pathogens, weeds; and (iii manage other factors limiting production, provision of ecosystem services, and resilience to stresses like droughts. Next we look to the future by asking what needs to be known about soil biology that is not currently recognized or fully understood and how these needs could be addressed using emerging research tools. We conclude, based on our perceptions of how new knowledge regarding soil biology will help make agriculture more sustainable and productive, by recommending research emphases that should receive first priority through enhanced public and private research in order to reverse the trajectory toward global soil degradation.

  10. How do precision medicine and system biology response to human body's complex adaptability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Bing

    2016-12-01

    In the field of life sciences, although system biology and "precision medicine" introduce some complex scientifific methods and techniques, it is still based on the "analysis-reconstruction" of reductionist theory as a whole. Adaptability of complex system increase system behaviour uncertainty as well as the difficulties of precise identifification and control. It also put systems biology research into trouble. To grasp the behaviour and characteristics of organism fundamentally, systems biology has to abandon the "analysis-reconstruction" concept. In accordance with the guidelines of complexity science, systems biology should build organism model from holistic level, just like the Chinese medicine did in dealing with human body and disease. When we study the living body from the holistic level, we will fifind the adaptability of complex system is not the obstacle that increases the diffificulty of problem solving. It is the "exceptional", "right-hand man" that helping us to deal with the complexity of life more effectively.

  11. General approach to the biological analysis of complex mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thilly, W G; Longwell, J; Andon, B M

    1983-02-01

    The study of potential health effects of combustion effluents involves identifying the substances present and estimating the probable health hazards of each. Unfortunately, this second step cannot be done by using present techniques. Approximations of health hazards by bacterial and human cell assays are being used to set priorities for further biological studies and to suggest needs for modifications of combustion systems. The assumptions underlying this approximation are discussed, and several examples of combustion effluents are reviewed.

  12. Analysis of complex networks from biology to linguistics

    CERN Document Server

    Dehmer, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    Mathematical problems such as graph theory problems are of increasing importance for the analysis of modelling data in biomedical research such as in systems biology, neuronal network modelling etc. This book follows a new approach of including graph theory from a mathematical perspective with specific applications of graph theory in biomedical and computational sciences. The book is written by renowned experts in the field and offers valuable background information for a wide audience.

  13. Characterization and biological activity of Solidago canadensis complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šutovská, M; Capek, P; Kocmálová, M; Fraňová, S; Pawlaczyk, I; Gancarz, R

    2013-01-01

    Polyphenolic-polysaccharide-protein complex has been isolated from flowers of Solidago canadensis L. by hot alkaline extraction procedure. Compositional analyses of S canadensis complex revealed the presence of carbohydrates (43 wt%), protein (27 wt%), phenolics (12 wt%), uronic acids (10 wt%) and inorganic material (8 wt%). The carbohydrate part was rich in neutral sugars (81 wt%) while uronids were determined in lower amount (19 wt%). Monosaccharide analysis of carbohydrate part revealed the presence of five main sugar components, i.e. rhamnose (~23 wt%), arabinose (~20 wt%), uronic acids (~19 wt%), galactose (~17 wt%) and glucose (~14 wt%), and indicated thus the presence of rhamnogalacturonan and arabinogalactan in S. canadensis complex. HPLC analysis of complex showed one single peak of molecule mass at 11.2 kDa. Antitussive activity tests, performed in three doses of Solidago complex, showed the reduction of the number of cough efforts in the dose-dependent manner. Higher doses (50 and 75 mg/kg b.w.) were shown to be by 15 and 20% more effective than that of lower one (25mg/kg b.w.). However, the antitussive effect of the highest dose (75 mg/kg b.w.) was by 10% lower in comparison with that of codeine, the strongest antitussive agent. Besides, the highest dose of the complex (75 mg/kg b.w.) significantly decreased values of specific airways resistance and their effect remained longer as that of salbutamol, a representative of classic antiasthmatic drugs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Biological design principles of complex feedback modules in the E. coli ammonia assimilation system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masaki, Koichi; Maeda, Kazuhiro; Kurata, Hiroyuki

    2012-01-01

    To synthesize natural or artificial life, it is critically important to understand the design principles of how biochemical networks generate particular cellular functions and evolve complex systems in comparison with engineering systems. Cellular systems maintain their robustness in the face of perturbations arising from environmental and genetic variations. In analogy to control engineering architectures, the complexity of modular structures within a cell can be attributed to the necessity of achieving robustness. To reveal such biological design, the E. coli ammonia assimilation system is analyzed, which consists of complex but highly structured modules: the glutamine synthetase (GS) activity feedback control module with bifunctional enzyme cascades for catalyzing reversible reactions, and the GS synthesis feedback control module with positive and negative feedback loops. We develop a full-scale dynamic model that unifies the two modules, and we analyze its robustness and fine tuning with respect to internal and external perturbations. The GS activity control is added to the GS synthesis module to improve its transient response to ammonia depletion, compensating the tradeoffs of each module, but its robustness to internal perturbations is lost. These findings suggest some design principles necessary for the synthesis of life.

  15. Understanding the Complexities of Communicating Management Decisions on the Subsistence Use of Yukon River Salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, J. F.; Trainor, S.

    2017-12-01

    Over 20,000 residents in Alaska and Yukon Territory rely upon the Yukon River to provide them harvests of Pacific salmon each year. Salmon are a highly valued food resource and the practice of salmon fishing along the Yukon is deep rooted in local cultures and traditions. Potential future impacts of climate change on the health of Yukon River salmon stocks could be significant. Collaborative managerial processes which incorporate the viewpoints of subsistence stakeholders will be crucial in enabling communities and managerial institutions to adapt and manage these impacts. However, the massive extent of the Yukon River makes it difficult for communities rich with highly localized knowledge to situate themselves within a drainage-wide context of resource availability, and to fully understand the implications that management decisions may have for their harvest. Differences in salmon availability and abundance between the upper and lower Yukon, commercial vs. subsistence fishery interests, and enforcement of the international Pacific Salmon Treaty further complicate understanding and makes the topic of salmon as a subsistence resource a highly contentious issue. A map which synthesizes the presence and absence of Pacific salmon throughout the entire Yukon River drainage was requested by both subsistence fishers and natural resource managers in Alaska in order to help facilitate productive conversations about salmon management decisions. Interviews with Alaskan stakeholders with managerial, biological, and subsistence harvest backgrounds were carried out and a literature review was conducted in order to understand what such a map should and could accomplish. During the research process, numerous data gaps concerning the distribution of salmon along the Yukon River were discovered, and insights about the complexities involved in translating science when it is situated within a charged political, economic, and cultural context were revealed. Preliminary maps depicting

  16. Physicochemical and biological properties of new steroid metal complexes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huber, R.

    1980-04-01

    The aim of this investigation was to prepare stable steroid metal chelates by chemical conversion of the natural steroid hormones testerone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) and estradiol and to characterize these by means of their spectroscopic and other physico-chemical properties. In addition, various measuring techniques for the qualitative and quantitative study of complex stabilities and hydrolytic properties were employed. The distribution of some tritiated steroid metal complexes in the tissues of rats was tested using whole animal autoradiography, mainly with a view to identifying whether selective concentration occurs in certain organs. (orig.) [de

  17. A comprehensive in vitro biological investigation of metal complexes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Md. Mahabob Ullah Mazumder

    Objective: The inquisitive objective of the study was to observe the antimicrobial, cytotoxicity, and antioxidant activities of some newly synthesized metal complexes of tolfenamic acid. Methods: While antimicrobial activity was studied by disk diffusion method, cytotoxicity was studied by performing brine shrimp lethality ...

  18. Complexity: the organizing principle at the interface of biological (dis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    RAMRAY BHAT

    2017-07-05

    Jul 5, 2017 ... In the context of evolutionary arguments, complexity has been defined, in a quantifiable fashion, as the amount of .... a breadth of fields such as ecology, economics and sociol- ogy. Given that the three strands of ...... Jeeva J. and Zalik S. E. 1996 Hapten inhibitors of the endogenous galactose binding lectins ...

  19. Synthesis, structural, spectroscopic and biological studies of Schiff base complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diab, M. A.; El-Sonbati, A. Z.; Shoair, A. F.; Eldesoky, A. M.; El-Far, N. M.

    2017-08-01

    Schiff base ligand 4-((pyridin-2- yl)methyleneamino)-1,2-dihydro-2,3-dimethyl-1-phenylpyrazol-5-one (PDMP) and its complexes were prepared and characterized on the basis of elemental analysis, IR, mass spectra and thermogravimetric analysis. All results confirm that the complexes have 1:1 (M: PMDP) stoichiometric formula [M(PMDP)Cl2H2O ] (M = Cu(II), Co(II), Ni(II) and Mn(II)), [Cd(PMDP)Cl2] and the ligand behaves as a bi/tridentate forming five-membered chelating ring towards the metal ions, bonding through azomethine nitrogen/exocyclic carbonyl oxygen, azomethine pyridine nitrogen and exocyclic carbonyl oxygen. The shift in the band positions of the groups involved in coordination has been utilized to estimate the metal-nitrogen and/or oxygen bond lengths. The complexes of Co(II), Ni(II) and Cu(II) are paramagnetic and the magnetic as well as spectral data suggest octahedral geometry, whereas the Cd(II) complex is tetrahedral. The XRD studies show that both the ligand and its metal complexes (1 and 3) show polycrystalline with crystal structure. Molecular docking was used to predict the binding between PMDP ligand and the receptors. The corrosion inhibition of mild steel in 2 M HCl solution by PDMP was explored utilizing potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and (EFM) electrochemical frequency modulation method. Potentiodynamic polarization demonstrated that PDMP compound is mixed-type inhibitor. EIS spectra exhibit one capacitive loop and confirm the protective ability. The percentage of inhibition efficiency was found to increase with increasing the inhibitor concentration.

  20. Understanding recognition and self-assembly in biology using the chemist's toolbox. Insight into medicinal chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quirolo, Z B; Benedini, L A; Sequeira, M A; Herrera, M G; Veuthey, T V; Dodero, V I

    2014-01-01

    Medicinal chemistry is intimately connected with basic science such as organic synthesis, chemical biology and biophysical chemistry among other disciplines. The reason of such connections is due to the power of organic synthesis to provide designed molecules; chemical biology to give tools to discover biological and/or pathological pathways and biophysical chemistry which provides the techniques to characterize and the theoretical background to understand molecular behaviour. The present review provides some selective examples of these research areas. Initially, template dsDNA organic synthesis and the spatio-temporal control of transcription are presenting following by the supramolecular entities used in drug delivery, such as liposomes and liquid crystal among others. Finally, peptides and protein self-assembly is connected with biomaterials and as an important event in the balance between health and disease. The final aim of the present review is to show the power of chemical tools not only for the synthesis of new molecules but also to improve our understanding of recognition and self-assembly in the biological context.

  1. A CRISPR-based MLST Scheme for Understanding the Population Biology and Epidemiology of Salmonella Enterica

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-26

    N. Shariat, R. E. Timme, J. B. Pettengill, R. Barrangou, E. G. Dudley. Characterization and evolution of Salmonella CRISPR - Cas systems...Barrangou, Edward G. Dudley. Characterization of CRISPR - Cas in Salmonella, 3rd European CRISPR meeting. 14-MAY-14, . : , Margaret K. Kirchner, Nikki... CRISPRs Beyond subtyping approaches, we were motivated to understand the biology of CRISPR - Cas systems in Salmonella. We performed in-depth sequence

  2. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Understanding the sorption and biotransformation of organic micropollutants in innovative biological wastewater treatment technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarino, T; Suarez, S; Lema, J; Omil, F

    2018-02-15

    New technologies for wastewater treatment have been developed in the last years based on the combination of biological reactors operating under different redox conditions. Their efficiency in the removal of organic micropollutants (OMPs) has not been clearly assessed yet. This review paper is focussed on understanding the sorption and biotransformation of a selected group of 17 OMPs, including pharmaceuticals, hormones and personal care products, during biological wastewater treatment processes. Apart from considering the role of "classical" operational parameters, new factors such as biomass conformation and particle size, upward velocity applied or the addition of adsorbents have been considered. It has been found that the OMP removal by sorption not only depends on their physico-chemical characteristics and other parameters, such as the biomass conformation and particle size, or some operational conditions also relevant. Membrane biological reactors (MBR), have shown to enhance sorption and biotransformation of some OMPs. The same applies to technologies bases on direct addition of activated carbon in bioreactors. The OMP biotransformation degree and pathway is mainly driven by the redox potential and the primary substrate activity. The combination of different redox potentials in hybrid reactor systems can significantly enhance the overall OMP removal efficiency. Sorption and biotransformation can be synergistically promoted in biological reactors by the addition of activated carbon. The deeper knowledge of the main parameters influencing OMP removal provided by this review will allow optimizing the biological processes in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Using Simulations in Linked Courses to Foster Student Understanding of Complex Political Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Michelle Hale

    2015-01-01

    Political institutions provide basic building blocks for understanding and comparing political systems. Yet, students often struggle to understand the implications of institutional choice, such as electoral system rules, especially when the formulas and calculations used to determine seat allocation can be multilevel and complex. This study brings…

  5. What Influences Children's and Adolescents' Understanding of the Complexity of the Internet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zheng

    2006-01-01

    This study aimed at analyzing complex relationships among Internet use, Internet users, and conceptual understanding of the Internet. It used path models to examine factors related to Internet use (duration of Internet use, frequency of Internet use, and informal Internet classes) and Internet users (age and gender) in affecting understanding of…

  6. Synthesis, Physical Characterization and Biological Activity of Some Schiff Base Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Rajavel

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural modification of organic molecule has considerable biological relevance. Further, coordination of a biomolecules to the metal ions significantly alters the effectiveness of the biomolecules. In view of the antimicrobial activity ligand [bis-(2-aminobenzaldehyde] malonoyl dihydrazone], metal complexes with Cu(II, Ni(II, Zn(II and oxovanadium(IV have been synthesized and found to be potential antimicrobial agents. An attempt is also made to correlate the biological activities with geometry of the complexes. The complexes have been characterized by elemental analysis, molar conductance, spectra and cyclicvoltammetric measurements. The structural assessment of the complexes has been carried out based on electronic, infrared and molar conductivity values.

  7. Biological Principles and Threshold Concepts for Understanding Natural Selection. Implications for Developing Visualizations as a Pedagogic Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibell, Lena A. E.; Harms, Ute

    2017-11-01

    Modern evolutionary theory is both a central theory and an integrative framework of the life sciences. This is reflected in the common references to evolution in modern science education curricula and contexts. In fact, evolution is a core idea that is supposed to support biology learning by facilitating the organization of relevant knowledge. In addition, evolution can function as a pivotal link between concepts and highlight similarities in the complexity of biological concepts. However, empirical studies in many countries have for decades identified deficiencies in students' scientific understanding of evolution mainly focusing on natural selection. Clearly, there are major obstacles to learning natural selection, and we argue that to overcome them, it is essential to address explicitly the general abstract concepts that underlie the biological processes, e.g., randomness or probability. Hence, we propose a two-dimensional framework for analyzing and structuring teaching of natural selection. The first—purely biological—dimension embraces the three main principles variation, heredity, and selection structured in nine key concepts that form the core idea of natural selection. The second dimension encompasses four so-called thresholds, i.e., general abstract and/or non-perceptual concepts: randomness, probability, spatial scales, and temporal scales. We claim that both of these dimensions must be continuously considered, in tandem, when teaching evolution in order to allow development of a meaningful understanding of the process. Further, we suggest that making the thresholds tangible with the aid of appropriate kinds of visualizations will facilitate grasping of the threshold concepts, and thus, help learners to overcome the difficulties in understanding the central theory of life.

  8. Systems biology in psychiatric research: from complex data sets over wiring diagrams to computer simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tretter, Felix; Gebicke-Haerter, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    The classification of psychiatric disorders has always been a problem in clinical settings. The present debate about the major systems in clinical practice, DSM-IV and ICD-10, has resulted in attempts to improve and replace those schemes by some that include more endophenotypic and molecular features. However, these disorders not only require more precise diagnostic tools, but also have to be viewed more extensively in their dynamic behaviors, which require more precise data sets related to their origins and developments. This enormous challenge in brain research has to be approached on different levels of the biological system by new methods, including improvements in electroencephalography, brain imaging, and molecular biology. All these methods entail accumulations of large data sets that become more and more difficult to interpret. In particular, on the molecular level, there is an apparent need to use highly sophisticated computer programs to tackle these problems. Evidently, only interdisciplinary work among mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and clinicians can further improve our understanding of complex diseases of the brain.

  9. Measuring spatial patterns in floodplains: A step towards understanding the complexity of floodplain ecosystems: Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scown, Murray W.; Thoms, Martin C.; DeJager, Nathan R.; Gilvear, David J.; Greenwood, Malcolm T.; Thoms, Martin C.; Wood, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Floodplains can be viewed as complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998) because they are comprised of many different biophysical components, such as morphological features, soil groups and vegetation communities as well as being sites of key biogeochemical processing (Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions and feedbacks among the biophysical components often result in additional phenomena occuring over a range of scales, often in the absence of any controlling factors (sensu Hallet, 1990). This emergence of new biophysical features and rates of processing can lead to alternative stable states which feed back into floodplain adaptive cycles (cf. Hughes, 1997; Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions between different biophysical components, feedbacks, self emergence and scale are all key properties of complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998; Phillips, 2003; Murray et al., 2014) and therefore will influence the manner in which we study and view spatial patterns. Measuring the spatial patterns of floodplain biophysical components is a prerequisite to examining and understanding these ecosystems as complex adaptive systems. Elucidating relationships between pattern and process, which are intrinsically linked within floodplains (Ward et al., 2002), is dependent upon an understanding of spatial pattern. This knowledge can help river scientists determine the major drivers, controllers and responses of floodplain structure and function, as well as the consequences of altering those drivers and controllers (Hughes and Cass, 1997; Whited et al., 2007). Interactions and feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological components of floodplain ecosystems create and maintain a structurally diverse and dynamic template (Stanford et al., 2005). This template influences subsequent interactions between components that consequently affect system trajectories within floodplains (sensu Bak et al., 1988). Constructing and evaluating models used to predict floodplain ecosystem responses to

  10. Using systems biology to simplify complex disease: immune cartography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polpitiya, Ashoka D; McDunn, Jonathan E; Burykin, Anton; Ghosh, Bijoy K; Cobb, J Perren

    2009-01-01

    What if there was a rapid, inexpensive, and accurate blood diagnostic that could determine which patients were infected, identify the organism(s) responsible, and identify patients who were not responding to therapy? We hypothesized that systems analysis of the transcriptional activity of circulating immune effector cells could be used to identify conserved elements in the host response to systemic inflammation, and furthermore, to discriminate between sterile and infectious etiologies. We review herein a validated, systems biology approach demonstrating that 1) abdominal and pulmonary sepsis diagnoses can be made in mouse models using microarray (RNA) data from circulating blood, 2) blood microarray data can be used to differentiate between the host response to Gram-negative and Gram-positive pneumonia, 3) the endotoxin response of normal human volunteers can be mapped at the level of gene expression, and 4) a similar strategy can be used in the critically ill to follow septic patients and quantitatively determine immune recovery. These findings provide the foundation of immune cartography and demonstrate the potential of this approach for rapidly diagnosing sepsis and identifying pathogens. Further, our data suggest a new approach to determine how specific pathogens perturb the physiology of circulating leukocytes in a cell-specific manner. Large, prospective clinical trails are needed to validate the clinical utility of leukocyte RNA diagnostics (e.g., the riboleukogram).

  11. Approaching complexity by stochastic methods: From biological systems to turbulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, Rudolf [Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Muenster, D-48149 Muenster (Germany); Peinke, Joachim [Institute of Physics, Carl von Ossietzky University, D-26111 Oldenburg (Germany); Sahimi, Muhammad [Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1211 (United States); Reza Rahimi Tabar, M., E-mail: mohammed.r.rahimi.tabar@uni-oldenburg.de [Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran 11155-9161 (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Institute of Physics, Carl von Ossietzky University, D-26111 Oldenburg (Germany); Fachbereich Physik, Universitaet Osnabrueck, Barbarastrasse 7, 49076 Osnabrueck (Germany)

    2011-09-15

    This review addresses a central question in the field of complex systems: given a fluctuating (in time or space), sequentially measured set of experimental data, how should one analyze the data, assess their underlying trends, and discover the characteristics of the fluctuations that generate the experimental traces? In recent years, significant progress has been made in addressing this question for a class of stochastic processes that can be modeled by Langevin equations, including additive as well as multiplicative fluctuations or noise. Important results have emerged from the analysis of temporal data for such diverse fields as neuroscience, cardiology, finance, economy, surface science, turbulence, seismic time series and epileptic brain dynamics, to name but a few. Furthermore, it has been recognized that a similar approach can be applied to the data that depend on a length scale, such as velocity increments in fully developed turbulent flow, or height increments that characterize rough surfaces. A basic ingredient of the approach to the analysis of fluctuating data is the presence of a Markovian property, which can be detected in real systems above a certain time or length scale. This scale is referred to as the Markov-Einstein (ME) scale, and has turned out to be a useful characteristic of complex systems. We provide a review of the operational methods that have been developed for analyzing stochastic data in time and scale. We address in detail the following issues: (i) reconstruction of stochastic evolution equations from data in terms of the Langevin equations or the corresponding Fokker-Planck equations and (ii) intermittency, cascades, and multiscale correlation functions.

  12. Approaching complexity by stochastic methods: From biological systems to turbulence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedrich, Rudolf; Peinke, Joachim; Sahimi, Muhammad; Reza Rahimi Tabar, M.

    2011-01-01

    This review addresses a central question in the field of complex systems: given a fluctuating (in time or space), sequentially measured set of experimental data, how should one analyze the data, assess their underlying trends, and discover the characteristics of the fluctuations that generate the experimental traces? In recent years, significant progress has been made in addressing this question for a class of stochastic processes that can be modeled by Langevin equations, including additive as well as multiplicative fluctuations or noise. Important results have emerged from the analysis of temporal data for such diverse fields as neuroscience, cardiology, finance, economy, surface science, turbulence, seismic time series and epileptic brain dynamics, to name but a few. Furthermore, it has been recognized that a similar approach can be applied to the data that depend on a length scale, such as velocity increments in fully developed turbulent flow, or height increments that characterize rough surfaces. A basic ingredient of the approach to the analysis of fluctuating data is the presence of a Markovian property, which can be detected in real systems above a certain time or length scale. This scale is referred to as the Markov-Einstein (ME) scale, and has turned out to be a useful characteristic of complex systems. We provide a review of the operational methods that have been developed for analyzing stochastic data in time and scale. We address in detail the following issues: (i) reconstruction of stochastic evolution equations from data in terms of the Langevin equations or the corresponding Fokker-Planck equations and (ii) intermittency, cascades, and multiscale correlation functions.

  13. Preparation and Characterization Challenges to Understanding Environmental and Biological Impacts of Ceria Nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakoti, Ajay S.; Munusamy, Prabhakaran; Hostetler, Kasey E.; Kodali, Vamsi K.; Kuchibhatla, Satyanarayana V N T; Orr, Galya; Pounds, Joel G.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Thrall, Brian D.; Baer, Donald R.

    2012-08-01

    It has been increasingly recognized that understanding and predicting the behaviors of nanoparticles is often limited by the degree to which the particles can be reliably produced and are adequately characterized. Examining data from the literature for ceria nanoparticles suggests that thermal history is one factor that has a strong influence on biological impact. Thermal processing may alter many physicochemical properties of the particles including density, crystal structure and the presence of surface contamination, but these may not be sufficiently recorded or reported to determine the ultimate source of an observed impact. A second example shows the types of difficulties that can be encountered in efforts to apply a well-studied synthesis route to producing well defined particles for biological studies. These examples and others highlight the importance of characterizing particles thoroughly and recording details of particle processing and history that are often not recorded and/or reported.

  14. Functionalized diamond nanopowder for phosphopeptides enrichment from complex biological fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussain, Dilshad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Najam-ul-Haq, Muhammad, E-mail: najamulhaq@bzu.edu.pk [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria); Jabeen, Fahmida; Ashiq, Muhammad N.; Athar, Muhammad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W.; Bonn, Guenther K. [Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •Derivatization of diamond nanopowder as IMAC and RP. •Characterization with SEM, EDX and FT-IR. •Phosphopeptide enrichment from standard as well as real samples. •Desalting and human serum profiling with reproducible results. •MALDI-MS analysis with database identification. -- Abstract: Diamond is known for its high affinity and biocompatibility towards biomolecules and is used exclusively in separation sciences and life science research. In present study, diamond nanopowder is derivatized as Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatographic (IMAC) material for the phosphopeptides enrichment and as Reversed Phase (C-18) media for the desalting of complex mixtures and human serum profiling through MALDI-TOF-MS. Functionalized diamond nanopowder is characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Diamond-IMAC is applied to the standard protein (β-casein), spiked human serum, egg yolk and non-fat milk for the phosphopeptides enrichment. Results show the selectivity of synthesized IMAC-diamond immobilized with Fe{sup 3+} and La{sup 3+} ions. To comprehend the elaborated use, diamond-IMAC is also applied to the serum samples from gall bladder carcinoma for the potential biomarkers. Database search is carried out by the Mascot program ( (www.matrixscience.com)) for the assignment of phosphorylation sites. Diamond nanopowder is thus a separation media with multifunctional use and can be applied to cancer protein profiling for the diagnosis and biomarker identification.

  15. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Markers in Conservation Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujvari, Beata; Belov, Katherine

    2011-01-01

    Human impacts through habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species and climate change are increasing the number of species threatened with extinction. Decreases in population size simultaneously lead to reductions in genetic diversity, ultimately reducing the ability of populations to adapt to a changing environment. In this way, loss of genetic polymorphism is linked with extinction risk. Recent advances in sequencing technologies mean that obtaining measures of genetic diversity at functionally important genes is within reach for conservation programs. A key region of the genome that should be targeted for population genetic studies is the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). MHC genes, found in all jawed vertebrates, are the most polymorphic genes in vertebrate genomes. They play key roles in immune function via immune-recognition and -surveillance and host-parasite interaction. Therefore, measuring levels of polymorphism at these genes can provide indirect measures of the immunological fitness of populations. The MHC has also been linked with mate-choice and pregnancy outcomes and has application for improving mating success in captive breeding programs. The recent discovery that genetic diversity at MHC genes may protect against the spread of contagious cancers provides an added impetus for managing and protecting MHC diversity in wild populations. Here we review the field and focus on the successful applications of MHC-typing for conservation management. We emphasize the importance of using MHC markers when planning and executing wildlife rescue and conservation programs but stress that this should not be done to the detriment of genome-wide diversity. PMID:21954351

  16. Drosophila melanogaster--the model organism of choice for the complex biology of multi-cellular organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, Kathleen M.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Texada, Michael J.; Munjaal, Ravi; Baker, Dean A.

    2005-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has been intensely studied for almost 100 years. The sophisticated array of genetic and molecular tools that have evolved for analysis of gene function in this organism are unique. Further, Drosophila is a complex multi-cellular organism in which many aspects of development and behavior parallel those in human beings. These combined advantages have permitted research in Drosophila to make seminal contributions to the understanding of fundamental biological processes and ensure that Drosophila will continue to provide unique insights in the genomic era. An overview of the genetic methodologies available in Drosophila is given here, together with examples of outstanding recent contributions of Drosophila to our understanding of cell and organismal biology. The growing contribution of Drosophila to our knowledge of gravity-related responses is addressed.

  17. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  18. Patient Understanding of the Risks and Benefits of Biologic Therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Insights from a Large-scale Analysis of Social Media Platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Bibiana; Dailey, Francis; Almario, Christopher V; Keller, Michelle S; Desai, Mansee; Dupuy, Taylor; Mosadeghi, Sasan; Whitman, Cynthia; Lasch, Karen; Ursos, Lyann; Spiegel, Brennan M R

    2017-07-01

    Few studies have examined inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients' knowledge and understanding of biologic therapies outside traditional surveys. Here, we used social media data to examine IBD patients' understanding of the risks and benefits associated with biologic therapies and how this affects decision-making. We collected posts from Twitter and e-forum discussions from >3000 social media sites posted between June 27, 2012 and June 27, 2015. Guided by natural language processing, we identified posts with specific IBD keywords that discussed the risks and/or benefits of biologics. We then manually coded the resulting posts and performed qualitative analysis using ATLAS.ti software. A hierarchical coding structure was developed based on the keyword list and relevant themes were identified through manual coding. We examined 1598 IBD-related posts, of which 452 (28.3%) centered on the risks and/or benefits of biologics. There were 5 main themes: negative experiences and concerns with biologics (n = 247; 54.6%), decision-making surrounding biologic use (n = 169; 37.4%), positive experiences with biologics (n = 168; 37.2%), information seeking from peers (n = 125; 27.7%), and cost (n = 38; 8.4%). Posts describing negative experiences primarily commented on side effects from biologics, concerns about potential side effects and increased cancer risk, and pregnancy safety concerns. Posts on decision-making focused on nonbiologic treatment options, hesitation to initiate biologics, and concerns about changing or discontinuing regimens. Social media reveals a wide range of themes governing patients' experience and choice with IBD biologics. The complexity of navigating their risk-benefit profiles suggests merit in creating online tailored decision tools to support IBD patients' decision-making with biologic therapies.

  19. Understanding a Complex World: Why an Emphasis on Empathy Could Better Enable Army Leaders to Win

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

    the problem of how to win in a complex world. 1 Brig. Gen. Oscar W. Koch and Robert G. Hayes, G-2: Intelligence for Patton (Atglen, PA: Schiffer...UNDERSTANDING A COMPLEX WORLD: WHY AN EMPHASIS ON EMPATHY COULD BETTER ENABLE ARMY LEADERS TO WIN A thesis presented to the...Leaders to Win 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Matthew J. Fontaine, MAJ 5d. PROJECT NUMBER

  20. Thai in-service teacher understanding of nature of science in biology teaching: Case of Mali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    This paper aimed to investigate the existing ideas of nature of science (NOS) teaching in Thailand biology classroom. The study reported the existing ideas of nature of science (NOS) teaching of one biology teacher Mrs. Mali who had been teaching for 6 years at in a school in Khon Kaen city. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. Tools of interpretation included 2 months of classroom observation, interviewing, and questionnaire of NOS. The findings revealed Mali held good understanding of the nature of science in the aspect of the use of evidence, the aspect of knowledge inquiry through different observation and deduction, the aspect of creativity and imagination influencing science knowledge inquiry, and the aspect of changeable scientific knowledge. Her biology teaching indicated that she used both the deficient nature of science approach and the implicit nature of science approach. The implicit nature of science approach was applied mostly in 7 periods and only 2 periods were arranged using the deficient nature of science approach. The paper has implication for professional development and pre-service program on NOS teaching in Thailand.

  1. Perceptual Influence of Ugandan Biology Students' Understanding of HIV/AIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutonyi, Harriet; Nashon, Samson; Nielsen, Wendy S.

    2010-08-01

    In Uganda, curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS has largely depended on public and private media messages about the disease. Media campaigns based on Uganda’s cultural norms of communication are metaphorical, analogical and simile-like. The topic of HIV/AIDS has been introduced into the Senior Three (Grade 11) biology curriculum in Uganda. To what extent do students’ pre-conceptions of the disease, based on these media messages influence students’ development of conceptual understanding of the disease, its transmission and prevention? Of significant importance is the impact the conceptions students have developed from the indirect media messages on classroom instruction on HIV/AIDS. The study is based in a theoretical framework of conceptual change in science learning. An interpretive case study to determine the impact of Ugandan students’ conceptions or perceptions on classroom instruction about HIV/AIDS, involving 160 students aged 15-17, was conducted in four different Ugandan high schools: girls boarding, boys boarding, mixed boarding, and mixed day. Using questionnaires, focus group discussions, recorded biology lessons and informal interviews, students’ preconceptions of HIV/AIDS and how these impact lessons on HIV/AIDS were discerned. These preconceptions fall into four main categories: religious, political, conspiracy and traditional African worldviews. Results of data analysis suggest that students’ prior knowledge is persistent even after biology instructions. This has implications for current teaching approaches, which are mostly teacher-centred in Ugandan schools. A rethinking of the curriculum with the intent of offering science education programs that promote understanding of the science of HIV/AIDS as opposed to what is happening now—insensitivity to misconceptions about the disease—is needed.

  2. Understanding Biological Rates and their Temperature Dependence, from Enzymes to Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, E.; Arcus, V. L.

    2017-12-01

    Temperature responses over various scales in biological systems follow a similar pattern; negative curvature results in an optimum temperature (Topt) for activity/growth/turnover, with decreases in rates on either side of Topt. Previously this downturn in rates at high temperatures has been attributed to enzyme denaturation, where a failing of the basic driving units of metabolism was used to describe curvature at the enzyme and organism level. However, recent developments in our understanding of the factors governing enzyme rates at different temperatures have guided a new understanding of the responses of biological systems. Enzymes catalyse reactions by driving the substrate through a high energy species, which is tightly bound to the enzyme. Macromolecular rate theory (MMRT) has recently been developed to account for the changes in the system brought about by this tight binding, specifically the change in the physical parameter heat capacity (ΔCǂp), and the effect this has on the temperature dependence of enzyme reactions. A negative ΔCǂp imparts the signature negative curvature to rates in the absence of denaturation, and finds that Topt, ΔCǂp and curvature are all correlated, placing constraints on biological systems. The simplest of cells comprise thousands of enzymatically catalysed reactions, functioning in series and in parallel in metabolic pathways to determine the overall growth rate of an organism. Intuitively, the temperature effects of enzymes play a role in determining the overall temperature dependence of an organism, in tandem with cellular level regulatory responses. However, the effect of individual Topt values and curvature on overall pathway behaviour is less apparent. Here, this is investigated in the context of MMRT through the in vitro characterisation of a six-step metabolic pathway to understand the steps in isolation and functioning in series. Pathway behaviour is found to be approximately an average of the properties of the

  3. 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).

  4. Biological Complexities in Radiation Carcinogenesis and Cancer Radiotherapy: Impact of New Biological Paradigms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Mozdarani

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although radiation carcinogenesis has been shown both experimentally and epidemiologically, the use of ionizing radiation is also one of the major modalities in cancer treatment. Various known cellular and molecular events are involved in carcinogenesis. Apart from the known phenomena, there could be implications for carcinogenesis and cancer prevention due to other biological processes such as the bystander effect, the abscopal effect, intrinsic radiosensitivity and radioadaptation. Bystander effects have consequences for mutation initiated cancer paradigms of radiation carcinogenesis, which provide the mechanistic justification for low-dose risk estimates. The abscopal effect is potentially important for tumor control and is mediated through cytokines and/or the immune system (mainly cell-mediated immunity. It results from loss of growth and stimulatory and/or immunosuppressive factors from the tumor. Intrinsic radiosensitivity is a feature of some cancer prone chromosomal breakage syndromes such as ataxia telangectiasia. Radiosensitivity is manifested as higher chromosomal aberrations and DNA repair impairment is now known as a good biomarker for breast cancer screening and prediction of prognosis. However, it is not yet known whether this effect is good or bad for those receiving radiation or radiomimetic agents for treatment. Radiation hormesis is another major concern for carcinogenesis. This process which protects cells from higher doses of radiation or radio mimic chemicals, may lead to the escape of cells from mitotic death or apoptosis and put cells with a lower amount of damage into the process of cancer induction. Therefore, any of these biological phenomena could have impact on another process giving rise to genome instability of cells which are not in the field of radiation but still receiving a lower amount of radiation. For prevention of radiation induced carcinogenesis or risk assessment as well as for successful radiation

  5. Speech Understanding in Complex Listening Environments by Listeners Fit with Cochlear Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorman, Michael F.; Gifford, Rene H.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this article is to summarize recent published and unpublished research from our 2 laboratories on improving speech understanding in complex listening environments by listeners fit with cochlear implants (CIs). Method: CI listeners were tested in 2 listening environments. One was a simulation of a restaurant with multiple,…

  6. Screening the efficient biological prospects of triazole allied mixed ligand metal complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utthra, Ponnukalai Ponya; Kumaravel, Ganesan; Raman, Natarajan

    2017-12-01

    Triazole appended mixed ligand complexes (1-8) of the general formula [ML (bpy/phen)2]Cl2, where M = Cu(II), Co(II), Ni(II) and Zn(II), L = triazole appended Schiff base (E)sbnd N-(4-nitrobenzylidene)-1H-1,2,4-triazol-3-amine and bpy/phen = 2,2‧-bipyridine/1,10-phenanthroline, have been synthesized. The design and synthesis of this elaborate ligand has been performed with the aim of increasing stability and conjugation of 1,2,4 triazole, whose Schiff base derivatives are known as biologically active compounds thereby exploring their DNA binding affinity and other biological applications. The compounds have been comprehensively characterized by elemental analysis, spectroscopic methods (IR, UV-Vis, EPR, 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy), ESI mass spectrometry and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The complexes were found to exhibit octahedral geometry. The complexes 1-8 were subjected to DNA binding techniques evaluated using UV-Vis absorption, CV, CD, Fluorescence spectroscopy and hydrodynamic measurements. Complex 5 showed a Kb value of 3.9 × 105 M-1. The DNA damaging efficacy for the complexes was observed to be high compared to the ligand. The antimicrobial screening of the compounds against bacterial and fungal strains indicates that the complexes possess excellent antimicrobial activity than the ligand. The overall biological activity of the complexes with phen as a co-ligand possessed superior potential than the ligand.

  7. Development of a General Modeling Framework for Investigating Complex Interactions among Biological and Physical Ecosystem Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, C.; Poole, G. C.; Kimball, J. S.; Stanford, J. A.; O'Daniel, S. J.; Mertes, L. A.

    2005-05-01

    Historically, physical scientists have developed models with highly accurate governing equations, while biologists have excelled at abstraction (the strategic simplification of system complexity). These different modeling paradigms yield biological (e.g. food web) and physical (e.g. hydrologic) models that can be difficult to integrate. Complex biological dynamics may be impossible to represent with governing equations. Conversely, physical processes may be oversimplified in biological models. Using agent-based modeling, a technique applied widely in social sciences and economics, we are developing a general modeling system to integrate accurate representations of physical dynamics such as water and heat flux with abstracted biological processes such as nutrient transformations. The modeling system represents an ecosystem as a complex integrated network of intelligent physical and biological "agents" that store, transform, and trade ecosystem resources (e.g., water, heat, nutrients, carbon) using equations that describe either abstracted concepts and/or physical laws. The modular design of the system allows resource submodels to be developed independently and installed into the simulation architecture. The modeling system provides a useful heuristic tool to support integrated physical and biological research topics, such as the influence of hydrologic dynamics and spatio-temporal physical heterogeneity on trophic (food web) dynamics and/or nutrient cycling.

  8. The effects of academic literacy instruction on engagement and conceptual understanding of biology of ninth-grade students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Susan C.

    Academic language, discourse, vocabulary, motivation, and comprehension of complex texts and concepts are keys to learning subject-area content. The need for a disciplinary literacy approach in high school classrooms accelerates as students become increasing disengaged in school and as content complexity increases. In the present quasi-experimental mixed-method study, a ninth-grade biology unit was designed with an emphasis on promoting academic literacy skills, discourse, meaningful constructivist learning, interest development, and positive learning experiences in order to learn science content. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on a variety of measures completed by 222 students in two high schools revealed that those who received academic literacy instruction in science class performed at significantly higher levels of conceptual understanding of biology content, academic language and vocabulary use, reasoned thought, engagement, and quality of learning experience than control-group students receiving traditionally-organized instruction. Academic literacy was embedded into biology instruction to engage students in meaning-making discourses of science to promote learning. Academic literacy activities were organized according the phases of interest development to trigger and sustain interest and goal-oriented engagement throughout the unit. Specific methods included the Generative Vocabulary Matrix (GVM), scenario-based writing, and involvement in a variety of strategically-placed discourse activities to sustain or "boost" engagement for learning. Traditional instruction for the control group included teacher lecture, whole-group discussion, a conceptual organizer, and textbook reading. Theoretical foundations include flow theory, sociocultural learning theory, and interest theory. Qualitative data were obtained from field notes and participants' journals. Quantitative survey data were collected and analyzed using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to

  9. Proteomics-Based Analysis of Protein Complexes in Pluripotent Stem Cells and Cancer Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhir, Putty-Reddy; Chen, Chung-Hsuan

    2016-03-22

    A protein complex consists of two or more proteins that are linked together through protein-protein interactions. The proteins show stable/transient and direct/indirect interactions within the protein complex or between the protein complexes. Protein complexes are involved in regulation of most of the cellular processes and molecular functions. The delineation of protein complexes is important to expand our knowledge on proteins functional roles in physiological and pathological conditions. The genetic yeast-2-hybrid method has been extensively used to characterize protein-protein interactions. Alternatively, a biochemical-based affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (AP-MS) approach has been widely used to characterize the protein complexes. In the AP-MS method, a protein complex of a target protein of interest is purified using a specific antibody or an affinity tag (e.g., DYKDDDDK peptide (FLAG) and polyhistidine (His)) and is subsequently analyzed by means of MS. Tandem affinity purification, a two-step purification system, coupled with MS has been widely used mainly to reduce the contaminants. We review here a general principle for AP-MS-based characterization of protein complexes and we explore several protein complexes identified in pluripotent stem cell biology and cancer biology as examples.

  10. Physicochemical and biological study of a renal scintigraphy agent: the DMSA - 99mTc complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laroche, Dominique

    1979-01-01

    This research thesis deals with the study of the dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) marked with 99m Tc, a recently developed scintigraphy agent used for the kidney isotopic exploration. The author notably studied the relationships between the physicochemical properties of solutions of dimercaptosuccinic acid marked with 99m Tc and the biological distribution of 99m Tc in order to reach a better understanding of the biological mechanism which results in technetium fixation to the kidney

  11. Teaching statistics in biology: using inquiry-based learning to strengthen understanding of statistical analysis in biology laboratory courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Anneke M

    2008-01-01

    There is an increasing need for students in the biological sciences to build a strong foundation in quantitative approaches to data analyses. Although most science, engineering, and math field majors are required to take at least one statistics course, statistical analysis is poorly integrated into undergraduate biology course work, particularly at the lower-division level. Elements of statistics were incorporated into an introductory biology course, including a review of statistics concepts and opportunity for students to perform statistical analysis in a biological context. Learning gains were measured with an 11-item statistics learning survey instrument developed for the course. Students showed a statistically significant 25% (p biology. Students improved their scores on the survey after completing introductory biology, even if they had previously completed an introductory statistics course (9%, improvement p biology showed no loss of their statistics knowledge as measured by this instrument, suggesting that the use of statistics in biology course work may aid long-term retention of statistics knowledge. No statistically significant differences in learning were detected between male and female students in the study.

  12. "Toward High School Biology": Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better…

  13. On the analysis of complex biological supply chains: From Process Systems Engineering to Quantitative Systems Pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Rohit T; Scherholz, Megerle L; Hartmanshenn, Clara; Bae, Seul-A; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2017-12-05

    The use of models in biology has become particularly relevant as it enables investigators to develop a mechanistic framework for understanding the operating principles of living systems as well as in quantitatively predicting their response to both pathological perturbations and pharmacological interventions. This application has resulted in a synergistic convergence of systems biology and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling techniques that has led to the emergence of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP). In this review, we discuss how the foundational principles of chemical process systems engineering inform the progressive development of more physiologically-based systems biology models.

  14. Proposition of diagnostic tool to provide indicatives about the understanding of biological knowledge and their interrelationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria de Andrade Caldeira

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the developing and validating steps of a Likert’s evaluative scale. The aim is to systematize the answers of Biological Sciences students about to: 1 Understanding or notunderstanding thescientific knowledge; and 2.If there is a relationship amongscientific concepts in order to contemplate a systemic thinking about natural phenomena. The described scale was validated by Cronbach's Alpha tests (α = 0.741, KMO (0.779 and Bartlett (0.000 and a Multivariate Analysis was fulfilled, typePrincipal Component Analysis (PCA. We understood that this kind of instrument allows a large amount of data to be collected and it groups can be compared efficiently, which justified the development of evaluative scale presented here.

  15. EGFR-Targeting as a Biological Therapy: Understanding Nimotuzumab's Clinical Effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, Rolando; Moreno, Ernesto; Garrido, Greta; Crombet, Tania

    2011-01-01

    Current clinical trials of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapies are mostly guided by a classical approach coming from the cytotoxic paradigm. The predominant view is that the efficacy of EGFR antagonists correlates with skin rash toxicity and induction of objective clinical response. Clinical benefit from EGFR-targeted therapies is well documented; however, chronic use in advanced cancer patients has been limited due to cumulative and chemotherapy-enhanced toxicity. Here we analyze different pieces of data from mechanistic and clinical studies with the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab, which provides several clues to understand how this antibody may induce a biological control of tumor growth while keeping a low toxicity profile. Based on these results and the current state of the art on EGFR-targeted therapies, we discuss the need to evaluate new therapeutic approaches using anti-EGFR agents, which would have the potential of transforming advanced cancer into a long-term controlled chronic disease

  16. The role of mathematical models in understanding pattern formation in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umulis, David M; Othmer, Hans G

    2015-05-01

    In a Wall Street Journal article published on April 5, 2013, E. O. Wilson attempted to make the case that biologists do not really need to learn any mathematics-whenever they run into difficulty with numerical issues, they can find a technician (aka mathematician) to help them out of their difficulty. He formalizes this in Wilsons Principle No. 1: "It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations." This reflects a complete misunderstanding of the role of mathematics in all sciences throughout history. To Wilson, mathematics is mere number crunching, but as Galileo said long ago, "The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics[Formula: see text] the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word." Mathematics has moved beyond the geometry-based model of Galileo's time, and in a rebuttal to Wilson, E. Frenkel has pointed out the role of mathematics in synthesizing the general principles in science (Both point and counter-point are available in Wilson and Frenkel in Notices Am Math Soc 60(7):837-838, 2013). We will take this a step further and show how mathematics has been used to make new and experimentally verified discoveries in developmental biology and how mathematics is essential for understanding a problem that has puzzled experimentalists for decades-that of how organisms can scale in size. Mathematical analysis alone cannot "solve" these problems since the validation lies at the molecular level, but conversely, a growing number of questions in biology cannot be solved without mathematical analysis and modeling. Herein, we discuss a few examples of the productive intercourse between mathematics and biology.

  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. PMID:26931398

  18. The molecular biology of prostate cancer: current understanding and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Jason; Afridi, Adil; Vatsia, Sohrab; Joshi, Gargi; Joshi, Gunjan; Kaplan, Steven A; Smith, Noel L; Khan, Sardar Ali

    2017-12-27

    With continuous progress over the past few decades in understanding diagnosis, treatment, and genetics, much has been learned about the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. A comprehensive MEDLINE® and Google scholar literature search was conducted using keyword variations relating to the genetics of prostate cancer such as chromosomal alterations, androgen receptor, castration-resistant, inheritance, polymorphisms, oncogenes, metastasis, biomarkers, and immunotherapy. Traditionally, androgen receptors (AR) have been the focus of research. Recently, identification of recurrent chromosomal alterations that lead to either multiplication of regions (gain-of-function) or deletion of regions (loss-of-function) has opened the door to greater genetic accessibility. These chromosomal aberrations lead to variation in copy number and gene expression. Some of these chromosomal alterations are inherited, while others undergo somatic mutations during disease progression. Inherited gene mutations that make one susceptible to prostate cancer have been identified with familial-linked studies. Somatic genes that progress tumorigenesis have also been identified. Research on the molecular biology of prostate cancer has characterized these genes into tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes. Additionally, genome-wide assay studies have identified many high-risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms recurrent throughout the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. Castration-resistant prostate cancer is the most aggressive form of prostate cancer, and its research has elucidated many types of mutations associated with AR itself, including enhanced expression and amplification, point mutations, and alternative splicing. Understanding the molecular biology of prostate cancer has permitted more accurate identification using advanced biomarkers and therapy for aggressive forms using immunotherapy. An age-related disease, prostate cancer commands profound attention. With increasing life expectancy and the

  19. Understanding the implementation of complex interventions in health care: the normalization process model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogers Anne

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Normalization Process Model is a theoretical model that assists in explaining the processes by which complex interventions become routinely embedded in health care practice. It offers a framework for process evaluation and also for comparative studies of complex interventions. It focuses on the factors that promote or inhibit the routine embedding of complex interventions in health care practice. Methods A formal theory structure is used to define the model, and its internal causal relations and mechanisms. The model is broken down to show that it is consistent and adequate in generating accurate description, systematic explanation, and the production of rational knowledge claims about the workability and integration of complex interventions. Results The model explains the normalization of complex interventions by reference to four factors demonstrated to promote or inhibit the operationalization and embedding of complex interventions (interactional workability, relational integration, skill-set workability, and contextual integration. Conclusion The model is consistent and adequate. Repeated calls for theoretically sound process evaluations in randomized controlled trials of complex interventions, and policy-makers who call for a proper understanding of implementation processes, emphasize the value of conceptual tools like the Normalization Process Model.

  20. Study of complex matrix effect on solid phase microextraction for biological sample analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ruifen; Xu, Jianqiao; Zhu, Fang; Luan, Tiangang; Zeng, Feng; Shen, Yong; Ouyang, Gangfeng

    2015-09-11

    Solid phase microextraction (SPME) has become a useful tool for in vivo monitoring the behavior of environmental organic pollutants in biological species due to its simplicity, relatively non-invasive, and cost-effective manner. However, the complex matrices in biological samples could significantly influence the extraction kinetic, and bias the quantification result. In this study, we investigated the effect of complex matrix on the extraction kinetic of SPME for biological sample analysis. Two sample matrices, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) with bovine serum albumin (BSA) and agarose gel with BSA were used to simulate the biological fluid and tissue. Results showed that the addition of BSA significantly enhanced the mass transfer of organic compounds onto SPME fiber in both PBS buffer and gel sample. Enhancement factors ranging from 1.3 to 27, and 2.0 to 80 were found for all selected polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in PBS buffer and agarose gel with BSA concentration of 0.1-5%, respectively. Then, an improved theoretical model was applied to quantify the observed enhancement effect, and the result showed that the predicted sampling time constant agreed well with the experimental one in complex matrix. Furthermore, a simplified equation was proposed for the real biological sample analysis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Carvalho, Ricardo; Baltazar, Fátima; Almeida-Aguiar, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    The health industry has always used natural products as a rich, promising, and alternative source of drugs that are used in the health system. Propolis, a natural resinous product known for centuries, is a complex product obtained by honey bees from substances collected from parts of different plants, buds, and exudates in different geographic areas. Propolis has been attracting scientific attention since it has many biological and pharmacological properties, which are related to its chemical composition. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed to characterize and understand the diverse bioactivities of propolis and its isolated compounds, as well as to evaluate and validate its potential. Yet, there is a lack of information concerning clinical effectiveness. The goal of this review is to discuss the potential of propolis for the development of new drugs by presenting published data concerning the chemical composition and the biological properties of this natural compound from different geographic origins. PMID:26106433

  2. Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Silva-Carvalho

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The health industry has always used natural products as a rich, promising, and alternative source of drugs that are used in the health system. Propolis, a natural resinous product known for centuries, is a complex product obtained by honey bees from substances collected from parts of different plants, buds, and exudates in different geographic areas. Propolis has been attracting scientific attention since it has many biological and pharmacological properties, which are related to its chemical composition. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed to characterize and understand the diverse bioactivities of propolis and its isolated compounds, as well as to evaluate and validate its potential. Yet, there is a lack of information concerning clinical effectiveness. The goal of this review is to discuss the potential of propolis for the development of new drugs by presenting published data concerning the chemical composition and the biological properties of this natural compound from different geographic origins.

  3. A study of ruthenium complexes of some biologically relevant a-N ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences; Volume 112; Issue 3. A study of ruthenium complexes of some biologically relevant ∙ -N-heterocyclic carboxylic acids. P Sengupta S Ghosh. Volume 112 Issue 3 June 2000 pp 355-355. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  4. Technical equipment in medico-biological complex of Kiev U-120 cyclotron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grantsev, V.I.; Gul'ko, G.M.; Isaenko, V.I.; Koval', G.N.; Linev, A.F.; Nikishin, B.K.; Produvalov, Yu.S.; Svarichevskaya, E.V.

    1988-01-01

    Medico-biological complex on the basis of the U-120 cyclotron designed for radiobiological researches and neutron therapy is described. Beryllium target ensuring complete absorption of incident deuterons with the energy of 13.6 MeV is used as a neutron source. The flowsheet of charged particle transport in the U-120 accelerators is given

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the Role of Biology in the Global Environment: NASA'S Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, William F.

    1996-01-01

    NASA has long used the unique perspective of space as a means of expanding our understanding of how the Earth's environment functions. In particular, the linkages between land, air, water, and life-the elements of the Earth system-are a focus for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. This approach, called Earth system science, blends together fields like meteorology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. Mission to Planet Earth uses observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons, and ground researchers as the basis for analysis of the elements of the Earth system, the interactions between those elements, and possible changes over the coming years and decades. This information is helping scientists improve our understanding of how natural processes affect us and how we might be affecting them. Such studies will yield improved weather forecasts, tools for managing agriculture and forests, information for fishermen and local planners, and, eventually, an enhanced ability to predict how the climate will change in the future. NASA has designed Mission to Planet Earth to focus on five primary themes: Land Cover and Land Use Change; Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction; Natural Hazards; Long-Term Climate Variability; and Atmosphere Ozone.

  8. Present and future of NMR for RNA-protein complexes: A perspective of integrated structural biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlomagno, Teresa

    2014-04-01

    Nucleic acids are gaining enormous importance as key molecules in almost all biological processes. Most nucleic acids do not act in isolation but are generally associated with proteins to form high-molecular-weight nucleoprotein complexes. In this perspective article I focus on the structural studies of supra-molecular ribonucleoprotein (RNP) assemblies in solution by a combination of state-of-the-art TROSY-based NMR experiments and other structural biology techniques. I discuss ways how to combine sparse NMR data with low-resolution structural information from small-angle scattering, fluorescence and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to obtain the structure of large RNP particles by an integrated structural biology approach. In the last section I give a perspective for the study of RNP complexes by solid-state NMR.

  9. The Relationship between Biology Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and the Understanding and Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on…

  10. The Effectiveness of an Online Curriculum on High School Students' Understanding of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsteller, Robert B.; Bodzin, Alec M.

    2015-01-01

    An online curriculum about biological evolution was designed to promote increased student content knowledge and evidentiary reasoning. A feasibility study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students who learned with the online biological evolution unit. Data sources included the Biological Evolution Assessment Measure (BEAM), an…

  11. Understanding the dimensions of intensive care: transpersonal caring and complexity theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Nascimento, Keyla Cristiane; Erdmann, Alacoque Lorenzini

    2009-01-01

    This is a descriptive, interpretive and qualitative study carried out at the ICU of a Brazilian teaching hospital. It aimed to understand the dimensions of human caring experienced by health care professionals, clients and their family members at an ICU, based on human caring complexity. The Transpersonal Caring and Complexity theories support theory and data analysis. The following dimensions of care emerged from the themes analyzed according to Ricoeur: self-care, care as an individual value, professional vs. informal care, care as supportive relationship, affective care, humanized care, care as act/attitude, care practice; educative care, dialogical relationship, care coupled to technology, loving care, interactive care, non-care, care ambience, the essence of life and profession, and meaning/purpose of care. We believe in care that encompasses several dimensions presented here, based on the relationship with the other, on the empathetic, sensitive, affectionate, creative, dynamic and understanding being in the totality of the human being.

  12. Putting the Mind in the Brain: Promoting an Appreciation of the Biological Basis to Understanding Human Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, David L.

    2010-01-01

    A surprising number of students in psychology, behavioral science, and related social science classes fail to appreciate the importance of biological mechanisms to understanding behavior. To help teachers promote this understanding, this paper outlines six sources of evidence. These are (a) phylogenetic, (b) genetic/developmental, (c) clinical,…

  13. Physical properties and biological activities of hesperetin and naringenin in complex with methylated β-cyclodextrin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waratchada Sangpheak

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work is to improve physical properties and biological activities of the two flavanones hesperetin and naringenin by complexation with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD and its methylated derivatives (2,6-di-O-methyl-β-cyclodextrin, DM-β-CD and randomly methylated-β-CD, RAMEB. The free energies of inclusion complexes between hesperetin with cyclodextrins (β-CD and DM-β-CD were theoretically investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. The free energy values obtained suggested a more stable inclusion complex with DM-β-CD. The vdW force is the main guest–host interaction when hesperetin binds with CDs. The phase solubility diagram showed the formation of a soluble complex of AL type, with higher increase in solubility and stability when hesperetin and naringenin were complexed with RAMEB. Solid complexes were prepared by freeze-drying, and the data from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC confirmed the formation of inclusion complexes. The data obtained by the dissolution method showed that complexation with RAMEB resulted in a better release of both flavanones to aqueous solution. The flavanones-β-CD/DM-β-CD complexes demonstrated a similar or a slight increase in anti-inflammatory activity and cytotoxicity towards three different cancer cell lines. The overall results suggested that solubilities and bioactivities of both flavanones were increased by complexation with methylated β-CDs.

  14. Toward understanding the thermodynamics of TALSPEAK process. Medium effects on actinide complexation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peter R Zalupski; Leigh R Martin; Ken Nash; Yoshinobu Nakamura; Masahiko Yamamoto

    2009-07-01

    The ingenious combination of lactate and diethylenetriamine-N,N,N’,N”,N”-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) as an aqueous actinide-complexing medium forms the basis of the successful separation of americium and curium from lanthanides known as the TALSPEAK process. While numerous reports in the prior literature have focused on the optimization of this solvent extraction system, considerably less attention has been devoted to the understanding of the basic thermodynamic features of the complex fluids responsible for the separation. The available thermochemical information of both lactate and DTPA protonation and metal complexation reactions are representative of the behavior of these ions under idealized conditions. Our previous studies of medium effects on lactate protonation suggest that significant departures from the speciation predicted based on reported thermodynamic values should be expected in the TALSPEAK aqueous environment. Thermodynamic parameters describing the separation chemistry of this process thus require further examination at conditions significantly removed from conventional ideal systems commonly employed in fundamental solution chemistry. Such thermodynamic characterization is the key to predictive modelling of TALSPEAK. Improved understanding will, in principle, allow process technologists to more efficiently respond to off-normal conditions during large scale process operation. In this report, the results of calorimetric and potentiometric investigations of the effects of aqueous electrolytes on the thermodynamic parameters for lactate protonation and lactate complexation of americium and neodymium will be presented. Studies on the lactate protonation equilibrium will clearly illustrate distinct thermodynamic variations between strong electrolyte aqueous systems and buffered lactate environment.

  15. Top-down models in biology: explanation and control of complex living systems above the molecular level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzulo, Giovanni; Levin, Michael

    2016-11-01

    It is widely assumed in developmental biology and bioengineering that optimal understanding and control of complex living systems follows from models of molecular events. The success of reductionism has overshadowed attempts at top-down models and control policies in biological systems. However, other fields, including physics, engineering and neuroscience, have successfully used the explanations and models at higher levels of organization, including least-action principles in physics and control-theoretic models in computational neuroscience. Exploiting the dynamic regulation of pattern formation in embryogenesis and regeneration requires new approaches to understand how cells cooperate towards large-scale anatomical goal states. Here, we argue that top-down models of pattern homeostasis serve as proof of principle for extending the current paradigm beyond emergence and molecule-level rules. We define top-down control in a biological context, discuss the examples of how cognitive neuroscience and physics exploit these strategies, and illustrate areas in which they may offer significant advantages as complements to the mainstream paradigm. By targeting system controls at multiple levels of organization and demystifying goal-directed (cybernetic) processes, top-down strategies represent a roadmap for using the deep insights of other fields for transformative advances in regenerative medicine and systems bioengineering. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Spies and Bloggers: New Synthetic Biology Tools to Understand Microbial Processes in Soils and Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Cheng, H. Y.; Del Valle, I.; Fulk, E. M.; Gao, X.; Bennett, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    Microbes can be programmed through synthetic biology to report on their behavior, informing researchers when their environment has triggered changes in their gene expression (e.g. in response to shifts in O2 or H2O), or when they have participated in a specific step of an elemental cycle (e.g. denitrification). This use of synthetic biology has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbes' roles in elemental and water cycling, because it allows reporting on the environment from the perspective of a microbe, matching the measurement scale exactly to the scale that a microbe experiences. However, synthetic microbes have not yet seen wide use in soil and sediment laboratory experiments because synthetic organisms typically report by fluorescing, making their signals difficult to detect outside the petri dish. We are developing a new suite of microbial programs that report instead by releasing easily-detected gases, allowing the real-time, noninvasive monitoring of behaviors in sediments and soils. Microbial biosensors can, in theory, be programmed to detect dynamic processes that contribute to a wide range of geobiological processes, including C cycling (biofilm production, methanogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular enzymes that degrade organic matter), N cycling (expression of enzymes that underlie different steps of the N cycle) and potentially S cycling. We will provide an overview of the potential uses of gas-reporting biosensors in soil and sediment lab experiments, and will report the development of the systematics of these sensors. Successful development of gas biosensors for laboratory use will require addressing issues including: engineering the intensity and selectivity of microbial gas production to maximize the signal to noise ratio; normalizing the gas reporter signal to cell population size, managing gas diffusion effects on signal shape; and developing multiple gases that can be used in parallel.

  17. Critical evaluation of the JDO API for the persistence and portability requirements of complex biological databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schwieger Michael

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complex biological database systems have become key computational tools used daily by scientists and researchers. Many of these systems must be capable of executing on multiple different hardware and software configurations and are also often made available to users via the Internet. We have used the Java Data Object (JDO persistence technology to develop the database layer of such a system known as the SigPath information management system. SigPath is an example of a complex biological database that needs to store various types of information connected by many relationships. Results Using this system as an example, we perform a critical evaluation of current JDO technology; discuss the suitability of the JDO standard to achieve portability, scalability and performance. We show that JDO supports portability of the SigPath system from a relational database backend to an object database backend and achieves acceptable scalability. To answer the performance question, we have created the SigPath JDO application benchmark that we distribute under the Gnu General Public License. This benchmark can be used as an example of using JDO technology to create a complex biological database and makes it possible for vendors and users of the technology to evaluate the performance of other JDO implementations for similar applications. Conclusions The SigPath JDO benchmark and our discussion of JDO technology in the context of biological databases will be useful to bioinformaticians who design new complex biological databases and aim to create systems that can be ported easily to a variety of database backends.

  18. Understanding human thiol dioxygenase enzymes: structure to function, and biology to pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bibekananda; Kulharia, Mahesh; Mantha, Anil K

    2017-04-01

    Amino acid metabolism is a significant metabolic activity in humans, especially of sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine (Cys). Cys is cytotoxic and neurotoxic in nature; hence, mammalian cells maintain a constant intracellular level of Cys. Metabolism of Cys is mainly regulated by two thiol dioxygenases: cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) and 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ADO). CDO and ADO are the only human thiol dioxygenases reported with a role in Cys metabolism and localized to mitochondria. This metabolic pathway is important in various human disorders, as it is responsible for the synthesis of antioxidant glutathione and is also for the synthesis of hypotaurine and taurine. CDO is the most extensively studied protein, whose high-resolution crystallographic structures have been solved. As compared to CDO, ADO is less studied, even though it has a key role in cysteamine metabolism. To further understand ADO's structure and function, the three-dimensional structures have been predicted from I-TASSER and SWISS-MODEL servers and validated with PROCHECK software. Structural superimposition approach using iPBA web server further confirmed near-identical structures (including active sites) for the predicted protein models of ADO as compared to CDO. In addition, protein-protein interaction and their association in patho-physiology are crucial in understanding protein functions. Both ADO and CDO interacting partner profiles have been presented using STRING database. In this study, we have predicted a 3D model structure for ADO and summarized the biological roles and the pathological consequences which are associated with the altered expression and functioning of ADO and CDO in case of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other human diseases. © 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2017 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

  19. Perspective: Differential dynamic microscopy extracts multi-scale activity in complex fluids and biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerbino, Roberto; Cicuta, Pietro

    2017-09-01

    Differential dynamic microscopy (DDM) is a technique that exploits optical microscopy to obtain local, multi-scale quantitative information about dynamic samples, in most cases without user intervention. It is proving extremely useful in understanding dynamics in liquid suspensions, soft materials, cells, and tissues. In DDM, image sequences are analyzed via a combination of image differences and spatial Fourier transforms to obtain information equivalent to that obtained by means of light scattering techniques. Compared to light scattering, DDM offers obvious advantages, principally (a) simplicity of the setup; (b) possibility of removing static contributions along the optical path; (c) power of simultaneous different microscopy contrast mechanisms; and (d) flexibility of choosing an analysis region, analogous to a scattering volume. For many questions, DDM has also advantages compared to segmentation/tracking approaches and to correlation techniques like particle image velocimetry. The very straightforward DDM approach, originally demonstrated with bright field microscopy of aqueous colloids, has lately been used to probe a variety of other complex fluids and biological systems with many different imaging methods, including dark-field, differential interference contrast, wide-field, light-sheet, and confocal microscopy. The number of adopting groups is rapidly increasing and so are the applications. Here, we briefly recall the working principles of DDM, we highlight its advantages and limitations, we outline recent experimental breakthroughs, and we provide a perspective on future challenges and directions. DDM can become a standard primary tool in every laboratory equipped with a microscope, at the very least as a first bias-free automated evaluation of the dynamics in a system.

  20. Complex Systems Are More than the Sum of Their Parts: Using Integration to Understand Performance, Biomechanics, and Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Emily A; Higham, Timothy E

    2015-07-01

    Organisms are comprised of many interacting parts, and an increased number or specialization of those parts leads to greater complexity and the necessity for increased integration (the ability of those parts to perform together and maintain a functioning organism). Although this idea is widely recognized among biologists, organisms are more tangibly studied when those parts are considered independently. This reductionist approach has successfully advanced our understanding of organisms' performance. However, performance of one system might (or might not) be dependent on performance of another system to achieve a relevant outcome, and the mechanism of this dependence is poorly understood. We synthesize the concepts of complexity and integration and discuss their application in a biomechanical context. Capture of prey by predatory fishes is used as an example to highlight the application of these ideas. We provide a theoretical framework for future hypotheses of integration and predict an "integration space" for fishes that is then populated with data extracted from the literature. Additionally, using the kinematics of prey-capture in two species of sculpin (Scorpaeniformes: Cottidae), we show that species exhibit multivariate integration in distinct ways, and that these differences add additional insight into ecological divergence that would not be apparent by considering systems independently. Finally, we discuss new insights into organismal performance gained through the study of integration as an emergent property of kinematic systems working together during a common task. Integration is rarely the trait of interest, but we show that future work should adopt a more holistic approach to understand why and how animals perform complex behaviors. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Structural Biology of Proteins of the Multi-enzyme Assembly Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Objectives and research challenges of this effort include: 1. Need to establish Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex protein crystals; 2. Need to test value of microgravity for improving crystal quality of Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex protein crystals; 3. Need to improve flight hardware in order to control and understand the effects of microgravity on crystallization of Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex proteins; 4. Need to integrate sets of national collaborations with the restricted and specific requirements of flight experiments; 5. Need to establish a highly controlled experiment in microgravity with a rigor not yet obtained; 6. Need to communicate both the rigor of microgravity experiments and the scientific value of results obtained from microgravity experiments to the national community; and 7. Need to advance the understanding of Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex structures so that scientific and commercial advance is identified for these proteins.

  2. Why are well-educated Muscovites more likely to survive? Understanding the biological pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Megan A.; Shkolnikov, Vladimir M.; Goldman, Noreen

    2016-01-01

    There are large socioeconomic disparities in adult mortality in Russia, although the biological mechanisms are not well understood. With data from the study of Stress, Aging, and Health in Russia (SAHR), we use Gompertz hazard models to assess the relationship between educational attainment and mortality among older adults in Moscow and to evaluate biomarkers associated with inflammation, neuroendocrine function, heart rate variability, and clinical cardiovascular and metabolic risk as potential mediators of that relationship. We do this by assessing the extent to which the addition of biomarker variables into hazard models of mortality attenuates the association between educational attainment and mortality. We find that an additional year of education is associated with about 5% lower risk of age-specific all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Inflammation biomarkers are best able to account for this relationship, explaining 25% of the education-all-cause mortality association, and 35% of the education-cardiovascular mortality association. Clinical markers perform next best, accounting for 13% and 23% of the relationship between education and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively. Although heart rate biomarkers are strongly associated with subsequent mortality, they explain very little of the education-mortality link. Neuroendocrine biomarkers fail to account for any portion of the link. These findings suggest that inflammation may be important for understanding mortality disparities by socioeconomic status. PMID:27085072

  3. Understanding the biological activity of high rate algae ponds through the calculation of oxygen balances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Zouhayr; de Godos Crespo, Ignacio; Corona, Enrique Lara; Rogalla, Frank

    2017-06-01

    Microalgae culture in high rate algae ponds (HRAP) is an environmentally friendly technology for wastewater treatment. However, for the implementation of these systems, a better understanding of the oxygenation potential and the influence of climate conditions is required. In this work, the rates of oxygen production, consumption, and exchange with the atmosphere were calculated under varying conditions of solar irradiance and dilution rate during six months of operation in a real scale unit. This analysis allowed determining the biological response of these dynamic systems. The rates of oxygen consumption measured were considerably higher than the values calculated based on the organic loading rate. The response to light intensity in terms of oxygen production in the bioreactor was described with one of the models proposed for microalgae culture in dense concentrations. This model is based on the availability of light inside the culture and the specific response of microalgae to this parameter. The specific response to solar radiation intensity showed a reasonable stability in spite of the fluctuations due to meteorological conditions. The methodology developed is a useful tool for optimization and prediction of the performance of these systems.

  4. Understanding XPO1 target networks using systems biology and mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muqbil, Irfana; Kauffman, Michael; Shacham, Sharon; Mohammad, Ramzi M; Azmi, Asfar S

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear transport protein Exportin 1 (XPO1), also called chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1), is over-expressed 2- 4 fold in cancer. XPO1 is one of seven nuclear exporter proteins, and is solely responsible for the transport of the major tumor suppressor proteins (TSPs) from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. XPO1 exports any protein that carries a leucine-rich, hydrophobic nuclear export sequence (NES). A number of inhibitors have been discovered that block XPO1 function and thereby restore TSPs to the nucleus of both malignant and normal cells. However, natural product, irreversible XPO1 antagonists such as leptomycin B (LMB) have proven toxic in both preclinical models and in the clinic. Recently, orally bioavailable, drug-like small molecule, potent and selective inhibitors of XPO1 mediated nuclear export ("SINE") have been designed and are undergoing clinical evaluations in both humans and canines with cancer. The breadth of clinical applicability and long-term viability of an XPO1 inhibition strategy requires a deeper evaluation of the consequence of global re-organization of proteins in cancer and normal cells. Unfortunately, most of the studies on XPO1 inhibitors have focused on evaluating a limited number of TSPs or other proteins. Because XPO1 carries ~220 mammalian proteins out of the nucleus, such reductionism has not permitted a global understanding of cellular behavior upon drug-induced disruption of XPO1 function. The consequence of XPO1 inhibition requires holistic investigations that consider the entire set of XPO1 targets and their respective pathways modulated without losing key details. Systems biology is one such holistic approach that can be applied to understand XPO1 regulated proteins along with the downstream players involved. This review provides comprehensive evaluations of the different computational tools that can be utilized in the better understanding of XPO1 and its target. We anticipate that such holistic approaches can allow for

  5. Spectroscopic, thermal and biological studies on some trivalent ruthenium and rhodium NS chelating thiosemicarbazone complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vinod K; Srivastava, Shipra; Srivastava, Ankita

    2007-01-01

    The synthetic, spectroscopic, and biological studies of sixteen ring-substituted 4-phenylthiosemicarbazones and 4-nitrophenyl-thiosemicarbazones of anisaldehyde, 4-chlorobenzaldehyde, 4-fluorobenzaldehyde, and vanillin with ruthenium(III) and rhodium(III) chlorides are reported here. Their structures were determined on the basis of the elemental analyses, spectroscopic data (IR, electronic, (1)H and (13)C NMR) along with magnetic susceptibility measurements, molar conductivity and thermogravimetric analyses. Electrical conductance measurement revealed a 1 : 3 electrolytic nature of the complexes. The resulting colored products are monomeric in nature. On the basis of the above studies, three ligands were suggested to be coordinated to each metal atom by thione sulphur and azomethine nitrogen to form low-spin octahedral complexes with ruthenium(III) while forming diamagnetic complexes with rhodium(III). Both ligands and their complexes have been screened for their bactericidal activities and the results indicate that they exhibit a significant activity.

  6. Evaluating the biological activity of oil-polluted soils using a complex index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabirov, R. R.; Kireeva, N. A.; Kabirov, T. R.; Dubovik, I. Ye.; Yakupova, A. B.; Safiullina, L. M.

    2012-02-01

    A complex index characterizing the biological activity of soils (BAS) is suggested. It is based on an estimate of the level of activity of catalase; the number of heterotrophic and hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms, microscopic fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria; and the degree of development of higher plants and insects in the studied soil. The data on using the BAS coefficient for evaluating the efficiency of rehabilitation measures for oil-polluted soils are given. Such measures included introducing the following biological preparations: Lenoil based on a natural consortium of microorganisms Bacillus brevis and Arthrobacter sp.; the Azolen biofertilizer with complex action based on Azotobacter vinelandii; the Belvitamil biopreparation, which is the active silt of pulp and paper production; and a ready-mixed industrial association of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms that contains hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms of the Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Candida, Desulfovibrio, and Pseudomonas genera.

  7. Mediation, moderation, and context: Understanding complex relations among cognition, affect, and health behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiviniemi, Marc T; Ellis, Erin M; Hall, Marissa G; Moss, Jennifer L; Lillie, Sarah E; Brewer, Noel T; Klein, William M P

    2018-01-01

    Researchers have historically treated cognition and affect as separate constructs in motivating health behaviour. We present a framework and empirical evidence for complex relations between cognition and affect in predicting health behaviour. Main Outcome, Design and Results: First, affect and cognition can mediate each other's relation to health behaviour. Second, affect and cognition can moderate the other's impact. Third, context can change the interplay of affect and cognition. Fourth, affect and cognition may be indelibly fused in some psychological constructs (e.g. worry, anticipated regret and reactance). These four propositions in our framework are not mutually exclusive. Examination of the types of complex relations described here can benefit theory development, empirical testing of theories and intervention design. Doing so will advance the understanding of mechanisms involved in regulation of health behaviours and the effectiveness of interventions to change health behaviours.

  8. The mouse as a model for human biology: a resource guide for complex trait analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Luanne L; Robledo, Raymond F; Bult, Carol J; Churchill, Gary A; Paigen, Beverly J; Svenson, Karen L

    2007-01-01

    The mouse has been a powerful force in elucidating the genetic basis of human physiology and pathophysiology. From its beginnings as the model organism for cancer research and transplantation biology to the present, when dissection of the genetic basis of complex disease is at the forefront of genomics research, an enormous and remarkable mouse resource infrastructure has accumulated. This review summarizes those resources and provides practical guidelines for their use, particularly in the analysis of quantitative traits.

  9. Large, dynamic, multi-protein complexes: a challenge for structural biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rozycki, B.; Bouřa, Evžen

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 46 (2014), 463103/1-463103/11 ISSN 0953-8984 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LO1302 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 333916 - STARPI4K Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : protein structure * multi-protein complexes * hybrid methods of structural biology Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 2.346, year: 2014

  10. Understanding valve program complexity in a refurbishment environment - learning from the past

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roth, H.E.

    2012-01-01

    The complexity of Valve Program development, planning, execution and management in a refurbishment environment is an enormous undertaking requiring the proper coordination and integration of many moving parts. As such, lack of attention and understanding of this complexity has led to significant cost and schedule overruns in past refurbishment projects in the province. OPEX indicates the challenges in completing valve scope during refurbishments are related but not limited to; lack of detailed condition assessments, improper scope development, insignificant strategic approach to work task planning, scheduling and procurement, absence of contingency planning for common ‘as found’ conditions during execution, lack of proper training requirements, etc. In addition, past contracting strategies to employ numerous companies in collaboration to complete such a complex and specialized program, has resulted in further complications surrounding the management and integration of multiple quality programs and internal company processes. Finally, the aftermath of such fragmented projects results in an absolute closeout nightmare, often times taking years to locate, sift through and re-integrate pertinent information back into customer systems. Valve Program complexity cannot be understood by just anyone, only those that have lived through a refurbishment project and experienced the challenges mentioned above have the knowledge, skill, and ability to appreciate how to tactically apply past learning to realize future improvements. Furthermore, effective contractor-customer collaboration is crucial; true and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the customer quality programs, engineering and work management processes, configuration management requirements, and most importantly the imperative significance of nuclear safety, are all essential components to ensure overall alignment and program success. (author)

  11. Understanding, creating, and managing complex techno-socio-economic systems: Challenges and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbing, D.; Balietti, S.; Bishop, S.; Lukowicz, P.

    2011-05-01

    This contribution reflects on the comments of Peter Allen [1], Bikas K. Chakrabarti [2], Péter Érdi [3], Juval Portugali [4], Sorin Solomon [5], and Stefan Thurner [6] on three White Papers (WP) of the EU Support Action Visioneer (www.visioneer.ethz.ch). These White Papers are entitled "From Social Data Mining to Forecasting Socio-Economic Crises" (WP 1) [7], "From Social Simulation to Integrative System Design" (WP 2) [8], and "How to Create an Innovation Accelerator" (WP 3) [9]. In our reflections, the need and feasibility of a "Knowledge Accelerator" is further substantiated by fundamental considerations and recent events around the globe. newpara The Visioneer White Papers propose research to be carried out that will improve our understanding of complex techno-socio-economic systems and their interaction with the environment. Thereby, they aim to stimulate multi-disciplinary collaborations between ICT, the social sciences, and complexity science. Moreover, they suggest combining the potential of massive real-time data, theoretical models, large-scale computer simulations and participatory online platforms. By doing so, it would become possible to explore various futures and to expand the limits of human imagination when it comes to the assessment of the often counter-intuitive behavior of these complex techno-socio-economic-environmental systems. In this contribution, we also highlight the importance of a pluralistic modeling approach and, in particular, the need for a fruitful interaction between quantitative and qualitative research approaches. newpara In an appendix we briefly summarize the concept of the FuturICT flagship project, which will build on and go beyond the proposals made by the Visioneer White Papers. EU flagships are ambitious multi-disciplinary high-risk projects with a duration of at least 10 years amounting to an envisaged overall budget of 1 billion EUR [10]. The goal of the FuturICT flagship initiative is to understand and manage complex

  12. Toward understanding the thermodynamics of TALSPEAK process. Medium effects on actinide complexation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zalupski, Peter R.; Martin, Leigh R.; Nash, Ken; Nakamura, Yoshinobu; Yamamoto, Masahiko

    2009-01-01

    The ingenious combination of lactate and diethylenetriamine-N,N,N',N(double p rime),N(double p rime)-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) as an aqueous actinide-complexing medium forms the basis of the successful separation of americium and curium from lanthanides known as the TALSPEAK process. While numerous reports in the prior literature have focused on the optimization of this solvent extraction system, considerably less attention has been devoted to the understanding of the basic thermodynamic features of the complex fluids responsible for the separation. The available thermochemical information of both lactate and DTPA protonation and metal complexation reactions are representative of the behavior of these ions under idealized conditions. Our previous studies of medium effects on lactate protonation suggest that significant departures from the speciation predicted based on reported thermodynamic values should be expected in the TALSPEAK aqueous environment. Thermodynamic parameters describing the separation chemistry of this process thus require further examination at conditions significantly removed from conventional ideal systems commonly employed in fundamental solution chemistry. Such thermodynamic characterization is the key to predictive modelling of TALSPEAK. Improved understanding will, in principle, allow process technologists to more efficiently respond to off-normal conditions during large scale process operation. In this report, the results of calorimetric and potentiometric investigations of the effects of aqueous electrolytes on the thermodynamic parameters for lactate protonation and lactate complexation of americium and neodymium will be presented. Studies on the lactate protonation equilibrium will clearly illustrate distinct thermodynamic variations between strong electrolyte aqueous systems and buffered lactate environment.

  13. Synthesis, characterization, and biological activity of a new palladium(II) complex with deoxyalliin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbi, P.P.; Massabni, A.C. [Inst. de Quimica - UNESP, Dept., Dept. de Quimica Geral e Inoganica, Araraquara (Brazil)]. E-mail: pedrocorbi@yahoo.com; Moreira, A.G. [Inst. de Quimica - UNESP, Dept. de Quimica Geral e Inoganica, Araraquara (Brazil); Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto - USP, Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia, Ribeirao Preto (Brazil); Medrano, F.J. [Laboratorio Nacional de Luz Sincrotron - LNLS, Campinas (Brazil); Jasiulionis, M.G. [Escola Paulista de Medicina - UNIFESP, Dept. de Micro-Imuno-Parasitologia, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Costa-Neto, C.M. [Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto - USP, Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia, Ribeirao Preto (Brazil)

    2005-02-15

    Synthesis, characterization, and biological activity of a new water-soluble Pd(II)-deoxyalliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine) complex are described in this article. Elemental and thermal analysis for the complex are consistent with the formula [Pd(C{sub 6}H{sub 10}NO{sub 2}S){sub 2}]. {sup 13}C NMR, {sup 1}H NMR, and IR spectroscopy show coordination of the ligand to Pd(II) through S and N atoms in a square planar geometry. Final residue of the thermal treatment was identified as a mixture of PdO and metallic Pd. Antiproliferative assays using aqueous solutions of the complex against HeLa and TM5 tumor cells showed a pronounced activity of the complex even at low concentrations. After incubation for 24 h, the complex induced cytotoxic effect over HeLa cells when used at concentrations higher than 0.40 mmol/L. At lower concentrations, the complex was nontoxic, indicating its action is probably due to cell cycle arrest, rather than cell death. In agreement with these results, the flow cytometric analysis indicated that after incubation for 24 h at low concentrations of the complex cells are arrested in G0/G1. (author)

  14. Do Zoo Visitors Need Zoology Knowledge to Understand Conservation Messages? An Exploration of the Public Understanding of Animal Biology and of the Conservation of Biodiversity in a Zoo Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Tracy; Byrne, Jenny

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the current knowledge and understanding about animal biology of zoo visitors and investigates whether knowledge of animal biology influences the ability of people to understand how human activity affects biodiversity. Zoos can play a role in the development of scientific literacy in the fields of animal biology and biodiversity…

  15. A network biology approach to understanding the importance of chameleon proteins in human physiology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahramali, Golnaz; Goliaei, Bahram; Minuchehr, Zarrin; Marashi, Sayed-Amir

    2017-02-01

    Chameleon proteins are proteins which include sequences that can adopt α-helix-β-strand (HE-chameleon) or α-helix-coil (HC-chameleon) or β-strand-coil (CE-chameleon) structures to operate their crucial biological functions. In this study, using a network-based approach, we examined the chameleon proteins to give a better knowledge on these proteins. We focused on proteins with identical chameleon sequences with more than or equal to seven residues long in different PDB entries, which adopt HE-chameleon, HC-chameleon, and CE-chameleon structures in the same protein. One hundred and ninety-one human chameleon proteins were identified via our in-house program. Then, protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks, Gene ontology (GO) enrichment, disease network, and pathway enrichment analyses were performed for our derived data set. We discovered that there are chameleon sequences which reside in protein-protein interaction regions between two proteins critical for their dual function. Analysis of the PPI networks for chameleon proteins introduced five hub proteins, namely TP53, EGFR, HSP90AA1, PPARA, and HIF1A, which were presented in four PPI clusters. The outcomes demonstrate that the chameleon regions are in critical domains of these proteins and are important in the development and treatment of human cancers. The present report is the first network-based functional study of chameleon proteins using computational approaches and might provide a new perspective for understanding the mechanisms of diseases helping us in developing new medical therapies along with discovering new proteins with chameleon properties which are highly important in cancer.

  16. Experimental and Modeling Approaches for Understanding the Effect of Gene Expression Noise in Biological Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Holloway

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Biological development involves numerous chemical and physical processes which must act in concert to reliably produce a cell, a tissue, or a body. To be successful, the developing organism must be robust to variability at many levels, such as the environment (e.g., temperature, moisture, upstream information (such as long-range positional information gradients, or intrinsic noise due to the stochastic nature of low concentration chemical kinetics. The latter is especially relevant to the regulation of gene expression in cell differentiation. The temporal stochasticity of gene expression has been studied in single celled organisms for nearly two decades, but only recently have techniques become available to gather temporally-resolved data across spatially-distributed gene expression patterns in developing multicellular organisms. These demonstrate temporal noisy “bursting” in the number of gene transcripts per cell, raising the question of how the transcript number defining a particular cell type is produced, such that one cell type can reliably be distinguished from a neighboring cell of different type along a tissue boundary. Stochastic spatio-temporal modeling of tissue-wide expression patterns can identify signatures for specific types of gene regulation, which can be used to extract regulatory mechanism information from experimental time series. This Perspective focuses on using this type of approach to study gene expression noise during the anterior-posterior segmentation of the fruit fly embryo. Advances in experimental and theoretical techniques will lead to an increasing quantification of expression noise that can be used to understand how regulatory mechanisms contribute to embryonic robustness across a range of developmental processes.

  17. How does undergraduate college biology students' level of understanding, in regard to the role of the seed plant root system, relate to their level of understanding of photosynthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njeng'ere, James Gicheha

    This research study investigated how undergraduate college biology students' level of understanding of the role of the seed plant root system relates to their level of understanding of photosynthesis. This research was conducted with 65 undergraduate non-majors biology who had completed 1 year of biology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. A root probe instrument was developed from some scientifically acceptable propositional statements about the root system, the process of photosynthesis, as well as the holistic nature of the tree. These were derived from research reviews of the science education and the arboriculture literature. This was administered to 65 students selected randomly from class lists of the two institutions. Most of the root probe's items were based on the Live Oak tree. An in-depth, clinical interview-based analysis was conducted with 12 of those tested students. A team of root experts participated by designing, validating and answering the same questions that the students were asked. A "systems" lens as defined by a team of college instructors, root experts (Shigo, 1991), and this researcher was used to interpret the results. A correlational coefficient determining students' level of understanding of the root system and their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis was established by means of Pearson's r correlation (r = 0.328) using the SAS statistical analysis (SAS, 1987). From this a coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.104) was determined. Students' level of understanding of the Live Oak root system (mean score 5.94) was not statistically different from their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis (mean score 5.54) as assessed by the root probe, t (129) = 0.137, p > 0.05 one tailed-test. This suggests that, to some degree, level of the root system limits level of understanding of photosynthesis and vice versa. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative

  18. Understanding the topological characteristics and flow complexity of urban traffic congestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Tzai-Hung; Chin, Wei-Chien-Benny; Lai, Pei-Chun

    2017-05-01

    For a growing number of developing cities, the capacities of streets cannot meet the rapidly growing demand of cars, causing traffic congestion. Understanding the spatial-temporal process of traffic flow and detecting traffic congestion are important issues associated with developing sustainable urban policies to resolve congestion. Therefore, the objective of this study is to propose a flow-based ranking algorithm for investigating traffic demands in terms of the attractiveness of street segments and flow complexity of the street network based on turning probability. Our results show that, by analyzing the topological characteristics of streets and volume data for a small fraction of street segments in Taipei City, the most congested segments of the city were identified successfully. The identified congested segments are significantly close to the potential congestion zones, including the officially announced most congested streets, the segments with slow moving speeds at rush hours, and the areas near significant landmarks. The identified congested segments also captured congestion-prone areas concentrated in the business districts and industrial areas of the city. Identifying the topological characteristics and flow complexity of traffic congestion provides network topological insights for sustainable urban planning, and these characteristics can be used to further understand congestion propagation.

  19. Simulation-based education: understanding the socio-cultural complexity of a surgical training 'boot camp'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleland, Jennifer; Walker, Kenneth G; Gale, Michael; Nicol, Laura G

    2016-08-01

    The focus of simulation-based education (SBE) research has been limited to outcome and effectiveness studies. The effect of social and cultural influences on SBE is unclear and empirical work is lacking. Our objective in this study was to explore and understand the complexity of context and social factors at a surgical boot camp (BC). A rapid ethnographic study, employing the theoretical lenses of complexity and activity theory and Bourdieu's concept of 'capital', to better understand the socio-cultural influences acting upon, and during, two surgical BCs, and their implications for SBE. Over two 4-day BCs held in Scotland, UK, an observer and two preceptors conducted 81 hours of observations, 14 field interviews and 11 formal interviews with faculty members (n = 10, including the lead faculty member, session leaders and junior faculty members) and participants (n = 19 core surgical trainees and early-stage residents). Data collection and inductive analysis for emergent themes proceeded iteratively. This paper focuses on three analytical themes. First, the complexity of the surgical training system and wider health care education context, and how this influenced the development of the BC. Second, participants' views of the BC as a vehicle not just for learning skills but for gaining 'insider information' on how best to progress in surgical training. Finally, the explicit aim of faculty members to use the Scottish Surgical Bootcamp to welcome trainees and residents into the world of surgery, and how this occurred. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical study of a surgical BC that takes a socio-cultural approach to exploring and understanding context, complexities, uncertainties and learning associated with one example of SBE. Our findings suggest that a BC is as much about social and cultural processes as it is about individual, cognitive and acquisitive learning. Acknowledging this explicitly will help those planning similar enterprises and

  20. A reduced complexity discrete particle model for understanding the sediment dynamics of steep upland river confluences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tancock, M. J.; Lane, S. N.; Hardy, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    There has been a significant amount of research conducted in order to understand the flow fields at natural river confluences. Much of this has been made possible due to advances in the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). However, much of this research has been conducted on river confluences with negligible water surface slopes and any understanding of the sediment dynamics is largely implied from the flow fields. Therefore, a key challenge is to understand the flow and sediment dynamics of steep river confluences with dynamic boundaries. Two numerical modelling developments are presented which together are capable of increasing our understanding of the sediment dynamics of steep river confluences. The first is the application of a Height-of-Liquid (HOL) model within a CFD framework to explicitly solve the water surface elevation. This is a time-dependent, multiphase treatment of the fluid dynamics which solves for the change in volume of water and air in each vertical column of the mesh. The second is the development of a reduced complexity discrete particle transport model which uses the change in momentum on a spherical particle to predict the transport paths through the flow field determined from CFD simulations. The performance of the two models is tested using field data from a series of highly dynamic, steep gravel-bed confluences on a braidplain of the Borgne d'Arolla, Switzerland. The HOL model is validated against the water surface elevation and flow velocity data and is demonstrated to provide a reliable representation of the flow field in fast-flowing, supercritical flows. In order to validate the discrete particle model, individual particles were tracked using electronic tacheometry. The model is demonstrated to accurately represent the particle tracks obtained in the field and provides a new methodology to understand the dynamic morphology of braid plains.

  1. Understanding and quantifying cognitive complexity level in mathematical problem solving items

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SUSAN E. EMBRETSON

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The linear logistic test model (LLTM; Fischer, 1973 has been applied to a wide variety of new tests. When the LLTM application involves item complexity variables that are both theoretically interesting and empirically supported, several advantages can result. These advantages include elaborating construct validity at the item level, defining variables for test design, predicting parameters of new items, item banking by sources of complexity and providing a basis for item design and item generation. However, despite the many advantages of applying LLTM to test items, it has been applied less often to understand the sources of complexity for large-scale operational test items. Instead, previously calibrated item parameters are modeled using regression techniques because raw item response data often cannot be made available. In the current study, both LLTM and regression modeling are applied to mathematical problem solving items from a widely used test. The findings from the two methods are compared and contrasted for their implications for continued development of ability and achievement tests based on mathematical problem solving items.

  2. Using a complex adaptive system lens to understand family caregiving experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazzawi, Andrea; Kuziemsky, Craig; O'Sullivan, Tracey

    2016-10-01

    Family caregivers provide the stroke survivor with social support and continuity during the transition home from a rehabilitation facility. In this exploratory study we examined family caregivers' perceptions and experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system. The theories of continuity of care and complex adaptive systems were integrated to examine the transition from a stroke rehabilitation facility to the patient's home. This study provides an understanding of the interacting complexities at the macro and micro levels. A convenient sample of family caregivers (n = 14) who provide care for a stroke survivor were recruited 4-12 weeks following the patient's discharge from a stroke rehabilitation facility in Ontario, Canada. Interviews were conducted with family caregivers to examine their perceptions and experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system. Directed and inductive content analysis and the theory of Complex Adaptive Systems were used to interpret the perceptions of family caregivers. Health system policies and procedures at the macro-level determined the types and timing of information being provided to caregivers, and impacted continuity of care and access to supports and services at the micro-level. Supports and services in the community, such as outpatient physiotherapy services, were limited or did not meet the specific needs of the stroke survivors or family caregivers. Relationships with health providers, informational support, and continuity in case management all influence the family caregiving experience and ultimately the quality of care for the stroke survivor, during the transition home from a rehabilitation facility.

  3. Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Evaluation of Transition Metal Complexes Derived from N, S Bidentate Ligands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enis Nadia Md Yusof

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Two bidentate NS ligands were synthesized by the condensation reaction of S-2-methylbenzyldithiocarbazate (S2MBDTC with 2-methoxybenzaldehyde (2MB and 3-methoxybenzaldehyde (3MB. The ligands were reacted separately with acetates of Cu(II, Ni(II and Zn(II yielding 1:2 (metal:ligand complexes. The metal complexes formed were expected to have a general formula of [M(NS2] where M = Cu2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. These compounds were characterized by elemental analysis, molar conductivity, magnetic susceptibility and various spectroscopic techniques. The magnetic susceptibility measurements and spectral results supported the predicted coordination geometry in which the Schiff bases behaved as bidentate NS donor ligands coordinating via the azomethine nitrogen and thiolate sulfur. The molecular structures of the isomeric S2M2MBH (1 and S2M3MBH (2 were established by X-ray crystallography to have very similar l-shaped structures. The Schiff bases and their metal complexes were evaluated for their biological activities against estrogen receptor-positive (MCF-7 and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. Only the Cu(II complexes showed marked cytotoxicity against the cancer cell lines. Both Schiff bases and other metal complexes were found to be inactive. In concordance with the cytotoxicity studies, the DNA binding studies indicated that Cu(II complexes have a strong DNA binding affinity.

  4. How to Generate Understanding of the Scientific Process in Introductory Biology: A Student-Designed Laboratory Exercise on Yeast Fermentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Linda T.; Bell, Rebekah P.

    2004-01-01

    Heavy faculty teaching loads and limited funds biology teachers designed certain objectives in order to increase the understandability of the subject matter of the laboratory exercises they write. In relation to these objectives an old "cookbook" laboratory exercise on yeast fermentation is introduced which involve students asking questions,…

  5. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Daniel; Vlaev, Ivo; McMahon, Laurie; Harvey, Sarah; Mitchell, Andy; Borovoi, Leah; Darzi, Ara

    2017-05-11

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 represents the most complex National Health Service reforms in history. High-quality clinical leadership is important for successful implementation of health service reform. However, little is known about the effectiveness of current leadership training. This study describes the use of a behavioral simulation to improve the knowledge and leadership of a cohort of medical doctors expected to take leadership roles in the National Health Service. A day-long behavioral simulation (The Crucible) was developed and run based on a fictitious but realistic health economy. Participants completed pre- and postsimulation questionnaires generating qualitative and quantitative data. Leadership skills, knowledge, and behavior change processes described by the "theory of planned behavior" were self-assessed pre- and postsimulation. Sixty-nine medical doctors attended. Participants deemed the simulation immersive and relevant. Significant improvements were shown in perceived knowledge, capability, attitudes, subjective norms, intentions, and leadership competency following the program. Nearly one third of participants reported that they had implemented knowledge and skills from the simulation into practice within 4 weeks. This study systematically demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral simulation for clinical management training and understanding of health policy reform. Potential future uses and strategies for analysis are discussed. High-quality care requires understanding of health systems and strong leadership. Policymakers should consider the use of behavioral simulation to improve understanding of health service reform and development of leadership skills in clinicians, who readily adopt skills from simulation into everyday practice.

  6. Inherit the policy: A sociocultural approach to understanding evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.

  7. Forty Years of Ebolavirus Molecular Biology: Understanding a Novel Disease Agent Through the Development and Application of New Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groseth, Allison; Hoenen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Molecular biology is a broad discipline that seeks to understand biological phenomena at a molecular level, and achieves this through the study of DNA, RNA, proteins, and/or other macromolecules (e.g., those involved in the modification of these substrates). Consequently, it relies on the availability of a wide variety of methods that deal with the collection, preservation, inactivation, separation, manipulation, imaging, and analysis of these molecules. As such the state of the art in the field of ebolavirus molecular biology research (and that of all other viruses) is largely intertwined with, if not driven by, advancements in the technical methodologies available for these kinds of studies. Here we review of the current state of our knowledge regarding ebolavirus biology and emphasize the associated methods that made these discoveries possible.

  8. Biological effect of radiation. Basis for understanding the risk of Fukushima nuclear accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imaoka, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The radionuclide release in the Fukushima Nuclear Accident has induced a tremendous anxiety on possible health effects of low dose radiation. When radiation hits a cell in an organism, it may induce DNA damages which, if not repaired properly, lead to either cell death or genetic mutation. If function of the tissue is lost as a result of cell death, various tissue responses including dysfunction of hematopoietic tissues, sterility and skin responses may occur; these responses are not manifested if the radiation dose is low enough. Genetic mutation is considered to occur, albeit at a low frequency, even if the radiation dose is very small. Cancer is a result of genetic mutation and its probability is considered to rise, albeit slightly, if radiation induces a small amount of additional mutations. These assumptions lead to a notion that there is no 'safety dose' below which radiation does not cause any cancer. On the other hand, the study of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provides the most reliable quantitative information on the relationship between radiation dose and accompanying increase in cancer risk. The analysis so far indicates that cancer risk increases by 0.5-fold, compared to a background level, if a human body is exposed to 1 sievert of radiation; at lower doses, the risk is proportional to the dose, but it is impossible to detect cancer risk associated with 100 milli sievert of exposure because of statistical limitations. Although exposure to atomic bomb radiation occurred in a very little instance, the current situation poses a prolonged (i.e., low dose rate) exposure, probably resulting in still lower cancer risk. Still, since current radiation exposure has no benefit, unlike that in medical situations, it is important to reduce it to a level as low as reasonably achievable. I will explain the biological effect of radiation, including its mechanistic basis and effects on the human body, and wish to help the audience to

  9. Assessing Students' Understandings of Biological Models and Their Use in Science to Evaluate a Theoretical Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünkorn, Juliane; Upmeier zu Belzen, Annette; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Research in the field of students' understandings of models and their use in science describes different frameworks concerning these understandings. Currently, there is no conjoint framework that combines these structures and so far, no investigation has focused on whether it reflects students' understandings sufficiently (empirical evaluation).…

  10. Improving biological understanding and complex trait prediction by integrating prior information in genomic feature models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Stefan McKinnon

    In this thesis we investigate an approach to integrate external data into the analysis of genetic variants. The goal is similar to that of gene-set enrichment tests, but relies on the robust statistical framework of linear mixed models. This approach has allowed us to integrate virtually any exte...... such as personalised medicine....

  11. Treatment of complex biological mixtures with pulsed electric fields An energy transfer characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schrive, Luc

    2004-01-01

    Sewage sludge from waste water treatment plants is a complex biological mixture and a problematic by-product because of valorisation restrictions. In order to limit its production, pulsed electric fields (PEF) were studied because of their biological effects and their potentially physico-chemical action. This work demonstrated a paradoxical phenomenon: cell lysis triggered a respirometric activation followed by a delayed lethality. This phenomenon was related to the leakage of internal compounds which were immediately bio-assimilated. At high energy expense, the plasmic membrane permeabilization led to cell death. Practically, with the technical configuration of the equipment, no hydrolysis was detected. This limitation decreases the interest for excess sludge reduction, but for the same reason, PEF cold sterilization technique can be assessed as a promising process. The representation of the electric energy transfer from electrodes to cell was exchanged by the study of mass transfer from the biological cell to the surrounding media under an electromotive force. Thus, the survival rate was modelled by a Sherwood number taking account of electrical, biological and hydraulic parameters. (author) [fr

  12. Application of Biologically Based Lumping To Investigate the Toxicokinetic Interactions of a Complex Gasoline Mixture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasper, Micah N; Martin, Sheppard A; Oshiro, Wendy M; Ford, Jermaine; Bushnell, Philip J; El-Masri, Hisham

    2016-03-15

    People are often exposed to complex mixtures of environmental chemicals such as gasoline, tobacco smoke, water contaminants, or food additives. We developed an approach that applies chemical lumping methods to complex mixtures, in this case gasoline, based on biologically relevant parameters used in physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. Inhalation exposures were performed with rats to evaluate the performance of our PBPK model and chemical lumping method. There were 109 chemicals identified and quantified in the vapor in the chamber. The time-course toxicokinetic profiles of 10 target chemicals were also determined from blood samples collected during and following the in vivo experiments. A general PBPK model was used to compare the experimental data to the simulated values of blood concentration for 10 target chemicals with various numbers of lumps, iteratively increasing from 0 to 99. Large reductions in simulation error were gained by incorporating enzymatic chemical interactions, in comparison to simulating the individual chemicals separately. The error was further reduced by lumping the 99 nontarget chemicals. The same biologically based lumping approach can be used to simplify any complex mixture with tens, hundreds, or thousands of constituents.

  13. WHO standards for biotherapeutics, including biosimilars: an example of the evaluation of complex biological products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knezevic, Ivana; Griffiths, Elwyn

    2017-11-01

    The most advanced regulatory processes for complex biological products have been put in place in many countries to provide appropriate regulatory oversight of biotherapeutic products in general, and similar biotherapeutics in particular. This process is still ongoing and requires regular updates to national regulatory requirements in line with scientific developments and up-to-date standards. For this purpose, strong knowledge of and expertise in evaluating biotherapeutics in general and similar biotherapeutic products, also called biosimilars, in particular is essential. Here, we discuss the World Health Organization's international standard-setting role in the regulatory evaluation of recombinant DNA-derived biotherapeutic products, including biosimilars, and provide examples that may serve as models for moving forward with nonbiological complex medicinal products. A number of scientific challenges and regulatory considerations imposed by the advent of biosimilars are described, together with the lessons learned, to stimulate future discussions on this topic. In addition, the experiences of facilitating the implementation of guiding principles for evaluation of similar biotherapeutic products into regulatory and manufacturers' practices in various countries over the past 10 years are briefly explained, with the aim of promoting further developments and regulatory convergence of complex biological and nonbiological products. © 2017 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The World Health Organization retains copyright and all other rights in the manuscript of this article as submitted for publication.

  14. Understanding channel tropism in traditional Chinese medicine in the context of systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ping; Liu, Songlin; Chen, Gang; Wang, Ping

    2013-09-01

    Channel tropism is investigated and developed through long-term clinical practice. In recent years, the development of channel tropism theory has attracted increasing attention. This study analyzed channel tropism theory and the problems associated with it. Results showed that this theory and systems biology have a similar holistic viewpoint. Systems biology could provide novel insights and platform in the study of channel tropism. Some problems in channel tropism theory, including pharmacology and action mechanism, were investigated.

  15. Synthesis, Spectroscopic Characterization and Biological Activities of Transition Metal Complexes Derived from a Tridentate Schiff Base

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Senthil Kumaran

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A new series of Cu (II, Ni (II, Co (II and Zn (II complexes have been synthesized from the Schiff base derived from 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidine-4-aminoantipyrine and 2-aminophenol. The structural features have been determined from their elemental analysis, magnetic susceptibility, molar conductance, Mass, IR, UV-Vis, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and ESR spectral studies. The redox behavior of the copper complex has been studied by cyclic voltammetry. The data confirm that the complexes have composition of ML2 type. The electronic absorption spectral data of the complexes propose an octahedral geometry around the central metal ion. All the metal complexes with DNA structure were guided by the presence of inter-molecular C–H⋯O and C–H⋯N hydrogen bonds. The biological activity of the synthesized compounds were tested against the bacterial species such as Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris and fungal species such as Candida albicans by the well-diffusion method.

  16. Spectroscopic, thermal, catalytic and biological studies of Cu(II) azo dye complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sonbati, A. Z.; Diab, M. A.; El-Bindary, A. A.; Shoair, A. F.; Hussein, M. A.; El-Boz, R. A.

    2017-08-01

    New complexes of copper(II) with azo compounds of 5-amino-2-(aryl diazenyl)phenol (HLn) are prepared and investigated by elemental analyses, molar conductance, IR, 1H NMR, UV-Visible, mass, ESR spectra, magnetic susceptibility measurements and thermal analyses. The complexes have a square planar structure and general formula [Cu(Ln)(OAc)]H2O. Study the catalytic activities of Cu(II) complexes toward oxidation of benzyl alcohol derivatives to carbonyl compounds were tested using H2O2 as the oxidant. The intrinsic binding constants (Kb) of the ligands (HLn) and Cu(II) complexes (1-4) with CT-DNA are determined. The formed compounds have been tested for biological activity of antioxidants, antibacterial against Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria and yeast Candida albicans. Antibiotic (Ampicillin) and antifungal against (Colitrimazole) and cytotoxic compounds HL1, HL2, HL3 and complex (1) showed moderate to good activity against S. aureus, E. coli and Candida albicans, and also to be moderate on antioxidants and toxic substances. Molecular docking is used to predict the binding between the ligands with the receptor of breast cancer (2a91).

  17. Monitoring prion protein expression in complex biological samples by SERS for diagnostic applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manno, D; Filippo, E; Fiore, R; Serra, A; Urso, E; Rizzello, A; Maffia, M

    2010-01-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) allows a new insight into the analysis of cell physiology. In this work, the difficulty of producing suitable substrates that, besides permitting the amplification of the Raman signal, do not interact with the biological material causing alteration, has been overcome by a combined method of hydrothermal green synthesis and thermal annealing. The SERS analysis of the cell membrane has been performed with special attention to the cellular prion protein PrP C . In addition, SERS has also been used to reveal the prion protein-Cu(II) interaction in four different cell models (B104, SH-SY5Y, GN11, HeLa), expressing PrP C at different levels. A significant implication of the current work consists of the intriguing possibility of revealing and quantifying prion protein expression in complex biological samples by a cheap SERS-based method, replacing the expensive and time-consuming immuno-assay systems commonly employed.

  18. The major histocompatibility complex: a model for understanding graft-versus-host disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersdorf, Effie W

    2013-09-12

    Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) afflicts as much as 80% of all patients who receive an unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for the treatment of blood disorders, even with optimal donor HLA matching and use of prophylactic immunosuppressive agents. Of patients who develop acute GVHD, many are at risk for chronic GVHD and bear the burden of considerable morbidity and lowered quality of life years after transplantation. The immunogenetic basis of GVHD has been the subject of intensive investigation, with the classic HLA genetic loci being the best-characterized determinants. Recent information on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region of chromosome 6 as an important source of untyped genetic variation has shed light on novel GVHD determinants. These data open new paradigms for understanding the genetic basis of GVHD.

  19. Understanding Global Change (UGC) as a Unifying Conceptual Framework for Teaching Ecology: Using UGC in a High School Biology Program to Integrate Earth Science and Biology, and to Demonstrate the Value of Modeling Global Systems in Promoting Conceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J.; Bean, J. R.

    2017-12-01

    Global change science is ideal for NGSS-informed teaching, but presents a serious challenge to K-12 educators because it is complex and interdisciplinary- combining earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. Global systems are themselves complex. Adding anthropogenic influences on those systems creates a formidable list of topics - greenhouse effect, climate change, nitrogen enrichment, introduced species, land-use change among them - which are often presented as a disconnected "laundry list" of "facts." This complexity, combined with public and mass-media scientific illiteracy, leaves global change science vulnerable to misrepresentation and politicization, creating additional challenges to teachers in public schools. Ample stand-alone, one-off, online resources, many of them excellent, are (to date) underutilized by teachers in the high school science course taken by most students: biology. The Understanding Global Change project (UGC) from the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology has created a conceptual framework that organizes, connects, and explains global systems, human and non-human drivers of change in those systems, and measurable changes in those systems. This organization and framework employ core ideas, crosscutting concepts, structure/function relationships, and system models in a unique format that facilitates authentic understanding, rather than memorization. This system serves as an organizing framework for the entire ecology unit of a forthcoming mainstream high school biology program. The UGC system model is introduced up front with its core informational graphic. The model is elaborated, step by step, by adding concepts and processes as they are introduced and explained in each chapter. The informational graphic is thus used in several ways: to organize material as it is presented, to summarize topics in each chapter and put them in perspective, and for review and critical thinking exercises that supplement the usual end-of-chapter lists of

  20. Repair Responses of Dental Pulp to Tooth Injury and Biological Properties of Dentin-pulp Complex

    OpenAIRE

    大島, 勇人; Ohshima, Hayato

    2004-01-01

    Regeneration-the creation of a new tissue after the original one has been lost-is the fundamental biological capability in an organism. Numerous organs are considered to contain stem cells referred to as adult stem cells, even in the adult. Adult stem cells can give rise to a limited set of adult tissue types. In the field of clinical dentistry, it is well-known that the dentin-pulp complex is capable of repair after tooth injuries such as tooth replantation/transplantation or restorative pro...

  1. The Nevada Rural Ozone Initiative (NVROI): Insights to understanding air pollution in complex terrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustin, Mae Sexauer; Fine, Rebekka; Miller, Matthieu; Jaffe, Dan; Burley, Joel

    2015-10-15

    The Nevada Rural Ozone Initiative (NVROI) was established to better understand O3 concentrations in the Western United States (US). The major working hypothesis for development of the sampling network was that the sources of O3 to Nevada are regional and global. Within the framework of this overarching hypothesis, we specifically address two conceptual meteorological hypotheses: (1) The high elevation, complex terrain, and deep convective mixing that characterize Nevada, make this state ideally located to intercept polluted parcels of air transported into the US from the free troposphere; and (2) site specific terrain features will influence O3 concentrations observed at surface sites. Here, the impact of complex terrain and site location on observations are discussed. Data collected in Nevada at 6 sites (1385 to 2082 m above sea level (asl)) are compared with that collected at high elevation sites in Yosemite National Park and the White Mountains, California. Average daily maximum 1-hour concentrations of O3 during the first year of the NVROI ranged from 58 to 69 ppbv (spring), 53 to 62 ppbv (summer), 44 to 49 ppbv (fall), and 37 to 45 ppbv (winter). These were similar to those measured at 3 sites in Yosemite National Park (2022 to 3031 m asl), and at 4 sites in the White Mountains (1237 to 4342 m asl) (58 to 67 ppbv (summer) and 47 to 58 ppbv (fall)). Results show, that in complex terrain, collection of data should occur at high and low elevation sites to capture surface impacts, and site location with respect to topography should be considered. Additionally, concentrations measured are above the threshold reported for causing a reduction in growth and visible injury for plants (40 ppbv), and sustained exposure at high elevation locations in the Western USA may be detrimental for ecosystems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Understanding Student Cognition about Complex Earth System Processes Related to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.; Ledley, T. S.; Dutta, S.; Templeton, M. C.; Geroux, J.; Blakeney, G. A.

    2011-12-01

    The Earth's climate system includes complex behavior and interconnections with other Earth spheres that present challenges to student learning. To better understand these unique challenges, we have conducted experiments with high-school and introductory level college students to determine how information pertaining to the connections between the Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth spheres (e.g., hydrosphere and cryosphere) are processed. Specifically, we include psychomotor tests (e.g., eye-tracking) and open-ended questionnaires in this research study, where participants were provided scientific images of the Earth (e.g., global precipitation and ocean and atmospheric currents), eye-tracked, and asked to provide causal or relational explanations about the viewed images. In addition, the students engaged in on-line modules (http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/climate/index.html) focused on Earth system science as training activities to address potential cognitive barriers. The developed modules included interactive media, hands-on lessons, links to outside resources, and formative assessment questions to promote a supportive and data-rich learning environment. Student eye movements were tracked during engagement with the materials to determine the role of perception and attention on understanding. Students also completed a conceptual questionnaire pre-post to determine if these on-line curriculum materials assisted in their development of connections between Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth systems. The pre-post results of students' thinking about climate change concepts, as well as eye-tracking results, will be presented.

  3. Using phosphine ligands with a biological role to modulate reactivity in novel platinum complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverri, Marcelo; Alvarez-Valdés, Amparo; Navas, Francisco; Perles, Josefina; Sánchez-Pérez, Isabel; Quiroga, A. G.

    2018-02-01

    Three platinum complexes with cis and trans configuration cis-[Pt(TCEP)2Cl2], cis-[Pt(tmTCEP)2Cl2] and trans-[Pt(TCEP)2Cl2], where TCEP is tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine, have been synthesized and fully characterized by usual techniques including single-crystal X-ray diffraction for trans-[Pt(TCEP)2Cl2] and cis-[Pt(tmTCEP)2Cl2]. Here, we also report on an esterification process of TCEP, which takes place in the presence of alcohols, leading to a platinum complex coordinated to an ester tmTCEP (2-methoxycarbonylethyl phosphine) ligand. The stability in solution of the three compounds and their interaction with biological models such as DNA (pBR322 and calf thymus DNA) and proteins (lysozyme and RNase) have also been studied.

  4. The Effects of Case-Based Instruction on Undergraduate Biology Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burniston, Amy Lucinda

    Undergraduate science education is currently seeing a dramatic pedagogical push towards teaching the philosophies underpinning science as well as an increase in strategies that employ active learning. Many active learning strategies stem from constructivist ideals and have been shown to affect a student's understanding of how science operates and its impact on society- commonly referred to as the nature of science (NOS). One particular constructivist teaching strategy, case-based instruction (CBI), has been recommended by researchers and science education reformists as an effective instructional strategy for teaching NOS. Furthermore, when coupled with explicit-reflective instruction, CBI has been found to significantly increasing understanding of NOS in elementary and secondary students. However, few studies aimed their research on CBI and NOS towards higher education. Thus, this study uses a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design to study the effects of CBI on undergraduate science students understandings of NOS. Undergraduate biology student's understanding of NOS were assessed using the Views of Science Education (VOSE) instrument pre and post CBI intervention in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Data analysis indicated statistically significant differences between students NOS scores in experimental versus control sections for both courses, with experimental groups obtaining higher posttest scores. The results of this study indicate that undergraduate male and female students have similarly poor understandings of NOS and the use of historical case based instruction can be used as a means to increase undergraduate understanding of NOS.

  5. PeTTSy: a computational tool for perturbation analysis of complex systems biology models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domijan, Mirela; Brown, Paul E; Shulgin, Boris V; Rand, David A

    2016-03-10

    Over the last decade sensitivity analysis techniques have been shown to be very useful to analyse complex and high dimensional Systems Biology models. However, many of the currently available toolboxes have either used parameter sampling, been focused on a restricted set of model observables of interest, studied optimisation of a objective function, or have not dealt with multiple simultaneous model parameter changes where the changes can be permanent or temporary. Here we introduce our new, freely downloadable toolbox, PeTTSy (Perturbation Theory Toolbox for Systems). PeTTSy is a package for MATLAB which implements a wide array of techniques for the perturbation theory and sensitivity analysis of large and complex ordinary differential equation (ODE) based models. PeTTSy is a comprehensive modelling framework that introduces a number of new approaches and that fully addresses analysis of oscillatory systems. It examines sensitivity analysis of the models to perturbations of parameters, where the perturbation timing, strength, length and overall shape can be controlled by the user. This can be done in a system-global setting, namely, the user can determine how many parameters to perturb, by how much and for how long. PeTTSy also offers the user the ability to explore the effect of the parameter perturbations on many different types of outputs: period, phase (timing of peak) and model solutions. PeTTSy can be employed on a wide range of mathematical models including free-running and forced oscillators and signalling systems. To enable experimental optimisation using the Fisher Information Matrix it efficiently allows one to combine multiple variants of a model (i.e. a model with multiple experimental conditions) in order to determine the value of new experiments. It is especially useful in the analysis of large and complex models involving many variables and parameters. PeTTSy is a comprehensive tool for analysing large and complex models of regulatory and

  6. Bringing content understanding into usability testing in complex application domains—a case study in eHealth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Simon Bruntse; Rasmussen, Claire Kirchert; Frøkjær, Erik

    2017-01-01

    A usability evaluation technique, Cooperative Usability Testing with Questions of Understanding (CUT with QU) intended to illuminate users’ ability to understand the content information of an application is proposed. In complex application domains as for instance the eHealth domain, this issue...... of users’ content understanding is sometimes crucial, and thus should be carefully evaluated. Unfortunately, conventional usability evaluation techniques do not address challenges of content understanding. In a case study within eHealth, specifically the setting of a rehabilitation clinic involving...... the participation of four physiotherapists and four clients in a period of 3.5 months, it was demonstrated how CUT with QU can complement conventional usability testing and provide insight into users’ challenges with understanding of a new complex eHealth application. More experiments in other complex application...

  7. Synthesis, characterization and biological assay of Salicylaldehyde Schiff base Cu(II) complexes and their precursors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iftikhar, Bushra; Javed, Kanwal; Khan, Muhammad Saif Ullah; Akhter, Zareen; Mirza, Bushra; Mckee, Vickie

    2018-03-01

    Three new Schiff base ligands were synthesized by the reaction of Salicylaldehyde with semi-aromatic diamines, prepared by the reduction of corresponding dinitro-compounds, and were further used for the formation of complexes with Cu(II) metal ion. The structural features of the synthesized compounds were confirmed by their physical properties and infrared, electronic and NMR spectroscopic techniques. The studies revealed that the synthesized Schiff bases existed as tetradentate ligands and bonded to the metal ion through the phenolic oxygen and azomethine nitrogen. One of the dinitro precursors was also analyzed by single crystal X-ray crystallography, which showed that it crystallizes in monoclinic system with space group P2/n. The thermal behavior of the Cu(II) complexes was determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and kinetic parameters were evaluated from the data. Schiff base ligands, their precursors and metal complexes were also screened for antibacterial, antifungal, antitumor, Brine shrimp lethality, DPPH free radical scavenging and DNA damage assays. The results of these analyses indicated the substantial potential of the synthesized Schiff bases, their precursors and Cu(II) complexes in biological field as future drugs.

  8. Biological properties of novel ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with azole heterocycles

    KAUST Repository

    Novak, Maria S.

    2016-03-09

    Since the discovery that nitric oxide (NO) is a physiologically relevant molecule, there has been great interest in the use of metal nitrosyl compounds as antitumor pharmaceuticals. Particularly interesting are those complexes which can deliver NO to biological targets. Ruthenium- and osmium-based compounds offer lower toxicity compared to other metals and show different mechanisms of action as well as different spectra of activity compared to platinum-based drugs. Novel ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with azole heterocycles were studied to elucidate their cytotoxicity and possible interactions with DNA. Apoptosis induction, changes of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and possible formation of reactive oxygen species were investigated as indicators of NO-mediated damage by flow cytometry. Results suggest that ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with the general formula (indazolium)[cis/trans-MCl4(NO)(1H-indazole)] have pronounced cytotoxic potency in cancer cell lines. Especially the more potent ruthenium complexes strongly induce apoptosis associated with depolarization of mitochondrial membranes, and elevated reactive oxygen species levels. Furthermore, a slight yet not unequivocal trend to accumulation of intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate attributable to NO-mediated effects was observed.

  9. Spectroscopic studies and biological activity of some transition metal complexes of unusual Schiff base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Al-Nasr, Ahmad K; Ramadan, Ramadan M

    2013-03-15

    Unusual Schiff base ligand, 4-ethanimidoyl-6-[(1E)-N-(2-hydroxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanimidoyl]benzene-1,3-diol, L, was synthesized via catalytic process involving the interaction of some metal ions with a macrocyclic Schiff base (MSB). The transition metal derivatives [ML(H(2)O)(4)](NO(3))(3), M=Cr(III) and Fe(III), [NiL(H(2)O)(4)](NO(3))(2), [ML(H(2)O)(2)](NO(3))(2), M=Zn(II) and Cd(II), [Cl(2)Pd(μ-Cl)(2)PdL], [PtL(Cl)(2)] and [PtL(Cl)(4)] were also synthesized from the corresponding metal species with L. The Schiff bases and complexes were characterized by elemental analysis, mass spectrometry, IR and (1)H NMR spectroscopy. The crystal structure of L was determined by X-ray analysis. The spectroscopic studies revealed a variety of structure arrangements for the complexes. The biological activities of L and metal complexes against the Escherchia coli as Gram-negative bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus as Gram-positive bacteria, and the two fungus Aspergillus flavus and Candida albicans were screened. The cytotoxicity of [PtL(Cl)(2)] complex, a cis-platin analogous, was checked as an antitumor agent on two breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D) and human liver carcinoma cell line (HepG2). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Biological properties of novel ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with azole heterocycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Maria S; Büchel, Gabriel E; Keppler, Bernhard K; Jakupec, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    Since the discovery that nitric oxide (NO) is a physiologically relevant molecule, there has been great interest in the use of metal nitrosyl compounds as antitumor pharmaceuticals. Particularly interesting are those complexes which can deliver NO to biological targets. Ruthenium- and osmium-based compounds offer lower toxicity compared to other metals and show different mechanisms of action as well as different spectra of activity compared to platinum-based drugs. Novel ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with azole heterocycles were studied to elucidate their cytotoxicity and possible interactions with DNA. Apoptosis induction, changes of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and possible formation of reactive oxygen species were investigated as indicators of NO-mediated damage by flow cytometry. Results suggest that ruthenium- and osmium-nitrosyl complexes with the general formula (indazolium)[cis/trans-MCl4(NO)(1H-indazole)] have pronounced cytotoxic potency in cancer cell lines. Especially the more potent ruthenium complexes strongly induce apoptosis associated with depolarization of mitochondrial membranes, and elevated reactive oxygen species levels. Furthermore, a slight yet not unequivocal trend to accumulation of intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate attributable to NO-mediated effects was observed.

  11. Spectroscopic studies and biological activity of some transition metal complexes of unusual Schiff base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Al-Nasr, Ahmad K.; Ramadan, Ramadan M.

    2013-03-01

    Unusual Schiff base ligand, 4-ethanimidoyl-6-[(1E)-N-(2-hydroxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanimidoyl]benzene-1,3-diol, L, was synthesized via catalytic process involving the interaction of some metal ions with a macrocyclic Schiff base (MSB). The transition metal derivatives [ML(H2O)4](NO3)3, M = Cr(III) and Fe(III), [NiL(H2O)4](NO3)2, [ML(H2O)2](NO3)2, M = Zn(II) and Cd(II), [Cl2Pd(μ-Cl)2PdL], [PtL(Cl)2] and [PtL(Cl)4] were also synthesized from the corresponding metal species with L. The Schiff bases and complexes were characterized by elemental analysis, mass spectrometry, IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The crystal structure of L was determined by X-ray analysis. The spectroscopic studies revealed a variety of structure arrangements for the complexes. The biological activities of L and metal complexes against the Escherchia coli as Gram-negative bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus as Gram-positive bacteria, and the two fungus Aspergillus flavus and Candida albicans were screened. The cytotoxicity of [PtL(Cl)2] complex, a cis-platin analogous, was checked as an antitumor agent on two breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D) and human liver carcinoma cell line (HepG2).

  12. Carbon-water Cycling in the Critical Zone: Understanding Ecosystem Process Variability Across Complex Terrain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnard, Holly [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Brooks, Paul [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-06-16

    One of the largest knowledge gaps in environmental science is the ability to understand and predict how ecosystems will respond to future climate variability. The links between vegetation, hydrology, and climate that control carbon sequestration in plant biomass and soils remain poorly understood. Soil respiration is the second largest carbon flux of terrestrial ecosystems, yet there is no consensus on how respiration will change as water availability and temperature co-vary. To address this knowledge gap, we use the variation in soil development and topography across an elevation and climate gradient on the Front Range of Colorado to conduct a natural experiment that enables us to examine the co-evolution of soil carbon, vegetation, hydrology, and climate in an accessible field laboratory. The goal of this project is to further our ability to combine plant water availability, carbon flux and storage, and topographically driven hydrometrics into a watershed scale predictive model of carbon balance. We hypothesize: (i) landscape structure and hydrology are important controls on soil respiration as a result of spatial variability in both physical and biological drivers: (ii) variation in rates of soil respiration during the growing season is due to corresponding shifts in belowground carbon inputs from vegetation; and (iii) aboveground carbon storage (biomass) and species composition are directly correlated with soil moisture and therefore, can be directly related to subsurface drainage patterns.

  13. Understanding Bateson and Maturana: Toward a Biological Foundation for the Social Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, Paul F.

    1985-01-01

    Offers a study guide for translating the work of Gregory Bateson and Humberto R. Maturana. Demonstrates that their work is highly compatible. Highlights their essential message: social systems and all human endeavor must be understood in light of our existence as biological entities. (BH)

  14. Perceptual Influence of Ugandan Biology Students' Understanding of HIV/AIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutonyi, Harriet; Nashon, Samson; Nielsen, Wendy S.

    2010-01-01

    In Uganda, curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS has largely depended on public and private media messages about the disease. Media campaigns based on Uganda's cultural norms of communication are metaphorical, analogical and simile-like. The topic of HIV/AIDS has been introduced into the Senior Three (Grade 11) biology curriculum in Uganda. To what…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  17. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…

  18. Understanding the Information Needs of Academic Scholars in Agricultural and Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuruppu, Pali U.; Gruber, Anne Marie

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the information needs of faculty and graduate students in agricultural and biological sciences. Qualitative research methods, interviews and focus groups, were used to examine what types of information these scholars need for their research, teaching and learning, how they seek that information, and perceptions. The…

  19. Efficient sample preparation from complex biological samples using a sliding lid for immobilized droplet extractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casavant, Benjamin P; Guckenberger, David J; Beebe, David J; Berry, Scott M

    2014-07-01

    Sample preparation is a major bottleneck in many biological processes. Paramagnetic particles (PMPs) are a ubiquitous method for isolating analytes of interest from biological samples and are used for their ability to thoroughly sample a solution and be easily collected with a magnet. There are three main methods by which PMPs are used for sample preparation: (1) removal of fluid from the analyte-bound PMPs, (2) removal of analyte-bound PMPs from the solution, and (3) removal of the substrate (with immobilized analyte-bound PMPs). In this paper, we explore the third and least studied method for PMP-based sample preparation using a platform termed Sliding Lid for Immobilized Droplet Extractions (SLIDE). SLIDE leverages principles of surface tension and patterned hydrophobicity to create a simple-to-operate platform for sample isolation (cells, DNA, RNA, protein) and preparation (cell staining) without the need for time-intensive wash steps, use of immiscible fluids, or precise pinning geometries. Compared to other standard isolation protocols using PMPs, SLIDE is able to perform rapid sample preparation with low (0.6%) carryover of contaminants from the original sample. The natural recirculation occurring within the pinned droplets of SLIDE make possible the performance of multistep cell staining protocols within the SLIDE by simply resting the lid over the various sample droplets. SLIDE demonstrates a simple easy to use platform for sample preparation on a range of complex biological samples.

  20. Systematic metabolite annotation and identification in complex biological extracts : combining robust mass spectrometry fragmentation and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooft, van der J.J.J.

    2012-01-01

    Detailed knowledge of the chemical content of organisms, organs, tissues, and cells is needed to fully characterize complex biological systems. The high chemical variety of compounds present in biological systems is illustrated by the presence of a large variety of compounds, ranging from apolar

  1. Y-12 National Security Complex Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program 2007 Calendar Yeare Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, M.J.; Greeley, M. S. Jr.; Morris, G. W.; Roy, W. K.; Ryan, M. G.; Smith, J. G.; Southworth, G. R.

    2008-07-01

    The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued for the Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12 Complex) which became effective May 1, 2006, continued a requirement for a Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP). The BMAP was originally developed in 1985 to demonstrate that the effluent limitations established for the Y-12 Complex protected the classified uses of the receiving stream (East Fork Poplar Creek: EFPC), in particular, the growth and propagation of aquatic life (Loar et al. 1989). The objectives of the current BMAP are similar, specifically to assess stream ecological conditions relative to regulatory limits and criteria, to assess ecological impacts as well as recovery in response to Y-12 operations, and to investigate the causes of continuing impacts. The BMAP consists of three tasks that reflect complementary approaches to evaluating the effects of the Y-12 Complex discharges on the biotic integrity of EFPC. These tasks include: (1) bioaccumulation monitoring, (2) benthic macroinvertebrate community monitoring, and (3) fish community monitoring. As required by the NPDES permit, the BMAP benthic macroinvertebrate community monitoring task includes studies to annually evaluate the receiving stream's biological integrity in comparison to TN Water Quality Criteria. BMAP monitoring is currently being conducted at five primary EFPC sites, although sites may be excluded or added depending upon the specific objectives of the various tasks. Criteria used in selecting the sites include: (1) location of sampling sites used in other studies, (2) known or suspected sources of downstream impacts, (3) proximity to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) boundaries, (4) appropriate habitat distribution, and (5) access. The primary sampling sites include upper EFPC at kilometers (EFKs) 24.4 and 23.4 [upstream and downstream of Lake Reality (LR) respectively]; EFK 18.7 (also EFK 18.2 and 19), located

  2. High School Students' Understanding of Change over Time and System Complexity: A Focus on the Cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.; Ledley, T. S.; Guthrie, C.

    2010-12-01

    Most students have difficulty articulating processes that are key for Earth’s changes and may have limited ability to understand Earth system science and think across spatial and temporal dimensions. The cryosphere, a complex and dynamic Earth system that exhibits change over time (e.g., seasonal, yearly, decadal, and millennial), can be difficult for students to reason about. The presented research assesses the effectiveness of the project developed on-line modules on high school students’ cryosphere content knowledge and skill development, including their: (1) conceptual understanding of ice, thermodynamics, climate, changes in ice cover over time, Earth system interactions, and complexity, and (2) use and interpretation of data and graphs about the cryosphere. Pre- and post- student assessments, classroom observations, and teacher interviews were collected from four high school classrooms in Texas to determine the effectiveness of the Earthlabs cryosphere modules in reaching the specified learning goals. Preliminary analysis of pre-and post-test data revealed a number of interesting changes where students displayed an increase in their awareness of the cryosphere, increase in confidence about cryosphere knowledge, and an increase in their ability to read and interpret graphs. Furthermore, classroom observations made for 25 minutes during a class period illustrated that for over 84% of the class period the students were engaged with the Earthlabs materials and spent the majority (>50%) of their time either discussing (31%) or working on the on-line Earthlabs cryosphere materials (29%). Finally, forty-five minute individual telephone interviews conducted with the four implementing cryosphere teachers revealed that teachers overwhelmingly reflected that the materials supported students’ ability to learn about the (i) nature and importance of the cryosphere, (ii) manipulation, analysis, interpretation of data, (iii) physical changes over multiple time scales

  3. Biological evaluation of transdichloridoplatinum(II) complexes with 3- and 4-acetylpyridine in comparison to cisplatin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filipovic, Lana; Arandelovic, Sandra; Gligorijevic, Nevenka; Krivokuca, Ana; Jankovic, Radmila; Srdic-Rajic, Tatjana; Rakic, Gordana; Tesic, Zivoslav; Radulovic, Sinisa

    2013-01-01

    In our previous study we reported the synthesis and cytotoxicity of two trans-platinum(II) complexes: trans-[PtCl 2 (3-acetylpyridine) 2 ] (1) and trans-[PtCl 2 (4-acetylpyridine) 2 ] (2), revealing significant cytotoxic potential of 2. In order to evaluate the mechanism underlying biological activity of both trans-Pt(II) isomers, comparative studies versus cisplatin were performed in HeLa, MRC-5 and MS1 cells. The cytotoxic activity of the investigated complexes was determined using SRB assay. The colagenolytic activity was determined using gelatin zymography, while the effect of platinum complexes on matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Apoptotic potential and cell cycle alterations were determined by FACS analyses. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate the effect on expression of DNA-repair enzyme ERCC1, and quantitative real-time PCR was used for the ERCC1 mRNA expression analysis. In vitro antiangiogenic potential was determined by tube formation assay. Platinum content in intracellular DNA and proteins was determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Compound 2 displayed an apparent cytoselective profile, and flow cytometry analysis in HeLa cells indicated that 2 exerted antiproliferative effect through apoptosis induction, while 1 induced both apoptosis and necrosis. Action of 1 and 2, as analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot, was associated with down-regulation of ERCC1. Both trans-complexes inhibited MMP-9 mRNA expression in HeLa, while 2 significantly abrogated in vitro tubulogenesis in MS1 cells. The ability of 2 to induce multiple and selective in vitro cytotoxic effects encourages further investigations of trans-platinum(II) complexes with substituted pyridines

  4. 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.

  5. Developing teachers' understanding of molecular biology: Building a foundation for students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Rachel; Parisky, Alex; Campbell, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Molecular biology often uses participation in active research laboratories as a form of educational training. However, this approach to learning severely restricts access. As a way of addressing this need, the University of Hawaii launched a project to expand this model to include newly developed online training materials in addition to a hands-on laboratory experience. This paper further explores the process of material development and assessment plans. A pilot case study of a group of advanced biology teachers who embark on learning molecular biology over a four-month period through online training materials and working side-by-side with medical researchers in a laboratory is described. Teachers were positive in reporting about the many areas they gained instruction in although some feedback suggested that the initial online materials over-emphasised abstract concepts and laboratory techniques and did not adequately connect to the active research problems or local context of most interest to teachers and students. The experiences of the teachers are shared in an effort to gain insight on how teachers perceive their participation in the study.

  6. Structure and biological properties of mixed-ligand Cu(II) Schiff base complexes as potential anticancer agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, Yi; Li, Jinlong; Fan, Boyi; Xu, Bohui; Zhou, Min; Yang, Feng

    2017-07-07

    We synthesized two mixed-ligand Cu(II) complexes containing different aroylhydrazone ligands and a pyridine co-ligand, namely, [Cu(L1)(Py)] (C1) and [Cu(L2)(Py)(Br)] (C2) (L1 = (E)-2-hydroxy-N'-((2-hydroxynaphthalen-1-yl)methylene)benzohydrazide, Py = pyridine, L2 = (E)-2-hydroxy-N'-(phenyl(pyridin-2-yl)methylene)benzohydrazide), and assessed their chemical and biological properties to understand their marked activity. C2 showed better anticancer activity than C1 in various human cancer cell lines, including the cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cell line A549cisR. Both Cu(II) complexes, especially C2, displayed promising anti-metastatic activity against HepG2 cells. Spectroscopic titration and agarose gel electrophoresis experiments indicated that C2 exhibited binding affinity toward calf-thymus DNA and efficient pBR322 DNA-cleaving ability. Further mechanistic studies showed that C2 effectively induced DNA damage and thus led to cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, and also stimulated mitochondrial dysfunction mediated by reactive oxygen species and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Measurement issues associated with quantitative molecular biology analysis of complex food matrices for the detection of food fraud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Malcolm; Wiseman, Gordon; Knight, Angus; Bramley, Peter; Foster, Lucy; Rollinson, Sophie; Damant, Andrew; Primrose, Sandy

    2016-01-07

    Following a report on a significant amount of horse DNA being detected in a beef burger product on sale to the public at a UK supermarket in early 2013, the Elliott report was published in 2014 and contained a list of recommendations for helping ensure food integrity. One of the recommendations included improving laboratory testing capacity and capability to ensure a harmonised approach for testing for food authenticity. Molecular biologists have developed exquisitely sensitive methods based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or mass spectrometry for detecting the presence of particular nucleic acid or peptide/protein sequences. These methods have been shown to be specific and sensitive in terms of lower limits of applicability, but they are largely qualitative in nature. Historically, the conversion of these qualitative techniques into reliable quantitative methods has been beset with problems even when used on relatively simple sample matrices. When the methods are applied to complex sample matrices, as found in many foods, the problems are magnified resulting in a high measurement uncertainty associated with the result which may mean that the assay is not fit for purpose. However, recent advances in the technology and the understanding of molecular biology approaches have further given rise to the re-assessment of these methods for their quantitative potential. This review focuses on important issues for consideration when validating a molecular biology assay and the various factors that can impact on the measurement uncertainty of a result associated with molecular biology approaches used in detection of food fraud, with a particular focus on quantitative PCR-based and proteomics assays.

  8. Reactivity of 5a,6-anhydrotetracycline platinum(II) complex with biological nucleophiles: a theoretical study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcial, Bruna L.; Santos, Helio F. dos; Costa, Luiz Antonio S.; Almeida, Wagner B. de

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes a theoretical analysis of the interaction between 5a,6-anhydrotetracycline platinum(II) complex (AHTC-Pt) and some biological nucleophiles; adenine (A), guanine (G), cysteine (Cys) and methionine (Met). The aquated species [Pt(AHTC)Cl(H 2 O)] + was taken as reagent for the processes studied here. For DNA bases (A and G), the calculated values for ΔG a,aq at the B3LYP/6-311+G(2d,p) level were 21.7 and 20.7 kcal mol -1 for interaction with A and G, respectively, which are in accordance with the expected behavior of faster process involving G. These values are higher than the experimental activation energy for the parent compound cisplatin (18.5 kcal mol -1 for interaction with G). For the process involving the amino-acids, the barriers were 17.6 (Cys) and 18.5 kcal mol -1 (Met), which are lower than the observed values for cisplatin (20.5 and 20.2 kcal mol -1 , respectively). These outcomes show that AHTC-Pt hybrid complex may be considered a promising lead compound in the development of novel anticancer drugs based on platinum complex. (author)

  9. Reactivity of 5a,6-anhydrotetracycline platinum(II) complex with biological nucleophiles: a theoretical study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcial, Bruna L.; Santos, Helio F. dos [Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), MG (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica. Nucleo de Estudos em Quimica Computacional; Costa, Luiz Antonio S. [Escola Preparatoria de Cadetes do Ar, Barbacena, MG (Brazil). Comando da Aeronautica. Dept. de Ensino da Aeronautica; Almeida, Wagner B. de [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica. Lab. de Quimica Computacional e Modelagem Molecular]. E-mail: helio.santos@ufjf.edu.br

    2008-07-01

    This paper describes a theoretical analysis of the interaction between 5a,6-anhydrotetracycline platinum(II) complex (AHTC-Pt) and some biological nucleophiles; adenine (A), guanine (G), cysteine (Cys) and methionine (Met). The aquated species [Pt(AHTC)Cl(H{sub 2}O)]{sup +} was taken as reagent for the processes studied here. For DNA bases (A and G), the calculated values for {delta}G{sub a,aq} at the B3LYP/6-311+G(2d,p) level were 21.7 and 20.7 kcal mol{sup -1} for interaction with A and G, respectively, which are in accordance with the expected behavior of faster process involving G. These values are higher than the experimental activation energy for the parent compound cisplatin (18.5 kcal mol{sup -1} for interaction with G). For the process involving the amino-acids, the barriers were 17.6 (Cys) and 18.5 kcal mol{sup -1} (Met), which are lower than the observed values for cisplatin (20.5 and 20.2 kcal mol{sup -1}, respectively). These outcomes show that AHTC-Pt hybrid complex may be considered a promising lead compound in the development of novel anticancer drugs based on platinum complex. (author)

  10. Antiproliferative Pt(IV) complexes: synthesis, biological activity, and quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramatica, Paola; Papa, Ester; Luini, Mara; Monti, Elena; Gariboldi, Marzia B; Ravera, Mauro; Gabano, Elisabetta; Gaviglio, Luca; Osella, Domenico

    2010-09-01

    Several Pt(IV) complexes of the general formula [Pt(L)2(L')2(L'')2] [axial ligands L are Cl-, RCOO-, or OH-; equatorial ligands L' are two am(m)ine or one diamine; and equatorial ligands L'' are Cl- or glycolato] were rationally designed and synthesized in the attempt to develop a predictive quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model. Numerous theoretical molecular descriptors were used alongside physicochemical data (i.e., reduction peak potential, Ep, and partition coefficient, log Po/w) to obtain a validated QSAR between in vitro cytotoxicity (half maximal inhibitory concentrations, IC50, on A2780 ovarian and HCT116 colon carcinoma cell lines) and some features of Pt(IV) complexes. In the resulting best models, a lipophilic descriptor (log Po/w or the number of secondary sp3 carbon atoms) plus an electronic descriptor (Ep, the number of oxygen atoms, or the topological polar surface area expressed as the N,O polar contribution) is necessary for modeling, supporting the general finding that the biological behavior of Pt(IV) complexes can be rationalized on the basis of their cellular uptake, the Pt(IV)-->Pt(II) reduction, and the structure of the corresponding Pt(II) metabolites. Novel compounds were synthesized on the basis of their predicted cytotoxicity in the preliminary QSAR model, and were experimentally tested. A final QSAR model, based solely on theoretical molecular descriptors to ensure its general applicability, is proposed.

  11. Toward a better understanding of the complex geochemical processes governing subsurface contaminant transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puls, R.W.

    1990-01-01

    Identification and understanding of the geochemical processes, including ion exchange, precipitation, organic partitioning, chemisorption, aqueous complexation, and colloidal stability and transport, controlling subsurface contamination is essential for making accurate predictions of the fate and transport of these constituents. Current approaches to quantify the effect of these processes primarily involve laboratory techniques, including the use of closed static systems (batch experiments) where small amounts of aquifer solids or minerals are contacted with an aqueous phase containing the components of interest for relatively short durations; and dynamic systems (column experiments) where a larger segment of the aquifer is investigated by analyzing the breakthrough profiles of reactive and non-reactive species. Both approaches are constrained by differences in scale, alteration of media during sample collection and use, and spatial variability. More field reactivity studies are needed to complement established laboratory approaches for the determination of retardation factors and scaling factors, corroboration of batch and column results, and validation of sampling techniques. These studies also serve to accentuate areas of geochemical process research where data deficiencies exist, such as the kinetics of adsorption-desorption, metal-organic-mineral interactions, and colloidal mobility. The advantages and disadvantages of the above approaches are discussed in the context of achieving a more completely integrated approach to geochemical transport experiments, with supportive data presented from selected studies. (Author) (16 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.)

  12. Understanding Epistatic Interactions between Genes Targeted by Non-coding Regulatory Elements in Complex Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Kyung Sung

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies have proven the highly polygenic architecture of complex diseases or traits; therefore, single-locus-based methods are usually unable to detect all involved loci, especially when individual loci exert small effects. Moreover, the majority of associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms resides in non-coding regions, making it difficult to understand their phenotypic contribution. In this work, we studied epistatic interactions associated with three common diseases using Korea Association Resource (KARE data: type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM, hypertension (HT, and coronary artery disease (CAD. We showed that epistatic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were enriched in enhancers, as well as in DNase I footprints (the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements [ENCODE] Project Consortium 2012, which suggested that the disruption of the regulatory regions where transcription factors bind may be involved in the disease mechanism. Accordingly, to identify the genes affected by the SNPs, we employed whole-genome multiple-cell-type enhancer data which discovered using DNase I profiles and Cap Analysis Gene Expression (CAGE. Assigned genes were significantly enriched in known disease associated gene sets, which were explored based on the literature, suggesting that this approach is useful for detecting relevant affected genes. In our knowledge-based epistatic network, the three diseases share many associated genes and are also closely related with each other through many epistatic interactions. These findings elucidate the genetic basis of the close relationship between DM, HT, and CAD.

  13. Complexities in Understanding Attentional Functioning among Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly eLane

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Parental reports of attention problems and clinical symptomatology of ADHD among children with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD were assessed in relation to performance on standardized subtests of attantional control/shifting and selective attention from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch; Manly et al., 1998. The participants included 14 children with FASD with a mean CA of 11.7 years and a mean MA of 9.7 years, and 14 typically developing (TD children with no reported history of prenatal exposure to alcohol or attention problems with a mean CA of 8.4 years and a mean MA of 9.6 years. The children with FASD were rated by their caregivers as having clinically significant attention difficulties for their developmental age. The reported symptomatology for the majority of the children with FASD were consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD, combined type, and only one child had a score within the average range. These reports are consistent with the finding here that the children with FASD demonstrated difficulties on the Creature Counting subtest of attentional control/shifting, but inconsistent with the finding that they outperformed the TD children on the Map Mission subtest of selective attention. These findings are considered within the context of the complexity in understanding attentional functioning among children with FASD and discrepancies across sources of information and components of attention.

  14. Understanding Immune Resistance to Infectious Bronchitis Using Major Histocompatibility Complex Chicken Lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, A P; Hauck, R; Zhou, H; Gallardo, R A

    2017-09-01

    Genetic resistance or susceptibility to infectious diseases has been largely associated with the avian major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. Our goal was to determine resistance and susceptibility of MHC B haplotype in congenic and inbred chicken lines in order to establish a resistant-susceptible model. Eight congenic lines (253/B18, 254/B15, 330/B21, 312/B24, 331/B2, 335/B19, 336/B21, and 342/BO), two inbred lines (003/B17 and 077/B19), and three commercial lines (white leghorn, brown layers, and broilers) were used in two experiments. We analyzed and compared immunologic responses and the effect of challenge by measuring viral load, IgG and IgA humoral responses, histopathology and histomorphometry, clinical signs, and immune cell populations in the different MHC B haplotype lines. We found that respiratory signs, tracheal deciliation and inflammation, airsacculitis, viral shedding in tears, and local humoral responses were good parameters to determine resistance or susceptibility. Based on these results, we identified 331/B2 as the most resistant and 335/B19 as the most susceptible congenic chicken lines. These two lines will be used as an animal model in subsequent experiments to understand the mechanisms by which the immune system in chickens generates resistance to infectious bronchitis virus.

  15. Y-12 National Security Complex Biological Monitoring And Abatement Program 2008 Calendar Year Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, M. J.; Greeley Jr., M. S.; Mathews, T. J.; Morris, G. W.; Roy, W. K.; Ryon, M. G.; Smith, J. G.; Southworth, G. R.

    2009-07-01

    The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued for the Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12 Complex) which became effective May 1, 2006, continued a requirement for a Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP). The BMAP was originally developed in 1985 to demonstrate that the effluent limitations established for the Y-12 Complex protected the classified uses of the receiving stream (East Fork Poplar Creek: EFPC), in particular, the growth and propagation of aquatic life (Loar et al. 1989). The objectives of the current BMAP are similar, specifically to assess stream ecological conditions relative to regulatory limits and criteria, to assess ecological impacts as well as recovery in response to Y-12 operations, and to investigate the causes of continuing impacts. The BMAP consists of three tasks that reflect complementary approaches to evaluating the effects of the Y-12 Complex discharges on the biotic integrity of EFPC. These tasks include: (1) bioaccumulation monitoring, (2) benthic macroinvertebrate community monitoring, and (3) fish community monitoring. As required by the NPDES permit, the BMAP benthic macroinvertebrate community monitoring task includes studies to annually evaluate the receiving stream's biological integrity in comparison to TN Water Quality Criteria. BMAP monitoring is currently being conducted at five primary EFPC sites, although sites may be excluded or added depending upon the specific objectives of the various tasks. Criteria used in selecting the sites include: (1) location of sampling sites used in other studies, (2) known or suspected sources of downstream impacts, (3) proximity to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) boundaries, (4) appropriate habitat distribution, and (5) access. The primary sampling sites include upper EFPC at kilometers (EFKs) 24.4 and 23.4 [upstream and downstream of Lake Reality (LR) respectively]; EFK 18.7 (also EFK 18.2 and 19), located off

  16. Collaborative Research. Damage and Burst Dynamics in Failure of Complex Geomaterials. A Statistical Physics Approach to Understanding the Complex Emergent Dynamics in Near Mean-Field Geological Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rundle, John B. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Klein, William [Boston Univ., MA (United States)

    2015-09-29

    We have carried out research to determine the dynamics of failure in complex geomaterials, specifically focusing on the role of defects, damage and asperities in the catastrophic failure processes (now popularly termed “Black Swan events”). We have examined fracture branching and flow processes using models for invasion percolation, focusing particularly on the dynamics of bursts in the branching process. We have achieved a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of nucleation in complex geomaterials, specifically in the presence of inhomogeneous structures.

  17. Sign language: its history and contribution to the understanding of the biological nature of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruben, Robert J

    2005-05-01

    The development of conceptualization of a biological basis of language during the 20th century has come about, in part, through the appreciation of the central nervous system's ability to utilize varied sensory inputs, and particularly vision, to develop language. Sign language has been a part of the linguistic experience from prehistory to the present day. Data suggest that human language may have originated as a visual language and became primarily auditory with the later development of our voice/speech tract. Sign language may be categorized into two types. The first is used by individuals who have auditory/oral language and the signs are used for special situations, such as communication in a monastery in which there is a vow of silence. The second is used by those who do not have access to auditory/oral language, namely the deaf. The history of the two forms of sign language and the development of the concept of the biological basis of language are reviewed from the fourth century BC to the present day. Sign languages of the deaf have been recognized since at least the fourth century BC. The codification of a monastic sign language occurred in the seventh to eighth centuries AD. Probable synergy between the two forms of sign language occurred in the 16th century. Among other developments, the Abbey de L'Epée introduced, in the 18th century, an oral syntax, French, into a sign language based upon indigenous signs of the deaf and newly created signs. During the 19th century, the concept of a "critical" period for the acquisition of language developed; this was an important stimulus for the exploration of the biological basis of language. The introduction of techniques, e.g. evoked potentials and functional MRI, during the 20th century allowed study of the brain functions associated with language.

  18. The Hidden Complexity of Biological "Dirty Bombs": Implications for Special Operations Medical Personnel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington, Michael A; Blythe, Jauchia

    The recent capture of a terrorist in Belgium carrying explosives, fecal matter, and animal tissue may indicate a shift from conventional weapons to crude bacteriological preparations as instruments of terror. It is important to note that although such weapons lack technological sophistication, bacteria are inherently complex, unpredictable, and undetectable in the field. Therefore, it is important that Special Operations medical personnel understand the complications that such seemingly simple devices can add to the treatment of casualties in the field and subsequent evaluation in the clinic. 2016.

  19. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santello, M.; Bianchi, M.; Gabiccini, M.; Ricciardi, E.; Salvietti, G.; Prattichizzo, D.; Ernst, M.; Moscatelli, A.; Jörntell, H.; Kappers, A.M.L.; Kyriakopoulos, K.; Albu-Schäffer, A.; Castellini, C.; Bicchi, A.

    The term ‘synergy’ – from the Greek synergia – means ‘working together’. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural

  20. Student Teachers' Ways of Thinking and Ways of Understanding Digestion and the Digestive System in Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çimer, Sabiha Odabasi; Ursavas, Nazihan

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which student teachers understand digestion and the digestive system and, subsequently, their ways of thinking, as reflected in their problem solving approaches and the justification schemes that they used to validate their claims. For this purpose, clinical interviews were conducted with 10…

  1. The Development of Understanding of Evidence in Pre-University Biology Education in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Schalk, H; van der Schee, J.A.; Boersma, Th.

    2013-01-01

    Ensuring the quality of investigations requires the understanding of procedures by which empirical evidence is obtained. This can be interpreted as becoming aware of and using criteria for evidence in one's mental structure. The question is whether this process can be observed in practice. In two

  2. Toward an Understanding of the Epistemic Values of Biological Scientists as Expressed in Scholarly Publication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Kathel

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation develops a deeper understanding of the epistemic values of scientists, specifically exploring the proposed values of community, collaboration, connectivity and credit as part of the scholarly communication system. These values are the essence of scientists actively engaged in conducting science and in communicating their work to…

  3. The dichotomy between disease phenotype databases and the implications for understanding complex diseases involving the major histocompatibility complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P M; Kunkel, M; Monos, D S

    2015-12-01

    Many genes related to innate and adaptive immunity reside within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and have been associated with a multitude of complex, immune-related disorders. Despite years of genetic study, this region has seen few causative determinants discovered for immune-mediated diseases. Reported associations have been curated in various databases including the Genetic Association Database, NCBI database of clinically relevant variants (ClinVar) and the Human Gene Mutation Database and together capture genetic associations and annotated pathogenic loci within the MHC and across the genome for a variety of complex, immune-mediated diseases. A review of these three distinct databases reveals disparate annotations between associated genes and pathogenic loci, alluding to the polygenic, multifactorial nature of immune-mediated diseases and the pleiotropic character of genes within the MHC. The technical limitations and inherent biases imposed by current approaches and technologies in studying the MHC create a strong case for the need to perform targeted deep sequencing of the MHC and other immunologically relevant loci in order to fully elucidate and study the causative elements of complex immune-mediated diseases. © 2015 The Authors. International Journal of Immunogenetics Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Future development of biological understanding of radiation protection: implications of nonstochastic effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hahn, F.F.; McClellan, R.O.; Boecker, B.B.; Muggenburg, B.A.

    1988-01-01

    Radiation-protection standards are based on minimizing or preventing biological effects in exposed populations. Radiation-induced biological effects can be classified as stochastic--malignant and hereditary diseases for which the probability of an effect occurring is a function of dose without threshold--and nonstochastic--inflammatory and degenerative diseases for which the severity and frequency of the effect varies with the dose and for which a threshold is present. The current International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) approach for setting limits for intakes of radionuclides by workers, which accounts for doses to significantly exposed organs of the body, is based on limitation of stochastic effects in most situations. When setting exposure limits, nonstochastic effects are generally considered to be unlikely at the limits for stochastic effects. In some situations, limits based on prevention of nonstochastic effects are lower than for stochastic effects. This review considers the threshold radiation doses for thyroid, bone, liver and lung and their relationship to the limits recommended by the ICRP and the cancer risks at the limits. This review indicates that the threshold dose for nonstochastic effects in thyroid and lung is much above the dose limit as advocated by ICRP. The threshold dose for nonstochastic effects in bone and liver is much closer to the dose limit, but protection from nonstochastic effects should still be afforded by the dose limits

  5. Complex Biological Event Extraction from Full Text using Signatures of Linguistic and Semantic Features

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGrath, Liam R.; Domico, Kelly O.; Corley, Courtney D.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.

    2011-06-24

    Building on technical advances from the BioNLP 2009 Shared Task Challenge, the 2011 challenge sets forth to generalize techniques to other complex biological event extraction tasks. In this paper, we present the implementation and evaluation of a signature-based machine-learning technique to predict events from full texts of infectious disease documents. Specifically, our approach uses novel signatures composed of traditional linguistic features and semantic knowledge to predict event triggers and their candidate arguments. Using a leave-one out analysis, we report the contribution of linguistic and shallow semantic features in the trigger prediction and candidate argument extraction. Lastly, we examine evaluations and posit causes for errors of infectious disease track subtasks.

  6. Bions: A Family of Biomimetic Mineralo-Organic Complexes Derived from Biological Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Jan; Young, John D.

    2013-01-01

    Mineralo-organic nanoparticles form spontaneously in human body fluids when the concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions exceed saturation. We have shown previously that these mineralo-organic nanoparticles possess biomimetic properties and can reproduce the whole phenomenology of the so-called nanobacteria—mineralized entities initially described as the smallest microorganisms on earth. Here, we examine the possibility that various charged elements and ions may form mineral nanoparticles with similar properties in biological fluids. Remarkably, all the elements tested, including sodium, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, and barium form mineralo-organic particles with bacteria-like morphologies and other complex shapes following precipitation with phosphate in body fluids. Upon formation, these mineralo-organic particles, which we term bions, invariably accumulate carbonate apatite during incubation in biological fluids; yet, the particles also incorporate additional elements and thus reflect the ionic milieu in which they form. Bions initially harbor an amorphous mineral phase that gradually converts to crystals in culture. Our results show that serum produces a dual inhibition-seeding effect on bion formation. Using a comprehensive proteomic analysis, we identify a wide range of proteins that bind to these mineral particles during incubation in medium containing serum. The two main binding proteins identified, albumin and fetuin-A, act as both inhibitors and seeders of bions in culture. Notably, bions possess several biomimetic properties, including the possibility to increase in size and number and to be sub-cultured in fresh culture medium. Based on these results, we propose that bions represent biological, mineralo-organic particles that may form in the body under both physiological and pathological homeostasis conditions. These mineralo-organic particles may be part of a physiological cycle that

  7. Bions: a family of biomimetic mineralo-organic complexes derived from biological fluids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Yeu Wu

    Full Text Available Mineralo-organic nanoparticles form spontaneously in human body fluids when the concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions exceed saturation. We have shown previously that these mineralo-organic nanoparticles possess biomimetic properties and can reproduce the whole phenomenology of the so-called nanobacteria-mineralized entities initially described as the smallest microorganisms on earth. Here, we examine the possibility that various charged elements and ions may form mineral nanoparticles with similar properties in biological fluids. Remarkably, all the elements tested, including sodium, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, and barium form mineralo-organic particles with bacteria-like morphologies and other complex shapes following precipitation with phosphate in body fluids. Upon formation, these mineralo-organic particles, which we term bions, invariably accumulate carbonate apatite during incubation in biological fluids; yet, the particles also incorporate additional elements and thus reflect the ionic milieu in which they form. Bions initially harbor an amorphous mineral phase that gradually converts to crystals in culture. Our results show that serum produces a dual inhibition-seeding effect on bion formation. Using a comprehensive proteomic analysis, we identify a wide range of proteins that bind to these mineral particles during incubation in medium containing serum. The two main binding proteins identified, albumin and fetuin-A, act as both inhibitors and seeders of bions in culture. Notably, bions possess several biomimetic properties, including the possibility to increase in size and number and to be sub-cultured in fresh culture medium. Based on these results, we propose that bions represent biological, mineralo-organic particles that may form in the body under both physiological and pathological homeostasis conditions. These mineralo-organic particles may be part of a

  8. Bions: a family of biomimetic mineralo-organic complexes derived from biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Cheng-Yeu; Young, Lena; Young, David; Martel, Jan; Young, John D

    2013-01-01

    Mineralo-organic nanoparticles form spontaneously in human body fluids when the concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions exceed saturation. We have shown previously that these mineralo-organic nanoparticles possess biomimetic properties and can reproduce the whole phenomenology of the so-called nanobacteria-mineralized entities initially described as the smallest microorganisms on earth. Here, we examine the possibility that various charged elements and ions may form mineral nanoparticles with similar properties in biological fluids. Remarkably, all the elements tested, including sodium, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, and barium form mineralo-organic particles with bacteria-like morphologies and other complex shapes following precipitation with phosphate in body fluids. Upon formation, these mineralo-organic particles, which we term bions, invariably accumulate carbonate apatite during incubation in biological fluids; yet, the particles also incorporate additional elements and thus reflect the ionic milieu in which they form. Bions initially harbor an amorphous mineral phase that gradually converts to crystals in culture. Our results show that serum produces a dual inhibition-seeding effect on bion formation. Using a comprehensive proteomic analysis, we identify a wide range of proteins that bind to these mineral particles during incubation in medium containing serum. The two main binding proteins identified, albumin and fetuin-A, act as both inhibitors and seeders of bions in culture. Notably, bions possess several biomimetic properties, including the possibility to increase in size and number and to be sub-cultured in fresh culture medium. Based on these results, we propose that bions represent biological, mineralo-organic particles that may form in the body under both physiological and pathological homeostasis conditions. These mineralo-organic particles may be part of a physiological cycle that

  9. Modeling a Complex Biological Network with Temporal Heterogeneity: Cardiac Myocyte Plasticity as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazloom, Amin R.; Basu, Kalyan; Mandal, Subhrangsu S.; Das, Sajal K.

    Complex biological systems often characterize nonlinear dynamics. Employing traditional deterministic or stochastic approaches to quantify these dynamics either fail to capture their existing deviant effects or lead to combinatorial explosion. In this work we devised a novel approach that projects the biological functions within a pathway to a network of stochastic events that are random in time and space. By applying this approach recursively to the object system we build the event network of the entire system. The dynamics of the system evolves through the execution of the event network by a simulation engine which comprised of a time prioritized event queue. As a case study we utilized the current method and conducted an in-silico experiment on the metabolic plasticity of a cardiac myocyete. We aimed to quantify the down stream effects of insulin signaling that predominantly controls the plasticity in myocardium. Intriguingly, our in-silico results on transcription regulatory effect of insulin showed a good agreement with experimental data. Meanwhile we were able to characterize the flux change across major metabolic pathways over 48 hours of the in-silico experiment. Our simulation performed a remarkable efficiency by conducting 48 hours of simulation-time in less that 2 hours of processor time.

  10. Biological and genetic aspects of experimental hybrids from species of the Phyllosoma complex (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Ibarra, José Alejandro; Ventura-Rodríguez, Luz Verónica; Meillon-Isais, Karla; Barajas-Martínez, Héctor; Alejandre-Aguilar, Ricardo; Lupercio-Coronel, Patricia; Rocha-Chávez, Gonzalo; Nogueda-Torres, Benjamín

    2008-05-01

    The present work is a thorough investigation of the degree of reproductive isolation between Meccus mazzottii and Meccus longipennis, Meccus picturatus, Meccus pallidipennis and Meccus bassolsae, as well as between M. longipennis and M. picturatus. We examined fertility and segregation of morphological characteristics in two generations of hybrids derived from crosses between these species. The percentage of pairs with (fertile) offspring was highest in the set of crosses between M. longipennis and M. picturatus, and lowest between M. mazzottii and M. picturatus. Most first-generation (F1) individuals from crosses involving M. mazzottii were morphologically similar to this species, while only F1 x F1 progeny of parental crosses between M. mazzottii and M. longipennis had offspring second generation that looked like M. mazzottii. The results indicate that different degrees of reproductive isolation apparently exist among the species of the Phyllosoma complex examined in this study. The biological evidence obtained in this study does not support the proposal that M. longipennis and M. picturatus are full species. It could indicate on the contrary, that both could be considered as subspecies of a single polytypic species. On the other hand, biological evidence supports the proposal that M. mazzottii is a full species.

  11. The Value of a Comparative Approach to Understand the Complex Interplay between Microbiota and Host Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morella, Norma M; Koskella, Britt

    2017-01-01

    The eukaryote immune system evolved and continues to evolve within a microbial world, and as such is critically shaped by-and in some cases even reliant upon-the presence of host-associated microbial species. There are clear examples of adaptations that allow the host to simultaneously tolerate and/or promote growth of symbiotic microbiota while protecting itself against pathogens, but the relationship between immunity and the microbiome reaches far beyond simple recognition and includes complex cross talk between host and microbe as well as direct microbiome-mediated protection against pathogens. Here, we present a broad but brief overview of how the microbiome is controlled by and interacts with diverse immune systems, with the goal of identifying questions that can be better addressed by taking a comparative approach across plants and animals and different types of immunity. As two key examples of such an approach, we focus on data examining the importance of early exposure on microbiome tolerance and immune system development and function, and the importance of transmission among hosts in shaping the potential coevolution between, and long-term stability of, host-microbiome associations. Then, by comparing existing evidence across short-lived plants, mouse model systems and humans, and insects, we highlight areas of microbiome research that are strong in some systems and absent in others with the hope of guiding future research that will allow for broad-scale comparisons moving forward. We argue that such an approach will not only help with identification of generalities in host-microbiome-immune interactions but also improve our understanding of the role of the microbiome in host health.

  12. Raman analysis of DLC coated engine components with complex shape: Understanding wear mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaoul, C.; Jarry, O.; Tristant, P.; Merle-Mejean, T.; Colas, M.; Dublanche-Tixier, C.; Jacquet, J.-M.

    2009-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) films were deposited on flat samples and engine components using an industrial scale reactor. Characterization of the coating allowed validating its application on engine parts due to high hardness (32 GPa) and high level of adhesion achieved using sublayers. The original approach of this work concerned the use of Raman analysis not only on flat samples after tribometer tests but also directly on coated engine parts with complex shape (like cam/follower system), in order to understand wear mechanisms occurring in motorsport engines. As wear could lead to a coating thickness decrease, a particular attention was paid on the Raman signal of the sublayers. Among the different values extracted from Raman spectrum to characterize structural organization, the value of G peak intensity appeared as a criterion of validity of analyses because it is directly linked to the remaining thickness of the a-C:H layer. For flat samples tested on ball-on-disc tribometer, structure of a-C:H film observed by Raman spectroscopy in the wear track remained stable in depth. Then, a-C:H coated engine components were studied before and after working in real conditions. Two different wear mechanisms were identified. The first one did not show any structural modification of the bulk a-C:H layer. In the second one, the high initial roughness of samples (R t = 1.15 μm) lead to coating delaminations after sliding. Massive graphitization which decreases drastically mechanical properties of the coatings was observed by Raman analyses on the contact area. The increase of the temperature on rough edges of the scratches could explain this graphitization.

  13. The Value of a Comparative Approach to Understand the Complex Interplay between Microbiota and Host Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma M. Morella

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The eukaryote immune system evolved and continues to evolve within a microbial world, and as such is critically shaped by—and in some cases even reliant upon—the presence of host-associated microbial species. There are clear examples of adaptations that allow the host to simultaneously tolerate and/or promote growth of symbiotic microbiota while protecting itself against pathogens, but the relationship between immunity and the microbiome reaches far beyond simple recognition and includes complex cross talk between host and microbe as well as direct microbiome-mediated protection against pathogens. Here, we present a broad but brief overview of how the microbiome is controlled by and interacts with diverse immune systems, with the goal of identifying questions that can be better addressed by taking a comparative approach across plants and animals and different types of immunity. As two key examples of such an approach, we focus on data examining the importance of early exposure on microbiome tolerance and immune system development and function, and the importance of transmission among hosts in shaping the potential coevolution between, and long-term stability of, host–microbiome associations. Then, by comparing existing evidence across short-lived plants, mouse model systems and humans, and insects, we highlight areas of microbiome research that are strong in some systems and absent in others with the hope of guiding future research that will allow for broad-scale comparisons moving forward. We argue that such an approach will not only help with identification of generalities in host–microbiome–immune interactions but also improve our understanding of the role of the microbiome in host health.

  14. Applying Within-Family Differences Approaches to Enhance Understanding of the Complexity of Intergenerational Relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suitor, J Jill; Gilligan, Megan; Pillemer, Karl; Fingerman, Karen L; Kim, Kyungmin; Silverstein, Merril; Bengtson, Vern L

    2017-12-15

    The role of family relationships in the lives of older adults has received substantial attention in recent decades. Scholars have increasingly looked beyond simple models of family relations to approaches that recognize the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of these ties. One of the most exciting conceptual and methodological developments is the application of within-family differences approaches. In this paper, we focus on the ways in which such within-family approaches can extend the understanding of patterns and consequences of intergenerational ties in adulthood. Following a review of the conceptual underpinnings of within-family differences approaches, we provide empirical illustrations of these approaches from three projects conducted in the United States: the Family Exchanges Study (FES), the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), and the Within-Family Differences Study (WFDS). Analyses from the FES, LSOG, and WFDS reveal differences in the consequences of patterns of intergenerational relations found when using within-family compared to between-family approaches. In particular, these analyses demonstrate considerable variation within families that shapes patterns and consequences of parent-adult child ties that is masked when such variations are not taken into account. Within-family differences approaches have been shown to shed new light on intergenerational relations. Despite the value of within-family designs, their use may be limited by the higher investment of finances and time required to implement such studies. © The Author 2017. 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.

  15. Silver nanoparticles in complex biological media: assessment of colloidal stability and protein corona formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Argentiere, Simona, E-mail: simona.argentiere@fondazionefilarete.com; Cella, Claudia, E-mail: claudia.cella@unimi.it [Fondazione Filarete (Italy); Cesaria, Maura, E-mail: maura.cesaria@le.infn.it [Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica “Ennio De Giorgi” (Italy); Milani, Paolo, E-mail: paolo.milani@mi.infn.it; Lenardi, Cristina, E-mail: cristina.lenardi@mi.infn.it [Università degli Studi di Milano, CIMAINA and Dipartimento di Fisica (Italy)

    2016-08-15

    Engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most used nanomaterials in consumer products, therefore concerns are raised about their potential for adverse effects in humans and environment. Although an increasing number of studies in vitro and in vivo are being reported on the toxicity of AgNPs, most of them suffer from incomplete characterization of AgNPs in the tested biological media. As a consequence, the comparison of toxicological data is troublesome and the toxicity evaluation still remains an open critical issue. The development of a reliable protocol to evaluate interactions of AgNPs with surrounding proteins as well as to assess their colloidal stability is therefore required. In this regard, it is of importance not only to use multiple, easy-to-access and simple techniques but also to understand limitations of each characterization methods. In this work, the morphological and structural behaviour of AgNPs has been studied in two relevant biological media, namely 10 % FBS and MP. Three different techniques (Dynamic Light Scattering, Transmission Electron Microscopy, UV–Vis spectroscopy) were tested for their suitability in detecting AgNPs of three different sizes (10, 40 and 100 nm) coated with either citrate or polyvinylpyrrolidone. Results showed that UV–Vis spectroscopy is the most versatile and informative technique to gain information about interaction between AgNPs and surrounding proteins and to determine their colloidal stability in the tested biological media. These findings are expected to provide useful insights in characterizing AgNPs before performing any further in vitro/in vivo experiment.

  16. Nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism: understanding the threat and designing responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, J D

    1999-01-01

    Today nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) terrorism is a serious issue. The threat of terrorist or rogue states acquiring and using NBC weapons has ushered in a new age of terrorism; an age that is far more dangerous than any previous period. It is an age of terrorism with which no one yet knows how to deal. This article reviews recent trends in terrorism, and identifies groups that have both the potential and the motive to use weapons of mass destruction. In addition, it discusses the design and implemention of effective measures to meet this threat, as well as the role of CISM teams in preparation for, and in the aftermath of, an incident involving NBC weapons.

  17. Contributions of an animal scientist to understanding the biology of the uterus and pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazer, Fuller W

    2012-01-01

    I developed a passion for reproductive biology when taking a course in Physiology of Reproduction at Louisiana State University while preparing to apply for Veterinary School at Texas A&M University. My career path changed. I entered graduate school, obtained a Ph.D. and have enjoyed an academic career conducting research in uterine biology and pregnancy in animal science departments at the University of Florida and at Texas A&M University. My contributions to science include: (1) identification of molecules secreted by or transported by uterine epithelia into the uterine lumen that are critical to successful establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, (2) discovery of steroids and proteins required for pregnancy-recognition signalling and their mechanisms of action in pigs and ruminants, (3) patterns of fetal-placental development and placental transport of nutrients, (4) identification of links between nutrients and components of histotroph that affect fetal-placental development, (5) characterising aspects of the endocrinology of pregnancy and (6) contributing to efforts to exploit the therapeutic value of interferon tau, particularly for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Current research focuses on select nutrients in the uterine lumen, specifically amino acids, glucose and fructose, that affect conceptus development, the therapeutic potential for interferon tau, stromal-epithelial cell signalling whereby progesterone and oestrogen act via steroid receptors in uterine stromal cells to stimulate secretion of growth factors (e.g. fibroblast growth factors and hepatocyte growth factor) that regulate uterine epithelial cells and conceptus trophectoderm, and roles of toll-like receptors expressed by uterine epithelia and conceptus trophectoderm in pregnancy.

  18. Bringing content understanding into usability testing in complex application domains—a case study in eHealth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Simon Bruntse; Rasmussen, Claire Kirchert; Frøkjær, Erik

    2017-01-01

    A usability evaluation technique, Cooperative Usability Testing with Questions of Understanding (CUT with QU) intended to illuminate users’ ability to understand the content information of an application is proposed. In complex application domains as for instance the eHealth domain, this issue...... the participation of four physiotherapists and four clients in a period of 3.5 months, it was demonstrated how CUT with QU can complement conventional usability testing and provide insight into users’ challenges with understanding of a new complex eHealth application. More experiments in other complex application...... domains involving different kinds of users and evaluators are needed before we can tell whether CUT with QU is an effective usability testing technique of wider applicability. Performing CUT with QU is very demanding by drawing heavily on the evaluators’ ability to respond effectively to openings...

  19. Attomolar detection of botulinum toxin type A in complex biological matrices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Bagramyan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A highly sensitive, rapid and cost efficient method that can detect active botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT in complex biological samples such as foods or serum is desired in order to 1 counter the potential bioterrorist threat 2 enhance food safety 3 enable future pharmacokinetic studies in medical applications that utilize BoNTs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe a botulinum neurotoxin serotype A assay with a large immuno-sorbent surface area (BoNT/A ALISSA that captures a low number of toxin molecules and measures their intrinsic metalloprotease activity with a fluorogenic substrate. In direct comparison with the "gold standard" mouse bioassay, the ALISSA is four to five orders of magnitudes more sensitive and considerably faster. Our method reaches attomolar sensitivities in serum, milk, carrot juice, and in the diluent fluid used in the mouse assay. ALISSA has high specificity for the targeted type A toxin when tested against alternative proteases including other BoNT serotypes and trypsin, and it detects the holotoxin as well as the multi-protein complex form of BoNT/A. The assay was optimized for temperature, substrate concentration, size and volume proportions of the immuno-sorbent matrix, enrichment and reaction times. Finally, a kinetic model is presented that is consistent with the observed improvement in sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The sensitivity, specificity, speed and simplicity of the BoNT ALISSA should make this method attractive for diagnostic, biodefense and pharmacological applications.

  20. Detection of two isomeric binding configurations in a protein-aptamer complex with a biological nanopore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meervelt, Veerle; Soskine, Misha; Maglia, Giovanni

    2014-12-23

    Protein-DNA interactions play critical roles in biological systems, and they often involve complex mechanisms and dynamics that are not easily measured by ensemble experiments. Recently, we showed that folded proteins can be internalized inside ClyA nanopores and studied by ionic current recordings at the single-molecule level. Here, we use ClyA nanopores to sample the interaction between the G-quadruplex fold of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) and human thrombin (HT). Surprisingly, the internalization of the HT:TBA complex inside the nanopore induced two types of current blockades with distinguished residual current and lifetime. Using single nucleobase substitutions to TBA we showed that these two types of blockades originate from TBA binding to thrombin with two isomeric orientations. Voltage dependencies and the use of ClyA nanopores with two different diameters allowed assessing the effect of the applied potential and confinement and revealed that the two binding configurations of TBA to HT display different lifetimes. These results show that the ClyA nanopores can be used to probe conformational heterogeneity in protein:DNA interactions.

  1. Synthesis, spectroscopic, thermal and biological activity studies on triazine metal complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Gehad G.; Badawy, M. A.; Omar, M. M.; Nassar, M. M.; Kamel, A. B.

    2010-11-01

    The coordination behaviour of the triazine ligand with NNO donation sites, derived from 3-benzyl-7-hydrazinyl-4H-[1,3,4]thiadiazolo[2,3c][1,2,4]triazin-4-one (HL), towards some metal ions namely Mn(II), Fe(III), Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II) are reported. The metal complexes are characterized based on elemental analyses, IR, 1H NMR, solid reflectance, magnetic moment, molar conductance and thermal analyses (TG, DTG and DTA). The ionization constants of the organic ligand under investigation as well as the stability constants of its metal chelates are calculated spectrophotometrically at 25 °C. The chelates are found to have octahedral geometrical structures. The ligand (HL) and its binary chelates are subjected to thermal analyses (TG, DTG and DTA) and the different activation thermodynamic parameters are calculated from their corresponding DTG curves to throw more light on the nature of changes accompanying the thermal decomposition process of these compounds. The synthesized ligand and its metal complexes were found to have biological activity against the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk.) (Orthoptera - Acrididae) and its adult longevities.

  2. Reduction theories elucidate the origins of complex biological rhythms generated by interacting delay-induced oscillations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ikuhiro Yamaguchi

    Full Text Available Time delay is known to induce sustained oscillations in many biological systems such as electroencephalogram (EEG activities and gene regulations. Furthermore, interactions among delay-induced oscillations can generate complex collective rhythms, which play important functional roles. However, due to their intrinsic infinite dimensionality, theoretical analysis of interacting delay-induced oscillations has been limited. Here, we show that the two primary methods for finite-dimensional limit cycles, namely, the center manifold reduction in the vicinity of the Hopf bifurcation and the phase reduction for weak interactions, can successfully be applied to interacting infinite-dimensional delay-induced oscillations. We systematically derive the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation and the phase equation without delay for general interaction networks. Based on the reduced low-dimensional equations, we demonstrate that diffusive (linearly attractive coupling between a pair of delay-induced oscillations can exhibit nontrivial amplitude death and multimodal phase locking. Our analysis provides unique insights into experimentally observed EEG activities such as sudden transitions among different phase-locked states and occurrence of epileptic seizures.

  3. Statistical Mechanics of Complex Networks: From the Internet to Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barabási, Albert-László

    2006-03-01

    Networks with complex topology describe systems as diverse as the cell, the World Wide Web or the society. In the past few years we have learned that their evolution is driven by self-organizing processes that are governed by simple but generic scaling laws, leading to the emergence of a vibrant interdisciplinary field that uses the tools of statistical physics to explain the origin and the dynamics of real networks. One of the most surprising finding is that despite their apparent differences, cells and complex man-made networks, such as the Internet or the World Wide Web, and many communication networks share the same large-scale topology, each having a scale-free structure. I will show that the scale-free topology of these complex webs have important consequences on their robustness against failures and attacks, with implications on drug design, the Internet's ability to survive attacks and failures, and our ability to understand the functional role of genes. For further information and papers, see http://www.nd.edu/˜networks

  4. Toward High School Biology: Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit's promise in improving students' understanding of the targeted ideas. © 2016 C. F. Herrmann-Abell 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).

  5. [Bone Cell Biology Assessed by Microscopic Approach. A mathematical approach to understand bone remodeling].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameo, Yoshitaka; Adachi, Taiji

    2015-10-01

    It is well known that bone tissue can change its outer shape and internal structure by remodeling according to a changing mechanical environment. However, the mechanism of bone functional adaptation induced by the collaborative metabolic activities of bone cells in response to mechanical stimuli remains elusive. In this article, we focus on the hierarchy of bone structure and function from the microscopic cellular level to the macroscopic tissue level. We provide an overview of a mathematical approach to understand the adaptive changes in trabecular morphology under the application of mechanical stress.

  6. Synthesis, spectroscopic and biological studies of transition metal complexes of novel schiff bases derived from amoxicillin and sugars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naz, N.

    2009-01-01

    Fe (II), Co (II) and Ni (II) metal complexes of new Schiff bases derived from amoxicillin with sugars (D-Glucose, D-Galactose and D-Mannose) have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR, electronic absorption, and atomic absorption spectroscopy, magnetic moment measurements and thermal analysis. It has been found that Schiff bases behave as bi-dentate ligands forming complexes with 1:2 (metal:ligand) stoichiometry. The complexes were neutral as confirmed by their low conductance values. The biological applications of complexes have been studied on two gram negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and two gram positive (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) microorganisms by Agar diffusion disc method. It has been found that all the complexes have higher biological activities than the pure amoxicillin. (author)

  7. Understanding specificity in metabolic pathways--structural biology of human nucleotide metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Pär

    2010-05-21

    Interactions are the foundation of life at the molecular level. In the plethora of activities in the cell, the evolution of enzyme specificity requires the balancing of appropriate substrate affinity with a negative selection, in order to minimize interactions with other potential substrates in the cell. To understand the structural basis for enzyme specificity, the comparison of structural and biochemical data between enzymes within pathways using similar substrates and effectors is valuable. Nucleotide metabolism is one of the largest metabolic pathways in the human cell and is of outstanding therapeutic importance since it activates and catabolises nucleoside based anti-proliferative drugs and serves as a direct target for anti-proliferative drugs. In recent years the structural coverage of the enzymes involved in human nucleotide metabolism has been dramatically improved and is approaching completion. An important factor has been the contribution from the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at Karolinska Institutet, which recently has solved 33 novel structures of enzymes and enzyme domains in human nucleotide metabolism pathways and homologs thereof. In this review we will discuss some of the principles for substrate specificity of enzymes in human nucleotide metabolism illustrated by a selected set of enzyme families where a detailed understanding of the structural determinants for specificity is now emerging. 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Understanding specificity in metabolic pathways-Structural biology of human nucleotide metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Paer

    2010-01-01

    Interactions are the foundation of life at the molecular level. In the plethora of activities in the cell, the evolution of enzyme specificity requires the balancing of appropriate substrate affinity with a negative selection, in order to minimize interactions with other potential substrates in the cell. To understand the structural basis for enzyme specificity, the comparison of structural and biochemical data between enzymes within pathways using similar substrates and effectors is valuable. Nucleotide metabolism is one of the largest metabolic pathways in the human cell and is of outstanding therapeutic importance since it activates and catabolises nucleoside based anti-proliferative drugs and serves as a direct target for anti-proliferative drugs. In recent years the structural coverage of the enzymes involved in human nucleotide metabolism has been dramatically improved and is approaching completion. An important factor has been the contribution from the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at Karolinska Institutet, which recently has solved 33 novel structures of enzymes and enzyme domains in human nucleotide metabolism pathways and homologs thereof. In this review we will discuss some of the principles for substrate specificity of enzymes in human nucleotide metabolism illustrated by a selected set of enzyme families where a detailed understanding of the structural determinants for specificity is now emerging.

  9. Prospects of Understanding the Molecular Biology of Disease Resistance in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Kumar Singh

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rice is one of the important crops grown worldwide and is considered as an important crop for global food security. Rice is being affected by various fungal, bacterial and viral diseases resulting in huge yield losses every year. Deployment of resistance genes in various crops is one of the important methods of disease management. However, identification, cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes is a very tedious effort. To increase the life span of resistant cultivars, it is important to understand the molecular basis of plant host–pathogen interaction. With the advancement in rice genetics and genomics, several rice varieties resistant to fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens have been developed. However, resistance response of these varieties break down very frequently because of the emergence of more virulent races of the pathogen in nature. To increase the durability of resistance genes under field conditions, understanding the mechanismof resistance response and its molecular basis should be well understood. Some emerging concepts like interspecies transfer of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and transgenerational plant immunitycan be employed to develop sustainable broad spectrum resistant varieties of rice.

  10. Towards the Biological Understanding of CTC: Capture Technologies, Definitions and Potential to Create Metastasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana M.C. Barradas

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC are rare cells originated from tumors that travel into the blood stream, extravasate to different organs of which only a small fraction will develop into metastasis. The presence of CTC enumerated with the CellSearch system is associated with a relative short survival and their continued presence after the first cycles of therapy indicates a futile therapy in patients with metastatic carcinomas. Detailed characterization of CTC holds the promise to enable the choice of the optimal therapy for the individual patients during the course of the disease. The phenotype, physical and biological properties are however not well understood making it difficult to assess the merit of recent technological advancements to improve upon the capture of CTC or to evaluate their metastatic potential. Here we will discuss the recent advances in the classification of CTC captured by the CellSearch system, the implications of their features and numbers. Latest capture platforms are reviewed and placed in the light of technology improvements needed to detect CTC. Physical properties, phenotype, viability and proliferative potential and means to assess their proliferation and metastatic capacity will be summarized and placed in the context of the latest CTC capture platforms.

  11. Biological Niches within Human Calcified Aortic Valves: Towards Understanding of the Pathological Biomineralization Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Cottignoli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite recent advances, mineralization site, its microarchitecture, and composition in calcific heart valve remain poorly understood. A multiscale investigation, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM, transmission electron microscopy (TEM, and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS, from micrometre up to nanometre, was conducted on human severely calcified aortic and mitral valves, to provide new insights into calcification process. Our aim was to evaluate the spatial relationship existing between bioapatite crystals, their local growing microenvironment, and the presence of a hierarchical architecture. Here we detected the presence of bioapatite crystals in two different mineralization sites that suggest the action of two different growth processes: a pathological crystallization process that occurs in biological niches and is ascribed to a purely physicochemical process and a matrix-mediated mineralized process in which the extracellular matrix acts as the template for a site-directed nanocrystals nucleation. Different shapes of bioapatite crystallization were observed at micrometer scale in each microenvironment but at the nanoscale level crystals appear to be made up by the same subunits.

  12. The infection biology of Sphaerulina musiva: clues to understanding a forest pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruqian Qin

    Full Text Available Trees in the genus Populus and their interspecific hybrids are used across North America for fiber production and as a potential source of biofuel. Plantations of these species are severely impacted by a fungal pathogen, Sphaerulina musiva, the cause of leaf spot and stem canker. An inoculation protocol that does not rely on stem wounding to achieve infection was recently developed. Using this protocol two experiments were conducted to examine infection biology and disease development in the S. musiva-Populus interaction. In the first experiment non-wounded stems of one moderately resistant clone (NM6 and one susceptible clone (NC11505 were inoculated and examined by scanning electron microscopy at six different times (6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 72 h, 1 week, and 3 weeks post-inoculation. The images indicate that the pathogen appears to enter host tissue through small openings and lenticels and that there are no significant differences in the penetration rate between the moderately resistant (NM6 and susceptible (NC11505 clones at 12 h post-inoculation. In a second experiment a histological comparison of stem cankers for resistant clone DN74 and susceptible clone NC11505 were conducted at three time points (3 weeks, 5 weeks, and 7 weeks post-inoculation. Distinct differences in disease development were apparent between the resistant and susceptible clones at each time point, with the susceptible clone exhibiting a weak and delayed defense response. These results suggest, that following penetration, the pathogen may be able to interfere with the defense response in the susceptible host.

  13. Understanding Adult Learning in the Midst of Complex Social "Liquid Modernity"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaides, Aliki; Marsick, Victoria J.

    2016-01-01

    This chapter describes the changing nature of adult education theory and practice in the face of complex, disruptive change and explores theories that are suited to tectonic shifts in a period of what we describe as "liquid modernity" in the midst of complex sociocultural-economic-political change in a global environment.

  14. Understanding IS Complexity and the Heterogeneity of Frames: The Illusion of Agreement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jochemsen, E.J.; Rezazade Mehrizi, M.H.; van den Hooff, B.J.; Plomp, M.G.A.

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are confronted with increasing levels of IS complexity. The socio-technical nature of IS implies that IS complexity stems from not only the structure of technology (e.g., how many elements and relations), but also from the subjective perceptions organizational actors have regarding

  15. Understanding complex governance relationships in food safety regulation : The RIT model as a theoretical lens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Havinga, Tetty; Verbruggen, Paul

    In this contribution we discuss the added value of the RIT model for the analysis of complex governance relationships in the regulation of food safety. By exploring regimes of food safety involving the European Union and the Global Food Safety Initiative, we highlight the diverse and complex

  16. Understanding the Complexity of Temperature Dynamics in Xinjiang, China, from Multitemporal Scale and Spatial Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhua Xu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the observed data from 51 meteorological stations during the period from 1958 to 2012 in Xinjiang, China, we investigated the complexity of temperature dynamics from the temporal and spatial perspectives by using a comprehensive approach including the correlation dimension (CD, classical statistics, and geostatistics. The main conclusions are as follows (1 The integer CD values indicate that the temperature dynamics are a complex and chaotic system, which is sensitive to the initial conditions. (2 The complexity of temperature dynamics decreases along with the increase of temporal scale. To describe the temperature dynamics, at least 3 independent variables are needed at daily scale, whereas at least 2 independent variables are needed at monthly, seasonal, and annual scales. (3 The spatial patterns of CD values at different temporal scales indicate that the complex temperature dynamics are derived from the complex landform.

  17. Understanding complex clinical reasoning in infectious diseases for improving clinical decision support design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Roosan; Weir, Charlene R; Jones, Makoto; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Samore, Matthew H

    2015-11-30

    Clinical experts' cognitive mechanisms for managing complexity have implications for the design of future innovative healthcare systems. The purpose of the study is to examine the constituents of decision complexity and explore the cognitive strategies clinicians use to control and adapt to their information environment. We used Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) methods to interview 10 Infectious Disease (ID) experts at the University of Utah and Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center. Participants were asked to recall a complex, critical and vivid antibiotic-prescribing incident using the Critical Decision Method (CDM), a type of Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA). Using the four iterations of the Critical Decision Method, questions were posed to fully explore the incident, focusing in depth on the clinical components underlying the complexity. Probes were included to assess cognitive and decision strategies used by participants. The following three themes emerged as the constituents of decision complexity experienced by the Infectious Diseases experts: 1) the overall clinical picture does not match the pattern, 2) a lack of comprehension of the situation and 3) dealing with social and emotional pressures such as fear and anxiety. All these factors contribute to decision complexity. These factors almost always occurred together, creating unexpected events and uncertainty in clinical reasoning. Five themes emerged in the analyses of how experts deal with the complexity. Expert clinicians frequently used 1) watchful waiting instead of over- prescribing antibiotics, engaged in 2) theory of mind to project and simulate other practitioners' perspectives, reduced very complex cases into simple 3) heuristics, employed 4) anticipatory thinking to plan and re-plan events and consulted with peers to share knowledge, solicit opinions and 5) seek help on patient cases. The cognitive strategies to deal with decision complexity found in this study have important

  18. Compounds Released from Biomass Deconstruction: Understanding Their Effect on Cellulose Enzyme Hydrolysis and Their Biological Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djioleu, Angele Mezindjou

    The effect of compounds produced during biomass pretreatment on cellulolytic enzyme was investigated. Liquid prehydrolyzates were prepared by pretreating switchgrass using 24 combinations of temperature, time, and sulfuric acid concentration based on a full factorial design. Temperature was varied from 140°C to 180°C; time ranged from 10 to 40 min; and the sulfuric acid concentrations were 0.5% or 1% (v/v). Identified products in the prehydrolyzates included xylose, glucose, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furfural, acetic acid, formic acid, and phenolic compounds at concentration ranging from 0 to 21.4 g/L. Pretreatment conditions significantly affected the concentrations of compounds detected in prehydrolyzates. When assayed in the presence of switchgrass prehydrolyzates against model substrates, activities of cellulase, betaglucosidase, and exoglucanase, were significantly reduced by at least 16%, 31.8%, and 57.8%, respectively, as compared to the control. A strong positive correlation between inhibition of betaglucosidase and concentration of glucose, acetic acid, and furans in prehydrolyzate was established. Exoglucanase inhibition correlated with the presence of phenolic compounds and acetic acid. The prehydrolyzate, prepared at 160°C, 30 min, and 1% acid, was fractionated by centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) into six fractions; the inhibition effect of these fractions on betaglucosidase and exoglucanase was determined. The initial hydrolysis rate of cellobiose by betaglucosidase was significantly reduced by the CPC sugar-rich fraction; however, exoglucanase was deactivated by the CPC phenolic-rich fraction. Finally, biological activities of water-extracted compounds from sweetgum bark and their effect on cellulase was investigated. It was determined that 12% of solid content of the bark extract could be accounted by phenolic compounds with gallic acid identified as the most concentrated phytochemical. Sweetgum bark extract inhibited Staphylococcus

  19. Proteomic profiling: a novel approach to understanding the biological causes of soil water repellency

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Keulen, Geertje; Doerr, Stefan H.; Urbanek, Emilia; Jones, Alun; Dudley, Ed

    2010-05-01

    Soil water repellency is a common phenomenon affecting a wide range of soil and land use types in different climates and is considered "the norm rather than the exception with its degree being variable". In all but the most severe cases, soil water repellency is transient with soils wetting eventually after prolonged wet weather and returning, when soil moisture content falls below the critical value. Despite the far-reaching environmental and (agro-)economic consequences, the fundamental biological causes of soil water repellency and its transient behaviour remain poorly understood. It is widely accepted that soil water repellency is caused by organic compounds coating soil particle surfaces. This reduces the particle's surface tension to values lower than that of water, which, as a net effect, inhibits the intrusion of liquid water into the soil pore space. Microbial as well as plant-derived substances have been implicated as sources of these organic materials, while some microbes have also been identified as degraders and/or emulsifiers of hydrophobic compounds. Common hydrophobic compounds and metabolites (e.g. alkanes and fatty acids) have been isolated from both wettable and water repellent soils in similar amounts indicating that their relevance is ambiguous. Even greater uncertainty exists about the role of soil micro-organisms in the development, reduction and temporal variability of soil water repellency. Importantly, certain filamentous fungi and actinomycete bacteria are able to render their hydrophilic cell surface hydrophobic, for example, during spore formation and hyphal foraging through air-containing pores in soil, by producing extracellular hydrophobic proteins. Beyond their own cell surface, the extracellular proteins can form highly recalcitrant hydrophobic surfaces on the hydrophilic side of amphiphilic, i.e. air-water or soil particle, interfaces. Remarkably, the proteins from fungi can also adhere to hydrophobic surfaces under drying

  20. Functional liposomes and supported lipid bilayers: towards the complexity of biological archetypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berti, Debora; Caminati, Gabriella; Baglioni, Piero

    2011-05-21

    This perspective paper provides some illustrative examples on the interplay between information gathered on planar supported lipid bilayers (SLB) and unilamellar lipid vesicles (ULV) to get an integrated description of phenomena occurring at the nanoscale that involve locally bilayered structures. Similarities and differences are underlined and critically compared in terms of biomimetic fidelity and instrumental accessibility to structural and dynamical parameters, focusing on some recent reports that either explicitly address this comparison or introducing some studies that separately investigate the same process in SLB and lipid vesicles. Despite the structural similarity on the nanoscale, the different topology implies radically different characterization techniques that have evolved in sectorial and separated approaches. The quest for increasing levels of compositional complexity for bilayered systems should not result in a loss of structural and dynamical control: this is the central challenge of future research in this area, where the integrated approach highlighted in this contribution would enable improved levels of understanding. © The Owner Societies 2011

  1. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M. L.; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    The term 'synergy' - from the Greek synergia - means 'working together'. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project ;The Hand Embodied; (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies.

  2. Resonant Mie scattering in infrared spectroscopy of biological materials--understanding the 'dispersion artefact'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassan, Paul; Byrne, Hugh J; Bonnier, Franck; Lee, Joe; Dumas, Paul; Gardner, Peter

    2009-08-01

    Infrared spectroscopic cytology is potentially a powerful clinical tool. However, in order for it to be successful, practitioners must be able to extract reliably a pure absorption spectrum from a measured spectrum that often contains many confounding factors. The most intractable problem to date is the, so called, dispersion artefact which most prominently manifests itself as a sharp decrease in absorbance on the high wavenumber side of the amide I band in the measured spectrum, exhibiting a derivative-like line shape. In this paper we use synchrotron radiation FTIR micro-spectroscopy to record spectra of mono-dispersed poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) spheres of systematically varying size and demonstrate that the spectral distortions in the data can be understood in terms of resonant Mie scattering. A full understanding of this effect will enable us to develop strategies for deconvolving the scattering contribution and recovering the pure absorption spectrum, thus removing one of the last technological barriers to the development of clinical spectroscopic cytology.

  3. Toward High School Biology: Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit’s promise in improving students’ understanding of the targeted ideas. PMID:27909024

  4. Single lipid vesicle assay for characterizing single-enzyme kinetics of phospholipid hydrolysis in a complex biological fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabaei, Seyed R; Rabe, Michael; Zetterberg, Henrik; Zhdanov, Vladimir P; Höök, Fredrik

    2013-09-25

    Imaging of individual lipid vesicles is used to track single-enzyme kinetics of phospholipid hydrolysis. The method is employed to quantify the catalytic activity of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) in both pure and complex biological fluids. The measurements are demonstrated to offer a subpicomolar limit of detection (LOD) of human secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) in up to 1000-fold-diluted cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). An additional new feature provided by the single-enzyme sensitivity is that information about both relative concentration variations of active sPLA2 in CSF and the specific enzymatic activity can be simultaneously obtained. When CSF samples from healthy controls and individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are analyzed, the specific enzymatic activity is found to be preserved within 7% in the different CSF samples whereas the enzyme concentration differs by up to 56%. This suggests that the previously reported difference in PLA2 activity in CSF samples from healthy and AD individuals originates from differences in the PLA2 expression level rather than from the enzyme activity. Conventional ensemble averaging methods used to probe sPLA2 activity do not allow one to obtain such information. Together with an improvement in the LOD of at least 1 order of magnitude compared to that of conventional assays, this suggests that the method will become useful in furthering our understanding of the role of PLA2 in health and disease and in detecting the pharmacodynamic effects of PLA2-targeting drug candidates.

  5. The Understanding of "Concept Study" in Teachers' Professional Learning: A Lived Experience of Complexity Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiong

    2015-01-01

    This paper used narrative to present the author's understanding process of "concept study" in teachers' professional learning. The understanding process was advanced by several questions emerging from the preparation of doing "concept study". Thus, the several questions and their solutions became the threads of the narrative.…

  6. Complex contexts and dynamic drivers: Understanding four decades of forest loss and recovery in an East African protected area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sassen, M.; Sheil, D.; Giller, K.E.; Braak, ter C.J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Protected forests are sometimes encroached by surrounding communities. But patterns of cover change can vary even within one given setting – understanding these complexities can offer insights into the effective maintenance of forest cover. Using satellite image analyses together with historical

  7. Mass amplifying probe for sensitive fluorescence anisotropy detection of small molecules in complex biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Liang; Zou, Yuan; Lin, Ninghang; Zhu, Zhi; Jenkins, Gareth; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-07-03

    detection of small molecules by means of FA in complex biological samples.

  8. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    The term ‘synergy’ – from the Greek synergia – means ‘working together’. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project “The Hand Embodied” (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies. PMID:26923030

  9. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M L; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    The term 'synergy' - from the Greek synergia - means 'working together'. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project "The Hand Embodied" (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Biologically Complex Planar Cell Plasma Membranes Supported on Polyelectrolyte Cushions Enhance Transmembrane Protein Mobility and Retain Native Orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Han-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Liang; Ober, Christopher K; Daniel, Susan

    2018-01-23

    Reconstituted supported lipid bilayers (SLB) are widely used as in vitro cell-surface models because they are compatible with a variety of surface-based analytical techniques. However, one of the challenges of using SLBs as a model of the cell surface is the limited complexity in membrane composition, including the incorporation of transmembrane proteins and lipid diversity that may impact the activity of those proteins. Additionally, it is challenging to preserve the transmembrane protein native orientation, function, and mobility in SLBs. Here, we leverage the interaction between cell plasma membrane vesicles and polyelectrolyte brushes to create planar bilayers from cell plasma membrane vesicles that have budded from the cell surface. This approach promotes the direct incorporation of membrane proteins and other species into the planar bilayer without using detergent or reconstitution and preserves membrane constituents. Furthermore, the structure of the polyelectrolyte brush serves as a cushion between the planar bilayer and rigid supporting surface, limiting the interaction of the cytosolic domains of membrane proteins with this surface. Single particle tracking was used to analyze the motion of GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins (GPI-YFP) and neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors (P2X2-neon) and shows that this platform retains over 75% mobility of multipass transmembrane proteins in its native membrane environment. An enzyme accessibility assay confirmed that the protein orientation is preserved and results in the extracellular domain facing toward the bulk phase and the cytosolic side facing the support. Because the platform presented here retains the complexity of the cell plasma membrane and preserves protein orientation and mobility, it is a better representative mimic of native cell surfaces, which may find many applications in biological assays aimed at understanding cell membrane phenomena.

  11. Understanding the limits of animal models as predictors of human biology: lessons learned from the sbv IMPROVER Species Translation Challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Bilal, Erhan; Norel, Raquel; Poussin, Carine; Mathis, Carole; Dulize, Rémi H J; Ivanov, Nikolai V; Alexopoulos, Leonidas; Rice, J Jeremy; Peitsch, Manuel C; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-02-15

    Inferring how humans respond to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses or hormones is an essential question in biomedicine. Very often, however, this question cannot be addressed because it is not possible to perform experiments in humans. A reasonable alternative consists of generating responses in animal models and 'translating' those results to humans. The limitations of such translation, however, are far from clear, and systematic assessments of its actual potential are urgently needed. sbv IMPROVER (systems biology verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) was designed as a series of challenges to address translatability between humans and rodents. This collaborative crowd-sourcing initiative invited scientists from around the world to apply their own computational methodologies on a multilayer systems biology dataset composed of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human and rat bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to 52 different stimuli under identical conditions. Our aim was to understand the limits of species-to-species translatability at different levels of biological organization: signaling, transcriptional and release of secreted factors (such as cytokines). Participating teams submitted 49 different solutions across the sub-challenges, two-thirds of which were statistically significantly better than random. Additionally, similar computational methods were found to range widely in their performance within the same challenge, and no single method emerged as a clear winner across all sub-challenges. Finally, computational methods were able to effectively translate some specific stimuli and biological processes in the lung epithelial system, such as DNA synthesis, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, translation, immune/inflammation and growth factor/proliferation pathways, better than the expected response similarity between species. pmeyerr@us.ibm.com or Julia

  12. On understanding creative language : The late positive complex and novel metaphor comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rataj, Karolina; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; van der Lubbe, Rob H.J.

    2018-01-01

    Novel metaphoric sentences have repeatedly evoked larger N400 amplitudes than literal sentences, while investigations of the late positive complex (LPC) have brought inconsistent results, with reports of both increased and reduced amplitudes. In two experiments, we examined novel metaphor

  13. Understanding the Fatigue Behavior of FML Structures and Materials under Complex Variable Amplitude Loading

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alderdiesten, R.; Benedictus, R.; Khan, S.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents various failure mechanisms in FMLs, highlights the presence or absence of interaction effects, and describes how the failure mechanisms can be described for predicting damage growth under arbitrary complex load spectra.

  14. Understanding and Mitigating the Charging Behavior of Next Generation Complex and Active Spacecraft

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Spacecraft that are fundamentally more complex and higher powered are necessary to expand our scientific missions and take commercial space endeavors to the next...

  15. Methodology for designing and manufacturing complex biologically inspired soft robotic fluidic actuators: prosthetic hand case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson-Bean, E; Das, R; McDaid, A

    2016-10-31

    We present a novel methodology for the design and manufacture of complex biologically inspired soft robotic fluidic actuators. The methodology is applied to the design and manufacture of a prosthetic for the hand. Real human hands are scanned to produce a 3D model of a finger, and pneumatic networks are implemented within it to produce a biomimetic bending motion. The finger is then partitioned into material sections, and a genetic algorithm based optimization, using finite element analysis, is employed to discover the optimal material for each section. This is based on two biomimetic performance criteria. Two sets of optimizations using two material sets are performed. Promising optimized material arrangements are fabricated using two techniques to validate the optimization routine, and the fabricated and simulated results are compared. We find that the optimization is successful in producing biomimetic soft robotic fingers and that fabrication of the fingers is possible. Limitations and paths for development are discussed. This methodology can be applied for other fluidic soft robotic devices.

  16. Small-Angle Neutron Scattering for Structural Biology of Protein-RNA Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabel, Frank

    2015-01-01

    This chapter deals with the applications of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) for the structural study of protein-RNA complexes in solution. After a brief historical introduction, the basic theory and practical requirements (e.g., sample state) for SANS experiments will be treated. Next, model-free parameters, such as the molecular mass and the radius of gyration, which can be obtained without a priori structural information, will be introduced. A more detailed section on the specific properties of SANS (with respect to its sister technique, small-angle X-ray scattering), and their implications on possibilities and limits of model building and interpretation will be discussed with a focus on protein-RNA systems. A practical illustration of the information content of SANS data will be given by applying ab initio modeling to a tRNA-synthetase system of known high-resolution structure. Finally, two present state-of-the-art examples that combine SANS data with complementary structural biology techniques (NMR and crystallography) will be presented and possible future developments and applications will be discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Biology, ecology and control of the Penthaleus species complex (Acari: Penthaleidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umina, Paul A; Hoffmann, Ary A; Weeks, Andrew R

    2004-01-01

    Blue oat mites, Penthaleus spp. (Acari: Penthaleidae), are major agricultural pests in southern Australia and other parts of the world, attacking various pasture, vegetable and crop plants. Management of these mites has been complicated by the recent discovery of three cryptic pest species of Penthaleus, whereas prior research had assumed a single species. The taxonomy, population genetics, ecology, biology and control of the Penthaleus spp. complex are reviewed. Adult Penthaleus have a dark blue-black body approximately 1 mm in length, and eight red-orange legs. Within Australia, they are winter pests completing two or three generations a season, depending on conditions. The summer is passed as diapausing eggs, when long-distance dispersal is thought to occur. The Penthaleus spp. reproduce by thelytokous parthenogenesis, with populations comprising clones that differ ecologically. The three pest Penthaleus spp. differ markedly in their distributions, plant hosts, timing of diapause egg production and response to pesticides, highlighting the need to develop control strategies that consider each species separately. Chemicals are the main weapons used in current control programs, however research continues into alternative more sustainable management options. Host plant resistance, crop rotations, conservation of natural enemies, and improved timing of pesticide application would improve the management of these pests. The most cost-effective and environmentally acceptable means of control will result from the integration of these practices combined with the development of a simple field-based kit to distinguish the different mite species.

  18. Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of transition metal complexes with Schiff bases derived from 2-nitrobenzaldehyde with glycine and methionine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Bibhesh K.; Rajour, Hemant K.; Prakash, Anant

    Schiff bases derived from 2-nitrobenzaldehyde with amino acids (glycine, methionine) and their Co(II), Ni(II) and Cu(II) complexes have been synthesized and characterized by various physico-chemical techniques. From spectral studies, it has been concluded that the ligands acts as bidentate molecule, coordinates metal through azomethine nitrogen and carboxylate oxygen. Mass spectrum explains the successive degradation of the molecular species in solution and justifies ML2 complexes. X-ray powder diffraction helps to determine the cell parameters of the complexes. Molecular structure of the complexes has been optimized by MM2 calculations and suggests a square planar geometry. The ligands and their metal complexes have been tested in vitro against Streptococcus, Staph, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherchia coli bacteria in order to assess their antibacterial potential. The results indicate that the biological activity increases on complexation.

  19. Synthesis, Spectroscopic Studies and Biological Activities of Mixed Metal (III Complexes of Uracil with 1, 10-Phenanthroline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shatha M. H.Obaid

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available New complexes of the [M(Ura(Phen(OH2Cl2]Cl.2H2O type, where (Ura uracil ; (Phen 1,10-phenanthroline hydrate; M (Cr+3 , Fe+3 and La+3 were synthesized from mix ligand and characterized . These complexes have been characterized by the elemental micro analysis, spectral (FT-IR., UV-Vis, 1HNMR, 13CNMR and Mass and magnetic susceptibility as well the molar conductive mensuration. Cr+3, Fe+3 and La+3- complexes of six–coordinated were proposed for the insulated for three metal(III complexes for molecular formulas following into uracil property and 1,10-phenanthroline hydrate present . The proposed molecular structure for all metal (III complexes is octahedral geometries .The biological activity was tested of metal(III salts, ligands as well as metal(III complexes to the pathogenic bacteria as well as the antifungal activity has been studied .

  20. Cu(II AND Zn(II COMPLEX COMPOUNDS WITH BIGUANIDES AROMATIC DERIVATIVES. SYNTHESIS, CHARACTERIZATION, BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ticuţa Negreanu-Pîrjol

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we report the synthesis, physical-chemical characterization and antimicrobial activity of some new complex compounds of hetero-aromatic biguanides ligands, chlorhexidine base (CHX and chlorhexidine diacetate (CHXac2 with metallic ions Cu(II and Zn(II, in different molar ratio. The synthesized complexes were characterized by elemental chemical analysis and differential thermal analysis. The stereochemistry of the metallic ions was determined by infrared spectra, UV-Vis, EPR spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility in the aim to establish the complexes structures. The biological activity of the new complex compounds was identified in solid technique by measuring minimum inhibition diameter of bacterial and fungal culture, against three standard pathogen strains, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Staphilococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The results show an increased specific antimicrobial activity for the complexes chlorhexidine:Cu(II 1:1 and 1:2 compared with the one of the Zn(II complexes.

  1. Molecular Biology of the Photoregulator of Photosynthetic Light- Harversting Complexes in Marine Dinoflagellates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DINOFLAGELLATA, * MOLECULAR BIOLOGY , *PHOTOSYNTHESIS, ALGAE, CELLS, CLONES, DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACIDS, ENVIRONMENTS, GENES, LIGHT, NUTRIENTS, OCEANS, OPTICAL PROPERTIES, PHYTOPLANKTON, PRODUCTION, PROTEINS, REGULATIONS.

  2. Biology of cancer and aging: a complex association with cellular senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falandry, Claire; Bonnefoy, Marc; Freyer, Gilles; Gilson, Eric

    2014-08-20

    Over the last 50 years, major improvements have been made in our understanding of the driving forces, both parallel and opposing, that lead to aging and cancer. Many theories on aging first proposed in the 1950s, including those associated with telomere biology, senescence, and adult stem-cell regulation, have since gained support from cumulative experimental evidence. These views suggest that the accumulation of mutations might be a common driver of both aging and cancer. Moreover, some tumor suppressor pathways lead to aging in line with the theory of antagonist pleiotropy. According to the evolutionary-selected disposable soma theory, aging should affect primarily somatic cells. At the cellular level, both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways regulate aging and senescence. However, increasing lines of evidence support the hypothesis that these driving forces might be regulated by evolutionary-conserved pathways that modulate energy balance. According to the hyperfunction theory, aging is a quasi-program favoring both age-related diseases and cancer that could be inhibited by the regulation of longevity pathways. This review summarizes these hypotheses, as well as the experimental data that have accumulated over the last 60 years linking aging and cancer.

  3. Can a Multimedia Tool Help Students' Learning Performance in Complex Biology Subjects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koseoglu, Pinar; Efendioglu, Akin

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of multimedia-based biology teaching (Mbio) and teacher-centered biology (TCbio) instruction approaches on learners' biology achievements, as well as their views towards learning approaches. During the research process, an experimental design with two groups, TCbio (n = 22) and Mbio (n =…

  4. Understanding the Role of GPCR Heteroreceptor Complexes in Modulating the Brain Networks in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O; Carlsson, Jens; Ambrogini, Patricia; Narváez, Manuel; Wydra, Karolina; Tarakanov, Alexander O; Li, Xiang; Millón, Carmelo; Ferraro, Luca; Cuppini, Riccardo; Tanganelli, Sergio; Liu, Fang; Filip, Malgorzata; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Fuxe, Kjell

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of allosteric receptor-receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteroreceptor complexes of the central nervous system (CNS) gave a new dimension to brain integration and neuropsychopharmacology. The molecular basis of learning and memory was proposed to be based on the reorganization of the homo- and heteroreceptor complexes in the postjunctional membrane of synapses. Long-term memory may be created by the transformation of parts of the heteroreceptor complexes into unique transcription factors which can lead to the formation of specific adapter proteins. The observation of the GPCR heterodimer network (GPCR-HetNet) indicated that the allosteric receptor-receptor interactions dramatically increase GPCR diversity and biased recognition and signaling leading to enhanced specificity in signaling. Dysfunction of the GPCR heteroreceptor complexes can lead to brain disease. The findings of serotonin (5-HT) hetero and isoreceptor complexes in the brain over the last decade give new targets for drug development in major depression. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in depression via 5-HT, galanin peptides and zinc involve a number of GPCR heteroreceptor complexes in the raphe-hippocampal system: GalR1-5-HT1A, GalR1-5-HT1A-GPR39, GalR1-GalR2, and putative GalR1-GalR2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes. The 5-HT1A receptor protomer remains a receptor enhancing antidepressant actions through its participation in hetero- and homoreceptor complexes listed above in balance with each other. In depression, neuromodulation of neuronal networks in the raphe-hippocampal system and the cortical regions via 5-HT and fibroblast growth factor 2 involves either FGFR1-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes or the 5-HT isoreceptor complexes such as 5-HT1A-5-HT7 and 5-HT1A-5-HT2A. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in cocaine use disorder via dopamine (DA) and adenosine signals involve A2AR-D2R and A2AR-D2R-Sigma1R heteroreceptor complexes in the dorsal and

  5. Understanding M-ligand bonding and mer-/fac-isomerism in tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Carlos F R A C; Taveira, Ricardo J S; Costa, José C S; Fernandes, Ana M; Melo, André; Silva, Artur M S; Santos, Luís M N B F

    2016-06-28

    Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes, Mq3, are one of the most important classes of organic semiconductor materials. Herein, the nature of the chemical bond in Mq3 complexes and its implications on their molecular properties were investigated by a combined experimental and computational approach. Various Mq3 complexes, resulting from the alteration of the metal and substitution of the 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand in different positions, were prepared. The mer-/fac-isomerism in Mq3 was explored by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy, evidencing that, irrespective of the substituent, mer- and fac-are the most stable molecular configurations of Al(iii) and In(iii) complexes, respectively. The relative M-ligand bond dissociation energies were evaluated experimentally by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS), showing a non-monotonous variation along the group (Al > In > Ga). The results reveal a strong covalent character in M-ligand bonding, which allows for through-ligand electron delocalization, and explain the preferred molecular structures of Mq3 complexes as resulting from the interplay between bonding and steric factors. The mer-isomer reduces intraligand repulsions, being preferred for smaller metals, while the fac-isomer is favoured for larger metals where stronger covalent M-ligand bonds can be formed due to more extensive through-ligand conjugation mediated by metal "d" orbitals.

  6. Understanding the Complex Relationship between Critical Thinking and Science Reasoning among Undergraduate Thesis Writers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E; Thompson, Robert J; Schiff, Leslie A; Reynolds, Julie A

    2018-01-01

    Developing critical-thinking and scientific reasoning skills are core learning objectives of science education, but little empirical evidence exists regarding the interrelationships between these constructs. Writing effectively fosters students' development of these constructs, and it offers a unique window into studying how they relate. In this study of undergraduate thesis writing in biology at two universities, we examine how scientific reasoning exhibited in writing (assessed using the Biology Thesis Assessment Protocol) relates to general and specific critical-thinking skills (assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test), and we consider implications for instruction. We find that scientific reasoning in writing is strongly related to inference , while other aspects of science reasoning that emerge in writing (epistemological considerations, writing conventions, etc.) are not significantly related to critical-thinking skills. Science reasoning in writing is not merely a proxy for critical thinking. In linking features of students' writing to their critical-thinking skills, this study 1) provides a bridge to prior work suggesting that engagement in science writing enhances critical thinking and 2) serves as a foundational step for subsequently determining whether instruction focused explicitly on developing critical-thinking skills (particularly inference ) can actually improve students' scientific reasoning in their writing. © 2018 J. E. Dowd et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 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).

  7. Synthesis, characterization, biological activity and DNA cleavage studies of tridentate Schiff bases and their Co(II complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kavitha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study a series of Co(II complexes of formyl chromone Schiff bases have been synthesized characterized by analytical, molar conductance, IR, electronic, magnetic susceptibility, thermal, fluorescence and powder XRD measurements and screened for various biological activities (antimicrobial, antioxidant, nematicidal, DNA cleavage and cytotoxicity. In all the Co(II complexes 1:2 metal to ligand molar ratio was obtained from analytical data. The molar conductance data confirm that all complexes are non-electrolytic in nature. Based on the electronic and magnetic data, an octahedral geometry is ascribed for all the Co(II complexes. Thermal behaviour of the synthesized complexes illustrates the general decomposition patterns of the complexes. The X-ray analysis data show that all the Co(II complexes have triclinic crystal system with different unit cell parameters. Metal complexes have greater antimicrobial activity than ligands. Antioxidant and nematicidal activities indicate that the ligands exhibit greater activity when compared to their respective Co(II complexes. All ligands and Co(II complexes of HL1 and HL2 showed considerable anticancer activity against Raw, MCF-7 and COLO 205 cell lines. All ligands and their Co(II complexes showed more pronounced DNA cleavage activity in the presence of H2O2.

  8. Improving the understanding and treatment of complex grief: an important issue for psychotraumatology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul A. Boelen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Netherlands, every year 500,000 people are confronted with the death of a close relative. Many of these people experience little emotional distress. In some, bereavement precipitates severe grief, distress, and dysphoria. A small yet significant minority of bereaved individuals develops persistent and debilitating symptoms of persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD (also termed prolonged grief disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression. Knowledge about early identification of, and preventive care for complex grief has increased. Moreover, in recent years there has been an increase in treatment options for people for whom loss leads to persistent psychological problems. That said, preventive and curative treatments are effective for some, but not all bereaved individuals experiencing distress and dysfunction following loss. This necessitates further research on the development, course, and treatment of various stages of complex grief, including PCBD. Highlights of the article:

  9. 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 ...

  10. Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Compost from Food Waste: Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

    Science.gov (United States)

    This page contains information about the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series titled Compost from Food Waste:Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

  11. Entropy as a method to investigate complex biological systems. An alternative view on the biological transition from healthy aging to frailty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Siciliano

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Everyone is subject to a process of progressive deterioration of control mechanisms, which supervise the complex network of human physiological functions, reducing the individual ability to adapt to emerging situations of stress or change. In the light of results obtained during the last years, it appears that some of the tools of nonlinear dynamics, first developed for the physical sciences are well suited for studies of biological systems. We believe that, considering the level of order or complexity of the anatomical apparatus by measuring a physical quantity, which is the entropy, we can evaluate the health status or vice versa fragility of a biological system. In particular, a reduction in the entropy value, indicates modification of the structural order with a progressive reduction of functional reserve of the individual, which is associated with a failure to adapt to stress conditions, difficult to be analyzed and documented with a unique traditional biochemical or biomolecular vision. Therefore, in this paper, we present a method that, conceptually combines complexity, disease and aging, alloys Poisson statistics, predictive of the personal level of health, to the entropy value indicating the status of bio-dynamic and functional body, seen as a complex and open thermodynamic system.

  12. Exploring biological and social networks to better understand and treat diabetes mellitus. Comment on "Network science of biological systems at different scales: A review" by Gosak et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belgardt, Bengt-Frederik; Jarasch, Alexander; Lammert, Eckhard

    2018-03-01

    Improvements and breakthroughs in computational sciences in the last 20 years have paralleled the rapid gain of influence of social networks on our daily life. As timely reviewed by Perc and colleagues [1], understanding and treating complex human diseases, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), from which already more than 5% of the global population suffer, will necessitate analyzing and understanding the multi-layered and interconnected networks that usually keep physiological functions intact, but are disturbed in disease states. These networks range from intra- and intercellular networks influencing cell behavior (e.g., secretion of insulin in response to food intake and anabolic response to insulin) to social networks influencing human behavior (e.g., food intake and physical activity). This commentary first expands on the background of pancreatic beta cell networks in human health and T2D, briefly introduces exosomes as novel signals exchanged between distant cellular networks, and finally discusses potential pitfalls and chances in network analyses with regards to experimental data acquisition and processing.

  13. Assessing the Possibility of Biological Complexity on Other Worlds, with an Estimate of the Occurrence of Complex Life in the Milky Way Galaxy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis N. Irwin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rational speculation about biological evolution on other worlds is one of the outstanding challenges in astrobiology. With the growing confirmation that multiplanetary systems abound in the universe, the prospect that life occurs redundantly throughout the cosmos is gaining widespread support. Given the enormous number of possible abodes for life likely to be discovered on an ongoing basis, the prospect that life could have evolved into complex, macro-organismic communities in at least some cases merits consideration. Toward that end, we here propose a Biological Complexity Index (BCI, designed to provide a quantitative estimate of the relative probability that complex, macro-organismic life forms could have emerged on other worlds. The BCI ranks planets and moons by basic, first-order characteristics detectable with available technology. By our calculation only 11 (~1.7% of the extrasolar planets known to date have a BCI above that of Europa; but by extrapolation, the total of such planets could exceed 100 million in our galaxy alone. This is the first quantitative assessment of the plausibility of complex life throughout the universe based on empirical data. It supports the view that the evolution of complex life on other worlds is rare in frequency but large in absolute number.

  14. Further Understanding of Complex Information Processing in Verbal Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Diane L.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Goldstein, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    More than 20?years ago, Minshew and colleagues proposed the Complex Information Processing model of autism in which the impairment is characterized as a generalized deficit involving multiple modalities and cognitive domains that depend on distributed cortical systems responsible for higher order abilities. Subsequent behavioral work revealed a…

  15. Contemporary Leadership Theories. Enhancing the Understanding of the Complexity, Subjectivity and Dynamic of Leadership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winkler, Ingo

    . Leadership is understood as product of complex social relationships embedded in the logic and dynamic of the social system. The book discusses theoretical approaches from top leadership journals, but also addresses various alternatives that are suitable to challenge mainstream leadership research...

  16. Sedimentary Melanges and Fossil Mass-Transport Complexes: A Key for Better Understanding Submarine Mass Movements?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pini, Gian Andrea; Ogata, Kei; Camerlenghi, Angelo; Festa, Andrea; Lucente, Claudio Corrado; Codegone, Giulia

    2012-01-01

    Mélanges originated from sedimentary processes (sedimentary mélanges) and olistostromes are frequently present in mountain chains worldwide. They are excellent fossil examples of mass- Transport complexes (MTC), often cropping out in well-preserved and laterally continuous exposures. In this article

  17. Understanding the Complex Dimensions of the Digital Divide: Lessons Learned in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramony, Deepak Prem

    2007-01-01

    An ethnographic case study of Inupiat Eskimo in the Alaskan Arctic has provided insights into the complex nature of the sociological issues surrounding equitable access to technology tools and skills, which are referred to as the digital divide. These people can overcome the digital divide if they get the basic ready access to hardware and…

  18. Understanding the Complex Processes in Developing Student Teachers' Knowledge about Grammar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svalberg, Agneta M.-L.

    2015-01-01

    This article takes the view that grammar is driven by user choices and is therefore complex and dynamic. This has implications for the teaching of grammar in language teacher education and how teachers' cognitions about grammar, and hence their own grammar teaching, might change. In this small, interpretative study, the participants--students on…

  19. Language complexity during read-alouds and kindergartners' vocabulary and symbolic understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mascareño Lara, Mayra; Snow, Catherine E.; Deunk, Marjolein I.; Bosker, Roel J.

    2016-01-01

    We explored links between complexity of teacher-child verbal interaction and child language and literacy outcomes in fifteen whole-class read-aloud sessions in Chilean kindergarten classrooms serving children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. We coded teacher and child turns for function

  20. Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Understanding and Coping with Complex Social Emotional Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlers, Kaitlyn P.; Gabrielsen, Terisa P.; Lewis, Danielle; Brady, Anna M.; Litchford, April

    2017-01-01

    Core deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) center around social communication and behavior. For those with ASD, these deficits complicate the task of learning how to cope with and manage complex social emotional issues. Although individuals with ASD may receive sufficient academic and basic behavioral support in school settings, supports for…

  1. The hetnet awakens: understanding complex diseases through data integration and open science

    OpenAIRE

    Himmelstein, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    The PhD Dissertation of Daniel S. Himmelstein.This is my thesis from my PhD in Biological & Medical Informatics from the University of California, San Francisco.The versionless DOI for this record is 10.6084/m9.figshare.4724797. The corresponding shortened URL is https://doi.org/b2nz.Filesdhimmel-thesis-figshare.pdf — PDF version of the dissertation produced specially for figshare. This document is identical to the ProQuest version, except that the ProQuest copyright and UCSF library release ...

  2. Understanding the molecular biology of intervertebral disc degeneration and potential gene therapy strategies for regeneration: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampara, Prasanthi; Banala, Rajkiran Reddy; Vemuri, Satish Kumar; Av, Gurava Reddy; Gpv, Subbaiah

    2018-03-22

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is a multi-factorial process characterized by phenotypic and genotypic changes, which leads to low back pain and disability. Prolonged imbalance between anabolism and catabolism in discs alters their composition resulting in progressive loss of proteoglycans and hydration leading to IVDD. The current managements for IVDD are only able to relieve the symptoms but do not address the underlying pathology of degeneration. Researchers have tried to find out differences between the aging and degeneration of the disc. Intense attempts are in progress for identifying the various factors responsible for disc degeneration, as well as strategies for regeneration. Recently biological approaches have gained thrust in the field of IVDD. The present review illustrates the current understanding of intervertebral disc degeneration and aims to put forth recent advancements in regeneration strategies involving different biological therapies such as growth factor, cell, and gene therapy. The potentials and consequences of these therapies are also extensively discussed along with citing the most suitable method, that is, the gene therapy in detail. Initially, gene therapy was mediated by viral vectors but recent progress has enabled researchers to opt for non-virus-mediated gene therapy methods, which ensure that there are no risks of mutagenicity and infection in target cells. With constant efforts, non-virus-mediated gene therapy may prove to be an extremely powerful tool in treatment of IVDD in future.

  3. Complex formation of blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) anthocyanins during freeze-drying and its influence on their biological activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa-Betanzo, Julieta; Padmanabhan, Priya; Corredig, Milena; Subramanian, Jayasankar; Paliyath, Gopinadhan

    2015-03-25

    Biological activity of polyphenols is influenced by their uptake and is highly influenced by their interactions with the food matrix. This study evaluated the complex formation of blueberry polyphenols with fruit matrixes such as pectin and cellulose and their effect on the biological and antiproliferative properties of human colon cell lines HT-29 and CRL 1790. Free or complexed polyphenols were isolated by dialyzing aqueous or methanolic blueberry homogenates. Seven phenolic compounds and thirteen anthocyanins were identified in blueberry extracts. Blueberry extracts showed varying degrees of antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, as well as α-glucosidase activity. Fruit matrix containing cellulose and pectin, or purified polygalacturonic acid and cellulose, did not retain polyphenols and showed very low antioxidant or antiproliferative activities. These findings suggest that interactions between polyphenols and the food matrix may be more complex than a simple association and may play an important role in the bioefficacy of blueberry polyphenols.

  4. Techniques to better understand complex epikarst hydrogeology and contaminant transport in telogenetic karst settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    The movement of autogenic recharge through the shallow epikarstic zone in soil-mantled karst aquifers is important in understanding recharge areas and rates, groundwater storage, and contaminant transport processes. The groundwater flow in agricultural karst areas, such as Kentucky’s Pennyroyal Plat...

  5. Complex Problem Solving in Radiologic Technology: Understanding the Roles of Experience, Reflective Judgment, and Workplace Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Jennifer L.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research study was to explore the process of learning and development of problem solving skills in radiologic technologists. The researcher sought to understand the nature of difficult problems encountered in clinical practice, to identify specific learning practices leading to the development of professional expertise, and to…

  6. Preschoolers' Implicit and Explicit False-Belief Understanding: Relations with Complex Syntactical Mastery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Jason

    2010-01-01

    Three studies were carried out to investigate sentential complements being the critical device that allows for false-belief understanding in 3- and 4-year-olds (N = 102). Participants across studies accurately gazed in anticipation of a character's mistaken belief in a predictive looking task despite erring on verbal responses for direct…

  7. Synthesis, spectroscopic and biological studies of transition metal complexes of novel schiff bases derived from cephradine and sugars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naz, N.; Iqbal, M.Z.

    2011-01-01

    Fe(II), Co(II) and Ni(II) metal complexes of novel schiff bases derived from Cephradine and sugars (D-Glucose, L. Arabinose and D-Galactose) were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, magnetic susceptibility, thermal analysis, electronic absorption and FT-IR spectral studies. It has been found that schiff bases behave as bi-dentate-ligands forming complexes with 1:2 (metal:ligand) stoichiometry. the neutral nature of the complexes was confirmed by their low conductance values. The biological activities of complexes have been evaluated against two gram negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and two gram positive (Bacillus subtilis and staphylococcus aureus) bacteria by Agar diffusion disc method. It has been found that the complexes have higher activity as compared to the pure Cephradine against the same bacteria. (author)

  8. Complex ventral hernia repair using components separation with or without biologic mesh: a cost-utility analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Abhishek; Krishnan, Naveen M; Rosen, Joseph M

    2015-04-01

    A complex ventral hernia requiring abdominal wall reconstruction presents a challenging scenario to the surgeon. The use of biologic mesh in addition to performing a components separation (CS) is controversial. Our goal was to perform the first cost-utility analysis on the use of biologic mesh in addition to performing CS when performing complex ventral hernia repair. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify published complication and recurrence rates for ventral hernia repairs requiring CS with or without biologic mesh. The probabilities of the most common complications were combined with Medicare Current Procedural Terminology reimbursement codes, diagnosis related group reimbursement codes, and expert utility estimates to fit into a decision model to evaluate the cost utility of CS with and without biologic mesh in reconstructing ventral hernias. The decision model revealed a baseline cost increase of $775.65 and a 0.0517 increase in the quality-adjusted life-years when using biologic mesh yielding an incremental cost-utility ratio of $15,002.90/quality-adjusted life-year. One-way sensitivity analysis revealed that using biologic mesh was cost-effective using Medicare reimbursement rates but not at retail costs. The maximum price of biologic mesh to be cost-effective was $1813.53. The cost utility of biologic mesh when used with CS in ventral hernia repair is dependent on the financial perspective. It is cost-ineffective for hospitals and physicians paying retail costs but cost-effective for third-party payers providing Medicare reimbursement.

  9. Landscape community genomics: understanding eco-evolutionary processes in complex environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Brian K.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Kovach, Ryan P.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Luikart, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Extrinsic factors influencing evolutionary processes are often categorically lumped into interactions that are environmentally (e.g., climate, landscape) or community-driven, with little consideration of the overlap or influence of one on the other. However, genomic variation is strongly influenced by complex and dynamic interactions between environmental and community effects. Failure to consider both effects on evolutionary dynamics simultaneously can lead to incomplete, spurious, or erroneous conclusions about the mechanisms driving genomic variation. We highlight the need for a landscape community genomics (LCG) framework to help to motivate and challenge scientists in diverse fields to consider a more holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on the genomic evolution of multi-species communities in complex environments.

  10. Eating disorder emergencies: understanding the medical complexities of the hospitalized eating disordered patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Martina M

    2004-12-01

    Eating disorders are maladaptive eating behaviors that typically develop in adolescence and early adulthood. Psychiatric maladies and comorbid conditions, especially insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, frequently co-exist with eating disorders. Serious medical complications affecting all organs and tissues can develop and result in numerous emergent hospitalizations. This article reviews the pathophysiologies of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and orthorexia nervosa and discusses the complexities associated with the treatment of medical complications seen in these patients.

  11. Using mLearning and MOOCs to Understand Chaos, Emergence, and Complexity in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    deWaard, Inge; Abajian, Sean; Gallagher, Michael Sean; Hogue, Rebecca; Keskin, Nilgun; Koutropoulos, Apostolos; Rodriguez, Osvaldo C.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we look at how the massive open online course (MOOC) format developed by connectivist researchers and enthusiasts can help analyze the complexity, emergence, and chaos at work in the field of education today. We do this through the prism of a MobiMOOC, a six-week course focusing on mLearning that ran from April to May 2011. MobiMOOC…

  12. Synthesis, Crystal Structure, Spectroscopic Properties and Potential Biological Activities of Salicylate‒Neocuproine Ternary Copper(II Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenka Kucková

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mixed ligand copper(II complexes containing derivatives of salicylic acid and heterocyclic ligands with nitrogen donor atoms have been the subject of various studies and reviews. In this paper, synthesis and characterization of the ternary copper(II complexes of neocuproine (2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline, Neo and salicylate ligands (Sal are reported. In addition, the crystal structures of ([Cu(H2O(5-Cl-Sal(Neo] (1, [Cu(μ-Sal(Neo]2 (2, Cu2(μ-5-Cl-Sal(5-Cl-HSal2(Neo2]·EtOH (3 were determined. In order to compare structural and biological properties of the prepared complexes, spectroscopic and biological studies were performed. Results of X-ray diffraction show that prepared complexes form three types of crystal structures in a given system: monomeric, dimeric and dinuclear complex. The preliminary study on the DNA cleavage activity has shown that the complexes under study behave as the chemical nucleases in the presence of added hydrogen peroxide with slight differences in the activity (1 > 2 > 3. The complexes 1 and 2 exhibited nuclease activity itself indicating the interaction of complexes with the DNA. It has been proposed that the enhanced destructive effect of the complexes 1 and 2 on the DNA is a result of two possible mechanisms of action: (i the conversion of closed circular DNA (form I to the nicked DNA (form II caused by the copper complex itself and (ii damage of DNA by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS—products of the interaction of copper with hydrogen peroxide by means of Fenton reaction (hydroxyl radicals. Thus the biological activity of the prepared Cu(II complexes containing derivatives of salicylic acid and phenanthroline molecules is substantiated by two independent mechanisms. While derivatives of salicylic acids in the coordination sphere of copper complexes are responsible for radical-scavenging activity (predominantly towards superoxide radical anion, the presence of chelating ligand 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline

  13. Douglas Hanahan: The daunting complexity of cancer: understanding the battlefield is a step towards winning the war

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2014-01-01

    The Inaugural Grace-CERN Lecture The daunting complexity of cancer: understanding the battlefield is a step towards winning the war  Douglas Hanahan, Ph.D. Director, Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC)  Professor of Molecular Oncology, School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) Vice Director, Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne Synopsis (version francaise ci-dessous) Cancer is a disease with hundreds of variations, both in affected organs and in responses to different therapies.  Modern human cancer research is producing an avalanche of data about the distinctive genetic aberrations of its specific types, further accentuating the diversity and vast complexity of the disease. There is hope that elucidating its mechanisms will lead to more informed and more effective therapeutic strategies.  Understanding the enemy is paramount, and yet tumors arising in different organs can be so different as to de...

  14. Understanding ageing effects using complexity analysis of foot-ground clearance during walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmakar, Chandan; Khandoker, Ahsan; Begg, Rezaul; Palaniswami, Marimuthu

    2013-01-01

    Ageing influences gait patterns which in turn can affect the balance control of human locomotion. Entropy-based regularity and complexity measures have been highly effective in analysing a broad range of physiological signals. Minimum toe clearance (MTC) is an event during the swing phase of the gait cycle and is highly sensitive to the spatial balance control properties of the locomotor system. The aim of this research was to investigate the regularity and complexity of the MTC time series due to healthy ageing and locomotors' disorders. MTC data from 30 healthy young (HY), 27 healthy elderly (HE) and 10 falls risk (FR) elderly subjects with balance problems were analysed. Continuous MTC data were collected and using the first 500 data points, MTC mean, standard deviation (SD) and entropy-based complexity analysis were performed using sample entropy (SampEn) for different window lengths (m) and filtering levels (r). The MTC SampEn values were lower in the FR group compared to the HY and HE groups for all m and r. The HY group had a greater mean SampEn value than both HE and FR reflecting higher complexity in their MTC series. The mean SampEn values of HY and FR groups were found significantly different for m = 2, 4, 5 and r = (0.1-0.9) × SD, (0.3-0.9) × SD and (0.3-0.9) × SD, respectively. They were also significant difference between HE and FR groups for m = 4-5 and r = (0.3-0.7) × SD, but no significant differences were seen between HY and HE groups for any m and r. A significant correlation of SampEn with SD of MTC was revealed for the HY and HE groups only, suggesting that locomotor disorders could significantly change the regularity or the complexity of the MTC series while healthy ageing does not. These results can be usefully applied to the early diagnosis of common gait pathologies.

  15. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-01-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory

  16. Using a Design Science Perspective to Understand a Complex Design-Based Research Process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bækgaard, Lars

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate how a design science perspective can be used to describe and understand a set of related design-based research processes. We describe and analyze a case study in a manner that is inspired by design science. The case study involves the design of modeling......-based research processes. And we argue that a design science perspective may be useful for both researchers and practitioners....... tools and the redesign of an information service in a library. We use a set of guidelines from a design science perspective to organize the description and analysis of the case study. By doing this we demonstrate the usefulness of design science as an analytical tool for understanding related design...

  17. A Diagrammatic Approach to Understanding Complex Eco-Social Interactions in Kathmandu, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Cynthia. Neudoerffer

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of developing an international network of community-based ecosystem approaches to health, a project was undertaken in a densely populated and socio-economically diverse area of Kathmandu, Nepal. Drawing on hundreds of pages of narrative reports based on surveys, interviews, secondary data, and focus groups by trained Nepalese facilitators, the authors created systemic depictions of relationships between multiple stakeholder groups, ecosystem health, and human health. These were then combined to examine interactions among stakeholders, activities, concerns, perceived needs, and resource states (ecosystem health indicators. These qualitative models have provided useful heuristics for both community members and research scholars to understand the eco-social systems in which they live; many of the strategies developed by the communities and researchers to improve health intuitively drew on this systemic understanding. The diagrams enabled researchers and community participants to explicitly examine relationships and conflicts related to health and environmental issues in their community.

  18. Understanding the biological effects of thorium in human cells and animals and developing efficient approaches for its decorporation and mitigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Amit; Ali, Manjoor; Pandey, Badri N.

    2016-01-01

    Thorium-232 (Th) is being realized as a potential source of nuclear fuel for meeting long-term energy generation in India/other nations. In view of utilizing Th, it is hoped that mining, extraction, purification, back-end processing and disposal would increase significantly in near future. Therefore, understanding the biological effects of Th would enable its efficient utilization with adequate human health protection. Biological half-life and associated health effects of Th govern by its speciation, bio-kinetics, radiation decay and organ-specific accumulation due to Fe-like behaviour inside the body system. Our animal studies showed that Th mainly accumulates in liver and bone, in contrast to the accumulation of uranium in kidney. Cell culture experiments were performed to study the binding/internalization mechanism of Th (IV) with human liver cells (HepG2). Experiments using HepG2 cells suggested the role of transferrin (Tf), a blood protein in Th internalization. Recently, our in vitro study observed that the low concentration of Th nitrate induced proliferation in HepG2 through IGF-1R pathway. This study may have relevance to prevent early effects of Th using IGF-1 receptor-specific inhibitor. One of the major goals of our research group is to develop biological approaches for efficient decorporation of Th from liver. In this direction, liposomal form of DTPA has been optimized to effectively deliver DTPA to the liver. Testing of liposomal-DTPA in Th injected animal showed significant enhancement in removal of Th from liver and blood as compared to non-liposomal DTPA. Using ex-vivo human erythrocytes hemolysis assay and in whole blood condition, further efforts are in-progress to evaluate metal binding molecules in search of more effective decorporating agent than DTPA. In conclusion, this paper would discuss the results on mechanism of biological effects of Th on cells and proteins and newer molecules/approaches for its decorporation for human application

  19. Enacting understanding of inclusion in complex contexts: Classroom practices of South African teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Engelbrecht

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While the practice of inclusive education has recently been widely embraced as an ideal model for education, the acceptance of inclusive education practices has not translated into reality in most mainstream classrooms. Despite the fact that education policies in South Africa stipulate that all learners should be provided with the opportunities to participate as far as possible in all classroom activities, the implementation of inclusive education is still hampered by a combination of a lack of resources and the attitudes and actions of the teachers in the classroom. The main purpose of this paper was to develop a deeper understanding of a group of South African teachers' personal understanding about barriers to learning and how their understanding relates to their consequent actions to implement inclusive education in their classrooms. A qualitative research approach placed within a cultural-historical and bio-ecological theoretical framework was used. The findings, in this paper, indicate that the way in which teachers understand a diversity of learning needs is based on the training that they initially received as teachers, which focused on a deficit, individualised approach to barriers to learning and development, as well as contextual challenges, and that both have direct and substantial effects on teachers' classroom practices. As a result, they engage in practices in their classrooms that are less inclusive, by creating dual learning opportunities that are not sufficiently made available for everyone, with the result that every learner is not able to participate fully as an accepted member of their peer group in all classroom activities.

  20. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anil; Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes.

  1. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  2. The Impact of Different Instructional Strategies on Students' Understanding about the Cell Cycle in a General Education Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Sanjana

    This study investigated the impact of different instructional strategies on students' understanding about the cell cycle in a general education biology course. Although several studies have documented gains in students' cell cycle understanding after instruction, these studies generally use only one instructional method, often without a comparison group. The goal of this study was to learn more about students' misconceptions about the cell cycle and how those ideas change after three different evidence-based learning experiences in undergraduate general education. Undergraduate students in six laboratory sections (n = 24; N = 144) in a large public institution in the western United States were surveyed pre- and post-instruction using a 14-item valid and reliable survey of cell cycle knowledge. Cronbach's alpha for the standard scoring convention was 0.264 and for the alternate scoring convention was 0.360, documenting serious problems with inconsistent validity and reliability of the survey. Operating as though the findings are at least a proxy for actual cell cycle knowledge, score comparisons by groups of interest were explored, including pre- and post-instruction differences among demographic groups of interest and three instructional settings: a bead modeling activity, a role-playing game, and 5E instructional strategy. No significant differences were found across groups of interest or by strategy, but some significant item-level differences were found. Implications and discussion of these shifts is noted in lieu of the literature.

  3. Emergent nested systems a theory of understanding and influencing complex systems as well as case studies in urban systems

    CERN Document Server

    Walloth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    This book presents a theory as well as methods to understand and to purposively influence complex systems. It suggests a theory of complex systems as nested systems, i. e. systems that enclose other systems and that are simultaneously enclosed by even other systems. According to the theory presented, each enclosing system emerges through time from the generative activities of the systems they enclose. Systems are nested and often emerge unplanned, and every system of high dynamics is enclosed by a system of slower dynamics. An understanding of systems with faster dynamics, which are always guided by systems of slower dynamics, opens up not only new ways to understanding systems, but also to effectively influence them. The aim and subject of this book is to lay out these thoughts and explain their relevance to the purposive development of complex systems, which are exemplified in case studies from an urban system. The interested reader, who is not required to be familiar with system-theoretical concepts or wit...

  4. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex systems biology models: emulation, global parameter searches and evaluation of gene functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Ian; Liu, Junli; Goldstein, Michael; Rowe, James; Topping, Jen; Lindsey, Keith

    2018-01-02

    Many mathematical models have now been employed across every area of systems biology. These models increasingly involve large numbers of unknown parameters, have complex structure which can result in substantial evaluation time relative to the needs of the analysis, and need to be compared to observed data of various forms. The correct analysis of such models usually requires a global parameter search, over a high dimensional parameter space, that incorporates and respects the most important sources of uncertainty. This can be an extremely difficult task, but it is essential for any meaningful inference or prediction to be made about any biological system. It hence represents a fundamental challenge for the whole of systems biology. Bayesian statistical methodology for the uncertainty analysis of complex models is introduced, which is designed to address the high dimensional global parameter search problem. Bayesian emulators that mimic the systems biology model but which are extremely fast to evaluate are embeded within an iterative history match: an efficient method to search high dimensional spaces within a more formal statistical setting, while incorporating major sources of uncertainty. The approach is demonstrated via application to a model of hormonal crosstalk in Arabidopsis root development, which has 32 rate parameters, for which we identify the sets of rate parameter values that lead to acceptable matches between model output and observed trend data. The multiple insights into the model's structure that this analysis provides are discussed. The methodology is applied to a second related model, and the biological consequences of the resulting comparison, including the evaluation of gene functions, are described. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex models using both emulators and history matching is shown to be a powerful technique that can greatly aid the study of a large class of systems biology models. It both provides insight into model behaviour

  5. Understanding the Narratives Explaining the Ukrainian Crisis: Identity Divisions and Complex Diversity in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smoor Lodewijk

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The central argument of this paper is that radical and opposing interpretations of the Ukrainian conflict in politics and media should be studied as offspring of broader narratives. These narratives can be better understood by examining the national identity of Ukraine. Since Ukrainian national identity shows a high degree of diversity, it offers a rich source of arguments for any party wanting to give an interpretation of the present Ukrainian crisis. Narratives explaining the crisis often ignore this complex diversity or deliberately use elements from it to construct the ‘desired’ narrative.

  6. Complexity in the biological recovery of Tatra Mountain lakes from acidification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stuchlík, Evžen; Bitušík, P.; Hardekopf, D.W.; Hořická, Zuzana; Kahounová, M.; Tátosová, J.; Vondrák, Daniel; Dočkalová, Kateřina

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 228, č. 5 (2017), č. článku 184. ISSN 0049-6979 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-09231S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : phytoplankton * zooplankton * chironomids * oligotrophication * eutrophication Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology OBOR OECD: Marine biology, freshwater biology, limnology Impact factor: 1.702, year: 2016

  7. Take a stand on understanding: electrophysiological evidence for stem access in German complex verbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolka, Eva; Gondan, Matthias; Rösler, Frank

    2015-01-01

    The lexical representation of complex words in Indo-European languages is generally assumed to depend on semantic compositionality. This study investigated whether semantically compositional and noncompositional derivations are accessed via their constituent units or as whole words. In an overt visual priming experiment (300 ms stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA), event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded for verbs (e.g., ziehen, "pull") that were preceded by purely semantically related verbs (e.g., zerren, "drag"), by morphologically related and semantically compositional verbs (e.g., zuziehen, "pull together"), by morphologically related and semantically noncompositional verbs (e.g., erziehen, "educate"), by orthographically similar verbs (e.g., zielen, "aim"), or by unrelated verbs (e.g., tarnen, "mask"). Compared to the unrelated condition, which evoked an N400 effect with the largest amplitude at centro-parietal recording sites, the N400 was reduced in all other conditions. The rank order of N400 amplitudes turned out as follows: morphologically related and semantically compositional ≈ morphologically related and semantically noncompositional morphologically related primes produced similar N400 modulations-irrespective of their semantic compositionality. The control conditions with orthographic similarity confirmed that these morphological effects were not the result of a simple form overlap between primes and targets. Our findings suggest that the lexical representation of German complex verbs refers to their base form, regardless of meaning compositionality. Theories of the lexical representation of German words need to incorporate this aspect of language processing in German.

  8. Understanding characteristics in multivariate traffic flow time series from complex network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ying; Zhang, Shen; Tang, Jinjun; Wang, Xiaofei

    2017-07-01

    Discovering dynamic characteristics in traffic flow is the significant step to design effective traffic managing and controlling strategy for relieving traffic congestion in urban cities. A new method based on complex network theory is proposed to study multivariate traffic flow time series. The data were collected from loop detectors on freeway during a year. In order to construct complex network from original traffic flow, a weighted Froenius norm is adopt to estimate similarity between multivariate time series, and Principal Component Analysis is implemented to determine the weights. We discuss how to select optimal critical threshold for networks at different hour in term of cumulative probability distribution of degree. Furthermore, two statistical properties of networks: normalized network structure entropy and cumulative probability of degree, are utilized to explore hourly variation in traffic flow. The results demonstrate these two statistical quantities express similar pattern to traffic flow parameters with morning and evening peak hours. Accordingly, we detect three traffic states: trough, peak and transitional hours, according to the correlation between two aforementioned properties. The classifying results of states can actually represent hourly fluctuation in traffic flow by analyzing annual average hourly values of traffic volume, occupancy and speed in corresponding hours.

  9. Application of Biologically-Based Lumping To Investigate the Toxicological Interactions of a Complex Gasoline Mixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    People are often exposed to complex mixtures of environmental chemicals such as gasoline, tobacco smoke, water contaminants, or food additives. However, investigators have often considered complex mixtures as one lumped entity. Valuable information can be obtained from these exp...

  10. Synthesis, spectral studies and biological evaluation of 2-aminonicotinic acid metal complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawaz, Muhammad; Abbasi, Muhammad Waseem; Hisaindee, Soleiman; Zaki, Muhammad Javed; Abbas, Hira Fatima; Mengting, Hu; Ahmed, M. Arif

    2016-05-01

    We synthesized 2-aminonicotinic acid (2-ANA) complexes with metals such as Co(II), Fe(III), Ni(II), Mn(II), Zn(II), Ag(I),Cr(III), Cd(II) and Cu(II) in aqueous media. The complexes were characterized and elucidated using FT-IR, UV-Vis, a fluorescence spectrophotometer and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). TGA data showed that the stoichiometry of complexes was 1:2 metal/ligand except for Ag(I) and Mn(II) where the ratio was 1:1. The metal complexes showed varied antibacterial, fungicidal and nematicidal activities. The silver and zinc complexes showed highest activity against Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis respectively. Fusarium oxysporum was highly susceptible to nickel and copper complexes whereas Macrophomina phaseolina was completely inert to the complexes. The silver and cadmium complexes were effective against the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica.

  11. Synthesis, spectral studies and biological evaluation of 2-aminonicotinic acid metal complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawaz, Muhammad; Abbasi, Muhammad Waseem; Hisaindee, Soleiman; Zaki, Muhammad Javed; Abbas, Hira Fatima; Mengting, Hu; Ahmed, M Arif

    2016-05-15

    We synthesized 2-aminonicotinic acid (2-ANA) complexes with metals such as Co(II), Fe(III), Ni(II), Mn(II), Zn(II), Ag(I),Cr(III), Cd(II) and Cu(II) in aqueous media. The complexes were characterized and elucidated using FT-IR, UV-Vis, a fluorescence spectrophotometer and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). TGA data showed that the stoichiometry of complexes was 1:2 metal/ligand except for Ag(I) and Mn(II) where the ratio was 1:1. The metal complexes showed varied antibacterial, fungicidal and nematicidal activities. The silver and zinc complexes showed highest activity against Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis respectively. Fusarium oxysporum was highly susceptible to nickel and copper complexes whereas Macrophomina phaseolina was completely inert to the complexes. The silver and cadmium complexes were effective against the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. #consumingitall: Understanding The Complex Relationship Between Media Consumption And Eating Behaviors

    OpenAIRE

    Albert, Stephanie L.

    2017-01-01

    Adolescents spend almost nine hours a day engaging with media. As a result, they are confronted with large amounts of obesogenic content that shapes their understanding of what are normal and acceptable eating behaviors. Utilizing primary data collected from a sample of 4,838 low-income, racially and ethnically diverse middle school students in Los Angeles County, I studied the effects of different types of media use (i.e., social media, TV/movies/videos, gaming, music, Internet) on dietary p...

  13. Application for 3d Scene Understanding in Detecting Discharge of Domesticwaste Along Complex Urban Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninsalam, Y.; Qin, R.; Rekittke, J.

    2016-06-01

    In our study we use 3D scene understanding to detect the discharge of domestic solid waste along an urban river. Solid waste found along the Ciliwung River in the neighbourhoods of Bukit Duri and Kampung Melayu may be attributed to households. This is in part due to inadequate municipal waste infrastructure and services which has caused those living along the river to rely upon it for waste disposal. However, there has been little research to understand the prevalence of household waste along the river. Our aim is to develop a methodology that deploys a low cost sensor to identify point source discharge of solid waste using image classification methods. To demonstrate this we describe the following five-step method: 1) a strip of GoPro images are captured photogrammetrically and processed for dense point cloud generation; 2) depth for each image is generated through a backward projection of the point clouds; 3) a supervised image classification method based on Random Forest classifier is applied on the view dependent red, green, blue and depth (RGB-D) data; 4) point discharge locations of solid waste can then be mapped by projecting the classified images to the 3D point clouds; 5) then the landscape elements are classified into five types, such as vegetation, human settlement, soil, water and solid waste. While this work is still ongoing, the initial results have demonstrated that it is possible to perform quantitative studies that may help reveal and estimate the amount of waste present along the river bank.

  14. Understanding the Complexities of Subnational Incentives in Supporting a National Market for Distributed Photovoltaics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bush, B.; Doris, E.; Getman, D.

    2014-09-01

    Subnational policies pertaining to photovoltaic (PV) systems have increased in volume in recent years and federal incentives are set to be phased out over the next few. Understanding how subnational policies function within and across jurisdictions, thereby impacting PV market development, informs policy decision making. This report was developed for subnational policy-makers and researchers in order to aid the analysis on the function of PV system incentives within the emerging PV deployment market. The analysis presented is based on a 'logic engine,' a database tool using existing state, utility, and local incentives allowing users to see the interrelationships between PV system incentives and parameters, such as geographic location, technology specifications, and financial factors. Depending on how it is queried, the database can yield insights into which combinations of incentives are available and most advantageous to the PV system owner or developer under particular circumstances. This is useful both for individual system developers to identify the most advantageous incentive packages that they qualify for as well as for researchers and policymakers to better understand the patch work of incentives nationwide as well as how they drive the market.

  15. Food, health, and complexity: towards a conceptual understanding to guide collaborative public health action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon E. Majowicz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background What we eat simultaneously impacts our exposure to pathogens, allergens, and contaminants, our nutritional status and body composition, our risks for and the progression of chronic diseases, and other outcomes. Furthermore, what we eat is influenced by a complex web of drivers, including culture, politics, economics, and our built and natural environments. To date, public health initiatives aimed at improving food-related population health outcomes have primarily been developed within ‘practice silos’, and the potential for complex interactions among such initiatives is not well understood. Therefore, our objective was to develop a conceptual model depicting how infectious foodborne illness, food insecurity, dietary contaminants, obesity, and food allergy can be linked via shared drivers, to illustrate potential complex interactions and support future collaboration across public health practice silos. Methods We developed the conceptual model by first conducting a systematic literature search to identify review articles containing schematics that depicted relationships between drivers and the issues of interest. Next, we synthesized drivers into a common model using a modified thematic synthesis approach that combined an inductive thematic analysis and mapping to synthesize findings. Results The literature search yielded 83 relevant references containing 101 schematics. The conceptual model contained 49 shared drivers and 227 interconnections. Each of the five issues was connected to all others. Obesity and food insecurity shared the most drivers (n = 28. Obesity shared several drivers with food allergy (n = 11, infectious foodborne illness (n = 7, and dietary contamination (n = 6. Food insecurity shared several drivers with infectious foodborne illness (n = 9 and dietary contamination (n = 9. Infectious foodborne illness shared drivers with dietary contamination (n = 8. Fewer drivers were

  16. Understanding the fate and biological effects of Ag- and TiO{sub 2}-nanoparticles in the environment: The quest for advanced analytics and interdisciplinary concepts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaumann, Gabriele E., E-mail: schaumann@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Philippe, Allan, E-mail: philippe@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Bundschuh, Mirco, E-mail: mirco.bundschuh@slu.se [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Ecotoxicology and Environment, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Lennart Hjelms väg 9, SE-75007 Uppsala (Sweden); Metreveli, George, E-mail: metreveli@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Klitzke, Sondra, E-mail: sondra.klitzke@tu-berlin.de [Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institute of Forest Sciences, Chair of Soil Ecology, 79085 Freiburg i.Br. (Germany); Berlin University of Technology, Institute of Ecology, Department of Soil Science, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, D-10587 Berlin (Germany); Rakcheev, Denis, E-mail: rakcheev@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Grün, Alexandra, E-mail: alexg@uni-koblenz.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Integrated Natural Sciences, Dept. of Biology, Universitätsstr. 1, D-56070 Koblenz (Germany); and others

    2015-12-01

    Engineered inorganic nanoparticles (EINP) from consumers' products and industrial applications, especially silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NP), are emitted into the aquatic and terrestrial environments in increasing amounts. However, the current knowledge on their environmental fate and biological effects is diverse and renders reliable predictions complicated. This review critically evaluates existing knowledge on colloidal aging mechanisms, biological functioning and transport of Ag NP and TiO{sub 2} NP in water and soil and it discusses challenges for concepts, experimental approaches and analytical methods in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the processes linking NP fate and effects. Ag NP undergo dissolution and oxidation with Ag{sub 2}S as a thermodynamically determined endpoint. Nonetheless, Ag NP also undergo colloidal transformations in the nanoparticulate state and may act as carriers for other substances. Ag NP and TiO{sub 2} NP can have adverse biological effects on organisms. Whereas Ag NP reveal higher colloidal stability and mobility, the efficiency of NOM as a stabilizing agent is greater towards TiO{sub 2} NP than towards Ag NP, and multivalent cations can dominate the colloidal behavior over NOM. Many of the past analytical obstacles have been overcome just recently. Single particle ICP-MS based methods in combination with field flow fractionation techniques and hydrodynamic chromatography have the potential to fill the gaps currently hampering a comprehensive understanding of fate and effects also at a low field relevant concentrations. These analytical developments will allow for mechanistically orientated research and transfer to a larger set of EINP. This includes separating processes driven by NP specific properties and bulk chemical properties, categorization of effect-triggering pathways directing the EINP effects towards specific recipients, and identification of dominant environmental parameters triggering

  17. Biological properties of aerococci and bacilli as a component of new associate-probiotic complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. I. Valchuk

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Dysbioses of the gastrointestinal tract are common among people of all ages and genders. Development of this pathology is associated with a number of complications, from indigestion to occurrence of malignant disease. Therefore, there is a need in development of measures of their prevention and correction. Probiotics are used as drugs against dysbiosis. Most of the presently known probiotics contain bacterial cells of one species, although combination preparations feature higher efficiency. At the same time, there are difficulties in construction of these drugs, primarily due to incompatibility of physiological properties of microorganisms and mutually antagonistic action of their components. The aim was to examine the compatibility of Bacillus subtilis and Aerococcus viridans in a single preparation, their antagonistic activity against different strains of test-cultures and general antagonism directed on different groups of bacteria for subsequent formation of associative probiotic complex. Properties of aerococci strains were studied and A. viridans 167 strain was selected for inclusion into the probiotic preparation. The tested strain showed the highest indicators of production of hydrogen peroxide, which is one of the mechanisms of antagonistic effect against opportunistic pathogens. General study of biological properties of aerococci strains showed that producing of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radical in them was conditioned by functioning of NAD-independent lactatoxidase. It has been determined that antioxidant defense of aerococci from the action of endogenous and active excretable forms of oxygen was provided by activity of superoxide-dismutase and GSH-peroxidase. The method of deferred antagonism found no depressing mutual action between probiotic strains of B. subtilis 3 and A. viridans 167 at their joint cultivation. Inhibition of growth at the joint application of A. viridans 167 and B. subtilis 3 strains was recorded for both

  18. Physical Chemistry of Nanomedicine: Understanding the Complex Behaviors of Nanoparticles in Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Lucas A.; Qian, Ximei; Smith, Andrew M.; Nie, Shuming

    2015-04-01

    Nanomedicine is an interdisciplinary field of research at the interface of science, engineering, and medicine, with broad clinical applications ranging from molecular imaging to medical diagnostics, targeted therapy, and image-guided surgery. Despite major advances during the past 20 years, there are still major fundamental and technical barriers that need to be understood and overcome. In particular, the complex behaviors of nanoparticles under physiological conditions are poorly understood, and detailed kinetic and thermodynamic principles are still not available to guide the rational design and development of nanoparticle agents. Here we discuss the interactions of nanoparticles with proteins, cells, tissues, and organs from a quantitative physical chemistry point of view. We also discuss insights and strategies on how to minimize nonspecific protein binding, how to design multistage and activatable nanostructures for improved drug delivery, and how to use the enhanced permeability and retention effect to deliver imaging agents for image-guided cancer surgery.

  19. Understanding the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Changhui; Chen, Dan; Fang, Jun; Wang, Pingrong; Deng, Xiaojian; Chu, Chengcai

    2014-12-01

    Although the molecular basis of flowering time control is well dissected in the long day (LD) plant Arabidopsis, it is still largely unknown in the short day (SD) plant rice. Rice flowering time (heading date) is an important agronomic trait for season adaption and grain yield, which is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. During the last decade, as the nature of florigen was identified, notable progress has been made on exploration how florigen gene expression is genetically controlled. In Arabidopsis expression of certain key flowering integrators such as FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are also epigenetically regulated by various chromatin modifications, however, very little is known in rice on this aspect until very recently. This review summarized the advances of both genetic networks and chromatin modifications in rice flowering time control, attempting to give a complete view of the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

  20. Spectral, NLO, Fluorescence, and Biological Activity of Knoevenagel Condensate of β-Diketone Ligands and Their Metal(II Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sumathi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Transition metal complexes of various acetylacetone-based ligands of the type ML (where M=  Cu(II, Ni(II, Co(II; L=  3-(aryl-pentane-2,4-dione have been synthesized. The structural features have been derived from their elemental analysis, magnetic susceptibility, molar conductance, IR, UV-Vis, H1NMR, mass and ESR spectral studies. Conductivity measurements reveal that all the complexes are nonelectrolytic in nature. Spectroscopic and other analytical data of the complexes suggest square planar geometry for copper(II, cobalt(II, and nickel(II complexes of 3-(3-phenylallylidenepentane-2,4-dione and octahedral geometry for other metal(II complexes. The redox behaviors of the copper(II complexes have been studied by cyclic voltammetry. The free ligands and their metal complexes have been screened for their in vitro biological activities against bacteria and fungus. The metal(II complexes are found to possess increased activities compared to those of the free ligands. All synthesized compounds may serve as potential photoactive materials as indicated from their characteristic fluorescence properties. The second harmonic generation (SHG efficiency of the ligands was found to have considerable effect compared to that of urea and KDP.

  1. The fluxional amine gold(III) complex as an excellent catalyst and precursor of biologically active acyclic carbenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanel-Pérez, Sara; Herrera, Raquel P; Laguna, Antonio; Villacampa, M Dolores; Gimeno, M Concepción

    2015-05-21

    A new amine gold(III) complex [Au(C6F5)2(DPA)]ClO4 with the di-(2-picolyl)amine (DPA) ligand has been synthesised. In the solid state the complex has a chiral amine nitrogen because the ligand coordinates to the gold centre through one nitrogen atom from a pyridine and through the NH moiety, whereas in solution it shows a fluxional behaviour with a rapid exchange between the pyridine sites. This complex can be used as an excellent synton to prepare new gold(III) carbene complexes by the reaction with isocyanide CNR. The resulting gold(III) derivatives have unprecedented bidentate C^N acyclic carbene ligands. All the complexes have been spectroscopically and structurally characterized. Taking advantage of the fluxional behaviour of the amine complex, its catalytic properties have been tested in several reactions with the formation of C-C and C-N bonds. The complex showed excellent activity with total conversion, without the presence of a co-catalyst, and with a catalyst loading as low as 0.1%. These complexes also present biological properties, and cytotoxicity studies have been performed in vitro against three tumour human cell lines, Jurkat (T-cell leukaemia), MiaPaca2 (pancreatic carcinoma) and A549 (lung carcinoma). Some of them showed excellent cytotoxic activity compared with the reference cisplatin.

  2. Synthesis and characterization of transition metal complexes derived from some biologically active furoic acid hydrazones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Venkateswar Rao

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Two new physiologically active ligands, N’-2-[(E-1-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-oxo-2H-8-chromenyl ethylidene-2-furan carbohydrazide (HMCFCH and N’-2-[(Z-1-(4-hydroxy-6-methyl-2-oxo-2H-pyranyl ethylidene]-furan carbohydrazide (HMPFCH and their VO(II, Mn(II, Fe(II, Co(II, Ni(II and Cu(II complexes have been prepared. The ligands and the metal complexes have been characterized by elemental analyses, electrical conductance, magnetic susceptibility measurements, UV-Vis, IR, and ESR spectroscopic data. Basing on the above data, Fe(II and Co(II complexes of HMCFCH and HMPFCH have been assigned a dimeric octahedral geometry. VO(II complexes of HMCFCH and HMPFCH have been assigned sulfate bridged dimeric square pyramidal geometry. Mn(II complex of HMCFCH has been assigned a dimeric octahedral geometry, where as Mn(II complex of HMPFCH has been ascribed to monomeric octahedral geometry. Cu(II and Ni(II complexes of HMCFCH have been ascribed to a polymeric structure. Ni(II complex of HMPFCH has been assigned a dimeric square planar geometry. Cu(II complex of HMPFCH has been proposed an octahedral geometry. The ligands and their metal chelates were screened against S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. The ligands and the metal complexes have been found to be active against these microorganisms. The ligands show more activity than the metal complexes.

  3. Synthesis, structural characterization and biological properties of phosphorescent iridium(III) complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Satish S; Shivalingegowda, Naveen; Revankar, Vidyanand K; Lokanath, N K; Kugaji, Manohar S; Kumbar, Vijay; Bhat, Kishore

    2017-12-01

    Two phosphorescent cyclometalated iridium(III)-triptycenyl-1,10-phenanthroline complexes [Ir(ppy) 2 (tpt-phen)] + (1) and [Ir(bhq) 2 (tpt-phen)] + (2) {ppy=2-phenylpyridine, bhq=Benzo[h]quinoline, tpt-phen=triptycenyl-1,10-phenanthroline} have been synthesized and structurally characterized. The structure of complex 2 has been studied by single crystal X-ray crystallography. The photophysical properties of complexes in a different solvent have also been investigated. The binding of complexes to the double stranded calf thymus (CT-DNA) has been investigated by spectroscopic techniques. These complexes condense originally circular plasmid DNA into particulate structures. The DNA-condensation induced by these complexes have been investigated by electrophoretic mobilty shift assay, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity of these complexes towards HeLa cells have been studied and their cellular localisation properties have been investigated by fluorescence microscopy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Using design principles to foster understanding of complex health concepts in consumer informatics tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Rupananda; Mark, Jessica H; Khan, Sharib; Kukafka, Rita

    2010-11-13

    Consumer health informatics tools can only be effective if patients comprehend their content. Optimal design may foster better patient comprehension and health literacy, which can improve health outcomes. We developed a patient-centric decision aid, Tailored Lifestyle Conversations (TLC), to help patients comprehend behavioral risks and set behavior change priorities for reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. The TLC decision aid was developed using a design framework based on Gestalt Principles of Perception. Further iteration was informed by qualitative user feedback. Preliminary analysis showed that the TLC decision aid helped patients understand their risk and supported their decisions on health behavior change. We identified design elements that supported patient comprehension, and other elements that were not effective, to inform iterative revision. This paper describes an effective methodology for the development of consumer health informatics tools that includes grounding in design principles complemented by iterative revision based on user testing and feedback.

  5. APPLICATION FOR 3D SCENE UNDERSTANDING IN DETECTING DISCHARGE OF DOMESTICWASTE ALONG COMPLEX URBAN RIVERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Ninsalam

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In our study we use 3D scene understanding to detect the discharge of domestic solid waste along an urban river. Solid waste found along the Ciliwung River in the neighbourhoods of Bukit Duri and Kampung Melayu may be attributed to households. This is in part due to inadequate municipal waste infrastructure and services which has caused those living along the river to rely upon it for waste disposal. However, there has been little research to understand the prevalence of household waste along the river. Our aim is to develop a methodology that deploys a low cost sensor to identify point source discharge of solid waste using image classification methods. To demonstrate this we describe the following five-step method: 1 a strip of GoPro images are captured photogrammetrically and processed for dense point cloud generation; 2 depth for each image is generated through a backward projection of the point clouds; 3 a supervised image classification method based on Random Forest classifier is applied on the view dependent red, green, blue and depth (RGB-D data; 4 point discharge locations of solid waste can then be mapped by projecting the classified images to the 3D point clouds; 5 then the landscape elements are classified into five types, such as vegetation, human settlement, soil, water and solid waste. While this work is still ongoing, the initial results have demonstrated that it is possible to perform quantitative studies that may help reveal and estimate the amount of waste present along the river bank.

  6. Nutritional sub-fertility in the dairy cow: towards improved reproductive management through a better biological understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friggens, N C; Disenhaus, C; Petit, H V

    2010-07-01

    There has been a significant decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in recent decades. Cows, take longer time to return to the oestrus after calving, have poorer conception rates, and show fewer signs of oestrus. Achieving good reproductive performance is an increasing challenge for the dairy producer. In this study we focus on understanding the overall biological phenomena associated with nutritional sub-fertility rather than the underlying multiplicity of physiological interactions (already described in a number of recent studies). These phenomena are important because they represent the natural adaptations of the animal for dealing with variations in the nutritional environment. They can also be used to monitor and modulate reproductive performance on-farm. There is an underlying trade-off between two aspects of reproduction: investment in the viability of the current calf and investment in future offspring. As the investment in, and viability of, the current calf is related to maternal milk production, we can expect that level of milk production per se has effects on subsequent reproductive performance (investment in future offspring). Lactating cows have a lower proportion of viable embryos, which are of poorer quality, than do non-lactating cows. The same applies to high- compared to medium-genetic merit cows. Another important biological property is the adaptive use of body reserves in support of reproduction. Orchestrated endocrine changes in pregnancy and lactation facilitate the deposition of body lipid during pregnancy and mobilisation in early lactation. When the cow fails to accumulate the reserves she needs to safeguard reproduction she delays committing to further reproductive investment. But how does the cow 'know' that she is failing in energy terms? We argue that the cow does this by 'monitoring' both the body fat mobilisation and body fatness. Excessive body fat mobilisation indicates that current conditions are worse than

  7. Thinking processes of Filipino teachers representation of schema of some biology topics: Its effects to the students conceptual understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barquilla, Manuel B.

    2018-01-01

    This study is a qualitative-quantitative research, where the main concern is to investigate Content knowledge representation of Filipino Teachers in their schema (proposition, linear ordering and imagery) of some biology topics. The five biology topics includes: Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, human reproductive system, Mendelian genetics and NonMendelian genetics. The study focuses on the six (6) biology teachers and a total of 222 students in their respective classes. Of the Six (6) teachers, three (3) are under the Science curriculum and three (3) under regular curriculum in both public and private schools in Iligan city and Lanao del Norte, Philippines. The study utilizes interpretative case-study method, bracketing method, and concept analysis for qualitative part. For quantitative, it uses a nonparametric statistical tool, Kendall's Tau to determine congruence of students and teachers' concept maps and paired t-test for testing the significant differences of pre-and post-instruction concept maps to determine the effects of students' conceptual understanding before and after the teacher's representation of their schema that requires the teachers' thinking processes. The data were cross-validated with two or more techniques used in the study. The data collection entailed seven (7) months immersion: one (1) month for preliminary phase for the researcher to gain teachers' and students' confidence and the succeeding six (6) months for main observation and data collection. Results indicate that the teacher utilize six methods to construct meaning of concepts, three methods of representing classification, four methods to represent relationships, seven methods to represent transformation and three methods to represent causation in planning and implementing the lessons. They often modify definitions in the textbook and express these in lingua franca to be better understood by the students. Furthermore, the teachers' analogs given to student are sometimes far

  8. Solid State Structures of Alkali Metal Ion Complexes Formed by Low-Molecular-Weight Ligands of Biological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Katsuyuki; Murayama, Kazutaka; Hu, Ning-Hai

    2016-01-01

    This chapter provides structural data, mainly metal binding sites/modes, observed in crystal structures of alkali metal ion complexes containing low-molecular-weight ligands of biological relevance, mostly obtained from the Cambridge Structural Database (the CSD version 5.35 updated to February 2014). These ligands include (i) amino acids and small peptides, (ii) nucleic acid constituents (excluding quadruplexes and other oligonucleotides), (iii) simple carbohydrates, and (iv) naturally occurring antibiotic ionophores. For some representative complexes of these ligands, some details on the environment of the metal coordination and structural characteristics are described.

  9. Simulation of biological flow and transport in complex geometries using embedded boundary/volume-of-fluid methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trebotich, David

    2007-01-01

    We have developed a simulation capability to model multiscale flow and transport in complex biological systems based on algorithms and software infrastructure developed under the SciDAC APDEC CET. The foundation of this work is a new hybrid fluid-particle method for modeling polymer fluids in irregular microscale geometries that enables long-time simulation of validation experiments. Both continuum viscoelastic and discrete particle representations have been used to model the constitutive behavior of polymer fluids. Complex flow environment geometries are represented on Cartesian grids using an implicit function. Direct simulation of flow in the irregular geometry is then possible using embedded boundary/volume-of-fluid methods without loss of geometric detail. This capability has been used to simulate biological flows in a variety of application geometries including biomedical microdevices, anatomical structures and porous media

  10. A comparison of the application of a biological and morphological species concept in the Hebeloma crustuliniforme complex within a phylogenetic framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aanen, D.K.; Kuyper, T.W.

    2004-01-01

    A method is presented to derive an operational phenetic species concept for the Hebeloma crustuliniforme complex in northwestern Europe. The complex was found to consist of at least 22 biological species (intercompatibility groups; ICGs). Almost none of these biological species could be recognised

  11. Introduction to symposium: Arthropods and wildlife conservation: synergy in complex biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The symposium will discuss the effects of arthropods and other stressors on wildlife conservation programs. Speakers with affiliations in wildlife biology, parasitology and entomology will be included in the program. Research of national and international interest will be presented....

  12. Knowledge Discovery in Biological Databases for Revealing Candidate Genes Linked to Complex Phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassani-Pak, Keywan; Rawlings, Christopher

    2017-06-13

    Genetics and "omics" studies designed to uncover genotype to phenotype relationships often identify large numbers of potential candidate genes, among which the causal genes are hidden. Scientists generally lack the time and technical expertise to review all relevant information available from the literature, from key model species and from a potentially wide range of related biological databases in a variety of data formats with variable quality and coverage. Computational tools are needed for the integration and evaluation of heterogeneous information in order to prioritise candidate genes and components of interaction networks that, if perturbed through potential interventions, have a positive impact on the biological outcome in the whole organism without producing negative side effects. Here we review several bioinformatics tools and databases that play an important role in biological knowledge discovery and candidate gene prioritization. We conclude with several key challenges that need to be addressed in order to facilitate biological knowledge discovery in the future.

  13. Complex-Shaped Microcomponents by the Reactive Conversion of Biological Templates

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sandhage, Kenneth

    2004-01-01

    This project has been aimed at: 1) identifying gas/solid reaction conditions for converting biologically-derived micro/nanotemplates into other oxides without a loss of the starting 3-D shape and fine features, and 2...

  14. Can a multimedia tool help students' learning performance in complex biology subjects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinar Koseoglu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of multimedia-based biology teaching (Mbio and teacher-centered biology (TCbio instruction approaches on learners' biology achievements, as well as their views towards learning approaches. During the research process, an experimental design with two groups, TCbio (n = 22 and Mbio (n = 26, were used. The results of the study proved that the Mbio approach was more effective than the TCbio approach with regard to supporting meaningful learning, academic achievement, enjoyment and motivation. Moreover, the TCbio approach is ineffective in terms of time management, engaging attention, and the need for repetition of subjects. Additionally, the results were discussed in terms of teaching, learning, multimedia design as well as biology teaching/learning.

  15. Synthesis, characterization and biological profile of metal and azo-metal complexes of embelin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Aravindhan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study emphasizes synthesis and bioprofiling of embelin, embelin-metal (EM and embelin-azo-metal (EAM complexes in detail. EM complexes were prepared using pure embelin and d-block transition elements, namely Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. Similarly, EAM complexes were synthesized using phenyl azo-embelin with the said transition metals. Embelin, EM, and EAM complexes were subjected to ultra violet visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, thermogravimetric analysis, carbon hydrogen nitrogen sulfur analysis. With regard to bioprofiling, the test complexes were studied for the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Results revealed that the prepared EM and EAM complexes form octahedral complexes with embelin with the yield in the range of 45–75%. All the instrumental analyses authenticate the interaction of metals with bidentate embelin through its enolic and quinonic oxygen atoms as [M(Emb2(H2O2]H2O and [M(Emb-Azo2(H2O2]. The antioxidant profile studies suggested that upon complexation with metals, the free radical scavenging activity of embelin reduced significantly. But, with regard to antimicrobial activity, cobalt and nickel embelin complexes displayed>80% growth inhibition in comparison with embelin alone. The hemolytic activity studies suggested that both embelin and the metal complexes are non-hemolytic. The reason for the reduction in antioxidant and an increase in antimicrobial activities were discussed in detail.

  16. Synthesis, physico-chemical characterization and biological activity of 2-aminobenzimidazole complexes with different metal ions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podunavac-Kuzmanović Sanja O.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Complexes of 2-aminobenzimidazole (L with nitrates of cobalt(II nickel(II, copper (II, zinc(II and silver(I were synthesized. The molar ratio metal:ligand in the reaction of the complex formation was 1:2. It should be noticed, that the reaction of all the metal salts yielded bis(ligand complexes of the general formula M(L2(NO32 × nH2O (M=Co, Ni Cu, Zn or Ag; n=0, 1, 2 or 6. The complexes were characterized by elemental analysis of the metal, molar conductivity, magnetic susceptibility measurements and IR spectra. Co(II, Ni(II and Cu(II complexes behave as non-electrolytes, whilst Zn(II and Ag(I are 1:1 electrolytes. Cu(II complex has a square-planar stereochemistry, Ag(I complex is linear, whilst the Co(II, Ni(II and Zn(II complexes have a tetrahedral configuration. In all the complexes ligand is coordinated by participation of the pyridine nitrogen of the benzimidazole ring. The antimicrobial activity of the ligand and its complexes against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus sp. Staphylococcus aureus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae was investigated. The effect of metal on the ligand antimicrobial activity is discussed.

  17. FuturICT: Participatory computing to understand and manage our complex world in a more sustainable and resilient way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbing, D.; Bishop, S.; Conte, R.; Lukowicz, P.; McCarthy, J. B.

    2012-11-01

    We have built particle accelerators to understand the forces that make up our physical world. Yet, we do not understand the principles underlying our strongly connected, techno-socio-economic systems. We have enabled ubiquitous Internet connectivity and instant, global information access. Yet we do not understand how it impacts our behavior and the evolution of society. To fill the knowledge gaps and keep up with the fast pace at which our world is changing, a Knowledge Accelerator must urgently be created. The financial crisis, international wars, global terror, the spreading of diseases and cyber-crime as well as demographic, technological and environmental change demonstrate that humanity is facing serious challenges. These problems cannot be solved within the traditional paradigms. Moving our attention from a component-oriented view of the world to an interaction-oriented view will allow us to understand the complex systems we have created and the emergent collective phenomena characterising them. This paradigm shift will enable new solutions to long-standing problems, very much as the shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric worldview has facilitated modern physics and the ability to launch satellites. The FuturICT flagship project will develop new science and technology to manage our future in a complex, strongly connected world. For this, it will combine the power of information and communication technology (ICT) with knowledge from the social and complexity sciences. ICT will provide the data to boost the social sciences into a new era. Complexity science will shed new light on the emergent phenomena in socially interactive systems, and the social sciences will provide a better understanding of the opportunities and risks of strongly networked systems, in particular future ICT systems. Hence, the envisaged FuturICT flagship will create new methods and instruments to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. FuturICT could indeed become one of the most

  18. Understanding complexities in coupled dynamics of human-water and food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usmani, M.; Kondal, A.; Lin, L.; Colwell, R. R.; Jutla, A.

    2017-12-01

    Traditional premise of food security is associated with satisfying human hunger by providing sufficient calories to population. Water is the key variable associated with the growth of crops, which is then used as a metric of success for abundance of food across globe. The current framework often negates complex coupled interaction between availability of food nutrients and human well-being (such as productivity, work efficiency, low birth weight, physical and mental growth). Our analysis suggests that 1 in 3 humans suffer from malnutrition across the globe. In last five decades, most of the countries have a decreasing availability trend in at least one of the twenty-three essential food nutrients required for human well-being. We argue that food security can only be achieved if information on use of water for crops and consumption of food must include availability of nutrients for humans. Here, we propose a new concept of "consumptive nutrients" that include constant feedback mechanism between water-human and societal processes- essential for growth, distribution and consumption of food nutrients. Using Ethiopia as a signature rain-fed agricultural region, we will show how decreasing precipitation has led to an increase in crop productivity, but decreased availability of nutrients for humans. This in turn has destabilizing impact on overall regional economy. We will demonstrate why inclusion of nutrients must be a part of discussion for ensuring food security to human population.

  19. Childhood disability in Turkana, Kenya: Understanding how carers cope in a complex humanitarian setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuurmond, Maria; Nyapera, Velma; Mwenda, Victoria; Kisia, James; Rono, Hilary; Palmer, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Although the consequences of disability are magnified in humanitarian contexts, research into the difficulties of caring for children with a disability in such settings has received limited attention. Based on in-depth interviews with 31 families, key informants and focus group discussions in Turkana, Kenya, this article explores the lives of families caring for children with a range of impairments (hearing, vision, physical and intellectual) in a complex humanitarian context characterised by drought, flooding, armed conflict, poverty and historical marginalisation. The challenging environmental and social conditions of Turkana magnified not only the impact of impairment on children, but also the burden of caregiving. The remoteness of Turkana, along with the paucity and fragmentation of health, rehabilitation and social services, posed major challenges and created opportunity costs for families. Disability-related stigma isolated mothers of children with disabilities, especially, increasing their burden of care and further limiting their access to services and humanitarian programmes. In a context where social systems are already stressed, the combination of these factors compounded the vulnerabilities faced by children with disabilities and their families. The needs of children with disabilities and their carers in Turkana are not being met by either community social support systems or humanitarian aid programmes. There is an urgent need to mainstream disability into Turkana services and programmes.

  20. The AAA+ proteins Pontin and Reptin enter adult age: from understanding their basic biology to the identification of selective inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Pedro M; Baek, Sung Hee; Bandeiras, Tiago M; Dutta, Anindya; Houry, Walid A; Llorca, Oscar; Rosenbaum, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Pontin and Reptin are related partner proteins belonging to the AAA+ (ATPases Associated with various cellular Activities) family. They are implicated in multiple and seemingly unrelated processes encompassing the regulation of gene transcription, the remodeling of chromatin, DNA damage sensing and repair, and the assembly of protein and ribonucleoprotein complexes, among others. The 2nd International Workshop on Pontin and Reptin took place at the Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier in Oeiras, Portugal on October 10-12, 2014, and reported significant new advances on the mechanisms of action of these two AAA+ ATPases. The major points under discussion were related to the mechanisms through which these proteins regulate gene transcription, their roles as co-chaperones, and their involvement in pathophysiology, especially in cancer and ciliary biology and disease. Finally, they may become anticancer drug targets since small chemical inhibitors were shown to produce anti-tumor effects in animal models.

  1. Palladium polypyridyl complexes: synthesis, characterization, DNA interaction and biological activity on Leishmania (L.) mexicana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarro, Maribel; Betancourt, Adelmo; Hernandez, Clara; Marchan, Edgar

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes the search for new potential chemotherapeutic agents based on transition metal complexes with planar ligands. In this study, palladium polypyridyl complexes were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, NMR, UV-VIS and IR spectroscopies. The interaction of the complexes with DNA was also investigated by spectroscopic methods. All metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) bands of the palladium polypyridyl complexes exhibited hypochromism and red shift in the presence of DNA. The binding constant and viscosity data suggested that the complexes [PdCl 2 (phen)] and [PdCl 2 (phendiamine)] interact with DNA by electrostatic forces. Additionally, these complexes induced an important leishmanistatic effect on L. (L.) mexicana promastigotes at the final concentration of 10 μmol L -1 in 48 h. (author)

  2. Palladium polypyridyl complexes: synthesis, characterization, DNA interaction and biological activity on Leishmania (L.) mexicana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navarro, Maribel [Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Caracas (Venezuela). Centro de Quimica; Betancourt, Adelmo [Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia (Venezuela). Facultad Experimental de Ciencia y Tecnologia. Dept. de Quimica; Hernandez, Clara [Universidad de Carabobo Sede Aragua, Maracay (Venezuela). Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud. Dept. de Ciencias Basicas; Marchan, Edgar [Universidad de Oriente, Cumana (Venezuela). Inst. de Investigaciones en Biomedicina y Ciencias Aplicadas. Nucleo de Sucre

    2008-07-01

    This paper describes the search for new potential chemotherapeutic agents based on transition metal complexes with planar ligands. In this study, palladium polypyridyl complexes were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, NMR, UV-VIS and IR spectroscopies. The interaction of the complexes with DNA was also investigated by spectroscopic methods. All metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) bands of the palladium polypyridyl complexes exhibited hypochromism and red shift in the presence of DNA. The binding constant and viscosity data suggested that the complexes [PdCl{sub 2}(phen)] and [PdCl{sub 2}(phendiamine)] interact with DNA by electrostatic forces. Additionally, these complexes induced an important leishmanistatic effect on L. (L.) mexicana promastigotes at the final concentration of 10 {mu}mol L{sup -1} in 48 h. (author)

  3. Synthesis, spectral, thermal and antimicrobial studies of some new tri metallic biologically active ceftriaxone complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Alaa E.

    2011-01-01

    Iron, cobalt, nickel and copper complexes of ceftriaxone were prepared in 1:3 ligand:metal ratio to examine the ligating properties of the different moieties of the drug. The complexes were found to have high percentages of coordinated water molecules. The modes of bonding were discussed depending on the infrared spectral absorption peaks of the different allowed vibrations. The Nujol mull electronic absorption spectra and the magnetic moment values indicated the Oh geometry of the metal ions in the complexes. The ESR spectra of the iron, cobalt, and copper complexes were determined and discussed. The thermal behaviors of the complexes were studied by TG and DTA techniques. The antimicrobial activities of the complexes were examined and compared to that of the ceftriaxone itself.

  4. Analytical ultracentrifugation with fluorescence detection system reveals differences in complex formation between recombinant human TNF and different biological TNF antagonists in various environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krayukhina, Elena; Noda, Masanori; Ishii, Kentaro; Maruno, Takahiro; Wakabayashi, Hirotsugu; Tada, Minoru; Suzuki, Takuo; Ishii-Watabe, Akiko; Kato, Masahiko; Uchiyama, Susumu

    A number of studies have attempted to elucidate the binding mechanism between tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and clinically relevant antagonists. None of these studies, however, have been conducted as close as possible to physiologic conditions, and so the relationship between the size distribution of TNF-antagonist complexes and the antagonists' biological activity or adverse effects remains elusive. Here, we characterized the binding stoichiometry and sizes of soluble TNF-antagonist complexes for adalimumab, infliximab, and etanercept that were formed in human serum and in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Fluorescence-detected sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation analyses revealed that adalimumab and infliximab formed a range of complexes with TNF, with the major complexes consisting of 3 molcules of the respective antagonist and one or 2 molcules of TNF. Considerably greater amounts of high-molecular-weight complexes were detected for infliximab in human serum. The emergence of peaks with higher sedimentation coefficients than the adalimumab monomer as a function of added human serum albumin (HSA) concentration in PBS suggested weak reversible interactions between HSA and immunoglobulins. Etanerept exclusively formed 1:1 complexes with TNF in PBS, and a small amount of complexes with higher stoichiometry was detected in human serum. Consistent with these biophysical characterizations, a reporter assay showed that adalimumab and infliximab, but not etanercept, exerted FcγRIIa- and FcγRIIIa-mediated cell signaling in the presence of TNF and that infliximab exhibited higher potency than adalimumab. This study shows that assessing distribution profiles in serum will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the in vivo behavior of therapeutic proteins.

  5. Studying the complexity of change: toward an analytical framework for understanding deliberate social-ecological transformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele-Lee Moore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Faced with numerous seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges, many scholars and practitioners are increasingly interested in understanding how to actively engage and transform the existing systems holding such problems in place. Although a variety of analytical models have emerged in recent years, most emphasize either the social or ecological elements of such transformations rather than their coupled nature. To address this, first we have presented a definition of the core elements of a social-ecological system (SES that could potentially be altered in a transformation. Second, we drew on insights about transformation from three branches of literature focused on radical change, i.e., social movements, socio-technical transitions, and social innovation, and gave consideration to the similarities and differences with the current studies by resilience scholars. Drawing on these findings, we have proposed a framework that outlines the process and phases of transformative change in an SES. Future research will be able to utilize the framework as a tool for analyzing the alteration of social-ecological feedbacks, identifying critical barriers and leverage points and assessing the outcome of social-ecological transformations.

  6. Understanding the Complexities of Food Safety Using a "One Health" Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniel, Kalmia E; Kumar, Deepak; Thakur, Siddhartha

    2018-02-01

    The philosophy of One Health is growing in concept and clarity. The interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health is the basis for the concept of One Health. One Health is a comprehensive approach to ensure the health of people, animals, and the environment through collaborative efforts. Preharvest food safety issues align with the grand concept of One Health. Imagine any food production system, and immediately, parallel images from One Health emerge: for example, transmission of zoonotic diseases, antibiotic residues, or resistance genes in the environment; environmental and animal host reservoirs of disease; challenges with rearing animals and growing fresh produce on the same farm; application and transport of manure or diseased animals. During a recent celebration of #OneHealthDay, information was shared around the globe concerning scientists dedicated to One Health research systems. An ever-growing trade and global commerce system mixed with our incessant desire for food products during the whole year makes it all the more important to take a global view through the One Health lens to solve these growing challenges. The recent explosion of Zika virus around the globe renewed the need for assessing transmissible diseases through the eyes of One Health. It is not good enough to know how a disease affects the human population without a thorough understanding of the environment and vector reservoirs. If 60 to 75% of infectious diseases affecting humans are of animal origin, the need for better One Health research strategies and overdue solutions is imperative.

  7. Understanding the complexities of functional ability in Alzheimer's disease: more than just basic and instrumental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahle-Wrobleski, Kristin; Coley, Nicola; Lepage, Benoit; Cantet, Christelle; Vellas, Bruno; Andrieu, Sandrine

    2014-05-01

    Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (AD) is defined by both cognitive and functional decline; new criteria allow for identification of milder, non-functionally impaired patients. Understanding loss of autonomy in AD is essential, as later stages represent a significant burden and cost to patients, their families, and society. The purpose of the present analyses was to determine the factor structure of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL) in a cohort of AD patients. Baseline ADCS-ADL assessments of 734 AD patients from the PLASA study were included in an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Because the ADCS-ADL was designed to assess change over time, change from baseline scores over 2 years were also analyzed using an EFA. Factorial solutions were evaluated based on cross-loading, non-loadings, and number of items per factor. Mean age at baseline was 79.3, mean MMSE was 19.8 and 73.3% of participants were female. Baseline data suggested a 4-factor solution that included factors for basic ADLs (BADLs), domestic/household activities, communication/engagement with the environment, and outside activities. The change scores EFA suggested a 2-factor solution of BADLs and instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Distinct factors of IADLs should be considered for further validation as areas of attention to catch early functional decline.

  8. Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Activity of Nickel (II) and Palladium (II) Complex with Pyrrolidine Dithiocarbamate (PDTC)

    OpenAIRE

    Sk Imadul Islam; Suvendu Bikash Das; Sutapa Chakrabarty; Sudeshna Hazra; Akhil Pandey; Animesh Patra

    2016-01-01

    The synthesis of square planar Ni(II) and Pd(II) complexes with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) was characterized by elemental, physiochemical, and spectroscopic methods. Two complexes were prepared by the reaction of nickel acetate and palladium acetate with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) in 1 : 2 molar ratio. The bovine serum albumin (BSA) interaction with complexes was examined by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques at pH 7.4. All the spectral data suggest that coor...

  9. Three-dimensional models of cancer for pharmacology and cancer cell biology: capturing tumor complexity in vitro/ex vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, John A; Graeser, Ralph; de Hoogt, Ronald; Vidic, Suzana; Brito, Catarina; Gutekunst, Matthias; van der Kuip, Heiko

    2014-09-01

    Cancers are complex and heterogeneous pathological "organs" in a dynamic interplay with their host. Models of human cancer in vitro, used in cancer biology and drug discovery, are generally highly reductionist. These cancer models do not incorporate complexity or heterogeneity. This raises the question as to whether the cancer models' biochemical circuitry (not their genome) represents, with sufficient fidelity, a tumor in situ. Around 95% of new anticancer drugs eventually fail in clinical trial, despite robust indications of activity in existing in vitro pre-clinical models. Innovative models are required that better capture tumor biology. An important feature of all tissues, and tumors, is that cells grow in three dimensions. Advances in generating and characterizing simple and complex (with added stromal components) three-dimensional in vitro models (3D models) are reviewed in this article. The application of stirred bioreactors to permit both scale-up/scale-down of these cancer models and, importantly, methods to permit controlled changes in environment (pH, nutrients, and oxygen) are also described. The challenges of generating thin tumor slices, their utility, and potential advantages and disadvantages are discussed. These in vitro/ex vivo models represent a distinct move to capture the realities of tumor biology in situ, but significant characterization work still remains to be done in order to show that their biochemical circuitry accurately reflects that of a tumor. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Syntheses, structural elucidation, thermal properties, theoretical quantum chemical studies (DFT and biological studies of barbituric–hydrazone complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amina A. Soayed

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Condensation of barbituric acid with hydrazine hydrate yielded barbiturichydrazone (L which was characterized using IR, 1H NMR and mass spectra. The Co(II, Ni(II and Cu(II complexes derived from this ligand have been synthesized and structurally characterized by elemental analyses, spectroscopic methods (IR, UV–Vis and ESR and thermal analyses (TGA, DTG and DTA and the structures were further elucidated using quantum chemical density functional theory. Complexes of L were found to have the ML.nH2O stoichiometry with either tetrahedral or octahedral geometry. The ESR data showed the Cu(II complex to be in a tetragonal geometry. Theoretical investigation of the electronic structure of metal complexes at the TD-DFT/B3LYP level of theory has been carried out and discussed. The fundamental vibrational wavenumbers were calculated and a good agreement between observed and scaled calculated wavenumbers was achieved. Thermal studies were performed to deduce the stabilities of the ligand and complexes. Thermodynamic parameters, such as the order of reactions (n, activation energy ΔE∗, enthalpy of reaction ΔH∗ and entropy ΔS∗ were calculated from DTA curves using Horowitz–Metzger method. The ligand L and its complexes have been screened for their antifungal and antibacterial activities and were found to possess better biological activities compared to those of unsubstituted barbituric acid complexes.

  11. Influence of the nucleobase on the physicochemical characteristics and biological activities of Sb{sup V}-ribonucleoside complexes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Claudio S.; Demicheli, Cynthia, E-mail: demichel@netuno.lcc.ufmg.b [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Rocha, Iara C.M. da; Melo, Maria N. [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Dept. de Parasitologia; Monte Neto, Rubens L.; Frezard, Frederic [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Dept. de Fisiologia e Biofisica

    2010-07-01

    The influence of the nucleobase (uracyl, U; cytosine, C; adenine, A; guanine, G) on the physicochemical characteristics and in vitro biological activities of Sb{sup V}-ribonucleoside complexes has been investigated. The 1:1 Sb-U and Sb-C complexes were characterized by NMR and ESI-MS spectroscopies and elemental analysis. The stability constant and the apparent association and dissociation rate constants of 1:1 Sb{sup V}-U, Sb{sup V}-C and Sb{sup V}-A complexes were determined. Although Sb{sup V} most probably binds via oxygen atoms to the same 2' and 3' positions in the different nucleosides, the ribose conformational changes and the physicochemical characteristics of the complex depend on the nucleobase. The nucleobase had a strong influence on the cytotoxicity against macrophages and the antileishmanial activity of the Sb{sup V}-ribonucleoside complexes. The Sb{sup V}-purine complexes were more cytotoxic and more effective against Leishmania chagasi than the Sb{sup V}-pyrimidine complexes, supporting the model that the interaction of Sb{sup V} with purine nucleosides may mediate the antileishmanial activity of pentavalent antimonial drugs. (author)

  12. Childhood disability in Turkana, Kenya: Understanding how carers cope in a complex humanitarian setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Zuurmond

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although the consequences of disability are magnified in humanitarian contexts, research into the difficulties of caring for children with a disability in such settings has received limited attention.Methods: Based on in-depth interviews with 31 families, key informants and focus group discussions in Turkana, Kenya, this article explores the lives of families caring for children with a range of impairments (hearing, vision, physical and intellectual in a complex humanitarian context characterised by drought, flooding, armed conflict, poverty and historical marginalisation.Results: The challenging environmental and social conditions of Turkana magnified not only the impact of impairment on children, but also the burden of caregiving. The remoteness of Turkana, along with the paucity and fragmentation of health, rehabilitation and social services, posed major challenges and created opportunity costs for families. Disability-related stigma isolated mothers of children with disabilities, especially, increasing their burden of care and further limiting their access to services and humanitarian programmes. In a context where social systems are already stressed, the combination of these factors compounded the vulnerabilities faced by children with disabilities and their families.Conclusion: The needs of children with disabilities and their carers in Turkana are not being met by either community social support systems or humanitarian aid programmes. There is an urgent need to mainstream disability into Turkana services and programmes.

  13. New palladium(II) hydrazone complexes: Synthesis, structure and biological evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyannan, Ganesan; Mohanraj, Maruthachalam; Raja, Gunasekaran; Bhuvanesh, Nanjan; Nandhakumar, Raju; Jayabalakrishnan, Chinnasamy

    2016-10-01

    Two new palladium(II) complexes of 4-hydoxy-benzoic acid (5-bromo-2-hydroxy-benzylidene)-hydrazide (H2L) (1) with triphenylphosphine and triphenylarsine as coligand have been synthesized and characterized by the aid of various spectral techniques. The structure of the ligand and complexes was confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction studies. The hydrazone ligand acts as a tridendate ligand with ONO as the donor sites and is preferably found in the enol form in all the complexes. The structural analysis of 2 and 3 confirms the square planar geometry of the two complexes. The DNA binding of these complexes and ligand calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) was investigated by using various methods, which revealed that the compounds interacted with CT-DNA through intercalation. Binding properties of the free ligand and its complexes with bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein have been investigated using UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopic methods which indicated the stronger binding nature of the palladium complexes to BSA than the free hydrazone ligand. In addition, concentration dependent free radical scavenging potential of all the synthesized compounds (1-3) was also carried out under in vitro conditions. Further, the in vitro cytotoxicity of the compounds was examined on a HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines, which revealed that complex 2 exhibited a superior cytotoxicity than complex 3 and ligand 1. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of symmetric dinuclear complexes derived from a novel macrocyclic compartmental ligand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mruthyunjayaswamy, B.H.M.; Ijare, Omkar B.; Jadegoud, Y.

    2005-01-01

    A phenol based novel macrocyclic binucleating compartmental ligand N,N-bis(2,6-diiminomethyl-4-methyl-1-hydroxyphenyl)malonoyldicarboxamide was prepared. The complexes were prepared by template method by reacting 2,6-diformyl-4-methylphenol, malonoyl dihydrazide and the metal chlorides of Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Cd(II), Zn(II) and Hg(II) in methanol to get a series of dinuclear complexes. The complexes were characterized by elemental analyses, conductivity measurements, magnetic susceptibility data, IR, UV-Vis, ESR, NMR and FAB mass spectral data. The dinuclear nature of the complexes was confirmed on the basis of elemental analyses, magnetic susceptibility, ESR and FAB mass spectral data. The ligand as well as Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II) and Zn(II) complexes were tested for their antibacterial and antifungal properties against Escherichia coli, Staphyloccocus aureus, Aspergillus niger and Fusarium oxysporum. Magnetic susceptibility measurements of Cu(II), Ni(II) and Co(II) complexes reveal that these complexes exhibit antiferromagnetic coupling behavior due to the presence of two metal ions in close proximity. FAB mass spectrum of the Cu(II) complex gave a clear evidence for the dinuclear nature. The ligand and the complexes were found to be less active against the tested bacteria, but the ligand alone was found active against the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. (author)

  15. Structural requirements and biological significance of interactions between peptides and the major histocompatibility complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grey, H M; Buus, S; Colon, S

    1989-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that T cells recognize a complex between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restriction-element and peptide-antigen fragments. Two aspects of this complex formation are considered in this paper: (1) what is the nature of the specificity of the interactions...... that allows a few MHC molecules to serve as restriction elements for a large universe of antigens; and (2) what is the relative contribution of determinant selection (i.e. antigen-MHC complex formation) and T-cell repertoire in determining the capacity of an individual to respond to an antigen? By analysing...

  16. A systems biology approach to studying Tai Chi, physiological complexity and healthy aging: design and rationale of a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne, Peter M; Manor, Brad; Novak, Vera; Costa, Madelena D; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Goldberger, Ary L; Ahn, Andrew C; Yeh, Gloria Y; Peng, C-K; Lough, Matthew; Davis, Roger B; Quilty, Mary T; Lipsitz, Lewis A

    2013-01-01

    Aging is typically associated with progressive multi-system impairment that leads to decreased physical and cognitive function and reduced adaptability to stress. Due to its capacity to characterize complex dynamics within and between physiological systems, the emerging field of complex systems biology and its array of quantitative tools show great promise for improving our understanding of aging, monitoring senescence, and providing biomarkers for evaluating novel interventions, including promising mind-body exercises, that treat age-related disease and promote healthy aging. An ongoing, two-arm randomized clinical trial is evaluating the potential of Tai Chi mind-body exercise to attenuate age-related loss of complexity. A total of 60 Tai Chi-naïve healthy older adults (aged 50-79) are being randomized to either six months of Tai Chi training (n=30), or to a waitlist control receiving unaltered usual medical care (n=30). Our primary outcomes are complexity-based measures of heart rate, standing postural sway and gait stride interval dynamics assessed at 3 and 6months. Multiscale entropy and detrended fluctuation analysis are used as entropy- and fractal-based measures of complexity, respectively. Secondary outcomes include measures of physical and psychological function and tests of physiological adaptability also assessed at 3 and 6months. Results of this study may lead to novel biomarkers that help us monitor and understand the physiological processes of aging and explore the potential benefits of Tai Chi and related mind-body exercises for healthy aging. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Towards a system level understanding of non-model organisms sampled from the environment: a network biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Williams

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The acquisition and analysis of datasets including multi-level omics and physiology from non-model species, sampled from field populations, is a formidable challenge, which so far has prevented the application of systems biology approaches. If successful, these could contribute enormously to improving our understanding of how populations of living organisms adapt to environmental stressors relating to, for example, pollution and climate. Here we describe the first application of a network inference approach integrating transcriptional, metabolic and phenotypic information representative of wild populations of the European flounder fish, sampled at seven estuarine locations in northern Europe with different degrees and profiles of chemical contaminants. We identified network modules, whose activity was predictive of environmental exposure and represented a link between molecular and morphometric indices. These sub-networks represented both known and candidate novel adverse outcome pathways representative of several aspects of human liver pathophysiology such as liver hyperplasia, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. At the molecular level these pathways were linked to TNF alpha, TGF beta, PDGF, AGT and VEGF signalling. More generally, this pioneering study has important implications as it can be applied to model molecular mechanisms of compensatory adaptation to a wide range of scenarios in wild populations.

  18. Recent introduction of an allodapine bee into Fiji: A new model system for understanding biological invasions by pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Scott V C; Tuiwawa, Marika V; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2015-08-01

    Morphology-based studies have suggested a very depauperate bee fauna for islands in the South West Pacific, and recent genetic studies since have indicated an even smaller endemic fauna with many bee species in this region resulting from human-aided dispersal. These introduced species have the potential to both disrupt native pollinator suites as well as augment crop pollination, but for most species the timings of introduction are unknown. We examined the distribution and nesting biology of the long-tongued bee Braunsapis puangensis that was first recorded from Fiji in 2007. This bee has now become widespread in Fiji and both its local abundance and geographical range are likely to increase dramatically. The impacts of this invasion are potentially enormous for agriculture and native ecosystems, but they also provide opportunities for understanding how social insect species adapt to new environments. We outline the major issues associated with this recent invasion and argue that a long-term monitoring study is needed. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. Understanding the biology of bone sarcoma from early initiating events through late events in metastasis and disease progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Limin eZhu

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The two most common primary bone malignancies, osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, are both aggressive, highly metastatic cancers that most often strike teens, though both can be found in younger children and adults. Despite distinct origins and pathogenesis, both diseases share several mechanisms of progression and metastasis, including neovascularization, invasion, anoikis resistance, chemoresistance and evasion of the immune response. Some of these processes are well-studies in more common carcinoma models, and the observation from adult diseases may be readily applied to pediatric bone sarcomas. Neovascularization, which includes angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, is a clear example of a process that is likely to be similar between carcinomas and sarcomas, since the responding cells are the same in each case. Chemoresistance mechanisms also may be similar between other cancers and the bone sarcomas. Since osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma are mesenchymal in origin, the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation is largely absent in bone sarcomas, necessitating different approaches to study progression and metastasis in these diseases. One process that is less well-studied in bone sarcomas is dormancy, which allows micrometastatic disease to remain viable but not growing in distant sites – typically the lungs – for months or years before renewing growth to become overt metastatic disease. By understanding the basic biology of these processes, novel therapeutic strategies may be developed that could improve survival in children with osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.

  20. Understanding complex coacervation in serum albumin and pectin mixtures using a combination of the Boltzmann equation and Monte Carlo simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunqi; Zhao, Qin; Huang, Qingrong

    2014-01-30

    A combination of turbidimetric titration, a sigmoidal Boltzmann equation approach and Monte Carlo simulation has been used to study the complex coacervation in serum albumin and pectin mixtures. The effects of the mass ratio of protein to polysaccharide on the critical pH values, the probability of complex coacervation and the electrostatic interaction from charge patches in serum albumin were investigated. Turbidimetric titration results showed an optimum pH for complex coacervation (pHm), which corresponded to the maximum turbidity in the protein/polysaccharide mixture. The pHm monotonically decreased as the ratio decreased, and could be fitted using the sigmoidal Boltzmann equation. It suggests that pHm could be a good ordering parameter to characterize the phase behavior associated with protein/polysaccharide complex coacervation. Qualitative understanding of pHm by taking into account the minimization of electrostatic interaction, as well as quantitative matching of pHm according to the concept of charge neutralization were both achieved. Our results suggest that the serum albumin/pectin complexes were ultimately neutralized by the partial charges originated from the titratable residues in protein and polysaccharide chains at pHm. The Monte Carlo simulation provided consistent phase boundaries for complex coacervation in the same system, and the intermolecular association strength was determined to be several kBT below the given ionic strength. The strongest binding site in the protein is convergent to the largest positive charge patch if pure electrostatic interaction was considered. Further inclusion of contribution from excluded volume resulted in the binding site distribution over five different positive charge patches at different protein/polysaccharide ratios and pH values. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Structural biology of disease-associated repetitive DNA sequences and protein-DNA complexes involved in DNA damage and repair

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, G.; Santhana Mariappan, S.V.; Chen, X.; Catasti, P.; Silks, L.A. III; Moyzis, R.K.; Bradbury, E.M.; Garcia, A.E.

    1997-07-01

    This project is aimed at formulating the sequence-structure-function correlations of various microsatellites in the human (and other eukaryotic) genomes. Here the authors have been able to develop and apply structure biology tools to understand the following: the molecular mechanism of length polymorphism microsatellites; the molecular mechanism by which the microsatellites in the noncoding regions alter the regulation of the associated gene; and finally, the molecular mechanism by which the expansion of these microsatellites impairs gene expression and causes the disease. Their multidisciplinary structural biology approach is quantitative and can be applied to all coding and noncoding DNA sequences associated with any gene. Both NIH and DOE are interested in developing quantitative tools for understanding the function of various human genes for prevention against diseases caused by genetic and environmental effects.

  2. Biological investigation of novel metal complexes of 2-amino-4-substituted phenylthiazole Schiff bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyotirmaya Sahoo, PhD

    2018-04-01

    to discovery of novel molecules that are effective against invasive microorganisms and inhibit free radicals. Therefore, a series of metal complexes of 2-amino-4-substituted phenylthiazole Schiff bases were synthesized. Methods: Structural characterization of the synthesized molecules was performed by elemental analysis, FT/IR, 1H NMR, UV–Vis spectrophotometry, LC-MS, XRD, and SEM. The antimicrobial activities of all the synthesized molecules were investigated by an agar well diffusion method. An acute oral toxicity study of the synthesized ligands and their metal complexes was conducted according to OECD guidelines. The DPPH assay was used to evaluate the radical-scavenging activities of the compounds. Results: Results of the oral acute toxicity study revealed that the synthesized analogues are safe up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight. The complexes bis[{4-((4-bromo-3-methylphenyldiazenyl-2-((4-phenylthiazol-2-yliminomethylphenoxy}]cobalt (6a and bis[4-{(4-bromo-3-methylphenyldiazenyl}-2-{(4-(4-chlorophenylthiazol-2-yliminomethyl}phenoxy]cobalt (6d exhibited significant antibacterial activities against drug-resistant bacterial strains as well as potent radical-scavenging properties. Conclusion: The results justify that the chelation of metals with Schiff base ligands enhances their biological activities against drug-resistant microbial strains. الكلمات المفتاحية: مضادات الميكروبات, مضادات الأكسدة, القابلية المغناطيسية, قاعدة شيف؛ طيفي, Keywords: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Magnetic susceptibility, Metal complexes, Schiff base

  3. Synthesis, characterization and biological studies of copper(II) complexes with 2-aminobenzimidazole derivatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, J.; Suman, A.; Nagashri, K.; Joseyphus, R. Selwin; Balakrishnan, Nisha

    2017-06-01

    Novel series of four copper(II) complexes with 2-aminobenzimidazole derivatives (obtained from the Knoevenagel condensate of acetylacetone (obtained from acetylacetone and halogen substituted benzaldehydes) and 2-aminobenzimidazole) were synthesized. They were structurally characterized using elemental analysis, molar conductance, FAB mass, FT- IR, 1H &13C-NMR, UV-Vis., and EPR techniques. On the basis of analytical and spectral studies, the distorted square planar geometry was assigned for all the complexes. The antibacterial screening of the ligands and their copper complexes indicated that all the complexes showed higher anti microbial activities than the free ligands. Superoxide dismutase and antioxidant activities of the copper complexes have also been performed. In the electrochemical technique, the shift in ΔEp, E1/2 and Ipc values were explored for the interaction of the complexes with CT-DNA. During the electrolysis process, the present ligand system stabilizes unusual oxidation state of copper in the complexes. It is believed that the copper complexes with curcumin analogs may enhance chemotherapeutic behavior.

  4. Effects of human serun albumin in some biological properties of rhodium(II complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Espósito Breno P.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The affinities for human albumin (HSA of five rhodium(II complexes of general formula [Rh2(bridge4] (bridge = acetate, propionate, butyrate, trifluoroacetate and trifluoroacetamidate were determined by spectrophotometry. In the case of the alkylcarboxylates, an inverse correlation of affinity with their liposolubilities was observed. Diffusion of the free or protein-bound complexes into Ehrlich cells in vitro seems to be primarily governed by the hydrophobic character of the complex. The complex [Rh2(tfc4] exhibited affinity towards the protein (K = 214.1 as well as cell partition both in the absence (32.1% and presence (48.6% of HSA. The compound HSA: [Rh2(tfc4] has had its antitumoral action in tumor-bearing Balb-c mice investigated, showing that HSA can be a drug reservoir for the rhodium complex.

  5. Surfactant-free nanoparticle-DNA complexes with ultrahigh stability against salt for environmental and biological sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, Jun Hyuk; Cho, Hui Hun; Lee, Jung Heon

    2014-11-21

    We report the development of surfactant free-gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-DNA complexes that remained stable in solutions with extremely high ionic strength, using seawater as a model solution. Although the stability of AuNPs can be increased to a certain degree by functionalizing negatively charged DNA strands on their surfaces, they still have limited stability in highly concentrated salt solutions. However, we found that AuNPs functionalized with poly-T bases have exceptional stability in high ionic strength solutions. For example, AuNPs functionalized with a 5T spacer remained highly stable in seawater, with no color change and no red-shift in absorbance spectra for up to 9 days. Using this surprising property of poly-T spacers, we prepared highly stable AuNP-DNA complexes containing random sequences by introducing 5T spacers on the random sequenced DNA strand. The random sequenced AuNP-DNA complexes remained stable in seawater, several molar concentrations of monovalent metal ion solutions (6.1 M Na(+) or 4.8 M K(+)), and millimolar concentrations of diverse divalent metal ions. In addition, the highly stable AuNP-DNA complex maintained biological activity in seawater, which was demonstrated by complementary reaction and aptamer based biosensing. These results provide important insight into NP use for various applications under harsh biological and environmental conditions.

  6. Spectroscopic investigation on kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanism for electron transfer reaction of iron(III) complex with sulphur centered radical in stimulated biological system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deepalakshmi, S; Sivalingam, A; Kannadasan, T; Subramaniam, P; Sivakumar, P; Brahadeesh, S T

    2014-04-24

    Electron transfer reactions of biological organic sulphides with several metal ions to generate sulphide radical cations are a great concern in biochemical process. To understand the mechanism, a stimulated biological system having model compounds, iron(III)-bipyridyl complex with thio-diglycolic acid (TDGA) was investigated. Spectroscopic study reveals the kinetics and thermodynamics of the reaction in aqueous perchloric acid medium. The reaction follows first and fractional order of 0.412 with respect to [Fe(bpy)3](3+) and TDGA, respectively. The oxidation is insensitive to variation in [H(+)] but slightly decreases with increase in ionic strength ([I]). Addition of acrylamide, a radical scavenger has no effect on the rate of the reaction. The high negative value of ΔS(#) (-74.3±1.09 J K(-1) mol(-1)) indicates the complex formed has a definite orientation higher than the reactants. Based on the above results, a suitable reaction mechanism for this reaction is proposed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Biological 12C-13C fractionation increases with increasing community-complexity in soil microcosms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Weijun; Magid, Jakob; Christensen, Søren

    2014-01-01

    Isotope fractionation is a ubiquitous phenomenon in natural ecosystems. When chemical elements move through food chains, natural isotope ratios change because biological processes tend to discriminate against heavier isotopes. This effect can be used to trace flows of matter, estimate process-rat...... fractionation. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.......Isotope fractionation is a ubiquitous phenomenon in natural ecosystems. When chemical elements move through food chains, natural isotope ratios change because biological processes tend to discriminate against heavier isotopes. This effect can be used to trace flows of matter, estimate process......-rates and determine the trophic level of organisms in biological systems. While it is widely accepted that 15N-accumulates in natural food-chains, it is disputed to which extent this is the case for C-13. We constructed sand-microcosms inoculated with a dilution series of soil organisms and amended with glucose...

  8. Synthesis, characterization, biological and electrical conductivity studies of some Schiff base metal complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Yaul

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Metal complexes of VO(IV, Zr(IV, Th(IV and UO2(VI with Schiff base ligands derived from 4-nitrobenzoylhydrazide with 2-hydroxy-5-methylacetophenone (H2L1 or 2-hydroxy-5-chloroacetophenone (H2L2 have been prepared. All the complexes have been characterized on the basis of elemental analyses, magnetic susceptibility measurement, electronic and IR spectra and thermogravimetric analysis. The IR spectral data suggested that the ligands behave as dibasic tridentate moiety towards the central metal ion coordinating through phenolic oxygen, enolic oxygen and azomethine nitrogen atoms. The elemental analyses show a 1:1 metal:ligand stoichiometry for all the complexes except Th(IV which has 1:2 stoichiometry. The thermal analysis evidenced that thermal transformations of complexes are processes according to TG curves including dehydration, thermolysis and oxidative degradation of Schiff base. The final product of decomposition is the most stable metallic oxide. The kinetic analysis of the thermogravimetric data was performed by using the Coats-Redfern method. Solid state electrical conductivity of the complexes has been measured in their compressed pellet form over a 310-413 K temperature range. All the complexes show semiconducting behavior as their conductivity increases with increasing temperature and a function of ionic size. All the complexes along with ligands were also screened for their antibacterial and antifungal activities. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/bcse.v28i2.9

  9. Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Activity of Some Transition Metal Complexes Derived from Novel Hydrazone Azo Schiff Base Ligand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Anitha

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A series of metal(II complexes ML where M = VO(II, Co(II, Ni(II, Cu(II, and Zn(II have been synthesized from azo Schiff base ligand (N′E-N′-(5-((4-chlorophenyldiazenyl-2-hydroxybenzylidene-2-hydroxybenzohydrazide and characterized on the basis of elemental analyses, electronic, IR, and 1H NMR spectra, magnetic susceptibility and also by aid of scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray powder diffraction, fluorescence spectral studies, and molar conductivity measurements. Conductivity measurements reveal that the complexes are nonelectrolytes. Spectroscopy and other analytical studies reveal distorted square planar geometry for copper, square-pyramidal geometry for oxovanadium, and tetrahedral geometry for other complexes. Redox behavior of the copper(II complex has been studied with cyclic voltammetry, and the biological activities of the ligand and metal complexes have been studied against several microorganisms by the well diffusion method. All synthesized compounds can serve as potential photoactive materials as indicated from their characteristic fluorescence properties. The second harmonic generation (SHG efficiency of the ligand was measured and found to be higher than that of urea and KDP. The SEM image of the copper(II complex implies that the size of the particles is 50 nm.

  10. Dynamics on and of complex networks applications to biology, computer science, and the social sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Ganguly, Niloy; Mukherjee, Animesh

    2009-01-01

    This self-contained book systematically explores the statistical dynamics on and of complex networks having relevance across a large number of scientific disciplines. The theories related to complex networks are increasingly being used by researchers for their usefulness in harnessing the most difficult problems of a particular discipline. The book is a collection of surveys and cutting-edge research contributions exploring the interdisciplinary relationship of dynamics on and of complex networks. Towards this goal, the work is thematically organized into three main sections: Part I studies th

  11. The next step in biology: A periodic table?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PRAKASH KUMAR

    2007-08-06

    Aug 6, 2007 ... understand natural biology in its entirety (systems biology) and use it for designing new living systems (synthetic biology). Interestingly a constant concept in biology has always come rarely. Even the dogma that was considered central in biology has now morphed into a complex wiring of feedback loops.

  12. Measuring the complex permittivity tensor of uniaxial biological materials with coplanar waveguide transmission line

    Science.gov (United States)

    A simple and accurate technique is described for measuring the uniaxial permittivity tensor of biological materials with a coplanar waveguide transmission-line configuration. Permittivity tensor results are presented for several chicken and beef fresh meat samples at 2.45 GHz....

  13. Methodological aspects of the complex evaluation of biological potential of the Sown Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Н. В. Лещук

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available State of national recourses of Sown Lettuce is considered, as well as way of their formation. Methodological aspects of biological potential utilization of Sawn Salad (leaf, head, Rome, stem are displayed to widen their assortment. Dependence of marginal potentially possible yield of the Sown Lettuce varieties on influence of the environmental causes has been established.

  14. Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Activity of Nickel (II and Palladium (II Complex with Pyrrolidine Dithiocarbamate (PDTC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sk Imadul Islam

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The synthesis of square planar Ni(II and Pd(II complexes with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC was characterized by elemental, physiochemical, and spectroscopic methods. Two complexes were prepared by the reaction of nickel acetate and palladium acetate with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC in 1 : 2 molar ratio. The bovine serum albumin (BSA interaction with complexes was examined by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques at pH 7.4. All the spectral data suggest that coordination of the pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC takes place through the two sulphur atoms in a symmetrical bidentate fashion. All the synthesized compounds were screened for their antimicrobial activity against some species of pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Bacillus cereus. It has been observed that complexes have higher activity than the free ligand.

  15. Synthesis, physicochemical studies and biological evaluation of unimetallic and heterobimetallic complexes of hexadentate dihydrazone ligands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fathy A. El Saied

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available A new coordination unimetallic and heterobimetallic complexes of hexadentate N2O4 donor dihydrazone ligands were prepared by the condensation of 4-formyl antipyrine with adipic dihydrazide and succinic dihydrazide. The ligands (1 and (11 and their complexes thoroughly characterized using various analytical, physical and spectroscopic techniques, which indicate a distorted octahedral geometry around the metal ions. The ESR spectra of solid copper(II complexes (2–4 and (12–14 showed axial symmetry with g||>g⊥ > ge, indicating distorted octahedral structure and the presence of the unpaired electron in a d(x2−y2 orbital with significant covalent bond character. The antimicrobial activity results of the metal compounds (2–5, (7, (10, (12–15 and (17 show that, all these complexes exhibit inhibitory moderate to mild effects towards Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus niger.

  16. Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of 2-acetylpyridine-α-naphthoxyacetylhydrazone its metal complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gammal, O. A.; Bekheit, M. M.; Tahoon, Mai

    2015-01-01

    A new series of complexes of Ni(II), Co(II), Cu(II), Cd(II), Mn(II), Hg(II) and UO22+ derived from 2-acetylpyridine-α-naphthoxyacetylhydrazone (HA2PNA) have been prepared and characterized by elemental analyses, spectral (IR, UV-visible, ESR and 1H NMR) as well as magnetic and thermal measurements. The data revealed that the ligand acts as neutral NO, NN and NNO or mono-negative NNO chelate. On the basis of electronic spectral and magnetic moment data, an octahedral geometry is suggested for Mn(II), Co(II), Ni(II) and UO22+ complexes and a square planar arrangement for Cu(II) complex. The bond length, bond angle, HOMO, LUMO, dipole moment and charges on the atoms have been calculated to confirm the geometry of the ligand and the investigated complexes. The kinetic parameters were determined for thermal degradation stages of some complexes using Coats-Redfern and Horowitz-Metzger methods. Also, the ligand and its complexes were screened against antibacterial, antioxidant using DPPH radical and antitumor activities using in vitro Ehrlich ascites assay.

  17. Template synthesis and characterization of biologically active transition metal complexes comprising 14-membered tetraazamacrocyclic ligand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DHARMPAL SINGH

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available A novel series of complexes of the type [M(C28H24N4X2], whereM = Co(II, Ni(II, Cu(II, Zn(II and Cd(II, X = Cl–, NO3–, CH3COO– and (C28H24N4 corresponds to the tetradentate macrocyclic ligand, were synthe¬sized by template condensation of 1,8-diaminonaphthalene and diacetyl in the presence of divalent metal salts in methanolic medium. The complexes were characterized by elemental analyses, conductance and magnetic measurements, as well as by UV/Vis, NMR, IR and MS spectroscopy. The low values of the molar conductance indicate non-electrolyte type of complexes. Based on these spectral data, a distorted octahedral geometry may be proposed for all of these complexes. All the synthesized macrocyclic complexes were tested for in vitro antibacterial activity against some pathogenic bacterial strains, viz Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The MIC values shown by the complexes against these bacterial strains were compared with the MIC shown by the standard antibiotics linezolid and cefaclor.

  18. Metal complexes of the fourth generation quinolone antimicrobial drug gatifloxacin: Synthesis, structure and biological evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeek, Sadeek A.; El-Shwiniy, Walaa H.

    2010-08-01

    Three metal complexes of the fourth generation quinolone antimicrobial agent gatifloxacin (GFLX) with Y(ΙΙΙ), Zr(ΙV) and U(VΙ) have been prepared and characterized with physicochemical and spectroscopic techniques. In these complexes, gatifloxacin acts as a bidentate deprotonated ligand bound to the metal through the ketone oxygen and a carboxylato oxygen. The complexes are six-coordinated with distorted octahedral geometry. The kinetic parameters for gatifloxacin and the three prepared complexes have been evaluated from TGA curves by using Coats-Redfern (CR) and Horowitz-Metzeger (HM) methods. The calculated bond length and force constant, F(U dbnd O), for the UO 2 bond in uranyl complex are 1.7522 Å and 639.46 N m -1. The antimicrobial activity of the complexes has been tested against microorganisms, three bacterial species, such as Staphylococcus aureus ( S. aureus), Escherichia coli ( E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ( P. aeruginosa) and two fungi species, penicillium ( P. rotatum) and trichoderma ( T. sp.), showing that they exhibit higher activity than free ligand.

  19. Spectral characterization, crystal structures and biological activities of iminodiacetate ternary complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, M.; Anjuli; Tasneem, Sana; Mantasha, I.; Ahamad, M. Naqi; Sama, Farasha; Fatma, Kehkeshan; Siddiqi, Zafar A.

    2017-10-01

    The ternary complexes with stoichiometry [M(imda)(bipy)]·6H2O (M = Cu) and [M(imda)(bipy)(H2O)]·4H2O (M = Ni, Co and Mn) where H2imda = iminodiacetic acid and bipy = 2,2‧-bipyridine, are prepared and characterized to exploit as novel antimicrobial agents and SOD mimics. The chemical structures were elucidated by IR, FAB-Mass, 1H, 13C NMR, EPR and spectral techniques. Single crystal X-ray and spectral studies of the complexes (1) and (2) have confirmed a square pyramidal geometry around Cu(II) ion while a saturated six coordinate (distorted octahedral) geometry around the Ni(II), Co(II) and Mn(II) ions due to the additional coordination from water. A supramolecular network is formed by extensive H-bonding in complex (1). The supramolecular assembly in complex (1) is additionally consolidated via the existence of unusual cyclic hexameric water clusters. The antimicrobial activities for the present complexes have been examined against Escherichia coli (K-12), Bacillus subtilis (MTC-121), Staphylococcus aureus (IOASA-22), Salmonella typhymurium (MTCC-98), Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Penicillium marneffei. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of the Cu(II) complex (1) is also assessed employing nitrobluetetrazolium (NBT) assay.

  20. Gaps in college biology students' understanding of photosynthesis: Implications for human constructivist learning theory and college classroom practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffard, Phyllis Baudoin

    1999-11-01

    The main research question of this study was: What gaps in biochemical understanding are revealed by a range of university introductory biology students as they work through a critically acclaimed multimedia program on photosynthesis, and what are the corresponding implications for elaboration of the Ausubel-Novak-Gowin Learning Theory (ANG, now Human Constructivism)? Twelve students, mixed for ability, gender and ethnicity, were recruited from two sections of "Bio 101." Before and after instruction in photosynthesis, in-depth clinical interviews were conducted during which participants completed a range of cognitive tasks such as sorting, concept mapping, explaining and predicting. Some tasks involved interacting with a computer simulation of photosynthesis. This study primarily employed qualitative case study and verbal analysis methods. Verbal analysis of the clinical interviews revealed numerous gaps that were categorized into typologies. The two major categories were propositional gaps and processing gaps. Propositional gaps were evident in development of participants' concepts, links and constructs. Significant among these were conceptual distance gaps and continuity of matter gaps. Gaps such as convention gaps and relative significance gaps seem to be due to naivete in the discipline. Processing gaps included gaps in graphic decoding skills and relevant cognitive habits such as self-monitoring and consulting prior knowledge. Although the gaps were easier to detect and isolate with the above-average participants, all participants showed evidence of at least some of these gaps. Since some gaps are not unexpected at all but the highest literacy levels, not all the gaps identified are to be considered deficiencies. The gaps identified support the attention given by ANG theorists to the role of prior knowledge and metacognition as well as the value of graphic organizers in knowledge construction. In addition, this study revealed numerous gaps in graphic decoding