Sample records for understand underlying mechanisms

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana C Carmo

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

  2. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Fanni


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  4. Laboratory experiments for understanding mechanical properties of fractured granite under supercritical conditions (United States)

    Kitamura, M.; Takahashi, M.; Takagi, K.; Hirano, N.; Tsuchiya, N.


    To extract geothermal energy effectively and safely from magma and/or adjacent hot rock, we need to tackle many issues which require new technology development, such as a technique to control a risk from induced-earthquakes. On a development of induced-earthquake mitigation technology, it is required to understand roles of factors on occurrences of the induced-earthquake (e.g., strength, crack density, and fluid-rock reaction) and their intercorrelations (e.g., Asanuma et al., 2012). Our purpose of this series of experiments is to clarify a relationship between the rock strength and the crack density under supercritical conditions. We conducted triaxial deformation test on intact granite rock strength under high-temperature (250 - 750°C), high-pressure (104 MPa) condition at a constant load velocity (0.1 μm/sec) using a gas-rig at AIST. We used Oshima granite, which has initially stress drop became smaller at higher temperature. Young's modulus increased with decreasing the temperature from 32.3 GPa at 750°C to 57.4 GPa at 250°C. At 400 °C, the stress drop accelerated the deformation with 98 times faster velocity than that at load-point. In contrast, at 650°C and 750°C, the velocity during stress drop kept the same order of the load-point velocity. Therefore, the deformation mechanism may start to be changed from brittle to ductile when the temperature exceeds 650°C. Highly dense cracked granite specimens were formed by a rapid decompression test (RDT) using an autoclave settled at Tohoku University (Hirano et al., 2016JpGU), caused by a reduction of fluid pressure within 1-2 sec from vapor/supercritical state (10 - 48 MPa, 550 °C) to ambient pressure. The specimens after RDT show numerous microcracks on X-ray CT images. The RDT imposed the porosity increasing towards 3.75 % and Vp and Vs decreasing towards 1.37±0.52 km/s and 0.97±0.25 km/s. The Poisson's ratio shows the negative values in dry and 0.5 in wet. In the meeting, we will present results of

  5. The Mediated MIMIC Model for Understanding the Underlying Mechanism of DIF (United States)

    Cheng, Ying; Shao, Can; Lathrop, Quinn N.


    Due to its flexibility, the multiple-indicator, multiple-causes (MIMIC) model has become an increasingly popular method for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF). In this article, we propose the mediated MIMIC model method to uncover the underlying mechanism of DIF. This method extends the usual MIMIC model by including one variable…

  6. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: the next evolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory? (United States)

    Marshall, Paul; Bredy, Timothy W.


    A complete understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory continues to elude neuroscientists. Although many important discoveries have been made, the question of how memories are encoded and maintained at the molecular level remains. So far, this issue has been framed within the context of one of the most dominant concepts in molecular biology, the central dogma, and the result has been a protein-centric view of memory. Here, we discuss the evidence supporting a role for neuroepigenetic mechanisms, which constitute dynamic and reversible, state-dependent modifications at all levels of control over cellular function, and their role in learning and memory. This neuroepigenetic view suggests that DNA, RNA and protein each influence one another to produce a holistic cellular state that contributes to the formation and maintenance of memory, and predicts a parallel and distributed system for the consolidation, storage and retrieval of the engram.

  7. ARHGEF9 mutations in epileptic encephalopathy/intellectual disability: toward understanding the mechanism underlying phenotypic variation. (United States)

    Wang, Jing-Yang; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Jie; Tang, Bin; Su, Tao; Liu, Xiao-Rong; Li, Bing-Mei; Meng, Heng; Shi, Yi-Wu; Yi, Yong-Hong; He, Na; Liao, Wei-Ping


    ARHGEF9 resides on Xq11.1 and encodes collybistin, which is crucial in gephyrin clustering and GABA A receptor localization. ARHGEF9 mutations have been identified in patients with heterogeneous phenotypes, including epilepsy of variable severity and intellectual disability. However, the mechanism underlying phenotype variation is unknown. Using next-generation sequencing, we identified a novel mutation, c.868C > T/p.R290C, which co-segregated with epileptic encephalopathy, and validated its association with epileptic encephalopathy. Further analysis revealed that all ARHGEF9 mutations were associated with intellectual disability, suggesting its critical role in psychomotor development. Three missense mutations in the PH domain were not associated with epilepsy, suggesting that the co-occurrence of epilepsy depends on the affected functional domains. Missense mutations with severe molecular alteration in the DH domain, or located in the DH-gephyrin binding region, or adjacent to the SH3-NL2 binding site were associated with severe epilepsy, implying that the clinical severity was potentially determined by alteration of molecular structure and location of mutations. Male patients with ARHGEF9 mutations presented more severe phenotypes than female patients, which suggests a gene-dose effect and supports the pathogenic role of ARHGEF9 mutations. This study highlights the role of molecular alteration in phenotype expression and facilitates evaluation of the pathogenicity of ARHGEF9 mutations in clinical practice.

  8. Understanding unusual thermal transport behavior in soft materials under mechanical strain - A molecular dynamics study (United States)

    Murad, Sohail; Puri, Ishwar K.


    Experiments have shown a dependence of the thermal conductivity of soft polymer materials on shear stress, which is common to several applications, such as film processing, fiber spinning, blow molding, and vacuum forming. Experiments reveal that the conductivity initially decreases with shear, but then increases as additional shear rate is applied. Based on molecular principles, we hypothesize that when molecules are initially placed under tension and extended, they disentangle, which reduces the number of points of interaction and diminishes the heat flux. Further molecular stretching increases this flux because the molecules are now better axially aligned. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm this competition and reproduce the inflection in the flux-strain relationship, which has not been previously explained.

  9. Understanding Defense Mechanisms. (United States)

    Cramer, Phebe


    Understanding defense mechanisms is an important part of psychotherapy. In this article, we trace the history of the concept of defense, from its origin with Freud to current views. The issue of defense as an unconscious mechanism is examined. The question of whether defenses are pathological, as well as their relation to pathology, is discussed. The effect of psychotherapy on the use of defenses, and their relation to a therapeutic alliance is explored. A series of empirical research studies that demonstrate the functioning of defense mechanisms and that support the theory is presented. Research also shows that as part of normal development, different defenses emerge at different developmental periods, and that gender differences in defense use occur.

  10. Understanding mechanical ventilators. (United States)

    Chatburn, Robert L


    The respiratory care academic community has not yet adopted a standardized system for classifying and describing modes of ventilation. As a result, there is enough confusion that patient care, clinician education and even ventilator sales are all put at risk. This article summarizes a ventilator mode taxonomy that has been extensively published over the last 15 years. Specifically, the classification system has three components: a description of the control variables within breath; a description of the sequence of mandatory and spontaneous breaths; and a specification for the targeting scheme. This three-level specification provides scalability of detail to make the mode description appropriate for the particular need. At the bedside, we need only refer to a mode briefly using the first or perhaps first and second components. To distinguish between similar modes and brand names, we would need to include all components. This taxonomy uses the equation of motion for the respiratory system as the underlying theoretical framework. All terms relevant to describing modes of mechanical ventilation are defined in an extensive appendix.

  11. Scanning electron microscopy-based approach to understand the mechanism underlying the adhesion of dengue viruses on ceramic hydroxyapatite columns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maiko Saito

    Full Text Available Although ceramic hydroxyapatite (HAp chromatography has been used as an alternative method ultracentrifugation for the production of vaccines, the mechanism of virus separation is still obscure. In order to begin to understand the mechanisms of virus separation, HAp surfaces were observed by scanning electron microscopy after chromatography with dengue viruses. When these processes were performed without elution and with a 10-207 mM sodium phosphate buffer gradient elution, dengue viruses that were adsorbed to HAp were disproportionately located in the columns. However, when eluted with a 10-600 mM sodium phosphate buffer gradient, few viruses were observed on the HAp surface. After incubating the dengue viruses that were adsorbed on HAp beads at 37°C and 2°C, the sphericity of the dengue viruses were reduced with an increase in incubation temperature. These results suggested that dengue virus was adsorbed to the HAp surface by electronic interactions and could be eluted by high-salt concentration buffers, which are commonly used in protein purification. Furthermore, virus fusion was thought to occur with increasing temperature, which implied that virus-HAp adhesion was similar to virus-cell adhesion.

  12. Child abuse: underlying mechanisms


    Martínez, Gladys S.


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

  13. Understanding the mechanisms of lung mechanical stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.S.N.B. Garcia


    Full Text Available Physical forces affect both the function and phenotype of cells in the lung. Bronchial, alveolar, and other parenchymal cells, as well as fibroblasts and macrophages, are normally subjected to a variety of passive and active mechanical forces associated with lung inflation and vascular perfusion as a result of the dynamic nature of lung function. These forces include changes in stress (force per unit area or strain (any forced change in length in relation to the initial length and shear stress (the stress component parallel to a given surface. The responses of cells to mechanical forces are the result of the cell's ability to sense and transduce these stimuli into intracellular signaling pathways able to communicate the information to its interior. This review will focus on the modulation of intracellular pathways by lung mechanical forces and the intercellular signaling. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which lung cells transduce physical forces into biochemical and biological signals is of key importance for identifying targets for the treatment and prevention of physical force-related disorders.

  14. Understanding Bohmian mechanics: A dialogue


    Tumulka, Roderich


    This paper is an introduction to the ideas of Bohmian mechanics, an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which the observer plays no fundamental role. Bohmian mechanics describes, instead of probabilities of measurement results, objective microscopic events. In recent years, Bohmian mechanics has attracted increasing attention by researchers. The form of a dialogue allows me to address questions about the Bohmian view that often arise.

  15. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of light intensity on flavonoid production by RNA-seq analysis in Epimedium pseudowushanense B.L.Guo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junqian Pan

    Full Text Available Epimedium pseudowushanense B.L.Guo, a light-demanding shade herb, is used in traditional medicine to increase libido and strengthen muscles and bones. The recognition of the health benefits of Epimedium has increased its market demand. However, its resource recycling rate is low and environmentally dependent. Furthermore, its natural sources are endangered, further increasing prices. Commercial culture can address resource constraints of it.Understanding the effects of environmental factors on the production of its active components would improve the technology for cultivation and germplasm conservation. Here, we studied the effects of light intensities on the flavonoid production and revealed the molecular mechanism using RNA-seq analysis. Plants were exposed to five levels of light intensity through the periods of germination to flowering, the flavonoid contents were measured using HPLC. Quantification of epimedin A, epimedin B, epimedin C, and icariin showed that the flavonoid contents varied with different light intensity levels. And the largest amount of epimedin C was produced at light intensity level 4 (I4. Next, the leaves under the treatment of three light intensity levels ("L", "M" and "H" with the largest differences in the flavonoid content, were subjected to RNA-seq analysis. Transcriptome reconstruction identified 43,657 unigenes. All unigene sequences were annotated by searching against the Nr, Gene Ontology, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG databases. In total, 4008, 5260, and 3591 significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified between the groups L vs. M, M vs. H and L vs. H. Particularly, twenty-one full-length genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis were identified. The expression levels of the flavonol synthase, chalcone synthase genes were strongly associated with light-induced flavonoid abundance with the highest expression levels found in the H group. Furthermore, 65 transcription factors

  16. Understanding Mechanical Design with Respect to Manufacturability (United States)

    Mondell, Skyler


    At the NASA Prototype Development Laboratory in Kennedy Space Center, Fl, several projects concerning different areas of mechanical design were undertaken in order to better understand the relationship between mechanical design and manufacturabiIity. The assigned projects pertained specifically to the NASA Space Shuttle, Constellation, and Expendable Launch Vehicle programs. During the work term, mechanical design practices relating to manufacturing processes were learned and utilized in order to obtain an understanding of mechanical design with respect to manufacturability.

  17. Understanding Mechanisms of Radiological Contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rick Demmer; John Drake; Ryan James, PhD


    Over the last 50 years, the study of radiological contamination and decontamination has expanded significantly. This paper addresses the mechanisms of radiological contamination that have been reported and then discusses which methods have recently been used during performance testing of several different decontamination technologies. About twenty years ago the Idaho Nuclear Technology Engineering Center (INTEC) at the INL began a search for decontamination processes which could minimize secondary waste. In order to test the effectiveness of these decontamination technologies, a new simulated contamination, termed SIMCON, was developed. SIMCON was designed to replicate the types of contamination found on stainless steel, spent fuel processing equipment. Ten years later, the INL began research into methods for simulating urban contamination resulting from a radiological dispersal device (RDD). This work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and included the initial development an aqueous application of contaminant to substrate. Since 2007, research sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advanced that effort and led to the development of a contamination method that simulates particulate fallout from an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND). The IND method diverges from previous efforts to create tenacious contamination by simulating a reproducible “loose” contamination. Examining these different types of contamination (and subsequent decontamination processes), which have included several different radionuclides and substrates, sheds light on contamination processes that occur throughout the nuclear industry and in the urban environment.

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

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

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

  19. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krause, Marie N. [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); University Hospital of Würzburg, Department of Pediatrics, 2 Josef-Schneiderstrasse, 97080 Würzburg (Germany); Sancho-Martinez, Ignacio [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King' s College London, 28th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy' s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London (United Kingdom); Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos, E-mail: [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States)


    Despite the profound and rapid advancements in reprogramming technologies since the generation of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006[1], the molecular basics of the process and its implications are still not fully understood. Recent work has suggested that a subset of TFs, so called “Pioneer TFs”, play an important role during the stochastic phase of iPSC reprogramming [2–6]. Pioneer TFs activities differ from conventional transcription factors in their mechanism of action. They bind directly to condensed chromatin and elicit a series of chromatin remodeling events that lead to opening of the chromatin. Chromatin decondensation by pioneer factors progressively occurs during cell division and in turn exposes specific gene promoters in the DNA to which TFs can now directly bind to promoters that are readily accessible[2, 6]. Here, we will summarize recent advancements on our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming to iPSC as well as the implications that pioneer Transcription Factor activities might play during different lineage conversion processes. - Highlights: • Pioneer transcription factor activity underlies the initial steps of iPSC generation. • Reprogramming can occur by cis- and/or trans- reprogramming events. • Cis-reprogramming implies remodeling of the chromatin for enabling TF accessibility. • Trans-reprogramming encompasses direct binding of Tfs to their target gene promoters.

  20. Understanding biochar mechanisms for practical implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glaser, Bruno [Halle-Wittenberg Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Agrar- und Ernaehrungeswissenschaften Bodenbiogeochemie; Kammann, Claudia [Arbeitskreis zur Nutzung von Sekundaerrohstoffen und fuer Klimaschutz (ANS) e.V., Braunschweig (Germany). Fachausschuss Biokohle; Hochschule Geisenheim Univ. (Germany). Klimafolgenforschung-Klimawandel in Spezialkulturen; Loewen, Achim (ed.) [Arbeitskreis zur Nutzung von Sekundaerrohstoffen und fuer Klimaschutz (ANS) e.V., Braunschweig (Germany); HAWK Hochschule fuer Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim, Holzminden, Goettingen (Germany). Fachgebiet Nachhaltige Energie- und Umwelttechnik NEUtec


    The conference on ''understanding biochar mechanisms for practical implementation'' 2015 at the Geisenheim University aims at understanding biochar mechanism, that are crucial for beneficial and safety biochar technology implementation. Further issues are ecotoxicology, biochar in agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry. Practical issues concern analysis and characterization of technological processes, sustainable uses and certification, regulation and marketing aspects. The Conference is structured in 10 sessions.

  1. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  3. Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maisonneuve, Etienne; Gerdes, Kenn


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingqiang Li


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

  5. Gas Bubble Dynamics under Mechanical Vibrations (United States)

    Mohagheghian, Shahrouz; Elbing, Brian


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

  6. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics (United States)

    Singh, Chandralekha


    Learning quantum mechanics is especially challenging, in part due to the abstract nature of the subject. We have been conducting investigations of the difficulties that students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) as well as tools for peer-instruction. The goal of QuILTs and peer-instruction tools is to actively engage students in the learning process and to help them build links between the formalism and the conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They focus on helping students integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding, confront and resolve their misconceptions and difficulties, and discriminate between concepts that are often confused. In this talk, I will give examples from my research in physics education of how students' prior knowledge relevant for quantum mechanics can be assessed, and how learning tools can be designed to help students develop a robust knowledge structure and critical thinking skills. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  7. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming. (United States)

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


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

  8. Understanding space science under the northern lights (United States)

    Koskinen, H.

    What is space science? The answers to this question can be very variable indeed. In fact, space research is a field where science, technology, and applications are so closely tied together that it is often difficult to recognize the central role of science. However, as paradoxical as it may sound, it appears that the less-educated public often appreciates the value of space science better than highly educated policy makers and bureaucrats who tend to evaluate the importance of space activities in terms of economic and societal benefits only. In a country like Finland located below the zone, where auroras are visible during the long dark winter nights, the space is perhaps closer to the public than in countries where the visible objects are the Moon, planets and stars somewhere far away. This positive fact has been very useful, for example, in popularization of such an abstract concept as space weather. In Finland it is possible to see space weather and this rises the curiosity about the processes behind this magnificent phenomenon. Of course, also in Finland the beautiful SOHO images of the Sun and the Hubble Space Telescope pictures of the remote universe attract the attention of the large public. We also have an excellent vehicle in increasing the public understanding in the society of Finnish amateur astronomers Ursa. It is an organization for anyone interested in practically everything from visual phenomena in the air to the remote galaxies and the Big Bang. Ursa publishes a high-quality monthly magazine in Finnish and runs local amateur clubs. Last year its 80th birthday exhibition was one of the best-visited public events in Helsinki. It clearly gave a strong evidence of wide public interest in space in general and in space science in particular. Only curious people can grasp the beauty and importance of the underlying science. Thus, we should focus our public space science education and outreach primarily on waking up the curiosity of the public instead of

  9. Understanding traffic crash under-reporting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Janstrup, Kira Hyldekær; Kaplan, Sigal; Hels, Tove


    Objective: This study aligns to the body of research dedicated to estimating the underreporting of road crash injuries and adds the perspective of understanding individual and crash factors contributing to the decision to report a crash to the police, the hospital, or both. Method: This study...... focuses on road crash injuries that occurred in the province of Funen, Denmark, between 2003 and 2007 and were registered in the police, the hospital, or both authorities. Underreporting rates are computed with the capture–recapture method, and the probability for road crash injuries in police records...... to appear in hospital records (and vice versa) is estimated with joint binary logit models. Results: The capture–recapture analysis shows high underreporting rates of road crash injuries in Denmark and the growth of underreporting not only with the decrease in injury severity but also with the involvement...

  10. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo


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


    Rupprecht, Laura E.; Smith, Tracy T.; Schassburger, Rachel L.; Buffalari, Deanne M.; Sved, Alan F.; Donny, Eric C.


    Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide and nicotine, the primary psychoactive constituent in tobacco, drives sustained use. The behavioral actions of nicotine are complex and extend well beyond the actions of the drug as a primary reinforcer. Stimuli that are consistently paired with nicotine can, through associative learning, take on reinforcing properties as conditioned stimuli. These conditioned stimuli can then impact the rate and probability of behavior and even function as conditioning reinforcers that maintain behavior in the absence of nicotine. Nicotine can also act as a conditioned stimulus, predicting the delivery of other reinforcers, which may allow nicotine to acquire value as a conditioned reinforcer. These associative effects, establishing non-nicotine stimuli as conditioned stimuli with discriminative stimulus and conditioned reinforcing properties as well as establishing nicotine as a conditioned stimulus, are predicted by basic conditioning principles. However, nicotine can also act non-associatively. Nicotine directly enhances the reinforcing efficacy of other reinforcing stimuli in the environment, an effect that does not require a temporal or predictive relationship between nicotine and either the stimulus or the behavior. Hence, the reinforcing actions of nicotine stem both from the primary reinforcing actions of the drug (and the subsequent associative learning effects) as well as the reinforcement enhancement action of nicotine which is non-associative in nature. Gaining a better understanding of how nicotine impacts behavior will allow for maximally effective tobacco control efforts aimed at reducing the harm associated with tobacco use by reducing and/or treating its addictiveness. PMID:25638333

  12. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics. (United States)

    Allinger, Norman L


    Molecular mechanics gives us a well known model of molecular structure. It is less widely recognized that valence bond theory gives us structures which offer a direct interpretation of molecular mechanics formulations and parameters. The electronic effects well-known in physical organic chemistry can be directly interpreted in terms of valence bond structures, and hence quantitatively calculated and understood. The basic theory is outlined in this paper, and examples of the effects, and their interpretation in illustrative examples is presented.

  13. Understanding Kinetic Energy paradox in Quantum Mechanics


    Kornyushin, Yuri


    A concept of Kinetic Energy in Quantum Mechanics is analyzed. Kinetic Energy is not zero in many cases where there are no motion and flux. This paradox can be understood, using expansion of the wave function in Fourier integral, that is on the basis of virtual plane waves.

  14. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  15. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullrich, Stephen E.


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

  16. Understanding mechanisms of toxicity: Insights from drug discovery research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houck, Keith A.; Kavlock, Robert J.


    Toxicology continues to rely heavily on use of animal testing for prediction of potential for toxicity in humans. Where mechanisms of toxicity have been elucidated, for example endocrine disruption by xenoestrogens binding to the estrogen receptor, in vitro assays have been developed as surrogate assays for toxicity prediction. This mechanistic information can be combined with other data such as exposure levels to inform a risk assessment for the chemical. However, there remains a paucity of such mechanistic assays due at least in part to lack of methods to determine specific mechanisms of toxicity for many toxicants. A means to address this deficiency lies in utilization of a vast repertoire of tools developed by the drug discovery industry for interrogating the bioactivity of chemicals. This review describes the application of high-throughput screening assays as experimental tools for profiling chemicals for potential for toxicity and understanding underlying mechanisms. The accessibility of broad panels of assays covering an array of protein families permits evaluation of chemicals for their ability to directly modulate many potential targets of toxicity. In addition, advances in cell-based screening have yielded tools capable of reporting the effects of chemicals on numerous critical cell signaling pathways and cell health parameters. Novel, more complex cellular systems are being used to model mammalian tissues and the consequences of compound treatment. Finally, high-throughput technology is being applied to model organism screens to understand mechanisms of toxicity. However, a number of formidable challenges to these methods remain to be overcome before they are widely applicable. Integration of successful approaches will contribute towards building a systems approach to toxicology that will provide mechanistic understanding of the effects of chemicals on biological systems and aid in rationale risk assessments

  17. Mechanics of carbon nanotube scission under sonication. (United States)

    Stegen, J


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

  18. Understanding the thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of epoxy nanocomposites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarathi, R.; Sahu, R.K.; Rajeshkumar, P.


    In the present work, the electrical, mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy nanocomposite materials were studied. The electrical insulation characteristics were analyzed through short time breakdown voltage test, accelerated electrical ageing test, and by tracking test. The breakdown voltage increases with increase in nano-clay content up to 5 wt%, under AC and DC voltages. The volume resistivity, permittivity and tan(δ) of the epoxy nanocomposites were measured. The Weibull studies indicate that addition of nanoclay upto 5 wt% enhances the characteristic life of epoxy nanocomposite insulation material. The tracking test results indicate that the tracking time is high with epoxy nanocomposites as compared to pure epoxy. Ageing studies were carried out to understand the surface characteristic variation through contact angle measurement. The hydrophobicity of the insulating material was analysed through contact angle measurement. The diffusion coefficients of the material with different percentage of clay in epoxy nanocomposites were calculated. The exfoliation characteristics in epoxy nanocomposites were analyzed through wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) studies. The thermal behaviour of the epoxy nanocomposites was analyzed by carrying out thermo gravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) studies. Heat deflection temperature of the material was measured to understand the stability of the material for intermittent temperature variation. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) results indicated that storage modulus of the material increases with small amount of clay in epoxy resin. The activation energy of the material was calculated from the DMA results

  19. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.


    The burgeoning field of epigenetics is making a significant impact on our understanding of brain evolution, development, and function. In fact, it is now clear that epigenetic mechanisms promote seminal neurobiological processes, ranging from neural stem cell maintenance and differentiation to learning and memory. At the molecular level, epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues, including the deployment of cell type–specific gene networks and those underlying synaptic plasticity. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of epigenetic factors can, in turn, induce remarkable changes in neural cell identity and cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Not surprisingly, it is also becoming apparent that epigenetics is intimately involved in neurological disease pathogenesis. Herein, we highlight emerging paradigms for linking epigenetic machinery and processes with neurological disease states, including how (1) mutations in genes encoding epigenetic factors cause disease, (2) genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors modify disease risk, (3) abnormalities in epigenetic factor expression, localization, or function are involved in disease pathophysiology, (4) epigenetic mechanisms regulate disease-associated genomic loci, gene products, and cellular pathways, and (5) differential epigenetic profiles are present in patient-derived central and peripheral tissues. PMID:23571666

  20. Mechanical buckling of artery under pulsatile pressure. (United States)

    Liu, Qin; Han, Hai-Chao


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

  1. Amorphization of ice under mechanical stresses (United States)

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


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

  2. Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Heterotrophic CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in a Peatland with Deep Soil Warming and Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States). Inst. of Ecology and Evolution; Keller, Jason K. [Chapman Univ., Orange, CA (United States). Schmid College of Science and Technology; Zhuang, Qianlai [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Agronomy


    This project was funded from June 15, 2012 through June 15, 2015, with a no-cost extension until Sept. 15, 2016. Our project focused on a whole-ecosystem warming and enhanced atmospheric CO2 experiment in the S1 Bog in Marcell Experimental Forest in northern Minnesota, USA called “Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change” (SPRUCE; Construction of substantial infrastructure required for these treatments was beyond our control and led to a staggered initiation of experimental treatments at this site. Deep peat heating (DPH) was instituted in June 2014, whole-ecosystem warming began in August 2015, and the CO2 enhancement began in June 2016. Prior to the initiation of the experimental treatments, we completed a large amount of research to better understand factors controlling anaerobic carbon (C) cycling, and particularly methane (CH4) dynamics, in northern peatlands in an effort to put the SPRUCE project in a broader context. We additionally focused extensively on the DPH treatment, which provided a unique opportunity to isolate warming effects on the vast reservoir of permanently anaerobic C stored in peatlands below the water table.

  3. Understanding Mechanism of Photocatalytic Microbial Decontamination of Environmental Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chhabilal Regmi


    Full Text Available Several photocatalytic nanoparticles are synthesized and studied for potential application for the degradation of organic and biological wastes. Although these materials degrade organic compounds by advance oxidation process, the exact mechanisms of microbial decontamination remains partially known. Understanding the real mechanisms of these materials for microbial cell death and growth inhibition helps to fabricate more efficient semiconductor photocatalyst for large-scale decontamination of environmental wastewater or industries and hospitals/biomedical labs generating highly pathogenic bacteria and toxic molecules containing liquid waste by designing a reactor. Recent studies on microbial decontamination by photocatalytic nanoparticles and their possible mechanisms of action is highlighted with examples in this mini review.


    Minnesota State Dept. of Education, St. Paul. Div. of Vocational and Technical Education.


  5. Student Understanding of Time Dependence in Quantum Mechanics (United States)

    Emigh, Paul J.; Passante, Gina; Shaffer, Peter S.


    The time evolution of quantum states is arguably one of the more difficult ideas in quantum mechanics. In this article, we report on results from an investigation of student understanding of this topic after lecture instruction. We demonstrate specific problems that students have in applying time dependence to quantum systems and in recognizing…

  6. Physiological mechanisms underlying animal social behaviour. (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Krause, Jens


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

  7. Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Cannabis Use. (United States)

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


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

  8. Evolved Mechanisms Versus Underlying Conditional Relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astorga Miguel López


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

  9. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity. (United States)

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


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

  10. Advances in the understanding of crystal growth mechanisms

    CERN Document Server

    Nishinaga, T; Harada, J; Sasaki, A; Takei, H


    This book contains the results of a research project entitled Crystal Growth Mechanisms on an Atomic Scale, which was carried out for 3 years by some 72 reseachers. Until recently in Japan, only the technological aspects of crystal growth have been emphasized and attention was paid only to its importance in industry. However the scientific aspects also need to be considered so that the technology of crystal growth can be developed even further. This project therefore aimed at understanding crystal growth and the emphasis was on finding growth mechanisms on an atomic scale.

  11. General chemistry students' understanding of the chemistry underlying climate science (United States)

    Versprille, Ashley N.

    The purpose of this study is to investigate first-semester general chemistry students' understanding of the chemistry underlying climate change. The first part of this study involves the collection of qualitative data from twenty-four first-semester general chemistry students from a large Midwestern research institution. The semi-structured interview protocol was developed based on alternative conceptions identified in the research literature and the essential principles of climate change outlined in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) document which pertain to chemistry (CCSP, 2003). The analysis and findings from the interviews indicate conceptual difficulties for students, both with basic climate literacy and underlying chemistry concepts. Students seem to confuse the greenhouse effect, global warming, and the ozone layer, and in terms of chemistry concepts, they lack a particulate level understanding of greenhouse gases and their interaction with electromagnetic radiation, causing them to not fully conceptualize the greenhouse effect and climate change. Based on the findings from these interviews, a Chemistry of Climate Science Diagnostic Instrument (CCSI) was developed for use in courses that teach chemistry with a rich context such as climate science. The CCSI is designed for professors who want to teach general chemistry, while also addressing core climate literacy principles. It will help professors examine their students' prior knowledge and alternative conceptions of the chemistry concepts associated with climate science, which could then inform their teaching and instruction.

  12. Dissociable cognitive mechanisms underlying human path integration. (United States)

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


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

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

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


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

  14. Vascular Adventitia Calcification and Its Underlying Mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Li

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

  15. Proteoglycans remodeling in cancer: Underlying molecular mechanisms. (United States)

    Theocharis, Achilleas D; Karamanos, Nikos K


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

  16. Mechanical behaviour of nuclear fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerin, Y.


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

  17. Understanding Creep Mechanisms in Graphite with Experiments, Multiscale Simulations, and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eapen, Jacob [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Murty, Korukonda [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Burchell, Timothy [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)


    Disordering mechanisms in graphite have a long history with conflicting viewpoints. Using Raman and x-ray photon spectroscopy, electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction experiments and atomistic modeling and simulations, the current project has developed a fundamental understanding of early-to-late state radiation damage mechanisms in nuclear reactor grade graphite (NBG-18 and PCEA). We show that the topological defects in graphite play an important role under neutron and ion irradiation.

  18. Reliability Issues and Solutions in Flexible Electronics Under Mechanical Fatigue (United States)

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


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

  19. Understanding the mechanism of nanoparticle formation in wire explosion process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bora, B.; Wong, C.S.; Bhuyan, H.; Lee, Y.S.; Yap, S.L.; Favre, M.


    The mechanism of nanoparticle formation by wire explosion process has been investigated by optical emission spectroscopy in Antony et al. 2010 [2] [J Quant Spectrosc Radiat Transfer 2010; 111:2509]. It was reported that the size of the nanoparticles formed in Ar ambience increases with increasing pressure, while an opposite trend was observed for the nanoparticles produced in N 2 and He ambiences. However, the physics behind this opposite trend seems unclear. In this work, we have investigated the probable mechanism behind the opposite trend in particle size with pressure of different gases and understand the mechanism of nanoparticle formation in wire explosion process. The experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of ambient gas species (Ar and N 2 ) and pressure on arc plasma formation and its corresponding effects on the characteristics of the produced nanoparticles in wire explosion process. Our results show that the arc plasma formation is probably the mechanism that may account for the opposite trend of particle size with pressure of different gases. -- Highlights: ► Cu nanoparticles have been synthesized by wire explosion technique. ► Investigate the effect of the ambient gas species and pressure. ► Arc plasma formation in wire explosion process is investigated. ► Arc plasma formation plays a crucial role in characteristic of the nanoparticles

  20. Mechanical properties of a collagen fibril under simulated degradation. (United States)

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


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

  1. Autophagy as a Possible Underlying Mechanism of Nanomaterial Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Cohignac


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

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

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

    The research team will also test persons with dyslexia to understand how this disorder may be related to impairments in the person's ability to learn new sound patterns. Project leadership. The project lead is Robert Zatorre at McGill University, Canada. His collaborators are Merav Ahissar, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ...

  3. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying nervous system diseases. (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F


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

  4. Understanding Liver Regeneration: From Mechanisms to Regenerative Medicine. (United States)

    Gilgenkrantz, Hélène; Collin de l'Hortet, Alexandra


    Liver regeneration is a complex and unique process. When two-thirds of a mouse liver is removed, the remaining liver recovers its initial weight in approximately 10 days. The understanding of the mechanisms responsible for liver regeneration may help patients needing large liver resections or transplantation and may be applied to the field of regenerative medicine. All differentiated hepatocytes are capable of self-renewal, but different subpopulations of hepatocytes seem to have distinct proliferative abilities. In the setting of chronic liver diseases, a ductular reaction ensues in which liver progenitor cells (LPCs) proliferate in the periportal region. Although these LPCs have the capacity to differentiate into hepatocytes and biliary cells in vitro, their ability to participate in liver regeneration is far from clear. Their expansion has even been associated with increased fibrosis and poorer prognosis in chronic liver diseases. Controversies also remain on their origin: lineage studies in experimental mouse models of chronic injury have recently suggested that these LPCs originate from hepatocyte dedifferentiation, whereas in other situations, they seem to come from cholangiocytes. This review summarizes data published in the past 5 years in the liver regeneration field, discusses the mechanisms leading to regeneration disruption in chronic liver disorders, and addresses the potential use of novel approaches for regenerative medicine. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eRoy


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

  6. Neural mechanisms and models underlying joint action. (United States)

    Chersi, Fabian


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

  7. Peripheral Receptor Mechanisms Underlying Orofacial Muscle Pain and Hyperalgesia (United States)

    Saloman, Jami L.

    gated ion channels form functional complexes in nociceptors. It is also important to further elucidate peripheral anti-nociceptive mechanisms to improve clinical utilization of currently available analgesics and uncover additional therapeutic targets. A side project examined the mechanisms underlying sex differences in the anti-hyperalgesic effects of delta opioid receptors (DORs). This study provides evidence of a sex difference in the potency at DORs that is mediated by differences in the expression of ATP-sensitive potassium channels. Collectively, understanding detailed molecular events that underlie the development of pathological pain conditions could benefit future pharmacotherapies.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  9. Supersymmetric quantum mechanics under point singularities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uchino, Takashi; Tsutsui, Izumi


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

  10. Polymers under mechanical stress- an NMR investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  11. Habitats under Mechanical and Herbicide Management Regimes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy-Ann P. Isaac


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

  12. Understanding the mechanisms behind coking pressure: Relationship to pore structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John J. Duffy; M. Castro Diaz; Colin E. Snape; Karen M. Steel; Merrick R. Mahoney [University of Nottingham, Nottingham (United Kingdom). Nottingham Fuel and Energy Centre, School of Chemical, Environmental and Mining Engineering


    Three low volatile coals A, B and C with oven wall pressures of 100 kPa, 60 kPa and 20 kPa respectively were investigated using high-temperature rheometry, {sup 1}H NMR, thermogravimetric analysis and SEM, with the primary aim to better understand the mechanisms behind the coking pressure phenomenon. Rheometer plate displacement measurements ({Delta}L) have shown differences in the expansion and contraction behaviour of the three coals, which seem to correlate with changes in rheological properties; while SEM images have shown that the expansion process coincides with development of pore structure. It is considered that the point of maximum plate height ({Delta}L{sub max}) prior to contraction may be indicative of a cell opening or pore network forming process, based on analogies with other foam systems. Such a process may be considered important for coking pressure since it provides a potential mechanism for volatile escape, relieving internal gas pressure and inducing charge contraction. For coal C, which has the highest fluidity {delta}L{sub max} occurs quite early in the softening process and consequently a large degree of contraction is observed; while for the lower fluidity coal B, the process is delayed since pore development and consequently wall thinning progress at a slower rate. When {Delta}L{sub max} is attained, a lower degree of contraction is observed because the event occurs closer to resolidification where the increasing viscosity/elasticity can stabilise the expanded pore structure. For coal A which is relatively high fluidity, but also high coking pressure, a greater degree of swelling is observed prior to cell rupture, which may be due to greater fluid elasticity during the expansion process. This excessive expansion is considered to be a potential reason for its high coking pressure. 58 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Physical and chemical mechanisms underlying hematoma evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  14. Mechanisms Underlying the Antidepressant Response and Treatment Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjorie Rose Levinstein


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

  15. Environmental genotoxicity: Probing the underlying mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  16. Understanding sleep-wake mechanisms and drug discovery. (United States)

    Equihua-Benítez, Ana Clementina; Guzmán-Vásquez, Khalil; Drucker-Colín, René


    Although not discernible at first glance, sleep is a highly active and regulated brain state. Although we spend practically one third of our lifetimes in this stage, its importance is often taken for granted. Sleep loss can lead to disease, error and economic loss. Our understanding of how sleep is achieved has greatly advanced in recent years, and with that, the management of sleep disorders has improved. There is still room for improvement and recently many new compounds have reached clinical trials with a few being approved for commercial use. Areas covered: In this review, the authors make the case of sleep disorders as a matter of public health. The mechanisms of sleep transition are discussed emphasizing the wake and sleep promoting interaction of different brain regions. Finally, advances in pharmacotherapy are examined in the context of chronic insomnia and narcolepsy. Expert opinion: The orexinergic system is an example of a breakthrough in sleep medicine that has catalyzed drug development. Nevertheless, sleep is a topic still with many unanswered questions. That being said, the melanin-concentrating hormone system is becoming increasingly relevant and we speculate it will be the next target of sleep medication.

  17. Neurochemical mechanisms underlying responses to psychostimulants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.S.; Hitzemann, R.; Wang, G.J. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)]|[State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook, NY (United States)


    This study employed positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate biochemical and metabolic characteristics of the brain of individuals which could put them at risk for drug addiction. It takes advantage of the normal variability between individuals in response to psychoactive drugs to investigate relation between mental state, brain neurochemistry and metabolism and the behavioral response to drugs. We discuss its use to assess if there is an association between mental state and dompaminergic reactivity in response to the psychostimulant drug methylphenidate (MP). Changes in synaptic dopamine induced by MP were evaluated with PET and [11C]raclopride, a D{sub 2} receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous dopamine. Methylpphenidate significantly decreased striatal [11C]raclopride binding. The study showed a correlation between the magnitude of the dopamine-induced changes by methylphenidate, and the mental state of the subjects. Subjects reporting high levels of anxiety and restlessness at baseline had larger changes in MP-induced dopamine changes than those that did not. Further investigations on the relation between an individual`s response to a drug and his/her mental state and personality as well as his neurochemical brain composition may enable to understand better differences in drug addiction vulnerability.

  18. Understanding mechanisms of autoimmunity through translational research in vitiligo (United States)

    Strassner, James P; Harris, John E


    Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease of the skin that leads to life-altering depigmentation and remains difficult to treat. However, clinical observations and translational studies over 30-40 years have led to the development of an insightful working model of disease pathogenesis: Genetic risk spanning both immune and melanocyte functions is pushed over a threshold by known and suspected environmental factors to initiate autoimmune T cell-mediated killing of melanocytes. While under cellular stress, melanocytes appear to signal innate immunity to activate T cells. Once the autoimmune T cell response is established, the IFN-γ-STAT1-CXCL10 signaling axis becomes the primary inflammatory pathway driving both progression and maintenance of vitiligo. This pathway is a tempting target for both existing and developing pharmaceuticals, but further detailing how melanocytes signal their own demise may also lead to new therapeutic targets. Research in vitiligo may be the future key to understand the pathogenesis of organ-specific autoimmunity, as vitiligo is common, reversible, progresses over the life of the individual, has been relatively well-defined, and is quite easy to study using translational and clinical approaches. What is revealed in these studies can lead to innovative treatments and also help elucidate the principles that underlie similar organ-specific autoimmune diseases, especially in cases where the target organ is less accessible. PMID:27764715

  19. Hills and valleys: Understanding the under-eye

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milind N Naik


    Full Text Available Soft tissue deflation and descent have long been implicated in the pathogenesis of facial aging. In the periorbital area, the upper orbital region is thought to change by descent of the eyebrow, as well as deflation of brow fat. While the understanding of the aging changes in the upper eyelid region are relatively simple, the lower eyelid poses a myriad of aging changes, each demanding a specific management plan. These can be best described in terms of elevations, or 'Hills' and hollows, or 'Valleys'. This article simplifies the understanding of the lower eyelid in the light of anatomical knowledge, and available literature. It forms a basis of easy diagnosis and treatment of the soft tissue changes in the lower eyelid and malar region.

  20. Understanding the mechanism of base development of hydrogen silsesquioxane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Chao, Weilun; Liang, Xiaogan; Griedel, Brian D.; Olynick, Deirdre L


    There have been numerous studies of electron beam exposed hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) development conditions in order to improve the developer contrast. For TMAH based development, improvements were made by going to higher TMAH normalities and heating the developer. Yang and Berggren showed development of electron beam exposed (HSQ) by NaOH with added Na salts (various anions) significantly improves the contrast. Here, we study the contrast and etching rates of 100 keV exposed HSQ in NaOH in the presence of LiCl, NaCl, and KCl salts and use this as a segway to understand the mechanisms governing contrast during development HSQ development. The basic mechanism of development of HSQ can be understood by comparing to etching of quartz in basic solutions. Hydroxide ions act as nucleophiles which attack silicon. When a silicon-oxygen bond of the Si-O-Si matrix is broken, Si-O{sup -} and Si-OH are formed which can reversibly react to form the original structure. When a Si-H bond is broken via reaction with hydroxide, Si-O{sup -} and H{sub 2} gas are formed. Salts can change the etching rates as a function of dose in a non-linear fashion to increase etch contrast. Figs. 1, 2, and 3 show contrast curves for HSQ developed in 0.25 N sodium hydroxide and with the addition of NaCl, LiCl and KCl salts at several concentrations. NaCl addition resulted in the highest contrast. Contrast improves with additional salt concentration while sensitivity decreases. Interestingly enough, addition of salt decreases the removal of material of NaOH alone at higher doses while increasing the rate at lower concentrations. Addition of LiCl salts improves contrast over NaOH alone. Furthermore, the sensitivity at all doses increases as the LiCl concentration increases, a salting out effect. Similar to NaCl salt behavior, the addition of KCl salts, improves contrast at the expense of sensitivity. However, unlike NaCl, even at very high doses, KCl addition increases removal rate of HSQ. We

  1. Homo Ethicus : Understanding the Human Nature that Underlies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. The themes of human rights and human rights education in South Africa's multi-cultural society are central to the work of Cornelia Roux. This article discusses the human reality and ethics underlying those themes, using an approach based on a view of human nature. It has six sections, starting with an introduction ...

  2. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald W. Alfa


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

  3. Underlying Mechanisms of Tinnitus: Review and Clinical Implications (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Piscia


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

  5. Understanding human action: integrating meanings, mechanisms, causes, and contexts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keestra, M.; Repko, A.F.; Newell, W.H.; Szostak, R.


    Humans are capable of understanding an incredible variety of actions performed by other humans. Even though these range from primary biological actions like eating and fleeing, to acts in parliament or in poetry, humans generally can make sense of each other’s actions. Understanding other people’s

  6. Understanding how biodiversity unfolds through time under neutral theory. (United States)

    Missa, Olivier; Dytham, Calvin; Morlon, Hélène


    Theoretical predictions for biodiversity patterns are typically derived under the assumption that ecological systems have reached a dynamic equilibrium. Yet, there is increasing evidence that various aspects of ecological systems, including (but not limited to) species richness, are not at equilibrium. Here, we use simulations to analyse how biodiversity patterns unfold through time. In particular, we focus on the relative time required for various biodiversity patterns (macroecological or phylogenetic) to reach equilibrium. We simulate spatially explicit metacommunities according to the Neutral Theory of Biodiversity (NTB) under three modes of speciation, which differ in how evenly a parent species is split between its two daughter species. We find that species richness stabilizes first, followed by species area relationships (SAR) and finally species abundance distributions (SAD). The difference in timing of equilibrium between these different macroecological patterns is the largest when the split of individuals between sibling species at speciation is the most uneven. Phylogenetic patterns of biodiversity take even longer to stabilize (tens to hundreds of times longer than species richness) so that equilibrium predictions from neutral theory for these patterns are unlikely to be relevant. Our results suggest that it may be unwise to assume that biodiversity patterns are at equilibrium and provide a first step in studying how these patterns unfold through time. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Understanding ozone mechanisms to alleviate ceramic membrane fouling (United States)

    Chu, Irma Giovanna Llamosas

    Ceramic membranes are a strong prospect as an advanced treatment in the drinking water domain. But their high capital cost and the lack of specific research on their performance still discourage their application in this field. Thus, knowing that fouling is the main drawback experienced in filtration processes, this bench-scale study was aimed to assess the impact of an ozonation pre-treatment on the alleviation of the fouling of UF ceramic membranes. Preozonation and filtration steps were performed under two different pH and ozone doses. Chosen pH values were at the limits of natural surface waters range (6.5 and 8.5) to keep practicability. Raw water from the Thousand Isle's river at Quebec-Canada was used for the tests. The filtration setup involved an unstirred dead-end filtration cell operated at constant flux. Results showed that pre-oxidation by ozone indeed reduced the fouling degree of the membranes according to the dose applied (up to 60 and 85% for membranes 8 and 50 kDa, respectively). Direct NOM oxidation was found responsible for this effect as the presence of molecular ozone was not essential to achieve these results. In the context of this experiment, however, pH showed to be more effective than the ozonation pre-treatment to keep fouling at low levels: 70% lower at pH 6.5 than at pH 8.5 for un-ozonated waters, which was contrary to most of the literature found on the topic (Changwon, 2013; De Angelis & Fidalgo, 2013; Karnik et al., 2005; S. Lee & Kim, 2014). This behaviour results mainly from the operation mode used in the experiment, the electrical repulsions between MON molecules at basic pH that led to the accumulation of material on the feed side of the membranes (concentration polarisation) and ulterior cake formation. In addition, solution pH showed an influence in the definition of fouling mechanisms. At solution pH 6.5, which was precisely the isoelectric point of the membranes (+/-6.5), the blocking fouling mode was frequently detected

  8. Understanding the mechanism of base development of HSQ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Chao, Weilun; Griedel, Brian; Liang, Xiaogan; Lewis, Mark; Hilken, Dawn; Olynick, Deirdre


    We study the dissolution mechanism of HSQ (hydrogen silsesquioxane) in base solutions with the addition of chloride salts to elucidate the development mechanism. Reaction mechanisms are proposed based on the dissolution mechanism of quartz. Development kinetics points to two dose-dependent development mechanisms. Considering ion sizes, both hydrated and non-hydrated, and ion exchange, we propose that a combination of a surface dominated reaction at higher doses and a matrix dominated reaction at lower doses accounts for the high development contrast with a NaOH base/NaCl salt mixture. The interplay between the hydrated and non-hydrated ion size leads to higher contrast developers, such as tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH) with NaCl.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João A. Santos


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

  10. Understanding the mechanism(s) of mosaic trisomy 21 by using DNA polymorphism analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pangalos, C.; Abazis, D.; Avramopoulos, D.; Blouin, J.L.; Antonaraksi, S.E. (Univ. of Patras Medical School (Greece)); Raoul, O.; deBlois, M.C.; Prieur, M. (Cytogenetics Laboratory, Paris (France)); Schinzel, A.A.


    In order to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying mosaicism for trisomy 21, the authors genotyped 17 families with mosaic trisomy 21 probands, using 28 PCR-detectable DNA polymorphic markers that map in the pericentromeric region and long arm of chromosome 21. The percentage of cells with trisomy 21 in the probands' blood lymphocytes was 6%-94%. There were two classes of autoradiographic results: In class I, a third allele' of lower intensity was detected in the proband's DNA for at least two chromosome 21 markers. The interpretation of this result was that the proband had inherited three chromosomes 21 after meiotic nondisjunction (NDJ) (trisomy 21 zygote) and subsequently lost one because of mitotic (somatic) error, the lost chromosome 21 being that with the lowest-intensity polymorphic allele. The parental origin and the meiotic stage of NDJ could also be determined. In class II, a third allele' was never detected. In these cases, the mosaicism probably occurred either by a postzygotic, mitotic error in anormal zygote that followed a normal meiosis (class IIA mechanism); by premeiotic, mitotic NDJ yielding an aneusomic zygote after meiosis, and subsequent mitotic loss (class IIB mechanism); or by a meiosis II error with lack of crossover in the preceding meiosis I, followed by mitotic loss after fertilization (class IIC mechanism). Among class II mechanisms, the most likely is mechanism IIA, while IIC is the least likely. There were 10 cases of class I and 7 cases of class II results. Within class I, there were nine cases with maternal meitoic errors (six meiosis I and three meiosis II errors, on the basis of pericentromeric markers) and one with paternal meiosis I error. The postzygotic loss of chromosome 21 was determined in eight maternal class I cases, and it was maternally derived in five cases and paternally derived in three; this suggests that the postzygotic loss of chromosome 21 is probably random. 28 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  11. Mechanisms and pharmacogenetic signals underlying thiazide diuretics blood pressure response. (United States)

    Shahin, Mohamed H; Johnson, Julie A


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

  12. Mechanisms underlying epithelium-dependent relaxation in rat bronchioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroigaard, Christel; Dalsgaard, Thomas; Simonsen, Ulf


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

  13. Underlying Mechanisms of Improving Physical Activity Behavior after Rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  15. The Nobel Prize for understanding autophagy, a cellular mechanism ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2016, was awarded to Prof Yoshinori Ohsumi from TokyoInstitute of Technology, Yokohoma, Japan, for his work that helped in understanding the molecularmechanisms of autophagy, a process used by most eukaryotic cells to degrade a portion of cytoplasmincluding damaged ...

  16. Nonlinear Mechanics of MEMS Rectangular Microplates under Electrostatic Actuation

    KAUST Repository

    Saghir, Shahid


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

  17. Understanding "Understanding" Flow for Network-Centric Warfare: Military Knowledge-Flow Mechanics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nissen, Mark


    Network-centric warfare (NCW) emphasizes information superiority for battlespace efficacy, but it is clear that the mechanics of how knowledge flows are just as important as those pertaining to the networks and communication...

  18. Understanding the Role and Mechanism of Metformin in Obesity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Metformin, a biguanide, is a widely used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug also found to be beneficial in other class of diseases like obesity but its role and mechanism of action in obesity is still not well established. A literature survey was done in order to evaluate the evidence supporting metformin ...

  19. Understanding the Mechanism behind Maternal Imprisonment and Adolescent School Dropout (United States)

    Cho, Rosa M.


    This study empirically tested 3 mechanisms commonly suggested to disadvantage youths whose mothers are incarcerated in prison. An event history analysis of school dropout was conducted on a sample of 6,008 adolescents in a large city created by merging several Illinois state administrative data. Findings revealed that adolescents are indeed at…

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

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

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

  1. Mechanisms Underlying HIV-Associated Noninfectious Lung Disease. (United States)

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


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

  2. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants. (United States)

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


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

  3. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive effects of garlic bioactives. (United States)

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


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

  4. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby (United States)

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


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

  5. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby. (United States)

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


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

  6. How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works?: Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms (United States)

    Singh, Amit; Kar, Sujita Kumar


    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a time tested treatment modality for the management of various psychiatric disorders. There have been a lot of modifications in the techniques of delivering ECT over decades. Despite lots of criticisms encountered, ECT has still been used commonly in clinical practice due to its safety and efficacy. Research evidences found multiple neuro-biological mechanisms for the therapeutic effect of ECT. ECT brings about various neuro-physiological as well as neuro-chemical changes in the macro- and micro-environment of the brain. Diverse changes involving expression of genes, functional connectivity, neurochemicals, permeability of blood-brain-barrier, alteration in immune system has been suggested to be responsible for the therapeutic effects of ECT. This article reviews different neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the therapeutic efficacy of ECT. PMID:28783929

  7. Moving beyond the longitudinal approach to understand prenatal mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huizink, A.C.; Bögels, S.M.


    Accumulating evidence shows that the prenatal period lays an important fundament under the future prospective of a child. The studies presented in the article "How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Our Lives" fit well into this field of research, in which the scope of the developmental origins

  8. Understanding the Fatigue Behavior of FML Structures and Materials under Complex Variable Amplitude Loading

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alderdiesten, R.; Benedictus, R.; Khan, S.


    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.

  9. Amount of fear extinction changes its underlying mechanisms. (United States)

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


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

  10. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

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


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  13. Advances in understanding Giardia: determinants and mechanisms of chronic sequelae (United States)

    Sartor, R. Balfour


    Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan that is the most common cause of intestinal parasitic infection in children living in resource-limited settings. The pathogenicity of Giardia has been debated since the parasite was first identified, and clinical outcomes vary across studies. Among recent perplexing findings are diametrically opposed associations between Giardia and acute versus persistent diarrhea and a poorly understood potential for long-term sequelae, including impaired child growth and cognitive development. The mechanisms driving these protean clinical outcomes remain elusive, but recent advances suggest that variability in Giardia strains, host nutritional status, the composition of microbiota, co-infecting enteropathogens, host genetically determined mucosal immune responses, and immune modulation by Giardia are all relevant factors influencing disease manifestations after Giardia infection. PMID:26097735

  14. Understanding the kinetic mechanism of RNA single base pair formation. (United States)

    Xu, Xiaojun; Yu, Tao; Chen, Shi-Jie


    RNA functions are intrinsically tied to folding kinetics. The most elementary step in RNA folding is the closing and opening of a base pair. Understanding this elementary rate process is the basis for RNA folding kinetics studies. Previous studies mostly focused on the unfolding of base pairs. Here, based on a hybrid approach, we investigate the folding process at level of single base pairing/stacking. The study, which integrates molecular dynamics simulation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulation, and master equation methods, uncovers two alternative dominant pathways: Starting from the unfolded state, the nucleotide backbone first folds to the native conformation, followed by subsequent adjustment of the base conformation. During the base conformational rearrangement, the backbone either retains the native conformation or switches to nonnative conformations in order to lower the kinetic barrier for base rearrangement. The method enables quantification of kinetic partitioning among the different pathways. Moreover, the simulation reveals several intriguing ion binding/dissociation signatures for the conformational changes. Our approach may be useful for developing a base pair opening/closing rate model.

  15. Understanding the mechanisms of glutamine action in critically ill patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele P. Oliveira


    Full Text Available Glutamine (Gln is an important energy source and has been used as a supplementary energy substrate. Furthermore, Gln is an essential component for numerous metabolic functions, including acid-base homeostasis, gluconeogenesis, nitrogen transport and synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids. Therefore, glutamine plays a significant role in cell homeostasis and organ metabolism. This article aims to review the mechanisms of glutamine action during severe illnesses. In critically ill patients, the increase in mortality was associated with a decreased plasma Gln concentration. During catabolic stress, Gln consumption rate exceeds the supply, and both plasma and skeletal muscle pools of free Gln are severely reduced. The dose and route of Gln administration clearly influence its effectiveness: high-dose parenteral appears to be more beneficial than low-dose enteral administration. Experimental studies reported that Gln may protect cells, tissues, and whole organisms from stress and injury through the following mechanisms: attenuation of NF (nuclear factor-kB activation, a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, reduction in neutrophil accumulation, improvement in intestinal integrity and immune cell function, and enhanced of heat shock protein expression. In conclusion, high-doses of parenteral Gln (>0.50 g/kg/day demonstrate a greater potential to benefit in critically ill patients, although Gln pathophysiological mechanisms requires elucidation.A glutamina (Gln é uma importante fonte de energia e tem sido usada como substrato energético suplementar. Além disso, a Gln é um componente essencial para numerosas funções metabólicas tais como: homeostase ácido-base, gliconeogênese, transporte de nitrogênio e síntese de proteínas e ácidos nucléicos. Portanto, a glutamina desempenha um papel importante na homeostase celular e no metabolismo dos órgãos. Esse artigo objetiva rever os mecanismos de ação da glutamina na doen

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


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


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

  17. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying postural instability in Parkinson's disease using dynamic posturography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonnekes, J.H.; Kam, D. de; Geurts, A.C.; Weerdesteijn, V.G.M.; Bloem, B.R.


    Postural instability, one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), has devastating consequences for affected patients. Better strategies to prevent falls are needed, but this calls for an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying postural instability. We must also

  18. A Cross-Cultural Approach to Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music


    Barradas, Gonçalo


    Music plays a crucial role in everyday life by enabling listeners to seek individual emotional experiences. To explain why such emotions occur, we must understand the underlying process that mediates between surface-level features of the music and aroused emotions. This thesis aimed to investigate how musical emotions are mediated by psychological mechanisms from a cross-cultural perspective. Study I manipulated four mechanisms by selecting ecologically valid pieces of music that featured inf...

  19. Emotional responses to music: the need to consider underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Juslin, Patrik N; Västfjäll, Daniel


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

  20. Understanding cracking failures of coatings: A fracture mechanics approach (United States)

    Kim, Sung-Ryong

    A fracture mechanics analysis of coating (paint) cracking was developed. A strain energy release rate (G(sub c)) expression due to the formation of a new crack in a coating was derived for bending and tension loadings in terms of the moduli, thicknesses, Poisson's ratios, load, residual strain, etc. Four-point bending and instrumented impact tests were used to determine the in-situ fracture toughness of coatings as functions of increasing baking (drying) time. The system used was a thin coating layer on a thick substrate layer. The substrates included steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), and Noryl. The coatings included newly developed automotive paints. The four-point bending configuration promoted nice transversed multiple coating cracks on both steel and polymeric substrates. The crosslinked type automotive coatings on steel substrates showed big cracks without microcracks. When theoretical predictions for energy release rate were compared to experimental data for coating/steel substrate samples with multiple cracking, the agreement was good. Crosslinked type coatings on polymeric substrates showed more cracks than theory predicted and the G(sub c)'s were high. Solvent evaporation type coatings on polymeric substrates showed clean multiple cracking and the G(sub c)'s were higher than those obtained by tension analysis of tension experiments with the same substrates. All the polymeric samples showed surface embrittlement after long baking times using four-point bending tests. The most apparent surface embrittlement was observed in the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) substrate system. The impact properties of coatings as a function of baking time were also investigated. These experiments were performed using an instrumented impact tester. There was a rapid decrease in G(sub c) at short baking times and convergence to a constant value at long baking times. The surface embrittlement conditions and an embrittlement toughness

  1. Study on Mechanical Properties of Barite Concrete under Impact Load (United States)

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


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  3. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning (United States)

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.


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

  4. Sixth-Grade Students' Progress in Understanding the Mechanisms of Global Climate Change (United States)

    Visintainer, Tammie; Linn, Marcia


    Developing solutions for complex issues such as global climate change requires an understanding of the mechanisms involved. This study reports on the impact of a technology-enhanced unit designed to improve understanding of global climate change, its mechanisms, and their relationship to everyday energy use. Global Climate Change, implemented in…

  5. Parametric study of control mechanism of cortical bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus (United States)

    Wang, Yanan; Qin, Qing-Hua


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

  6. Mechanical response of collagen molecule under hydrostatic compression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saini, Karanvir; Kumar, Navin


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

  7. Toward understanding life under subzero conditions: the significance of exploring psychrophilic "cold-shock" proteins. (United States)

    Kuhn, Emanuele


    Understanding the behavior of proteins under freezing conditions is vital for detecting and locating extraterrestrial life in cold environments, such as those found on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. This review highlights the importance of studying psychrophilic "cold-shock" proteins, a topic that has yet to be explored. A strategy for analyzing the psychrophilic RNA helicase protein CsdA (Psyc_1082) from Psychrobacter arcticus 273-4 as a key protein for life under freezing temperatures is proposed. The experimental model presented here was developed based on previous data from investigations of Escherichia coli, P. arcticus 273-4, and RNA helicases. P. arcticus 273-4 is considered a model for life in freezing environments. It is capable of growing in temperatures as cold as -10°C by using physiological strategies to survive not only in freezing temperatures but also under low-water-activity and limited-nutrient-availability conditions. The analyses of its genome, transcriptome, and proteome revealed specific adaptations that allow it to inhabit freezing environments by adopting a slow metabolic strategy rather than a cellular dormancy state. During growth at subzero temperatures, P. arcticus 273-4 genes related to energy metabolism and carbon substrate incorporation are downregulated, and genes for maintenance of membranes, cell walls, and nucleic acid motion are upregulated. At -6°C, P. arcticus 273-4 does not upregulate the expression of either RNA or protein chaperones; however, it upregulates the expression of its cold-shock induced DEAD-box RNA helicase protein A (CsdA - Psyc_1082). CsdA - Psyc_1082 was investigated as a key helper protein for sustaining life in subzero conditions. Proving CsdA - Psyc_1082 to be functional as a key protein for life under freezing temperatures may extend the known minimum growth temperature of a mesophilic cell and provide key information about the mechanisms that underlie cold-induced biological systems in

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurogenetic diseases. (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yussouff, M.


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

  10. Permeability and mechanical properties of cracked glass under pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ougier-Simonin, A.


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  12. The contributions of cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging to understanding mechanisms of behavior change in addiction. (United States)

    Morgenstern, Jon; Naqvi, Nasir H; Debellis, Robert; Breiter, Hans C


    In the last decade, there has been an upsurge of interest in understanding the mechanisms of behavior change (MOBC) and effective behavioral interventions as a strategy to improve addiction-treatment efficacy. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about how treatment research should proceed to address the MOBC issue. In this article, we argue that limitations in the underlying models of addiction that inform behavioral treatment pose an obstacle to elucidating MOBC. We consider how advances in the cognitive neuroscience of addiction offer an alternative conceptual and methodological approach to studying the psychological processes that characterize addiction, and how such advances could inform treatment process research. In addition, we review neuroimaging studies that have tested aspects of neurocognitive theories as a strategy to inform addiction therapies and discuss future directions for transdisciplinary collaborations across cognitive neuroscience and MOBC research. 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  13. Control of a perturbed under-actuated mechanical system

    KAUST Repository

    Zayane, Chadia


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Babhadiashar


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu


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

  16. Mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons under uniaxial tensile strain (United States)

    Yoneyama, Kazufumi; Yamanaka, Ayaka; Okada, Susumu


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

  17. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao


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

  18. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms. (United States)

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


    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 (

  19. Understanding mechanisms of raveling to extend open graded friction course (OGFC) service life. (United States)


    To understand the mechanisms of raveling in open graded friction course (OGFC) mixtures, this project was divided into experimental measurements and finite element (FE) modeling. For the experimental part, mixtures with good and poor field performanc...

  20. Temporomandibular disorders and painful comorbidities: clinical association and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

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


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

  1. micro-mechanical experimental investigation and modelling of strain and damage of argillaceous rocks under combined hydric and mechanical loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, L.


    The hydro-mechanical behavior of argillaceous rocks, which are possible host rocks for underground radioactive nuclear waste storage, is investigated by means of micro-mechanical experimental investigations and modellings. Strain fields at the micrometric scale of the composite structure of this rock, are measured by the combination of environmental scanning electron microscopy, in situ testing and digital image correlation technique. The evolution of argillaceous rocks under pure hydric loading is first investigated. The strain field is strongly heterogeneous and manifests anisotropy. The observed nonlinear deformation at high relative humidity (RH) is related not only to damage, but also to the nonlinear swelling of the clay mineral itself, controlled by different local mechanisms depending on RH. Irreversible deformations are observed during hydric cycles, as well as a network of microcracks located in the bulk of the clay matrix and/or at the inclusion-matrix interface. Second, the local deformation field of the material under combined hydric and mechanical loadings is quantified. Three types of deformation bands are evidenced under mechanical loading, either normal to stress direction (compaction), parallel (microcracking) or inclined (shear). Moreover, they are strongly controlled by the water content of the material: shear bands are in particular prone to appear at high RH states. In view of understanding the mechanical interactions a local scale, the material is modeled as a composite made of non-swelling elastic inclusions embedded in an elastic swelling clay matrix. The internal stress field induced by swelling strain incompatibilities between inclusions and matrix, as well as the overall deformation, is numerically computed at equilibrium but also during the transient stage associated with a moisture gradient. An analytical micro-mechanical model based on Eshelby's solution is proposed. In addition, 2D finite element computations are performed. Results

  2. Failure Mechanisms of Brittle Rocks under Uniaxial Compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Taoying


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

  3. The mechanism underlying fast germination of tomato cultivar LA2711. (United States)

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


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

  4. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of human microtia via a pig model of HOXA1 syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruimin Qiao


    Full Text Available Microtia is a congenital malformation of the outer ears. Although both genetic and environmental components have been implicated in microtia, the genetic causes of this innate disorder are poorly understood. Pigs have naturally occurring diseases comparable to those in humans, providing exceptional opportunity to dissect the molecular mechanism of human inherited diseases. Here we first demonstrated that a truncating mutation in HOXA1 causes a monogenic disorder of microtia in pigs. We further performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq analysis on affected and healthy pig embryos (day 14.25. We identified a list of 337 differentially expressed genes (DEGs between the normal and mutant samples, shedding light on the transcriptional network involving HOXA1. The DEGs are enriched in biological processes related to cardiovascular system and embryonic development, and neurological, renal and urological diseases. Aberrant expressions of many DEGs have been implicated in human innate deformities corresponding to microtia-associated syndromes. After applying three prioritizing algorithms, we highlighted appealing candidate genes for human microtia from the 337 DEGs. We searched for coding variants of functional significance within six candidate genes in 147 microtia-affected individuals. Of note, we identified one EVC2 non-synonymous mutation (p.Asp1174Asn as a potential disease-implicating variant for a human microtia-associated syndrome. The findings advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human microtia, and provide an interesting example of the characterization of human disease-predisposing variants using pig models.

  5. Mechanical Design of AM Fabricated Prismatic Rods under Torsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manzhirov Alexander V.


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

  6. Nanomaterials modulate stem cell differentiation: biological interaction and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong


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

  7. Using the glacial geomorphology of palaeo-ice streams to understand mechanisms of ice sheet collapse (United States)

    Stokes, Chris R.; Margold, Martin; Clark, Chris; Tarasov, Lev


    Processes which bring about ice sheet deglaciation are critical to our understanding of glacial-interglacial cycles and ice sheet sensitivity to climate change. The precise mechanisms of deglaciation are also relevant to our understanding of modern-day ice sheet stability and concerns over global sea level rise. Mass loss from ice sheets can be broadly partitioned between melting and a 'dynamic' component whereby rapidly-flowing ice streams/outlet glaciers transfer ice from the interior to the oceans. Surface and basal melting (e.g. of ice shelves) are closely linked to atmospheric and oceanic conditions, but the mechanisms that drive dynamic changes in ice stream discharge are more complex, which generates much larger uncertainties about their future contribution to ice sheet mass loss and sea level rise. A major problem is that observations of modern-day ice streams typically span just a few decades and, at the ice-sheet scale, it is unclear how the entire drainage network of ice streams evolves during deglaciation. A key question is whether ice streams might increase and sustain rates of mass loss over centuries or millennia, beyond those expected for a given ocean-climate forcing. To address this issue, numerous workers have sought to understand ice stream dynamics over longer time-scales using their glacial geomorphology in the palaeo-record. Indeed, our understanding of their geomorphology has grown rapidly in the last three decades, from almost complete ignorance to a detailed knowledge of their geomorphological products. Building on this body of work, this paper uses the glacial geomorphology of 117 ice streams in the North American Laurentide Ice Sheet to reconstruct their activity during its deglaciation ( 22,000 to 7,000 years ago). Ice stream activity was characterised by high variability in both time and space, with ice streams switching on and off in different locations. During deglaciation, we find that their overall number decreased, they occupied a

  8. Framework for Understanding the Patterns of Student Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha


    Compared with introductory physics, relatively little is known about the development of expertise in advanced physics courses, especially in the case of quantum mechanics. Here, we describe a framework for understanding the patterns of student reasoning difficulties and how students develop expertise in quantum mechanics. The framework posits that…

  9. The effects of different size gold nanoparticles on mechanical properties of vascular smooth muscle cells under mechanical stretching (United States)

    Kieu, Tri Minh

    Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising frontier for medicine and biomedical research due to its potential for applications such as drug delivery, imaging enhancement, and cancer treatment. While these materials may possess significant possibilities, the effects of these particles in the body and how the particles affect the cells is not fully understood. In this study, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) will be exposed to 5 and 20 nm diameter citrate AuNPs under mechanical conditions. The cytotoxicity properties of these particles will be investigated using LDH and MTT assays. Atomic force microscopy will be used to study how the size of the nanoparticles affect the mechanical properties of the VSMCs. Immunofluorescence staining for alpha actin will also be performed to enhance understanding of the phenotypic shift. The LDH and MTT cytotoxicity assay results demonstrated that neither 5 nor 20 nm diameter nanoparticles are cytotoxic to the cells. However, the mechanical properties and cell morphology of the VSMCs was altered. Under static conditions, both AuNP treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells. The size of the nanoparticles had a softening effect on elastic modulus of the cell and sign of a synthetic phenotype was observed. The VSMCs subjected to mechanical stretching exhibited higher elastic modulus compared to the static experimental groups. Again, both AuNPs treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells and signs of more synthetic phenotype was seen. However, the size of the nanoparticles did not have any influence on cell's elastic modulus unlike the static treated cells. The mechanical testing condition provided a better look at how these particles would affect the cells in vivo. While the nanoparticles are not cytotoxic to the VSMCs, they are altering the mechanical properties and phenotype of the cell.

  10. Age differences in the underlying mechanisms of stereotype threat effects. (United States)

    Popham, Lauren E; Hess, Thomas M


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

  11. Electrochemical mechanism of tin membrane electrodeposition under ultrasonic waves. (United States)

    Nan, Tianxiang; Yang, Jianguang; Chen, Bing


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

  12. Next Steps Toward Understanding Human Habitation of Space: Environmental Impacts and Mechanisms (United States)

    Globus, Ruth


    factor alone implying at least some shared underlying mechanisms. Thus, both ground based and spaceflight research utilizing model organisms provide the opportunity to better understand environmental factors and biological mechanisms that contribute to human health and survival in space.

  13. Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Activation as the Main Mechanisms Underlying Graphene Toxicity against Human Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Jarosz


    Full Text Available Due to the development of nanotechnology graphene and graphene-based nanomaterials have attracted the most attention owing to their unique physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Graphene can be applied in many fields among which biomedical applications especially diagnostics, cancer therapy, and drug delivery have been arousing a lot of interest. Therefore it is essential to understand better the graphene-cell interactions, especially toxicity and underlying mechanisms for proper use and development. This review presents the recent knowledge concerning graphene cytotoxicity and influence on different cancer cell lines.

  14. Effects of manual hyperinflation in preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation. (United States)

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


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

  15. Comparative proteomics of peanut gynophore development under dark and mechanical stimulation. (United States)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Trung Dung; Gu, YuanTong, E-mail: [School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)


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

  17. Mechanisms underlying the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells (United States)

    González, Federico; Huangfu, Danwei


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

  18. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Origin and Diversification of the Angiosperm Flower (United States)

    Theissen, Guenter; Melzer, Rainer


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

  19. Fracture mechanics in new designed power module under thermo-mechanical loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durand Camille


    Full Text Available Thermo-mechanically induced failure is a major reliability issue in the microelectronic industry. On this account, a new type of Assembly Interconnected Technology used to connect MOSFETs in power modules has been developed. The reliability is increased by using a copper clip soldered on the top side of the chip, avoiding the use of aluminium wire bonds, often responsible for the failure of the device. Thus the new designed MOSFET package does not follow the same failure mechanisms as standard modules. Thermal and power cycling tests were performed on these new packages and resulting failures were analyzed. Thermo-mechanical simulations including cracks in the aluminium metallization and intermetallics (IMC were performed using Finite Element Analysis in order to better understand crack propagation and module behaviour.

  20. Understanding growth limitation in wheat and sunflower under low phosphorus conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez, D.


    The study described in this thesis focuses on the understanding of growth of leaf area and biomass in wheat and sunflower under low phosphorus conditions.

    Chapters 2 and 3 address the question whether P-deficiency limits leaf area expansion directly by inhibiting the

  1. Transformational Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Test of Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Nohe, Christoph; Hertel, Guido


    Based on social exchange theory, we examined and contrasted attitudinal mediators (affective organizational commitment, job satisfaction) and relational mediators (trust in leader, leader-member exchange; LMX) of the positive relationship between transformational leadership and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Hypotheses were tested using meta-analytic path models with correlations from published meta-analyses (761 samples with 227,419 individuals overall). When testing single-mediator models, results supported our expectations that each of the mediators explained the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB. When testing a multi-mediator model, LMX was the strongest mediator. When testing a model with a latent attitudinal mechanism and a latent relational mechanism, the relational mechanism was the stronger mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB. Our findings help to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB.

  2. Mechanisms of microstructural changes of fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  3. The mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension: a review (United States)

    Klein, Alice Victoria; Kiat, Hosen


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

  4. Degradation Mechanisms of Transparent Polyurethane Interlayer under UV Irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OU Yingchun


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

  5. Nonlinear mechanical response of supercooled melts under applied forces (United States)

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


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

  6. Simulated airplane headache: a proxy towards identification of underlying mechanisms. (United States)

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


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eChervyakov


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

  8. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds. (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Quoc Vuong Tran


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

  10. Thermal stability of nafion membranes under mechanical stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth De Diego Balaguer

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

  12. Mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of graphene under a central load. (United States)

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


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

  13. Understanding the mechanisms of secondary nucleation for protein aggregation: an analytical approach (United States)

    Michaels, Thomas; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.


    Filamentous protein self-assembly is a general type of behaviour accessible to a wide range of different polypeptide sequences. This phenomenon underlies key molecular events both in normal and aberrant biology, but a general theory of the crucial nucleation steps that govern this process has remained elusive. In this talk we discuss our attempts to provide a general description of secondary nucleation in filamentous protein assembly based on the Becker-Döring kinetic scheme to describe cluster-catalytic effects. This systematic procedure allows extracting low-dimensional systems of equations out of the full kinetic model, in a master equation formalism typically consisting of infinitely many coupled non-linear equations. Using this procedure, we propose and discuss various mechanisms that can underlie the secondary nucleation process. Using data curve-fitting and analysis we show that the addition of a monomer to heterogeneous nuclei is effectively irreversible and discuss the implications of our framework for the more general understanding of the physics of multi-step nucleation phenomena in nature.

  14. New Drugs for Anemia Treatment Based on a New Understanding of the Mechanisms of Stress Erythropoiesis (United States)


    Award Number: W81XWH-12-1-0449 TITLE: New Drugs for Anemia Treatment Based on a New Understanding of the Mechanisms of Stress Erythropoiesis...COVERED 1Sep2012 - 31Aug2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER New Drugs for Anemia Treatment Based on a New Understanding of the...cell formation in "Nan" (neonatal anemia ) mice, raising the level of red cells to almost normal. It also causes an increase in the numbers of splenic

  15. Understanding the molecular mechanism of pulse current charging for stable lithium-metal batteries. (United States)

    Li, Qi; Tan, Shen; Li, Linlin; Lu, Yingying; He, Yi


    High energy and safe electrochemical storage are critical components in multiple emerging fields of technologies. Rechargeable lithium-metal batteries are considered to be promising alternatives for current lithium-ion batteries, leading to as much as a 10-fold improvement in anode storage capacity (from 372 to 3860 mAh g -1 ). One of the major challenges for commercializing lithium-metal batteries is the reliability and safety issue, which is often associated with uneven lithium electrodeposition (lithium dendrites) during the charging stage of the battery cycling process. We report that stable lithium-metal batteries can be achieved by simply charging cells with square-wave pulse current. We investigated the effects of charging period and frequency as well as the mechanisms that govern this process at the molecular level. Molecular simulations were performed to study the diffusion and the solvation structure of lithium cations (Li + ) in bulk electrolyte. The model predicts that loose association between cations and anions can enhance the transport of Li + and eventually stabilize the lithium electrodeposition. We also performed galvanostatic measurements to evaluate the cycling behavior and cell lifetime under pulsed electric field and found that the cell lifetime can be more than doubled using certain pulse current waveforms. Both experimental and simulation results demonstrate that the effectiveness of pulse current charging on dendrite suppression can be optimized by choosing proper time- and frequency-dependent pulses. This work provides a molecular basis for understanding the mechanisms of pulse current charging to mitigating lithium dendrites and designing pulse current waveforms for stable lithium-metal batteries.

  16. Microcracking in composite laminates under thermal and mechanical loading. Thesis (United States)

    Maddocks, Jason R.


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

  17. Mechanical characterization of stomach tissue under uniaxial tensile action. (United States)

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


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

  18. Mechanical Modeling of a WIPP Drum Under Pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  19. The neural sociometer: brain mechanisms underlying state self-esteem. (United States)

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


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

  20. Raynaud's Phenomenon: A Brief Review of the Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manal Fardoun


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

  2. Assessing mechanical vulnerability in water distribution networks under multiple failures (United States)

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


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

  3. Sixth-Grade Students' Progress in Understanding the Mechanisms of Global Climate Change (United States)

    Visintainer, Tammie; Linn, Marcia


    Developing solutions for complex issues such as global climate change requires an understanding of the mechanisms involved. This study reports on the impact of a technology-enhanced unit designed to improve understanding of global climate change, its mechanisms, and their relationship to everyday energy use. Global Climate Change, implemented in the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE), engages sixth-grade students in conducting virtual investigations using NetLogo models to foster an understanding of core mechanisms including the greenhouse effect. Students then test how the greenhouse effect is enhanced by everyday energy use. This study draws on three data sources: (1) pre- and post-unit interviews, (2) analysis of embedded assessments following virtual investigations, and (3) contrasting cases of two students (normative vs. non-normative understanding of the greenhouse effect). Results show the value of using virtual investigations for teaching the mechanisms associated with global climate change. Interviews document that students hold a wide range of ideas about the mechanisms driving global climate change. Investigations with models help students use evidence-based reasoning to distinguish their ideas. Results show that understanding the greenhouse effect offers a foundation for building connections between everyday energy use and increases in global temperature. An impediment to establishing coherent understanding was the persistence of an alternative conception about ozone as an explanation for climate change. These findings illustrate the need for regular revision of curriculum based on classroom trials. We discuss key design features of models and instructional revisions that can transform the teaching and learning of global climate change.

  4. Intercomparison of chemical mechanisms for air quality policy formulation and assessment under North American conditions. (United States)

    Derwent, Richard


    The intercomparison of seven chemical mechanisms for their suitability for air quality policy formulation and assessment is described. Box modeling techniques were employed using 44 sets of background environmental conditions covering North America to constrain the chemical development of the longer lived species. The selected mechanisms were modified to enable an unbiased assessment of the adequacy of the parameterizations of photochemical ozone production from volatile organic compound (VOC) oxidation in the presence of NO x . Photochemical ozone production rates responded differently to 30% NO x and VOC reductions with the different mechanisms, despite the striking similarities between the base-case ozone production rates. The 30% reductions in NO x and VOCs also produced changes in OH. The responses in OH to 30% reductions in NO x and VOCs appeared to be more sensitive to mechanism choice, compared with the responses in the photochemical ozone production rates. Although 30% NO x reductions generally led to decreases in OH, 30% reductions in VOCs led to increases in OH, irrespective of mechanism choice and background environmental conditions. The different mechanisms therefore gave different OH responses to NO x and VOC reductions and so would give different responses in terms of changes in the fate and behavior of air toxics, acidification and eutrophication, and fine particle formation compared with others, in response to ozone control strategies. Policymakers need to understand that there are likely to be inherent differences in the responses to ozone control strategies between different mechanisms, depending on background environmental conditions and the extents of NO x and VOC reductions under consideration. The purpose of this paper is to compare predicted ozone responses to NO x and VOC reductions with seven chemical mechanisms under North American conditions. The good agreement found between the tested mechanisms should provide some support for their

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minh-Ha Lieu

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

  6. The behavior of the planetary rings under the Kozai Mechanism (United States)

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


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

  7. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Hyperphagia in Prader-Willi Syndrome (United States)

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


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

  8. Neural mechanisms underlying hyperphagia in Prader-Willi syndrome. (United States)

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


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

  9. Structural and Mechanical Properties of Intermediate Filaments under Extreme Conditions and Disease (United States)

    Qin, Zhao

    Intermediate filaments are one of the three major components of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. It was discovered during the recent decades that intermediate filament proteins play key roles to reinforce cells subjected to large-deformation as well as participate in signal transduction. However, it is still poorly understood how the nanoscopic structure, as well as the biochemical properties of these protein molecules contribute to their biomechanical functions. In this research we investigate the material function of intermediate filaments under various extreme mechanical conditions as well as disease states. We use a full atomistic model and study its response to mechanical stresses. Learning from the mechanical response obtained from atomistic simulations, we build mesoscopic models following the finer-trains-coarser principles. By using this multiple-scale model, we present a detailed analysis of the mechanical properties and associated deformation mechanisms of intermediate filament network. We reveal the mechanism of a transition from alpha-helices to beta-sheets with subsequent intermolecular sliding under mechanical force, which has been inferred previously from experimental results. This nanoscale mechanism results in a characteristic nonlinear force-extension curve, which leads to a delocalization of mechanical energy and prevents catastrophic fracture. This explains how intermediate filament can withstand extreme mechanical deformation of > 1 00% strain despite the presence of structural defects. We combine computational and experimental techniques to investigate the molecular mechanism of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a premature aging disease. We find that the mutated lamin tail .domain is more compact and stable than the normal one. This altered structure and stability may enhance the association of intermediate filaments with the nuclear membrane, providing a molecular mechanism of the disease. We study the nuclear membrane association

  10. Effects of Representation Sequences and Spatial Ability on Students' Scientific Understandings about the Mechanism of Breathing (United States)

    Wu, Hsin-Kai; Lin, Yu-Fen; Hsu, Ying-Shao


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of representation sequences and spatial ability on students' scientific understandings about the mechanism of breathing in human beings. 130 seventh graders were assigned to two groups with different sequential combinations of static and dynamic representations: SD group (i.e., viewing…

  11. Enhanced understanding of the relationship between chemical modification and mechanical properties of wood (United States)

    Charles R. Frihart; Daniel J. Yelle; John Ralph; Robert J. Moon; Donald S. Stone; Joseph E. Jakes


    Chemical additions to wood often change its bulk properties, which can be determined using conventional macroscopic mechanical tests. However, the controlling interactions between chemicals and wood take place at and below the scale of individual cells and cell walls. To better understand the effects of chemical additions to wood, we have adapted and extended two...

  12. Understanding creep in sandstone reservoirs - theoretical deformation mechanism maps for pressure solution in granular materials (United States)

    Hangx, Suzanne; Spiers, Christopher


    Subsurface exploitation of the Earth's natural resources removes the natural system from its chemical and physical equilibrium. As such, groundwater extraction and hydrocarbon production from subsurface reservoirs frequently causes surface subsidence and induces (micro)seismicity. These effects are not only a problem in onshore (e.g. Groningen, the Netherlands) and offshore hydrocarbon fields (e.g. Ekofisk, Norway), but also in urban areas with extensive groundwater pumping (e.g. Venice, Italy). It is known that fluid extraction inevitably leads to (poro)elastic compaction of reservoirs, hence subsidence and occasional fault reactivation, and causes significant technical, economic and ecological impact. However, such effects often exceed what is expected from purely elastic reservoir behaviour and may continue long after exploitation has ceased. This is most likely due to time-dependent compaction, or 'creep deformation', of such reservoirs, driven by the reduction in pore fluid pressure compared with the rock overburden. Given the societal and ecological impact of surface subsidence, as well as the current interest in developing geothermal energy and unconventional gas resources in densely populated areas, there is much need for obtaining better quantitative understanding of creep in sediments to improve the predictability of the impact of geo-energy and groundwater production. The key problem in developing a reliable, quantitative description of the creep behaviour of sediments, such as sands and sandstones, is that the operative deformation mechanisms are poorly known and poorly quantified. While grain-scale brittle fracturing plus intergranular sliding play an important role in the early stages of compaction, these time-independent, brittle-frictional processes give way to compaction creep on longer time-scales. Thermally-activated mass transfer processes, like pressure solution, can cause creep via dissolution of material at stressed grain contacts, grain

  13. FInal Report: First Principles Modeling of Mechanisms Underlying Scintillator Non-Proportionality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aberg, Daniel [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Sadigh, Babak [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Zhou, Fei [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)


    This final report presents work carried out on the project “First Principles Modeling of Mechanisms Underlying Scintillator Non-Proportionality” at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during 2013-2015. The scope of the work was to further the physical understanding of the microscopic mechanisms behind scintillator nonproportionality that effectively limits the achievable detector resolution. Thereby, crucial quantitative data for these processes as input to large-scale simulation codes has been provided. In particular, this project was divided into three tasks: (i) Quantum mechanical rates of non-radiative quenching, (ii) The thermodynamics of point defects and dopants, and (iii) Formation and migration of self-trapped polarons. The progress and results of each of these subtasks are detailed.

  14. Potential neural mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (United States)

    Sullivan, Katherine; Stone, Wendy L.; Dawson, Geraldine


    Although evidence supports the efficacy of early intervention for improving outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the mechanisms underlying their effectiveness remain poorly understood. This paper reviews the research literature on the neural bases of the early core deficits in ASD and proposes three key features of early intervention related to the neural mechanisms that may contribute to its effectiveness in improving deficit areas. These features include (1) the early onset of intensive intervention which capitalizes on the experience-expectant plasticity of the immature brain, (2) the use of treatment strategies that address core deficits in social motivation through an emphasis on positive social engagement and arousal modulation, and (3) promotion of complex neural networks and connectivity through thematic, multi-sensory and multi-domain teaching approaches. Understanding the mechanisms of effective early intervention will enable us to identify common or foundational active ingredients for promoting optimal outcomes in children with ASD. PMID:25108609

  15. Contraction and elongation: Mechanics underlying cell boundary deformations in epithelial tissue. (United States)

    Hara, Yusuke


    The cell-cell boundaries of epithelial cells form cellular frameworks at the apical side of tissues. Deformations in these boundaries, for example, boundary contraction and elongation, and the associated forces form the mechanical basis of epithelial tissue morphogenesis. In this review, using data from recent Drosophila studies on cell boundary contraction and elongation, I provide an overview of the mechanism underlying the bi-directional deformations in the epithelial cell boundary, that are sustained by biased accumulations of junctional and apico-medial non-muscle myosin II. Moreover, how the junctional tensions exist on cell boundaries in different boundary dynamics and morphologies are discussed. Finally, some future perspectives on how recent knowledge about single cell boundary-level mechanics will contribute to our understanding of epithelial tissue morphogenesis are discussed. © 2017 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  16. [Neurophysiologic mechanisms of arterial hypertension under experimental chronic emotional stress]. (United States)

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


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

  17. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han


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

  18. Fatigue life prediction of mechanical structures under stochastic loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leitner Bohuš


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke eJepma


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

  20. Spread of Epidemic on Complex Networks Under Voluntary Vaccination Mechanism (United States)

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

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

  1. Final Report: Improving the understanding of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic behavior of consolidating granular salt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stormont, John [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lampe, Brandon [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Mills, Melissa [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Paneru, Laxmi [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lynn, Timothy [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Piya, Aayush [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    The goal of this project is to improve the understanding of key aspects of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic response of granular (or crushed) salt used as a seal material for shafts, drifts, and boreholes in mined repositories in salt. The project is organized into three tasks to accomplish this goal: laboratory measurements of granular salt consolidation (Task 1), microstructural observations on consolidated samples (Task 2), and constitutive model development and evaluation (Task 3). Task 1 involves laboratory measurements of salt consolidation along with thermal properties and permeability measurements conducted under a range of temperatures and stresses expected for potential mined repositories in salt. Testing focused on the role of moisture, temperature and stress state on the hydrologic (permeability) and thermal properties of consolidating granular salt at high fractional densities. Task 2 consists of microstructural observations made on samples after they have been consolidated to interpret deformation mechanisms and evaluate the ability of the constitutive model to predict operative mechanisms under different conditions. Task 3 concerns the development of the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic constitutive model for granular salt consolidation. The measurements and observations in Tasks 1 and 2 were used to develop a thermal-mechanical constitutive model. Accomplishments and status from each of these efforts is reported in subsequent sections of this report

  2. Oxide nanoparticle EUV resists: toward understanding the mechanism of positive and negative tone patterning

    KAUST Repository

    Chakrabarty, Souvik


    DUV, EUV and e-beam patterning of hybrid nanoparticle photoresists have been reported previously by Ober and coworkers. The present work explores the underlying mechanism that is responsible for the dual tone patterning capability of these photoresist materials. Spectroscopic results correlated with mass loss and dissolution studies suggest a ligand exchange mechanism responsible for altering the solubility between the exposed and unexposed regions. © 2013 SPIE.

  3. Bridging the Gap: Towards a Cell-Type Specific Understanding of Neural Circuits Underlying Fear Behaviors (United States)

    McCullough, KM; Morrison, FG; Ressler, KJ


    Fear and anxiety-related disorders are remarkably common and debilitating, and are often characterized by dysregulated fear responses. Rodent models of fear learning and memory have taken great strides towards elucidating the specific neuronal circuitries underlying the learning of fear responses. The present review addresses recent research utilizing optogenetic approaches to parse circuitries underlying fear behaviors. It also highlights the powerful advances made when optogenetic techniques are utilized in a genetically defined, cell-type specific, manner. The application of next-generation genetic and sequencing approaches in a cell-type specific context will be essential for a mechanistic understanding of the neural circuitry underlying fear behavior and for the rational design of targeted, circuit specific, pharmacologic interventions for the treatment and prevention of fear-related disorders. PMID:27470092

  4. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive properties of Urtica dioica. (United States)

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


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

  5. Antioxidant Property of Jobelyn as the Possible Mechanism Underlying

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solomon Umukoro


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

  6. Experimental Evaluation of Mechanical Properties of Friction Welded Dissimilar Steels under Varying Axial Pressures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Handa Amit


    Full Text Available The present study emphasizes on joints two industrially important materials AISI 304 with AISI 1021steels, produced by friction welding have been investigated. Samples were welded under different axial pressures ranging from 75MPa to 135MPa, at constant speed of 920rpm. The tensile strength, torsional strength, impact strength and micro hardness values of the weldments were determined and evaluated. Simultaneously the fractrography of the tensile tested specimens were carried out, so as to understand the failure analysis. It was observed that improved mechanical properties were noticed at higher axial pressures. Ductile failures of weldments were also observed at 120MPa and 135MPa axial pressures during fractography analysis.

  7. Unit Mechanisms of Fission Gas Release: Current Understanding and Future Needs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonks, Michael; Andersson , David; Devanathan, Ram; Dubourg, Roland; El-Azab, Anter A.; Freyss, Michel; Iglesias, Fernando; Kulacsy, Katalin; Pastore, Giovanni; Phillpot, Simon R.; Welland, Michael


    Gaseous fission product transport and release has a large impact on fuel performance, degrading fuel properties and, once the gas is released into the gap between the fuel and cladding, lowering gap thermal conductivity and increasing gap pressure. While gaseous fission product behavior has been investigated with bulk reactor experiments and simplified analytical models, recent improvements in experimental and modeling approaches at the atomistic and mesoscales are being applied to provide unprecedented understanding of the unit mechanisms that define the fission product behavior. In this article, existing research on the basic mechanisms behind the various stages of fission gas release during normal reactor operation are summarized and critical areas where experimental and simulation work is needed are identified. This basic understanding of the fission gas behavior mechanisms has the potential to revolutionize our ability to predict fission product behavior during reactor operation and to design fuels that have improved fission product retention. In addition, this work can serve as a model on how a coupled experimental and modeling approach can be applied to understand the unit mechanisms behind other critical behaviors in reactor materials.

  8. Understanding Mott-Schottky Measurements under Illumination in Organic Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells (United States)

    Zonno, Irene; Martinez-Otero, Alberto; Hebig, Jan-Christoph; Kirchartz, Thomas


    The Mott-Schottky analysis in the dark is a frequently used method to determine the doping concentration of semiconductors from capacitance-voltage measurements, even for such complex systems as polymer:fullerene blends used for organic solar cells. While the analysis of capacitance-voltage measurements in the dark is relatively well established, the analysis of data taken under illumination is currently not fully understood. Here, we present experiments and simulations to show which physical mechanisms affect the Mott-Schottky analysis under illumination. We show that the mobility of the blend has a major influence on the shape of the capacitance-voltage curve and can be obtained from data taken under reverse bias. In addition, we show that the apparent shift of the built-in voltage observed previously can be explained by a shift of the onset of space-charge-limited collection with illumination intensity.

  9. Asymmetric flexural behavior from bamboo's functionally graded hierarchical structure: underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Habibi, Meisam K; Samaei, Arash T; Gheshlaghi, Behnam; Lu, Jian; Lu, Yang


    As one of the most renewable resources on Earth, bamboo has recently attracted increasing interest for its promising applications in sustainable structural purposes. Its superior mechanical properties arising from the unique functionally-graded (FG) hierarchical structure also make bamboo an excellent candidate for bio-mimicking purposes in advanced material design. However, despite its well-documented, impressive mechanical characteristics, the intriguing asymmetry in flexural behavior of bamboo, alongside its underlying mechanisms, has not yet been fully understood. Here, we used multi-scale mechanical characterizations assisted with advanced environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) to investigate the asymmetric flexural responses of natural bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) strips under different loading configurations, during "elastic bending" and "fracture failure" stages, with their respective deformation mechanisms at microstructural level. Results showed that the gradient distribution of the vascular bundles along the thickness direction is mainly responsible for the exhibited asymmetry, whereas the hierarchical fiber/parenchyma cellular structure plays a critical role in alternating the dominant factors for determining the distinctly different failure mechanisms. A numerical model has been likewise adopted to validate the effective flexural moduli of bamboo strips as a function of their FG parameters, while additional experiments on uniaxial loading of bamboo specimens were performed to assess the tension-compression asymmetry, for further understanding of the microstructure evolution of bamboo's outer and innermost layers under different bending states. This work could provide insights to help the processing of novel bamboo-based composites and enable the bio-inspired design of advanced structural materials with desired flexural behavior. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Alteration mechanisms of UOX spent fuel under water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muzeau, B.


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia eSakellaridi


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

  13. Understanding treatment effect mechanisms of the CAMBRA randomized trial in reducing caries increment. (United States)

    Cheng, J; Chaffee, B W; Cheng, N F; Gansky, S A; Featherstone, J D B


    The Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) randomized controlled trial showed that an intervention featuring combined antibacterial and fluoride therapy significantly reduced bacterial load and suggested reduced caries increment in adults with 1 to 7 baseline cavitated teeth. While trial results speak to the overall effectiveness of an intervention, insight can be gained from understanding the mechanism by which an intervention acts on putative intermediate variables (mediators) to affect outcomes. This study conducted mediation analyses on 109 participants who completed the trial to understand whether the intervention reduced caries increment through its action on potential mediators (oral bacterial load, fluoride levels, and overall caries risk based on the composite of bacterial challenge and salivary fluoride) between the intervention and dental outcomes. The primary outcome was the increment from baseline in decayed, missing, and filled permanent surfaces (ΔDMFS) 24 mo after completing restorations for baseline cavitated lesions. Analyses adjusted for baseline overall risk, bacterial challenge, and fluoride values under a potential outcome framework using generalized linear models. Overall, the CAMBRA intervention was suggestive in reducing the 24-mo DMFS increment (reduction in ΔDMFS: -0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.01 to 0.08; P = 0.07); the intervention significantly reduced the 12-mo overall risk (reduction in overall risk: -19%; 95% CI, -7 to -41%;], P = 0.005). Individual mediators, salivary log10 mutans streptococci, log10 lactobacilli, and fluoride level, did not represent statistically significant pathways alone through which the intervention effect was transmitted. However, 36% of the intervention effect on 24-mo DMFS increment was through a mediation effect on 12-mo overall risk (P = 0.03). These findings suggest a greater intervention effect carried through the combined action on multiple aspects of the caries process rather than

  14. How LeuT shapes our understanding of the mechanisms of sodium-coupled neurotransmitter transporters. (United States)

    Penmatsa, Aravind; Gouaux, Eric


    Neurotransmitter transporters are ion-coupled symporters that drive the uptake of neurotransmitters from neural synapses. In the past decade, the structure of a bacterial amino acid transporter, leucine transporter (LeuT), has given valuable insights into the understanding of architecture and mechanism of mammalian neurotransmitter transporters. Different conformations of LeuT, including a substrate-free state, inward-open state, and competitive and non-competitive inhibitor-bound states, have revealed a mechanistic framework for the transport and transport inhibition of neurotransmitters. The current review integrates our understanding of the mechanistic and pharmacological properties of eukaryotic neurotransmitter transporters obtained through structural snapshots of LeuT.

  15. Understanding the growth mechanism of carbon nanotubes via the ``cluster volume to surface area" model (United States)

    Mandati, Sreekanth; Kunstmann, Jens; Boerrnert, Felix; Schoenfelder, Ronny; Ruemmeli, Mark; Kar, Kamal K.; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio


    The influence of mixed catalysts for the high yield production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been studied systematically. Based on extensive experimental data a ``Catalyst Volume to Surface Area'' (CVSA) model was developed to understand the influence of the process parameters on the yield and CNT diameter distribution [1]. In our study, we present a refined version of the CVSA model developed by combining experiments and simulations. We discuss our current understanding of the growth mechanism and how the model might be used to increase CNT yields by using mixed catalysts.[4pt] [1] S. Tetali et al., ACS Nano (2009), DOI: 10.1021/nn9012548.

  16. Proteomic approaches to understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in host-defense mechanisms (United States)

    Radulovic, Marko; Godovac-Zimmermann, Jasminka


    The cytoskeleton is a cellular scaffolding system whose functions include maintenance of cellular shape, enabling cellular migration, division, intracellular transport, signaling and membrane organization. In addition, in immune cells, the cytoskeleton is essential for phagocytosis. Following the advances in proteomics technology over the past two decades, cytoskeleton proteome analysis in resting and activated immune cells has emerged as a possible powerful approach to expand our understanding of cytoskeletal composition and function. However, so far there have only been a handful of studies of the cytoskeleton proteome in immune cells. This article considers promising proteomics strategies that could augment our understanding of the role of the cytoskeleton in host-defense mechanisms. PMID:21329431

  17. Understanding the Mechanisms of Radiation Belt Dropouts Observed by Van Allen Probes (United States)

    Xiang, Zheng; Tu, Weichao; Li, Xinlin; Ni, Binbin; Morley, S. K.; Baker, D. N.


    To achieve a better understanding of the dominant loss mechanisms for the rapid dropouts of radiation belt electrons, three distinct radiation belt dropout events observed by Van Allen Probes are comprehensively investigated. For each event, observations of the pitch angle distribution of electron fluxes and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are analyzed to determine the effects of atmospheric precipitation loss due to pitch angle scattering induced by EMIC waves. Last closed drift shells (LCDS) and magnetopause standoff position are obtained to evaluate the effects of magnetopause shadowing loss. Evolution of electron phase space density (PSD) versus L* profiles and the μ and K (first and second adiabatic invariants) dependence of the electron PSD drops are calculated to further analyze the dominant loss mechanisms at different L*. Our findings suggest that these radiation belt dropouts can be classified into distinct classes in terms of dominant loss mechanisms: magnetopause shadowing dominant, EMIC wave scattering dominant, and combination of both mechanisms. Different from previous understanding, our results show that magnetopause shadowing can deplete electrons at L* 4. Compared to the magnetopause standoff position, it is more reliable to use LCDS to evaluate the impact of magnetopause shadowing. The evolution of electron PSD versus L* profile and the μ, K dependence of electron PSD drops can provide critical and credible clues regarding the mechanisms responsible for electron losses at different L* over the outer radiation belt.

  18. Unified understanding of folding and binding mechanisms of globular and intrinsically disordered proteins. (United States)

    Arai, Munehito


    Extensive experimental and theoretical studies have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms of folding and binding of globular proteins, and coupled folding and binding of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). The forces responsible for conformational changes and binding are common in both proteins; however, these mechanisms have been separately discussed. Here, we attempt to integrate the mechanisms of coupled folding and binding of IDPs, folding of small and multi-subdomain proteins, folding of multimeric proteins, and ligand binding of globular proteins in terms of conformational selection and induced-fit mechanisms as well as the nucleation-condensation mechanism that is intermediate between them. Accumulating evidence has shown that both the rate of conformational change and apparent rate of binding between interacting elements can determine reaction mechanisms. Coupled folding and binding of IDPs occurs mainly by induced-fit because of the slow folding in the free form, while ligand binding of globular proteins occurs mainly by conformational selection because of rapid conformational change. Protein folding can be regarded as the binding of intramolecular segments accompanied by secondary structure formation. Multi-subdomain proteins fold mainly by the induced-fit (hydrophobic collapse) mechanism, as the connection of interacting segments enhances the binding (compaction) rate. Fewer hydrophobic residues in small proteins reduce the intramolecular binding rate, resulting in the nucleation-condensation mechanism. Thus, the folding and binding of globular proteins and IDPs obey the same general principle, suggesting that the coarse-grained, statistical mechanical model of protein folding is promising for a unified theoretical description of all mechanisms.

  19. Material properties of biofilms – key methods for understanding permeability and mechanics (United States)

    Billings, Nicole; Birjiniuk, Alona; Samad, Tahoura S.; Doyle, Patrick S.; Ribbeck, Katharina


    Microorganisms can form biofilms, which are multicellular communities surrounded by a hydrated extracellular matrix of polymers. Central properties of the biofilm are governed by this extracellular matrix, which provides mechanical stability to the three-dimensional biofilm structure, regulates the ability of the biofilm to adhere to surfaces, and determines the ability of the biofilm to adsorb gasses, solutes, and foreign cells. Despite their critical relevance for understanding and eliminating of biofilms, the materials properties of the extracellular matrix are understudied. Here, we offer the reader a guide to current technologies that can be utilized to specifically assess the permeability and mechanical properties of the biofilm matrix and its interacting components. In particular, we highlight technological advances in instrumentation and interactions between multiple disciplines that have broadened the spectrum of methods available to conduct these studies. We review pioneering work that furthers our understanding of the material properties of biofilms. PMID:25719969

  20. Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis (United States)

    Hemberger, Patrick; Custodis, Victoria B. F.; Bodi, Andras; Gerber, Thomas; van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.


    Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising way to convert lignin into fine chemicals and fuels, but current approaches lack selectivity and yield unsatisfactory conversion. Understanding the pyrolysis reaction mechanism at the molecular level may help to make this sustainable process more economic. Reactive intermediates are responsible for product branching and hold the key to unveiling these mechanisms, but are notoriously difficult to detect isomer-selectively. Here, we investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of guaiacol, a lignin model compound, using photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, which allows for isomer-selective detection of reactive intermediates. In combination with ambient pressure pyrolysis, we identify fulvenone as the central reactive intermediate, generated by catalytic demethylation to catechol and subsequent dehydration. The fulvenone ketene is responsible for the phenol formation. This technique may open unique opportunities for isomer-resolved probing in catalysis, and holds the potential for achieving a mechanistic understanding of complex, real-life catalytic processes.

  1. Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis (United States)

    Hemberger, Patrick; Custodis, Victoria B. F.; Bodi, Andras; Gerber, Thomas; van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.


    Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising way to convert lignin into fine chemicals and fuels, but current approaches lack selectivity and yield unsatisfactory conversion. Understanding the pyrolysis reaction mechanism at the molecular level may help to make this sustainable process more economic. Reactive intermediates are responsible for product branching and hold the key to unveiling these mechanisms, but are notoriously difficult to detect isomer-selectively. Here, we investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of guaiacol, a lignin model compound, using photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, which allows for isomer-selective detection of reactive intermediates. In combination with ambient pressure pyrolysis, we identify fulvenone as the central reactive intermediate, generated by catalytic demethylation to catechol and subsequent dehydration. The fulvenone ketene is responsible for the phenol formation. This technique may open unique opportunities for isomer-resolved probing in catalysis, and holds the potential for achieving a mechanistic understanding of complex, real-life catalytic processes. PMID:28660882

  2. Improving student understanding of addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangtian Zhu


    Full Text Available We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with concepts related to addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics. We also describe the development and implementation of a research-based learning tool, Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT, to reduce these difficulties. The preliminary evaluation shows that the QuILT related to the basics of the addition of angular momentum is helpful in improving students’ understanding of these concepts.

  3. Understanding treatment effect mechanisms of the CAMBRA randomized trial in reducing caries increment


    Cheng, J; Chaffee, BW; Cheng, NF; Gansky, SA; Featherstone, JDB


    © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2014. The Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) randomized controlled trial showed that an intervention featuring combined antibacterial and fluoride therapy significantly reduced bacterial load and suggested reduced caries increment in adults with 1 to 7 baseline cavitated teeth. While trial results speak to the overall effectiveness of an intervention, insight can be gained from understanding the mechanism by which an int...

  4. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy. (United States)

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.


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

  5. Potential Mechanisms Underlying Centralized Pain and Emerging Therapeutic Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia C. Eller-Smith


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

  6. [Study on main pharmacodynamics and underlying mechanisms of 999 Ganmaoling]. (United States)

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


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

  7. Understanding and Exploration of the Biomineralization Mechanisms for the Controllable Synthesis of Nanomaterials (United States)

    Xiao, Junwu

    This thesis is mainly concerned with understanding the biomineralization mechanisms, and further extrapolating them for the controllable synthesis of transition metal compound nanomaterials on graphene sheets for energy storage applications in electrochemical capacitors and lithium ion batteries (LIB). Firstly, we have studied the mimetic biomineralization process of CaCO 3 on a stearic acid or 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) Langmuir monolayer at the air-water interface by in-situ Brewster angle microscopy (BAM) and ex-situ electron microscopy. Amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursors are directly nucleated from solvated ions prior to the crystal nuclei on a Langmuir monolayer. On a DPPC monolayer, numerous fresh ACC nanoparticles heterogeneously and continuously nucleated at the air-water interface are transformed into the metastable vaterite nanocrystals. Driven by the trend to decrease surface energy, the vaterite nanocrystals self-aggregate and grow into the loose-packed hollow ellipsoidal vaterite polycrystals. These nanocrystals in vaterite polycrystals are then gradually orientated in the same direction to evolve into tight-packed ellipsoidal mesocrystals. As the crystallization time is further increased, the metastable vaterite mesocrystals are eventually transformed into the most thermodynamically stable calcite crystals. Secondly, organic and inorganic additives control over the shapes, sizes and phases of inorganic nanocrystals and arrange them into ordered structures from amorphous precursors in the organisms. This interesting phenomenon has galvanized many attempts to mimic the biomineralization process for synthesizing novel materials. We have studied the crystallization processes from small citrate molecules stabilized ACC precursors under cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) micellar structures. Amorphous precursors, with a hydrated and disordered structure, are easily transformed and molded into CaCO 3 crystals with

  8. The chemical and mechanical behaviors of polymer / reactive metal systems under high strain rates (United States)

    Shen, Yubin

    As one category of energetic materials, impact-initiated reactive materials are able to release a high amount of stored chemical energy under high strain rate impact loading, and are used extensively in civil and military applications. In general, polymers are introduced as binder materials to trap the reactive metal powders inside, and also act as an oxidizing agent for the metal ingredient. Since critical attention has been paid on the metal / metal reaction, only a few types of polymer / reactive metal interactions have been studied in the literature. With the higher requirement of materials resistant to different thermal and mechanical environments, the understanding and characterization of polymer / reactive metal interactions are in great demand. In this study, PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) 7A / Ti (Titanium) composites were studied under high strain rates by utilizing the Taylor impact and SHPB tests. Taylor impact tests with different impact velocities, sample dimensions and sample configurations were conducted on the composite, equipped with a high-speed camera for tracking transient images during the sudden process. SHPB and Instron tests were carried out to obtain the stress vs. strain curves of the composite under a wide range of strain rates, the result of which were also utilized for fitting the constitutive relations of the composite based on the modified Johnson-Cook strength model. Thermal analyses by DTA tests under different flow rates accompanied with XRD identification were conducted to study the reaction mechanism between PTFE 7A and Ti when only heat was provided. Numerical simulations on Taylor impact tests and microstructural deformations were also performed to validate the constitutive model built for the composite system, and to investigate the possible reaction mechanism between two components. The results obtained from the high strain rate tests, thermal analyses and numerical simulations were combined to provide a systematic study on

  9. Signaling Mechanisms Underlying Resistance Responses: What Have We Learned, and How Is It Being Applied? (United States)

    Kachroo, Aardra; Vincelli, Paul; Kachroo, Pradeep


    Plants have evolved highly specific mechanisms to resist pathogens including preformed barriers and the induction of elaborate signaling pathways. Induced signaling requires recognition of the pathogen either via conserved pathogen-derived factors or specific pathogen-encoded proteins called effectors. Recognition of these factors by host encoded receptor proteins can result in the elicitation of different tiers of resistance at the site of pathogen infection. In addition, plants induce a type of systemic immunity which is effective at the whole plant level and protects against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Advances in our understanding of pathogen-recognition mechanisms, identification of the underlying molecular components, and their significant conservation across diverse plant species has enabled the development of novel strategies to combat plant diseases. This review discusses key advances in plant defense signaling that have been adapted or have the potential to be adapted for plant protection against microbial diseases.

  10. Fatigue degradation and failure of rotating composite structures - Materials characterisation and underlying mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gamstedt, Kristofer; Andersen, Svend Ib Smidt


    The present review concerns rotating composite structures, in which fatigue degradation is of key concern for in-service failure. Such applications are for instance rotor blades in wind turbines, helicopter rotor blades, flywheels for energy storage,marine and aeronautical propellers, and rolls...... for paper machines. The purpose is to identify areas where impending efforts should be made to make better use of composite materials in these applications. In order to obtain better design methodologies,which would allow more reliable and slender structures, improved test methods are necessary. Furthermore......, the relation between structural, component and specimen test results should be better understood than what is presently the case. Improvedpredictive methods rely on a better understanding of the underlying damage mechanisms. With mechanism-based models, the component substructure or even the material...

  11. Forests under climate change and air pollution: Gaps in understanding and future directions for research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matyssek, R.; Wieser, G.; Calfapietra, C.; Vries, W. de; Dizengremel, P.; Ernst, D.; Jolivet, Y.; Mikkelsen, T.N.; Mohren, G.M.J.; Le Thiec, D.; Tuovinen, J.-P.


    Forests in Europe face significant changes in climate, which in interaction with air quality changes, may significantly affect forest productivity, stand composition and carbon sequestration in both vegetation and soils. Identified knowledge gaps and research needs include: (i) interaction between changes in air quality (trace gas concentrations), climate and other site factors on forest ecosystem response, (ii) significance of biotic processes in system response, (iii) tools for mechanistic and diagnostic understanding and upscaling, and (iv) the need for unifying modelling and empirical research for synthesis. This position paper highlights the above focuses, including the global dimension of air pollution as part of climate change and the need for knowledge transfer to enable reliable risk assessment. A new type of research site in forest ecosystems (“supersites”) will be conducive to addressing these gaps by enabling integration of experimentation and modelling within the soil-plant-atmosphere interface, as well as further model development. - Highlights: ► Research needs are identified for forests under climate change and air pollution. ► Abiotic–biotic interactions in response impede tree-ecosystem upscaling. ► Integration of empirical and modelling research is advocated. ► The concept of multi-scale investigations at novel “Supersites” is propagated. ► “Supersites” warrant mechanistic understanding of soil-plant-atmosphere interface. - Forests under climate change and air pollution require empirical and modelling research needs to be integrated at novel “Supersites” through multi-scale investigations.

  12. Experimental Investigation of Mechanical Properties of PVC Polymer under Different Heating and Cooling Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarkawt Rostam


    Full Text Available Due to a widely increasing usage of polymers in various industrial applications, there should be a continuous need in doing research investigations for better understanding of their properties. These applications require the usage of the polymer in different working environments subjecting the material to various temperature ranges. In this paper, an experimental investigation of mechanical properties of polyvinyl chloride (PVC polymer under heating and cooling conditions is presented. For this purpose standard samples are prepared and tested in laboratory using universal material testing apparatus. The samples are tested under different conditions including the room temperature environment, cooling in a refrigerator, and heating at different heating temperatures. It is observed that the strength of the tested samples decreases with the increasing of heating temperature and accordingly the material becomes softer. Meanwhile the cooling environments give a clear increasing to the strength of the material.

  13. Mechanical Characterization of Anion Exchange Membranes Under Controlled Environmental Conditions (United States)


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А.М. Хімко


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

  15. Synthetic oligorotaxanes exert high forces when folding under mechanical load (United States)

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


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

  16. Integrating Classical with Emerging Concepts for Better Understanding of Salinity Stress Tolerance Mechanisms in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navdeep Kaur


    Full Text Available Rice is an important cereal crop responsible for world's food security. The sensitivity of rice plants toward a range of abiotic stresses is a prime challenge for its overall growth and productivity. Among these, salinity is a major stress which results in a significant loss of global rice yield annually. For finding straightforward and strict future solutions in order to assure the food security to growing world population, understanding of the various mechanisms responsible for salt stress tolerance in rice is of paramount importance. In classical studies, identification of salt tolerant cultivars and the genetic markers linked to salt tolerance and breeding approaches have been given emphasis. It further affirmed on the identification of various pathways regulating the complex process of salt stress adaptation. However, only limited success has been achieved in these approaches as salt tolerance is a complex process and is governed by multiple factors. Hence, for better understanding of salt tolerance mechanisms, a comprehensive approach involving physiological, biochemical and molecular studies is much warranted. Modern experimental and genetic resources have provided a momentum in this direction and have provided molecular insights into different salt stress responsive pathways at the signaling and regulatory level. The integrative knowledge of classical and modern research of the understanding of salt stress adaptive pathways can help the researchers for designing effective strategies to fight against salt stress. Hence, the present review is focused on the understanding of the salt stress tolerance mechanisms in rice through the consolidative knowledge of classical and modern concepts. It further highlights the emerging new trends of salt stress adaptive pathways in rice.

  17. Future Challenges in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Understanding Catalysts under Dynamic Reaction Conditions. (United States)

    Kalz, Kai F; Kraehnert, Ralph; Dvoyashkin, Muslim; Dittmeyer, Roland; Gläser, Roger; Krewer, Ulrike; Reuter, Karsten; Grunwaldt, Jan-Dierk


    In the future, (electro-)chemical catalysts will have to be more tolerant towards a varying supply of energy and raw materials. This is mainly due to the fluctuating nature of renewable energies. For example, power-to-chemical processes require a shift from steady-state operation towards operation under dynamic reaction conditions. This brings along a number of demands for the design of both catalysts and reactors, because it is well-known that the structure of catalysts is very dynamic. However, in-depth studies of catalysts and catalytic reactors under such transient conditions have only started recently. This requires studies and advances in the fields of 1) operando spectroscopy including time-resolved methods, 2) theory with predictive quality, 3) kinetic modelling, 4) design of catalysts by appropriate preparation concepts, and 5) novel/modular reactor designs. An intensive exchange between these scientific disciplines will enable a substantial gain of fundamental knowledge which is urgently required. This concept article highlights recent developments, challenges, and future directions for understanding catalysts under dynamic reaction conditions.

  18. Understanding cellular responses to toxic agents: a model for mechanism-choice in bacterial metal resistance. (United States)

    Rouch, D A; Lee, B T; Morby, A P


    Bacterial resistances to metals are heterogeneous in both their genetic and biochemical bases. Metal resistance may be chromosomally-, plasmid- or transposon-encoded, and one or more genes may be involved: at the biochemical level at least six different mechanisms are responsible for resistance. Various types of resistance mechanisms can occur singly or in combination and for a particular metal different mechanisms of resistance can occur in the same species. To understand better the diverse responses of bacteria to metal ion challenge we have constructed a qualitative model for the selection of metal resistance in bacteria. How a bacterium becomes resistant to a particular metal depends on the number and location of cellular components sensitive to the specific metal ion. Other important selective factors include the nature of the uptake systems for the metal, the role and interactions of the metal in the normal metabolism of the cell and the availability of plasmid (or transposon) encoded resistance mechanisms. The selection model presented is based on the interaction of these factors and allows predictions to be made about the evolution of metal resistance in bacterial populations. It also allows prediction of the genetic basis and of mechanisms of resistance which are in substantial agreement with those in well-documented populations. The interaction of, and selection for resistance to, toxic substances in addition to metals, such as antibiotics and toxic analogues, involve similar principles to those concerning metals. Potentially, models for selection of resistance to any substance can be derived using this approach.

  19. Mechanisms of Mining Seismicity under Large Scale Exploitation with Multikey Strata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu He


    Full Text Available The dynamic disasters are aggravating with the increase of exploitation scale and intensity in Chinese coal mines, to further understand this problem, we studied the mechanisms of mining tremors induced by key strata movement and instability under large scale exploitation. First the mechanisms were categorized into two groups that is main key strata fracture and movement as well as subkey strata instability again under adjacent mining activities. Based on the key strata theory in ground control we revealed three basic mechanisms of key strata destabilization that are rotary and sliding of low subkey strata, shear sliding of the high subkey strata, and the main key strata rupture and cave at limit span, respectively. The microseismic observing systems were applied to monitor the mining tremor events and verify the theoretical analysis in different coal mines. The characteristics of time-space evolution of tremors show that low inferior key strata causing the most, followed by the high inferior key strata and the main key strata least, however the released energy was just opposite.

  20. Music and literature: are there shared empathy and predictive mechanisms underlying their affective impact?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana eOmigie


    Full Text Available It has been suggested that music and language had a shared evolutionary precursor before becoming mainly responsible for the communication of emotive and referential meaning respectively. However, emphasis on potential differences between music and language may discourage a consideration of the commonalities that music and literature share. Indeed, one possibility is that common mechanisms underlie their affective impact, and the current paper carefully reviews relevant neuroscientific findings to examine such a prospect. First and foremost, it will be demonstrated that considerable evidence of a common role of empathy and predictive processes now exists for the two domains. However, it will also be noted that an important open question remains: namely, whether the mechanisms underlying the subjective experience of uncertainty differ between the two with respect to recruitment of phylogenetically ancient emotion areas. It will be concluded that a comparative approach may not only help to reveal general mechanisms underlying our responses to music and literature, but may also help us better understand any idiosyncrasies in their capacity for affective impact.

  1. Mechanism Underlying the Spatial Pattern Formation of Dominant Tree Species in a Natural Secondary Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guodong Jia

    Full Text Available Studying the spatial pattern of plant species may provide significant insights into processes and mechanisms that maintain stand stability. To better understand the dynamics of naturally regenerated secondary forests, univariate and bivariate Ripley's L(r functions were employed to evaluate intra-/interspecific relationships of four dominant tree species (Populus davidiana, Betula platyphylla, Larix gmelinii and Acer mono and to distinguish the underlying mechanism of spatial distribution. The results showed that the distribution of soil, water and nutrients was not fragmented but presented clear gradients. An overall aggregated distribution existed at most distances. No correlation was found between the spatial pattern of soil conditions and that of trees. Both positive and negative intra- and interspecific relationships were found between different DBH classes at various distances. Large trees did not show systematic inhibition of the saplings. By contrast, the inhibition intensified as the height differences increased between the compared pairs. Except for Larix, universal inhibition of saplings by upper layer trees occurred among other species, and this reflected the vertical competition for light. Therefore, we believe that competition for light rather than soil nutrients underlies the mechanism driving the formation of stand spatial pattern in the rocky mountainous areas examined.

  2. Mechanism and kinetics of mineral weathering under acid conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anbeek, C.


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

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

  3. Performance of multifilamentary Nb3Sn under mechanical load

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  4. Decentralized control mechanism underlying interlimb coordination of millipedes. (United States)

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


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

  5. The effects of bariatric surgery – will understanding its mechanism render the knife unnecessary?


    Browning, Kirsteen N; Hajnal, Andras


    The incidence of obesity is increasing worldwide at a dramatic rate, accompanied by an associated increase in comorbid conditions. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity with, until recently, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) being the most commonly performed procedures, yet the underlying mechanisms by which it induces a wide-array of beneficial effects remains obscure. From both basic science as well as clinical standpoints, there are several areas of current int...

  6. A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  10. The everyday lives of video game developers: Experimentally understanding underlying systems/structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey O'Donnell


    Full Text Available This essay examines how tensions between work and play for video game developers shape the worlds they create. The worlds of game developers, whose daily activity is linked to larger systems of experimentation and technoscientific practice, provide insights that transcend video game development work. The essay draws on ethnographic material from over 3 years of fieldwork with video game developers in the United States and India. It develops the notion of creative collaborative practice based on work in the fields of science and technology studies, game studies, and media studies. The importance of, the desire for, or the drive to understand underlying systems and structures has become fundamental to creative collaborative practice. I argue that the daily activity of game development embodies skills fundamental to creative collaborative practice and that these capabilities represent fundamental aspects of critical thought. Simultaneously, numerous interests have begun to intervene in ways that endanger these foundations of creative collaborative practice.

  11. Underlying mechanisms of transient luminous events: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Surkov


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

  12. It's Rather like Learning a Language: Development of talk and conceptual understanding in mechanics lessons (United States)

    Rincke, Karsten


    Although a broad literature exists concerning the development of conceptual understanding of force and other topics within mechanics, little is known about the role and development of students' talk about the subject. The paper presents an in-depth investigation of students' talk whilst being introduced to the concept of force. The main research goal was to investigate and understand how students develop an understanding of the concept of force and how they use and understand the term 'force'. Therefore, we make relation to the research field of students' preconceptions and the field of second language learning. Two classes of students (N = 47) were videotaped during a time period of nine lessons, each transcribed and analysed using a category system. Additional data were obtained via written tasks, logs kept by the students, and tests. The detailed analysis of the talk and the results of the tests indicate that students face difficulties in using the term 'force' scientifically similar to those in a foreign language instruction. Vygotsky already recognised a relationship between learning in science and learning a language. In this paper, important aspects of this relationship are discussed based upon empirical data. We conclude that in some respects it might be useful to make reference to the research related to language learning when thinking about improving science education. In particular, according to Selinker's concept of interlanguage describing language-learning processes within language instruction, the language used by the students during physics lessons can be viewed as a 'scientific interlanguage'.

  13. Understanding dental CAD/CAM for restorations--the digital workflow from a mechanical engineering viewpoint. (United States)

    Tapie, L; Lebon, N; Mawussi, B; Fron Chabouis, H; Duret, F; Attal, J-P


    As digital technology infiltrates every area of daily life, including the field of medicine, so it is increasingly being introduced into dental practice. Apart from chairside practice, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) solutions are available for creating inlays, crowns, fixed partial dentures (FPDs), implant abutments, and other dental prostheses. CAD/CAM dental solutions can be considered a chain of digital devices and software for the almost automatic design and creation of dental restorations. However, dentists who want to use the technology often do not have the time or knowledge to understand it. A basic knowledge of the CAD/CAM digital workflow for dental restorations can help dentists to grasp the technology and purchase a CAM/CAM system that meets the needs of their office. This article provides a computer-science and mechanical-engineering approach to the CAD/CAM digital workflow to help dentists understand the technology.

  14. Mechanisms underlying social inequality in post-menopausal breast cancer. (United States)

    Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur


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

  15. Mechanical response of human female breast skin under uniaxial stretching. (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre eStallen


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

  17. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity. (United States)

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


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

  18. Mental imagery in music performance: underlying mechanisms and potential benefits. (United States)

    Keller, Peter E


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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  20. Ablation characteristics and reaction mechanism of insulation materials under slag deposition condition (United States)

    Guan, Yiwen; Li, Jiang; Liu, Yang


    Current understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved in the ablation of insulation materials by highly aluminized solid propellants is limited. The study on the heat transfer and ablation principle of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) materials under slag deposition condition is essential for future design or modification of large solid rocket motors (SRMs) for launch application. In this paper, the alumina liquid flow pattern and the deposition principle in full-scale SRM engines are discussed. The interaction mechanism between the alumina droplets and the wall are analyzed. Then, an experimental method was developed to simulate the insulation material ablation under slag deposition condition. Experimental study was conducted based on a laboratory-scale device. Meanwhile, from the analysis of the cross-sectional morphology and chemical composition of the charring layer after ablation, the reaction mechanism of the charring layer under deposition condition was discussed, and the main reaction equation was derived. The numerical simulation and experimental results show the following. (i) The alumina droplet flow in the deposition section of the laboratory-scale device is similar to that of a full-scale SRM. (ii) The charring layer of the EPDM insulator displays a porous tight/loose structure under high-temperature slag deposition condition. (iii) A seven-step carbothermal reduction in the alumina is derived and established under high-pressure and high-temperature environment in the SRM combustion chamber. (iv) The analysis using thermodynamic software indicates that the reaction of the alumina and charring layer initially forms Al4C3 during the operation. Then, Al element and Al2OC compound are subsequently produced with the reduction in the release of gas CO as well with continuous environmental heating.

  1. Utilizing toxicogenomic data to understand chemical mechanism of action in risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, Vickie S.; Keshava, Nagalakshmi; Hester, Susan; Segal, Deborah; Chiu, Weihsueh; Thompson, Chad M.; Euling, Susan Y.


    The predominant role of toxicogenomic data in risk assessment, thus far, has been one of augmentation of more traditional in vitro and in vivo toxicology data. This article focuses on the current available examples of instances where toxicogenomic data has been evaluated in human health risk assessment (e.g., acetochlor and arsenicals) which have been limited to the application of toxicogenomic data to inform mechanism of action. This article reviews the regulatory policy backdrop and highlights important efforts to ultimately achieve regulatory acceptance. A number of research efforts on specific chemicals that were designed for risk assessment purposes have employed mechanism or mode of action hypothesis testing and generating strategies. The strides made by large scale efforts to utilize toxicogenomic data in screening, testing, and risk assessment are also discussed. These efforts include both the refinement of methodologies for performing toxicogenomics studies and analysis of the resultant data sets. The current issues limiting the application of toxicogenomics to define mode or mechanism of action in risk assessment are discussed together with interrelated research needs. In summary, as chemical risk assessment moves away from a single mechanism of action approach toward a toxicity pathway-based paradigm, we envision that toxicogenomic data from multiple technologies (e.g., proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, supportive RT-PCR studies) can be used in conjunction with one another to understand the complexities of multiple, and possibly interacting, pathways affected by chemicals which will impact human health risk assessment

  2. [Mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid resistance in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps]. (United States)

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


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

  3. The Survival Advantage: Underlying Mechanisms and Extant Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas


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

  4. Passive and active response of bacteria under mechanical compression (United States)

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

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

  5. Cellular mechanisms underlying acquired epilepsy: the calcium hypothesis of the induction and maintainance of epilepsy. (United States)

    Delorenzo, Robert J; Sun, David A; Deshpande, Laxmikant S


    Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders. Although epilepsy can be idiopathic, it is estimated that up to 50% of all epilepsy cases are initiated by neurological insults and are called acquired epilepsy (AE). AE develops in 3 phases: (1) the injury (central nervous system [CNS] insult), (2) epileptogenesis (latency), and (3) the chronic epileptic (spontaneous recurrent seizure) phases. Status epilepticus (SE), stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are 3 major examples of common brain injuries that can lead to the development of AE. It is especially important to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause AE because it may lead to innovative strategies to prevent or cure this common condition. Recent studies have offered new insights into the cause of AE and indicate that injury-induced alterations in intracellular calcium concentration levels [Ca(2+)](i) and calcium homeostatic mechanisms play a role in the development and maintenance of AE. The injuries that cause AE are different, but they share a common molecular mechanism for producing brain damage-an increase in extracellular glutamate concentration that causes increased intracellular neuronal calcium, leading to neuronal injury and/or death. Neurons that survive the injury induced by glutamate and are exposed to increased [Ca(2+)](i) are the cellular substrates to develop epilepsy because dead cells do not seize. The neurons that survive injury sustain permanent long-term plasticity changes in [Ca(2+)](i) and calcium homeostatic mechanisms that are permanent and are a prominent feature of the epileptic phenotype. In the last several years, evidence has accumulated indicating that the prolonged alteration in neuronal calcium dynamics plays an important role in the induction and maintenance of the prolonged neuroplasticity changes underlying the epileptic phenotype. Understanding the role of calcium as a second messenger in the induction and maintenance of epilepsy may provide novel

  6. Phosphorene under strain:electronic, mechanical and piezoelectric responses (United States)

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


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

  7. Microbial Mechanisms Underlying Acidity-induced Reduction in Soil Respiration Under Nitrogen Fertilization (United States)

    Niu, S.; Li, Y.


    Terrestrial ecosystems are receiving increasing amounts of reactive nitrogen (N) due to anthropogenic activities, which largely changes soil respiration and its feedback to climate change. N enrichment can not only increase N availability but also induce soil acidification, both may affect soil microbial activity and root growth with a consequent impact on soil respiration. However, it remains unclear whether elevated N availability or soil acidity has greater impact on soil respiration (Rs). We conducted a manipulative experiment to simulate N enrichment (10 g m-2 yr-1 NH4NO3) and soil acidity (0.552 mol H+ m-2 yr-1 sulfuric acid) and studied their effects on Rs and its components in a temperate forest. Our results showed that soil pH was reduced by 0.2 under N addition or acid addition treatment. Acid addition significantly decreased autotrophic respiration (Ra) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh) by 21.5% and 22.7% in 2014, 34.8% and 21.9% in 2015, respectively, resulting in a reduction of Rs by 22.2% in 2014 and 26.1% in 2015. Nitrogen enrichment reduced Ra, Rh, Rs by 21.9%, 16.2%, 18.6% in 2014 and 22.1%, 5.9%, 11.7% in 2015, respectively. The reductions of Rs and its components were attributable to decrease of fine root biomass, microbial biomass, and cellulose degrading enzymes. N addition did not change microbial community but acid addition increased both fungal and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi PLFAs, and N plus acid addition significantly enhanced fungal to bacterial ratio. All the hydrolase enzymes were reduced more by soil acidity (43-50%) than nitrogen addition (30-39%). Structural equation model showed that soil acidity played more important role than N availability in reducing soil respiration mainly by changing microbial extracellular enzymes. We therefore suggest that N deposition induced indirect effect of soil acidification on microbial properties is critical and should be taken into account to better understand and predict ecosystem C cycling in

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  10. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

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

  11. Mechanical properties of the human spinal cord under the compressive loading. (United States)

    Karimi, Alireza; Shojaei, Ahmad; Tehrani, Pedram


    The spinal cord as the most complex and critical part of the human body is responsible for the transmission of both motor and sensory impulses between the body and the brain. Due to its pivotal role any types of physical injury in that disrupts its function following by shortfalls, including the minor motor and sensory malfunctions as well as complicate quadriplegia and lifelong ventilator dependency. In order to shed light on the injuries to the spinal cord, the application of the computational models to simulate the trauma impact loading to that are deemed required. Nonetheless, it has not been fulfilled since there is a paucity of knowledge about the mechanical properties of the spinal cord, especially the cervical one, under the compressive loading on the grounds of the difficulty in obtaining this tissue from the human body. This study was aimed at experimentally measuring the mechanical properties of the human cervical spinal cord of 24 isolated fresh samples under the unconfined compressive loading at a relatively low strain rate. The stress-strain data revealed the elastic modulus and maximum/failure stress of 40.12±6.90 and 62.26±5.02kPa, respectively. Owing to the nonlinear response of the spinal cord, the Yeoh, Ogden, and Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic material models have also been employed. The results may have implications not only for understanding the linear elastic and nonlinear hyperelastic mechanical properties of the cervical spinal cord under the compressive loading, but also for providing a raw data for investigating the injury as a result of the trauma thru the numerical simulations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Understanding mechanisms of solid-state phase transformations by probing nuclear materials (United States)

    Banerjee, Srikumar; Donthula, Harish


    In this review a few examples will be cited to illustrate that a study on a specific nuclear material sometimes lead to a better understanding of scientific phenomena of broader interests. Zirconium alloys offer some unique opportunities in addressing fundamental issues such as (i) distinctive features between displacive and diffusional transformations, (ii) characteristics of shuffle and shear dominated displacive transformations and (iii) nature of mixed-mode transformations. Whether a transformation is of first or higher order?" is often raised while classifying it. There are rare examples, such as Ni-Mo alloys, in which during early stages of ordering the system experiences tendencies for both first order and second order transitions. Studies on the order-disorder transitions under a radiation environment have established the pathway for the evolution of ordering. These studies have also identified the temperature range over which the chemically ordered state remains stable in steady state under radiation.

  13. Understanding DNA Under Oxidative Stress and Sensitization: The Role of Molecular Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio eMonari


    Full Text Available DNA is constantly exposed to damaging threats coming from oxidative stress, i.e. from the presence of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Sensitization from exogenous and endogenous compounds that strongly enhance the frequency of light-induced lesions also plays an important role. The experimental determination of DNA lesions, though a difficult subject, is somehow well established and allows to elucidate even extremely rare DNA lesions. In parallel, molecular modeling has become fundamental to clearly understand the fine mechanisms related to DNA defects induction. Indeed, it offers an unprecedented possibility to get access to an atomistic or even electronic resolution. Ab initio molecular dynamics may also describe the time-evolution of the molecular system and its reactivity. Yet the modeling of DNA (photo-reactions does necessitate elaborate multi-scale methodologies to tackle a damage induction reactivity that takes place in a complex environment. The double-stranded DNA environment is first characterized by a very high flexibility, that dynamical effects are to be taken into account, but also a strongly inhomogeneous electrostatic embedding. Additionally, one aims at capturing more subtle effects, such as the sequence selectivity which is of critical important for DNA damage. The structure and dynamics of the DNA/sensitizers complexes, as well as the photo-induced electron- and energy-transfer phenomena taking place upon sensitization, should be carefully modeled. Finally the factors inducing different repair ratios for different lesions should also be rationalized.In this review we will critically analyze the different computational strategies used to model DNA lesions. A clear picture of the complex interplay between reactivity and structural factors will be sketched. The use of proper multi-scale modeling leads to the in-depth comprehension of DNA lesions mechanism and also to the rational design of new chemo-therapeutic agents.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ambrish Kumar


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

  15. Brainstem mechanisms underlying the cough reflex and its regulation. (United States)

    Mutolo, Donatella


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

  16. Evaluation of Possible Proximate Mechanisms Underlying the Kinship Theory of Intragenomic Conflict in Social Insects. (United States)

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


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

  17. A mathematical model towards understanding the mechanism of neuronal regulation of wake-NREMS-REMS states.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupesh Kumar

    Full Text Available In this study we have constructed a mathematical model of a recently proposed functional model known to be responsible for inducing waking, NREMS and REMS. Simulation studies using this model reproduced sleep-wake patterns as reported in normal animals. The model helps to explain neural mechanism(s that underlie the transitions between wake, NREMS and REMS as well as how both the homeostatic sleep-drive and the circadian rhythm shape the duration of each of these episodes. In particular, this mathematical model demonstrates and confirms that an underlying mechanism for REMS generation is pre-synaptic inhibition from substantia nigra onto the REM-off terminals that project on REM-on neurons, as has been recently proposed. The importance of orexinergic neurons in stabilizing the wake-sleep cycle is demonstrated by showing how even small changes in inputs to or from those neurons can have a large impact on the ensuing dynamics. The results from this model allow us to make predictions of the neural mechanisms of regulation and patho-physiology of REMS.

  18. Under Persistent Assault: Understanding the Factors that Deteriorate Human Skin and Clinical Efficacy of Topical Antioxidants in Treating Aging Skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia K. Farris


    Full Text Available Recent studies contend that the skin is subject to far more damage than just ultraviolet (UV light, with infrared radiation and pollution now clearly demonstrated to degrade cutaneous tissue. While consumers continue to strive for new ways to augment the aesthetic appeal and improve the health of their skin, awareness regarding environmental insults and effective ways to protect the skin remains low. New advances in dermatologic science have exponentially increased the available information on the underlying mechanism of cutaneous damage and potential of topical antioxidants to treat aging skin. Combining antioxidants that can work through multiple pathways holds great potential for a cumulative and synergistic way to treat aging skin. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive review on environmental factors that damage human skin, discuss scientifically proven benefits of topical antioxidants, understand challenges of formulating and administering topical antioxidants, evaluate novel mechanisms of antioxidant activity, and suggest practical ways of integrating topical antioxidants with aesthetic procedures to complement clinical outcomes.

  19. Twenty-five years of progress in understanding pollination mechanisms in palms (Arecaceae) (United States)

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn


    Background With more than 90 published studies of pollination mechanisms, the palm family is one of the better studied tropical families of angiosperms. Understanding palm–pollinator interactions has implications for tropical silviculture, agroforestry and horticulture, as well as for our understanding of palm evolution and diversification. We review the rich literature on pollination mechanisms in palms that has appeared since the last review of palm pollination studies was published 25 years ago. Scope and Conclusions Visitors to palm inflorescences are attracted by rewards such as food, shelter and oviposition sites. The interaction between the palm and its visiting fauna represents a trade-off between the services provided by the potential pollinators and the antagonistic activities of other insect visitors. Evidence suggests that beetles constitute the most important group of pollinators in palms, followed by bees and flies. Occasional pollinators include mammals (e.g. bats and marsupials) and even crabs. Comparative studies of palm–pollinator interactions in closely related palm species document transitions in floral morphology, phenology and anatomy correlated with shifts in pollination vectors. Synecological studies show that asynchronous flowering and partitioning of pollinator guilds may be important regulators of gene flow between closely related sympatric taxa and potential drivers of speciation processes. Studies of larger plant–pollinator networks point out the importance of competition for pollinators between palms and other flowering plants and document how the insect communities in tropical forest canopies probably influence the reproductive success of palms. However, published studies have a strong geographical bias towards the South American region and a taxonomic bias towards the tribe Cocoseae. Future studies should try to correct this imbalance to provide a more representative picture of pollination mechanisms and their evolutionary

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Ryvkin


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

  2. Mechanical damage in a lithium-ion pouch cell under indentation loads (United States)

    Luo, Hailing; Xia, Yong; Zhou, Qing


    The short circuit of lithium-ion batteries induced by mechanical abuse is a great concern in electric vehicle design. It remains a challenge to fully understand the nature of the mechanical damage process with the aim of improving battery crash safety. The present paper investigates the evolution of the damage process for a lithium-ion pouch cell under indentation by loading the cell to various force levels. A significant inflection point on the force-indentation curve is observed before the force peak. Post-mortem examinations indicate that the characteristic change in the local slope of the curve is related to the change occurring at the local interfaces, including three phenomena - formation of tight adhesion on the anode-separator interfaces, delamination in the separators and decoating of graphite particles from the anodes. Analysis of the fracture sequence at the onset of short circuit clearly shows that the number of short-circuited electrode pairs is equal to the number of anode layers adhered with delaminated separator material before fracture occurs. The experimental study in the present paper implies that the inflection point on the force-indentation curve may be an indicator of damage initiation inside pouch cells under indentation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bialik, Janne Folke

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

  4. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren


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

  5. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren


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

  6. Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. (United States)

    Bergsland, E K


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

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying neurooptometric rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hudac CM


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

  8. Mechanisms underlying probucol-induced hERG-channel deficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi YQ


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

  9. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.


    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect.

  10. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics. (United States)

    Mateker, William R; McGehee, Michael D


    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Understanding comorbidity among internalizing problems: Integrating latent structural models of psychopathology and risk mechanisms (United States)

    Hankin, Benjamin L.; Snyder, Hannah R.; Gulley, Lauren D.; Schweizer, Tina H.; Bijttebier, Patricia; Nelis, Sabine; Toh, Gim; Vasey, Michael W.


    It is well known that comorbidity is the rule, not the exception, for categorically defined psychiatric disorders, and this is also the case for internalizing disorders of depression and anxiety. This theoretical review paper addresses the ubiquity of comorbidity among internalizing disorders. Our central thesis is that progress in understanding this co-occurrence can be made by employing latent dimensional structural models that organize both psychopathology as well as vulnerabilities and risk mechanisms and by connecting the multiple levels of risk and psychopathology outcomes together. Different vulnerabilities and risk mechanisms are hypothesized to predict different levels of the structural model of psychopathology. We review the present state of knowledge based on concurrent and developmental sequential comorbidity patterns among common discrete psychiatric disorders in youth, and then we advocate for the use of more recent bifactor dimensional models of psychopathology (e.g., p factor, Caspi et al., 2014) that can help to explain the co-occurrence among internalizing symptoms. In support of this relatively novel conceptual perspective, we review six exemplar vulnerabilities and risk mechanisms, including executive function, information processing biases, cognitive vulnerabilities, positive and negative affectivity aspects of temperament, and autonomic dysregulation, along with the developmental occurrence of stressors in different domains, to show how these vulnerabilities can predict the general latent psychopathology factor, a unique latent internalizing dimension, as well as specific symptom syndrome manifestations. PMID:27739389

  12. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms (United States)

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


    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

  13. Modulation of MicroRNAs by Phytochemicals in Cancer: Underlying Mechanisms and Translational Significance (United States)

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


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

  14. Change of plans: an evaluation of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of successful talent transfer. (United States)

    Collins, Rosie; Collins, Dave; MacNamara, Aine; Jones, Martin Ian


    Talent transfer (TT) is a recently formalised process used to identify and develop talented athletes by selecting individuals who have already succeeded in one sport and transferring them to another. Despite the increasing popularity of TT amongst national organisations and sport governing body professionals, however, there is little empirical evidence as to its efficacy or how it may be most efficiently employed. Accordingly, this investigation was designed to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of TT, achieved through a two-part study. Stage 1 provided a quantitative analysis of the incidence and distribution or, in this respect, epidemiology of TT, finding the most popular transfer to be sprinting to bobsleigh, with an average transfer age of 19 years. Stage 2 scrutinised the TT process and explored the specific cases revealed in stage 1 by examining the perceptions of four sport science support specialists who had worked in TT settings, finding several emergent themes which, they felt, could explain the TT processes. The most prominent theme was the psychosocial mechanism of TT, an aspect currently missing from TT initiatives, suggesting that current TT systems are poorly structured and should redress their approach to develop a more integrated scheme that encompasses all potential mechanisms of transfer.

  15. Revealing the Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Beneficial Effects of Tai Chi: A Neuroimaging Perspective. (United States)

    Yu, Angus P; Tam, Bjorn T; Lai, Christopher W; Yu, Doris S; Woo, Jean; Chung, Ka-Fai; Hui, Stanley S; Liu, Justina Y; Wei, Gao X; Siu, Parco M


    Tai Chi Chuan (TCC), a traditional Chinese martial art, is well-documented to result in beneficial consequences in physical and mental health. TCC is regarded as a mind-body exercise that is comprised of physical exercise and meditation. Favorable effects of TCC on body balance, gait, bone mineral density, metabolic parameters, anxiety, depression, cognitive function, and sleep have been previously reported. However, the underlying mechanisms explaining the effects of TCC remain largely unclear. Recently, advances in neuroimaging technology have offered new investigative opportunities to reveal the effects of TCC on anatomical morphologies and neurological activities in different regions of the brain. These neuroimaging findings have provided new clues for revealing the mechanisms behind the observed effects of TCC. In this review paper, we discussed the possible effects of TCC-induced modulation of brain morphology, functional homogeneity and connectivity, regional activity and macro-scale network activity on health. Moreover, we identified possible links between the alterations in brain and beneficial effects of TCC, such as improved motor functions, pain perception, metabolic profile, cognitive functions, mental health and sleep quality. This paper aimed to stimulate further mechanistic neuroimaging studies in TCC and its effects on brain morphology, functional homogeneity and connectivity, regional activity and macro-scale network activity, which ultimately lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of TCC on human health.

  16. Fatigue degradation and failure of rotating composite structures - Materials characterisation and underlying mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gamstedt, E.K.; Andersen, S.I.


    The present review concerns rotating composite structures, in which fatigue degradation is of key concern for in-service failure. Such applications are for instance rotor blades in wind turbines, helicopter rotor blades, flywheels for energy storage, marine and aeronautical propellers, and rolls for paper machines. The purpose is to identify areas where impending efforts should be made to make better use of composite materials in these applications. In order to obtain better design methodologies, which would allow more reliable and slender structures, improved test methods are necessary. Furthermore, the relation between structural, component and specimen test results should be better understood than what is presently the case. Improved predictive methods rely on a better understanding of the underlying damage mechanisms. With mechanism-based models, the component substructure or even the material microstructure could be optimised for best possible fatigue resistance. These issues are addressed in the present report, with special emphasis on test methods, and scaling from damage mechanisms to relevant material properties. (au)

  17. Algorithmic mechanisms for reliable crowdsourcing computation under collusion. (United States)

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


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

  18. Neurobiology of consummatory behavior: mechanisms underlying overeating and drug use. (United States)

    Barson, Jessica R; Morganstern, Irene; Leibowitz, Sarah F


    Consummatory behavior is driven by both caloric and emotional need, and a wide variety of animal models have been useful in research on the systems that drive consumption of food and drugs. Models have included selective breeding for a specific trait, manipulation of gene expression, forced or voluntary exposure to a substance, and identification of biomarkers that predict which animals are prone to overconsuming specific substances. This research has elucidated numerous brain areas and neurochemicals that drive consummatory behavior. Although energy homeostasis is primarily mediated by the hypothalamus, reinforcement is more strongly mediated by nuclei outside the hypothalamus, in mesocorticolimbic regions. Orexigenic neurochemicals that control food intake can provide a general signal for promoting caloric intake or a more specific signal for stimulating consumption of a particular macronutrient, fat, carbohydrate, or protein. The neurochemicals involved in controlling fat ingestion--galanin, enkephalin, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, and the endocannabinoids--show positive feedback with this macronutrient, as these peptides both increase fat intake and are further stimulated by its intake. This positive association offers some explanation for why foods high in fat are so often overconsumed. Consumption of ethanol, a drug of abuse that also contains calories, is similarly driven by the neurochemical systems involved in fat intake, according to evidence that closely relates fat and ethanol consumption. Further understanding of the systems involved in consummatory behavior will enable the development of effective therapies for the treatment of both overeating and drug abuse.

  19. Neurobiology of Consummatory Behavior: Mechanisms Underlying Overeating and Drug Use (United States)

    Barson, Jessica R.; Morganstern, Irene; Leibowitz, Sarah F.


    Consummatory behavior is driven not just by caloric need but also by emotional need. In the last several decades, a wide variety of models have been used to study the systems that drive food and drug intake. These include selective breeding for a specific trait, manipulation of gene expression, forced or voluntary exposure to a substance, and identification of biomarkers that predict which animals are prone to overconsuming specific substances. From this research, numerous brain areas and neurochemicals have been identified that drive consummatory behavior. While energy homeostasis is primarily mediated by the hypothalamus, reinforcement is more strongly mediated by nuclei outside of the hypothalamus, in mesocorticolimbic regions. Orexigenic neurochemicals that control food intake can provide a general signal for promoting caloric intake or a more specific signal for stimulating consumption of a particular macronutrient, fat, carbohydrate or protein. Those involved in controlling fat ingestion, including galanin, enkephalin, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone and the endocannabinoids, show positive feedback with this macronutrient, with these peptides both increasing fat intake and being further stimulated by its intake. This positive relationship offers some explanation for why foods high in fat are so often overconsumed. Consumption of ethanol, a drug of abuse that also contains calories, is similarly driven by these neurochemical systems involved in fat intake, consistent with evidence closely relating fat and ethanol consumption. Further understanding of these systems involved in consummatory behavior will allow researchers to develop effective therapies for the treatment of overeating as well as drug abuse. PMID:23520598

  20. Problems in classical and quantum mechanics extracting the underlying concepts

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, J Daniel


    This book is a collection of problems intended to aid students in their graduate courses in physics and in preparing for the PhD qualifying exam. Thus, the included problems are of the type that could be on a qualifying exam or are problems that are meant to elucidate a principle that is important for the exam. Unlike other compilations of problems, the problems in this text are placed in the broader context of the subject. The goal of the book is to develop the problem solving skills of the reader to insure a complete understanding of the physics. Problems and solutions are presented in detail, and, additionally, their significance is discussed within the context of the physical principle(s) that they illustrate. The solution of the problem is only the beginning of the learning process--it is in manipulating the solution and changing the parameters that a great deal of insight can be gleaned. This technique is referred to by the authors as "massaging the problem," and it is a technique that the authors have ...

  1. Separable mechanisms underlying global feature-based attention. (United States)

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


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

  2. Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch. (United States)

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


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

  3. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction. (United States)

    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi


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

  4. Neural mechanisms underlying social conformity in an ultimatum game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu eWei


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

  5. Adhesive wear mechanism under combined electric diamond grinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popov Vyacheslav


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

  6. Linking Pesticide Exposure with Pediatric Leukemia: Potential Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Hernández, Antonio F; Menéndez, Pablo


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

  7. Obstructive sleep apnea and dyslipidemia: evidence and underlying mechanism. (United States)

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


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

  8. Understanding Nutrient Processing Under Similar Hydrologic Conditions Along a River Continuum (United States)

    Garayburu-Caruso, V. A.; Mortensen, J.; Van Horn, D. J.; Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.


    Eutrophication is one of the main causes of water impairment across the US. The fate of nutrients in streams is typically described by the dynamic coupling of physical processes and biochemical processes. However, isolating each of these processes and determining its contribution to the whole system is challenging due to the complexity of the physical, chemical and biological domains. We conducted column experiments seeking to understand nutrient processing in shallow sediment-water interactions along representative sites of the Jemez River-Rio Grande continuum (eight stream orders), in New Mexico (USA). For each stream order, we used a set of 6 columns packed with 3 different sediments, i.e., Silica Cone Density Sand ASTM D 1556 (0.075-2.00 mm), gravel (> 2mm) and native sediments from each site. We incubated the sediments for three months and performed tracer experiments in the laboratory under identical flow conditions, seeking to normalize the physical processes along the river continuum. We added a short-term pulse injection of NO3, resazurin and NaCl to each column and determined metabolism and NO3 processing using the Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization method (TASCC). Our methods allowed us to study how changes in bacterial communities and sediment composition along the river continuum define nutrient processing.

  9. Changes in health perceptions after exposure to human suffering: using discrete emotions to understand underlying processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia A Paschali

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine whether exposure to human suffering is associated with negative changes in perceptions about personal health. We further examined the relation of possible health perception changes, to changes in five discrete emotions (i.e., fear, guilt, hostility/anger, and joviality, as a guide to understand the processes underlying health perception changes, provided that each emotion conveys information regarding triggering conditions. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: An experimental group (N = 47 was exposed to images of human affliction, whereas a control group (N = 47 was exposed to relaxing images. Participants in the experimental group reported more health anxiety and health value, as well as lower health-related optimism and internal health locus of control, in comparison to participants exposed to relaxing images. They also reported more fear, guilt, hostility and sadness, as well as less joviality. Changes in each health perception were related to changes in particular emotions. CONCLUSION: These findings imply that health perceptions are shaped in a constant dialogue with the representations about the broader world. Furthermore, it seems that the core of health perception changes lies in the acceptance that personal well-being is subject to several potential threats, as well as that people cannot fully control many of the factors the determine their own well-being.

  10. Questions of migration and belonging: understandings of migration under neoliberalism in Ecuador. (United States)

    Lawson, V


    This paper explores alternative understandings and experiences of migration under neoliberalism in Ecuador. Through the case study, the study examines migrants' multiple motivations for mobility and their ambivalence toward the process. Insights from the transnational migration literature were drawn in order to think through the implications of an increasingly contradictory context of economic modernization and its impact upon the sense of possibilities and belonging of migrants. In-depth interviews with urban-destined migrants in Ecuador were drawn to argue that mobility produces ambivalent development subjects. This argument is developed in three sections. First, the paper centers on the epistemological and theoretical basis for the relevance of migrant narratives in extending theorizations of migration. Second, in-depth interviews with migrants to Quito are drawn to explore migrants' sense of belonging and regional affiliation, identity formation through migration, and experiences of alienation and disruption in their lives. Lastly, this paper concludes with a retheorization of the role of migration places in the migrant identity construction.

  11. Understanding the Impact of Root Morphology on Overturning Mechanisms: A Modelling Approach (United States)

    Fourcaud, Thierry; Ji, Jin-Nan; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Stokes, Alexia


    Background and Aims The Finite Element Method (FEM) has been used in recent years to simulate overturning processes in trees. This study aimed at using FEM to determine the role of individual roots in tree anchorage with regard to different rooting patterns, and to estimate stress distribution in the soil and roots during overturning. Methods The FEM was used to carry out 2-D simulations of tree uprooting in saturated soft clay and loamy sand-like soil. The anchorage model consisted of a root system embedded in a soil block. Two root patterns were used and individual roots removed to determine their contribution to anchorage. Key Results In clay-like soil the size of the root–soil plate formed during overturning was defined by the longest roots. Consequently, all other roots localized within this plate had no influence on anchorage strength. In sand-like soil, removing individual root elements altered anchorage resistance. This result was due to a modification of the shape and size of the root–soil plate, as well as the location of the rotation axis. The tap root and deeper roots had more influence on overturning resistance in sand-like soil compared with clay-like soil. Mechanical stresses were higher in the most superficial roots and also in leeward roots in sand-like soil. The relative difference in stresses between the upper and lower sides of lateral roots was sensitive to root insertion angle. Assuming that root eccentricity is a response to mechanical stresses, these results explain why eccentricity differs depending on root architecture. Conclusions A simple 2-D Finite Element model was developed to better understand the mechanisms involved during tree overturning. It has been shown how root system morphology and soil mechanical properties can modify the shape of the root plate slip surface as well as the position of the rotation axis, which are major components of tree anchorage. PMID:17942593

  12. NOX Activation by Subunit Interaction and Underlying Mechanisms in Disease. (United States)

    Rastogi, Radhika; Geng, Xiaokun; Li, Fengwu; Ding, Yuchuan


    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAPDH) oxidase (NOX) is an enzyme complex with the sole function of producing superoxide anion and reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the expense of NADPH. Vital to the immune system as well as cellular signaling, NOX is also involved in the pathologies of a wide variety of disease states. Particularly, it is an integral player in many neurological diseases, including stroke, TBI, and neurodegenerative diseases. Pathologically, NOX produces an excessive amount of ROS that exceed the body's antioxidant ability to neutralize them, leading to oxidative stress and aberrant signaling. This prevalence makes it an attractive therapeutic target and as such, NOX inhibitors have been studied and developed to counter NOX's deleterious effects. However, recent studies of NOX have created a better understanding of the NOX complex. Comprised of independent cytosolic subunits, p47- phox , p67- phox , p40- phox and Rac , and membrane subunits, gp91- phox and p22- phox , the NOX complex requires a unique activation process through subunit interaction. Of these subunits, p47- phox plays the most important role in activation, binding and translocating the cytosolic subunits to the membrane and anchoring to p22- phox to organize the complex for NOX activation and function. Moreover, these interactions, particularly that between p47- phox and p22- phox , are dependent on phosphorylation initiated by upstream processes involving protein kinase C (PKC). This review will look at these interactions between subunits and with PKC. It will focus on the interaction involving p47- phox with p22- phox , key in bringing the cytosolic subunits to the membrane. Furthermore, the implication of these interactions as a target for NOX inhibitors such as apocynin will be discussed as a potential avenue for further investigation, in order to develop more specific NOX inhibitors based on the inhibition of NOX assembly and activation.

  13. Mechanisms Underlying the Nonconsumptive Effects of Parasitoid Wasps on Aphids. (United States)

    Ingerslew, K S; Finke, D L


    Natural enemies need not consume herbivores to suppress herbivore populations. Behavioral interactions can adversely impact herbivore fitness from reduced time feeding, investment in defense, or injury from failed attacks. The importance of such "nonconsumptive effects" for herbivore suppression may vary across species based on the specificity and intensity of the herbivore defensive response. In a series of manipulative studies, we quantified the nature and consequences of nonconsumptive interactions between two parasitoid wasps, Aphidius ervi Haliday and Aphidius colemani Viereck, on two aphid species, pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)) and green peach aphids (Myzus persicae (Sulzer)). Both wasps successfully parasitize green peach aphids, but only A. ervi parasitizes pea aphids. We observed A. ervi antennating and stinging pea aphids and documented a decrease in pea aphid longevity in response to stinging even when the aphid survived the interaction and no mummy formed. The primary defensive tactic of pea aphids in response to either wasp species was dropping from the host plant. Both wasp species antennated and stung green peach aphids, but they elicited unique defensive behaviors. Green peach aphids kicked or emitted cornicle secretions in response to A. colemani but spent more time off the plant in the presence of A. ervi. Green peach aphid longevity and fecundity were not affected by wasp stings when the aphid survived and no mummy formed. Our study demonstrates the complexity of behavioral interactions between parasitoids and their potential hosts and contributes to a mechanistic understanding of variation in the nonconsumptive suppression of herbivore populations. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  14. Mechanisms underlying early rapid increases in creatinine in paraquat poisoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahim Mohamed

    Full Text Available Acute kidney injury (AKI is common after severe paraquat poisoning and usually heralds a fatal outcome. The rapid large increases in serum creatinine (Cr exceed that which can be explained by creatinine kinetics based on loss of glomerular filtration rate (GFR.This prospective multi-centre study compared the kinetics of two surrogate markers of GFR, serum creatinine and serum cystatin C (CysC, following paraquat poisoning to understand and assess renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning. Sixty-six acute paraquat poisoning patients admitted to medical units of five hospitals were included. Relative changes in creatinine and CysC were monitored in serial blood and urine samples, and influences of non-renal factors were also studied.Forty-eight of 66 patients developed AKI (AKIN criteria, with 37 (56% developing moderate to severe AKI (AKIN stage 2 or 3. The 37 patients showed rapid increases in creatinine of >100% within 24 hours, >200% within 48 hours and >300% by 72 hours and 17 of the 37 died. CysC concentration increased by 50% at 24 hours in the same 37 patients and then remained constant. The creatinine/CysC ratio increased 8 fold over 72 hours. There was a modest fall in urinary creatinine and serum/urine creatinine ratios and a moderate increase in urinary paraquat during first three days.Loss of renal function contributes modestly to the large increases in creatinine following paraquat poisoning. The rapid rise in serum creatinine most probably represents increased production of creatine and creatinine to meet the energy demand following severe oxidative stress. Minor contributions include increased cyclisation of creatine to creatinine because of acidosis and competitive or non-competitive inhibition of creatinine secretion. Creatinine is not a good marker of renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning and renal injury should be evaluated using more specific biomarkers of renal injury.

  15. Mechanisms Underlying Early Rapid Increases in Creatinine in Paraquat Poisoning (United States)

    Mohamed, Fahim; Endre, Zoltan; Jayamanne, Shaluka; Pianta, Timothy; Peake, Philip; Palangasinghe, Chathura; Chathuranga, Umesh; Jayasekera, Kithsiri; Wunnapuk, Klintean; Shihana, Fathima; Shahmy, Seyed; Buckley, Nicholas


    Background Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common after severe paraquat poisoning and usually heralds a fatal outcome. The rapid large increases in serum creatinine (Cr) exceed that which can be explained by creatinine kinetics based on loss of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Methods and Findings This prospective multi-centre study compared the kinetics of two surrogate markers of GFR, serum creatinine and serum cystatin C (CysC), following paraquat poisoning to understand and assess renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning. Sixty-six acute paraquat poisoning patients admitted to medical units of five hospitals were included. Relative changes in creatinine and CysC were monitored in serial blood and urine samples, and influences of non-renal factors were also studied. Results Forty-eight of 66 patients developed AKI (AKIN criteria), with 37 (56%) developing moderate to severe AKI (AKIN stage 2 or 3). The 37 patients showed rapid increases in creatinine of >100% within 24 hours, >200% within 48 hours and >300% by 72 hours and 17 of the 37 died. CysC concentration increased by 50% at 24 hours in the same 37 patients and then remained constant. The creatinine/CysC ratio increased 8 fold over 72 hours. There was a modest fall in urinary creatinine and serum/urine creatinine ratios and a moderate increase in urinary paraquat during first three days. Conclusion Loss of renal function contributes modestly to the large increases in creatinine following paraquat poisoning. The rapid rise in serum creatinine most probably represents increased production of creatine and creatinine to meet the energy demand following severe oxidative stress. Minor contributions include increased cyclisation of creatine to creatinine because of acidosis and competitive or non-competitive inhibition of creatinine secretion. Creatinine is not a good marker of renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning and renal injury should be evaluated using more specific biomarkers of renal injury

  16. Differential sulphur assimilation mechanism regulates response of Arabidopsis thaliana natural variation towards arsenic stress under limiting sulphur condition. (United States)

    Khare, Ria; Kumar, Smita; Shukla, Tapsi; Ranjan, Avriti; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar


    Arsenic (As) is a ubiquitous element, which imposes threat to crops productivity and human health through contaminated food chain. As a part of detoxification mechanism, As is chelated and sequestered into the vacuoles via sulphur containing compounds glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins (PCs). Under limiting sulphur (LS) conditions, exposure of As leads to enhanced toxic effects in plants. Therefore, it is a prerequisite to understand molecular mechanisms involved in As stress response under sulphur deficiency conditions in plants. In recent years, natural variation has been utilized to explore the genetic determinants linked to plant development and stress response. In this study, natural variation in Arabidopsis has been utilized to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying LS and As(III) stress response. Analysis of different accession of Arabidopsis led to the identification of Koz2-2 and Ri-0 as the most tolerant and sensitive accessions, respectively, towards As(III) and LS+As(III) stress. Biochemical analysis and expression profiling of the genes responsible for sulphur transport and assimilation as well as metal detoxification and accumulation revealed significantly enhanced sulphur assimilation mechanism in Koz2-2 as compared to Ri-0. Analyses suggest that genetic variation regulates differential response of accessions towards As(III) under LS condition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural mechanism underlying autobiographical memory modulated by remoteness and emotion (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele eBellesi


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

  19. Thin circular cylinder under axisymmetrical thermal and mechanical loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


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

  20. Compression under a mechanical counter pressure space suit glove (United States)

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


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

  1. Experimental study of the behavioural mechanisms underlying self-organization in human crowds. (United States)

    Moussaïd, Mehdi; Helbing, Dirk; Garnier, Simon; Johansson, Anders; Combe, Maud; Theraulaz, Guy


    In animal societies as well as in human crowds, many observed collective behaviours result from self-organized processes based on local interactions among individuals. However, models of crowd dynamics are still lacking a systematic individual-level experimental verification, and the local mechanisms underlying the formation of collective patterns are not yet known in detail. We have conducted a set of well-controlled experiments with pedestrians performing simple avoidance tasks in order to determine the laws ruling their behaviour during interactions. The analysis of the large trajectory dataset was used to compute a behavioural map that describes the average change of the direction and speed of a pedestrian for various interaction distances and angles. The experimental results reveal features of the decision process when pedestrians choose the side on which they evade, and show a side preference that is amplified by mutual interactions. The predictions of a binary interaction model based on the above findings were then compared with bidirectional flows of people recorded in a crowded street. Simulations generate two asymmetric lanes with opposite directions of motion, in quantitative agreement with our empirical observations. The knowledge of pedestrian behavioural laws is an important step ahead in the understanding of the underlying dynamics of crowd behaviour and allows for reliable predictions of collective pedestrian movements under natural conditions.

  2. Gender differences in conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics: a UK cross-institution comparison

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bates, Simon; Donnelly, Robyn; MacPhee, Cait; Sands, David; Birch, Marion; Walet, Niels R


    We present the results of a combined study from three UK universities where we investigate the existence and persistence of a performance gender gap in conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. Using the Force Concept Inventory, we find that students at all three universities exhibit a statistically significant gender gap, with males outperforming females. This gap is narrowed but not eliminated after instruction, using a variety of instructional approaches. Furthermore, we find that before instruction the quartile with the lowest performance on the diagnostic instrument comprises a disproportionately high fraction (∼50%) of the total female cohort. The majority of these students remain in the lowest-performing quartile post-instruction. Analysis of responses to individual items shows that male students outperform female students on practically all items on the instrument. Comparing the performance of the same group of students on end-of-course examinations, we find no statistically significant gender gaps. (paper)

  3. Emerging understanding of the mechanism of action of Bronchial Thermoplasty in asthma. (United States)

    d'Hooghe, J N S; Ten Hacken, N H T; Weersink, E J M; Sterk, P J; Annema, J T; Bonta, P I


    Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is an endoscopic treatment for moderate-to-severe asthma patients who are uncontrolled despite optimal medical therapy. Effectiveness of BT has been demonstrated in several randomized clinical trials. However, the asthma phenotype that benefits most of this treatment is unclear, partly because the mechanism of action is incompletely understood. BT was designed to reduce the amount of airway smooth muscle (ASM), but additional direct and indirect effects on airway pathophysiology are expected. This review will provide an overview of the different components of airway pathophysiology including remodeling, with the ASM as the key player. Current concepts in the understanding of BT clinical effectiveness with a focus on its impact on airway remodeling will be reviewed. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Neural mechanisms underlying cognitive inflexibility in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

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


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

  5. Design principles and developmental mechanisms underlying retinal mosaics. (United States)

    Reese, Benjamin E; Keeley, Patrick W


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bamberg-Lemper Simone


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

  7. Photodegradation kinetics, products and mechanism of timolol under simulated sunlight

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Yong, E-mail: [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Liang, Qi; Zhou, Danna [College of Material Science and Chemical Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074 (China); Wang, Zongping, E-mail: [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Tao, Tao [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Zuo, Yuegang [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 (United States)


    Highlights: ► The indirect degradation of timolol is first investigated in fulvic acid solution. ► {sup 3}FA{sup *} and {sup 1}O{sub 2} accounted for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. ► The presence of halides inhibited the degradation in the order of Cl{sup −} < Br{sup −} < I{sup −}. ► The role of I{sup −} in the degradation was first found to be concentration-dependent. ► The photoproducts of timolol were identified by LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis. -- Abstract: The photodegradation of β-blocker timolol in fulvic acid (FA) solution was investigated under simulated sunlight. The triplet excited state of FA ({sup 3}FA{sup *}) and singlet oxygen ({sup 1}O{sub 2}) were the main reactive species responsible for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. Both dissolved oxygen and iodide ions (I{sup −}) are the efficient quenchers of {sup 3}FA{sup *}. The photodegradation was drastically accelerated after removing the dissolved oxygen. The presence of I{sup −} inhibited the photosensitized degradation of timolol in the deoxygenated FA solutions, whereas the role of I{sup −} in the reaction was concentration-dependent in the aerated solutions. The other halide ions such as chloride (Cl{sup −}) and bromide (Br{sup −}) exhibited less effect on the photodegradation of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated solutions. By LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis, the photoproducts of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated FA solutions were identified. Electron transfer interaction occurred between {sup 3}FA{sup *} and amine moiety of timolol, leading to the cleavage of C–O bond in the side chain and oxidation of the hexatomic ring. These findings suggest the photosensitized degradation was a significant pathway for the elimination of timolol in natural waters.

  8. Underlying mechanism of antimicrobial activity of chitosan microparticles and implications for the treatment of infectious diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soo Jin Jeon

    Full Text Available The emergence of antibiotic resistant microorganisms is a great public health concern and has triggered an urgent need to develop alternative antibiotics. Chitosan microparticles (CM, derived from chitosan, have been shown to reduce E. coli O157:H7 shedding in a cattle model, indicating potential use as an alternative antimicrobial agent. However, the underlying mechanism of CM on reducing the shedding of this pathogen remains unclear. To understand the mode of action, we studied molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial activity of CM using in vitro and in vivo methods. We report that CM are an effective bactericidal agent with capability to disrupt cell membranes. Binding assays and genetic studies with an ompA mutant strain demonstrated that outer membrane protein OmpA of E. coli O157:H7 is critical for CM binding, and this binding activity is coupled with a bactericidal effect of CM. This activity was also demonstrated in an animal model using cows with uterine diseases. CM treatment effectively reduced shedding of intrauterine pathogenic E. coli (IUPEC in the uterus compared to antibiotic treatment. Since Shiga-toxins encoded in the genome of bacteriophage is often overexpressed during antibiotic treatment, antibiotic therapy is generally not recommended because of high risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome. However, CM treatment did not induce bacteriophage or Shiga-toxins in E. coli O157:H7; suggesting that CM can be a potential candidate to treat infections caused by this pathogen. This work establishes an underlying mechanism whereby CM exert antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo, providing significant insight for the treatment of diseases caused by a broad spectrum of pathogens including antibiotic resistant microorganisms.

  9. Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity (United States)


    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

  10. Stress biology and aging mechanisms: toward understanding the deep connection between adaptation to stress and longevity. (United States)

    Epel, Elissa S; Lithgow, Gordon J


    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:

  11. Smartphone users: Understanding how security mechanisms are perceived and new persuasive methods (United States)

    Alsaleh, Mansour; Alomar, Noura; Alarifi, Abdulrahman


    Protecting smartphones against security threats is a multidimensional problem involving human and technological factors. This study investigates how smartphone users’ security- and privacy-related decisions are influenced by their attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of various security threats. In this work, we seek to provide quantified insights into smartphone users’ behavior toward multiple key security features including locking mechanisms, application repositories, mobile instant messaging, and smartphone location services. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that reveals often unforeseen correlations and dependencies between various privacy- and security-related behaviors. Our work also provides evidence that making correct security decisions might not necessarily correlate with individuals’ awareness of the consequences of security threats. By comparing participants’ behavior and their motives for adopting or ignoring certain security practices, we suggest implementing additional persuasive approaches that focus on addressing social and technological aspects of the problem. On the basis of our findings and the results presented in the literature, we identify the factors that might influence smartphone users’ security behaviors. We then use our understanding of what might drive and influence significant behavioral changes to propose several platform design modifications that we believe could improve the security levels of smartphones. PMID:28297719

  12. Smartphone users: Understanding how security mechanisms are perceived and new persuasive methods. (United States)

    Alsaleh, Mansour; Alomar, Noura; Alarifi, Abdulrahman


    Protecting smartphones against security threats is a multidimensional problem involving human and technological factors. This study investigates how smartphone users' security- and privacy-related decisions are influenced by their attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of various security threats. In this work, we seek to provide quantified insights into smartphone users' behavior toward multiple key security features including locking mechanisms, application repositories, mobile instant messaging, and smartphone location services. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that reveals often unforeseen correlations and dependencies between various privacy- and security-related behaviors. Our work also provides evidence that making correct security decisions might not necessarily correlate with individuals' awareness of the consequences of security threats. By comparing participants' behavior and their motives for adopting or ignoring certain security practices, we suggest implementing additional persuasive approaches that focus on addressing social and technological aspects of the problem. On the basis of our findings and the results presented in the literature, we identify the factors that might influence smartphone users' security behaviors. We then use our understanding of what might drive and influence significant behavioral changes to propose several platform design modifications that we believe could improve the security levels of smartphones.

  13. Understanding dental CAD/CAM for restorations--accuracy from a mechanical engineering viewpoint. (United States)

    Tapie, Laurent; Lebon, Nicolas; Mawussi, Bernardin; Fron-Chabouis, Hélène; Duret, Francois; Attal, Jean-Pierre


    As is the case in the field of medicine, as well as in most areas of daily life, digital technology is increasingly being introduced into dental practice. Computer-aided design/ computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) solutions are available not only for chairside practice but also for creating inlays, crowns, fixed partial dentures (FPDs), implant abutments, and other dental prostheses. CAD/CAM dental practice can be considered as the handling of devices and software processing for the almost automatic design and creation of dental restorations. However, dentists who want to use dental CAD/CAM systems often do not have enough information to understand the variations offered by such technology practice. Knowledge of the random and systematic errors in accuracy with CAD/CAM systems can help to achieve successful restorations with this technology, and help with the purchasing of a CAD/CAM system that meets the clinical needs of restoration. This article provides a mechanical engineering viewpoint of the accuracy of CAD/ CAM systems, to help dentists understand the impact of this technology on restoration accuracy.

  14. Investigating and improving student understanding of the expectation values of observables in quantum mechanics (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha


    The expectation value of an observable is an important concept in quantum mechanics since measurement outcomes are, in general, probabilistic and we only have information about the probability distribution of measurement outcomes in a given quantum state of a system. However, we find that upper-level undergraduate and PhD students in physics have both conceptual and procedural difficulties when determining the expectation value of a physical observable in a given quantum state in terms of the eigenstates and eigenvalues of the corresponding operator, especially when using Dirac notation. Here we first describe the difficulties that these students have with determining the expectation value of an observable in Dirac notation. We then discuss how the difficulties found via student responses to written surveys and individual interviews were used as a guide in the development of a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) to help students develop a good grasp of the expectation value. The QuILT strives to help students integrate conceptual understanding and procedural skills to develop a coherent understanding of the expectation value. We discuss the effectiveness of the QuILT in helping students learn this concept from in-class evaluations.

  15. Smartphone users: Understanding how security mechanisms are perceived and new persuasive methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Alsaleh

    Full Text Available Protecting smartphones against security threats is a multidimensional problem involving human and technological factors. This study investigates how smartphone users' security- and privacy-related decisions are influenced by their attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of various security threats. In this work, we seek to provide quantified insights into smartphone users' behavior toward multiple key security features including locking mechanisms, application repositories, mobile instant messaging, and smartphone location services. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that reveals often unforeseen correlations and dependencies between various privacy- and security-related behaviors. Our work also provides evidence that making correct security decisions might not necessarily correlate with individuals' awareness of the consequences of security threats. By comparing participants' behavior and their motives for adopting or ignoring certain security practices, we suggest implementing additional persuasive approaches that focus on addressing social and technological aspects of the problem. On the basis of our findings and the results presented in the literature, we identify the factors that might influence smartphone users' security behaviors. We then use our understanding of what might drive and influence significant behavioral changes to propose several platform design modifications that we believe could improve the security levels of smartphones.

  16. Towards understanding the mechanisms and the kinetics of nanoparticle penetration through protective gloves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinches, L; Boutrigue, N; Zemzem, M; Hallé, S; Peyrot, C; Lemarchand, L; Wilkinson, K J; Tufenkji, N


    Parallel to the increased use of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) in the formulation of commercial products or in medicine, numerous health and safety agencies have recommended the application of the precautionary principle to handle ENP; namely, the recommendation to use protective gloves against chemicals. However, recent studies reveal the penetration of titanium dioxide nanoparticles through nitrile rubber protective gloves in conditions simulating occupational use. This project is designed to understand the links between the penetration of gold nanoparticles (nAu) through nitrile rubber protective gloves and the mechanical and physical behaviour of the elastomer material subjected to conditions simulating occupational use (i.e., mechanical deformations (MD) and sweat). Preliminary analyses show that nAu suspensions penetrate selected glove materials after exposure to prolonged (3 hours) dynamic deformations. Significant morphological changes are observed on the outer surface of the glove sample; namely, the number and the surface of the micropores on the surface increase. Moreover, nitrile rubber protective gloves are also shown to be sensitive to the action of nAu suspension and to the action of the saline solution used to simulate sweat (swelling). (paper)

  17. Understanding the mechanisms of familiar voice-identity recognition in the human brain. (United States)

    Maguinness, Corrina; Roswandowitz, Claudia; Von Kriegstein, Katharina


    Humans have a remarkable skill for voice-identity recognition: most of us can remember many voices that surround us as 'unique'. In this review, we explore the computational and neural mechanisms which may support our ability to represent and recognise a unique voice-identity. We examine the functional architecture of voice-sensitive regions in the superior temporal gyrus/sulcus, and bring together findings on how these regions may interact with each other, and additional face-sensitive regions, to support voice-identity processing. We also contrast findings from studies on neurotypicals and clinical populations which have examined the processing of familiar and unfamiliar voices. Taken together, the findings suggest that representations of familiar and unfamiliar voices might dissociate in the human brain. Such an observation does not fit well with current models for voice-identity processing, which by-and-large assume a common sequential analysis of the incoming voice signal, regardless of voice familiarity. We provide a revised audio-visual integrative model of voice-identity processing which brings together traditional and prototype models of identity processing. This revised model includes a mechanism of how voice-identity representations are established and provides a novel framework for understanding and examining the potential differences in familiar and unfamiliar voice processing in the human brain. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. The use of micro-/milli-fluidics to better understand the mechanisms behind deep venous thrombosis (United States)

    Schofield, Zoe; Alexiadis, Alessio; Brill, Alexander; Nash, Gerard; Vigolo, Daniele


    Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous and painful condition in which blood clots form in deep veins (e.g., femoral vein). If these clots become unstable and detach from the thrombus they can be delivered to the lungs resulting in a life threatening complication called pulmonary embolism (PE). Mechanisms of clot development in veins remain unclear but researchers suspect that the specific flow patterns in veins, especially around the valve flaps, play a fundamental role. Here we show how it is now possible to mimic the current murine model by developing micro-/milli-fluidic experiments. We exploited a novel detection technique, ghost particle velocimetry (GPV), to analyse the velocity profiles for various geometries. These vary from regular microfluidics with a rectangular cross section with a range of geometries (mimicking the presence of side and back branches in veins, closed side branch and flexible valves) to a more accurate venous representation with a 3D cylindrical geometry obtained by 3D printing. In addition to the GPV experiments, we analysed the flow field developing in these geometries by using computational fluid dynamic simulations to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms behind DVT. ZS gratefully acknowledges financial support from the EPSRC through a studentship from the Sci-Phy-4-Health Centre for Doctoral Training (EP/L016346/1).

  19. 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.


    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.

  20. The effects of bariatric surgery: will understanding its mechanism render the knife unnecessary? (United States)

    Browning, Kirsteen N; Hajnal, Andras


    The incidence of obesity is increasing worldwide at a dramatic rate, accompanied by an associated increase in comorbid conditions. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass being the most commonly performed procedure, yet the underlying mechanisms by which it induces a wide-array of beneficial effects remains obscure. From basic science as well as clinical standpoints, there are several areas of current interest that warrant continued investigation. Several major focus areas have also emerged in current research that may guide future efforts in this field, particularly with regards to using novel, non-surgical approaches to mimic the success of bariatric surgery while minimizing its adverse side effects.

  1. Understanding Central Mechanisms of Acupuncture Analgesia Using Dynamic Quantitative Sensory Testing: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang-Ti Kong


    Full Text Available We discuss the emerging translational tools for the study of acupuncture analgesia with a focus on psychophysical methods. The gap between animal mechanistic studies and human clinical trials of acupuncture analgesia calls for effective translational tools that bridge neurophysiological data with meaningful clinical outcomes. Temporal summation (TS and conditioned pain modulation (CPM are two promising tools yet to be widely utilized. These psychophysical measures capture the state of the ascending facilitation and the descending inhibition of nociceptive transmission, respectively. We review the basic concepts and current methodologies underlying these measures in clinical pain research, and illustrate their application to research on acupuncture analgesia. Finally, we highlight the strengths and limitations of these research methods and make recommendations on future directions. The appropriate addition of TS and CPM to our current research armamentarium will facilitate our efforts to elucidate the central analgesic mechanisms of acupuncture in clinical populations.

  2. Understanding the hydrolysis mechanism of ethyl acetate catalyzed by an aqueous molybdocene: a computational chemistry investigation. (United States)

    Tílvez, Elkin; Cárdenas-Jirón, Gloria I; Menéndez, María I; López, Ramón


    , in general, the information reported here could be of interest in designing new catalysts and understanding the reaction mechanism of these and other metal-catalyzed hydrolysis reactions.

  3. Testosterone and attention deficits as possible mechanisms underlying impaired emotion recognition in intimate partner violence perpetrators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ángel Romero-Martínez


    Full Text Available Several studies have reported impairments in decoding emotional facial expressions in intimate partner violence (IPV perpetrators. However, the mechanisms that underlie these impaired skills are not well known. Given this gap in the literature, we aimed to establish whether IPV perpetrators (n = 18 differ in their emotion decoding process, attentional skills, and testosterone (T, cortisol (C levels and T/C ratio in comparison with controls (n = 20, and also to examine the moderating role of the group and hormonal parameters in the relationship between attention skills and the emotion decoding process. Our results demonstrated that IPV perpetrators showed poorer emotion recognition and higher attention switching costs than controls. Nonetheless,they did not differ in attention to detail and hormonal parameters. Finally, the slope predicting emotion recognition from deficits in attention switching became steeper as T levels increased, especially in IPV perpetrators, although the basal C and T/C ratios were unrelated to emotion recognition and attention deficits for both groups. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying emotion recognition deficits. These factors therefore constitute the target for future interventions.

  4. Mechanisms of the rapid dissolution of plutonium dioxide in acidic media under oxidizing or reducing conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madic, C.; Berger, P.; Machuron-Mandard, X.


    Until recently plutonium dioxide was known to be among the metallic oxides most difficult to dissolve. This property is understandable given the free energy of the dissolution reaction (ΔG 0 ) in acidic noncomplexing media (ΔG 0 = 32.04 kJ/mol). Thermodynamic calculations predict that PuO 2 will dissolve under oxidizing or reducing conditions. The oxidizing dissolution, leading to Pu(VI) ion in solution, is easy to perform with a strong oxidant like Ag(II). The mechanism of the oxidizing dissolution of PuO 2 was investigated by using carbon paste electrochemistry (CPE) and 18 O labeling. PuO 2 can also be dissolved in acidic solution if the redox potential of the mixture is low (e.g., Cr 2+ , V 2+ , or U 3+ as reducing agents). The kinetics of the heterogeneous reducing dissolution of PuO 2 with Cr 2+ were investigated and the reaction mechanism was determined by 18 O labeling. All the results will be presented and discussed in the context of minimizing the amount of plutonium-contaminated solid wastes in the nuclear fuel cycle. 9 figs., 17 refs

  5. Mechanisms Underlying Cytotoxicity Induced by Engineered Nanomaterials: A Review of In Vitro Studies (United States)

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


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

  6. Understanding the Validity of Data: A Knowledge-Based Network Underlying Research Expertise in Scientific Disciplines (United States)

    Roberts, Ros


    This article considers what might be taught to meet a widely held curriculum aim of students being able to understand research in a discipline. Expertise, which may appear as a "chain of practice," is widely held to be underpinned by networks of understanding. Scientific research expertise is considered from this perspective. Within…

  7. Molecular phenology in plants: in natura systems biology for the comprehensive understanding of seasonal responses under natural environments. (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi


    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.

  8. Deciphering mechanisms of malathion toxicity under pulse exposure of the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia magna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trác, Ngoc Lâm; Andersen, Ole; Palmqvist, Annemette


    The organophosphate pesticide (OP) malathion is highly toxic to freshwater invertebrates, including the cladoceran Daphnia magna, a widely used test organism in ecotoxicology. To assess whether toxic effects of malathion are driven primarily by exposure concentration or exposure duration, D. magna......-regulated, indicating a compensatory mechanism to cope with enzyme inhibition. The study shows the need for obtaining a better understanding of the processes underlying toxicity under realistic exposure scenarios, so this can be taken into account in environmental risk assessment of pesticides. Environ Toxicol Chem...

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

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


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

  10. Seagrasses under threat: Understanding the resilience of temperate seagrass meadows in a changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.


    Despite being highly valuable ecosystems, seagrass meadows are threatened worldwide, mostly by human activities. In order to preserve seagrass meadows from collapse, we need to better understand their resilience in a changing environment. By means of various

  11. Revisiting the structure, age, and evolution of the Wharton Basin to better understand subduction under Indonesia.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jacob, J.; Dyment, J.; Yatheesh, V.

    Understanding the subduction processes along the Sunda Trench requires detailed constraints on the subducting lithosphere. We build a detailed tectonic map of the Wharton Basin based on reinterpretation of satellite-derived gravity anomalies...

  12. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tambutte Sylvie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. Results In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28°C to 32°C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28°C. The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching and the non stressed states (control were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich. Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress

  13. Towards Understanding the Catalytic Mechanism of Human Paraoxonase 1: Experimental and In Silico Mutagenesis Studies. (United States)

    Tripathy, Rajan K; Aggarwal, Geetika; Bajaj, Priyanka; Kathuria, Deepika; Bharatam, Prasad V; Pande, Abhay H


    Human paraoxonase 1 (h-PON1) is a ~45-kDa serum enzyme that can hydrolyze a variety of substrates, including organophosphate (OP) compounds. It is a potential candidate for the development of antidote against OP poisoning in humans. However, insufficient OP-hydrolyzing activity of native enzyme affirms the urgent need to develop improved variant(s) having enhanced OP-hydrolyzing activity. The crystal structure of h-PON1 remains unsolved, and the molecular details of how the enzyme catalyses hydrolysis of different types of substrates are also not clear. Understanding the molecular details of the catalytic mechanism of h-PON1 is essential to engineer better variant(s) of enzyme. In this study, we have used a random mutagenesis approach to increase the OP-hydrolyzing activity of recombinant h-PON1. The mutants not only showed a 10-340-fold increased OP-hydrolyzing activity against different OP substrates but also exhibited differential lactonase and arylesterase activities. In order to investigate the mechanistic details of the effect of observed mutations on the hydrolytic activities of enzyme, molecular docking studies were performed with selected mutants. The results suggested that the observed mutations permit differential binding of substrate/inhibitor into the enzyme's active site. This may explain differential hydrolytic activities of the enzyme towards different substrates.

  14. Understanding the mechanisms of sickle cell disease by simulations with a discrete particle model (United States)

    Hui, Katrina; Lin, Guang; Pan, Wenxiao


    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder characterized by rigid, sickle-shaped red blood cells (RBCs). Because of their rigidity and shape, sickle cells can get stuck in smaller blood vessels, causing blockages and depriving oxygen to tissues. This study develops and applies mathematical models to better understand the mechanism of SCD. Two-dimensional models of RBCs and blood vessels have been constructed by representing them as discrete particles interacting with different forces. The nonlinear, elastic property of healthy RBCs could be adequately reproduced using a cosine angle bending force and a worm-like chain spring force. With the ability to deform, RBCs can squeeze through narrow blood vessels. In modeling sickle cells as rigid bodies and applying repelling and friction forces from the blood vessel, this study shows that geometrical factors (dimensions of the sickle cell and blood vessels) as well as rigidity and adhesiveness of the sickle cell all play an important role in determining how, and if, sickle cells become trapped within narrow blood capillaries. With lack of data to validate the model, this study primarily provides a sensitivity analysis of factors influencing sickle cell occlusion and identified critical data to support future modeling.

  15. Understanding contract under the law of Lithuania and other European countries


    Tikniūtė, Agnė; Dambrauskaitė, Asta


    Contract theories may be a useful analytical tool for understanding and explaining contract, as well as for facilitating orientation in a complex and often fragmented legal regulation. The article presents main understandings of contract in various European jurisdictions: contract as free assumption of obligation, contract as a bargain based on the idea of consideration, contract as free assumption of obligation based on sufficient causa. The article inquires as to how universal those theorie...

  16. Understanding of percutaneous puncture under guidance of ultrasound in treating peritoneal and perinephritic abscess

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Liying; Wang Jiagang


    Objective: To explore the clinical value of percutaneous puncture under guidance of ultrasound in treating peritoneal abscess. Methods: To summarize 68 patients with peritoneal abscess underwent percutaneous puncture under guidance of ultrasound to analyse the method of operation and therapeutic effect. Results: effective power of percutaneous puncture under guidance of ultrasound in treating peritoneal abscess was 96.8%. Conclusion: Percutaneous puncture under guidance of ultrasound in treating peritoneal abscess may avoid injury induced by blinded puncture, with characteristic of easier operation, slighter trauma. higher safety, significant therapeutic effect, and can be spreaded to the clinical application. (authors)

  17. Understanding the Broad Substrate Repertoire of Nitroreductase Based on Its Kinetic Mechanism* (United States)

    Pitsawong, Warintra; Hoben, John P.; Miller, Anne-Frances


    The oxygen-insensitive nitroreductase from Enterobacter cloacae (NR) catalyzes two-electron reduction of nitroaromatics to the corresponding nitroso compounds and, subsequently, to hydroxylamine products. NR has an unusually broad substrate repertoire, which may be related to protein dynamics (flexibility) and/or a simple non-selective kinetic mechanism. To investigate the possible role of mechanism in the broad substrate repertoire of NR, the kinetics of oxidation of NR by para-nitrobenzoic acid (p-NBA) were investigated using stopped-flow techniques at 4 °C. The results revealed a hyperbolic dependence on the p-NBA concentration with a limiting rate of 1.90 ± 0.09 s−1, indicating one-step binding before the flavin oxidation step. There is no evidence for a distinct binding step in which specificity might be enforced. The reduction of p-NBA is rate-limiting in steady-state turnover (1.7 ± 0.3 s−1). The pre-steady-state reduction kinetics of NR by NADH indicate that NADH reduces the enzyme with a rate constant of 700 ± 20 s−1 and a dissociation constant of 0.51 ± 0.04 mm. Thus, we demonstrate simple transient kinetics in both the reductive and oxidative half-reactions that help to explain the broad substrate repertoire of NR. Finally, we tested the ability of NR to reduce para-hydroxylaminobenzoic acid, demonstrating that the corresponding amine does not accumulate to significant levels even under anaerobic conditions. Thus E. cloacae NR is not a good candidate for enzymatic production of aromatic amines. PMID:24706760

  18. Contribution of transcranial magnetic stimulation to the understanding of cortical mechanisms involved in motor control. (United States)

    Reis, Janine; Swayne, Orlando B; Vandermeeren, Yves; Camus, Mickael; Dimyan, Michael A; Harris-Love, Michelle; Perez, Monica A; Ragert, Patrick; Rothwell, John C; Cohen, Leonardo G


    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was initially used to evaluate the integrity of the corticospinal tract in humans non-invasively. Since these early studies, the development of paired-pulse and repetitive TMS protocols allowed investigators to explore inhibitory and excitatory interactions of various motor and non-motor cortical regions within and across cerebral hemispheres. These applications have provided insight into the intracortical physiological processes underlying the functional role of different brain regions in various cognitive processes, motor control in health and disease and neuroplastic changes during recovery of function after brain lesions. Used in combination with neuroimaging tools, TMS provides valuable information on functional connectivity between different brain regions, and on the relationship between physiological processes and the anatomical configuration of specific brain areas and connected pathways. More recently, there has been increasing interest in the extent to which these physiological processes are modulated depending on the behavioural setting. The purpose of this paper is (a) to present an up-to-date review of the available electrophysiological data and the impact on our understanding of human motor behaviour and (b) to discuss some of the gaps in our present knowledge as well as future directions of research in a format accessible to new students and/or investigators. Finally, areas of uncertainty and limitations in the interpretation of TMS studies are discussed in some detail.

  19. Understanding the mechanism of DNA deactivation in ion therapy of cancer cells: hydrogen peroxide action* (United States)

    Piatnytskyi, Dmytro V.; Zdorevskyi, Oleksiy O.; Perepelytsya, Sergiy M.; Volkov, Sergey N.


    Changes in the medium of biological cells under ion beam irradiation has been considered as a possible cause of cell function disruption in the living body. The interaction of hydrogen peroxide, a long-lived molecular product of water radiolysis, with active sites of DNA macromolecule was studied, and the formation of stable DNA-peroxide complexes was considered. The phosphate groups of the macromolecule backbone were picked out among the atomic groups of DNA double helix as a probable target for interaction with hydrogen peroxide molecules. Complexes consisting of combinations including: the DNA phosphate group, H2O2 and H2O molecules, and Na+ counterion, were considered. The counterions have been taken into consideration insofar as under the natural conditions they neutralise DNA sugar-phosphate backbone. The energy of the complexes have been determined by considering the electrostatic and the Van der Waals interactions within the framework of atom-atom potential functions. As a result, the stability of various configurations of molecular complexes was estimated. It was shown that DNA phosphate groups and counterions can form stable complexes with hydrogen peroxide molecules, which are as stable as the complexes with water molecules. It has been demonstrated that the formation of stable complexes of H2O2-Na+-PO4- may be detected experimentally by observing specific vibrations in the low-frequency Raman spectra. The interaction of H2O2 molecule with phosphate group of the double helix backbone can disrupt DNA biological function and induce the deactivation of the cell genetic apparatus. Thus, the production of hydrogen peroxide molecules in the nucleus of living cells can be considered as an additional mechanism by which high-energy ion beams destroy tumour cells during ion beam therapy. Contribution to the Topical Issue "COST Action Nano-IBCT: Nano-scale Processes Behind Ion-Beam Cancer Therapy", edited by Andrey Solov'yov, Nigel Mason, Gustavo García, Eugene

  20. The mechanisms of low nitrogen induced weakened photosynthesis in summer maize (Zea mays L.) under field conditions. (United States)

    Wei, Shanshan; Wang, Xiangyu; Shi, Deyang; Li, Yanhong; Zhang, Jiwang; Liu, Peng; Zhao, Bin; Dong, Shuting


    Soil nitrogen (N) shortage is a problem which affects many developing nations. Crops grown with low soil N levels show a marked decrease in the rate of photosynthesis and this deficiency reduces crop yield significantly. Therefore, developing a better understanding of the mechanisms by which low N levels cause decreased photosynthesis is crucial for maize agriculture. To better understand this process, we assessed the responses of photosynthesis traits and enzymatic activities in the summer maize cultivar Denghai 618 under field conditions with and without the use of N fertilisers. We measured photosynthesis parameters, and compared proteome compositions to identify the mechanisms of physiological and biochemical adaptations to N deficiency in maize. We observed that parameters that indicated the rate of photosynthesis decreased significantly under N deficiency, and this response was associated with leaf senescence. Moreover, we identified 37 proteins involved in leaf photosynthesis, and found that N deficiency significantly affected light-dependent and light-independent reactions in maize leaf photosynthesis. Although further analysis is required to fully elucidate the roles of these proteins in the response to N deficiency, our study identified candidate proteins which may be involved in the regulatory mechanisms involved in reduced photosynthesis under low N conditions in maize. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Interactivity effects in social media marketing on brand engagement: an investigation of underlying mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antheunis, M.L.; van Noort, G.; Eisend, M.; Langner, T.


    Although, SNS advertising spending increases, research on SNS campaigning is still underexposed. First, this study aims to investigate the effect of SNS campaign interactivity on the receivers brand engagement, taking four underlying mechanisms into account (brand identification, campaign

  2. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Mao


    Full Text Available Atmospheric mercury (Hg is a global pollutant and thought to be the main source of mercury in oceanic and remote terrestrial systems, where it becomes methylated and bioavailable; hence, atmospheric mercury pollution has global consequences for both human and ecosystem health. Understanding of spatial and temporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury can advance our knowledge of mercury cycling in various environments. This review summarized spatiotemporal variations of total gaseous mercury or gaseous elemental mercury (TGM/GEM, gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM, and particulate-bound mercury (PBM in various environments including oceans, continents, high elevation, the free troposphere, and low to high latitudes. In the marine boundary layer (MBL, the oxidation of GEM was generally thought to drive the diurnal and seasonal variations of TGM/GEM and GOM in most oceanic regions, leading to lower GEM and higher GOM from noon to afternoon and higher GEM during winter and higher GOM during spring–summer. At continental sites, the driving mechanisms of TGM/GEM diurnal patterns included surface and local emissions, boundary layer dynamics, GEM oxidation, and for high-elevation sites mountain–valley winds, while oxidation of GEM and entrainment of free tropospheric air appeared to control the diurnal patterns of GOM. No pronounced diurnal variation was found for Tekran measured PBM at MBL and continental sites. Seasonal variations in TGM/GEM at continental sites were attributed to increased winter combustion and summertime surface emissions, and monsoons in Asia, while those in GOM were controlled by GEM oxidation, free tropospheric transport, anthropogenic emissions, and wet deposition. Increased PBM at continental sites during winter was primarily due to local/regional coal and wood combustion emissions. Long-term TGM measurements from the MBL and continental sites indicated an overall declining trend. Limited measurements suggested TGM

  3. Auditory and Cognitive Factors Underlying Individual Differences in Aided Speech-Understanding among Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry E. Humes


    Full Text Available This study was designed to address individual differences in aided speech understanding among a relatively large group of older adults. The group of older adults consisted of 98 adults (50 female and 48 male ranging in age from 60 to 86 (mean = 69.2. Hearing loss was typical for this age group and about 90% had not worn hearing aids. All subjects completed a battery of tests, including cognitive (6 measures, psychophysical (17 measures, and speech-understanding (9 measures, as well as the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing (SSQ self-report scale. Most of the speech-understanding measures made use of competing speech and the non-speech psychophysical measures were designed to tap phenomena thought to be relevant for the perception of speech in competing speech (e.g., stream segregation, modulation-detection interference. All measures of speech understanding were administered with spectral shaping applied to the speech stimuli to fully restore audibility through at least 4000 Hz. The measures used were demonstrated to be reliable in older adults and, when compared to a reference group of 28 young normal-hearing adults, age-group differences were observed on many of the measures. Principal-components factor analysis was applied successfully to reduce the number of independent and dependent (speech understanding measures for a multiple-regression analysis. Doing so yielded one global cognitive-processing factor and five non-speech psychoacoustic factors (hearing loss, dichotic signal detection, multi-burst masking, stream segregation, and modulation detection as potential predictors. To this set of six potential predictor variables were added subject age, Environmental Sound Identification (ESI, and performance on the text-recognition-threshold (TRT task (a visual analog of interrupted speech recognition. These variables were used to successfully predict one global aided speech-understanding factor, accounting for about 60% of the variance.

  4. Molecular mechanisms underlying mancozeb-induced inhibition of TNF-alpha production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corsini, Emanuela; Viviani, Barbara; Birindelli, Sarah; Gilardi, Federica; Torri, Anna; Codeca, Ilaria; Lucchi, Laura; Bartesaghi, Stefano; Galli, Corrado L.; Marinovich, Marina; Colosio, Claudio


    after mancozeb treatment, confirming NF-κB binding as an intracellular target of mancozeb. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of the mechanism underlying mancozeb-induced immunotoxicity

  5. Understanding the mechanism of iron sulfide-induced fouling in upgrading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Panchal, C.B. [United States Dept. of Energy, Chicago, IL (United States). Argonne National Laboratory


    This presentation investigated the underlying mechanisms of iron sulfide-induced fouling and coking in upgrading processes. Experiments to determine the effects of dissolved metals on the rate of fouling were reviewed. It was noted that the presence of species such as active sulfur and diolefins can enhance the effect of dissolved metals. An investigation of a high temperature fouling unit was then conducted to investigate the effect of iron acetate and theiphenol additions to stable heavy gas oil. The deposition rate became strongly dependent on temperature in the presence of the dissolved metals. Fouling deposit analyses from various parts of the refining process consistently showed high concentrations of iron and sulfur. It was observed that the threshold tube-wall temperature corresponded to the decomposition temperature of iron salts. A review of current literature indicated that there is little information on the interactive effects of the thermal stability of dissolved organo-metallic compounds and the reactivity of organic species in generating fouling precursors. The creation of a predictive model of threshold fouling and coking conditions was recommended. It was suggested that the model should be used during the design phases of furnaces and heat exchangers. Other recommendations included the use of on-line sensors to detect iron sulfide formulation; and the monitoring of coking furnaces. Blending guidelines to minimize the interactive effects of dissolved metals and active sulfur compounds were also presented. refs., tabs., figs.

  6. Recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanism of chloroplast photorelocation movement. (United States)

    Kong, Sam-Geun; Wada, Masamitsu


    Plants are photosynthetic organisms that have evolved unique systems to adapt fluctuating environmental light conditions. In addition to well-known movement responses such as phototropism, stomatal opening, and nastic leaf movements, chloroplast photorelocation movement is one of the essential cellular responses to optimize photosynthetic ability and avoid photodamage. For these adaptations, chloroplasts accumulate at the areas of cells illuminated with low light (called accumulation response), while they scatter from the area illuminated with strong light (called avoidance response). Plant-specific photoreceptors (phototropin, phytochrome, and/or neochrome) mediate these dynamic directional movements in response to incident light position and intensity. Several factors involved in the mechanisms underlying the processes from light perception to actin-based movements have also been identified through molecular genetic approach. This review aims to discuss recent findings in the field relating to how chloroplasts move at molecular levels. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The low FODMAP diet: recent advances in understanding its mechanisms and efficacy in IBS. (United States)

    Staudacher, Heidi M; Whelan, Kevin


    There is an intensifying interest in the interaction between diet and the functional GI symptoms experienced in IBS. Recent studies have used MRI to demonstrate that short-chain fermentable carbohydrates increase small intestinal water volume and colonic gas production that, in those with visceral hypersensitivity, induces functional GI symptoms. Dietary restriction of short-chain fermentable carbohydrates (the low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide and polyol (FODMAP) diet) is now increasingly used in the clinical setting. Initial research evaluating the efficacy of the low FODMAP diet was limited by retrospective study design and lack of comparator groups, but more recently well-designed clinical trials have been published. There are currently at least 10 randomised controlled trials or randomised comparative trials showing the low FODMAP diet leads to clinical response in 50%-80% of patients with IBS, in particular with improvements in bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and global symptoms. However, in conjunction with the beneficial clinical impact, recent studies have also demonstrated that the low FODMAP diet leads to profound changes in the microbiota and metabolome, the duration and clinical relevance of which are as yet unknown. This review aims to present recent advances in the understanding of the mechanisms by which the low FODMAP diet impacts on symptoms in IBS, recent evidence for its efficacy, current findings regarding the consequences of the diet on the microbiome and recommendations for areas for future research. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  8. Cognitive mechanisms underlying disorganization of thought in a genetic syndrome (47,XXY)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Rijn, Sophie; Aleman, Andre; De Sonneville, Leo; Swaab, Hanna

    Because of the risk for development of psychopathology such as psychotic symptoms, it has been suggested that studying men with the XXY karyotype may help in the search for underlying cognitive, neural and genetic mechanisms. The aim of this study was to identify cognitive mechanisms that may


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosif TEMPEA


    Full Text Available The paper presents a synthesis of the Double SCARA Robot modelling, leading to an optimal solution, from workspace point of view, as well as precision and stability of the endeffector in performing the planned trajectory. For the design of the final mechanism CATIA software has been used, as well as NASTRAN/PATRAN software, for the mechanism analysis under mechanical and thermal loads.

  10. An integrative view of mechanisms underlying generalized spike-and-wave epileptic seizures and its implication on optimal therapeutic treatments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyuan Yan

    Full Text Available Many types of epileptic seizures are characterized by generalized spike-and-wave discharges. In the past, notable effort has been devoted to understanding seizure dynamics and various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the underlying mechanisms. In this paper, by taking an integrative view of the underlying mechanisms, we demonstrate that epileptic seizures can be generated by many different combinations of synaptic strengths and intrinsic membrane properties. This integrative view has important medical implications: the specific state of a patient characterized by a set of biophysical characteristics ultimately determines the optimal therapeutic treatment. Through the same view, we further demonstrate the potentiation effect of rational polypharmacy in the treatment of epilepsy and provide a new angle to resolve the debate on polypharmacy. Our results underscore the need for personalized medicine and demonstrate that computer modeling and simulation may play an important role in assisting the clinicians in selecting the optimal treatment on an individual basis.

  11. Using stable isotopes and functional wood anatomy to identify underlying mechanisms of drought tolerance in different provenances of lodgepole pine (United States)

    Isaac-Renton, Miriam; Montwé, David; Hamann, Andreas; Spiecker, Heinrich; Cherubini, Paolo; Treydte, Kerstin


    Choosing drought-tolerant seed sources for reforestation may help adapt forests to climate change. By combining dendroecological growth analysis with a long-term provenance trial, we assessed growth and drought tolerance of different populations of a wide-ranging conifer, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). This experimental design simulated a climate warming scenario through southward seed transfer, and an exceptional drought also occurred in 2002. We felled over 500 trees, representing 23 seed sources, which were grown for 32 years at three warm, dry sites in southern British Columbia, Canada. Northern populations showed poor growth and drought tolerance. These seed sources therefore appear to be especially at risk under climate change. Before recommending assisted migration of southern seeds towards the north, however, it is important to understand the physiological mechanisms underlying these responses. We combine functional wood anatomy with a dual-isotope approach to evaluate these mechanisms to drought response.

  12. Surviving a Dry Future: Abscisic Acid (ABA-Mediated Plant Mechanisms for Conserving Water under Low Humidity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances C. Sussmilch


    Full Text Available Angiosperms are able to respond rapidly to the first sign of dry conditions, a decrease in air humidity, more accurately described as an increase in the vapor pressure deficit between the leaf and the atmosphere (VPD, by abscisic acid (ABA-mediated stomatal closure. The genes underlying this response offer valuable candidates for targeted selection of crop varieties with improved drought tolerance, a critical goal for current plant breeding programs, to maximize crop production in drier and increasingly marginalized environments, and meet the demands of a growing population in the face of a changing climate. Here, we review current understanding of the genetic mechanisms underpinning ABA-mediated stomatal closure, a key means for conserving water under dry conditions, examine how these mechanisms evolved, and discuss what remains to be investigated.

  13. Understanding the mechanisms that change the conductivity of damaged ITO-coated polymeric films: A micro-mechanical investigation

    KAUST Repository

    Nasr Saleh, Mohamed


    Degradation from mechanical loading of transparent electrodes made of indium tin oxide (ITO) endangers the integrity of any material based on these electrodes, including flexible organic solar cells. However, how different schemes of degradation change the conductivity of ITO devices remains unclear. We propose a systematic micro-mechanics-based approach to clarify the relationship between degradation and changes in electrical resistance. By comparing experimentally measured channel crack densities to changes in electrical resistance returned by the different micro-mechanical schemes, we highlight the key role played by the residual conductivity in the interface between the ITO electrode and its substrate after delamination. We demonstrate that channel cracking alone does not explain the experimental observations. Our results indicate that delamination has to take place between the ITO electrode and the substrate layers and that the residual conductivity of this delaminated interface plays a major role in changes in electrical resistance of the degraded device. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

  14. Deformation and damage modes of deep argillaceous rocks under hydro-mechanical stresses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vales, F.


    An experimental identification of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of an argillite rock is proposed within a multi-scale approach. In particular, interest is focused on the spatial and temporal localization of strain and damage in a specimen during hydro-mechanical loading. Firstly, we describe the techniques used to follow the rock evolutions under loading, and in particular Digital Images Correlation (DIC), Acoustic Emission, microscopy and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Measurement errors and device limitations are discussed. The studied material is the Callovo-Oxfordian indurated argillaceous rock (or argillite) of the Bure site where ANDRA has built an underground research laboratory to study the radioactive waste storage. Petrophysical characterizations and microstructural observations by optical and scanning electron microscopy provide an identification of the constitutive phase and a characterization of their spatial distribution and typical sizes. Argillite can be described as a composite structure with a continuous clay matrix and embedded mineral particles, essentially quartz and carbonates. The typical size of these particles ranges from a few micrometers to a few hundreds micrometers, with an average close to 50 μ.m. The general experimental procedure combines two steps: in a fist time, imposed suctions bring samples to a given degree of water saturation, and, in a second time, uniaxial mechanical compression tests are performed. To understand the evolutions of the material under hydric and mechanical loading, samples are instrumented with standard measurement techniques, but also with Digital Image Correlation, at both the global scale of the sample and the local scale of the composite microstructure, and with Acoustic Emissions recording. Moisture transfers are imposed by controlled suctions on the range of 150 to 2.8 MPa, corresponding to the relative humidity range of 32 to 98%RH. During pure hydric solicitation, the changes in physical parameters

  15. Understanding Innovation for Sustainable Business Management Capabilities and Competencies under Uncertainty


    Wu, Kuo-Jui; Liao, Ching-Jong; Tseng, Ming-Lang; Chou, Pei-Jay


    In recent years, many firms have come to understand that innovation is an important issue in sustainable business management, as it helps improve firm capabilities and competencies. Because of the fiercely competitive environment in the hotel industry, innovation has become a critical factor in the process of hotel differentiation, leading to sustainable business success. However, the literature has not thoroughly examined the role of innovation or the hierarchical structure of the capabiliti...

  16. Dynamic Analytical Capability to Better Understand and Anticipate Extremist Shifts Within Populations under Authoritarian Regimes.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernard, Michael Lewis [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    The purpose of this work is to create a generalizable data- and theory-supported capability to better understand and anticipate (with quantifiable uncertainty): 1) how the dynamics of allegiance formations between various groups and society are impacted by active conflict and by third-party interventions and 2) how/why extremist allegiances co-evolve over time due to changing geopolitical, sociocultural, and military conditions.

  17. Distinct mechanisms underlying tolerance to intermittent and constant hypoxia in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priti Azad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Constant hypoxia (CH and intermittent hypoxia (IH occur during several pathological conditions such as asthma and obstructive sleep apnea. Our research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to injury or adaptation to hypoxic stress using Drosophila as a model system. Our current genome-wide study is designed to investigate gene expression changes and identify protective mechanism(s in D. melanogaster after exposure to severe (1% O(2 intermittent or constant hypoxia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our microarray analysis has identified multiple gene families that are up- or down-regulated in response to acute CH or IH. We observed distinct responses to IH and CH in gene expression that varied in the number of genes and type of gene families. We then studied the role of candidate genes (up-or down-regulated in hypoxia tolerance (adult survival for longer periods (CH-7 days, IH-10 days under severe CH or IH. Heat shock proteins up-regulation (specifically Hsp23 and Hsp70 led to a significant increase in adult survival (as compared to controls of P-element lines during CH. In contrast, during IH treatment the up-regulation of Mdr49 and l(208717 genes (P-element lines provided survival advantage over controls. This suggests that the increased transcript levels following treatment with either paradigm play an important role in tolerance to severe hypoxia. Furthermore, by over-expressing Hsp70 in specific tissues, we found that up-regulation of Hsp70 in heart and brain play critical role in tolerance to CH in flies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We observed that the gene expression response to IH or CH is specific and paradigm-dependent. We have identified several genes Hsp23, Hsp70, CG1600, l(208717 and Mdr49 that play an important role in hypoxia tolerance whether it is in CH or IH. These data provide further clues about the mechanisms by which IH or CH lead to cell injury and morbidity or adaptation and survival.

  18. An agent-based simulation of power generation company behavior in electricity markets under different market-clearing mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aliabadi, Danial Esmaeili; Kaya, Murat; Şahin, Güvenç


    Deregulated electricity markets are expected to provide affordable electricity for consumers through promoting competition. Yet, the results do not always fulfill the expectations. The regulator's market-clearing mechanism is a strategic choice that may affect the level of competition in the market. We conceive of the market-clearing mechanism as composed of two components: pricing rules and rationing policies. We investigate the strategic behavior of power generation companies under different market-clearing mechanisms using an agent-based simulation model which integrates a game-theoretical understanding of the auction mechanism in the electricity market and generation companies' learning mechanism. Results of our simulation experiments are presented using various case studies representing different market settings. The market in simulations is observed to converge to a Nash equilibrium of the stage game or to a similar state under most parameter combinations. Compared to pay-as-bid pricing, bid prices are closer to marginal costs on average under uniform pricing while GenCos' total profit is also higher. The random rationing policy of the ISO turns out to be more successful in achieving lower bid prices and lower GenCo profits. In minimizing GenCos' total profit, a combination of pay-as-bid pricing rule and random rationing policy is observed to be the most promising. - Highlights: • An agent-based simulation of generation company behavior in electricity markets is developed. • Learning dynamics of companies is modeled with an extended Q-learning algorithm. • Different market clearing mechanisms of the regulator are compared. • Convergence to Nash equilibria is analyzed under different cases. • The level of competition in the market is studied.

  19. Heavy-ion radiobiology: new approaches to delineate mechanisms underlying enhanced biological effectiveness (United States)

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


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

  20. Molecular mechanisms underlying monosynaptic sensory-motor circuit development in the spinal cord. (United States)

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Yoshida, Yutaka


    Motor behaviors are precisely controlled by the integration of sensory and motor systems in the central nervous system (CNS). Proprioceptive sensory neurons, key components of the sensory system, are located in the dorsal root ganglia and project axons both centrally to the spinal cord and peripherally to muscles and tendons, communicating peripheral information about the body to the CNS. Changes in muscle length detected by muscle spindles, and tension variations in tendons conveyed by Golgi tendon organs, are communicated to the CNS through group Ia /II, and Ib proprioceptive sensory afferents, respectively. Group Ib proprioceptive sensory neurons connect with motor neurons indirectly through spinal interneurons, whereas group Ia/II axons form both direct (monosynaptic) and indirect connections with motor neurons. Although monosynaptic sensory-motor circuits between spindle proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons have been extensively studied since 1950s, the molecular mechanisms underlying their formation and upkeep have only recently begun to be understood. We will discuss our current understanding of the molecular foundation of monosynaptic circuit development and maintenance involving proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons in the mammalian spinal cord. Developmental Dynamics 247:581-587, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Improving arithmetic performance with number sense training: an investigation of underlying mechanism. (United States)

    Park, Joonkoo; Brannon, Elizabeth M


    A nonverbal primitive number sense allows approximate estimation and mental manipulations on numerical quantities without the use of numerical symbols. In a recent randomized controlled intervention study in adults, we demonstrated that repeated training on a non-symbolic approximate arithmetic task resulted in improved exact symbolic arithmetic performance, suggesting a causal relationship between the primitive number sense and arithmetic competence. Here, we investigate the potential mechanisms underlying this causal relationship. We constructed multiple training conditions designed to isolate distinct cognitive components of the approximate arithmetic task. We then assessed the effectiveness of these training conditions in improving exact symbolic arithmetic in adults. We found that training on approximate arithmetic, but not on numerical comparison, numerical matching, or visuo-spatial short-term memory, improves symbolic arithmetic performance. In addition, a second experiment revealed that our approximate arithmetic task does not require verbal encoding of number, ruling out an alternative explanation that participants use exact symbolic strategies during approximate arithmetic training. Based on these results, we propose that nonverbal numerical quantity manipulation is one key factor that drives the link between the primitive number sense and symbolic arithmetic competence. Future work should investigate whether training young children on approximate arithmetic tasks even before they solidify their symbolic number understanding is fruitful for improving readiness for math education. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Effects of social support on children's eyewitness reports: a test of the underlying mechanism. (United States)

    Davis, Suzanne L; Bottoms, Bette L


    Research on children's eyewitness testimony demonstrates that interviewer-provided social support given during a mock forensic interview helps children resist an interviewer's misleading suggestions about past events. We proposed and tested 1 potential mechanism underlying support effects: "Resistance Efficacy," or children's perceived self-efficacy for resisting an interviewer's suggestions. Eighty-one 6- and 7-year-old children experienced a play event, then were interviewed about the event with misleading and specific questions. Consistent with prior research, children interviewed by a supportive person were more resistant to misleading suggestions than were those interviewed by a nonsupportive person. Although Resistance Efficacy did not mediate the effects of interviewer support in the full sample, additional analyses revealed that Resistance Efficacy may be a mediator for older, but not younger, children. Contrary to predictions, children's preexisting social support reserves were not related to children's interview accuracy nor to perceived Resistance Efficacy. Implications for psychological theory are discussed, as well as implications for understanding and improving children's eyewitness reports.

  3. North American water availability under stress and duress: building understanding from simulations, observations and data products (United States)

    Maxwell, R. M.; Condon, L. E.; Atchley, A. L.; Hector, B.


    Quantifying the available freshwater for human use and ecological function depends on fluxes and stores that are hard to observe. Evapotranspiration (ET) is the largest terrestrial flux of water behind precipitation but is observed with low spatial density. Likewise, groundwater is the largest freshwater store, yet is equally uncertain. The ability to upscale observations of these variables is an additional complication; point measurements are made at scales orders of magnitude smaller than remote sensing data products. Integrated hydrologic models that simulate continental extents at fine spatial resolution are now becoming an additional tool to constrain fluxes and address interconnections. For example, recent work has shown connections between water table depth and transpiration partitioning, and demonstrated the ability to reconcile point observations and large-scale inferences. Here we explore the dynamics of large hydrologic systems experiencing change and stress across continental North America using integrated model simulations, observations and data products. Simulations of aquifer depletion due to pervasive groundwater pumping diagnose both stream depletion and changes in ET. Simulations of systematic increases in temperature are used to understand the relationship between snowpack dynamics, surface and groundwater flow, ET and a changing climate. Remotely sensed products including the GRACE estimates of total storage change are downscaled using model simulations to better understand human impacts to the hydrologic cycle. These example applications motivate a path forward to better use simulations to understand water availability.

  4. Developmental Exposure to Pesticides Alters Motor Activity and Coordination in Rats: Sex Differences and Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Gómez-Giménez, B; Felipo, V; Cabrera-Pastor, A; Agustí, A; Hernández-Rabaza, V; Llansola, M


    It has been proposed that developmental exposure to pesticides contributes to increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, such as attention deficit with hyperactivity (ADHD) and to alterations in coordination skills. However, the mechanisms involved in these alterations remain unclear. We analyzed the effects on spontaneous motor activity and motor coordination of developmental exposure to a representative pesticide of each one of the four main chemical families: organophosphates (chlorpyrifos), carbamates (carbaryl), organochlorines (endosulfan), and pyrethroids (cypermethrin). Pesticides were administered once a day orally, in a sweet jelly, from gestational day 7 to post natal day 21. Spontaneous motor activity was assessed by an actimeter and motor coordination using the rotarod, when rats were adults. The effects were analyzed separately in males and females. Extracellular GABA in cerebellum and NMDA receptor subunits in hippocampus were assessed as possible underlying mechanisms of motor alterations. Motor coordination was impaired by developmental exposure to endosulfan, cypermethrin, and chlorpyrifos in females but not in males. The effect of endosulfan and cypermethrin would be due to increased extracellular GABA in cerebellum, which remains unaltered in male rats. Chlorpyrifos increased motor activity in males and females. Cypermethrin decreased motor activity mainly in males. In male rats, but not in females, expression of the NR2B subunit of NMDA receptor in hippocampus correlated with motor activity. These results show sex-specific effects of different pesticides on motor activity and coordination, associated with neurotransmission alterations. These data contribute to better understand the relationship between developmental exposure to the main pesticide families and motor disorders in children.

  5. Biomechanical mechanisms underlying exosuit-induced improvements in walking economy after stroke. (United States)

    Bae, Jaehyun; Awad, Louis N; Long, Andrew; O'Donnell, Kathleen; Hendron, Katy; Holt, Kenneth G; Ellis, Terry D; Walsh, Conor J


    Stroke-induced hemiparetic gait is characteristically asymmetric and metabolically expensive. Weakness and impaired control of the paretic ankle contribute to reduced forward propulsion and ground clearance - walking subtasks critical for safe and efficient locomotion. Targeted gait interventions that improve paretic ankle function after stroke are therefore warranted. We have developed textile-based, soft wearable robots that transmit mechanical power generated by off-board or body-worn actuators to the paretic ankle using Bowden cables (soft exosuits) and have demonstrated the exosuits can overcome deficits in paretic limb forward propulsion and ground clearance, ultimately reducing the metabolic cost of hemiparetic walking. This study elucidates the biomechanical mechanisms underlying exosuit-induced reductions in metabolic power. We evaluated the relationships between exosuit-induced changes in the body center of mass (COM) power generated by each limb, individual joint power and metabolic power. Compared with walking with an exosuit unpowered, exosuit assistance produced more symmetrical COM power generation during the critical period of the step-to-step transition (22.4±6.4% more symmetric). Changes in individual limb COM power were related to changes in paretic ( R 2 =0.83, P= 0.004) and non-paretic ( R 2 = 0.73, P= 0.014) ankle power. Interestingly, despite the exosuit providing direct assistance to only the paretic limb, changes in metabolic power were related to changes in non-paretic limb COM power ( R 2 =0.80, P= 0.007), not paretic limb COM power ( P> 0.05). These findings contribute to a fundamental understanding of how individuals post-stroke interact with an exosuit to reduce the metabolic cost of hemiparetic walking. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Understanding the mechanisms of cobalt-catalyzed hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions. (United States)

    Zhang, Guoqi; Vasudevan, Kalyan V; Scott, Brian L; Hanson, Susan K


    Cobalt(II) alkyl complexes of aliphatic PNP pincer ligands have been synthesized and characterized. The cationic cobalt(II) alkyl complex [(PNHP(Cy))Co(CH2SiMe3)]BAr(F)4 (4) (PNHP(Cy) = bis[(2-dicyclohexylphosphino)ethyl]amine) is an active precatalyst for the hydrogenation of olefins and ketones and the acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols. To elucidate the possible involvement of the N-H group on the pincer ligand in the catalysis via a metal-ligand cooperative interaction, the reactivities of 4 and [(PNMeP(Cy))Co(CH2SiMe3)]BAr(F)4 (7) were compared. Complex 7 was found to be an active precatalyst for the hydrogenation of olefins. In contrast, no catalytic activity was observed using 7 as a precatalyst for the hydrogenation of acetophenone under mild conditions. For the acceptorless dehydrogenation of 1-phenylethanol, complex 7 displayed similar activity to complex 4, affording acetophenone in high yield. When the acceptorless dehydrogenation of 1-phenylethanol with precatalyst 4 was monitored by NMR spectroscopy, the formation of the cobalt(III) acetylphenyl hydride complex [(PNHP(Cy))Co(III)(κ(2)-O,C-C6H4C(O)CH3)(H)]BAr(F)4 (13) was detected. Isolated complex 13 was found to be an effective catalyst for the acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols, implicating 13 as a catalyst resting state during the alcohol dehydrogenation reaction. Complex 13 catalyzed the hydrogenation of styrene but showed no catalytic activity for the room temperature hydrogenation of acetophenone. These results support the involvement of metal-ligand cooperativity in the room temperature hydrogenation of ketones but not the hydrogenation of olefins or the acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols. Mechanisms consistent with these observations are presented for the cobalt-catalyzed hydrogenation of olefins and ketones and the acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols.

  7. Comparison of mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc titanium under high pressure (United States)

    Zhang, Yongmei; Zhao, Yuhong; Hou, Hua; Wen, Zhiqin; Duan, Meiling


    The mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc Ti have been discussed based on the first-principles calculation combined with the quasi-harmonic Debye model. We find that the bulk modulus B, shear modulus G, Young’s modulus E of fcc Ti are larger, while Poisson’s ratio σ is smaller than that of bcc Ti under the same pressure, which indicates the better mechanical performance of fcc Ti compared with bcc Ti. The values of B/G and σ indicate that mechanically stable fcc structure is much less ductile than the bcc structure, while mechanically metastable fcc structure has better ductility than stable bcc structure under high pressure. The normalized volume, isothermal bulk modulus, heat capacity, volume thermal expansion coefficient and Debye temperature under pressure and temperature for fcc and bcc Ti are predicted.

  8. A new application of the phase-field method for understanding the mechanisms of nuclear architecture reorganization. (United States)

    Lee, S Seirin; Tashiro, S; Awazu, A; Kobayashi, R


    Specific features of nuclear architecture are important for the functional organization of the nucleus, and chromatin consists of two forms, heterochromatin and euchromatin. Conventional nuclear architecture is observed when heterochromatin is enriched at nuclear periphery, and it represents the primary structure in the majority of eukaryotic cells, including the rod cells of diurnal mammals. In contrast to this, inverted nuclear architecture is observed when the heterochromatin is distributed at the center of the nucleus, which occurs in the rod cells of nocturnal mammals. The inverted architecture found in the rod cells of the adult mouse is formed through the reorganization of conventional architecture during terminal differentiation. Although a previous experimental approach has demonstrated the relationship between these two nuclear architecture types at the molecular level, the mechanisms underlying long-range reorganization processes remain unknown. The details of nuclear structures and their spatial and temporal dynamics remain to be elucidated. Therefore, a comprehensive approach, using mathematical modeling, is required, in order to address these questions. Here, we propose a new mathematical approach to the understanding of nuclear architecture dynamics using the phase-field method. We successfully recreated the process of nuclear architecture reorganization, and showed that it is robustly induced by physical features, independent of a specific genotype. Our study demonstrates the potential of phase-field method application in the life science fields.

  9. Commentary: When does understanding phenotypic evolution require identification of the underlying genes? (United States)

    Rausher, Mark D; Delph, Lynda F


    Adaptive evolution is fundamentally a genetic process. Over the past three decades, characterizing the genes underlying adaptive phenotypic change has revealed many important aspects of evolutionary change. At the same time, natural selection is often fundamentally an ecological process that can often be studied without identifying the genes underlying the variation on which it acts. This duality has given rise to disagreement about whether, and under what circumstances, it is necessary to identify specific genes associated with phenotypic change. This issue is of practical concern, especially for researchers who study nonmodel organisms, because of the often enormous cost and labor required to "go for the genes." We here consider a number of situations and questions commonly addressed by researchers. Our conclusion is that although gene identification can be crucial for answering some questions, there are others for which definitive answers can be obtained without finding underlying genes. It should thus not be assumed that considerations of "empirical completeness" dictate that gene identification is always desirable. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. Experimental Investigation on the Fatigue Mechanical Properties of Intermittently Jointed Rock Models Under Cyclic Uniaxial Compression with Different Loading Parameters (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Dai, Feng; Dong, Lu; Xu, Nuwen; Feng, Peng


    Intermittently jointed rocks, widely existing in many mining and civil engineering structures, are quite susceptible to cyclic loading. Understanding the fatigue mechanism of jointed rocks is vital to the rational design and the long-term stability analysis of rock structures. In this study, the fatigue mechanical properties of synthetic jointed rock models under different cyclic conditions are systematically investigated in the laboratory, including four loading frequencies, four maximum stresses, and four amplitudes. Our experimental results reveal the influence of the three cyclic loading parameters on the mechanical properties of jointed rock models, regarding the fatigue deformation characteristics, the fatigue energy and damage evolution, and the fatigue failure and progressive failure behavior. Under lower loading frequency or higher maximum stress and amplitude, the jointed specimen is characterized by higher fatigue deformation moduli and higher dissipated hysteresis energy, resulting in higher cumulative damage and lower fatigue life. However, the fatigue failure modes of jointed specimens are independent of cyclic loading parameters; all tested jointed specimens exhibit a prominent tensile splitting failure mode. Three different crack coalescence patterns are classified between two adjacent joints. Furthermore, different from the progressive failure under static monotonic loading, the jointed rock specimens under cyclic compression fail more abruptly without evident preceding signs. The tensile cracks on the front surface of jointed specimens always initiate from the joint tips and then propagate at a certain angle with the joints toward the direction of maximum compression.

  11. Toward Understanding Mechanisms Controlling Urea Delivery in a Coastal Plain Watershed (United States)

    Tzilkowski, S. S.; Buda, A. R.; Boyer, E. W.; Bryant, R. B.; May, E. B.


    Improved understanding of nutrient mobilization and delivery to surface waters is critical to protecting water quality in agricultural watersheds. Urea, a form of organic nitrogen, is a common nutrient found in fertilizers, manures, and human waste, and is gaining recognition as an important driver of coastal eutrophication, particularly through the development of harmful algal blooms. While several studies have documented elevated urea concentrations in tributaries draining to the Chesapeake Bay, little is known about the potential sources and flow pathways responsible for urea delivery from the landscape to surface waters, as well as how these sources and pathways might vary with changing seasons, antecedent conditions, and storm types. In this study, we investigated hydrologic controls on urea delivery in the Manokin River watershed through the analysis of urea concentration dynamics and hysteresis patterns during seven storm events that occurred in 2010 and 2011. The Manokin River is a Coastal Plain watershed (11.1 km2) on the Delmarva Peninsula that drains directly to the Chesapeake Bay and is characterized by extensive rural development coupled with intensive agriculture, particularly poultry production. Sampling was conducted through monthly grab sampling at baseflow conditions and by time-weighted, automated (Sigma) samplers during stormflow events. Monitored storms were chosen to represent a spectrum of antecedent conditions based on precipitation and groundwater levels in the area. Flushing from the landscape during events was found to be the predominant urea delivery mechanism, as urea concentrations increased 3-9 times above baseflow concentrations during storms. The timing and number of flushes, as well as the degree of increased concentrations were dependent on antecedent conditions and the characteristics of the storm event. For instance, during an intense (13.7 mm hr-1), short-duration (4 hrs) storm in August of 2010 when antecedent conditions were

  12. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau (United States)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.


    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  13. Assessment of Genetics Understanding. Under What Conditions Do Situational Features Have an Impact on Measures? (United States)

    Schmiemann, Philipp; Nehm, Ross H.; Tornabene, Robyn E.


    Understanding how situational features of assessment tasks impact reasoning is important for many educational pursuits, notably the selection of curricular examples to illustrate phenomena, the design of formative and summative assessment items, and determination of whether instruction has fostered the development of abstract schemas divorced from particular instances. The goal of our study was to employ an experimental research design to quantify the degree to which situational features impact inferences about participants' understanding of Mendelian genetics. Two participant samples from different educational levels and cultural backgrounds (high school, n = 480; university, n = 444; Germany and USA) were used to test for context effects. A multi-matrix test design was employed, and item packets differing in situational features (e.g., plant, animal, human, fictitious) were randomly distributed to participants in the two samples. Rasch analyses of participant scores from both samples produced good item fit, person reliability, and item reliability and indicated that the university sample displayed stronger performance on the items compared to the high school sample. We found, surprisingly, that in both samples, no significant differences in performance occurred among the animal, plant, and human item contexts, or between the fictitious and "real" item contexts. In the university sample, we were also able to test for differences in performance between genders, among ethnic groups, and by prior biology coursework. None of these factors had a meaningful impact upon performance or context effects. Thus some, but not all, types of genetics problem solving or item formats are impacted by situational features.

  14. Understanding the Money-Prices Relationship Under Low and High Inflation Regimes: Argentina 1970-2005


    Emiliano Basco; Laura D´Amato; Lorena Garegnani


    Recent cross-country empirical evidence indicates that the money-prices relationship depends on the average rate of inflation. This relationship is strong in economies with high inflation, but weakens under low inflation. Based on these findings, we study the dependence of the money-prices relationship on the level of inflation in Argentina along the last 35 years. We use descriptive analysis as well as cointegration tests to study the long run relationship between money growth and inflation....

  15. Mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolabella Portella, P.; Feng Jiao; Oesterle, W.; Ziebs, J.


    The mechanical behaviour of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading was investigated at room temperature and at 800 C. The low-cycle fatigue experiments were carried out using tubular specimens under axial and torsional loading with constant total equivalent strain amplitude following either proportional or nonproportional loading paths. The cyclic hardening observed under nonproportional loading was clearly higher than that under proportional loading. The extra hardening due to the nonproportional loading path was more pronounced at room temperature. The evolution of the dislocation structure was characterized by transmission electron microscopy of specimens after interrupted fatigue tests. The changes in the dislocation structure and the precipitation phenomena are in accordance with the observed mechanical behaviour of the specimens. Twinning was observed in very few grains of some specimens and does not influence the extra hardening under nonproportional loading, martensite was not detected in any specimen. (orig.)

  16. Cannabinoids: reward, dependence, and underlying neurochemical mechanisms--a review of recent preclinical data. (United States)

    Tanda, Gianluigi; Goldberg, Steven R


    Starting with the discovery of an endogenous brain cannabinoid system with specific receptors and endogenous ligands, research in the cannabinoid field has accelerated dramatically over the last 15 years. Cannabis is the most used illicit psychotropic substance in the world but only recently have reliable preclinical models become available for investigating the rewarding and dependence-producing actions of its psychoactive constituent, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The goal of this review is to examine the various animal models currently available that are being used to facilitate our understanding of the rewarding and dependence-producing actions of cannabinoids, which are central to their abuse liability, and of the neurochemical mechanisms that may underlie these actions of cannabinoids. Recent demonstrations that strong and persistent intravenous self-administration behavior can be obtained in squirrel monkeys using a range of THC doses that are in agreement with the total intake and the single doses of THC normally self-administered by humans smoking marijuana cigarettes provides a reliable and direct tool for assessing the reinforcing effects of THC that are central to its abuse liability. In addition, recent demonstrations of persistent intravenous self-administration of synthetic cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists by rats and mice and the development of genetically modified mice lacking specific cannabinoid receptors provide convenient rodent models for exploring underlying neurochemical mechanisms. Repeated demonstrations in rats that THC and synthetic CB1 agonists can induce conditioned place preferences or aversions, depending on details of dose and spacing, can reduce the threshold for intracranial self-stimulation behavior under certain conditions, and can serve as effective discriminative stimuli for operant behavior provide less direct, but more rapidly established, measures for investigating the rewarding effects of cannabinoids. Finally, there

  17. Forests under climate change and air pollution: Gaps in understanding and future directions for research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matyssek, R.; Wieser, G.; Calfapietra, C.


    changes in air quality (trace gas concentrations), climate and other site factors on forest ecosystem response, (ii) significance of biotic processes in system response, (iii) tools for mechanistic and diagnostic understanding and upscaling, and (iv) the need for unifying modelling and empirical research......Forests in Europe face significant changes in climate, which in interaction with air quality changes, may significantly affect forest productivity, stand composition and carbon sequestration in both vegetation and soils. Identified knowledge gaps and research needs include: (i) interaction between...... for synthesis. This position paper highlights the above focuses, including the global dimension of air pollution as part of climate change and the need for knowledge transfer to enable reliable risk assessment. A new type of research site in forest ecosystems (“supersites”) will be conducive to addressing...

  18. Understanding the mechanisms of solid-water reactions through analysis of surface topography. (United States)

    Bandstra, Joel Z; Brantley, Susan L


    The topography of a reactive surface contains information about the reactions that form or modify the surface and, therefore, it should be possible to characterize reactivity using topography parameters such as surface area, roughness, or fractal dimension. As a test of this idea, we consider a two-dimensional (2D) lattice model for crystal dissolution and examine a suite of topography parameters to determine which may be useful for predicting rates and mechanisms of dissolution. The model is based on the assumption that the reactivity of a surface site decreases with the number of nearest neighbors. We show that the steady-state surface topography in our model system is a function of, at most, two variables: the ratio of the rate of loss of sites with two neighbors versus three neighbors (d(2)/d(3)) and the ratio of the rate of loss of sites with one neighbor versus three neighbors (d(1)/d(3)). This means that relative rates can be determined from two parameters characterizing the topography of a surface provided that the two parameters are independent of one another. It also means that absolute rates cannot be determined from measurements of surface topography alone. To identify independent sets of topography parameters, we simulated surfaces from a broad range of d(1)/d(3) and d(2)/d(3) and computed a suite of common topography parameters for each surface. Our results indicate that the fractal dimension D and the average spacing between steps, E[s], can serve to uniquely determine d(1)/d(3) and d(2)/d(3) provided that sufficiently strong correlations exist between the steps. Sufficiently strong correlations exist in our model system when D>1.5 (which corresponds to D>2.5 for real 3D reactive surfaces). When steps are uncorrelated, surface topography becomes independent of step retreat rate and D is equal to 1.5. Under these conditions, measures of surface topography are not independent and any single topography parameter contains all of the available mechanistic

  19. INSTRUMENTS AND METHODS OF INVESTIGATION: Physical mechanisms underlying the selective removal of atoms (United States)

    Gurovich, Boris A.; Prikhod'ko, Kirill E.


    This paper reviews the current understanding of the selective removal of atoms (SRA), a technique that uses ion irradiation to controllably change the chemical composition and properties of polyatomic materials. The main effects involved and the possible mechanisms that govern the process are discussed. It is shown that SRA holds great promise for manufacturing functional nanoelements.

  20. Interface traps contribution on transport mechanisms under illumination in metal-oxide-semiconductor structures based on silicon nanocrystals (United States)

    Chatbouri, S.; Troudi, M.; Kalboussi, A.; Souifi, A.


    The transport phenomena in metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structures having silicon nanocrystals (Si-NCs) inside the dielectric layer have been investigated, in dark condition and under visible illumination. At first, using deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS), we find the presence of series electron traps having very close energy levels (comprised between 0.28 and 0.45 eV) for ours devices (with/without Si-NCs). And a single peak appears at low temperature only for MOS with Si-NCs related to Si-NCs DLTS response. In dark condition, the conduction mechanism is dominated by the thermionic fast emission/capture of charge carriers from the highly doped polysilicon layer to Si-substrate through interface trap states for MOS without Si-NCs. The tunneling of charge carriers from highly poly-Si to Si substrate trough the trapping/detrapping mechanism in the Si-NCs, at low temperature, contributed to the conduction mechanism for MOS with Si-NCs. The light effect on transport mechanisms has been investigated using current-voltage ( I- V), and high frequency capacitance-voltage ( C- V) methods. We have been marked the photoactive trap effect in inversion zone at room temperature in I- V characteristics, which confirm the contribution of photo-generated charge on the transport mechanisms from highly poly-Si to Si substrate trough the photo-trapping/detrapping mechanism in the Si-NCs and interfaces traps levels. These results have been confirmed by an increasing about 10 pF in capacity's values for the C- V characteristics of MOS with Si-NCs, in the inversion region for inverse high voltage applied under photoexcitation at low temperature. These results are helpful to understand the principle of charge transport in dark condition and under illumination, of MOS structures having Si-NCs in the SiO x = 1.5 oxide matrix.

  1. Towards a neurobiological understanding of pain in chronic pancreatitis: mechanisms and implications for treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren S. Olesen


    Conclusion:. Chronic pancreatitis is associated with abnormal processing of pain at the peripheral and central level of the pain system. This neurobiological understanding of pain has important clinical implications for treatment and prevention of pain chronification.

  2. The scale effect on soil erosion. A plot approach to understand connectivity on slopes under cultivation at variable plot sizes and under Mediterranean climatic conditions (United States)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Bagarello, Vicenzo; Ferro, Vito; Iovino, Massimo; Borja, Manuel Estaban Lucas; Francisco Martínez Murillo, Juan; González Camarena, Rafael


    It is well known that soil erosion changes along time and seasons and attention was paid to this issue in the past (González Hidalgo et al., 2010; 2012). However, although the scientific community knows that soil erosion is also a time spatial scale-scale dependent process (Parsons et al., 1990; Cerdà et al., 2009; González Hidalgo et al., 2013; Sadeghi et al., 2015) very little is done on this topic. This is due to the fact that at different scales, different soil erosion mechanisms (splash, sheetflow, rill development) are active and their rates change with the scale of measurement (Wainwright et al., 2002; López-Vicente et al., 2015). This is making the research on soil erosion complex and difficult, and it is necessary to develop a conceptual framework but also measurements that will inform about the soil erosion behaviour. Connectivity is the key concept to understand how changes in the scale results in different rates of soil and water losses (Parsons et al., 1996; Parsons et al., 2015; Poeppl et al., 2016). Most of the research developed around the connectivity concept was applied in watershed or basin scales (Galdino et al., 2016; Martínez-Casasnovas et al., 2016; López Vicente et al., 2016; Marchamalo et al., 2015; Masselink et al., 2016), but very little is known about the connectivity issue at slope scale (Cerdà and Jurgensen, 2011). El Teularet (Eastern Iberian Peninsula) and Sparacia (Sicily) soil erosion experimental stations are being active for 15 years and data collected on different plots sizes can shed light into the effect of scale on runoff generation and soil losses at different scales and give information to understand how the transport of materials is determined by the connectivity between pedon to slope scale (Cerdà et al., 2014; Bagarello et al., 2015a; 2015b). The comparison of the results of the two research stations will shed light into the rates of soil erosion and mechanisms involved that act under different scales. Our

  3. An investigation of the mechanism underlying teacher aggression : Testing I3 theory and the General Aggression Model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montuoro, Paul; Mainhard, Tim


    Background: Considerable research has investigated the deleterious effects of teachers responding aggressively to students who misbehave, but the mechanism underlying this dysfunctional behaviour remains unknown. Aims: This study investigated whether the mechanism underlying teacher aggression

  4. Tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion (United States)

    Jeong, Byeong-Woo; Lim, Jang-Keun; Sinnott, Susan B.


    The tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled single-walled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion is examined using classical molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations indicate that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion can be increased by filling the carbon nanotubes, and the amount of this increase depends on the kind of filling material. They also predict that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion decreases linearly under applied torsion. The tensile strength can be modified by adjusting the system temperature and through chemical functionalization to the carbon nanotube walls.

  5. Advances in understanding of soil biogeochemical cycles: the mechanism of HS entry into the root interior (United States)

    Aleksandrova, Olga


    Humic substances represent the major reservoir of carbon (C) in ecosystems, and their turnover is crucial for understanding the global C cycle. As shown by some investigators [1-2], the phenomenon of the uptake of the whole humic particles by plant roots is a significant step of biogeochemical cycle of carbon in soils. The mechanism of HS entry the root interior remained unknown for a long time. However recently, the last one was discovered [3]. An advanced model [3] includes two hypotheses. These hypotheses are as follows: (1) each nano-size particle possesses a quantum image that can be revealed as a packet of electromagnetic waves; (2) the interaction of nano-size particle with the membrane (plasma membrane) of living cells, on which it is adsorbed, occurs via the development of the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability on the membrane surface. An advanced model allows us to look insight some into some phenomena that were observed by experiments but remained not understood [2]. The authors [2] applied tritium autoradiography to wheat seedlings cultivated with tritium-labeled HS to consider the uptake of humic particles by plant roots. They found a significant increase in the content of some polar (monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG) and phosphatidylcholine (PC)) and neutral (free fatty acids, FFA) lipids which were detected in the wheat seedlings treated with humic particles. Authors [2] pointed that lipids MGDG, DGDG, SQDG are crucial for functional and structural integrity of the photosystem complex. Therefore, a stimulating action of adsorbed humic particles evoked phenomena like photosynthesis in root cells that can be interpreted using an advanced model: humic particles being nano-size particles become adsorbed on the plant roots in soils, and influence their micro environment, where they are located, with the specific electromagnetic exposure. Another finding of authors consisted in the

  6. Understanding the Paris agreement: analysing the reporting requirements under the enhanced transparency framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Desgain, Denis DR; Sharma, Sudhir

    At the Paris climate conference (COP-21) in December 2015, the Conference of the Parties decided to adopt the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was the first time that 195 Parties had agreed on a universal, legally binding climate instrument....... The Agreement will enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention, accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, will have deposited their instruments of ratification/acceptance/approval/accession. As of October 2016, 74 Par¬ties had ratified the Agreement, accounting for 58.82% of global GHG emissions.1 The Paris Agreement will thus enter into force on 4th November 2016....

  7. Using travel socialization and underlying motivations to better understand motorcycle usage in Taiwan. (United States)

    Chang, Hsin-Li; Lai, Chi-Yen


    This study introduces self-determination theory (SDT) to refine previous models of vehicle usage motivation. We add travel socialization theory regarding parental influence on vehicle usage to enhance previous structural models describing motorcycle usage behavior. Our newly developed model was empirically verified in a sample of 721 motorcycle users in Taiwan. In addition to instrumental, symbolic, and affective motivations, perceived parental attitudes (PPAs) towards motorcycle riding were found to have a significant effect on individuals' motorcycle use habits. Additionally, participants who perceived their parents to have more positive attitudes toward motorcycles were found to have more experience being chauffeured on motorcycles by their parents. Based on these results, we suggest means to confront the challenges brought on by the rapid growth of motorcycle usage, especially serious motorcycle traffic accidents. These results improve our understanding motorcycle usage in Taiwan and can be used by transportation professionals who are seeking solutions to the rapid growth of motorcycle usage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding Innovation for Sustainable Business Management Capabilities and Competencies under Uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo-Jui Wu


    Full Text Available In recent years, many firms have come to understand that innovation is an important issue in sustainable business management, as it helps improve firm capabilities and competencies. Because of the fiercely competitive environment in the hotel industry, innovation has become a critical factor in the process of hotel differentiation, leading to sustainable business success. However, the literature has not thoroughly examined the role of innovation or the hierarchical structure of the capabilities and competencies in sustainable business management. This study adopts interval-valued triangular fuzzy numbers and grey relational analysis to provide a competitive priority ranking for the aspects and criteria that assist firms in decision-making. The study results indicate that innovation in technology capabilities and networking and social capabilities—in addition to competencies in systemic thinking—are the most important aspects of sustainable business management. In particular, this study indicates that to succeed in building a sustainable business in the hotel industry, firms should upgrade and integrate their business technologies, collaborate with actors inside and outside the firm, build trust as well as a shared vision that includes common agreement, and develop competencies in inventive thinking to support innovation and foster changes in strategy, structure, administrative procedures, and systems when necessary.

  9. Stream temperature under contrasting riparian forest cover: Understanding thermal dynamics and heat exchange processes. (United States)

    Dugdale, Stephen J; Malcolm, Iain A; Kantola, Kaisa; Hannah, David M


    Climate change is likely to increase summer temperatures in many river environments, raising concerns that this will reduce their thermal suitability for a range of freshwater fish species. As a result, river managers have pursued riparian tree planting due to its ability to moderate stream temperatures by providing shading. However, little is known about the relative ability of different riparian forest types to moderate stream temperatures. Further research is therefore necessary to inform best-practise riparian tree planting strategies. This article contrasts stream temperature and energy fluxes under three riparian vegetation types common to Europe: open grassland terrain (OS), semi-natural deciduous woodland (SNS), and commercial conifer plantation (CS). Data was recorded over the course of a year by weather stations installed in each of the vegetation types. Mean daily stream temperature was generally warmest at OS and coolest at CS. Energy gains at all sites were dominated by shortwave radiation, whereas losses where principally due to longwave and latent heat flux. The magnitude of shortwave radiation received at the water surface was strongly dependent upon vegetation type, with OS and SNS woodland sites receiving approximately 6× and 4× (respectively) the incoming solar radiation of CS. Although CS lost less energy through longwave or latent fluxes than the other sites, net surface heat flux was ordered OS>SNS>CS, mirroring the stream temperature results. These findings demonstrate that energy fluxes at the air-water interface vary substantially between different riparian forest types and that stream temperature response to bankside vegetation depends upon the type of vegetation present. These results present new insights into the conditions under which riparian vegetation shading is optimal for the reduction of surface heat fluxes and have important implications for the development of 'best-practice' tree planting strategies to moderate summer

  10. How diagnostic tests help to disentangle the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms in painful neuropathies. (United States)

    Truini, Andrea; Cruccu, Giorgio


    Neuropathic pain, ie, pain arising directly from a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory afferent pathway, manifests with various symptoms, the commonest being ongoing burning pain, electrical shock-like sensations, and dynamic mechanical allodynia. Reliable insights into the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms come from diagnostic tests documenting and quantifying somatosensory afferent pathway damage in patients with painful neuropathies. Neurophysiological investigation and skin biopsy studies suggest that ongoing burning pain primarily reflects spontaneous activity in nociceptive-fiber pathways. Electrical shock-like sensations presumably arise from high-frequency ectopic bursts generated in demyelinated, nonnociceptive, Aβ fibers. Although the mechanisms underlying dynamic mechanical allodynia remain debatable, normally innocuous stimuli might cause pain by activating spared and sensitized nociceptive afferents. Extending the mechanistic approach to neuropathic pain symptoms might advance targeted therapy for the individual patient and improve testing for new drugs.

  11. Visualization of hot spot formation in energetic materials under periodic mechanical excitation using phosphor thermography (United States)

    Casey, Alex; Fenoglio, Gabriel; Detrinidad, Humberto


    Under mechanical excitation, energy is known to localize within an energetic material resulting in `hot spot' formation. While many formation mechanisms have been proposed, additional insight to heat generation mechanisms, the effect of binder/crystal interfaces, and predication capabilities can be gained by quantifying the initiation and growth of the hot spots. Phosphor thermography is a well established temperature sensing technique wherein an object's temperature is obtained by collecting the temperature dependent luminescence of an optically excited phosphor. Herein, the phosphor thermography technique has been applied to Dow Corning Sylgard® 184/octahydro 1,3,5,7 tetranitro 1,3,5,7 tetrazocine (HMX) composite materials under mechanical excitation in order to visualize the evolution of the temperature field, and thus hot spot formation, within the binder. Funded by AFOSR. Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program.

  12. [Achieving pathogenesis understanding of ocular diseases by deciphering the underlying molecular pathways]. (United States)

    Huang, Qian


    The field of ophthalmology research has experienced a revolution since the 1970's, when molecular biology techniques were gradually and widely adopted. Many of the developments generated impact that went far beyond the field of ophthalmology. A classic case was the identification and characterization of the Retinoblastoma susceptibility gene (Rb), whose impact went far beyond the rare and obscure disease, as it provides key evidence for the concept of tumor suppressor gene and the "two hit" theory of tumor formation. The identification of scores of genes involved in retinitis pigmentosum (pigmentosa), on the other hand, show cases the complexity of multi-factorial diseases. Ophthalmology researchers in China have been quick in integrating these novel tools into their research. However, the field still lags behind in the effective use of these technologies to carry out in-depth inquiries into key disease mechanisms. The advent of "omics" technologies heralded a new era in biomedical research that allows for the global and rapid survey of genetic and biochemical profiles. Effective integration of these novel technologies into ophthalmology research will have far-reaching impact for the whole field.

  13. Using realist synthesis to understand the mechanisms of interprofessional teamwork in health and social care. (United States)

    Hewitt, Gillian; Sims, Sarah; Harris, Ruth


    Realist synthesis offers a novel and innovative way to interrogate the large literature on interprofessional teamwork in health and social care teams. This article introduces realist synthesis and its approach to identifying and testing the underpinning processes (or "mechanisms") that make an intervention work, the contexts that trigger those mechanisms and their subsequent outcomes. A realist synthesis of the evidence on interprofessional teamwork is described. Thirteen mechanisms were identified in the synthesis and findings for one mechanism, called "Support and value" are presented in this paper. The evidence for the other twelve mechanisms ("collaboration and coordination", "pooling of resources", "individual learning", "role blurring", "efficient, open and equitable communication", "tactical communication", "shared responsibility and influence", "team behavioural norms", "shared responsibility and influence", "critically reviewing performance and decisions", "generating and implementing new ideas" and "leadership") are reported in a further three papers in this series. The "support and value" mechanism referred to the ways in which team members supported one another, respected other's skills and abilities and valued each other's contributions. "Support and value" was present in some, but far from all, teams and a number of contexts that explained this variation were identified. The article concludes with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of undertaking this realist synthesis.

  14. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying adverse reactions associated with a kinase inhibitor using systems toxicology. (United States)

    Amemiya, Takahiro; Honma, Masashi; Kariya, Yoshiaki; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki; Kurachi, Yoshihisa; Fujita, Ken-Ichi; Sasaki, Yasutsuna; Homma, Yukio; Abernethy, Darrel R; Kume, Haruki; Suzuki, Hiroshi


    Targeted kinase inhibitors are an important class of agents in anticancer therapeutics, but their limited tolerability hampers their clinical performance. Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of adverse reactions will be helpful in establishing a rational method for the management of clinically adverse reactions. Here, we selected sunitinib as a model and demonstrated that the molecular mechanisms underlying the adverse reactions associated with kinase inhibitors can efficiently be identified using a systems toxicological approach. First, toxicological target candidates were short-listed by comparing the human kinase occupancy profiles of sunitinib and sorafenib, and the molecular mechanisms underlying adverse reactions were predicted by sequential simulations using publicly available mathematical models. Next, to evaluate the probability of these predictions, a clinical observation study was conducted in six patients treated with sunitinib. Finally, mouse experiments were performed for detailed confirmation of the hypothesized molecular mechanisms and to evaluate the efficacy of a proposed countermeasure against adverse reactions to sunitinib. In silico simulations indicated the possibility that sunitinib-mediated off-target inhibition of phosphorylase kinase leads to the generation of oxidative stress in various tissues. Clinical observations of patients and mouse experiments confirmed the validity of this prediction. The simulation further suggested that concomitant use of an antioxidant may prevent sunitinib-mediated adverse reactions, which was confirmed in mouse experiments. A systems toxicological approach successfully predicted the molecular mechanisms underlying clinically adverse reactions associated with sunitinib and was used to plan a rational method for the management of these adverse reactions.

  15. Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0652 TITLE: Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-16-1-0652 Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH...Email addresses:;; ; E-Mail: 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7

  16. Utilizing Virtual Reality to Understand Athletic Performance and Underlying Sensorimotor Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshitaka Kimura


    Full Text Available In behavioral sports sciences, knowledge of athletic performance and underlying sensorimotor processing remains limited, because most data is obtained in the laboratory. In laboratory experiments we can strictly control the measurement conditions, but the action we can target may be limited and differ from actual sporting action. Thus, the obtained data is potentially unrealistic. We propose using virtual reality (VR technology to compensate for the lack of actual reality. We have developed a head mounted display (HMD-based VR system for application to baseball batting where the user can experience hitting a pitch in a virtual baseball stadium. The batter and the bat movements are measured using nine-axis inertial sensors attached to various parts of the body and bat, and they are represented by a virtual avatar in real time. The pitched balls are depicted by computer graphics based on previously recorded ball trajectories and are thrown in time with the motion of a pitcher avatar based on simultaneously recorded motion capture data. The ball bounces depending on its interaction with the bat. In a preliminary measurement where the VR system was combined with measurement equipment we found some differences between the behavioral and physiological data (i.e., the body movements and respiration of experts and beginners and between the types of pitches during virtual batting. This VR system with a sufficiently real visual experience will provide novel findings as regards athletic performance that were formerly hard to obtain and allow us to elucidate their sensorimotor processing in detail.

  17. Understanding the physiological roles of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in Rhodospirillum rubrum S1 under aerobic chemoheterotrophic conditions. (United States)

    Narancic, Tanja; Scollica, Elisa; Kenny, Shane T; Gibbons, Helena; Carr, Eibhlin; Brennan, Lorraine; Cagney, Gerard; Wynne, Kieran; Murphy, Cormac; Raberg, Matthias; Heinrich, Daniel; Steinbüchel, Alexander; O'Connor, Kevin E


    Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is an important biopolymer accumulated by bacteria and associated with cell survival and stress response. Here, we make two surprising findings in the PHB-accumulating species Rhodospirillum rubrum S1. We first show that the presence of PHB promotes the increased assimilation of acetate preferentially into biomass rather than PHB. When R. rubrum is supplied with (13)C-acetate as a PHB precursor, 83.5 % of the carbon in PHB comes from acetate. However, only 15 % of the acetate ends up in PHB with the remainder assimilated as bacterial biomass. The PHB-negative mutant of R. rubrum assimilates 2-fold less acetate into biomass compared to the wild-type strain. Acetate assimilation proceeds via the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway with (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate as a common intermediate with the PHB pathway. Secondly, we show that R. rubrum cells accumulating PHB have reduced ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBisCO) activity. RuBisCO activity reduces 5-fold over a 36-h period after the onset of PHB. In contrast, a PHB-negative mutant maintains the same level of RuBisCO activity over the growth period. Since RuBisCO controls the redox potential in R. rubrum, PHB likely replaces RuBisCO in this role. R. rubrum is the first bacterium found to express RuBisCO under aerobic chemoheterotrophic conditions.

  18. Model test study of evaporation mechanism of sand under constant atmospheric condition


    CUI, Yu Jun; DING, Wenqi; SONG, Weikang


    The evaporation mechanism of Fontainebleau sand using a large-scale model chamber is studied. First, the evaporation test on a layer of water above sand surface is performed under various atmospheric conditions, validating the performance of the chamber and the calculation method of actual evaporation rate by comparing the calculated and measured cumulative evaporations. Second,the evaporation test on sand without water layer is conducted under constant atmospheric condition. Both the evoluti...

  19. Mechanical behavior of confined self-compacting reinforced concrete circular columns under concentric axial loading


    Khairallah, Fouad


    While there is abundant research information on ordinary confined concrete, there are little data on the behavior of Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) under such condition. Due to higher shrinkage and lower coarse aggregate content of SCC compared to that of Normal Concrete (NC), its composite performance under confined conditions needs more investigation. This paper has been devoted to investigate and compare the mechanical behavior of confined concrete circular columns cast with SCC and NC und...

  20. Under the pile. Understanding subsurface dynamics of historical cities trough geophysical models interpretation (United States)

    Bernardes, Paulo; Pereira, Bruno; Alves, Mafalda; Fontes, Luís; Sousa, Andreia; Martins, Manuela; Magalhães, Fernanda; Pimenta, Mário


    Braga is one of the oldest cities of the Iberian NW and as of so, the research team's studying the city's historical core for the past 40 years is often confronted with the unpredictability factor laying beneath an urban site with such a long construction history. In fact, Braga keeps redesigning its urban structure over itself on for the past 2000 years, leaving us with a research object filled with an impressive set of construction footprints from the various planning decisions that were taken in the city along its historical path. Aiming for a predicting understanding of the subsoil, we have used near surface geophysics as an effort of minimizing the areas of intervention for traditional archaeological survey techniques. The Seminário de Santiago integrated geophysical survey is an example of the difficulties of interpreting geophysical models in very complex subsurface scenarios. This geophysical survey was planned in order to aid the requalification project being designed for this set of historical buildings, that are estimated to date back to the 16h century, and that were built over one of the main urban arteries of both roman and medieval layers of Braga. We have used both GPR as well as ERT methods for the geophysical survey, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus in the use of the ERT alone. For the interpretation of the geophysical models we've cross-referenced the dense knowledge existing over the building's construction phases with the complex geophysical data collected, using mathematical processing and volume-based visualization techniques, resorting to the use of Res2Inv©, Paraview© and Voxler® software's. At the same time we tried to pinpoint the noise caused by the past 30 year's infrastructural interventions regarding the replacement of the building's water and sanitation systems and for which we had no design plants, regardless of its recent occurring. The deep impact of this replacement actions revealed by the archaeological

  1. REVIEWMolecular mechanisms underlying physiological and receptor pleiotropic effects mediated by GLP-1R activation (United States)

    Pabreja, K; Mohd, M A; Koole, C; Wootten, D; Furness, S G B


    The incidence of type 2 diabetes in developed countries is increasing yearly with a significant negative impact on patient quality of life and an enormous burden on the healthcare system. Current biguanide and thiazolidinedione treatments for type 2 diabetes have a number of clinical limitations, the most serious long-term limitation being the eventual need for insulin replacement therapy (Table 1). Since 2007, drugs targeting the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor have been marketed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. These drugs have enjoyed a great deal of success even though our underlying understanding of the mechanisms for their pleiotropic effects remain poorly characterized even while major pharmaceutical companies actively pursue small molecule alternatives. Coupling of the GLP-1 receptor to more than one signalling pathway (pleiotropic signalling) can result in ligand-dependent signalling bias and for a peptide receptor such as the GLP-1 receptor this can be exaggerated with the use of small molecule agonists. Better consideration of receptor signalling pleiotropy will be necessary for future drug development. This is particularly important given the recent failure of taspoglutide, the report of increased risk of pancreatitis associated with GLP-1 mimetics and the observed clinical differences between liraglutide, exenatide and the newly developed long-acting exenatide long acting release, albiglutide and dulaglutide. Linked ArticlesThis article is part of a themed section on Molecular Pharmacology of GPCRs. To view the other articles in this section visit PMID:23889512

  2. [Underlying Mechanisms of Methamphetamine-Induced Self-Injurious Behavior and Lethal Effects in Mice]. (United States)

    Mori, Tomohisa; Sawaguchi, Toshiko


    Relatively high doses of psychostimulants induce neurotoxicity on the dopaminergic system and self-injurious behavior (SIB) in rodents. However the underlying neuronal mechanisms of SIB remains unclear. Dopamine receptor antagonists, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonists, Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) inhibitors and free radical scavengers significantly attenuate methamphetamine-induced SIB. These findings indicate that activation of dopamine as well as NMDA receptors followed by radical formation and oxidative stress, especially when mediated by NOS activation, is associated with methamphetamine-induced SIB. On the other hand, an increase in the incidence of polydrug abuse is a major problem worldwide. Coadministered methamphetamine and morphine induced lethality in more than 80% in mice, accompanied by an increase in the number of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-immunoreactive cells in the heart, kidney and liver. The lethal effect and the increase in the incidence of rupture or PARP-immunoreactive cells induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine were significantly attenuated by pretreatment with a phospholipase A2 inhibitor or a radical scavenger, or by cooling of body from 30 to 90 min after drug administration. These results suggest that free radicals play an important role in the increased lethality induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine. Therefore, free radical scavengers and cooling are beneficial for preventing death that is induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine. These findings may help us better understand for masochistic behavior, which is a clinical phenomenon on SIB, as well as polydrug-abuse-induced acute toxicity.

  3. New mechanism under International Flood Initiative toward robustness for flood management in the Asia Pacific region (United States)

    Murase, M.; Yoshitani, J.; Takeuchi, K.; Koike, T.


    Climate change is likely to result in increases in the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events. It is imperative that a good understanding is developed of how climate change affects the events that are reflected in hydrological extremes such as floods and how practitioners in water resources management deal with them. Since there is still major uncertainty as to how the impact of climate change affect actual water resources management, it is important to build robustness into management schemes and communities. Flood management under such variety of uncertainty favors the flexible and adaptive implementation both in top-down and bottom-up approaches. The former uses projections of global or spatially downscaled models to drive resource models and project resource impacts. The latter utilizes policy or planning tools to identify what changes in climate would be most threatening to their long-range operations. Especially for the bottom-up approaches, it is essential to identify the gap between what should be done and what has not been achieved for disaster risks. Indicators or index are appropriate tools to measure such gaps, but they are still in progress to cover the whole world. The International Flood Initiative (IFI), initiated in January 2005 by UNESCO and WMO in close cooperation with UNU and ISDR, IAHS and IAHR, has promoted an integrated approach to flood management to take advantage of floods and use of flood plains while reducing the social, environmental and economic risks. Its secretariat is located in ICHARM. The initiative objective is to support national platforms to practice evidence-based disaster risk reduction through mobilizing scientific and research networks at national, regional and international levels. The initiative is now preparing for a new mechanism to facilitate the integrated approach for flood management on the ground regionally in the Asia Pacific (IFI-AP) through monitoring, assessment and capacity building.

  4. Understanding User Preferences and Awareness: Privacy Mechanisms in Location-Based Services (United States)

    Burghardt, Thorben; Buchmann, Erik; Müller, Jens; Böhm, Klemens

    Location based services (LBS) let people retrieve and share information related to their current position. Examples are Google Latitude or Panoramio. Since LBS share user-related content, location information etc., they put user privacy at risk. Literature has proposed various privacy mechanisms for LBS. However, it is unclear which mechanisms humans really find useful, and how they make use of them. We present a user study that addresses these issues. To obtain realistic results, we have implemented a geotagging application on the web and on GPS cellphones, and our study participants use this application in their daily lives. We test five privacy mechanisms that differ in the awareness, mental effort and degree of informedness required from the users. Among other findings, we have observed that in situations where a single simple mechanism does not meet all privacy needs, people want to use simple and sophisticated mechanisms in combination. Further, individuals are concerned about the privacy of others, even when they do not value privacy for themselves.

  5. Ultrastructural changes of cell walls under intense mechanical treatment of selective plant raw material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bychkov, Aleksey L.; Ryabchikova, E.I.; Korolev, K.G.; Lomovsky, O.I.


    Structural changes of cell walls under intense mechanical treatment of corn straw and oil-palm fibers were studied by electron and light microscopy. Differences in the character of destruction of plant biomass were revealed, and the dependence of destruction mechanisms on the structure of cell walls and lignin content was demonstrated. We suggest that the high reactivity of the particles of corn straw (about 18% of lignin) after intense mechanical treatment is related to disordering of cell walls and an increase of the surface area, while in the case of oil palm (10% of lignin) the major contribution into an increase in the reactivity is made by an increase of surface area. -- Highlights: ► Structure of cell walls determines the processes of plant materials' destruction. ► Ultrastructure of highly lignified materials strongly disordering by mechanical action. ► Ultrastructure of low-lignified materials is not disordering by mechanical action.

  6. Combating mutations in genetic disease and drug resistance: understanding molecular mechanisms to guide drug design. (United States)

    Albanaz, Amanda T S; Rodrigues, Carlos H M; Pires, Douglas E V; Ascher, David B


    Mutations introduce diversity into genomes, leading to selective changes and driving evolution. These changes have contributed to the emergence of many of the current major health concerns of the 21st century, from the development of genetic diseases and cancers to the rise and spread of drug resistance. The experimental systematic testing of all mutations in a system of interest is impractical and not cost-effective, which has created interest in the development of computational tools to understand the molecular consequences of mutations to aid and guide rational experimentation. Areas covered: Here, the authors discuss the recent development of computational methods to understand the effects of coding mutations to protein function and interactions, particularly in the context of the 3D structure of the protein. Expert opinion: While significant progress has been made in terms of innovative tools to understand and quantify the different range of effects in which a mutation or a set of mutations can give rise to a phenotype, a great gap still exists when integrating these predictions and drawing causality conclusions linking variants. This often requires a detailed understanding of the system being perturbed. However, as part of the drug development process it can be used preemptively in a similar fashion to pharmacokinetics predictions, to guide development of therapeutics to help guide the design and analysis of clinical trials, patient treatment and public health policy strategies.

  7. Laboratory Activities to Support Student Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutation & Natural Selection (United States)

    Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan


    The molecular basis of evolution is an important and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…

  8. Towards an understanding of hot carrier cooling mechanisms in multiple quantum wells (United States)

    Conibeer, Gavin; Zhang, Yi; Bremner, Stephen P.; Shrestha, Santosh


    Multiple quantum wells have been shown significantly reduced hot carrier cooling rates compared to bulk material and are thus a promising candidate for hot carrier solar cell absorbers. However, the mechanism(s) by which hot carrier cooling is restricted is not clear. A systematic study of carrier cooling rates in GaAs/AlAs multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with either varying barrier thickness or varying well thickness is presented in this paper. These allow an investigation as to whether the mechanisms of either a modification in hot carrier diffusion or a localisation of phonons emitted by hot carriers are primarily responsible for reduced carrier cooling rates. With the conclusion that for the structures investigated the situation is rather more complex with both carrier mobility to modify hot carrier diffusion, different diffusion rates for electrons and holes and reflection and localisation of phonons to enhance phonon bottleneck all playing their parts in modulating phonon reabsorption and hot carrier behaviour.

  9. The contribution of experimental in vivo models to understanding the mechanisms of adaptation to mechanical loading in bone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee B Meakin


    Full Text Available Changing loading regimens by natural means such as exercise, with or without interference such as osteotomy, has provided useful information on the structure:function relationship in bone tissue. However, the greatest precision in defining those aspects of the overall strain environment that influence modeling and remodeling behavior has been achieved by relating quantified changes in bone architecture to quantified changes in bones’ strain environment produced by direct, controlled artificial bone loading.Jiri Heřt introduced the technique of artificial loading of bones in vivo with external devices in the 1960s using an electromechanical device to load rabbit tibiae through transfixing stainless steel pins. Quantifying natural bone strains during locomotion by attaching electrical resistance strain gauges to bone surfaces was introduced by Lanyon, also in the 1960s. These studies in a variety of bones in a number of species demonstrated remarkable uniformity in the peak strains and maximum strain rates experienced.Experiments combining strain gauge instrumentation with artificial loading in sheep, pigs, roosters, turkeys, rats and mice has yielded significant insight into the control of strain-related adaptive (remodeling. This diversity of approach has been largely superseded by non-invasive transcutaneous loading in rats and mice which is now the model of choice for many studies. Together such studies have demonstrated that; over the physiological strain range, bone’s mechanically-adaptive processes are responsive to dynamic but not static strains; the size and nature of the adaptive response controlling bone mass is linearly related to the peak loads encountered; the strain-related response is preferentially sensitive to high strain rates and unresponsive to static ones; is most responsive to unusual strain distributions; is maximized by remarkably few strain cycles and that these are most effective when interrupted by short periods of

  10. The Contribution of Experimental in vivo Models to Understanding the Mechanisms of Adaptation to Mechanical Loading in Bone (United States)

    Meakin, Lee B.; Price, Joanna S.; Lanyon, Lance E.


    Changing loading regimens by natural means such as exercise, with or without interference such as osteotomy, has provided useful information on the structure:function relationship in bone tissue. However, the greatest precision in defining those aspects of the overall strain environment that influence modeling and remodeling behavior has been achieved by relating quantified changes in bone architecture to quantified changes in bones’ strain environment produced by direct, controlled artificial bone loading. Jiri Hert introduced the technique of artificial loading of bones in vivo with external devices in the 1960s using an electromechanical device to load rabbit tibiae through transfixing stainless steel pins. Quantifying natural bone strains during locomotion by attaching electrical resistance strain gages to bone surfaces was introduced by Lanyon, also in the 1960s. These studies in a variety of bones in a number of species demonstrated remarkable uniformity in the peak strains and maximum strain rates experienced. Experiments combining strain gage instrumentation with artificial loading in sheep, pigs, roosters, turkeys, rats, and mice has yielded significant insight into the control of strain-related adaptive (re)modeling. This diversity of approach has been largely superseded by non-invasive transcutaneous loading in rats and mice, which is now the model of choice for many studies. Together such studies have demonstrated that over the physiological strain range, bone’s mechanically adaptive processes are responsive to dynamic but not static strains; the size and nature of the adaptive response controlling bone mass is linearly related to the peak loads encountered; the strain-related response is preferentially sensitive to high strain rates and unresponsive to static ones; is most responsive to unusual strain distributions; is maximized by remarkably few strain cycles, and that these are most effective when interrupted by short periods of rest between them

  11. Understanding the mechanism of nanotube synthesis for controlled production of specific (n,m) structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resasco, Daniel E.


    This report shows the extensive research on the mechanism responsible for the formation of single walled carbon nanotubes in order to get control over their structural parameters (diameter and chirality). Catalyst formulations, pre-treatment conditions, and reaction conditions are described in detail as well as mechanisms to produce nanotubes structures of specific arrays (vertical forest, nanotube pillars). Applications of SWNT in different fields are also described in this report. In relation to this project five students have graduated (3 PhD and 2 MS) and 35 papers have been published.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadhim, Munira A


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

  13. Understanding the antimicrobial mechanism of TiO2-based nanocomposite films in a pathogenic bacterium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kubacka, A.; Suarez Diez, M.; Rojo, D.; Bargiela, R.; Ciordia, S.; Zapico, I.; Albar, J.P.; Barbas, C.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.; Fernández-García, M.; Ferrer, M.


    Titania (TiO2)-based nanocomposites subjected to light excitation are remarkably effective in eliciting microbial death. However, the mechanism by which these materials induce microbial death and the effects that they have on microbes are poorly understood. Here, we assess the low dose

  14. Understanding the mechanism of action of triazine-phosphonate derivatives as flame retardants for cotton fabrics (United States)

    Countless hours of research and studies on triazine, phosphonate and their combination have provided insightful information into their flame retardant properties on polymeric systems. However, only limited number of studies shed light on the mechanism of flame retardant cotton fabrics. The purpose...

  15. Investigating and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics in the context of single photon interference (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha


    Single photon experiments involving a Mach-Zehnder interferometer can illustrate the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, e.g., the wave-particle duality of a single photon, single photon interference, and the probabilistic nature of quantum measurement involving single photons. These experiments explicitly make the connection between the abstract quantum theory and concrete laboratory settings and have the potential to help students develop a solid grasp of the foundational issues in quantum mechanics. Here we describe students' conceptual difficulties with these topics in the context of Mach-Zehnder interferometer experiments with single photons and how the difficulties found in written surveys and individual interviews were used as a guide in the development of a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT). The QuILT uses an inquiry-based approach to learning and takes into account the conceptual difficulties found via research to help upper-level undergraduate and graduate students learn about foundational quantum mechanics concepts using the concrete quantum optics context. It strives to help students learn the basics of quantum mechanics in the context of single photon experiment, develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to experimental situations in quantum optics, and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas in a concrete context. We discuss the findings from in-class evaluations suggesting that the QuILT was effective in helping students learn these abstract concepts.

  16. Improving Student Understanding of Addition of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics (United States)

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha


    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with concepts related to addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics. We also describe the development and implementation of a research-based learning tool, Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT), to reduce these difficulties. The preliminary evaluation…

  17. A Changing Landscape of Advanced Prostate Cancer: Understanding Mechanisms of Resistance to Potent Hormonal Therapies (United States)


    mechanisms of NEPC progression using deep sequencing techniques of metastatic tumor biopsies and non-invasively using liquid biopsies including...from each site. (b) AR signaling (right) based on abundance of mRNA transcripts included in the AR signaling signature described in ref 19. Violin

  18. Recent advances in understanding the reinforcing ability and mechanism of carbon nanotubes in ceramic matrix composites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Estili, Mehdi; Sakka, Yoshio


    Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), commonly referred to as ultimate reinforcement, the main purpose for fabricating CNT–ceramic matrix composites has been mainly to improve the fracture toughness and strength of the ceramic matrix materials. However, there have been many studies reporting marginal improvements or even the degradation of mechanical properties. On the other hand, those studies claiming noticeable toughening measured using indentation, which is an indirect/unreliable characterization method, have not demonstrated the responsible mechanisms applicable to the nanoscale, flexible CNTs; instead, those studies proposed those classical methods applicable to microscale fiber/whisker reinforced ceramics without showing any convincing evidence of load transfer to the CNTs. Therefore, the ability of CNTs to directly improve the macroscopic mechanical properties of structural ceramics has been strongly questioned and debated in the last ten years. In order to properly discuss the reinforcing ability (and possible mechanisms) of CNTs in a ceramic host material, there are three fundamental questions to our knowledge at both the nanoscale and macroscale levels that need to be addressed: (1) does the intrinsic load-bearing ability of CNTs change when embedded in a ceramic host matrix?; (2) when there is an intimate atomic-level interface without any chemical reaction with the matrix, could one expect any load transfer to the CNTs along with effective load bearing by them during crack propagation?; and (3) considering their nanometer-scale dimensions, flexibility and radial softness, are the CNTs able to improve the mechanical properties of the host ceramic matrix at the macroscale when individually, intimately and uniformly dispersed? If so, how? Also, what is the effect of CNT concentration in such a defect-free composite system? Here, we briefly review the recent studies addressing the above fundamental questions. In particular, we discuss the new

  19. Nano-diamonds surface modifications: understanding of electron exchange mechanisms and evidence of a therapeutic effect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petit, Tristan


    In this thesis, a therapeutic effect of nano-diamonds (NDs) has been evidenced by investigating the role of NDs surface chemistry on their electronic properties. More precisely, the generation of reactive oxygen species from detonation NDs under ionizing radiation, which could improve current radiotherapy treatments, has been demonstrated. To this end, surface treatments facilitating electron transfer from NDs to their environment, namely hydrogenation and surface graphitization, were developed. Experimental conditions ensuring an efficient hydrogenation by hydrogen plasma were determined under ultrahigh vacuum, before being used to prepare large quantities of NDs in powder phase. A similar procedure was applied to the surface graphitization of NDs, performed by annealing under vacuum at high temperature. The impact of such surface treatments on the electronic interaction properties of NDs has been investigated under ambient air and after dispersion in water. These surface treatments induce a positive Zeta potential to NDs in water, which origin has been discussed. Finally, their interactions with human tumor cells were observed. Radiosensitization of tumor cells using NDs under gamma irradiation was demonstrated, opening new perspectives for NDs in nano-medicine. (author) [fr

  20. Mechanical Fatigue Behavior of Flexible Printed Organic Thin-Film Transistors under Applied Strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohito Sekine


    Full Text Available We report on the mechanical fatigue behavior of printed, organic, thin-film transistors (OTFTs based on a polymer semiconductor, investigated by repeatedly applying strain to the flexible OTFT devices and assessing their electrical characteristics after 60,000 bending cycles. As part of our investigation, we established that the rates of reduction in source/drain currents in the OTFT device depended on bending directions. Our improved understanding of the mechanical fatigue behavior of the flexible printed OTFT devices provides valuable insights into their employment in practical flexible electronics applications.

  1. Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Telescopic Mechanism for Truss Structure Bridge Inspection Vehicle Under Pedestrian Excitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenwen Sui

    Full Text Available Abstract Nonlinear dynamic analysis of an axially moving telescopic mechanism for truss structure bridge inspection vehicle under pedestrian excitation is carried out. A biomechanically inspired inverted-pendulum model is utilized to simplify the pedestrian. The nonlinear equations of motion for the beam-pedestrian system are derived using the Hamilton's principle. The equations are transformed into two ordinary differential equations by applying the Galerkin's method at the first two orders. The solutions to the equations are acquired by using the Newmark-β method associated with the Newton-Raphson method. The time-dependent feature of the eigenfunctions for the two beams are taken into consideration in the solutions. Accordingly, the equations of motion for a simplified system, in which the pedestrian is regarded as moving cart, are given. In the numerical examples, dynamic responses of the telescopic mechanism in eight conditions of different beam-telescoping and pedestrian-moving directions are simulated. Comparisons between the vibrations of the beams under pedestrian excitation and corresponding moving cart are carried out to investigate the influence of the pedestrian excitation on the telescopic mechanism. The results show that the displacement of the telescopic mechanism under pedestrian excitation is smaller than that under moving cart especially when the pedestrian approaches the beams end. Additionally, compared with moving cart, the pedestrian excitation can effectively strengthen the vibration when the beam extension is small or when the pedestrian is close to the beams end.

  2. Mechanisms underlying prorenin actions on hypothalamic neurons implicated in cardiometabolic control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Pitra


    Conclusions: We identified novel neuronal targets and cellular mechanisms underlying PR/PRR actions in critical hypothalamic neurons involved in cardiometabolic regulation. This fundamental mechanistic information regarding central PR/PRR actions is essential for the development of novel RAS-based therapeutic targets for the treatment of cardiometabolic disorders in obesity and hypertension.

  3. Deformation Microstructures and Creep Mechanisms in Advanced ZR-Based Cladding Under Biazal Loading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Linga (KL) Murty


    Investigate creep behavior of Zr-based cladding tubes with attention to basic creep mechanisms and transitions in them at low stresses and/or temperatures and study the dislocation microstructures of deformed samples for correlation with the underlying micromechanism of creep

  4. Cementogenesis is inhibited under a mechanical static compressive force via Piezo1. (United States)

    Zhang, Ying-Ying; Huang, Yi-Ping; Zhao, Hua-Xiang; Zhang, Ting; Chen, Feng; Liu, Yan


    To investigate whether Piezo1, a mechanotransduction gene mediates the cementogenic activity of cementoblasts under a static mechanical compressive force. Murine cementoblasts (OCCM-30) were exposed to a 2.0 g/cm 2 static compressive force for 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours. Then the expression profile of Piezo1 and the cementogenic activity markers osteoprotegerin (Opg), osteopontin (Opn), osteocalcin (Oc), and protein tyrosine phosphataselike member A (Ptpla) were analyzed. Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla expression was further measured after using siRNA to knock down Piezo1. Real-time PCR, Western blot, and cell proliferation assays were performed according to standard procedures. After mechanical stimulation, cell morphology and proliferation did not change significantly. The expression of Piezo1, Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla was significantly decreased, with a high positive correlation between Opg and Piezo1 expression. After Piezo1 knockdown, the expression of Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla was further decreased under mechanical stimulation. Cementogenic activity was inhibited in OCCM-30 cells under static mechanical force, a process that was partially mediated by the decrease of Piezo1. This study provides a new viewpoint of the pathogenesis mechanism of orthodontically induced root resorption and repair.

  5. Mechanisms underlying cellular responses of cells from haemopoietic tissue to low dose/low LET radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munira A Kadhim


    To accurately define the risks associated with human exposure to relevant environmental doses of low LET ionizing radiation, it is necessary to completely understand the biological effects at very low doses (i.e., less than 0.1 Gy), including the lowest possible dose, that of a single electron track traversal. At such low doses, a range of studies have shown responses in biological systems which are not related to the direct interaction of radiation tracks with DNA. The role of these “non-targeted” responses in critical tissues is poorly understood and little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms. Although critical for dosimetry and risk assessment, the role of individual genetic susceptibility in radiation risk is not satisfactorily defined at present. The aim of the proposed grant is to critically evaluate radiation-induced genomic instability and bystander responses in key stem cell populations from haemopoietic tissue. Using stem cells from two mouse strains (CBA/H and C57BL/6J) known to differ in their susceptibility to radiation effects, we plan to carefully dissect the role of genetic predisposition on two non-targeted radiation responses in these models; the bystander effect and genomic instability, which we believe are closely related. We will specifically focus on the effects of low doses of low LET radiation, down to doses approaching a single electron traversal. Using conventional X-ray and γ-ray sources, novel dish separation and targeted irradiation approaches, we will be able to assess the role of genetic variation under various bystander conditions at doses down to a few electron tracks. Irradiations will be carried out using facilities in routine operation for bystander targeted studies. Mechanistic studies of instability and the bystander response in different cell lineages will focus initially on the role of cytokines which have been shown to be involved in bystander signaling and the initiation of instability. These studies also aim

  6. Understanding NOx SCR Mechanism and Activity on Cu/Chabazite Structures throughout the Catalyst Life Cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Fabio; Delgass, Nick; Gounder, Rajmani; Schneider, William F.; Miller, Jeff; Yezerets, Aleksey; McEwen, Jean-Sabin; Peden, Charles HF; Howden, Ken


    Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) compounds contribute to acid rain and photochemical smog and have been linked to respiratory ailments. NOx emissions regulations continue to tighten, driving the need for high performance, robust control strategies. The goal of this project is to develop a deep, molecular level understanding of the function of Cu-SSZ-13 and Cu-SAPO-34 materials that catalyze the SCR of NOx with NH3.

  7. Large Deflections Mechanical Analysis of a Suspended Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube under Thermoelectrical Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assaf Ya'akobovitz


    Full Text Available Following the recent progress in integrating single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs into silicon-based micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS, new modeling tools are needed to predict their behavior under different loads, including thermal, electrical and mechanical. In the present study, the mechanical behavior of SWCNTs under thermoelectrical loading is analyzed using a large deflection geometrically nonlinear string model. The effect of the resistive heating was found to have a substantial influence on the SWCNTs behavior, including significant enhancement of the strain (up to the millistrains range and buckling due to the thermal expansion. The effect of local buckling sites was also studied and was found to enhance the local strain. The theoretical and numerical results obtained in the present study demonstrate the importance of resistive heating in the analysis of SWCNTs and provide an additional insight into the unique mechanics of suspended SWCNTs.

  8. [Pathophysiology of neuropathic pain: molecular mechanisms underlying central sensitization in the dorsal horn in neuropathic pain]. (United States)

    Yamanaka, Hiroki; Noguchi, Koichi


    Neuropathic pain syndromes are clinically characterized by spontaneous pain and evoked pain (hyperalgesia and allodynia). The optimal treatment approach for neuropathic pain is still under development because of the complex pathological mechanisms underlying this type of pain. The spinal cord is an important gateway thorough which peripheral pain signals are transmitted to the brain, and sensitization of the spinal neurons is one of the important mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. Central sensitization represents enhancement of the function of neuronal circuits in nociceptive pathways and is a manifestation of the remarkable plasticity of the somatosensory nervous system after nerve injury. This review highlights the pathological features of central sensitization, which develops because of (1) injury-induced abnormal inputs from primary afferents, (2) increase in the excitability of dorsal horn neurons, and (3) activated glial cell-derived signals.

  9. Progress in understanding the mechanical behavior of pressure-vessel materials at elevated temperatures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swindeman, R.W.; Brinkman, C.R.


    Progress during the 1970's on the production of high-temperature mechanical properties data for pressure vessel materials was reviewed. The direction of the research was toward satisfying new data requirements to implement advances in high-temperature inelastic design methods. To meet these needs, servo-controlled testing machines and high-resolution extensometry were developed to gain more information on the essential behavioral features of high-temperature alloys. The similarities and differences in the mechanical response of various pressure vessel materials were identified. High-temperature pressure vessel materials that have received the most attention included Type 304 stainless steel, Type 316 stainless steel, 2 1/4 Cr-1 Mo steel, alloy 800H, and Hastelloy X

  10. Understanding reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry from catastrophe theory applied to the electron localization function topology. (United States)

    Polo, Victor; Andres, Juan; Berski, Slawomir; Domingo, Luis R; Silvi, Bernard


    Thom's catastrophe theory applied to the evolution of the topology of the electron localization function (ELF) gradient field constitutes a way to rationalize the reorganization of electron pairing and a powerful tool for the unambiguous determination of the molecular mechanisms of a given chemical reaction. The identification of the turning points connecting the ELF structural stability domains along the reaction pathway allows a rigorous characterization of the sequence of electron pair rearrangements taking place during a chemical transformation, such as multiple bond forming/breaking processes, ring closure processes, creation/annihilation of lone pairs, transformations of C-C multiple bonds into single ones. The reaction mechanism of some relevant organic reactions: Diels-Alder, 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition and Cope rearrangement are reviewed to illustrate the potential of the present approach.

  11. Understanding the Acute Skin Injury Mechanism Caused by Player-Surface Contact During Soccer (United States)

    van den Eijnde, Wilbert A.J.; Peppelman, Malou; Lamers, Edwin A.D.; van de Kerkhof, Peter C.M.; van Erp, Piet E.J.


    Background: Superficial skin injuries are considered minor, and their incidence is probably underestimated. Insight into the incidence and mechanism of acute skin injury can be helpful in developing suitable preventive measures and safer playing surfaces for soccer and other field sports. Purpose: To gain insight into the incidence and severity of skin injuries related to soccer and to describe the skin injury mechanism due to player-surface contact. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: The prevention model by van Mechelen et al (1992) combined with the injury causation model of Bahr and Krosshaug (2005) were used as a framework for the survey to describe the skin injury incidence and mechanism caused by player-surface contact. Results: The reviewed literature showed that common injury reporting methods are mainly based on time lost from participation or the need for medical attention. Because skin abrasions seldom lead to absence or medical attention, they are often not reported. When reported, the incidence of abrasion/laceration injuries varies from 0.8 to 6.1 injuries per 1000 player-hours. Wound assessment techniques such as the Skin Damage Area and Severity Index can be a valuable tool to obtain a more accurate estimation of the incidence and severity of acute skin injuries. Conclusion: The use of protective equipment, a skin lubricant, or wet surface conditions has a positive effect on preventing abrasion-type injuries from artificial turf surfaces. The literature also shows that essential biomechanical information of the sliding event is lacking, such as how energy is transferred to the area of contact. From a clinical and histological perspective, there are strong indications that a sliding-induced skin lesion is caused by mechanical rather than thermal injury to the skin. PMID:26535330

  12. Understanding the Personality and Behavioral Mechanisms Defining Hypersexuality in Men Who Have Sex With Men. (United States)

    Miner, Michael H; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne; Raymond, Nancy; Janssen, Erick; MacDonald, Angus; Coleman, Eli


    Hypersexuality has been conceptualized as sexual addiction, compulsivity, and impulsivity, among others, in the absence of strong empirical data in support of any specific conceptualization. To investigate personality factors and behavioral mechanisms that are relevant to hypersexuality in men who have sex with men. A sample of 242 men who have sex with men was recruited from various sites in a moderate-size mid-western city. Participants were assigned to a hypersexuality group or a control group using an interview similar to the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Self-report inventories were administered that measured the broad personality constructs of positive emotionality, negative emotionality, and constraint and more narrow constructs related to sexual behavioral control, behavioral activation, behavioral inhibition, sexual excitation, sexual inhibition, impulsivity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and sexual behavior. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to determine the relation between these personality and behavioral variables and group membership. A hierarchical logistic regression controlling for age showed a significant positive relation between hypersexuality and negative emotionality and a negative relation with constraint. None of the behavioral mechanism variables entered this equation. However, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis predicting sexual behavioral control indicated that lack of such control was positively related to sexual excitation and sexual inhibition owing to the threat of performance failure and negatively related to sexual inhibition owing to the threat of performance consequences and general behavioral inhibition Hypersexuality was found to be related to two broad personality factors that are characterized by emotional reactivity, risk taking, and impulsivity. The associated lack of sexual behavior control is influenced by sexual

  13. Understanding Freshness Perception from the Cognitive Mechanisms of Flavor: The Case of Beverages (United States)

    Roque, Jérémy; Auvray, Malika; Lafraire, Jérémie


    Freshness perception has received recent consideration in the field of consumer science mainly because of its hedonic dimension, which is assumed to influence consumers’ preference and behavior. However, most studies have considered freshness as a multisensory attribute of food and beverage products without investigating the cognitive mechanisms at hand. In the present review, we endorse a slightly different perspective on freshness. We focus on (i) the multisensory integration processes that underpin freshness perception, and (ii) the top–down factors that influence the explicit attribution of freshness to a product by consumers. To do so, we exploit the recent literature on the cognitive underpinnings of flavor perception as a heuristic to better characterize the mechanisms of freshness perception in the particular case of beverages. We argue that the lack of consideration of particular instances of flavor, such as freshness, has resulted in a lack of consensus about the content and structure of different types of flavor representations. We then enrich these theoretical analyses, with a review of the cognitive mechanisms of flavor perception: from multisensory integration processes to the influence of top–down factors (e.g., attentional and semantic). We conclude that similarly to flavor, freshness perception is characterized by hybrid content, both perceptual and semantic, but that freshness has a higher-degree of specificity than flavor. In particular, contrary to flavor, freshness is characterized by specific functions (e.g., alleviation of oropharyngeal symptoms) and likely differs from flavor with respect to the weighting of each sensory contributor, as well as to its subjective location. Finally, we provide a comprehensive model of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie freshness perception. This model paves the way for further empirical research on particular instances of flavor, and will enable advances in the field of food and beverage cognition

  14. Investigating and improving student understanding of quantum mechanical observables and their corresponding operators in Dirac notation (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha


    In quantum mechanics, for every physical observable, there is a corresponding Hermitian operator. According to the most common interpretation of quantum mechanics, measurement of an observable collapses the quantum state into one of the possible eigenstates of the operator and the corresponding eigenvalue is measured. Since Dirac notation is an elegant notation that is commonly used in upper-level quantum mechanics, it is important that students learn to express quantum operators corresponding to observables in Dirac notation in order to apply the quantum formalism effectively in diverse situations. Here we focus on an investigation that suggests that, even though Dirac notation is used extensively, many advanced undergraduate and PhD students in physics have difficulty expressing the identity operator and other Hermitian operators corresponding to physical observables in Dirac notation. We first describe the difficulties students have with expressing the identity operator and a generic Hermitian operator corresponding to an observable in Dirac notation. We then discuss how the difficulties found via written surveys and individual interviews were used as a guide in the development of a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) to help students develop a good grasp of these concepts. The QuILT strives to help students become proficient in expressing the identity operator and a generic Hermitian operator corresponding to an observable in Dirac notation. We also discuss the effectiveness of the QuILT based on in-class evaluations.

  15. Marine phospholipids: The current understanding of their oxidation mechanisms and potential uses for food fortification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lu, Henna Fung Sieng; Nielsen, Nina Skall; Baron, Caroline P.


    and storage of marine PL. For example, nonenzymatic browning reactions may occur between lipid oxidation products and primary amine group from phosphatidylethanolamine or amino acid residues that are present inmarine PL. Therefore, marine PL contain products from nonenzymatic browning and lipid oxidation...... reactions, namely, Strecker aldehydes, pyrroles, oxypolymers, and other impurities that may positively or negatively affect the oxidative stability and quality of marine PL. This review was undertaken to provide the industry and academia with an overview of the current understanding of the quality changes...... taking place in PL during their production and their storage as well as with regards to their utilization for food fortification....

  16. Understanding the Atomic Scale Mechanisms that Control the Attainment of Ultralow Friction and Wear in Carbon-Based Materials (United States)


    2015. 15. Invited. New Insights into Friction and Wear through In-Situ Nanotribology. Joint Symposium of the Surface Science Society of Japan and...and Carpick, R.W. Influence of Surface Passivation on the Friction and Wear Behavior of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond and Tetrahedral Amorphous Carbon...AFRL-AFOSR-JP-TR-2016-0053 Understanding the Atomic Scale Mechanism that controls the attainment of ultralow friction and wear in carbon based

  17. Review of the damage mechanism in wind turbine gearbox bearings under rolling contact fatigue (United States)

    Su, Yun-Shuai; Yu, Shu-Rong; Li, Shu-Xin; He, Yan-Ni


    Wind turbine gearbox bearings fail with the service life is much shorter than the designed life. Gearbox bearings are subjected to rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and they are observed to fail due to axial cracking, surface flaking, and the formation of white etching areas (WEAs). The current study reviewed these three typical failure modes. The underlying dominant mechanisms were discussed with emphasis on the formation mechanism of WEAs. Although numerous studies have been carried out, the formation of WEAs remains unclear. The prevailing mechanism of the rubbing of crack faces that generates WEAs was questioned by the authors. WEAs were compared with adiabatic shear bands (ASBs) generated in the high strain rate deformation in terms of microstructural compositions, grain refinement, and formation mechanism. Results indicate that a number of similarities exist between them. However, substantial evidence is required to verify whether or not WEAs and ASBs are the same matters.

  18. The effects of students' reasoning abilities on conceptual understandings and problem-solving skills in introductory mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ates, S; Cataloglu, E


    The purpose of this study was to determine if there are relationships among freshmen/first year students' reasoning abilities, conceptual understandings and problem-solving skills in introductory mechanics. The sample consisted of 165 freshmen science education prospective teachers (female = 86, male = 79; age range 17-21) who were enrolled in an introductory physics course. Data collection was done during the fall semesters in two successive years. At the beginning of each semester, the force concept inventory (FCI) and the classroom test of scientific reasoning (CTSR) were administered to assess students' initial understanding of basic concepts in mechanics and reasoning levels. After completing the course, the FCI and the mechanics baseline test (MBT) were administered. The results indicated that there was a significant difference in problem-solving skill test mean scores, as measured by the MBT, among concrete, formal and postformal reasoners. There were no significant differences in conceptual understanding levels of pre- and post-test mean scores, as measured by FCI, among the groups. The Benferroni post hoc comparison test revealed which set of reasoning levels showed significant difference for the MBT scores. No statistical difference between formal and postformal reasoners' mean scores was observed, while the mean scores between concrete and formal reasoners and concrete and postformal reasoners were statistically significantly different

  19. Effects of delaying transplanting on agronomic traits and grain yield of rice under mechanical transplantation pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qihua Liu

    Full Text Available A delay in the mechanical transplantation (MT of rice seedlings frequently occurs in Huanghuai wheat-rice rotation cropping districts of China, due to the late harvest of wheat, the poor weather conditions and the insufficiency of transplanters, missing the optimum transplanting time and causing seedlings to age. To identify how delaying transplanting rice affects the agronomic characteristics including the growth duration, photosynthetic productivity and dry matter remobilization efficiency and the grain yield under mechanical transplanting pattern, an experiment with a split-plot design was conducted over two consecutive years. The main plot includes two types of cultivation: mechanical transplanting and artificial transplanting (AT. The subplot comprises four japonica rice cultivars. The results indicate that the rice jointing, booting, heading and maturity stages were postponed under MT when using AT as a control. The tiller occurrence number, dry matter weight per tiller, accumulative dry matter for the population, leaf area index, crop growth rate, photosynthetic potential, and dry matter remobilization efficiency of the leaf under MT significantly decreased compared to those under AT. In contrast, the reduction rate of the leaf area during the heading-maturity stage was markedly enhanced under MT. The numbers of effective panicles and filled grains per panicle and the grain yield significantly decreased under MT. A significant correlation was observed between the dry matter production, remobilization and distribution characteristics and the grain yield. We infer that, as with rice from old seedlings, the decrease in the tiller occurrence, the photosynthetic productivity and the assimilate remobilization efficiency may be important agronomic traits that are responsible for the reduced grain yield under MT.

  20. Distinct Mechanisms Underlying Resveratrol-Mediated Protection from Types of Cellular Stress in C6 Glioma Cells. (United States)

    Means, John C; Gerdes, Bryan C; Koulen, Peter


    The polyphenolic phytostilbene, trans -resveratrol, is found in high amounts in several types and tissues of plants, including grapes, and has been proposed to have beneficial effects in the central nervous system due to its activity as an antioxidant. The objective of the present study was to identify the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of resveratrol under conditions of oxidative stress or DNA damage, induced by the extracellularly applied oxidant, tert -butyl hydrogen peroxide, or UV-irradiation, respectively. In C6 glioma cells, a model system for glial cell biology and pharmacology, resveratrol was protective against both types of insult. Prevention of tau protein cleavage and of the formation of neurofibrillary tangles were identified as mechanisms of action of resveratrol-mediated protection in both paradigms of cellular damage. However, depending on the type of insult, resveratrol exerted its protective activity differentially: under conditions of chemically induced oxidative stress, inhibition of caspase activity, while with DNA damage, resveratrol regulated tau phosphorylation at Ser 422 . Results advance our understanding of resveratrol's complex impact on cellular signaling pathway and contribute to the notion of resveratrol's role as a pleiotropic therapeutic agent.

  1. Understanding of bonding and mechanical characteristics of cementitious mineral tobermorite from first principles. (United States)

    Tunega, Daniel; Zaoui, Ali


    This paper reports density functional theory study of the structural and mechanical properties of tobermorite mineral (9 Å phase) as one of the main component of cementitious materials in a concrete chemistry. Calculated bulk modulus and elastic constants reflect a relatively high resistance of the tobermorite structure with respect to external isostatic compression. Moreover, the elastic constants proved the anisotropic character of the tobermorite structure. The directions parallel to the axb plane are more resistant to the compression than the perpendicular direction. The largest contribution to this resistance comes from the "dreierketten" silicate chains. The bonding analysis linked macroscopic mechanical properties and the atomic structure of the tobermorite. It was found that polar covalent Si-O bonds are stiffer than iono-covalent Ca-O bonds. The SiO(4) tetrahedra are resistant with respect to the compression and the effect of external pressure is reflected by the large mutual tilting of these tetrahedra as it is shown by changes of the Si-O-Si bridging angles. Polyhedra with the seven-fold coordinated Ca(2+) cations undergo large structural changes. Especially, axial Ca-O bonds perpendicular to the axb plane are significantly shortened. Besides, it was shown that structural parameters, more or less in parallel orientation to the axb plane, are mainly responsible for the high resistance of the tobermorite structure to external pressure. The main mechanism of a dissipation of energy entered to the structure through the compression is proceeded by the tilting of the tetrahedra of the silicate chains and by large shortening of the axial Ca-O distances. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Understanding flocculation mechanism of graphene oxide for organic dyes from water: Experimental and molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Liu


    Full Text Available Flocculation treatment processes play an important role in water and wastewater pretreatment. Here we investigate experimentally and theoretically the possibility of using graphene oxide (GO as a flocculant to remove methylene blue (MB from water. Experimental results show that GO can remove almost all MB from aqueous solutions at its optimal dosages and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that MB cations quickly congregate around GO in water. Furthermore, PIXEL energy contribution analysis reveals that most of the strong interactions between GO and MB are of a van der Waals (London dispersion character. These results offer new insights for shedding light on the molecular mechanism of interaction between GO and organic pollutants.

  3. Understanding organometallic reaction mechanisms and catalysis experimental and computational tools computational and experimental tools

    CERN Document Server

    Ananikov, Valentin P


    Exploring and highlighting the new horizons in the studies of reaction mechanisms that open joint application of experimental studies and theoretical calculations is the goal of this book. The latest insights and developments in the mechanistic studies of organometallic reactions and catalytic processes are presented and reviewed. The book adopts a unique approach, exemplifying how to use experiments, spectroscopy measurements, and computational methods to reveal reaction pathways and molecular structures of catalysts, rather than concentrating solely on one discipline. The result is a deeper

  4. Dynamic Response and Failure Mechanism of Brittle Rocks Under Combined Compression-Shear Loading Experiments (United States)

    Xu, Yuan; Dai, Feng


    A novel method is developed for characterizing the mechanical response and failure mechanism of brittle rocks under dynamic compression-shear loading: an inclined cylinder specimen using a modified split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) system. With the specimen axis inclining to the loading direction of SHPB, a shear component can be introduced into the specimen. Both static and dynamic experiments are conducted on sandstone specimens. Given carefully pulse shaping, the dynamic equilibrium of the inclined specimens can be satisfied, and thus the quasi-static data reduction is employed. The normal and shear stress-strain relationships of specimens are subsequently established. The progressive failure process of the specimen illustrated via high-speed photographs manifests a mixed failure mode accommodating both the shear-dominated failure and the localized tensile damage. The elastic and shear moduli exhibit certain loading-path dependence under quasi-static loading but loading-path insensitivity under high loading rates. Loading rate dependence is evidently demonstrated through the failure characteristics involving fragmentation, compression and shear strength and failure surfaces based on Drucker-Prager criterion. Our proposed method is convenient and reliable to study the dynamic response and failure mechanism of rocks under combined compression-shear loading.

  5. Inspection Mechanism and Experimental Study of Prestressed Reverse Tension Method under PC Beam Bridge Anchorage (United States)

    Peng, Zhang


    the prestress under anchorage is directly related to the structural security and performance of PC beam bridge. The reverse tension method is a kind of inspection which confirms the prestress by exerting reversed tension load on the exposed prestressing tendon of beam bridge anchoring system. The thesis elaborately expounds the inspection mechanism and mechanical effect of reverse tension method, theoretically analyzes the influential elements of inspection like tool anchorage deformation, compression of conjuncture, device glide, friction of anchorage loop mouth and elastic compression of concrete, and then presents the following formula to calculate prestress under anchorage. On the basis of model experiment, the thesis systematically studies some key issues during the reverse tension process of PC beam bridge anchorage system like the formation of stress-elongation curve, influential factors, judgment method of prestress under anchorage, variation trend and compensation scale, verifies the accuracy of mechanism analysis and demonstrates: the prestress under anchorage is less than or equal to 75% of the ultimate strength of prestressing tendon, the error of inspect result is less than 1%, which can meet with the demands of construction. The research result has provided theoretical basis and technical foundation for the promotion and application of reverse tension in bridge construction.

  6. Mechanical and electronic properties of monolayer and bilayer phosphorene under uniaxial and isotropic strains. (United States)

    Hu, Ting; Han, Yang; Dong, Jinming


    The mechanical and electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes under either isotropic or uniaxial strain have been systematically investigated using first-principles calculations. It is interesting to find that: 1) Under a large enough isotropic tensile strain, the monolayer phosphorene would lose its pucker structure and transform into a flat hexagonal plane, while two inner sublayers of the bilayer phosphorene could be bonded due to its interlayer distance contraction. 2) Under the uniaxial tensile strain along a zigzag direction, the pucker distance of each layer in the bilayer phosphorene can exhibit a specific negative Poisson's ratio. 3) The electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes are sensitive to the magnitude and direction of the applied strains. Their band gaps decrease more rapidly under isotropic compressive strain than under uniaxial strain. Also, their direct-indirect band gap transitions happen at the larger isotropic tensile strains compared with that under uniaxial strain. 4) Under the isotropic compressive strain, the bilayer phosphorene exhibits a transition from a direct-gap semiconductor to a metal. In contrast, the monolayer phosphorene initially has the direct-indirect transition and then transitions to a metal. However, under isotropic tensile strain, both the bilayer and monolayer phosphorene show the direct-indirect transition and, finally, the transition to a metal. Our numerical results may open new potential applications of phosphorene in nanoelectronics and nanomechanical devices by external isotropic strain or uniaxial strain along different directions.

  7. A Multiscale Understanding of the Thermodynamic and Kinetic Mechanisms of Laser Additive Manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong Gu


    Full Text Available Selective laser melting (SLM additive manufacturing (AM technology has become an important option for the precise manufacturing of complex-shaped metallic parts with high performance. The SLM AM process involves complicated physicochemical phenomena, thermodynamic behavior, and phase transformation as a high-energy laser beam melts loose powder particles. This paper provides multiscale modeling and coordinated control for the SLM of metallic materials including an aluminum (Al-based alloy (AlSi10Mg, a nickel (Ni-based super-alloy (Inconel 718, and ceramic particle-reinforced Al-based and Ni-based composites. The migration and distribution mechanisms of aluminium nitride (AlN particles in SLM-processed Al-based nanocomposites and the in situ formation of a gradient interface between the reinforcement and the matrix in SLM-processed tungsten carbide (WC/Inconel 718 composites were studied in the microscale. The laser absorption and melting/densification behaviors of AlSi10Mg and Inconel 718 alloy powder were disclosed in the mesoscale. Finally, the stress development during line-by-line localized laser scanning and the parameter-dependent control methods for the deformation of SLM-processed composites were proposed in the macroscale. Multiscale numerical simulation and experimental verification methods are beneficial in monitoring the complicated powder-laser interaction, heat and mass transfer behavior, and microstructural and mechanical properties development during the SLM AM process.

  8. Understanding the differing governance of EU emissions trading and renewable: feedback mechanisms and policy entrepreneurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boasson, Elin Lerum; Wettestad, Joergen


    This paper presents a comparative study of two central EU climate policies: the revised Emissions Trading System (ETS), and the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RES). Both were originally developed in the early 2000s and revised policies were adopted in December 2008. While the ETS from 2013 on will have a quite centralized and market-streamlined design, the revised RES stands forward as a more decentralized and technology-focused policy. Differing institutional feed-back mechanisms and related roles of policy entrepreneurs can shed considerable light on these policy differences. Due to member states' cautiousness and contrary to the preferences of the Commission, the initial ETS was designed as a rather decentralized and 'politicized' market system, creating a malfunctioning institutional dynamic. In the revision process, the Commission skillfully highlighted this ineffective dynamic to win support for a much more centralized and market-streamlined approach. In the case of RES, national technology-specific support schemes and the strong links between the renewable industry and member states promoted the converse outcome: decentralization and technology development. Members of the European Parliament utilized these mechanisms through policy networking, while the Commission successfully used developments within the global climate regime to induce some degree of centralization. (Author)

  9. Understanding the Mechanisms of Gold Shell Growth onto Polymer Microcapsules to Control Shell Thickness. (United States)

    Tasker, Alison L; Hitchcock, James; Baxter, Elaine A; Cayre, Dr Olivier J; Biggs, Simon


    Polymer microcapsules have been used commercially for decades, however they have an inherent flaw which renders them impractical as a carrier of small, volatile molecules. The porous nature of the polymer shell allows for diffusion of the encapsulated molecules into the bulk. The use of metal shells is an innovative way to prevent undesired loss of small molecules from the core of microcapsules, however it is important, particularly when using expensive metals to ensure that the resulting shell is as thin as possible. Here we investigate the fundamental mechanisms controlling the gold shell thickness when a fragrance oil is encapsulated in a poly(methyl methacrylate) shell. We consider the distribution of the nanoparticles on the capsule surface, and from quantification of the adsorbed nanoparticle (NP) density and resulting shell thickness, we propose mechanisms to describe the gold shell growth for systems with high and low NP surface coverage. We suggest from our observations that the gold grows to fill in the gaps between NPs. At low NP concentrations, thicker metal shells form. We postulate that this is due to the low NP density on the surface, forcing the gold clusters to grow larger before they meet the adjacent ones. Thus, to grow the thinnest possible shells a densely packed monolayer of platinum nanoparticles is required on the capsule surface. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Understanding of carbon-based supercapacitors ageing mechanisms by electrochemical and analytical methods (United States)

    Liu, Yinghui; Soucaze-Guillous, Benoît; Taberna, Pierre-Louis; Simon, Patrice


    In order to shed light on ageing mechanisms of Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitor (EDLC), two kinds of activated carbons are studied in tetraethyl ammonium tetrafluoroborate (Et4NBF4) in acetonitrile. In floating mode, it turns out that two different ageing mechanisms are observed, depending on the activated carbon electrode materials used. On one hand, carbon A exhibits a continuous capacitance and series resistance fall-off; on the other hand, for carbon B, only the series resistance degrades after ageing while the capacitance keeps unchanged. Additional electrochemical characterizations (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy - EIS - and diffusion coefficient calculations) were carried out showing that carbon A's ageing behavior is suspected to be primarily related to the carbon degradation while for carbon B a passivation occurs leading to the formation of a Solid Electrolyte Interphase-Like (SEI-L) film. These hypotheses are supported by TG-IR and Raman spectroscopy analysis. The outcome forms the latter is an increase of carbon defects on carbon A on positive electrode.

  11. Atmospheric Compensation of Variations in Tropical Ocean Heat Transport: Understanding Mechanisms and Implications on Tectonic Timescales (United States)

    Rencurrel, M. C.; Rose, B. E. J.


    The poleward transport of energy is a key aspect of the climate system, with surface ocean currents presently dominating the transport out of deep tropics. A classic study by Stone (1978) proposed that the total heat transport is determined by astronomical parameters and is highly insensitive to the detailed atmosphere-ocean dynamics. On the other hand, previous modeling work has shown that past continental configurations could have produced substantially different tropical ocean heat transport (OHT). How thoroughly does the atmosphere compensate for changes in ocean transport in terms of the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative budget, what are the relevant mechanisms, and what are the consequences for surface temperature and climate on tectonic timescales? We examine these issues in a suite of aquaplanet GCM simulations subject to large prescribed variations in OHT. We find substantial but incomplete compensation, in which adjustment of the atmospheric Hadley circulation plays a key role. We then separate out the dynamical and thermodynamical components of the adjustment mechanism. Increased OHT tends to warm the mid- to high latitudes without cooling the tropics due asymmetries in radiative feedback processes. The warming is accompanied by hydrological cycle changes that are completely different from those driven by greenhouse gases, suggesting that drivers of past global change might be detectable from combinations of hydroclimate and temperature proxies.

  12. Psychosomatic medicine in the 21st century: understanding mechanisms and barriers to utilization. (United States)

    Wise, Thomas N; Balon, Richard


    The psychosomatic approach arose in antiquity as mankind looked for explanations for illness and death. With the rise of modern medicine, the links between emotions and medical conditions, such as cardiac disease and diabetes, were described by astute clinical observers, but the mechanisms for these conditions were based on correlation from observations rather than on experimental design. Psychoanalytic theory was often utilized to explain many common diseases. For example, peptic ulcer disease was blamed upon anger and stress, but scientific methodology discovered Helicobacter pylori to be the significant causal factor of this disease and resulted in the development of more effective treatments. Nevertheless emotional factors are still linked to disease states and morbidity; for example, depression is a risk factor for mortality following myocardial infarction. Advances in neuroscience demonstrate that the reduction of telomere length by anxiety and stress leads to more rapid aging and potential disease vulnerability. Thus, neuroscientific probes may allow for the elucidation of psychosomatic mechanisms. Sadly, clinical barriers, in terms of time pressure upon physicians and the current separation of mental health services from primary care settings, continue the dualistic treatment of many conditions where psychological factors are important. It is not clear whether a mandate for the integration of behavioral health into primary care will remedy this partition and finally maximize a psychosomatic approach to medical care. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. A New Alkali-Stable Phosphonium Cation Based on Fundamental Understanding of Degradation Mechanisms. (United States)

    Zhang, Bingzi; Kaspar, Robert B; Gu, Shuang; Wang, Junhua; Zhuang, Zhongbin; Yan, Yushan


    Highly alkali-stable cationic groups are a critical component of hydroxide exchange membranes (HEMs). To search for such cations, we studied the degradation kinetics and mechanisms of a series of quaternary phosphonium (QP) cations. Benzyl tris(2,4,6-trimethoxyphenyl)phosphonium [BTPP-(2,4,6-MeO)] was determined to have higher alkaline stability than the benchmark cation, benzyl trimethylammonium (BTMA). A multi-step methoxy-triggered degradation mechanism for BTPP-(2,4,6-MeO) was proposed and verified. By replacing methoxy substituents with methyl groups, a superior QP cation, methyl tris(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)phosphonium [MTPP-(2,4,6-Me)] was developed. MTPP-(2,4,6-Me) is one of the most stable cations reported to date, with <20 % degradation after 5000 h at 80 °C in a 1 m KOD in CD3 OD/D2 O (5:1 v/v) solution. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Understanding the evolution of the windlass mechanism of the human foot from comparative anatomy: Insights, obstacles, and future directions. (United States)

    Griffin, Nicole L; Miller, Charlotte E; Schmitt, Daniel; D'Août, Kristiaan


    Humans stand alone from other primates in that we propel our bodies forward on a relatively stiff and arched foot and do so by employing an anatomical arrangement of bones and ligaments in the foot that can operate like a "windlass." This is a significant evolutionary innovation, but it is currently unknown when during hominin evolution this mechanism developed and within what genera or species it originated. The presence of recently discovered fossils along with novel research in the past two decades have improved our understanding of foot mechanics in humans and other apes, making it possible to consider this question more fully. Here we review the main elements thought to be involved in the production of an effective, modern human-like windlass mechanism. These elements are the triceps surae, plantar aponeurosis, medial longitudinal arch, and metatarsophalangeal joints. We discuss what is presently known about the evolution of these features and the challenges associated with identifying each of these specific components and/or their function in living and extinct primates for the purpose of predicting the presence of the windlass mechanism in our ancestors. In some cases we recommend alternative pathways for inferring foot mechanics and for testing the hypothesis that the windlass mechanism evolved to increase the speed and energetic efficiency of bipedal gait in hominins. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Understanding the mechanisms of thermal disintegrating treatment in the reduction of sludge production. (United States)

    Camacho, P; Ginestet, P; Audic, J-M


    Among the technologies aimed at reducing sludge production, the combination of thermal treatment at 95 degrees C of sludge and the activated sludge process is a promising route. The feasibility of such a combined process is demonstrated (up to 60% sludge reduction) and the impacts of operating conditions on its efficiency are presented. Major emphasis was put on understanding the complex phenomena occurring within the thermal treatment: release and biodegradability of sludge organic matter, impact on the biological activity (decay, maintenance requirements, etc.). These effects were taken into account for the development of an ASM1-based model. Comparison between the modeling approach and experimental data (continuous and batch) showed that thermal treatment had three major issues partly explaining the reduction of sludge production: (i) a low release of organics; (ii) an immediate and reversible biological inactivation associated with additional maintenance energy requirements; and (iii) a potential inert production.

  16. Gene flow, recombination, and positive selection in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia: mechanisms underlying the diversity of the widespread opportunistic pathogen. (United States)

    Yu, Dong; Yin, Zhiqiu; Li, Beiping; Jin, Yuan; Ren, Hongguang; Zhou, Jing; Zhou, Wei; Liang, Long; Yue, Junjie


    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a global multidrug-resistant human opportunistic pathogen in clinical environments. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is also ubiquitous in aqueous environments, soil, and plants. Various molecular typing methods have revealed that S. maltophilia exhibits high levels of phenotypic and genotypic diversity. However, information regarding the genomic diversity within S. maltophilia and the corresponding genetic mechanisms resulting in said diversity remain scarce. The genome sequences of 17 S. maltophilia strains were selected to investigate the mechanisms contributing to genetic diversity at the genome level. The core and large pan-genomes of the species were first estimated, resulting in a large, open pan-genome. A species phylogeny was also reconstructed based on 344 orthologous genes with one copy per genome, and the contribution of four evolutionary mechanisms to the species genome diversity was quantified: 15%-35% of the genes showed evidence for recombination, 0%-25% of the genes in one genome were likely gained, 0%-44% of the genes in some genomes were likely lost, and less than 0.3% of the genes in a genome were under positive selection pressures. We observed that, among the four main mechanisms, homologous recombination plays a key role in maintaining diversity in S. maltophilia. In this study, we provide an overview of evolution in S. maltophilia to provide a better understanding of its evolutionary dynamics and its relationship with genome diversity.

  17. Mechanical failure of zigzag graphene nanoribbons under tensile strain induced by edge reconstruction

    KAUST Repository

    Cheng, Yingchun


    The structural and mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) under uniaxial tensile strain are studied by density functional theory. The ideal strength of a zigzag GNR (120 GPa) is close to that of pristine graphene. However, for a GNR with both edges reconstructed to pentagon–heptagon pairs (from hexagon–hexagon pairs) it decreases to 94 GPa and the maximum tensile strain is reduced to 15%. Our results constitute a comprehensive picture of the edge structure effect on the mechanical properties of GNRs.

  18. Understanding the desensitizing mechanism of olefin in explosives: shear slide of mixed HMX-olefin systems. (United States)

    Zhang, Chaoyang; Cao, Xia; Xiang, Bin


    We simulated the shear slide behavior of typical mixed HMX-olefin systems and the effect of thickness of olefin layers (4-22 Å) on the behavior at a molecular level by considering two cases: bulk shear and interfacial shear. The results show that: (1) the addition of olefin into HMX can reduce greatly the shear sliding barriers relative to the pure HMX in the two cases, suggesting that the desensitizing mechanism of olefin is controlled dominantly by its good lubricating property; (2) the change of interaction energy in both systoles of shear slide is strongly dominated by van der Waals interaction; and (3) the thickness of olefin layers in the mixed explosives can influence its desensitizing efficiency. That is, the excessive thinness of olefin layers in the mixed explosive systems, for example, several angstroms, can lead to very high sliding barriers.

  19. Heat and mass transfer models to understand the drying mechanisms of a porous substrate. (United States)

    Songok, Joel; Bousfield, Douglas W; Gane, Patrick A C; Toivakka, Martti


    While drying of paper and paper coatings is expensive, with significant energy requirements, the rate controlling mechanisms are not currently fully understood. Two two-dimensional models are used as a first approximation to predict the heat transfer during hot air drying and to evaluate the role of various parameters on the drying rates of porous coatings. The models help determine the structural limiting factors during the drying process, while applying for the first time the recently known values of coating thermal diffusivity. The results indicate that the thermal conductivity of the coating structure is not the controlling factor, but the drying rate is rather determined by the thermal transfer process at the structure surface. This underlines the need for ensuring an efficient thermal transfer from hot air to coating surface during drying, before considering further measures to increase the thermal conductivity of porous coatings.

  20. Understanding the neural mechanisms involved in sensory control of voice production. (United States)

    Parkinson, Amy L; Flagmeier, Sabina G; Manes, Jordan L; Larson, Charles R; Rogers, Bill; Robin, Donald A


    Auditory feedback is important for the control of voice fundamental frequency (F0). In the present study we used neuroimaging to identify regions of the brain responsible for sensory control of the voice. We used a pitch-shift paradigm where subjects respond to an alteration, or shift, of voice pitch auditory feedback with a reflexive change in F0. To determine the neural substrates involved in these audio-vocal responses, subjects underwent fMRI scanning while vocalizing with or without pitch-shifted feedback. The comparison of shifted and unshifted vocalization revealed activation bilaterally in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) in response to the pitch shifted feedback. We hypothesize that the STG activity is related to error detection by auditory error cells located in the superior temporal cortex and efference copy mechanisms whereby this region is responsible for the coding of a mismatch between actual and predicted voice F0. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Metal Oxide Nanomaterial QNAR Models: Available Structural Descriptors and Understanding of Toxicity Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiali Ying


    Full Text Available Metal oxide nanomaterials are widely used in various areas; however, the divergent published toxicology data makes it difficult to determine whether there is a risk associated with exposure to metal oxide nanomaterials. The application of quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR modeling in metal oxide nanomaterials toxicity studies can reduce the need for time-consuming and resource-intensive nanotoxicity tests. The nanostructure and inorganic composition of metal oxide nanomaterials makes this approach different from classical QSAR study; this review lists and classifies some structural descriptors, such as size, cation charge, and band gap energy, in recent metal oxide nanomaterials quantitative nanostructure activity relationship (QNAR studies and discusses the mechanism of metal oxide nanomaterials toxicity based on these descriptors and traditional nanotoxicity tests.

  2. Oxide Nanoparticle EUV (ONE) Photoresists: Current Understanding of the Unusual Patterning Mechanism

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Jing


    © 2015 SPST. In the past few years, industry has made significant progress to deliver a stable high power EUV scanner and a 100 W light source is now being tested on the manufacuring scale. The success of a high power EUV source demands a fast and high resolution EUV resist. However, chemcially amplied resists encounter unprecedented challenges beyond the 22 nm node due to resolution, roughness and sensitivity tradeoffs. Unless novel solutions for EUV resists are proposed and further optimzed, breakthroughs can hardly be achieved. Oxide nanoparticle EUV (ONE) resists stablized by organic ligands were originally proposed by Ober et al. Recently this work attracts more and more attention due to its extraordinanry EUV sensitivity. This new class of photoresist utilizes ligand cleavage with a ligand exchange mechanism to switch its solubilty for dual-tone patterning. Therefore, ligand selection of the nanoparticles is extremely important to its EUV performance.

  3. Towards a better understanding of the therapeutic applications and corresponding mechanisms of action of honey. (United States)

    Khan, Rifat Ullah; Naz, Shabana; Abudabos, Alaeldein M


    Honey is a bee-derived supersaturated solution composed of complex contents mainly glucose, fructose, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Composition of honey may vary due to the difference in nectar, season, geography, and storage condition. Honey has been used since times immemorial in folk medicine and has recently been rediscovered as an excellent therapeutic agent. In the past, honey was used for a variety of ailments without knowing the scientific background and active ingredients of honey. Today, honey has been scientifically proven for its antioxidant, regulation of glycemic response, antitumor, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular potentiating agent. It can be used as a wound dressing and healing substance. Honey is different in color, flavor, sensory perception, and medical response. Apart from highlighting the nutritional facts of honey, we collected the finding of the published literature to know the mechanism of action of honey in different diseases. This review covers the composition, physiochemical characteristics, and some medical uses.

  4. Reliability-based optimization of maintenance scheduling of mechanical components under fatigue. (United States)

    Beaurepaire, P; Valdebenito, M A; Schuëller, G I; Jensen, H A


    This study presents the optimization of the maintenance scheduling of mechanical components under fatigue loading. The cracks of damaged structures may be detected during non-destructive inspection and subsequently repaired. Fatigue crack initiation and growth show inherent variability, and as well the outcome of inspection activities. The problem is addressed under the framework of reliability based optimization. The initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks are efficiently modeled using cohesive zone elements. The applicability of the method is demonstrated by a numerical example, which involves a plate with two holes subject to alternating stress.

  5. CISM course on mechanical behaviour of soils under environmentally induced cyclic loads

    CERN Document Server

    Wood, David; Mechanical Behaviour of Soils Under Environmentally Induced Cyclic Loads


    The book gives a comprehensive description of the mechanical response of soils (granular and cohesive materials) under cyclic loading. It provides the geotechnical engineer with the theoretical and analytical tools necessary for the evaluation of settlements developng with time under cyclic, einvironmentally idncued loads (such as wave motion, wind actions, water table level variation) and their consequences for the serviceability and durability of structures such as the shallow or deep foundations used in offshore engineering, caisson beakwaters, ballast and airport pavements and also to interpret monitoring data, obtained from both natural and artificial slopes and earth embankments, for the purposes of risk assessment and mitigation.

  6. Understanding the mechanisms of ATPase beta family genes for cellular thermotolerance in crossbred bulls. (United States)

    Deb, Rajib; Sajjanar, Basavaraj; Singh, Umesh; Alex, Rani; Raja, T V; Alyethodi, Rafeeque R; Kumar, Sushil; Sengar, Gyanendra; Sharma, Sheetal; Singh, Rani; Prakash, B


    Na+/K+-ATPase is an integral membrane protein composed of a large catalytic subunit (alpha), a smaller glycoprotein subunit (beta), and gamma subunit. The beta subunit is essential for ion recognition as well as maintenance of the membrane integrity. Present study was aimed to analyze the expression pattern of ATPase beta subunit genes (ATPase B1, ATPase B2, and ATPase B3) among the crossbred bulls under different ambient temperatures (20-44 °C). The present study was also aimed to look into the relationship of HSP70 with the ATPase beta family genes. Our results demonstrated that among beta family genes, transcript abundance of ATPase B1 and ATPase B2 is significantly (P ATPase Β1, ATPase B2, and ATPase B3 is highly correlated (P ATPase beta family genes for cellular thermotolerance in cattle.

  7. The Use of Tactile Sensors and PIV Analysis for Understanding the Bearing Mechanism of Pile Groups. (United States)

    You, Zhijia; Chen, Yulong


    Model tests were carried out in dry silica sand under pile loading and visualizing observation to investigate the behavior of a pile group. The pile group consisted of nine cylindrical model piles of 40 mm in diameter in most tests or three rectangular parallelepiped model piles in the visualizing observation. Pile spacings of 200 mm and 100 mm between pile centers were used in the models. Tactile sensors were installed to measure the pressure distribution in the ground and colored sand layer with particle image velocimetry (PIV) analysis to reveal the ground deformation in addition to strain gauges inside the model piles to investigate the interaction among group piles. The tests results showed that a narrower spacing between piles resulted in a wider affected area of the ground and the interaction was more significant below the tips.

  8. Accelerating Our Understanding of Supernova Explosion Mechanism via Simulations and Visualizations with GenASiS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Budiardja, R. D. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Cardall, Christian Y [ORNL; Endeve, Eirik [ORNL


    Core-collapse supernovae are among the most powerful explosions in the Universe, releasing about 1053 erg of energy on timescales of a few tens of seconds. These explosion events are also responsible for the production and dissemination of most of the heavy elements, making life as we know it possible. Yet exactly how they work is still unresolved. One reason for this is the sheer complexity and cost of a self-consistent, multi-physics, and multi-dimensional core-collapse supernova simulation, which is impractical, and often impossible, even on the largest supercomputers we have available today. To advance our understanding we instead must often use simplified models, teasing out the most important ingredients for successful explosions, while helping us to interpret results from higher fidelity multi-physics models. In this paper we investigate the role of instabilities in the core-collapse supernova environment. We present here simulation and visualization results produced by our code GenASiS.

  9. Scientific conception on mechanisms of calcium homeostasis disorders under low dose effect of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abylaev, Zh.A.; Dospolova, Zh.G.


    Scientific conception of probable consequences of calcium homeostasis disorders in personals, exposed to low dose effect of ionizing radiation has been developed. Principle positions of the conception is that pathologic processes development have different ways of conducting. During predominance of low doses of external gamma-radiation there is leading pathologic mechanism (mechanism 1) of disorder neuroendocrine regulation of both the calcium and the phosphor. In this case sicks have disorders of both the vegetative tonus and the endocrine status. Under internal irradiation (mechanism 2) there is disfunction of organs and systems (bore changes and disorders of hormone status). These changes are considered as consequence of negative action on organism of incorporated long-living radionuclides. Radio-toxic factors action (mechanism 3) provokes the excess of hormones, which acting on bone tissue and could be cause of steroid osteoporosis. Influence of chronic stress factor (mechanism 4) enlarges and burden action on organism of low radiation doses. It is emphasized, that decisive role in development of pathologic processes has mechanism of disturbance of neuroendocrine regulation of calcium exchange

  10. Contact force and mechanical loss of multistage cable under tension and bending (United States)

    Ru, Yanyun; Yong, Huadong; Zhou, Youhe


    A theoretical model for calculating the stress and strain states of cabling structures with different loadings has been developed in this paper. We solve the problem for the first- and second-stage cable with tensile or bending strain. The contact and friction forces between the strands are presented by two-dimensional contact model. Several theoretical models have been proposed to verify the results when the triplet subjected to the tensile strain, including contact force, contact stresses, and mechanical loss. It is found that loadings will affect the friction force and the mechanical loss of the triplet. The results show that the contact force and mechanical loss are dependent on the twist pitch. A shorter twist pitch can lead to higher contact force, while the trend of mechanical loss with twist pitch is complicated. The mechanical loss may be reduced by adjusting the twist pitch reasonably. The present model provides a simple analysis method to investigate the mechanical behaviors in multistage-structures under different loads.

  11. From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. (United States)

    Juslin, Patrik N; Barradas, Gonçalo; Eerola, Tuomas


    A common approach to studying emotional reactions to music is to attempt to obtain direct links between musical surface features such as tempo and a listener's responses. However, such an analysis ultimately fails to explain why emotions are aroused in the listener. In this article we explore an alternative approach, which aims to account for musical emotions in terms of a set of psychological mechanisms that are activated by different types of information in a musical event. This approach was tested in 4 experiments that manipulated 4 mechanisms (brain stem reflex, contagion, episodic memory, musical expectancy) by selecting existing musical pieces that featured information relevant for each mechanism. The excerpts were played to 60 listeners, who were asked to rate their felt emotions on 15 scales. Skin conductance levels and facial expressions were measured, and listeners reported subjective impressions of relevance to specific mechanisms. Results indicated that the target mechanism conditions evoked emotions largely as predicted by a multimechanism framework and that mostly similar effects occurred across the experiments that included different pieces of music. We conclude that a satisfactory account of musical emotions requires consideration of how musical features and responses are mediated by a range of underlying mechanisms.

  12. Exact solution for stresses/displacements in a multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeo, W.H.; Purbolaksono, J.; Aliabadi, M.H.; Ramesh, S.; Liew, H.L.


    In this study, a new analytical solution by the recursive method for evaluating stresses/displacements in multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading was developed. The results for temperature distribution, displacements and stresses obtained by using the proposed solution were shown to be in good agreement with the FEM results. The proposed analytical solution was also found to produce more accurate results than those by the analytical solution reported in literature. - Highlights: • A new analytical solution for evaluating stresses in multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading. • A simple computational procedure using a recursive method. • A promising technique for evaluating the operating axial and hoop stresses in pressurized composite vessels.

  13. Music and Memory in Alzheimer's Disease and The Potential Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Peck, Katlyn J; Girard, Todd A; Russo, Frank A; Fiocco, Alexandra J


    With population aging and a projected exponential expansion of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the development of treatment and prevention programs has become a fervent area of research and discovery. A growing body of evidence suggests that music exposure can enhance memory and emotional function in persons with AD. However, there is a paucity of research that aims to identify specific underlying neural mechanisms associated with music's beneficial effects in this particular population. As such, this paper reviews existing anecdotal and empirical evidence related to the enhancing effects of music exposure on cognitive function and further provides a discussion on the potential underlying mechanisms that may explain music's beneficial effect. Specifically, this paper will outline the potential role of the dopaminergic system, the autonomic nervous system, and the default network in explaining how music may enhance memory function in persons with AD.

  14. Behavioral Effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Illnesses: A Consideration of Possible Underlying Cognitive Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P. Smith


    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that both experimentally induced upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs and naturally occurring URTIs influence mood and performance. The present study investigated possible cognitive mechanisms underlying the URTI-performance changes. Those who developed a cold (N = 47 had significantly faster, but less accurate, performance than those who remained healthy (N = 54. Illness had no effect on manipulations designed to influence encoding, response organisation (stimulus-response compatilibility or response preparation. Similarly, there was no evidence that different components of working memory were impaired. Overall, the present research confirms that URTIs can have an effect on performance efficiency. Further research is required to identify the physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying these effects.

  15. Physiological mechanisms contributing to increased water-use efficiency in winter wheat under organic fertilization. (United States)

    Wang, Linlin; Wang, Shiwen; Chen, Wei; Li, Hongbing; Deng, Xiping


    Improving the efficiency of resource utilization has received increasing research attention in recent years. In this study, we explored the potential physiological mechanisms underlying improved grain yield and water-use efficiency of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) following organic fertilizer application. Two wheat cultivars, ChangHan58 (CH58) and XiNong9871 (XN9871), were grown under the same nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate (urea-N, CK; and manure plus urea-N, M) and under two watering regimes (WW, well-watered; and WS, water stress) imposed after anthesis. The M fertilizer treatment had a higher Pn and lower gs and Tr than CK under both water conditions, in particular, it significantly increased WRC and Ψw, and decreased EWLR and MDA under WS. Also, the M treatment increased post-anthesis N uptake by 81.4 and 16.4% under WS and WW, thus increasing post-anthesis photosynthetic capacity and delaying leaf senescence. Consequently, the M treatment increased post-anthesis DM accumulation under WS and WW by 51.5 and 29.6%, WUEB by 44.5 and 50.9%, grain number per plant by 11.5 and 12.2% and 1000-grain weight by 7.3 and 3.6%, respectively, compared with CK. The grain yield under M treatment increased by 23 and 15%, and water use efficiency (WUEg) by 25 and 23%, respectively. The increased WUE under organic fertilizer treatment was due to elevated photosynthesis and decreased Tr and gs. Our results suggest that the organic fertilizer treatment enabled plants to use water more efficiently under drought stress.

  16. Detecting method for crude oil price fluctuation mechanism