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Sample records for understanding virulence mechanisms

  1. Identification of Brucella melitensis Rev.1 vaccine-strain genetic markers: Towards understanding the molecular mechanism behind virulence attenuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issa, Mohammad Nouh; Ashhab, Yaqoub

    2016-09-22

    Brucella melitensis Rev.1 is an avirulent strain that is widely used as a live vaccine to control brucellosis in small ruminants. Although an assembled draft version of Rev.1 genome has been available since 2009, this genome has not been investigated to characterize this important vaccine. In the present work, we used the draft genome of Rev.1 to perform a thorough genomic comparison and sequence analysis to identify and characterize the panel of its unique genetic markers. The draft genome of Rev.1 was compared with genome sequences of 36 different Brucella melitensis strains from the Brucella project of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The comparative analyses revealed 32 genetic alterations (30 SNPs, 1 single-bp insertion and 1 single-bp deletion) that are exclusively present in the Rev.1 genome. In silico analyses showed that 9 out of the 17 non-synonymous mutations are deleterious. Three ABC transporters are among the disrupted genes that can be linked to virulence attenuation. Out of the 32 mutations, 11 Rev.1 specific markers were selected to test their potential to discriminate Rev.1 using a bi-directional allele-specific PCR assay. Six markers were able to distinguish between Rev.1 and a set of control strains. We succeeded in identifying a panel of 32 genome-specific markers of the B. melitensis Rev.1 vaccine strain. Extensive in silico analysis showed that a considerable number of these mutations could severely affect the function of the associated genes. In addition, some of the discovered markers were able to discriminate Rev.1 strain from a group of control strains using practical PCR tests that can be applied in resource-limited settings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2018-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species. PMID:29445617

  3. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  4. Mechanisms of disease: Helicobacter pylori virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2010-11-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays an essential role in the development of various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small proportion of people infected with H. pylori develop these diseases. Some populations that have a high prevalence of H. pylori infection also have a high incidence of gastric cancer (for example, in East Asia), whereas others do not (for example, in Africa and South Asia). Even within East Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer varies (decreasing in the south). H. pylori is a highly heterogeneous bacterium and its virulence varies geographically. Geographic differences in the incidence of gastric cancer can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factor, especially CagA, VacA and OipA. However, it is still unclear why the pathogenicity of H. pylori increased as it migrated from Africa to East Asia during the course of evolution. H. pylori infection is also thought to be involved in the development of duodenal ulcer, which is at the opposite end of the disease spectrum to gastric cancer. This discrepancy can be explained in part by the presence of H. pylori virulence factor DupA. Despite advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors.

  5. New insights into virulence mechanisms of rice pathogen Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae strain RS-1 following exposure to ?-lactam antibiotics

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Bin; Ge, Mengyu; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Li; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Wang, Yanli; Sun, Guochang; Chen, Gongyou

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that pathogen virulence can be altered by exposure to antibiotics, even when the growth rate is unaffected. Investigating this phenomenon provides new insights into understanding the virulence mechanisms of bacterial pathogens. This study investigates the phenotypic and transcriptomic responses of the rice pathogenic bacterium Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae (Aaa) strain RS-1 to ?-lactam antibiotics especially Ampicillin (Amp). Our results indicate that exposure to A...

  6. Understand quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omnes, R.

    2000-01-01

    The author presents the interpretation of quantum mechanics in a simple and direct way. This book may be considered as a complement of specialized books whose aim is to present the mathematical developments of quantum mechanics. As early as the beginning of quantum theory, Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli proposed the basis of what is today called the interpretation of Copenhagen. This interpretation is still valid but 2 important discoveries have led to renew some aspects of the interpretation of Copenhagen. The first one was the discovery of the decoherence phenomenon which is responsible for the absence of quantum interferences in the macroscopic world. The second discovery was the achievement of the complete derivation of classical physics from quantum physics, it means that the classical determinism fits in the framework of quantum probabilism. A short summary ends each chapter. (A.C.)

  7. Understanding mechanical ventilators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatburn, Robert L

    2010-12-01

    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.

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    The susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to different virulent phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa makes the worms an excellent model for studying host-pathogen interactions. Including the recently described liquid killing, five different killing assays are now available offering superb

  9. Understanding Virulence in the Brucellae and Francisellae: Towards Efficacious Treatments for Two Potential Biothreat Agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasley, A; Parsons, D A; El-Etr, S; Roux, C; Tsolis, R

    2009-12-30

    Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Brucellae species are highly infectious pathogens classified as select agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the potential for use in bioterrorism attacks. These organisms are known to be facultative intracellular pathogens that preferentially infect human monocytes. As such, understanding how the host responds to infection with these organisms is paramount in detecting and combating human disease. We have compared the ability of fully virulent strains of each pathogen and their non-pathogenic near neighbors to enter and survive inside the human monocytic cell line THP-1 and have quantified the cellular response to infection with the goal of identifying both unique and common host response patterns. We expanded the scope of these studies to include experiments with pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague. Nonpathogenic strains of each organism were impaired in their ability to survive intracellularly compared with their pathogenic counterparts. Furthermore, infection of THP-1 cells with pathogenic strains of Y. pestis and F. tularensis resulted in marked increases in the secretion of the inflammatory chemokines IL-8, RANTES, and MIP-1{beta}. In contrast, B. melitensis infection failed to elicit any significant increases in a panel of cytokines tested. These differences may underscore distinct strategies in pathogenic mechanisms employed by these pathogens.

  10. How to understand quantum mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Ralston, John P

    2018-01-01

    How to Understand Quantum Mechanics presents an accessible introduction to understanding quantum mechanics in a natural and intuitive way, which was advocated by Erwin Schroedinger and Albert Einstein. A theoretical physicist reveals dozens of easy tricks that avoid long calculations, makes complicated things simple, and bypasses the worthless anguish of famous scientists who died in angst. The author's approach is light-hearted, and the book is written to be read without equations, however all relevant equations still appear with explanations as to what they mean. The book entertainingly rejects quantum disinformation, the MKS unit system (obsolete), pompous non-explanations, pompous people, the hoax of the 'uncertainty principle' (it is just a math relation), and the accumulated junk-DNA that got into the quantum operating system by misreporting it. The order of presentation is new and also unique by warning about traps to be avoided, while separating topics such as quantum probability to let the Schroeding...

  11. Understanding the mechanisms of lung mechanical stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.S.N.B. Garcia

    2006-06-01

    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.

  12. Insights on the virulence mechanisms of European Edwardsiella tarda strains isolated from turbot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuria Castro Iglesias

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Edwardsiella tarda is a common inhabitant of diverse ecological niches as well as a common guest of a high variety of animals including fish, reptiles, amphibians, chickens and other warm-blooded animals as humans. With regard to the aquatic environments, E. tarda has been described as the causative agent of infections in more than 20 fish species including some important fish species in aquaculture industry. Several potential pathogenic properties have been suggested to contribute to the infection process of E. tarda, which include adhesins, Type III and Type VI secretion system, and ability to survive and replicate in phagocytes, among others. Identification of these virulence-related genes is essential for understanding the pathogenesis of the species. Since E. tarda causes great losses in the Chinese aquaculture, great efforts have been recently devoted to study the pathogenicity mechanism of E. tarda in Asian countries. However, all these studies were conducted employing Asian isolates. Being E. tarda a pathogen of great economical concern in European turbot aquaculture and since the high intraspecific variability of E. tarda is well known, it becomes evident that additional pathogenicity studies conducted with non-Asiatic strains are needed. Enzymes such as chondroitinase are believed to play an important role in the pathogenicity of bacteria that cause infections (Tam et al., 1982. Chondroitinase activity was proposed to be one virulence contributor in Edwardsiella spp. and mediates the cartilage degradation in the chronic “hole-in-the-head” lesion. In Gram-negative bacteria, the most intensively studied quorum sensing systems rely on the use of N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs, which production is common among marine and fish pathogenic Proteobacteria, controlling the expression of key virulence factors. In the case of E. tarda, strain NUF251 from diseased flounder had the ability to produce two kinds of AHL molecules. It is likely

  13. New insights into virulence mechanisms of rice pathogen Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae strain RS-1 following exposure to ß-lactam antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bin; Ge, Mengyu; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Li; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Wang, Yanli; Sun, Guochang; Chen, Gongyou

    2016-02-26

    Recent research has shown that pathogen virulence can be altered by exposure to antibiotics, even when the growth rate is unaffected. Investigating this phenomenon provides new insights into understanding the virulence mechanisms of bacterial pathogens. This study investigates the phenotypic and transcriptomic responses of the rice pathogenic bacterium Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae (Aaa) strain RS-1 to ß-lactam antibiotics especially Ampicillin (Amp). Our results indicate that exposure to Amp does not influence bacterial growth and biofilm formation, but alters the virulence, colonization capacity, composition of extracellular polymeric substances and secretion of Type VI secretion system (T6SS) effector Hcp. This attenuation in virulence is linked to unique or differential expression of known virulence-associated genes based on genome-wide transcriptomic analysis. The reliability of expression data generated by RNA-Seq was verified with quantitative real-time PCR of 21 selected T6SS genes, where significant down-regulation in expression of hcp gene, corresponding to the reduction in secretion of Hcp, was observed under exposure to Amp. Hcp is highlighted as a potential target for Amp, with similar changes observed in virulence-associated phenotypes between exposure to Amp and mutation of hcp gene. In addition, Hcp secretion is reduced in knockout mutants of 4 differentially expressed T6SS genes.

  14. Effective but costly, evolved mechanisms of defense against a virulent opportunistic pathogen in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixin H Ye

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila harbor substantial genetic variation for antibacterial defense, and investment in immunity is thought to involve a costly trade-off with life history traits, including development, life span, and reproduction. To understand the way in which insects invest in fighting bacterial infection, we selected for survival following systemic infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster over 10 generations. We then examined genome-wide changes in expression in the selected flies relative to unselected controls, both of which had been infected with the pathogen. This powerful combination of techniques allowed us to specifically identify the genetic basis of the evolved immune response. In response to selection, population-level survivorship to infection increased from 15% to 70%. The evolved capacity for defense was costly, however, as evidenced by reduced longevity and larval viability and a rapid loss of the trait once selection pressure was removed. Counter to expectation, we observed more rapid developmental rates in the selected flies. Selection-associated changes in expression of genes with dual involvement in developmental and immune pathways suggest pleiotropy as a possible mechanism for the positive correlation. We also found that both the Toll and the Imd pathways work synergistically to limit infectivity and that cellular immunity plays a more critical role in overcoming P. aeruginosa infection than previously reported. This work reveals novel pathways by which Drosophila can survive infection with a virulent pathogen that may be rare in wild populations, however, due to their cost.

  15. Placebo analgesia: understanding the mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Medoff, Zev M; Colloca, Luana

    2015-01-01

    Expectations of pain relief drive placebo analgesia. Understanding how expectations of improvement trigger distinct biological systems to shape therapeutic analgesic outcomes has been the focus of recent pharmacologic and neuroimaging studies in the field of pain. Recent findings indicate that placebo effects can imitate the actions of real painkillers and promote the endogenous release of opioids and nonopioids in humans. Social support and observational learning also contribute to placebo a...

  16. Understanding Mechanical Design with Respect to Manufacturability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondell, Skyler

    2010-01-01

    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

    2014-03-01

    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. Network analysis of S. aureus response to ramoplanin reveals modules for virulence factors and resistance mechanisms and characteristic novel genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Devika; Natarajan, Jeyakumar

    2015-12-10

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen and ramoplanin is an antimicrobial attributed for effective treatment. The goal of this study was to examine the transcriptomic profiles of ramoplanin sensitive and resistant S. aureus to identify putative modules responsible for virulence and resistance-mechanisms and its characteristic novel genes. The dysregulated genes were used to reconstruct protein functional association networks for virulence-factors and resistance-mechanisms individually. Strong link between metabolic-pathways and development of virulence/resistance is suggested. We identified 15 putative modules of virulence factors. Six hypothetical genes were annotated with novel virulence activity among which SACOL0281 was discovered to be an essential virulence factor EsaD. The roles of MazEF toxin-antitoxin system, SACOL0202/SACOL0201 two-component system and that of amino-sugar and nucleotide-sugar metabolism in virulence are also suggested. In addition, 14 putative modules of resistance mechanisms including modules of ribosomal protein-coding genes and metabolic pathways such as biotin-synthesis, TCA-cycle, riboflavin-biosynthesis, peptidoglycan-biosynthesis etc. are also indicated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Talaromyces marneffei Genomic, Transcriptomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Studies Reveal Mechanisms for Environmental Adaptations and Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna K. P. Lau

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Talaromyces marneffei is a thermally dimorphic fungus causing systemic infections in patients positive for HIV or other immunocompromised statuses. Analysis of its ~28.9 Mb draft genome and additional transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies revealed mechanisms for environmental adaptations and virulence. Meiotic genes and genes for pheromone receptors, enzymes which process pheromones, and proteins involved in pheromone response pathway are present, indicating its possibility as a heterothallic fungus. Among the 14 Mp1p homologs, only Mp1p is a virulence factor binding a variety of host proteins, fatty acids and lipids. There are 23 polyketide synthase genes, one for melanin and two for mitorubrinic acid/mitorubrinol biosynthesis, which are virulence factors. Another polyketide synthase is for biogenesis of the diffusible red pigment, which consists of amino acid conjugates of monascorubin and rubropunctatin. Novel microRNA-like RNAs (milRNAs and processing proteins are present. The dicer protein, dcl-2, is required for biogenesis of two milRNAs, PM-milR-M1 and PM-milR-M2, which are more highly expressed in hyphal cells. Comparative transcriptomics showed that tandem repeat-containing genes were overexpressed in yeast phase, generating protein polymorphism among cells, evading host’s immunity. Comparative proteomics between yeast and hyphal cells revealed that glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, up-regulated in hyphal cells, is an adhesion factor for conidial attachment.

  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

    2015-07-01

    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. Mechanisms relevant to the enhanced virulence of a dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin metabolically engineered entomopathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Nan Tseng

    Full Text Available The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae MA05-169 is a transformant strain that has been metabolically engineered to express dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin biosynthesis genes. In contrast to the wild type strain, the transformant displays a greater resistance to environmental stress and a higher virulence toward target insect host. However, the underlying mechanisms for these characteristics remain unclear; hence experiments were initiated to explore the possible mechanism(s through physiological and molecular approaches. Although both transformant and wild type strains could infect and share the same insect host range, the former germinated faster and produced more appressoria than the latter, both in vivo and in vitro. The transformant showed a significantly shorter median lethal time (LT50 when infecting the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella and the striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata, than the wild type. Additionally, the transformant was more tolerant to reactive oxygen species (ROS, produced 40-fold more orthosporin and notably overexpressed the transcripts of the pathogenicity-relevant hydrolytic enzymes (chitinase, protease, and phospholipase genes in vivo. In contrast, appressorium turgor pressure and destruxin A content were slightly decreased compared to the wild type. The transformant's high anti-stress tolerance, its high virulence against five important insect pests (cowpea aphid Aphis craccivora, diamondback moth Pl. xylostella, striped flea beetle Ph. striolata, and silverleaf whitefly Bemisia argentifolii and its capacity to colonize the root system are key properties for its potential bio-control field application.

  2. Dynamic protein S-palmitoylation mediates parasite life cycle progression and diverse mechanisms of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert W B; Sharma, Aabha I; Engman, David M

    2017-04-01

    Eukaryotic parasites possess complex life cycles and utilize an assortment of molecular mechanisms to overcome physical barriers, suppress and/or bypass the host immune response, including invading host cells where they can replicate in a protected intracellular niche. Protein S-palmitoylation is a dynamic post-translational modification in which the fatty acid palmitate is covalently linked to cysteine residues on proteins by the enzyme palmitoyl acyltransferase (PAT) and can be removed by lysosomal palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) or cytosolic acyl-protein thioesterase (APT). In addition to anchoring proteins to intracellular membranes, functions of dynamic palmitoylation include - targeting proteins to specific intracellular compartments via trafficking pathways, regulating the cycling of proteins between membranes, modulating protein function and regulating protein stability. Recent studies in the eukaryotic parasites - Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma brucei, Cryptococcus neoformans and Giardia lamblia - have identified large families of PATs and palmitoylated proteins. Many palmitoylated proteins are important for diverse aspects of pathogenesis, including differentiation into infective life cycle stages, biogenesis and tethering of secretory organelles, assembling the machinery powering motility and targeting virulence factors to the plasma membrane. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge of palmitoylation in eukaryotic parasites, highlighting five exemplary mechanisms of parasite virulence dependent on palmitoylation.

  3. The Mechanisms of Virulence Regulation by Small Noncoding RNAs in Low GC Gram-Positive Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Pitman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of small noncoding regulatory RNAs (sRNAs in bacteria has grown tremendously recently, giving new insights into gene regulation. The implementation of computational analysis and RNA sequencing has provided new tools to discover and analyze potential sRNAs. Small regulatory RNAs that act by base-pairing to target mRNAs have been found to be ubiquitous and are the most abundant class of post-transcriptional regulators in bacteria. The majority of sRNA studies has been limited to E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria. However, examples of sRNAs in gram-positive bacteria are still plentiful although the detailed gene regulation mechanisms behind them are not as well understood. Strict virulence control is critical for a pathogen’s survival and many sRNAs have been found to be involved in that process. This review outlines the targets and currently known mechanisms of trans-acting sRNAs involved in virulence regulation in various gram-positive pathogens. In addition, their shared characteristics such as CU interaction motifs, the role of Hfq, and involvement in two-component regulators, riboswitches, quorum sensing, or toxin/antitoxin systems are described.

  4. Carbon storage regulator A contributes to the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans by multiple mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Li, Wei; Fortney, Kate R; Janowicz, Diane M; Ellinger, Sheila; Zwickl, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Spinola, Stanley M

    2013-02-01

    The carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) controls a wide variety of bacterial processes, including metabolism, adherence, stress responses, and virulence. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, harbors a homolog of csrA. Here, we generated an unmarked, in-frame deletion mutant of csrA to assess its contribution to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the csrA mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation compared to its parent. Deletion of csrA resulted in decreased adherence of H. ducreyi to human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF); Flp1 and Flp2, the determinants of H. ducreyi adherence to HFF cells, were downregulated in the csrA mutant. Compared to its parent, the csrA mutant had a significantly reduced ability to tolerate oxidative stress and heat shock. The enhanced sensitivity of the mutant to oxidative stress was more pronounced in bacteria grown to stationary phase compared to that in bacteria grown to mid-log phase. The csrA mutant also had a significant survival defect within human macrophages when the bacteria were grown to stationary phase but not to mid-log phase. Complementation in trans partially or fully restored the mutant phenotypes. These data suggest that CsrA contributes to virulence by multiple mechanisms and that these contributions may be more profound in bacterial cell populations that are not rapidly dividing in the human host.

  5. Virulence factors and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in Shigella strains from periurban areas of Lima (Peru).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lluque, Angela; Mosquito, Susan; Gomes, Cláudia; Riveros, Maribel; Durand, David; Tilley, Drake H; Bernal, María; Prada, Ana; Ochoa, Theresa J; Ruiz, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The study was aimed to describe the serotype, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, and virulence determinants in Shigella spp. isolated from Peruvian children. Eighty three Shigella spp. were serogrouped and serotyped being established the antibiotic susceptibility. The presence of 12 virulence factors (VF) and integrase 1 and 2, along with commonly found antibiotic resistance genes was established by PCR. S. flexneri was the most relevant serogroup (55 isolates, 66%), with serotype 2a most frequently detected (27 of 55, 49%), followed by S. boydii and S. sonnei at 12 isolates each (14%) and S. dysenteriae (four isolates, 5%). Fifty isolates (60%) were multi-drug resistant (MDR) including 100% of S. sonnei and 64% of S. flexneri. Resistance levels were high to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (86%), tetracycline (74%), ampicillin (67%), and chloramphenicol (65%). Six isolates showed decreased azithromycin susceptibility. No isolate was resistant to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, or ceftriaxone. The most frequent resistance genes were sul2 (95%), tet(B) (92%), cat (80%), dfrA1 (47%), blaOXA-1like (40%), with intl1 and intl2 detected in 51 and 52% of the isolates, respectively. Thirty-one different VF profiles were observed, being the ipaH (100%), sen (77%), virA and icsA (75%) genes the most frequently found. Differences in the prevalence of VF were observed between species with S. flexneri isolates, particularly serotype 2a, possessing high numbers of VF. In conclusion, this study highlights the high heterogeneity of Shigella VF and resistance genes, and prevalence of MDR organisms within this geographic region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Rice-Infecting Pseudomonas Genomes Are Highly Accessorized and Harbor Multiple Putative Virulence Mechanisms to Cause Sheath Brown Rot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quibod, Ian Lorenzo; Grande, Genelou; Oreiro, Eula Gems; Borja, Frances Nikki; Dossa, Gerbert Sylvestre; Mauleon, Ramil; Cruz, Casiana Vera; Oliva, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Sheath rot complex and seed discoloration in rice involve a number of pathogenic bacteria that cannot be associated with distinctive symptoms. These pathogens can easily travel on asymptomatic seeds and therefore represent a threat to rice cropping systems. Among the rice-infecting Pseudomonas, P. fuscovaginae has been associated with sheath brown rot disease in several rice growing areas around the world. The appearance of a similar Pseudomonas population, which here we named P. fuscovaginae-like, represents a perfect opportunity to understand common genomic features that can explain the infection mechanism in rice. We showed that the novel population is indeed closely related to P. fuscovaginae. A comparative genomics approach on eight rice-infecting Pseudomonas revealed heterogeneous genomes and a high number of strain-specific genes. The genomes of P. fuscovaginae-like harbor four secretion systems (Type I, II, III, and VI) and other important pathogenicity machinery that could probably facilitate rice colonization. We identified 123 core secreted proteins, most of which have strong signatures of positive selection suggesting functional adaptation. Transcript accumulation of putative pathogenicity-related genes during rice colonization revealed a concerted virulence mechanism. The study suggests that rice-infecting Pseudomonas causing sheath brown rot are intrinsically diverse and maintain a variable set of metabolic capabilities as a potential strategy to occupy a range of environments. PMID:26422147

  7. Respiratory mechanics to understand ARDS and guide mechanical ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauri, Tommaso; Lazzeri, Marta; Bellani, Giacomo; Zanella, Alberto; Grasselli, Giacomo

    2017-11-30

    As precision medicine is becoming a standard of care in selecting tailored rather than average treatments, physiological measurements might represent the first step in applying personalized therapy in the intensive care unit (ICU). A systematic assessment of respiratory mechanics in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) could represent a step in this direction, for two main reasons. Approach and Main results: On the one hand, respiratory mechanics are a powerful physiological method to understand the severity of this syndrome in each single patient. Decreased respiratory system compliance, for example, is associated with low end expiratory lung volume and more severe lung injury. On the other hand, respiratory mechanics might guide protective mechanical ventilation settings. Improved gravitationally dependent regional lung compliance could support the selection of positive end-expiratory pressure and maximize alveolar recruitment. Moreover, the association between driving airway pressure and mortality in ARDS patients potentially underlines the importance of sizing tidal volume on respiratory system compliance rather than on predicted body weight. The present review article aims to describe the main alterations of respiratory mechanics in ARDS as a potent bedside tool to understand severity and guide mechanical ventilation settings, thus representing a readily available clinical resource for ICU physicians.

  8. Iron Acquisition Mechanisms and Their Role in the Virulence of Burkholderia Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butt, Aaron T.; Thomas, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    Burkholderia is a genus within the β-Proteobacteriaceae that contains at least 90 validly named species which can be found in a diverse range of environments. A number of pathogenic species occur within the genus. These include Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia multivorans, opportunistic pathogens that can infect the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, and are members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc). Burkholderia pseudomallei is also an opportunistic pathogen, but in contrast to Bcc species it causes the tropical human disease melioidosis, while its close relative Burkholderia mallei is the causative agent of glanders in horses. For these pathogens to survive within a host and cause disease they must be able to acquire iron. This chemical element is essential for nearly all living organisms due to its important role in many enzymes and metabolic processes. In the mammalian host, the amount of accessible free iron is negligible due to the low solubility of the metal ion in its higher oxidation state and the tight binding of this element by host proteins such as ferritin and lactoferrin. As with other pathogenic bacteria, Burkholderia species have evolved an array of iron acquisition mechanisms with which to capture iron from the host environment. These mechanisms include the production and utilization of siderophores and the possession of a haem uptake system. Here, we summarize the known mechanisms of iron acquisition in pathogenic Burkholderia species and discuss the evidence for their importance in the context of virulence and the establishment of infection in the host. We have also carried out an extensive bioinformatic analysis to identify which siderophores are produced by each Burkholderia species that is pathogenic to humans. PMID:29164069

  9. 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: belmonte@salk.edu [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States)

    2016-05-06

    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.

  10. Virulence Factors IN Fungi OF Systemic Mycoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KUROKAWA Cilmery Suemi

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic fungi that cause systemic mycoses retain several factors which allow their growth in adverse conditions provided by the host, leading to the establishment of the parasitic relationship and contributing to disease development. These factors are known as virulence factors which favor the infection process and the pathogenesis of the mycoses. The present study evaluates the virulence factors of pathogenic fungi such as Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in terms of thermotolerance, dimorphism, capsule or cell wall components as well as enzyme production. Virulence factors favor fungal adhesion, colonization, dissemination and the ability to survive in hostile environments and elude the immune response mechanisms of the host. Both the virulence factors presented by different fungi and the defense mechanisms provided by the host require action and interaction of complex processes whose knowledge allows a better understanding of the pathogenesis of systemic mycoses.

  11. Evolutionary mechanisms involved in the virulence of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), a piscine orthomyxovirus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markussen, Turhan; Jonassen, Christine Monceyron; Numanovic, Sanela; Braaen, Stine; Hjortaas, Monika; Nilsen, Hanne; Mjaaland, Siri

    2008-01-01

    Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is an orthomyxovirus causing a multisystemic, emerging disease in Atlantic salmon. Here we present, for the first time, detailed sequence analyses of the full-genome sequence of a presumed avirulent isolate displaying a full-length hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene (HPR0), and compare this with full-genome sequences of 11 Norwegian ISAV isolates from clinically diseased fish. These analyses revealed the presence of a virulence marker right upstream of the putative cleavage site R 267 in the fusion (F) protein, suggesting a Q 266 → L 266 substitution to be a prerequisite for virulence. To gain virulence in isolates lacking this substitution, a sequence insertion near the cleavage site seems to be required. This strongly suggests the involvement of a protease recognition pattern at the cleavage site of the fusion protein as a determinant of virulence, as seen in highly pathogenic influenza A virus H5 or H7 and the paramyxovirus Newcastle disease virus

  12. Genome-Wide Transposon Mutagenesis Indicates that Mycobacterium marinum Customizes Its Virulence Mechanisms for Survival and Replication in Different Hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Weerdenburg, Eveline M.

    2015-02-17

    The interaction of environmental bacteria with unicellular eukaryotes is generally considered a major driving force for the evolution of intracellular pathogens, allowing them to survive and replicate in phagocytic cells of vertebrate hosts. To test this hypothesis on a genome-wide level, we determined for the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium marinum whether it uses conserved strategies to exploit host cells from both protozoan and vertebrate origin. Using transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS), we determined differences in genetic requirements for survival and replication in phagocytic cells of organisms from different kingdoms. In line with the general hypothesis, we identified a number of general virulence mechanisms, including the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved in the modification of surface glycolipids and, surprisingly, the auxiliary proteins of the ESX-1 system. Several of these factors were in fact counterproductive in other hosts. Therefore, M. marinum contains different sets of virulence factors that are tailored for specific hosts. Our data imply that although amoebae could function as a training ground for intracellular pathogens, they do not fully prepare pathogens for crossing species barriers.

  13. The Complete Genome Sequence of the Fish Pathogen Tenacibaculum maritimum Provides Insights into Virulence Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pérez-Pascual

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Tenacibaculum maritimum is a devastating bacterial pathogen of wild and farmed marine fish with a broad host range and a worldwide distribution. We report here the complete genome sequence of the T. maritimum type strain NCIMB 2154T. The genome consists of a 3,435,971-base pair circular chromosome with 2,866 predicted protein-coding genes. Genes encoding the biosynthesis of exopolysaccharides, the type IX secretion system, iron uptake systems, adhesins, hemolysins, proteases, and glycoside hydrolases were identified. They are likely involved in the virulence process including immune escape, invasion, colonization, destruction of host tissues, and nutrient scavenging. Among the predicted virulence factors, type IX secretion-mediated and cell-surface exposed proteins were identified including an atypical sialidase, a sphingomyelinase and a chondroitin AC lyase which activities were demonstrated in vitro.

  14. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allinger, Norman L

    2011-04-01

    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.

  15. Quantum mechanics - a key to understanding magnetism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Vleck, J.H.

    1978-01-01

    A translation is presented of J.H. van Vleck's lecture read at the 1977 Nobel Prize avarding ceremony. The basic results obtained using quantum mechanics in solving the problems of magnetism and especially paramagnetism are chronologically arranged. (Z.J.)

  16. Understanding gene functions and disease mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuchs, Helmut; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan Antonio; Amarie, Oana V.

    2018-01-01

    Since decades, model organisms have provided an important approach for understanding the mechanistic basis of human diseases. The German Mouse Clinic (GMC) was the first phenotyping facility that established a collaboration-based platform for phenotype characterization of mouse lines. In order...... to address individual projects by a tailor-made phenotyping strategy, the GMC advanced in developing a series of pipelines with tests for the analysis of specific disease areas. For a general broad analysis, there is a screening pipeline that covers the key parameters for the most relevant disease areas...

  17. Chlamydia trachomatis In Vivo to In Vitro Transition Reveals Mechanisms of Phase Variation and Down-Regulation of Virulence Factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vítor Borges

    Full Text Available Research on the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis demands culture in cell-lines, but the adaptive process behind the in vivo to in vitro transition is not understood. We assessed the genomic and transcriptomic dynamics underlying C. trachomatis in vitro adaptation of strains representing the three disease groups (ocular, epithelial-genital and lymphogranuloma venereum propagated in epithelial cells over multiple passages. We found genetic features potentially underlying phase variation mechanisms mediating the regulation of a lipid A biosynthesis enzyme (CT533/LpxC, and the functionality of the cytotoxin (CT166 through an ON/OFF mechanism. We detected inactivating mutations in CT713/porB, a scenario suggesting metabolic adaptation to the available carbon source. CT135 was inactivated in a tropism-specific manner, with CT135-negative clones emerging for all epithelial-genital populations (but not for LGV and ocular populations and rapidly increasing in frequency (~23% mutants per 10 passages. RNA-sequencing analyses revealed that a deletion event involving CT135 impacted the expression of multiple virulence factors, namely effectors known to play a role in the C. trachomatis host-cell invasion or subversion (e.g., CT456/Tarp, CT694, CT875/TepP and CT868/ChlaDub1. This reflects a scenario of attenuation of C. trachomatis virulence in vitro, which may take place independently or in a cumulative fashion with the also observed down-regulation of plasmid-related virulence factors. This issue may be relevant on behalf of the recent advances in Chlamydia mutagenesis and transformation where culture propagation for selecting mutants/transformants is mandatory. Finally, there was an increase in the growth rate for all strains, reflecting gradual fitness enhancement over time. In general, these data shed light on the adaptive process underlying the C. trachomatis in vivo to in vitro transition, and indicates that it would be prudent to

  18. Crystal Structure of the LasA Virulence Factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Substrate Specificity and Mechanism of M23 Metallopeptidases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spencer, James; Murphy, Loretta M.; Conners, Rebecca; Sessions, Richard B.; Gamblin, Steven J. (Wales); (Bristol Med Sci); (NIMR)

    2010-09-21

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunist Gram-negative bacterial pathogen responsible for a wide range of infections in immunocompromized individuals and is a leading cause of mortality in cystic fibrosis patients. A number of secreted virulence factors, including various proteolytic enzymes, contribute to the establishment and maintenance of Pseudomonas infection. One such is LasA, an M23 metallopeptidase related to autolytic glycylglycine endopeptidases such as Staphylococcus aureus lysostaphin and LytM, and to DD-endopeptidases involved in entry of bacteriophage to host bacteria. LasA is implicated in a range of processes related to Pseudomonas virulence, including stimulating ectodomain shedding of the cell surface heparan sulphate proteoglycan syndecan-1 and elastin degradation in connective tissue. Here we present crystal structures of active LasA as a complex with tartrate and in the uncomplexed form. While the overall fold resembles that of the other M23 family members, the LasA active site is less constricted and utilizes a different set of metal ligands. The active site of uncomplexed LasA contains a five-coordinate zinc ion with trigonal bipyramidal geometry and two metal-bound water molecules. Using these structures as a starting point, we propose a model for substrate binding by LasA that explains its activity against a wider range of substrates than those used by related lytic enzymes, and offer a catalytic mechanism for M23 metallopeptidases consistent with available structural and mutagenesis data. Our results highlight how LasA is a structurally distinct member of this endopeptidase family, consistent with its activity against a wider range of substrates and with its multiple roles in Pseudomonas virulence.

  19. How to kill the honey bee larva: genomic potential and virulence mechanisms of Paenibacillus larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marvin Djukic

    Full Text Available Paenibacillus larvae, a Gram positive bacterial pathogen, causes American Foulbrood (AFB, which is the most serious infectious disease of honey bees. In order to investigate the genomic potential of P. larvae, two strains belonging to two different genotypes were sequenced and used for comparative genome analysis. The complete genome sequence of P. larvae strain DSM 25430 (genotype ERIC II consisted of 4,056,006 bp and harbored 3,928 predicted protein-encoding genes. The draft genome sequence of P. larvae strain DSM 25719 (genotype ERIC I comprised 4,579,589 bp and contained 4,868 protein-encoding genes. Both strains harbored a 9.7 kb plasmid and encoded a large number of virulence-associated proteins such as toxins and collagenases. In addition, genes encoding large multimodular enzymes producing nonribosomally peptides or polyketides were identified. In the genome of strain DSM 25719 seven toxin associated loci were identified and analyzed. Five of them encoded putatively functional toxins. The genome of strain DSM 25430 harbored several toxin loci that showed similarity to corresponding loci in the genome of strain DSM 25719, but were non-functional due to point mutations or disruption by transposases. Although both strains cause AFB, significant differences between the genomes were observed including genome size, number and composition of transposases, insertion elements, predicted phage regions, and strain-specific island-like regions. Transposases, integrases and recombinases are important drivers for genome plasticity. A total of 390 and 273 mobile elements were found in strain DSM 25430 and strain DSM 25719, respectively. Comparative genomics of both strains revealed acquisition of virulence factors by horizontal gene transfer and provided insights into evolution and pathogenicity.

  20. How to kill the honey bee larva: genomic potential and virulence mechanisms of Paenibacillus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Marvin; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Fünfhaus, Anne; Voss, Jörn; Gollnow, Kathleen; Poppinga, Lena; Liesegang, Heiko; Garcia-Gonzalez, Eva; Genersch, Elke; Daniel, Rolf

    2014-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae, a Gram positive bacterial pathogen, causes American Foulbrood (AFB), which is the most serious infectious disease of honey bees. In order to investigate the genomic potential of P. larvae, two strains belonging to two different genotypes were sequenced and used for comparative genome analysis. The complete genome sequence of P. larvae strain DSM 25430 (genotype ERIC II) consisted of 4,056,006 bp and harbored 3,928 predicted protein-encoding genes. The draft genome sequence of P. larvae strain DSM 25719 (genotype ERIC I) comprised 4,579,589 bp and contained 4,868 protein-encoding genes. Both strains harbored a 9.7 kb plasmid and encoded a large number of virulence-associated proteins such as toxins and collagenases. In addition, genes encoding large multimodular enzymes producing nonribosomally peptides or polyketides were identified. In the genome of strain DSM 25719 seven toxin associated loci were identified and analyzed. Five of them encoded putatively functional toxins. The genome of strain DSM 25430 harbored several toxin loci that showed similarity to corresponding loci in the genome of strain DSM 25719, but were non-functional due to point mutations or disruption by transposases. Although both strains cause AFB, significant differences between the genomes were observed including genome size, number and composition of transposases, insertion elements, predicted phage regions, and strain-specific island-like regions. Transposases, integrases and recombinases are important drivers for genome plasticity. A total of 390 and 273 mobile elements were found in strain DSM 25430 and strain DSM 25719, respectively. Comparative genomics of both strains revealed acquisition of virulence factors by horizontal gene transfer and provided insights into evolution and pathogenicity.

  1. Somatic recombination in wheat stem rust leads to virulence for Ug99-effective SR50 resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race-specific resistance genes protect much of the global wheat crop from stem rust disease caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), but often break down due to evolution of new virulent pathogen races. To understand the molecular mechanisms of virulence evolution in Pgt we identified the p...

  2. B cell activation by outer membrane vesicles--a novel virulence mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Laura A Perez Vidakovics

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Secretion of outer membrane vesicles (OMV is an intriguing phenomenon of Gram-negative bacteria and has been suggested to play a role as virulence factors. The respiratory pathogens Moraxella catarrhalis reside in tonsils adjacent to B cells, and we have previously shown that M. catarrhalis induce a T cell independent B cell response by the immunoglobulin (Ig D-binding superantigen MID. Here we demonstrate that Moraxella are endocytosed and killed by human tonsillar B cells, whereas OMV have the potential to interact and activate B cells leading to bacterial rescue. The B cell response induced by OMV begins with IgD B cell receptor (BCR clustering and Ca(2+ mobilization followed by BCR internalization. In addition to IgD BCR, TLR9 and TLR2 were found to colocalize in lipid raft motifs after exposure to OMV. Two components of the OMV, i.e., MID and unmethylated CpG-DNA motifs, were found to be critical for B cell activation. OMV containing MID bound to and activated tonsillar CD19(+ IgD(+ lymphocytes resulting in IL-6 and IgM production in addition to increased surface marker density (HLA-DR, CD45, CD64, and CD86, whereas MID-deficient OMV failed to induce B cell activation. DNA associated with OMV induced full B cell activation by signaling through TLR9. Importantly, this concept was verified in vivo, as OMV equipped with MID and DNA were found in a 9-year old patient suffering from Moraxella sinusitis. In conclusion, Moraxella avoid direct interaction with host B cells by redirecting the adaptive humoral immune response using its superantigen-bearing OMV as decoys.

  3. The Effects of Low-Shear Mechanical Stress on Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawal, Abidat; Jejelowo, Olufisayo A.; Rosenzweig, Jason A.

    2010-11-01

    Manned space exploration has created a need to evaluate the effects of spacelike stress on pathogenic and opportunistic microbes astronauts could carry with them to the International Space Station and beyond. Yersinia pestis (YP) causes bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague and is capable of killing infected patients within 3-7 days. In this study, low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG), a spacelike stress, was used to physically stress YP; and its effects on proliferation, cold growth, and type III secretion system (T3SS) function were evaluated. YP was grown to saturation in either LSMMG or normal gravity (NG) conditions prior to being used for RAW 246.7 cell infections, HeLa cell infections, and Yop secretion assays. A mutant strain of YP (ΔyopB) that lacks the ability to inject Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops) into the host cell was used as a negative control in cell infection experiments. Our experimental results indicate that YP cultivated under LSMMG resulted in reduced YopM production and secretion compared to its NG-grown counterpart. Similarly, NG-grown YP induced more cell rounding in HeLa cells than did the LSMMG-grown YP, which suggests that LSMMG somehow impairs T3SS optimum function. Also, LSMMG-grown YP used to infect cultured RAW 246.7 cells showed a similar pattern of dysfunction in that it proliferated less than did its NG-grown counterpart during an 8-hour infection period. This study suggests that LSMMG can attenuate bacterial virulence contrary to previously published data that have demonstrated LSMMG-induced hypervirulence of other Gram-negative enterics.

  4. A Novel Insight into Dehydroleucodine Mediated Attenuation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mustafi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa to conventional treatments demands the search for novel therapeutic strategies. In this study, the antimicrobial activity of dehydroleucodine (DhL, a sesquiterpene lactone obtained from Artemisia (A. douglasiana, was screened against several pathogenic virulence effectors of P. aeruginosa. In vitro, minimum inhibitory concentration of DhL was determined against P. aeruginosa strains PAO1, PA103, PA14, and multidrug resistant clinical strain, CDN118. Results showed that DhL was active against each strain where PAO1 and PA103 showed higher susceptibility (MIC 0.48 mg/mL as compared to PA14 (MIC 0.96 mg/mL and CDN118 (MIC 0.98 mg/mL. Also, when PAO1 strain was grown in the presence of DhL (MIC50, 0.12 mg/mL, a delay in the generation time was noticed along with significant inhibition of secretory protease and elastase activities, interruption in biofilm attachment phase in a stationary culture, and a significant decline in Type III effector ExoS. At MIC50, DhL treatment increased the sensitivity of P. aeruginosa towards potent antibiotics. Furthermore, treatment of P. aeruginosa with DhL prevented toxin-induced apoptosis in macrophages. These observations suggest that DhL activity was at the bacterial transcriptional level. Hence, antimicrobial activity of DhL may serve as leads in the development of new anti-Pseudomonas pharmaceuticals.

  5. Structural and Molecular Mechanism of CdpR Involved in Quorum-Sensing and Bacterial Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingru Zhao

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Although quorum-sensing (QS systems are important regulators of virulence gene expression in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, their detailed regulatory mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we show that deletion of PA2588 resulted in increased production of pyocyanin and biofilm, as well as enhanced pathogenicity in a mouse model. To gain insights into the function of PA2588, we performed a ChIP-seq assay and identified 28 targets of PA2588, including the intergenic region between PA2588 and pqsH, which encodes the key synthase of Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS. Though the C-terminal domain was similar to DNA-binding regions of other AraC family members, structural studies revealed that PA2588 has a novel fold at the N-terminal region (NTR, and its C-terminal HTH (helix-turn-helix domain is also unique in DNA recognition. We also demonstrated that the adaptor protein ClpS, an essential regulator of ATP-dependent protease ClpAP, directly interacted with PA2588 before delivering CdpR to ClpAP for degradation. We named PA2588 as CdpR (ClpAP-degradation and pathogenicity Regulator. Moreover, deletion of clpP or clpS/clpA promotes bacterial survival in a mouse model of acute pneumonia infection. Taken together, this study uncovered that CdpR is an important QS regulator, which can interact with the ClpAS-P system to regulate the expression of virulence factors and pathogenicity.

  6. Transient virulence of emerging pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolker, Benjamin M; Nanda, Arjun; Shah, Dharmini

    2010-05-06

    Should emerging pathogens be unusually virulent? If so, why? Existing theories of virulence evolution based on a tradeoff between high transmission rates and long infectious periods imply that epidemic growth conditions will select for higher virulence, possibly leading to a transient peak in virulence near the beginning of an epidemic. This transient selection could lead to high virulence in emerging pathogens. Using a simple model of the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of emerging pathogens, along with rough estimates of parameters for pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus and myxomatosis, we estimated the potential magnitude and timing of such transient virulence peaks. Pathogens that are moderately evolvable, highly transmissible, and highly virulent at equilibrium could briefly double their virulence during an epidemic; thus, epidemic-phase selection could contribute significantly to the virulence of emerging pathogens. In order to further assess the potential significance of this mechanism, we bring together data from the literature for the shapes of tradeoff curves for several pathogens (myxomatosis, HIV, and a parasite of Daphnia) and the level of genetic variation for virulence for one (myxomatosis). We discuss the need for better data on tradeoff curves and genetic variance in order to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios of virulence evolution.

  7. Effective but costly, evolved mechanisms of defense against a virulent opportunistic pathogen in Drosophila melanogaster.

    OpenAIRE

    Yixin H Ye; Stephen F Chenoweth; Elizabeth A McGraw

    2009-01-01

    Drosophila harbor substantial genetic variation for antibacterial defense, and investment in immunity is thought to involve a costly trade-off with life history traits, including development, life span, and reproduction. To understand the way in which insects invest in fighting bacterial infection, we selected for survival following systemic infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster over 10 generations. We then examined genome-wide...

  8. Genome-Wide Transposon Mutagenesis Indicates that Mycobacterium marinum Customizes Its Virulence Mechanisms for Survival and Replication in Different Hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Weerdenburg, Eveline M.; Abdallah, Abdallah; Rangkuti, Farania; Abd El Ghany, Moataz; Otto, Thomas D.; Adroub, Sabir; Molenaar, Douwe; Ummels, Roy; ter Veen, Kars; van Stempvoort, Gunny; van der Sar, Astrid M.; Ali, Shahjahan; Langridge, Gemma C.; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Pain, Arnab; Bitter, Wilbert

    2015-01-01

    the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved

  9. Understanding Mechanism of Photocatalytic Microbial Decontamination of Environmental Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chhabilal Regmi

    2018-02-01

    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.

  10. Student Understanding of Time Dependence in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. AUTOMOTIVE DIESEL MAINTENANCE 2. UNIT I, UNDERSTANDING MECHANICAL CLUTCHES.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    ONE OF A 25-MODULE COURSE DESIGNED TO UPGRADE THE JOB SKILLS AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE OF DIESEL MAINENANCE MECHANICS THIS MATERIAL WAS DEVELOPED BY INDUSTRIAL TRAINING AND SUBJECT-MATTER SPECIALISTS AND TESTED IN INDUSTRIAL TRAINING SITUATIONS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS FIRST UNIT IS TO DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF COMPONENTS, OPERATION, AND ADJUSTMENTS…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Advances in the understanding of crystal growth mechanisms

    CERN Document Server

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

    1997-01-01

    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.

  14. When green and red mycology meet: Impressions from an interdisciplinary forum on virulence mechanisms of phyto- and human-pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yidong; Hube, Bernhard; Kämper, Jörg; Meyer, Vera; Krappmann, Sven

    2017-10-03

    Fungal infections pose a constant threat to plants and humans, but detailed knowledge about pathogenesis, immunity, or virulence is rather scarce. Due to the fact that a certain overlap in the armoury of infection exists between plant- and human-pathogenic fungi, an interdisciplinary forum was held in October 2016 at the Institute for Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene in Erlangen under the organisational umbrella from two special interest groups of German microbial societies. Scientific exchange and intense discussion of this timely topic was fostered by bringing together renowned experts in their respective fields to present their thoughts and recent findings in the course of a plenary lecture and six themed sessions, accompanied by oral and poster contributions of young researchers. By targeting the topic of fungal virulence mechanisms from various angles and in the context of plant and human hosts, some common grounds and exciting perspectives could be deduced during this vibrant scientific event.

  15. Toward a quantitative understanding of mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dao, M.; Lu, L.; Asaro, R.J.; Hosson, J.T.M. de; Ma, E.

    2007-01-01

    Focusing on nanocrystalline (nc) pure face-centered cubic metals, where systematic experimental data are available, this paper presents a brief overview of the recent progress made in improving mechanical properties of nc materials, and in quantitatively and mechanistically understanding the underlying mechanisms. The mechanical properties reviewed include strength, ductility, strain rate and temperature dependence, fatigue and tribological properties. The highlighted examples include recent experimental studies in obtaining both high strength and considerable ductility, the compromise between enhanced fatigue limit and reduced crack growth resistance, the stress-assisted dynamic grain growth during deformation, and the relation between rate sensitivity and possible deformation mechanisms. The recent advances in obtaining quantitative and mechanics-based models, developed in line with the related transmission electron microscopy and relevant molecular dynamics observations, are discussed with particular attention to mechanistic models of partial/perfect-dislocation or deformation-twin-mediated deformation processes interacting with grain boundaries, constitutive modeling and simulations of grain size distribution and dynamic grain growth, and physically motivated crystal plasticity modeling of pure Cu with nanoscale growth twins. Sustained research efforts have established a group of nanocrystalline and nanostructured metals that exhibit a combination of high strength and considerable ductility in tension. Accompanying the gradually deepening understanding of the deformation mechanisms and their relative importance, quantitative and mechanisms-based constitutive models that can realistically capture experimentally measured and grain-size-dependent stress-strain behavior, strain-rate sensitivity and even ductility limit are becoming available. Some outstanding issues and future opportunities are listed and discussed

  16. Plasma membrane lipids and their role in fungal virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Farnoud, Amir M; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable evidence in recent years suggesting that plasma membrane lipids are important regulators of fungal pathogenicity. Various glycolipids have been shown to impart virulent properties in several fungal species, while others have been shown to play a role in host defense. In addition to their role as virulence factors, lipids also contribute to other virulence mechanisms such as drug resistance, biofilm formation, and release of extracellular vesicles. In addition, lipids also affect the mechanical properties of the plasma membrane through the formation of packed microdomains composed mainly of sphingolipids and sterols. Changes in the composition of lipid microdomains have been shown to disrupt the localization of virulence factors and affect fungal pathogenicity. This review gathers evidence on the various roles of plasma membrane lipids in fungal virulence and how lipids might contribute to the different processes that occur during infection and treatment. Insight into the role of lipids in fungal virulence can lead to an improved understanding of the process of fungal pathogenesis and the development of new lipid-mediated therapeutic strategies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Intact and Impaired Mechanisms of Action Understanding in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; McCormick, Carolyn; Young, Gregory S.; Abucayan, Floridette; Hatt, Naomi; Nadig, Aparna; Ozonoff, Sally; Rogers, Sally J.

    2016-01-01

    Typically developing children understand and predict others’ behavior by extracting and processing relevant information such as the logic of their actions within the situational constraints and the intentions conveyed by their gaze direction and emotional expressions. Children with autism have difficulties understanding and predicting others’ actions. With the use of eye tracking and behavioral measures, we investigated action understanding mechanisms used by 18 children with autism and a well-matched group of 18 typically developing children. Results showed that children with autism (a) consider situational constraints in order to understand the logic of an agent’s action and (b) show typical usage of the agent’s emotional expressions to infer his or her intentions. We found (c) subtle atypicalities in the way children with autism respond to an agent’s direct gaze and (d) marked impairments in their ability to attend to and interpret referential cues such as a head turn for understanding an agent’s intentions. PMID:21401220

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houck, Keith A.; Kavlock, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    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

  20. Student understanding of time dependence in quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J. Emigh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] 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 the key role of the energy eigenbasis in determining the time dependence of wave functions. Through analysis of student responses to a set of four interrelated tasks, we categorize some of the difficulties that underlie common errors. The conceptual and reasoning difficulties that have been identified are illustrated through student responses to four sets of questions administered at different points in a junior-level course on quantum mechanics. Evidence is also given that the problems persist throughout undergraduate instruction and into the graduate level.

  1. Recent progress on understanding the mechanisms of amyloid nucleation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatani, Eri; Yamamoto, Naoki

    2018-04-01

    Amyloid fibrils are supramolecular protein assemblies with a fibrous morphology and cross-β structure. The formation of amyloid fibrils typically follows a nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism, in which a one-step nucleation scheme has widely been accepted. However, a variety of oligomers have been identified in early stages of fibrillation, and a nucleated conformational conversion (NCC) mechanism, in which oligomers serve as a precursor of amyloid nucleation and convert to amyloid nuclei, has been proposed. This development has raised the need to consider more complicated multi-step nucleation processes in addition to the simplest one-step process, and evidence for the direct involvement of oligomers as nucleation precursors has been obtained both experimentally and theoretically. Interestingly, the NCC mechanism has some analogy with the two-step nucleation mechanism proposed for inorganic and organic crystals and protein crystals, although a more dramatic conformational conversion of proteins should be considered in amyloid nucleation. Clarifying the properties of the nucleation precursors of amyloid fibrils in detail, in comparison with those of crystals, will allow a better understanding of the nucleation of amyloid fibrils and pave the way to develop techniques to regulate it.

  2. Structure of Vibrio cholerae ToxT reveals a mechanism for fatty acid regulation of virulence genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowden, Michael J.; Skorupski, Karen; Pellegrini, Maria; Chiorazzo, Michael G.; Taylor, Ronald K.; Kull, F. Jon (Dartmouth)

    2010-03-04

    Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. In order for V. cholerae to cause disease, it must produce two virulence factors, the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT), whose expression is controlled by a transcriptional cascade culminating with the expression of the AraC-family regulator, ToxT. We have solved the 1.9 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of ToxT, which reveals folds in the N- and C-terminal domains that share a number of features in common with AraC, MarA, and Rob as well as the unexpected presence of a buried 16-carbon fatty acid, cis-palmitoleate. The finding that cis-palmitoleic acid reduces TCP and CT expression in V. cholerae and prevents ToxT from binding to DNA in vitro provides a direct link between the host environment of V. cholerae and regulation of virulence gene expression.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    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

  4. Differential virulence mechanisms of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) include host entry and virus replication kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaranda, M.M.D.; Purcell, M.K.; Kurath, G.

    2009-01-01

    Host specificity is a phenomenon exhibited by all viruses. For the fish rhabdovirus infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), differential specificity of virus strains from the U and M genogroups has been established both in the field and in experimental challenges. In rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), M IHNV strains are consistently more prevalent and more virulent than U IHNV. The basis of the differential ability of these two IHNV genogroups to cause disease in rainbow trout was investigated in live infection challenges with representative U and M IHNV strains. When IHNV was delivered by intraperitoneal injection, the mortality caused by U IHNV increased, indicating that the low virulence of U IHNV is partly due to inefficiency in entering the trout host. Analyses of in vivo replication showed that U IHNV consistently had lower prevalence and lower viral load than M IHNV during the course of infection. In analyses of the host immune response, M IHNV-infected fish consistently had higher and longer expression of innate immune-related genes such as Mx-1. This suggests that the higher virulence of M IHNV is not due to suppression of the immune response in rainbow trout. Taken together, the results support a kinetics hypothesis wherein faster replication enables M IHNV to rapidly achieve a threshold level of virus necessary to override the strong host innate immune response. ?? 2009 SGM.

  5. Mechanisms influencing student understanding on an outdoor guided field trip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caskey, Nourah Al-Rashid

    Field trips are a basic and important, yet often overlooked part of the student experience. They provide the opportunity to integrate real world knowledge with classroom learning and student previous personal experiences. Outdoor guided field trips leave students with an increased understanding, awareness and interest and in science. However, the benefits of this experience are ambiguous at best (Falk and Balling, 1982; Falk and Dierking, 1992; Kisiel, 2006.) Students on an outdoor guided field trip to a local nature park experienced a significant increase in their understanding of the rock cycle. The changes in the pre-field trip test and the post-field trip test as well as their answers in interviews showed a profound change in the students' understanding and in their interest in the subject matter. The use of the "student's voice" (Bamberger and Tal, 2008) was the motivation for data analysis. By using the students' voice, I was able to determine the mechanisms that might influence their understanding of a subject. The central concepts emerging from the data were: the outdoor setting; the students' interest; the social interaction. From these central concepts, a conceptual model was developed. The outdoor setting allows for the freedom to explore, touch, smell and movement. This, in turn, leads to an increased interest in subject matter. As the students are exploring, they are enjoying themselves and become more open to learning. Interest leads to a desire to learn (Dewey, 1975). In addition to allowing the freedom to explore and move, the outdoor setting creates the condition for social interaction. The students talk to each other as they walk; they have in-depth discourse regarding the subject matter---with the teachers, each other and with the guides. The guides have an extremely important role in the students' learning. The more successful guides not only act as experts, but also adjust to the students' needs and act or speak accordingly. The

  6. Changing the game: using integrative genomics to probe virulence mechanisms of the stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melania eFigueroa

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The recent resurgence of wheat stem rust caused by new virulent races of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt poses a threat to food security. These concerns have catalyzed an extensive global effort towards controlling this disease. Substantial research and breeding programs target the identification and introduction of new stem rust resistance (Sr genes in cultivars for genetic protection against the disease. Such resistance genes typically encode immune receptor proteins that recognize specific components of the pathogen, known as avirulence (Avr proteins. A significant drawback to deploying cultivars with single Sr genes is that they are often overcome by evolution of the pathogen to escape recognition through alterations in Avr genes. Thus, a key element in achieving durable rust control is the deployment of multiple effective Sr genes in combination, either through conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, to minimize the risk of resistance breakdown. In this situation, evolution of pathogen virulence would require simultaneous changes in multiple Avr genes in order to bypass recognition. However, choosing the optimal Sr gene combinations to deploy is a challenge that requires detailed knowledge of the pathogen Avr genes with which they interact and the virulence phenotypes of Pgt existing in nature. Identifying specific Avr genes from Pgt will provide screening tools to enhance pathogen virulence monitoring, assess heterozygosity and propensity for mutation in pathogen populations, and confirm individual Sr gene functions in crop varieties carrying multiple effective resistance genes. Towards this goal, much progress has been made in assembling a high quality reference genome sequence for Pgt, as well as a Pan-genome encompassing variation between multiple field isolates with diverse virulence spectra. In turn this has allowed prediction of Pgt effector gene candidates based on known features of Avr genes in other plant pathogens

  7. Changing the Game: Using Integrative Genomics to Probe Virulence Mechanisms of the Stem Rust Pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Melania; Upadhyaya, Narayana M; Sperschneider, Jana; Park, Robert F; Szabo, Les J; Steffenson, Brian; Ellis, Jeff G; Dodds, Peter N

    2016-01-01

    The recent resurgence of wheat stem rust caused by new virulent races of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) poses a threat to food security. These concerns have catalyzed an extensive global effort toward controlling this disease. Substantial research and breeding programs target the identification and introduction of new stem rust resistance (Sr) genes in cultivars for genetic protection against the disease. Such resistance genes typically encode immune receptor proteins that recognize specific components of the pathogen, known as avirulence (Avr) proteins. A significant drawback to deploying cultivars with single Sr genes is that they are often overcome by evolution of the pathogen to escape recognition through alterations in Avr genes. Thus, a key element in achieving durable rust control is the deployment of multiple effective Sr genes in combination, either through conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, to minimize the risk of resistance breakdown. In this situation, evolution of pathogen virulence would require changes in multiple Avr genes in order to bypass recognition. However, choosing the optimal Sr gene combinations to deploy is a challenge that requires detailed knowledge of the pathogen Avr genes with which they interact and the virulence phenotypes of Pgt existing in nature. Identifying specific Avr genes from Pgt will provide screening tools to enhance pathogen virulence monitoring, assess heterozygosity and propensity for mutation in pathogen populations, and confirm individual Sr gene functions in crop varieties carrying multiple effective resistance genes. Toward this goal, much progress has been made in assembling a high quality reference genome sequence for Pgt, as well as a Pan-genome encompassing variation between multiple field isolates with diverse virulence spectra. In turn this has allowed prediction of Pgt effector gene candidates based on known features of Avr genes in other plant pathogens, including the related flax rust

  8. Host cell interactions of outer membrane vesicle-associated virulence factors of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157: Intracellular delivery, trafficking and mechanisms of cell injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greune, Lilo; Jarosch, Kevin-André; Steil, Daniel; Zhang, Wenlan; He, Xiaohua; Lloubes, Roland; Fruth, Angelika; Kim, Kwang Sik; Schmidt, M. Alexander; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Mellmann, Alexander; Karch, Helge

    2017-01-01

    Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are important tools in bacterial virulence but their role in the pathogenesis of infections caused by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157, the leading cause of life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome, is poorly understood. Using proteomics, electron and confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunoblotting, and bioassays, we investigated OMVs secreted by EHEC O157 clinical isolates for virulence factors cargoes, interactions with pathogenetically relevant human cells, and mechanisms of cell injury. We demonstrate that O157 OMVs carry a cocktail of key virulence factors of EHEC O157 including Shiga toxin 2a (Stx2a), cytolethal distending toxin V (CdtV), EHEC hemolysin, and flagellin. The toxins are internalized by cells via dynamin-dependent endocytosis of OMVs and differentially separate from vesicles during intracellular trafficking. Stx2a and CdtV-B, the DNase-like CdtV subunit, separate from OMVs in early endosomes. Stx2a is trafficked, in association with its receptor globotriaosylceramide within detergent-resistant membranes, to the Golgi complex and the endoplasmic reticulum from where the catalytic Stx2a A1 fragment is translocated to the cytosol. CdtV-B is, after its retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum, translocated to the nucleus to reach DNA. CdtV-A and CdtV-C subunits remain OMV-associated and are sorted with OMVs to lysosomes. EHEC hemolysin separates from OMVs in lysosomes and targets mitochondria. The OMV-delivered CdtV-B causes cellular DNA damage, which activates DNA damage responses leading to G2 cell cycle arrest. The arrested cells ultimately die of apoptosis induced by Stx2a and CdtV via caspase-9 activation. By demonstrating that naturally secreted EHEC O157 OMVs carry and deliver into cells a cocktail of biologically active virulence factors, thereby causing cell death, and by performing first comprehensive analysis of intracellular trafficking of OMVs and OMV-delivered virulence factors

  9. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Understanding quantum mechanics by measuring the properties of mesoscopic devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webb, R.

    1993-01-01

    Measurements of the electrical transport and magnetic properties of micron-size scale insulators, metals, semi-metals, and semiconductors at low temperatures have uncovered a wealth of unexpected phenomena. The only way to understand these new properties is by invoking many of the postulates of quantum mechanics. The author has confirmed that the electron acts as a long-range phase-coherent wave and conventional classical forces are not as important as scalar and vector potentials in determining the response of the electron as it moves through its environment. This talk will focus on the measurement of the Aharonov-Bohm self-interference effects, nonlocal transport phenomena, and persistent currents in normal metal ring structures that have been observed in these nanostructures

  11. Our Evolving Understanding of the Mechanism of Quinolones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnaud Gutierrez

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance of DNA supercoiling is essential for the proper regulation of a plethora of biological processes. As a consequence of this mode of regulation, ahead of the replication fork, DNA replication machinery is prone to introducing supercoiled regions into the DNA double helix. Resolution of DNA supercoiling is essential to maintain DNA replication rates that are amenable to life. This resolution is handled by evolutionarily conserved enzymes known as topoisomerases. The activity of topoisomerases is essential, and therefore constitutes a prime candidate for targeting by antibiotics. In this review, we present hallmark investigations describing the mode of action of quinolones, one of the antibacterial classes targeting the function of topoisomerases in bacteria. By chronologically analyzing data gathered on the mode of action of this imperative antibiotic class, we highlight the necessity to look beyond primary drug-target interactions towards thoroughly understanding the mechanism of quinolones at the level of the cell.

  12. Understanding Liver Regeneration: From Mechanisms to Regenerative Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilgenkrantz, Hélène; Collin de l'Hortet, Alexandra

    2018-04-16

    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.

  13. Bacterial size matters: Multiple mechanisms controlling septum cleavage and diplococcus formation are critical for the virulence of the opportunistic pathogen Enterococcus faecalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamaga, Bartłomiej; Prajsnar, Tomasz K.; Willemse, Joost; Bewley, Martin A.; Chau, Françoise

    2017-01-01

    Enterococcus faecalis is an opportunistic pathogen frequently isolated in clinical settings. This organism is intrinsically resistant to several clinically relevant antibiotics and can transfer resistance to other pathogens. Although E. faecalis has emerged as a major nosocomial pathogen, the mechanisms underlying the virulence of this organism remain elusive. We studied the regulation of daughter cell separation during growth and explored the impact of this process on pathogenesis. We demonstrate that the activity of the AtlA peptidoglycan hydrolase, an enzyme dedicated to septum cleavage, is controlled by several mechanisms, including glycosylation and recognition of the peptidoglycan substrate. We show that the long cell chains of E. faecalis mutants are more susceptible to phagocytosis and are no longer able to cause lethality in the zebrafish model of infection. Altogether, this work indicates that control of cell separation during division underpins the pathogenesis of E. faecalis infections and represents a novel enterococcal virulence factor. We propose that inhibition of septum cleavage during division represents an attractive therapeutic strategy to control infections. PMID:28742152

  14. Bacterial size matters: Multiple mechanisms controlling septum cleavage and diplococcus formation are critical for the virulence of the opportunistic pathogen Enterococcus faecalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartłomiej Salamaga

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus faecalis is an opportunistic pathogen frequently isolated in clinical settings. This organism is intrinsically resistant to several clinically relevant antibiotics and can transfer resistance to other pathogens. Although E. faecalis has emerged as a major nosocomial pathogen, the mechanisms underlying the virulence of this organism remain elusive. We studied the regulation of daughter cell separation during growth and explored the impact of this process on pathogenesis. We demonstrate that the activity of the AtlA peptidoglycan hydrolase, an enzyme dedicated to septum cleavage, is controlled by several mechanisms, including glycosylation and recognition of the peptidoglycan substrate. We show that the long cell chains of E. faecalis mutants are more susceptible to phagocytosis and are no longer able to cause lethality in the zebrafish model of infection. Altogether, this work indicates that control of cell separation during division underpins the pathogenesis of E. faecalis infections and represents a novel enterococcal virulence factor. We propose that inhibition of septum cleavage during division represents an attractive therapeutic strategy to control infections.

  15. 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

    2007-09-15

    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.

  16. Helicobacter pylori virulence and cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y

    2014-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori is human gastric pathogen that causes chronic and progressive gastric mucosal inflammation and is responsible for the gastric inflammation-associated diseases, gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. Specific outcomes reflect the interplay between host-, environmental- and bacterial-specific factors. Progress in understanding putative virulence factors in disease pathogenesis has been limited and many false leads have consumed scarce resources. Few in vitro-in vivo correlations or translational applications have proved clinically relevant. Reported virulence factor-related outcomes reflect differences in relative risk of disease rather than specificity for any specific outcome. Studies of individual virulence factor associations have provided conflicting results. Since virulence factors are linked, studies of groups of putative virulence factors are needed to provide clinically useful information. Here, the authors discuss the progress made in understanding the role of H. pylori virulence factors CagA, vacuolating cytotoxin, OipA and DupA in disease pathogenesis and provide suggestions for future studies.

  17. Bacterial Prostatitis: Bacterial Virulence, Clinical Outcomes, and New Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, John N; Thumbikat, Praveen

    2016-02-01

    Four prostatitis syndromes are recognized clinically: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and asymptomatic prostatitis. Because Escherichia coli represents the most common cause of bacterial prostatitis, we investigated the importance of bacterial virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in E. coli strains causing prostatitis and the potential association of these characteristics with clinical outcomes. A structured literature review revealed that we have limited understanding of the virulence-associated characteristics of E. coli causing acute prostatitis. Therefore, we completed a comprehensive microbiological and molecular investigation of a unique strain collection isolated from healthy young men. We also considered new data from an animal model system suggesting certain E. coli might prove important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Our human data suggest that E. coli needs multiple pathogenicity-associated traits to overcome anatomic and immune responses in healthy young men without urological risk factors. The phylogenetic background and accumulation of an exceptional repertoire of extraintestinal pathogenic virulence-associated genes indicate that these E. coli strains belong to a highly virulent subset of uropathogenic variants. In contrast, antibiotic resistance confers little added advantage to E. coli strains in these healthy outpatients. Our animal model data also suggest that certain pathogenic E. coli may be important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome through mechanisms that are dependent on the host genetic background and the virulence of the bacterial strain.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  19. Genes involved in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Wiegers, Harm; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-01-01

    Pest insects cause severe damage to global crop production and pose a threat to human health by transmitting diseases. Traditionally, chemical pesticides (insecticides) have been used to control such pests and have proven to be effective only for a limited amount of time because of the rapid spread of genetic insecticide resistance. The basis of this resistance is mostly caused by (co)dominant mutations in single genes, which explains why insecticide use alone is an unsustainable solution. Therefore, robust solutions for insect pest control need to be sought in alternative methods such as biological control agents for which single-gene resistance is less likely to evolve. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has shown potential as a biological control agent of insects, and insight into the mechanisms of virulence is essential to show the robustness of its use. With the recent availability of the whole genome sequence of B. bassiana, progress in understanding the genetics that constitute virulence toward insects can be made more quickly. In this review we divide the infection process into distinct steps and provide an overview of what is currently known about genes and mechanisms influencing virulence in B. bassiana. We also discuss the need for novel strategies and experimental methods to better understand the infection mechanisms deployed by entomopathogenic fungi. Such knowledge can help improve biocontrol agents, not only by selecting the most virulent genotypes, but also by selecting the genotypes that use combinations of virulence mechanisms for which resistance in the insect host is least likely to develop. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

    2009-06-16

    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.

  1. Understanding the Mechanism behind Maternal Imprisonment and Adolescent School Dropout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Rosa M.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  2. 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 ...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nissen, Mark

    2002-01-01

    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...

  4. How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works?: Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Amit; Kar, Sujita Kumar

    2017-01-01

    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

  5. Understanding mechanisms of autoimmunity through translational research in vitiligo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strassner, James P; Harris, John E

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Exploring potential virulence regulators in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates of varying virulence through quantitative proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilho, Daniele G; Chaves, Alison F A; Xander, Patricia; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Serrano, Solange M T; Tashima, Alexandre K; Batista, Wagner L

    2014-10-03

    Few virulence factors have been identified for Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, the agent of paracoccidioidomycosis. In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the protein composition of P. brasiliensis in the yeast phase using minimal and rich media to obtain a better understanding of its virulence and to gain new insights into pathogen adaptation strategies. This analysis was performed on two isolates of the Pb18 strain showing distinct infection profiles in B10.A mice. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis, we identified and quantified 316 proteins in minimal medium, 29 of which were overexpressed in virulent Pb18. In rich medium, 29 out of 295 proteins were overexpressed in the virulent fungus. Three proteins were found to be up-regulated in both media, suggesting the potential roles of these proteins in virulence regulation in P. brasiliensis. Moreover, genes up-regulated in virulent Pb18 showed an increase in its expression after the recovery of virulence of attenuated Pb18. Proteins up-regulated in both isolates were grouped according to their functional categories. Virulent Pb18 undergoes metabolic reorganization and increased expression of proteins involved in fermentative respiration. This approach allowed us to identify potential virulence regulators and provided a foundation for achieving a molecular understanding of how Paracoccidioides modulates the host-pathogen interaction to its advantage.

  7. Understanding mechanisms to predict and optimize biochar for agrochemical sorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kathleen; Gámiz, Beatriz; Cox, Lucia; Spokas, Kurt; Koskinen, William

    2017-04-01

    The ability of biochars to bind various organic compounds has been widely studied due to the potential effects on pesticide fate in soil and interest in the adoption of biochar as a "low-cost" filter material. However, the sorptive behaviors of biochars are extremely variable and much of the reported data is limited to specific biochar-chemical interactions. The lack of knowledge regarding biochar sorption mechanisms limits our current ability to predict and optimize biochar's use. This work unveils mechanistic drivers of organic pesticide sorption on biochars through targeted alteration of biochar surface chemistry. Changes in the quantity and type of functional groups on biochars and other black carbon materials were achieved through treatments with H2O2, and CO2, and characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM/EDX). The sorption capacities of these treated biochars were subsequently measured to evaluate the effects of different surface moieties on the binding of target herbicides cyhalofop acid ((R)-2-[4-(4-cyano-2-fluorophenoxy)phenoxy]propionic acid) and clomazone (2-[(2-chlorophenyl)methyl]-4,4-dimethyl-1,2-oxazolidin-3-one). Sorption of both herbicides on the studied biochars increased following H2O2 activation; however, the influence of the H2O2 activation on sorption was more pronounced for cyhalofop acid (pKa = 3.9) than clomazone, which is non-ionizable. Increased cyhalofop acid sorption on H2O2 treated biochars can be attributed to the increase in oxygen containing functional groups as well as the decrease in biochar pH. In contrast, CO2 activation reduced the sorption of cyhalofop acid compared to untreated biochar. FTIR data suggest the reduced sorption on CO2 -treated biochar was due to the removal of surface carboxyl groups, further supporting the role of specific functionality in the sorption of ionizable herbicides. Results from this work offer insight into the mechanisms of sorption and

  8. Understanding the mechanisms of amorphous creep through molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Penghui; Short, Michael P; Yip, Sidney

    2017-12-26

    Molecular processes of creep in metallic glass thin films are simulated at experimental timescales using a metadynamics-based atomistic method. Space-time evolutions of the atomic strains and nonaffine atom displacements are analyzed to reveal details of the atomic-level deformation and flow processes of amorphous creep in response to stress and thermal activations. From the simulation results, resolved spatially on the nanoscale and temporally over time increments of fractions of a second, we derive a mechanistic explanation of the well-known variation of creep rate with stress. We also construct a deformation map delineating the predominant regimes of diffusional creep at low stress and high temperature and deformational creep at high stress. Our findings validate the relevance of two original models of the mechanisms of amorphous plasticity: one focusing on atomic diffusion via free volume and the other focusing on stress-induced shear deformation. These processes are found to be nonlinearly coupled through dynamically heterogeneous fluctuations that characterize the slow dynamics of systems out of equilibrium.

  9. Mucoid conversion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by hydrogen peroxide: a mechanism for virulence activation in the cystic fibrosis lung

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathee, Kalai; Ciofu, Oana; Sternberg, Claus

    1999-01-01

    leukocytes (PMNs), which release free oxygen radicals such as H(2)O(2) The mucoid phenotype among the strains infecting CF patients indicates overproduction of a linear polysaccharide called alginate. To mimic the inflammatory environment of the CF lung, P. aeruginosa PAO1, a typical non-mucoid strain....... These findings indicate that gene activation in bacteria by toxic oxygen radicals, similar to that found in plants and mammalian cells, may serve as a defence mechanism for the bacteria. This suggests that mucoid conversion is a response to oxygen radical exposure and that this response is a mechanism of defence...... by the bacteria. This is the first report to show that PMNs and their oxygen radicals can cause this phenotypic and genotypic change which is so typical of the intractable form of P. aeruginosa in the CF lung. These findings may provide a basis for the development of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory therapy...

  10. Understanding ozone mechanisms to alleviate ceramic membrane fouling

    Science.gov (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

  11. Understanding cracking failures of coatings: A fracture mechanics approach

    Science.gov (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

  12. Sixth-Grade Students' Progress in Understanding the Mechanisms of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visintainer, Tammie; Linn, Marcia

    2015-01-01

    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…

  13. Antifungal activity of phlorotannins against dermatophytes and yeasts: approaches to the mechanism of action and influence on Candida albicans virulence factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciliana Lopes

    Full Text Available In the last few decades, fungal infections, particularly nosocomial, increased all around the world. This increment stimulated the search for new antifungal agents, especially those derived from nature. Among natural products, those from marine sources have gained prominence in the last years. Purified phlorotannins extracts from three brown seaweeds (Cystoseira nodicaulis (Withering M. Roberts, Cystoseira usneoides (Linnaeus M. Roberts and Fucus spiralis Linnaeus were screened for their antifungal activity against human pathogenic yeast and filamentous fungi. The purified phlorotannins extracts from the studied seaweeds displayed fungistatic and fungicidal activity against yeast and dermatophytes, respectively, pointing to their interest as anti-dermatophyte agent. C. albicans ATCC 10231 was the most susceptible among yeast, while Epidermophyton floccosum and Trichophyton rubrum were the most susceptible among dermatophytes. Since the antifungal mechanism constitutes an important strategy for limiting the emergence of resistance to the commercially available agents, the mechanism of action of purified phlorotannins extracts was approached. C. nodicaulis and C. usneoides seem to act by affecting the ergosterol composition of the cell membrane of yeast and dermatophyte, respectively. F. spiralis influenced the dermatophyte cell wall composition by reducing the levels of chitin. Phlorotannins also seem to affect the respiratory chain function, as all of the studied species significantly increased the activity of mitochondrial dehydrogenases and increased the incorporation of rhodamine 123 by yeast cells. Phlorotannins from F. spiralis inhibited the dimorphic transition of Candida albicans, leading to the formation of pseudohyphae with diminished capacity to adhere to epithelial cells. This finding is associated with a decrease of C. albicans virulence and capacity to invade host cells and can be potentially interesting for combined antifungal

  14. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  15. Use of Metarhizium anisopliae Chitinase Genes for Genotyping and Virulence Characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saliou Niassy

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Virulence is the primary factor used for selection of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF for development as biopesticides. To understand the genetic mechanisms underlying differences in virulence of fungal isolates on various arthropod pests, we compared the chitinase genes, chi2 and chi4, of 8 isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae. The clustering of the isolates showed various groups depending on their virulence. However, the analysis of their chitinase DNA sequences chi2 and chi4 did not reveal major divergences. Although their protein translates have been implicated in fungal virulence, the predicted protein structure of chi2 was identical for all isolates. Despite the critical role of chitin digestion in fungal infection, we conclude that chi2 and chi4 genes cannot serve as molecular markers to characterize observed variations in virulence among M. anisopliae isolates as previously suggested. Nevertheless, processes controlling the efficient upregulation of chitinase expression might be responsible for different virulence characteristics. Further studies using comparative “in vitro” chitin digestion techniques would be more appropriate to compare the quality and the quantity of chitinase production between fungal isolates.

  16. Economic Game Theory to Model the Attenuation of Virulence of an Obligate Intracellular Bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tago, Damian; Meyer, Damien F

    2016-01-01

    Diseases induced by obligate intracellular pathogens have a large burden on global human and animal health. Understanding the factors involved in the virulence and fitness of these pathogens contributes to the development of control strategies against these diseases. Based on biological observations, a theoretical model using game theory is proposed to explain how obligate intracellular bacteria interact with their host. The equilibrium in such a game shows that the virulence and fitness of the bacterium is host-triggered and by changing the host's defense system to which the bacterium is confronted, an evolutionary process leads to an attenuated strain. Although, the attenuation procedure has already been conducted in practice in order to develop an attenuated vaccine (e.g., with Ehrlichia ruminantium), there was a lack of understanding of the theoretical basis behind this process. Our work provides a model to better comprehend the existence of different phenotypes and some underlying evolutionary mechanisms for the virulence of obligate intracellular bacteria.

  17. Comparative genomics of Beauveria bassiana: uncovering signatures of virulence against mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Faino, Luigi; Spring In't Veld, Daphne; Smit, Sandra; Zwaan, Bas J; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-12-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are promising biological agents for control of malaria mosquitoes. Indeed, infection with B. bassiana reduces the lifespan of mosquitoes in the laboratory and in the field. Natural isolates of B. bassiana show up to 10-fold differences in virulence between the most and the least virulent isolate. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of five isolates representing the extremes of low/high virulence and three RNA libraries, and applied a genome comparison approach to uncover genetic mechanisms underpinning virulence. A high-quality, near-complete genome assembly was achieved for the highly virulent isolate Bb8028, which was compared to the assemblies of the four other isolates. Whole genome analysis showed a high level of genetic diversity between the five isolates (2.85-16.8 SNPs/kb), which grouped into two distinct phylogenetic clusters. Mating type gene analysis revealed the presence of either the MAT1-1-1 or the MAT1-2-1 gene. Moreover, a putative new MAT gene (MAT1-2-8) was detected in the MAT1-2 locus. Comparative genome analysis revealed that Bb8028 contains 163 genes exclusive for this isolate. These unique genes have a tendency to cluster in the genome and to be often located near the telomeres. Among the genes unique to Bb8028 are a Non-Ribosomal Peptide Synthetase (NRPS) secondary metabolite gene cluster, a polyketide synthase (PKS) gene, and five genes with homology to bacterial toxins. A survey of candidate virulence genes for B. bassiana is presented. Our results indicate several genes and molecular processes that may underpin virulence towards mosquitoes. Thus, the genome sequences of five isolates of B. bassiana provide a better understanding of the natural variation in virulence and will offer a major resource for future research on this important biological control agent.

  18. Framework for Understanding the Patterns of Student Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-01-01

    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…

  19. Virulence on the fly: Drosophila melanogaster as a model genetic organism to decipher host-pathogen interactions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Limmer, S.; Quintin, J.; Hetru, C.; Ferrandon, D.

    2011-01-01

    To gain an in-depth grasp of infectious processes one has to know the specific interactions between the virulence factors of the pathogen and the host defense mechanisms. A thorough understanding is crucial for identifying potential new drug targets and designing drugs against which the pathogens

  20. Unit mechanisms of fission gas release: Current understanding and future needs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

    Gaseous fission product transport and release has a large impact on fuel performance, degrading fuel and gap properties. 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 beginning to reveal new understanding of the unit mechanisms that define fission product behavior. Here, existing research on the basic mechanisms of fission gas release during normal reactor operation are summarized and critical areas where 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 and to design fuels with improved performance. 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.

  1. Understanding the Growth Mechanism of GaN Epitaxial Layers on Mechanically Exfoliated Graphite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianbao; Liu, Chenyang; Zhang, Zhe; Yu, Bin; Dong, Hailiang; Jia, Wei; Jia, Zhigang; Yu, Chunyan; Gan, Lin; Xu, Bingshe; Jiang, Haiwei

    2018-04-27

    The growth mechanism of GaN epitaxial layers on mechanically exfoliated graphite is explained in detail based on classic nucleation theory. The number of defects on the graphite surface can be increased via O-plasma treatment, leading to increased nucleation density on the graphite surface. The addition of elemental Al can effectively improve the nucleation rate, which can promote the formation of dense nucleation layers and the lateral growth of GaN epitaxial layers. The surface morphologies of the nucleation layers, annealed layers and epitaxial layers were characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy, where the evolution of the surface morphology coincided with a 3D-to-2D growth mechanism. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize the microstructure of GaN. Fast Fourier transform diffraction patterns showed that cubic phase (zinc-blend structure) GaN grains were obtained using conventional GaN nucleation layers, while the hexagonal phase (wurtzite structure) GaN films were formed using AlGaN nucleation layers. Our work opens new avenues for using highly oriented pyrolytic graphite as a substrate to fabricate transferable optoelectronic devices.

  2. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heffron, Fred; Niemann, George; Yoon, Hyunjin; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Brown, Roslyn N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-05-01

    In this short review we discuss secreted virulence factors of Salmonella, which directly affect Salmonella interaction with its host. Salmonella secretes protein to subvert host defenses but also, as discussed, to reduce virulence thereby permitting the bacteria to persist longer and more successfully disperse. The type III secretion system (TTSS) is the best known and well studied of the mechanisms that enable secretion from the bacterial cytoplasm to the host cell cytoplasm. Other secretion systems include outer membrane vesicles, which are present in all Gram-negative bacteria examined to date, two-partner secretion, and type VI secretion will also be addressed. Excellent reviews of Salmonella secreted effectors have focused on themes such as actin rearrangements, vesicular trafficking, ubiquitination, and the activities of the virulence factors themselves. This short review is based on S. Typhimurium infection of mice because it is a model of typhoid like disease in humans. We have organized effectors in terms of events that happen during the infection cycle and how secreted effectors may be involved.

  3. New Drugs for Anemia Treatment Based on a New Understanding of the Mechanisms of Stress Erythropoiesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-01

    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

  4. Understanding the molecular mechanism(s) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced interferon resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qashqari, Hanadi; Al-Mars, Amany; Chaudhary, Adeel; Abuzenadah, Adel; Damanhouri, Ghazi; Alqahtani, Mohammed; Mahmoud, Maged; El Sayed Zaki, Maysaa; Fatima, Kaneez; Qadri, Ishtiaq

    2013-10-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the foremost causes of chronic liver disease affecting over 300 million globally. HCV contains a positive-stranded RNA of ~9600 nt and is surrounded by the 5' and 3'untranslated regions (UTR). The only successful treatment regimen includes interferon (IFN) and ribavirin. Like many other viruses, HCV has also evolved various mechanisms to circumvent the IFN response by blocking (1) downstream signaling actions via STAT1, STAT2, IRF9 and JAK-STAT pathways and (2) repertoire of IFN Stimulatory Genes (ISGs). Several studies have identified complex host demographic and genetic factors as well as viral genetic heterogeneity associated with outcomes of IFN therapy. The genetic predispositions of over 2000 ISGS may render the patients to become resistant, thus identification of such parameters within a subset of population are necessary for management corollary. The ability of various HCV genotypes to diminish IFN antiviral responses plays critical role in the establishment of chronic infection at the acute stage of infection, thus highlighting importance of the resistance in HCV treated groups. The recently defined role of viral protein such as C, E2, NS3/NS4 and NS5A proteins in inducing the IFN resistance are discussed in this article. How the viral and host genetic composition and epistatic connectivity among polymorphic genomic sites synchronizes the evolutionary IFN resistance trend remains under investigation. However, these signals may have the potential to be employed for accurate prediction of therapeutic outcomes. In this review article, we accentuate the significance of host and viral components in IFN resistance with the aim to determine the successful outcome in patients. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Key Ideas in Quantum Mechanics throughout Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emigh, Paul Jeffrey

    This dissertation describes research on student understanding of quantum mechanics across multiple levels of instruction. The primary focus has been to identify patterns in student reasoning related to key concepts in quantum mechanics. The specific topics include quantum measurements, time dependence, vector spaces, and angular momentum. The research has spanned a variety of different quantum courses intended for introductory physics students, upper-division physics majors, and graduate students in physics. The results of this research have been used to develop a set of curriculum, Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics, for addressing the most persistent student difficulties. We document both the development of this curriculum and how it has impacted and improved student understanding of quantum mechanics.

  6. A Framework for Understanding the Patterns of Student Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-04-01

    Compared with introductory physics, relatively little is known about the development of expertise in advanced physics courses, especially in the case of quantum mechanics. We describe a theoretical framework for understanding the patterns of student reasoning difficulties and how students develop expertise in quantum mechanics. The framework posits that the challenges many students face in developing expertise in quantum mechanics are analogous to the challenges introductory students face in developing expertise in introductory classical mechanics. This framework incorporates the effects of diversity in students' prior preparation, goals and motivation for taking upper-level physics courses in general as well as the ``paradigm shift'' from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics. The framework is based on empirical investigations demonstrating that the patterns of reasoning, problem-solving, and self-monitoring difficulties in quantum mechanics bear a striking resemblance to those found in introductory classical mechanics. Examples from research in quantum mechanics and introductory classical mechanics will be discussed to illustrate how the patterns of difficulties are analogous as students learn to unpack the respective principles and grasp the formalism in each knowledge domain during the development of expertise. Embracing such a theoretical framework and contemplating the parallels between the difficulties in these two knowledge domains can enable researchers to leverage the extensive literature for introductory physics education research to guide the design of teaching and learning tools for helping students develop expertise in quantum mechanics. Support from the National Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. 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)

    2014-06-02

    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.

  9. Mutations induced by ultraviolet radiation affecting virulence in Puccinia striiformis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shang Hongsheng; Jing Jinxue; Li Zhenqi

    1994-01-01

    Uredospores of parent culture, cy 29-1, were treated by ultraviolet radiation and mutations to virulent were tested on resistant wheat cultivars inoculated with treated spores. 7 mutant cultures virulent to the test cultivars were developed with estimated mutation rate 10~6~10~4. The virulence of mutant cultures was different from the all known races of stripe rust. Resistance segregation to mutant cultures was detected in two test cultivars. The results suggested that mutation was important mechanism of virulence variation operative in asexual population of rust fungi

  10. Sixth-Grade Students' Progress in Understanding the Mechanisms of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visintainer, Tammie; Linn, Marcia

    2015-04-01

    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.

  11. Exploring virulence and immunogenicity in the emerging pathogen Sporothrix brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Terra, Paula Portella; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Nishikaku, Angela Satie; Burger, Eva; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires

    2017-08-01

    Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic chronic infection of humans and animals classically acquired after traumatic inoculation with soil and plant material contaminated with Sporothrix spp. propagules. An alternative and successful route of transmission is bites and scratches from diseased cats, through which Sporothrix yeasts are inoculated into mammalian tissue. The development of a murine model of subcutaneous sporotrichosis mimicking the alternative route of transmission is essential to understanding disease pathogenesis and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. To explore the impact of horizontal transmission in animals (e.g., cat-cat) and zoonotic transmission on Sporothrix fitness, the left hind footpads of BALB/c mice were inoculated with 5×106 yeasts (n = 11 S. brasiliensis, n = 2 S. schenckii, or n = 1 S. globosa). Twenty days post-infection, our model reproduced both the pathophysiology and symptomology of sporotrichosis with suppurating subcutaneous nodules that progressed proximally along lymphatic channels. Across the main pathogenic members of the S. schenckii clade, S. brasiliensis was usually more virulent than S. schenckii and S. globosa. However, the virulence in S. brasiliensis was strain-dependent, and we demonstrated that highly virulent isolates disseminate from the left hind footpad to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain of infected animals, inducing significant and chronic weight loss (losing up to 15% of their body weight). The weight loss correlated with host death between 2 and 16 weeks post-infection. Histopathological features included necrosis, suppurative inflammation, and polymorphonuclear and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates. Immunoblot using specific antisera and homologous exoantigen investigated the humoral response. Antigenic profiles were isolate-specific, supporting the hypothesis that different Sporothrix species can elicit a heterogeneous humoral response over time, but cross reaction was observed

  12. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the interfacial self-healing of supramolecular rubbers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bose, R.K.; Garcia Espallargas, S.J.; Van der Zwaag, S.

    2013-01-01

    Supramolecular rubbers based on 2-aminoethylimidazolidone and fatty acids with epoxy crosslinks have been shown to self-heal via multiple hydrogen bonding sites. In this work, several tools are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms taking place at the interface to understand cohesive healing

  13. Enhanced understanding of the relationship between chemical modification and mechanical properties of wood

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    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...

  14. 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; Freyss, Michel; Iglesias, Fernando; Kulacsy, Katalin; Pastore, Giovanni; Phillpot, Simon R.; Welland, Michael

    2018-06-01

    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.

  15. Framework for understanding the patterns of student difficulties in quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Marshman

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] 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 the challenges many students face in developing expertise in quantum mechanics are analogous to the challenges introductory students face in developing expertise in introductory classical mechanics. This framework incorporates both the effects of diversity in upper-level students’ prior preparation, goals, and motivation in general (i.e., the facts that even in upper-level courses, students may be inadequately prepared, have unclear goals, and have insufficient motivation to excel as well as the “paradigm shift” from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics. The framework is based on empirical investigations demonstrating that the patterns of reasoning, problem-solving, and self-monitoring difficulties in quantum mechanics bear a striking resemblance to those found in introductory classical mechanics. Examples from research in quantum mechanics and introductory classical mechanics are discussed to illustrate how the patterns of difficulties are analogous as students learn to unpack the respective principles and grasp the formalism in each knowledge domain during the development of expertise. Embracing such a framework and contemplating the parallels between the difficulties in these two knowledge domains can enable researchers to leverage the extensive literature for introductory physics education research to guide the design of teaching and learning tools for helping students develop expertise in quantum mechanics.

  16. Framework for understanding the patterns of student difficulties in quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-12-01

    [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] 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 the challenges many students face in developing expertise in quantum mechanics are analogous to the challenges introductory students face in developing expertise in introductory classical mechanics. This framework incorporates both the effects of diversity in upper-level students' prior preparation, goals, and motivation in general (i.e., the facts that even in upper-level courses, students may be inadequately prepared, have unclear goals, and have insufficient motivation to excel) as well as the "paradigm shift" from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics. The framework is based on empirical investigations demonstrating that the patterns of reasoning, problem-solving, and self-monitoring difficulties in quantum mechanics bear a striking resemblance to those found in introductory classical mechanics. Examples from research in quantum mechanics and introductory classical mechanics are discussed to illustrate how the patterns of difficulties are analogous as students learn to unpack the respective principles and grasp the formalism in each knowledge domain during the development of expertise. Embracing such a framework and contemplating the parallels between the difficulties in these two knowledge domains can enable researchers to leverage the extensive literature for introductory physics education research to guide the design of teaching and learning tools for helping students develop expertise in quantum mechanics.

  17. Differential interactions of virulent and non-virulent H. parasuis strains with naïve or swine influenza virus pre-infected dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mussá, Tufária; Rodríguez-Cariño, Carolina; Sánchez-Chardi, Alejandro; Baratelli, Massimiliano; Costa-Hurtado, Mar; Fraile, Lorenzo; Domínguez, Javier; Aragon, Virginia; Montoya, María

    2012-11-16

    Pigs possess a microbiota in the upper respiratory tract that includes Haemophilus parasuis. Pigs are also considered the reservoir of influenza viruses and infection with this virus commonly results in increased impact of bacterial infections, including those by H. parasuis. However, the mechanisms involved in host innate responses towards H. parasuis and their implications in a co-infection with influenza virus are unknown. Therefore, the ability of a non-virulent H. parasuis serovar 3 (SW114) and a virulent serovar 5 (Nagasaki) strains to interact with porcine bone marrow dendritic cells (poBMDC) and their modulation in a co-infection with swine influenza virus (SwIV) H3N2 was examined. At 1 hour post infection (hpi), SW114 interaction with poBMDC was higher than that of Nagasaki, while at 8 hpi both strains showed similar levels of interaction. The co-infection with H3N2 SwIV and either SW114 or Nagasaki induced higher levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-10 compared to mock or H3N2 SwIV infection alone. Moreover, IL-12 and IFN-α secretion differentially increased in cells co-infected with H3N2 SwIV and Nagasaki. These results pave the way for understanding the differences in the interaction of non-virulent and virulent strains of H. parasuis with the swine immune system and their modulation in a viral co-infection.

  18. How LeuT shapes our understanding of the mechanisms of sodium-coupled neurotransmitter transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penmatsa, Aravind; Gouaux, Eric

    2014-03-01

    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.

  19. Proteomic approaches to understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in host-defense mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radulovic, Marko; Godovac-Zimmermann, Jasminka

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Contribution of local probes in the understanding of mechanical effect on localized corrosion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vignal, Vincent; Oltra, Roland; Mary, Nicolas

    2004-01-01

    Understanding the actual effects of mechanical stresses on the processes leading to pitting corrosion necessitates to develop both a mechanical approach and electrochemical experiments at a microscopic scale. Typical embrittlement can be observed after straining around MnS inclusions on a re-sulfurized 316 stainless steels and their corrosion sensitivity have been classified using the micro-capillary electrochemical cell technique. It has been shown that the numerical simulation of the location of stress gradients is possible before the local electrochemical analysis and could be a very interesting way to define the pitting susceptibility of micro-cracked areas during straining. (authors)

  1. Microbial virulence and interactions with metals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    German, N.; Lüthje, Freja Lea; Hao, X.

    2016-01-01

    Transition metals, such as iron, copper, zinc, and manganese play an important role in many bacterial biological processes that add to an overall evolutional fitness of bacteria. They are often involved in regulation of bacterial virulence as a mechanism of host invasion. However, the same transi...

  2. Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    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.

  3. Material properties of biofilms – key methods for understanding permeability and mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. RI: Rheology as a Tool for Understanding the Mechanics of Live Ant Aggregations, Part 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-04

    earwax of pigs, dogs , cows, and humans. We find that earwax is shear-thinning for all these animals. This ability enables it to cling to the ear in low...self-cleaning.” Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting, 2017.  P. Yang, D. Dao, R. Lehner, D. Hu, “ The hydrodynamics of...RI: Rheology as a Tool for Understanding the Mechanics of Live Ant Aggregations, Part 2 An Anton Paarr MCR 501 rheometer was purchased in order to

  5. From screen to target: insights and approaches into the development of anti-virulence compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine SH Beckham

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The detailed understanding of host-pathogen interactions provides exciting opportunities to interfere with the infection process. Anti-virulence compounds aim to modulate or pacify pathogenesis by reducing expression of critical virulence determinants. In particular, prevention of attachment by inhibiting adhesion mechanisms has been the subject of intense research. Whilst it has proven relatively straightforward to develop robust screens for potential antivirulence compounds, understanding their precise mode of action has proven much more challenging. In this review we illustrate this challenge from our own experiences working with the salicylidene acylhydrazide group of compounds. We aim to provide a useful perspective to guide researchers interested in this field and to avoid some of the obvious pitfalls.

  6. Virulent poxviruses inhibit DNA sensing by preventing STING activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgana, Iliana; Sumner, Rebecca P; Towers, Greg J; Maluquer de Motes, Carlos

    2018-02-28

    efficient oncolytics in virotherapy. The successful therapeutic use of VACV depends on a detailed understanding of its ability to modulate host innate immune responses. DNA sensing is a critical cellular mechanism for pathogen detection and activation of innate immunity that is centrally coordinated by the ER-resident protein STING. Here STING is shown to mediate immune activation in response to MVA, but not to virulent VACV strains or other virulent poxviruses, which prevent STING activation and DNA sensing during infection and after DNA transfection. These results provide new insights into poxvirus immune evasion and have implications in the rational design of VACV-based therapeutics. Copyright © 2018 Georgana et al.

  7. Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Mechanical Response of Thaumasite under Temperature and Strain Rate Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajilar, Shahin; Shafei, Behrouz; Cheng, Tao; Jaramillo-Botero, Andres

    2017-06-22

    Understanding the structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of thaumasite is of great interest to the cement industry, mainly because it is the phase responsible for the aging and deterioration of civil infrastructures made of cementitious materials attacked by external sources of sulfate. Despite the importance, effects of temperature and strain rate on the mechanical response of thaumasite had remained unexplored prior to the current study, in which the mechanical properties of thaumasite are fully characterized using the reactive molecular dynamics (RMD) method. With employing a first-principles based reactive force field, the RMD simulations enable the description of bond dissociation and formation under realistic conditions. From the stress-strain curves of thaumasite generated in the x, y, and z directions, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain are determined for the three orthogonal directions. During the course of each simulation, the chemical bonds undergoing tensile deformations are monitored to reveal the bonds responsible for the mechanical strength of thaumasite. The temperature increase is found to accelerate the bond breaking rate and consequently the degradation of mechanical properties of thaumasite, while the strain rate only leads to a slight enhancement of them for the ranges considered in this study.

  8. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by mobile genetic element confers elevated virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranathan, Rajagopalan; Pagal, Sudhakar; Sawant, Ajit R; Tomar, Archana; Madhangi, M; Sah, Suresh; Satti, Annapurna; Arunkumar, K P; Prashanth, K

    2017-10-03

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen and considered as a major threat due to its extreme drug resistance. In this study, the genome of a hyper-virulent MDR strain PKAB07 of A. baumannii isolated from an Indian patient was sequenced and analyzed to understand its mechanisms of virulence, resistance and evolution. Comparative genome analysis of PKAB07 revealed virulence and resistance related genes scattered throughout the genome, instead of being organized as an island, indicating the highly mosaic nature of the genome. Many intermittent horizontal gene transfer events, insertion sequence (IS) element insertions identified were augmenting resistance machinery and elevating the SNP densities in A. baumannii eventually aiding in their swift evolution. ISAba1, the most widely distributed insertion sequence in A. baumannii was found in multiple sites in PKAB07. Out of many ISAba1 insertions, we identified novel insertions in 9 different genes wherein insertional inactivation of adeN (tetR type regulator) was significant. To assess the significance of this disruption in A. baumannii, adeN mutant and complement strains were constructed in A. baumannii ATCC 17978 strain and studied. Biofilm levels were abrogated in the adeN knockout when compared with the wild type and complemented strain of adeN knockout. Virulence of the adeN knockout mutant strain was observed to be high, which was validated by in vitro experiments and Galleria mellonella infection model. The overexpression of adeJ, a major component of AdeIJK efflux pump observed in adeN knockout strain could be the possible reason for the elevated virulence in adeN mutant and PKB07 strain. Knocking out of adeN in ATCC strain led to increased resistance and virulence at par with the PKAB07. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by ISAba1 consequently has led to elevated virulence in this pathogen.

  9. Glucose starvation boosts Entamoeba histolytica virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayala Tovy

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, is exposed to numerous adverse conditions, such as nutrient deprivation, during its life cycle stages in the human host. In the present study, we examined whether the parasite virulence could be influenced by glucose starvation (GS. The migratory behaviour of the parasite and its capability to kill mammalian cells and to lyse erythrocytes is strongly enhanced following GS. In order to gain insights into the mechanism underlying the GS boosting effects on virulence, we analyzed differences in protein expression levels in control and glucose-starved trophozoites, by quantitative proteomic analysis. We observed that upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP, a transcription factor that modulates E.histolytica virulence, and the lysine-rich protein 1 (KRiP1 which is induced during liver abscess development, are upregulated by GS. We also analyzed E. histolytica membrane fractions and noticed that the Gal/GalNAc lectin light subunit LgL1 is up-regulated by GS. Surprisingly, amoebapore A (Ap-A and cysteine proteinase A5 (CP-A5, two important E. histolytica virulence factors, were strongly down-regulated by GS. While the boosting effect of GS on E. histolytica virulence was conserved in strains silenced for Ap-A and CP-A5, it was lost in LgL1 and in KRiP1 down-regulated strains. These data emphasize the unexpected role of GS in the modulation of E.histolytica virulence and the involvement of KRiP1 and Lgl1 in this phenomenon.

  10. Understanding dental CAD/CAM for restorations--the digital workflow from a mechanical engineering viewpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. From the Outside-In: the Francisella tularensis Envelope and Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah M. Rowe

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly-infectious bacterium that causes the rapid, and often lethal disease, tularemia. Many studies have been performed to identify and characterize the virulence factors that F. tularensis uses to infect a wide variety of hosts and host cell types, evade immune defenses, and induce severe disease and death. This review focuses on the virulence factors that are present in the F. tularensis envelope, including capsule, LPS, outer membrane, periplasm, inner membrane, secretion systems, and various molecules in each of aforementioned sub-compartments. Whereas no single bacterial molecule or molecular complex single-handedly controls F. tularensis virulence, we review here how diverse bacterial systems work in conjunction to subvert the immune system, attach to and invade host cells, alter phagosome/lysosome maturation pathways, replicate in host cells without being detected, inhibit apoptosis, and induce host cell death for bacterial release and infection of adjacent cells. Given that the F. tularensis envelope is the outermost layer of the bacterium, we highlight herein how many of these molecules directly interact with the host to promote infection and disease. These and future envelope studies are important to advance our collective understanding of F. tularensis virulence mechanisms and offer targets for future vaccine development efforts.

  12. Changes in the EV-A71 Genome through Recombination and Spontaneous Mutations: Impact on Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madiiha Bibi Mandary

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71 is a major etiological agent of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD that mainly affects young children less than five years old. The onset of severe HFMD is due to neurological complications bringing about acute flaccid paralysis and pulmonary oedema. In this review, we address how genetic events such as recombination and spontaneous mutations could change the genomic organization of EV-A71, leading to an impact on viral virulence. An understanding of the recombination mechanism of the poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses will provide further evidence of the emergence of novel strains responsible for fatal HFMD outbreaks. We aim to see if the virulence of EV-A71 is contributed solely by the presence of fatal strains or is due to the co-operation of quasispecies within a viral population. The phenomenon of quasispecies within the poliovirus is discussed to reflect viral fitness, virulence and its implications for EV-A71. Ultimately, this review gives an insight into the evolution patterns of EV-A71 by looking into its recombination history and how spontaneous mutations would affect its virulence.

  13. Comparative Genomics of Mycoplasma bovis Strains Reveals That Decreased Virulence with Increasing Passages Might Correlate with Potential Virulence-Related Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Rasheed

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Mycoplasma bovis is an important cause of bovine respiratory disease worldwide. To understand its virulence mechanisms, we sequenced three attenuated M. bovis strains, P115, P150, and P180, which were passaged in vitro 115, 150, and 180 times, respectively, and exhibited progressively decreasing virulence. Comparative genomics was performed among the wild-type M. bovis HB0801 (P1 strain and the P115, P150, and P180 strains, and one 14.2-kb deleted region covering 14 genes was detected in the passaged strains. Additionally, 46 non-sense single-nucleotide polymorphisms and indels were detected, which confirmed that more passages result in more mutations. A subsequent collective bioinformatics analysis of paralogs, metabolic pathways, protein-protein interactions, secretory proteins, functionally conserved domains, and virulence-related factors identified 11 genes that likely contributed to the increased attenuation in the passaged strains. These genes encode ascorbate-specific phosphotransferase system enzyme IIB and IIA components, enolase, L-lactate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase, glycerol, and multiple sugar ATP-binding cassette transporters, ATP binding proteins, NADH dehydrogenase, phosphate acetyltransferase, transketolase, and a variable surface protein. Fifteen genes were shown to be enriched in 15 metabolic pathways, and they included the aforementioned genes encoding pyruvate kinase, transketolase, enolase, and L-lactate dehydrogenase. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 production in M. bovis strains representing seven passages from P1 to P180 decreased progressively with increasing numbers of passages and increased attenuation. However, eight mutants specific to eight individual genes within the 14.2-kb deleted region did not exhibit altered H2O2 production. These results enrich the M. bovis genomics database, and they increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying M. bovis virulence.

  14. The Central Metabolism Regulator EIIAGlc Switches Salmonella from Growth Arrest to Acute Virulence through Activation of Virulence Factor Secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Mazé

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of Salmonella to cause disease depends on metabolic activities and virulence factors. Here, we show that a key metabolic protein, EIIAGlc, is absolutely essential for acute infection, but not for Salmonella survival, in a mouse typhoid fever model. Surprisingly, phosphorylation-dependent EIIAGlc functions, including carbohydrate transport and activation of adenylate cyclase for global regulation, do not explain this virulence phenotype. Instead, biochemical studies, in vitro secretion and translocation assays, and in vivo genetic epistasis experiments suggest that EIIAGlc binds to the type three secretion system 2 (TTSS-2 involved in systemic virulence, stabilizes its cytoplasmic part including the crucial TTSS-2 ATPase, and activates virulence factor secretion. This unexpected role of EIIAGlc reveals a striking direct link between central Salmonella metabolism and a crucial virulence mechanism.

  15. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: the next evolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Paul; Bredy, Timothy W.

    2016-07-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Vickie S., E-mail: wilson.vickie@epa.gov [National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Keshava, Nagalakshmi [National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460 (United States); Hester, Susan [National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Segal, Deborah; Chiu, Weihsueh [National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460 (United States); Thompson, Chad M. [ToxStrategies, Inc., 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite G265, Katy, TX 77494 (United States); Euling, Susan Y. [National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460 (United States)

    2013-09-15

    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.

  17. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. New elements to understand hydrogen diffusion and trapping mechanisms in quenched and tempered HSLA martensitic steels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frappart, S.

    2011-01-01

    Hydrogen Embrittlement is a complex phenomenon responsible of metal degradation. It mainly depends on the material (chemical composition, heat treatment), the environment or the mechanical state. The main goal of this study is to give new elements to understand hydrogen diffusion and trapping mechanisms in High Strength Low Alloy martensitic steels used in the field of 'Oil and Gas' applications and nuclear industry. In this way, the purpose is to identify hydrogen trapping sites related to microstructural features as a basis for a better knowledge concerning hydrogen embrittlement. Thus, accurate electrochemical permeation set-up (with or without a mechanical state) were developed as well as a procedure to thoroughly analyze experimental data. An original approach on how to interpret electrochemical permeation results has been therefore performed. Afterward, the effect of different critical parameters has been assessed i.e. the membrane thickness, the surface state of the detection side as well as the microstructure and the mechanical state. The relationship between physical parameters associated to diffusion and trapping with the microstructure evolution will give rise to a first thought 'toward the embrittlement'

  19. Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M; Garcia, E

    2010-03-29

    The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research laboratories around the world and on the knowledge that methods exist to produce and aerosolize large amounts of bacteria. We hypothesized that cell-cell communication via signaling molecules, or quorum sensing, by Y. pestis is important for the regulation of virulence factor gene expression during host invasion, though a causative link had never been established. Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication which enables orchestration of gene expression for many bacteria as a function of population density and available evidence suggests there may be a link between quorum sensing and regulation of Y. pesits virulence. Several pathogenic bacteria have been shown to regulate expression of virulence factor genes, including genes encoding type III secretion, via quorum sensing. The Y. pestis genome encodes several cell-cell signaling pathways and the interaction of at least three of these are thought to be involved in one or more modes of host invasion. Furthermore, Y. pestis gene expression array studies carried out at LLNL have established a correlation between expression of known virulence factors and genes involved in processing of the AI-2 quorum sensing signal. This was a basic research project that was intended to provide new insights into bacterial intercellular communication and how it is

  20. Jasmonate-dependent modifications of the pectin matrix during potato development function as a defense mechanism targeted by Dickeya dadantii virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taurino, Marco; Abelenda, Jose A; Río-Alvarez, Isabel; Navarro, Cristina; Vicedo, Begonya; Farmaki, Theodora; Jiménez, Pedro; García-Agustín, Pilar; López-Solanilla, Emilia; Prat, Salomé; Rojo, Enrique; Sánchez-Serrano, José J; Sanmartín, Maite

    2014-02-01

    The plant cell wall constitutes an essential protection barrier against pathogen attack. In addition, cell-wall disruption leads to accumulation of jasmonates (JAs), which are key signaling molecules for activation of plant inducible defense responses. However, whether JAs in return modulate the cell-wall composition to reinforce this defensive barrier remains unknown. The enzyme 13-allene oxide synthase (13-AOS) catalyzes the first committed step towards biosynthesis of JAs. In potato (Solanum tuberosum), there are two putative St13-AOS genes, which we show here to be differentially induced upon wounding. We also determine that both genes complement an Arabidopsis aos null mutant, indicating that they encode functional 13-AOS enzymes. Indeed, transgenic potato plants lacking both St13-AOS genes (CoAOS1/2 lines) exhibited a significant reduction of JAs, a concomitant decrease in wound-responsive gene activation, and an increased severity of soft rot disease symptoms caused by Dickeya dadantii. Intriguingly, a hypovirulent D. dadantii pel strain lacking the five major pectate lyases, which causes limited tissue maceration on wild-type plants, regained infectivity in CoAOS1/2 plants. In line with this, we found differences in pectin methyl esterase activity and cell-wall pectin composition between wild-type and CoAOS1/2 plants. Importantly, wild-type plants had pectins with a lower degree of methyl esterification, which are the substrates of the pectate lyases mutated in the pel strain. These results suggest that, during development of potato plants, JAs mediate modification of the pectin matrix to form a defensive barrier that is counteracted by pectinolytic virulence factors from D. dadantii. © 2013 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Development of Quorum-Based Anti-Virulence Therapeutics Targeting Gram-Negative Bacterial Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Shan Yew

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Quorum sensing is a cell density-dependent signaling phenomenon used by bacteria for coordination of population-wide phenotypes, such as expression of virulence genes, antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation. Lately, disruption of bacterial communication has emerged as an anti-virulence strategy with enormous therapeutic potential given the increasing incidences of drug resistance in pathogenic bacteria. The quorum quenching therapeutic approach promises a lower risk of resistance development, since interference with virulence generally does not affect the growth and fitness of the bacteria and, hence, does not exert an associated selection pressure for drug-resistant strains. With better understanding of bacterial communication networks and mechanisms, many quorum quenching methods have been developed against various clinically significant bacterial pathogens. In particular, Gram-negative bacteria are an important group of pathogens, because, collectively, they are responsible for the majority of hospital-acquired infections. Here, we discuss the current understanding of existing quorum sensing mechanisms and present important inhibitory strategies that have been developed against this group of pathogenic bacteria.

  2. Toxin-independent virulence of Bacillus anthracis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation.

  3. Statistical grand rounds: understanding the mechanism: mediation analysis in randomized and nonrandomized studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascha, Edward J; Dalton, Jarrod E; Kurz, Andrea; Saager, Leif

    2013-10-01

    In comparative clinical studies, a common goal is to assess whether an exposure, or intervention, affects the outcome of interest. However, just as important is to understand the mechanism(s) for how the intervention affects outcome. For example, if preoperative anemia was shown to increase the risk of postoperative complications by 15%, it would be important to quantify how much of that effect was due to patients receiving intraoperative transfusions. Mediation analysis attempts to quantify how much, if any, of the effect of an intervention on outcome goes though prespecified mediator, or "mechanism" variable(s), that is, variables sitting on the causal pathway between exposure and outcome. Effects of an exposure on outcome can thus be divided into direct and indirect, or mediated, effects. Mediation is claimed when 2 conditions are true: the exposure affects the mediator and the mediator (adjusting for the exposure) affects the outcome. Understanding how an intervention affects outcome can validate or invalidate one's original hypothesis and also facilitate further research to modify the responsible factors, and thus improve patient outcome. We discuss the proper design and analysis of studies investigating mediation, including the importance of distinguishing mediator variables from confounding variables, the challenge of identifying potential mediators when the exposure is chronic versus acute, and the requirements for claiming mediation. Simple designs are considered, as well as those containing multiple mediators, multiple outcomes, and mixed data types. Methods are illustrated with data collected by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) and utilized in a companion paper which assessed the effects of preoperative anemic status on postoperative outcomes.

  4. Similar verbal memory impairments in schizophrenia and healthy aging. Implications for understanding of neural mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Henry; Bilker, Warren B

    2015-03-30

    Memory is impaired in schizophrenia patients but it is not clear whether this is specific to the illness and whether different types of memory (verbal and nonverbal) or memories in different cognitive domains (executive, object recognition) are similarly affected. To study relationships between memory impairments and schizophrenia we compared memory functions in 77 schizophrenia patients, 58 elderly healthy individuals and 41 young healthy individuals. Tests included verbal associative and logical memory and memory in executive and object recognition domains. We compared relationships of memory functions to each other and to other cognitive functions including psychomotor speed and verbal and spatial working memory. Compared to the young healthy group, schizophrenia patients and elderly healthy individuals showed similar severe impairment in logical memory and in the ability to learn new associations (NAL), and similar but less severe impairment in spatial working memory and executive and object memory. Verbal working memory was significantly more impaired in schizophrenia patients than in the healthy elderly. Verbal episodic memory impairment in schizophrenia may share common mechanisms with similar impairment in healthy aging. Impairment in verbal working memory in contrast may reflect mechanisms specific to schizophrenia. Study of verbal explicit memory impairment tapped by the NAL index may advance understanding of abnormal hippocampus dependent mechanisms common to schizophrenia and aging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Understanding comorbidity among internalizing problems: Integrating latent structural models of psychopathology and risk mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

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

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.

    2016-12-23

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.; McGehee, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. The success of acinetobacter species; genetic, metabolic and virulence attributes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton Y Peleg

    Full Text Available An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202, many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202, A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T, A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species.

  10. The Success of Acinetobacter Species; Genetic, Metabolic and Virulence Attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peleg, Anton Y.; de Breij, Anna; Adams, Mark D.; Cerqueira, Gustavo M.; Mocali, Stefano; Galardini, Marco; Nibbering, Peter H.; Earl, Ashlee M.; Ward, Doyle V.; Paterson, David L.; Seifert, Harald; Dijkshoorn, Lenie

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202), many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202), A. baumannii ATCC 19606T was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606T, A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species. PMID:23144699

  11. 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

    2013-01-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

    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. Regulation of Three Virulence Strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Success Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, Jesse C. J.; Martins dos Santos, Vitor A. P.

    2018-01-01

    Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest diseases. Emergence of drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains makes treating tuberculosis increasingly challenging. In order to develop novel intervention strategies, detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the success of this pathogen is required. Here, we review recent literature to provide a systems level overview of the molecular and cellular components involved in divalent metal homeostasis and their role in regulating the three main virulence strategies of M. tuberculosis: immune modulation, dormancy and phagosomal rupture. We provide a visual and modular overview of these components and their regulation. Our analysis identified a single regulatory cascade for these three virulence strategies that respond to limited availability of divalent metals in the phagosome. PMID:29364195

  14. Virulence evolution at the front line of spreading epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griette, Quentin; Raoul, Gaël; Gandon, Sylvain

    2015-11-01

    Understanding and predicting the spatial spread of emerging pathogens is a major challenge for the public health management of infectious diseases. Theoretical epidemiology shows that the speed of an epidemic is governed by the life-history characteristics of the pathogen and its ability to disperse. Rapid evolution of these traits during the invasion may thus affect the speed of epidemics. Here we study the influence of virulence evolution on the spatial spread of an epidemic. At the edge of the invasion front, we show that more virulent and transmissible genotypes are expected to win the competition with other pathogens. Behind the front line, however, more prudent exploitation strategies outcompete virulent pathogens. Crucially, even when the presence of the virulent mutant is limited to the edge of the front, the invasion speed can be dramatically altered by pathogen evolution. We support our analysis with individual-based simulations and we discuss the additional effects of demographic stochasticity taking place at the front line on virulence evolution. We confirm that an increase of virulence can occur at the front, but only if the carrying capacity of the invading pathogen is large enough. These results are discussed in the light of recent empirical studies examining virulence evolution at the edge of spreading epidemics. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsaleh, Mansour; Alomar, Noura; Alarifi, Abdulrahman

    2017-01-01

    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

  16. Stress biology and aging mechanisms: toward understanding the deep connection between adaptation to stress and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epel, Elissa S; Lithgow, Gordon J

    2014-06-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress ("hormetic stress"). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses ("toxic stress") and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

  18. Investigating and improving student understanding of the expectation values of observables in quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    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. (paper)

  19. Understanding dental CAD/CAM for restorations--accuracy from a mechanical engineering viewpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Chemical Inhibition of Kynureninase Reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing and Virulence Factor Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasper, Stephen H; Bonocora, Richard P; Wade, Joseph T; Musah, Rabi Ann; Cady, Nathaniel C

    2016-04-15

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes multiple quorum sensing (QS) pathways to coordinate an arsenal of virulence factors. We previously identified several cysteine-based compounds inspired by natural products from the plant Petiveria alliacea which are capable of antagonizing multiple QS circuits as well as reducing P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. To understand the global effects of such compounds on virulence factor production and elucidate their mechanism of action, RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis was performed on P. aeruginosa PAO1 exposed to S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, the most potent inhibitor from the prior study. Exposure to this inhibitor down-regulated expression of several QS-regulated virulence operons (e.g., phenazine biosynthesis, type VI secretion systems). Interestingly, many genes that were differentially regulated pertain to the related metabolic pathways that yield precursors of pyochelin, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, phenazines, and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Activation of the MexT-regulon was also indicated, including the multidrug efflux pump encoded by mexEF-oprN, which has previously been shown to inhibit QS and pathogenicity. Deeper investigation of the metabolites involved in these systems revealed that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide has structural similarity to kynurenine, a precursor of anthranilate, which is critical for P. aeruginosa virulence. By supplementing exogenous anthranilate, the QS-inhibitory effect was reversed. Finally, it was shown that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide competitively inhibits P. aeruginosa kynureninase (KynU) activity in vitro and reduces PQS production in vivo. The kynurenine pathway has been implicated in P. aeruginosa QS and virulence factor expression; however, this is the first study to show that targeted inhibition of KynU affects P. aeruginosa gene expression and QS, suggesting a potential antivirulence strategy.

  1. A combination of independent transcriptional regulators shapes bacterial virulence gene expression during infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel A Shelburne

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptional regulatory networks are fundamental to how microbes alter gene expression in response to environmental stimuli, thereby playing a critical role in bacterial pathogenesis. However, understanding how bacterial transcriptional regulatory networks function during host-pathogen interaction is limited. Recent studies in group A Streptococcus (GAS suggested that the transcriptional regulator catabolite control protein A (CcpA influences many of the same genes as the control of virulence (CovRS two-component gene regulatory system. To provide new information about the CcpA and CovRS networks, we compared the CcpA and CovR transcriptomes in a serotype M1 GAS strain. The transcript levels of several of the same genes encoding virulence factors and proteins involved in basic metabolic processes were affected in both DeltaccpA and DeltacovR isogenic mutant strains. Recombinant CcpA and CovR bound with high-affinity to the promoter regions of several co-regulated genes, including those encoding proteins involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Compared to the wild-type parental strain, DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains were significantly less virulent in a mouse myositis model. Inactivation of CcpA and CovR alone and in combination led to significant alterations in the transcript levels of several key GAS virulence factor encoding genes during infection. Importantly, the transcript level alterations in the DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains observed during infection were distinct from those occurring during growth in laboratory medium. These data provide new knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria respond to environmental signals to regulate virulence factor production and basic metabolic processes during infection.

  2. Natural variation in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana against malaria mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Debets, Alfons J M; van Kan, Jan A L; Schoustra, Sijmen E; Takken, Willem; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M

    2014-12-06

    Insecticide resistance is greatly hampering current efforts to control malaria and therefore alternative methods are needed. Entomopathogenic fungi have been proposed as an alternative with a special focus on the cosmopolitan species Beauveria bassiana. However, few studies have analysed the effects of natural variation within fungal isolates on mosquito survival, and the implications and possible exploitation for malaria control. Laboratory bioassays were performed on adult female mosquitoes (Anopheles coluzzii) with spores from 29 isolates of B. bassiana, originating from different parts of the world. In addition, phenotypic characteristics of the fungal isolates such as sporulation, spore size and growth rate were studied to explore their relationship with virulence. All tested isolates of B. bassiana killed An. coluzzii mosquitoes, and the rate at which this happened differed significantly among the isolates. The risk of mosquitoes dying was around ten times higher when they were exposed to the most virulent as compared to the least virulent isolate. There was significant variation among isolates in spore size, growth rate and sporulation, but none of these morphological characteristics were correlated, and thus predictive, for the ability of the fungal isolate to kill malaria mosquitoes. This study shows that there is a wide natural variation in virulence of isolates of B. bassiana, and that selecting an appropriate fungal isolate is highly relevant in killing and thus controlling malaria mosquitoes, particularly if used as part of an integrated vector management strategy. Also, the wide variation observed in virulence offers the opportunity to better understand the molecular and genetic mechanisms that drive this variation and thus to address the potential development of resistance against entomopathogenic fungi.

  3. 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

    2015-01-01

    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)

  4. Understanding deformation mechanisms during powder compaction using principal component analysis of compression data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopwani, Rahul; Buckner, Ira S

    2011-10-14

    Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to pharmaceutical powder compaction. A solid fraction parameter (SF(c/d)) and a mechanical work parameter (W(c/d)) representing irreversible compression behavior were determined as functions of applied load. Multivariate analysis of the compression data was carried out using PCA. The first principal component (PC1) showed loadings for the solid fraction and work values that agreed with changes in the relative significance of plastic deformation to consolidation at different pressures. The PC1 scores showed the same rank order as the relative plasticity ranking derived from the literature for common pharmaceutical materials. The utility of PC1 in understanding deformation was extended to binary mixtures using a subset of the original materials. Combinations of brittle and plastic materials were characterized using the PCA method. The relationships between PC1 scores and the weight fractions of the mixtures were typically linear showing ideal mixing in their deformation behaviors. The mixture consisting of two plastic materials was the only combination to show a consistent positive deviation from ideality. The application of PCA to solid fraction and mechanical work data appears to be an effective means of predicting deformation behavior during compaction of simple powder mixtures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruimin Qiao

    2015-06-01

    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.

  6. The use of micro-/milli-fluidics to better understand the mechanisms behind deep venous thrombosis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    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).

  7. Understanding the mechanisms of familiar voice-identity recognition in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-31

    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 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Does knowledge of seat design and whiplash injury mechanisms translate to understanding outcomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivancic, Paul C

    2011-12-01

    Review of whiplash injury mechanisms and effects of anti-whiplash systems including active head restraint (AHR) and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS). This article provides an overview of previous biomechanical and epidemiological studies of AHR and WHIPS and investigates whether seat design and biomechanical knowledge of proposed whiplash injury mechanisms translates to understanding outcomes of rear crash occupants. In attempt to reduce whiplash injuries, some newer automobiles incorporate anti-whiplash systems such as AHR or WHIPS. During a rear crash, mechanically based systems activate by occupant momentum pressing into the seatback whereas electronically based systems activate using crash sensors and an electronic control unit linked to the head restraint. To investigate the effects of AHR and WHIPS on occupant responses including head and neck loads and motions, biomechanical studies of simulated rear crashes have been performed using human volunteers, mathematical models, crash dummies, whole cadavers, and hybrid cadaveric/surrogate models. Epidemiological studies have evaluated the effects of AHR and WHIPS on reducing whiplash injury claims and lessening subjective complaints of neck pain after rear crashes. RESULTS.: Biomechanical studies indicate that AHR and WHIPS reduced the potential for some whiplash injuries but did not completely eliminate the injury risk. Epidemiological outcomes indicate reduced whiplash injury claims or subjective complaints of crash-related neck pain between 43 and 75% due to AHR and between 21% and 49% due to WHIPS as compared to conventional seats and head restraints. Yielding energy-absorbing seats aim to reduce occupant loads and accelerations whereas AHRs aim to provide early head support to minimize head and neck motions. Continued objective biomechanical and epidemiological studies of anti-whiplash systems together with industry, governmental, and clinical initiatives will ultimately lead to reduced whiplash injuries

  9. Next Steps Toward Understanding Human Habitation of Space: Environmental Impacts and Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globus, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    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.

  10. A full understanding of oxygen reduction reaction mechanism on Au(1 1 1) surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Dai, Changqing; Fisher, Adrian; Shen, Yanchun; Cheng, Daojian

    2017-09-01

    Oxygen reduction and hydrogen peroxide reduction are technologically important reactions in energy-conversion devices. In this work, a full understanding of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mechanism on Au(1 1 1) surface is investigated by density functional theory (DFT) calculations, including the reaction mechanisms of O2 dissociation, OOH dissociation, and H2O2 dissociation. Among these ORR mechanisms on Au(1 1 1), the activation energy of \\text{O}2* hydrogenation reaction is much lower than that of \\text{O}2* dissociation, indicating that \\text{O}2* hydrogenation reaction is more appropriate at the first step than \\text{O}2* dissociation. In the following, H2O2 can be formed with the lower activation energy compared with the OOH dissociation reaction, and finally H2O2 could be generated as a detectable product due to the high activation energy of H2O2 dissociation reaction. Furthermore, the potential dependent free energy study suggests that the H2O2 formation is thermodynamically favorable up to 0.4 V on Au(1 1 1), reducing the overpotential for 2e - ORR process. And the elementary step of first H2O formation becomes non-spontaneous at 0.4 V, indicating the difficulty of 4e - reduction pathway. Our DFT calculations show that H2O2 can be generated on Au(1 1 1) and the first electron transfer is the rate determining step. Our results show that gold surface could be used as a good catalyst for small-scale manufacture and on-site production of H2O2.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Understanding the mechanical and acoustical characteristics of sand aggregates compacting under triaxial conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hangx, Suzanne; Brantut, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    failure being present but occurring to a relatively limited extent. Acoustic emission localization showed that failure was focussed along a broad shear plane. At higher confining pressure pervasive grain failure clearly accommodated compaction, though no strain localization was observed and failure appeared to be through cataclastic flow. Chemical environment, i.e. chemically inert decane vs. water as a pore fluid, had no significant effect on compaction in the strain rate range tested. Grain size distribution or grain shape also appeared to not affect the observed mechanical behaviour. Our results can be used to better understand the compaction behaviour of poorly consolidated sandstones. Future research will focus on understanding the effect of cementation on strain localization in deforming artificial Ottawa sandstone.

  13. Brucella, nitrogen and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronneau, Severin; Moussa, Simon; Barbier, Thibault; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Zuniga-Ripa, Amaia; Moriyon, Ignacio; Letesson, Jean-Jacques

    2016-08-01

    The brucellae are α-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other α-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use.

  14. Understanding the hydrolysis mechanism of ethyl acetate catalyzed by an aqueous molybdocene: a computational chemistry investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-16

    , 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.

  15. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors in development of gastric carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ming-Yi; Liu, Xiao-Fei; Gao, Xiao-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma. However, only a relatively small proportion of individuals infected with H. pylori develop gastric carcinoma. Differences in the incidence of gastric carcinoma among infected individuals can be explained, at least partly, by the different genotypes of H. pylori virulence factors. Thus far, many virulence factors of H. pylori, such as Cag PAI, VacA, OMPs and DupA, have been reported to be involved in the development of gastric cancer. The risk of developing gastric cancer during H. pylori infection is affected by specific host-microbe interactions that are independent of H. pylori virulence factors. In this review, we discuss virulence factors of H. pylori and their role in the development of gastric carcinoma that will provide further understanding of the biological interactions of H. pylori with the host.

  16. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host. PMID:25652326

  17. Understanding the molecular mechanism of pulse current charging for stable lithium-metal batteries

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28776039

  18. Understanding creep in sandstone reservoirs - theoretical deformation mechanism maps for pressure solution in granular materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hangx, Suzanne; Spiers, Christopher

    2014-05-01

    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

  19. Molecular Targets of Antihypertensive Peptides: Understanding the Mechanisms of Action Based on the Pathophysiology of Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaustav Majumder

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There is growing interest in using functional foods or nutraceuticals for the prevention and treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. Although numerous preventive and therapeutic pharmacological interventions are available on the market, unfortunately, many patients still suffer from poorly controlled hypertension. Furthermore, most pharmacological drugs, such as inhibitors of angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE, are often associated with significant adverse effects. Many bioactive food compounds have been characterized over the past decades that may contribute to the management of hypertension; for example, bioactive peptides derived from various food proteins with antihypertensive properties have gained a great deal of attention. Some of these peptides have exhibited potent in vivo antihypertensive activity in both animal models and human clinical trials. This review provides an overview about the complex pathophysiology of hypertension and demonstrates the potential roles of food derived bioactive peptides as viable interventions targeting specific pathways involved in this disease process. This review offers a comprehensive guide for understanding and utilizing the molecular mechanisms of antihypertensive actions of food protein derived peptides.

  20. Towards Understanding the Catalytic Mechanism of Human Paraoxonase 1: Experimental and In Silico Mutagenesis Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    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.

  1. Understanding gas production mechanism and effectiveness of well stimulation in the Haynesville shale through reservoir simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, L.; Thompson, J.W.; Robinson, J.R. [Schlumberger, Houston, TX (United States)

    2010-07-01

    The Haynesville Shale Basin is one of the large and most active shale gas plays in the United States, with 185 horizontal rigs currently in place. The Haynesville Shale is a very tight source rock and resource play. The gas resources are being converted into gas reserves with horizontal wells and hydraulic fracture treatments. A complex fracture network created during well stimulation is the main factor in generating superior early well performance in the area. The key to making better wells in all the gas shale plays is to understand how to create more surface area during hydraulic stimulation jobs and preserve the surface area for as long as possible. This paper presented a unique workflow and methodology that has enabled analysis of production data using reservoir simulation to explain the shale gas production mechanism and the effectiveness of stimulation treatments along laterals. Since 2008, this methodology has been used to analyze production data from more than 30 horizontal wells in the Haynesville Shale. Factors and parameters relating to short and long term well performance were investigated, including pore pressure, rock matrix quality, natural fractures, hydraulic fractures, and complex fracture networks. Operators can use the simulation results to determine where and how to spend resources to produce better wells and to reduce the uncertainties of developing these properties. 19 refs., 1 tab., 17 figs.

  2. Does an Emphasis on the Concept of Quantum States Enhance Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greca, Ileana Maria; Freire, Olival

    Teaching physics implies making choices. In the case of teaching quantum physics, besides an educational choice - the didactic strategy - another choice must be made, an epistemological one, concerning the interpretation of quantum theory itself. These two choices are closely connected. We have chosen a didactic strategy that privileges the phenomenological-conceptual approach, with emphasis upon quantum features of the systems, instead of searching for classical analogies. This choice has led us to present quantum theory associated with an orthodox, yet realistic, interpretation of the concept of quantum state, considered as the key concept of quantum theory, representing the physical reality of a system, independent of measurement processes. The results of the mplementation of this strategy, with three groups of engineering students, showed that more than a half of them attained a reasonable understanding of the basics of quantum mechanics (QM) for this level. In addition, a high degree of satisfaction was attained with the classes as 80% of the students of the experimental groups claimed to have liked it and to be interested in learning more about QM.

  3. Application of microscopy methods to the understanding of mechanisms involved in ilmenite reduction by hydrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Vries, M.; Grey, I.; Fitzgerald, J.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Titania pigment is one of the major drivers of the mineral sands industry with production of over 4 million tpa in 2002 for paints, plastics, paper and ceramics applications. The main feedstock for titania pigment production is ilmenite, FeTiO 3 . It is used either directly or after it has been upgraded to a higher titania content. The major commercial upgrading processes are electro smelting (titania slag) or high temperature char reduction followed by iron removal (synthetic rutile SR). Future ilmenite upgrading processes are likely to use low temperature hydrogen reduction according to reaction, followed by aeration of the metallic iron and acid leaching to produce a high grade SR (Nicholson et al, 2000). The commercial application of such a process requires a detailed knowledge of the kinetics of reaction. FeTiO 3 + H 2 = Fe(m) + TiO 2 + H 2 O. The kinetics of ilmenite reduction has been studied at CSIRO Minerals using a specially designed thermogravimetric apparatus built around a Cahn pressurised symmetrical beam balance. The kinetics have been measured as a function of different operating parameters such as temperature, gas velocity and pressure. The parameters were set so as to minimise mass transport effects and increase chemical reaction control and to ensure the reduction kinetics are outside the gas starvation region. Small samples were used that had been sintered at close to melting point to form large grains with low unconnected porosity. High flow rates of reactant gas were also used. The application of a range of microscopy techniques to the reduced samples at various stages of reaction conversion has been critical to the development of an understanding of the reaction mechanisms. From analysis of TEM, IFESEM and optical microscopy results it appears that initially, chemical reaction is rate controlling at the surface and as the reaction proceeds topochemically inwards then diffusion mechanisms increase their control. Reaction proceeds

  4. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Mao

    2016-10-01

    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

  5. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Huiting; Cheng, Irene; Zhang, Leiming

    2016-10-01

    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/GEM increasing from the

  6. Understanding the mechanisms that change the conductivity of damaged ITO-coated polymeric films: A micro-mechanical investigation

    KAUST Repository

    Nasr Saleh, Mohamed; Lubineau, Gilles

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Pathogenesis of virulent and attenuated foot-and-mouth disease virus in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzt, Jonathan; Pacheco, Juan M; Stenfeldt, Carolina; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2017-05-02

    Understanding the mechanisms of attenuation and virulence of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) in the natural host species is critical for development of next-generation countermeasures such as live-attenuated vaccines. Functional genomics analyses of FMDV have identified few virulence factors of which the leader proteinase (L pro ) is the most thoroughly investigated. Previous work from our laboratory has characterized host factors in cattle inoculated with virulent FMDV and attenuated mutant strains with transposon insertions within L pro . In the current study, the characteristics defining virulence of FMDV in cattle were further investigated by comparing the pathogenesis of a mutant, attenuated strain (FMDV-Mut) to the parental, virulent virus from which the mutant was derived (FMDV-WT). The only difference between the two viruses was an insertion mutation in the inter-AUG region of the leader proteinase of FMDV-Mut. All cattle were infected by simulated-natural, aerosol inoculation. Both viruses were demonstrated to establish primary infection in the nasopharyngeal mucosa with subsequent dissemination to the lungs. Immunomicroscopic localization of FMDV antigens indicated that both viruses infected superficial epithelial cells of the nasopharynx and lungs. The critical differences between the two viruses were a more rapid establishment of infection by FMDV-WT and quantitatively greater virus loads in secretions and infected tissues compared to FMDV-Mut. The slower replicating FMDV-Mut established a subclinical infection that was limited to respiratory epithelial sites, whereas the faster replication of FMDV-WT facilitated establishment of viremia, systemic dissemination of infection, and clinical disease. The mutant FMDV was capable of achieving all the same early pathogenesis landmarks as FMDV-WT, but was unable to establish systemic infection. The precise mechanism of attenuation remains undetermined; but current data suggests that the impaired replication

  8. The low FODMAP diet: recent advances in understanding its mechanisms and efficacy in IBS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudacher, Heidi M; Whelan, Kevin

    2017-08-01

    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.

  9. Neutron reflectivity study of critical adsorption. Application to the understanding of environmental mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jestin, Jacques

    2001-01-01

    This study is within the scope of fundamental knowledge transfer to a field case-study, i.e. the understanding of the adsorption properties of binary mixtures against a wall in the case of soil pollution by liquid hydrocarbons. From the theoretical study of critical adsorption, which has been well described in the literature, we carried out experiments on model systems by using neutron techniques. Neutron reflectivity was then applied to the liquid-vapor interface of three different binary mixtures: perfluorohexane-hexane, deuterated methanol-cyclohexane and methanol-deuterated cyclohexane. The experimental data were analysed according to the theoretical prediction of Fisher and De Gennes, along with Liu and Fisher that suggested a power law decrease of the concentration profile (with an exponent equal to 0.52) followed by an exponential function. The characteristic exponent and the amplitude ratios for the methanol-cyclohexane mixtures were found fitted well with theoretical values for the three systems. Only the perfluorohexane-hexane mixture exhibited a particular behavior in the adsorption process that affected the power law amplitude value. This step allowed us to study non critical adsorption and to apply neutrons techniques, e.g. reflectivity and small angles neutrons scattering, to a water-2,5 dimethylpyridine mixture against silica, which is a model system for soils polluted by water/hydrocarbon mixtures. These experiments highlighted new experimental difficulties, which were not fully solved over this study, together with some problems in the analysis that would require specific modelling. Nevertheless, this study shows the capabilities of neutrons techniques to investigate some environmental mechanisms. Moreover, some of the results reported here can be used as a basis for future experiments. (author)

  10. Understanding the mechanisms that change the conductivity of damaged ITO-coated polymeric films: A micro-mechanical investigation

    KAUST Repository

    Nasr Saleh, Mohamed

    2014-11-01

    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.

  11. Are Dispersal Mechanisms Changing the Host-Parasite Relationship and Increasing the Virulence of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Managed Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Graham, Henry

    2017-08-01

    Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) are a serious pest of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), and difficult to control in managed colonies. In our 11-mo longitudinal study, we applied multiple miticide treatments, yet mite numbers remained high and colony losses exceeded 55%. High mortality from varroa in managed apiaries is a departure from the effects of the mite in feral colonies where bees and varroa can coexist. Differences in mite survival strategies and dispersal mechanisms may be contributing factors. In feral colonies, mites can disperse through swarming. In managed apiaries, where swarming is reduced, mites disperse on foragers robbing or drifting from infested hives. Using a honey bee-varroa population model, we show that yearly swarming curtails varroa population growth, enabling colony survival for >5 yr. Without swarming, colonies collapsed by the third year. To disperse, varroa must attach to foragers that then enter other hives. We hypothesize that stress from parasitism and virus infection combined with effects that viruses have on cognitive function may contribute to forager drift and mite and virus dispersal. We also hypothesize that drifting foragers with mites can measurably increase mite populations. Simulations initialized with field data indicate that low levels of drifting foragers with mites can create sharp increases in mite populations in the fall and heavily infested colonies in the spring. We suggest new research directions to investigate factors leading to mite dispersal on foragers, and mite management strategies with consideration of varroa as a migratory pest. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  12. Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sinclair

    1991-01-01

    environment with respect to pH. The spiral shape of the cells and their flagellar motility allow them to wind themselves into the mucous layer of the stomach. Some evidence exists for the production of strong proteolytic activity, hence degrading the mucous barrier and increasing permeability for the organism. Cyroroxin excreted by the bacteria may have some effect on the surrounding cells, with the possible lysis and release of bacterial growth factors. There is evidence that a chemotactic response is present due to these growth factors and their higher concentration in the intracellular spaces. The presence of specific and nonspecific adhesion has also been demonstrated, thus allowing the bacterium, once at the epithelial cell surface, to attach and avoid being washed off by movement within the stomach. Although treatment with antimicrobials eradicates the organism and improves symptoms of peptic ulcer patients, there is no indication that the same occurs in nonulcer dyspepsia patients. Further work is essential to describe the virulence mechanisms of H pylori and the possible pathogenic role of the organism.

  13. The expression and evolution of virulence in multiple infections: the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ami, Frida; Routtu, Jarkko

    2013-05-03

    Multiple infections of the same host by different strains of the same microparasite species are believed to play a crucial role during the evolution of parasite virulence. We investigated the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose in determining the competitive outcome of multiple infections in the Daphnia magna-Pasteuria ramosa host-parasite system. We found that infections by P. ramosa clones (single genotype) were less virulent and produced more spores than infections by P. ramosa isolates (possibly containing multiple genotypes). We also found that two similarly virulent isolates of P. ramosa differed considerably in their within-host competitiveness and their effects on host offspring production when faced with coinfecting P. ramosa isolates and clones. Although the relative virulence of a P. ramosa isolate/clone appears to be a good indicator of its competitiveness during multiple infections, the relative dose may alter the competitive outcome. Moreover, spore counts on day 20 post-infection indicate that the competitive outcome is largely decided early in the parasite's growth phase, possibly mediated by direct interference or apparent competition. Our results emphasize the importance of epidemiology as well as of various parasite traits in determining the outcome of within-host competition. Incorporating realistic epidemiological and ecological conditions when testing theoretical models of multiple infections, as well as using a wider range of host and parasite genotypes, will enable us to better understand the course of virulence evolution.

  14. Helicobacter pylori infection: An overview of bacterial virulence factors and pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Yen Kao

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis and disease outcomes are mediated by a complex interplay between bacterial virulence factors, host, and environmental factors. After H. pylori enters the host stomach, four steps are critical for bacteria to establish successful colonization, persistent infection, and disease pathogenesis: (1 Survival in the acidic stomach; (2 movement toward epithelium cells by flagella-mediated motility; (3 attachment to host cells by adhesins/receptors interaction; (4 causing tissue damage by toxin release. Over the past 20 years, the understanding of H. pylori pathogenesis has been improved by studies focusing on the host and bacterial factors through epidemiology researches and molecular mechanism investigations. These include studies identifying the roles of novel virulence factors and their association with different disease outcomes, especially the bacterial adhesins, cag pathogenicity island, and vacuolating cytotoxin. Recently, the development of large-scale screening methods, including proteomic, and transcriptomic tools, has been used to determine the complex gene regulatory networks in H. pylori. In addition, a more available complete genomic database of H. pylori strains isolated from patients with different gastrointestinal diseases worldwide is helpful to characterize this bacterium. This review highlights the key findings of H. pylori virulence factors reported over the past 20 years.

  15. Virulence Factors of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-01

    763512/715242 Final Report U VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS U Samuel Rosen Department of Oral Biology For the Period April 1, 1983 - June 30...00 FINAL REPORT VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS Sam Rosen, Irving Shklair, E. X. Beck and F. M. Beck Ohio State University Columbus,Oh and...206-212. Johnson CP, Gorss S, Hillman JD (1978). Cariogenic properties of LDH deficient mutants of streptococcus mutans . J Dent Res 57, Special Issue

  16. Laboratory experiments for understanding mechanical properties of fractured granite under supercritical conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    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 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 triaxial deformation test on such cracked granites

  17. Toward Understanding Mechanisms Controlling Urea Delivery in a Coastal Plain Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzilkowski, S. S.; Buda, A. R.; Boyer, E. W.; Bryant, R. B.; May, E. B.

    2012-12-01

    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

  18. CRISPR interference can prevent natural transformation and virulence acquisition during in vivo bacterial infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bikard, David; Hatoum-Aslan, Asma; Mucida, Daniel; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2012-08-16

    Pathogenic bacterial strains emerge largely due to transfer of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes between bacteria, a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci of bacteria and archaea encode a sequence-specific defense mechanism against bacteriophages and constitute a programmable barrier to HGT. However, the impact of CRISPRs on the emergence of virulence is unknown. We programmed the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae with CRISPR sequences that target capsule genes, an essential pneumococcal virulence factor, and show that CRISPR interference can prevent transformation of nonencapsulated, avirulent pneumococci into capsulated, virulent strains during infection in mice. Further, at low frequencies bacteria can lose CRISPR function, acquire capsule genes, and mount a successful infection. These results demonstrate that CRISPR interference can prevent the emergence of virulence in vivo and that strong selective pressure for virulence or antibiotic resistance can lead to CRISPR loss in bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Using interviews to understand the assignment mechanism in a nonexperimental study: the case of eighth grade algebra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickles, Jordan H

    2011-10-01

    Many inquiries regarding the causal effects of policies or programs are based on research designs where the treatment assignment process is unknown, and thus valid inferences depend on tenuous assumptions about the assignment mechanism. This article draws attention to the importance of understanding the assignment mechanism in policy and program evaluation studies, and illustrates how information collected through interviews can develop a richer understanding of the assignment mechanism. Focusing on the issue of student assignment to algebra in 8th grade, I show how a preliminary data collection effort aimed at understanding the assignment mechanism is particularly beneficial in multisite observational studies in education. The findings, based on ten interviews and administrative data from a large school district, draw attention to the often ignored heterogeneity in the assignment mechanism across schools. These findings likely extend beyond the current research project in question to related educational policy issues such as ability grouping, tracking, differential course taking, and curricular intensity, as well as other social programs in which the assignment mechanism can differ across sites.

  20. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun

    2012-01-01

    Omics has remarkably changed the way we investigate and understand life. Omics differs from traditional hypothesis-driven research because it is a discovery-driven approach. Mass datasets produced from omics-based studies require experts from different fields to reveal the salient features behind these data. In this review, we summarize omics-driven studies to reveal the virulence features of Yersinia pestis through genomics, trascriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, etc. These studies serve as foundations for further hypothesis-driven research and help us gain insight into Y. pestis pathogenesis. PMID:23248778

  1. Virulence determinants of pandemic influenza viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Influenza A viruses cause recurrent, seasonal epidemics and occasional global pandemics with devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. The ability of influenza A viruses to adapt to various hosts and undergo reassortment events ensures constant generation of new strains with unpredictable degrees of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and pandemic potential. Currently, the combination of factors that drives the emergence of pandemic influenza is unclear, making it impossible to foresee the details of a future outbreak. Identification and characterization of influenza A virus virulence determinants may provide insight into genotypic signatures of pathogenicity as well as a more thorough understanding of the factors that give rise to pandemics. PMID:21206092

  2. Virulence meets metabolism: Cra and KdpE gene regulation in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njoroge, Jacqueline W; Nguyen, Y; Curtis, Meredith M; Moreira, Cristiano G; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2012-10-16

    , which causes bloody diarrhea, these two proteins influence important virulence traits. We also propose that their control of one or more of these virulence traits is due to the direct interaction of the Cra and KdpE proteins with each other, as well as with their DNA targets. This work shows how EHEC coopts established mechanisms for sensing the metabolites and stress cues in the environment, to induce virulence factors in a temporal and energy-efficient manner, culminating in disease. Understanding how pathogens commandeer nonpathogenic systems can help us develop measures to control them.

  3. How Do Students in an Innovative Principle-Based Mechanics Course Understand Energy Concepts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Lin; Chabay, Ruth; Sherwood, Bruce

    2013-01-01

    We investigated students' conceptual learning of energy topics in an innovative college-level introductory mechanics course, entitled Matter & Interactions (M&I) Modern Mechanics. This course differs from traditional curricula in that it emphasizes application of a small number of fundamental principles across various scales, involving…

  4. Towards a neurobiological understanding of pain in chronic pancreatitis: mechanisms and implications for treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren S. Olesen

    2017-12-01

    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.

  5. In vivo transcriptional profiling of Listeria monocytogenes and mutagenesis identify new virulence factors involved in infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Camejo

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes is a human intracellular pathogen able to colonize host tissues after ingestion of contaminated food, causing severe invasive infections. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of host-pathogen interactions, we studied the L. monocytogenes genome expression during mouse infection. In the spleen of infected mice, approximately 20% of the Listeria genome is differentially expressed, essentially through gene activation, as compared to exponential growth in rich broth medium. Data presented here show that, during infection, Listeria is in an active multiplication phase, as revealed by the high expression of genes involved in replication, cell division and multiplication. In vivo bacterial growth requires increased expression of genes involved in adaptation of the bacterial metabolism and stress responses, in particular to oxidative stress. Listeria interaction with its host induces cell wall metabolism and surface expression of virulence factors. During infection, L. monocytogenes also activates subversion mechanisms of host defenses, including resistance to cationic peptides, peptidoglycan modifications and release of muramyl peptides. We show that the in vivo differential expression of the Listeria genome is coordinated by a complex regulatory network, with a central role for the PrfA-SigB interplay. In particular, L. monocytogenes up regulates in vivo the two major virulence regulators, PrfA and VirR, and their downstream effectors. Mutagenesis of in vivo induced genes allowed the identification of novel L. monocytogenes virulence factors, including an LPXTG surface protein, suggesting a role for S-layer glycoproteins and for cadmium efflux system in Listeria virulence.

  6. Coordinated Regulation of Virulence during Systemic Infection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hyunjin; McDermott, Jason E.; Porwollik, Steffen; Mcclelland, Michael; Heffron, Fred

    2009-02-20

    Salmonella must respond to a myriad of environmental cues during infection of a mouse and express specific subsets of genes in a temporal and spatial manner to subvert the host defense mechanisms but these regulatory pathways are poorly established. To unravel how micro-environmental signals are processed and integrated into coordinated action, we constructed in-frame non-polar deletions of 84 regulators inferred to play a role in Salmonella typhimurium virulence and tested them in three virulence assays (intraperitoneal (i.p.), and intragastric (i.g.) infection in BALB/c mice, and persistence in SvJ129 mice). Overall 36 regulators were identified that were less virulent in at least one assay, and of those, 15 regulators were required for systemic mouse infection in an acute infection model. As a first step towards understanding the interplay between a pathogen and its host from a systems biology standpoint we focused on these 15 genes. Transcriptional profiles were obtained for each of these 15 regulators from strains grown under four different environmental conditions. These results as well as publicly available transcriptional profiles were analyzed using both network inference and cluster analysis algorithms. The analysis predicts a regulatory network in which all 15 regulators control a specific set of genes necessary for Salmonella to cause systemic infection. We tested the regulatory model by expressing a subset of the regulators in trans and monitoring transcription of 7 known virulence factors located within Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2). These experiments validated the regulatory model and showed that, for these 7 genes, the response regulator SsrB and the marR type regulator SlyA co-regulate in a regulatory cascade by integrating multiple signals.

  7. Advances in understanding of soil biogeochemical cycles: the mechanism of HS entry into the root interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksandrova, Olga

    2017-04-01

    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

  8. Mechanisms of Bunyavirus Virulence: A Genetic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-12-01

    of canine parvovirus Type-2, feline panleukopenia virus and mink enteritis virus. Virology 129,401-414. Partner A., Webster, R. G., and Bean W. J...CM, and Webster RG. Procedures for the characterization of the genetic material of candidate vaccine strains. Develop Biol Standard 39:15-24, 1977

  9. Understanding the mechanism of sweet taste: synthesis of tritium labeled guanidineacetic acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagarajan, S.; Kellogg, M.S.; DuBois, G.E. (NutraSweet Company, Mt. Prospect, IL (United States)); Williams, D.S. (Amersham International plc, Cardiff (United Kingdom). Cardiff Labs.); Gresk, C.J.; Markos, C.S. (Searle Research and Development, Skokie, IL (United States))

    1992-08-01

    Syntheses of tritium labeled guanidineacetic acid sweetener and a tritiated photoaffinity labeling reagent via the catalytic hydrogenation of the dibromo intermediates are described. These labeled compounds were required for the investigation of sweet taste mechanism. (author).

  10. Understanding the mechanism of sweet taste: synthesis of tritium labeled guanidineacetic acids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagarajan, S.; Kellogg, M.S.; DuBois, G.E.; Williams, D.S.

    1992-01-01

    Syntheses of tritium labeled guanidineacetic acid sweetener and a tritiated photoaffinity labeling reagent via the catalytic hydrogenation of the dibromo intermediates are described. These labeled compounds were required for the investigation of sweet taste mechanism. (author)

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

    KAUST Repository

    Chakrabarty, Souvik; Ouyang, Christine; Krysak, Marie; Trikeriotis, Markos; Cho, Kyoungyoung; Giannelis, Emmanuel P.; Ober, Christopher K.

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Chakrabarty, Souvik

    2013-04-01

    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.

  13. Using realist synthesis to understand the mechanisms of interprofessional teamwork in health and social care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Gillian; Sims, Sarah; Harris, Ruth

    2014-11-01

    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. Use of signature-tagged mutagenesis to identify virulence determinants in Haemophilus ducreyi responsible for ulcer formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Angela; Cameron, D William; Desjardins, Marc; Lee, B Craig

    2011-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for chancroid, a genital ulcer disease caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has been hampered in part by the relative genetic intractability of the organism. A whole genome screen using signature-tagged mutagenesis in the temperature-dependent rabbit model (TDRM) of H. ducreyi infection uncovered 26 mutants with a presumptive attenuated phenotype. Insertions in two previously recognized virulence determinants, hgbA and lspA1, validated this genome scanning technique. Database interrogation allowed assignment of 24 mutants to several functional classes, including transport, metabolism, DNA repair, stress response and gene regulation. The attenuated virulence for a 3 strain with a mutation in hicB was confirmed by individual infection in the TDRM. The results from this preliminary study indicate that this high throughput strategy will further the understanding of the pathogenesis of H. ducreyi infection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Analysis of multiple instructional techniques on the understanding and retention of select mechanical topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetsco, Sara Elizabeth

    There are several topics that introductory physics students typically have difficulty understanding. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate if multiple instructional techniques will help students to better understand and retain the material. The three units analyzed in this study are graphing motion, projectile motion, and conservation of momentum. For each unit students were taught using new or altered instructional methods including online laboratory simulations, inquiry labs, and interactive demonstrations. Additionally, traditional instructional methods such as lecture and problem sets were retained. Effectiveness was measured through pre- and post-tests and student opinion surveys. Results suggest that incorporating multiple instructional techniques into teaching will improve student understanding and retention. Students stated that they learned well from all of the instructional methods used except the online simulations.

  16. Understanding Irreversible Degradation of Nb3Sn Wires with Fundamental Fracture Mechanics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhai, Yuhu [PPPL; Calzolaio, Ciro [Univ of Geneva; Senatore, Carmine [Univ of Geneva

    2014-08-01

    Irreversible performance degradation of advanced Nb3Sn superconducting wires subjected to transverse or axial mechanical loading is a critical issue for the design of large-scale fusion and accelerator magnets such as ITER and LHC. Recent SULTAN tests indicate that most cable-in-conduit conductors for ITER coils made of Nb3Sn wires processed by various fabrication techniques show similar performance degradation under cyclic loading. The irreversible degradation due to filament fracture and local strain accumulation in Nb3Sn wires cannot be described by the existing strand scaling law. Fracture mechanic modeling combined with X-ray diffraction imaging of filament micro-crack formation inside the wires under mechanical loading may reveal exciting insights to the wire degradation mechanisms. We apply fundamental fracture mechanics with a singularity approach to study influence of wire filament microstructure of initial void size and distribution to local stress concentration and potential crack propagation. We report impact of the scale and density of the void structure on stress concentration in the composite wire materials for crack initiation. These initial defects result in an irreversible degradation of the critical current beyond certain applied stress. We also discuss options to minimize stress concentration in the design of the material microstructure for enhanced wire performance for future applications.

  17. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Regulator-Encoding Genes Have an Additive Effect on Virulence Gene Expression in a Vibrio cholerae Clinical Isolate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carignan, Bailey M; Brumfield, Kyle D; Son, Mike S

    2016-01-01

    patients suffering from increasingly severe symptoms and of disease progression at a much higher rate than previously observed has emerged. As recent cholera outbreaks caused by increasingly virulent strains have resulted in higher mortality rates, the need to investigate the mechanism(s) allowing this observed increased virulence is apparent. The significance of our research is in identifying the mechanism for increased virulence capabilities, which will allow the development of a model that will greatly enhance our understanding of cholera disease and V. cholerae pathogenesis, leading to broader biomedical impacts, as cholera serves as a model for other enteric diarrheal diseases.

  18. 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

    2014-10-01

    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

  19. The Contribution of Experimental in vivo Models to Understanding the Mechanisms of Adaptation to Mechanical Loading in Bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meakin, Lee B.; Price, Joanna S.; Lanyon, Lance E.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Structural characterization of the virulence factor nuclease A from Streptococcus agalactiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Andrea F; Gaudu, Philippe; Pedersen, Lars C

    2014-11-01

    The group B pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae commonly populates the human gut and urogenital tract, and is a major cause of infection-based mortality in neonatal infants and in elderly or immunocompromised adults. Nuclease A (GBS_NucA), a secreted DNA/RNA nuclease, serves as a virulence factor for S. agalactiae, facilitating bacterial evasion of the human innate immune response. GBS_NucA efficiently degrades the DNA matrix component of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which attempt to kill and clear invading bacteria during the early stages of infection. In order to better understand the mechanisms of DNA substrate binding and catalysis of GBS_NucA, the high-resolution structure of a catalytically inactive mutant (H148G) was solved by X-ray crystallography. Several mutants on the surface of GBS_NucA which might influence DNA substrate binding and catalysis were generated and evaluated using an imidazole chemical rescue technique. While several of these mutants severely inhibited nuclease activity, two mutants (K146R and Q183A) exhibited significantly increased activity. These structural and biochemical studies have greatly increased our understanding of the mechanism of action of GBS_NucA in bacterial virulence and may serve as a foundation for the structure-based drug design of antibacterial compounds targeted to S. agalactiae.

  1. Understanding the mechanism of nanotube synthesis for controlled production of specific (n,m) structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resasco, Daniel E.

    2010-02-11

    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.

  2. Systems analysis of multiple regulator perturbations allows discovery of virulence factors in Salmonella

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; McDermott, Jason E.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Smith, Richard D.; Heffron, Fred; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-06-28

    Background: Systemic bacterial infections are highly regulated and complex processes that are orchestrated by numerous virulence factors. Genes that are coordinately controlled by the set of regulators required for systemic infection are potentially required for pathogenicity. Results: In this study we present a systems biology approach in which sample-matched multi-omic measurements of fourteen virulence-essential regulator mutants were coupled with computational network analysis to efficiently identify Salmonella virulence factors. Immunoblot experiments verified network-predicted virulence factors and a subset was determined to be secreted into the host cytoplasm, suggesting that they are virulence factors directly interacting with host cellular components. Two of these, SrfN and PagK2, were required for full mouse virulence and were shown to be translocated independent of either of the type III secretion systems in Salmonella or the type III injectisome-related flagellar mechanism. Conclusions: Integrating multi-omic datasets from Salmonella mutants lacking virulence regulators not only identified novel virulence factors but also defined a new class of translocated effectors involved in pathogenesis. The success of this strategy at discovery of known and novel virulence factors suggests that the approach may have applicability for other bacterial pathogens.

  3. Improving Student Understanding of Addition of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2013-01-01

    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…

  4. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics in the Context of Single Photon Interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    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…

  5. 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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Massage therapy: understanding the mechanisms of action on blood pressure. A scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Nicole L

    2015-10-01

    Massage therapy (MT) has shown potential in reducing blood pressure (BP); however, the psychophysiological pathways and structures involved in this outcome are unclear. The aims of this scoping review were twofold. (1) To summarize the current knowledge of the mechanisms of action of MT on BP. (2) To highlight the research gaps and challenges that researchers must overcome to further elucidate how MT attenuates BP. A scoping review was conducted to examine the evidence regarding the mechanisms of action of MT on BP. This review included the thematic analysis of 27 publications that considered the influence of MT on BP. Based on this analysis, six potential BP mediating pathways were identified Current theories suggest that MT exerts sympatholytic effects through physiologic and psychological mechanisms, improves hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis function, and increases in blood flow, which, in turn, may improve endothelial function. Future study is needed, using more scientifically rigorous methodology, to fully elucidate the mechanism of action of MT. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hypertension. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The Mediated MIMIC Model for Understanding the Underlying Mechanism of DIF

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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…

  8. FvBck1, a Component of Cell Wall Integrity MAP Kinase Pathway, is Required for Virulence and Oxidative Stress Response in Sugarcane Pokkah Boeng Pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengkang eZhang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Fusarium verticillioides (formerly F. moniliforme is suggested as one of the causal agents of Pokkah Boeng, a serious disease of sugarcane worldwide. Currently, detailed molecular and physiological mechanism of pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we focused on cell wall integrity MAPK pathway as one of the potential signaling mechanisms associated with Pokkah Boeng pathogenesis. We identified FvBCK1 gene that encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase homolog and determined that it is not only required for growth, micro- and macro-conidia production, and cell wall integrity but also for response to osmotic and oxidative stresses. The deletion of FvBCK1 caused a significant reduction in virulence and FB1 production, a carcinogenic mycotoxin produced by the fungus. Moreover, we found the expression levels of three genes, which are known to be involved in superoxide scavenging, were down regulated in the mutant. We hypothesized that the loss of superoxide scavenging capacity was one of the reasons for reduced virulence, but overexpression of catalase or peroxidase gene failed to restore the virulence defect in the deletion mutant. When we introduced Magnaporthe oryzae MCK1 into the FvBck1 deletion mutant, while certain phenotypes were restored, the complemented strain failed to gain full virulence. In summary, FvBck1 plays a diverse role in F. verticillioides, and detailed investigation of downstream signaling pathways will lead to a better understanding of how this MAPK pathway regulates Pokkah Boeng on sugarcane.

  9. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Recent advances in understanding the reinforcing ability and mechanism of carbon nanotubes in ceramic matrix composites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estili, Mehdi; Sakka, Yoshio

    2014-12-01

    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

  11. Recent advances in understanding the reinforcing ability and mechanism of carbon nanotubes in ceramic matrix composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estili, Mehdi; Sakka, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. Molecular determinants of Ebola virus virulence in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki Ebihara

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with fatality rates in humans of up to 90%. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of ZEBOV remains elusive. While adult mice resist ZEBOV infection, the Mayinga strain of the virus has been adapted to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the pathogenesis underlying the extreme virulence of Ebola virus (EBOV, here we identified the mutations responsible for the acquisition of the high virulence of the adapted Mayinga strain in mice, by using reverse genetics. We found that mutations in viral protein 24 and in the nucleoprotein were primarily responsible for the acquisition of high virulence. Moreover, the role of these proteins in virulence correlated with their ability to evade type I interferon-stimulated antiviral responses. These findings suggest a critical role for overcoming the interferon-induced antiviral state in the pathogenicity of EBOV and offer new insights into the pathogenesis of EBOV infection.

  13. Amoebapore is an important virulence factor of Entamoeba histolytica

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... ap-a genes. The silenced transfectant was not virulent at all. These results demonstrate that important factors need to be expressed at the correct cellular location and that the parasite has additional internal control mechanisms such as transcriptional gene silencing which can prevent excess amounts of gene expression.

  14. 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

    2014-12-09

    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.

  15. New Insight in Understanding the mechanical responses of polymer glasses using molecular dynamic simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yexin; Wang, Shi-Qing; Tsige, Mesfin

    The Kremer-Grest bead-spring model has been the standard model in molecular dynamics simulation of polymer glasses. However, due to current computational limitations in accessing relevant time scales in polymer glasses in a reasonable amount of CPU time, simulation of mechanical response of polymer glasses in molecular dynamic simulations requires a much higher quenching rate and deformation rate than used in experiments. Despite several orders of magnitude difference in time scale between simulation and experiment, previous studies have shown that simulations can produce meaningful results that can be directly compared with experimental results. In this work we show that by tuning the quenching rate and deformation rate relative to the segmental relaxation times, a reasonable mechanical response shows up in the glassy state. Specifically, we show a younger glass prepared with a faster quenching rate shows glassy responses only when the imposed deformation rate is proportionally higher. the National Science Foundation (DMR-1444859 and DMR-1609977).

  16. An investigation and understanding of the mechanical response of Palmyrah timber

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobier, Hatim; Menzemer, C.C.; Srivatsan, T.S.

    2003-01-01

    The Palmyrah tree flourishes in tropical areas around South East Asia, and particularly in Sri Lanka. Palmyrah is an important economic resource for the region, and has found use in structural applications for both residential dwellings and commercial buildings. While there is a great deal of local field experience with Palmyrah, the mechanical properties have not been well characterized or understood. In an effort to assist engineers with the design and efficient use of the timber, a study was undertaken to evaluate the mechanical response of Palmyrah and develop estimates of design allowable properties. Properties evaluated include static bending strength, modulus, compression parallel and perpendicular to the grain, shear parallel to the grain and tensile strength parallel and perpendicular to the grain. In order to gain insight into the behavior of the wood, samples were examined using standard optical microscopy techniques. In addition, available fracture surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy

  17. [Use of laws of interelement interactions for understanding of mechanisms of various human diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barashkov, G K; Zaĭtseva, L I

    2008-01-01

    The review considers the basic laws of interaction of elements in real physiological conditions of metabolism. The law of replacement and two it consequences have been formulated taking into account a major principle of cybernetics, the feedback principle. A rule of a fractional threshold and the law of toxicity based on the Mertz's rules have been formulated. These laws have been used here for consideration of mechanisms of occurrence and development of apoptosis and also side-effects of statins. Study of bioinorganic mechanisms of different diseases is a erspective way for search of complex connections of metals and ligands, capable to interaction with initiators of chain reactions, and for a finding of substances--inhibitors these reactions.

  18. Understanding of mechanical properties of graphite on the basis of mesoscopic microstructure (review)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishihara, M.; Shibata, T.; Takahashi, T.; Baba, S.; Hoshiya, T.

    2002-01-01

    With the aim of nuclear application of ceramics in the high-temperature engineering field, the authors have investigated the mesoscopic microstructure related to the mechanical and thermal properties of ceramics. In this paper, recent activities concerning mechanical properties, strength and Young's modulus are presented. In the strength research field, the brittle fracture model considering pore/grain mesoscopic microstructure was expanded so as to render possible an estimation of the strength under stress gradient conditions. Furthermore, the model was expanded to treat the pore/crack interaction effect. The performance of the developed model was investigated from a comparison with experimental data and the Weibull strength theory. In the field of Young's modulus research, ultrasonic wave propagation was investigated using the pore/wave interaction model. Three kinds of interaction modes are treated in the model. The model was applied to the graphite, and its applicability was investigated through comparison with experimental data. (authors)

  19. Progress in understanding the mechanical behavior of pressure-vessel materials at elevated temperatures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swindeman, R.W.; Brinkman, C.R.

    1981-01-01

    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

  20. Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröger, Carsten; Kary, Stefani C.; Schauer, Kristina; Cameron, Andrew D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid evolution of antimicrobial resistances. Although we lack fundamental biological insight into virulence mechanisms, an increasing number of researchers are working to identify virulence factors and to study antibiotic resistance. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. A survey of the two-component systems AdeRS, BaeSR, GacSA and PmrAB explains how each contributes to antibiotic resistance and virulence gene expression, while BfmRS regulates cell envelope structures important for pathogen persistence. A. baumannii uses the transcription factors Fur and Zur to sense iron or zinc depletion and upregulate genes for metal scavenging as a critical survival tool in an animal host. Quorum sensing, nucleoid-associated proteins, and non-classical transcription factors such as AtfA and small regulatory RNAs are discussed in the context of virulence and antibiotic resistance. PMID:28036056

  1. The link between morphotype transition and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linqi Wang

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen. This pathogen can undergo morphotype transition between the yeast and the filamentous form and such morphological transition has been implicated in virulence for decades. Morphotype transition is typically observed during mating, which is governed by pheromone signaling. Paradoxically, components specific to the pheromone signaling pathways play no or minimal direct roles in virulence. Thus, the link between morphotype transition and virulence and the underlying molecular mechanism remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that filamentation can occur independent of pheromone signaling and mating, and both mating-dependent and mating-independent morphotype transition require the transcription factor Znf2. High expression of Znf2 is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain sex-independent filamentous growth under host-relevant conditions in vitro and during infection. Importantly, ZNF2 overexpression abolishes fungal virulence in murine models of cryptococcosis. Thus, Znf2 bridges the sex-independent morphotype transition and fungal pathogenicity. The impacts of Znf2 on morphological switch and pathogenicity are at least partly mediated through its effects on cell adhesion property. Cfl1, a Znf2 downstream factor, regulates morphogenesis, cell adhesion, biofilm formation, and virulence. Cfl1 is the first adhesin discovered in the phylum Basidiomycota of the Kingdom Fungi. Together with previous findings in other eukaryotic pathogens, our findings support a convergent evolution of plasticity in morphology and its impact on cell adhesion as a critical adaptive trait for pathogenesis.

  2. The Role of Antibiotics in Modulating Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodille, Elisabeth; Rose, Warren; Diep, Binh An; Goutelle, Sylvain; Lina, Gerard; Dumitrescu, Oana

    2017-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is often involved in severe infections, in which the effects of bacterial virulence factors have great importance. Antistaphylococcal regimens should take into account the different effects of antibacterial agents on the expression of virulence factors and on the host's immune response. A PubMed literature search was performed to select relevant articles on the effects of antibiotics on staphylococcal toxin production and on the host immune response. Information was sorted according to the methods used for data acquisition (bacterial strains, growth models, and antibiotic concentrations) and the assays used for readout generation. The reported mechanisms underlying S. aureus virulence modulation by antibiotics were reviewed. The relevance of in vitro observations is discussed in relation to animal model data and to clinical evidence extracted from case reports and recommendations on the management of toxin-related staphylococcal diseases. Most in vitro data point to a decreased level of virulence expression upon treatment with ribosomally active antibiotics (linezolid and clindamycin), while cell wall-active antibiotics (beta-lactams) mainly increase exotoxin production. In vivo studies confirmed the suppressive effect of clindamycin and linezolid on virulence expression, supporting their utilization as a valuable management strategy to improve patient outcomes in cases of toxin-associated staphylococcal disease. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  3. A numerical toolkit to understand the mechanics of partially saturated granular materials

    OpenAIRE

    Roux , Jean-Noël

    2015-01-01

    ``Focus on Fluids'' section; International audience; The mechanisms by which a wetting, non-saturating liquid bestows macroscopic cohesion and strength to a granular material are usually not accessible to micromechanical investigations for saturations exceeding the pendular regime of isolated menisci, easily studied by discrete element models. The " JFM-Rapids " paper (vol. 762, R5, 2015) by Delenne, Richefeu and Radja¨ıRadja¨ı, exploiting a multiphase Lattice Boltzmann approach, pioneers the...

  4. Understanding Freshness Perception from the Cognitive Mechanisms of Flavor: The Case of Beverages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, Jérémy; Auvray, Malika; Lafraire, Jérémie

    2018-01-01

    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

  5. Understanding the Personality and Behavioral Mechanisms Defining Hypersexuality in Men Who Have Sex With Men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miner, Michael H; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne; Raymond, Nancy; Janssen, Erick; MacDonald, Angus; Coleman, Eli

    2016-09-01

    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

  6. Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity

    OpenAIRE

    Epel, Elissa S.; Lithgow, Gordon J.

    2014-01-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress (“hormetic stress”). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses (“toxic stress”) and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the str...

  7. Understanding Freshness Perception from the Cognitive Mechanisms of Flavor: The Case of Beverages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Roque

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

  8. Investigating and improving student understanding of quantum mechanical observables and their corresponding operators in Dirac notation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2018-01-01

    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.

  9. Theoretical study of chromophores for biological sensing: Understanding the mechanism of rhodol based multi-chromophoric systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Jacquez, Hector J.; Masunov, Artëm E.

    2018-06-01

    Development of two-photon fluorescent probes can aid in visualizing the cellular environment. Multi-chromophore systems display complex manifolds of electronic transitions, enabling their use for optical sensing applications. Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TDDFT) methods allow for accurate predictions of the optical properties. These properties are related to the electronic transitions in the molecules, which include two-photon absorption cross-sections. Here we use TDDFT to understand the mechanism of aza-crown based fluorescent probes for metals sensing applications. Our findings suggest changes in local excitation in the rhodol chromophore between unbound form and when bound to the metal analyte. These changes are caused by a charge transfer from the aza-crown group and pyrazol units toward the rhodol unit. Understanding this mechanism leads to an optimized design with higher two-photon excited fluorescence to be used in medical applications.

  10. Stability and variability of virulence of Phytophthorainfestans assessed in a ring test across European laboratories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andrivon, D.; Avendaño-Córcoles, J.; Cameron, A.M.; Raaij, van H.M.G.

    2011-01-01

    Determining virulence towards race-specific resistance genes is a prerequisite to understanding the response of pathogen populations to resistant cultivars, and therefore to assess the durability of these resistance genes and the performance of resistance management strategies. In Phytophthora

  11. 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

    2007-01-01

    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

  12. Understanding mobility degeneration mechanism in organic thin-film transistors (OTFT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Long; Xu, Guangwei; Gao, Nan; Wang, Lingfei; Ji, Zhuoyu; Lu, Congyan; Lu, Nianduan; Li, Ling; Liu, Miwng

    2017-08-01

    Mobility degradation at high gate bias is often observed in organic thin film transistors. We propose a mechanism for this confusing phenomenon, based on the percolation theory with the presence of disordered energy landscape with an exponential density of states. Within a simple model we show how the surface states at insulator/organic interface trap a portion of channel carriers, and result in decrease of mobility as well as source/drain current with gate voltage. Depending on the competition between the carrier accumulation and surface trapping effect, two different carrier density dependences of mobility are obtained, in excellent agreement with experiment data.

  13. Understanding organometallic reaction mechanisms and catalysis experimental and computational tools computational and experimental tools

    CERN Document Server

    Ananikov, Valentin P

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Understanding flocculation mechanism of graphene oxide for organic dyes from water: Experimental and molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Liu

    2015-11-01

    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.

  15. Understanding the Mechanical forces of Self-Expandable Metal Stents in the Biliary Ducts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isayama, Hiroyuki; Nakai, Yousuke; Hamada, Tsuyoshi; Matsubara, Saburo; Kogure, Hirofumi; Koike, Kazuhiko

    2016-12-01

    Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) was an effective biliary endoprosthesis. Mechanical properties of SEMS, radial and axial force (RF, AF), may play important roles in the bile duct after placement. RF was well known dilation force and influenced on the occurrence of migration. AF, newly proposed by this author, was defined as the recovery force when the SEMS vended. AF was related with the cause of bile duct kinking, pancreatitis, and cholecystitis due to the compression of the bile duct, orifice of the cystic duct, and pancreatic orifice. Ideal SEMS may show high RF and low AF.

  16. Understanding of carbon-based supercapacitors ageing mechanisms by electrochemical and analytical methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yinghui; Soucaze-Guillous, Benoît; Taberna, Pierre-Louis; Simon, Patrice

    2017-10-01

    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.

  17. Understanding the Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms that Underlie Proxy Risk Perceptions among Caregivers of Asthmatic Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepperd, James A; Lipsey, Nikolette P; Pachur, Thorsten; Waters, Erika A

    2018-07-01

    Medical decisions made on behalf of another person-particularly those made by adult caregivers for their minor children-are often informed by the decision maker's beliefs about the treatment's risks and benefits. However, we know little about the cognitive and affective mechanisms influencing such "proxy" risk perceptions and about how proxy risk perceptions are related to prominent judgment phenomena. Adult caregivers of minor children with asthma ( N = 132) completed an online, cross-sectional survey assessing 1) cognitions and affects that form the basis of the availability, representativeness, and affect heuristics; 2) endorsement of the absent-exempt and the better-than-average effect; and 3) proxy perceived risk and unrealistic comparative optimism of an asthma exacerbation. We used the Pediatric Asthma Control and Communication Instrument (PACCI) to assess asthma severity. Respondents with higher scores on availability, representativeness, and negative affect indicated higher proxy risk perceptions and (for representativeness only) lower unrealistic optimism, irrespective of asthma severity. Conversely, respondents who showed a stronger display of the better-than-average effect indicated lower proxy risk perceptions but did not differ in unrealistic optimism. The absent-exempt effect was unrelated to proxy risk perceptions and unrealistic optimism. Heuristic judgment processes appear to contribute to caregivers' proxy risk perceptions of their child's asthma exacerbation risk. Moreover, the display of other, possibly erroneous, judgment phenomena is associated with lower caregiver risk perceptions. Designing interventions that target these mechanisms may help caregivers work with their children to reduce exacerbation risk.

  18. A Multiscale Understanding of the Thermodynamic and Kinetic Mechanisms of Laser Additive Manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong Gu

    2017-10-01

    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.

  19. 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

    2010-04-15

    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)

  20. Biomineralization of gold by Mucor plumbeus: The progress in understanding the mechanism of nanoparticles' formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maliszewska, Irena; Tylus, Włodzimierz; Chęcmanowski, Jacek; Szczygieł, Bogdan; Pawlaczyk-Graja, Izabela; Pusz, Wojciech; Baturo-Cieśniewska, Anna

    2017-09-01

    This contribution describes the deposition of gold nanoparticles by microbial reduction of Au(III) ions using the mycelium of Mucor plumbeus. Biosorption as the major mechanism of Au(III) ions binding by the fungal cells and the reduction of them to the form of Au(0) on/in the cell wall, followed by the transportation of the synthesized gold nanoparticles to the cytoplasm, is postulated. The probable mechanism behind the reduction of Au(III) ions is discussed, leading to the conclusion that this process is nonenzymatic one. Chitosan of the fungal cell wall is most likely to be the major molecule involved in biomineralization of gold by the mycelium of M. plumbeus. Separation of gold nanoparticles from the cells has been carried out by the ultrasonic disintegration and the obtained nanostructures were characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy and transmission electron micrograph analysis. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 33:1381-1392, 2017. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  1. A New Alkali-Stable Phosphonium Cation Based on Fundamental Understanding of Degradation Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingzi; Kaspar, Robert B; Gu, Shuang; Wang, Junhua; Zhuang, Zhongbin; Yan, Yushan

    2016-09-08

    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.

  2. Getting the phenotypes right: an essential ingredient for understanding aetiological mechanisms underlying persistent violence and developing effective treatments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheilagh Hodgins

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available In order to reduce societal levels of violence, it is essential to advance understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining individual patterns of physical aggression. New technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imagining and analyses of DNA provide tools for identifying these mechanisms. The reliability and validity of the results of studies using these tools depend not only on aspects of the technology, but also on the methodological rigour with which the studies are conducted, particularly with respect to characterizing the phenotype. The present article discusses five challenges confronting scientists who aim to advance understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with persistent violence. These challenges are: (1 to develop evidence-based hypotheses and to design studies that test alternate hypotheses; (2 to recruit samples that are homogeneous with respect to variables that may be linked to neurobiological mechanisms underpinning violent behaviour; (3 to use reliable and valid measures in order to fully characterize participants so that the external validity of the results is evident; (4 to restrict the range of age of participants so as not to confuse developmental change with group differences; and (5 to take account of sex. Our goal is to contribute to elevating methodological standards in this new field of research and to thereby improve the validity of results and move closer to finding effective ways to reduce violence

  3. Understanding the crystallization mechanism of delafossite CuGaO2 for controlled hydrothermal synthesis of nanoparticles and nanoplates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Mingzhe; Draskovic, Thomas I; Wu, Yiying

    2014-06-02

    The delafossite CuGaO2 is an important p-type transparent conducting oxide for both fundamental science and industrial applications. An emerging application is for p-type dye-sensitized solar cells. Obtaining delafossite CuGaO2 nanoparticles is challenging but desirable for efficient dye loading. In this work, the phase formation and crystal growth mechanism of delafossite CuGaO2 under low-temperature (mechanism to explain the formation of large CuGaO2 nanoplates. Importantly, by suppressing this OA process, delafossite CuGaO2 nanoparticles that are 20 nm in size were successfully synthesized for the first time. Moreover, considering the structural and chemical similarities between the Cu-based delafossite series compounds, the understanding of the hydrothermal chemistry and crystallization mechanism of CuGaO2 should also benefit syntheses of other similar delafossites such as CuAlO2 and CuScO2.

  4. 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.

    2017-01-01

    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......There is a growing interest in using marine phospholipids (PL) as ingredient for food fortification due to their numerous health benefits. However, the use of marine PL for food fortification is a challenge due to the complex nature of the degradation products that are formed during the handling...... 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...

  5. Understanding mechanisms of solid-state phase transformations by probing nuclear materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Srikumar; Donthula, Harish

    2018-04-01

    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.

  6. Integrated Approach for Understanding Impurity Adsorption on Calcite: Mechanisms for Micro-scale Surface Phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, M. D.; Arvidson, R. S.; Luttge, A.

    2004-12-01

    A longstanding goal within the field of environmental geochemistry has been the development of a fundamental understanding of the kinetics that governs the interactions of solution-borne impurities with the calcite mineral surface. Recent dissolution experiments using Mg2+, Mn2+, and Sr2+ have shown distinct differences in the interaction of these three impurity ions with the calcite crystal surface. Because the dissolution of carbonate minerals in soils and sediments influences the uptake and migration of groundwater contaminants, a rigorous understanding of the basic processes that occur at the mineral-fluid interface is necessary. We have used vertical scanning interferometry (VSI) coupled with scanning probe microscopy (SPM) to examine calcite crystal dissolution in the presence of Mg2+, Mn2+, and Sr2+, all known dissolution inhibitors and possible groundwater contaminants. We have studied the kinetics of impurity-crystal interactions at a pH 8.8, and in the presence or absence of dissolved inorganic carbon. Our data show that, when individually introduced into undersaturated solutions, Mg2+ and Mn2+ are shown to activate the calcite crystal surface, resulting in enhanced etch pit nucleation rates and step density. Conversely, Sr2+ is shown to cause passivation of the calcite surface. The effect is intensified when solutions are saturated with respect to atmospheric CO2. Results indicate that aqueous CO32- (or HCO3-) may influence how aqueous metal ionic complexes interact with the crystal surface. Furthermore, the influence is differently exhibited, and passivation or activation ultimately depends on the properties of the diffusing metal ion or metal-hydroxide complex. These properties include for example, differences in hydration enthalpy, the effective ionic radius, and electron shell configuration.

  7. Understanding the ordering mechanisms of self-assembled nanostructures of block copolymers during zone annealing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cong, Zhinan; Zhang, Liangshun, E-mail: zhangls@ecust.edu.cn, E-mail: jlin@ecust.edu.cn; Wang, Liquan; Lin, Jiaping, E-mail: zhangls@ecust.edu.cn, E-mail: jlin@ecust.edu.cn [Shanghai Key Laboratory of Advanced Polymeric Materials, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China)

    2016-03-21

    A theoretical method based on dynamic version of self-consistent field theory is extended to investigate directed self-assembly behaviors of block copolymers subjected to zone annealing. The ordering mechanisms and orientation modulation of microphase-separated nanostructures of block copolymers are discussed in terms of sweep velocity, wall preference, and Flory-Huggins interaction parameter. The simulated results demonstrate that the long-range ordered nanopatterns are achieved by lowering the sweep velocity of zone annealing due to the incorporation of templated ordering of block copolymers. The surface enrichment by one of the two polymer species induces the orientation modulation of defect-free nanostructures through finely tuning the composition of block copolymers and the preference of walls. Additionally, the Flory-Huggins interaction parameters of block copolymers in the distinct regions are main factors to design the zone annealing process for creating the highly ordered nanostructures with single orientation.

  8. Heat and mass transfer models to understand the drying mechanisms of a porous substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Songok, Joel; Bousfield, Douglas W; Gane, Patrick A C; Toivakka, Martti

    2016-02-01

    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.

  9. Oxide Nanoparticle EUV (ONE) Photoresists: Current Understanding of the Unusual Patterning Mechanism

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Jing; Zhang, Ben; Yu, Mufei; Li, Li; Neisser, Mark; Sung Chun, Jun; Giannelis, Emmanuel P.; Ober, Christopher K.

    2015-01-01

    © 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.

  10. Metal Oxide Nanomaterial QNAR Models: Available Structural Descriptors and Understanding of Toxicity Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiali Ying

    2015-10-01

    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.

  11. Fundamental mechanisms of telomerase action in yeasts and mammals: understanding telomeres and telomerase in cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Christine A; Tomita, Kazunori

    2017-03-01

    Aberrant activation of telomerase occurs in 85-90% of all cancers and underpins the ability of cancer cells to bypass their proliferative limit, rendering them immortal. The activity of telomerase is tightly controlled at multiple levels, from transcriptional regulation of the telomerase components to holoenzyme biogenesis and recruitment to the telomere, and finally activation and processivity. However, studies using cancer cell lines and other model systems have begun to reveal features of telomeres and telomerase that are unique to cancer. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the mechanisms of telomerase recruitment and activation using insights from studies in mammals and budding and fission yeasts. Finally, we discuss the differences in telomere homeostasis between normal cells and cancer cells, which may provide a foundation for telomere/telomerase targeted cancer treatments. © 2017 The Authors.

  12. The effects of bariatric surgery: will understanding its mechanism render the knife unnecessary?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Kirsteen N; Hajnal, Andras

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang-Ti Kong

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. Toward an understanding of mechanism of aging-induced oxidative stress in human mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benameur, Laila; Charif, Naceur; Li, Yueying; Stoltz, Jean-François; de Isla, Natalia

    2015-01-01

    Under physiological conditions, there is a production of limited range of free radicals. However, when the cellular antioxidant defence systems, overwhelm and fail to reverse back the free radicals to their normal basal levels, there is a creation of a condition of redox disequilibrium termed "oxidative stress", which is implicated in a very wide spectrum of genetic, metabolic, and cellular responses. The excess of free radicals can, cause unfavourable molecular alterations to biomolecules through oxidation of lipids, proteins, RNA and DNA, that can in turn lead to mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and aging. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been proven to be a promising source of cells for regenerative medicine, and to be useful in the treatment of pathologies in which tissue damage is linked to oxidative stress. Moreover, MSCs appeared to efficiently manage oxidative stress and to be more resistant to oxidative insult than normal somatic cells, making them an interesting and testable model for the role of oxidative stress in the aging process. In addition, aging is accompanied by a progressive decline in stem cell function, resulting in less effective tissue homeostasis and repair. Also, there is an obvious link between intracellular reactive oxygen species levels and cellular senescence. To date, few studies have investigated the promotion of aging by oxidative stress on human MSCs, and the mechanism by which oxidative stress induce stem cell aging is poorly understood. In this context, the aim of this review is to gain insight the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of aging-induced oxidative stress in human MSCs.

  15. Understanding the Broad Substrate Repertoire of Nitroreductase Based on Its Kinetic Mechanism*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Engagement in Training as a Mechanism to Understanding Fidelity of Implementation of the Responsive Classroom Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanless, Shannon B; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E; Abry, Tashia; Larsen, Ross A; Patton, Christine L

    2015-11-01

    Fidelity of implementation of classroom interventions varies greatly, a reality that is concerning because higher fidelity of implementation relates to greater effectiveness of the intervention. We analyzed 126 fourth and fifth grade teachers from the treatment group of a randomized controlled trial of the Responsive Classroom® (RC) approach. Prior to training in the intervention, we assessed factors that had the potential to represent a teacher's readiness to implement with fidelity. These included teachers' observed emotional support, teacher-rated use of intervention practices, teacher-rated self-efficacy, teacher-rated collective responsibility, education level, and years of experience, and they were not directly related to observed fidelity of implementation 2 years later. Further analyses indicated, however, that RC trainers' ratings of teachers' engagement in the initial weeklong RC training mediated the relation between initial observed emotional support and later observed fidelity of implementation. We discuss these findings as a way to advance understanding of teachers' readiness to implement new interventions with fidelity.

  17. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (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

    2008-01-15

    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. Modeling TH 2 responses and airway inflammation to understand fundamental mechanisms regulating the pathogenesis of asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Paul S; Maltby, Steven; Rosenberg, Helene F; Tay, Hock L; Hogan, Simon P; Collison, Adam M; Yang, Ming; Kaiko, Gerard E; Hansbro, Philip M; Kumar, Rakesh K; Mattes, Joerg

    2017-07-01

    In this review, we highlight experiments conducted in our laboratories that have elucidated functional roles for CD4 + T-helper type-2 lymphocytes (T H 2 cells), their associated cytokines, and eosinophils in the regulation of hallmark features of allergic asthma. Notably, we consider the complexity of type-2 responses and studies that have explored integrated signaling among classical T H 2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13), which together with CCL11 (eotaxin-1) regulate critical aspects of eosinophil recruitment, allergic inflammation, and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR). Among our most important findings, we have provided evidence that the initiation of T H 2 responses is regulated by airway epithelial cell-derived factors, including TRAIL and MID1, which promote T H 2 cell development via STAT6-dependent pathways. Further, we highlight studies demonstrating that microRNAs are key regulators of allergic inflammation and potential targets for anti-inflammatory therapy. On the background of T H 2 inflammation, we have demonstrated that innate immune cells (notably, airway macrophages) play essential roles in the generation of steroid-resistant inflammation and AHR secondary to allergen- and pathogen-induced exacerbations. Our work clearly indicates that understanding the diversity and spatiotemporal role of the inflammatory response and its interactions with resident airway cells is critical to advancing knowledge on asthma pathogenesis and the development of new therapeutic approaches. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Comprehensive Understanding of Ductility Loss Mechanisms in Various Steels with External and Internal Hydrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takakuwa, Osamu; Yamabe, Junichiro; Matsunaga, Hisao; Furuya, Yoshiyuki; Matsuoka, Saburo

    2017-11-01

    Hydrogen-induced ductility loss and related fracture morphologies are comprehensively discussed in consideration of the hydrogen distribution in a specimen with external and internal hydrogen by using 300-series austenitic stainless steels (Types 304, 316, 316L), high-strength austenitic stainless steels (HP160, XM-19), precipitation-hardened iron-based super alloy (A286), low-alloy Cr-Mo steel (JIS-SCM435), and low-carbon steel (JIS-SM490B). External hydrogen is realized by a non-charged specimen tested in high-pressure gaseous hydrogen, and internal hydrogen is realized by a hydrogen-charged specimen tested in air or inert gas. Fracture morphologies obtained by slow-strain-rate tensile tests (SSRT) of the materials with external or internal hydrogen could be comprehensively categorized into five types: hydrogen-induced successive crack growth, ordinary void formation, small-sized void formation related to the void sheet, large-sized void formation, and facet formation. The mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement are broadly classified into hydrogen-enhanced decohesion (HEDE) and hydrogen-enhanced localized plasticity (HELP). In the HEDE model, hydrogen weakens interatomic bonds, whereas in the HELP model, hydrogen enhances localized slip deformations. Although various fracture morphologies are produced by external or internal hydrogen, these morphologies can be explained by the HELP model rather than by the HEDE model.

  1. Structural Understanding of the Glutathione-dependent Reduction Mechanism of Glutathionyl-Hydroquinone Reductases*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Abigail R.; Hayes, Robert P.; Xun, Luying; Kang, ChulHee

    2012-01-01

    Glutathionyl-hydroquinone reductases (GS- HQRs) are a newly identified group of glutathione transferases, and they are widely distributed in bacteria, halobacteria, fungi, and plants. GS-HQRs catalyze glutathione (GSH)-dependent reduction of glutathionyl-hydroquinones (GS-hydroquinones) to hydroquinones. GS-hydroquinones can be spontaneously formed from benzoquinones reacting with reduced GSH via Michael addition, and GS-HQRs convert the conjugates to hydroquinones. In this report we have determined the structures of two bacterial GS-HQRs, PcpF of Sphingobium chlorophenolicum and YqjG of Escherichia coli. The two structures and the previously reported structure of a fungal GS-HQR shared many features and displayed complete conservation for all the critical residues. Furthermore, we obtained the binary complex structures with GS-menadione, which in its reduced form, GS-menadiol, is a substrate. The structure revealed a large H-site that could accommodate various substituted hydroquinones and a hydrogen network of three Tyr residues that could provide the proton for reductive deglutathionylation. Mutation of the Tyr residues and the position of two GSH molecules confirmed the proposed mechanism of GS-HQRs. The conservation of GS-HQRs across bacteria, halobacteria, fungi, and plants potentiates the physiological role of these enzymes in quinone metabolism. PMID:22955277

  2. Understanding the growth mechanism of graphene on Ge/Si(001) surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabrowski, J; Lippert, G; Avila, J; Baringhaus, J; Colambo, I; Dedkov, Yu S; Herziger, F; Lupina, G; Maultzsch, J; Schaffus, T; Schroeder, T; Kot, M; Tegenkamp, C; Vignaud, D; Asensio, M-C

    2016-08-17

    The practical difficulties to use graphene in microelectronics and optoelectronics is that the available methods to grow graphene are not easily integrated in the mainstream technologies. A growth method that could overcome at least some of these problems is chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of graphene directly on semiconducting (Si or Ge) substrates. Here we report on the comparison of the CVD and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of graphene on the technologically relevant Ge(001)/Si(001) substrate from ethene (C2H4) precursor and describe the physical properties of the films as well as we discuss the surface reaction and diffusion processes that may be responsible for the observed behavior. Using nano angle resolved photoemission (nanoARPES) complemented by transport studies and Raman spectroscopy as well as density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we report the direct observation of massless Dirac particles in monolayer graphene, providing a comprehensive mapping of their low-hole doped Dirac electron bands. The micrometric graphene flakes are oriented along two predominant directions rotated by 30° with respect to each other. The growth mode is attributed to the mechanism when small graphene "molecules" nucleate on the Ge(001) surface and it is found that hydrogen plays a significant role in this process.

  3. Towards a Better Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Sunlight-Induced Melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Mandy

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Although much less prevalent than its nonmelanoma skin cancer counterparts, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM is the most lethal human skin cancer. Epidemiological and biological studies have established a strong link between lifetime exposure to ultraviolet (UV light, particularly sunburn in childhood, and the development of melanoma. However, the specific molecular targets of this environmental carcinogen are not known. Data obtained from genetic and molecular studies over the last few years have identified the INK4a/ARF locus as the “gatekeeper” melanoma suppressor, encoding two tumour suppressor proteins in human, p16 INK4a and p14 ARF . Recent developments in molecular biotechnology and research using laboratory animals have made a significant gene breakthrough identifying the components of the p16 INK4a /Rb pathway as the principal and rate-limiting targets of UV radiation actions in melanoma formation. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in melanoma development and its relationship to sunlight UV radiation.

  4. Investigating and improving student understanding of the probability distributions for measuring physical observables in quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    A solid grasp of the probability distributions for measuring physical observables is central to connecting the quantum formalism to measurements. However, students often struggle with the probability distributions of measurement outcomes for an observable and have difficulty expressing this concept in different representations. Here we first describe the difficulties that upper-level undergraduate and PhD students have with the probability distributions for measuring physical observables in quantum mechanics. We then discuss how student difficulties found in 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 probability distributions of measurement outcomes for physical observables. The QuILT strives to help students become proficient in expressing the probability distributions for the measurement of physical observables in Dirac notation and in the position representation and be able to convert from Dirac notation to position representation and vice versa. We describe the development and evaluation of the QuILT and findings about the effectiveness of the QuILT from in-class evaluations. (paper)

  5. Study and understanding of the ageing mechanisms in lead-calcium alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi, F.

    2006-12-01

    The data available in the literature about ageing and over-ageing of lead-calcium alloys are often incomplete and inconsistent. It is undoubtedly due to the experimental difficulties encountered to observe the structure transformations which are numerous. As a result there is a certain confusion among the results of the different authors. Moreover, small variations in the process parameters and chemical composition may have some influence on the alloy behaviour. This work enabled us to obtain a set of TTT diagrams, more realistic and accurate than the ones available in the literature. Experimental techniques developed (particularly the preservation of the cold chain with is essential for the guaranty of the results repeatability), enabled particularly the study of the first transformations and better control the five stages of ageing and over-ageing. Our work have enabled to determine precisely the kinetics and the mechanisms of the transformations. This work constitutes a thorough analysis of the ageing and over-ageing of theses alloys. (author)

  6. GABA neurons and the mechanisms of network oscillations: implications for understanding cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Lewis, David A

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity in the neocortex may underlie the coordination of neural representations and thus is critical for optimal cognitive function. Because cognitive deficits are the major determinant of functional outcome in schizophrenia, identifying their neural basis is important for the development of new therapeutic interventions. Here we review the data suggesting that phasic synaptic inhibition mediated by specific subtypes of cortical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons is essential for the production of synchronized network oscillations. We also discuss evidence indicating that GABA neurotransmission is altered in schizophrenia and propose mechanisms by which such alterations can decrease the strength of inhibitory connections in a cell-type-specific manner. We suggest that some alterations observed in the neocortex of schizophrenia subjects may be compensatory responses that partially restore inhibitory synaptic efficacy. The findings of altered neural synchrony and impaired cognitive function in schizophrenia suggest that such compensatory responses are insufficient and that interventions aimed at augmenting the efficacy of GABA neurotransmission might be of therapeutic value.

  7. Understanding Physiological and Degenerative Natural Vision Mechanisms to Define Contrast and Contour Operators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demongeot, Jacques; Fouquet, Yannick; Tayyab, Muhammad; Vuillerme, Nicolas

    2009-01-01

    Background Dynamical systems like neural networks based on lateral inhibition have a large field of applications in image processing, robotics and morphogenesis modeling. In this paper, we will propose some examples of dynamical flows used in image contrasting and contouring. Methodology First we present the physiological basis of the retina function by showing the role of the lateral inhibition in the optical illusions and pathologic processes generation. Then, based on these biological considerations about the real vision mechanisms, we study an enhancement method for contrasting medical images, using either a discrete neural network approach, or its continuous version, i.e. a non-isotropic diffusion reaction partial differential system. Following this, we introduce other continuous operators based on similar biomimetic approaches: a chemotactic contrasting method, a viability contouring algorithm and an attentional focus operator. Then, we introduce the new notion of mixed potential Hamiltonian flows; we compare it with the watershed method and we use it for contouring. Conclusions We conclude by showing the utility of these biomimetic methods with some examples of application in medical imaging and computed assisted surgery. PMID:19547712

  8. Understanding physiological and degenerative natural vision mechanisms to define contrast and contour operators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Demongeot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dynamical systems like neural networks based on lateral inhibition have a large field of applications in image processing, robotics and morphogenesis modeling. In this paper, we will propose some examples of dynamical flows used in image contrasting and contouring. METHODOLOGY: First we present the physiological basis of the retina function by showing the role of the lateral inhibition in the optical illusions and pathologic processes generation. Then, based on these biological considerations about the real vision mechanisms, we study an enhancement method for contrasting medical images, using either a discrete neural network approach, or its continuous version, i.e. a non-isotropic diffusion reaction partial differential system. Following this, we introduce other continuous operators based on similar biomimetic approaches: a chemotactic contrasting method, a viability contouring algorithm and an attentional focus operator. Then, we introduce the new notion of mixed potential Hamiltonian flows; we compare it with the watershed method and we use it for contouring. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude by showing the utility of these biomimetic methods with some examples of application in medical imaging and computed assisted surgery.

  9. Toward understanding the mechanics of hovering in insects, hummingbirds and bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vejdani, Hamid; Boerma, David; Swartz, Sharon; Breuer, Kenneth

    2016-11-01

    We present results on the dynamical characteristics of two different mechanisms of hovering, corresponding to the behavior of hummingbirds and bats. Using a Lagrangian formulation, we have developed a dynamical model of a body (trunk) and two rectangular wings. The trunk has 3 degrees of freedom (x, z and pitch angle) and each wing has 3 modes of actuation: flapping, pronation/supination, and wingspan extension/flexion (only present for bats). Wings can be effectively massless (hummingbird and insect wings) or relatively massive (important in the case of bats). The aerodynamic drag and lift forces are calculated using a quasi-steady blade-element model. The regions of state space in which hovering is possible are computed by over an exhaustive range of parameters. The effect of wing mass is to shrink the phase space available for viable hovering and, in general, to require higher wingbeat frequency. Moreover, by exploring hovering energy requirements, we find that the pronation angle of the wings also plays a critical role. For bats, who have relatively heavy wings, we show wing extension and flexion is critical in order to maintain a plausible hovering posture with reasonable power requirements. Comparisons with biological data show good agreement with our model predictions.

  10. 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)

    2017-09-09

    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

  11. Diabetic retinopathy: Proteomic approaches to help the differential diagnosis and to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csősz, Éva; Deák, Eszter; Kalló, Gergő; Csutak, Adrienne; Tőzsér, József

    2017-01-06

    Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness among patients with diabetes. The appearance and the severity of the symptoms correlate with the duration of diabetes and poor blood glucose level management. Diabetic retinopathy is also categorized as a chronic low-level inflammatory disease; the high blood glucose level promotes the accumulation of the advanced glycation end products and leads to the stimulation of monocytes and macrophages. Examination of protein level alterations in tears using state-of the art proteomics techniques have identified several proteins as possible biomarkers for the different stages of the diabetic retinopathy. Some of the differentially expressed tear proteins have a role in the barrier function of tears linking the diabetic retinopathy with another eye complication of diabetes, namely the diabetic keratopathy resulting in impaired wound healing. Understanding the molecular events leading to the eye complications caused by hyperglycemia may help the identification of novel biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets in order to improve quality of life of diabetic patients. Diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness among diabetic patients can develop without any serious symptoms therefore the early detection is crucial. Because of the increasing prevalence there is a high need for improved screening methods able to diagnose DR as soon as possible. The non-invasive collection and the relatively high protein concentration make the tear fluid a good source for biomarker discovery helping the early diagnosis. In this work we have reviewed the administration of advanced proteomics techniques used in tear biomarker studies and the identified biomarkers with potential to improve the already existing screening methods for DR detection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Understanding Evapotranspiration Trends and their Driving Mechanisms: An investigation across CONUS based on numerical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parr, D.; Wang, G.; Fu, C.

    2015-12-01

    As shown by climate models, increasing global temperatures and enhanced greenhouse gas concentration such as CO2 have had major effects on the dynamics of the hydrologic cycle and the surface energy budget, in particular, on evapotranspiration (ET). ET has significant decadal variations whether it be regionally or globally and variations of ET have major environmental and socioeconomic impacts. A number of recent studies have found a global increase in annual mean ET around 7mm per year per decade from about 1982 to the late 1990s. These results correspond with what is expected from an intensification of the hydrological cycle. However, the increasing ET trend did not continue after 1998 and from 1998-2008 this global trend was replaced with a decreasing trend of similar magnitude. This study uses numerical modeling to investigate if similar changing ET trends emerge in the continental U.S and part of northern Mexico. After validating model simulated evaporative fluxes and comparing spatial patterns to the aforementioned studies, various changing trends of different signs are identified across the U.S., and specific regions with strong signals of change are chosen for further examination with the purpose of identifying the root causes of these changing trends and which variables are most influential towards change. Experimental simulations conducted to isolate the most influential factors towards ET reveal that precipitation amount as well as its characteristics have the greatest impact on the ET trends discovered, with other factors like wind and air temperatures displaying less influence over inter-annual trends. This study helps better understand terrestrial ET and it's interactions which will help facilitate better predictions of change in surface climate such as heatwaves and droughts as well as impacts on water resources.

  13. Proteomics as a tool for studying bacterial virulence and antimicrobial resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco José Pérez -Llarena

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Proteomic studies have improved our understanding of the microbial world. The most recent advances in this field have helped us to explore aspects beyond genomics. For example, by studying proteins and their regulation, researchers now understand how some pathogenic bacteria have adapted to the lethal actions of antibiotics. Proteomics has also advanced our knowledge of mechanisms of bacterial virulence and some important aspects of how bacteria interact with human cells and, thus, of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. This review article addresses these issues in some of the most important human pathogens. It also reports some applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry that may be important for the diagnosis of bacterial resistance in clinical laboratories in the future. The reported advances will enable new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to be developed in the fight against some of the most lethal bacteria affecting humans.

  14. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jata Shankar

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.

  15. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja

    2018-01-01

    Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus , and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.

  16. Molecular Insights Into Development and Virulence Determinants of Aspergilli: A Proteomic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K.; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja

    2018-01-01

    Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers. PMID:29896454

  17. Partitioning CO2 fluxes with isotopologue measurements and modeling to understand mechanisms of forest carbon sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saleska, Scott [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Davidson, Eric [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Finzi, Adrien [Boston Univ., MA (United States); Wehr, Richdard [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Moorcroft, Paul [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2016-01-28

    1. Objectives This project combines automated in situ observations of the isotopologues of CO2 with root observations, novel experimental manipulations of belowground processes, and isotope-enabled ecosystem modeling to investigate mechanisms of below- vs. aboveground carbon sequestration at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (EMS). The proposed objectives, which have now been largely accomplished, include: A. Partitioning of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) into photosynthesis and respiration using long-term continuous observations of the isotopic composition of NEE, and analysis of their dynamics ; B. Investigation of the influence of vegetation phenology on the timing and magnitude of carbon allocated belowground using measurements of root growth and indices of belowground autotrophic vs. heterotrophic respiration (via trenched plots and isotope measurements); C. Testing whether plant allocation of carbon belowground stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, using in situ rhizosphere simulation experiments wherein realistic quantities of artificial isotopically-labeled exudates are released into the soil; and D. Synthesis and interpretation of the above data using the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 (ED2). 2. Highlights Accomplishments: • Our isotopic eddy flux record has completed its 5th full year and has been used to independently estimate ecosystem-scale respiration and photosynthesis. • Soil surface chamber isotopic flux measurements were carried out during three growing seasons, in conjunction with a trenching manipulation. Key findings to date (listed by objective): A. Partitioning of Net Ecosystem Exchange: 1. Ecosystem respiration is lower during the day than at night—the first robust evidence of the inhibition of leaf respiration by light (the “Kok effect”) at the ecosystem scale. 2. Because it neglects the Kok effect, the standard NEE partitioning approach overestimates ecosystem photosynthesis (by ~25%) and

  18. Toward an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of barnacle larval settlement: A comparative transcriptomic approach

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Zhang-Fan

    2011-07-29

    Background: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed biofouler and a model species in intertidal ecology and larval settlement studies. However, a lack of genomic information has hindered the comprehensive elucidation of the molecular mechanisms coordinating its larval settlement. The pyrosequencing-based transcriptomic approach is thought to be useful to identify key molecular changes during larval settlement. Methodology and Principal Findings: Using 454 pyrosequencing, we collected totally 630,845 reads including 215,308 from the larval stages and 415,537 from the adults; 23,451 contigs were generated while 77,785 remained as singletons. We annotated 31,720 of the 92,322 predicted open reading frames, which matched hits in the NCBI NR database, and identified 7,954 putative genes that were differentially expressed between the larval and adult stages. Of these, several genes were further characterized with quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization, revealing some key findings: 1) vitellogenin was uniquely expressed in late nauplius stage, suggesting it may be an energy source for the subsequent non-feeding cyprid stage; 2) the locations of mannose receptors suggested they may be involved in the sensory system of cyprids; 3) 20 kDa-cement protein homologues were expressed in the cyprid cement gland and probably function during attachment; and 4) receptor tyrosine kinases were expressed higher in cyprid stage and may be involved in signal perception during larval settlement. Conclusions: Our results provide not only the basis of several new hypotheses about gene functions during larval settlement, but also the availability of this large transcriptome dataset in B. amphitrite for further exploration of larval settlement and developmental pathways in this important marine species. © 2011 Chen et al.

  19. Understanding pea resistance mechanisms in response to Fusarium oxysporum through proteomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillejo, María Ángeles; Bani, Moustafa; Rubiales, Diego

    2015-07-01

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi (Fop) is an important and destructive pathogen affecting pea crop (Pisum sativum) throughout the world. Control of this disease is achieved mainly by integration of different disease management procedures. However, the constant evolution of the pathogen drives the necessity to broaden the molecular basis of resistance to Fop. Our proteomic study was performed on pea with the aim of identifying proteins involved in different resistance mechanisms operating during F. oxysporum infection. For such purpose, we used a two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled to mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF) analysis to study the root proteome of three pea genotypes showing different resistance response to Fop race 2. Multivariate statistical analysis identified 132 differential protein spots under the experimental conditions (genotypes/treatments). All of these protein spots were subjected to mass spectrometry analysis to deduce their possible functions. A total of 53 proteins were identified using a combination of peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) and MSMS fragmentation. The following main functional categories were assigned to the identified proteins: carbohydrate and energy metabolism, nucleotides and aminoacid metabolism, signal transduction and cellular process, folding and degradation, redox and homeostasis, defense, biosynthetic process and transcription/translation. Results obtained in this work suggest that the most susceptible genotypes have increased levels of enzymes involved in the production of reducing power which could then be used as cofactor for enzymes of the redox reactions. This is in concordance with the fact that a ROS burst occurred in the same genotypes, as well as an increase of PR proteins. Conversely, in the resistant genotype proteins responsible to induce changes in the membrane and cell wall composition related to reinforcement were identified. Results are discussed in terms of the differential response to Fop

  20. The importance of DNA superstructure units for the understanding of the radiation action mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Regel, K.

    1985-04-01

    A molecular radiation action model is presented. It relates the physical parameters of the radiation interaction in tissue and of the DNA structure in mammalian cells to their dose survival curves. Using this model it is possible to explain many of the radiation effects in cells, including such ones which were not clearly understood as yet. Both the kind of the basic parameters and the 'efficiency' of the model suggest that it describes real properties of mammalian cells. However, in finding out the radiation action mechanism we had to fill up two gaps in our knowledge concerning the radiation action in organisms. The first gap is characterized by the question: Are there any DNA structures (sites) in mammalian cells on the basis of which a radiation action model can be established which is valid in all the cell cycle stages. This question is answered by comparisons of the magnitude of DNA parameters measured in suitable experiments with those calculated from a hypothetical model of DNA organization in mammalian cells. The second gap in knowledge is filled up by testing the hypothesis that certain patterns of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the membrane attached superstructure units (MASSUs) of a cell cause its inactivation. The dependence of the dose survival curves on the cell cycle can be explained in the following way: Dose survival curves of G1, G2 and mitotic cells are changed because of the cyclically altering volume of the MASSU compartments. Its change during the S stage is mainly determined by the growing fraction of replicated MASSUs. The high radiation resistance of late S cells probably results from the ability of mammalian cells to establish one intact sister genome from both sister genomes containing heavily damaged MASSUs joint in the attachment points. This ability is explained by the interference of DSB repair, sister chromatid exchange and DNA degradation. (author)

  1. Understanding the mechanism of DNA deactivation in ion therapy of cancer cells: hydrogen peroxide action*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    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

  2. Experimental study on tissue phantoms to understand the effect of injury and suturing on human skin mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanda, Arnab; Unnikrishnan, Vinu; Flynn, Zachary; Lackey, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Skin injuries are the most common type of injuries occurring in day-to-day life. A skin injury usually manifests itself in the form of a wound or a cut. While a shallow wound may heal by itself within a short time, deep wounds require surgical interventions such as suturing for timely healing. To date, suturing practices are based on a surgeon's experience and may vary widely from one situation to another. Understanding the mechanics of wound closure and suturing of the skin is crucial to improve clinical suturing practices and also to plan automated robotic surgeries. In the literature, phenomenological two-dimensional computational skin models have been developed to study the mechanics of wound closure. Additionally, the effect of skin pre-stress (due to the natural tension of the skin) on wound closure mechanics has been studied. However, in most of these analyses, idealistic two-dimensional skin geometries, materials and loads have been assumed, which are far from reality, and would clearly generate inaccurate quantitative results. In this work, for the first time, a biofidelic human skin tissue phantom was developed using a two-part silicone material. A wound was created on the phantom material and sutures were placed to close the wound. Uniaxial mechanical tests were carried out on the phantom specimens to study the effect of varying wound size, quantity, suture and pre-stress on the mechanical behavior of human skin. Also, the average mechanical behavior of the human skin surrogate was characterized using hyperelastic material models, in the presence of a wound and sutures. To date, such a robust experimental study on the effect of injury and sutures on human skin mechanics has not been attempted. The results of this novel investigation will provide important guidelines for surgical planning and validation of results from computational models in the future.

  3. Understanding the mechanisms of solid-water reactions through analysis of surface topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandstra, Joel Z; Brantley, Susan L

    2015-12-01

    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

  4. Life history trade-offs and relaxed selection can decrease bacterial virulence in environmental reservoirs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri Mikonranta

    Full Text Available Pathogen virulence is usually thought to evolve in reciprocal selection with the host. While this might be true for obligate pathogens, the life histories of opportunistic pathogens typically alternate between within-host and outside-host environments during the infection-transmission cycle. As a result, opportunistic pathogens are likely to experience conflicting selection pressures across different environments, and this could affect their virulence through life-history trait correlations. We studied these correlations experimentally by exposing an opportunistic bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens to its natural protist predator Tetrahymena thermophila for 13 weeks, after which we measured changes in bacterial traits related to both anti-predator defence and virulence. We found that anti-predator adaptation (producing predator-resistant biofilm caused a correlative attenuation in virulence. Even though the direct mechanism was not found, reduction in virulence was most clearly connected to a predator-driven loss of a red bacterial pigment, prodigiosin. Moreover, life-history trait evolution was more divergent among replicate populations in the absence of predation, leading also to lowered virulence in some of the 'predator absent' selection lines. Together these findings suggest that the virulence of non-obligatory, opportunistic bacterial pathogens can decrease in environmental reservoirs through life history trade-offs, or random accumulation of mutations that impair virulence traits under relaxed selection.

  5. Understanding dental CAD/CAM for restorations - dental milling machines from a mechanical engineering viewpoint. Part A: chairside milling machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebon, Nicolas; Tapie, Laurent; Duret, Francois; Attal, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    The dental milling machine is an important device in the dental CAD/CAM chain. Nowadays, dental numerical controlled (NC) milling machines are available for dental surgeries (chairside solution). This article provides a mechanical engineering approach to NC milling machines to help dentists understand the involvement of technology in digital dentistry practice. First, some technical concepts and definitions associated with NC milling machines are described from a mechanical engineering viewpoint. The technical and economic criteria of four chairside dental NC milling machines that are available on the market are then described. The technical criteria are focused on the capacities of the embedded technologies of these milling machines to mill both prosthetic materials and types of shape restorations. The economic criteria are focused on investment costs and interoperability with third-party software. The clinical relevance of the technology is assessed in terms of the accuracy and integrity of the restoration.

  6. Quantum interactive learning tutorial on the double-slit experiment to improve student understanding of quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, Ryan; Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-06-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students' prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in various situations that appear to be counterintuitive and contradict classical notions of particles and waves. For example, if we send single electrons through the slits, they may behave as a "wave" in part of the experiment and as a "particle" in another part of the same experiment. Here we discuss the development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics. We discuss common student difficulties identified during the development and evaluation of the QuILT and analyze the data from the pretest and post test administered to the upper-level undergraduate and first-year physics graduate students before and after they worked on the QuILT to assess its effectiveness. These data suggest that on average, the QuILT was effective in helping students develop a more robust understanding of foundational concepts in quantum mechanics that defy classical intuition using the context of the double-slit experiment. Moreover, upper-level undergraduates outperformed physics graduate students on the post test. One possible reason for this difference in performance may be the level of student engagement with the QuILT due to the grade incentive. In the undergraduate course, the post test was graded for correctness while in the graduate course, it was only graded for completeness.

  7. Quantum interactive learning tutorial on the double-slit experiment to improve student understanding of quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Sayer

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students’ prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in various situations that appear to be counterintuitive and contradict classical notions of particles and waves. For example, if we send single electrons through the slits, they may behave as a “wave” in part of the experiment and as a “particle” in another part of the same experiment. Here we discuss the development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics. We discuss common student difficulties identified during the development and evaluation of the QuILT and analyze the data from the pretest and post test administered to the upper-level undergraduate and first-year physics graduate students before and after they worked on the QuILT to assess its effectiveness. These data suggest that on average, the QuILT was effective in helping students develop a more robust understanding of foundational concepts in quantum mechanics that defy classical intuition using the context of the double-slit experiment. Moreover, upper-level undergraduates outperformed physics graduate students on the post test. One possible reason for this difference in performance may be the level of student engagement with the QuILT due to the grade incentive. In the undergraduate course, the post test was graded for correctness while in the graduate course, it was only graded for completeness.

  8. Deoxyribonucleic Acid Damage and Repair: Capitalizing on Our Understanding of the Mechanisms of Maintaining Genomic Integrity for Therapeutic Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolene Michelle Helena

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA is the self-replicating hereditary material that provides a blueprint which, in collaboration with environmental influences, produces a structural and functional phenotype. As DNA coordinates and directs differentiation, growth, survival, and reproduction, it is responsible for life and the continuation of our species. Genome integrity requires the maintenance of DNA stability for the correct preservation of genetic information. This is facilitated by accurate DNA replication and precise DNA repair. DNA damage may arise from a wide range of both endogenous and exogenous sources but may be repaired through highly specific mechanisms. The most common mechanisms include mismatch, base excision, nucleotide excision, and double-strand DNA (dsDNA break repair. Concurrent with regulation of the cell cycle, these mechanisms are precisely executed to ensure full restoration of damaged DNA. Failure or inaccuracy in DNA repair contributes to genome instability and loss of genetic information which may lead to mutations resulting in disease or loss of life. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms of DNA damage and its repair provides insight into disease pathogeneses and may facilitate diagnosis and the development of targeted therapies.

  9. A phylogenomic analysis of Marek’s disease virus (MDV) reveals independent paths to virulence in Eurasia and North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek’s disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chic...

  10. How Listeria monocytogenes organizes its surface for virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Filipe; Sousa, Sandra; Cabanes, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for the manifestation of human listeriosis, an opportunistic foodborne disease with an associated high mortality rate. The key to the pathogenesis of listeriosis is the capacity of this bacterium to trigger its internalization by non-phagocytic cells and to survive and even replicate within phagocytes. The arsenal of virulence proteins deployed by L. monocytogenes to successfully promote the invasion and infection of host cells has been progressively unveiled over the past decades. A large majority of them is located at the cell envelope, which provides an interface for the establishment of close interactions between these bacterial factors and their host targets. Along the multistep pathways carrying these virulence proteins from the inner side of the cytoplasmic membrane to their cell envelope destination, a multiplicity of auxiliary proteins must act on the immature polypeptides to ensure that they not only maturate into fully functional effectors but also are placed or guided to their correct position in the bacterial surface. As the major scaffold for surface proteins, the cell wall and its metabolism are critical elements in listerial virulence. Conversely, the crucial physical support and protection provided by this structure make it an ideal target for the host immune system. Therefore, mechanisms involving fine modifications of cell envelope components are activated by L. monocytogenes to render it less recognizable by the innate immunity sensors or more resistant to the activity of antimicrobial effectors. This review provides a state-of-the-art compilation of the mechanisms used by L. monocytogenes to organize its surface for virulence, with special focus on those proteins that work “behind the frontline”, either supporting virulence effectors or ensuring the survival of the bacterium within its host. PMID:24809022

  11. From observation to understanding: Approach to analysis of wear mechanisms, Case of RCCAs and CRDM latch arms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hertz, D.

    2004-01-01

    Component wear can affect the ability of a component to fulfill its required function. For a designer or user, it is reasonable to expect possible wear occurrence as soon as parts are in relative motion. It is less obvious to extend this possibility to motions with small or very small amplitudes and loads. However, it has to be admitted that such cases exist. It then becomes imperative to determine the wear mechanisms so that the lifetime of the components and the optimum date of their replacement can be predicted or the degradation can be remedied. For this purpose, standard and widely accepted practice is to carry out simulator tests. Through examples of wear from nuclear reactor components such as the RCCAs (Rod Cluster Control Assembly) and the CRDM (Control Rod Drive Mechanism) latch arms, an approach for understanding the wear mechanisms and controlling their effects can be undertaken. Cases of wear have been observed on real-life parts, but the first simulator tests have shown deviations from in-reactor behaviour. Comparative examination of the wear facies of actual parts which have operated in reactor or simulators, both control rods and CRDM latch arms, was the key starting point for a new analytical approach, incorporating the formulation of wear mechanism hypotheses which can account for the observed facies. Expert assessment thus highlighted the importance of the environment by revealing that the wear featured a large component linked to friction-assisted corrosion. By including this tribo-corrosion aspect, it became possible to reach understanding of the mechanisms and account for the wear observed in reactor and on simulators. Further well-controlled simulator tests then made it possible to verify the importance of the tribo-corrosion processes in a pressurized water medium. Analysis of the physical chemical behaviour of the original materials (austenitic stainless steel) also explains why these surface modifications limit or remedy wear

  12. Systematic Understanding of Mechanisms of a Chinese Herbal Formula in Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome by an Integrated Pharmacology Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Meimei; Yang, Fafu; Yang, Xuemei; Lai, Xinmei; Gao, Yuxing

    2016-12-16

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is becoming a worldwide health problem. Wendan decoction (WDD)-a famous traditional Chinese medicine formula-has been extensively employed to relieve syndromes related to MS in clinical practice in China. However, its pharmacological mechanisms still remain vague. In this study, a comprehensive approach that integrated chemomics, principal component analysis, molecular docking simulation, and network analysis was established to elucidate the multi-component and multi-target mechanism of action of WDD in treatment of MS. The compounds in WDD were found to possess chemical diversity, complexity and drug-likeness compared to MS drugs. Six nuclear receptors were obtained to have strong binding affinity with 217 compounds of five herbs in WDD. The importance roles of targets and herbs were also identified due to network parameters. Five compounds from Radix Glycyrrhizae Preparata can hit all six targets, which can assist in screening new MS drugs. The pathway network analysis demonstrated that the main pharmacological effects of WDD might lie in maintaining lipid and glucose metabolisms and anticancer activities as well as immunomodulatory and hepatoprotective effects. This study provided a comprehensive system approach for understanding the multi-component, multi-target and multi-pathway mechanisms of WDD during the treatment of MS.

  13. Understanding the mechanical properties of DNA origami tiles and controlling the kinetics of their folding and unfolding reconfiguration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haorong; Weng, Te-Wei; Riccitelli, Molly M; Cui, Yi; Irudayaraj, Joseph; Choi, Jong Hyun

    2014-05-14

    DNA origami represents a class of highly programmable macromolecules that can go through conformational changes in response to external signals. Here we show that a two-dimensional origami rectangle can be effectively folded into a short, cylindrical tube by connecting the two opposite edges through the hybridization of linker strands and that this process can be efficiently reversed via toehold-mediated strand displacement. The reconfiguration kinetics was experimentally studied as a function of incubation temperature, initial origami concentration, missing staples, and origami geometry. A kinetic model was developed by introducing the j factor to describe the reaction rates in the cyclization process. We found that the cyclization efficiency (j factor) increases sharply with temperature and depends strongly on the structural flexibility and geometry. A simple mechanical model was used to correlate the observed cyclization efficiency with origami structure details. The mechanical analysis suggests two sources of the energy barrier for DNA origami folding: overcoming global twisting and bending the structure into a circular conformation. It also provides the first semiquantitative estimation of the rigidity of DNA interhelix crossovers, an essential element in structural DNA nanotechnology. This work demonstrates efficient DNA origami reconfiguration, advances our understanding of the dynamics and mechanical properties of self-assembled DNA structures, and should be valuable to the field of DNA nanotechnology.

  14. Systematic Understanding of Mechanisms of a Chinese Herbal Formula in Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome by an Integrated Pharmacology Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meimei Chen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic syndrome (MS is becoming a worldwide health problem. Wendan decoction (WDD—a famous traditional Chinese medicine formula—has been extensively employed to relieve syndromes related to MS in clinical practice in China. However, its pharmacological mechanisms still remain vague. In this study, a comprehensive approach that integrated chemomics, principal component analysis, molecular docking simulation, and network analysis was established to elucidate the multi-component and multi-target mechanism of action of WDD in treatment of MS. The compounds in WDD were found to possess chemical diversity, complexity and drug-likeness compared to MS drugs. Six nuclear receptors were obtained to have strong binding affinity with 217 compounds of five herbs in WDD. The importance roles of targets and herbs were also identified due to network parameters. Five compounds from Radix Glycyrrhizae Preparata can hit all six targets, which can assist in screening new MS drugs. The pathway network analysis demonstrated that the main pharmacological effects of WDD might lie in maintaining lipid and glucose metabolisms and anticancer activities as well as immunomodulatory and hepatoprotective effects. This study provided a comprehensive system approach for understanding the multi-component, multi-target and multi-pathway mechanisms of WDD during the treatment of MS.

  15. Norepinephrine and dopamine increase motility, biofilm formation and virulence of Vibrio harveyi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian eYang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio harveyi is one of the major pathogens of aquatic organisms, affecting both vertebrates and invertebrates, and causes important losses in the aquaculture industry. In order to develop novel methods to control disease caused by this pathogen, we need to obtain a better understanding of pathogenicity mechanisms. Sensing of catecholamines increases both growth and production of virulence-related factors in pathogens of terrestrial animals and humans. However, at this moment, knowledge on the impact of catecholamines on the virulence of pathogens of aquatic organisms is lacking. In the present study, we report that in V. harveyi, norepinephrine and dopamine increased growth in serum-supplemented medium, siderophore production, swimming motility and expression of genes involved in flagellar motility, biofilm formation, and exopolysaccharide production. Consistent with this, pretreatment of V. harveyi with catecholamines prior to inoculation into the rearing water resulted in significantly decreased survival of gnotobiotic brine shrimp larvae, when compared to larvae challenged with untreated V. harveyi. Further, norepinephrine-induced effects could be neutralized by α-adrenergic antagonists or by the bacterial catecholamine receptor antagonist LED209, but not by β-adrenergic or dopaminergic antagonists. Dopamine-induced effects could be neutralized by dopaminergic antagonists or LED209, but not by adrenergic antagonists. Together, our results indicate that catecholamine sensing increases the success of transmission of V. harveyi and that interfering with catecholamine sensing might be an interesting strategy to control vibriosis in aquaculture. We hypothesise that upon tissue and/or hemocyte damage during infection, pathogens come into contact with elevated catecholamine levels, and that this stimulates the expression of virulence factors that are required to colonize a new host.

  16. Norepinephrine and dopamine increase motility, biofilm formation, and virulence of Vibrio harveyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Anh, Nguyen D Q; Bossier, Peter; Defoirdt, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Vibrio harveyi is one of the major pathogens of aquatic organisms, affecting both vertebrates and invertebrates, and causes important losses in the aquaculture industry. In order to develop novel methods to control disease caused by this pathogen, we need to obtain a better understanding of pathogenicity mechanisms. Sensing of catecholamines increases both growth and production of virulence-related factors in pathogens of terrestrial animals and humans. However, at this moment, knowledge on the impact of catecholamines on the virulence of pathogens of aquatic organisms is lacking. In the present study, we report that in V. harveyi, norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (Dopa) increased growth in serum-supplemented medium, siderophore production, swimming motility, and expression of genes involved in flagellar motility, biofilm formation, and exopolysaccharide production. Consistent with this, pretreatment of V. harveyi with catecholamines prior to inoculation into the rearing water resulted in significantly decreased survival of gnotobiotic brine shrimp larvae, when compared to larvae challenged with untreated V. harveyi. Further, NE-induced effects could be neutralized by α-adrenergic antagonists or by the bacterial catecholamine receptor antagonist LED209, but not by β-adrenergic or dopaminergic antagonists. Dopa-induced effects could be neutralized by dopaminergic antagonists or LED209, but not by adrenergic antagonists. Together, our results indicate that catecholamine sensing increases the success of transmission of V. harveyi and that interfering with catecholamine sensing might be an interesting strategy to control vibriosis in aquaculture. We hypothesize that upon tissue and/or hemocyte damage during infection, pathogens come into contact with elevated catecholamine levels, and that this stimulates the expression of virulence factors that are required to colonize a new host.

  17. PhoB activates Escherichia coli O157:H7 virulence factors in response to inorganic phosphate limitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Mohammed Chekabab

    Full Text Available Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC, an emerging food- and water-borne hazard, is highly pathogenic to humans. In the environment, EHEC must survive phosphate (Pi limitation. The response to such Pi starvation is an induction of the Pho regulon including the Pst system that senses Pi variation. The interplay between the virulence of EHEC, Pho-Pst system and environmental Pi remains unknown. To understand the effects of Pi deprivation on the molecular mechanisms involved in EHEC survival and virulence under Pho regulon control, we undertook transcriptome profiling of the EDL933 wild-type strain grown under high Pi and low Pi conditions and its isogenic ΔphoB mutant grown in low Pi conditions. The differentially expressed genes included 1067 Pi-dependent genes and 603 PhoB-dependent genes. Of these 131 genes were both Pi and PhoB-dependent. Differentially expressed genes that were selected included those involved in Pi homeostasis, cellular metabolism, acid stress, oxidative stress and RpoS-dependent stress responses. Differentially expressed virulence systems included the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE encoding the type-3 secretion system (T3SS and its effectors, as well as BP-933W prophage encoded Shiga toxin 2 genes. Moreover, PhoB directly regulated LEE and stx2 gene expression through binding to specific Pho boxes. However, in Pi-rich medium, constitutive activation of the Pho regulon decreased LEE gene expression and reduced adherence to HeLa cells. Together, these findings reveal that EHEC has evolved a sophisticated response to Pi limitation involving multiple biochemical strategies that contribute to its ability to respond to variations in environmental Pi and to coordinating the virulence response.

  18. Role of pathogenicity determinant protein C (PdpC in determining the virulence of the Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis SCHU.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiko Uda

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis, the etiological agent of tularemia, is highly pathogenic to humans and animals. However, the SCHU strain of F. tularensis SCHU P0 maintained by passaging in artificial media has been found to be attenuated. To better understand the molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenicity of F. tularensis SCHU, we attempted to isolate virulent bacteria by serial passages in mice. SCHU P5 obtained after 5th passages in mice remained avirulent, while SCHU P9 obtained after 9th passages was completely virulent in mice. Moreover, SCHU P9 grew more efficiently in J774.1 murine macrophages compared with that in the less pathogenic SCHU P0 and P5. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the whole genomes of SCHU P0, P5, and P9 revealed only 1 nucleotide difference among P0, P5 and P9 in 1 of the 2 copies of pathogenicity determinant protein C (pdpC gene. An adenine residue deletion was observed in the pdpC1 gene of SCHU P0, P5, and P9 and in the pdpC2 gene of SCHU P0, and P5, while P9 was characterized by the wild type pdpC2 gene. Thus, SCHU P0 and P5 expressed only truncated forms of PdpC protein, while SCHU P9 expressed both wild type and truncated versions. To validate the pathogenicity of PdpC, both copies of the pdpC gene in SCHU P9 have been inactivated by Targetron mutagenesis. SCHU P9 mutants with inactivated pdpC gene showed low intracellular growth in J774.1 cells and did not induce severe disease in experimentally infected mice, while virulence of the mutants was restored by complementation with expression of the intact PdpC. These results demonstrate that PdpC is crucial in determining the virulence of F. tularensis SCHU.

  19. Survival and Virulence of Campylobacter spp. in the Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bui, Thanh Xuan

    of environmental stress factors, namely heat shock, starvation, osmosis, and oxidation, on the expression of three virulence genes (ciaB, dnaJ, and htrA) of C. jejuni and its uptake by and intracellular survival within A. castellanii. I also investigated the mechanism(s) involved in phagocytosis and killing of C....... jejuni by A. castellanii. I observed that heat and osmotic stresses reduced the survival of C. jejuni significantly, whereas oxidative stress had no effect. The results of qRT-PCR experiments showed that the transcription of virulence genes of C. jejuni was slightly up-regulated under heat and oxidative...... soil flagellates may play a role for the survival of these food-borne pathogens on plant surfaces and in soil. It would be very interesting to further investigate the impacts of this soil flagellate on the survival of different food-borne pathogens in soil and in plant surface that may explain...

  20. Ferrous archaeological analogues for the understanding of the multi-secular corrosion mechanisms in an anoxic environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saheb-Djahromi, M.

    2009-12-01

    Understanding the long term corrosion mechanisms of iron in an anoxic environment is essential in the field of the radioactive waste storage. In France, it is planned to store high level nuclear wastes in a multi-barrier system containing a glassy matrix surrounded by a stainless steel container, embedded in a low-carbon steel over-container. This system would be placed in a deep geological repository, which would impose anoxic conditions. As it must be efficient for a period of several thousands of years, one should understand the alteration mechanisms that are expected to occur in such a long time. To this purpose, a specific approach is developed on ferrous archaeological analogues with thick corrosion layer formed in natural conditions. In this study, the corrosion mechanisms have been assessed by examining nails aged of 400 years coming from the archaeological site of Glinet, selected as a reference site. The first point was a fine characterisation of the entire corrosion system metal / corrosion products / medium, through the use of coupled multi-scale analytical tools. The first results showed that the samples were corroded in an anoxic calco-carbonated environment. Moreover, the coupling of X-ray micro-diffraction, Raman microspectroscopy and dispersive energy spectroscopy has enabled to identify three corrosion systems composed of iron carbonates, siderite and chukanovite, and magnetite. Depending on the phase's layout in the system, the electronic resistance of the corrosion layers has been established, from resistive to conductive. In a second stage, re-corroding experiments in laboratory were performed. Firstly, the electrochemical behaviour of the corrosion system has shown that water reduction at the metallic interface is negligible. Furthermore, reaction tracing with copper and deuterium has allowed identifying the electron consumptions sites mainly localised on the external part, and the precipitation sites on the internal part of the corrosion

  1. MrSkn7 controls sporulation, cell wall integrity, autolysis, and virulence in Metarhizium robertsii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Yanfang; Chen, Peilin; Chen, Yixiong; Lu, Yuzhen; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-04-01

    Two-component signaling pathways generally include sensor histidine kinases and response regulators. We identified an ortholog of the response regulator protein Skn7 in the insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii, which we named MrSkn7. Gene deletion assays and functional characterizations indicated that MrSkn7 functions as a transcription factor. The MrSkn7 null mutant of M. robertsii lost the ability to sporulate and had defects in cell wall biosynthesis but was not sensitive to oxidative and osmotic stresses compared to the wild type. However, the mutant was able to produce spores under salt stress. Insect bioassays using these spores showed that the virulence of the mutant was significantly impaired compared to that of the wild type due to the failures to form the infection structure appressorium and evade host immunity. In particular, deletion of MrSkn7 triggered cell autolysis with typical features such as cell vacuolization, downregulation of repressor genes, and upregulation of autolysis-related genes such as extracellular chitinases and proteases. Promoter binding assays confirmed that MrSkn7 could directly or indirectly control different putative target genes. Taken together, the results of this study help us understand the functional divergence of Skn7 orthologs as well as the mechanisms underlying the development and control of virulence in insect-pathogenic fungi. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  2. Identification of genes preferentially expressed by highly virulent piscine Streptococcus agalactiae upon interaction with macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-Ming Guo

    Full Text Available Streptococcus agalactiae, long recognized as a mammalian pathogen, is an emerging concern with regard to fish. In this study, we used a mouse model and in vitro cell infection to evaluate the pathogenetic characteristics of S. agalactiae GD201008-001, isolated from tilapia in China. This bacterium was found to be highly virulent and capable of inducing brain damage by migrating into the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB. The phagocytosis assays indicated that this bacterium could be internalized by murine macrophages and survive intracellularly for more than 24 h, inducing injury to macrophages. Further, selective capture of transcribed sequences (SCOTS was used to investigate microbial gene expression associated with intracellular survival. This positive cDNA selection technique identified 60 distinct genes that could be characterized into 6 functional categories. More than 50% of the differentially expressed genes were involved in metabolic adaptation. Some genes have previously been described as associated with virulence in other bacteria, and four showed no significant similarities to any other previously described genes. This study constitutes the first step in further gene expression analyses that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by S. agalactiae to survive in macrophages and to cross the BBB.

  3. Identification of Genes Preferentially Expressed by Highly Virulent Piscine Streptococcus agalactiae upon Interaction with Macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chang-Ming; Chen, Rong-Rong; Kalhoro, Dildar Hussain; Wang, Zhao-Fei; Liu, Guang-Jin; Lu, Cheng-Ping; Liu, Yong-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae, long recognized as a mammalian pathogen, is an emerging concern with regard to fish. In this study, we used a mouse model and in vitro cell infection to evaluate the pathogenetic characteristics of S. agalactiae GD201008-001, isolated from tilapia in China. This bacterium was found to be highly virulent and capable of inducing brain damage by migrating into the brain by crossing the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The phagocytosis assays indicated that this bacterium could be internalized by murine macrophages and survive intracellularly for more than 24 h, inducing injury to macrophages. Further, selective capture of transcribed sequences (SCOTS) was used to investigate microbial gene expression associated with intracellular survival. This positive cDNA selection technique identified 60 distinct genes that could be characterized into 6 functional categories. More than 50% of the differentially expressed genes were involved in metabolic adaptation. Some genes have previously been described as associated with virulence in other bacteria, and four showed no significant similarities to any other previously described genes. This study constitutes the first step in further gene expression analyses that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by S. agalactiae to survive in macrophages and to cross the BBB. PMID:24498419

  4. An investigation of student understanding of classical ideas related to quantum mechanics: Potential energy diagrams and spatial probability density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanik, Brian Michael

    This dissertation describes the results of two related investigations into introductory student understanding of ideas from classical physics that are key elements of quantum mechanics. One investigation probes the extent to which students are able to interpret and apply potential energy diagrams (i.e., graphs of potential energy versus position). The other probes the extent to which students are able to reason classically about probability and spatial probability density. The results of these investigations revealed significant conceptual and reasoning difficulties that students encounter with these topics. The findings guided the design of instructional materials to address the major problems. Results from post-instructional assessments are presented that illustrate the impact of the curricula on student learning.

  5. Virulence and genetic diversity among isolates of Mycosphaerella fijiensis in two regions of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, G F; Santos, V S; Sousa, N R; Hanada, R E; Gasparotto, L

    2016-04-27

    Black sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorphic stage: Paracercospora fijiensis), was first detected in Brazil in early 1998 in the Benjamin Constant and Tabatinga municipalities in the State of Amazonas, near to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru converge. Understanding how cultivars react to the pathogen, and characterizing the genetic variability of isolates from two distant and distinct banana-producing regions, are important for determining the virulence of M. fijiensis. In the present study, the genetic diversity of 22 M. fijiensis isolates was assessed using simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, and their virulence was determined following inoculation on three different banana tree cultivars. All 22 isolates caused symptoms of the disease in the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars 45 days after inoculation, and at least two virulence groups were identified for the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars. For the D'Angola cultivars, two virulence groups were observed only after 60 days post-inoculation, and three of the isolates were not virulent. Using SSR markers, the isolates from two different regions of Brazil were placed into two genetic groups, both genetically distant from the Mf 138 isolate collected in Leticia, Colombia. There was no evidence of correlation between the virulence groups and the genetic diversity groups. These results demonstrate variability in virulence between isolates as measured by the severity of black sigatoka in the analyzed cultivars.

  6. The Composition and Spatial Patterns of Bacterial Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in 19 Wastewater Treatment Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Zhang

    Full Text Available Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs. Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs.

  7. Towards a molecular understanding of cellulose dissolution in ionic liquids: anion/cation effect, synergistic mechanism and physicochemical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yao; Wang, Jianji; Liu, Xiaomin; Zhang, Suojiang

    2018-05-07

    Cellulose is one of the most abundant bio-renewable materials on the earth and its conversion to biofuels provides an appealing way to satisfy the increasing global energy demand. However, before carrying out the process of enzymolysis to glucose or polysaccharides, cellulose needs to be pretreated to overcome its recalcitrance. In recent years, a variety of ionic liquids (ILs) have been found to be effective solvents for cellulose, providing a new, feasible pretreatment strategy. A lot of experimental and computational studies have been carried out to investigate the dissolution mechanism. However, many details are not fully understood, which highlights the necessity to overview the current knowledge of cellulose dissolution and identify the research trend in the future. This perspective summarizes the mechanistic studies and microscopic insights of cellulose dissolution in ILs. Recent investigations of the synergistic effect of cations/anions and the distinctive structural changes of cellulose microfibril in ILs are also reviewed. Besides, understanding the factors controlling the dissolution process, such as the structure of anions/cations, viscosity of ILs, pretreatment temperature, heating rate, etc. , has been discussed from a structural and physicochemical viewpoint. At the end, the existing problems are discussed and future prospects are given. We hope this article would be helpful for deeper understanding of the cellulose dissolution process in ILs and the rational design of more efficient and recyclable ILs.

  8. Virulence Factors of Aeromonas hydrophila: in the Wake of Reclassification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody R Rasmussen-Ivey

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The ubiquitous jack-of-all-trades, Aeromonas hydrophila, is a freshwater, Gram-negative bacterial pathogen under revision in regard to its phylogenetic and functional affiliation with other aeromonads. While virulence factors are expectedly diverse across A. hydrophila strains and closely related species, our mechanistic knowledge of the vast majority of these factors is based on the molecular characterization of the strains A. hydrophila AH-3 and SSU, which were reclassified as A. piscicola AH-3 in 2009 and A. dhakensis SSU in 2013. Individually, these reclassifications raise important questions involving the applicability of previous research on A. hydrophila virulence mechanisms; however, this issue is exacerbated by a lack of genomic data on other research strains. Collectively, these changes represent a fundamental gap in the literature on A. hydrophila and confirm the necessity of biochemical, molecular, and morphological techniques in the classification of research strains that are used as a foundation for future research. This review revisits what is known about virulence in A. hydrophila and the feasibility of using comparative genomics in light of this phylogenetic revision. Conflicting data between virulence factors, secretion systems, quorum sensing, and their effect on A. hydrophila pathogenicity appears to be an artifact of inappropriate taxonomic comparisons and/or be due to the fact that these properties are strain-specific. This review audits emerging data on dominant virulence factors that are present in both A. dhakensis and A. hydrophila in order to synthesize existing data with the aim of locating where future research is needed.

  9. Multiple stressor effects in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii--toward understanding mechanisms of interaction between effects of ultraviolet radiation and chemical pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korkaric, Muris; Behra, Renata; Fischer, Beat B; Junghans, Marion; Eggen, Rik I L

    2015-05-01

    The effects of chemical pollutants and environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR), can interact when organisms are simultaneously exposed, resulting in higher (synergistic) or lower (antagonistic) multiple stressor effects than expected based on the effects of single stressors. Current understanding of interactive effects is limited due to a lack of mechanism-based multiple stressor studies. It has been hypothesized that effect interactions may generally occur if chemical and non-chemical stressors cause similar physiological effects in the organism. To test this hypothesis, we exposed the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to combinations of UVR and single chemicals displaying modes of action (MOA) similar or dissimilar to the impact of UVR on photosynthesis. Stressor interactions were analyzed based on the independent action model. Effect interactions were found to depend on the MOA of the chemicals, and also on their concentrations, the exposure time and the measured endpoint. Indeed, only chemicals assumed to cause effects on photosynthesis similar to UVR showed interactions with UVR on photosynthetic yield: synergistic in case of Cd(II) and paraquat and antagonistic in case of diuron. No interaction on photosynthesis was observed for S-metolachlor, which acts dissimilarly to UVR. However, combined effects of S-metolachlor and UVR on algal reproduction were synergistic, highlighting the importance of considering additional MOA of UVR. Possible mechanisms of stressor effect interactions are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Understanding Key Mechanisms of Exercise-Induced Cardiac Protection to Mitigate Disease: Current Knowledge and Emerging Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Bianca C; Ooi, Jenny Y Y; Weeks, Kate L; Patterson, Natalie L; McMullen, Julie R

    2018-01-01

    The benefits of exercise on the heart are well recognized, and clinical studies have demonstrated that exercise is an intervention that can improve cardiac function in heart failure patients. This has led to significant research into understanding the key mechanisms responsible for exercise-induced cardiac protection. Here, we summarize molecular mechanisms that regulate exercise-induced cardiac myocyte growth and proliferation. We discuss in detail the effects of exercise on other cardiac cells, organelles, and systems that have received less or little attention and require further investigation. This includes cardiac excitation and contraction, mitochondrial adaptations, cellular stress responses to promote survival (heat shock response, ubiquitin-proteasome system, autophagy-lysosomal system, endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response, DNA damage response), extracellular matrix, inflammatory response, and organ-to-organ crosstalk. We summarize therapeutic strategies targeting known regulators of exercise-induced protection and the challenges translating findings from bench to bedside. We conclude that technological advancements that allow for in-depth profiling of the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome, combined with animal and human studies, provide new opportunities for comprehensively defining the signaling and regulatory aspects of cell/organelle functions that underpin the protective properties of exercise. This is likely to lead to the identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for heart disease.

  11. Emerging systems biology approaches in nanotoxicology: Towards a mechanism-based understanding of nanomaterial hazard and risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, Pedro M.; Fadeel, Bengt, E-mail: Bengt.Fadeel@ki.se

    2016-05-15

    Engineered nanomaterials are being developed for a variety of technological applications. However, the increasing use of nanomaterials in society has led to concerns about their potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. During the first decade of nanotoxicological research, the realization has emerged that effective risk assessment of the multitudes of new nanomaterials would benefit from a comprehensive understanding of their toxicological mechanisms, which is difficult to achieve with traditional, low-throughput, single end-point oriented approaches. Therefore, systems biology approaches are being progressively applied within the nano(eco)toxicological sciences. This novel paradigm implies that the study of biological systems should be integrative resulting in quantitative and predictive models of nanomaterial behaviour in a biological system. To this end, global ‘omics’ approaches with which to assess changes in genes, proteins, metabolites, etc. are deployed allowing for computational modelling of the biological effects of nanomaterials. Here, we highlight omics and systems biology studies in nanotoxicology, aiming towards the implementation of a systems nanotoxicology and mechanism-based risk assessment of nanomaterials. - Highlights: • Systems nanotoxicology is a multi-disciplinary approach to quantitative modelling. • Transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics remain the most common methods. • Global “omics” techniques should be coupled to computational modelling approaches. • The discovery of nano-specific toxicity pathways and biomarkers is a prioritized goal. • Overall, experimental nanosafety research must endeavour reproducibility and relevance.

  12. Emerging systems biology approaches in nanotoxicology: Towards a mechanism-based understanding of nanomaterial hazard and risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costa, Pedro M.; Fadeel, Bengt

    2016-01-01

    Engineered nanomaterials are being developed for a variety of technological applications. However, the increasing use of nanomaterials in society has led to concerns about their potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. During the first decade of nanotoxicological research, the realization has emerged that effective risk assessment of the multitudes of new nanomaterials would benefit from a comprehensive understanding of their toxicological mechanisms, which is difficult to achieve with traditional, low-throughput, single end-point oriented approaches. Therefore, systems biology approaches are being progressively applied within the nano(eco)toxicological sciences. This novel paradigm implies that the study of biological systems should be integrative resulting in quantitative and predictive models of nanomaterial behaviour in a biological system. To this end, global ‘omics’ approaches with which to assess changes in genes, proteins, metabolites, etc. are deployed allowing for computational modelling of the biological effects of nanomaterials. Here, we highlight omics and systems biology studies in nanotoxicology, aiming towards the implementation of a systems nanotoxicology and mechanism-based risk assessment of nanomaterials. - Highlights: • Systems nanotoxicology is a multi-disciplinary approach to quantitative modelling. • Transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics remain the most common methods. • Global “omics” techniques should be coupled to computational modelling approaches. • The discovery of nano-specific toxicity pathways and biomarkers is a prioritized goal. • Overall, experimental nanosafety research must endeavour reproducibility and relevance.

  13. R7T7 glass alteration mechanism in an aqueous closed system: understanding and modelling the long term alteration kinetic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chave, T.

    2007-10-01

    The long term alteration rate of the French R7T7 nuclear glass has been investigated since many years because it will define the overall resistance of the radionuclide containment matrix. Recent studies have shown that the final rate remains constant or is slightly decreasing with time. It never reaches zero. Though this residual rate is very low, only 5 nm per year at 50 C, it would be the dominant alteration phenomenon in a geological repository. Two mechanisms are suggested for explaining such behaviour: diffusion in solution of elements from glass through an amorphous altered layer and precipitation of neo-formed phases. The diffusion processes are in agreement with a solid state diffusion mechanism and can lead to secondary phase precipitation due to solution concentration increases. Observed phases are mainly phyllosilicates and zeolites, in specific conditions. Phyllosilicates are expected to maintain the residual kinetic rate whereas alteration resumption could be observed in presence of zeolites at very high pH or temperature (10.5 at 90 C or temperature above 150 C). Both diffusion and neo-formed phase precipitation have been investigated in order to better understand their impact on the residual alteration rate and have then been modelled by a calculation code, coupling chemistry and transport, in order to be able to better anticipate the long term behaviour of the glass R7T7 in an aqueous closed system. (author)

  14. Toward an understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying dual-task performance: Contribution of comparative approaches using animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Kei; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2018-01-01

    The study of dual-task performance in human subjects has received considerable interest in cognitive neuroscience because it can provide detailed insights into the neural mechanisms underlying higher-order cognitive control. Despite many decades of research, our understanding of the neurobiological basis of dual-task performance is still limited, and some critical questions are still under debate. Recently, behavioral and neurophysiological studies of dual-task performance in animals have begun to provide intriguing evidence regarding how dual-task information is processed in the brain. In this review, we first summarize key evidence in neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies in humans and discuss possible reasons for discrepancies across studies. We then provide a comprehensive review of the literature on dual-task studies in animals and provide a novel working hypothesis that may reconcile the divergent results in human studies toward a unified view of the mechanisms underlying dual-task processing. Finally, we propose possible directions for future dual-task experiments in the framework of comparative cognitive neuroscience. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Inhibitors of Mycobacterium marinum virulence identified in a Dictyostelium discoideum host model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajer Ouertatani-Sakouhi

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis remains one of the major threats to public health worldwide. Given the prevalence of multi drug resistance (MDR in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, there is a strong need to develop new anti-mycobacterial drugs with modes of action distinct from classical antibiotics. Inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence might target new molecular processes and may represent a potential new therapeutic alternative. In this study, we used a Dictyostelium discoideum host model to assess virulence of Mycobacterium marinum and to identify compounds inhibiting mycobacterial virulence. Among 9995 chemical compounds, we selected 12 inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence that do not inhibit mycobacterial growth in synthetic medium. Further analyses revealed that 8 of them perturbed functions requiring an intact mycobacterial cell wall such as sliding motility, bacterial aggregation or cell wall permeability. Chemical analogs of two compounds were analyzed. Chemical modifications altered concomitantly their effect on sliding motility and on mycobacterial virulence, suggesting that the alteration of the mycobacterial cell wall caused the loss of virulence. We characterized further one of the selected compounds and found that it inhibited the ability of mycobacteria to replicate in infected cells. Together these results identify new antimycobacterial compounds that represent new tools to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling mycobacterial pathogenicity. The isolation of compounds with anti-virulence activity is the first step towards developing new antibacterial treatments.

  16. Understanding abiotic stress tolerance mechanisms in soybean: a comparative evaluation of soybean response to drought and flooding stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutava, Raymond N; Prince, Silvas Jebakumar K; Syed, Naeem Hasan; Song, Li; Valliyodan, Babu; Chen, Wei; Nguyen, Henry T

    2015-01-01

    Many sources of drought and flooding tolerance have been identified in soybean, however underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms are poorly understood. Therefore, it is important to illuminate different plant responses to these abiotic stresses and understand the mechanisms that confer tolerance. Towards this goal we used four contrasting soybean (Glycine max) genotypes (PI 567690--drought tolerant, Pana--drought susceptible, PI 408105A--flooding tolerant, S99-2281--flooding susceptible) grown under greenhouse conditions and compared genotypic responses to drought and flooding at the physiological, biochemical, and cellular level. We also quantified these variations and tried to infer their role in drought and flooding tolerance in soybean. Our results revealed that different mechanisms contribute to reduction in net photosynthesis under drought and flooding stress. Under drought stress, ABA and stomatal conductance are responsible for reduced photosynthetic rate; while under flooding stress, accumulation of starch granules played a major role. Drought tolerant genotypes PI 567690 and PI 408105A had higher plastoglobule numbers than the susceptible Pana and S99-2281. Drought stress increased the number and size of plastoglobules in most of the genotypes pointing to a possible role in stress tolerance. Interestingly, there were seven fibrillin proteins localized within the plastoglobules that were up-regulated in the drought and flooding tolerant genotypes PI 567690 and PI 408105A, respectively, but down-regulated in the drought susceptible genotype Pana. These results suggest a potential role of Fibrillin proteins, FBN1a, 1b and 7a in soybean response to drought and flooding stress. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. A theoretical understanding on the CO-tolerance mechanism of the WC(0001) supported Pt monolayer: Some improvement strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xilin [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Lu, Zhansheng [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Nano Functional Materials and Applications, Henan Province (China); Yang, Zongxian, E-mail: yzx@henannu.edu.cn [College of Physics and Materials Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Nano Functional Materials and Applications, Henan Province (China)

    2016-12-15

    Highlights: • The mechanism of CO tolerance and oxidation on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) is clarified. • The high tolerance of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) to CO originate from the weak adsorption. • The minimum energy path and the rate-determining step are identified. • The activity of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) to CO oxidation is comparable to that of Pt(111). • Some probable strategies are proposed to improve the activity of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001). - Abstract: The deposition of platinum on the tungsten carbide (Pt/WC) have been achieved and proved with high stability, activity and CO-tolerance toward some reactions in experiments. Although a lot of experimental efforts have been focused on understanding the activity, stability and CO-tolerance of Pt/WC, the relevant theoretical works related to the CO-tolerance mechanism are still scarce. In current study, the adsorption and oxidation of CO on the Pt monolayer supported on WC(0001) surface (Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001)) are investigated using density functional theory calculations. It is found that the oxidation of CO on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) proceeds preferably along the Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism. The energy barrier of 1.06 eV for the rate-determining step of OOCO formation is almost equal to that (1.05 eV) for CO oxidation by atomic O on Pt(111), while the adsorption energy of 1.59 eV for CO on Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) is smaller than that on Pt(111) (1.85 eV), indicating that the high resistance to CO poisoning of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) may originate from the weak interaction between them. To further improve the CO tolerance, some probable strategies are proposed based on the relevant kinetics results. The current results are helpful to understanding the origin of the highly resistant to CO poisoning of Pt{sub ML}/WC(0001) and rationally designing catalysts to improve the CO oxidation activity.

  18. The metabolic regulator CodY links L. monocytogenes metabolism to virulence by directly activating the virulence regulatory gene, prfA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobel, Lior; Sigal, Nadejda; Borovok, Ilya; Belitsky, Boris R.; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Herskovits, Anat A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Metabolic adaptations are critical to the ability of bacterial pathogens to grow within host cells and are normally preceded by sensing of host-specific metabolic signals, which in turn can influence the pathogen's virulence state. Previously, we reported that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes responds to low availability of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) within mammalian cells by up-regulating both BCAA biosynthesis and virulence genes. The induction of virulence genes required the BCAA-responsive transcription regulator, CodY, but the molecular mechanism governing this mode of regulation was unclear. In this report, we demonstrate that CodY directly binds the coding sequence of the L. monocytogenes master virulence activator gene, prfA, 15 nt downstream of its start codon, and that this binding results in up-regulation of prfA transcription specifically under low concentrations of BCAA. Mutating this site abolished CodY binding and reduced prfA transcription in macrophages, and attenuated bacterial virulence in mice. Notably, the mutated binding site did not alter prfA transcription or PrfA activity under other conditions that are known to activate PrfA, such as during growth in the presence of glucose-1-phosphate. This study highlights the tight crosstalk between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence' while revealing novel features of CodY-mediated regulation. PMID:25430920

  19. Complete genome sequence of hypervirulent and outbreak-associated Acinetobacter baumannii strain LAC-4: epidemiology, resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Hong-Yu; Kuang, Shan N.; He, Xinyi; Molgora, Brenda M.; Ewing, Peter J.; Deng, Zixin; Osby, Melanie; Chen, Wangxue; Xu, H. Howard

    2015-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen due to its multi-drug resistance. In this study, the genome of an ST10 outbreak A. baumannii isolate LAC-4 was completely sequenced to better understand its epidemiology, antibiotic resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors. Compared with 20 other complete genomes of A. baumannii, LAC-4 genome harbors at least 12 copies of five distinct insertion sequences. It contains 12 and 14 copies of two novel IS elements, ISAba25 and ISAba26, respectively. Additionally, three novel composite transposons were identified: Tn6250, Tn6251 and Tn6252, two of which contain resistance genes. The antibiotic resistance genetic determinants on the LAC-4 genome correlate well with observed antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Moreover, twelve genomic islands (GI) were identified in LAC-4 genome. Among them, the 33.4-kb GI12 contains a large number of genes which constitute the K (capsule) locus. LAC-4 harbors several unique putative virulence factor loci. Furthermore, LAC-4 and all 19 other outbreak isolates were found to harbor a heme oxygenase gene (hemO)-containing gene cluster. The sequencing of the first complete genome of an ST10 A. baumannii clinical strain should accelerate our understanding of the epidemiology, mechanisms of resistance and virulence of A. baumannii. PMID:25728466

  20. Anaerobiosis induced virulence of Salmonella typhi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapoor, Sarika; Singh, R D; Sharma, P C

    2002-01-01

    , we examined the effect of anaerobiosis on the virulence of Salmonella Typhi, a Gram negative bacteria which invades through the gut mucosa and is responsible for typhoid fever. METHODS: Salmonella Typhi (ty2) was cultured in aerobic and anaerobic conditions to compare its virulence by rabbit ileal...

  1. Evolution of viral virulence: empirical studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of virulence as a pathogen trait that can evolve in response to selection has led to a large body of virulence evolution theory developed in the 1980-1990s. Various aspects of this theory predict increased or decreased virulence in response to a complex array of selection pressures including mode of transmission, changes in host, mixed infection, vector-borne transmission, environmental changes, host vaccination, host resistance, and co-evolution of virus and host. A fundamental concept is prediction of trade-offs between the costs and benefits associated with higher virulence, leading to selection of optimal virulence levels. Through a combination of observational and experimental studies, including experimental evolution of viruses during serial passage, many of these predictions have now been explored in systems ranging from bacteriophage to viruses of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrate hosts. This chapter summarizes empirical studies of viral virulence evolution in numerous diverse systems, including the classic models myxomavirus in rabbits, Marek's disease virus in chickens, and HIV in humans. Collectively these studies support some aspects of virulence evolution theory, suggest modifications for other aspects, and show that predictions may apply in some virus:host interactions but not in others. Finally, we consider how virulence evolution theory applies to disease management in the field.

  2. Virulence, serotype and phylogenetic groups of diarrhoeagenic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr DADIE Thomas

    2014-02-17

    Feb 17, 2014 ... The virulence, serotype and phylogenetic traits of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli were detected in 502 strains isolated during digestive infections. Molecular detection of the target virulence genes, rfb gene of operon O and phylogenetic grouping genes Chua, yjaA and TSPE4.C2 was performed.

  3. Pleiotropic Regulation of Virulence Genes in Streptococcus mutans by the Conserved Small Protein SprV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Manoharan; Hossain, Mohammad S; Biswas, Indranil

    2017-04-15

    Streptococcus mutans , an oral pathogen associated with dental caries, colonizes tooth surfaces as polymicrobial biofilms known as dental plaque. S. mutans expresses several virulence factors that allow the organism to tolerate environmental fluctuations and compete with other microorganisms. We recently identified a small hypothetical protein (90 amino acids) essential for the normal growth of the bacterium. Inactivation of the gene, SMU.2137, encoding this protein caused a significant growth defect and loss of various virulence-associated functions. An S. mutans strain lacking this gene was more sensitive to acid, temperature, osmotic, oxidative, and DNA damage-inducing stresses. In addition, we observed an altered protein profile and defects in biofilm formation, bacteriocin production, and natural competence development, possibly due to the fitness defect associated with SMU.2137 deletion. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that nearly 20% of the S. mutans genes were differentially expressed upon SMU.2137 deletion, thereby suggesting a pleiotropic effect. Therefore, we have renamed this hitherto uncharacterized gene as sprV ( s treptococcal p leiotropic r egulator of v irulence). The transcript levels of several relevant genes in the sprV mutant corroborated the phenotypes observed upon sprV deletion. Owing to its highly conserved nature, inactivation of the sprV ortholog in Streptococcus gordonii also resulted in poor growth and defective UV tolerance and competence development as in the case of S. mutans Our experiments suggest that SprV is functionally distinct from its homologs identified by structure and sequence homology. Nonetheless, our current work is aimed at understanding the importance of SprV in the S. mutans biology. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus mutans employs several virulence factors and stress resistance mechanisms to colonize tooth surfaces and cause dental caries. Bacterial pathogenesis is generally controlled by regulators of fitness that are

  4. Analysis of DNA replication associated chromatin decondensation: in vivo assay for understanding chromatin remodeling mechanisms of selected proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borysov, Sergiy; Bryant, Victoria L; Alexandrow, Mark G

    2015-01-01

    mechanisms underlying DNA replication associated chromatin accessibility, this unique and powerful experimental system has the propensity to be a valuable tool for understanding chromatin remodeling mechanisms orchestrated by other cellular processes such as DNA repair, recombination, mitotic chromosome condensation, or other chromosome dynamics involving chromatin alterations and accessibility.

  5. Wide distribution of virulence genes among Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis clinical isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soheili, Sara; Ghafourian, Sobhan; Sekawi, Zamberi; Neela, Vasanthakumari; Sadeghifard, Nourkhoda; Ramli, Ramliza; Hamat, Rukman Awang

    2014-01-01

    Enterococcus, a Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci belonging to the lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes, is known to be able to resist a wide range of hostile conditions such as different pH levels, high concentration of NaCl (6.5%), and the extended temperatures between 5(°)C and 65(°)C. Despite being the third most common nosocomial pathogen, our understanding on its virulence factors is still poorly understood. The current study was aimed to determine the prevalence of different virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. For this purpose, 79 clinical isolates of Malaysian enterococci were evaluated for the presence of virulence genes. pilB, fms8, efaAfm, and sgrA genes are prevalent in all clinical isolates. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of E. faecalis and E. faecium could be associated with different virulence factors and these genes are widely distributed among the enterococcal species.

  6. Bacterial Human Virulence Genes across Diverse Habitats As Assessed by In silico Analysis of Environmental Metagenomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søborg, Ditte A; Hendriksen, Niels B; Kilian, Mogens

    2016-01-01

    of natural environments in the evolution of bacterial virulence. Twenty four bacterial virulence genes were analyzed in 46 diverse environmental metagenomic datasets, representing various soils, seawater, freshwater, marine sediments, hot springs, the deep-sea, hypersaline mats, microbialites, gutless worms......The occurrence and distribution of clinically relevant bacterial virulence genes across natural (non-human) environments is not well understood. We aimed to investigate the occurrence of homologs to bacterial human virulence genes in a variety of ecological niches to better understand the role...... in non-human environments point to an important ecological role of the genes for the activity and survival of environmental bacteria. Furthermore, the high degree of sequence conservation between several of the environmental and clinical genes suggests common ancestral origins....

  7. Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth Conditions And Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern Of ... Animal Research International ... Keywords: Virulence, Haemolytic activity, Susceptibility, Antibiotics, Aeromonas hydrophila

  8. Teachers' Beliefs about the Role of Interaction in Teaching Newtonian Mechanics and Its Influence on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Newton's Third Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jauhiainen, Johanna; Koponen, Ismo T.; Lavonen, Jari

    2006-01-01

    Students' conceptual understanding of Newton's third law has been the subject of numerous studies. These studies have often pointed out the importance of addressing the concept of interaction in teaching Newtonian mechanics. In this study, teachers were interviewed in order to examine how they understand interaction and use it in their…

  9. Understanding mechanisms of rarity in pteridophytes: competition and climate change threaten the rare fern Asplenium scolopendrium var. americanum (Aspleniaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testo, Weston L; Watkins, James E

    2013-11-01

    Understanding the ecology of rare species can inform aspects of conservation strategies; however, the mechanisms of rarity remain elusive for most pteridophytes, which possess independent and ecologically distinct gametophyte and sporophyte generations. To elucidate factors contributing to recent declines of the rare fern Asplenium scolopendrium var. americanum, we studied the ecology and ecophysiology of its gametophyte generation, focusing on responses to competition, temperature, and water stress. Gametophytes of A. scolopendrium var. americanum, its widespread European relative A. scolopendrium var. scolopendrium, and five co-occurring fern species were grown from spores. Gametophytes were grown at 20°C and 25°C, and germination rates, intra- and interspecific competition, desiccation tolerance, and sporophyte production were determined for all species. Gametophytes of A. scolopendrium var. americanum had the lowest rates of germination and sporophyte production among all species studied and exhibited the greatest sensitivity to interspecific competition, temperature increases, and desiccation. Mature gametophytes of A. scolopendrium var. americanum grown at 25°C were 84.6% smaller than those grown at 20°C, and only 1.5% produced sporophytes after 200 d in culture. Similar responses were not observed in other species studied. The recent declines and current status of populations of A. scolopendrium var. americanum are linked to its gametophyte's limited capacity to tolerate competition and physiological stress linked to climate change. This is the first study to develop a mechanistic understanding of rarity and decline in a fern and demonstrates the importance of considering the ecology of the gametophyte in plants with independent sporophyte and gametophyte generations.

  10. Understanding the Oxygen Evolution Reaction Mechanism on CoOx using Operando Ambient-Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Favaro, Marco; Yang, Jinhui; Nappini, Silvia; Magnano, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a promising approach for renewable production of hydrogen from solar energy and requires interfacing advanced water-splitting catalysts with semiconductors. Understanding the mechanism of function of such electrocatalysts at the atomic scale and under realistic working conditions is a challenging, yet important, task for advancing efficient and stable function. This is particularly true for the case of oxygen evolution catalysts and, here, we study a highly active Co 3 O 4 /Co(OH) 2 biphasic electrocatalyst on Si by means of operando ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy performed at the solid/liquid electrified interface. Spectral simulation and multiplet fitting reveal that the catalyst undergoes chemical-structural transformations as a function of the applied anodic potential, with complete conversion of the Co(OH) 2 and partial conversion of the spinel Co 3 O 4 phases to CoO(OH) under precatalytic electrochemical conditions. Furthermore, we observe new spectral features in both Co 2p and O 1s core-level regions to emerge under oxygen evolution reaction conditions on CoO(OH). The operando photoelectron spectra support assignment of these newly observed features to highly active Co 4+ centers under catalytic conditions. Comparison of these results to those from a pure phase spinel Co 3 O 4 catalyst supports this interpretation and reveals that the presence of Co(OH) 2 enhances catalytic activity by promoting transformations to CoO(OH). The direct investigation of electrified interfaces presented in this work can be extended to different materials under realistic catalytic conditions, thereby providing a powerful tool for mechanism discovery and an enabling capability for catalyst design.

  11. Multiple stressor effects in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii – Toward understanding mechanisms of interaction between effects of ultraviolet radiation and chemical pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korkaric, Muris [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Environmental Toxicology, 8600, Duebendorf (Switzerland); ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, 8092 Zürich (Switzerland); Behra, Renata; Fischer, Beat B. [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Environmental Toxicology, 8600, Duebendorf (Switzerland); Junghans, Marion [Swiss Center for Applied Ecotoxicology Eawag-EPFL, 8600, Duebendorf (Switzerland); Eggen, Rik I.L., E-mail: rik.eggen@eawag.ch [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Environmental Toxicology, 8600, Duebendorf (Switzerland); ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, 8092 Zürich (Switzerland)

    2015-05-15

    Highlights: • Systematic study of multiple stressor effects of UVR and chemicals in C. reinhardtii. • UVR and chemicals did not act independently on algal photosynthesis and reproduction. • Multiple stressor effects of UVR and chemicals depended on chemical MOA. • Synergistic effect interactions not limited to oxidative stress inducing chemicals. • Multiple MOAs of UVR may limit applicability of current prediction models. - Abstract: The effects of chemical pollutants and environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR), can interact when organisms are simultaneously exposed, resulting in higher (synergistic) or lower (antagonistic) multiple stressor effects than expected based on the effects of single stressors. Current understanding of interactive effects is limited due to a lack of mechanism-based multiple stressor studies. It has been hypothesized that effect interactions may generally occur if chemical and non-chemical stressors cause similar physiological effects in the organism. To test this hypothesis, we exposed the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to combinations of UVR and single chemicals displaying modes of action (MOA) similar or dissimilar to the impact of UVR on photosynthesis. Stressor interactions were analyzed based on the independent action model. Effect interactions were found to depend on the MOA of the chemicals, and also on their concentrations, the exposure time and the measured endpoint. Indeed, only chemicals assumed to cause effects on photosynthesis similar to UVR showed interactions with UVR on photosynthetic yield: synergistic in case of Cd(II) and paraquat and antagonistic in case of diuron. No interaction on photosynthesis was observed for S-metolachlor, which acts dissimilarly to UVR. However, combined effects of S-metolachlor and UVR on algal reproduction were synergistic, highlighting the importance of considering additional MOA of UVR. Possible mechanisms of stressor effect interactions are

  12. Multiple stressor effects in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii – Toward understanding mechanisms of interaction between effects of ultraviolet radiation and chemical pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korkaric, Muris; Behra, Renata; Fischer, Beat B.; Junghans, Marion; Eggen, Rik I.L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Systematic study of multiple stressor effects of UVR and chemicals in C. reinhardtii. • UVR and chemicals did not act independently on algal photosynthesis and reproduction. • Multiple stressor effects of UVR and chemicals depended on chemical MOA. • Synergistic effect interactions not limited to oxidative stress inducing chemicals. • Multiple MOAs of UVR may limit applicability of current prediction models. - Abstract: The effects of chemical pollutants and environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR), can interact when organisms are simultaneously exposed, resulting in higher (synergistic) or lower (antagonistic) multiple stressor effects than expected based on the effects of single stressors. Current understanding of interactive effects is limited due to a lack of mechanism-based multiple stressor studies. It has been hypothesized that effect interactions may generally occur if chemical and non-chemical stressors cause similar physiological effects in the organism. To test this hypothesis, we exposed the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to combinations of UVR and single chemicals displaying modes of action (MOA) similar or dissimilar to the impact of UVR on photosynthesis. Stressor interactions were analyzed based on the independent action model. Effect interactions were found to depend on the MOA of the chemicals, and also on their concentrations, the exposure time and the measured endpoint. Indeed, only chemicals assumed to cause effects on photosynthesis similar to UVR showed interactions with UVR on photosynthetic yield: synergistic in case of Cd(II) and paraquat and antagonistic in case of diuron. No interaction on photosynthesis was observed for S-metolachlor, which acts dissimilarly to UVR. However, combined effects of S-metolachlor and UVR on algal reproduction were synergistic, highlighting the importance of considering additional MOA of UVR. Possible mechanisms of stressor effect interactions are

  13. The OmpA-like protein Loa22 is essential for leptospiral virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Ristow

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic mechanisms of Leptospira interrogans, the causal agent of leptospirosis, remain largely unknown. This is mainly due to the lack of tools for genetic manipulations of pathogenic species. In this study, we characterized a mutant obtained by insertion of the transposon Himar1 into a gene encoding a putative lipoprotein, Loa22, which has a predicted OmpA domain based on sequence identity. The resulting mutant did not express Loa22 and was attenuated in virulence in the guinea pig and hamster models of leptospirosis, whereas the genetically complemented strain was restored in Loa22 expression and virulence. Our results show that Loa22 was expressed during host infection and exposed on the cell surface. Loa22 is therefore necessary for virulence of L. interrogans in the animal model and represents, to our knowledge, the first genetically defined virulence factor in Leptospira species.

  14. Association between virulence and triazole tolerance in the phytopathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Yang

    Full Text Available Host resistance and synthetic antimicrobials such as fungicides are two of the main approaches used to control plant diseases in conventional agriculture. Although pathogens often evolve to overcome host resistance and antimicrobials, the majority of reports have involved qualitative host - pathogen interactions or antimicrobials targeting a single pathogen protein or metabolic pathway. Studies that consider jointly the evolution of virulence, defined as the degree of damage caused to a host by parasite infection, and antimicrobial resistance are rare. Here we compared virulence and fungicide tolerance in the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola sampled from wheat fields across three continents and found a positive correlation between virulence and tolerance to a triazole fungicide. We also found that quantitative host resistance selected for higher pathogen virulence. The possible mechanisms responsible for these observations and their consequences for sustainable disease management are discussed.

  15. Molecular and genetic approach to understanding the mechanisms by which fractionated X-irradiation induces leukemia in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meruelo, D; Rossomando, A

    1986-01-01

    The authors laboratory's approach to try to shed light on the question of a viral etiology for radiation-induced leukemia has focused on defining, localizing and understanding the mode of action of genes involved in susceptibility to fractionated x-irradiation-(FXI) induced disease. These studies have indicated that multiple genes control the process of leukemogenesis. Not every mouse strain which shows some susceptibility to FXI-induced leukemia carries the susceptible gene at each of the multiple loci involved in the disease process. It is plausible to conclude that more than one mechanism of leukemogenesis can be triggered by FXI. Studies have focused on the mode of action of one such locus Ril-1. Several reagents have been developed to help clone and characterize this locus. Currently chromosomal ''walking'' and ''hopping'' techniques are being used in conjunction with an RFLP molecular probe which is adjacent to Ril-1. In addition a cDNA library has been prepared from a radiation-induced thymoma and substraction hybridization analysis is being used in the search for Ril-1.

  16. The INHANCE consortium: toward a better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of head and neck cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winn, D M; Lee, Y-C A; Hashibe, M; Boffetta, P

    2015-09-01

    The International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium is a collaboration of research groups leading large epidemiology studies to improve the understanding of the causes and mechanisms of head and neck cancer. The consortium includes investigators of 35 studies who have pooled their data on 25 500 patients with head and neck cancer (i.e., cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx) and 37 100 controls. The INHANCE analyses have confirmed that tobacco use and alcohol intake are key risk factors of these diseases and have provided precise estimates of risk and dose response, the benefit of quitting, and the hazard of smoking even a few cigarettes per day. Other risk factors include short height, lean body mass, low education and income, and a family history of head and neck cancer. Risk factors are generally similar for oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx, although the magnitude of risk may vary. Some major strengths of pooling data across studies include more precise estimates of risk and the ability to control for potentially confounding factors and to examine factors that may interact with each other. The INHANCE consortium provides evidence of the scientific productivity and discoveries that can be obtained from data pooling projects. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Toward a better understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis: a comprehensive proteome map of a nascent insect symbiont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoz, François; Champagne, Antoine; Degand, Hervé; Faber, Anne-Marie; Morsomme, Pierre; Foray, Vincent; Hance, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    Symbiotic bacteria are common in insects and can affect various aspects of their hosts' biology. Although the effects of insect symbionts have been clarified for various insect symbiosis models, due to the difficulty of cultivating them in vitro , there is still limited knowledge available on the molecular features that drive symbiosis. Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts found in aphids. The recent findings of free-living strains that are considered as nascent partners of aphids provide the opportunity to examine the molecular mechanisms that a symbiont can deploy at the early stages of the symbiosis (i.e., symbiotic factors). In this work, a proteomic approach was used to establish a comprehensive proteome map of the free-living S. symbiotica strain CWBI-2.3 T . Most of the 720 proteins identified are related to housekeeping or primary metabolism. Of these, 76 were identified as candidate proteins possibly promoting host colonization. Our results provide strong evidence that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3 T is well-armed for invading insect host tissues, and suggest that certain molecular features usually harbored by pathogenic bacteria are no longer present. This comprehensive proteome map provides a series of candidate genes for further studies to understand the molecular cross-talk between insects and symbiotic bacteria.

  18. Understanding the growth mechanism of stabilizer-free Ag nanoparticles on reduced graphene oxide: the role of CO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Weiyin; Ran Chenxin; Wang Minqiang; Yao Xi; He Delong; Bai Jinbo

    2013-01-01

    In this study, one-step approach to prepare stabilizer-free Ag–graphene nanocomposites using DMAc-assisted thermal reduction method with uniform distribution of “near spherical” Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in the range of 16–20 nm is reported. Interestingly, from the change of absorption spectrum as a function of reaction time, we observed that the characteristic absorption peak of Ag NPs shows no peak position shift in a quite long time without extra stabilizer while red-shift and broaden after continuous reaction. To explain this phenomenon, we further proposed a growth mechanism that CO, which is generated from reduction of functional groups on GO, adsorbed on the surface of Ag NPs and leaded to growth cease of Ag NPs into a narrow size distribution during the reduction of GO. Meanwhile, Ag NPs can catalyze the oxidation of adsorbed-CO to CO 2 in the presence of O 2 which can easily desorb from Ag surfaces. Hence, after fully removal of functional groups on GO, continuous supply of CO was cutoff while the desorption of adsorbed-CO was still happening continually, so Ag NPs start to gradually grow and resulting in aggregation. Moreover, the dosage of less DMAc or more AgNO 3 would cause the anisotropic growth and form multiply twinned structure of Ag NPs. Our study presents a useful understanding on the growth of Ag NPs on graphene.

  19. A molecular and genetic approach to understanding the mechanisms by which fractionated X-irradiation induces leukemia in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meruelo, D.; Rossomando, A.

    1986-01-01

    The authors laboratory's approach to try to shed light on the question of a viral etiology for radiation-induced leukemia has focused on defining, localizing and understanding the mode of action of genes involved in susceptibility to fractionated x-irradiation-(FXI) induced disease. These studies have indicated that multiple genes control the process of leukemogenesis. Not every mouse strain which shows some susceptibility to FXI-induced leukemia carries the susceptible gene at each of the multiple loci involved in the disease process. It is plausible to conclude that more than one mechanism of leukemogenesis can be triggered by FXI. Studies have focused on the mode of action of one such locus Ril-1. Several reagents have been developed to help clone and characterize this locus. Currently chromosomal ''walking'' and ''hopping'' techniques are being used in conjunction with an RFLP molecular probe which is adjacent to Ril-1. In addition a cDNA library has been prepared from a radiation-induced thymoma and substraction hybridization analysis is being used in the search for Ril-1. (author)

  20. Toward a better understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis: a comprehensive proteome map of a nascent insect symbiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Renoz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria are common in insects and can affect various aspects of their hosts’ biology. Although the effects of insect symbionts have been clarified for various insect symbiosis models, due to the difficulty of cultivating them in vitro, there is still limited knowledge available on the molecular features that drive symbiosis. Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts found in aphids. The recent findings of free-living strains that are considered as nascent partners of aphids provide the opportunity to examine the molecular mechanisms that a symbiont can deploy at the early stages of the symbiosis (i.e., symbiotic factors. In this work, a proteomic approach was used to establish a comprehensive proteome map of the free-living S. symbiotica strain CWBI-2.3T. Most of the 720 proteins identified are related to housekeeping or primary metabolism. Of these, 76 were identified as candidate proteins possibly promoting host colonization. Our results provide strong evidence that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T is well-armed for invading insect host tissues, and suggest that certain molecular features usually harbored by pathogenic bacteria are no longer present. This comprehensive proteome map provides a series of candidate genes for further studies to understand the molecular cross-talk between insects and symbiotic bacteria.

  1. Understanding the mechanical coupling between magma emplacement and the resulting deformation: the example of saucer-shaped sills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galland, O.; Neumann, E. R.; Planke, S.

    2009-12-01

    The mechanical coupling between magma intrusions and the surrounding rocks plays a major role in the emplacement of volcanic plumbing systems. The deformation associated with magma emplacement has been widely studied, such as caldera inflation/deflation, volcano deformation during dike intrusion, and doming above laccoliths. However, the feedback processes, i.e. the effect of deformation resulting from intruding magma on the propagation of the intrusion itself, have rarely been studied. Saucer-shaped sills are adequate geological objects to understand such processes. Indeed, observation show that saucer-shaped sills are often associated with dome-like structures affecting the overlying sediments. In addition, there is a clear geometrical relation between the sills and the domes: the dome diameters are almost identical to those of saucers, and the tips of the inclined sheets of saucers are superimposed on the edges of the domes. In this presentation, we report on experimental investigations of the emplacement mechanisms of saucer-shaped sills and associated deformation. The model materials were (1) cohesive fine-grained silica flour, representing brittle crust, and (2) molten low-viscosity oil, representing magma. A weak layer located at the top of the injection inlet simulates strata. The main variable parameter is injection depth. During experiments, the surface of the model is digitalized through a structured light technique based on the moiré projection principle. Such a tool provides topographic maps of the surface of the model and allows a periodic (every 1.5 s) monitoring of the model topography. When the model magma starts intruding, a symmetrical dome rises above the inlet. Subsequently, the dome inflates and widens, and then evolves to a plateau-like feature, with nearly flat upper surface and steep sides. At the end of the experiments, the intruding liquid erupts at the edge of the plateau. The intrusions formed in the experiments are saucer-shaped sills

  2. From genomes to metabolomes: Understanding mechanisms of symbiosis and cell-cell signaling using the archaeal system Ignicoccus-Nanoarchaeum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Podar, Mircea [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Biosciences Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hettich, Robert [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Biosciences Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Copie, Valerie [Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Bothner, Brian [Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    2016-12-16

    The main objective of this project was to use symbiotic Nanoarchaeaota, a group of thermophilic Archaea that are obligate symbionts/parasites on other Archaea, to develop an integrated multi-omic approach to study inter-species interactions as well as to understand fundamental mechanism that enable such relationships. As part of this grant we have achieved a number of important milestone on both technical and scientific levels. On the technical side, we developed immunofluorescence labeling and tracking methods to follow Nanoarchaeota in cultures and in environmental samples, we applied such methods in conjunction with flow cytometry to quantify and isolate uncultured representatives from the environment and characterized them by single cell genomics. On the proteomics side, we developed a more efficient and sensitive method to recover and semi-quantitatively measure membrane proteins, while achieving high total cellular proteome coverage (70-80% of the predicted proteome). Metabolomic analyses used complementary NMR and LC/GC mass spectrometry and led to the identification of novel lipids in these organisms as well as quantification of some of the major metabolites. Importantly, using several informatics approaches we were also able to integrate the transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic datasets, revealing aspects of the interspecies interaction that were not evident in the single omic analyses (manuscript in review). On the science side we determined that N. equitans and I. hospitalis are metabolically coupled and that N. equitans is strictly dependent on its host both for metabolic precursors and energetic needs. The actual mechanism by which small molecules move across the cell membrane remains unknown. The Ignicoccus host responds to the metabolic and energetic burned by upregulating of key primary metabolism steps and ATP synthesis. The two species have co-evolved, aspect that we determined by comparative genomics with other species of Ignicoccus

  3. Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Chester, W

    1979-01-01

    When I began to write this book, I originally had in mind the needs of university students in their first year. May aim was to keep the mathematics simple. No advanced techniques are used and there are no complicated applications. The emphasis is on an understanding of the basic ideas and problems which require expertise but do not contribute to this understanding are not discussed. How­ ever, the presentation is more sophisticated than might be considered appropri­ ate for someone with no previous knowledge of the subject so that, although it is developed from the beginning, some previous acquaintance with the elements of the subject would be an advantage. In addition, some familiarity with element­ ary calculus is assumed but not with the elementary theory of differential equations, although knowledge of the latter would again be an advantage. It is my opinion that mechanics is best introduced through the motion of a particle, with rigid body problems left until the subject is more fully developed. Howev...

  4. An investigation of virulence factors of Legionella pneumophila environmental isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elif Özlem Arslan-Aydoğdu

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Nine Legionella pneumophila strains isolated from cooling towers and a standard strain (L. pneumophila serogroup 1, ATCC 33152, Philadelphia 1 were analyzed and compared in terms of motility, flagella structure, ability to form biofilms, enzymatic activities (hemolysin, nucleases, protease, phospholipase A, phospholipase C, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and lipase, hemagglutination capabilities, and pathogenicity in various host cells (Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30234, mouse peritoneal macrophages and human peripheral monocytes. All the isolates of bacteria appeared to be motile and polar-flagellated and possessed the type-IV fimbria. Upon the evaluation of virulence factors, isolate 4 was found to be the most pathogenic strain, while 6 out of the 9 isolates (the isolates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 were more virulent than the ATCC 33152 strain. The different bacterial strains exhibited differences in properties such as adhesion, penetration and reproduction in the hosts, and preferred host type. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the virulence of environmental L. pneumophila strains isolated in Turkey, and it provides important information relevant for understanding the epidemiology of L. pneumophila.

  5. Regulation of bacterial virulence by Csr (Rsm) systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakulskas, Christopher A; Potts, Anastasia H; Babitzke, Paul; Ahmer, Brian M M; Romeo, Tony

    2015-06-01

    Most bacterial pathogens have the remarkable ability to flourish in the external environment and in specialized host niches. This ability requires their metabolism, physiology, and virulence factors to be responsive to changes in their surroundings. It is no surprise that the underlying genetic circuitry that supports this adaptability is multilayered and exceedingly complex. Studies over the past 2 decades have established that the CsrA/RsmA proteins, global regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression, play important roles in the expression of virulence factors of numerous proteobacterial pathogens. To accomplish these tasks, CsrA binds to the 5' untranslated and/or early coding regions of mRNAs and alters translation, mRNA turnover, and/or transcript elongation. CsrA activity is regulated by noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs) that contain multiple CsrA binding sites, which permit them to sequester multiple CsrA homodimers away from mRNA targets. Environmental cues sensed by two-component signal transduction systems and other regulatory factors govern the expression of the CsrA-binding sRNAs and, ultimately, the effects of CsrA on secretion systems, surface molecules and biofilm formation, quorum sensing, motility, pigmentation, siderophore production, and phagocytic avoidance. This review presents the workings of the Csr system, the paradigm shift that it generated for understanding posttranscriptional regulation, and its roles in virulence networks of animal and plant pathogens. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Virulence regulation in Staphylococcus aureus: the need for in vivo analysis of virulence factor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pragman, Alexa A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogenic microorganism that is responsible for a wide variety of clinical infections. These infections can be relatively mild, but serious, life-threatening infections may result from the expression of staphylococcal virulence factors that are coordinated by virulence regulators. Much work has been done to characterize the actions of staphylococcal virulence regulators in broth culture. Recently, several laboratories showed that transcriptional analyses of virulence regulators in in vivo animal models or in human infection did not correlate with transcriptional analyses accomplished in vitro. In describing the differences between in vitro and in vivo transcription of staphylococcal virulence regulators, we hope to encourage investigators to study virulence regulators using infection models whenever possible.

  7. Understanding Coulomb Scattering Mechanism in Monolayer MoS2 Channel in the Presence of h-BN Buffer Layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Min-Kyu; Moon, Byoung Hee; Ji, Hyunjin; Han, Gang Hee; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Gwanmu; Lim, Seong Chu; Suh, Dongseok; Lee, Young Hee

    2017-02-08

    As the thickness becomes thinner, the importance of Coulomb scattering in two-dimensional layered materials increases because of the close proximity between channel and interfacial layer and the reduced screening effects. The Coulomb scattering in the channel is usually obscured mainly by the Schottky barrier at the contact in the noise measurements. Here, we report low-temperature (T) noise measurements to understand the Coulomb scattering mechanism in the MoS 2 channel in the presence of h-BN buffer layer on the silicon dioxide (SiO 2 ) insulating layer. One essential measure in the noise analysis is the Coulomb scattering parameter (α SC ) which is different for channel materials and electron excess doping concentrations. This was extracted exclusively from a 4-probe method by eliminating the Schottky contact effect. We found that the presence of h-BN on SiO 2 provides the suppression of α SC twice, the reduction of interfacial traps density by 100 times, and the lowered Schottky barrier noise by 50 times compared to those on SiO 2 at T = 25 K. These improvements enable us to successfully identify the main noise source in the channel, which is the trapping-detrapping process at gate dielectrics rather than the charged impurities localized at the channel, as confirmed by fitting the noise features to the carrier number and correlated mobility fluctuation model. Further, the reduction in contact noise at low temperature in our system is attributed to inhomogeneous distributed Schottky barrier height distribution in the metal-MoS 2 contact region.

  8. Understanding the undelaying mechanism of HA-subtyping in the level of physic-chemical characteristics of protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Ebrahimi

    Full Text Available The evolution of the influenza A virus to increase its host range is a major concern worldwide. Molecular mechanisms of increasing host range are largely unknown. Influenza surface proteins play determining roles in reorganization of host-sialic acid receptors and host range. In an attempt to uncover the physic-chemical attributes which govern HA subtyping, we performed a large scale functional analysis of over 7000 sequences of 16 different HA subtypes. Large number (896 of physic-chemical protein characteristics were calculated for each HA sequence. Then, 10 different attribute weighting algorithms were used to find the key characteristics distinguishing HA subtypes. Furthermore, to discover machine leaning models which can predict HA subtypes, various Decision Tree, Support Vector Machine, Naïve Bayes, and Neural Network models were trained on calculated protein characteristics dataset as well as 10 trimmed datasets generated by attribute weighting algorithms. The prediction accuracies of the machine learning methods were evaluated by 10-fold cross validation. The results highlighted the frequency of Gln (selected by 80% of attribute weighting algorithms, percentage/frequency of Tyr, percentage of Cys, and frequencies of Try and Glu (selected by 70% of attribute weighting algorithms as the key features that are associated with HA subtyping. Random Forest tree induction algorithm and RBF kernel function of SVM (scaled by grid search showed high accuracy of 98% in clustering and predicting HA subtypes based on protein attributes. Decision tree models were successful in monitoring the short mutation/reassortment paths by which influenza virus can gain the key protein structure of another HA subtype and increase its host range in a short period of time with less energy consumption. Extracting and mining a large number of amino acid attributes of HA subtypes of influenza A virus through supervised algorithms represent a new avenue for

  9. Understanding the undelaying mechanism of HA-subtyping in the level of physic-chemical characteristics of protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Mansour; Aghagolzadeh, Parisa; Shamabadi, Narges; Tahmasebi, Ahmad; Alsharifi, Mohammed; Adelson, David L; Hemmatzadeh, Farhid; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the influenza A virus to increase its host range is a major concern worldwide. Molecular mechanisms of increasing host range are largely unknown. Influenza surface proteins play determining roles in reorganization of host-sialic acid receptors and host range. In an attempt to uncover the physic-chemical attributes which govern HA subtyping, we performed a large scale functional analysis of over 7000 sequences of 16 different HA subtypes. Large number (896) of physic-chemical protein characteristics were calculated for each HA sequence. Then, 10 different attribute weighting algorithms were used to find the key characteristics distinguishing HA subtypes. Furthermore, to discover machine leaning models which can predict HA subtypes, various Decision Tree, Support Vector Machine, Naïve Bayes, and Neural Network models were trained on calculated protein characteristics dataset as well as 10 trimmed datasets generated by attribute weighting algorithms. The prediction accuracies of the machine learning methods were evaluated by 10-fold cross validation. The results highlighted the frequency of Gln (selected by 80% of attribute weighting algorithms), percentage/frequency of Tyr, percentage of Cys, and frequencies of Try and Glu (selected by 70% of attribute weighting algorithms) as the key features that are associated with HA subtyping. Random Forest tree induction algorithm and RBF kernel function of SVM (scaled by grid search) showed high accuracy of 98% in clustering and predicting HA subtypes based on protein attributes. Decision tree models were successful in monitoring the short mutation/reassortment paths by which influenza virus can gain the key protein structure of another HA subtype and increase its host range in a short period of time with less energy consumption. Extracting and mining a large number of amino acid attributes of HA subtypes of influenza A virus through supervised algorithms represent a new avenue for understanding and

  10. Understanding Autoimmune Mechanisms in Multiple Sclerosis Using Gene Expression Microarrays: Treatment Effect and Cytokine-related Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Achiron

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Multiple sclerosis (MS is a central nervous system disease in which activated autoreactive T-cells invade the blood brain barrier and initiate an inflammatory response that leads to myelin destruction and axonal loss. The etiology of MS, as well as the mechanisms associated with its unexpected onset, the unpredictable clinical course spanning decades, and the different rates of progression leading to disability over time, remains an enigma. We have applied gene expression microarrays technology in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC to better understand MS pathogenesis and better target treatment approaches. A signature of 535 genes were found to distinguish immunomodulatory treatment effects between 13 treated and 13 untreated MS patients. In addition, the expression pattern of 1109 gene transcripts that were previously reported to significantly differentiate between MS patients and healthy subjects were further analyzed to study the effect of cytokine-related pathways on disease pathogenesis. When relative gene expression for 26 MS patients was compared to 18 healthy controls, 30 genes related to various cytokine-associated pathways were identified. These genes belong to a variety of families such as interleukins, small inducible cytokine subfamily and tumor necrosis factor ligand and receptor. Further analysis disclosed seven cytokine-associated genes within the immunomodulatory treatment signature, and two cytokine-associated genes SCYA4 (small inducible cytokine A4 and FCAR (Fc fragment of IgA, CD89 that were common to both the MS gene expression signature and the immunomodulatory treatment gene expression signature. Our results indicate that cytokine-associated genes are involved in various pathogenic pathways in MS and also related to immunomodulatory treatment effects.

  11. Current Understanding of Physicochemical Mechanisms for Cell Membrane Penetration of Arginine-rich Cell Penetrating Peptides: Role of Glycosaminoglycan Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takechi-Haraya, Yuki; Saito, Hiroyuki

    2018-01-01

    Arginine-rich cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are very promising drug carriers to deliver membrane-impermeable pharmaceuticals, such as siRNA, bioactive peptides and proteins. CPPs directly penetrate into cells across cell membranes via a spontaneous energy-independent process, in which CPPs appear to interact with acidic lipids in the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. However, acidic lipids represent only 10 to 20% of the total membrane lipid content and in mammalian cell membranes they are predominantly located in the inner leaflet. Alternatively, CPPs favorably bind in a charge density- dependent manner to negatively charged, sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, which are abundant on the cell surface and are involved in many biological functions. We have recently demonstrated that the interaction of CPPs with sulfated GAGs plays a critical role in their direct cell membrane penetration: the favorable enthalpy contribution drives the high-affinity binding of arginine-rich CPPs to sulfated GAGs, initiating an efficient cell membrane penetration. The favorable enthalpy gain is presumably mainly derived from a unique property of the guanidino group of arginine residues forming multidentate hydrogen bonding with sulfate and carboxylate groups in GAGs. Such interactions can be accompanied with charge neutralization of arginine-rich CPPs, promoting their partition into cell membranes. This review summarizes the current understanding of the physicochemical mechanism for lipid membrane penetration of CPPs, and discusses the role of the GAG interactions on the cell membrane penetration of CPPs. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  12. Cell signaling heterogeneity is modulated by both cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic mechanisms: An integrated approach to understanding targeted therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunjung; Kim, Jae-Young; Smith, Matthew A; Haura, Eric B; Anderson, Alexander R A

    2018-03-01

    During the last decade, our understanding of cancer cell signaling networks has significantly improved, leading to the development of various targeted therapies that have elicited profound but, unfortunately, short-lived responses. This is, in part, due to the fact that these targeted therapies ignore context and average out heterogeneity. Here, we present a mathematical framework that addresses the impact of signaling heterogeneity on targeted therapy outcomes. We employ a simplified oncogenic rat sarcoma (RAS)-driven mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT) signaling pathway in lung cancer as an experimental model system and develop a network model of the pathway. We measure how inhibition of the pathway modulates protein phosphorylation as well as cell viability under different microenvironmental conditions. Training the model on this data using Monte Carlo simulation results in a suite of in silico cells whose relative protein activities and cell viability match experimental observation. The calibrated model predicts distributional responses to kinase inhibitors and suggests drug resistance mechanisms that can be exploited in drug combination strategies. The suggested combination strategies are validated using in vitro experimental data. The validated in silico cells are further interrogated through an unsupervised clustering analysis and then integrated into a mathematical model of tumor growth in a homogeneous and resource-limited microenvironment. We assess posttreatment heterogeneity and predict vast differences across treatments with similar efficacy, further emphasizing that heterogeneity should modulate treatment strategies. The signaling model is also integrated into a hybrid cellular automata (HCA) model of tumor growth in a spatially heterogeneous microenvironment. As a proof of concept, we simulate tumor responses to targeted therapies in a spatially segregated tissue structure containing tumor

  13. A functional gene array for detection of bacterial virulence elements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaing, C

    2007-11-01

    We report our development of the first of a series of microarrays designed to detect pathogens with known mechanisms of virulence and antibiotic resistance. By targeting virulence gene families as well as genes unique to specific biothreat agents, these arrays will provide important data about the pathogenic potential and drug resistance profiles of unknown organisms in environmental samples. To validate our approach, we developed a first generation array targeting genes from Escherichia coli strains K12 and CFT073, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. We determined optimal probe design parameters for microorganism detection and discrimination, measured the required target concentration, and assessed tolerance for mismatches between probe and target sequences. Mismatch tolerance is a priority for this application, due to DNA sequence variability among members of gene families. Arrays were created using the NimbleGen Maskless Array Synthesizer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Purified genomic DNA from combinations of one or more of the four target organisms, pure cultures of four related organisms, and environmental aerosol samples with spiked-in genomic DNA were hybridized to the arrays. Based on the success of this prototype, we plan to design further arrays in this series, with the goal of detecting all known virulence and antibiotic resistance gene families in a greatly expanded set of organisms.

  14. Virulence and genomic feature of multidrug resistant Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihong Hao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in multidrug resistance and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chickens. The virulence of six multidrug resistant C. jejuni was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the multidrug resistance and virulence of a selected isolate (C. jejuni 1655. The comparative genomic analyses revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, deletions, rearrangements, and inversions in C. jejuni 1655 compared to reference C. jejuni genomes. The co-emergence of Thr-86-Ile mutation in gyrA gene, A2075G mutation in 23S rRNA gene, tetO, aphA and aadE genes and pTet plasmid in C. jejuni 1655 contributed its multidrug resistance to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline and aminoglycosides. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in C. jejuni 1655. The co-existence of mobile gene elements (e.g. pTet and CRISPR-Cas system in C. jejuni 1655 may play an important role in the gene transfer and immune defense. The present study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of C. jejuni 1655, a strain recently isolated from a chicken displaying multidrug resistance and relatively high level of virulence.

  15. Long-distance delivery of bacterial virulence factors by Pseudomonas aeruginosa outer membrane vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Bomberger

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria use a variety of secreted virulence factors to manipulate host cells, thereby causing significant morbidity and mortality. We report a mechanism for the long-distance delivery of multiple bacterial virulence factors, simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm, thus obviating the need for direct interaction of the pathogen with the host cell to cause cytotoxicity. We show that outer membrane-derived vesicles (OMV secreted by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa deliver multiple virulence factors, including beta-lactamase, alkaline phosphatase, hemolytic phospholipase C, and Cif, directly into the host cytoplasm via fusion of OMV with lipid rafts in the host plasma membrane. These virulence factors enter the cytoplasm of the host cell via N-WASP-mediated actin trafficking, where they rapidly distribute to specific subcellular locations to affect host cell biology. We propose that secreted virulence factors are not released individually as naked proteins into the surrounding milieu where they may randomly contact the surface of the host cell, but instead bacterial derived OMV deliver multiple virulence factors simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm in a coordinated manner.

  16. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Colin D.; Hazen, Tracy H.; Kaper, James B.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS) components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential. PMID:29487233

  17. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin D. Robertson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential.

  18. [Virulence and its relationship to antibiotic resistance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly-Guillou, M L

    1998-12-01

    PATHOGENIC ISLANDS: Certain DNA blocks inserted into the chromosome of most Gram negative bacteria originated in pathogens found in plants. VIRULENCE-ANTIBIOTIC INTERACTIONS: During the invasive phase, the bacterial cell covers itself with adhesins which facilitate its adherence to tissues. The bacterial cell produces a fibronectin which protects its defense systems. Antibiotics favor bacterial resistance by increasing the expression of surface adhesins and fibronectin production. PENICILLIN RESISTANT PNEUMOCOCCI: Experimental models have demonstrated that mortality in mice and host resistance to pneumococcal infection are related to the type of capsule and not to antibiotic resistance. QUORUM SENSING: The bacterial inoculum regulates the production of virulence factors in vivo via quorum sensing. This regulation can play an important role in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. ACINETOBACTER BAUMANNI VIRULENCE: Long poorly understood, factors favoring A. baumanni virulence appear to result from bacterial production of IROMPs in the extracellular growth medium in response to iron depletion during the exponential growth phase.

  19. Metabolic Genetic Screens Reveal Multidimensional Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression in Listeria monocytogenes and an Aminopeptidase That Is Critical for PrfA Protein Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Sivan; Linsky, Marika; Lobel, Lior; Rabinovich, Lev; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2017-06-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and intracellular bacterial pathogen. Upon invading mammalian cells, the bacterium senses abrupt changes in its metabolic environment, which are rapidly transduced to regulation of virulence gene expression. To explore the relationship between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence, we monitored virulence gene expression dynamics across a library of genetic mutants grown under two metabolic conditions known to activate the virulent state: charcoal-treated rich medium containing glucose-1-phosphate and minimal defined medium containing limiting concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We identified over 100 distinct mutants that exhibit aberrant virulence gene expression profiles, the majority of which mapped to nonessential metabolic genes. Mutants displayed enhanced, decreased, and early and late virulence gene expression profiles, as well as persistent levels, demonstrating a high plasticity in virulence gene regulation. Among the mutants, one was noteworthy for its particularly low virulence gene expression level and mapped to an X-prolyl aminopeptidase (PepP). We show that this peptidase plays a role in posttranslational activation of the major virulence regulator, PrfA. Specifically, PepP mediates recruitment of PrfA to the cytoplasmic membrane, a step identified as critical for PrfA protein activation. This study establishes a novel step in the complex mechanism of PrfA activation and further highlights the cross regulation of metabolism and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  20. NEMS Oscillators as Sensors and Actuators: Understanding the Mechanical Properties of Nanoresonators and Their Applications for Molecular Sensing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Development of nanotechnology and enhancement of nanostructures for future applications requires a good understanding of a material's behavior at the nanoscale, as...

  1. Interplay among Resistance Profiles, High-Risk Clones, and Virulence in the Caenorhabditis elegans Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Diener, Irina; Zamorano, Laura; López-Causapé, Carla; Cabot, Gabriel; Mulet, Xavier; Peña, Carmen; Del Campo, Rosa; Cantón, Rafael; Doménech-Sánchez, Antonio; Martínez-Martínez, Luis; Arcos, Susana C; Navas, Alfonso; Oliver, Antonio

    2017-12-01

    The increasing prevalence of nosocomial infections produced by multidrug-resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa is frequently linked to widespread international strains designated high-risk clones. In this work, we attempted to decipher the interplay between resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence, testing a large ( n = 140) collection of well-characterized P. aeruginosa isolates from different sources (bloodstream infections, nosocomial outbreaks, cystic fibrosis, and the environment) in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. Consistent with previous data, we documented a clear inverse correlation between antimicrobial resistance and virulence in the C. elegans model. Indeed, the lowest virulence was linked to XDR profiles, which were typically linked to defined high-risk clones. However, virulence varied broadly depending on the involved high-risk clone; it was high for sequence type 111 (ST111) and ST235 but very low for ST175. The highest virulence of ST235 could be attributed to its exoU + type III secretion system (TTSS) genotype, which was found to be linked with higher virulence in our C. elegans model. Other markers, such as motility or pigment production, were not essential for virulence in the C. elegans model but seemed to be related with the higher values of the statistical normalized data. In contrast to ST235, the ST175 high-risk clone, which is widespread in Spain and France, seems to be associated with a particularly low virulence in the C. elegans model. Moreover, the previously described G154R AmpR mutation, prevalent in ST175, was found to contribute to the reduced virulence, although it was not the only factor involved. Altogether, our results provide a major step forward for understanding the interplay between P. aeruginosa resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  2. Evolving ideas about genetics underlying insect virulence to plant resistance in rice-brown planthopper interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Tetsuya

    2016-01-01

    Many plant-parasite interactions that include major plant resistance genes have subsequently been shown to exhibit features of gene-for-gene interactions between plant Resistance genes and parasite Avirulence genes. The brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens is an important pest of rice (Oryza sativa). Historically, major Resistance genes have played an important role in agriculture. As is common in gene-for-gene interactions, evolution of BPH virulence compromises the effectiveness of singly-deployed resistance genes. It is therefore surprising that laboratory studies of BPH have supported the conclusion that virulence is conferred by changes in many genes rather than a change in a single gene, as is proposed by the gene-for-gene model. Here we review the behaviour, physiology and genetics of the BPH in the context of host plant resistance. A problem for genetic understanding has been the use of various insect populations that differ in frequencies of virulent genotypes. We show that the previously proposed polygenic inheritance of BPH virulence can be explained by the heterogeneity of parental populations. Genetic mapping of Avirulence genes indicates that virulence is a monogenic trait. These evolving concepts, which have brought the gene-for-gene model back into the picture, are accelerating our understanding of rice-BPH interactions at the molecular level. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. A SNARE-Like Protein and Biotin Are Implicated in Soybean Cyst Nematode Virulence.

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    Sadia Bekal

    Full Text Available Phytoparasitic nematodes that are able to infect and reproduce on plants that are considered resistant are referred to as virulent. The mechanism(s that virulent nematodes employ to evade or suppress host plant defenses are not well understood. Here we report the use of a genetic strategy (allelic imbalance analysis to associate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs with nematode virulence genes in Heterodera glycines, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN. To accomplish this analysis, a custom SCN SNP array was developed and used to genotype SCN F3-derived populations grown on resistant and susceptible soybean plants. Three SNPs reproducibly showed allele imbalances between nematodes grown on resistant and susceptible plants. Two candidate SCN virulence genes that were tightly linked to the SNPs were identified. One SCN gene encoded biotin synthase (HgBioB, and the other encoded a bacterial-like protein containing a putative SNARE domain (HgSLP-1. The two genes mapped to two different linkage groups. HgBioB contained sequence polymorphisms between avirulent and virulent nematodes. However, the gene encoding HgSLP-1 had reduced copy number in virulent nematode populations and appears to produce multiple forms of the protein via intron retention and alternative splicing. We show that HgSLP-1 is an esophageal-gland protein that is secreted by the nematode during plant parasitism. Furthermore, in bacterial co-expression experiments, HgSLP-1 co-purified with the SCN resistance protein Rhg1 α-SNAP, suggesting that these two proteins physically interact. Collectively our data suggest that multiple SCN genes are involved in SCN virulence, and that HgSLP-1 may function as an avirulence protein and when absent it helps SCN evade host defenses.

  4. Effect of ethanol on differential protein production and expression of potential virulence functions in the opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.

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    Chika C Nwugo

    Full Text Available Acinetobacter baumannii persists in the medical environment and causes severe human nosocomial infections. Previous studies showed that low-level ethanol exposure increases the virulence of A. baumannii ATCC 17978. To better understand the mechanisms involved in this response, 2-D gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry was used to investigate differential protein production in bacteria cultured in the presence or absence of ethanol. This approach showed that the presence of ethanol significantly induces and represses the production of 22 and 12 proteins, respectively. Although over 25% of the ethanol-induced proteins were stress-response related, the overall bacterial viability was uncompromised when cultured under these conditions. Production of proteins involved in lipid and carbohydrate anabolism was increased in the presence of ethanol, a response that correlates with increased carbohydrate biofilm content, enhanced biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces and decrease bacterial motility on semi-solid surfaces. The presence of ethanol also induced the acidification of bacterial cultures and the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, a ubiquitous plant hormone that signals bacterial stress-tolerance and promotes plant-bacteria interactions. These responses could be responsible for the significantly enhanced virulence of A. baumannii ATCC 17978 cells cultured in the presence of ethanol when tested with the Galleria mellonella experimental infection model. Taken together, these observations provide new insights into the effect of ethanol in bacterial virulence. This alcohol predisposes the human host to infections by A. baumannii and could favor the survival and adaptation of this pathogen to medical settings and adverse host environments.

  5. Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial on the Double-Slit Experiment to Improve Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, Ryan; Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students' prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in…

  6. A Study of the Effect of Preschool Children's Participation in Sensorimotor Activities on Their Understanding of the Mechanical Equilibrium of a Balance Beam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadzigeorgiou, Yannis; Anastasiou, Leonidas; Konsolas, Manos; Prevezanou, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether participation in sensorimotor activities by preschool children involving their own bodily balance while walking on a beam over the floor has an effect on their understanding of the mechanical equilibrium of a balance beam. The balance beam consisted of a horizontal stick balancing around its…

  7. A dynamical approach toward understanding mechanisms of team science: change, kinship, tension, and heritage in a transdisciplinary team.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotrecchiano, Gaetano R

    2013-08-01

    Since the concept of team science gained recognition among biomedical researchers, social scientists have been challenged with investigating evidence of team mechanisms and functional dynamics within transdisciplinary teams. Identification of these mechanisms has lacked substantial research using grounded theory models to adequately describe their dynamical qualities. Research trends continue to favor the measurement of teams by isolating occurrences of production over relational mechanistic team tendencies. This study uses a social constructionist-grounded multilevel mixed methods approach to identify social dynamics and mechanisms within a transdisciplinary team. A National Institutes of Health-funded research team served as a sample. Data from observations, interviews, and focus groups were qualitatively coded to generate micro/meso level analyses. Social mechanisms operative within this biomedical scientific team were identified. Dynamics that support such mechanisms were documented and explored. Through theoretical and emergent coding, four social mechanisms dominated in the analysis-change, kinship, tension, and heritage. Each contains relational social dynamics. This micro/meso level study suggests such mechanisms and dynamics are key features of team science and as such can inform problems of integration, praxis, and engagement in teams. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. The Potential Link between Thermal Resistance and Virulence in Salmonella: A Review

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    Turki M. Dawoud

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In some animals, the typical body temperature can be higher than humans, for example, 42°C in poultry and 40°C in rabbits which can be a potential thermal stress challenge for pathogens. Even in animals with lower body temperatures, when infection occurs, the immune system may increase body temperature to reduce the chance of survival for pathogens. However, some pathogens can still easily overcome higher body temperatures and/or rise in body temperatures through expression of stress response mechanisms. Salmonella is the causative agent of one of the most prevalent foodborne illnesses, salmonellosis, and can readily survive over a wide range of temperatures due to the efficient expression of the heat (thermal stress response. Therefore, thermal resistance mechanisms can provide cross protection against other stresses including the non-specific host defenses found within the human body thus increasing pathogenic potential. Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with thermal responses in Salmonella is crucial in designing and developing more effective or new treatments for reducing and eliminating infection caused by Salmonella that have survived heat stress. In this review, Salmonella thermal resistance is assessed followed by an overview of the thermal stress responses with a focus on gene regulation by sigma factors, heat shock proteins, along with the corresponding thermosensors and their association with virulence expression including a focus on a potential link between heat resistance and potential for infection.

  9. Stress corrosion cracking of alloy 600 in water at high temperature: contribution to a phenomenological approach to the understanding of mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abadie, Pascale

    1998-01-01

    This research thesis aims at being a contribution to the understanding of mechanisms of stress corrosion cracking of an alloy 600 in water at high temperature. More precisely, it aimed at determining, by using quantitative data characterizing cracking phenomenology, which mechanism(s) is (are) able to explain crack initiation and crack growth. These data concern quantitative characterization of crack initiation, of crack growth and of the influence of two cracking parameters (strain rate, medium hydrogen content). They have been obtained by quantifying cracking through the application of a morphological model. More precisely, these data are: evolution of crack density during a tensile test at slow rate, value of initial crack width with respect to grain boundary length, and relationship between crack density and medium hydrogen content. It appears that hydrogen absorption seems to be involved in the crack initiation mechanism. Crack growth mechanisms and crack growth rates are also discussed [fr

  10. Toward an understanding of "Legacy P" - phosphorus sorption mechanisms in stream sediments as influenced by organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audette, Yuki; O'Halloran, Ivan P.; Nowell, Peter M.; Congreves, Katelyn; Voroney, R. Paul

    2017-04-01

    -P minerals, even under neutral to alkaline conditions. Thus, where OM-Fe-P forms predominate, we predict a high risk of SRP release from sediments when water chemistry changes. In addition, OM may inhibit the transformation of labile Ca-P forms to more stable Ca-P minerals. Loading of OM affects the development of hypoxia in aquatic systems, and the accumulation of OM can promote the release of both SRP and dissolved organic C to downstream environments. This study provides evidence that the presence of OM in stream sediments influences P sorption mechanisms and is critical in understanding P biogeochemistry in freshwater environments.

  11. Virulence-associated genome mutations of murine rotavirus identified by alternating serial passages in mice and cell cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsugawa, Takeshi; Tatsumi, Masatoshi; Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki

    2014-05-01

    Although significant clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed in many countries, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a cell culture-adapted murine rotavirus EB strain in mouse pups or in cell cultures alternately and repeatedly and fully sequenced all 11 genes of 21 virus samples passaged in mice or in cell cultures. Sequence analysis revealed that mouse-passaged viruses that regained virulence almost consistently acquired four kinds of amino acid (aa) substitutions in VP4 and substitution in aa 37 (Val to Ala) in NSP4. In addition, they gained and invariably conserved the 3' consensus sequence in NSP1. The molecular changes occurred along with the acquisition of virulence during passages in mice and then disappeared following passages in cell cultures. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed the aa 37 site as important for its diarrheagenic activity in mice. These genome changes are likely to be correlated with rotavirus virulence. Serial passage of a virulent wild-type virus in vitro often results in loss of virulence of the virus in an original animal host, while serial passage of a cell culture-adapted avirulent virus in vivo often gains virulence in an animal host. Actually, live attenuated virus vaccines were originally produced by serial passage in cell cultures. Although clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a murine rotavirus by alternating switch of host (mice or cell cultures) repeatedly and sequenced the eleven genes of the passaged viruses to identify mutations associated with the emergence or disappearance of virulence. Sequence analysis revealed that changes in three genes (VP4, NSP1, and NSP4) were associated with virulence in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed its diarrheagenic activity in mice

  12. Virulence-Associated Genome Mutations of Murine Rotavirus Identified by Alternating Serial Passages in Mice and Cell Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsumi, Masatoshi; Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Although significant clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed in many countries, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a cell culture-adapted murine rotavirus EB strain in mouse pups or in cell cultures alternately and repeatedly and fully sequenced all 11 genes of 21 virus samples passaged in mice or in cell cultures. Sequence analysis revealed that mouse-passaged viruses that regained virulence almost consistently acquired four kinds of amino acid (aa) substitutions in VP4 and substitution in aa 37 (Val to Ala) in NSP4. In addition, they gained and invariably conserved the 3′ consensus sequence in NSP1. The molecular changes occurred along with the acquisition of virulence during passages in mice and then disappeared following passages in cell cultures. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed the aa 37 site as important for its diarrheagenic activity in mice. These genome changes are likely to be correlated with rotavirus virulence. IMPORTANCE Serial passage of a virulent wild-type virus in vitro often results in loss of virulence of the virus in an original animal host, while serial passage of a cell culture-adapted avirulent virus in vivo often gains virulence in an animal host. Actually, live attenuated virus vaccines were originally produced by serial passage in cell cultures. Although clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a murine rotavirus by alternating switch of host (mice or cell cultures) repeatedly and sequenced the eleven genes of the passaged viruses to identify mutations associated with the emergence or disappearance of virulence. Sequence analysis revealed that changes in three genes (VP4, NSP1, and NSP4) were associated with virulence in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed its

  13. Understanding the Atomic Scale Mechanisms that Control the Attainment of Ultralow Friction and Wear in Carbon-Based Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-16

    materials to applications such as vibrating joints1,2, contacting and sliding surfaces in micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems for sensors and...Friction and Wear. R.W. Carpick, Midwest Mechanics 2014/2015 Invited Speaker , Iowa State University, Feb. 2015. 4. Invited. Atomic-Scale Processes...in Single Asperity Friction and Wear. R.W. Carpick, Midwest Mechanics 2014/2015 Invited Speaker , University of Minnesota, Feb. 2015. 5. Invited

  14. The cytolethal distending toxin contributes to microbial virulence and disease pathogenesis by acting as a tri-perditious toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika D Scuron

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This review summarizes the current status and recent advances in our understanding of the role that the cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt plays as a virulence factor in promoting disease by toxin-producing pathogens. A major focus of this review is on the relationship between structure and function of the individual subunits that comprise the AB2 Cdt holotoxin. In particular, we concentrate on the molecular mechanisms that characterize this toxin and which account for the ability of Cdt to intoxicate multiple cell types by utilizing a ubiquitous binding partner on the cell membrane. Furthermore, we propose a paradigm shift for the molecular mode of action by which the active Cdt subunit, CdtB, is able to block a key signaling cascade and thereby lead to outcomes based upon programming and the role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K in a variety of cells. Based upon the collective Cdt literature, we now propose that Cdt is a unique and potent virulence factor capable of acting as a tri-perditious toxin that impairs host defenses by: 1 disrupting epithelial barriers; 2 suppressing acquired immunity; 3 promoting pro-inflammatory responses. Thus Cdt plays a key role in facilitating the early stages of infection and the later stages of disease progression by contributing to persistence and impairing host elimination.

  15. CRH Affects the Phenotypic Expression of Sepsis-Associated Virulence Factors by Streptococcus pneumoniae Serotype 1 In vitro

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    Colette G. Ngo Ndjom

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sepsis is a life-threatening health condition caused by infectious pathogens of the respiratory tract, and accounts for 28–50% of annual deaths in the US alone. Current treatment regimen advocates the use of corticosteroids as adjunct treatment with antibiotics, for their broad inhibitory effect on the activity and production of pro-inflammatory mediators. However, despite their use, corticosteroids have not proven to be able to reverse the death incidence among septic patients. We have previously demonstrated the potential for neuroendocrine factors to directly influence Streptococcus pneumoniae virulence, which may in turn mediate disease outcome leading to sepsis and septic shock. The current study investigated the role of Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH in mediating key markers of pneumococcal virulence as important phenotypic determinants of sepsis and septic shock risks. In vitro cultures of serotype 1 pneumococcal strain with CRH promoted growth rate, increased capsule thickness and penicillin resistance, as well as induced pneumolysin gene expression. These results thus provide significant insights of CRH–pathogen interactions useful in understanding the underlying mechanisms of neuroendocrine factor's role in the onset of community acquired pneumonias (CAP, sepsis and septic shock.

  16. Differences in virulence and sporulation of Phytophthora kernoviae isolates originating from two distinct geographical regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phytophthora kernoviae has only been isolated from the United Kingdom (U.K.) and New Zealand. To understand what differences may exist between isolates from these two distinct geographical regions, virulence studies on three host plants and sporulation on host leaves were conducted on select isolat...

  17. A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding the Mechanisms of Action of an Alternative Anticancer Compound in Comparison to Cisplatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Elise P.; Padula, Matthew P.; Higgins, Vincent J.; Aldrich-Wright, Janice R.; Coorssen, Jens R.

    2014-01-01

    Many clinically available anticancer compounds are designed to target DNA. This commonality of action often yields overlapping cellular response mechanisms and can thus detract from drug efficacy. New compounds are required to overcome resistance mechanisms that effectively neutralise compounds like cisplatin and those with similar chemical structures. Studies have shown that 56MESS is a novel compound which, unlike cisplatin, does not covalently bind to DNA, but is more toxic to many cell lines and active against cisplatin-resistant cells. Furthermore, a transcriptional study of 56MESS in yeast has implicated iron and copper metabolism as well as the general yeast stress response following challenge with 56MESS. Beyond this, the cytotoxicity of 56MESS remains largely uncharacterised. Here, yeast was used as a model system to facilitate a systems-level comparison between 56MESS and cisplatin. Preliminary experiments indicated that higher concentrations than seen in similar studies be used. Although a DNA interaction with 56MESS had been theorized, this work indicated that an effect on protein synthesis/ degradation was also implicated in the mechanism(s) of action of this novel anticancer compound. In contrast to cisplatin, the different mechanisms of action that are indicated for 56MESS suggest that this compound could overcome cisplatin resistance either as a stand-alone treatment or a synergistic component of therapeutics. PMID:28250393

  18. Bistable expression of virulence genes in salmonella leads to the formation of an antibiotic-tolerant subpopulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Arnoldini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic heterogeneity can confer clonal groups of organisms with new functionality. A paradigmatic example is the bistable expression of virulence genes in Salmonella typhimurium, which leads to phenotypically virulent and phenotypically avirulent subpopulations. The two subpopulations have been shown to divide labor during S. typhimurium infections. Here, we show that heterogeneous virulence gene expression in this organism also promotes survival against exposure to antibiotics through a bet-hedging mechanism. Using microfluidic devices in combination with fluorescence time-lapse microscopy and quantitative image analysis, we analyzed the expression of virulence genes at the single cell level and related it to survival when exposed to antibiotics. We found that, across different types of antibiotics and under concentrations that are clinically relevant, the subpopulation of bacterial cells that express virulence genes shows increased survival after exposure to antibiotics. Intriguingly, there is an interplay between the two consequences of phenotypic heterogeneity. The bet-hedging effect that arises through heterogeneity in virulence gene expression can protect clonal populations against avirulent mutants that exploit and subvert the division of labor within these populations. We conclude that bet-hedging and the division of labor can arise through variation in a single trait and interact with each other. This reveals a new degree of functional complexity of phenotypic heterogeneity. In addition, our results suggest a general principle of how pathogens can evade antibiotics: Expression of virulence factors often entails metabolic costs and the resulting growth retardation could generally increase tolerance against antibiotics and thus compromise treatment.

  19. Differential protein accumulations in isolates of the strawberry wilt pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae differing in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Xiangling; Barbetti, Martin J

    2014-08-28

    This study was conducted to define differences in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof) isolates with different virulence efficiency to strawberry at the proteome level, in combination with their differences in mycelial growth, conidial production and germination. Comparative proteome analyses revealed substantial differences in mycelial proteomes between Fof isolates, where the 54 differentially accumulated protein spots were consistently over-accumulated or exclusively in the highly virulent isolate. These protein spots were identified through MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analyses, and the identified proteins were mainly related to primary and protein metabolism, antioxidation, electron transport, cell cycle and transcription based on their putative functions. Proteins of great potential as Fof virulence factors were those involved in ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated protein degradation and reactive oxygen species detoxification; the hydrolysis-related protein haloacid dehalogenase superfamily hydrolase; 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase associated with riboflavin biosynthesis; and those exclusive to the highly virulent isolate. In addition, post-translational modifications may also make an important contribution to Fof virulence. F. oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof), the causal agent of Fusarium wilt in strawberry, is a serious threat to commercial strawberry production worldwide. However, factors and mechanisms contributing to Fof virulence remained unknown. This study provides knowledge of the molecular basis for the differential expression of virulence in Fof, allowing new possibilities towards developing alternative and more effective strategies to manage Fusarium wilt. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an indicator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.

  1. Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. We identify eight practices common in aquaculture that theory predicts may favor evolution toward higher pathogen virulence. Four are related to intensive aquaculture operations, and four others are related specifically to infectious disease control. Our intention is to make aquaculture managers aware of these risks, such that with increased vigilance, they might be able to detect and prevent the emergence and spread of increasingly troublesome pathogen strains in the future.

  2. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrellad, Marina A.; Klepp, Laura I.; Gioffré, Andrea; Sabio y García, Julia; Morbidoni, Hector R.; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Cataldi, Angel A.; Bigi, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) consists of closely related species that cause tuberculosis in both humans and animals. This illness, still today, remains to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The mycobacteria enter the host by air, and, once in the lungs, are phagocytated by macrophages. This may lead to the rapid elimination of the bacillus or to the triggering of an active tuberculosis infection. A large number of different virulence factors have evolved in MTBC members as a response to the host immune reaction. The aim of this review is to describe the bacterial genes/proteins that are essential for the virulence of MTBC species, and that have been demonstrated in an in vivo model of infection. Knowledge of MTBC virulence factors is essential for the development of new vaccines and drugs to help manage the disease toward an increasingly more tuberculosis-free world. PMID:23076359

  3. Protein kinase A and fungal virulence: a sinister side to a conserved nutrient sensing pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Kevin K; Rhodes, Judith C

    2012-01-01

    Diverse fungal species are the cause of devastating agricultural and human diseases. As successful pathogenesis is dependent upon the ability of the fungus to adapt to the nutritional and chemical environment of the host, the understanding of signaling pathways required for such adaptation will provide insights into the virulence of these pathogens and the potential identification of novel targets for antifungal intervention. The cAMP-PKA signaling pathway is well conserved across eukaryotes. In the nonpathogenic yeast, S. cerevisiae, PKA is activated in response to extracellular nutrients and subsequently regulates metabolism and growth. Importantly, this pathway is also a regulator of pathogenesis, as defects in PKA signaling lead to an attenuation of virulence in diverse plant and human pathogenic fungi. This review will compare and contrast PKA signaling in S. cerevisiae vs. various pathogenic species and provide a framework for the role of this pathway in regulating fungal virulence.

  4. Technologies and Approaches to Elucidate and Model the Virulence Program of Salmonella.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDermott, Jason E.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Metz, Thomas O.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-04-01

    Salmonella is a primary cause of enteric diseases in a variety of animals. During its evolution into a pathogenic bacterium, Salmonella acquired an elaborate regulatory network that responds to multiple environmental stimuli within host animals and integrates them resulting in fine regulation of the virulence program. The coordinated action by this regulatory network involves numerous virulence regulators, necessitating genome-wide profiling analysis to assess and combine efforts from multiple regulons. In this review we discuss recent high-throughput analytic approaches to understand the regulatory network of Salmonella that controls virulence processes. Application of high-throughput analyses have generated a large amount of data and driven development of computational approaches required for data integration. Therefore, we also cover computer-aided network analyses to infer regulatory networks, and demonstrate how genome-scale data can be used to construct regulatory and metabolic systems models of Salmonella pathogenesis. Genes that are coordinately controlled by multiple virulence regulators under infectious conditions are more likely to be important for pathogenesis. Thus, reconstructing the global regulatory network during infection or, at the very least, under conditions that mimic the host cellular environment not only provides a bird’s eye view of Salmonella survival strategy in response to hostile host environments but also serves as an efficient means to identify novel virulence factors that are essential for Salmonella to accomplish systemic infection in the host.

  5. A SNARE-like protein and biotin are implicated in soybean cyst nematode virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Some phytoparasitic nematodes have the ability to infect and reproduce on plants that are normally considered resistant to nematode infection. Such nematodes are referred to as virulent and the mechanisms they use to evade or suppress host plant defenses are not well understood. Here, we report the ...

  6. Understanding and modelling of the aniso-thermal cyclic mechanical behaviour of the AISI 316LN austenitic stainless steel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gentet, D.

    2009-11-01

    The main subject of this report consists in proposing a mechanical model of the viscoplastic behaviour of an austenitic stainless steel under isothermal and aniso-thermal low cycle fatigue loadings at high temperatures (550-900 K). In this domain, numerous phenomena linked to dynamic strain ageing (DSA) and to dipolar dislocation structure formation may appear. Isothermal and aniso-thermal low cycle fatigue tension-compression tests were performed in order to verify some aspects about the effect of temperature on the mechanical behaviour. The study of the hysteresis loops and the observation of dislocation structures carried on transmission electron microscopy establish two different DSA mechanisms during isothermal tests. The effect of temperature history is shown for for particular temperature sequences. It is demonstrated that the stress amplitude increase when the sample is submitted to cycles at 'high temperature' is linked to the second mechanism of DSA. It comes from the increase of short range interaction between dislocations (chromium segregation), but it is also the consequence of the lack of dipolar structure annihilation at low temperature. From the experimental analysis of DSA mechanisms and dipolar restoration, a macroscopic aniso-thermal model is developed using physical internal variables (densities of dislocations). The equations of a polycrystalline model are rewritten with the aim of getting a simple multi-scale approach which can be used on finite elements analysis software. Between 550 and 873 K, the simulation results are in good accordance with the macroscopic and microscopic observations of low cycle fatigue, relaxation, and 2D-ratchetting tests. (author)

  7. Brucella abortus: pathogenicity and gene regulation of virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Brucella abortus is a zoonotic intracellular facultative pathogen belonging to the subdivision α2 of class Proteobacteria. It causes a worldwide distributed zoonotic disease called brucellosis. The main symptoms are abortion and sterility in cattle, as well as an undulant febrile condition in humans. In endemic regions like Central America, brucellosis has a high socioeconomic impact. A basic research project was recently conducted at the ITCR with the purpose of studying gene regulation of virulence, structure and immunogenicity in B. abortus. The present review was written as part of this project. B. abortus virulence seems to be determined by its ability to invade, survive and replicate inside professional and non-professional phagocytes. It reaches its intracellular replicative niche without the activation of host antimicrobial mechanisms of innate immunity. It also has gene regulation mechanisms for a rapid adaptation to an intracellular environment such as the two-component signal transduction system BvrR/BvrS and the quorum sensing regulator called Vjbr, as well as other transcription factors. All of them integrate a complex gene regulation network.

  8. Mechanosensing regulates virulence in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md Shahidul; Krachler, Anne Marie

    2016-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a food-borne pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route, and can cause bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in the human host. Although a range of colonization factors, Shiga toxins and a type III secretion system (T3SS) all contribute to disease development, the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) encoded T3SS is responsible for the formation of lesions in the intestinal tract. While a variety of chemical cues in the host environment are known to up-regulate LEE expression, we recently demonstrated that changes in physical forces at the site of attachment are required for localized, full induction of the system and thus spatial regulation of virulence in the intestinal tract. Here, we discuss our findings in the light of other recent studies describing mechanosensing of the host and force-dependent induction of virulence mechanisms. We discuss potential mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction, and the level of conservation across bacterial species.

  9. Integrative genomic analysis identifies isoleucine and CodY as regulators of Listeria monocytogenes virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lior Lobel

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens are metabolically adapted to grow within mammalian cells. While these adaptations are fundamental to the ability to cause disease, we know little about the relationship between the pathogen's metabolism and virulence. Here we used an integrative Metabolic Analysis Tool that combines transcriptome data with genome-scale metabolic models to define the metabolic requirements of Listeria monocytogenes during infection. Twelve metabolic pathways were identified as differentially active during L. monocytogenes growth in macrophage cells. Intracellular replication requires de novo synthesis of histidine, arginine, purine, and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs, as well as catabolism of L-rhamnose and glycerol. The importance of each metabolic pathway during infection was confirmed by generation of gene knockout mutants in the respective pathways. Next, we investigated the association of these metabolic requirements in the regulation of L. monocytogenes virulence. Here we show that limiting BCAA concentrations, primarily isoleucine, results in robust induction of the master virulence activator gene, prfA, and the PrfA-regulated genes. This response was specific and required the nutrient responsive regulator CodY, which is known to bind isoleucine. Further analysis demonstrated that CodY is involved in prfA regulation, playing a role in prfA activation under limiting conditions of BCAAs. This study evidences an additional regulatory mechanism underlying L. monocytogenes virulence, placing CodY at the crossroads of metabolism and virulence.

  10. Antimicrobial peptide GH12 suppresses cariogenic virulence factors of Streptococcus mutans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yufei; Wang, Xiuqing; Jiang, Wentao; Wang, Kun; Luo, Junyuan; Li, Wei; Zhou, Xuedong; Zhang, Linglin

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cariogenic virulence factors of Streptococcus mutans include acidogenicity, aciduricity, and extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) synthesis. The de novo designed antimicrobial peptide GH12 has shown bactericidal effects on S. mutans, but its interaction with virulence and regulatory systems of S. mutans remains to be elucidated. The objectives were to investigate the effects of GH12 on virulence factors of S. mutans, and further explore the function mechanisms at enzymatic and transcriptional levels. To avoid decrease in bacterial viability, we limited GH12 to subinhibitory levels. We evaluated effects of GH12 on acidogenicity of S. mutans by pH drop, lactic acid measurement and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, on aciduricity through survival rate at pH 5.0 and F1F0-ATPase assay, and on EPS synthesis using quantitative measurement, morphology observation, vertical distribution analyses and biomass calculation. Afterwards, we conducted quantitative real-time PCR to acquire the expression profile of related genes. GH12 at 1/2 MIC (4 mg/L) inhibited acid production, survival rate, EPS synthesis, and biofilm formation. The enzymatic activity of LDH and F1F0-ATPase was inhibited, and ldh, gtfBCD, vicR, liaR, and comDE genes were significantly downregulated. In conclusion, GH12 inhibited virulence factors of S. mutans, through reducing the activity of related enzymes, downregulating virulence genes, and inactivating specific regulatory systems. PMID:29503706

  11. The Streptococcus sanguinis competence regulon is not required for infective endocarditis virulence in a rabbit model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill E Callahan

    Full Text Available Streptococcus sanguinis is an important component of dental plaque and a leading cause of infective endocarditis. Genetic competence in S. sanguinis requires a quorum sensing system encoded by the early comCDE genes, as well as late genes controlled by the alternative sigma factor, ComX. Previous studies of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have identified functions for the >100-gene com regulon in addition to DNA uptake, including virulence. We investigated this possibility in S. sanguinis. Strains deleted for the comCDE or comX master regulatory genes were created. Using a rabbit endocarditis model in conjunction with a variety of virulence assays, we determined that both mutants possessed infectivity equivalent to that of a virulent control strain, and that measures of disease were similar in rabbits infected with each strain. These results suggest that the com regulon is not required for S. sanguinis infective endocarditis virulence in this model. We propose that the different roles of the S. sanguinis, S. pneumoniae, and S. mutans com regulons in virulence can be understood in relation to the pathogenic mechanisms employed by each species.

  12. The Streptococcus sanguinis competence regulon is not required for infective endocarditis virulence in a rabbit model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Jill E; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd

    2011-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is an important component of dental plaque and a leading cause of infective endocarditis. Genetic competence in S. sanguinis requires a quorum sensing system encoded by the early comCDE genes, as well as late genes controlled by the alternative sigma factor, ComX. Previous studies of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have identified functions for the >100-gene com regulon in addition to DNA uptake, including virulence. We investigated this possibility in S. sanguinis. Strains deleted for the comCDE or comX master regulatory genes were created. Using a rabbit endocarditis model in conjunction with a variety of virulence assays, we determined that both mutants possessed infectivity equivalent to that of a virulent control strain, and that measures of disease were similar in rabbits infected with each strain. These results suggest that the com regulon is not required for S. sanguinis infective endocarditis virulence in this model. We propose that the different roles of the S. sanguinis, S. pneumoniae, and S. mutans com regulons in virulence can be understood in relation to the pathogenic mechanisms employed by each species.

  13. Ecto-5'-nucleotidase: a candidate virulence factor in Streptococcus sanguinis experimental endocarditis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N; Frank, Kristi L; Guenther, Brian D; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M; Herzberg, Mark C

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is the most common cause of infective endocarditis (IE). Since the molecular basis of virulence of this oral commensal bacterium remains unclear, we searched the genome of S. sanguinis for previously unidentified virulence factors. We identified a cell surface ecto-5'-nucleotidase (Nt5e), as a candidate virulence factor. By colorimetric phosphate assay, we showed that S. sanguinis Nt5e can hydrolyze extracellular adenosine triphosphate to generate adenosine. Moreover, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (PS. sanguinis caused IE (4 d) in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (PS. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i) hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii) Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE.

  14. Ecto-5′-Nucleotidase: A Candidate Virulence Factor in Streptococcus sanguinis Experimental Endocarditis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Frank, Kristi L.; Guenther, Brian D.; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Herzberg, Mark C.

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is the most common cause of infective endocarditis (IE). Since the molecular basis of virulence of this oral commensal bacterium remains unclear, we searched the genome of S. sanguinis for previously unidentified virulence factors. We identified a cell surface ecto-5′-nucleotidase (Nt5e), as a candidate virulence factor. By colorimetric phosphate assay, we showed that S. sanguinis Nt5e can hydrolyze extracellular adenosine triphosphate to generate adenosine. Moreover, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (PS. sanguinis caused IE (4 d) in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (PS. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i) hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii) Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE. PMID:22685551

  15. The significance of virulence factors in Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2013-07-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is linked to various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small fraction of these patients develop associated diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than those in other countries. The incidence of gastric cancer tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Such geographical differences in the pathology can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factors in addition to host and environmental factors. Virulence factors of H. pylori, such as CagA, VacA, DupA, IceA, OipA and BabA, have been demonstrated to be the predictors of severe clinical outcomes. Interestingly, a meta-analysis showed that CagA seropositivity was associated with gastric cancer compared with gastritis, even in East Asian countries where almost the strains possess cagA. Another meta-analysis also confirmed the significance of vacA, dupA and iceA. However, it is possible that additional important pathogenic genes may exist because H. pylori consists of approximately 1600 genes. Despite the advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori infection-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Digestive Diseases © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and Chinese Medical Association Shanghai Branch, Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine.

  16. P-Ser-HPr-a link between carbon metabolism and the virulence of some pathogenic bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mijakovic, Ivan

    2005-01-01

    HPr kinase/phosphorylase phosphorylates HPr, a phosphocarrier protein of the phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system, at serine-46. P-Ser-HPr is the central regulator of carbon metabolism in Gram-positive bacteria, but also plays a role in virulence development of certain...... pathogens. In Listeria monocytogenes, several virulence genes, which depend on the transcription activator PrfA, are repressed by glucose, fructose, etc., in a catabolite repressor (CcpA)-independent mechanism. However, the catabolite co-repressor P-Ser-HPr was found to inhibit the activity of Prf...... is preceded by an operator site, which serves as target for the CcpA/P-Ser-HPr complex. Numerous Gram-negative pathogens also contain hprK, which is often organised in an operon with transcription regulators necessary for the development of virulence, indicating that in these organisms P-Ser-HPr also plays...

  17. Increase in virulence of Sporothrix brasiliensis over five years in a patient with chronic disseminated sporotrichosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, Dayvison F S; Santos, Suelen S; Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; de Oliveira, Manoel M E; do Valle, Antonio C F; Gutierrez-Galhardo, Maria Clara; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M; Nosanchuk, Joshua D

    2015-01-01

    The metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro is hyperendemic for cat-associated sporotrichosis. This study aimed to assess the virulence of serial Sporothrix isolates from a 61-year-old male patient with chronic, destructive disseminated sporotrichosis. Five Sporothrix isolates were cultured from skin exudates and bone samples over a 5-year period, and all were molecularly identified as Sporothrix brasiliensis. The final isolate was significantly more virulent in Galleria mellonella larvae compared to earlier isolates. We conclude that S. brasiliensis has the capacity to increase in virulence in vivo. This finding is significant to clinicians caring for individuals with S. brasiliensis disease and it suggests that further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity enhancement during chronic disease.

  18. The worm has turned--microbial virulence modeled in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as a facile and economical model host for the study of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and innate immunity. A rapidly growing number of human and animal microbial pathogens have been shown to injure and kill nematodes. In many cases, microbial genes known to be important for full virulence in mammalian models have been shown to be similarly required for maximum pathogenicity in nematodes. C. elegans has been used in mutation-based screening systems to identify novel virulence-related microbial genes and immune-related host genes, many of which have been validated in mammalian models of disease. C. elegans-based pathogenesis systems hold the potential to simultaneously explore the molecular genetic determinants of both pathogen virulence and host defense.

  19. Understanding the mechanism of protamine in solid lipid nanoparticle-based lipofection: the importance of the entry pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Diego; del Pozo-Rodríguez, Ana; Solinís, Maria Ángeles; Rodríguez-Gascón, Alicia

    2011-11-01

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of protamine on the transfection capacity of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) by correlating it to the internalization mechanisms and intracellular trafficking of the vectors. Vectors were prepared with SLN, DNA, and protamine. ARPE-19 and HEK-293 cells were used for the evaluation of the formulations. Protamine induced a 6-fold increase in the transfection of SLNs in retinal cells due to the presence of nuclear localization signals (NLS), its protection capacity, and a shift in the internalization mechanism from caveolae/raft-mediated to clathrin-mediated endocytosis. However, protamine produced an almost complete inhibition of transfection in HEK-293 cells. In spite of the high DNA condensation capacity of protamine and its content in NLS, this does not always lead to an improvement in cell transfection since it may impair some of the limiting steps of the transfection processes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Conformational transition paths harbor structures useful for aiding drug discovery and understanding enzymatic mechanisms in protein kinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Chung F

    2016-01-01

    This short article examines the usefulness of fast simulations of conformational transition paths in elucidating enzymatic mechanisms and guiding drug discovery for protein kinases. It applies the transition path method in the MOIL software package to simulate the paths of conformational transitions between six pairs of structures from the Protein Data Bank. The structures along the transition paths were found to resemble experimental structures that mimic transient structures believed to form during enzymatic catalysis or conformational transitions, or structures that have drug candidates bound. These findings suggest that such simulations could provide quick initial insights into the enzymatic mechanisms or pathways of conformational transitions of proteins kinases, or could provide structures useful for aiding structure-based drug design. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  1. Understanding Demographic and Behavioral Mechanisms that Guide Responses of Neotropical Migratory Birds to Urbanization: a Simulation Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P. Shustack

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Although studies often report that densities of many forest birds are negatively related to urbanization, the mechanisms guiding this pattern are poorly understood. Our objective was to use a population simulation to examine the relative influence of six demographic and behavioral processes on patterns of avian abundance in urbanizing landscapes. We constructed an individual-based population simulation model representing the annual cycle of a Neotropical migratory songbird. Each simulation was performed under two landscape scenarios. The first scenario had similar proportions of high- and low-quality habitat across the urban to rural gradient. Under the first scenario, avian density was negatively related to urbanization only when rural habitats were perceived to be of higher quality than they actually were. The second landscape scenario had declining proportions of high-quality habitat as urbanization increased. Under the second scenario, each mechanism generated a negative relationship between density and urbanization. The strongest effect on density resulted when birds preferentially selected habitats in landscapes from which they fledged or were constrained from dispersing. The next strongest patterns occurred when birds directly evaluated habitat quality and accurately selected the highest-quality available territories. When birds selected habitats based on the presence of conspecifics, the density-urbanization relationship was only one-third the strength of other habitat selection mechanisms and only occurred under certain levels of population survival. Although differences in adult or nest survival in the face of random habitat selection still elicited reduced densities in urban landscapes, the relationships between urbanization and density were weaker than those produced by the conspecific attraction mechanism. Results from our study identify key predictions and areas for future research, including assessing habitat quality in urban and

  2. Understanding the adsorptive interactions of arsenate-iron nanoparticles with curved fullerene-like sheets in activated carbon using a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics computational approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Nguyen Ngoc; Cam, Le Minh; Ha, Nguyen Thi Thu; Goh, Bee-Min; Saunders, Martin; Jiang, Zhong-Tao; Altarawneh, Mohammednoor; Dlugogorski, Bogdan Z; El-Harbawi, Mohanad; Yin, Chun-Yang

    2017-06-07

    The prevalence of global arsenic groundwater contamination has driven widespread research on developing effective treatment systems including adsorption using various sorbents. The uptake of arsenic-based contaminants onto established sorbents such as activated carbon (AC) can be effectively enhanced via immobilization/impregnation of iron-based elements on the porous AC surface. Recent suggestions that AC pores structurally consist of an eclectic mix of curved fullerene-like sheets may affect the arsenic adsorption dynamics within the AC pores and is further complicated by the presence of nano-sized iron-based elements. We have therefore, attempted to shed light on the adsorptive interactions of arsenate-iron nanoparticles with curved fullerene-like sheets by using hybridized quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QMMM) calculations and microscopy characterization. It is found that, subsequent to optimization, chemisorption between HAsO 4 2- and the AC carbon sheet (endothermic process) is virtually non-existent - this observation is supported by experimental results. Conversely, the incorporation of iron nanoparticles (FeNPs) into the AC carbon sheet greatly facilitates chemisorption of HAsO 4 2- . Our calculation implies that iron carbide is formed at the junction between the iron and the AC interface and this tightly chemosorbed layer prevents detachment of the FeNPs on the AC surface. Other aspects including electronic structure/properties, carbon arrangement defects and rate of adsorptive interaction, which are determined using the Climbing-Image NEB method, are also discussed.

  3. Towards an understanding of the mechanisms of weak central coherence effects: experiments in visual configural learning and auditory perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaisted, Kate; Saksida, Lisa; Alcántara, José; Weisblatt, Emma

    2003-01-01

    The weak central coherence hypothesis of Frith is one of the most prominent theories concerning the abnormal performance of individuals with autism on tasks that involve local and global processing. Individuals with autism often outperform matched nonautistic individuals on tasks in which success depends upon processing of local features, and underperform on tasks that require global processing. We review those studies that have been unable to identify the locus of the mechanisms that may be responsible for weak central coherence effects and those that show that local processing is enhanced in autism but not at the expense of global processing. In the light of these studies, we propose that the mechanisms which can give rise to 'weak central coherence' effects may be perceptual. More specifically, we propose that perception operates to enhance the representation of individual perceptual features but that this does not impact adversely on representations that involve integration of features. This proposal was supported in the two experiments we report on configural and feature discrimination learning in high-functioning children with autism. We also examined processes of perception directly, in an auditory filtering task which measured the width of auditory filters in individuals with autism and found that the width of auditory filters in autism were abnormally broad. We consider the implications of these findings for perceptual theories of the mechanisms underpinning weak central coherence effects. PMID:12639334

  4. Toward understanding the efficacy and mechanism of Opuntia spp. as a natural coagulant for potential application in water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Sarah M; Fugate, Ezekiel J; Craver, Vinka Oyanedel; Smith, James A; Zimmerman, Julie B

    2008-06-15

    Historically, there is evidence to suggest that communities in the developing world have used plant-based materials as one strategy for purifying drinking water. In this study, the coagulant properties of Opuntia spp., a species of cactus, are quantitatively evaluated for the first time. Opuntia spp. was evaluated for turbidity removal from synthetic water samples, and steps were made toward elucidating the underlying coagulation mechanism. In model turbid water using kaolin clay particles at pH 10, Opuntia spp. reduced turbidity by 98% for a range of initial turbidities. This is similar to the observed coagulation activities previously described for Moringa oleifera, a widely studied natural coagulant. Although it has been reported that Moringa oleifera predominantly operates through charge neutralization, comparison of zeta potential measurements and transmission electron microscopy images of flocs formed by Opuntia spp. suggest that these natural coagulants operate through different mechanisms. It is suggested that Opuntia spp. operates predominantly through a bridging coagulation mechanism. Once optimized, application of these readily available plants as a part of point-of-use water treatment technology may offer a practical, inexpensive, and appropriate solution for producing potable water in some developing communities.

  5. A phylogenomic analysis of Marek's disease virus reveals independent paths to virulence in Eurasia and North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimpert, Jakob; Groenke, Nicole; Jenckel, Maria; He, Shulin; Kunec, Dusan; Szpara, Moriah L; Spatz, Stephen J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; McMahon, Dino P

    2017-12-01

    Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek's disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chickens and rarely other avian species. The history of MDV in the 20th century represents an important case study in the evolution of virulence. The severity of MDV infection in chickens has been rising steadily since the adoption of intensive farming techniques and vaccination programs in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively. It has remained uncertain, however, which of these factors is causally more responsible for the observed increase in virulence of circulating viruses. We conducted a phylogenomic study to understand the evolution of MDV in the context of dramatic changes to poultry farming and disease control. Our analysis reveals evidence of geographical structuring of MDV strains, with reconstructions supporting the emergence of virulent viruses independently in North America and Eurasia. Of note, the emergence of virulent viruses appears to coincide approximately with the introduction of comprehensive vaccination on both continents. The time-dated phylogeny also indicated that MDV has a mean evolutionary rate of ~1.6 × 10 -5 substitutions per site per year. An examination of gene-linked mutations did not identify a strong association between mutational variation and virulence phenotypes, indicating that MDV may evolve readily and rapidly under strong selective pressures and that multiple genotypic pathways may underlie virulence adaptation in MDV.

  6. Towards a better understanding of flood generation and surface water inundation mechanisms using NASA remote sensing data products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucey, J.; Reager, J. T., II; Lopez, S. R.

    2017-12-01

    Floods annually cause several weather-related fatalities and financial losses. According to NOAA and FEMA, there were 43 deaths and 18 billion dollars paid out in flood insurance policies during 2005. The goal of this work is to improve flood prediction and flood risk assessment by creating a general model of predictability of extreme runoff generation using various NASA products. Using satellite-based flood inundation observations, we can relate surface water formation processes to changes in other hydrological variables, such as precipitation, storage and soil moisture, and understand how runoff generation response to these forcings is modulated by local topography and land cover. Since it is known that a flood event would cause an abnormal increase in surface water, we examine these underlying physical relationships in comparison with the Dartmouth Flood Observatory archive of historic flood events globally. Using ground water storage observations (GRACE), precipitation (TRMM or GPCP), land use (MODIS), elevation (SRTM) and surface inundation levels (SWAMPS), an assessment of geological and climate conditions can be performed for any location around the world. This project utilizes multiple linear regression analysis evaluating the relationship between surface water inundation, total water storage anomalies and precipitation values, grouped by average slope or land use, to determine their statistical relationships and influences on inundation data. This research demonstrates the potential benefits of using global data products for early flood prediction and will improve our understanding of runoff generation processes.

  7. An anatomical and mechanical analysis of the douc monkey (genus Pygathrix), and its role in understanding the evolution of brachiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byron, C D; Granatosky, M C; Covert, H H

    2017-12-01

    Pygathrix is an understudied Asian colobine unusual among the Old World monkeys for its use of arm-swinging. Little data exists on the anatomy and mechanics of brachiation in this genus. Here, we consider this colobine to gain insight into the parallel evolution of suspensory behavior in primates. This study compares axial and appendicular morphological variables of Pygathrix with other Asian colobines. Additionally, to assess the functional consequences of Pygathrix limb anatomy, kinematic and kinetic data during arm-swinging are included to compare the douc monkey to other suspensory primates (Ateles and Hylobates). Compared to more pronograde species, Pygathrix and Nasalis share morphology consistent with suspensory locomotion such as its narrower scapulae and elongated clavicles. More distally, Pygathrix displays a gracile humerus, radius, and ulna, and shorter olecranon process. During suspensory locomotion, Pygathrix, Ateles, and Hylobates all display mechanical convergence in limb loading and movements of the shoulder and elbow, but Pygathrix uses pronated wrist postures that include substantial radial deviation during arm-swinging. The adoption of arm-swinging represents a major shift within at least three anthropoid clades and little data exist about its transition. Across species, few mechanical differences are observed during arm-swinging. Apparently, there are limited functional solutions to the challenges associated with moving bimanually below branches, especially in more proximal forelimb regions. Morphological data support this idea that the Pygathrix distal forelimb differs from apes more than its proximal end. These results can inform other studies of ape evolution, the pronograde to orthograde transition, and the convergent ways in which suspensory locomotion evolved in primates. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. The Toxin and Virulence Database: A Resource for Signature Development and Analysis of Virulence

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolinsky, Murray A

    2004-01-01

    In this joint effort with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Walter Reed, MITRE and USAMRIID, we are developing a comprehensive database for microbial toxins and virulence factors (www.tvfac.lanl.gov...

  9. Nonlinear Hamiltonian mechanics applied to molecular dynamics theory and computational methods for understanding molecular spectroscopy and chemical reactions

    CERN Document Server

    Farantos, Stavros C

    2014-01-01

    This brief presents numerical methods for describing and calculating invariant phase space structures, as well as solving the classical and quantum equations of motion for polyatomic molecules. Examples covered include simple model systems to realistic cases of molecules spectroscopically studied. Vibrationally excited and reacting molecules are nonlinear dynamical systems, and thus, nonlinear mechanics is the proper theory to elucidate molecular dynamics by investigating invariant structures in phase space. Intramolecular energy transfer, and the breaking and forming of a chemical bond have now found a rigorous explanation by studying phase space structures.

  10. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  11. Efflux inhibitor suppresses Streptococcus mutans virulence properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Huihui; Liu, Jia; Ling, Junqi

    2017-04-01

    It is well established that efflux pumps play important roles in bacterial pathogenicity and efflux inhibitors (EIs) have been proved to be effective in suppressing bacterial virulence properties. However, little is known regarding the EI of Streptococcus mutans, a well-known caries-inducing bacterium. In this study, we identified the EI of S. mutans through ethidium bromide efflux assay and investigated how EI affected S. mutans virulence regarding the cariogenicity and stress response. Results indicated that reserpine, the identified EI, suppressed acid tolerance, mutacin production and transformation efficiency of S. mutans, and modified biofilm architecture and extracellular polysaccharide distribution. Suppressed glycosyltransferase activity was also noted after reserpine exposure. The data from quantitative real-time-PCR demonstrated that reserpine significantly altered the expression profile of quorum-sensing and virulence-associated genes. These findings suggest that reserpine represents a promising adjunct anticariogenic agent in that it suppresses virulence properties of S. mutans. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. NEW VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, Peter Wilhelmus Maria; Bootsma, Jeanette Hester; Burghout, Pieter Jan; Kuipers, Oscar; Bijlsma, Johanna Jacoba Elisabeth; Kloosterman, Tomas Gerrit; Andersen, Christian O.

    2011-01-01

    The present invention provides proteins/genes, which are essential for survival, and consequently, for virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in vivo, and thus are ideal vaccine candidates for a vaccine preparation against pneumococcal infection. Further, also antibodies against said protein(s) are

  13. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The Winding Road to Relapse: Forging a New Understanding of Cue-Induced Reinstatement Models and Their Associated Neural Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namba, Mark D; Tomek, Seven E; Olive, M Foster; Beckmann, Joshua S; Gipson, Cassandra D

    2018-01-01

    In drug addiction, cues previously associated with drug use can produce craving and frequently trigger the resumption of drug taking in individuals vulnerable to relapse. Environmental stimuli associated with drugs or natural reinforcers can become reliably conditioned to increase behavior that was previously reinforced. In preclinical models of addiction, these cues enhance both drug self-administration and reinstatement of drug seeking. In this review, we will dissociate the roles of conditioned stimuli as reinforcers from their modulatory or discriminative functions in producing drug-seeking behavior. As well, we will examine possible differences in neurobiological encoding underlying these functional differences. Specifically, we will discuss how models of drug addiction and relapse should more systematically evaluate these different types of stimuli to better understand the neurobiology underlying craving and relapse. In this way, behavioral and pharmacotherapeutic interventions may be better tailored to promote drug use cessation outcomes and long-term abstinence.

  15. Investigation of the dissolution of uranium dioxide in nitric media: a new approach aiming at understanding interface mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delwaulle, Celine

    2011-01-01

    This research thesis deals with the back-end cycle of the nuclear fuel by improving, modernizing and optimizing the processes used for all types of fuels which are to be re-processed. After a presentation of the industrial context and of the state of the art concerning dissolution kinetic data for uranium dioxide and mixed oxide, the author proposes a model which couples dissolution kinetics and hydrodynamics of a solid in presence of auto-catalytic species, in order to better understand phenomena occurring at the solid-liquid-gas interface. The next part reports dissolution experiments on a non-radioactive material (copper) and out of a nuclear environment. Then, the author identifies steps which are required to transpose this experiment within a nuclear environment. The first results obtained on uranium dioxide are discussed. Recommendations for further studies conclude the report

  16. Immunopathology of highly virulent pathogens: insights from Ebola virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zampieri, Carisa A; Sullivan, Nancy J; Nabel, Gary J

    2007-11-01

    Ebola virus is a highly virulent pathogen capable of inducing a frequently lethal hemorrhagic fever syndrome. Accumulating evidence indicates that the virus actively subverts both innate and adaptive immune responses and triggers harmful inflammatory responses as it inflicts direct tissue damage. The host immune system is ultimately overwhelmed by a combination of inflammatory factors and virus-induced cell damage, particularly in the liver and vasculature, often leading to death from septic shock. We summarize the mechanisms of immune dysregulation and virus-mediated cell damage in Ebola virus-infected patients. Future approaches to prevention and treatment of infection will be guided by answers to unresolved questions about interspecies transmission, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and protective adaptive and innate immune responses to Ebola virus.

  17. Docking based 3d-QSAR studies applied at the BRAF inhibitors to understand the binding mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahmood, U.; Haq, Z.U.

    2011-01-01

    BRAF is a great therapeutic target in a wide variety of human cancers. It is the member of Ras Activating Factor (RAF) family of serine/throenine kinase. The mutated form of the BRAF has diverted all the attention towards itself because of increase severity and elevated kinase activity. The RAF signal transduction cascade is a conserved protein pathway that is involved in cell cycle progression and apoptosis. The ERK regulates phosphorylation of different proteins either in cytosol or in nucleus but disorders in ERK signaling pathway cause mutation in BRAF. This cascade in these cells may provide selection of mutated BRAF in which valine is substituted with glutamatic acid at position 600. This mutation occurs in activation loop. A number of inhibitors reported to target different members of RAF, some of them have potential to target the BRAF as well. Major reason for failure of previously reported inhibitors was due to the highly conserved sequence and confirmation of catalytic cleft which is always a center of consideration for binding of inhibitors to suppress the kinase activity. This is the first attempt to study and understand the BARF inhibitors - protein interactions in detail by utilizing 3D-QSAR and molecular docking techniques. Most reliable techniques of 3D QSAR i.e Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) and Comparative Molecular Similarity Indices Analysis (CoMSIA) were applied for three different data sets. The data sets selected for better evaluation of BRAF inhibitors belongs to 2, 6-Disubstituted Pyrazine, Pyridoimidazolones and its derivatives. Our models would offer help to better understand the structure-activity relationships that exist for these classes of compounds and also facilitate the design of novel inhibitors with good chemical diversity. (Author)

  18. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  19. Genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance in Frankia strains isolated from Casuarina trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshone, Rediet; Ngom, Mariama; Chu, Feixia; Mansour, Samira; Sy, Mame Ourèye; Champion, Antony; Tisa, Louis S

    2017-08-18

    Soil salinization is a worldwide problem that is intensifying because of the effects of climate change. An effective method for the reclamation of salt-affected soils involves initiating plant succession using fast growing, nitrogen fixing actinorhizal trees such as the Casuarina. The salt tolerance of Casuarina is enhanced by the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis that they form with the actinobacterium Frankia. Identification and molecular characterization of salt-tolerant Casuarina species and associated Frankia is imperative for the successful utilization of Casuarina trees in saline soil reclamation efforts. In this study, salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive Casuarina associated Frankia strains were identified and comparative genomics, transcriptome profiling, and proteomics were employed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of salt and osmotic stress tolerance. Salt-tolerant Frankia strains (CcI6 and Allo2) that could withstand up to 1000 mM NaCl and a salt-sensitive Frankia strain (CcI3) which could withstand only up to 475 mM NaCl were identified. The remaining isolates had intermediate levels of salt tolerance with MIC values ranging from 650 mM to 750 mM. Comparative genomic analysis showed that all of the Frankia isolates from Casuarina belonged to the same species (Frankia casuarinae). Pangenome analysis revealed a high abundance of singletons among all Casuarina isolates. The two salt-tolerant strains contained 153 shared single copy genes (most of which code for hypothetical proteins) that were not found in the salt-sensitive(CcI3) and moderately salt-tolerant (CeD) strains. RNA-seq analysis of one of the two salt-tolerant strains (Frankia sp. strain CcI6) revealed hundreds of genes differentially expressed under salt and/or osmotic stress. Among the 153 genes, 7 and 7 were responsive to salt and osmotic stress, respectively. Proteomic profiling confirmed the transcriptome results and identified 19 and 8 salt and/or osmotic stress-responsive proteins in the

  20. Understanding the removal mechanisms of PPCPs and the influence of main technological parameters in anaerobic UASB and aerobic CAS reactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-15

    The removal of 16 Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) were studied in a conventional activated sludge (CAS) unit and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. Special attention was paid to each biomass conformation and activity as well as to operational conditions. Biodegradation was the main PPCP removal mechanism, being higher removals achieved under aerobic conditions, except in the case of sulfamethoxazole and trimetrophim. Under anaerobic conditions, PPCP biodegradation was correlated with the methanogenic rate, while in the aerobic reactor a relationship with nitrification was found. Sorption onto sludge was influenced by biomass conformation, being only significant for musk fragrances in the UASB reactor, in which an increase of the upward velocity and hydraulic retention time improved this removal. Additionally, PPCP sorption increased with time in the UASB reactor, due to the granular biomass structure which suggests the existence of intra-molecular diffusion. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Modes of competition: adding and removing brown trout in the wild to understand the mechanisms of density-dependence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasmus Kaspersson

    Full Text Available While the prevalence of density-dependence is well-established in population ecology, few field studies have investigated its underlying mechanisms and their relative population-level importance. Here, we address these issues, and more specifically, how differences in body-size influence population regulation. For this purpose, two experiments were performed in a small coastal stream on the Swedish west coast, using juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta as a study species. We manipulated densities of large and small individuals, and observed effects on survival, migration, condition and individual growth rate in a target group of intermediate-sized individuals. The generality of the response was investigated by reducing population densities below and increasing above the natural levels (removing and adding large and small individuals. Reducing the density (relaxing the intensity of competition had no influence on the response variables, suggesting that stream productivity was not a limiting factor at natural population density. Addition of large individuals resulted in a negative density-dependent response, while no effect was detected when adding small individuals or when maintaining the natural population structure. We found that the density-dependent response was revealed as reduced growth rate rather than increased mortality and movement, an effect that may arise from exclusion to suboptimal habitats or increased stress levels among inferior individuals. Our findings confirm the notion of interference competition as the primary mode of competition in juvenile salmonids, and also show that the feedback-mechanisms of density-dependence are primarily acting when increasing densities above their natural levels.

  2. Understanding evapotranspiration trends and their driving mechanisms over the NLDAS domain based on numerical experiments using CLM4.5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parr, Dana; Wang, Guiling; Fu, Congsheng

    2016-07-01

    Previous studies documented a recent decline of the global terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) trend, of which the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Based on experiments using the Community Land Model version 4.5 driven with the North American Land Data Assimilation System phase-2 (NLDAS-2) forcing data, this study investigates the variation and changes of ET trends at the continental scale and the mechanisms underlying these changes. Simulations are conducted over the NLDAS domain including the contiguous U.S. and part of Mexico for the period of 1980-2014. Changes of ET trend are derived based on the two subperiods 1982-1997 and 1998-2008. The strongest signals of trend change, of either sign, are primarily located in dry regimes, where ET is limited by water rather than energy. Sensitivity experiments were performed to isolate the impact of some of the most influential factors on the changing ET trends. Results indicate that trends in wind speed and surface air temperature had negligible impact on the ET trend and its changes within the study domain, and the ET trend and its changes are dominated by changes in precipitation amount. Changes in precipitation characteristics including the frequency and intensity are suggested to have a secondary effect on the ET trend changes through modifying the partitioning of water between infiltration and runoff. These findings are further supported by correlation coefficients between ET and various driving factors. Results from this study may be region specific and therefore may not hold for ET trend changes over the rest of the globe.

  3. Developing strong concurrent multiphysics multiscale coupling to understand the impact of microstructural mechanisms on the structural scale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foulk, James W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Alleman, Coleman N. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Mota, Alejandro [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lim, Hojun [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Littlewood, David John [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Bergel, Guy Leshem [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Popova, Evdokia [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Montes de Oca Zapiain, David [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Kalidindi, Suryanarayana Raju [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Ernst, Corey [Elemental Technologies, Provo, UT (United States)

    2017-09-01

    The heterogeneity in mechanical fields introduced by microstructure plays a critical role in the localization of deformation. To resolve this incipient stage of failure, it is therefore necessary to incorporate microstructure with sufficient resolution. On the other hand, computational limitations make it infeasible to represent the microstructure in the entire domain at the component scale. In this study, the authors demonstrate the use of concurrent multi- scale modeling to incorporate explicit, finely resolved microstructure in a critical region while resolving the smoother mechanical fields outside this region with a coarser discretization to limit computational cost. The microstructural physics is modeled with a high-fidelity model that incorporates anisotropic crystal elasticity and rate-dependent crystal plasticity to simulate the behavior of a stainless steel alloy. The component-scale material behavior is treated with a lower fidelity model incorporating isotropic linear elasticity and rate-independent J 2 plas- ticity. The microstructural and component scale subdomains are modeled concurrently, with coupling via the Schwarz alternating method, which solves boundary-value problems in each subdomain separately and transfers solution information between subdomains via Dirichlet boundary conditions. Beyond cases studies in concurrent multiscale, we explore progress in crystal plastic- ity through modular designs, solution methodologies, model verification, and extensions to Sierra/SM and manycore applications. Advances in conformal microstructures having both hexahedral and tetrahedral workflows in Sculpt and Cubit are highlighted. A structure-property case study in two-phase metallic composites applies the Materials Knowledge System to local metrics for void evolution. Discussion includes lessons learned, future work, and a summary of funded efforts and proposed work. Finally, an appendix illustrates the need for two-way coupling through a single degree of

  4. Paenibacillus larvae chitin-degrading protein PlCBP49 is a key virulence factor in American Foulbrood of honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Garcia-Gonzalez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Paenibacillus larvae, the etiological agent of the globally occurring epizootic American Foulbrood (AFB of honey bees, causes intestinal infections in honey bee larvae which develop into systemic infections inevitably leading to larval death. Massive brood mortality might eventually lead to collapse of the entire colony. Molecular mechanisms of host-microbe interactions in this system and of differences in virulence between P. larvae genotypes are poorly understood. Recently, it was demonstrated that the degradation of the peritrophic matrix lining the midgut epithelium is a key step in pathogenesis of P. larvae infections. Here, we present the isolation and identification of PlCBP49, a modular, chitin-degrading protein of P. larvae and demonstrate that this enzyme is crucial for the degradation of the larval peritrophic matrix during infection. PlCBP49 contains a module belonging to the auxiliary activity 10 (AA10, formerly CBM33 family of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs which are able to degrade recalcitrant polysaccharides. Using chitin-affinity purified PlCBP49, we provide evidence that PlCBP49 degrades chitin via a metal ion-dependent, oxidative mechanism, as already described for members of the AA10 family. Using P. larvae mutants lacking PlCBP49 expression, we analyzed in vivo biological functions of PlCBP49. In the absence of PlCBP49 expression, peritrophic matrix degradation was markedly reduced and P. larvae virulence was nearly abolished. This indicated that PlCBP49 is a key virulence factor for the species P. larvae. The identification of the functional role of PlCBP49 in AFB pathogenesis broadens our understanding of this important family of chitin-binding and -degrading proteins, especially in those bacteria that can also act as entomopathogens.

  5. COMPUTER SIMULATION IN MECHANICS TEACHING AND LEARNING: A CASE STUDY ON STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING OF FORCE AND MOTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyah Permata Sari

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to develop a force and motion simulation based on the open-source Easy Java Simulation. The process of computer simulation development was done following the ADDIE model. Based on the Analysis and Design phases, the Development phase used the open-source Easy Java Simulation (EJS to develop a computer simulation with physics content that was relevant to the subtopic. Computing and communication technology continue to make an increasing impact on all aspects of education. EJS is a powerful didactic resource that gives us the ability to focus our students’ attention on the principles of physics. Using EJS, a computer simulation was created through which the motion of a particle under the action of a specific force can be studied. The implementation phase is implemented the computer simulation in the teaching and learning process. To describe the improvements in the students’ understanding of the force and motion concepts, we used a t-test to evaluate each of the four phases. These results indicated that the use of the computer simulation could improve students’ force and motion conceptual competence regarding Newton's second law of motion.

  6. Developmental song learning as a model to understand neural mechanisms that limit and promote the ability to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    London, Sarah E

    2017-11-20

    Songbirds famously learn their vocalizations. Some species can learn continuously, others seasonally, and still others just once. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) learns to sing during a single developmental "Critical Period," a restricted phase during which a specific experience has profound and permanent effects on brain function and behavioral patterns. The zebra finch can therefore provide fundamental insight into features that promote and limit the ability to acquire complex learned behaviors. For example, what properties permit the brain to come "on-line" for learning? How does experience become encoded to prevent future learning? What features define the brain in receptive compared to closed learning states? This piece will focus on epigenomic, genomic, and molecular levels of analysis that operate on the timescales of development and complex behavioral learning. Existing data will be discussed as they relate to Critical Period learning, and strategies for future studies to more directly address these questions will be considered. Birdsong learning is a powerful model for advancing knowledge of the biological intersections of maturation and experience. Lessons from its study not only have implications for understanding developmental song learning, but also broader questions of learning potential and the enduring effects of early life experience on neural systems and behavior. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M.

  8. Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes virulence in the Galleria mellonella insect larvae model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakic Martinez, Mira; Wiedmann, Martin; Ferguson, Martine; Datta, Atin R

    2017-01-01

    Several animal models have been used to understand the molecular basis of the pathogenicity, infectious dose and strain to strain variation of Listeria monocytogenes. The greater wax worm Galleria mellonella, as an alternative model, provides some useful advantages not available with other models and has already been described as suitable for the virulence assessment of various pathogens including L. monocytogenes. The objectives of this study are: 1) confirming the usefulness of this model with a wide panel of Listeria spp. including non-pathogenic L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri and animal pathogen L. ivanovii; 2) assessment of virulence of several isogenic in-frame deletion mutants in virulence and stress related genes of L. monocytogenes and 3) virulence assessment of paired food and clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes from 14 major listeriosis outbreaks occurred worldwide between 1980 and 2015. Larvae injected with different concentrations of Listeria were incubated at 37°C and monitored over seven days for time needed to kill 50% of larvae (LT50) and to determine change of bacterial population in G. mellonella, 2 and 24 hours post-inoculation. Non-pathogenic members of Listeria and L. ivanovii showed significantly (P monocytogenes strains. Isogenic mutants of L. monocytogenes with the deletions in prfA, plcA, hly, actA and virR genes, also showed significantly (P monocytogenes strains related to non-invasive (gastroenteritis) outbreaks of listeriosis showed significantly (P < 0.05) lower virulence than isolates of the same serotype obtained from outbreaks with invasive symptoms. The difference, however, was dose and strain- dependent. No significant differences in virulence were observed among the serotype tested in this study.

  9. The effect of mutation on Rhodococcus equi virulence plasmid gene expression and mouse virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jun; Prescott, John F

    2004-11-15

    An 81 kb virulence plasmid containing a pathogenicity island (PI) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals but its specific function in virulence and regulation of plasmid-encoded virulence genes is unclear. Using a LacZ selection marker developed for R. equi in this study, in combination with an apramycin resistance gene, an efficient two-stage homologous recombination targeted gene mutation procedure was used to mutate three virulence plasmid genes, a LysR regulatory gene homologue (ORF4), a ResD-like two-component response regulator homologue (ORF8), and a gene (ORF10) of unknown function that is highly expressed by R. equi inside macrophages, as well as the chromosomal gene operon, phoPR. Virulence testing by liver clearance after intravenous injection in mice showed that the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants were fully attenuated, that the phoPR mutant was hypervirulent, and that virulence of the ORF10 mutant remained unchanged. A virulence plasmid DNA microarray was used to compare the plasmid gene expression profile of each of the four gene-targeted mutants against the parental R. equi strain. Changes were limited to PI genes and gene induction was observed for all mutants, suggesting that expression of virulence plasmid genes is dominated by a negative regulatory network. The finding of attenuation of ORF4 and ORF8 mutants despite enhanced transcription of vapA suggests that factors other than VapA are important for full expression of virulence. ORF1, a putative Lsr antigen gene, was strongly and similarly induced in all mutants, implying a common regulatory pathway affecting this gene for all four mutated genes. ORF8 is apparently the centre of this common pathway. Two distinct highly correlated gene induction patterns were observed, that of the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants, and that of the ORF10 and phoPR mutants. The gene induction pattern distinguishing these two groups paralleled their virulence in mice.

  10. Does More Respect from Leaders Postpone the Desire to Retire? Understanding the Mechanisms of Retirement Decision-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne M. Wöhrmann

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The demographic trends (i.e., low birth rates and increasing longevity pose challenges with regard to the increase of the average employee age along with a lack of skilled personnel on the labor market. Society, organizations, and individuals are confronted with the question on how to prolong working lives in the future. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between respectful leadership and older workers’ desired retirement age. In particular, we took a closer look at job satisfaction, subjective health, and work-to-private life conflict as underlying mechanisms. Further, we tested for the moderating role of occupational self-efficacy as an auxiliary condition for the assumed relationships of respectful leadership. We tested our hypothesized model using data from 1,130 blue- and white-collar workers aged 45–65 years. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that respectful leadership was positively related to older workers’ desired retirement age and that this relationship was mediated by subjective health and work-to-private life conflict but not by job satisfaction. The findings add to the literature on resources in retirement decision-making; notably, they highlight the importance of leadership behavior for older workers’ motivation and socioemotional needs.

  11. Understanding the removal mechanisms of PPCPs and the influence of main technological parameters in anaerobic UASB and aerobic CAS reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Removals of 16 PPCPs under aerobic and anaerobic conditions were quantified. • Operation conditions (HRT, v up , biomass activity and conformation) influenced removal. • Highest removals associated to aerobic biodegradation. • Sorption was only relevant for lipophilic compounds in the UASB reactor. - Abstract: The removal of 16 Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) were studied in a conventional activated sludge (CAS) unit and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. Special attention was paid to each biomass conformation and activity as well as to operational conditions. Biodegradation was the main PPCP removal mechanism, being higher removals achieved under aerobic conditions, except in the case of sulfamethoxazole and trimetrophim. Under anaerobic conditions, PPCP biodegradation was correlated with the methanogenic rate, while in the aerobic reactor a relationship with nitrification was found. Sorption onto sludge was influenced by biomass conformation, being only significant for musk fragrances in the UASB reactor, in which an increase of the upward velocity and hydraulic retention time improved this removal. Additionally, PPCP sorption increased with time in the UASB reactor, due to the granular biomass structure which suggests the existence of intra-molecular diffusion

  12. Understanding the removal mechanisms of PPCPs and the influence of main technological parameters in anaerobic UASB and aerobic CAS reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarino, T., E-mail: teresa.alvarino@usc.es; Suarez, S., E-mail: Sonia.suarez@usc.es; Lema, J.M., E-mail: juan.lema@usc.es; Omil, F., E-mail: francisco.omil@usc.es

    2014-08-15

    Highlights: • Removals of 16 PPCPs under aerobic and anaerobic conditions were quantified. • Operation conditions (HRT, v{sub up}, biomass activity and conformation) influenced removal. • Highest removals associated to aerobic biodegradation. • Sorption was only relevant for lipophilic compounds in the UASB reactor. - Abstract: The removal of 16 Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) were studied in a conventional activated sludge (CAS) unit and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. Special attention was paid to each biomass conformation and activity as well as to operational conditions. Biodegradation was the main PPCP removal mechanism, being higher removals achieved under aerobic conditions, except in the case of sulfamethoxazole and trimetrophim. Under anaerobic conditions, PPCP biodegradation was correlated with the methanogenic rate, while in the aerobic reactor a relationship with nitrification was found. Sorption onto sludge was influenced by biomass conformation, being only significant for musk fragrances in the UASB reactor, in which an increase of the upward velocity and hydraulic retention time improved this removal. Additionally, PPCP sorption increased with time in the UASB reactor, due to the granular biomass structure which suggests the existence of intra-molecular diffusion.

  13. Does More Respect from Leaders Postpone the Desire to Retire? Understanding the Mechanisms of Retirement Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöhrmann, Anne M; Fasbender, Ulrike; Deller, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    The demographic trends (i.e., low birth rates and increasing longevity) pose challenges with regard to the increase of the average employee age along with a lack of skilled personnel on the labor market. Society, organizations, and individuals are confronted with the question on how to prolong working lives in the future. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between respectful leadership and older workers' desired retirement age. In particular, we took a closer look at job satisfaction, subjective health, and work-to-private life conflict as underlying mechanisms. Further, we tested for the moderating role of occupational self-efficacy as an auxiliary condition for the assumed relationships of respectful leadership. We tested our hypothesized model using data from 1,130 blue- and white-collar workers aged 45-65 years. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that respectful leadership was positively related to older workers' desired retirement age and that this relationship was mediated by subjective health and work-to-private life conflict but not by job satisfaction. The findings add to the literature on resources in retirement decision-making; notably, they highlight the importance of leadership behavior for older workers' motivation and socioemotional needs.

  14. Understanding the mechanism of atovaquone drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome b mutation Y268S using computational methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bashir A Akhoon

    Full Text Available The rapid appearance of resistant malarial parasites after introduction of atovaquone (ATQ drug has prompted the search for new drugs as even single point mutations in the active site of Cytochrome b protein can rapidly render ATQ ineffective. The presence of Y268 mutations in the Cytochrome b (Cyt b protein is previously suggested to be responsible for the ATQ resistance in Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum. In this study, we examined the resistance mechanism against ATQ in P. falciparum through computational methods. Here, we reported a reliable protein model of Cyt bc1 complex containing Cyt b and the Iron-Sulphur Protein (ISP of P. falciparum using composite modeling method by combining threading, ab initio modeling and atomic-level structure refinement approaches. The molecular dynamics simulations suggest that Y268S mutation causes ATQ resistance by reducing hydrophobic interactions between Cyt bc1 protein complex and ATQ. Moreover, the important histidine contact of ATQ with the ISP chain is also lost due to Y268S mutation. We noticed the induced mutation alters the arrangement of active site residues in a fashion that enforces ATQ to find its new stable binding site far away from the wild-type binding pocket. The MM-PBSA calculations also shows that the binding affinity of ATQ with Cyt bc1 complex is enough to hold it at this new site that ultimately leads to the ATQ resistance.

  15. Understanding the performance and mechanism of Mg-containing oxides as support catalysts in the thermal dry reforming of methane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khairudin, Nor Fazila; Sukri, Mohd Farid Fahmi; Khavarian, Mehrnoush; Mohamed, Abdul Rahman

    2018-01-01

    Dry reforming of methane (DRM) is one of the more promising methods for syngas (synthetic gas) production and co-utilization of methane and carbon dioxide, which are the main greenhouse gases. Magnesium is commonly applied in a Ni-based catalyst in DRM to improve catalyst performance and inhibit carbon deposition. The aim of this review is to gain better insight into recent developments on the use of Mg as a support or promoter for DRM catalysts. Its high basicity and high thermal stability make Mg suitable for introduction into the highly endothermic reaction of DRM. The introduction of Mg as a support or promoter for Ni-based catalysts allows for good metal dispersion on the catalyst surface, which consequently facilitates high catalytic activity and low catalyst deactivation. The mechanism of DRM and carbon formation and reduction are reviewed. This work further explores how different constraints, such as the synthesis method, metal loading, pretreatment, and operating conditions, influence the dry reforming reactions and product yields. In this review, different strategies for enhancing catalytic activity and the effect of metal dispersion on Mg-containing oxide catalysts are highlighted.

  16. Partitioning CO2 fluxes with isotopologue measurements and modeling to understand mechanisms of forest carbon sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davidson, Eric A. [Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA (United States); Saleska, Scott [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Savage, Kathleen [Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA (United States); Finzi, Adrien [Boston Univ., MA (United States); Moorcroft, Paul [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Wehr, Richard [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-02-18

    1. Project Summary and Objectives This project combines automated in situ observations of the isotopologues of CO2 with root observations, novel experimental manipulations of belowground processes, and isotope-enabled ecosystem modeling to investigate mechanisms of below- vs. aboveground carbon sequestration at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (EMS). The proposed objectives, which have now been largely accomplished, include: A. Partitioning of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) into photosynthesis and respiration using long-term continuous observations of the isotopic composition of NEE, and analysis of their dynamics ; B. Investigation of the influence of vegetation phenology on the timing and magnitude of carbon allocated belowground using measurements of root growth and indices of belowground autotrophic vs. heterotrophic respiration (via trenched plots and isotope measurements); C. Testing whether plant allocation of carbon belowground stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, using in situ rhizosphere simulation experiments wherein realistic quantities of artificial isotopically-labeled exudates are released into the soil; and D. Synthesis and interpretation of the above data using the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 (ED2).

  17. Partitioning CO2 fluxes with isotopologue measurements and modeling to understand mechanisms of forest carbon sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saleska, Scott [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Davidson, Eric [Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA (United States); Finzi, Adrien [Boston Univ., MA (United States). Dept. of Biology; Wehr, Richard [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Moorcroft, Paul [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

    2016-01-28

    This project combines automated in situ observations of the isotopologues of CO2 with root observations, novel experimental manipulations of below ground processes, and isotope-enabled ecosystem modeling to investigate mechanisms of below- vs. above ground carbon sequestration at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (EMS). The proposed objectives, which have now been largely accomplished, include: (A) Partitioning of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) into photosynthesis and respiration using long-term continuous observations of the isotopic composition of NEE, and analysis of their dynamics; (B) Investigation of the influence of vegetation phenology on the timing and magnitude of carbon allocated below ground using measurements of root growth and indices of below ground autotrophic vs. heterotrophic respiration (via trenched plots andisotope measurements); (C) Testing whether plant allocation of carbon below ground stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, using in situ rhizosphere simulation experiments wherein realistic quantities of artificial isotopically-labeled exudates are released into the soil; and (D) Synthesis and interpretation of the above data using the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 (ED2).

  18. Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Hartog, J P Den

    1961-01-01

    First published over 40 years ago, this work has achieved the status of a classic among introductory texts on mechanics. Den Hartog is known for his lively, discursive and often witty presentations of all the fundamental material of both statics and dynamics (and considerable more advanced material) in new, original ways that provide students with insights into mechanical relationships that other books do not always succeed in conveying. On the other hand, the work is so replete with engineering applications and actual design problems that it is as valuable as a reference to the practicing e

  19. Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2006-01-01

    "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding" is a 19-minute award-winning short-film about teaching at university and higher-level educational institutions. It is based on the "Constructive Alignment" theory developed by Prof. John Biggs. The film delivers a foundation for understanding what...

  20. Profiling of glycan receptors for minute virus of mice in permissive cell lines towards understanding the mechanism of cell recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujata Halder

    Full Text Available The recognition of sialic acids by two strains of minute virus of mice (MVM, MVMp (prototype and MVMi (immunosuppressive, is an essential requirement for successful infection. To understand the potential for recognition of different modifications of sialic acid by MVM, three types of capsids, virus-like particles, wild type empty (no DNA capsids, and DNA packaged virions, were screened on a sialylated glycan microarray (SGM. Both viruses demonstrated a preference for binding to 9-O-methylated sialic acid derivatives, while MVMp showed additional binding to 9-O-acetylated and 9-O-lactoylated sialic acid derivatives, indicating recognition differences. The glycans recognized contained a type-2 Galβ1-4GlcNAc motif (Neu5Acα2-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc or 3'SIA-LN and were biantennary complex-type N-glycans with the exception of one. To correlate the recognition of the 3'SIA-LN glycan motif as well as the biantennary structures to their natural expression in cell lines permissive for MVMp, MVMi, or both strains, the N- and O-glycans, and polar glycolipids present in three cell lines used for in vitro studies, A9 fibroblasts, EL4 T lymphocytes, and the SV40 transformed NB324K cells, were analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. The cells showed an abundance of the sialylated glycan motifs recognized by the viruses in the SGM and previous glycan microarrays supporting their role in cellular recognition by MVM. Significantly, the NB324K showed fucosylation at the non-reducing end of their biantennary glycans, suggesting that recognition of these cells is possibly mediated by the Lewis X motif as in 3'SIA-Le(X identified in a previous glycan microarray screen.

  1. Linking Genomo- and Pathotype: Exploiting the Zebrafish Embryo Model to Investigate the Divergent Virulence Potential among Cronobacter spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athmanya K Eshwar

    Full Text Available Bacteria belonging to the genus Cronobacter have been recognized as causative agents of life-threatening systemic infections primarily in premature, low-birth weight and immune-compromised neonates. Apparently not all Cronobacter species are linked to infantile infections and it has been proposed that virulence varies among strains. Whole genome comparisons and in silico analysis have proven to be powerful tools in elucidating potential virulence determinants, the presence/absence of which may explain the differential virulence behaviour of strains. However, validation of these factors has in the past been hampered by the availability of a suitable neonatal animal model. In the present study we have used zebrafish embryos to model Cronobacter infections in vivo using wild type and genetically engineered strains. Our experiments confirmed the role of the RepF1B-like plasmids as "virulence plasmids" in Cronobacter and underpinned the importantce of two putative virulence factors-cpa and zpx-in in vivo pathogenesis. We propose that by using this model in vivo infection studies are now possible on a large scale level which will boost the understanding on the virulence strategies employed by these pathogens.

  2. Partitioning CO2 fluxes with isotopologue measurements and modeling to understand mechanisms of forest carbon sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saleska, Scott [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Davidson, Eric [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Finzi, Adrien [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wehr, Richard [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Moorcroft, Paul [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-01-28

    1. Objectives This project combines automated in situ observations of the isotopologues of CO2 with root observations, novel experimental manipulations of belowground processes, and isotope-enabled ecosystem modeling to investigate mechanisms of below- vs. aboveground carbon sequestration at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (EMS). The proposed objectives, which have now been largely accomplished, include: A. Partitioning of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) into photosynthesis and respiration using long-term continuous observations of the isotopic composition of NEE, and analysis of their dynamics ; B. Investigation of the influence of vegetation phenology on the timing and magnitude of carbon allocated belowground using measurements of root growth and indices of belowground autotrophic vs. heterotrophic respiration (via trenched plots and isotope measurements); C. Testing whether plant allocation of carbon belowground stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, using in situ rhizosphere simulation experiments wherein realistic quantities of artificial isotopically-labeled exudates are released into the soil; and D. Synthesis and interpretation of the above data using the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 (ED2). 2. Highlights Accomplishments: • Our isotopic eddy flux record has completed its 5th full year and has been used to independently estimate ecosystem-scale respiration and photosynthesis. • Soil surface chamber isotopic flux measurements were carried out during three growing seasons, in conjunction with a trenching manipulation. Key findings to date (listed by objective): A. Partitioning of Net Ecosystem Exchange: 1. Ecosystem respiration is lower during the day than at night—the first robust evidence of the inhibition of leaf respiration by light (the “Kok effect”) at the ecosystem scale. 2. Because it neglects the Kok effect, the standard NEE partitioning approach overestimates ecosystem

  3. Ecto-5'-nucleotidase: a candidate virulence factor in Streptococcus sanguinis experimental endocarditis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingyuan Fan

    Full Text Available Streptococcus sanguinis is the most common cause of infective endocarditis (IE. Since the molecular basis of virulence of this oral commensal bacterium remains unclear, we searched the genome of S. sanguinis for previously unidentified virulence factors. We identified a cell surface ecto-5'-nucleotidase (Nt5e, as a candidate virulence factor. By colorimetric phosphate assay, we showed that S. sanguinis Nt5e can hydrolyze extracellular adenosine triphosphate to generate adenosine. Moreover, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (P<0.05 to onset of platelet aggregation than the wild-type strain, without affecting platelet-bacterial adhesion in vitro (P=0.98. In the absence of nt5e, S. sanguinis caused IE (4 d in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (P<0.01 and recovered bacterial loads (log(10CFU, P=0.01, suggesting that Nt5e contributes to the virulence of S. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE.

  4. Macrophage replication screen identifies a novel Francisella hydroperoxide resistance protein involved in virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Llewellyn

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. Recently, genome-wide screens have identified Francisella genes required for virulence in mice. However, the mechanisms by which most of the corresponding proteins contribute to pathogenesis are still largely unknown. To further elucidate the roles of these virulence determinants in Francisella pathogenesis, we tested whether each gene was required for replication of the model pathogen F. novicida within macrophages, an important virulence trait. Fifty-three of the 224 genes tested were involved in intracellular replication, including many of those within the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI, validating our results. Interestingly, over one third of the genes identified are annotated as hypothetical, indicating that F. novicida likely utilizes novel virulence factors for intracellular replication. To further characterize these virulence determinants, we selected two hypothetical genes to study in more detail. As predicted by our screen, deletion mutants of FTN_0096 and FTN_1133 were attenuated for replication in macrophages. The mutants displayed differing levels of attenuation in vivo, with the FTN_1133 mutant being the most attenuated. FTN_1133 has sequence similarity to the organic hydroperoxide resistance protein Ohr, an enzyme involved in the bacterial response to oxidative stress. We show that FTN_1133 is required for F. novicida resistance to, and degradation of, organic hydroperoxides as well as resistance to the action of the NADPH oxidase both in macrophages and mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate that F. holarctica LVS, a strain derived from a highly virulent human pathogenic species of Francisella, also requires this protein for organic hydroperoxide resistance as well as replication in macrophages and mice. This study expands our knowledge of Francisella's largely uncharacterized intracellular lifecycle and

  5. Towards understanding the E. coli PNP binding mechanism and FRET absence between E. coli PNP and formycin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokopowicz, Małgorzata; Greń, Bartosz; Cieśla, Joanna; Kierdaszuk, Borys

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study is threefold: (1) augmentation of the knowledge of the E. coli PNP binding mechanism; (2) explanation of the previously observed 'lack of FRET' phenomenon and (3) an introduction of the correction (modified method) for FRET efficiency calculation in the PNP-FA complexes. We present fluorescence studies of the two E. coli PNP mutants (F159Y and F159A) with formycin A (FA), that indicate that the aromatic amino acid is indispensable in the nucleotide binding, additional hydroxyl group at position 159 probably enhances the strength of binding and that the amino acids pair 159-160 has a great impact on the spectroscopic properties of the enzyme. The experiments were carried out in hepes and phosphate buffers, at pH7 and 8.3. Two methods, a conventional and a modified one, that utilizes the dissociation constant, for calculations of the energy transfer efficiency (E) and the acceptor-to-donor distance (r) between FA and the Tyr (energy donor) were employed. Total difference spectra were calculated for emission spectra (λ ex 280nm, 295nm, 305nm and 313nm) for all studied systems. Time-resolved techniques allowed to conclude the existence of a specific structure formed by amino acids at positions 159 and 160. The results showed an unexpected pattern change of FRET in the mutants, when compared to the wild type enzyme and a probable presence of a structure created between 159 and 160 residue, that might influence the binding efficiency. Additionally, we confirmed the indispensable role of the modification of the FRET efficiency (E) calculation on the fraction of enzyme saturation in PNP-FA systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding inhibitory mechanisms of lumbar spinal manipulation using H-reflex and F-wave responses: a methodological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dishman, J Donald; Weber, Kenneth A; Corbin, Roger L; Burke, Jeanmarie R

    2012-09-30

    The purpose of this research was to characterize unique neurophysiologic events following a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulation (SM) procedure. Descriptive time series analysis techniques of time plots, outlier detection and autocorrelation functions were applied to time series of tibial nerve H-reflexes that were evoked at 10-s intervals from 100 s before the event until 100 s after three distinct events L5-S1 HVLA SM, or a L5-S1 joint pre-loading procedure, or the control condition. Sixty-six subjects were randomly assigned to three procedures, i.e., 22 time series per group. If the detection of outliers and correlograms revealed a pattern of non-randomness that was only time-locked to a single, specific event in the normalized time series, then an experimental effect would be inferred beyond the inherent variability of H-reflex responses. Tibial nerve F-wave responses were included to determine if any new information about central nervous function following a HVLA SM procedure could be ascertained. Time series analyses of H(max)/M(max) ratios, pre-post L5-S1 HVLA SM, substantiated the hypothesis that the specific aspects of the manipulative thrust lead to a greater attenuation of the H(max)/M(max) ratio as compared to the non-specific aspects related to the postural perturbation and joint pre-loading. The attenuation of the H(max)/M(max) ratio following the HVLA SM procedure was reliable and may hold promise as a translational tool to measure the consistency and accuracy of protocol implementation involving SM in clinical trials research. F-wave responses were not sensitive to mechanical perturbations of the lumbar spine. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Understanding the sorption mechanisms of aflatoxin B1 to kaolinite, illite, and smectite clays via a comparative computational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Fuxing; Ge, Yangyang; Hu, Xiaojie; Goikavi, Caspar; Waigi, Michael Gatheru; Gao, Yanzheng; Ling, Wanting

    2016-12-15

    In current adsorption studies of biotoxins to phyllosilicate clays, multiply weak bonding types regarding these adsorptions are not well known; the major attractive forces, especially for kaolinite and illite, are difficult to be identified as compared to smectite with exchangeable cations. Here, we discriminated the bonding types of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contaminant to these clays by combined batch experiment with model computation, expounded their bonding mechanisms which have been not quantitatively described by researchers. The observed adsorbent-to-solution distribution coefficients (K d ) of AFB1 presented in increasing order of 18.5-37.1, 141.6-158.3, and 354.6-484.7L/kg for kaolinite, illite, and smectite, respectively. Normalization of adsorbent-specific surface areas showed that adsorption affinity of AFB1 is mainly dependent on the outside surfaces of clay aggregates. The model computation and test of ionic effect further suggested that weakly electrostatic attractions ((Si/Al-OH) 2 ⋯(OC) 2 ) are responsible for AFB1-kaolinite adsorption (K d , 18.5-37.1L/kg); a moderate electron-donor-acceptor attraction ((CO) 2 ⋯K + ⋯(O-Al) 3 ) is related to AFB1-illite adsorption (K d , 141.6-158.3L/kg); a strong calcium-bridging linkage ((CO) 2 ⋯Ca 2+ ⋯(O-Si) 4 ) is involved in AFB1-smectite adsorption (K d , 354.6-484.7L/kg). Changes in Gibbs free energy (ΔG°) suggested that the computed result is reliable, providing a good reproduction of AFB1-clay interaction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding the mechanisms of zinc bacitracin and avilamycin on animal production: linking gut microbiota and growth performance in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Stanley, Dragana; Geier, Mark S; Hughes, Robert J; Moore, Robert J

    2017-06-01

    Unravelling the mechanisms of how antibiotics influence growth performance through changes in gut microbiota can lead to the identification of highly productive microbiota in animal production. Here we investigated the effect of zinc bacitracin and avilamycin on growth performance and caecal microbiota in chickens and analysed associations between individual bacteria and growth performance. Two trials were undertaken; each used 96 individually caged 15-day-old Cobb broilers. Trial 1 had a control group (n = 48) and a zinc bacitracin (50 ppm) treatment group (n = 48). Trial 2 had a control group (n = 48) and an avilamycin (15 ppm) treatment group (n = 48). Chicken growth performance was evaluated over a 10-day period, and caecal microbiota was characterised by sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Avilamycin produced no effect on growth performance and exhibited little significant disturbance of the microbiota structure. However, zinc bacitracin reduced the feed conversion ratio (FCR) in treated birds, changed the composition and increased the diversity of their caecal microbiota by reducing dominant species. Avilamycin only produced minor reductions in the abundance of two microbial taxa, whereas zinc bacitracin produced relatively large shifts in a number of taxa, primarily Lactobacillus species. Also, a number of phylotypes closely related to lactobacilli species were positively or negatively correlated with FCR values, suggesting contrasting effects of Lactobacillus spp. on chicken growth performance. By harnessing such bacteria, it may be possible to develop high-productivity strategies in poultry that rely on the use of probiotics and less on in-feed antibiotics.

  9. Experimental and theoretical understanding of the gas phase oxidation of atmospheric amides with OH radicals: kinetics, products, and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borduas, Nadine; da Silva, Gabriel; Murphy, Jennifer G; Abbatt, Jonathan P D

    2015-05-14

    Atmospheric amides have primary and secondary sources and are present in ambient air at low pptv levels. To better assess the fate of amides in the atmosphere, the room temperature (298 ± 3 K) rate coefficients of five different amides with OH radicals were determined in a 1 m(3) smog chamber using online proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Formamide, the simplest amide, has a rate coefficient of (4.44 ± 0.46) × 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1) against OH, translating to an atmospheric lifetime of ∼1 day. N-methylformamide, N-methylacetamide and propanamide, alkyl versions of formamide, have rate coefficients of (10.1 ± 0.6) × 10(-12), (5.42 ± 0.19) × 10(-12), and (1.78 ± 0.43) × 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1), respectively. Acetamide was also investigated, but due to its slow oxidation kinetics, we report a range of (0.4-1.1) × 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1) for its rate coefficient with OH radicals. Oxidation products were monitored and quantified and their time traces were fitted using a simple kinetic box model. To further probe the mechanism, ab initio calculations are used to identify the initial radical products of the amide reactions with OH. Our results indicate that N-H abstractions are negligible in all cases, in contrast to what is predicted by structure-activity relationships. Instead, the reactions proceed via C-H abstraction from alkyl groups and from formyl C(O)-H bonds when available. The latter process leads to radicals that can readily react with O2 to form isocyanates, explaining the detection of toxic compounds such as isocyanic acid (HNCO) and methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO). These contaminants of significant interest are primary oxidation products in the photochemical oxidation of formamide and N-methylformamide, respectively.

  10. Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: association with virulence genes and biofilm formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iara Rossi Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Abstract Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes frequently nosocomial infections, currently becoming more difficult to treat due to the various resistance mechanisms and different virulence factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors independently associated with the development of bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, the frequency of virulence genes in metallo-β-lactamases producers and to evaluate their ability to produce biofilm. We conducted a case–control study in the Uberlândia Federal University – Hospital Clinic, Brazil. Polymerase Chain Reaction was performed for metallo-β-lactamases and virulence genes. Adhesion and biofilm assays were done by quantitative tests. Among the 157 strains analyzed, 73.9% were multidrug-resistant, 43.9% were resistant to carbapenems, 16.1% were phenotypically positive for metallo-β-lactamases, and of these, 10.7% were positive for blaSPM gene and 5.3% positive for blaVIM. The multivariable analysis showed that mechanical ventilation, enteral/nasogastric tubes, primary bacteremia with unknown focus, and inappropriate therapy were independent risk factors associated with bacteremia. All tested strains were characterized as strongly biofilm producers. A higher mortality was found among patients with bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, associated independently with extrinsic risk factors, however it was not evident the association with the presence of virulence and metallo-β-lactamases genes.

  11. Understanding the eruption mechanisms of the explosive Bellecombe Eruptions on Piton de la Fournaise, La Réunion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, K.; Ort, M. H.; Di Muro, A.; Parnell, R. A.; Huff, W. D.

    2017-12-01

    Piton de la Fournaise (PdF) is an active basaltic volcano on La Réunion island. The Bellecombe Tephra was deposited from at least three unusually explosive eruptions between 3000-5000 ka. The Bellecombe eruptions were interpreted recently to have been due to rapid depressurization of the hydrothermal system when a deep fracture opened after lateral, seaward-directed sliding of the eastern flank, late in a large effusive eruption. This project tests this hypothesis by physically, mineralogically, and chemically characterizing the Bellecombe Tephra to look for evidence of the involvement of the PdF hydrothermal system in the eruptions and understand where the eruptions initiated. The Bellecombe tephra consists of three units separated by incipient soils. Both the Upper and Lower Bellecombe deposits are mostly medium to very fine ash. Lower Bellecombe deposits, from the first two eruptions, are mostly beds of glassy ash containing minor lithic grains and olivine crystals. Hydrothermal minerals, mostly smectite, are present in a few Lower Bellecombe beds. Since these minerals are only present in some beds, the smectite formed before deposition rather than as a product of surficial alteration. The Upper Bellecombe deposits record a third eruption and vary between clast-supported crystal- and lithic-rich lapilli beds and ash beds with abundant ash pellets. The crystals are mostly olivine, with lesser pyroxene and plagioclase and sparse hydrothermal quartz. Gabbro and oceanite clasts are abundant and trachytic pumice rare in these deposits. Hydrothermal minerals are common in most Upper Bellecombe beds. The presence of smectite in some of the Lower Bellecombe beds suggests these deposits came from a system below 200 ºC. Clays in the Upper Bellecombe beds - smectite and mixed layer R0 illite/smectite - imply a system at 40-140 ºC. The hydrothermal system was involved, but might not have been the primary impetus for these eruptions, since hydrothermal minerals are not

  12. Multilocus Sequence Typing and Virulence Profiles in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Isolated from Cats in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqiang Liu

    Full Text Available The population structure, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC from cats are rarely characterized. The aim of this study was to compare and characterize the UPEC isolated from cats in four geographic regions of USA in terms of their multilocus sequence typing (MLST, virulence profiles, clinical signs, antimicrobial resistance and phylogenetic grouping. The results showed that a total of 74 E. coli isolates were typed to 40 sequence types with 10 being novel. The most frequent phylogenetic group was B2 (n = 57. The most frequent sequence types were ST73 (n = 12 and ST83 (n = 6, ST73 was represented by four multidrug resistant (MDR and eight non-multidrug resistant (SDR isolates, and ST83 were significantly more likely to exhibit no drug resistant (NDR isolates carrying the highest number of virulence genes. Additionally, MDR isolates were more diverse, and followed by SDR and NDR isolates in regards to the distribution of the STs. afa/draBC was the most prevalent among the 29 virulence-associated genes. Linking virulence profile and antimicrobial resistance, the majority of virulence-associated genes tested were more prevalent in NDR isolates, and followed by SDR and MDR isolates. Twenty (50% MLST types in this study have previously been associated with human isolates, suggesting that these STs are potentially zoonotic. Our data enhanced the understanding of E. coli population structure and virulence association from cats. The diverse and various combinations of virulence-associated genes implied that the infection control may be challenging.

  13. The cytotoxicity of polycationic iron oxide nanoparticles: Common endpoint assays and alternative approaches for improved understanding of cellular response mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoskins Clare

    2012-04-01

    Our findings indicate that common in vitro cell endpoint assays do not give detailed and complete information on cellular state and it is essential to explore novel approaches and carry out more in-depth studies to elucidate cellular response mechanism to magnetic nanoparticles.

  14. Comparative transcriptome analysis of salivary glands of two populations of rice brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, that differ in virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Ji

    future functional studies on salivary glands and will be useful for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying BPH feeding and virulence differences.

  15. Comparative transcriptome analysis of salivary glands of two populations of rice brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, that differ in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Rui; Yu, Haixin; Fu, Qiang; Chen, Hongdan; Ye, Wenfeng; Li, Shaohui; Lou, Yonggen

    2013-01-01

    molecular mechanisms underlying BPH feeding and virulence differences.

  16. Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes virulence in the Galleria mellonella insect larvae model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mira Rakic Martinez

    Full Text Availab