Science.gov

Sample records for biological agent simulants

  1. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhm, Han S.; Lee, Han Y.; Hong, Yong C.; Shin, Dong H.; Park, Yun H.; Hong, Yi F.; Lee, Chong K.

    2007-07-01

    A comprehensive decontamination scheme of the chemical and biological agents, including airborne agents and surface contaminating agents, is presented. When a chemical and biological attack occurs, it is critical to decontaminate facilities or equipments to an acceptable level in a very short time. The plasma flame presented here may provide a rapid and effective elimination of toxic substances in the interior air in isolated spaces. As an example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22cm diameter and 30cm length, purifies air with an airflow rate of 5000l/min contaminated with toluene, the simulated chemical agent, and soot from a diesel engine, the simulated aerosol for biological agents. Although the airborne agents in an isolated space are eliminated to an acceptable level by the plasma flame, the decontamination of the chemical and biological agents cannot be completed without cleaning surfaces of the facilities. A simulated sterilization study of micro-organisms was carried out using the electrolyzed ozone water. The electrolyzed ozone water very effectively kills endospores of Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372) within 3min. The electrolyzed ozone water also kills the vegetative micro-organisms, fungi, and virus. The electrolyzed ozone water, after the decontamination process, disintegrates into ordinary water and oxygen without any trace of harmful materials to the environment.

  2. A decontamination study of simulated chemical and biological agents

    SciTech Connect

    Uhm, Han S.; Lee, Han Y.; Hong, Yong C.; Shin, Dong H.; Park, Yun H.; Hong, Yi F.; Lee, Chong K.

    2007-07-01

    A comprehensive decontamination scheme of the chemical and biological agents, including airborne agents and surface contaminating agents, is presented. When a chemical and biological attack occurs, it is critical to decontaminate facilities or equipments to an acceptable level in a very short time. The plasma flame presented here may provide a rapid and effective elimination of toxic substances in the interior air in isolated spaces. As an example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22 cm diameter and 30 cm length, purifies air with an airflow rate of 5000 l/min contaminated with toluene, the simulated chemical agent, and soot from a diesel engine, the simulated aerosol for biological agents. Although the airborne agents in an isolated space are eliminated to an acceptable level by the plasma flame, the decontamination of the chemical and biological agents cannot be completed without cleaning surfaces of the facilities. A simulated sterilization study of micro-organisms was carried out using the electrolyzed ozone water. The electrolyzed ozone water very effectively kills endospores of Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372) within 3 min. The electrolyzed ozone water also kills the vegetative micro-organisms, fungi, and virus. The electrolyzed ozone water, after the decontamination process, disintegrates into ordinary water and oxygen without any trace of harmful materials to the environment.

  3. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Z Index Contact Us FAQs What's New Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... and Health Topics A-Z Index What's New Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and ...

  4. Fluorescence cross section measurements of biological agent simulants

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, J.R.

    1996-11-01

    Fluorescence is a powerful technique that has potential uses in detection and characterization of biological aerosols both in the battlefield and in civilian environments. Fluorescence techniques can be used with ultraviolet (UV) light detection and ranging (LIDAR) equipment to detect biological aerosol clouds at a distance, to provide early warning of a biological attack, and to track an potentially noxious cloud. Fluorescence can also be used for detection in a point sensor to monitor biological materials and to distinguish agents from benign aerosols. This work is part of a continuing program by the Army`s Chemical and Biological Defense Command to characterized the optical properties of biological agents. Reported here are ultraviolet fluorescence measurements of Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus Globigii aerosols suspended in an electrodynamic particle trap. Fluorescence spectra of a common atmospheric aerosol, pine pollen, are also presented.

  5. Terahertz signatures of biological-warfare-agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Globus, Tatiana; Woolard, Dwight L.; Khromova, Tatyana; Partasarathy, Ramakrishnan; Majewski, Alexander; Abreu, Rene; Hesler, Jeffrey L.; Pan, Shing-Kuo; Ediss, Geoff

    2004-09-01

    This work presents spectroscopic characterization results for biological simulant materials measured in the terahertz gap. Signature data have been collected between 3 cm-1 and 10 cm-1 for toxin Ovalbumin, bacteria Erwinia herbicola, Bacillus Subtilis lyophilized cells and RNA MS2 phage, BioGene. Measurements were conducted on a modified Bruker FTIR spectrometer equipped with the noise source developed in the NRAL. The noise source provides two orders of magnitude higher power in comparison with a conventional mercury lamp. Photometric characterization of the instrument performance demonstrates that the expected error for sample characterization inside the interval from 3 to 9.5 cm-1 is less then 1%.

  6. Experimental Simulations for Elimination of Biological and/or Chemical Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Yong C.; Kim, Jeong H.; Uhm, Han S.

    2003-10-01

    The threat of biological and/or chemical agents in a domestic terrorist attack and in military conflict is increasing worldwide. The 2oo1 anthrax terror throughout the USA, 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway, and the like are evident for this threat. Elimination and decontamination of biological and/or chemical agents are needed for such an attack. Experimental simulation for elimination of biological and/or chemical agents using an atmospheric-pressure microwave plasma torch is carried out. The elimination of biological and/or chemical agents through the vitrification or burnout of sewage sludge powders and the decomposition of toluene gas as a chemical agent stimulant is presented. A detailed characterization for the elimination of the simulant chemicals using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and Gas Chromatography (GC) is also presented.

  7. Standoff lidar simulation for biological warfare agent detection, tracking, and classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jönsson, Erika; Steinvall, Ove; Gustafsson, Ove; Kullander, Fredrik; Jonsson, Per

    2010-04-01

    Lidar has been identified as a promising sensor for remote detection of biological warfare agents (BWA). Elastic IR lidar can be used for cloud detection at long ranges and UV laser induced fluorescence can be used for discrimination of BWA against naturally occurring aerosols. This paper will describe a simulation tool which enables the simulation of lidar for detection, tracking and classification of aerosol clouds. The cloud model was available from another project and has been integrated into the model. It takes into account the type of aerosol, type of release (plume or puff), amounts of BWA, winds, height above the ground and terrain roughness. The model input includes laser and receiver parameters for both the IR and UV channels as well as the optical parameters of the background, cloud and atmosphere. The wind and cloud conditions and terrain roughness are specified for the cloud simulation. The search area including the angular sampling resolution together with the IR laser pulse repetition frequency defines the search conditions. After cloud detection in the elastic mode, the cloud can be tracked using appropriate algorithms. In the tracking mode the classification using fluorescence spectral emission is simulated and tested using correlation against known spectra. Other methods for classification based on elastic backscatter are also discussed as well as the determination of particle concentration. The simulation estimates and displays the lidar response, cloud concentration as well as the goodness of fit for the classification using fluorescence.

  8. Optical recognition of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgart, Chris W.; Linder, Kim Dalton; Trujillo, Josh J.

    2008-04-01

    Differentiation between particulate biological agents and non-biological agents is typically performed via a time-consuming "wet chemistry" process or through the use of fluorescent and spectroscopic analysis. However, while these methods can provide definitive recognition of biological agents, many of them have to be performed in a laboratory environment, or are difficult to implement in the field. Optical recognition techniques offer an additional recognition approach that can provide rapid analysis of a material in-situ to identify those materials that may be biological in nature. One possible application is to use these techniques to "screen" suspicious materials and to identify those that are potentially biological in nature. Suspicious materials identified by this screening process can then be analyzed in greater detail using the other, more definitive (but time consuming) analysis techniques. This presentation will describe the results of a feasibility study to determine whether optical pattern recognition techniques can be used to differentiate biological related materials from non-biological materials. As part of this study, feature extraction algorithms were developed utilizing multiple contrast and texture based features to characterize the macroscopic properties of different materials. In addition, several pattern recognition approaches using these features were tested including cluster analysis and neural networks. Test materials included biological agent simulants, biological agent related materials, and non-biological materials (suspicious white powders). Results of a series of feasibility tests will be presented along with a discussion of the potential field applications for these techniques.

  9. Biological warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies. PMID:21829313

  10. Biophysically Realistic Filament Bending Dynamics in Agent-Based Biological Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Jonathan B.

    2009-01-01

    An appealing tool for study of the complex biological behaviors that can emerge from networks of simple molecular interactions is an agent-based, computational simulation that explicitly tracks small-scale local interactions – following thousands to millions of states through time. For many critical cell processes (e.g. cytokinetic furrow specification, nuclear centration, cytokinesis), the flexible nature of cytoskeletal filaments is likely to be critical. Any computer model that hopes to explain the complex emergent behaviors in these processes therefore needs to encode filament flexibility in a realistic manner. Here I present a numerically convenient and biophysically realistic method for modeling cytoskeletal filament flexibility in silico. Each cytoskeletal filament is represented by a series of rigid segments linked end-to-end in series with a variable attachment point for the translational elastic element. This connection scheme allows an empirically tuning, for a wide range of segment sizes, viscosities, and time-steps, that endows any filament species with the experimentally observed (or theoretically expected) static force deflection, relaxation time-constant, and thermal writhing motions. I additionally employ a unique pair of elastic elements – one representing the axial and the other the bending rigidity– that formulate the restoring force in terms of single time-step constraint resolution. This method is highly local –adjacent rigid segments of a filament only interact with one another through constraint forces—and is thus well-suited to simulations in which arbitrary additional forces (e.g. those representing interactions of a filament with other bodies or cross-links / entanglements between filaments) may be present. Implementation in code is straightforward; Java source code is available at www.celldynamics.org. PMID:19283085

  11. Transport behavior of surrogate biological warfare agents in a simulated landfill: effect of leachate recirculation and water infiltration.

    PubMed

    Saikaly, Pascal E; Hicks, Kristin; Barlaz, Morton A; de Los Reyes, Francis L

    2010-11-15

    An understanding of the transport behavior of biological warfare (BW) agents in landfills is required to evaluate the suitability of landfills for the disposal of building decontamination residue (BDR) following a bioterrorist attack on a building. Surrogate BW agents, Bacillus atrophaeus spores and Serratia marcescens, were spiked into simulated landfill reactors that were filled with synthetic building debris (SBD) and operated for 4 months with leachate recirculation or water infiltration. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) was used to monitor surrogate transport. In the leachate recirculation reactors, <10% of spiked surrogates were eluted in leachate over 4 months. In contrast, 45% and 31% of spiked S. marcescens and B. atrophaeus spores were eluted in leachate in the water infiltration reactors. At the termination of the experiment, the number of retained cells and spores in SBD was measured over the depth of the reactor. Less than 3% of the total spiked S. marcescens cells and no B. atrophaeus spores were detected in SBD. These results suggest that significant fractions of the spiked surrogates were strongly attached to SBD. PMID:20973546

  12. Biologic agents in juvenile spondyloarthropathies.

    PubMed

    Katsicas, María Martha; Russo, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    The juvenile spondyloarthropathies (JSpA) are a group of related rheumatic diseases characterized by involvement of peripheral large joints, axial joints, and entheses (enthesitis) that begin in the early years of life (prior to 16(th) birthday).The nomenclature and concept of spondyloarthropathies has changed during the last few decades. Although there is not any specific classification of JSpA, diseases under the spondyloarthropathy nomenclature umbrella in the younger patients include: the seronegative enthesitis and arthropathy (SEA) syndrome, juvenile ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease-associated arthritis. Moreover, the ILAR criteria for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis includes two categories closely related to spondyloarthritis: Enthesitis-related arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.We review the pathophysiology and the use of biological agents in JSpA. JSpA are idiopathic inflammatory diseases driven by an altered balance in the proinflammatory cytokines. There is ample evidence on the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-17 in the physiopathology of these entities. Several non-biologic and biologic agents have been used with conflicting results in the treatment of these complex diseases. The efficacy and safety of anti-TNF agents, such as etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab, have been analysed in controlled and uncontrolled trials, usually showing satisfactory outcomes. Other biologic agents, such as abatacept, tocilizumab and rituximab, have been insufficiently studied and their role in the therapy of SpA is uncertain. Interleukin-17-blocking agents are promising alternatives for the treatment of JSpA patients in the near future. Recommendations for the treatment of patients with JSpA have recently been proposed and are discussed in the present review. PMID:26968522

  13. Real-Time Agent-Based Modeling Simulation with in-situ Visualization of Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Seekhao, Nuttiiya; Shung, Caroline; JaJa, Joseph; Mongeau, Luc; Li-Jessen, Nicole Y. K.

    2016-01-01

    We present an efficient and scalable scheme for implementing agent-based modeling (ABM) simulation with In Situ visualization of large complex systems on heterogeneous computing platforms. The scheme is designed to make optimal use of the resources available on a heterogeneous platform consisting of a multicore CPU and a GPU, resulting in minimal to no resource idle time. Furthermore, the scheme was implemented under a client-server paradigm that enables remote users to visualize and analyze simulation data as it is being generated at each time step of the model. Performance of a simulation case study of vocal fold inflammation and wound healing with 3.8 million agents shows 35× and 7× speedup in execution time over single-core and multi-core CPU respectively. Each iteration of the model took less than 200 ms to simulate, visualize and send the results to the client. This enables users to monitor the simulation in real-time and modify its course as needed. PMID:27547508

  14. Babybot: a biologically inspired developing robotic agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metta, Giorgio; Panerai, Francesco M.; Sandini, Giulio

    2000-10-01

    The study of development, either artificial or biological, can highlight the mechanisms underlying learning and adaptive behavior. We shall argue whether developmental studies might provide a different and potentially interesting perspective either on how to build an artificial adaptive agent, or on understanding how the brain solves sensory, motor, and cognitive tasks. It is our opinion that the acquisition of the proper behavior might indeed be facilitated because within an ecological context, the agent, its adaptive structure and the environment dynamically interact thus constraining the otherwise difficult learning problem. In very general terms we shall describe the proposed approach and supporting biological related facts. In order to further analyze these aspects from the modeling point of view, we shall demonstrate how a twelve degrees of freedom baby humanoid robot acquires orienting and reaching behaviors, and what advantages the proposed framework might offer. In particular, the experimental setup consists of five degrees-of-freedom (dof) robot head, and an off-the-shelf six dof robot manipulator, both mounted on a rotating base: i.e. the torso. From the sensory point of view, the robot is equipped with two space-variant cameras, an inertial sensor simulating the vestibular system, and proprioceptive information through motor encoders. The biological parallel is exploited at many implementation levels. It is worth mentioning, for example, the space- variant eyes, exploiting foveal and peripheral vision in a single arrangement, the inertial sensor providing efficient image stabilization (vestibulo-ocular reflex).

  15. Software agents in molecular computational biology.

    PubMed

    Keele, John W; Wray, James E

    2005-12-01

    Progress made in applying agent systems to molecular computational biology is reviewed and strategies by which to exploit agent technology to greater advantage are investigated. Communities of software agents could play an important role in helping genome scientists design reagents for future research. The advent of genome sequencing in cattle and swine increases the complexity of data analysis required to conduct research in livestock genomics. Databases are always expanding and semantic differences among data are common. Agent platforms have been developed to deal with generic issues such as agent communication, life cycle management and advertisement of services (white and yellow pages). This frees computational biologists from the drudgery of having to re-invent the wheel on these common chores, giving them more time to focus on biology and bioinformatics. Agent platforms that comply with the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) standards are able to interoperate. In other words, agents developed on different platforms can communicate and cooperate with one another if domain-specific higher-level communication protocol details are agreed upon between different agent developers. Many software agent platforms are peer-to-peer, which means that even if some of the agents and data repositories are temporarily unavailable, a subset of the goals of the system can still be met. Past use of software agents in bioinformatics indicates that an agent approach should prove fruitful. Examination of current problems in bioinformatics indicates that existing agent platforms should be adaptable to novel situations. PMID:16420735

  16. Biological agents database in the armed forces.

    PubMed

    Niemcewicz, Marcin; Kocik, Janusz; Bielecka, Anna; Wierciński, Michał

    2014-10-01

    Rapid detection and identification of the biological agent during both, natural or deliberate outbreak is crucial for implementation of appropriate control measures and procedures in order to mitigate the spread of disease. Determination of pathogen etiology may not only support epidemiological investigation and safety of human beings, but also enhance forensic efforts in pathogen tracing, collection of evidences and correct inference. The article presents objectives of the Biological Agents Database, which was developed for the purpose of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Poland under the European Defence Agency frame. The Biological Agents Database is an electronic catalogue of genetic markers of highly dangerous pathogens and biological agents of weapon of mass destruction concern, which provides full identification of biological threats emerging in Poland and in locations of activity of Polish troops. The Biological Agents Database is a supportive tool used for tracing biological agents' origin as well as rapid identification of agent causing the disease of unknown etiology. It also provides support in diagnosis, analysis, response and exchange of information between institutions that use information contained in it. Therefore, it can be used not only for military purposes, but also in a civilian environment. PMID:25033774

  17. Approaches to detection of airborne biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, An-Cheng; Tabacco, Mary Beth

    2009-05-01

    Three approaches to detection of biological agents based on biological processes will be presented. The first example demonstrates the use of dendrimers to deliver a membrane-impermeable fluorescent dye into live bacteria, similar to viral infection and delivery of DNA/RNA into a bacterial cell. The second example mimics collection and capture of airborne biological particles by the respiratory mucosa through the use of a hygroscopic sensing membrane. The third example is based on the use of multiple fluorescent probes with diverse functionalities to detect airborne biological agents in a manner similar to the olfactory receptors in the nasal tract.

  18. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain processes biological and non-biological movements in distinct neural circuits. Biological motion, in contrast to non-biological motion, refers to active movements of living beings. Aim of our experiment was to investigate the mechanisms underlying mental simulation of these two movement types. Subjects had to…

  19. History of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Szinicz, L

    2005-10-30

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents. PMID:16111798

  20. Method For Detecting Biological Agents

    DOEpatents

    Chen, Liaohai; McBranch, Duncan W.; Wang, Hsing-Lin; Whitten, David G.

    2005-12-27

    A sensor is provided including a polymer capable of having an alterable measurable property from the group of luminescence and electrical conductivity, the polymer having an intermediate combination of a recognition element, a tethering element and a property-altering element bound thereto and capable of altering the measurable property, the intermediate combination adapted for subsequent separation from the polymer upon exposure to an agent having an affinity for binding to the recognition element whereupon the separation of the intermediate combination from the polymer results in a detectable change in the alterable measurable property, and, detecting said detectable change in the alterable measurable property.

  1. An Introduced Insect Biological Control Agent Preys on an Introduced Weed Biological Control Agent.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biotic interference, especially by generalist predators, has been implicated in preventing establishment or limiting the impact of introduced weed biological control agents. Boreioglycaspis melaleucae Moore (Homoptera: Psyllidae) was released into Florida in 2002 as part of a classical biological c...

  2. Air monitoring and detection of chemical and biological agents

    SciTech Connect

    Leonelli, J.; Althouse, M.L.

    1999-06-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of SPIE`s remote sensing symposium which was held November 2--3, 1998 in Boston, Massachusetts. Topics of discussion include the following: system simulations, atmospheric modeling, and performance prediction studies of chemical warfare remote sensing technologies; ultraviolet laser-induced fluorescence and aerosol detection methods for remote sensing of biological warfare agents; passive detection methods for remote detection of chemical warfare agents; and lidar-based system performance assessments, demonstrations, and new concepts for chemical warfare/biological warfare detection.

  3. [Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA's) are diverse in nature; volatile acute low-molecular-weight toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents (CWA's, gaseous choking and blood agents, volatile nerve gases and blister agents, nonvolatile vomit agents and lacrymators), biological toxins (nonvolatile low-molecular-weight toxins, proteinous toxins) and microbes (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae). In the consequence management against chemical and biological terrorism, speedy decontamination of victims, facilities and equipment is required for the minimization of the damage. In the present situation, washing victims and contaminated materials with large volumes of water is the basic way, and additionally hypochlorite salt solution is used for decomposition of CWA's. However, it still remains unsolved how to dispose large volumes of waste water, and the decontamination reagents have serious limitation of high toxicity, despoiling nature against the environments, long finishing time and non-durability in effective decontamination. Namely, the existing decontamination system is not effective, nonspecifically affecting the surrounding non-target materials. Therefore, it is the urgent matter to build up the usable decontamination system surpassing the present technologies. The symposiast presents the on-going joint project of research and development of the novel decontamination system against CBWA's, in the purpose of realizing nontoxic, fast, specific, effective and economical terrorism on-site decontamination. The projects consists of (1) establishment of the decontamination evaluation methods and verification of the existing technologies and adaptation of bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase, (2) development of adsorptive elimination technologies using molecular recognition tools, and (4) development of deactivation technologies using photocatalysis. PMID:19122437

  4. Decontamination of biological warfare agents by a microwave plasma torch

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, Wilson; Lai, Henry; Kuo, Spencer P.; Tarasenko, Olga; Levon, Kalle

    2005-02-01

    A portable arc-seeded microwave plasma torch running stably with airflow is described and applied for the decontamination of biological warfare agents. Emission spectroscopy of the plasma torch indicated that this torch produced an abundance of reactive atomic oxygen that could effectively oxidize biological agents. Bacillus cereus was chosen as a simulant of Bacillus anthracis spores for biological agent in the decontamination experiments. Decontamination was performed with the airflow rate of 0.393 l/s, corresponding to a maximum concentration of atomic oxygen produced by the torch. The experimental results showed that all spores were killed in less than 8 s at 3 cm distance, 12 s at 4 cm distance, and 16 s at 5 cm distance away from the nozzle of the torch.

  5. Biologic agents in the treatment of glomerulonephritides.

    PubMed

    Yeo, See Cheng; Liew, Adrian

    2015-11-01

    Current immunosuppression strategies in the treatment of glomerulonephritides remain unsatisfactory, especially in glomerular diseases that are frequently relapsing or are resistant to treatment. Toxicities associated with the use of drugs with non-specific targets for the immune response result in treatment non-compliance, and increase morbidity and mortality in these patients. Advances in our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of glomerulonephritis and the availability of biologics have led to their successful use in the treatment of immune-mediated glomerular diseases. Biologics are usually very large complex molecules, often produced using recombinant DNA technology and manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, or plant or animal cells. They are novel agents that can target specific immune cell types, cytokines or immune pathways involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders. It is attractive to consider that, given their specific mode of action, these agents can potentially offer a more directed and effective immunosuppression, with side-effect profiles that are much more desirable. However, there have been few randomized controlled trials comparing biologic agents to conventional immunosuppression, and in many of these studies the side-effect profiles have been disappointingly similar. In this review, we will examine the rationale, efficacy and safety of some commonly used biologics in the treatment of primary and secondary glomerulonephritides. We will also discuss some of the key challenges that may be encountered with the use of biologics in treating glomerulonephritis in the future. PMID:26040770

  6. Pathogenetic validation of the use of biological protective agents and early treatment in cases of radiation injury simulating radiation effects under space flight conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogozkin, V. D.; Varteres, V.; Sabo, L.; Groza, N.; Nikolov, I.

    1974-01-01

    In considering a radiation safety system for space flights, the various measures to protect man against radiation include drug prophylaxis. At the present time a great deal of experimental material has been accumulated on the prevention and treatment of radiation injuries. Antiradiation effectiveness has been established for sulfur- and nitrogen-containing substances, auxins, cyanides, polynucleotides, mucopolysaccharides, lipopolysaccharides, aminosaccharides, synthetic polymers, vitamins, hormones, amino acids and other compounds which can be divided into two basic groups - biological and chemical protective agents.

  7. Agent-based models in translational systems biology

    PubMed Central

    An, Gary; Mi, Qi; Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    Effective translational methodologies for knowledge representation are needed in order to make strides against the constellation of diseases that affect the world today. These diseases are defined by their mechanistic complexity, redundancy, and nonlinearity. Translational systems biology aims to harness the power of computational simulation to streamline drug/device design, simulate clinical trials, and eventually to predict the effects of drugs on individuals. The ability of agent-based modeling to encompass multiple scales of biological process as well as spatial considerations, coupled with an intuitive modeling paradigm, suggests that this modeling framework is well suited for translational systems biology. This review describes agent-based modeling and gives examples of its translational applications in the context of acute inflammation and wound healing. PMID:20835989

  8. Biological agents as occupational hazards - selected issues.

    PubMed

    Dutkiewicz, Jacek; Cisak, Ewa; Sroka, Jacek; Wójcik-Fatla, Angelina; Zając, Violetta

    2011-01-01

    There are two main groups of biological agents regarded as occupational hazards: allergenic and/or toxic agents forming bioaerosols, and agents causing zoonoses and other infectious diseases. Bioaerosols occurring in the agricultural work environments comprise: bacteria, fungi, high molecular polymers produced by bacteria (endotoxin) or by fungi (β-glucans), low molecular secondary metabolites of fungi (mycotoxins, volatile organic compounds) and various particles of plant and animal origin. All these agents could be a cause of allergic and/or immunotoxic occupational diseases of respiratory organ (airways inflammation, rhinitis, toxic pneumonitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and asthma), conjunctivitis and dermatitis in exposed workers. Very important among zoonotic agents causing occupational diseases are those causing tick-borne diseases: Lyme borreliosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, bartonellosis. Agricultural workers in tropical zones are exposed to mosquito bites causing malaria, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the world. The group of agents causing other, basically not vector-borne zoonoses, comprises those evoking emerging or re-emerging diseases of global concern, such as: hantaviral diseases, avian and swine influenza, Q fever, leptospiroses, staphylococcal diseases caused by the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, and diseases caused by parasitic protozoa. Among other infectious, non-zoonotic agents, the greatest hazard for health care workers pose the blood-borne human hepatitis and immunodeficiency viruses (HBV, HCV, HIV). Of interest are also bacteria causing legionellosis in people occupationally exposed to droplet aerosols, mainly from warm water. PMID:22216801

  9. Investigation of statistics strategies for improving the discriminating power of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for chemical and biological warfare agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munson, Chase A.; De Lucia, Frank C.; Piehler, Thuvan; McNesby, Kevin L.; Miziolek, Andrzej W.

    2005-08-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy spectra of bacterial spores, molds, pollens and nerve agent simulants have been acquired. The performance of several statistical methodologies-linear correlation, principal components analysis, and soft independent model of class analogy-has been evaluated for their ability to differentiate between the various samples. The effect of data selection (total spectra, peak intensities, and intensity ratios) and pre-treatments (e.g., averaging) on the statistical models have also been studied. Results indicate the use of spectral averaging and weighting schemes may be used to significantly improve sample differentiation.

  10. Biological Simulations in Distance Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, P. J.

    1982-01-01

    The problems of introducing biological simulations into two Open University courses and the proposed solutions are discussed in relation to sound computer assisted learning practice. Eight references are included. (Author/CHC)

  11. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of aerosolized biological live agents and simulants using five excitation wavelengths in a BSL-3 laboratory.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yong-Le; Hill, Steven C; Santarpia, Joshua L; Brinkley, Kelly; Sickler, Todd; Coleman, Mark; Williamson, Chatt; Gurton, Kris; Felton, Melvin; Pinnick, Ronald G; Baker, Neal; Eshbaugh, Jonathan; Hahn, Jerry; Smith, Emily; Alvarez, Ben; Prugh, Amber; Gardner, Warren

    2014-04-01

    A system for measuring spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections of single bioaerosol particles has been developed and employed in a biological safety level 3 (BSL-3) facility at Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC). It is used to aerosolize the slurry or solution of live agents and surrogates into dried micron-size particles, and to measure the fluorescence spectra and sizes of the particles one at a time. Spectrally-resolved fluorescence cross sections were measured for (1) bacterial spores: Bacillus anthracis Ames (BaA), B. atrophaeus var. globigii (BG) (formerly known as Bacillus globigii), B. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), B. thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk), B. anthracis Sterne (BaS); (2) vegetative bacteria: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pantoea agglomerans (Eh) (formerly known as Erwinia herbicola), Yersinia rohdei (Yr), Yersinia pestis CO92 (Yp); and (3) virus preparations: Venezuelan equine encephalitis TC83 (VEE) and the bacteriophage MS2. The excitation wavelengths were 266 nm, 273 nm, 280 nm, 365 nm and 405 nm. PMID:24718194

  12. Laser-induced fluorescence-cued, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy biological-agent detection

    SciTech Connect

    Hybl, John D.; Tysk, Shane M.; Berry, Shaun R.; Jordan, Michael P

    2006-12-01

    Methods for accurately characterizing aerosols are required for detecting biological warfare agents. Currently, fluorescence-based biological agent sensors provide adequate detection sensitivity but suffer from high false-alarm rates. Combining single-particle fluorescence analysis with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) provides additional discrimination and potentially reduces false-alarm rates. A transportable UV laser-induced fluorescence-cued LIBS test bed has been developed and used to evaluate the utility of LIBS for biological-agent detection. Analysis of these data indicates that LIBS adds discrimination capability to fluorescence-based biological-agent detectors.However, the data also show that LIBS signatures of biological agent simulants are affected by washing. This may limit the specificity of LIBS and narrow the scope of its applicability in biological-agent detection.

  13. Biological agents in management of osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Tella, Sri Harsha; Gallagher, J Christopher

    2014-11-01

    Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease associated with an imbalance between formation and resorption, leading to net loss of bone mass, loss of bone microarchitecture, and development of fractures. Bone resorption is primarily due to an activation of osteoclastogenesis and an increase in receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) expression, a cytokine involved in the final pathway of the osteoclast cycle.Recent studies of genetic diseases led to the discovery of the wingless-type (Wnt) signaling pathway that plays a major role in bone formation. Further work showed that sclerostin produced by osteocytes and the Dickkopf (DKK1) protein secreted in bone were negative regulators of the Wnt signaling bone formation pathway that act directly by binding to the co-receptors LRP5 and LRP6 of WnT and thereby inhibiting the anabolic Wnt pathway. This understanding of the bone remodeling led to the discovery of new biological drugs that target these pathways and have been evaluated in clinical trials.The current article discusses the role of these newer "biological" agents in management of osteoporosis. Denosumab, a human monoclonal antibody that specifically binds RANKL, blocks the binding of RANK to its ligand markedly reducing bone resorption, increases bone density, and reduces fractures and is approved for osteoporosis. Parathyroid hormone PTH 1-34 (teriparatide) stimulates bone formation through inhibition of sclerostin, DKK1, and frizzled protein; increases BMD; improves microarchitecture; and decreases fractures and is approved for osteoporosis. The anti-sclerostin antibodies (romosozumab, blosozumab) increase bone mass by neutralizing the negative effects of sclerostin on the Wnt signaling pathway. These biologics are being evaluated now in a clinical trial and early data looks promising. Cathepsin K is a proteolytic enzyme that degrades bone matrix and inhibitors such as odanacatib show increasing bone density and perhaps decreased fractures. The

  14. Biomaterials for mediation of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Russell, Alan J; Berberich, Jason A; Drevon, Geraldine F; Koepsel, Richard R

    2003-01-01

    Recent events have emphasized the threat from chemical and biological warfare agents. Within the efforts to counter this threat, the biocatalytic destruction and sensing of chemical and biological weapons has become an important area of focus. The specificity and high catalytic rates of biological catalysts make them appropriate for decommissioning nerve agent stockpiles, counteracting nerve agent attacks, and remediation of organophosphate spills. A number of materials have been prepared containing enzymes for the destruction of and protection against organophosphate nerve agents and biological warfare agents. This review discusses the major chemical and biological warfare agents, decontamination methods, and biomaterials that have potential for the preparation of decontamination wipes, gas filters, column packings, protective wear, and self-decontaminating paints and coatings. PMID:12704086

  15. Detection of biological warfare agents using ultra violet-laser induced fluorescence LIDAR.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Deepti; Kumar, Deepak; Maini, Anil K; Sharma, Ramesh C

    2013-08-01

    This review has been written to highlight the threat of biological warfare agents, their types and detection. Bacterial biological agent Bacillus anthracis (bacteria causing the disease anthrax) which is most likely to be employed in biological warfare is being discussed in detail. Standoff detection of biological warfare agents in aerosol form using Ultra violet-Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectroscopy method has been studied. Range-resolved detection and identification of biological aerosols by both nano-second and non-linear femto-second LIDAR is also discussed. Calculated received fluorescence signal for a cloud of typical biological agent Bacillus globigii (Simulants of B. anthracis) at a location of ~5.0 km at different concentrations in presence of solar background radiation has been described. Overview of current research efforts in internationally available working UV-LIF LIDAR systems are also mentioned briefly. PMID:23719340

  16. Detection of biological warfare agents using ultra violet-laser induced fluorescence LIDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Deepti; Kumar, Deepak; Maini, Anil K.; Sharma, Ramesh C.

    This review has been written to highlight the threat of biological warfare agents, their types and detection. Bacterial biological agent Bacillus anthracis (bacteria causing the disease anthrax) which is most likely to be employed in biological warfare is being discussed in detail. Standoff detection of biological warfare agents in aerosol form using Ultra violet-Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectroscopy method has been studied. Range-resolved detection and identification of biological aerosols by both nano-second and non-linear femto-second LIDAR is also discussed. Calculated received fluorescence signal for a cloud of typical biological agent Bacillus globigii (Simulants of B. anthracis) at a location of ˜5.0 km at different concentrations in presence of solar background radiation has been described. Overview of current research efforts in internationally available working UV-LIF LIDAR systems are also mentioned briefly.

  17. Biologic agents-a panacea for inflammatory arthritis or not?

    PubMed

    Ninan, J; Smith, Malcolm D; Dugar, M; O'Brien, Karen; Ahern, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Aim. To describe the retention rates for biological therapies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in a clinical setting. Methods. All patients managed in a dedicated biological therapy clinic in a teaching hospital in Australia were assessed for continuation on biological treatments and reasons for switching to an alternative biological agent or cessation of treatment. Results. There was a lower retention rate for RA patients on biological therapies compared to PsA and AS patients and the retention rate for RA patients was lower than that reported in RCTs. Conclusions. The retention rate on biological therapies for RA patients was lower in the clinic setting than what is reported in RCTs. The reasons for the lower retention rate in the clinical setting are discussed but no clear determinants for nonresponse to biological agents were identifiable. These agents have very limited steroid sparing effects. PMID:20130798

  18. Stochastic simulation in systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest. PMID:25505503

  19. Plasma flame for mass purification of contaminated air with chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Uhm, Han S.; Shin, Dong H.; Hong, Yong C.

    2006-09-18

    An elimination of airborne simulated chemical and biological warfare agents was carried out by making use of a plasma flame made of atmospheric plasma and a fuel-burning flame, which can purify the interior air of a large volume in isolated spaces such as buildings, public transportation systems, and military vehicles. The plasma flame generator consists of a microwave plasma torch connected in series to a fuel injector and a reaction chamber. For example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22 cm diameter and 30 cm length, purifies an airflow rate of 5000 lpm contaminated with toluene (the simulated chemical agent) and soot from a diesel engine (the simulated aerosol for biological agents). Large volumes of purification by the plasma flame will free mankind from the threat of airborne warfare agents. The plasma flame may also effectively purify air that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, in addition to eliminating soot from diesel engines as an environmental application.

  20. Plasma flame for mass purification of contaminated air with chemical and biological warfare agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhm, Han S.; Shin, Dong H.; Hong, Yong C.

    2006-09-01

    An elimination of airborne simulated chemical and biological warfare agents was carried out by making use of a plasma flame made of atmospheric plasma and a fuel-burning flame, which can purify the interior air of a large volume in isolated spaces such as buildings, public transportation systems, and military vehicles. The plasma flame generator consists of a microwave plasma torch connected in series to a fuel injector and a reaction chamber. For example, a reaction chamber, with the dimensions of a 22cm diameter and 30cm length, purifies an airflow rate of 5000lpm contaminated with toluene (the simulated chemical agent) and soot from a diesel engine (the simulated aerosol for biological agents). Large volumes of purification by the plasma flame will free mankind from the threat of airborne warfare agents. The plasma flame may also effectively purify air that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, in addition to eliminating soot from diesel engines as an environmental application.

  1. Biological control agents elevate hantavirus by subsidizing deer mouse populations.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Callaway, Ragan M

    2006-04-01

    Biological control of exotic invasive plants using exotic insects is practiced under the assumption that biological control agents are safe if they do not directly attack non-target species. We tested this assumption by evaluating the potential for two host-specific biological control agents (Urophora spp.), widely established in North America for spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) control, to indirectly elevate Sin Nombre hantavirus by providing food subsidies to populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), the primary reservoir for the virus. We show that seropositive deer mice (mice testing positive for hantavirus) were over three times more abundant in the presence of the biocontrol food subsidy. Elevating densities of seropositive mice may increase risk of hantavirus infection in humans and significantly alter hantavirus ecology. Host specificity alone does not ensure safe biological control. To minimize indirect risks to non-target species, biological control agents must suppress pest populations enough to reduce their own numbers. PMID:16623730

  2. SURVIVABILITY OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    To tests and provide a comprehensive, integrated list of survival rates of biological warfare agents' survival of landfill conditions.
    Research into the permanence of the final disposal contaminated building debris of the inactivated or active agent of terrorism is being exam...

  3. Solid-water detoxifying reagents for chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Hoffman, Dennis M.; Chiu, Ing Lap

    2006-04-18

    Formation of solid-water detoxifying reagents for chemical and biological agents. Solutions of detoxifying reagent for chemical and biological agents are coated using small quantities of hydrophobic nanoparticles by vigorous agitation or by aerosolization of the solution in the presence of the hydrophobic nanoparticles to form a solid powder. For example, when hydrophobic fumed silica particles are shaken in the presence of IN oxone solution in approximately a 95:5-weight ratio, a dry powder results. The hydrophobic silica forms a porous coating of insoluble fine particles around the solution. Since the chemical or biological agent tends to be hydrophobic on contact with the weakly encapsulated detoxifying solution, the porous coating breaks down and the detoxifying reagent is delivered directly to the chemical or biological agent for maximum concentration at the point of need. The solid-water (coated) detoxifying solutions can be blown into contaminated ventilation ducting or other difficult to reach sites for detoxification of pools of chemical or biological agent. Once the agent has been detoxified, it can be removed by flushing the area with air or other techniques.

  4. Computational Spectrum of Agent Model Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Perumalla, Kalyan S

    2010-01-01

    The study of human social behavioral systems is finding renewed interest in military, homeland security and other applications. Simulation is the most generally applied approach to studying complex scenarios in such systems. Here, we outline some of the important considerations that underlie the computational aspects of simulation-based study of human social systems. The fundamental imprecision underlying questions and answers in social science makes it necessary to carefully distinguish among different simulation problem classes and to identify the most pertinent set of computational dimensions associated with those classes. We identify a few such classes and present their computational implications. The focus is then shifted to the most challenging combinations in the computational spectrum, namely, large-scale entity counts at moderate to high levels of fidelity. Recent developments in furthering the state-of-the-art in these challenging cases are outlined. A case study of large-scale agent simulation is provided in simulating large numbers (millions) of social entities at real-time speeds on inexpensive hardware. Recent computational results are identified that highlight the potential of modern high-end computing platforms to push the envelope with respect to speed, scale and fidelity of social system simulations. Finally, the problem of shielding the modeler or domain expert from the complex computational aspects is discussed and a few potential solution approaches are identified.

  5. Biological agent detection and identification using pattern recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Jerome J.; Glina, Yan; Judson, Nicholas; Transue, Kevin D.

    2005-05-01

    This paper discusses a novel approach for the automatic identification of biological agents. The essence of the approach is a combination of gene expression, microarray-based sensing, information fusion, machine learning and pattern recognition. Integration of these elements is a distinguishing aspect of the approach, leading to a number of significant advantages. Amongst them are the applicability to various agent types including bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other, ability to operate without the knowledge of a pathogen's genome sequence and without the need for bioagent-speciific materials or reagents, and a high level of extensibility. Furthermore, the approach allows detection of uncatalogued agents, including emerging pathogens. The approach offers a promising avenue for automatic identification of biological agents for applications such as medical diagnostics, bioforensics, and biodefense.

  6. Oxidizer gels for detoxification of chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Hoffman, Dennis M.; McGuire, Raymond R.

    2002-01-01

    A gel composition containing oxidizing agents and thickening or gelling agents is used to detoxify chemical and biological agents by application directly to a contaminated area. The gelling agent is a colloidal material, such as silica, alumina, or alumino-silicate clays, which forms a viscous gel that does not flow when applied to tilted or contoured surfaces. Aqueous or organic solutions of oxidizing agents can be readily gelled with less than about 30% colloidal material. Gel preparation is simple and suitable for field implementation, as the gels can be prepared at the site of decontamination and applied quickly and uniformly over an area by a sprayer. After decontamination, the residue can be washed away or vacuumed up for disposal.

  7. Current laboratory methods for biological threat agent identification.

    PubMed

    Henchal, E A; Teska, J D; Ludwig, G V; Shoemaker, D R; Ezzell, J W

    2001-09-01

    The authors present an integrated approach for the identification of biological threat agents. The methods used have been used extensively in field exercises and during response to incidents of biological terrorism. A diagnostic system, which integrates the clinical diagnosis or medical intelligence with immunodiagnostic tests, rapid gene amplification assays, and standard culture, provides results of the highest quality and confidence. In the future, selected reagents and technologies will be distributed through a network of civilian and military laboratories. PMID:11572145

  8. DISCOVERY AND DEVELOMENT OF BIOLOGICAL AGENTS TO CONTROL CROP PESTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    "Biological control" refers to the reduction of crop pests or their deleterious activities by one or more antagonistic organisms present in the environment. Thousands of potential microbial biocontrol agents have been isolated from agricultural fields and crops during research over the last 80 year...

  9. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection for chemical and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Fei; Stokes, David L.; Wabuyele, Musundi B.; Griffin, Guy D.; Vass, Arpad A.; Vo-Dinh, Tuan

    2004-07-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra of chemical agent simulants such as dimethyl methylphonate (DMMP), pinacolyl methylphosphonate (PMP), diethyl phosphoramidate (DEPA), and 2-chloroethyl ethylsulfide (CEES), and biological agent simulants such as bacillus globigii (BG), erwinia herbicola (EH), and bacillus thuringiensis (BT) were obtained from silver oxide film-deposited substrates. Thin AgO films ranging in thickness from 50 nm to 250 nm were produced by chemical bath deposition onto glass slides. Further Raman intensity enhancements were noticed in UV irradiated surfaces due to photo-induced Ag nanocluster formation, which may provide a possible route to producing highly useful plasmonic sensors for the detection of chemical and biological agents upon visible light illumination.

  10. A Bayesian Dose-finding Design for Oncology Clinical Trials of Combinational Biological Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chunyan; Yuan, Ying; Ji, Yuan

    2013-01-01

    Treating patients with novel biological agents is becoming a leading trend in oncology. Unlike cytotoxic agents, for which efficacy and toxicity monotonically increase with dose, biological agents may exhibit non-monotonic patterns in their dose-response relationships. Using a trial with two biological agents as an example, we propose a dose-finding design to identify the biologically optimal dose combination (BODC), which is defined as the dose combination of the two agents with the highest efficacy and tolerable toxicity. A change-point model is used to reflect the fact that the dose-toxicity surface of the combinational agents may plateau at higher dose levels, and a flexible logistic model is proposed to accommodate the possible non-monotonic pattern for the dose-efficacy relationship. During the trial, we continuously update the posterior estimates of toxicity and efficacy and assign patients to the most appropriate dose combination. We propose a novel dose-finding algorithm to encourage sufficient exploration of untried dose combinations in the two-dimensional space. Extensive simulation studies show that the proposed design has desirable operating characteristics in identifying the BODC under various patterns of dose-toxicity and dose-efficacy relationships. PMID:24511160

  11. A Bayesian Dose-finding Design for Oncology Clinical Trials of Combinational Biological Agents.

    PubMed

    Cai, Chunyan; Yuan, Ying; Ji, Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Treating patients with novel biological agents is becoming a leading trend in oncology. Unlike cytotoxic agents, for which efficacy and toxicity monotonically increase with dose, biological agents may exhibit non-monotonic patterns in their dose-response relationships. Using a trial with two biological agents as an example, we propose a dose-finding design to identify the biologically optimal dose combination (BODC), which is defined as the dose combination of the two agents with the highest efficacy and tolerable toxicity. A change-point model is used to reflect the fact that the dose-toxicity surface of the combinational agents may plateau at higher dose levels, and a flexible logistic model is proposed to accommodate the possible non-monotonic pattern for the dose-efficacy relationship. During the trial, we continuously update the posterior estimates of toxicity and efficacy and assign patients to the most appropriate dose combination. We propose a novel dose-finding algorithm to encourage sufficient exploration of untried dose combinations in the two-dimensional space. Extensive simulation studies show that the proposed design has desirable operating characteristics in identifying the BODC under various patterns of dose-toxicity and dose-efficacy relationships. PMID:24511160

  12. Functional Agents to Biologically Control Deoxynivalenol Contamination in Cereal Grains

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Ye; Tan, Yanglan; Liu, Na; Liao, Yucai; Sun, Changpo; Wang, Shuangxia; Wu, Aibo

    2016-01-01

    Mycotoxins, as microbial secondary metabolites, frequently contaminate cereal grains and pose a serious threat to human and animal health around the globe. Deoxynivalenol (DON), a commonly detected Fusarium mycotoxin, has drawn utmost attention due to high exposure levels and contamination frequency in the food chain. Biological control is emerging as a promising technology for the management of DON contamination. Functional biological control agents (BCAs), which include antagonistic microbes, natural fungicides derived from plants and detoxification enzymes, can be used to control DON contamination at different stages of grain production. In this review, studies regarding different biological agents for DON control in recent years are summarized for the first time. Furthermore, this article highlights the significance of BCAs for controlling DON contamination, as well as the need for more practical and efficient BCAs concerning food safety. PMID:27064760

  13. Biological warfare agents as threats to potable water.

    PubMed Central

    Burrows, W D; Renner, S E

    1999-01-01

    Nearly all known biological warfare agents are intended for aerosol application. Although less effective as potable water threats, many are potentially capable of inflicting heavy casualties when ingested. Significant loss of mission capability can be anticipated even when complete recovery is possible. Properly maintained field army water purification equipment can counter this threat, but personnel responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment may be most at risk of exposure. Municipal water treatment facilities would be measurably less effective. Some replicating (infectious) agents and a few biotoxins are inactivated by chlorine disinfection; for others chlorine is ineffective or of unknown efficacy. This report assesses the state of our knowledge of agents as potable water threats and contemplates the consequences of intentional or collateral contamination of potable water supplies by 18 replicating agents and 9 biotoxins known or likely to be weaponized or otherwise used as threats. PMID:10585901

  14. The Use of Biologic Agents in Athletes with Knee Injuries.

    PubMed

    Kopka, Michaela; Bradley, James P

    2016-07-01

    Biologic agents are gaining popularity in the management of bony and soft tissue conditions about the knee. They are becoming the mainstay of nonoperative therapy in the high-demand athletic population. The most well-studied agents include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells-both of which have shown promise in the treatment of various conditions. Animal and clinical studies have demonstrated improved outcomes following PRP treatment in early osteoarthritis of the knee, as well as in chronic patellar tendinopathy. Early clinical evidence also lends support for PRP in the augmentation of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Research investigating the role of biologic agents in collateral ligament and meniscal injuries is ongoing. Studies assessing the utility of stem cells have shown encouraging results in the setting of osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, strict regulations by the FDA continue to restrict their application in clinical practice. A major limitation in the interpretation of current data is the significant variability in the harvesting and preparation of both PRP and stem cells. As the volume and quality of evidence continue to grow, biologic agents are poised to become an integral component of comprehensive patient care throughout all orthopedic specialties. PMID:27206071

  15. Biologic Agents for Periodontal Regeneration and Implant Site Development.

    PubMed

    Suárez-López Del Amo, Fernando; Monje, Alberto; Padial-Molina, Miguel; Tang, ZhiHui; Wang, Hom-Lay

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of molecular mediators or biologic agents has increased tremendously during the last decade in periodontology and dental implantology. Implant site development and reconstruction of the lost periodontium represent main fields in which these molecular mediators have been employed and investigated. Different growth factors trigger different reactions in the tissues of the periodontium at various cellular levels. Proliferation, migration, and differentiation constitute the main target areas of these molecular mediators. It was the purpose of this comprehensive review to describe the origin and rationale, evidence, and the most current understanding of the following biologic agents: Recombinant Human Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB), Enamel Matrix Derivate (EMD), Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF), Recombinant Human Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (rhFGF-2), Bone Morphogenic Proteins (BMPs, BMP-2 and BMP-7), Teriparatide PTH, and Growth Differential Factor-5 (GDF-5). PMID:26509173

  16. Biologic Agents for Periodontal Regeneration and Implant Site Development

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-López del Amo, Fernando; Monje, Alberto; Padial-Molina, Miguel; Tang, ZhiHui; Wang, Hom-Lay

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of molecular mediators or biologic agents has increased tremendously during the last decade in periodontology and dental implantology. Implant site development and reconstruction of the lost periodontium represent main fields in which these molecular mediators have been employed and investigated. Different growth factors trigger different reactions in the tissues of the periodontium at various cellular levels. Proliferation, migration, and differentiation constitute the main target areas of these molecular mediators. It was the purpose of this comprehensive review to describe the origin and rationale, evidence, and the most current understanding of the following biologic agents: Recombinant Human Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB), Enamel Matrix Derivate (EMD), Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF), Recombinant Human Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (rhFGF-2), Bone Morphogenic Proteins (BMPs, BMP-2 and BMP-7), Teriparatide PTH, and Growth Differential Factor-5 (GDF-5). PMID:26509173

  17. Spatial Aspects in Biological System Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Resat, Haluk; Costa, Michelle N.; Shankaran, Harish

    2011-01-30

    Mathematical models of the dynamical properties of biological systems aim to improve our understanding of the studied system with the ultimate goal of being able to predict system responses in the absence of experimentation. Despite the enormous advances that have been made in biological modeling and simulation, the inherently multiscale character of biological systems and the stochasticity of biological processes continue to present significant computational and conceptual challenges. Biological systems often consist of well-organized structural hierarchies, which inevitably lead to multiscale problems. This chapter introduces and discusses the advantages and shortcomings of several simulation methods that are being used by the scientific community to investigate the spatio-temporal properties of model biological systems. We first describe the foundations of the methods and then describe their relevance and possible application areas with illustrative examples from our own research. Possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are also discussed.

  18. Biological in situ characterization of polymeric microbubble contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Wan, Sha; Egri, Gabriella; Oddo, Letizia; Cerroni, Barbara; Dähne, Lars; Paradossi, Gaio; Salvati, Anna; Lynch, Iseult; Dawson, Kenneth A; Monopoli, Marco P

    2016-06-01

    Polymeric microbubbles (MBs) are gas filled particles composed of a thin stabilized polymer shell that have been recently developed as valid contrast agents for the combined use of ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) imaging. Due to their buoyancy, the commonly available approaches to study their behaviour in complex media are not easily applicable and their use in modern medicine requires such behaviour to be fully elucidated. Here we have used for the first time flow cytometry as a new high throughput approach that allows characterisation of the MB dispersion, prior to and after exposure in different biological media and we have additionally developed a method that allows characterisation of the strongly bound proteins adsorbed on the MBs, to fully predict their biological behaviour in biological milieu. PMID:26993210

  19. Validation techniques of agent based modelling for geospatial simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darvishi, M.; Ahmadi, G.

    2014-10-01

    One of the most interesting aspects of modelling and simulation study is to describe the real world phenomena that have specific properties; especially those that are in large scales and have dynamic and complex behaviours. Studying these phenomena in the laboratory is costly and in most cases it is impossible. Therefore, Miniaturization of world phenomena in the framework of a model in order to simulate the real phenomena is a reasonable and scientific approach to understand the world. Agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) is a new modelling method comprising of multiple interacting agent. They have been used in the different areas; for instance, geographic information system (GIS), biology, economics, social science and computer science. The emergence of ABM toolkits in GIS software libraries (e.g. ESRI's ArcGIS, OpenMap, GeoTools, etc) for geospatial modelling is an indication of the growing interest of users to use of special capabilities of ABMS. Since ABMS is inherently similar to human cognition, therefore it could be built easily and applicable to wide range applications than a traditional simulation. But a key challenge about ABMS is difficulty in their validation and verification. Because of frequent emergence patterns, strong dynamics in the system and the complex nature of ABMS, it is hard to validate and verify ABMS by conventional validation methods. Therefore, attempt to find appropriate validation techniques for ABM seems to be necessary. In this paper, after reviewing on Principles and Concepts of ABM for and its applications, the validation techniques and challenges of ABM validation are discussed.

  20. HISTOCHEMICAL EFFECTS OF SOME BIOLOGICAL AGENTS ON CULEX PIPIENS LARVAE.

    PubMed

    El Sobky, Mona M; Ismail, Howaida I H; Assar, Abada A

    2016-04-01

    The histochemical effects of the lethal concentration that kills 50% of larvae (LC50) of three biological agents, abamectin, Bacillus thuringiensis and spinosad on the carbohydrates (polysaccharides), proteins, nucleic acids and lipids content of the midgut and fat bodies of Culex pipiens 2nd instar larvae were studied. The results showed that the three tested compounds reduced the carbohydrates (polysaccharides), proteins, RNA synthesis and lipids content after 72 hours of treatment where abamectin was the most effective followed by Bacillus thuringiensis then spinosad. PMID:27363043

  1. Towards the implementation of a spectral database for the detection of biological warfare agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Gelfusa, M.; Cenciarelli, O.; D'Amico, F.; Malizia, A.; Scarpellini, D.; Murari, A.; Vega, J.; Gaudio, P.

    2014-10-01

    The deliberate use of biological warfare agents (BWA) and other pathogens can jeopardize the safety of population, fauna and flora, and represents a concrete concern from the military and civil perspective. At present, the only commercially available tools for fast warning of a biological attack can perform point detection and require active or passive sampling collection. The development of a stand-off detection system would be extremely valuable to minimize the risk and the possible consequences of the release of biological aerosols in the atmosphere. Biological samples can be analyzed by means of several optical techniques, covering a broad region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Strong evidence proved that the informative content of fluorescence spectra could provide good preliminary discrimination among those agents and it can also be obtained through stand-off measurements. Such a system necessitates a database and a mathematical method for the discrimination of the spectral signatures. In this work, we collected fluorescence emission spectra of the main BWA simulants, to implement a spectral signature database and apply the Universal Multi Event Locator (UMEL) statistical method. Our preliminary analysis, conducted in laboratory conditions with a standard UV lamp source, considers the main experimental setups influencing the fluorescence signature of some of the most commonly used BWA simulants. Our work represents a first step towards the implementation of a spectral database and a laser-based biological stand-off detection and identification technique.

  2. Multispectral analysis of biological agents to implement a quick tool for stand-off biological detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, M.; Pizzoferrato, R.; Lungaroni, M.; Gabriele, J.; Ludovici, G. M.; Cenciarelli, O.; Gelfusa, M.; Murari, A.; Malizia, A.; Gaudio, P.

    2015-10-01

    With the aim of identifying an approach to exploit the differences in the fluorescence signatures of biological agents BAs, we have investigated the response of some BAs simulants to a set of different excitation wavelengths in the UV spectral range (i.e. 266, 273, 280, 300, 340, 355 nm). Our preliminary results on bacterial spores and vegetative forms, dispersed in water, showed that the differences in the fluorescence spectra can be enhanced, and more easily revealed, by using different excitation wavelengths. Specifically, the photo luminescence (PL) spectra coming from different species of Bacillus, in the form of spores (used as simulants of Bacillus anthracis), show significant differences under excitation at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger differences at 300, 340, 355 nm. On the other hand, the vegetative forms of two Bacillus species, did not show any appreciable difference, i.e. the PL spectra are virtually identical, for the excitation wavelengths of 266, 273, 280 nm. Conversely, small yet appreciable difference appear at 300, 340, 355 nm. Finally, large difference appear between the spore and the vegetative form of each species at all the wavelengths, with slightly larger variations at 300, 340, 355 nm. Together, these preliminary results support the hypothesis that a multi-wavelength approach could be used to improve the sensitivity and specificity of UV-LIF based BAs detection systems. The second step of this work concerns the application of a Support Vector Regression (SVR) method, as evaluated in our previous work to define a methodology for the setup of a multispectral database for the stand-off detection of BAs.

  3. Virtual agents in a simulated virtual training environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achorn, Brett; Badler, Norman L.

    1993-01-01

    A drawback to live-action training simulations is the need to gather a large group of participants in order to train a few individuals. One solution to this difficulty is the use of computer-controlled agents in a virtual training environment. This allows a human participant to be replaced by a virtual, or simulated, agent when only limited responses are needed. Each agent possesses a specified set of behaviors and is capable of limited autonomous action in response to its environment or the direction of a human trainee. The paper describes these agents in the context of a simulated hostage rescue training session, involving two human rescuers assisted by three virtual (computer-controlled) agents and opposed by three other virtual agents.

  4. Biocellion: accelerating computer simulation of multicellular biological system models

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Seunghwa; Kahan, Simon; McDermott, Jason; Flann, Nicholas; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Biological system behaviors are often the outcome of complex interactions among a large number of cells and their biotic and abiotic environment. Computational biologists attempt to understand, predict and manipulate biological system behavior through mathematical modeling and computer simulation. Discrete agent-based modeling (in combination with high-resolution grids to model the extracellular environment) is a popular approach for building biological system models. However, the computational complexity of this approach forces computational biologists to resort to coarser resolution approaches to simulate large biological systems. High-performance parallel computers have the potential to address the computing challenge, but writing efficient software for parallel computers is difficult and time-consuming. Results: We have developed Biocellion, a high-performance software framework, to solve this computing challenge using parallel computers. To support a wide range of multicellular biological system models, Biocellion asks users to provide their model specifics by filling the function body of pre-defined model routines. Using Biocellion, modelers without parallel computing expertise can efficiently exploit parallel computers with less effort than writing sequential programs from scratch. We simulate cell sorting, microbial patterning and a bacterial system in soil aggregate as case studies. Availability and implementation: Biocellion runs on x86 compatible systems with the 64 bit Linux operating system and is freely available for academic use. Visit http://biocellion.com for additional information. Contact: seunghwa.kang@pnnl.gov PMID:25064572

  5. Micro-radiography of biological samples with medical contrast agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dammer, J.; Weyda, F.; Benes, J.; Sopko, V.; Gelbic, I.

    2013-12-01

    Micro-radiography is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to study the internal structures of objects. This fast and easy imaging tool is based on differential X-ray attenuation by various tissues and structures within biological samples. The experimental setup described is based on the semiconductor pixel X-ray detector Medipix2 and X-ray micro-focus tube. Our micro-radiographic system has been recently used not only for the examination of internal structures of various arthropods and other biological objects but also for tracing some processes in selected model species (we used living larvae of mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus). Low concentrations of iodine, lanthanum or gold particles were used as a tracer (contrast agent). Such contrast agents increase the absorption of X-rays and allow a better visibility of internal structures of model organisms (especially the various cavities, pores, etc.). In addition, the movement of tracers in selected timing experiments demonstrates some physiological functions of digestive and excretory system.

  6. Development of a persistent chemical agent simulation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A Persistent Chemical Agent Simulation System was developed (PCASS) to simulate, for force-on-force training exercises, the field environment produced by the presence of persistent chemical agents. Such a simulant system must satisfy several requirements to be of value as a training aid. Specifically, it must provide for realistic training which will generate competency in at least the following areas: (1) detection of the persistent agent presence; (2) proper use of protective equipment and procedures; (3) determination of the extent of contamination; and (4) decontamination of equipment and personnel.

  7. A simulation-based tutor that reasons about multiple agents

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes Eliot, C. III; Park Woolf, B.

    1996-12-31

    This paper examines the problem of modeling multiple agents within an intelligent simulation-based tutor. Multiple agent and planning technology were used to enable the system to critique a human agent`s reasoning about multiple agents. This perspective arises naturally whenever a student must learn to lead and coordinate a team of people. The system dynamically selected teaching goals, instantiated plans and modeled the student and the domain as it monitored the student`s progress. The tutor provides one of the first complete integrations of a real-time simulation with knowledge-based reasoning. Other novel techniques of the system are reported, such as common-sense reasoning about plans, reasoning about protocol mechanisms, and using a real-time simulation for training.

  8. Detection of nerve agents and biological molecules using embedded piezoresistive microcantilever sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Timothy; Vail, Tim; Wooley, Amanda

    2008-03-01

    Embedded piezoresistive microcantilever (EPM) sensors have been used in the detection of a variety of analyte species. EPM sensors utilize a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever partially embedded into a sensing material to produce a sensing element that is compact, simple, resistant to movement and shock, and suitable for remote sensing applications. In the current project, we have used sensing materials comprised of an immobilizing polymer functionalized with either target enzymes or antibodies to detect two biological agents, bacillus globigi (BG) and Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP). DFP is an organophosphate used as a simulant for organophosphate nerve agents, while BG is a large bacterial spore used as a simulant for other bacterial spores such as bacillus anthracis. Sensing results are presented for both types of EPM sensors.

  9. Engineered plant biomass particles coated with biological agents

    DOEpatents

    Dooley, James H.; Lanning, David N.

    2014-06-24

    Plant biomass particles coated with a biological agent such as a bacterium or seed, characterized by a length dimension (L) aligned substantially parallel to a grain direction and defining a substantially uniform distance along the grain, a width dimension (W) normal to L and aligned cross grain, and a height dimension (H) normal to W and L. In particular, the L.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel side surfaces characterized by substantially intact longitudinally arrayed fibers, the W.times.H dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel end surfaces characterized by crosscut fibers and end checking between fibers, and the L.times.W dimensions define a pair of substantially parallel top and bottom surfaces.

  10. Evolution of cooperative behavior in simulation agents

    SciTech Connect

    Stroud, P.D.

    1998-04-01

    A simulated automobile factory paint shop is used as a testbed for exploring the emulation of human decision making behavior. A discrete events simulation of the paint shop as a collection of interacting Java actors is described. An evolutionary cognitive architecture is under development for building software actors to emulate humans in simulations of human dominated complex systems. In this paper, the cognitive architecture is extended by implementing a persistent population of trial behaviors with an incremental fitness valuation update strategy, and by allowing a group of cognitive actors to share information. A proof of principle demonstration is presented.

  11. System integration and development for biological warfare agent surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark, Jacob A.; Green, Lance D.; Deshpande, Alina; White, P. Scott

    2007-04-01

    A wide variety of technical needs exist for surveillance, monitoring, identifying, or detecting pathogens with potential use as biological terrorism or warfare agents. Because the needs vary greatly among diverse applications, tailored systems are needed that meet performance, information, and cost requirements. A systems perspective allows developers to identify chokepoints for each application, and focus R&D investments on the limiting factors. Surveillance and detection systems are comprised of three primary components: information (markers), chemistries (assays), and instrumentation for "readout". Careful consideration of these components within the context of each application will allow for increases in efficiency and performance not generally realized when researchers focus on a single component in isolation. In fact, many application requirements can be met with simple novel combinations of existing technologies, without the need for huge investments in basic research. Here we discuss some of the key parameters for surveillance, detection, and identification of biothreat agents, and provide examples of focused development that addresses key bottlenecks, and greatly improve system performance.

  12. Brahms An Agent-Oriented Language for Work Practice Simulation and Multi-Agent Systems Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.; van Hoof, Ron J. J.

    Brahms is a multi-agent modeling language for simulating human work practice that emerges from work processes in organizations. The same Brahms language can be used to implement and execute distributed multi-agent systems, based on models of work practice that were first simulated. Brahms demonstrates how a multi-agent belief-desire-intention language, symbolic cognitive modeling, traditional business process modeling, activity-and situated cognition theories are brought together in a coherent approach for analysis and design of organizations and human-centered systems.

  13. Evanescent planar waveguide detection of biological warfare simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipe, David M.; Schoonmaker, Kenneth P.; Herron, James N.; Mostert, Michael J.

    2000-04-01

    An evanescent planar waveguide Mark 1.5 instrument was used to detect simulants of biological warfare agents; ovalbumin (OV), MS2 bacteriophage, BG, and Erwinia herbicola (EH). Polyclonal tracer antibodies were labeled with the fluorescent dye, Cy5. Discrete bands of polyclonal capture antibodies were immobilized to a polystyrene planar waveguide with molded integral lenses. An ST-6 CCD camera was used for detection. OV. MS2 and BG were detected in a simultaneous 3 by 3 array; with a total of nine measurements within 6 minutes. EH was analyzed in a separate array. Results were evaluate dat the US Army Joint Field Trials V, at the Dugway Proving Grounds. Over a 10 day period, 32 unknown samples were analyzed daily for each simulant. Detection limits: OV 10 ng/ml, MS2 107 pfu/ml, BG 105 cfu/ml. EH was detectable at 5 X 105 cfu/ml. Overall false positives were 3.0 percent. Therefore, the Mark 1.5 instrument, with a parallel array of detectors, evanescent flourescent excitation, and CCD imaging provides for rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of biological warfare agent simulants.

  14. Advanced nanoelectronic architectures for THz-based biological agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolard, Dwight L.; Jensen, James O.

    2009-02-01

    The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) and the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) jointly lead and support novel research programs that are advancing the state-of-the-art in nanoelectronic engineering in application areas that have relevance to national defense and security. One fundamental research area that is presently being emphasized by ARO and ECBC is the exploratory investigation of new bio-molecular architectural concepts that can be used to achieve rapid, reagent-less detection and discrimination of biological warfare (BW) agents, through the control of multi-photon and multi-wavelength processes at the nanoscale. This paper will overview an ARO/ECBC led multidisciplinary research program presently under the support of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) that seeks to develop new devices and nanoelectronic architectures that are effective for extracting THz signatures from target bio-molecules. Here, emphasis will be placed on the new nanosensor concepts and THz/Optical measurement methodologies for spectral-based sequencing/identification of genetic molecules.

  15. Biological agent detection based on principal component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudigonda, Naga R.; Kacelenga, Ray

    2006-05-01

    This paper presents an algorithm, based on principal component analysis for the detection of biological threats using General Dynamics Canada's 4WARN Sentry 3000 biodetection system. The proposed method employs a statistical method for estimating background biological activity so as to make the algorithm adaptive to varying background situations. The method attempts to characterize the pattern of change that occurs in the fluorescent particle counts distribution and uses the information to suppress false-alarms. The performance of the method was evaluated using a total of 68 tests including 51 releases of Bacillus Globigii (BG), six releases of BG in the presence of obscurants, six releases of obscurants only, and five releases of ovalbumin at the Ambient Breeze Tunnel Test facility, Battelle, OH. The peak one-minute average concentration of BG used in the tests ranged from 10 - 65 Agent Containing Particles per Liter of Air (ACPLA). The obscurants used in the tests included diesel smoke, white grenade smoke, and salt solution. The method successfully detected BG at a sensitivity of 10 ACPLA and resulted in an overall probability of detection of 94% for BG without generating any false-alarms for obscurants at a detection threshold of 0.6 on a scale of 0 to 1. Also, the method successfully detected BG in the presence of diesel smoke and salt water fumes. The system successfully responded to all the five ovalbumin releases with noticeable trends in algorithm output and alarmed for two releases at the selected detection threshold.

  16. Chemiluminescence assay for the detection of biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Langry, K; Horn, J

    1999-11-05

    A chemiluminescent homogeneous immunoassay and a hand-size multiassay reader are described that could be used for detecting biological materials. The special feature of the assay is that it employs two different antibodies that each bind to a unique epitope on the same antigen. Each group of epitope-specific antibodies has linked to it an enzyme of a proximal-enzyme pair. One enzyme of the pair utilizes a substrate in high concentration to produce a second substrate required by the second enzyme. This new substrate enables the second enzyme to function. The reaction of the second enzyme is configured to produce light. This chemiluminescence is detected with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. The proximal pair enzymes must be in close proximity to one another to allow the second enzyme to react with the product of the first enzyme. This only occurs when the enzyme-linked antibodies are attached to the antigen, whether antigen is a single protein with multiple epitopes or the surface of a cell with a variety of different antigens. As a result of their juxtaposition, the enzymes produce light only in the presence of the biological material. A brief description is given as to how this assay could be utilized in a personal bio-agent detector system.

  17. Comparative sporicidal effects of disinfectants after release of a biological agent.

    PubMed

    Kenar, Levent; Ortatatli, Mesut; Yaren, Hakan; Karayilanoglu, Turan; Aydogan, Hakan

    2007-06-01

    Because of spore formation, Bacillus anthracis is considered the most resistant biological warfare agent known. The present study aimed to assess and compare well-known decontamination routes to inactivate the spores on daily-use environmental tools contaminated previously. To simulate the agent, Bacillus atrophaeus was used. Various environmental samples (such as tile, fabric clothing, wood, protective suit, glass, paper, soil, water, plastic, and metal) that may be contaminated after a biological incident were used as test carriers and inoculated with B. atrophaeus. Sodium hypochlorite, free chlorine, autoclaving, ethylene oxide, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet irradiation, and boiling decontaminated the samples. Glutaraldehyde (2%) and free chlorine solution (10,000 mg/L) were also found to be effective in decontaminating the samples and are recommended as alternatives to the use of sodium hypochlorite solution. Soil, tile, paper, and metal were determined to be the most difficult materials to decontaminate. It was concluded that 5% hypochlorite adjusted with acetic acid might also be used for decontamination. Decontamination strategies to reduce contamination of the environment by biological warfare agents need to be applied to mitigate the number of victims, in terms of prominent characteristics like cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness. PMID:17615843

  18. 75 FR 64984 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hawkweeds

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-21

    ... Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hawkweeds AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service... States as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of infestations of hawkweeds. We are making... subterminalis, into the continental United States for the biological control of hawkweeds (Hieracium...

  19. 77 FR 46373 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-03

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological... of Symnus coniferarum into the eastern United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce... as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges...

  20. An abundant biological control agent does not provide a significant predator subsidy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical weed biological control agents, regardless of their effectiveness, may provide subsidies to predators and parasites. The chemically defended weevil Oxyops vitiosa Pascoe is a successful agent that was introduced to control the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Two consecutive small ...

  1. High-throughput assay for optimising microbial biological control agent production and delivery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lack of technologies to produce and deliver effective biological control agents (BCAs) is a major barrier to their commercialization. A myriad of variables associated with BCA cultivation, formulation, drying, storage, and reconstitution processes complicates agent quality maximization. An efficie...

  2. Love-Wave Sensors Combined with Microfluidics for Fast Detection of Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Matatagui, Daniel; Fontecha, José Luis; Fernández, María Jesús; Gràcia, Isabel; Cané, Carles; Santos, José Pedro; Horrillo, María Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through of the sample is created, promoting the reaction between antigen and antibody and allowing a fast detection of the BWAs. In order to prove this method, static and dynamic modes have been simulated and different concentrations of BWA simulants have been tested with two immunoreactions: phage M13 has been detected using the mouse monoclonal antibody anti-M13 (AM13), and the rabbit immunoglobulin (Rabbit IgG) has been detected using the polyclonal antibody goat anti-rabbit (GAR). Finally, different concentrations of each BWA simulants have been detected with a fast response time and a desirable level of discrimination among them has been achieved. PMID:25029282

  3. Love-wave sensors combined with microfluidics for fast detection of biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Matatagui, Daniel; Fontecha, José Luis; Fernández, María Jesús; Gràcia, Isabel; Cané, Carles; Santos, José Pedro; Horrillo, María Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The following paper examines a time-efficient method for detecting biological warfare agents (BWAs). The method is based on a system of a Love-wave immunosensor combined with a microfluidic chip which detects BWA samples in a dynamic mode. In this way a continuous flow-through of the sample is created, promoting the reaction between antigen and antibody and allowing a fast detection of the BWAs. In order to prove this method, static and dynamic modes have been simulated and different concentrations of BWA simulants have been tested with two immunoreactions: phage M13 has been detected using the mouse monoclonal antibody anti-M13 (AM13), and the rabbit immunoglobulin (Rabbit IgG) has been detected using the polyclonal antibody goat anti-rabbit (GAR). Finally, different concentrations of each BWA simulants have been detected with a fast response time and a desirable level of discrimination among them has been achieved. PMID:25029282

  4. The systems biology simulation core algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background With the increasing availability of high dimensional time course data for metabolites, genes, and fluxes, the mathematical description of dynamical systems has become an essential aspect of research in systems biology. Models are often encoded in formats such as SBML, whose structure is very complex and difficult to evaluate due to many special cases. Results This article describes an efficient algorithm to solve SBML models that are interpreted in terms of ordinary differential equations. We begin our consideration with a formal representation of the mathematical form of the models and explain all parts of the algorithm in detail, including several preprocessing steps. We provide a flexible reference implementation as part of the Systems Biology Simulation Core Library, a community-driven project providing a large collection of numerical solvers and a sophisticated interface hierarchy for the definition of custom differential equation systems. To demonstrate the capabilities of the new algorithm, it has been tested with the entire SBML Test Suite and all models of BioModels Database. Conclusions The formal description of the mathematics behind the SBML format facilitates the implementation of the algorithm within specifically tailored programs. The reference implementation can be used as a simulation backend for Java™-based programs. Source code, binaries, and documentation can be freely obtained under the terms of the LGPL version 3 from http://simulation-core.sourceforge.net. Feature requests, bug reports, contributions, or any further discussion can be directed to the mailing list simulation-core-development@lists.sourceforge.net. PMID:23826941

  5. Image simulation for biological microscopy: microlith

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Shalin B.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf

    2014-01-01

    Image simulation remains under-exploited for the most widely used biological phase microscopy methods, because of difficulties in simulating partially coherent illumination. We describe an open-source toolbox, microlith (https://code.google.com/p/microlith), which accurately predicts three-dimensional images of a thin specimen observed with any partially coherent imaging system, as well as images of coherently illuminated and self-luminous incoherent specimens. Its accuracy is demonstrated by comparing simulated and experimental bright-field and dark-field images of well-characterized amplitude and phase targets, respectively. The comparison provides new insights about the sensitivity of the dark-field microscope to mass distributions in isolated or periodic specimens at the length-scale of 10nm. Based on predictions using microlith, we propose a novel approach for detecting nanoscale structural changes in a beating axoneme using a dark-field microscope. PMID:24940543

  6. Cognitive Modeling for Agent-Based Simulation of Child Maltreatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiaolin; Puddy, Richard

    This paper extends previous work to develop cognitive modeling for agent-based simulation of child maltreatment (CM). The developed model is inspired from parental efficacy, parenting stress, and the theory of planned behavior. It provides an explanatory, process-oriented model of CM and incorporates causality relationship and feedback loops from different factors in the social ecology in order for simulating the dynamics of CM. We describe the model and present simulation results to demonstrate the features of this model.

  7. Agent-Based Simulations for Project Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, J. Chris; Sholtes, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, the most common approach used in project planning tools is the Critical Path Method (CPM). While this method was a great improvement over the basic Gantt chart technique being used at the time, it now suffers from three primary flaws: (1) task duration is an input, (2) productivity impacts are not considered , and (3) management corrective actions are not included. Today, computers have exceptional computational power to handle complex simulations of task e)(eculion and project management activities (e.g ., dynamically changing the number of resources assigned to a task when it is behind schedule). Through research under a Department of Defense contract, the author and the ViaSim team have developed a project simulation tool that enables more realistic cost and schedule estimates by using a resource-based model that literally turns the current duration-based CPM approach "on its head." The approach represents a fundamental paradigm shift in estimating projects, managing schedules, and reducing risk through innovative predictive techniques.

  8. Arthritis in pregnancy: the role and safety of biological agents

    PubMed Central

    Youssef, Peter; Kennedy, Debra

    2009-01-01

    As the average age of mothers is increasing there is a greater likelihood that they will have intercurrent medical problems at the time of their pregnancy. As a group, autoimmune diseases are relatively common with an estimated population prevalence of 5–8%. At least 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women, most frequently during the child-bearing years. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic inflammatory disease of joints and occurs in approximately 1% of the population with women being affected two or three times more than men and many of the women being of child-bearing age. The pathogenesis of RA is multifactorial with a role for T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, macrophages and other pro-inflammatory cells producing a plethora of cytokines including interleukin-1 and tumour necrosis factor-α in the synovial cavity resulting in irreversible damage to cartilage, soft tissues and bone.1 The drug treatment of RA involves the use of disease-modifying agents to reduce or prevent permanent tissue damage. There is a new class of drugs that can be used to target specific cells and cytokines that have been called ‘biological agents’. These drugs have been shown to significantly reduce inflammation and to retard the progression of joint damage in RA thereby reducing symptoms and improving function.2

  9. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil.

    PubMed

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  10. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    PubMed Central

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  11. Bioforensics: Characterization of biological weapons agents by NanoSIMS

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Ghosal, S; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E; Hutcheon, I D

    2007-02-26

    The anthrax attacks of Fall 2001 highlight the need to develop forensic methods based on multiple identifiers to determine the origin of biological weapons agents. Genetic typing methods (i.e., DNA and RNA-based) provide one attribution technology, but genetic information alone is not usually sufficient to determine the provenance of the material. Non-genetic identifiers, including elemental and isotopic signatures, provide complementary information that can be used to identify the means, geographic location and date of production. Under LDRD funding, we have successfully developed the techniques necessary to perform bioforensic characterization with the NanoSIMS at the individual spore level. We have developed methods for elemental and isotopic characterization at the single spore scale. We have developed methods for analyzing spore sections to map elemental abundance within spores. We have developed rapid focused ion beam (FIB) sectioning techniques for spores to preserve elemental and structural integrity. And we have developed a high-resolution depth profiling method to characterize the elemental distribution in individual spores without sectioning. We used these newly developed methods to study the controls on elemental abundances in spores, characterize the elemental distribution of in spores, and to study elemental uptake by spores. Our work under this LDRD project attracted FBI and DHS funding for applied purposes.

  12. Teaching Basic Biological Simulation Techniques With the Programmable Calculator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, J. D.

    1972-01-01

    The programable calculator has great potential for the development of simulations which provide new dimensions to instruction in the biological sciences. Basic principles of both biology and simulation itself can be presented. An introductory course on digital computer simulation in biology is now taught at Michigan Technological University; the…

  13. Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation on Emergency Evacuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Chuanjun; Yang, Chenghui; Jin, Shiyao

    Crowd stampedes and evacuation induced by panic caused by emergences often lead to fatalities as people are crushed, injured, trampled or even dead. Such phenomena may be triggered in life-threatening situations such as fires, explosions in crowded buildings. Emergency evacuation simulation has recently attracted the interest of a rapidly increasing number of scientists. This paper presents an Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation using Repast software to construct crowd evacuations for emergency response from an area under a fire. Various types of agents and different attributes of agents are designed in contrast to traditional modeling. The attributes that govern the characteristics of the people are studied and tested by iterative simulations. Simulations are also conducted to demonstrate the effect of various parameters of agents. Some interesting results were observed such as "faster is slower" and the ignorance of available exits. At last, simulation results suggest practical ways of minimizing the harmful consequences of such events and the existence of an optimal escape strategy.

  14. 75 FR 39437 - Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-08

    ..., 2010. [FR Doc. 2010-16864 Filed 7-7-10; 11:15 am] Billing code 3195-W0-P ... Executive Order 13546--Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States... July 2, 2010 Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States By...

  15. Modeling Dispersion of Chemical-Biological Agents in Three Dimensional Living Space

    SciTech Connect

    William S. Winters

    2002-02-01

    This report documents a series of calculations designed to demonstrate Sandia's capability in modeling the dispersal of chemical and biological agents in complex three-dimensional spaces. The transport of particles representing biological agents is modeled in a single room and in several connected rooms. The influence of particle size, particle weight and injection method are studied.

  16. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future.

    PubMed

    Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S

    2015-11-01

    The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens

  17. Modeling and simulating human teamwork behaviors using intelligent agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Xiaocong; Yen, John

    2004-12-01

    Among researchers in multi-agent systems there has been growing interest in using intelligent agents to model and simulate human teamwork behaviors. Teamwork modeling is important for training humans in gaining collaborative skills, for supporting humans in making critical decisions by proactively gathering, fusing, and sharing information, and for building coherent teams with both humans and agents working effectively on intelligence-intensive problems. Teamwork modeling is also challenging because the research has spanned diverse disciplines from business management to cognitive science, human discourse, and distributed artificial intelligence. This article presents an extensive, but not exhaustive, list of work in the field, where the taxonomy is organized along two main dimensions: team social structure and social behaviors. Along the dimension of social structure, we consider agent-only teams and mixed human-agent teams. Along the dimension of social behaviors, we consider collaborative behaviors, communicative behaviors, helping behaviors, and the underpinning of effective teamwork-shared mental models. The contribution of this article is that it presents an organizational framework for analyzing a variety of teamwork simulation systems and for further studying simulated teamwork behaviors.

  18. Deciphering endophyte behaviour: the link between endophyte biology and efficacious biological control agents.

    PubMed

    Card, Stuart; Johnson, Linda; Teasdale, Suliana; Caradus, John

    2016-08-01

    Endophytes associate with the majority of plant species found in natural and managed ecosystems. They are regarded as extremely important plant partners that provide improved stress tolerance to the host compared with plants that lack this symbiosis. Fossil records of endophytes date back more than 400 million years, implicating these microorganisms in host plant adaptation to habitat transitions. However, it is only recently that endophytes, and their bioactive products, have received meaningful attention from the scientific community. The benefits some endophytes can confer on their hosts include plant growth promotion and survival through the inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms and invertebrate pests, the removal of soil contaminants, improved tolerance of low fertility soils, and increased tolerance of extreme temperatures and low water availability. Endophytes are extremely diverse and can exhibit many different biological behaviours. Not all endophyte technologies have been successfully commercialised. Of interest in the development of the next generation of plant protection products is how much of this is due to the biology of the particular endophytic microorganism. In this review, we highlight selected case studies of endophytes and discuss their lifestyles and behavioural traits, and discuss how these factors contribute towards their effectiveness as biological control agents. PMID:27222223

  19. Agent 2003 Conference on Challenges in Social Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Margaret Clemmons, ed.

    2003-01-01

    Welcome to the Proceedings of the fourth in a series of agent simulation conferences cosponsored by Argonne National Laboratory and The University of Chicago. Agent 2003 is the second conference in which three Special Interest Groups from the North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Science (NAACSOS) have been involved in planning the program--Computational Social Theory; Simulation Applications; and Methods, Toolkits and Techniques. The theme of Agent 2003, Challenges in Social Simulation, is especially relevant, as there seems to be no shortage of such challenges. Agent simulation has been applied with increasing frequency to social domains for several decades, and its promise is clear and increasingly visible. Like any nascent scientific methodology, however, it faces a number of problems or issues that must be addressed in order to progress. These challenges include: (1) Validating models relative to the social settings they are designed to represent; (2) Developing agents and interactions simple enough to understand but sufficiently complex to do justice to the social processes of interest; (3) Bridging the gap between empirically spare artificial societies and naturally occurring social phenomena; (4) Building multi-level models that span processes across domains; (5) Promoting a dialog among theoretical, qualitative, and empirical social scientists and area experts, on the one hand, and mathematical and computational modelers and engineers, on the other; (6) Using that dialog to facilitate substantive progress in the social sciences; and (7) Fulfilling the aspirations of users in business, government, and other application areas, while recognizing and addressing the preceding challenges. Although this list hardly exhausts the challenges the field faces, it does identify topics addressed throughout the presentations of Agent 2003. Agent 2003 is part of a much larger process in which new methods and techniques are applied to

  20. Tutorial on agent-based modeling and simulation. Part 2 : how to model with agents.

    SciTech Connect

    Macal, C. M.; North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2006-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) is a new approach to modeling systems comprised of interacting autonomous agents. ABMS promises to have far-reaching effects on the way that businesses use computers to support decision-making and researchers use electronic laboratories to do research. Some have gone so far as to contend that ABMS is a new way of doing science. Computational advances make possible a growing number of agent-based applications across many fields. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market and supply chains, to predicting the spread of epidemics and the threat of bio-warfare, from modeling the growth and decline of ancient civilizations to modeling the complexities of the human immune system, and many more. This tutorial describes the foundations of ABMS, identifies ABMS toolkits and development methods illustrated through a supply chain example, and provides thoughts on the appropriate contexts for ABMS versus conventional modeling techniques.

  1. Agent-based simulation of a financial market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raberto, Marco; Cincotti, Silvano; Focardi, Sergio M.; Marchesi, Michele

    2001-10-01

    This paper introduces an agent-based artificial financial market in which heterogeneous agents trade one single asset through a realistic trading mechanism for price formation. Agents are initially endowed with a finite amount of cash and a given finite portfolio of assets. There is no money-creation process; the total available cash is conserved in time. In each period, agents make random buy and sell decisions that are constrained by available resources, subject to clustering, and dependent on the volatility of previous periods. The model proposed herein is able to reproduce the leptokurtic shape of the probability density of log price returns and the clustering of volatility. Implemented using extreme programming and object-oriented technology, the simulator is a flexible computational experimental facility that can find applications in both academic and industrial research projects.

  2. Tutorial on agent-based modeling and simulation.

    SciTech Connect

    Macal, C. M.; North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2005-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) is a new approach to modeling systems comprised of autonomous, interacting agents. ABMS promises to have far-reaching effects on the way that businesses use computers to support decision-making and researchers use electronic laboratories to support their research. Some have gone so far as to contend that ABMS is a third way of doing science besides deductive and inductive reasoning. Computational advances have made possible a growing number of agent-based applications in a variety of fields. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market and supply chains, to predicting the spread of epidemics and the threat of bio-warfare, from modeling consumer behavior to understanding the fall of ancient civilizations, to name a few. This tutorial describes the theoretical and practical foundations of ABMS, identifies toolkits and methods for developing ABMS models, and provides some thoughts on the relationship between ABMS and traditional modeling techniques.

  3. Simulation of convoy of unmanned vehicles using agent based modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sharad; Singh, Harpreet; Gerhart, G. R.

    2007-10-01

    There has been an increasing interest of unmanned vehicles keeping the importance of defense and security. A few models for a convoy of unmanned vehicle exist in literature. The objective of this paper is to exploit agent based modeling technique for a convoy of unmanned vehicles where each vehicle is an agent. Using this approach, the convoy of vehicles reaches a specified goal from a starting point. Each agent is associated with number of sensors. The agents make intelligent decisions based on sensor inputs and at the same time maintaining their group capability and behavior. The simulation is done for a battlefield environment from a single starting point to a single goal. This approach can be extended for multiple starting points to reach multiple goals. The simulation gives the time taken by the convoy to reach a goal from its initial position. In the battlefield environment, commanders make various tactical decisions depending upon the location of an enemy outpost, minefields, number of soldiers in platoons, and barriers. The simulation can help the commander to make effective decisions depending on battlefield, convoy and obstacles to reach a particular goal. The paper describes the proposed approach and gives the simulation results. The paper also gives problems for future research in this area.

  4. Detection of Chemical/Biological Agents and Stimulants using Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Harmon, S.H.; Hart, K.J.; Vass, A.A.; Wise, M.B.; Wolf, D.A.

    1999-06-14

    Detection of Chemical/Biological Agents and Simulants A new detector for chemical and biological agents is being developed for the U. S. Army under the Chemical and Biological Mass Spectrometer Block II program. The CBMS Block II is designed to optimize detection of both chemical and biological agents through the use of direct sampling inlets [I], a multi- ported sampling valve and a turbo- based vacuum system to support chemical ionization. Unit mass resolution using air as the buffer gas [2] has been obtained using this design. Software to control the instrument and to analyze the data generated from the instrument has also been newly developed. Detection of chemical agents can be accomplished. using the CBMS Block II design via one of two inlets - a l/ I 6'' stainless steel sample line -Chemical Warfare Air (CW Air) or a ground probe with enclosed capillary currently in use by the US Army - CW Ground. The Block II design is capable of both electron ionization and chemical ionization. Ethanol is being used as the Cl reagent based on a study indicating best performance for the Biological Warfare (BW) detection task (31). Data showing good signal to noise for 500 pg of methyl salicylate injected into the CW Air inlet, 50 ng of dimethylmethylphosphonate exposed to the CW Ground probe and 5 ng of methyl stearate analyzed using the pyrolyzer inlet were presented. Biological agents are sampled using a ''bio-concentrator'' unit that is designed to concentrate particles in the low micron range. Particles are collected in the bottom of a quartz pyrolyzer tube. An automated injector is being developed to deliver approximately 2 pL of a methylating reagent, tetramethylamonium- hydroxide to 'the collected particles. Pyrolysis occurs by rapid heating to ca. 55OOC. Biological agents are then characterized by their fatty acid methyl ester profiles and by other biomarkers. A library of ETOH- Cl/ pyrolysis MS data of microorganisms used for a recently published study [3] has been

  5. Development of a rapid method for the automatic classification of biological agents' fluorescence spectral signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carestia, Mariachiara; Pizzoferrato, Roberto; Gelfusa, Michela; Cenciarelli, Orlando; Ludovici, Gian Marco; Gabriele, Jessica; Malizia, Andrea; Murari, Andrea; Vega, Jesus; Gaudio, Pasquale

    2015-11-01

    Biosecurity and biosafety are key concerns of modern society. Although nanomaterials are improving the capacities of point detectors, standoff detection still appears to be an open issue. Laser-induced fluorescence of biological agents (BAs) has proved to be one of the most promising optical techniques to achieve early standoff detection, but its strengths and weaknesses are still to be fully investigated. In particular, different BAs tend to have similar fluorescence spectra due to the ubiquity of biological endogenous fluorophores producing a signal in the UV range, making data analysis extremely challenging. The Universal Multi Event Locator (UMEL), a general method based on support vector regression, is commonly used to identify characteristic structures in arrays of data. In the first part of this work, we investigate fluorescence emission spectra of different simulants of BAs and apply UMEL for their automatic classification. In the second part of this work, we elaborate a strategy for the application of UMEL to the discrimination of different BAs' simulants spectra. Through this strategy, it has been possible to discriminate between these BAs' simulants despite the high similarity of their fluorescence spectra. These preliminary results support the use of SVR methods to classify BAs' spectral signatures.

  6. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  7. MATING BIOLOGY OF AUSTROMUSOTIMA CAMPTOZONALE (LEPIDOPTERA: CRAMBIDAE) - A POTENTIAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENT OF OLD WORLD CLIMBING FERN, LYGODIUM MICROPHYLLUM (SCHIZAEACEAE)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Austromusotima camptozonale (Hampson) is under investigation as a potential biological control agent of Old World Climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Br., which is a serious invasive weed in southern Florida. Studies were conducted to investigate aspects of the mating biology of A. campto...

  8. Agent-based modeling and simulation Part 3 : desktop ABMS.

    SciTech Connect

    Macal, C. M.; North, M. J.; Decision and Information Sciences

    2007-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) is a new approach to modeling systems comprised of autonomous, interacting agents. ABMS promises to have far-reaching effects on the way that businesses use computers to support decision-making and researchers use electronic laboratories to support their research. Some have gone so far as to contend that ABMS 'is a third way of doing science,' in addition to traditional deductive and inductive reasoning (Axelrod 1997b). Computational advances have made possible a growing number of agent-based models across a variety of application domains. Applications range from modeling agent behavior in the stock market, supply chains, and consumer markets, to predicting the spread of epidemics, the threat of bio-warfare, and the factors responsible for the fall of ancient civilizations. This tutorial describes the theoretical and practical foundations of ABMS, identifies toolkits and methods for developing agent models, and illustrates the development of a simple agent-based model of shopper behavior using spreadsheets.

  9. Technological advancements for the detection of and protection against biological and chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Eubanks, Lisa M; Dickerson, Tobin J; Janda, Kim D

    2007-03-01

    There is a growing need for technological advancements to combat agents of chemical and biological warfare, particularly in the context of the deliberate use of a chemical and/or biological warfare agent by a terrorist organization. In this tutorial review, we describe methods that have been developed both for the specific detection of biological and chemical warfare agents in a field setting, as well as potential therapeutic approaches for treating exposure to these toxic species. In particular, nerve agents are described as a typical chemical warfare agent, and the two potent biothreat agents, anthrax and botulinum neurotoxin, are used as illustrative examples of potent weapons for which countermeasures are urgently needed. PMID:17325785

  10. Comparison and Analysis of Biological Agent Category Lists Based On Biosafety and Biodefense

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Deqiao; Zheng, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Biological agents pose a serious threat to human health, economic development, social stability and even national security. The classification of biological agents is a basic requirement for both biosafety and biodefense. We compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Laboratory Biosafety Category list and the defining criteria according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the European Union (EU) and China. We also compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Biodefense Category list and the defining criteria according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, the EU and Russia. The results show some inconsistencies among or between the two types of category lists and criteria. We suggest that the classification of biological agents based on laboratory biosafety should reduce the number of inconsistencies and contradictions. Developing countries should also produce lists of biological agents to direct their development of biodefense capabilities.To develop a suitable biological agent list should also strengthen international collaboration and cooperation. PMID:24979754

  11. Comparison and analysis of biological agent category lists based on biosafety and biodefense.

    PubMed

    Tian, Deqiao; Zheng, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Biological agents pose a serious threat to human health, economic development, social stability and even national security. The classification of biological agents is a basic requirement for both biosafety and biodefense. We compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Laboratory Biosafety Category list and the defining criteria according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the European Union (EU) and China. We also compared and analyzed the Biological Agent Biodefense Category list and the defining criteria according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, the EU and Russia. The results show some inconsistencies among or between the two types of category lists and criteria. We suggest that the classification of biological agents based on laboratory biosafety should reduce the number of inconsistencies and contradictions. Developing countries should also produce lists of biological agents to direct their development of biodefense capabilities.To develop a suitable biological agent list should also strengthen international collaboration and cooperation. PMID:24979754

  12. Use of agent-based simulations to design and interpret HIV clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Cuadros, Diego F; Abu-Raddad, Laith J; Awad, Susanne F; García-Ramos, Gisela

    2014-07-01

    In this study, we illustrate the utility of an agent-based simulation to inform a trial design and how this supports outcome interpretation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We developed agent-based Monte Carlo models to simulate existing landmark HIV RCTs, such as the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study. We simulated a variation of this study using valacyclovir therapy as the intervention, and we used a male circumcision RCT based on the Rakai Male Circumcision Trial. Our results indicate that a small fraction (20%) of the simulated Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study realizations rejected the null hypothesis, which was no effect from the intervention. Our results also suggest that an RCT designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a more potent drug regimen for HSV-2 suppression (valacyclovir therapy) is more likely to identify the efficacy of the intervention. For the male circumcision RCT simulation, the greater biological effect of the male circumcision yielded a major fraction (81%) of RCT realizations' that rejects the null hypothesis, which was no effect from the intervention. Our study highlights how agent-based simulations synthesize individual variation in the epidemiological context of the RCT. This methodology will be particularly useful for designing RCTs aimed at evaluating combination prevention interventions in community-based RCTs, wherein an intervention׳s effectiveness is challenging to predict. PMID:24792492

  13. Multi-Agent Flight Simulation with Robust Situation Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Eric N.; Hansman, R. John, Jr.

    1994-01-01

    A robust situation generation architecture has been developed that generates multi-agent situations for human subjects. An implementation of this architecture was developed to support flight simulation tests of air transport cockpit systems. This system maneuvers pseudo-aircraft relative to the human subject's aircraft, generating specific situations for the subject to respond to. These pseudo-aircraft maneuver within reasonable performance constraints, interact in a realistic manner, and make pre-recorded voice radio communications. Use of this system minimizes the need for human experimenters to control the pseudo-agents and provides consistent interactions between the subject and the pseudo-agents. The achieved robustness of this system to typical variations in the subject's flight path was explored. It was found to successfully generate specific situations within the performance limitations of the subject-aircraft, pseudo-aircraft, and the script used.

  14. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: back to the future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the past 15 years a number of successes and setbacks have taken place regarding development and use of microbial control agents. In this Forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of entomopathogenic virus, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of i...

  15. Agent-based model of angiogenesis simulates capillary sprout initiation in multicellular networks.

    PubMed

    Walpole, J; Chappell, J C; Cluceru, J G; Mac Gabhann, F; Bautch, V L; Peirce, S M

    2015-09-01

    Many biological processes are controlled by both deterministic and stochastic influences. However, efforts to model these systems often rely on either purely stochastic or purely rule-based methods. To better understand the balance between stochasticity and determinism in biological processes a computational approach that incorporates both influences may afford additional insight into underlying biological mechanisms that give rise to emergent system properties. We apply a combined approach to the simulation and study of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from existing networks. This complex multicellular process begins with selection of an initiating endothelial cell, or tip cell, which sprouts from the parent vessels in response to stimulation by exogenous cues. We have constructed an agent-based model of sprouting angiogenesis to evaluate endothelial cell sprout initiation frequency and location, and we have experimentally validated it using high-resolution time-lapse confocal microscopy. ABM simulations were then compared to a Monte Carlo model, revealing that purely stochastic simulations could not generate sprout locations as accurately as the rule-informed agent-based model. These findings support the use of rule-based approaches for modeling the complex mechanisms underlying sprouting angiogenesis over purely stochastic methods. PMID:26158406

  16. At the Biological Modeling and Simulation Frontier

    PubMed Central

    Ropella, Glen E. P.; Lam, Tai Ning; Tang, Jonathan; Kim, Sean H. J.; Engelberg, Jesse A.; Sheikh-Bahaei, Shahab

    2009-01-01

    We provide a rationale for and describe examples of synthetic modeling and simulation (M&S) of biological systems. We explain how synthetic methods are distinct from familiar inductive methods. Synthetic M&S is a means to better understand the mechanisms that generate normal and disease-related phenomena observed in research, and how compounds of interest interact with them to alter phenomena. An objective is to build better, working hypotheses of plausible mechanisms. A synthetic model is an extant hypothesis: execution produces an observable mechanism and phenomena. Mobile objects representing compounds carry information enabling components to distinguish between them and react accordingly when different compounds are studied simultaneously. We argue that the familiar inductive approaches contribute to the general inefficiencies being experienced by pharmaceutical R&D, and that use of synthetic approaches accelerates and improves R&D decision-making and thus the drug development process. A reason is that synthetic models encourage and facilitate abductive scientific reasoning, a primary means of knowledge creation and creative cognition. When synthetic models are executed, we observe different aspects of knowledge in action from different perspectives. These models can be tuned to reflect differences in experimental conditions and individuals, making translational research more concrete while moving us closer to personalized medicine. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11095-009-9958-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:19756975

  17. Biological agents with potential for misuse: a historical perspective and defensive measures.

    PubMed

    Bhalla, Deepak K; Warheit, David B

    2004-08-15

    Biological and chemical agents capable of producing serious illness or mortality have been used in biowarfare from ancient times. Use of these agents has progressed from crude forms in early and middle ages, when snakes and infected cadavers were used as weapons in battles, to sophisticated preparations for use during and after the second World War. Cults and terrorist organizations have attempted the use of biological agents with an aim to immobilize populations or cause serious harm. The reasons for interest in these agents by individuals and organizations include relative ease of acquisition, potential for causing mass casualty or panic, modest financing requirement, availability of technology, and relative ease of delivery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Critical Biological Agents into three major categories. This classification was based on several criteria, which include severity of impact on human health, potential for delivery in a weapon, capacity to cause panic and special needs for development, and stockpiling of medication. Agents that could cause the greatest harm following deliberate use were placed in category A. Category B included agents capable of producing serious harm and significant mortality but of lower magnitude than category A agents. Category C included emerging pathogens that could be developed for mass dispersion in future and their potential as a major health threat. A brief description of the category A bioagents is included and the pathophysiology of two particularly prominent agents, namely anthrax and smallpox, is discussed in detail. The potential danger from biological agents and their ever increasing threat to human populations have created a need for developing technologies for their early detection, for developing treatment strategies, and for refinement of procedures to ensure survival of affected individuals so as to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat from intentional use of

  18. Anti-tick biological control agents: assessment and future perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samish, M., H.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Glazer, I.

    2008-01-01

    Widespread and increasing resistance to most available acaracides threatens both global livestock industries and public health. This necessitates better understanding of ticks and the diseases they transmit in the development of new control strategies. Ticks: Biology, Disease and Control is written by an international collection of experts and covers in-depth information on aspects of the biology of the ticks themselves, various veterinary and medical tick-borne pathogens, and aspects of traditional and potential new control methods. A valuable resource for graduate students, academic researchers and professionals, the book covers the whole gamut of ticks and tick-borne diseases from microsatellites to satellite imagery and from exploiting tick saliva for therapeutic drugs to developing drugs to control tick populations. It encompasses the variety of interconnected fields impinging on the economically important and biologically fascinating phenomenon of ticks, the diseases they transmit and methods of their control.

  19. Development of a Persistent Chemical Agent Simulator System (PCASS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcginness, W. G.

    1983-01-01

    The development of a persistent chemical agent simulation system (PCASS) is described. This PCASS is to be used for the military training of troops to simulate actual chemical warfare. The purpose of this system is to facilitate in the determination of chemical contamination and effectiveness of decontamination for training purposes. The fluorescent tracer employed has no daylight activation, but yet is easily removed with a decontaminate solution or water and surfactants. Also employed is a time delayed color developing system. When an individual is subjected to the PCASS and does not decontaminate adequately, red blotches or red coloration will develop as a function of time and temperature. The intent of this is to simulate the delayed chemical reaction of mustard contaminates.

  20. Task-level object grasping for simulated agents.

    PubMed

    Douville, B; Levison, L; Badler, N I

    1996-01-01

    Simulating a human figure performing a manual task requires that the agent interact with objects in the environment in a realistic manner. Graphic or programming interfaces to control human figure animation, however, do not allow the animator to instruct the system with concise "high-level" commands. Instructions coming from a high-level planner cannot be directly given to a synthetic agent because they do not specify such details as which end-effector to use or where on the object to grasp. Because current animation systems require joint angle displacement descriptions of motion--even for motions that incorporate upwards of 15 joints--an efficient connection between high-level specifications and low-level hand joint motion is required. In this paper we describe a system that directs task-level, general-purpose, object grasping for a simulated human agent. The Object-Specific Reasoner (OSR) is a reasoning module that uses knowledge of the object of the underspecified action to generate values for missing parameters. The Grasp Behavior manages simultaneous motions of the joints in the hand, wrist, and arm, and provides a programmer with a high-level description of the desired action. When composed hierarchically, the OSR and the Grasp behavior interpret task-level commands and direct specific motions to the animation system. These modules are implemented as part of the Jack system at the University of Pennsylvania. PMID:11539378

  1. Biological agents and biosimilars: Essential information for the internist.

    PubMed

    Pasina, Luca; Casadei, Gianluigi; Nobili, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Biologics embrace a wide range of substances synthesized by cells or living organisms by means of different biological processes, including recombinant DNA technology, controlled gene expression, or antibody technologies. A biosimilar establishes similarity to the reference medicinal product in terms of quality characteristics, biological activity, safety, and efficacy based on a comprehensive comparability exercise. Minimizing development costs and accelerating their market access create a convergence of interests between health services, worried about sustainability, and generic manufacturers. While the demonstration of bioequivalence is sufficient for small synthetic molecules, this approach is not scientifically applicable to a copy of biological drug constituted by large and complex molecules, which are similar but not identical to the originator and are also subject to different post-translational processes. Internists should be confident that the development process of biosimilars ensures a comparable risk-to-benefit balance with the originators. On the basis of available evidence and pharmacovigilance network, there are no grounds to believe that the use of a biosimilar carries more risks for the patient than the use of an originator. Since the first biosimilar was authorized in Europe in 2006, no clinical alerts have raised red flags about the established EMA biosimilar pathway. In this article, we discuss some of the most frequent concerns raised by clinicians about biosimilars and try to explains the scientific principles underlying the biosimilar concept established in the EU in order to license biosimilar drugs. PMID:27342030

  2. Integrating the Agents of Bioterrorism into the General Biology Curriculum: II. Mode of Action of the Biological Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pommerville, Jeffrey C.

    2003-01-01

    Integrates bioterrorism into the science curriculum and explains actions against serious agents such as anthrax, plague, smallpox, botulinum toxin, and ricin toxin. Uses the learning cycle as the instructional tool which is student-centered and has three phases that include exploring, explaining, and extending. (Contains 24 references.) (YDS)

  3. Plant-mediated interactions: considerations for agent selection in weed biological control programs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-mediated indirect interactions among herbivores (arthropods and pathogens) are common and extensively reported in the ecological literature. However, they are not well-documented with respect to weed biological control. Such interactions between biological control agents can have net positive...

  4. Indirect ecological effects in invaded landscapes: Spillover and spillback from biological control agents to native analogues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control remains an effective option for managing large-scale weed problems in natural areas. The predation or parasitism of biological control agents by other species present in the introduced range (biotic resistance) is well studied and is often cited as the cause for a lack of establis...

  5. PERMANENCE OF BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL LEACHATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this work is to permit EPA/ORD's National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center to collaborate together to test the permanence of biological and chemical warfare agents in municipal solid waste landfills. Research into ...

  6. Water-driven micromotors for rapid photocatalytic degradation of biological and chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinxing; Singh, Virendra V; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Orozco, Jahir; Kaufmann, Kevin; Dong, Renfeng; Gao, Wei; Jurado-Sanchez, Beatriz; Fedorak, Yuri; Wang, Joseph

    2014-11-25

    Threats of chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA) represent a serious global concern and require rapid and efficient neutralization methods. We present a highly effective micromotor strategy for photocatalytic degradation of CBWA based on light-activated TiO2/Au/Mg microspheres that propel autonomously in natural water and obviate the need for external fuel, decontaminating reagent, or mechanical agitation. The activated TiO2/Au/Mg micromotors generate highly reactive oxygen species responsible for the efficient destruction of the cell membranes of the anthrax simulant Bacillus globigii spore, as well as rapid and complete in situ mineralization of the highly persistent organophosphate nerve agents into nonharmful products. The water-driven propulsion of the TiO2/Au/Mg micromotors facilitates efficient fluid transport and dispersion of the photogenerated reactive oxidative species and their interaction with the CBWA. Coupling of the photocatalytic surface of the micromotors and their autonomous water-driven propulsion thus leads to a reagent-free operation which holds a considerable promise for diverse "green" defense and environmental applications. PMID:25289459

  7. Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattanach, Kyle; Kulkarni, Rashmi D.; Kozlov, Mikhail; Manohar, Sanjeev K.

    2006-08-01

    Chemiresistor-based vapour sensors made from network films of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles on flexible plastic substrates (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) can be used to detect chemical warfare agent simulants for the nerve agents Sarin (diisopropyl methylphosphonate, DIMP) and Soman (dimethyl methylphosphonate, DMMP). Large, reproducible resistance changes (75-150%), are observed upon exposure to DIMP or DMMP vapours, and concentrations as low as 25 ppm can be detected. Robust sensor response to simulant vapours is observed even in the presence of large equilibrium concentrations of interferent vapours commonly found in battle-space environments, such as hexane, xylene and water (10 000 ppm each), suggesting that both DIMP and DMMP vapours are capable of selectively displacing other vapours from the walls of the SWNTs. Response to these interferent vapours can be effectively filtered out by using a 2 µm thick barrier film of the chemoselective polymer polyisobutylene (PIB) on the SWNT surface. These network films are composed of a 1-2 µm thick non-woven mesh of SWNT bundles (15-30 nm diameter), whose sensor response is qualitatively and quantitatively different from previous studies on individual SWNTs, or a network of individual SWNTs, suggesting that vapour sorption at interbundle sites could be playing an important role. This study also shows that the line patterning method used in device fabrication to obtain any desired pattern of films of SWNTs on flexible substrates can be used to rapidly screen simulants at high concentrations before developing more complicated sensor systems.

  8. Biologically Hazardous Agents at Work and Efforts to Protect Workers' Health: A Review of Recent Reports

    PubMed Central

    Rim, Kyung-Taek; Lim, Cheol-Hong

    2014-01-01

    Because information on biological agents in the workplace is lacking, biological hazard analyses at the workplace to securely recognize the harmful factors with biological basis are desperately needed. This review concentrates on literatures published after 2010 that attempted to detect biological hazards to humans, especially workers, and the efforts to protect them against these factors. It is important to improve the current understanding of the health hazards caused by biological factors at the workplace. In addition, this review briefly describes these factors and provides some examples of their adverse health effects. It also reviews risk assessments, protection with personal protective equipment, prevention with training of workers, regulations, as well as vaccinations. PMID:25180133

  9. Biologically hazardous agents at work and efforts to protect workers' health: a review of recent reports.

    PubMed

    Rim, Kyung-Taek; Lim, Cheol-Hong

    2014-06-01

    Because information on biological agents in the workplace is lacking, biological hazard analyses at the workplace to securely recognize the harmful factors with biological basis are desperately needed. This review concentrates on literatures published after 2010 that attempted to detect biological hazards to humans, especially workers, and the efforts to protect them against these factors. It is important to improve the current understanding of the health hazards caused by biological factors at the workplace. In addition, this review briefly describes these factors and provides some examples of their adverse health effects. It also reviews risk assessments, protection with personal protective equipment, prevention with training of workers, regulations, as well as vaccinations. PMID:25180133

  10. Use of hyperspectral remote sensing for detection and monitoring of chemical and biological agents: a survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Richard B.; Dasgupta, Swarvanu

    2004-12-01

    This paper surveys the potential use of hyperspectral imaging technology for standoff detection of chemical and biological agents in terrorism defense applications. In particular it focuses on the uses of hyperspectral imaging technology to detect and monitor chemical and biological attacks. In so doing it examines current technologies, their advantages and disadvantages, and investigates the possible role of hyperspectral imaging for homeland security applications. The study also addresses and provides applicable solutions for several of the potential challenges that currently create barriers to the full use of hyperspectral technology in the standoff detection of likely available chemical and biological agents.

  11. Episodic positive selection at mitochondrial genome in an introduced biological control agent.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao-Sen; Liang, Xin-Yu; Zou, Shang-Jun; Liu, Yang; De Clercq, Patrick; Ślipiński, Adam; Pang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Artificial introduction in classical biological control provides a unique opportunity to understand mitochondrial evolution driving adaptation to novel environments. We studied mitochondrial genomes of a world-wide introduced agent, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. We detected positive selection in complex I genes (ND5 and ND4) against a background of widespread negative selection. We further detected significant signals in neutrality tests within 11 populations at ND5 gene, indicating a recent selective sweep/positive selection. Our results imply that these candidate mutations may contribute local adaptation of exotic biological control agents and these provide new insights into the improvement of classical biological control programs. PMID:26994640

  12. A convenient first aid kit for chemical and biological agents and for radiation exposure.

    PubMed

    Vijayaraghavan, R; Bhaskar, A S B; Gautam, Anshoo; Gopalan, N; Singh, A K; Singh, Beer; Flora, S J S

    2012-05-01

    The chemical and biological warfare agents are extremely toxic in nature. They act rapidly even in very small quantities and death may occur in minutes. Hence, physical and medical protection must be provided immediately to save life or avoid serious injury. A first aid kit has thus been developed for providing immediate relief from chemical and biological warfare agents (FAKCBW) with the objective of easy detection, personal decontamination, antidote for chemical warfare agents (like nerve agents, sulphur mustard, phosgene, cyanide, radiation exposure and bacterial agents), along with basic medication aid for pain, fever and inflammation. The kit box also includes a user friendly handbook with a simple standard operating procedure. In addition, the kit is rugged to withstand normal jerks, vibration and is water-proof. PMID:23029921

  13. Synthesis and biological evaluation of hydrazone derivatives as antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Bruna B; Muniz, Mauro N; de Oliveira, Thayse; de Oliveira, Luís Flavio; Machado, Michel M; Fuentefria, Alexandre M; Gosmann, Grace; Gnoatto, Simone C B

    2015-01-01

    Emerging yeasts are among the most prevalent causes of systemic infections with high mortality rates and there is an urgent need to develop specific, effective and non-toxic antifungal agents to respond to this issue. In this study 35 aldehydes, hydrazones and hydrazines were obtained and their antifungal activity was evaluated against Candida species (C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. albicans, C. glabrata and C. lusitaneae) and Trichosporon asahii, in an in vitro screening. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the active compounds in the screening was determined against 10 clinical isolates of C. parapsilosis and 10 of T. asahii. The compounds 4-pyridin-2-ylbenzaldehyde] (13a) and tert-butyl-(2Z)-2-(3,4,5-trihydroxybenzylidine)hydrazine carboxylate (7b) showed the most promising MIC values in the range of 16-32 μg/mL and 8-16 μg/mL, respectively. The compounds' action on the stability of the cell membrane and cell wall was evaluated, which suggested the action of the compounds on the fungal cell membrane. Cell viability of leukocytes and an alkaline comet assay were performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity. Compound 13a was not cytotoxic at the active concentrations. These results support the discovery of promising candidates for the development of new antifungal agents. PMID:26007181

  14. A medicoeconomic review of early intervention with biologic agents in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

    PubMed

    Odes, Shmuel; Greenberg, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with standard therapy fails to control the disease in many patients. Biologic therapy has an increasing role in altering the natural history of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and is improving patient prognosis. However, indications for treatment and issues with drug costs and value for money remain unclear. Also, when to perform early intervention with biologic agents is at present unclear. We performed an extensive literature search and review to address these issues. The biologics provide better care for many patients. The choice of biologic agent, the indications for its use, the switch between agents, and the considerations of cost are outlined, with a view to guiding the treating physician in managing these cases. Outstanding issues and anticipated future developments are defined. PMID:25336980

  15. Supercritical fluid extraction of chemical warfare agent simulants from soil.

    PubMed

    Griest, W H; Ramsey, R S; Ho, C H; Caldwell, W M

    1992-05-29

    Chemical warfare agent simulants are efficiently recovered from 2-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil using methanol-carbon dioxide (5:95) at 300 atm for 2 min at 60 degrees C. Recoveries (n = 3) were 79 +/- 23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93 +/- 14% for 2-chloroethylethyl sulfide, 92 +/- 13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate and 95 +/- 17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. Recoveries are higher than, but less precise than those achieved from a 5-min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol. Much less laboratory waste is generated than the current standard organic solvent extraction method (33 g of soil shaken with 100 ml of chloroform). PMID:1400849

  16. BSim: an agent-based tool for modeling bacterial populations in systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Gorochowski, Thomas E; Matyjaszkiewicz, Antoni; Todd, Thomas; Oak, Neeraj; Kowalska, Kira; Reid, Stephen; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira T; Savery, Nigel J; Grierson, Claire S; di Bernardo, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale collective behaviors such as synchronization and coordination spontaneously arise in many bacterial populations. With systems biology attempting to understand these phenomena, and synthetic biology opening up the possibility of engineering them for our own benefit, there is growing interest in how bacterial populations are best modeled. Here we introduce BSim, a highly flexible agent-based computational tool for analyzing the relationships between single-cell dynamics and population level features. BSim includes reference implementations of many bacterial traits to enable the quick development of new models partially built from existing ones. Unlike existing modeling tools, BSim fully considers spatial aspects of a model allowing for the description of intricate micro-scale structures, enabling the modeling of bacterial behavior in more realistic three-dimensional, complex environments. The new opportunities that BSim opens are illustrated through several diverse examples covering: spatial multicellular computing, modeling complex environments, population dynamics of the lac operon, and the synchronization of genetic oscillators. BSim is open source software that is freely available from http://bsim-bccs.sf.net and distributed under the Open Source Initiative (OSI) recognized MIT license. Developer documentation and a wide range of example simulations are also available from the website. BSim requires Java version 1.6 or higher. PMID:22936991

  17. Naphthoflavones as Antiproliferative Agents: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Dinesh; Singh, Onkar; Nepali, Kunal; Bedi, Pms; Qayum, Arem; Singh, Shashank; Jain, Subheet K

    2016-01-01

    The present study involves the design and synthesis of naphthoflavones as antiproliferative agents. The strategy presents naphthoflavones as hybrids of naphthyl based chalcones and flavones. A panel of human cancer cell lines were employed for the cytotoxicity studies. DK-13 exhibited significant cytoxicity against MiaPaCa-2 cell lines with IC50 value of 1.93 μM and 5.63 μM against MCF-7 cell lines. The compound DK-13 was found to induce apoptosis evidenced through phase contrast microscopy, DAPI staining, and mitochondrial membrane potential loss. The cell phase distribution studies indicated an increase from 11.26 % (control sample) to 55.19 % (sample treated with 20 μM compound DK-13) in the apoptotic population. PMID:26845133

  18. Mass spectrometry in identification of ecotoxicants including chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Lebedev, Albert T

    2005-09-01

    Mass spectrometry is a unique tool to detect and identify trace levels of organic and bioorganic compounds as well as microorganisms in the environment. The range of potential chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents is very broad. An important advantage of mass spectrometry over other techniques involves potential for full spectrum detection of chemical and biological agents including mid-spectrum materials (i.e. bioactive peptides, toxins, etc.) for which biological approaches are inadequate. Being very fast (seconds and minutes), extremely sensitive (zeptomoles 10(-21)), and informative (detailed qualitative and quantitative composition of mixtures containing hundreds of chemicals), mass spectrometry is a principal analytical tool at the sites of destruction of CW. Due to its unique features, mass spectrometry is applied not only for the detection of CW agents, but for the analysis of products of metabolism and degradation of these agents in organisms or environment as well. The present paper deals with some examples of successful application of mass spectrometry for the analyses of ecotoxicants, chemical warfare agents, explosives, and microorganisms including biology warfare agents. PMID:16024060

  19. Mass spectrometry in identification of ecotoxicants including chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Lebedev, Albert T. . E-mail: lebedev@org.chem.msu.ru

    2005-09-01

    Mass spectrometry is a unique tool to detect and identify trace levels of organic and bioorganic compounds as well as microorganisms in the environment. The range of potential chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents is very broad. An important advantage of mass spectrometry over other techniques involves potential for full spectrum detection of chemical and biological agents including mid-spectrum materials (i.e. bioactive peptides, toxins, etc.) for which biological approaches are inadequate. Being very fast (seconds and minutes), extremely sensitive (zeptomoles 10{sup -21}), and informative (detailed qualitative and quantitative composition of mixtures containing hundreds of chemicals), mass spectrometry is a principal analytical tool at the sites of destruction of CW. Due to its unique features, mass spectrometry is applied not only for the detection of CW agents, but for the analysis of products of metabolism and degradation of these agents in organisms or environment as well. The present paper deals with some examples of successful application of mass spectrometry for the analyses of ecotoxicants, chemical warfare agents, explosives, and microorganisms including biology warfare agents.

  20. Airborne exposure limits for chemical and biological warfare agents: is everything set and clear?

    PubMed

    Sabelnikov, Alex; Zhukov, Vladimir; Kempf, C Ruth

    2006-08-01

    Emergency response strategies (guidelines) for biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological terrorist events should be based on scientifically established exposure limits for all the agents or materials involved. In the case of a radiological terrorist event, emergency response guidelines (ERG) have been worked out. In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents the situation is not that clear, though the new guidelines and clean-up values are being generated based on re-evaluation of toxicological and risk data. For biological warfare (BW) agents, such guidelines do not yet exist. In this paper the current status of airborne exposure limits (AELs) for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents are reviewed. Particular emphasis is put on BW agents that lack such data. An efficient, temporary solution to bridge the gap in experimental infectious data and to set provisional AELs for BW agents is suggested. It is based on mathematically generated risks of infection for BW agents grouped by their alleged ID50 values in three categories: with low, intermediate and high ID50 values. PMID:16854669

  1. Comparing stochastic differential equations and agent-based modelling and simulation for early-stage cancer.

    PubMed

    Figueredo, Grazziela P; Siebers, Peer-Olaf; Owen, Markus R; Reps, Jenna; Aickelin, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    There is great potential to be explored regarding the use of agent-based modelling and simulation as an alternative paradigm to investigate early-stage cancer interactions with the immune system. It does not suffer from some limitations of ordinary differential equation models, such as the lack of stochasticity, representation of individual behaviours rather than aggregates and individual memory. In this paper we investigate the potential contribution of agent-based modelling and simulation when contrasted with stochastic versions of ODE models using early-stage cancer examples. We seek answers to the following questions: (1) Does this new stochastic formulation produce similar results to the agent-based version? (2) Can these methods be used interchangeably? (3) Do agent-based models outcomes reveal any benefit when compared to the Gillespie results? To answer these research questions we investigate three well-established mathematical models describing interactions between tumour cells and immune elements. These case studies were re-conceptualised under an agent-based perspective and also converted to the Gillespie algorithm formulation. Our interest in this work, therefore, is to establish a methodological discussion regarding the usability of different simulation approaches, rather than provide further biological insights into the investigated case studies. Our results show that it is possible to obtain equivalent models that implement the same mechanisms; however, the incapacity of the Gillespie algorithm to retain individual memory of past events affects the similarity of some results. Furthermore, the emergent behaviour of ABMS produces extra patters of behaviour in the system, which was not obtained by the Gillespie algorithm. PMID:24752131

  2. Probiotic Bacteria as Biological Control Agents in Aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Verschuere, Laurent; Rombaut, Geert; Sorgeloos, Patrick; Verstraete, Willy

    2000-01-01

    There is an urgent need in aquaculture to develop microbial control strategies, since disease outbreaks are recognized as important constraints to aquaculture production and trade and since the development of antibiotic resistance has become a matter of growing concern. One of the alternatives to antimicrobials in disease control could be the use of probiotic bacteria as microbial control agents. This review describes the state of the art of probiotic research in the culture of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and live food, with an evaluation of the results obtained so far. A new definition of probiotics, also applicable to aquatic environments, is proposed, and a detailed description is given of their possible modes of action, i.e., production of compounds that are inhibitory toward pathogens, competition with harmful microorganisms for nutrients and energy, competition with deleterious species for adhesion sites, enhancement of the immune response of the animal, improvement of water quality, and interaction with phytoplankton. A rationale is proposed for the multistep and multidisciplinary process required for the development of effective and safe probiotics for commercial application in aquaculture. Finally, directions for further research are discussed. PMID:11104813

  3. Synthesis and biological evaluation of aryloxyacetamide derivatives as neuroprotective agents.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yan; Xu, Yi; Zhang, Ai-Xia; Li, Xiao-Feng; Xu, Zhao-Ying; Li, Ping; Wu, Bin

    2016-05-15

    A series of new aryloxyacetamide derivatives 10a-s and 14a-m are designed and synthesized. Their protective activities against the glutamate-induced cell death were investigated in differentiated rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12 cells). Most compounds exhibited neuroprotective effects, especially for 10m, 10r, 14b and 14c, which showed potential protection of PC12 cells at three doses (0.1, 1.0, 10μM). MTT assay, Hoechst 33342/PI double staining, and high content screening (HCS) revealed that pretreatment of the cells with 10m, 10r, 14b and 14c has significantly decreased the extent of cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. The results of western blot analysis demonstrated these compounds suppressed apoptosis of glutamate-induced PC12 cells via caspase-3 pathway. These compounds can be lead compounds for further discovery of neuroprotective agents for treating cerebral ischemic stroke. Basic structure-activity relationships are also presented. PMID:27038495

  4. Probiotic bacteria as biological control agents in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Verschuere, L; Rombaut, G; Sorgeloos, P; Verstraete, W

    2000-12-01

    There is an urgent need in aquaculture to develop microbial control strategies, since disease outbreaks are recognized as important constraints to aquaculture production and trade and since the development of antibiotic resistance has become a matter of growing concern. One of the alternatives to antimicrobials in disease control could be the use of probiotic bacteria as microbial control agents. This review describes the state of the art of probiotic research in the culture of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and live food, with an evaluation of the results obtained so far. A new definition of probiotics, also applicable to aquatic environments, is proposed, and a detailed description is given of their possible modes of action, i.e., production of compounds that are inhibitory toward pathogens, competition with harmful microorganisms for nutrients and energy, competition with deleterious species for adhesion sites, enhancement of the immune response of the animal, improvement of water quality, and interaction with phytoplankton. A rationale is proposed for the multistep and multidisciplinary process required for the development of effective and safe probiotics for commercial application in aquaculture. Finally, directions for further research are discussed. PMID:11104813

  5. A unified biological modeling and simulation system for analyzing biological reaction networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Seok Jong; Tung, Thai Quang; Park, Junho; Lim, Jongtae; Yoo, Jaesoo

    2013-12-01

    In order to understand the biological response in a cell, a researcher has to create a biological network and design an experiment to prove it. Although biological knowledge has been accumulated, we still don't have enough biological models to explain complex biological phenomena. If a new biological network is to be created, integrated modeling software supporting various biological models is required. In this research, we design and implement a unified biological modeling and simulation system, called ezBioNet, for analyzing biological reaction networks. ezBioNet designs kinetic and Boolean network models and simulates the biological networks using a server-side simulation system with Object Oriented Parallel Accelerator Library framework. The main advantage of ezBioNet is that a user can create a biological network by using unified modeling canvas of kinetic and Boolean models and perform massive simulations, including Ordinary Differential Equation analyses, sensitivity analyses, parameter estimates and Boolean network analysis. ezBioNet integrates useful biological databases, including the BioModels database, by connecting European Bioinformatics Institute servers through Web services Application Programming Interfaces. In addition, we employ Eclipse Rich Client Platform, which is a powerful modularity framework to allow various functional expansions. ezBioNet is intended to be an easy-to-use modeling tool and a simulation system for understanding the control mechanism by monitoring the change of each component in a biological network. The simulation result can be managed and visualized on ezBioNet, which is available free of charge at http://ezbionet.sourceforge.net or http://ezbionet.cbnu.ac.kr.

  6. Flexible carbon nanotube sensors for nerve agent simulants.

    PubMed

    Cattanach, Kyle; Kulkarni, Rashmi D; Kozlov, Mikhail; Manohar, Sanjeev K

    2006-08-28

    Chemiresistor-based vapour sensors made from network films of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) bundles on flexible plastic substrates (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) can be used to detect chemical warfare agent simulants for the nerve agents Sarin (diisopropyl methylphosphonate, DIMP) and Soman (dimethyl methylphosphonate, DMMP). Large, reproducible resistance changes (75-150%), are observed upon exposure to DIMP or DMMP vapours, and concentrations as low as 25 ppm can be detected. Robust sensor response to simulant vapours is observed even in the presence of large equilibrium concentrations of interferent vapours commonly found in battle-space environments, such as hexane, xylene and water (10 000 ppm each), suggesting that both DIMP and DMMP vapours are capable of selectively displacing other vapours from the walls of the SWNTs. Response to these interferent vapours can be effectively filtered out by using a 2 µm thick barrier film of the chemoselective polymer polyisobutylene (PIB) on the SWNT surface. These network films are composed of a 1-2 µm thick non-woven mesh of SWNT bundles (15-30 nm diameter), whose sensor response is qualitatively and quantitatively different from previous studies on individual SWNTs, or a network of individual SWNTs, suggesting that vapour sorption at interbundle sites could be playing an important role. This study also shows that the line patterning method used in device fabrication to obtain any desired pattern of films of SWNTs on flexible substrates can be used to rapidly screen simulants at high concentrations before developing more complicated sensor systems. PMID:21727548

  7. Polysaccharide Immunomodulators as Therapeutic Agents: Structural Aspects and Biologic Function

    PubMed Central

    Tzianabos, Arthur O.

    2000-01-01

    Polysaccharide immunomodulators were first discovered over 40 years ago. Although very few have been rigorously studied, recent reports have revealed the mechanism of action and structure-function attributes of some of these molecules. Certain polysaccharide immunomodulators have been identified that have profound effects in the regulation of immune responses during the progression of infectious diseases, and studies have begun to define structural aspects of these molecules that govern their function and interaction with cells of the host immune system. These polymers can influence innate and cell-mediated immunity through interactions with T cells, monocytes, macrophages, and polymorphonuclear lymphocytes. The ability to modulate the immune response in an appropriate way can enhance the host's immune response to certain infections. In addition, this strategy can be utilized to augment current treatment regimens such as antimicrobial therapy that are becoming less efficacious with the advent of antibiotic resistance. This review focuses on recent studies that illustrate the structural and biologic activities of specific polysaccharide immunomodulators and outlines their potential for clinical use. PMID:11023954

  8. 42 CFR 71.54 - Import regulations for infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... threat to public health and safety as listed in 42 CFR 73.3 and 73.4. Vector. Any animals (vertebrate or... issued under this part is not required for an item if: (1) It is a biological agent listed in 42 CFR Part 73 as a select agent and its importation has been authorized in accordance with 42 CFR 73.16 or 9...

  9. 42 CFR 71.54 - Import regulations for infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... threat to public health and safety as listed in 42 CFR 73.3 and 73.4. Vector. Any animals (vertebrate or... issued under this part is not required for an item if: (1) It is a biological agent listed in 42 CFR Part 73 as a select agent and its importation has been authorized in accordance with 42 CFR 73.16 or 9...

  10. Current, new and future biological agents on the horizon for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

    PubMed Central

    Peyrin-Biroulet, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Biological agents for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have changed the way to treat IBD refractory to standard medications and allowed us to reach new therapeutic goals such as mucosal healing and deep remission. A better understanding of the components of the pathological processes that are a hallmark of IBD has led to the development of a new family of biological agents in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Biosimilars, which are copy versions of currently licensed biological agents, will be soon available. The biosimilar of infliximab is as effective and as safe as its originator in rheumatologic conditions, while a new anti-TNF agent, namely golimumab, has been recently approved for refractory ulcerative colitis. Beyond TNF blockers, anti-adhesion molecules appear to be a potent drug class for IBD. Vedolizumab was recently approved for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Numerous other compounds are in the pipeline. Ustekinumab looks very promising for Crohn’s disease. Smad7 antisense oligonucleotide might enrich our armamentarium if preliminary data are confirmed in upcoming clinical trials. Herein, we review the efficacy and safety of new and emerging biological agents that are currently investigated in IBD clinical trials. PMID:25729432

  11. Agent-based modeling to simulate the dengue spread

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Chengbin; Tao, Haiyan; Ye, Zhiwei

    2008-10-01

    In this paper, we introduce a novel method ABM in simulating the unique process for the dengue spread. Dengue is an acute infectious disease with a long history of over 200 years. Unlike the diseases that can be transmitted directly from person to person, dengue spreads through a must vector of mosquitoes. There is still no any special effective medicine and vaccine for dengue up till now. The best way to prevent dengue spread is to take precautions beforehand. Thus, it is crucial to detect and study the dynamic process of dengue spread that closely relates to human-environment interactions where Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) effectively works. The model attempts to simulate the dengue spread in a more realistic way in the bottom-up way, and to overcome the limitation of ABM, namely overlooking the influence of geographic and environmental factors. Considering the influence of environment, Aedes aegypti ecology and other epidemiological characteristics of dengue spread, ABM can be regarded as a useful way to simulate the whole process so as to disclose the essence of the evolution of dengue spread.

  12. Detection of biological warfare agents using the polymerase chain reaction. Final report, June-August 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, B.J.

    1992-09-01

    The detection of biological warfare agents is an important mission for the U.S. Army. This report explores the feasibility of using the polymerase chain reaction as a means of rapid detection of biological warfare agents. Two levels of detection are proposed. The first level is group specific detection, using primers derived from 16S rDNA sequences, to detect various groups of pathogenic bacteria. The second level is species-specific detection using primers derived from DNA sequences, unique to each pathogenic organism targeted for detection. Specific examples of Vibrio cholerae, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus anthracis are described.

  13. Method and apparatus for the gas phase decontamination of chemical and biological agents

    DOEpatents

    O'Neill, Hugh J.; Brubaker, Kenneth L.

    2003-10-07

    An apparatus and method for decontaminating chemical and biological agents using the reactive properties of both the single atomic oxygen and the hydroxyl radical for the decontamination of chemical and biological agents. The apparatus is self contained and portable and allows for the application of gas reactants directly at the required decontamination point. The system provides for the use of ultraviolet light of a specific spectral range to photolytically break down ozone into molecular oxygen and hydroxyl radicals where some of the molecular oxygen is in the first excited state. The excited molecular oxygen will combine with water vapor to produce two hydroxyl radicals.

  14. Biology of the galling wasp, Tetramesa romana, a biological control agent of giant reed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biology of the gall-forming wasp, Tetramesa romana Walker (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), from southern France and Spain was studied for biological control of giant reed (Arundo donax L.), an exotic and invasive riparian weed in the U.S. Females developed eggs parthenogenetically and deposited them...

  15. Using Agent Based Modeling (ABM) to Develop Cultural Interaction Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drucker, Nick; Jones, Phillip N.

    2012-01-01

    Today, most cultural training is based on or built around "cultural engagements" or discrete interactions between the individual learner and one or more cultural "others". Often, success in the engagement is the end or the objective. In reality, these interactions usually involve secondary and tertiary effects with potentially wide ranging consequences. The concern is that learning culture within a strict engagement context might lead to "checklist" cultural thinking that will not empower learners to understand the full consequence of their actions. We propose the use of agent based modeling (ABM) to collect, store, and, simulating the effects of social networks, promulgate engagement effects over time, distance, and consequence. The ABM development allows for rapid modification to re-create any number of population types, extending the applicability of the model to any requirement for social modeling.

  16. Agent-based modeling: Methods and techniques for simulating human systems

    PubMed Central

    Bonabeau, Eric

    2002-01-01

    Agent-based modeling is a powerful simulation modeling technique that has seen a number of applications in the last few years, including applications to real-world business problems. After the basic principles of agent-based simulation are briefly introduced, its four areas of application are discussed by using real-world applications: flow simulation, organizational simulation, market simulation, and diffusion simulation. For each category, one or several business applications are described and analyzed. PMID:12011407

  17. Pedestrian simulation and distribution in urban space based on visibility analysis and agent simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ying, Shen; Li, Lin; Gao, Yurong

    2009-10-01

    Spatial visibility analysis is the important direction of pedestrian behaviors because our visual conception in space is the straight method to get environment information and navigate your actions. Based on the agent modeling and up-tobottom method, the paper develop the framework about the analysis of the pedestrian flow depended on visibility. We use viewshed in visibility analysis and impose the parameters on agent simulation to direct their motion in urban space. We analyze the pedestrian behaviors in micro-scale and macro-scale of urban open space. The individual agent use visual affordance to determine his direction of motion in micro-scale urban street on district. And we compare the distribution of pedestrian flow with configuration in macro-scale urban environment, and mine the relationship between the pedestrian flow and distribution of urban facilities and urban function. The paper first computes the visibility situations at the vantage point in urban open space, such as street network, quantify the visibility parameters. The multiple agents use visibility parameters to decide their direction of motion, and finally pedestrian flow reach to a stable state in urban environment through the simulation of multiple agent system. The paper compare the morphology of visibility parameters and pedestrian distribution with urban function and facilities layout to confirm the consistence between them, which can be used to make decision support in urban design.

  18. Detection of biological warfare agents with fiber-optic microsphere-based DNA arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Linan; Walt, David R.

    2005-11-01

    Biological warfare agents (BWAs) pose significant threats to both military forces and civilian populations. The increased concern about bioterrorism has promoted the development of rapid, sensitive, and reliable detection systems to provide an early warning for detecting the release of BWAs. We have developed a high-density DNA array to detect BWAs in real environmental samples with fast response times and high sensitivity. An optical fiber bundle containing approximately 50,000 individual 3.1 μm diameter fibers was chemically etched to yield an array of microwells and used as the substrate for the array. 50-mer single-stranded DNA probes designed to be specific for target BWAs were covalently attached to 3.1-μm microspheres, and the microspheres were distributed into the microwells to form a randomized high-density DNA array. We demonstrated the applicability of this DNA array for the identification of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, a BWA simulant, in real samples. PCR was used to amplify the sequences, introduce fluorescent labels into the target molecules, and provide a second level of specificity. After hybridization of test solutions to the array, analysis was performed by evaluating the specific responses of individual probes on the array.

  19. Patient-centered appointment scheduling using agent-based simulation.

    PubMed

    Turkcan, Ayten; Toscos, Tammy; Doebbeling, Brad N

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced access and continuity are key components of patient-centered care. Existing studies show that several interventions such as providing same day appointments, walk-in services, after-hours care, and group appointments, have been used to redesign the healthcare systems for improved access to primary care. However, an intervention focusing on a single component of care delivery (i.e. improving access to acute care) might have a negative impact other components of the system (i.e. reduced continuity of care for chronic patients). Therefore, primary care clinics should consider implementing multiple interventions tailored for their patient population needs. We collected rapid ethnography and observations to better understand clinic workflow and key constraints. We then developed an agent-based simulation model that includes all access modalities (appointments, walk-ins, and after-hours access), incorporate resources and key constraints and determine the best appointment scheduling method that improves access and continuity of care. This paper demonstrates the value of simulation models to test a variety of alternative strategies to improve access to care through scheduling. PMID:25954423

  20. Enhancement of biological control agents for use against forest insect pests and diseases through biotechnology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavicek, James M.

    1991-01-01

    Research and development efforts in our research group are focused on the generation of more efficacious biological control agents through the techniques of biotechnology for use against forest insect pests and diseases. Effective biological controls for the gypsy moth and for tree fungal wilt pathogens are under development. The successful use of Gypchek, a formulation of the Lymantria dispar nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdNPV), in gypsy moth control programs has generated considerable interest in that agent. As a consequence of its specificity, LdPNV has negligible adverse ecological impacts compared to most gypsy moth control agents. However, LdNPV is not competitive with other control agents in terms of cost and efficacy. We are investigating several parameters of LdNPV replication and polyhedra production in order to enhance viral potency and efficacy thus mitigating the current disadvantages of LdNPV for gypsy moth control, and have identified LdNPV variants that will facilitate these efforts. Tree endophytic bacteria that synthesize antifungal compounds were identified and an antibiotic compound from one of these bacteria was characterized. The feasibility of developing tree endophytes as biological control agents for tree vascular fungal pathogens is being investigated.

  1. From Here to Autonomicity: Self-Managing Agents and the Biological Metaphors that Inspire Them

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterritt, Roy; Hinchey, Mike

    2005-01-01

    We seek inspiration for self-managing systems from (obviously, pre-existing) biological mechanisms. Autonomic Computing (AC), a self-managing systems initiative based on the biological metaphor of the autonomic nervous system, is increasingly gaining momentum as the way forward for integrating and designing reliable systems, while agent technologies have been identified as a key enabler for engineering autonomicity in systems. This paper looks at other biological metaphors such as reflex and healing, heart- beat monitors, pulse monitors and apoptosis for assisting in the realization of autonomicity.

  2. Microarray Analysis and Mutagenesis of the Biological Control Agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biological control agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 suppresses seedling emergence diseases caused by soilborne fungi and Oomycetes. Pf-5 produces at least ten secondary metabolites. These include hydrogen cyanide, pyrrolnitrin, pyoluteorin and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, which have known funct...

  3. Establishment of the armored scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a biological control agent of Arundo donax

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The armored scale biological control agent, Rhizaspidiotus donacis (Leonardi) (Hemiptera; Diaspididae) has established populations on the invasive weed, Arundo donax L. (Poaceae; Arundinoideae) in Del Rio (Val Verde, Co.) and in field plots at the USDA-APHIS-PPQ-Moore Airbase, Edinburg (Hidalgo Co.)...

  4. Acquired natural enemies of the weed biological control agent Oxyops vitiosa (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Australian curculionid Oxyops vitiosa Pascoe was introduced into Florida during 1997 as a biological control agent of the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T. Blake. Populations of the weevil increased rapidly and became widely distributed throughout much of the invasive tree’s adve...

  5. Larval dispersal of the weed biological control agent Oxyops vitiosa (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Australian weevil Oxyops vitiosa is a biological control agent of the exotic tree Melaleuca quinquenervia in Florida, USA. Evidence suggests that the last instar drops from the canopy to the forest floor to pupate in the soil or leaf litter. This dispersal method preempts weevil population persi...

  6. POTENTIAL OF ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI AS BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS AGAINST THE FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tolerance, pathogenicity and transmission studies of the fungi Metarhizium and Beauveria, show that biological control agents can enhance termite treatment flexibility. Subterranean termites cause significant damage to wood structures and trees, especially in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United ...

  7. Performance of Traditional and Molecular Methods for Detecting Biological Agents in Drinking Water

    EPA Science Inventory

    USGS Report - To reduce the impact from a possible bioterrorist attack on drinking-water supplies, analytical methods are needed to rapidly detect the presence of biological agents in water. To this end, 13 drinking-water samples were collected at 9 water-treatment plants in Ohio...

  8. Evaluation of Serangium parcesetosum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a biological control agent of the silverleaf whitefly

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The coccinellid predator from India, Serangium parcesetosum Sicard, was studied as a potential biological control agent of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring [also known as the sweetpotato whitefly, B. tahaci (Gennadius) Biotype B]. Studies were performed on prey prefere...

  9. Physiological host range of Ceratapion basicorne, a prospective biological control agent of Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae) is a weevil native to Europe and western Asia has been proposed as a prospective classical biological control agent of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), which is an important invasive alien weed in the western United States. Host plant specifi...

  10. Search for fungi as potential biological control agents of Echinochloa crus-galli

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cockspur dace, Echinochloa crus-galli (family Poaceae), is the most widespread and harmful weed in Russian rice production. Heavy infestations of the weed cause rice-crop losses up to 50 percent. With the purpose of discovering pathogenic fungi as potential agents for biological control of E. crus-g...

  11. Effects of a biological control agent on the use of saltcedar habitat by passerine birds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion of native riparian habitats by saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in the southwestern United States, has caused declines in population density of birds. The saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) has been released at several sites as a biological control agent. At two northern Nevada locations,...

  12. Use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents of filth flies on equine facilities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    House flies, Musca domestica L., and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), (Diptera: Muscidae), are common pests on horse farms. The use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents for filth flies is becoming more popular on equine facilities; however, there is a lack of information on the e...

  13. Trichogramma spp. as biological control agents in the Philippines: history and current practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichogramma parasitoids have long been recognized as important and viable biological control agents against lepidopteran pests of rice, corn and sugarcane in the Philippines. We describe the history of research and use of Trichogramma spp. in the Philippines in three main areas: 1) field surveys – ...

  14. Compatability of a Biological Control Agent with Herbicides for Control of Invasive Plant Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kudzu, Pueraria montana var lobata, is an exotic invasive weed that is difficult to control with available products and management practices. The fungal pathogen, Myrothecium verrucaria, is being developed as a bioherbicide for kudzu and other invasive vines. This biological control agent might be...

  15. A fully integrated microdevice for biobarcode assay based biological agent detection.

    PubMed

    Cho, Minkyung; Chung, Soyi; Kim, Yong Tae; Jung, Jae Hwan; Kim, Do Hyun; Seo, Tae Seok

    2015-07-01

    An integrated microdevice, consisting of a micropump, a passive mixer, a magnetic separation chamber, and a microcapillary electrophoretic channel, was constructed for biobarcode assay based multiplex biological agent detection in a sample-to-answer-out manner within 30 min with high sensitivity. PMID:26032690

  16. Risk assessment and stakeholder perceptions in novel biological control agent release: YST as a case study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of risk assessment are to learn about whether a candidate agent would be safe to use in the environment where release is planned, and to present such information in a clear, understandable format to regulators, stakeholders, and the public. Plant pathogens evaluated for biological co...

  17. Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) as biological control agents in the Philippines: history and current practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichogramma parasitoids have long been recognized as important and viable biological control agents against lepidopteran pests of rice, corn and sugarcane in the Philippines. We describe the history of research and use of Trichogramma spp. in the Philippines in three main areas: 1) field surveys – ...

  18. 75 FR 69396 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Arundo donax

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-12

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Arundo donax AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service... the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment relative...

  19. Pheromone and host odor attractants for managing Diorhabda spp.: Biological control agents of saltcedar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The recent identification of the aggregation pheromone (Cossé et al., 2005, Journal of Chemical Ecology 26:1735-1748), and host odor attractant (Cossé et al., 2005, Journal of Chemical Ecology, in press) for the leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata, a biological control agent of saltcedar, allowed for a m...

  20. BioNSi: A Discrete Biological Network Simulator Tool.

    PubMed

    Rubinstein, Amir; Bracha, Noga; Rudner, Liat; Zucker, Noga; Sloin, Hadas E; Chor, Benny

    2016-08-01

    Modeling and simulation of biological networks is an effective and widely used research methodology. The Biological Network Simulator (BioNSi) is a tool for modeling biological networks and simulating their discrete-time dynamics, implemented as a Cytoscape App. BioNSi includes a visual representation of the network that enables researchers to construct, set the parameters, and observe network behavior under various conditions. To construct a network instance in BioNSi, only partial, qualitative biological data suffices. The tool is aimed for use by experimental biologists and requires no prior computational or mathematical expertise. BioNSi is freely available at http://bionsi.wix.com/bionsi , where a complete user guide and a step-by-step manual can also be found. PMID:27354160

  1. Modeling and simulation of biological systems from image data

    PubMed Central

    Sbalzarini, Ivo F

    2013-01-01

    This essay provides an introduction to the terminology, concepts, methods, and challenges of image-based modeling in biology. Image-based modeling and simulation aims at using systematic, quantitative image data to build predictive models of biological systems that can be simulated with a computer. This allows one to disentangle molecular mechanisms from effects of shape and geometry. Questions like “what is the functional role of shape” or “how are biological shapes generated and regulated” can be addressed in the framework of image-based systems biology. The combination of image quantification, model building, and computer simulation is illustrated here using the example of diffusion in the endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:23533152

  2. Unit testing, model validation, and biological simulation

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Mark D.; Ghayoomie, S. Vahid; Larson, Stephen D.; Gerkin, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    The growth of the software industry has gone hand in hand with the development of tools and cultural practices for ensuring the reliability of complex pieces of software. These tools and practices are now acknowledged to be essential to the management of modern software. As computational models and methods have become increasingly common in the biological sciences, it is important to examine how these practices can accelerate biological software development and improve research quality. In this article, we give a focused case study of our experience with the practices of unit testing and test-driven development in OpenWorm, an open-science project aimed at modeling Caenorhabditis elegans. We identify and discuss the challenges of incorporating test-driven development into a heterogeneous, data-driven project, as well as the role of model validation tests, a category of tests unique to software which expresses scientific models.

  3. When Do We Simulate Non-Human Agents? Dissociating Communicative and Non-Communicative Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liepelt, Roman; Prinz, Wolfgang; Brass, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    There is strong evidence that we automatically simulate observed behavior in our motor system. Previous research suggests that this simulation process depends on whether we observe a human or a non-human agent. Measuring a motor priming effect, this study investigated the question of whether agent-sensitivity of motor simulation depends on the…

  4. Novel fluorescence-based integrated sensor for chemical and biological agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frye-Mason, Greg; Leuschen, Martin; Wald, Lara; Paul, Kateri; Hancock, Lawrence F.; Fagan, Steve; Krouse, Justin; Hutchinson, Kira D.

    2004-12-01

    There is a renewed interest in the development of chemical and biological agent sensors due to the increased threat of weapons deployment by terrorist organizations and rogue states. Optically based sensors address the needs of military and homeland security forces in that they are reliable, rapidly deployed, and can provide continuous monitoring with little to no operator involvement. Nomadics has developed optically based chemical weapons sensors that utilize reactive fluorescent chromophores initially developed by Professor Tim Swager at MIT. The chromophores provide unprecedented sensitivity and selectivity toward toxic industrial chemicals and certain chemical weapon agents. The selectivity is based upon the reactivity of the G-class nerve agents (phosphorylation of acetylcholinesterase enzyme) that makes them toxic. Because the sensor recognizes the reactivity of strong electrophiles and not molecular weight, chemical affinity or ionizability, our system detects a specific class of reactive agents and will be able to detect newly developed or modified agents that are not currently known. We have recently extended this work to pursue a combined chemical/biological agent sensor system incorporating technologies based upon novel deep ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diodes (LEDs) developed out of the DARPA Semiconductor UV Optical Sources (SUVOS) program.

  5. Agent-Based Crowd Simulation Considering Emotion Contagion for Emergency Evacuation Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faroqi, H.; Mesgari, M.-S.

    2015-12-01

    During emergencies, emotions greatly affect human behaviour. For more realistic multi-agent systems in simulations of emergency evacuations, it is important to incorporate emotions and their effects on the agents. In few words, emotional contagion is a process in which a person or group influences the emotions or behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioral attitudes. In this study, we simulate an emergency situation in an open square area with three exits considering Adults and Children agents with different behavior. Also, Security agents are considered in order to guide Adults and Children for finding the exits and be calm. Six levels of emotion levels are considered for each agent in different scenarios and situations. The agent-based simulated model initialize with the random scattering of agent populations and then when an alarm occurs, each agent react to the situation based on its and neighbors current circumstances. The main goal of each agent is firstly to find the exit, and then help other agents to find their ways. Numbers of exited agents along with their emotion levels and damaged agents are compared in different scenarios with different initialization in order to evaluate the achieved results of the simulated model. NetLogo 5.2 is used as the multi-agent simulation framework with R language as the developing language.

  6. Update on the use of systemic biologic agents in the treatment of noninfectious uveitis

    PubMed Central

    Pasadhika, Sirichai; Rosenbaum, James T

    2014-01-01

    Uveitis is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Noninfectious uveitis may be associated with other systemic conditions, such as human leukocyte antigen B27-related spondyloarthropathies, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Behçet’s disease, and sarcoidosis. Conventional therapy with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents (such as methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and cyclosporine) may not be sufficient to control ocular inflammation or prevent non-ophthalmic complications in refractory patients. Off-label use of biologic response modifiers has been studied as primary and secondary therapeutic agents. They are very useful when conventional immunosuppressive therapy has failed or has been poorly tolerated, or to treat concomitant ophthalmic and systemic inflammation that might benefit from these medications. Biologic therapy, primarily infliximab, and adalimumab, have been shown to be rapidly effective for the treatment of various subtypes of refractory uveitis and retinal vasculitis, especially Behçet’s disease-related eye conditions and the uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Other agents such as golimumab, abatacept, canakinumab, gevokizumab, tocilizumab, and alemtuzumab may have great future promise for the treatment of uveitis. It has been shown that with proper monitoring, biologic therapy can significantly improve quality of life in patients with uveitis, particularly those with concurrent systemic symptoms. However, given high cost as well as the limited long-term safety data, we do not routinely recommend biologics as first-line therapy for noninfectious uveitis in most patients. These agents should be used with caution by experienced clinicians. The present work aims to provide a broad and updated review of the current and in-development systemic biologic agents for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis. PMID:24600203

  7. Chamber LIDAR measurements of aerosolized biological simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, David M.; Thrush, Evan P.; Thomas, Michael E.; Siegrist, Karen M.; Baldwin, Kevin; Quizon, Jason; Carter, Christopher C.

    2009-05-01

    A chamber aerosol LIDAR is being developed to perform well-controlled tests of optical scattering characteristics of biological aerosols, including Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) and Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), for validation of optical scattering models. The 1.064 μm, sub-nanosecond pulse LIDAR allows sub-meter measurement resolution of particle depolarization ratio or backscattering cross-section at a 1 kHz repetition rate. Automated data acquisition provides the capability for real-time analysis or recording. Tests administered within the refereed 1 cubic meter chamber can provide high quality near-field backscatter measurements devoid of interference from entrance and exit window reflections. Initial chamber measurements of BG depolarization ratio are presented.

  8. Portable Raman device for detection of chemical and biological warfare agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wabuyele, Musundi B.; Martin, Matthew E.; Yan, Fei; Stokes, David L.; Mobley, Joel; Cullum, Brian M.; Wintenberg, Alan; Lenarduzzi, Roberto; Vo-Dinh, Tuan

    2005-04-01

    This paper describes a compact, self-contained, cost effective, and portable Raman Integrated Tunable Sensor (RAMiTs) for screening a wide variety of chemical and biological agents for homeland defense applications. The instrument is a fully-integrated, tunable, "point-and-shoot" Raman monitor based on solid-state acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) technology. It can provide direct identification and quantitative analysis of chemical and biological samples in a few seconds under field conditions. It also consists of a 830-nm diode laser for excitation, and an avalanche photodiode for detection. Evaluation of this instrument has been performed by analyzing several standard samples and comparing the results those obtained using a conventional Raman system. In addition to system evaluation, this paper will also discuss potential applications of the RAMiTs for detection of chemical and biological warfare agents.

  9. Development of biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents: its issues and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Harish; Rani, Renu

    2013-01-01

    This review discusses current development in biosensors for the detection of biological warfare agents (BWAs). BWAs include bacteria, virus and toxins that are added deliberately into air water and food to spread terrorism and cause disease or death. The rapid and unambiguous detection and identification of BWAs with early warning signals for detecting possible biological attack is a major challenge for government agencies particularly military and health. The detection devices--biosensors--can be classified (according to their physicochemical transducers) into four types: electrochemical, nucleic acid, optical and piezoelectric. Advantages and limitations of biosensors are discussed in this review followed by an assessment of the current state of development of different types of biosensors. The research and development in biosensors for biological warfare agent detection is of great interest for the public as well as for governments. PMID:24244972

  10. Agent-Based Spatiotemporal Simulation of Biomolecular Systems within the Open Source MASON Framework

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Gael; Pérez-Pérez, Martín; Glez-Peña, Daniel; Azevedo, Nuno F.; Lourenço, Anália

    2015-01-01

    Agent-based modelling is being used to represent biological systems with increasing frequency and success. This paper presents the implementation of a new tool for biomolecular reaction modelling in the open source Multiagent Simulator of Neighborhoods framework. The rationale behind this new tool is the necessity to describe interactions at the molecular level to be able to grasp emergent and meaningful biological behaviour. We are particularly interested in characterising and quantifying the various effects that facilitate biocatalysis. Enzymes may display high specificity for their substrates and this information is crucial to the engineering and optimisation of bioprocesses. Simulation results demonstrate that molecule distributions, reaction rate parameters, and structural parameters can be adjusted separately in the simulation allowing a comprehensive study of individual effects in the context of realistic cell environments. While higher percentage of collisions with occurrence of reaction increases the affinity of the enzyme to the substrate, a faster reaction (i.e., turnover number) leads to a smaller number of time steps. Slower diffusion rates and molecular crowding (physical hurdles) decrease the collision rate of reactants, hence reducing the reaction rate, as expected. Also, the random distribution of molecules affects the results significantly. PMID:25874228

  11. Simulations in Medicine and Biology: Insights and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spyrou, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern medicine and biology have been transformed into quantitative sciences of high complexity, with challenging objectives. The aims of medicine are related to early diagnosis, effective therapy, accurate intervention, real time monitoring, procedures/systems/instruments optimization, error reduction, and knowledge extraction. Concurrently, following the explosive production of biological data concerning DNA, RNA, and protein biomolecules, a plethora of questions has been raised in relation to their structure and function, the interactions between them, their relationships and dependencies, their regulation and expression, their location, and their thermodynamic characteristics. Furthermore, the interplay between medicine and biology gives rise to fields like molecular medicine and systems biology which are further interconnected with physics, mathematics, informatics, and engineering. Modelling and simulation is a powerful tool in the fields of Medicine and Biology. Simulating the phenomena hidden inside a diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedure, we are able to obtain control on the whole system and perform multilevel optimization. Furthermore, modelling and simulation gives insights in the various scales of biological representation, facilitating the understanding of the huge amounts of derived data and the related mechanisms behind them. Several examples, as well as the insights and the perspectives of simulations in biomedicine will be presented.

  12. How psoriasis patients perceive, obtain, and use biologic agents: Survey from an academic medical center.

    PubMed

    Kamangar, Faranak; Isip, Leah; Bhutani, Tina; Dennis, Madison; Heller, Misha M; Lee, Eric S; Nie, Hong; Liao, Wilson

    2013-02-01

    The availability of new biologic agents for the treatment of psoriasis provides hope for improved quality of life outcomes. However, the way patients come to use biologics, the potential barriers they encounter, and their attitudes towards using these medications are still not well studied. Here, we conducted a survey of 106 psoriasis patients at an academic medical center to discern patient attitudes towards biologics. We found that most patients learn of biologics through their physician and perform follow-up research using the Internet. Most patients did not find it difficult to make the decision to start a biologic. Difficulty in obtaining biologics was associated with age less than 55 (p = 0.01), lower income level (p = 0.007), and lack of insurance (p = 0.04). Patients were found to have high satisfaction and compliance rates on biologics. Of patients who missed a dose of their biologic, this was mainly due to logistical reasons such as not having the medication or forgetting to take it, rather than being depressed or overwhelmed. Patients with lower income levels had increased cut backs in personal expenses due to co-payments (p = 0.001). Among respondents, the mean annual out-of-pocket expense for a biologic was $557.12 per year, with a range of $0-7000. PMID:22007699

  13. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Luke G., II; Scully, Erik P.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary processes can be studied in nature and in the laboratory, but time and financial constraints result in few opportunities for undergraduate and high school students to explore the agents of genetic change in populations. One alternative to time consuming and expensive teaching laboratories is the use of computer simulations. We…

  14. Nucleic acid approaches for detection and identification of biological warfare and infectious disease agents.

    PubMed

    Ivnitski, Dmitri; O'Neil, Daniel J; Gattuso, Anthony; Schlicht, Roger; Calidonna, Michael; Fisher, Rodney

    2003-10-01

    Biological warfare agents are the most problematic of the weapons of mass destruction and terror. Both civilian and military sources predict that over the next decade the threat from proliferation of these agents will increase significantly. In this review we summarize the state of the art in detection and identification of biological threat agents based on PCR technology with emphasis on the new technology of microarrays. The advantages and limitations of real-time PCR technology and a review of the literature as it applies to pathogen and virus detection are presented. The paper covers a number of issues related to the challenges facing biological threat agent detection technologies and identifies critical components that must be overcome for the emergence of reliable PCR-based DNA technologies as bioterrorism countermeasures and for environmental applications. The review evaluates various system components developed for an integrated DNA microchip and the potential applications of the next generation of fully automated DNA analyzers with integrated sample preparation and biosensing elements. The article also reviews promising devices and technologies that are near to being, or have been, commercialized. PMID:14579752

  15. nab-Paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted agents for early and metastatic breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Megerdichian, Christine; Olimpiadi, Yuliya; Hurvitz, Sara A

    2014-06-01

    Taxanes are highly active chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of early-stage and metastatic breast cancer. Novel formulations have been developed to improve efficacy and decrease toxicity associated with these cytotoxic agents. nab-Paclitaxel is a biologically interactive, solvent-free, 130-nm-sized albumin-bound paclitaxel, developed to avoid the Cremophor vehicle used in solvent-based paclitaxel. Based on a pivotal phase 3 study, nab-paclitaxel was shown to be safely infused at a significantly higher dose of paclitaxel than the doses used with standard paclitaxel therapy, and had a shorter infusion time, no premedication, and higher response rates. It is now approved in the United States for treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant therapy, and has demonstrated promising efficacy and favorable tolerability. Recently, several phase 2 and 3 studies have suggested a role for nab-paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted agents for the treatment of early- and late-stage breast cancer. This review will discuss the findings of clinical trials evaluating nab-paclitaxel in combination with biologically targeted therapeutic agents for breast cancer in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic settings. PMID:24560997

  16. Insect-gene-activity detection system for chemical and biological warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackie, Ryan S.; Schilling, Amanda S.; Lopez, Arturo M.; Rayms-Keller, Alfredo

    2002-02-01

    Detection of multiple chemical and biological weapons (CBW) agents and/or complex mixtures of toxic industrial chemicals (TIC) is imperative for both the commercial and military sectors. In a military scenario, a multi-CBW attack would create confusion, thereby delaying decontamination and therapeutic efforts. In the commercial sector, polluted sites invariably contain a mixture of TIC. Novel detection systems capable of detecting CBW and TIC are sorely needed. While it may be impossible to build a detector capable of discriminating all the possible combinations of CBW, a detection system capable of statistically predicting the most likely composition of a given mixture is within the reach of current emerging technologies. Aquatic insect-gene activity may prove to be a sensitive, discriminating, and elegant paradigm for the detection of CBW and TIC. We propose to systematically establish the expression patterns of selected protein markers in insects exposed to specific mixtures of chemical and biological warfare agents to generate a library of biosignatures of exposure. The predicting capabilities of an operational library of biosignatures of exposures will allow the detection of emerging novel or genetically engineered agents, as well as complex mixtures of chemical and biological weapons agents. CBW and TIC are discussed in the context of war, terrorism, and pollution.

  17. Real-time biological agent detection using particle size, shape, and fluorescence characterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelton, Matthew J.; Evans, Steve P.; Smith, Paul D.; Simpson, Innes A.; Kaye, Paul H.; Clark, James M.

    2004-12-01

    Developments in real time optical biological agent detection and sensing are presented which describe start of the art advances in the detection and warning of these pathogens. The following paper describes the basic operating principles of the current BIRAL ASAS (Aerosol Size and Shape) system which measures the optically determined particle properties, on a particle by particle basis, and uses the information to describe the size and shape characteristics of the aerosol. Furthermore, recent development of the existing technology to also encompass fluorescence detection is described, which significantly increases the detection ability of the ASAS aerosol suite. This operational improvement is a major advancement in the field of airborne biological agent detection and allows for near generic detection and warning. Applications of this device include all aspects of bio-aerosol monitoring, including the use as a biological agent detector and generic identifier, use as a general bio-agent monitor and also for use as a hazardous environment monitor. Such a device would be particularly useful in the fields of Armed Forces protection and National Defence either as a point detector or as a "plug and play" biosensor detector in a network.

  18. Numerical simulations and modeling for stochastic biological systems with jumps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Xiaoling; Wang, Ke

    2014-05-01

    This paper gives a numerical method to simulate sample paths for stochastic differential equations (SDEs) driven by Poisson random measures. It provides us a new approach to simulate systems with jumps from a different angle. The driving Poisson random measures are assumed to be generated by stationary Poisson point processes instead of Lévy processes. Methods provided in this paper can be used to simulate SDEs with Lévy noise approximately. The simulation is divided into two parts: the part of jumping integration is based on definition without approximation while the continuous part is based on some classical approaches. Biological explanations for stochastic integrations with jumps are motivated by several numerical simulations. How to model biological systems with jumps is showed in this paper. Moreover, method of choosing integrands and stationary Poisson point processes in jumping integrations for biological models are obtained. In addition, results are illustrated through some examples and numerical simulations. For some examples, earthquake is chose as a jumping source which causes jumps on the size of biological population.

  19. Agent-Based Knowledge Discovery for Modeling and Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Haack, Jereme N.; Cowell, Andrew J.; Marshall, Eric J.; Fligg, Alan K.; Gregory, Michelle L.; McGrath, Liam R.

    2009-09-15

    This paper describes an approach to using agent technology to extend the automated discovery mechanism of the Knowledge Encapsulation Framework (KEF). KEF is a suite of tools to enable the linking of knowledge inputs (relevant, domain-specific evidence) to modeling and simulation projects, as well as other domains that require an effective collaborative workspace for knowledge-based tasks. This framework can be used to capture evidence (e.g., trusted material such as journal articles and government reports), discover new evidence (covering both trusted and social media), enable discussions surrounding domain-specific topics and provide automatically generated semantic annotations for improved corpus investigation. The current KEF implementation is presented within a semantic wiki environment, providing a simple but powerful collaborative space for team members to review, annotate, discuss and align evidence with their modeling frameworks. The novelty in this approach lies in the combination of automatically tagged and user-vetted resources, which increases user trust in the environment, leading to ease of adoption for the collaborative environment.

  20. Pre-release efficacy test of the prospective biological control agent Arytinnis hakani on the invasive weed Genista monspessulana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In weed biological control, conducting a pre-release efficacy test can help ascertain if prospective biological control agents will be capable of controlling the target plant. Currently, the phloem-feeding psyllid, Arytinnis hakani, is being evaluated as a prospective agent for the exotic invasive w...

  1. Principles of risk assessment for illness caused by foodborne biological agents. National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, R

    1998-08-01

    The Risk Assessment Subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria in Foods has prepared a generic document on the principles of risk assessment as applied to biological agents that can cause human foodborne disease. Typical biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, helminths, protozoa, algae, parasites, and the toxic products that these agents may produce. Basic principles elaborated to characterize food pathogen risks include the four broadly accepted components of risk assessment. The role of surveillance and investigational activities to link biological agents and their food sources to consumer illness is described as is the role of predictive modeling for food pathogens. PMID:9713775

  2. Coarse-grained models for biological simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhe; Cui, Qiang; Yethiraj, Arun

    2011-03-01

    The large timescales and length-scales of interest in biophysics preclude atomistic study of many systems and processes. One appealing approach is to use coarse-grained (CG) models where several atoms are grouped into a single CG site. In this work we describe a new CG force field for lipids, surfactants, and amino acids. The topology of CG sites is the same as in the MARTINI force field, but the new model is compatible with a recently developed CG electrostatic water (Big Multiple Water, BMW) model. The model not only gives correct structural, elastic properties and phase behavior for lipid and surfactants, but also reproduces electrostatic properties at water-membrane interface that agree with experiment and atomistic simulations, including the potential of mean force for charged amino acid residuals at membrane. Consequently, the model predicts stable attachment of cationic peptides (i.e., poly-Arg) on lipid bilayer surface, which is not shown in previous models with non-electrostatic water.

  3. DNA capture elements for rapid detection and identification of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Parker, Jill E.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Vivekananda, Jeeva

    2004-08-01

    DNA capture elements (DCEs; aptamers) are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. Reporter molecules were attached to the finished sequences. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. These DCEs have demonstrated specificity and sensitivity equal to or better than antibody.

  4. Medical applications of nanoparticles in biological imaging, cell labeling, antimicrobial agents, and anticancer nanodrugs.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ravina; Nalwa, Hari Singh

    2011-08-01

    This article reviews the applications of nanotechnology in the fields of medical and life sciences. Nanoparticles have shown promising applications from diagnosis to treatment of various types of diseases including cancer. In this review, we discuss the applications of nanostructured materials such as nanoparticles, quantum dots, nanorods, nanowires, and carbon nanotubes in diagnostics, biomarkers, cell labeling, contrast agents for biological imaging, antimicrobial agents, drug delivery systems, and anticancer nanodrugs for treatment of cancer and other infectious diseases. The adverse affects of nanoparticles on human skin from daily use in cosmetics and general toxicology of nanoscale materials are also reviewed. PMID:21870454

  5. Simulation of transmission electron microscope images of biological specimens.

    PubMed

    Rullgård, H; Ofverstedt, L-G; Masich, S; Daneholt, B; Oktem, O

    2011-09-01

    We present a new approach to simulate electron cryo-microscope images of biological specimens. The framework for simulation consists of two parts; the first is a phantom generator that generates a model of a specimen suitable for simulation, the second is a transmission electron microscope simulator. The phantom generator calculates the scattering potential of an atomic structure in aqueous buffer and allows the user to define the distribution of molecules in the simulated image. The simulator includes a well defined electron-specimen interaction model based on the scalar Schrödinger equation, the contrast transfer function for optics, and a noise model that includes shot noise as well as detector noise including detector blurring. To enable optimal performance, the simulation framework also includes a calibration protocol for setting simulation parameters. To test the accuracy of the new framework for simulation, we compare simulated images to experimental images recorded of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) in vitreous ice. The simulated and experimental images show good agreement with respect to contrast variations depending on dose and defocus. Furthermore, random fluctuations present in experimental and simulated images exhibit similar statistical properties. The simulator has been designed to provide a platform for development of new instrumentation and image processing procedures in single particle electron microscopy, two-dimensional crystallography and electron tomography with well documented protocols and an open source code into which new improvements and extensions are easily incorporated. PMID:21631500

  6. A Systematic Review of Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation Applications in the Higher Education Domain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gu, X.; Blackmore, K. L.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a systematic review of agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) applications in the higher education (HE) domain. Agent-based modelling is a "bottom-up" modelling paradigm in which system-level behaviour (macro) is modelled through the behaviour of individual local-level agent interactions (micro).…

  7. Serious games experiment toward agent-based simulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wein, Anne; Labiosa, William

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the potential for serious games to be used as a scientifically based decision-support product that supports the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) mission--to provide integrated, unbiased scientific information that can make a substantial contribution to societal well-being for a wide variety of complex environmental challenges. Serious or pedagogical games are an engaging way to educate decisionmakers and stakeholders about environmental challenges that are usefully informed by natural and social scientific information and knowledge and can be designed to promote interactive learning and exploration in the face of large uncertainties, divergent values, and complex situations. We developed two serious games that use challenging environmental-planning issues to demonstrate and investigate the potential contributions of serious games to inform regional-planning decisions. Delta Skelta is a game emulating long-term integrated environmental planning in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, that incorporates natural hazards (flooding and earthquakes) and consequences for California water supplies amidst conflicting water interests. Age of Ecology is a game that simulates interactions between economic and ecologic processes, as well as natural hazards while implementing agent-based modeling. The content of these games spans the USGS science mission areas related to water, ecosystems, natural hazards, land use, and climate change. We describe the games, reflect on design and informational aspects, and comment on their potential usefulness. During the process of developing these games, we identified various design trade-offs involving factual information, strategic thinking, game-winning criteria, elements of fun, number and type of players, time horizon, and uncertainty. We evaluate the two games in terms of accomplishments and limitations. Overall, we demonstrated the potential for these games to usefully represent scientific information

  8. Persistence with biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Mahlich, Jörg; Sruamsiri, Rosarin

    2016-01-01

    Background To assess persistence rates of biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan. Methods Based on Japanese claims data of 16,214 patients between 2012 and 2014, 6-, 12-, and 18-month persistence rates of different biologic agents were calculated. Determinants of persistence were assessed by means of a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model controlling for age, sex, and comorbidities. A sensitivity analysis was performed with different definitions of persistence and parametric survival analysis. Results Overall persistence rates in Japan are high and reach 86% after 1 year in the entire sample. The persistence rate for the biologic-naïve subpopulation is above 95%. Persistence is higher for older patients (hazard ratio 0.60 [95% confidence interval 0.40–0.91] for >75 years compared to ≤60 years) and lower for patients with a high comorbidity score (hazard ratio 1.33; 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.70 for Charlson Comorbidity Index score 3–5 compared to ≤2). We found a high variation of persistence between different drugs. Conclusion Japanese rheumatoid arthritis patients have a high persistence rate of biologic treatments. However, multiple factors affect the persistence rate of Japanese patients, including age, comorbidities, and patient type. Naïve patients tend to have a higher persistence rate than continuing biologic patients. PMID:27540283

  9. Portuguese guidelines for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - March 2010 update.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, João Eurico; Canhão, Helena; Reis, Paulo; Santos, Maria José; Branco, Jaime; Quintal, Alberto; Malcata, Armando; Araújo, Domingos; Ventura, Francisco; Figueiredo, Guilherme; da Silva, José Canas; Patto, José Vaz; de Queiroz, Mário Viana; Santos, Rui André; Neto, Adriano José; de Matos, Alves de; Rodrigues, Ana; Mourão, Ana Filipa; Ribeiro, Ana Sofia; Cravo, Ana Rita; Barcelos, Anabela; Cardoso, Anabela; Vilar, António; Braña, Arecili; Faustino, Augusto; Silva, Candida; Godinho, Fátima; Cunha, Inês; Costa, José António; Gomes, José António Melo; Pinto, José António Araújo; da Silva, J A Pereira; Miranda, Luís Cunha; Inês, Luís; Santos, Luís Maurício; Cruz, Margarida; Salvador, Maria João; Ferreira, Maria Júlia; Rial, Maria; Bernardes, Miguel; Bogas, Mónica; Araújo, Paula; Machado, Pedro; Pinto, Patrícia; de Melo, Rui Gomes; Cortes, Sara; Alcino, Sérgio; Capela, Susana

    2010-01-01

    The authors present the revised version of the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology (SPR) guidelines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with biological therapies. In these guidelines the criteria for introduction and maintenance of biological agents are discussed as well as the contraindications and procedures in the case of non-responders. Biological treatment should be considered in RA patients with a disease activity score 28 (DAS 28) superior to 3.2 despite treatment with 20mg/week of methotrexate (MTX) for at least 3 months or, if such treatment is not possible, after 6 months of other conventional disease modifying drug or combination therapy. A DAS 28 score between 2.6 and 3.2 with a significant functional or radiological deterioration under treatment with conventional regimens could also constitute an indication for biological treatment. The treatment goal should be remission or, if that is not achievable, at least a low disease activity, characterized by a DAS28 lower than 3.2, without significative functional or radiological worsening. The response criteria, at the end of the first 3 months of treatment, are a decrease of 0.6 in the DAS28 score. After 6 months of treatment response criteria is defined as a decrease of more than 1.2 in the DAS28 score. Non-responders, in accordance to the Rheumatologist's clinical opinion, should try a switch to another biological agent (tumour necrosis factor antagonist, abatacept, rituximab or tocilizumab). PMID:20505635

  10. Biologically-inspired hexapod robot design and simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espenschied, Kenneth S.; Quinn, Roger D.

    1994-01-01

    The design and construction of a biologically-inspired hexapod robot is presented. A previously developed simulation is modified to include models of the DC drive motors, the motor driver circuits and their transmissions. The application of this simulation to the design and development of the robot is discussed. The mechanisms thought to be responsible for the leg coordination of the walking stick insect were previously applied to control the straight-line locomotion of a robot. We generalized these rules for a robot walking on a plane. This biologically-inspired control strategy is used to control the robot in simulation. Numerical results show that the general body motion and performance of the simulated robot is similar to that of the robot based on our preliminary experimental results.

  11. Manipulating biological agents and cells in micro-scale volumes for applications in medicine

    PubMed Central

    Tasoglu, Savas; Gurkan, Umut Atakan; Wang, ShuQi

    2013-01-01

    Recent technological advances provide new tools to manipulate cells and biological agents in micro/nano-liter volumes. With precise control over small volumes, the cell microenvironment and other biological agents can be bioengineered; interactions between cells and external stimuli can be monitored; and the fundamental mechanisms such as cancer metastasis and stem cell differentiation can be elucidated. Technological advances based on the principles of electrical, magnetic, chemical, optical, acoustic, and mechanical forces lead to novel applications in point-of-care diagnostics, regenerative medicine, in vitro drug testing, cryopreservation, and cell isolation/purification. In this review, we first focus on the underlying mechanisms of emerging examples for cell manipulation in small volumes targeting applications such as tissue engineering. Then, we illustrate how these mechanisms impact the aforementioned biomedical applications, discuss the associated challenges, and provide perspectives for further development. PMID:23575660

  12. Novel reversible and selective nerve agent simulant detection in conjunction with superoxide "turn-on" probing.

    PubMed

    Jang, Yoon Jeong; Murale, Dhiraj P; Churchill, David G

    2014-04-01

    Herein, we present fluorescein as a reversible fluorescent sensor for nerve agent simulants diethylchlorophosphate (DCP), diethyl methylphosphonate (DEMP), and diethyl cyanophosphonate (DECP). The superoxide allows for an "off-on" mechanism to regenerate fluorescein. The order of decrease in fluorescence intensity for nerve agent simulants is DCP > DEMP ≫ DECP. PMID:24558644

  13. Identifying Evacuees' Demand of Tsunami Shelters using Agent Based Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, E.; Adriano, B.; Koshimura, S.; Imamura, F.; Kuroiwa, J.; Yamazaki, F.; Zavala, C.; Estrada, M.

    2012-12-01

    Amongst the lessons learned in tsunami events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Great Tohoku Japan earthquake is that sometimes nature exceeds structural countermeasures like seawalls, breakwaters or tsunami gates. In such situations it is a challenging task for people in plain areas to find sheltering places. The vertical evacuation to multistory buildings is one alternative to provide areas for sheltering in a complex environment of evacuation. However, if the spatial distribution and the available capacity of these structures are not well displayed, conditions of evacuee over-demand or under-demand might be observed in several structures. In this study, we present the integration of the tsunami numerical modeling and the agent based simulation of evacuation as the method to estimate the sheltering demand of evacuees in an emergent behavior approach. The case study is set in La Punta district in Peru. Here, we used in the tsunami simulation a seismic source of slip distribution model (Pulido et.al. ,2011; Chlieh et.al, 2011) for a possible future tsunami scenario in the central Andes. We modeled three alternatives of evacuation. First, the horizontal evacuation scenario was analyzed to support the necessity of the sheltering-in-place option for the district. Second, the vertical evacuation scenario and third, the combination of vertical and horizontal evacuation scenarios of pedestrians and vehicles were conducted. In the last two alternatives, the demand of evacuees were measured at each official tsunami evacuation building and compared to the sheltering capacity of the structure. Results showed that out of twenty tsunami evacuation buildings, thirteen resulted with over-demands and seven were still with available space. Also it is confirmed that in this case the horizontal evacuation might lead to a high number of casualties due to the traffic congestion at the neck of the district. Finally the vertical evacuation would be a suitable solution for this area

  14. The Next Wave of Biological Agents for the Treatment of IBD: Evidence from Cochrane Reviews.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Reena; Chande, Nilesh; Vermeire, Séverine; Sandborn, William J; Parker, Claire E; Feagan, Brian G

    2016-07-01

    Multiple new biological treatments for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are becoming available. Specifically, vedolizumab and ustekinumab are monoclonal antibodies that target molecular pathways relevant to disease pathogenesis. What can Cochrane reviews tell us about the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of these new agents? A Cochrane inflammatory bowel disease group symposium held at the 2015 Digestive Diseases Week annual meeting addressed these questions. This article reviews the data presented at that session. PMID:27306074

  15. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR. PMID:24985033

  16. Chemistry and biology of chromatin remodeling agents: state of art and future perspectives of HDAC inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Rodriquez, Manuela; Aquino, Maurizio; Bruno, Ines; De Martino, Giovanni; Taddei, Maurizio; Gomez-Paloma, Luigi

    2006-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling is a fundamental phenomenon in the life of eukaryotic cells, bearing implications to numerous physiological and pathological phenomena. This review outlines the chemistry of natural and synthetic agents endowed with the ability to interfere with such biological function, with a particular emphasis on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Other aspects covered in this article comprise structure activity relationships (SAR) and modes of action at molecular level, including the description of crystal structures of enzyme-inhibitor complexes. PMID:16719774

  17. Canada thistle biological control agents on two South Dakota wildlife refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, C.C.; Larson, D.L.; Larson, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We monitored populations of Canada thistle biocontrol agents Cassida rubiginosa, Ceutorhynchus litura, Larinus (= Hadroplantus) planus, Urophora cardui, Orellia (= Terellia) ruficauda, and Rhinocyllus conicus on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) at two national wildlife refuges in South Dakota from 1999 through 2003. C. litura, U. cardui, O. ruficauda, and R. conicus were present on both refuges. Agent populations were low except for C. litura, which was present in up to 90% of stems in some plots. C. litura infestation did not reduce thistle flowering, stem length, or over-winter survival. There was no change in thistle stem numbers over the study period and no difference in stem numbers in areas of high C. litura populations compared to areas of low C. litura populations. Our results suggest that insect biological control agents are inadequate for reduction of Canada thistle in southern South Dakota.

  18. Differential orientation effect in the neural response to interacting biological motion of two agents

    PubMed Central

    Hirai, Masahiro; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2009-01-01

    Background A recent behavioral study demonstrated that the meaningful interaction of two agents enhances the detection sensitivity of biological motion (BM), however, it remains unclear when and how the 'interaction' information of two agents is represented in our neural system. To clarify this point, we used magnetoencephalography and introduced a novel experimental technique to extract a neuromagnetic response relating to two-agent BM perception. We then investigated how this response was modulated by the interaction of two agents. In the present experiment, we presented two kinds of visual stimuli (interacting and non-interacting BM) with two orientations (upright and inverted). Results We found a neuromagnetic response in the bilateral occipitotemporal region, on average 300 – 400 ms after the onset of a two-agent BM stimulus. This result showed that interhemispheric differences were apparent for the peak amplitudes. For the left hemisphere, the orientation effect was manifest when the two agents were made to interact, and the interaction effect was manifest when the stimulus was inverted. In the right hemisphere, the main effects of both orientation and interaction were significant, suggesting that the peak amplitude was attenuated when the visual stimulus was inverted or made to interact. Conclusion These results demonstrate that the 'interaction' information of two agents can affect the neural activities in the bilateral occipitotemporal region, on average 300 – 400 ms after the onset of a two-agent BM stimulus, however, the modulation was different between hemispheres: the left hemisphere is more concerned with dynamics, whereas the right hemisphere is more concerned with form information. PMID:19397815

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Biologically related processes operate across multiple spatiotemporal scales. For computational modeling methodologies to mimic this biological complexity, individual scale models must be linked in ways that allow for dynamic exchange of information across scales. A powerful methodology is to combine a discrete modeling approach, agent-based models (ABMs), with continuum models to form hybrid models. Hybrid multi-scale ABMs have been used to simulate emergent responses of biological systems. Here, we review two aspects of hybrid multi-scale ABMs: linking individual scale models and efficiently solving the resulting model. We discuss the computational choices associated with aspects of linking individual scale models while simultaneously maintaining model tractability. We demonstrate implementations of existing numerical methods in the context of hybrid multi-scale ABMs. Using an example model describing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, we show relative computational speeds of various combinations of numerical methods. Efficient linking and solution of hybrid multi-scale ABMs is key to model portability, modularity, and their use in understanding biological phenomena at a systems level. PMID:26366228

  20. A Perspective on Vascular Disrupting Agents that Interact with Tubulin: Preclinical Tumor Imaging and Biological Assessment#

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Ralph P.; Zhao, Dawen; Liu, Li; Trawick, Mary Lynn; Pinney, Kevin G.

    2011-01-01

    The tumor microenvironment provides a rich source of potential targets for selective therapeutic intervention with properly designed anticancer agents. Significant physiological differences exist between the microvessels that nourish tumors and those that supply healthy tissue. Selective drug-mediated damage of these tortuous and chaotic microvessels starves a tumor of necessary nutrients and oxygen and eventually leads to massive tumor necrosis. Vascular targeting strategies in oncology are divided into two separate groups: angiogenesis inhibiting agents (AIAs) and vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). The mechanisms of action between these two classes of compounds are profoundly distinct. The AIAs inhibit the actual formation of new vessels, while the VDAs damage and/or destroy existing tumor vasculature. One subset of small-molecule VDAs functions by inhibiting the assembly of tubulin into microtubules, thus causing morphology changes to the endothelial cells lining the tumor vasculature, triggered by a cascade of cell signaling events. Ultimately this results in catastrophic damage to the vessels feeding the tumor. The rapid emergence and subsequent development of the VDA field over the past decade has led to the establishment of a synergistic combination of preclinical state-of-the-art tumor imaging and biological evaluation strategies that are often indicative of future clinical efficacy for a given VDA. This review focuses on an integration of the appropriate biochemical and biological tools necessary to assess (preclinically) new small-molecule, tubulin active VDAs for their potential to be clinically effective anticancer agents. PMID:21321746

  1. Development of an integrated system for rapid detection of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terazono, Hideyuki; Takei, Hiroyuki; Hayashi, Masahito; Hattori, Akihiro; Yasuda, Kenji

    2010-04-01

    Weaponized biological agents are as great a threat as nuclear or chemical weapons. They must be detected at the earliest stage to prevent diffusion because once these agents are dispersed into the air, the rapidly decreasing concentration makes detection more of a challenge. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common method to create copies of a specific target region of a DNA sequence and to produce large quantities of DNA molecules. A few DNA molecules are rapidly amplified by PCR into billions of copies. While PCR is a powerful technique and is capable of countering new threats relatively easily, it is plagued by the number of processes necessary. Therefore, we have developed an integrated PCR system for rapid detection of biological agents captured from the air. Each processing function is performed by a dedicated module, and reduction in the process time has been made the top priority, without loss in the signal/noise ratio of the total system. Agents can be identified within 15 min from capture. A fully automated operation protects operators from exposure to potentially highly lethal samples.

  2. Detoxification of nerve agents by a substituted beta-cyclodextrin: application of a modified biological assay.

    PubMed

    Wille, T; Tenberken, O; Reiter, G; Müller, S; Le Provost, R; Lafont, O; Estour, F; Thiermann, H; Worek, F

    2009-11-30

    Chemical warfare agents (nerve agents) are still available and present a real threat to the population. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies showed that various nerve agents, e.g. tabun and cyclosarin, are resistant towards standard therapy with atropine and oxime. Based on these facts we applied a modified biological assay for the easy, semi-quantitative testing of the detoxifying properties of the beta-cyclodextrin derivative CD-IBA. Cyclosarin, sarin, tabun and VX were incubated with CD-IBA for 1-50 min at 37 degrees C, then an aliquot was added to erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the percentage of AChE inhibition was determined. The validity of the assay was confirmed by concomitant quantification of tabun by GC-MS. Different concentrations of cyclosarin were detoxified by CD-IBA in a concentration-dependent velocity. The ability to detoxify various nerve agents decreased in the order cyclosarin>sarin>tabun>VX. Hereby, no detoxification of VX could be detected. Sarin was detoxified in a biphasic reaction with a fast reduction of inhibitory potential in the first phase and a slower detoxification in the second phase. CD-IBA detoxified tabun in a one phase decay and, compared to cyclosarin and sarin, a longer half-life was determined with tabun. The modified biological assay is appropriate for the initial semi-quantitative screening of candidate compounds for the detoxification of nerve agents. The beta-cyclodextrin derivative CD-IBA demonstrated its ability to detoxify different nerve agents. PMID:19800384

  3. Reactively and Anticipatory Behaving Agents for Artificial Life Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohout, Karel; Nahodil, Pavel

    2010-11-01

    Reactive behavior is still considered and the exact opposite for the anticipatory one. Despite the advances on the field of anticipation there are little thoughts on relation with the reactive behavior, the similarities and where the boundary is. In this article we will present our viewpoint and we will try to show that reactive and anticipatory behavior can be combined. This is the basic ground of our unified theory for anticipatory behavior architecture. We still miss such compact theory, which would integrate multiple aspects of anticipation. My multi-level anticipatory behavior approach is based on the current understanding of anticipation from both the artificial intelligence and biology point of view. As part of the explanation we will also elaborate on the topic of weak and strong artificial life. Anticipation is not matter of a single mechanism in a living organism. It was noted already that it happens on many different levels even in the very simple creatures. What we consider to be important for our work and what is our original though is that it happens even without voluntary control. We believe that this is novelty though for the anticipation theory. Naturally research of anticipation was in the beginning of this decade focused on the anticipatory principles bringing advances on the field itself. This allowed us to build on those, look at them from higher perspective, and use not one but multiple levels of anticipation in a creature design. This presents second original though and that is composition of the agent architecture that has anticipation built in almost every function. In this article we will focus only on first two levels within the 8-factor anticipation framework. We will introduce them as defined categories of anticipation and describe them from theory and implementation algorithm point of view. We will also present an experiment conducted, however this experiment serves more as explanatory example. These first two levels may seem trivial

  4. The Introduction of Biological Mensuration Techniques Through Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.

    New simulations for teaching quantitative biological techniques are now used at Michigan Technological University. Traditionally, such techniques work within a particular system and have the student assume certain initial conditions and employ appropriate constants. The computer generates time dependent data which are plotted. The student then…

  5. Biology Students Building Computer Simulations Using StarLogo TNG

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, V. Anne; Duncan, Ishbel

    2011-01-01

    Confidence is an important issue for biology students in handling computational concepts. This paper describes a practical in which honours-level bioscience students simulate complex animal behaviour using StarLogo TNG, a freely-available graphical programming environment. The practical consists of two sessions, the first of which guides students…

  6. FETI Methods for the Simulation of Biological Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Christoph; Steinbach, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    Summary In this paper we describe the application of finite element tearing and interconnecting methods for the simulation of biological tissues, as a particular application we consider the myocardium. As most other tissues, this material is characterized by anisotropic and nonlinear behavior. PMID:26925469

  7. Environmental distribution and population biology of Candidatus Accumulibacter, a primary agent of biological phosphorus removal.

    PubMed

    Peterson, S Brook; Warnecke, Falk; Madejska, Julita; McMahon, Katherine D; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2008-10-01

    Members of the uncultured bacterial genus Candidatus Accumulibacter are capable of intracellular accumulation of inorganic phosphate in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) performing enhanced biological phosphorus removal, but were also recently shown to inhabit freshwater and estuarine sediments. Additionally, metagenomic sequencing of two bioreactor cultures enriched in Candidatus Accumulibacter, but housed on separate continents, revealed the potential for global dispersal of particular Candidatus Accumulibacter strains, which we hypothesize is facilitated by the ability of Candidatus Accumulibacter to persist in environmental habitats. In the current study, we used sequencing of a phylogenetic marker, the ppk1 gene, to characterize Candidatus Accumulibacter populations in diverse environments, at varying distances from WWTPs. We discovered several new lineages of Candidatus Accumulibacter which had not previously been detected in WWTPs, and also uncovered new diversity and structure within previously detected lineages. Habitat characteristics were found to be a key determinant of Candidatus Accumulibacter lineage distribution while, as predicted, geographic distance played little role in limiting dispersal on a regional scale. However, on a local scale, enrichment of particular Candidatus Accumulibacter lineages in WWTP appeared to impact local environmental populations. These results provide evidence of ecological differences among Candidatus Accumulibacter lineages. PMID:18643843

  8. Biology, host specificity tests, and risk assessment of the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi, a potential biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolius in Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract. Heteroperreyia hubrichi Malaise (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), a foliage feeding sawfly of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), was studied to assess its suitability as a classical biological control agent of this invasive weed in Hawaii. Nochoice host-specificity tests we...

  9. Advanced Algorithms for Rapidly Reconstructing Clandestine Releases of Biological Agents in Urban Areas

    SciTech Connect

    Shinn, J.H.; Hall, C.H.; Neher, L.A.; Wilder, F.J.; Gouveia, D.W.; Layton, D.W.; Daniels, J.I.

    2000-02-25

    As the United States plays a greater role in the 21st Century as global peacekeeper and international defender of human rights and democratic principles, there is an increasing likelihood that it will become the focus of acts of terrorism. Such acts of terrorism--sometimes described as ''asymmetric''--could involve the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), particularly those considered unconventional, which include ones designed to release chemical or biological agents. In fact, biological agents are of great concern because, as noted by D.A. Henderson of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, ''... with shortages of hospital space, vaccines, antibiotics, there would be chaos.'' (Williams, 2000). Unfortunately, potential aggressor nations, terrorist groups, and even individuals, can, for a modest cost and effort, develop covert capabilities for manufacturing, transporting, and offensively using biological weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, there is evidence to indicate that terrorist increasingly are targeting civilian populations--in order to inflict indiscriminate casualties--as well as other more traditional targets such as symbolic buildings or organizations (see Tucker, 1999), which suggest that introducing rapid treatment after a biological event may be more practical than concentrating on prevention (see Siegrist, 1999), especially because sensors are unlikely to be placed in all major urban areas to detect even an atmospheric biological release. For these reasons, and because symptoms for the majority of those effected may not occur or be directly identified for several days, early identification of a covert undetected biological event (CUBE) will contribute to timely medical intervention, which can save many lives.

  10. Modeling the transport of chemical warfare agents and simulants in polymeric substrates for reactive decontamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearl, Thomas; Mantooth, Brent; Varady, Mark; Willis, Matthew

    2014-03-01

    Chemical warfare agent simulants are often used for environmental testing in place of highly toxic agents. This work sets the foundation for modeling decontamination of absorbing polymeric materials with the focus on determining relationships between agents and simulants. The correlations of agents to simulants must consider the three way interactions in the chemical-material-decontaminant system where transport and reaction occur in polymer materials. To this end, diffusion modeling of the subsurface transport of simulants and live chemical warfare agents was conducted for various polymer systems (e.g., paint coatings) with and without reaction pathways with applied decontamination. The models utilized 1D and 2D finite difference diffusion and reaction models to simulate absorption and reaction in the polymers, and subsequent flux of the chemicals out of the polymers. Experimental data including vapor flux measurements and dynamic contact angle measurements were used to determine model input parameters. Through modeling, an understanding of the relationship of simulant to live chemical warfare agent was established, focusing on vapor emission of agents and simulants from materials.

  11. Enhanced Sampling Techniques in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Rafael C.; Melo, Marcelo C. R.; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Background Molecular Dynamics has emerged as an important research methodology covering systems to the level of millions of atoms. However, insufficient sampling often limits its application. The limitation is due to rough energy landscapes, with many local minima separated by high-energy barriers, which govern the biomolecular motion. Scope of review In the past few decades methods have been developed that address the sampling problem, such as replica-exchange molecular dynamics, metadynamics and simulated annealing. Here we present an overview over theses sampling methods in an attempt to shed light on which should be selected depending on the type of system property studied. Major Conclusions Enhanced sampling methods have been employed for a broad range of biological systems and the choice of a suitable method is connected to biological and physical characteristics of the system, in particular system size. While metadynamics and replica-exchange molecular dynamics are the most adopted sampling methods to study biomolecular dynamics, simulated annealing is well suited to characterize very flexible systems. The use of annealing methods for a long time was restricted to simulation of small proteins; however, a variant of the method, generalized simulated annealing, can be employed at a relatively low computational cost to large macromolecular complexes. General Significance Molecular dynamics trajectories frequently do not reach all relevant conformational substates, for example those connected with biological function, a problem that can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling algorithms. PMID:25450171

  12. Assessment of disinfectants in explosive destruction system for biological agent destruction : LDRD final report FY04.

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Blake Alexander; Didlake, John E. Jr.; Bradshaw, Robert W.; Crooker, Paul J.; Buffleben, George M.

    2005-01-01

    Treatment systems that can neutralize biological agents are needed to mitigate risks from novel and legacy biohazards. Tests with Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus steurothemophilus spores were performed in a 190-liter, 1-112 lb TNT equivalent rated Explosive Destruction System (EDS) system to evaluate its capability to treat and destroy biological agents. Five tests were conducted using three different agents to kill the spores. The EDS was operated in steam autoclave, gas fumigation and liquid decontamination modes. The first three tests used EDS as an autoclave, which uses pressurized steam to kill the spores. Autoclaving was performed at 130-140 deg C for up to 2-hours. Tests with chlorine dioxide at 750 ppm concentration for 1 hour and 10% (vol) aqueous chlorine bleach solution for 1 hour were also performed. All tests resulted in complete neutralization of the bacterial spores based on no bacterial growth in post-treatment incubations. Explosively opening a glass container to expose the bacterial spores for treatment with steam was demonstrated and could easily be done for chlorine dioxide gas or liquid bleach.

  13. An agent-based simulation of extirpation of Ceratitis capitata applied to invasions in California.

    PubMed

    Manoukis, Nicholas C; Hoffman, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    We present an agent-based simulation (ABS) of Ceratitis capitata ("Medfly") developed for estimating the time to extirpation of this pest in areas where quarantines and eradication treatments were immediately imposed. We use the ABS, implemented in the program MED-FOES, to study seven different outbreaks that occurred in Southern California from 2008 to 2010. Results are compared with the length of intervention and quarantine imposed by the State, based on a linear developmental model (thermal unit accumulation, or "degree-day"). MED-FOES is a useful tool for invasive species managers as it incorporates more information from the known biology of the Medfly, and includes the important feature of being demographically explicit, providing significant improvements over simple degree-day calculations. While there was general agreement between the length of quarantine by degree-day and the time to extirpation indicated by MED-FOES, the ABS suggests that the margin of safety varies among cases and that in two cases the quarantine may have been excessively long. We also examined changes in the number of individuals over time in MED-FOES and conducted a sensitivity analysis for one of the outbreaks to explore the role of various input parameters on simulation outcomes. While our implementation of the ABS in this work is motivated by C. capitata and takes extirpation as a postulate, the simulation is very flexible and can be used to study a variety of questions on the invasion biology of pest insects and methods proposed to manage or eradicate such species. PMID:24563646

  14. Fingerprinting malathion vapor: a simulant for VX nerve agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Renbo; Ding, Yujie J.; Zotova, Ioulia B.

    2008-04-01

    Being motivated by the possibility of fingerprinting and detecting VX nerve agent, we have investigated its stimulant, i.e. malathion vapor, which is less toxic and commercially available, in the far-infrared/THz transition region and THz frequency range. Such a spectroscopic study was carried out by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Our intention is to obtain a specific spectroscopic signature of VX nerve agent as a chemical warfare agent. Following our experimental result, we have successfully observed eleven new absorption peaks from malathion vapor in the spectral ranges from 15 cm -1 to 68 cm -1 and from 75 cm -1 to 640 cm -1. Specifically, in the far-infrared/THz transition region, we have observed eight peaks and whereas in the THz region we have identified three relatively weak transition peaks. In addition, we have investigated the dependence of the absorption spectra on temperature in the range from room temperature to 60°C. In both of the frequency ranges, we have found that absorption coefficients significantly increase with increasing temperature. By comparing the transition peaks in the two frequency ranges, we have concluded that the frequency range of 400-640cm -1 is an optimal range for fingerprinting this chemical specie. We have designated two peaks for effectively and accurately identifying the VX nerve agents and one peak for differentiating between malathion and VX nerve agent.

  15. Differential detection of a surrogate biological threat agent (Bacillus globigii) with a portable surface plasmon resonance biosensor.

    PubMed

    Adducci, Benjamin A; Gruszewski, Hope A; Khatibi, Piyum A; Schmale, David G

    2016-04-15

    New methods and technology are needed to quickly and accurately detect potential biological warfare agents, such as Bacillus anthracis, causal agent of anthrax in humans and animals. Here, we report the detection of a simulant of B. anthracis (B. globigii) alone and in a mixture with a different species of Bacillus to test non-specific interference using a portable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor (SPIRIT 4.0, Seattle Sensor Systems). Both direct capture and antibody amplification were used to determine the limit of detection for spores of B. globigii, and to detect spores of B. globigii in a mixed sample containing another Bacillus spp. Spores of B. globigii were detected by anti-B. globigii (anti-Bg) coated sensors by direct capture at a concentration of 10(7)spores/mL, and with a secondary antibody amplification at a concentration of 10(5)spores/mL. Spores of B. globigii were differentially detected in a 1:1 mixture with B. pumilus spores from equal concentrations (10(7)spores/mL) with a secondary antibody amplification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the differential detection of B. globigii with SPR in a mixed sample containing at least one additional Bacillus spp., highlighting the potential for SPR to detect any target bacterium in a mixed sample of closely related species. With the availability of portable instrumentation to accurately detect biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis, emergency responders can implement protocols in a timely fashion, limiting the amount of exposed individuals. PMID:26606307

  16. Biologic agents for rheumatoid arthritis--negotiating the NICE technology appraisals.

    PubMed

    Kiely, Patrick D W; Deighton, Chris; Dixey, Josh; Ostör, Andrew J K

    2012-01-01

    In England and Wales, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has provided guidance [technology appraisals (TAs) 130, 186, 195, 198 and 225] on the use of biologic drugs for the treatment of RA. This is based on an analysis of efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness, and has resulted in a complex management pathway that restricts freedom to prescribe biologics according to their licensed indications. Specifically, TNF antagonists are the only class of biologics that can be used first line in DMARD-inadequate responders, and only in patients with a persistent 28-joint DAS score of ≥5.1. Alternative biologic agents are denied to those with contraindications to anti-TNF drugs and are also not supported following intolerance to TNF antagonists. Rituximab is the only class of biologic permitted after TNF antagonist inefficacy, in the absence of a contraindication to its use, whereas abatacept and tocilizumab are licensed and may be a more efficacious choice at this stage in some patient groups. Furthermore, for patients who demonstrate sequential inadequate responses, treatment is restricted to one TNF antagonist, rituximab and tocilizumab, whereas abatacept is only a permitted choice when rituximab is contraindicated or has been withdrawn because of an adverse event. In this review, we discuss the treatment algorithm published by NICE, and suggest alternatives where perceived deficiencies exist. PMID:22039226

  17. A Participatory Agent-Based Simulation for Indoor Evacuation Supported by Google Glass.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Jesús M; Carrera, Álvaro; Iglesias, Carlos Á; Serrano, Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Indoor evacuation systems are needed for rescue and safety management. One of the challenges is to provide users with personalized evacuation routes in real time. To this end, this project aims at exploring the possibilities of Google Glass technology for participatory multiagent indoor evacuation simulations. Participatory multiagent simulation combines scenario-guided agents and humans equipped with Google Glass that coexist in a shared virtual space and jointly perform simulations. The paper proposes an architecture for participatory multiagent simulation in order to combine devices (Google Glass and/or smartphones) with an agent-based social simulator and indoor tracking services. PMID:27563911

  18. Decontamination of biological agents from drinking water infrastructure: a literature review and summary.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Jeff; Minamyer, Scott

    2014-11-01

    This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of biological agents on drinking water infrastructure (such as pipes) along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some biological agents, but data gaps remain. Data on bacterial spore persistence on common water infrastructure materials such as iron and cement-mortar lined iron show that spores can be persistent for weeks after contamination. Decontamination data show that common disinfectants such as free chlorine have limited effectiveness. Decontamination results with germinant and alternate disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide are more promising. Persistence and decontamination data were collected on vegetative bacteria, such as coliforms, Legionella and Salmonella. Vegetative bacteria are less persistent than spores and more susceptible to disinfection, but the surfaces and water quality conditions in many studies were only marginally related to drinking water systems. However, results of real-world case studies on accidental contamination of water systems with E. coli and Salmonella contamination show that flushing and chlorination can help return a water system to service. Some viral persistence data were found, but decontamination data were lacking. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available biological persistence data to other common infrastructure materials. Further exploration of non-traditional drinking water disinfectants is recommended for future studies. PMID:24548733

  19. Prospects for the use of biological control agents against Anoplophora in Europe.

    PubMed

    Brabbs, Thomas; Collins, Debbie; Hérard, Franck; Maspero, Matteo; Eyre, Dominic

    2015-01-01

    This review summarises the literature on the biological control of Anoplophora spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and discusses its potential for use in Europe. Entomopathogenic fungi: Beauveria brongniartii Petch (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) has already been developed into a commercial product in Japan, and fungal infection results in high mortality rates. Parasitic nematodes: Steinernema feltiae Filipjev (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) and Steinernema carpocapsae Weiser have potential for use as biopesticides as an alternative to chemical treatments. Parasitoids: a parasitoid of Anoplophora chinensis Forster, Aprostocetus anoplophorae Delvare (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), was discovered in Italy in 2002 and has been shown to be capable of parasitising up to 72% of A. chinensis eggs; some native European parasitoid species (e.g. Spathius erythrocephalus) also have potential to be used as biological control agents. Predators: two woodpecker (Piciformis: Picidae) species that are native to Europe, Dendrocopos major Beicki and Picus canus Gmelin, have been shown to be effective at controlling Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky in Chinese forests. The removal and destruction of infested and potentially infested trees is the main eradication strategy for Anoplophora spp. in Europe, but biological control agents could be used in the future to complement other management strategies, especially in locations where eradication is no longer possible. PMID:25216358

  20. Responses of fish chromatophore-based cytosensor to a broad range of biological agents.

    PubMed

    Dierksen, Karen P; Mojovic, Ljiljana; Caldwell, Bruce A; Preston, R Ryan; Upson, Rosalyn; Lawrence, Jeannine; McFadden, Philip N; Trempy, Janine E

    2004-01-01

    A cytosensor based on living chromatophores from Betta splendens Siamese fighting fish was used to test several classes of biologically active agents. Tested agents include neurotransmitters, adenyl cyclase activators, cytoskeleton effectors, cell membrane effectors and protein synthesis inhibitors. Characteristic cell responses were analyzed, and potential cytosensor applications were considered. Streptococcus pyogenes toxins streptolysin S and streptolysin O, Clostridium tetani tetanolysin, Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin and Vibrio parahemolyticus hemolysin, all bacterial toxins that act on cell membranes, elicited a strong response from chromatophores. A comparison of purified toxin to actual bacterial culture from Vibrio parahemolyticus demonstrated a nearly identical chromatophore cell response pattern. This suggests that the cytosensor response is reflective of bacterial toxin production. PMID:15478182

  1. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of anti-EV71 agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Peng; Yang, Bailing; Hao, Fei; Wang, Ping; He, Haiying; Huang, Lei; Zhang, Xuan; Zhang, Shengbin; Peng, Xuanjia; Yin, Ke; Hu, Jiao; Chen, Xinsheng; Gu, Zhengxian; Wang, Li; Shen, Liang; Hu, Guoping; Li, Ning; Li, Jian; Chen, Shuhui; Xiao, Wei; Wang, Zhenzhong; Guo, Qingming; Chang, Xiujuan; Zhang, Lanjun; Cai, Qixu; Lin, Tianwei

    2016-07-15

    Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major causative agent of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), which can spread its infections to the central nervous and other systems with severe consequences. In this article, design, chemical synthesis, and biological evaluation of various anti-EV71 agents which incorporate Michael acceptors are described. Further SAR study demonstrated that lactone type of Michael acceptor provided a new lead of anti-EV71 drug candidates with high anti-EV71 activity in cell-based assay and enhanced mouse plasma stability. One of the most potent compounds (2K, cell-based anti-EV71 EC50=0.028μM), showed acceptable stability profile towards mouse plasma, which resulted into promising pharmacokinetics in mouse via IP administration. PMID:27234148

  2. Applying GIS and high performance agent-based simulation for managing an Old World Screwworm fly invasion of Australia.

    PubMed

    Welch, M C; Kwan, P W; Sajeev, A S M

    2014-10-01

    Agent-based modelling has proven to be a promising approach for developing rich simulations for complex phenomena that provide decision support functions across a broad range of areas including biological, social and agricultural sciences. This paper demonstrates how high performance computing technologies, namely General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU), and commercial Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be applied to develop a national scale, agent-based simulation of an incursion of Old World Screwworm fly (OWS fly) into the Australian mainland. The development of this simulation model leverages the combination of massively data-parallel processing capabilities supported by NVidia's Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) and the advanced spatial visualisation capabilities of GIS. These technologies have enabled the implementation of an individual-based, stochastic lifecycle and dispersal algorithm for the OWS fly invasion. The simulation model draws upon a wide range of biological data as input to stochastically determine the reproduction and survival of the OWS fly through the different stages of its lifecycle and dispersal of gravid females. Through this model, a highly efficient computational platform has been developed for studying the effectiveness of control and mitigation strategies and their associated economic impact on livestock industries can be materialised. PMID:24705073

  3. Host plant oviposition preference of Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera:Apionidae), a potential biological control agent of yellow starthistle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae) is a weevil native to Europe and western Asia that is being evaluated as a prospective classical biological control agent of Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) in the United States. Choice oviposition experiments were conducted under laboratory ...

  4. Opportunities for improving risk communication during the permitting process for entomophagous biological control agents: A review of current systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concerns about potentially irreversible non-target impacts from the importation and release of entomophagous biological control agents (BCAs) have resulted in increasingly stringent import requirements by National Plant Protection Organizations. Despite numerous scientific publications on the poten...

  5. Natural history studies for the preliminary evaluation of a prospective biological control agent of yellow starthistle, Larinus filiformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We conducted studies on the life history, behavior and ecology of Larinus filiformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to determine if it is worthy of further evaluation as a classical biological control agent of yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae: Cardueae). Larinus filiformis occurs ...

  6. Viability and stability of biological control agents on cotton and snap bean seeds.

    PubMed

    Elliott, M L; Des Jardin, E A; Batson, W E; Caceres, J; Brannen, P M; Howell, C R; Benson, D M; Conway, K E; Rothrock, C S; Schneider, R W; Ownley, B H; Canaday, C H; Keinath, A P; Huber, D M; Sumner, D R; Motsenbocker, C E; Thaxton, P M; Cubeta, M A; Adams, P D; Backman, P A; Fajardo, J; Newman, M A; Pereira, R M

    2001-08-01

    Cotton and snap bean were selected for a multi-year, multi-state regional (south-eastern USA) research project to evaluate the efficacy of both commercial and experimental bacterial and fungal biological control agents for the management of damping-off diseases. The goal for this portion of the project was to determine the viability and stability of biological agents after application to seed. The biological seed treatments used included: (1) Bacillaceae bacteria, (2) non-Bacillaceae bacteria, (3) the fungus Trichoderma and (4) the fungus Beauveria bassiana. Seed assays were conducted to evaluate the following application factors: short-term (< or = 3 months) stability after seed treatment; quality (i.e. isolate purity); compatibility with chemical pesticides and other biocontrol agents; application uniformity between years and plant species. For the bacterial treatments, the Bacillaceae genera (Bacillus and Paenibacillus) maintained the greatest population of bacteria per seed, the best viability over time and the best application uniformity across years and seed type. The non-Bacillaceae genera Burkholderia and Pseudomonas had the least viability and uniformity. Although Beauveria bassiana was only evaluated one year, the seed fungal populations were high and uniform. The seed fungal populations and uniformity for the Trichoderma isolates were more variable, except for the commercial product T-22. However, this product was contaminated with a Streptomyces isolate in both the years that it was evaluated. The study demonstrated that Bacillaceae can be mixed with Trichoderma isolates or with numerous pesticides to provide an integrated pest control/growth enhancement package. PMID:11517723

  7. Biological agents: investigation into leprosy and other infectious diseases before indication.

    PubMed

    Antônio, João Roberto; Soubhia, Rosa Maria Cordeiro; Paschoal, Vania Del Arco; Amarante, Carolina Forte; Travolo, Ana Regina Franchi

    2013-01-01

    Biological agents are widely used for various immune-mediated diseases, with remarkable effectiveness in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Crohn's disease. However, attention needs to be drawn to the adverse effects of these therapies and the risk of reactivating underlying granulomatous infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, leishmaniasis, among others. The objective of this paper is to describe a case of leprosy in a patient with RA using anti-TNF alfa, demonstrating the need for systematic investigation of skin lesions suggestive of leprosy in patients who require rheumatoid arthritis therapeutic treatment, especially in endemic regions like Brazil. PMID:24346871

  8. LANL organic analysis detection capabilities for chemical and biological warfare agents

    SciTech Connect

    Ansell, G.B.; Cournoyer, M.E.; Hollis, K.W.; Monagle, M.

    1996-12-31

    Organic analysis is the analytical arm for several Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) research programs and nuclear materials processes, including characterization and certification of nuclear and nonnuclear materials used in weapons, radioactive waste treatment and waste certification programs. Organic Analysis has an extensive repertoire of analytical technique within the group including headspace gas, PCBs/pesticides, volatile organics and semivolatile organic analysis. In addition organic analysis has mobile labs with analytic capabilities that include volatile organics, total petroleum hydrocarbon, PCBs, pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and high explosive screening. A natural extension of these capabilities can be applied to the detection of chemical and biological agents,

  9. Synthesis, analysis and biological evaluation of novel indolquinonecryptolepine analogues as potential anti-tumour agents.

    PubMed

    Le Gresley, A; Gudivaka, V; Carrington, S; Sinclair, A; Brown, J E

    2016-03-21

    A small library of cryptolepine analogues were synthesised incorporating halogens and/or nitrogen containing side chains to optimise their interaction with the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA to give improved binding, interfering with topoisomerase II hence enhancing cytotoxicity. Cell viability, DNA binding and Topoisomerase II inhibition is discussed for these compounds. Fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the uptake of the synthesised cryptolepines into the nucleus. We report the synthesis and anti-cancer biological evaluation of nine novel cryptolepine analogues, which have greater cytotoxicity than the parent compound and are important lead compounds in the development of novel potent and selective indoloquinone anti-neoplastic agents. PMID:26893255

  10. Lepidopterans as Potential Agents for the Biological Control of the Invasive Plant, Miconia calvescens

    PubMed Central

    Morais, Elisangela G.F.; Picanço, Marcelo C.; Semeão, Altair A.; Barreto, Robert W.; Rosado, Jander F.; Martins, Julio C.

    2012-01-01

    This work investigated eight species of Lepidoptera associated with Miconia calvescens DC. (Myrtales: Melastomataceae) in Brazil, including six defoliators, Salbia lotanalis Druce (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Druentia inscita Schaus (Mimallonidae), Antiblemma leucocyma Hampson (Noctuidae), three Limacodidae species, a fruit borer Carposina cardinata Meyrick (Carposinidae), and a damager of flowers Pleuroprucha rudimentaria Guenée (Geometridae). Based on host specificity and the damage caused to plants, S. lotanalis and D. inscita are the most promising species for biological control of M. calvescens. Furthermore, if C. cardinata and P. rudimentaria have host specificity in future tests, these caterpillars could also be considered as appropriate biocontrol agents. PMID:22938203

  11. Biological agent detection since Desert Storm--from theory to practice. Research report

    SciTech Connect

    Shockley, L.J.

    1997-04-16

    Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially biological warfare (BW) weapons, continues apace in today`s world, both by nation states and terrorist groups. This paper details the progress made in BW agent detection in the six years since the Gulf War. With two new systems, we have the technology to provide the combatant commander with a credible bio-detection array. What we have failed to do in the near term is to supply the requisite force structure in the Active Component to make the technology work for the commander.

  12. Biological agents: investigation into leprosy and other infectious diseases before indication*

    PubMed Central

    Antônio, João Roberto; Soubhia, Rosa Maria Cordeiro; Paschoal, Vania Del Arco; Amarante, Carolina Forte; Travolo, Ana Regina Franchi

    2013-01-01

    Biological agents are widely used for various immune-mediated diseases, with remarkable effectiveness in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Crohn's disease. However, attention needs to be drawn to the adverse effects of these therapies and the risk of reactivating underlying granulomatous infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, leishmaniasis, among others. The objective of this paper is to describe a case of leprosy in a patient with RA using anti-TNF alfa, demonstrating the need for systematic investigation of skin lesions suggestive of leprosy in patients who require rheumatoid arthritis therapeutic treatment, especially in endemic regions like Brazil. PMID:24346871

  13. Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata leeches as biological agents for snails control.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; El-Fakahany, Amany F; Abdel-Tawab, Ahmed H; Abdel-Maboud, Amina I; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    The efficacy of leeches, as biological agents, in control of snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis (Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina) and fascioliasis (Lymnaea natalensis) as well as their effect on the non-target snails Physa acuta, Melanioides tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides was evaluated. Two glossiphoniid snail leeches, Helobdella nilae and Alboglossiphonia conjugata were used. They destroyed egg masses and young snails more rapidly than adult ones. H. nilae showed a stronger destructive effect than A. conjugata. In a descending order, it preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and lastly C. bulimoides. But, A. conjugata preferred L. natalensis followed by B. truncatus, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata, B. alexandrina and lastly C. bulimoides. The detailed diagnostic morphology and biology of the two leeches were given. PMID:19530628

  14. Trend towards low cost, low power, ultra-violet (UV) based biological agent detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickenberger, David

    2005-11-01

    Ultra-violet fluorescence remains a corner stone technique for the detection of biological agent aerosols. Historically, these UV based detectors have employed relatively costly and power demanding lasers that have influenced the exploitation of the technology to wider use. Recent advancements from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Solid-state Ultra Violet Optical Sources (SUVOS) program has changed this. The UV light emitting diode (LED) devices based on Gallium Nitride offer a unique opportunity to produce small, low power, and inexpensive detectors. It may, in fact, be possible to extend the SUVOS technology into detectors that are potentially disposable. This report will present ongoing efforts to explore this possibility. It will present candidate UV fluorescence based detector designs along with the biological aerosol responses obtained from these designs.

  15. Autonomous Detection of Aerosolized Biological Agents by Multiplexed Immunoassay with PCR Confirmation

    SciTech Connect

    Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Setlur, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Nasarabadi, S L; Venkateswaran, K S; Farrow, S W; Colston, Jr., B W; Dzenitis, J M

    2004-05-27

    The autonomous pathogen detection system (APDS) is an automated, podium-sized instrument that continuously monitors the air for biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed to warn of a biological attack in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The APDS performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and detection using multiplexed immunoassay followed by confirmatory PCR using real-time TaqMan assays. We have integrated completely reusable flow-through devices that perform DNA extraction and PCR amplification. The fully integrated system was challenged with aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii and botulinum toxoid. By coupling highly selective antibody and DNA based assays, the probability of an APDS reporting a false positive is extremely low.

  16. Lixus Cardui, a Biological Control Agent for Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium): Safe for Australia but not USA?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive exotic plants are often weeds in more than one country. After a biological control agent for a weed has been developed for use in one country, it is reasonable to consider using the same agent against the same weed in another country. ‘Transfer Projects’ can save considerable time and mon...

  17. Pre-release biological control agent recommendations for swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum spp.) informed by demographic matrix models

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed biological control workers have advocated for the advance assessment of agent efficacy in order to minimize the release of host-specific but ineffective agents. One method involves demographic matrix modeling of target weed populations in order to identify plant life stage transitions that cont...

  18. Ecological host-range of Lilioceris cheni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of Dioscorea bulbifera L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Open-field host-specificity testing assesses the host-range of a biological control agent in a setting that permits the agent to use its full complement of host-seeking behaviors. This form of testing, particularly when it includes a no-choice phase in which the target weed is killed, may provide th...

  19. Chromogenic and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant with a rhodamine-deoxylactam based sensor.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuanjun; Wu, Zhisheng; Han, Shoufa

    2011-11-01

    A chromogenic and fluorogenic detection of a nerve agent simulant was developed based on diethyl chlorophosphate triggered tandem phosphorylation and intramolecular cyclization of N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-2-aminoethanol. PMID:21952323

  20. Controlling seepage in discrete particle simulations of biological systems.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Bruce S; Joldes, Grand R; Wong, Kelvin K L; Tan, Chin Wee; Smith, David W

    2016-08-01

    It is now commonplace to represent materials in a simulation using assemblies of discrete particles. Sometimes, one wishes to maintain the integrity of boundaries between particle types, for example, when modelling multiple tissue layers. However, as the particle assembly evolves during a simulation, particles may pass across interfaces. This behaviour is referred to as 'seepage'. The aims of this study were (i) to examine the conditions for seepage through a confining particle membrane and (ii) to define some simple rules that can be employed to control seepage. Based on the force-deformation response of spheres with various sizes and stiffness, we develop analytic expressions for the force required to move a 'probe particle' between confining 'membrane particles'. We analyse the influence that particle's size and stiffness have on the maximum force that can act on the probe particle before the onset of seepage. The theoretical results are applied in the simulation of a biological cell under unconfined compression. PMID:26629728

  1. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Releasing Agents: Chemistry and Biological Applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yu; Biggs, Tyler D.

    2014-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a newly recognized signaling molecule with very potent cytoprotective actions. The fields of H2S physiology and pharmacology have been rapidly growing in recent years, but a number of fundamental issues must be addressed to advance our understanding of the biology and clinical potential of H2S in the future. Hydrogen sulfide releasing agents (also known as H2S donors) have been widely used in the field. These compounds are not only useful research tools, but also potential therapeutic agents. It is therefore important to study the chemistry and pharmacology of exogenous H2S and to be aware of the limitations associated with the choice of donors used to generate H2S in vitro and in vivo. In this review we summarized the developments and limitations of current available donors including H2S gas, sulfide salts, garlic-derived sulfur compounds, Lawesson’s reagent/analogs, 1,2-dithiole-3-thiones, thiol-activated donors, photo-caged donors, and thioamino acids. Some biological applications of these donors were also discussed. PMID:25019301

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of six isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in controlling Colletotrichum acutatum, the causal agent of postbloom fruit drop that occur in pre-harvest citrus. We analyzed the mechanisms of action involved in biological control such as: production of antifungal compounds, nutrient competition, detection of killer activity, and production of hydrolytic enzymes of the isolates of S. cerevisiae on C. acutatum and their efficiency in controlling postbloom fruit drop on detached citrus flowers. Our results showed that all six S. cerevisiae isolates produced antifungal compounds, competed for nutrients, inhibited pathogen germination, and produced killer activity and hydrolytic enzymes when in contact with the fungus wall. The isolates were able to control the disease when detached flowers were artificially inoculated, both preventively and curatively. In this work we identified a novel potential biological control agent for C. acutatum during pre-harvest. This is the first report of yeast efficiency for the biocontrol of postbloom fruit drop, which represents an important contribution to the field of biocontrol of diseases affecting citrus populations worldwide. PMID:25960430

  3. Mixotrophic cyanobacteria and microalgae as distinctive biological agents for organic pollutant degradation.

    PubMed

    Subashchandrabose, Suresh R; Ramakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Venkateswarlu, Kadiyala; Naidu, Ravi

    2013-01-01

    Millions of natural and synthetic organic chemical substances are present in both soil and aquatic environments. Toxicity and/or persistence determine the polluting principle of these substances. The biological responses to these pollutants include accumulation and degradation. The responses of environments with organic pollutants are perceptible from the dwindling degradative abilities of microorganisms. Among different biological members, cyanobacteria and microalgae are highly adaptive through many eons, and can grow autotrophically, heterotrophically or mixotrophically. Mixotrophy in cyanobacteria and microalgae can provide many competitive advantages over bacteria and fungi in degrading organic pollutants. Laboratory culturing of strict phototrophic algae has limited the realization of their potential as bioremediation agents. In the natural assemblages, mixotrophic algae can contribute to sequestration of carbon, which is otherwise emitted as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere under heterotrophic conditions by other organisms. Molecular methods and metabolic and genomic information will help not only in identification and selection of mixotrophic species of cyanobacteria and microalgae with capabilities to degrade organic pollutants but also in monitoring the efficiency of remediation efforts under the field conditions. These organisms are relatively easier for genetic engineering with desirable traits. This review presents a new premise from the literature that mixotrophic algae and cyanobacteria are distinctive bioremediation agents with capabilities to sequester carbon in the environment. PMID:23201778

  4. Axinellamines as Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Agents: Scalable Synthesis and Biology

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present an ongoing challenge to both chemists and biologists as they seek novel compounds and modes of action to out-maneuver continually evolving resistance pathways, especially against Gram-negative strains. The dimeric pyrrole–imidazole alkaloids represent a unique marine natural product class with diverse primary biological activity and chemical architecture. This full account traces the strategy used to develop a second-generation route to key spirocycle 9, culminating in a practical synthesis of the axinellamines and enabling their discovery as broad-spectrum antibacterial agents, with promising activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. While their detailed mode of antibacterial action remains unclear, the axinellamines appear to cause secondary membrane destabilization and impart an aberrant cellular morphology consistent with the inhibition of normal septum formation. This study serves as a rare example of a natural product initially reported to be devoid of biological activity surfacing as an active antibacterial agent with an intriguing mode of action. PMID:25328977

  5. Multiple year effects of a biological control agent (Diorhabda carinulata) on Tamarix (saltcedar) ecosystem exchanges of carbon dioxide and water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control of Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) with Diorhabda carinulata (the northern tamarisk beetle) is currently underway in several western states U.S.A. through historical releases and the natural migration of this insect. Given the widespread dispersal of this biological control agent and its...

  6. Using our experiences with knapweeds and yellow starthistle to improve methods to evaluate new prospective biological control agents.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control projects for spotted, diffuse and squarrose knapweeds and yellow starthistle started 30 to 40 years ago. Twelve species of insects were introduced for the knapweeds and six for yellow starthistle. Less than half of these biological control agents have become widespread and abunda...

  7. Degradation of biological weapons agents in the environment: implications for terrorism response.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Amy L; Wilkening, Dean A

    2005-04-15

    We investigate the impact on effective terrorism response of the viability degradation of biological weapons agents in the environment. We briefly review the scientific understanding and modeling of agent environmental viability degradation. In general, agent susceptibility to viability loss is greatest for vegetative bacteria, intermediate for viruses, and least for bacterial spores. Survival is greatest in soil and progressively decreases in the following environments: textiles, water, hard surfaces, and air. There is little detailed understanding of loss mechanisms. We analyze the time behavior and sensitivity of four mathematical models that are used to represent environmental viability degradation (the exponential, probability, and first- and second-order catastrophic decay models). The models behave similarly at short times (<30 min for our example case) but diverge to significantly different values at intermediate to long times. Hence, for a release event in which the majority of atmospheric exposure or deposition occurs oververy short times, the current response models likely provide a good representation of the hazard. For longer time phenomena, including decontamination, the current model capabilities are likely insufficient. Finally, we implement each model in a simple numerical integration of anthrax dispersion, viability degradation, and dose response. Decay models spanning the current knowledge of airborne degradation result in vastly different predicted hazard areas. This confounds attempts to determine necessary medical and decontamination measures. Hence,the current level of understanding and representation of environmental viability degradation in response models is inadequate to inform appropriate emergency response measures. PMID:15884371

  8. Psoriasis and the new biologic agents: interrupting a T-AP dance

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Scott R.A.; Shear, Neil H.

    2004-01-01

    PSORIASIS IS AN IMMUNE-MEDIATED SKIN DISEASE in which chronic T-cell stimulation by antigen-presenting cells (APC) occurs in the skin. This interplay between the T-cell and APC has been likened to a “T-AP dance” where specific steps must occur in sequence to result in T-cell activation and the disease phenotype; otherwise T-cell anergy would occur. Several novel engineered proteins designed to block specific steps in immune activation (biologic agents) have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of psoriasis. These agents include fusion proteins, monoclonal antibodies and recombinant cytokines. These medications act at specific steps during the T-AP dance either to inhibit T-cell activation, costimulation and subsequent proliferation of T-cells, lead to immune deviation or induce specific cytokine blockades. The potential increased selectivity for specific pathways in immune activation, clinical efficacy and relative safety of these new agents offers an alternative for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. PMID:15210644

  9. Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents with a single multi-functional material.

    PubMed

    Amitai, Gabi; Murata, Hironobu; Andersen, Jill D; Koepsel, Richard R; Russell, Alan J

    2010-05-01

    We report the synthesis of new polymers based on a dimethylacrylamide-methacrylate (DMAA-MA) co-polymer backbone that support both chemical and biological agent decontamination. Polyurethanes containing the redox enzymes glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase can convert halide ions into active halogens and exert striking bactericidal activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. New materials combining those biopolymers with a family of N-alkyl 4-pyridinium aldoxime (4-PAM) halide-acrylate co-polymers offer both nucleophilic activity for the detoxification of organophosphorus nerve agents and internal sources of halide ions for generation of biocidal activity. Generation of free bromine and iodine was observed in the combined material resulting in bactericidal activity of the enzymatically formed free halogens that caused complete kill of E. coli (>6 log units reduction) within 1 h at 37 degrees C. Detoxification of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) by the polyDMAA MA-4-PAM iodide component was dose-dependent reaching 85% within 30 min. A subset of 4-PAM-halide co-polymers was designed to serve as a controlled release reservoir for N-hydroxyethyl 4-PAM (HE 4-PAM) molecules that reactivate nerve agent-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Release rates for HE 4-PAM were consistent with hydrolysis of the HE 4-PAM from the polymer backbone. The HE 4-PAM that was released from the polymer reactivated DFP-inhibited AChE at a similar rate to the oxime antidote 4-PAM. PMID:20199807

  10. Response of an invasive liana to simulated herbivory: implications for its biological control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghu, S.; Dhileepan, K.; Treviño, M.

    2006-05-01

    Pre-release evaluation of the efficacy of biological control agents is often not possible in the case of many invasive species targeted for biocontrol. In such circumstances simulating herbivory could yield significant insights into plant response to damage, thereby improving the efficiency of agent prioritisation, increasing the chances of regulating the performance of invasive plants through herbivory and minimising potential risks posed by release of multiple herbivores. We adopted this approach to understand the weaknesses herbivores could exploit, to manage the invasive liana, Macfadyena unguis-cati. We simulated herbivory by damaging the leaves, stem, root and tuber of the plant, in isolation and in combination. We also applied these treatments at multiple frequencies. Plant response in terms of biomass allocation showed that at least two severe defoliation treatments were required to diminish this liana's climbing habit and reduce its allocation to belowground tuber reserves. Belowground damage appears to have negligible effect on the plant's biomass production and tuber damage appears to trigger a compensatory response. Plant response to combinations of different types of damage did not differ significantly to that from leaf damage. This suggests that specialist herbivores in the leaf-feeding guild capable of removing over 50% of the leaf tissue may be desirable in the biological control of this invasive species.

  11. Application of protein arraytubes to bacteria, toxin, and biological warfare agent detection.

    PubMed

    Ehricht, Ralf; Adelhelm, Karin; Monecke, Stefan; Huelseweh, Birgit

    2009-01-01

    Microarray technology enables the fast and parallel analysis of a multitude of biologically relevant parameters. Not only nucleic acid-based tests, but also peptide, antigen, and antibody assays using different formats of microarrays evolved within the last decade. They offer the possibility to measure interactions in a miniaturised, economic, automated, and qualitative or quantitative way providing insights into the cellular machinery of diverse organisms. Examples of applications in research and diagnostics are, e.g., O-typing of pathogenic Escherichia coli, detection of bacterial toxins and other biological warfare agents (BW agents) from a variety of different samples, screening of complex antibody libraries, and epitope mapping. Conventional O- and H-serotyping methods can now be substituted by procedures applying DNA oligonucleotide and antibody-based microarrays. For simultaneous and sensitive detection of BW agents microarray-based tests are available, which include not only relevant viruses and bacteria, but also toxins. This application is not only restricted to the security and military sector but it can also be used in the fields of medical diagnostics or public health to detect, e.g., staphylococcal enterotoxins in food or clinical samples. Furthermore, the same technology could be used to detect antibodies against enterotoxins in human sera using a competitive assay. Protein and peptide microarrays can also be used for characterisation of antibodies. On one hand, peptide microarrays allow detailed epitope mapping. On the other hand, a set of different antibodies recognising the same antigen can be spotted as a microarray and labelled as detection antibodies. This approach makes it possible to test every combination, allowing to find the optimal pair of detection/capture antibody. PMID:19212716

  12. Detection of aerosolized biological agents by immunoassay followed by autonomous PCR confirmation

    SciTech Connect

    Dzenitis, J M; Hindson, B J; McBride, M T; Makarewicz, A J; Henderer, B D; Sathyam, U S; Smith, S M; Gutierrez, D M; Metz, T R; Venkateswaran, K S; Colston, B W; Farrow, S W

    2003-12-15

    An Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS) unit is an automated, podium-sized system that monitors the air for all three biological threat agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins). The system has been developed under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to protect people in critical or high-traffic facilities and at special events. The system performs continuous aerosol collection, sample preparation, and multiplexed biological tests using advanced immunoassays as the primary screen. Over ten agents are assayed at once, and results are reported hourly. R&D work this year focused on incorporating polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) techniques for detecting DNA as confirmation of immunoassay positives. The primary objective of the Dugway testing was to demonstrate the APDS with immunoassay identification and PCR confirmation of bacteria. A secondary objective was to demonstrate immunoassay identification of a protein toxoid (denatured toxin) aerosol release. A total of 12 agent trials were conducted over 14 days of testing, for a total of four work weeks at Dugway. Both testing objectives were achieved with multiple releases and clear identifications. The APDS was shown to be effective for identifying aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus globigii, and botulinum toxoid. The two areas for improvement were operational as opposed to hardware-related. The first was slowing the PCR thermal cycling to achieve stronger signals, which was demonstrated during the later phases of testing. The second area is to improve the parameters for autonomous PCR triggering; this is one of the focuses of the upcoming year's work.

  13. A multi-phasic approach reveals that apple replant disease is caused by multiple biological agents, with some agents acting synergistically

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apple replant disease (ARD) has been reported from all major fruit-growing regions of the world, and is often caused by a consortium of biological agents. The aim of this study was to investigate the etiology of ARD in South Africa in six orchard soils, using a multiphasic approach under glasshouse ...

  14. Standoff detection of biological agents using laser induced fluorescence—a comparison of 294 nm and 355 nm excitation wavelengths

    PubMed Central

    Farsund, Øystein; Rustad, Gunnar; Skogan, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    Standoff detection measuring the fluorescence spectra of seven different biological agents excited by 294 nm as well as 355 nm wavelength laser pulses has been undertaken. The biological warfare agent simulants were released in a semi-closed aerosol chamber at 210 m standoff distance and excited by light at either of the two wavelengths using the same instrument. Significant differences in several of the agents’ fluorescence response were seen at the two wavelengths. The anthrax simulants’ fluorescence responses were almost an order of magnitude stronger at the shorter wavelength excitation. However, most importantly, the fluorescence spectra were significantly more dissimilar at 294 nm than at 355 nm excitation with ~7 nm spectral resolution. This indicates that classification of the substances should be possible with a lower error rate for standoff detection using 294 nm rather than 355 nm excitation wavelength, or even better, utilizing both. PMID:23162732

  15. The influence of the workplace-related biological agents on the immune systems of emergency medical personnel.

    PubMed

    Brewczyńska, Aleksandra; Depczyńska, Daria; Borecka, Anna; Winnicka, Izabela; Kubiak, Leszek; Skopińska-Różewska, Ewa; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Kocik, Janusz

    2015-01-01

    Emergency medical services workers' (EMSWs) acute exposures to many biological agents are frequent and well recognised in their workplaces, as well as occupational diseases resulting from some of these exposures. At the same time, there is only scant information on the adverse effects of chronic exposure to biological hazard factors on the immune systems of EMSWs. In the Polish legislation system, the Ordinance of the Minister of Health about harmful biological agents in the workplace and ways of protecting workers from exposure to those agents is an implement of Directive 2000/54/EC, which deals thoroughly with those issues in European Union Countries. Emergency medical services workers play an essential role as primary providers of pre-hospital emergency medical care, and they are part of the integral components of disaster response. Traumatic experiences can affect emergency medical staff immune systems negatively, by functioning as a chronic stressor. Conscious use of biological agents in workplaces such as microbial laboratories can be easily controlled and monitored. However, risk assessment is more difficult for workers when they are exposed unintentionally to biological agents. Exposure to bio-aerosols is considered especially harmful. This review summarises available information about biological risk factors for emergency medical services workers, and some information about the influence of these factors on their immune systems. PMID:26557040

  16. Protocol for determination of chemical warfare agent simulant movement through porous media

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Buchanan, M.V.; Merriweather, R.; Ilgner, R.H.; Gayle, T.M.; Moneyhun, J.H.; Watson, A.P.

    1992-07-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical warfare agent during any phase of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), a (small) potential exists for contamination of buildings and materials used in their construction. Guidelines for unrestricted access to potentially agent-contaminated private and public property are presently undefined due to uncertainties regarding the adequacy of decontaminating porous surfaces such as wood, masonry and gypsum wall board. Persistent agents such as VX or mustard are particularly problematic. The report which follows documents a measurement protocol developed in a scoping investigation characterizing the permeation of chemical warfare agent simulants (diisopropylmethyl phosphonate (DIMP) for warfare agent GB, dimethylmethyl phosphonate (DMMP) for warfare agent VX and chlorethylethyl sulfide (CEES) for warfare agent sulfur mustard) through several, common porous, construction materials. The porous media'' selected for examination were wood, brick, cinder block, and gypsum wall board. Simulants were tested rather than actual warfare agents because of their low toxicity, commercial availability, and the lack of surety capability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The present work is considered a protocol for confirmation testing with live'' agents.

  17. Protocol for determination of chemical warfare agent simulant movement through porous media

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Buchanan, M.V.; Merriweather, R.; Ilgner, R.H.; Gayle, T.M.; Moneyhun, J.H.; Watson, A.P.

    1992-07-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical warfare agent during any phase of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), a (small) potential exists for contamination of buildings and materials used in their construction. Guidelines for unrestricted access to potentially agent-contaminated private and public property are presently undefined due to uncertainties regarding the adequacy of decontaminating porous surfaces such as wood, masonry and gypsum wall board. Persistent agents such as VX or mustard are particularly problematic. The report which follows documents a measurement protocol developed in a scoping investigation characterizing the permeation of chemical warfare agent simulants [diisopropylmethyl phosphonate (DIMP) for warfare agent GB, dimethylmethyl phosphonate (DMMP) for warfare agent VX and chlorethylethyl sulfide (CEES) for warfare agent sulfur mustard] through several, common porous, construction materials. The ``porous media`` selected for examination were wood, brick, cinder block, and gypsum wall board. Simulants were tested rather than actual warfare agents because of their low toxicity, commercial availability, and the lack of surety capability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The present work is considered a protocol for confirmation testing with ``live`` agents.

  18. Use of microgravity simulators for plant biological studies.

    PubMed

    Herranz, Raúl; Valbuena, Miguel A; Manzano, Aránzazu; Kamal, Khaled Y; Medina, F Javier

    2015-01-01

    Simulated microgravity and partial gravity research on Earth is highly convenient for every space biology researcher due to limitations of access to spaceflight. However, the use of ground-based facilities for microgravity simulation is far from simple. Microgravity simulation usually results in the need to consider additional environmental parameters which appear as secondary effects in the generation of altered gravity. These secondary effects may interfere with gravity alteration in the changes observed in the biological processes under study. Furthermore, ground-based facilities are also capable of generating hypergravity or fractional gravity conditions, which are worth being tested and compared with the results of microgravity exposure. Multiple technologies (2D clinorotation, random positioning machines, magnetic levitators or centrifuges), experimental hardware (proper use of containers and substrates for the seedlings or cell cultures), and experimental requirements (some life support/environmental parameters are more difficult to provide in certain facilities) should be collectively considered in defining the optimal experimental design that will allow us to anticipate, modify, or redefine the findings provided by the scarce spaceflight opportunities that have been (and will be) available. PMID:25981780

  19. CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder toward realistic biological membrane simulations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Emilia L; Cheng, Xi; Jo, Sunhwan; Rui, Huan; Song, Kevin C; Dávila-Contreras, Eder M; Qi, Yifei; Lee, Jumin; Monje-Galvan, Viviana; Venable, Richard M; Klauda, Jeffery B; Im, Wonpil

    2014-10-15

    CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder, http://www.charmm-gui.org/input/membrane, is a web-based user interface designed to interactively build all-atom protein/membrane or membrane-only systems for molecular dynamics simulations through an automated optimized process. In this work, we describe the new features and major improvements in Membrane Builder that allow users to robustly build realistic biological membrane systems, including (1) addition of new lipid types, such as phosphoinositides, cardiolipin (CL), sphingolipids, bacterial lipids, and ergosterol, yielding more than 180 lipid types, (2) enhanced building procedure for lipid packing around protein, (3) reliable algorithm to detect lipid tail penetration to ring structures and protein surface, (4) distance-based algorithm for faster initial ion displacement, (5) CHARMM inputs for P21 image transformation, and (6) NAMD equilibration and production inputs. The robustness of these new features is illustrated by building and simulating a membrane model of the polar and septal regions of E. coli membrane, which contains five lipid types: CL lipids with two types of acyl chains and phosphatidylethanolamine lipids with three types of acyl chains. It is our hope that CHARMM-GUI Membrane Builder becomes a useful tool for simulation studies to better understand the structure and dynamics of proteins and lipids in realistic biological membrane environments. PMID:25130509

  20. [Numerical simulation and operation optimization of biological filter].

    PubMed

    Zou, Zong-Sen; Shi, Han-Chang; Chen, Xiang-Qiang; Xie, Xiao-Qing

    2014-12-01

    BioWin software and two sensitivity analysis methods were used to simulate the Denitrification Biological Filter (DNBF) + Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) process in Yuandang Wastewater Treatment Plant. Based on the BioWin model of DNBF + BAF process, the operation data of September 2013 were used for sensitivity analysis and model calibration, and the operation data of October 2013 were used for model validation. The results indicated that the calibrated model could accurately simulate practical DNBF + BAF processes, and the most sensitive parameters were the parameters related to biofilm, OHOs and aeration. After the validation and calibration of model, it was used for process optimization with simulating operation results under different conditions. The results showed that, the best operation condition for discharge standard B was: reflux ratio = 50%, ceasing methanol addition, influent C/N = 4.43; while the best operation condition for discharge standard A was: reflux ratio = 50%, influent COD = 155 mg x L(-1) after methanol addition, influent C/N = 5.10. PMID:25826934

  1. Large-scale multi-agent transportation simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cetin, Nurhan; Nagel, Kai; Raney, Bryan; Voellmy, Andreas

    2002-08-01

    It is now possible to microsimulate the traffic of whole metropolitan areas with 10 million travelers or more, "micro" meaning that each traveler is resolved individually as a particle. In contrast to physics or chemistry, these particles have internal intelligence; for example, they know where they are going. This means that a transportation simulation project will have, besides the traffic microsimulation, modules which model this intelligent behavior. The most important modules are for route generation and for demand generation. Demand is generated by each individual in the simulation making a plan of activities such as sleeping, eating, working, shopping, etc. If activities are planned at different locations, they obviously generate demand for transportation. This however is not enough since those plans are influenced by congestion which initially is not known. This is solved via a relaxation method, which means iterating back and forth between the activities/routes generation and the traffic simulation.

  2. Effects of chemical and biological warfare remediation agents on the materials of museum objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solazzo, C.; Erhardt, D.; Marte, F.; von Endt, D.; Tumosa, C.

    In the fall of 2001, anthrax-contaminated letters were sent to public figures in the United States. Chemical and radiation treatments were employed to decontaminate exposed buildings, objects, and materials. These treatments are effective, but potentially damaging to exposed objects and materials. The recommended surface chemical treatments include solutions, gels, and foams of oxidizing agents such as peroxides or chlorine bleaching agents. Such oxidizing agents are effective against a wide range of hazardous chemical and biological agents. Knowing how these reagents affect various substrates would help to anticipate and to minimize any potential damage. We are examining the effects on typical museum materials of reagents likely to be used, including hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and potassium peroxymonosulfate. Results so far show significant changes in a number of materials. Surface corrosion was observed on metals such as copper, silver, iron, and brass. Color changes occurred with at least one reagent in about one-fourth of the dyed fabric swatches tested, and about half of the inks. Samples of aged yellowed paper are bleached. Effects varied with both the substrate and the tested reagent. The observed changes were generally less drastic than might have been expected. Enough materials were affected, though, to preclude the use of these reagents on museum objects unless no less drastic alternative is available. It appears that many objects of lesser intrinsic value can be treated without severe loss of properties or usefulness. For example, most documents should remain legible if the appropriate reagent is used. This work will provide a basis for determining which treatment is most appropriate for a specific situation and what consequences are to be expected from other treatments.

  3. Post-introduction evolution in the biological control agent Longitarsus jacobaeae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    PubMed

    Szűcs, Marianna; Schaffner, Urs; Price, William J; Schwarzländer, Mark

    2012-12-01

    Rapid evolution has rarely been assessed in biological control systems despite the similarity with biological invasions, which are widely used as model systems. We assessed post-introduction climatic adaptation in a population of Longitarsus jacobaeae, a biological control agent of Jacobaea vulgaris, which originated from a low-elevation site in Italy and was introduced in the USA to a high-elevation site (Mt. Hood, Oregon) in the early 1980s. Life-history characteristics of beetle populations from Mt. Hood, from two low-elevation sites in Oregon (Italian origin) and from a high-elevation site from Switzerland were compared in common gardens. The performance of low- and high-elevation populations at a low- and a high-elevation site was evaluated using reciprocal transplants. The results revealed significant changes in aestival diapause and shifts in phenology in the Mt. Hood population, compared with the low-elevation populations. We found increased performance of the Mt. Hood population in its home environment compared with the low-elevation populations that it originated from. The results indicate that the beetles at Mt. Hood have adapted to the cooler conditions by life-history changes that conform to predictions based on theory and the phenology of the cold-adapted Swiss beetles. PMID:23346230

  4. Effect of capping agents: Structural, optical and biological properties of ZnO nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javed, Rabia; Usman, Muhammad; Tabassum, Saira; Zia, Muhammad

    2016-11-01

    Different biological activities of capped and uncapped ZnO nanoparticles were investigated, and the effects of potential capping agents on these biological activities were studied. ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized and capped by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) using a simple chemical method of co-precipitation. Characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV-vis spectroscopy confirmed the crystallinity, size, functional group, and band gap of synthesized nanoparticles. Reduction in size occurred from 34 nm to 26 nm due to surfactant. Results of all biological activities indicated significantly higher values in capped as compared to uncapped nanoparticles. Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538), Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 6633), Escherichia coli (ATCC15224), and Acetobacter was obtained. This activity was more prominent against Gram-positive bacteria, and ZnO-PVP nanoparticles elucidated highest antibacterial activity (zone of inhibition 17 mm) against Gram-positive, Bacillus subtilis species. Antioxidant activities including total flavonoid content, total phenolic content, total antioxidant capacity, total reducing power and %age inhibition of DPPH, and antidiabetic activity against α-amylase enzyme found to be exhibited highest by ZnO-PEG nanoparticles.

  5. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Wyatt I.; Friedman, Jonathan M.; Gaskin, John F.; Norton, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the invasive shrub tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western United States, and how differences in plant traits affect interactions with a biological control agent. Introgression varied strongly with latitude of origin and was highly correlated with plant performance. Increased levels of T. ramosissima introgression resulted in both higher investment in roots and tolerance to defoliation and less resistance to insect attack. Because tamarisk hybridization occurs predictably on the western U.S. landscape, managers may be able to exploit this information to maximize control efforts. Genetic differentiation in plant traits in this system underpins the importance of plant hybridization and may explain why some biological control releases are more successful than others.

  6. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Wyatt I; Friedman, Jonathan M; Gaskin, John F; Norton, Andrew P

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the invasive shrub tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western United States, and how differences in plant traits affect interactions with a biological control agent. Introgression varied strongly with latitude of origin and was highly correlated with plant performance. Increased levels of T. ramosissima introgression resulted in both higher investment in roots and tolerance to defoliation and less resistance to insect attack. Because tamarisk hybridization occurs predictably on the western U.S. landscape, managers may be able to exploit this information to maximize control efforts. Genetic differentiation in plant traits in this system underpins the importance of plant hybridization and may explain why some biological control releases are more successful than others. PMID:24665340

  7. Assessment of tuberculosis infection during treatment with biologic agents in a BCG-vaccinated pediatric population.

    PubMed

    Atikan, Basak Yildiz; Cavusoglu, Cengiz; Dortkardesler, Merve; Sozeri, Betul

    2016-02-01

    Biologic therapies, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) blockers, are commonly used to treat rheumatological diseases in childhood. Screening patients for tuberculosis (TB) is highly recommended before starting therapy with TNF-α blockers. Despite appropriate screening, TB still remains a problem in patients receiving anti-TNF therapy in countries where TB is not endemic. TB in anti-TNF-treated patients is often diagnosed late due to altered presentation, and this delay results in high morbidity and mortality with a high proportion of extrapulmonary and disseminated disease. The aim of this study is to show the course of TB disease in children who are on biologic therapy, in an era where many of the children are BCG-vaccinated and TB is intermediately endemic. We recruited 71 patients with several types of inflammatory diseases. Six of them had a positive test result during TB screening and began taking isoniazid (INH) prophylactically. During the 3 years of follow-up, none of these patients developed TB disease. Biologic agents can be safely used in a BCG-vaccinated pediatric population, as long as patients are closely monitored to ensure that any cases of TB will be detected early. PMID:25515621

  8. A study of the simulated evolution of the spectral sensitivity of visual agent receptors.

    PubMed

    Liese, A; Polani, D; Uthmann, T

    2001-01-01

    In this article we study a model for the evolution of the spectral sensitivity of visual receptors for agents in a continuous virtual environment. The model uses a genetic algorithm (GA) to evolve the agent sensors along with the control of the agents by requiring the agents to solve certain tasks in the simulation environment. The properties of the evolved sensors are analyzed for different scenarios. In particular, it is shown that the GA is able to find a balance between sensor costs and agent performance in such a way that the spectral sensor sensitivity reflects the emission spectrum of the target objects and that the capability of the sensors to evolve can help the agents significantly in adapting to their task. PMID:11580876

  9. Performance of Traditional and Molecular Methods for Detecting Biological Agents in Drinking Water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francy, Donna S.; Bushon, Rebecca N.; Brady, Amie M.G.; Bertke, Erin E.; Kephart, Christopher M.; Likirdopulos, Christina A.; Mailot, Brian E.; Schaefer, Frank W., III; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    To reduce the impact from a possible bioterrorist attack on drinking-water supplies, analytical methods are needed to rapidly detect the presence of biological agents in water. To this end, 13 drinking-water samples were collected at 9 water-treatment plants in Ohio to assess the performance of a molecular method in comparison to traditional analytical methods that take longer to perform. Two 100-liter samples were collected at each site during each sampling event; one was seeded in the laboratory with six biological agents - Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), Burkholderia cepacia (as a surrogate for Bu. pseudomallei), Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis), Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi), Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae), and Cryptospordium parvum (C. parvum). The seeded and unseeded samples were processed by ultrafiltration and analyzed by use of quantiative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a molecular method, and culture methods for bacterial agents or the immunomagnetic separation/fluorescent antibody (IMS/FA) method for C. parvum as traditional methods. Six replicate seeded samples were also processed and analyzed. For traditional methods, recoveries were highly variable between samples and even between some replicate samples, ranging from below detection to greater than 100 percent. Recoveries were significantly related to water pH, specific conductance, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for all bacteria combined by culture methods, but none of the water-quality characteristics tested were related to recoveries of C. parvum by IMS/FA. Recoveries were not determined by qPCR because of problems in quantifying organisms by qPCR in the composite seed. Instead, qPCR results were reported as detected, not detected (no qPCR signal), or +/- detected (Cycle Threshold or 'Ct' values were greater than 40). Several sample results by qPCR were omitted from the dataset because of possible problems with qPCR reagents, primers, and probes. For the remaining 14 qPCR results

  10. Simulated Environments with Animated Agents: Effects on Visual Attention, Emotion, Performance, and Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero-Hall, E.; Watson, G. S.; Adcock, A.; Bliss, J.; Adams Tufts, K.

    2016-01-01

    This research assessed how emotive animated agents in a simulation-based training affect the performance outcomes and perceptions of the individuals interacting in real time with the training application. A total of 56 participants consented to complete the study. The material for this investigation included a nursing simulation in which…

  11. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rumel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space-based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. Here the biochemical stoichiometry is developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady-state system with wheat as the sole food source.

  12. Design and simulation of proportional biological operational Mu-circuit.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dechang; Cai, Zhipeng; Liu, Ke; Zeng, Xiangmiao; Ouyang, Yujing; Dai, Cuihong; Hou, Aiju; Cheng, Dayou; Li, Jianzhong

    2015-03-01

    It is challenging yet desirable to quantitatively control the expression of a target gene in practice. We design a device-Proportional Biological Operational Mu-circuit (P-BOM) incorporating AND/OR gate and operational amplifier into one circuit and explore its behaviors through simulation. The results imply that will be possible to regulate input-output proportionally by manipulating the RBS of hrpR, hrpS, tetR and output gene and used in the sensing of environmental weak signals such as dioxins. PMID:25700454

  13. Triage, monitoring, and treatment of mass casualty events involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents

    PubMed Central

    Ramesh, Aruna C.; Kumar, S.

    2010-01-01

    In a mass casualty situation due to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) event, triage is absolutely required for categorizing the casualties in accordance with medical care priorities. Dealing with a CBRN event always starts at the local level. Even before the detection and analysis of agents can be undertaken, zoning, triage, decontamination, and treatment should be initiated promptly. While applying the triage system, the available medical resources and maximal utilization of medical assets should be taken into consideration by experienced triage officers who are most familiar with the natural course of the injury presented and have detailed information on medical assets. There are several triage systems that can be applied to CBRN casualties. With no one standardized system globally or nationally available, it is important for deploying a triage and decontamination system which is easy to follow and flexible to the available medical resources, casualty number, and severity of injury. PMID:21829319

  14. Biological activity of sophorolipids and their possible use as antiviral agents.

    PubMed

    Borsanyiova, Maria; Patil, Amrita; Mukherji, Ruchira; Prabhune, Asmita; Bopegamage, Shubhada

    2016-01-01

    Sophorolipids are surface active glycolipids consisting of a hydrophilic sophorose unit and a hydrophobic portion composed of a fatty acid tail. Crude sophorolipid sample contains both acidic and lactonic forms of sophorolipid with different degrees of acetylation and varying lengths of the fatty acid chains depending on the substrates used in the production process. Carboxylic end in the acidic form of the fatty acid is free, whereas in the lactonic form, it is internally esterified. Sophorolipids show different physicochemical properties with wide range of applications for each structural compound. Lactonic form of sophorolipids shows surface tension reducing ability and biological activity, whereas the acidic form possesses better foam forming ability and higher solubility. Presence of acetyl groups gives hydrophilic nature to the sophorolipids which promotes its antiviral and cytokine-stimulating properties. The aim of this review is to explore and suggest the plausibility of sophorolipids as therapeutic and prophylactic agents for the treatment of viral diseases. PMID:26126789

  15. Synthesis and biological evaluation of some novel cyclic-imides as hypoglycaemic, anti-hyperlipidemic agents.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Aziz, Alaa A-M; El-Azab, Adel S; Attia, Sabry M; Al-Obaid, Abdulrahman M; Al-Omar, Mohamed A; El-Subbagh, Hussein I

    2011-09-01

    Certain new halogenated cyclic-imides related to N-substituted phthalimide moiety were synthesized. Spacers of one or two carbon atom distances were inserted to connect the N-terminus of the cyclic-imide nuclei to the used heteroaryl groups to evaluate the effect of such alteration on biological activity. The synthesized compounds were subjected to hypoglycaemic and anti-hyperlipidemic evaluation. Some of the tested compounds proved to be more potent than the reference drugs glibenclamide and clofibrate. Compound 5e remarkably reduced serum glucose level by 55%; while 5c, 5e, 7d and 8e reduced total serum cholesterol by 58, 56, 54 and 53%, respectively. Those new cyclic-imides could be considered as useful template for future development to obtain more potent hypoglycaemic and anti-hyperlipidemic agents. PMID:21783284

  16. Spillover of a biological control agent (Chrysolina quadrigemina) onto native St. Johnswort (Hypericum punctatum)

    PubMed Central

    Cook-Patton, Susan C.; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2016-01-01

    Biological control agents may have unintended effects on native biota, particularly species that are closely related to the target invader. Here, we explored how Chrysolina quadrigemina, a beetle introduced to control the invasive weed Hypericum perforatum, impacts native H. punctatum in Tompkins County, New York, USA. Using a suite of complementary field surveys and experimental manipulations, we examined beetle preference for native and exotic Hypericum species and whether beetle herbivory influences the spatial distribution of H. punctatum. We found that the introduced beetle readily consumes native H. punctatum in addition to its intended target, and that H. punctatum at our field sites generally occurs along forest edges despite higher performance of experimental plants in more open habitats. However, we found no evidence that the beetle limits H. punctatum to forest edge habitats. PMID:27069816

  17. Spillover of a biological control agent (Chrysolina quadrigemina) onto native St. Johnswort (Hypericum punctatum).

    PubMed

    Tingle, Jessica L; Cook-Patton, Susan C; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2016-01-01

    Biological control agents may have unintended effects on native biota, particularly species that are closely related to the target invader. Here, we explored how Chrysolina quadrigemina, a beetle introduced to control the invasive weed Hypericum perforatum, impacts native H. punctatum in Tompkins County, New York, USA. Using a suite of complementary field surveys and experimental manipulations, we examined beetle preference for native and exotic Hypericum species and whether beetle herbivory influences the spatial distribution of H. punctatum. We found that the introduced beetle readily consumes native H. punctatum in addition to its intended target, and that H. punctatum at our field sites generally occurs along forest edges despite higher performance of experimental plants in more open habitats. However, we found no evidence that the beetle limits H. punctatum to forest edge habitats. PMID:27069816

  18. Modeling and Simulation Tools: From Systems Biology to Systems Medicine.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Brett G; Swat, Maciej J; Moné, Martijn J

    2016-01-01

    Modeling is an integral component of modern biology. In this chapter we look into the role of the model, as it pertains to Systems Medicine, and the software that is required to instantiate and run it. We do this by comparing the development, implementation, and characteristics of tools that have been developed to work with two divergent methodologies: Systems Biology and Pharmacometrics. From the Systems Biology perspective we consider the concept of "Software as a Medical Device" and what this may imply for the migration of research-oriented, simulation software into the domain of human health.In our second perspective, we see how in practice hundreds of computational tools already accompany drug discovery and development at every stage of the process. Standardized exchange formats are required to streamline the model exchange between tools, which would minimize translation errors and reduce the required time. With the emergence, almost 15 years ago, of the SBML standard, a large part of the domain of interest is already covered and models can be shared and passed from software to software without recoding them. Until recently the last stage of the process, the pharmacometric analysis used in clinical studies carried out on subject populations, lacked such an exchange medium. We describe a new emerging exchange format in Pharmacometrics which covers the non-linear mixed effects models, the standard statistical model type used in this area. By interfacing these two formats the entire domain can be covered by complementary standards and subsequently the according tools. PMID:26677194

  19. A Systematic Screen of FDA-Approved Drugs for Inhibitors of Biological Threat Agents

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Peter B.; Chopra, Sidharth; Manger, Ian D.; Gilfillan, Lynne; Keepers, Tiffany R.; Shurtleff, Amy C.; Green, Carol E.; Iyer, Lalitha V.; Dilks, Holli Hutcheson; Davey, Robert A.; Kolokoltsov, Andrey A.; Carrion, Ricardo; Patterson, Jean L.; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.; Warren, Travis K.; Wells, Jay B.; Moos, Walter H.; Burke, RaeLyn L.; Tanga, Mary J.

    2013-01-01

    Background The rapid development of effective medical countermeasures against potential biological threat agents is vital. Repurposing existing drugs that may have unanticipated activities as potential countermeasures is one way to meet this important goal, since currently approved drugs already have well-established safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in patients, as well as manufacturing and distribution networks. Therefore, approved drugs could rapidly be made available for a new indication in an emergency. Methodology/Principal Findings A large systematic effort to determine whether existing drugs can be used against high containment bacterial and viral pathogens is described. We assembled and screened 1012 FDA-approved drugs for off-label broad-spectrum efficacy against Bacillus anthracis; Francisella tularensis; Coxiella burnetii; and Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses using in vitro cell culture assays. We found a variety of hits against two or more of these biological threat pathogens, which were validated in secondary assays. As expected, antibiotic compounds were highly active against bacterial agents, but we did not identify any non-antibiotic compounds with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Lomefloxacin and erythromycin were found to be the most potent compounds in vivo protecting mice against Bacillus anthracis challenge. While multiple virus-specific inhibitors were identified, the most noteworthy antiviral compound identified was chloroquine, which disrupted entry and replication of two or more viruses in vitro and protected mice against Ebola virus challenge in vivo. Conclusions/Significance The feasibility of repurposing existing drugs to face novel threats is demonstrated and this represents the first effort to apply this approach to high containment bacteria and viruses. PMID:23577127

  20. Nanoparticle-labeled DNA capture elements for detection and identification of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Parker, Jill E.; Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Franz, Veronica

    2004-12-01

    Aptamers, synthetic DNA capture elements (DCEs), can be made chemically or in genetically engineered bacteria. DNA capture elements are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare or terrorism agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. The probes can then be conjugated to Quantum Dots and super paramagnetic nanoparticles. The former provide intense, bleach-resistant fluorescent detection of bioagent and the latter provide a means to collect the bioagents with a magnet. The fluorescence can be detected in a flow cytometer, in a fluorescence plate reader, or with a fluorescence microscope. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. DCEs can easily distinguish Bacillus anthracis from its nearest relatives, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. Development of a high through-put process is currently being investigated.

  1. Investigating Biological Control Agents for Controlling Invasive Populations of the Mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France

    PubMed Central

    Malausa, Thibaut; Delaunay, Mathilde; Fleisch, Alexandre; Groussier-Bout, Géraldine; Warot, Sylvie; Crochard, Didier; Guerrieri, Emilio; Delvare, Gérard; Pellizzari, Giuseppina; Kaydan, M. Bora; Al-Khateeb, Nadia; Germain, Jean-François; Brancaccio, Lisa; Le Goff, Isabelle; Bessac, Melissa; Ris, Nicolas; Kreiter, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus) were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids. PMID:27362639

  2. Isolation, characterization, and identification of biological control agent for potato soft rot in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rahman, M M; Ali, M E; Khan, A A; Akanda, A M; Uddin, Md Kamal; Hashim, U; Abd Hamid, S B

    2012-01-01

    A total of 91 isolates of probable antagonistic bacteria of potato soft rot bacterium Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora (Ecc) were extracted from rhizospheres and endophytes of various crop plants, different soil varieties, and atmospheres in the potato farming areas of Bangladesh. Antibacterial activity of the isolated probable antagonistic bacteria was tested in vitro against the previously identified most common and most virulent soft rot causing bacterial strain Ecc P-138. Only two isolates E-45 and E-65 significantly inhibited the in vitro growth of Ecc P-138. Physiological, biochemical, and carbon source utilization tests identified isolate E-65 as a member of the genus Bacillus and the isolate E-45 as Lactobacillus sp. The stronger antagonistic activity against Ecc P-138 was found in E-65 in vitro screening and storage potatoes. E-65 reduced the soft rot infection to 22-week storage potatoes of different varieties by 32.5-62.5% in model experiment, demonstrating its strong potential to be used as an effective biological control agent for the major pectolytic bacteria Ecc. The highest (62.5%) antagonistic effect of E-65 was observed in the Granola and the lowest (32.7%) of that was found in the Cardinal varieties of the Bangladeshi potatoes. The findings suggest that isolate E-65 could be exploited as a biocontrol agent for potato tubers. PMID:22645446

  3. Investigating Biological Control Agents for Controlling Invasive Populations of the Mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France.

    PubMed

    Malausa, Thibaut; Delaunay, Mathilde; Fleisch, Alexandre; Groussier-Bout, Géraldine; Warot, Sylvie; Crochard, Didier; Guerrieri, Emilio; Delvare, Gérard; Pellizzari, Giuseppina; Kaydan, M Bora; Al-Khateeb, Nadia; Germain, Jean-François; Brancaccio, Lisa; Le Goff, Isabelle; Bessac, Melissa; Ris, Nicolas; Kreiter, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus) were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids. PMID:27362639

  4. Simulation of biological therapies for degenerated intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qiaoqiao; Gao, Xin; Temple, H Thomas; Brown, Mark D; Gu, Weiyong

    2016-04-01

    The efficacy of biological therapies on intervertebral disc repair was quantitatively studied using a three-dimensional finite element model based on a cell-activity coupled multiphasic mixture theory. In this model, cell metabolism and matrix synthesis and degradation were considered. Three types of biological therapies-increasing the cell density (Case I), increasing the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis rate (Case II), and decreasing the GAG degradation rate (Case III)-to the nucleus pulposus (NP) of each of two degenerated discs [one mildly degenerated (e.g., 80% viable cells in the NP) and one severely degenerated (e.g., 30% viable cells in the NP)] were simulated. Degenerated discs without treatment were also simulated as a control. The cell number needed, nutrition level demanded, time required for the repair, and the long-term outcomes of these therapies were analyzed. For Case I, the repair process was predicted to be dependent on the cell density implanted and the nutrition level at disc boundaries. With sufficient nutrition supply, this method was predicted to be effective for treating both mildly and severely degenerated discs. For Case II, the therapy was predicted to be effective for repairing the mildly degenerated disc, but not for the severely degenerated disc. Similar results were predicted for Case III. No change in cell density for Cases II and III were predicted under normal nutrition level. This study provides a quantitative guide for choosing proper strategies of biological therapies for different degenerated discs. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:699-708, 2016. PMID:26425965

  5. STSE: Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment Dedicated to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Recently, the availability of high-resolution microscopy together with the advancements in the development of biomarkers as reporters of biomolecular interactions increased the importance of imaging methods in molecular cell biology. These techniques enable the investigation of cellular characteristics like volume, size and geometry as well as volume and geometry of intracellular compartments, and the amount of existing proteins in a spatially resolved manner. Such detailed investigations opened up many new areas of research in the study of spatial, complex and dynamic cellular systems. One of the crucial challenges for the study of such systems is the design of a well stuctured and optimized workflow to provide a systematic and efficient hypothesis verification. Computer Science can efficiently address this task by providing software that facilitates handling, analysis, and evaluation of biological data to the benefit of experimenters and modelers. Results The Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment (STSE) is a set of open-source tools provided to conduct spatio-temporal simulations in discrete structures based on microscopy images. The framework contains modules to digitize, represent, analyze, and mathematically model spatial distributions of biochemical species. Graphical user interface (GUI) tools provided with the software enable meshing of the simulation space based on the Voronoi concept. In addition, it supports to automatically acquire spatial information to the mesh from the images based on pixel luminosity (e.g. corresponding to molecular levels from microscopy images). STSE is freely available either as a stand-alone version or included in the linux live distribution Systems Biology Operational Software (SB.OS) and can be downloaded from http://www.stse-software.org/. The Python source code as well as a comprehensive user manual and video tutorials are also offered to the research community. We discuss main concepts of the STSE design and

  6. Selection of an averaging technique by simulation study of a DIAL system for toxic agents monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudeja, Jai Paul; Jindal, Mukesh Kumar; Veerabuthiran, S.

    2007-10-01

    Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) is a very effective technique for standoff detection of various toxic agents in the atmosphere. The Lidar backscattered signal received usually has poor signal to noise (SNR) ratio. In order to improve the SNR, statistical averaging over a number of laser pulses is employed. The aim of the present work is to select a particular statistical averaging technique, which is most suitable in removing the noise in Lidar return signals. The DIAL system considered here uses laser transmitters based on OPO based (2-5 μm) and TEA CO2 (9-11μm) lasers. Eight commonly used chemical warfare agents including five nerve agents and three blister agents have been considered here as examples of toxic agents. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) software has been developed in LabVIEW to simulate return signals mixed with the expected noise levels. A toxic agent cloud with a given thickness and concentration has been assumed to be detected in the ambient atmospheric conditions at various ranges up to 5 Km. Data for 200 pulses per agent was stored in the computer memory. Various known statistical averaging techniques were used and number concentrations of particular agent have been computed and compared with ideal Lidar return signal values. This exercise was repeated for all the eight agents and based on the results obtained; the most suitable averaging technique has been selected.

  7. Wireless Hazard Badges to Detect Nerve-Agent Simulants.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Rong; Azzarelli, Joseph M; Swager, Timothy M

    2016-08-01

    Human exposure to hazardous chemicals can have adverse short- and long-term health effects. In this Communication, we have developed a single-use wearable hazard badge that dosimetrically detects diethylchlorophosphate (DCP), a model organophosphorous cholinesterase inhibitor simulant. Improved chemically actuated resonant devices (CARDs) are fabricated in a single step and unambiguously relate changes in chemiresistance to a wireless readout. To provide selective and readily manufacturable sensor elements for this platform, we developed an ionic-liquid-mediated single walled carbon nanotube based chemidosimetric scheme with DCP limits of detection of 28 ppb. As a practical demonstration, an 8 h workday time weighted average equivalent exposure of 10 ppb DCP effects an irreversible change in smartphone readout. PMID:27384415

  8. Can we forecast the effects of climate change on entomophagous biological control agents?

    PubMed

    Aguilar-Fenollosa, Ernestina; Jacas, Josep A

    2014-06-01

    The worldwide climate has been changing rapidly over the past decades. Air temperatures have been increasing in most regions and will probably continue to rise for most of the present century, regardless of any mitigation policy put in place. Although increased herbivory from enhanced biomass production and changes in plant quality are generally accepted as a consequence of global warming, the eventual status of any pest species will mostly depend on the relative effects of climate change on its own versus its natural enemies' complex. Because a bottom-up amplification effect often occurs in trophic webs subjected to any kind of disturbance, natural enemies are expected to suffer the effects of climate change to a greater extent than their phytophagous hosts/preys. A deeper understanding of the genotypic diversity of the populations of natural enemies and their target pests will allow an informed reaction to climate change. New strategies for the selection of exotic natural enemies and their release and establishment will have to be adopted. Conservation biological control will probably become the keystone for the successful management of these biological control agents. PMID:24254389

  9. Efficacy of Chaetomium Species as Biological Control Agents against Phytophthora nicotianae Root Rot in Citrus

    PubMed Central

    Wattanachai, Pongnak; Kasem, Soytong; Poeaim, Supattra

    2015-01-01

    Thailand is one of the largest citrus producers in Southeast Asia. Pathogenic infection by Phytophthora, however, has become one of major impediments to production. This study identified a pathogenic oomycete isolated from rotted roots of pomelo (Citrus maxima) in Thailand as Phytophthora nicotianae by the internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. Then, we examined the in vitro and in vivo effects of Chaetomium globosum, Chaetomium lucknowense, Chaetomium cupreum and their crude extracts as biological control agents in controlling this P. nicotianae strain. Represent as antagonists in biculture test, the tested Chaetomium species inhibited mycelial growth by 50~56% and parasitized the hyphae, resulting in degradation of P. nicotianae mycelia after 30 days. The crude extracts of these Chaetomium species exhibited antifungal activities against mycelial growth of P. nicotianae, with effective doses of 2.6~101.4 µg/mL. Under greenhouse conditions, application of spores and methanol extracts of these Chaetomium species to pomelo seedlings inoculated with P. nicotianae reduced root rot by 66~71% and increased plant weight by 72~85% compared to that in the control. The method of application of antagonistic spores to control the disease was simple and economical, and it may thus be applicable for large-scale, highly effective biological control of this pathogen. PMID:26539045

  10. Method for distributed agent-based non-expert simulation of manufacturing process behavior

    DOEpatents

    Ivezic, Nenad; Potok, Thomas E.

    2004-11-30

    A method for distributed agent based non-expert simulation of manufacturing process behavior on a single-processor computer comprises the steps of: object modeling a manufacturing technique having a plurality of processes; associating a distributed agent with each the process; and, programming each the agent to respond to discrete events corresponding to the manufacturing technique, wherein each discrete event triggers a programmed response. The method can further comprise the step of transmitting the discrete events to each agent in a message loop. In addition, the programming step comprises the step of conditioning each agent to respond to a discrete event selected from the group consisting of a clock tick message, a resources received message, and a request for output production message.

  11. Comparing Effects of Biologic Agents in Treating Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Multiple Treatment Comparison Regression Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tvete, Ingunn Fride; Natvig, Bent; Gåsemyr, Jørund; Meland, Nils; Røine, Marianne; Klemp, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis patients have been treated with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and the newer biologic drugs. We sought to compare and rank the biologics with respect to efficacy. We performed a literature search identifying 54 publications encompassing 9 biologics. We conducted a multiple treatment comparison regression analysis letting the number experiencing a 50% improvement on the ACR score be dependent upon dose level and disease duration for assessing the comparable relative effect between biologics and placebo or DMARD. The analysis embraced all treatment and comparator arms over all publications. Hence, all measured effects of any biologic agent contributed to the comparison of all biologic agents relative to each other either given alone or combined with DMARD. We found the drug effect to be dependent on dose level, but not on disease duration, and the impact of a high versus low dose level was the same for all drugs (higher doses indicated a higher frequency of ACR50 scores). The ranking of the drugs when given without DMARD was certolizumab (ranked highest), etanercept, tocilizumab/ abatacept and adalimumab. The ranking of the drugs when given with DMARD was certolizumab (ranked highest), tocilizumab, anakinra, rituximab, golimumab/ infliximab/ abatacept, adalimumab/ etanercept. Still, all drugs were effective. All biologic agents were effective compared to placebo, with certolizumab the most effective and adalimumab (without DMARD treatment) and adalimumab/ etanercept (combined with DMARD treatment) the least effective. The drugs were in general more effective, except for etanercept, when given together with DMARDs. PMID:26356639

  12. Membrane characteristics for biological blast overpressure testing using blast simulators.

    PubMed

    Alphonse, Vanessa D; Siva Sai Sujith Sajja, Venkata; Kemper, Andrew R; Rizel, Dave V; Duma, Stefan M; VandeVord, Pamela J

    2014-01-01

    Blast simulators often use passive-rupture membranes to generate shock waves similar to free-field blasts. The purpose of this study was to compare rupture patterns and pressure traces of three distinct membrane materials for biological and biomechanical blast studies. An Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS) located at the Center for Injury Biomechanics at Virginia Tech was used to test membrane characteristics. Acetate, Mylar, and aluminum sheets with different thicknesses were used to obtain pressures between 70–210 kPa. Static pressure was measured inside the tube at the test section using piezoelectric pressure sensors. Peak overpressure, positive duration, and positive impulse were calculated for each test. Rupture patterns and characteristic pressure traces were unique to each membrane type and thickness. Shock wave speed ranged between 1.2-1.8 Mach for static overpressures of 70–210 kPa. Acetate membranes fragmented sending pieces down the tube, but produced ideal (Friedlander) pressure traces. Mylar membranes bulged without fragmenting, but produced less-than-ideal pressure traces. Aluminum membranes did not fragment and produced ideal pressure traces. However, the cost of manufacturing and characterizing aluminum membranes should be considered during membrane selection. This study illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of using Mylar, acetate, and aluminum for passive rupture membranes for blast simulators. PMID:25405432

  13. A finite element simulation of biological conversion processes in landfills

    SciTech Connect

    Robeck, M.; Ricken, T.

    2011-04-15

    Landfills are the most common way of waste disposal worldwide. Biological processes convert the organic material into an environmentally harmful landfill gas, which has an impact on the greenhouse effect. After the depositing of waste has been stopped, current conversion processes continue and emissions last for several decades and even up to 100 years and longer. A good prediction of these processes is of high importance for landfill operators as well as for authorities, but suitable models for a realistic description of landfill processes are rather poor. In order to take the strong coupled conversion processes into account, a constitutive three-dimensional model based on the multiphase Theory of Porous Media (TPM) has been developed at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The theoretical formulations are implemented in the finite element code FEAP. With the presented calculation concept we are able to simulate the coupled processes that occur in an actual landfill. The model's theoretical background and the results of the simulations as well as the meantime successfully performed simulation of a real landfill body will be shown in the following.

  14. Pochonia chlamydosporia: Advances and Challenges to Improve Its Performance as a Biological Control Agent of Sedentary Endo-parasitic Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Manzanilla-López, Rosa H; Esteves, Ivania; Finetti-Sialer, Mariella M; Hirsch, Penny R; Ward, Elaine; Devonshire, Jean; Hidalgo-Díaz, Leopoldo

    2013-03-01

    The nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia var. chlamydosporia is one of the most studied biological control agents against plant (semi-) endo-parasitic nematodes of the genera Globodera, Heterodera, Meloidogyne, Nacobbus and, more recently, Rotylenchulus. In this paper we present highlights from more than three decades of worldwide research on this biological control agent. We cover different aspects and key components of the complex plant-fungus-nematode tri-trophic interaction, an interaction that needs to be addressed to ensure the efficient use of P. chlamydosporia as a biopesticide as part of an integrated pest management approach. PMID:23589653

  15. Pochonia chlamydosporia: Advances and Challenges to Improve Its Performance as a Biological Control Agent of Sedentary Endo-parasitic Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Manzanilla-López, Rosa H.; Esteves, Ivania; Finetti-Sialer, Mariella M.; Hirsch, Penny R.; Ward, Elaine; Devonshire, Jean; Hidalgo-Díaz, Leopoldo

    2013-01-01

    The nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia var. chlamydosporia is one of the most studied biological control agents against plant (semi-) endo-parasitic nematodes of the genera Globodera, Heterodera, Meloidogyne, Nacobbus and, more recently, Rotylenchulus. In this paper we present highlights from more than three decades of worldwide research on this biological control agent. We cover different aspects and key components of the complex plant-fungus-nematode tri-trophic interaction, an interaction that needs to be addressed to ensure the efficient use of P. chlamydosporia as a biopesticide as part of an integrated pest management approach. PMID:23589653

  16. Decontamination of Chemical/Biological Warfare (CBW) Agents Using an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrmann, Hans W.

    1998-11-01

    The atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) is a non-thermal, high pressure, uniform glow discharge that produces a high velocity effluent stream of highly reactive chemical species. The discharge operates on a feedstock gas (e.g. He/O_2/H_2O) which flows between an outer, grounded, cylindrical electrode and an inner, coaxial electrode powered at 13.56 MHz RF. While passing through the plasma, the feedgas becomes excited, dissociated or ionized by electron impact. Once the gas exits the discharge volume, ions and electrons are rapidly lost by recombination, but the fast-flowing effluent still contains metastables (e.g. O2*, He*) and radicals (e.g. O, OH). These reactive species have been shown to be effective neutralizers of surrogates for anthrax spores, mustard blister agent and VX nerve gas. Unlike conventional, wet decontamination methods, the plasma effluent does not cause corrosion of most surfaces and does not damage wiring, electronics, nor most plastics. This makes it highly suitable for decontamination of high value sensitive equipment such as is found in vehicle interiors (i.e. tanks, planes...) for which there is currently no good decontamination technique. Furthermore, the reactive species rapidly degrade into harmless products leaving no lingering residue or harmful byproducts. Physics of the APPJ will be discussed and results of surface decontamination experiments using simulant and actual CBW agents will be presented.

  17. Towards Microsecond Biological Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Hybrid Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

    Biomolecular simulations continue to become an increasingly important component of molecular biochemistry and biophysics investigations. Performance improvements in the simulations based on molecular dynamics (MD) codes are widely desired. This is particularly driven by the rapid growth of biological data due to improvements in experimental techniques. Unfortunately, the factors, which allowed past performance improvements of MD simulations, particularly the increase in microprocessor clock frequencies, are no longer improving. Hence, novel software and hardware solutions are being explored for accelerating the performance of popular MD codes. In this paper, we describe our efforts to port and optimize LAMMPS, a popular MD framework, on hybrid processors: graphical processing units (GPUs) accelerated multi-core processors. Our implementation is based on porting the computationally expensive, non-bonded interaction terms on the GPUs, and overlapping the computation on the CPU and GPUs. This functionality is built on top of message passing interface (MPI) that allows multi-level parallelism to be extracted even at the workstation level with the multi-core CPUs as well as extend the implementation on GPU clusters. The results from a number of typically sized biomolecular systems are provided and analysis is performed on 3 generations of GPUs from NVIDIA. Our implementation allows up to 30-40 ns/day throughput on a single workstation as well as significant speedup over Cray XT5, a high-end supercomputing platform. Moreover, detailed analysis of the implementation indicates that further code optimization and improvements in GPUs will allow {approx}100 ns/day throughput on workstations and inexpensive GPU clusters, putting the widely-desired microsecond simulation time-scale within reach to a large user community.

  18. Spectroscopic investigations of surface deposited biological warfare simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrington, Stephen J.; Bird, Hilary; Hurst, Daniel; McIntosh, Alastair J. S.; Spencer, Phillippa; Pelfrey, Suzanne H.; Baker, Matthew J.

    2012-06-01

    This paper reports a proof-of-principle study aimed at discriminating biological warfare (BW) simulants from common environmental bacteria in order to differentiate pathogenic endospores in situ, to aid any required response for hazard management. We used FTIR spectroscopy combined with multivariate analysis; FTIR is a versatile technique for the non-destructive analysis of a range of materials. We also report an evaluation of multiple pre-processing techniques and subsequent differences in cross-validation accuracy of two pattern recognition models (Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Principal Component - Linear Discriminant Analysis (PC-LDA)) for two classifications: a two class classification (Gram + ve spores vs. Gram -ve vegetative cells) and a six class classification (bacterial classification). Six bacterial strains Bacillus atrophaeus, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, Bacillus thuringiensis, Escherichia coli, Pantaeoa agglomerans and Pseudomonas fluorescens were analysed.

  19. Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volk, Tyler; Rummel, John D.

    1987-01-01

    Design decisions to aid the development of future space based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. The biochemistry stoichiometry was developed for: (1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; (2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and (3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady state system with wheat as the sole food source. The large scale dynamics of a materially closed (BLSS) computer model is described in a companion paper. An extension of this methodology can explore multifood systems and more complex biochemical dynamics while maintaining whole system closure as a focus.

  20. Paradoxical reactions under TNF-α blocking agents and other biological agents given for chronic immune-mediated diseases: an analytical and comprehensive overview

    PubMed Central

    Toussirot, Éric; Aubin, François

    2016-01-01

    Paradoxical adverse events (PAEs) have been reported during biological treatment for chronic immune-mediated diseases. PAEs are defined as the occurrence during biological agent therapy of a pathological condition that usually responds to this class of drug. A wide range of PAEs have been reported including dermatological, intestinal and ophthalmic conditions, mainly with antitumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) agents. True PAEs include psoriasis, Crohn's disease and hidradenitis suppurativa. Other PAEs may be qualified as borderline and include uveitis, scleritis, sarcoidosis and other granulomatous diseases (granuloma annulare, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis), vasculitis, vitiligo and alopecia areata. Proposed hypotheses to explain these PAEs include an imbalance in cytokine production, the differential immunological properties between the monoclonal antibodies and TNF-α soluble receptor, an unopposed type I interferon production and a shift towards a Th1/Th2 profile. Data from registries suggest that the risk for paradoxical psoriasis is low and non-significant. We discuss management of these PAEs, which depends on the type and severity of the adverse events, pre-existing treated conditions and the possibility of alternative therapeutic options for the underlying disease. Paradoxical adverse events are not restricted to anti-TNF-α agents and close surveillance of new available biological drugs (anti-interleukin-17/23, anti-integrin) is warranted in order to detect the occurrence of new or as yet undescribed events. PMID:27493788

  1. Paradoxical reactions under TNF-α blocking agents and other biological agents given for chronic immune-mediated diseases: an analytical and comprehensive overview.

    PubMed

    Toussirot, Éric; Aubin, François

    2016-01-01

    Paradoxical adverse events (PAEs) have been reported during biological treatment for chronic immune-mediated diseases. PAEs are defined as the occurrence during biological agent therapy of a pathological condition that usually responds to this class of drug. A wide range of PAEs have been reported including dermatological, intestinal and ophthalmic conditions, mainly with antitumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) agents. True PAEs include psoriasis, Crohn's disease and hidradenitis suppurativa. Other PAEs may be qualified as borderline and include uveitis, scleritis, sarcoidosis and other granulomatous diseases (granuloma annulare, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis), vasculitis, vitiligo and alopecia areata. Proposed hypotheses to explain these PAEs include an imbalance in cytokine production, the differential immunological properties between the monoclonal antibodies and TNF-α soluble receptor, an unopposed type I interferon production and a shift towards a Th1/Th2 profile. Data from registries suggest that the risk for paradoxical psoriasis is low and non-significant. We discuss management of these PAEs, which depends on the type and severity of the adverse events, pre-existing treated conditions and the possibility of alternative therapeutic options for the underlying disease. Paradoxical adverse events are not restricted to anti-TNF-α agents and close surveillance of new available biological drugs (anti-interleukin-17/23, anti-integrin) is warranted in order to detect the occurrence of new or as yet undescribed events. PMID:27493788

  2. Applications of docking and molecular dynamic studies on the search for new drugs against the biological warfare agents Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    França, Tanos Celmar Costa; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Cortopassi, Wilian Augusto; Oliveira, Aline Alves; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro

    2013-12-01

    The fear of biological warfare agents (BWA) use by terrorists is the major concern of the security agencies and health authorities worldwide today. The non-existence of vaccines or drugs against most BWA and the possibility of genetic modified strains has turned the search for new drugs to a state of urgency. Fast in silico techniques are, therefore, perfect tools for this task once they can quickly provide structures of several new lead compounds for further experimental work. Here we try to present a mini-review on docking and molecular dynamics simulations studies applied to the drug design against the BWA Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. PMID:24341424

  3. Chemical Computer Man: Chemical Agent Response Simulation (CARS). Technical report, January 1983-September 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, E.G.; Mioduszewski, R.J.

    1988-03-01

    The Chemical Computer Man: Chemical Agent Response Simulation (CARS) is a computer model and simulation program for estimating the dynamic changes in human physiological dysfunction resulting from exposures to chemical-threat nerve agents. The newly developed CARS methodology simulates agent exposure effects on the following five indices of human physiological function: mental, vision, cardio-respiratory, visceral, and limbs. Mathematical models and the application of basic pharmacokinetic principles were incorporated into the simulation so that for each chemical exposure, the relationship between exposure dosage, absorbed dosage (agent blood plasma concentration), and level of physiological response are computed as a function of time. CARS, as a simulation tool, is designed for the users with little or no computer-related experience. The model combines maximum flexibility with a comprehensive user-friendly interactive menu-driven system. Users define an exposure problem and obtain immediate results displayed in tabular, graphical, and image formats. CARS has broad scientific and engineering applications, not only in technology for the soldier in the area of Chemical Defense, but also in minimizing animal testing in biomedical and toxicological research and the development of a modeling system for human exposure to hazardous-waste chemicals.

  4. Agent-based simulation of building evacuation using a grid graph-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, L.; Lin, H.; Hu, M.; Che, W.

    2014-02-01

    Shifting from macroscope models to microscope models, the agent-based approach has been widely used to model crowd evacuation as more attentions are paid on individualized behaviour. Since indoor evacuation behaviour is closely related to spatial features of the building, effective representation of indoor space is essential for the simulation of building evacuation. The traditional cell-based representation has limitations in reflecting spatial structure and is not suitable for topology analysis. Aiming at incorporating powerful topology analysis functions of GIS to facilitate agent-based simulation of building evacuation, we used a grid graph-based model in this study to represent the indoor space. Such model allows us to establish an evacuation network at a micro level. Potential escape routes from each node thus could be analysed through GIS functions of network analysis considering both the spatial structure and route capacity. This would better support agent-based modelling of evacuees' behaviour including route choice and local movements. As a case study, we conducted a simulation of emergency evacuation from the second floor of an official building using Agent Analyst as the simulation platform. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method, as well as the potential of GIS in visualizing and analysing simulation results.

  5. Design and simulation of material-integrated distributed sensor processing with a code-based agent platform and mobile multi-agent systems.

    PubMed

    Bosse, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Multi-agent systems (MAS) can be used for decentralized and self-organizing data processing in a distributed system, like a resource-constrained sensor network, enabling distributed information extraction, for example, based on pattern recognition and self-organization, by decomposing complex tasks in simpler cooperative agents. Reliable MAS-based data processing approaches can aid the material-integration of structural-monitoring applications, with agent processing platforms scaled to the microchip level. The agent behavior, based on a dynamic activity-transition graph (ATG) model, is implemented with program code storing the control and the data state of an agent, which is novel. The program code can be modified by the agent itself using code morphing techniques and is capable of migrating in the network between nodes. The program code is a self-contained unit (a container) and embeds the agent data, the initialization instructions and the ATG behavior implementation. The microchip agent processing platform used for the execution of the agent code is a standalone multi-core stack machine with a zero-operand instruction format, leading to a small-sized agent program code, low system complexity and high system performance. The agent processing is token-queue-based, similar to Petri-nets. The agent platform can be implemented in software, too, offering compatibility at the operational and code level, supporting agent processing in strong heterogeneous networks. In this work, the agent platform embedded in a large-scale distributed sensor network is simulated at the architectural level by using agent-based simulation techniques. PMID:25690550

  6. Design and Simulation of Material-Integrated Distributed Sensor Processing with a Code-Based Agent Platform and Mobile Multi-Agent Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bosse, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Multi-agent systems (MAS) can be used for decentralized and self-organizing data processing in a distributed system, like a resource-constrained sensor network, enabling distributed information extraction, for example, based on pattern recognition and self-organization, by decomposing complex tasks in simpler cooperative agents. Reliable MAS-based data processing approaches can aid the material-integration of structural-monitoring applications, with agent processing platforms scaled to the microchip level. The agent behavior, based on a dynamic activity-transition graph (ATG) model, is implemented with program code storing the control and the data state of an agent, which is novel. The program code can be modified by the agent itself using code morphing techniques and is capable of migrating in the network between nodes. The program code is a self-contained unit (a container) and embeds the agent data, the initialization instructions and the ATG behavior implementation. The microchip agent processing platform used for the execution of the agent code is a standalone multi-core stack machine with a zero-operand instruction format, leading to a small-sized agent program code, low system complexity and high system performance. The agent processing is token-queue-based, similar to Petri-nets. The agent platform can be implemented in software, too, offering compatibility at the operational and code level, supporting agent processing in strong heterogeneous networks. In this work, the agent platform embedded in a large-scale distributed sensor network is simulated at the architectural level by using agent-based simulation techniques. PMID:25690550

  7. Spectroscopic characterization of biological agents using FTIR, normal Raman and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luna-Pineda, Tatiana; Soto-Feliciano, Kristina; De La Cruz-Montoya, Edwin; Pacheco Londoño, Leonardo C.; Ríos-Velázquez, Carlos; Hernández-Rivera, Samuel P.

    2007-04-01

    FTIR, Raman spectroscopy and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) requires a minimum of sample allows fast identification of microorganisms. The use of this technique for characterizing the spectroscopic signatures of these agents and their stimulants has recently gained considerable attention due to the fact that these techniques can be easily adapted for standoff detection from considerable distances. The techniques also show high sensitivity and selectivity and offer near real time detection duty cycles. This research focuses in laying the grounds for the spectroscopic differentiation of Staphylococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus spp., Salmonella spp., Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and E. coli, together with identification of their subspecies. In order to achieve the proponed objective, protocols to handle, cultivate and analyze the strains have been developed. Spectroscopic similarities and marked differences have been found for Spontaneous or Normal Raman spectra and for SERS using silver nanoparticles have been found. The use of principal component analysis (PCA), discriminate factor analysis (DFA) and a cluster analysis were used to evaluate the efficacy of identifying potential threat bacterial from their spectra collected on single bacteria. The DFA from the bacteria Raman spectra show a little discrimination between the diverse bacterial species however the results obtained from the SERS demonstrate to be high discrimination technique. The spectroscopic study will be extended to examine the spores produced by selected strains since these are more prone to be used as Biological Warfare Agents due to their increased mobility and possibility of airborne transport. Micro infrared spectroscopy as well as fiber coupled FTIR will also be used as possible sensors of target compounds.

  8. A framework for service enterprise workflow simulation with multi-agents cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wenan; Xu, Wei; Yang, Fujun; Xu, Lida; Jiang, Chuanqun

    2013-11-01

    Process dynamic modelling for service business is the key technique for Service-Oriented information systems and service business management, and the workflow model of business processes is the core part of service systems. Service business workflow simulation is the prevalent approach to be used for analysis of service business process dynamically. Generic method for service business workflow simulation is based on the discrete event queuing theory, which is lack of flexibility and scalability. In this paper, we propose a service workflow-oriented framework for the process simulation of service businesses using multi-agent cooperation to address the above issues. Social rationality of agent is introduced into the proposed framework. Adopting rationality as one social factor for decision-making strategies, a flexible scheduling for activity instances has been implemented. A system prototype has been developed to validate the proposed simulation framework through a business case study.

  9. Experimental examination of ultraviolet Raman cross sections of chemical warfare agent simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kullander, F.; Landström, L.; Lundén, H.; Wästerby, Pär.

    2015-05-01

    Laser induced Raman scattering from the commonly used chemical warfare agent simulants dimethyl sulfoxide, tributyl phosphate, triethyl phosphonoacetate was measured at excitation wavelengths ranging from 210 to 410 nm using a pulsed laser based spectrometer system with a probing distance of 1.4 m and with a field of view on the target of less than 1mm. For the purpose of comparison with well explored reference liquids the Raman scattering from simulants was measured in the form of an extended liquid surface layer on top of a silicon wafer. This way of measuring enabled direct comparison to the Raman scattering strength from cyclohexane. The reference Raman spectra were used to validate the signal strength of the simulants and the calibration of the experimental set up. Measured UV absorbance functions were used to calculate Raman cross sections. Established Raman cross sections of the simulants make it possible to use them as reference samples when measuring on chemical warfare agents in droplet form.

  10. Using an Agent-Supported Simulation Environment for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Nancy; Giret, Adriana; Botti, Vicente

    The manufacturing field is an area where the application of simulation is an essential tool for validating methods and architectures before applying them on the factory floor. Multiagent System technology has demonstrated its utility in manufacturing system modeling and implementation. Agenthood features such as proactivity, reactivity, and sociability may also be useful for associating them with the specific simulation needs of the new manufacturing requirements. In this paper, we present an Agent-supported Simulation Tool (tool uses both events and discrete time to control agent tasks) for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems applied to a real manufacturing enterprise case study. The main goal is to provide a flexible simulation tool that can be adapted to solve the new manufacturing requirements that appear in a real environment allowing the experts of manufacturing domains to optimize the resource usage and to have enough data to make decisions.

  11. The dynamic response of a viscoelastic biological tissue simulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, Christopher; Appleby-Thomas, Gareth; Hazell, Paul; Allsop, Derek

    2009-06-01

    The development and optimisation of new projectiles requires comparative techniques to assess ballistic performance. Porcine gelatin has found a substantial niche in the ballistics community as a tissue mimic. Primarily due to its elasticity, gelatin has been shown to deform in a similar manner to biological tissues. Bullet impacts typically occur in the 350-850 m/s range and consequently, knowledge of the high strain rate dynamic properties of both the projectile constituents and target materials is desirable if simulations are to allow the optimisation of projectile design. A large body of knowledge exists on the dynamic properties of projectiles, however relatively little data exists in the literature on the dynamic response of flesh simulants. The Hugoniot for a 20 wt% porcine gelatin, which exhibits a ballistic response similar to that of human tissues at room temperature, is determined in this paper using the plate impact technique. Up-Us and Up-P relationships are determined for impact velocities in the range of 200-900 m/s. Good agreement with the limited available data from the literature for similar concentrations is found and the dynamic response established at impact stresses up to 3 times higher than that observed elsewhere. Additionally, high frequency elastic properties are investigated using ultrasound and compared to those observed elsewhere.

  12. [Research on multi-agent based modeling and simulation of hospital system].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Junping; Yang, Hongqiao; Guo, Huayuan; Li, Yi; Zhang, Zhenjiang; Li, Shuzhang

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, the theory of complex adaptive system (CAS) and its modeling method are introduced. The complex characters of the hospital system is analyzed. The agile manufacturing and cell reconstruction technologies are used to reconstruct the hospital system. Then we set forth a research for simulation of hospital system based on the methodology of Multi-Agent technology and high level architecture (HLA). Finally, a simulation framework based on HLA for hospital system is presented. PMID:21374992

  13. Agent-based evacuation simulation for spatial allocation assessment of urban shelters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jia; Wen, Jiahong; Jiang, Yong

    2015-12-01

    The construction of urban shelters is one of the most important work in urban planning and disaster prevention. The spatial allocation assessment is a fundamental pre-step for spatial location-allocation of urban shelters. This paper introduces a new method which makes use of agent-based technology to implement evacuation simulation so as to conduct dynamic spatial allocation assessment of urban shelters. The method can not only accomplish traditional geospatial evaluation for urban shelters, but also simulate the evacuation process of the residents to shelters. The advantage of utilizing this method lies into three aspects: (1) the evacuation time of each citizen from a residential building to the shelter can be estimated more reasonably; (2) the total evacuation time of all the residents in a region is able to be obtained; (3) the road congestions in evacuation in sheltering can be detected so as to take precautionary measures to prevent potential risks. In this study, three types of agents are designed: shelter agents, government agents and resident agents. Shelter agents select specified land uses as shelter candidates for different disasters. Government agents delimitate the service area of each shelter, in other words, regulate which shelter a person should take, in accordance with the administrative boundaries and road distance between the person's position and the location of the shelter. Resident agents have a series of attributes, such as ages, positions, walking speeds, and so on. They also have several behaviors, such as reducing speed when walking in the crowd, helping old people and children, and so on. Integrating these three types of agents which are correlated with each other, evacuation procedures can be simulated and dynamic allocation assessment of shelters will be achieved. A case study in Jing'an District, Shanghai, China, was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of the method. A scenario of earthquake disaster which occurs in nighttime

  14. Purpureocillium lilacinum, potential agent for biological control of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii.

    PubMed

    Goffré, D; Folgarait, P J

    2015-09-01

    Many leaf-cutter ant species are well known pests in Latin America, including species of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta. An environmentally friendly strategy to reduce the number of leafcutter ants and avoid indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides is biological control. In this work we evaluated the effectiveness of a strain of the entomopathogen Purpureocillium lilacinum, against worker ants from six Acromyrmex lundii field colonies, after immersions in pure suspensions at a concentration of 1×10(6)conidiaml(-1). Survival of ants treated with P. lilacinum was significantly lower than that recorded in controls, and median lethal time (LT50) was 6-7days. P. lilacinum was responsible for 85.6% (80.6-89.7) of the mortality in inoculated ants, in which we found that the percentage of other entomopathogens that naturally infected ants decreased also, suggesting a good competitive capability of the fungus. Horizontal transmission to non-inoculated ants was also evidenced, given that 58.5% (41.9-64.2) of them died because of P. lilacinum. Moreover, we tested pathogenicity for three concentrations of this strain (1.0×10(4), 10(6) and 10(8)conidiaml(-1)) and found a significantly faster mortality of ants and greater median percentage of infection at 10(8)conidiaml(-1) of P. lilacinum. CL50 value was 2.8×10(5)conidiaml(-1). We thus propose the use of P. lilacinum as a biological control agent of leafcutter ants in crops and plantations. PMID:26205173

  15. Fungal biological control agents for integrated management of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) of livestock

    PubMed Central

    Narladkar, B. W.; Shivpuje, P. R.; Harke, P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana had wide host range against insects and hence these are being exploited as fungal bio-pesticide on a large scale. Both fungi are proved pesticides against many crop pests and farmers are well acquainted with their use on the field. Thus, research was aimed to explore the potency of these fungal spores against larval and adult Culicoides midges, a pest of livestock. Materials and Methods: In-vitro testing of both fungal biological control agents was undertaken in Petri dishes against field collected Culicoides larvae, while in plastic beakers against field collected blood-engorged female Culicoides midges. In-vivo testing was undertaken by spraying requisite concentration of fungal spores on the drainage channel against larvae and resting sites of adult Culicoides midges in the cattle shed. Lethal concentration 50 (LC50) values and regression equations were drawn by following probit analysis using SPSS statistical computerized program. Results: The results of this study revealed LC50 values of 2692 mg and 3837 mg (108 cfu/g) for B. bassiana and M. anisopliae, respectively, against Culicoides spp. larvae. Death of Culicoides larvae due to B. bassiana showed greenish coloration in the middle of the body with head and tail showed intense blackish changes, while infection of M. anisopliae resulted in death of Culicoides larvae with greenish and blackish coloration of body along with total destruction, followed by desquamation of intestinal channel. The death of adult Culicoides midges were caused by both the fungi and after death growth of fungus were very well observed on the dead cadavers proving the efficacy of the fungus. Conclusion: Preliminary trials with both funguses (M. anisopliae, B. bassiana) showed encouraging results against larvae and adults of Culicoides spp. Hence, it was ascertained that, these two fungal molecules can form a part of biological control and alternative to chemical

  16. Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies and their value for predicting responses to biologic agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Martin-Mola, Emilio; Balsa, Alejandro; García-Vicuna, Rosario; Gómez-Reino, Juan; González-Gay, Miguel Angel; Sanmartí, Raimon; Loza, Estíbaliz

    2016-08-01

    Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPAs) play an important pathogenic role both at the onset and during the disease course. These antibodies precede the clinical appearance of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and are associated with a less favorable prognosis, both clinically and radiologically. The objective of this work was to conduct a comprehensive review of studies published through September 2015 of ACPAs' role as a predictor of the therapeutic response to the biological agents in RA patients. The review also includes summary of the biology and detection of ACPAs as well as ACPAs in relation to joint disease and CV disease and the possible role of seroconversion. The reviews of studies examining TNF inhibitors and tocilizumab yielded negative results. In the case of rituximab, the data indicated a greater probability of clinical benefit in ACPA(+) patients versus ACPA(-) patients, as has been previously described for rheumatoid factor. Nonetheless, the effect is discreet and heterogeneous. Another drug that may have greater effectiveness in ACPA(+) patients is abatacept. Some studies have suggested that the drug is more efficient in ACPA(+) patients and that those patients show greater drug retention. In a subanalysis of the AMPLE trial, patients with very high ACPA titers who were treated with abatacept had a statistically significant response compared to patients with lower titers. In summary, the available studies suggest that the presence of or high titers of ACPA may predict a better response to rituximab and/or abatacept. Evidence regarding TNFi and tocilizumab is lacking. However, there is a lack of studies with appropriate designs to demonstrate that some drugs are superior to others for ACPA(+) patients. PMID:27271502

  17. The Effects of 3D Computer Simulation on Biology Students' Achievement and Memory Retention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elangovan, Tavasuria; Ismail, Zurida

    2014-01-01

    A quasi experimental study was conducted for six weeks to determine the effectiveness of two different 3D computer simulation based teaching methods, that is, realistic simulation and non-realistic simulation on Form Four Biology students' achievement and memory retention in Perak, Malaysia. A sample of 136 Form Four Biology students in Perak,…

  18. Comparison of traditional and molecular analytical methods for detecting biological agents in raw and drinking water following ultrafiltration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francy, D.S.; Bushon, R.N.; Brady, A.M.G.; Bertke, E.E.; Kephart, C.M.; Likirdopulos, C.A.; Mailot, B.E.; Schaefer, F. W., III; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    Aims: To compare the performance of traditional methods to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for detecting five biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples concentrated by ultrafiltration (UF). Methods and Results: Drinking-water samples (100 l) were seeded with Bacillus anthracis, Cryptospordium parvum, Francisella tularensis, Salmonella Typhi, and Vibrio cholerae and concentrated by UF. Recoveries by traditional methods were variable between samples and between some replicates; recoveries were not determined by qPCR. Francisella tularensis and V. cholerae were detected in all 14 samples after UF, B. anthracis was detected in 13, and C. parvum was detected in 9 out of 14 samples. Numbers found by qPCR after UF were significantly or nearly related to those found by traditional methods for all organisms except for C. parvum. A qPCR assay for S. Typhi was not available. Conclusions: qPCR can be used to rapidly detect biological agents after UF as well as traditional methods, but additional work is needed to improve qPCR assays for several biological agents, determine recoveries by qPCR, and expand the study to other areas. Significance and Impact of the Study: To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the use of traditional and qPCR methods to detect biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples. ?? 2009 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Life history of Parafreutreta regalis, (diptera:tephritidae), a candidate agent for biological control of delairea odorata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cape-ivy, Delairea odorata Lamaire, is an ornamental vine, native to the eastern part of South Africa, which has escaped into natural areas in many countries and become a serious pest. Exploratory surveys in South Africa located several potential biological control agents. One of these is Parafreu...

  20. Life history and host range of Oxydia vesulia transpeneus, an unsuitable biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The suitability of Oxydia vesulia (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) was assessed as a potential biological control agent of the invasive weed Brazilian Peppertree Schinus terebinthifolia. Larvae were collected in Brazil feeding on the plant in its native range and colonized in quarantine where lif...

  1. Effect of host-plant genotypes on the performance of three candidate biological control agents of Schinus terebinthifolius in Florida.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brazilian pepper is a weed in Florida, California and Hawaii that originates from South America. In Florida we have found two distinct types of Brazilian pepper plant and a hybrid between these two types. To control this weed, three biological control agents are being evaluated from Brazil. These ar...

  2. Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass [Imperata cylindrica 15 (Cyperales: Poaceae)] in the southeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Palisot de Beauvois (Cyperales: Poaceae), is a noxious invasive weed in the southeastern USA. Surveys for potential biological control agents of cogongrass were conducted in Asia and East Africa from 2013 to 2016. Several insect herbivores were found that may hav...

  3. Phenology and temperature-dependent development of Ceutorhynchus assimilis, a potential biological control agent for Lepidium draba

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heart-podded hoary cress (Lepidium draba) is an alien weed that has invaded rangeland in the northwestern USA. A host race (i;e; host-specific biotype) of the weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis, is being evaluated as a prospective biological control agent. This biotype is only known from southern Eur...

  4. REPORT ON THE HOMELAND SECURITY WORKSHOP ON TRANSPORT AND DISPOSAL OF WASTES FROM FACILITIES CONTAMINATED WITH CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report summarizes discussions from the "Homeland Security Workshop on Transport and Disposal of Wastes From Facilities Contaminated With Chemical or Biological Agents." The workshop was held on May 28-30, 2003, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its objectives were to:

    .Documen...

  5. HIGHLY SELECTIVE SENSORS FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS, INSECTICIDES AND VOCS BASED ON A MOLECULAR SURFACE IMPRINTING TECHNIQUE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract was given as an oral platform presentation at the Pittsburgh Conference, Orlando FL (March 5-9, 2006). Research described is the development of sensors based on molecular surface imprinting. Applications include the monitoring of chemical and biological agents and inse...

  6. Efficiacy of bumble bee disseminated biological control agents for control of Botrytis Blossom blight of Rabbiteye Blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botrytis blossom blight caused by Botrytis cinerea may cause severe crop loss in rabbiteye blueberry, necessitating applications of expensive fungicides. Commercial bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, were tested as vectors of the fungicidal biological control agents (BCAs), Prestop® Gliocladium catenula...

  7. Are three colonies of Neostromboceros albicomus, a candidate biological control agent for Lygodium microphyllum, the same host biotype?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three colonies of Neostromboceros albicomus, a candidate biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum, were barcoded using the D2 expansion domain, to determine which of two biotypes they represented. The first colony, collected in 2005 & 2007, was used for the initial host range testing. Colon...

  8. Laboratory Host Range of Parafreutreta regalis (Diptera: Tephritidae), a Candidate Agent for Biological Control of Cape-ivy.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cape-ivy (Delairea odorata Lamaire) is an ornamental vine that has escaped into natural areas in many countries and become a serious pest. It is native to the eastern part of South Africa, and surveys there located several potential biological control agents for this weed. One of these is Parafreu...

  9. Design of a Mobile Agent-Based Adaptive Communication Middleware for Federations of Critical Infrastructure Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görbil, Gökçe; Gelenbe, Erol

    The simulation of critical infrastructures (CI) can involve the use of diverse domain specific simulators that run on geographically distant sites. These diverse simulators must then be coordinated to run concurrently in order to evaluate the performance of critical infrastructures which influence each other, especially in emergency or resource-critical situations. We therefore describe the design of an adaptive communication middleware that provides reliable and real-time one-to-one and group communications for federations of CI simulators over a wide-area network (WAN). The proposed middleware is composed of mobile agent-based peer-to-peer (P2P) overlays, called virtual networks (VNets), to enable resilient, adaptive and real-time communications over unreliable and dynamic physical networks (PNets). The autonomous software agents comprising the communication middleware monitor their performance and the underlying PNet, and dynamically adapt the P2P overlay and migrate over the PNet in order to optimize communications according to the requirements of the federation and the current conditions of the PNet. Reliable communications is provided via redundancy within the communication middleware and intelligent migration of agents over the PNet. The proposed middleware integrates security methods in order to protect the communication infrastructure against attacks and provide privacy and anonymity to the participants of the federation. Experiments with an initial version of the communication middleware over a real-life networking testbed show that promising improvements can be obtained for unicast and group communications via the agent migration capability of our middleware.

  10. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for degrdation of nerve agent simulant parathion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parathion, a simulant of nerve agent VX, has been studied for degradation on Fe3+, Fe2+ and zerovalent iron supported on chitosan. Chitosan, a naturally occurring biopolymer derivative of chitin, is a very good adsorbent for many chemicals including metals. Chitosan is used as supporting biopolymer ...

  11. An agent-based simulation of extirpation of Ceratitis capitata applied to invasions in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe and validate an Agent-Based Simulation(ABS) of invasive insects and use it to investigate the time to extirpation of Ceratitis capitata using data from seven outbreaks that occurred in California from 2008-2010. Results are compared with the length of intervention and quarantine imposed ...

  12. Fluorogenic and chromogenic probe for rapid detection of a nerve agent simulant DCP.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei-hui; Dong, Jun-jun; Wang, Xin; Li, Jian; Sui, Shao-hui; Chen, Gao-yun; Liu, Ji-wei; Zhang, Ming

    2012-07-21

    A fluorogenic and visual probe was devised to detect diethyl chlorophosphate (DCP), a nerve agent simulant. The probe, N-(rhodamine B)-lactam-2-aminoethanol (RB-AE), undergoes oxazoline formation following phosphorylation in the presence of DCP, which gives rapid and clear fluorescence and color change in the assay solutions. PMID:22624148

  13. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K K

    2012-02-17

    There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and biothreat pathogens through any of the four sensory means mentioned previously. PMID:22244163

  14. Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of arylcinnamide hybrid derivatives as novel anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Romagnoli, Romeo; Baraldi, Pier Giovanni; Salvador, Maria Kimatrai; Chayah, Mariem; Camacho, M. Encarnacion; Prencipe, Filippo; Hamel, Ernest; Consolaro, Francesca; Basso, Giuseppe; Viola, Giampietro

    2014-01-01

    The combination of two pharmacophores into a single molecule represents one of the methods that can be adopted for the synthesis of new anticancer molecules. A series of novel antiproliferative agents designed by a pharmacophore hybridization approach, combining the arylcinnamide skeleton and an α-bromoacryloyl moiety, was synthesized and evaluated for its antiproliferative activity against a panel of seven human cancer cell lines. In addition, the new derivatives were also active on multidrug-resistant cell lines over-expressing P-glycoprotein. The biological effects of various substituents on the N-phenyl ring of the benzamide portion were also described. In order to study the possible mechanism of action, we observed that 4p slightly increased the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production in HeLa cells, but, more importantly, a remarkable decrease of intracellular reduced glutathione content was detected in treated cells compared with controls. These results were confirmed by the observation that only thiol-containing antioxidants were able to significantly protect the cells from induced cell death. Altogether our results indicate that the new derivatives are endowed with good anticancer activity in vitro, and their properties may result in the development of new cancer therapeutic strategies. PMID:24858544

  15. Development of Anti-Infectives Using Phage Display: Biological Agents against Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Johnny X.; Bishop-Hurley, Sharon L.

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of anti-infective therapeutics on the market or in development are small molecules; however, there is now a nascent pipeline of biological agents in development. Until recently, phage display technologies were used mainly to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) targeted against cancer or inflammatory disease targets. Patent disputes impeded broad use of these methods and contributed to the dearth of candidates in the clinic during the 1990s. Today, however, phage display is recognized as a powerful tool for selecting novel peptides and antibodies that can bind to a wide range of antigens, ranging from whole cells to proteins and lipid targets. In this review, we highlight research that exploits phage display technology as a means of discovering novel therapeutics against infectious diseases, with a focus on antimicrobial peptides and antibodies in clinical or preclinical development. We discuss the different strategies and methods used to derive, select, and develop anti-infectives from phage display libraries and then highlight case studies of drug candidates in the process of development and commercialization. Advances in screening, manufacturing, and humanization technologies now mean that phage display can make a significant contribution in the fight against clinically important pathogens. PMID:22664969

  16. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel quinazolinyl-diaryl urea derivatives as potential anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jia-Nian; Wang, Xian-Fu; Li, Ting; Wu, De-Wen; Fu, Xiao-Bo; Zhang, Guang-Ji; Shen, Xing-Can; Wang, Heng-Shan

    2016-01-01

    Through a structure-based molecular hybridization approach, a series of novel quinazolinyl-diaryl urea derivatives were designed, synthesized, and screened for their in vitro antiproliferative activities against three cancer cell lines (HepG2, MGC-803, and A549). Six compounds (7 g, 7 m, 7 o, 8 e, 8 g, and 8 m) showed stronger activity against a certain cell line compared with the positive reference drugs sorafenib and gefitinib. Among the six compounds, 8 g exhibited the strongest activity. In particular, compound 8 g induced A549 apoptosis, arrested cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species level, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. This compound can also effectively regulate the expression of apoptosis- and cell cycle-related proteins, and influence the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway. Molecular docking and structure-activity relationship analyses revealed that it can bind well to the active site of the receptor c-Raf, which was consistent with the biological data. Therefore, compound 8 g may be a potent antitumor agent, representing a promising lead for further optimization. PMID:26560049

  17. [Bio-security with emphasis in biological polluting agents in health workers].

    PubMed

    Ardila, Ana Maria; Muñoz, Alba Idaly

    2009-01-01

    Health workers of the emergency service are frequently exposed to different dangers, among them the contact with biological polluting agents. This is a study of descriptive character, with the objective to characterize workers on social demographic aspects, and also to verify the level of application of the bio-security norms at the emergency services of a health institution in the city of Bogota, Colombia. 68,3% of the workers are with a contract in the modality of benefit of services, the 31,7%, are in the modality of indefinite term. 44,6% of the personnel have not received the qualification on bio-security, and 42,4% do not apply the suitable technique of washing hands. In relation to the aspect of the return to use needles, 31% was doing this practice. All workers have the complete kit of Hepatitis B vaccine, but the same percentage does not have measurement of Hepatitis B antibodies. It is fundamental the provision of elements of personal protection and set of elements and containers that contribute to the bio-security. Pedagogical activities can be used to sensitize and create critical awareness to all personnel who work at emergency, about dangers and consequences that are exposed in their workplace. Measurements of titles of Hepatitis B are necessary to verify the immunological state of the workers. PMID:20069181

  18. Modified clay minerals efficiency against chemical and biological warfare agents for civil human protection.

    PubMed

    Plachá, Daniela; Rosenbergová, Kateřina; Slabotínský, Jiří; Kutláková, Kateřina Mamulová; Studentová, Soňa; Martynková, Gražyna Simha

    2014-04-30

    Sorption efficiencies of modified montmorillonite and vermiculite of their mono ionic Na and organic HDTMA and HDP forms were studied against chemical and biological warfare agents such as yperite and selected bacterial strains. Yperite interactions with modified clay minerals were observed through its capture in low-density polyethylene foil-modified clay composites by measuring yperite gas permeation with using chemical indication and gas chromatography methods. The antibacterial activities of synthetized organoclays were tested against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species in minimum inhibitory concentration tests. The obtained results showed a positive influence of modified clay minerals on the significant yperite breakthrough-time increase. The most effective material was the polyethylene-Na form montmorillonite, while the polyethylene-Na form vermiculite showed the lowest efficiency. With increasing organic cations loading in the interlayer space the montmorillonite efficiency decreased, and in the case of vermiculite an opposite effect was observed. Generally the modified montmorillonites were more effective than modified vermiculites. The HDP cations seem to be more effective compare to the HDTMA. The antibacterial activity tests confirmed efficiency of all organically modified clay minerals against Gram-positive bacteria. The confirmation of antibacterial activity against Y. pestis, plague bacteria, is the most interesting result of this part of the study. PMID:24603112

  19. New adaptive methods for sensing of chemical components and biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatsenko, Vitaliy A.; Chiarini, Bruno H.; Pardalos, Panos M.

    2004-02-01

    It is known that leaf reflectance spectra can be used to estimate the contents of chemical components in vegetation. Recent novel applications include the detection of harmful biological agents that can originate from agricultural bioterrorism attacks. Such attacks have been identified as a major threat to the United States" agriculture. Nevertheless, the usefulness of such approach is currently limited by distorting factors, in particular soil reflectance. The quantitative analysis of the spectral curves from the reflection of plant leaves may be the basis for the development of new methods for interpreting the data obtained by the remote measurement of plants. We consider the problem of characterizing the chemical composition from noisy spectral data using an experimental optical method. Using our experience in signal processing and optimization of complex systems we propose a new mathematical model for sensing of chemical components in vegetation. Estimates are defined as minimizers of penalized cost functionals with sequential quadratic programming (SQR) methods. A deviation measure used in risk analysis is also considered. This framework is demonstrated for different agricultural plants using adaptive filtration, principal components analysis, and optimization techniques for classification of spectral curves of chemical components. Various estimation problems will be considered to illustrate the computational aspects of the proposed method.

  20. Biological evaluation of Phellinus linteus-fermented broths as anti-inflammatory agents.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chun-Jung; Lien, Hsiu-Man; Chang, Hsiao-Yun; Huang, Chao-Lu; Liu, Jau-Jin; Chang, Yun-Chieh; Chen, Chia-Chang; Lai, Chih-Ho

    2014-07-01

    Phellinus linteus and its constituent hispolon induce potent anti-inflammatory activity in macrophages. Efficient production of the effective constituent and the biological function of P. linteus in the regulation of innate sensing have rarely been investigated. The aim of this study was to efficiently manufacture P. linteus-fermented broth containing the effective constituent, hispolon, and evaluate its immunoregulatory functions in macrophages. Four distinct fermented broths (PL1-4) and the medium dialyzate (MD) were prepared to screen suitable culture conditions for the mycelial growth of P. linteus. The P. linteus-fermented broth exhibited a dose-responsive inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production by murine macrophages. In addition, the P. linteus-fermented broths suppressed macrophage LPS-mediated nuclear factor (NF)-κB activity and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Among the tested samples from P. linteus, PL4 contained vast amounts of hispolon and showed the greatest anti-inflammatory activity in both the RAW264.7 cells and murine primary peritoneal exudate macrophages (PEMs). This study demonstrates that the purification of the effective constituent from P. linteus-fermented broth may enable the production of a potent therapeutic agent for anti-inflammation in macrophages. PMID:24503424

  1. Numerical simulations of odorant detection by biologically inspired sensor arrays.

    PubMed

    Schuech, R; Stacey, M T; Barad, M F; Koehl, M A R

    2012-03-01

    The antennules of many marine crustaceans enable them to rapidly locate sources of odorant in turbulent environmental flows and may provide biological inspiration for engineered plume sampling systems. A substantial gap in knowledge concerns how the physical interaction between a sensing device and the chemical filaments forming a turbulent plume affects odorant detection and filters the information content of the plume. We modeled biological arrays of chemosensory hairs as infinite arrays of odorant flux-detecting cylinders and simulated the fluid flow around and odorant flux into the hair-like sensors as they intercepted a single odorant filament. As array geometry and sampling kinematics were varied, we quantified distortion of the flux time series relative to the spatial shape of the original odorant filament as well as flux metrics that may be important to both organisms and engineered systems attempting to measure plume structure and/or identify chemical composition. The most important predictor of signal distortion is the ratio of sensor diameter to odorant filament width. Achieving high peak properties (e.g. sharpness) of the flux time series and maximizing the total number of odorant molecules detected appear to be mutually exclusive design goals. Sensor arrays inspired specifically by the spiny lobster Panulirus argus and mantis shrimp Gonodactylaceus falcatus introduce little signal distortion but these species' neural systems may not be able to resolve plume structure at the level of individual filaments via temporal properties of the odorant flux. Current chemical sensors are similarly constrained. Our results suggest either that the spatial distribution of flux across the aesthetasc array is utilized by P. argus and G. falcatus, or that such high spatiotemporal resolution is unnecessary for effective plume tracking. PMID:22155966

  2. Biology and host range of Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis; a potential biological control agent for Chinese tallow Triadica sebifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera, is an invasive weed that infests natural and agricultural areas of the southeastern USA. A candidate for biological control of Chinese tallow has been studied under quarantine conditions. The biology and host range of a primitive leaf feeding beetle, Heterapoderops...

  3. A foam formulation for the delivery of microbial biological control agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Common surfactants and foaming agents are toxic to most microorganisms. To identify suitable foaming agents for use with microbes, several classes of surfactants/foaming agents were screened for compatibility with blastospores of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus. The surfactants were assayed to determine...

  4. Efficient Allocation of Resources for Defense of Spatially Distributed Networks Using Agent-Based Simulation.

    PubMed

    Kroshl, William M; Sarkani, Shahram; Mazzuchi, Thomas A

    2015-09-01

    This article presents ongoing research that focuses on efficient allocation of defense resources to minimize the damage inflicted on a spatially distributed physical network such as a pipeline, water system, or power distribution system from an attack by an active adversary, recognizing the fundamental difference between preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or even accidental systems failures and the problem of allocating resources to defend against an opponent who is aware of, and anticipating, the defender's efforts to mitigate the threat. Our approach is to utilize a combination of integer programming and agent-based modeling to allocate the defensive resources. We conceptualize the problem as a Stackelberg "leader follower" game where the defender first places his assets to defend key areas of the network, and the attacker then seeks to inflict the maximum damage possible within the constraints of resources and network structure. The criticality of arcs in the network is estimated by a deterministic network interdiction formulation, which then informs an evolutionary agent-based simulation. The evolutionary agent-based simulation is used to determine the allocation of resources for attackers and defenders that results in evolutionary stable strategies, where actions by either side alone cannot increase its share of victories. We demonstrate these techniques on an example network, comparing the evolutionary agent-based results to a more traditional, probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) approach. Our results show that the agent-based approach results in a greater percentage of defender victories than does the PRA-based approach. PMID:25683347

  5. Suppressive composts from organic wastes as agents of biological control of fusariosis in Tatartan Republic (Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gumerova, Raushaniya; Galitskaya, Polina; Beru, Franchesca; Selivanovskaya, Svetlana

    2015-04-01

    pepton agar, the composts and their water extracts were checked towards their ability to inhibit growth of F. oxysporum. It was shown that three composts - CD, FPM and RD - possessed suppressiveness towards the model phytopathogen. From these three wastes, 28 bacterial and fungal strains were isolated and, in their turn, checked towards their ability to inhibit F. oxysporum. It was demonstrated that five of the isolated strains are highly suppressive to model test-object (the growth area of F. oxysporum did not exceed 30%), six of the stains were moderate suppressive (the growth area of F. oxysporum ranged from 35% to 60%), and other strains did not cause negative effects for the model phytopathogen. Further, we will check the composts and the isolated strains using the model system "soil - tomato plant - phytopathogen". As a result, effective composts and strains will be recommended as agents for biological control of fungal diseases in the region. Besides, the structure of bacterial and fungal community of the composts with suppressive properties will be assessed using 454-pyrosequencing.

  6. Laboratory evaluation of two native fishes from tropical North Queensland as biological control agents of subterranean Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Russell, B M; Wang, J; Williams, Y; Hearnden, M N; Kay, B H

    2001-06-01

    The ability of 2 freshwater fishes, eastern rainbow fish Melanotaenia splendida splendida and fly-specked hardyhead Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum stercusmuscarum, native to North Queensland to prey on immature Aedes aegypti was evaluated under laboratory conditions. The predation efficiency of the 2 species was compared to the exotic guppy, Poecilia reticulata, which is commonly used as a biological control agent of mosquito larvae. Of the 3 fish species tested, M. s. splendida was shown to be the most promising agent for the biological control of Ae. aegypti that breed in wells. Melanotaenia s. splendida consumed significantly greater numbers of immature Ae. aegypti than P. reticulata, irrespective of developmental stage or light conditions. Unlike C s. stercusmuscarum, M. s. splendida could be handled, transported, and kept in captivity for extended periods with negligible mortality. However, M. s. splendida was also an efficient predator of Litoria caerulea tadpoles, a species of native frog found in wells during the dry season. This result may limit the usefulness of M. s. splendida as a biological control agent of well-breeding Ae. aegypti and suggests that predacious copepods, Mesocyclops spp., are more suitable. However, the use of M. s. splendida as a mosquito control agent in containers that are unlikely to support frog populations (e.g., aquaculture tanks and drinking troughs) should be given serious consideration. PMID:11480819

  7. Supercritical fluid extraction and organic solvent microextraction of chemical agent simulants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Griest, W.H.; Ramsey, R.S.; Ho, C.h.; Caldwell, W.M.

    1991-12-31

    Experiments with chemical warfare agent simulants suggest that supercritical fluid extraction can achieve good extraction recoveries of agents in soil and produce less laboratory waste than current organic solvent extraction methods. Two-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil were extracted using 5% methanol in carbon dioxide at 300 atm for 2 min at 60{degrees}C. Recoveries (n=3) were 79{plus_minus}23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93{plus_minus}14% for 2-chlorethylethylsulfide, 92{plus_minus}13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate, and 95{plus_minus}17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. A 5 min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol is more reproducible but less efficient.

  8. Supercritical fluid extraction and organic solvent microextraction of chemical agent simulants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Griest, W.H.; Ramsey, R.S.; Ho, C.h.; Caldwell, W.M.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments with chemical warfare agent simulants suggest that supercritical fluid extraction can achieve good extraction recoveries of agents in soil and produce less laboratory waste than current organic solvent extraction methods. Two-ppm spikes in 1 g of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Standard Soil were extracted using 5% methanol in carbon dioxide at 300 atm for 2 min at 60{degrees}C. Recoveries (n=3) were 79{plus minus}23% for dimethylmethylphosphonate, 93{plus minus}14% for 2-chlorethylethylsulfide, 92{plus minus}13% for diisopropylfluorophosphate, and 95{plus minus}17% for diisopropylmethylphosphonate. A 5 min ultrasonic micro-scale extraction using methanol is more reproducible but less efficient.

  9. Effects of simulated rare earth recycling wastewaters on biological nitrification

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; Lencka, Malgorzata M.; Anderko, Andrzej; Riman, Richard E.; Navrotsky, Alexandra

    2015-07-16

    Current efforts to increase domestic availability of rare-earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing efforts will result in increased generation of associated wastewaters. In some cases disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological wastewater treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50 and 100 ppm), and the REE extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions above 10 ppm inhibited N.more » europaea activity, even when initially virtually all of the REE was insoluble. The provision of TBP together with Eu increased inhibition of nitrite production by the N. europaea, although TBP alone did not substantially alter nitrifying activity N. winogradskyi was more sensitive to the stimulated wastewaters, with even 10 ppm Eu or Y inducing significant inhibition, and a complete shutdown of nitrifying activity occurred in the presence of the TBP. To analyze the availability of REEs in aqueous solutions, REE solubility has been calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, which is typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but may also be influenced by the formation of a phosphate phase.« less

  10. Effects of simulated rare earth recycling wastewaters on biological nitrification

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; Lencka, Malgorzata M.; Anderko, Andrzej; Riman, Richard E.; Navrotsky, Alexandra

    2015-07-16

    Current efforts to increase domestic availability of rare-earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing efforts will result in increased generation of associated wastewaters. In some cases disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological wastewater treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50 and 100 ppm), and the REE extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions above 10 ppm inhibited N. europaea activity, even when initially virtually all of the REE was insoluble. The provision of TBP together with Eu increased inhibition of nitrite production by the N. europaea, although TBP alone did not substantially alter nitrifying activity N. winogradskyi was more sensitive to the stimulated wastewaters, with even 10 ppm Eu or Y inducing significant inhibition, and a complete shutdown of nitrifying activity occurred in the presence of the TBP. To analyze the availability of REEs in aqueous solutions, REE solubility has been calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, which is typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but may also be influenced by the formation of a phosphate phase.

  11. Effects of Simulated Rare Earth Recycling Wastewaters on Biological Nitrification.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yoshiko; Barnes, Joni; Eslamimanesh, Ali; Lencka, Malgorzata M; Anderko, Andrzej; Riman, Richard E; Navrotsky, Alexandra

    2015-08-18

    Increasing rare earth element (REE) supplies by recycling and expanded ore processing will result in generation of new wastewaters. In some cases, disposal to a sewage treatment plant may be favored, but plant performance must be maintained. To assess the potential effects of such wastewaters on biological treatment, model nitrifying organisms Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were exposed to simulated wastewaters containing varying levels of yttrium or europium (10, 50, and 100 ppm), and the extractant tributyl phosphate (TBP, at 0.1 g/L). Y and Eu additions at 50 and 100 ppm inhibited N. europaea, even when virtually all of the REE was insoluble. Provision of TBP with Eu increased N. europaea inhibition, although TBP alone did not substantially alter activity. For N. winogradskyi cultures, Eu or Y additions at all tested levels induced significant inhibition, and nitrification shut down completely with TBP addition. REE solubility was calculated using the previously developed MSE (Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte) thermodynamic model. The model calculations reveal a strong pH dependence of solubility, typically controlled by the precipitation of REE hydroxides but also likely affected by the formation of unknown phosphate phases, which determined aqueous concentrations experienced by the microorganisms. PMID:26132866

  12. Reducing Mortality from Terrorist Releases of Chemical and Biological Agents: I. Filtration for Ventilation Systems in Commercial Building

    SciTech Connect

    Thatcher, Tracy L.; Daisey, Joan M.

    1999-09-01

    There is growing concern about potential terrorist attacks involving releases of chemical and/or biological (CB) agents, such as sarin or anthrax, in and around buildings. For an external release, the CB agent can enter the building through the air intakes of a building's mechanical ventilation system and by infiltration through the building envelope. For an interior release in a single room, the mechanical ventilation system, which often recirculates some fraction of the air within a building, may distribute the released CB agent throughout the building. For both cases, installing building systems that remove chemical and biological agents may be the most effective way to protect building occupants. Filtration systems installed in the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings can significantly reduce exposures of building occupants in the event of a release, whether the release is outdoors or indoors. Reduced exposures can reduce the number of deaths from a terrorist attack. The purpose of this report is to provide information and examples of the design of filtration systems to help building engineers retrofit HVAC systems. The report also provides background information on the physical nature of CB agents and brief overviews of the basic principles of particle and vapor filtration.

  13. Predicting the host range of Nystalea ebalea: secondary plant chemistry and host selection by a surrogate biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The safety of weed biological control depends upon the selection and utilization of the target weed by the agent while causing minimal harm to non-target species. Selection of weed species by biological control agents is determined by the presence of behavioral cues, generally host secondary plant c...

  14. Preliminary assessment of the interaction of introduced biological agents with biofilms in water distribution systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Sinclair, Michael B.; Caldwell, Sara; Jones, Howland D. T.; Altman, Susan Jeanne; Souza, Caroline Ann; McGrath, Lucas K.

    2005-12-01

    Basic research is needed to better understand the potential risk of dangerous biological agents that are unintentionally or intentionally introduced into a water distribution system. We report on our capabilities to conduct such studies and our preliminary investigations. In 2004, the Biofilms Laboratory was initiated for the purpose of conducting applied research related to biofilms with a focus on application, application testing and system-scale research. Capabilities within the laboratory are the ability to grow biofilms formed from known bacteria or biofilms from drinking water. Biofilms can be grown quickly in drip-flow reactors or under conditions more analogous to drinking-water distribution systems in annular reactors. Biofilms can be assessed through standard microbiological techniques (i .e, aerobic plate counts) or with various visualization techniques including epifluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy and confocal fluorescence hyperspectral imaging with multivariate analysis. We have demonstrated the ability to grow reproducible Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms in the annular reactor with plate counts on the order of 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/cm{sup 2}. Stationary phase growth is typically reached 5 to 10 days after inoculation. We have also conducted a series of pathogen-introduction experiments, where we have observed that both polystyrene microspheres and Bacillus cereus (as a surrogate for B. anthracis) stay incorporated in the biofilms for the duration of our experiments, which lasted as long as 36 days. These results indicated that biofilms may act as a safe harbor for bio-pathogens in drinking water systems, making it difficult to decontaminate the systems.

  15. Multiple functional UV devices based on III-Nitride quantum wells for biological warfare agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qin; Savage, Susan; Persson, Sirpa; Noharet, Bertrand; Junique, Stéphane; Andersson, Jan Y.; Liuolia, Vytautas; Marcinkevicius, Saulius

    2009-02-01

    We have demonstrated surface normal detecting/filtering/emitting multiple functional ultraviolet (UV) optoelectronic devices based on InGaN/GaN, InGaN/AlGaN and AlxGa1-xN/AlyGa1-yN multiple quantum well (MQW) structures with operation wavelengths ranging from 270 nm to 450 nm. Utilizing MQW structure as device active layer offers a flexibility to tune its long cut-off wavelength in a wide UV range from solar-blind to visible by adjusting the well width, well composition and barrier height. Similarly, its short cut-off wavelength can be adjusted by using a GaN or AlGaN block layer on a sapphire substrate when the device is illuminated from its backside, which further provides an optical filtering effect. When a current injects into the device under forward bias the device acts as an UV light emitter, whereas the device performs as a typical photodetector under reverse biases. With applying an alternating external bias the device might be used as electroabsorption modulator due to quantum confined Stark effect. In present work fabricated devices have been characterized by transmission/absorption spectra, photoresponsivity, electroluminescence, and photoluminescence measurements under various forward and reverse biases. The piezoelectric effect, alloy broadening and Stokes shift between the emission and absorption spectra in different InGaN- and AlGaN-based QW structures have been investigated and compared. Possibilities of monolithic or hybrid integration using such multiple functional devices for biological warfare agents sensing application have also be discussed.

  16. Escherichia coli biosensors for environmental, food industry and biological warfare agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allil, R. C. S. B.; Werneck, M. M.; da Silva-Neto, J. L.; Miguel, M. A. L.; Rodrigues, D. M. C.; Wandermur, G. L.; Rambauske, D. C.

    2013-06-01

    This work has the objective to research and develop a plastic optical fiber biosensor based taper and mPOF LPG techniques to detect Escherichia coli by measurements of index of refraction. Generally, cell detection is crucial in microbiological analysis of clinical, food, water or environmental samples. However, methods current employed are time consuming, taking at least 72 hours in order to produce reliable responses as they depend on sample collection and cell culture in controlled conditions. The delay in obtaining the results of the analysis can result in contamination of a great number of consumers. Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) biosensors consist in a viable alternative for rapid and inexpensive scheme for cells detection. A study the sensitivity of these sensors for microbiological detection, fiber Tapers and Long Period Grating (LPG) both in poly-methyl-methacrylate (PMMA) were realized as possible candidates to take part of a biosensor system to detect Escherichia coli in water samples. In this work we adopted the immunocapture technique, which consists of quantifying bacteria in a liquid sample, attract-ing and fixing the bacteria on the surface of the polymer optical fiber, by the antigen-antibody reaction. The results were obtained by optical setup that consists in a side of the fiber a LED coupled to a photodetector through a POF with the taper in the middle of it. On the other side of the POF a photodetector receives this light producting a photocurrent. The output voltage is fed into the microcontroller A/D input port and its output data is sent via USB to a LabView software running in a microcomputer. The results showed the possibility of the POF in biosensor application capable to detect E. coli for environmental and food industry and for detecting and identifying biological-warfare agents using a very rapid response sensor, applicable to field detection prototypes.

  17. A water market simulator considering pair-wise trades between agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huskova, I.; Erfani, T.; Harou, J. J.

    2012-04-01

    In many basins in England no further water abstraction licences are available. Trading water between water rights holders has been recognized as a potentially effective and economically efficient strategy to mitigate increasing scarcity. A screening tool that could assess the potential for trade through realistic simulation of individual water rights holders would help assess the solution's potential contribution to local water management. We propose an optimisation-driven water market simulator that predicts pair-wise trade in a catchment and represents its interaction with natural hydrology and engineered infrastructure. A model is used to emulate licence-holders' willingness to engage in short-term trade transactions. In their simplest form agents are represented using an economic benefit function. The working hypothesis is that trading behaviour can be partially predicted based on differences in marginal values of water over space and time and estimates of transaction costs on pair-wise trades. We discuss the further possibility of embedding rules, norms and preferences of the different water user sectors to more realistically represent the behaviours, motives and constraints of individual licence holders. The potential benefits and limitations of such a social simulation (agent-based) approach is contrasted with our simulator where agents are driven by economic optimization. A case study based on the Dove River Basin (UK) demonstrates model inputs and outputs. The ability of the model to suggest impacts of water rights policy reforms on trading is discussed.

  18. The presentation and management of victims of chemical and biological agents: a survey of knowledge of UK clinicians.

    PubMed

    Wimbush, Stephen; Davies, Gareth; Lockey, David

    2003-09-01

    A survey was conducted among acute specialty clinicians in four centres in the UK to determine their levels of knowledge of the presentation and subsequent management of victims following deliberate release of chemical or biological agents. This revealed significant gaps in knowledge and training. Of the 102 respondents, more than half did not understand the decontamination process. More than a third were unsure of the presenting features of nerve agent release. Only a minority knew the recommended treatment and only one in five have participated in relevant exercises. PMID:12969606

  19. The importance of molecular tools in classical biological control of weeds: Two case studies with yellow starthistle candidate biological agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular analyses may play a primary role in the process of host-specificity evaluation at species and population levels; here are reported two examples of their application with new candidate biocontrol agents for yellow starthistle (YST). Ceratapion basicorne is a root-crown boring weevil that sh...

  20. An Agent-Based Model of New Venture Creation: Conceptual Design for Simulating Entrepreneurship

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Provance, Mike; Collins, Andrew; Carayannis, Elias

    2012-01-01

    There is a growing debate over the means by which regions can foster the growth of entrepreneurial activity in order to stimulate recovery and growth of their economies. On one side, agglomeration theory suggests the regions grow because of strong clusters that foster knowledge spillover locally; on the other side, the entrepreneurial action camp argues that innovative business models are generated by entrepreneurs with unique market perspectives who draw on knowledge from more distant domains. We will show you the design for a novel agent-based model of new venture creation that will demonstrate the relationship between agglomeration and action. The primary focus of this model is information exchange as the medium for these agent interactions. Our modeling and simulation study proposes to reveal interesting relationships in these perspectives, offer a foundation on which these disparate theories from economics and sociology can find common ground, and expand the use of agent-based modeling into entrepreneurship research.

  1. Simulating tissue mechanics with agent-based models: concepts, perspectives and some novel results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Liedekerke, P.; Palm, M. M.; Jagiella, N.; Drasdo, D.

    2015-12-01

    In this paper we present an overview of agent-based models that are used to simulate mechanical and physiological phenomena in cells and tissues, and we discuss underlying concepts, limitations, and future perspectives of these models. As the interest in cell and tissue mechanics increase, agent-based models are becoming more common the modeling community. We overview the physical aspects, complexity, shortcomings, and capabilities of the major agent-based model categories: lattice-based models (cellular automata, lattice gas cellular automata, cellular Potts models), off-lattice models (center-based models, deformable cell models, vertex models), and hybrid discrete-continuum models. In this way, we hope to assist future researchers in choosing a model for the phenomenon they want to model and understand. The article also contains some novel results.

  2. Measurement of drug facilitated sexual assault agents in simulated sweat by ion mobility spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Demoranville, Leonard T; Verkouteren, Jennifer R

    2013-03-15

    Ion mobility spectrometry has found widespread use for the detection of explosives and illicit drugs. The technique offers rapid results with high sensitivity and little sample preparation. As such, it is well suited for field deployed screening settings. Here the response of ion mobility spectrometers for three drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) agents - flunitrazepam, ketamine, and MDMA - and related metabolites has been studied in the presence of a simulated sweat. While all three DFSA agents present certain challenges for qualitative identification, IMS can provide useful information to guide the early treatment and investigation of sexual assault cases. Used as a presumptive test, the identification of DFSA agents would later require confirmatory analysis by other techniques. PMID:23598140

  3. ActivitySim: large-scale agent based activity generation for infrastructure simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Gali, Emmanuel; Eidenbenz, Stephan; Mniszewski, Sue; Cuellar, Leticia; Teuscher, Christof

    2008-01-01

    The United States' Department of Homeland Security aims to model, simulate, and analyze critical infrastructure and their interdependencies across multiple sectors such as electric power, telecommunications, water distribution, transportation, etc. We introduce ActivitySim, an activity simulator for a population of millions of individual agents each characterized by a set of demographic attributes that is based on US census data. ActivitySim generates daily schedules for each agent that consists of a sequence of activities, such as sleeping, shopping, working etc., each being scheduled at a geographic location, such as businesses or private residences that is appropriate for the activity type and for the personal situation of the agent. ActivitySim has been developed as part of a larger effort to understand the interdependencies among national infrastructure networks and their demand profiles that emerge from the different activities of individuals in baseline scenarios as well as emergency scenarios, such as hurricane evacuations. We present the scalable software engineering principles underlying ActivitySim, the socia-technical modeling paradigms that drive the activity generation, and proof-of-principle results for a scenario in the Twin Cities, MN area of 2.6 M agents.

  4. Survey: Destruction of chemical agent simulants in supercritical water oxidation. Master's thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Blank, M.R.

    1992-07-01

    The supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) process exhibits distinct advantages for destruction of toxic wastes. Examples of these wastes are two chemical agent simulants, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) and thiodiglycol (2,2'-thiodiethanol). DMMP is similar to the nerve agent GB Sarin in structure, and thiodiglycol is a hydrolysis product of the blister agent HD Sulfur Mustard. Both simulants are miscible in water and relatively non-toxic in comparison to the actual chemical agents. Using a Laboratory-scale, batch three temperatures were investigated: 425 deg C, 450 deg C, and 500 deg C with an initial concentration of one percent by volume, 11,450 mg/L for DMMP and 12,220 mg/L for thiodiglycol. Residence times investigated were: 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 minutes. Reactor beat-up (H.U.) was determined to be one minute. Both pyrolysis and oxidation tests were conducted. Oxygen levels were uniformly set at 200% of stoichiometric requirements for the parent compounds.

  5. Evolutionary Agent-Based Simulation of the Introduction of New Technologies in Air Traffic Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yliniemi, Logan; Agogino, Adrian K.; Tumer, Kagan

    2014-01-01

    Accurate simulation of the effects of integrating new technologies into a complex system is critical to the modernization of our antiquated air traffic system, where there exist many layers of interacting procedures, controls, and automation all designed to cooperate with human operators. Additions of even simple new technologies may result in unexpected emergent behavior due to complex human/ machine interactions. One approach is to create high-fidelity human models coming from the field of human factors that can simulate a rich set of behaviors. However, such models are difficult to produce, especially to show unexpected emergent behavior coming from many human operators interacting simultaneously within a complex system. Instead of engineering complex human models, we directly model the emergent behavior by evolving goal directed agents, representing human users. Using evolution we can predict how the agent representing the human user reacts given his/her goals. In this paradigm, each autonomous agent in a system pursues individual goals, and the behavior of the system emerges from the interactions, foreseen or unforeseen, between the agents/actors. We show that this method reflects the integration of new technologies in a historical case, and apply the same methodology for a possible future technology.

  6. IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS EFFICIENCY USING A MULTI-AGENT SIMULATION FOR HIGHWAY PATROL ON URBAN EXPRESSWAY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Taro; Taniguchi, Eiichi; Yamada, Tadashi

    In Japan, the network of urban expressway has been expanding with the development of urban areas. However, the patrol systems in the urban expressway has not been operated on the basis of scientific evidence, but of conformity and experience. It is therefore crucial to efficiently operate such systems, not only to facilitate the rapid recovery of decreased expressway functionality, but also to acquire the income that supports the operation of privatized expressway companies. Therefore, we develop a multiagent simulation model consisting of the decision-making of four agents, including expressway company, highway patol company, road network users and road authority. These agents determines their schemes depending on their profit obtained. Results of the simulation identyfies the schemes that could offer the profits to the expressway companies in terms of the convenience of the users and the improvement of their operation.

  7. Single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry for the detection and identification of chemical warfare agent simulants.

    PubMed

    Martin, Audrey N; Farquar, George R; Frank, Matthias; Gard, Eric E; Fergenson, David P

    2007-08-15

    Single-particle aerosol mass spectrometry (SPAMS) was used for the real-time detection of liquid nerve agent simulants. A total of 1000 dual-polarity time-of-flight mass spectra were obtained for micrometer-sized single particles each of dimethyl methyl phosphonate, diethyl ethyl phosphonate, diethyl phosphoramidate, and diethyl phthalate using laser fluences between 0.58 and 7.83 nJ/microm2, and mass spectral variation with laser fluence was studied. The mass spectra obtained allowed identification of single particles of the chemical warfare agent (CWA) simulants at each laser fluence used although lower laser fluences allowed more facile identification. SPAMS is presented as a promising real-time detection system for the presence of CWAs. PMID:17630721

  8. Multi-agent system for short and long-term power market simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, J.; Botterud, A.; Conzelmann, G.; Koritarov, V.

    2009-04-01

    In this paper we give an overview of the Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System (EMCAS) model. EMCAS uses the agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) technique to model the market participants in electricity markets as different agents with different strategies, risk preferences, and objectives. The complex operations of an electricity market can be simulated across several time horizons from day-ahead scheduling to long-term expansion planning. The methodology used in the model is discussed and a central European case is utilized to illustrate how EMCAS can be used to analyze a power system's operation under various assumptions. The results show the effectiveness of the model, and how the ABMS approach allows the testing of different market conditions.

  9. A rhodamine-deoxylactam based sensor for chromo-fluorogenic detection of nerve agent simulant.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhisheng; Wu, Xuanjun; Yang, Yuhui; Wen, Ting-bin; Han, Shoufa

    2012-10-15

    N-(rhodamine B)-deoxylactam-5-amino-1-pentanol (dRB-APOH) was designed and prepared as the chromo-fluorogenic sensor for detection of a nerve agent simulant via analyte triggered tandem phosphorylation and opening of the intramolecular deoxylactam. The successful detection of diethyl chlorophosphate suggests the utility of rhodamine-deoxylactams as the chromo-fluorogenic signal reporting platform for design of sensors targeting reactive chemical species via various chemistries. PMID:22995618

  10. GridLAB-D: An Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Smart Grids

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Chassin, David P.; Fuller, Jason C.; Djilali, Ned

    2014-01-01

    Simulation of smart grid technologies requires a fundamentally new approach to integrated modeling of power systems, energy markets, building technologies, and the plethora of other resources and assets that are becoming part of modern electricity production, delivery, and consumption systems. As a result, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity commissioned the development of a new type of power system simulation tool called GridLAB-D that uses an agent-based approach to simulating smart grids. This paper presents the numerical methods and approach to time-series simulation used by GridLAB-D and reviews applications in power system studies, market design, building control systemmore » design, and integration of wind power in a smart grid.« less

  11. Quantitative agent-based firm dynamics simulation with parameters estimated by financial and transaction data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Yuichi; Souma, Wataru; Aoyama, Hideaki; Iyetomi, Hiroshi; Fujiwara, Yoshi; Kaizoji, Taisei

    2007-03-01

    Firm dynamics on a transaction network is considered from the standpoint of econophysics, agent-based simulations, and game theory. In this model, interacting firms rationally invest in a production facility to maximize net present value. We estimate parameters used in the model through empirical analysis of financial and transaction data. We propose two different methods ( analytical method and regression method) to obtain an interaction matrix of firms. On a subset of a real transaction network, we simulate firm's revenue, cost, and fixed asset, which is the accumulated investment for the production facility. The simulation reproduces the quantitative behavior of past revenues and costs within a standard error when we use the interaction matrix estimated by the regression method, in which only transaction pairs are taken into account. Furthermore, the simulation qualitatively reproduces past data of fixed assets.

  12. GridLAB-D: An Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Smart Grids

    SciTech Connect

    Chassin, David P.; Fuller, Jason C.; Djilali, Ned

    2014-06-23

    Simulation of smart grid technologies requires a fundamentally new approach to integrated modeling of power systems, energy markets, building technologies, and the plethora of other resources and assets that are becoming part of modern electricity production, delivery, and consumption systems. As a result, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity commissioned the development of a new type of power system simulation tool called GridLAB-D that uses an agent-based approach to simulating smart grids. This paper presents the numerical methods and approach to time-series simulation used by GridLAB-D and reviews applications in power system studies, market design, building control system design, and integration of wind power in a smart grid.

  13. Role of coating agent in iron oxide nanoparticle formation in an aqueous dispersion: Experiments and simulation.

    PubMed

    Bachhar, Nirmalya; Bandyopadhyaya, Rajdip

    2016-02-15

    Iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticle was synthesized by coprecipitation and was modeled and solved using a hybrid (discrete-continuous) model, based on a kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulation scheme. The latter was combined with the constant number MC method, to improve both speed and accuracy of the simulation. Complete particle size distribution (PSD) from simulation matches very well with PSD of both uncoated and coated (with either polyacrylic acid or dextran) Fe3O4 nanoparticles, obtained from our experiments. The model is general, as the time scales of various processes (nucleation, diffusion-growth and coagulation-growth) are incorporated in rate equations, while, input simulation parameters are experimentally measured quantities. With the help of the validated model, effect of coating agent on coagulation-growth was estimated by a single, fitted, coagulation-efficiency parameter. Our simulation shows that, logarithm of coagulation-efficiency scales linearly with logarithm of inverse of the molecular weight of the coating agent. With this scaling law, our model is able to a priori predict the experimental PSD of Fe3O4 nanoparticles, synthesized with an even higher molecular weight of dextran. PMID:26624531

  14. Principles of antidote pharmacology: an update on prophylaxis, post-exposure treatment recommendations and research initiatives for biological agents

    PubMed Central

    Ramasamy, S; Liu, CQ; Tran, H; Gubala, A; Gauci, P; McAllister, J; Vo, T

    2010-01-01

    The use of biological agents has generally been confined to military-led conflicts. However, there has been an increase in non-state-based terrorism, including the use of asymmetric warfare, such as biological agents in the past few decades. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to consider strategies for preventing and preparing for attacks by insurgents, such as the development of pre- and post-exposure medical countermeasures. There are a wide range of prophylactics and treatments being investigated to combat the effects of biological agents. These include antibiotics (for both conventional and unconventional use), antibodies, anti-virals, immunomodulators, nucleic acids (analogues, antisense, ribozymes and DNAzymes), bacteriophage therapy and micro-encapsulation. While vaccines are commercially available for the prevention of anthrax, cholera, plague, Q fever and smallpox, there are no licensed vaccines available for use in the case of botulinum toxins, viral encephalitis, melioidosis or ricin. Antibiotics are still recommended as the mainstay treatment following exposure to anthrax, plague, Q fever and melioidosis. Anti-toxin therapy and anti-virals may be used in the case of botulinum toxins or smallpox respectively. However, supportive care is the only, or mainstay, post-exposure treatment for cholera, viral encephalitis and ricin – a recommendation that has not changed in decades. Indeed, with the difficulty that antibiotic resistance poses, the development and further evaluation of techniques and atypical pharmaceuticals are fundamental to the development of prophylaxis and post-exposure treatment options. The aim of this review is to present an update on prophylaxis and post-exposure treatment recommendations and research initiatives for biological agents in the open literature from 2007 to 2009. PMID:20860656

  15. The noncontact detection of nerve agent simulants on U.S. military CARC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petryk, Michael W. P.

    2009-05-01

    The non-contact detection of chemical warfare agent simulants is achieved in the condensed phase using polarization modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PMIRRAS). The G-series nerve agent simulants, trimethyl phosphate (TMP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP), are detected on US military chemical agent resistant coating (CARC) using PMIRRAS. Optimal detector angles for PMIRRAS are determined, as are absorption features which can be used to distinguish between the spectral contributions of the substrate (CARC) and the analyte (TMP or TEP). Ab initio calculations carried out at the B3LYP / 6-31G(d,p) level of theory and basis set are used to predict the most stable simulant conformations, and their harmonic (unscaled) vibrational frequencies. Ab initio vibrational frequency data is used to explain the existence of both upward-oriented and downward-oriented PMIRRAS absorption features in terms of molecular orientation at a surface and the orientation of the dipole derivative vector of a given vibrational mode.

  16. Detection and Tracking of a Novel Genetically Tagged Biological Simulant in the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Emanuel, Peter A.; Buckley, Patricia E.; Sutton, Tiffany A.; Edmonds, Jason M.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Rivers, Bryan A.; Kim, Michael H.; Ginley, William J.; Keiser, Christopher C.; Doherty, Robert W.; Kragl, F. Joseph; Narayanan, Fiona E.; Katoski, Sarah E.; Paikoff, Sari; Leppert, Samuel P.; Strawbridge, John B.; VanReenen, Daniel R.; Biberos, Sally S.; Moore, Douglas; Phillips, Douglas W.; Mingioni, Lisa R.; Melles, Ogba; Ondercin, Daniel G.; Hirsh, Beth; Bieschke, Kendall M.; Harris, Crystal L.; Omberg, Kristin M.; Rastogi, Vipin K.; Van Cuyk, Sheila

    2012-01-01

    A variant of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki containing a single, stable copy of a uniquely amplifiable DNA oligomer integrated into the genome for tracking the fate of biological agents in the environment was developed. The use of genetically tagged spores overcomes the ambiguity of discerning the test material from pre-existing environmental microflora or from previously released background material. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of the genetically “barcoded” simulant in a controlled indoor setting and in an outdoor release. In an ambient breeze tunnel test, spores deposited on tiles were reaerosolized and detected by real-time PCR at distances of 30 m from the point of deposition. Real-time PCR signals were inversely correlated with distance from the seeded tiles. An outdoor release of powdered spore simulant at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood, MD, was monitored from a distance by a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) laser. Over a 2-week period, an array of air sampling units collected samples were analyzed for the presence of viable spores and using barcode-specific real-time PCR assays. Barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores were unambiguously identified on the day of the release, and viable material was recovered in a pattern consistent with the cloud track predicted by prevailing winds and by data tracks provided by the LIDAR system. Finally, the real-time PCR assays successfully differentiated barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores from wild-type spores under field conditions. PMID:23001670

  17. PERSISTENCE AND DESTRUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL AGENTS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL LEACHATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research into the permanence of final disposal of the inactivated or active agents of terrorism must be examined by looking at the fate of various agents in the most likely medium of escape. Fate is determined by looking at the transport and the activation status. The likely esca...

  18. Feces, dead horses, and fleas. Evolution of the hostile use of biological agents.

    PubMed Central

    Lesho, M E; Dorsey, M D; Bunner, D

    1998-01-01

    Selected events in the history of biological weapons are highlighted to increase physicians' awareness of the threat of biological weapons. The hostile use of biological substances originated in antiquity and pervades the history of human conflict. Although difficult to verify at times, the use of such weaponry has not been limited to national militaries. Disgruntled civilians and even physicians have used biological weapons to promote their interests. Their potency, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to manufacture and deploy them with little sophistication, or under the semblance of legitimate commercial endeavors, will ensure that biological weapons remain a constant threat to public health. PMID:9655992

  19. Early indicators of exposure to biological threat agents using host gene profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells

    PubMed Central

    Das, Rina; Hammamieh, Rasha; Neill, Roger; Ludwig, George V; Eker, Steven; Lincoln, Patrick; Ramamoorthy, Preveen; Dhokalia, Apsara; Mani, Sachin; Mendis, Chanaka; Cummings, Christiano; Kearney, Brian; Royaee, Atabak; Huang, Xiao-Zhe; Paranavitana, Chrysanthi; Smith, Leonard; Peel, Sheila; Kanesa-Thasan, Niranjan; Hoover, David; Lindler, Luther E; Yang, David; Henchal, Erik; Jett, Marti

    2008-01-01

    Background Effective prophylaxis and treatment for infections caused by biological threat agents (BTA) rely upon early diagnosis and rapid initiation of therapy. Most methods for identifying pathogens in body fluids and tissues require that the pathogen proliferate to detectable and dangerous levels, thereby delaying diagnosis and treatment, especially during the prelatent stages when symptoms for most BTA are indistinguishable flu-like signs. Methods To detect exposures to the various pathogens more rapidly, especially during these early stages, we evaluated a suite of host responses to biological threat agents using global gene expression profiling on complementary DNA arrays. Results We found that certain gene expression patterns were unique to each pathogen and that other gene changes occurred in response to multiple agents, perhaps relating to the eventual course of illness. Nonhuman primates were exposed to some pathogens and the in vitro and in vivo findings were compared. We found major gene expression changes at the earliest times tested post exposure to aerosolized B. anthracis spores and 30 min post exposure to a bacterial toxin. Conclusion Host gene expression patterns have the potential to serve as diagnostic markers or predict the course of impending illness and may lead to new stage-appropriate therapeutic strategies to ameliorate the devastating effects of exposure to biothreat agents. PMID:18667072

  20. Efficacy of biological agents administered as monotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis: a Bayesian mixed-treatment comparison analysis

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, Alberto; Bizzi, Emanuele; Egan, Colin Gerard; Bernardi, Mauro; Petrella, Lea

    2015-01-01

    Background Biological agents provide an important therapeutic alternative for rheumatoid arthritis patients refractory to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Few head-to-head comparative trials are available. Purpose The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the relative efficacy of different biologic agents indicated for use as monotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Methods A systemic literature search was performed on electronic databases to identify articles reporting double-blind randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of biologic agents indicated for monotherapy. Efficacy was assessed using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20, 50, and 70 criteria at 16–24 weeks. Relative efficacy was estimated using Bayesian mixed-treatment comparison models. Outcome measures were expressed as odds ratio and 95% credible intervals. Results Ten randomized controlled trials were selected for data extraction and analysis. Mixed-treatment comparison analysis revealed that tocilizumab offered 100% probability of being the best treatment for inducing an ACR20 response versus placebo, methotrexate, adalimumab, or etanercept. Likewise, for ACR50 and ACR70 outcome responses, tocilizumab had a 99.8% or 98.7% probability of being the best treatment, respectively, compared to other treatments or placebo. Tocilizumab increased the relative probability of being the best treatment (vs methotrexate) by 3.2-fold (odds ratio: 2.1–3.89) for all ACR outcomes. Conclusion Tocilizumab offered the greatest possibility of obtaining an ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 outcome vs other monotherapies or placebo. PMID:26366085

  1. Decontamination by Persteril 36 may affect the reliability of DNA-based detection of biological warfare agents-short communication.

    PubMed

    Josefiova, Jirina; Pospisek, Martin; Vanek, Daniel

    2016-09-01

    Persteril 36 is a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Because of its bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and sporicidal effectiveness, it is used as a disinfectant against biological warfare agents in the emergency and army services. In case of an attack with potentially harmful biological agents, a person's gear or afflicted skin is sprayed with a diluted solution of Persteril 36 as a precaution. Subsequently, the remains of the biological agents are analyzed. However, the question remains concerning whether DNA can be successfully analyzed from Persteril 36-treated dead bacterial cells. Spore-forming Bacillus subtilis and Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Xanthomonas campestris were splattered on a camouflage suit and treated with 2 or 0.2 % Persteril 36. After the disinfectant vaporized, the bacterial DNA was extracted and quantified by real-time PCR. A sufficient amount of DNA was recovered for downstream analysis only in the case of spore-forming B. subtilis treated with a 0.2 % solution of Persteril 36. The bacterial DNA was almost completely destroyed in Gram-negative bacteria or after treatment with the more concentrated solution in B. subtilis. This phenomenon can lead to false-negative results during the identification of harmful microorganisms. PMID:26910525

  2. Micro-Radiography of Living Biological Organisms with MEDIPIX2 Detector and Application of Various Contrast Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dammer, Jiri; Sopko, Vit; Jakubek, Jan; Weyda, Frantisek; Benes, Jiri; Zahorovsky, Julian

    2012-08-01

    We describe a newly developed radiographic system equipped with Medipix2 semiconductor pixel detector and a micro-focus FeinFocus X-ray tube tabletop. The detector is used as an imager that counts individual photons of ionizing radiation, emitted by the X-ray tube. The digital pixel detectors of the Medipix family represent a highly efficient type of imaging devices with high spatial resolution better than 1μm, and unlimited dynamic range allowing single particle of radiation and to determine their energies. The setup is particularly suitable for radiographic imaging of small biological samples, including in vivo observations with various contrast agents (iodine and lanthanum nitrate). Along with the description of the apparatus we provide examples of application of iodine and lanthanum nitrate contrast agents as tracers in various insects as model organisms. The iodine contrast agent increases the absorption of X-rays and this leads to better resolution of internal structures of biological organisms, and especially the various cavities, pores, etc. Micro-radiographic imaging helps to detect organisms living in a not visible environment, visualize internal biological processes and also to resolve the details of their body (morphology). Tiny live insects are an ideal object for our studies.

  3. Monte Carlo simulations of dose enhancement around gold nanoparticles used as X-ray imaging contrast agents and radiosensitizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, W. B.; Müllner, M.; Greiter, M. B.; Bissardon, C.; Xie, W. Z.; Schlatll, H.; Oeh, U.; Li, J. L.; Hoeschen, C.

    2014-03-01

    Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were demonstrated as X-ray imaging contrast agents and radiosensitizers in mice. However, the translational medical applications of GNPs in to the clinical practice need further detailed information on the biological effects related to the enhanced doses in malignant and healthy cells. The idea of improving radiotherapy with high atomic number materials, especially gold foils, was initiated in our research unit in the 1980s. Recently, experimental and theoretical efforts were made to investigate the potential improvement of imaging and radiotherapy with GNPs. Initially, the present work attempts to validate the dose enhancement effects of GNPs to cancer cells; secondly, it intends to examine the possible side effects on healthy cells when using GNPs as X-ray contrast agent. In this study, three Monte Carlo simulation programs, namely PENELOPE-2011, GEANT4 and EGSnrc were used to simulate the local energy deposition and the resulting dose enhancement of GNPs. Diameters of the GNPs were assumed to be 2 nm, 15 nm, 50 nm, 100 nm and 200 nm. The X-ray energy spectra for irradiation were 60 kVp, 80 kVp, 100 kVp, 150 kVp with a filtering of 2.7 mm Al for projectional radiography, and 8 mm Al for 100 kVp and 150 kVp for computed tomography. Additional peak energy of 200 kVp was simulated for radiotherapy purpose. The information of energy deposition and dose enhancement can help understanding the physical processes of medical imaging and the implication of nanoparticles in radiotherapy.

  4. Process Simulation of Complex Biological Pathways in Physical Reactive Space and Reformulated for Massively Parallel Computing Platforms.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, Narayan; Li, Jie; Sharma, Vishakha; Jiang, Hanyu; Compagnoni, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems encompass complexity that far surpasses many artificial systems. Modeling and simulation of large and complex biochemical pathways is a computationally intensive challenge. Traditional tools, such as ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, stochastic master equations, and Gillespie type methods, are all limited either by their modeling fidelity or computational efficiency or both. In this work, we present a scalable computational framework based on modeling biochemical reactions in explicit 3D space, that is suitable for studying the behavior of large and complex biological pathways. The framework is designed to exploit parallelism and scalability offered by commodity massively parallel processors such as the graphics processing units (GPUs) and other parallel computing platforms. The reaction modeling in 3D space is aimed at enhancing the realism of the model compared to traditional modeling tools and framework. We introduce the Parallel Select algorithm that is key to breaking the sequential bottleneck limiting the performance of most other tools designed to study biochemical interactions. The algorithm is designed to be computationally tractable, handle hundreds of interacting chemical species and millions of independent agents by considering all-particle interactions within the system. We also present an implementation of the framework on the popular graphics processing units and apply it to the simulation study of JAK-STAT Signal Transduction Pathway. The computational framework will offer a deeper insight into various biological processes within the cell and help us observe key events as they unfold in space and time. This will advance the current state-of-the-art in simulation study of large scale biological systems and also enable the realistic simulation study of macro-biological cultures, where inter-cellular interactions are prevalent. PMID:27045833

  5. Advanced Computer Simulations Of Nanomaterials And Stochastic Biological Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minakova, Maria S.

    This dissertation consists of several parts. The first two chapters are devoted to of study of dynamic processes in cellular organelles called filopodia. A stochastic kinetics approach is used to describe non-equilibrium evolution of the filopodial system from nano- to micro scales. Dynamic coupling between chemistry and mechanics is also taken into account in order to investigate the influence of focal adhesions on cell motility. The second chapter explores the possibilities and effects of motor enhanced delivery of actin monomers to the polymerizing tips of filopodia, and how the steady-state filopodial length can exceed the limit set by pure diffusion. Finally, we also challenge the currently existing view of active transport and propose a new theoretical model that accurately describes the motor dynamics and concentration profiles seen in experiments in a physically meaningful way. The third chapter is a result of collaboration between three laboratories, as a part of Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The work presented here unified the fields of synthetic chemistry, photochemistry, and computational physical chemistry in order to investigate a novel bio-synthetic compound and its energy transfer capabilities. This particular peptide-based design has never been studied via Molecular Dynamics with high precision, and it is the first attempt known to us to simulate the whole chromophore-peptide complex in solution in order to gain detailed information about its structural and dynamic features. The fourth chapter deals with the non-equilibrium relaxation induced transport of water molecules in a microemulsion. This problem required a different set of methodologies and a more detailed, all-atomistic treatment of the system. We found interesting water clustering effects and elucidated the most probable mechanism of water transfer through oil under the condition of saturated Langmuir monolayers. Together these

  6. Chemical agent simulants for testing transparent materials. Contractor report, September 1987-January 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, R.E.; Liebman, S.A.; Isaacson, L.; Grasso, P.S.; Sarver, E.W.

    1988-05-01

    Transparent polymeric materials undergo physical changes when exposed to chemical warfare agents. The object of this task was to: 1) select candidate liquids to simulate GB, VX and HD effects (three each) and 2) perform three point bend tests to determine critical strain values for cracking/crazing for simulant/transparent-polymer materials combinations. The critical-strain tests were accomplished using ASTM method D790-80 for stress crazing. The method was modified and enhanced to detect stress crazing via changes in reflection/diffraction patterns produced with a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser. Four transparent-polymer materials were tested; namely, as cast polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), biaxially stretched PMMA, polycarbonate and polyurethane GAC-590. The critical-strain values obtained for the simulant/polymer combinations are presented as a four-by-nine map that allows easy comparisons as a function of material or simulant. Comparison with actual agent data is possible using this four-by-nine map.

  7. Agents, assemblers, and ANTS: scheduling assembly with market and biological software mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toth-Fejel, Tihamer T.

    2000-06-01

    Nanoscale assemblers will need robust, scalable, flexible, and well-understood mechanisms such as software agents to control them. This paper discusses assemblers and agents, and proposes a taxonomy of their possible interaction. Molecular assembly is seen as a special case of general assembly, subject to many of the same issues, such as the advantages of convergent assembly, and the problem of scheduling. This paper discusses the contract net architecture of ANTS, an agent-based scheduling application under development. It also describes an algorithm for least commitment scheduling, which uses probabilistic committed capacity profiles of resources over time, along with realistic costs, to provide an abstract search space over which the agents can wander to quickly find optimal solutions.

  8. Novel cytotoxic and biological agents for prostate cancer: where will the money be in 2005?

    PubMed

    Strother, John M; Beer, Tomasz M; Dreicer, Robert

    2005-04-01

    In 2004, docetaxel-based chemotherapy became the first treatment capable of extending life in androgen-independent prostate cancer. The era of therapeutic nihilism in this disease has thus been put to rest and a broad range of agents is being tested with the goal of improving on the successes of 2004. Lessons learned from other tumour types will need to be applied to prostate cancer in order to harness the bounty of available ideas. Target amplification or activating mutations and not merely the presence of a target are likely to be important to the success of targeted agents. Thus, the promise of the current crop of targeted agents is most likely to be realised when pursued in the context of well-credentialed targets and tested in highly translational clinical trials that are capable not only of assessing tumour response, but also of evaluating the status of the targeted pathway. The most promising agents in clinical development are reviewed. PMID:15808961

  9. An Agent-Based Labor Market Simulation with Endogenous Skill-Demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gemkow, S.

    This paper considers an agent-based labor market simulation to examine the influence of skills on wages and unemployment rates. Therefore less and highly skilled workers as well as less and highly productive vacancies are implemented. The skill distribution is exogenous whereas the distribution of the less and highly productive vacancies is endogenous. The different opportunities of the skill groups on the labor market are established by skill requirements. This means that a highly productive vacancy can only be filled by a highly skilled unemployed. Different skill distributions, which can also be interpreted as skill-biased technological change, are simulated by incrementing the skill level of highly skilled persons exogenously. This simulation also provides a microeconomic foundation of the matching function often used in theoretical approaches.

  10. Security Analysis of Selected AMI Failure Scenarios Using Agent Based Game Theoretic Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Abercrombie, Robert K; Schlicher, Bob G; Sheldon, Frederick T

    2014-01-01

    Information security analysis can be performed using game theory implemented in dynamic Agent Based Game Theoretic (ABGT) simulations. Such simulations can be verified with the results from game theory analysis and further used to explore larger scale, real world scenarios involving multiple attackers, defenders, and information assets. We concentrated our analysis on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) functional domain which the National Electric Sector Cyber security Organization Resource (NESCOR) working group has currently documented 29 failure scenarios. The strategy for the game was developed by analyzing five electric sector representative failure scenarios contained in the AMI functional domain. From these five selected scenarios, we characterize them into three specific threat categories affecting confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA). The analysis using our ABGT simulation demonstrates how to model the AMI functional domain using a set of rationalized game theoretic rules decomposed from the failure scenarios in terms of how those scenarios might impact the AMI network with respect to CIA.

  11. Model reduction for agent-based social simulation: coarse-graining a civil violence model.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yu; Fonoberov, Vladimir A; Fonoberova, Maria; Mezic, Igor; Kevrekidis, Ioannis G

    2012-06-01

    Agent-based modeling (ABM) constitutes a powerful computational tool for the exploration of phenomena involving emergent dynamic behavior in the social sciences. This paper demonstrates a computer-assisted approach that bridges the significant gap between the single-agent microscopic level and the macroscopic (coarse-grained population) level, where fundamental questions must be rationally answered and policies guiding the emergent dynamics devised. Our approach will be illustrated through an agent-based model of civil violence. This spatiotemporally varying ABM incorporates interactions between a heterogeneous population of citizens [active (insurgent), inactive, or jailed] and a population of police officers. Detailed simulations exhibit an equilibrium punctuated by periods of social upheavals. We show how to effectively reduce the agent-based dynamics to a stochastic model with only two coarse-grained degrees of freedom: the number of jailed citizens and the number of active ones. The coarse-grained model captures the ABM dynamics while drastically reducing the computation time (by a factor of approximately 20). PMID:23005161

  12. Model reduction for agent-based social simulation: Coarse-graining a civil violence model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Yu; Fonoberov, Vladimir A.; Fonoberova, Maria; Mezic, Igor; Kevrekidis, Ioannis G.

    2012-06-01

    Agent-based modeling (ABM) constitutes a powerful computational tool for the exploration of phenomena involving emergent dynamic behavior in the social sciences. This paper demonstrates a computer-assisted approach that bridges the significant gap between the single-agent microscopic level and the macroscopic (coarse-grained population) level, where fundamental questions must be rationally answered and policies guiding the emergent dynamics devised. Our approach will be illustrated through an agent-based model of civil violence. This spatiotemporally varying ABM incorporates interactions between a heterogeneous population of citizens [active (insurgent), inactive, or jailed] and a population of police officers. Detailed simulations exhibit an equilibrium punctuated by periods of social upheavals. We show how to effectively reduce the agent-based dynamics to a stochastic model with only two coarse-grained degrees of freedom: the number of jailed citizens and the number of active ones. The coarse-grained model captures the ABM dynamics while drastically reducing the computation time (by a factor of approximately 20).

  13. Parallel Agent-Based Simulations on Clusters of GPUs and Multi-Core Processors

    SciTech Connect

    Aaby, Brandon G; Perumalla, Kalyan S; Seal, Sudip K

    2010-01-01

    An effective latency-hiding mechanism is presented in the parallelization of agent-based model simulations (ABMS) with millions of agents. The mechanism is designed to accommodate the hierarchical organization as well as heterogeneity of current state-of-the-art parallel computing platforms. We use it to explore the computation vs. communication trade-off continuum available with the deep computational and memory hierarchies of extant platforms and present a novel analytical model of the tradeoff. We describe our implementation and report preliminary performance results on two distinct parallel platforms suitable for ABMS: CUDA threads on multiple, networked graphical processing units (GPUs), and pthreads on multi-core processors. Message Passing Interface (MPI) is used for inter-GPU as well as inter-socket communication on a cluster of multiple GPUs and multi-core processors. Results indicate the benefits of our latency-hiding scheme, delivering as much as over 100-fold improvement in runtime for certain benchmark ABMS application scenarios with several million agents. This speed improvement is obtained on our system that is already two to three orders of magnitude faster on one GPU than an equivalent CPU-based execution in a popular simulator in Java. Thus, the overall execution of our current work is over four orders of magnitude faster when executed on multiple GPUs.

  14. Combination of biobarcode assay with on-chip capillary electrophoresis for ultrasensitive and multiplex biological agent detection.

    PubMed

    Cho, Minkyung; Chung, Soyi; Jung, Jae Hwan; Rhie, Gi-eun; Jeon, Jun Ho; Seo, Tae Seok

    2014-11-15

    Early diagnosis of biological agents is of paramount importance to prevent the casualties and fatal disease in human during bioterrorism or biological warfare. In this study, we reported an efficient and sensitive multiplex biological agent detection method based on the DNA biobarcode assay and the micro-capillary electrophoresis (μCE) technology. Monoplex as well as multiplex pathogen identification was performed using five targets including Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Vaccinia virus and Botulinum toxin A. Through the DNA biobarcode assay process, the magnetic microparticle-pathogen-polystyrene microbead complexes were formed, and the FAM labeled single stranded barcode DNA could be released from the complexes upon denaturation. Different lengths of a barcode DNA were designed to designate each pathogen, so that the specific peak elution time in the capillary electrophoresis on a chip allows us to distinguish the target with high accuracy within 3 min. We improved the assignment accuracy of the peak in the electropherogram by adding two bracket ladders. Owing to the abundant amount of barcode DNAs, the presence of B. anthracis, F. tularensis, Y. pestis, Vaccinia virus was confirmed with a limit of detection of 50CFU/mL, while Botulinum toxin A was analyzed even at a concentration of 12.5 ag/mL. Multiple pathogen detection was also successfully conducted in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) as well as a serum medium with background of other pathogens. Thus, our analytical platform based on the biobarcode assay and on-chip CE analysis provides rapid, sensitive, multiplex, and accurate biological agent identification. PMID:24878840

  15. Simulation-based examination of the limits of performance for decentralized multi-agent surveillance and tracking of undersea targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Cameron K.; Newman, Andrew J.; Spall, James C.

    2014-06-01

    This paper examines the limits of performance for an ensemble of cooperating, mobile sensing agents executing an undersea surveillance mission. The objective of the multi-agent ensemble is to minimize uncertainty concerning the presence and location of targets as the multi-target system evolves over time. Each agent is capable of sensing, communicating with other agents, processing data to infer states of interest (fusion), and deciding on and executing motion commands. Each agent continually executes a perception-action cycle in which it fuses information to determine its best estimate of the multi-target system state and decides on its next (and possibly future) motion action(s) to optimize a criterion related to its entropic state (quantification of information gain or loss). Each agent's perception of the states of interest is derived from measurements captured by its own sensor(s) and information communicated by other agents. Each agent's decisions are based on its estimates of the multi­ target system state, its entropic state, and its predictions of peer agent actions. The multi-agent cooperative decision making can be modeled as a cyclic optimization whereby the joint decision vector is optimized by sequentially optimizing each individual agent's decision vector while holding the others fixed. Moreover, the problem is a cyclic stochastic optimization (CSO) whereby only noisy measurements of the objective function are available to each agent. Preliminary theoretical results have recently emerged regarding convergence conditions and sub-optimality for CSO. This paper examines the implications and applicability of CSO convergence and sub-optimality via simulation- based experiments in the context of a cooperating multi-agent ensemble of undersea sensing agents searching a region for new targets and maintaining track on all discovered targets. Simulation results indicate that the theoretical results provide useful guidance on predicting the empirically

  16. Polymers as directing agents for motions of chemical and biological species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanyeri, Nihan Yonet

    This thesis involves descriptions of solid surface modifications with various polymeric materials which were used as a guiding agent for motion of chemical and biological species. Quasi-two dimensional poly(oligoethylene glycol) acrylate polymer brush based molecular conduits have been designed with the goal of regulating and controlling the diffusive transport of molecular, e.g. organic dyes, and ionic species, e.g. AuCl4-, and Cu2+ ions, along predefined 2-D pathways. The transport of these chemical species has been examined by both fluorescence and dark field microscopy. The polymer brushes were formed through microcontact printing of an initiator, followed by surface-initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (SI-ATRP). SI-ATRP enables both 2-D patterning with a resolution of about 1 micrometer, and control over the resultant polymer brush thickness (which was varied from 10-100 nm). A hydrophilic poly(oligoethylene glycol) acrylate brushe was selected because of its potential to dissolve a wide range of hydrophilic species. The transport of fluorescent species can be directly followed. A non-lithographic fabrication method was developed for mufluidic devices used in the diffusion studies. Singular channel mufluidic device was utilized to study the directed organic dye diffusion. The AuCl4-, and Cu 2+ ion transport was studied by designing molecular devices with two mufluidic channels. We have demonstrated that the various species of interest diffuse much more rapidly along the predefined pathway than along the bare (polymer brush free) regions of the substrate, demonstrating that diffusive conduits for molecular transport can indeed be formed. The protein resistance of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) brushes grafted from silicon wafers was investigated as a function of the chain molecular weight, grafting density, and temperature. Above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32°C, the collapse of the water swollen chains, determined by

  17. Graceful Failure and Societal Resilience Analysis Via Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schopf, P. S.; Cioffi-Revilla, C.; Rogers, J. D.; Bassett, J.; Hailegiorgis, A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Agent-based social modeling is opening up new methodologies for the study of societal response to weather and climate hazards, and providing measures of resiliency that can be studied in many contexts, particularly in coupled human and natural-technological systems (CHANTS). Since CHANTS are complex adaptive systems, societal resiliency may or may not occur, depending on dynamics that lack closed form solutions. Agent-based modeling has been shown to provide a viable theoretical and methodological approach for analyzing and understanding disasters and societal resiliency in CHANTS. Our approach advances the science of societal resilience through computational modeling and simulation methods that complement earlier statistical and mathematical approaches. We present three case studies of social dynamics modeling that demonstrate the use of these agent based models. In Central Asia, we exmaine mutltiple ensemble simulations with varying climate statistics to see how droughts and zuds affect populations, transmission of wealth across generations, and the overall structure of the social system. In Eastern Africa, we explore how successive episodes of drought events affect the adaptive capacity of rural households. Human displacement, mainly, rural to urban migration, and livelihood transition particularly from pastoral to farming are observed as rural households interacting dynamically with the biophysical environment and continually adjust their behavior to accommodate changes in climate. In the far north case we demonstrate one of the first successful attempts to model the complete climate-permafrost-infrastructure-societal interaction network as a complex adaptive system/CHANTS implemented as a ``federated'' agent-based model using evolutionary computation. Analysis of population changes resulting from extreme weather across these and other cases provides evidence for the emergence of new steady states and shifting patterns of resilience.

  18. Using argument notation to engineer biological simulations with increased confidence

    PubMed Central

    Alden, Kieran; Andrews, Paul S.; Polack, Fiona A. C.; Veiga-Fernandes, Henrique; Coles, Mark C.; Timmis, Jon

    2015-01-01

    The application of computational and mathematical modelling to explore the mechanics of biological systems is becoming prevalent. To significantly impact biological research, notably in developing novel therapeutics, it is critical that the model adequately represents the captured system. Confidence in adopting in silico approaches can be improved by applying a structured argumentation approach, alongside model development and results analysis. We propose an approach based on argumentation from safety-critical systems engineering, where a system is subjected to a stringent analysis of compliance against identified criteria. We show its use in examining the biological information upon which a model is based, identifying model strengths, highlighting areas requiring additional biological experimentation and providing documentation to support model publication. We demonstrate our use of structured argumentation in the development of a model of lymphoid tissue formation, specifically Peyer's Patches. The argumentation structure is captured using Artoo (www.york.ac.uk/ycil/software/artoo), our Web-based tool for constructing fitness-for-purpose arguments, using a notation based on the safety-critical goal structuring notation. We show how argumentation helps in making the design and structured analysis of a model transparent, capturing the reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of each biological feature and recording assumptions, as well as pointing to evidence supporting model-derived conclusions. PMID:25589574

  19. A Scaffolding Framework to Support Learning of Emergent Phenomena Using Multi-Agent-Based Simulation Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Satabdi; Sengupta, Pratim; Biswas, Gautam

    2015-04-01

    Students from middle school to college have difficulties in interpreting and understanding complex systems such as ecological phenomena. Researchers have suggested that students experience difficulties in reconciling the relationships between individuals, populations, and species, as well as the interactions between organisms and their environment in the ecosystem. Multi-agent-based computational models (MABMs) can explicitly capture agents and their interactions by representing individual actors as computational objects with assigned rules. As a result, the collective aggregate-level behavior of the population dynamically emerges from simulations that generate the aggregation of these interactions. Past studies have used a variety of scaffolds to help students learn ecological phenomena. Yet, there is no theoretical framework that supports the systematic design of scaffolds to aid students' learning in MABMs. Our paper addresses this issue by proposing a comprehensive framework for the design, analysis, and evaluation of scaffolding to support students' learning of ecology in a MABM. We present a study in which middle school students used a MABM to investigate and learn about a desert ecosystem. We identify the different types of scaffolds needed to support inquiry learning activities in this simulation environment and use our theoretical framework to demonstrate the effectiveness of our scaffolds in helping students develop a deep understanding of the complex ecological behaviors represented in the simulation..

  20. Selective opening of nanoscopic capped mesoporous inorganic materials with nerve agent simulants; an application to design chromo-fluorogenic probes.

    PubMed

    Candel, Inmaculada; Bernardos, Andrea; Climent, Estela; Marcos, M Dolores; Martínez-Máñez, Ramón; Sancenón, Félix; Soto, Juan; Costero, Ana; Gil, Salvador; Parra, Margarita

    2011-08-01

    A hybrid nanoscopic capped mesoporous material, that is selectively opened in the presence of nerve agent simulants, has been prepared and used as a probe for the chromo-fluorogenic detection of these chemicals. PMID:21691625

  1. Decontamination Strategy for Large Area and/or Equipment Contaminated with Chemical and Biological Agents using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL)

    SciTech Connect

    Schoske, Richard; Kennedy, Patrick; Duty, Chad E; Smith, Rob R; Huxford, Theodore J; Bonavita, Angelo M; Engleman, Greg; Vass, Arpad Alexander; Griest, Wayne H; Ilgner, Ralph H; Brown, Gilbert M

    2009-04-01

    A strategy for the decontamination of large areas and or equipment contaminated with Biological Warfare Agents (BWAs) and Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) was demonstrated using a High Energy Arc Lamp (HEAL) photolysis system. This strategy offers an alternative that is potentially quicker, less hazardous, generates far less waste, and is easier to deploy than those currently fielded by the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, for large frame aircraft the United States Air Force still relies on the combination of weathering (stand alone in environment), air washing (fly aircraft) and finally washing the aircraft with Hot Soapy Water (HSW) in an attempt to remove any remaining contamination. This method is laborious, time consuming (upwards of 12+ hours not including decontamination site preparation), and requires large amounts of water (e.g., 1,600+ gallons for a single large frame aircraft), and generates large amounts of hazardous waste requiring disposal. The efficacy of the HEAL system was demonstrated using diisopropyl methyl phosphonate (DIMP) a G series CWA simulant, and Bacillus globigii (BG) a simulant of Bacillus anthracis. Experiments were designed to simulate the energy flux of a field deployable lamp system that could stand-off 17 meters from a 12m2 target area and uniformly expose a surface at 1360 W/m2. The HEAL system in the absence of a catalyst reduced the amount of B. globigii by five orders of magnitude at a starting concentration of 1.63 x 107 spores. In the case of CWA simulants, the HEAL system in the presence of the catalyst TiO2 effectively degraded DIMP sprayed onto a 100mm diameter Petri dish in 5 minutes.

  2. Selection of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in a predatory biological control agent, Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chunxiao; Pan, Huipeng; Noland, Jeffrey Edward; Zhang, Deyong; Zhang, Zhanhong; Liu, Yong; Zhou, Xuguo

    2015-01-01

    Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a reliable technique for quantifying gene expression across various biological processes, of which requires a set of suited reference genes to normalize the expression data. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is one of the most extensively used biological control agents in the field to manage arthropod pest species. In this study, expression profiles of 16 housekeeping genes selected from C. maculata were cloned and investigated. The performance of these candidates as endogenous controls under specific experimental conditions was evaluated by dedicated algorithms, including geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and ΔCt method. In addition, RefFinder, a comprehensive platform integrating all the above-mentioned algorithms, ranked the overall stability of these candidate genes. As a result, various sets of suitable reference genes were recommended specifically for experiments involving different tissues, developmental stages, sex, and C. maculate larvae treated with dietary double stranded RNA. This study represents the critical first step to establish a standardized RT-qPCR protocol for the functional genomics research in a ladybeetle C. maculate. Furthermore, it lays the foundation for conducting ecological risk assessment of RNAi-based gene silencing biotechnologies on non-target organisms; in this case, a key predatory biological control agent. PMID:26656102

  3. Factors affecting the flight capacity of Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a classical biological control agent of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).

    PubMed

    Fahrner, Samuel J; Lelito, Jonathan P; Blaedow, Karen; Heimpel, George E; Aukema, Brian H

    2014-12-01

    The dispersal characteristics of a biological control agent can have direct implications on the ability of that agent to control populations of a target host. Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a parasitic wasp native to eastern Asia that has been introduced into the United States as part of a classical biological control program against the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). We used computer-monitored flight mills to investigate the role of age, feeding status, mating status, and size on the flight capacity of female T. planipennisi over a 24-h period. We also compared flight capacity between sexes. Flight distance of female T. planipennisi representative of populations released in the biological control program averaged 1.26 km in 24 h with a maximum flight of just over 7 km. Median flight distance, however, was 422 m. The flight capacity of females fed a honey-water solution was 41× that of females provided only water, who flew very little. Larger females were capable of flying farther distances, but age did not affect the flight capacity of females up to 70 d posteclosion. Females dispersed 6× farther than did their smaller, male counterparts. The implications of our findings to host-parasitoid interactions and release protocols for distributing T. planipennisi are discussed. PMID:25479199

  4. Selection of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in a predatory biological control agent, Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Chunxiao; Pan, Huipeng; Noland, Jeffrey Edward; Zhang, Deyong; Zhang, Zhanhong; Liu, Yong; Zhou, Xuguo

    2015-01-01

    Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a reliable technique for quantifying gene expression across various biological processes, of which requires a set of suited reference genes to normalize the expression data. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is one of the most extensively used biological control agents in the field to manage arthropod pest species. In this study, expression profiles of 16 housekeeping genes selected from C. maculata were cloned and investigated. The performance of these candidates as endogenous controls under specific experimental conditions was evaluated by dedicated algorithms, including geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and ΔCt method. In addition, RefFinder, a comprehensive platform integrating all the above-mentioned algorithms, ranked the overall stability of these candidate genes. As a result, various sets of suitable reference genes were recommended specifically for experiments involving different tissues, developmental stages, sex, and C. maculate larvae treated with dietary double stranded RNA. This study represents the critical first step to establish a standardized RT-qPCR protocol for the functional genomics research in a ladybeetle C. maculate. Furthermore, it lays the foundation for conducting ecological risk assessment of RNAi-based gene silencing biotechnologies on non-target organisms; in this case, a key predatory biological control agent. PMID:26656102

  5. Spatial Simulations in Systems Biology: From Molecules to Cells

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  6. Spatial simulations in systems biology: from molecules to cells.

    PubMed

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  7. Scanning surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of chemical agent simulants on templated Au-Ag nanowire substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, J. A.; Miragliotta, J. A.; Wang, J.; Tyagi, P.; Maddanimath, T.; Gracias, D. H.; Papadakis, S. J.

    2009-05-01

    We report the results of scanning micro-Raman spectroscopy obtained on Au-Ag nanowires for a variety of chemical warfare agent simulants. Rough silver segments embedded in gold nanowires showed enhancement of 105 - 107 and allowed unique identification of 3 of 4 chemical agent simulants tested. These results suggest a promising method for detection of compounds significant for security applications, leading to sensors that are compact and selective.

  8. Agent-Based Simulation for Interconnection-Scale Renewable Integration and Demand Response Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Chassin, David P.; Behboodi, Sahand; Crawford, Curran; Djilali, Ned

    2015-12-23

    This paper collects and synthesizes the technical requirements, implementation, and validation methods for quasi-steady agent-based simulations of interconnectionscale models with particular attention to the integration of renewable generation and controllable loads. Approaches for modeling aggregated controllable loads are presented and placed in the same control and economic modeling framework as generation resources for interconnection planning studies. Model performance is examined with system parameters that are typical for an interconnection approximately the size of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and a control area about 1/100 the size of the system. These results are used to demonstrate and validate the methods presented.

  9. Multi-Agent Simulations of the Immune Response to Hiv during the Acute Stage of Infection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walshe, R.; Ruskin, H. J.; Callaghan, A.

    Results of multi-agent based simulations of the immune response to HIV during the acute phase of infection are presented here. The model successfully recreates the viral dynamics associated with the acute phase of infection, i.e., a rapid rise in viral load followed by a sharp decline to what is often referred to as a "set point", a result of T-cell response and emergence of HIV neutralizing antibodies. The results indicate that sufficient T Killer cell response is the key factor in controlling viral growth during this phase with antibody levels of critical importance only in the absence of a sufficient T Killer response.

  10. Investigation of Simulated Trading — A multi agent based trading system for optimization purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Johannes J.

    2010-07-01

    Some years ago, Bachem, Hochstättler, and Malich proposed a heuristic algorithm called Simulated Trading for the optimization of vehicle routing problems. Computational agents place buy-orders and sell-orders for customers to be handled at a virtual financial market, the prices of the orders depending on the costs of inserting the customer in the tour or for his removal. According to a proposed rule set, the financial market creates a buy-and-sell graph for the various orders in the order book, intending to optimize the overall system. Here I present a thorough investigation for the application of this algorithm to the traveling salesman problem.

  11. Early-season flood enhances native biological control agents in Wisconsin cranberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control is predicated on the concept that crop plants are protected when predators suppress herbivore populations. However, many factors, including concurrent crop protection strategies, may modify the effectiveness of a predator in a given agroecosystem. In Wisconsin commercial cranberry...

  12. Integrating the Agents of Bioterrorism into the General Biology Curriculum: 1. A Primer on Bioterrorism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pommerville, Jeffrey

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the history of and describes what biology educators should know about the topic of bioterrorism. Suggests materials that can be used to communicate more effectively with students and the community and prepare a classroom discussion on bioterrorism. (KHR)

  13. Prospects for the use of biological control agents against Anoplophora in Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review summarises the literature on the biological control of Anoplophora spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and discusses its potential for use in Europe. Entomopathogenic fungi: Beauveria brongniartii Petch (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) has already been developed into a commercial product in Ja...

  14. [Practical guide for the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis - December 2011 update].

    PubMed

    Mourão, Ana Filipa; Fonseca, João Eurico; Canhão, Helena; Santos, Maria José; Bernardo, Alexandra; Cordeiro, Ana; Cravo, Ana Rita; Ribeiro, Ana; Teixeira, Ana; Barcelos, Anabela; Malcata, Armando; Faustino, Augusto; Duarte, Cátia; Ribeiro, Célia; Nour, Dolores; Araújo, Domingos; Sousa, Elsa; Mariz, Eva; Ramos, Filipa; Vinagre, Filipe; Ventura, Francisco Simões; Sequeira, Graça; Santos, Helena; Branco, Jaime Cunha; Gomes, J A; Silva, J A; Ramos, João; Santo, Jorge Espírito; Costa, José António; Silva, J A; Ribeiro, José Saraiva; Inês, Luís; Miranda, Luís; Sampaio, Luzia; Costa, Maria Lúcia; Rodrigues, Mário; Afonso, Maria Carmo; Cunha, Maria Inês; Saavedra, Maria João; Queiroz, Mário Viana; Couto, Maura; Bernardes, Miguel; Bogas, Mónica; Pinto, Patrícia; Valente, Paula; Coelho, Paulo; Abreu, Pedro; Cortes, Sara; Pimenta, Sofia; Ramiro, Sofia; Figueira, Ricardo; Nóvoa, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    The authors review the practical aspects of biological therapy use for rheumatoid arthritis patients, commenting safety issues before and after treatment initiation and the best treatment strategies to optimize efficacy. PMID:22472930

  15. Chemical and biological threat-agent detection using electrophoresis-based lab-on-a-chip devices.

    PubMed

    Borowsky, Joseph; Collins, Greg E

    2007-10-01

    The ability to separate complex mixtures of analytes has made capillary electrophoresis (CE) a powerful analytical tool since its modern configuration was first introduced over 25 years ago. The technique found new utility with its application to the microfluidics based lab-on-a-chip platform (i.e., microchip), which resulted in ever smaller footprints, sample volumes, and analysis times. These features, coupled with the technique's potential for portability, have prompted recent interest in the development of novel analyzers for chemical and biological threat agents. This article will comment on three main areas of microchip CE as applied to the separation and detection of threat agents: detection techniques and their corresponding limits of detection, sampling protocol and preparation time, and system portability. These three areas typify the broad utility of lab-on-a-chip for meeting critical, present-day security, in addition to illustrating areas wherein advances are necessary. PMID:17893797

  16. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Potential Prodrugs Related to the Experimental Anticancer Agent Indotecan (LMP400).

    PubMed

    Lv, Peng-Cheng; Elsayed, Mohamed S A; Agama, Keli; Marchand, Christophe; Pommier, Yves; Cushman, Mark

    2016-05-26

    Indenoisoquinoline topoisomerase I (Top1) inhibitors are a novel class of anticancer agents with two compounds in clinical trials. Recent metabolism studies of indotecan (LMP400) led to the discovery of the biologically active 2-hydroxylated analogue and 3-hydroxylated metabolite, thus providing strategically placed functional groups for the preparation of a variety of potential ester prodrugs of these two compounds. The current study details the design and synthesis of two series of indenoisoquinoline prodrugs, and it also reveals how substituents on the O-2 and O-3 positions of the A ring, which are next to the cleaved DNA strand in the drug-DNA-Top1 ternary cleavage complex, affect Top1 inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity. Many of the indenoisoquinoline prodrugs were very potent antiproliferative agents with GI50 values below 10 nM in a variety of human cancer cell lines. PMID:27097152

  17. First report of an egg parasitoid reared from Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) a biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum (Schizaeales: Lygodiaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) was first released in Florida as a biological control agent of Lygodium microphyllum (Polypodiales: Lygodiaceae), Old World climbing fern, in 2008. The first egg parasitoid, a Trichogramma sp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), was reared from N. co...

  18. Demonstrating Biological Classification Using a Simulation of Natural Taxa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogt, Kenneth D.

    1995-01-01

    A review of introductory college level and high school biology texts reveals that concepts and theories behind classification are usually poorly discussed. Suggests ways in which card games can be used to teach differences between the phenetic and phylogenetic approaches. (LZ)

  19. The cell behavior ontology: describing the intrinsic biological behaviors of real and model cells seen as active agents

    PubMed Central

    Sluka, James P.; Shirinifard, Abbas; Swat, Maciej; Cosmanescu, Alin; Heiland, Randy W.; Glazier, James A.

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Currently, there are no ontologies capable of describing both the spatial organization of groups of cells and the behaviors of those cells. The lack of a formalized method for describing the spatiality and intrinsic biological behaviors of cells makes it difficult to adequately describe cells, tissues and organs as spatial objects in living tissues, in vitro assays and in computational models of tissues. Results: We have developed an OWL-2 ontology to describe the intrinsic physical and biological characteristics of cells and tissues. The Cell Behavior Ontology (CBO) provides a basis for describing the spatial and observable behaviors of cells and extracellular components suitable for describing in vivo, in vitro and in silico multicell systems. Using the CBO, a modeler can create a meta-model of a simulation of a biological model and link that meta-model to experiment or simulation results. Annotation of a multicell model and its computational representation, using the CBO, makes the statement of the underlying biology explicit. The formal representation of such biological abstraction facilitates the validation, falsification, discovery, sharing and reuse of both models and experimental data. Availability and implementation: The CBO, developed using Protégé 4, is available at http://cbo.biocomplexity.indiana.edu/cbo/ and at BioPortal (http://bioportal.bioontology.org/ontologies/CBO). Contact: jsluka@indiana.edu or Glazier@indiana.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:24755304

  20. Biological effects of a root conditioning agent for dentin surface modification in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jue-Yeon; Seol, Yang-Jo; Park, Jang-Ryul; Park, Yoon-Jeong

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Connective tissue reattachment to periodontally damaged root surfaces is one of the most important goals of periodontal therapy. The aim of this study was to develop a root conditioning agent that can demineralize and detoxify the infected root surface. Methods Dentin slices obtained from human teeth were treated with a novel root planing agent for 2 minutes and then washed with phosphate-buffered saline. Smear layer removal and type I collagen exposure were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and type I collagen immunostaining, respectively. Cell attachment and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) removal demonstrated the efficiency of the root conditioning agent. Results SEM revealed that the smear layer was entirely removed and the dentinal tubules were opened by the experimental gel. Type I collagen was exposed on the surfaces of the dentin slices treated by the experimental gel, which were compared with dentin treated with other root planing agents. Dentin slices treated with the experimental gel showed the highest number of attached fibroblasts and flattened cell morphology. The agar diffusion assay demonstrated that the experimental gel also has effective antimicrobial activity. Escherichia coli LPS were effectively removed from well plates by the experimental gel. Conclusions These results demonstrated that this experimental gel is a useful tool for root conditioning of infected root surfaces and can also be applied for detoxification of ailing implant surface threads. PMID:21246015

  1. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel gigantol derivatives as potential agents in prevention of diabetic cataract

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the develop...

  2. Structured Biological Modelling: a method for the analysis and simulation of biological systems applied to oscillatory intracellular calcium waves.

    PubMed

    Kraus, M; Lais, P; Wolf, B

    1992-01-01

    In biology signal and information processing networks are widely known. Due to their inherent complexity and non-linear dynamics the time evolution of these systems can not be predicted by simple plausibility arguments. Fortunately, the power of modern computers allows the simulation of complex biological models. Therefore the problem becomes reduced to the question of how to develop a consistent mathematical model which comprises the essentials of the real biological system. As an interface between the phenomenological description and a computer simulation of the system the proposed method of Structured Biological Modelling (SBM) uses top-down levelled dataflow diagrams. They serve as a powerful tool for the analysis and the mathematical description of the system in terms of a stochastic formulation. The stochastic treatment, regarding the time evolution of the system as a stochastic process governed by a master equation, circumvents most difficulties arising from high dimensional and non-linear systems. As an application of SBM we develop a stochastic computer model of intracellular oscillatory Ca2+ waves in non-excitable cells. As demonstrated on this example, SBM can be used for the design of computer experiments which under certain conditions can be used as cheap and harmless counterparts to the usual time-consuming biological experiments. PMID:1334718

  3. Future Directions in Biological Systems Simulation - A Role for ICASA?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA) advances systems research in agriculture and natural resource management by promoting the development and application of systems analysis tools and methodologies. This goal emphasizes, but is not limited to, simulation models...

  4. Multi-Agent-Based Simulation of a Complex Ecosystem of Mental Health Care.

    PubMed

    Kalton, Alan; Falconer, Erin; Docherty, John; Alevras, Dimitris; Brann, David; Johnson, Kyle

    2016-02-01

    This paper discusses the creation of an Agent-Based Simulation that modeled the introduction of care coordination capabilities into a complex system of care for patients with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness. The model describes the engagement between patients and the medical, social and criminal justice services they interact with in a complex ecosystem of care. We outline the challenges involved in developing the model, including process mapping and the collection and synthesis of data to support parametric estimates, and describe the controls built into the model to support analysis of potential changes to the system. We also describe the approach taken to calibrate the model to an observable level of system performance. Preliminary results from application of the simulation are provided to demonstrate how it can provide insights into potential improvements deriving from introduction of care coordination technology. PMID:26590977

  5. Promoting Conceptual Change for Complex Systems Understanding: Outcomes of an Agent-Based Participatory Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rates, Christopher A.; Mulvey, Bridget K.; Feldon, David F.

    2016-08-01

    Components of complex systems apply across multiple subject areas, and teaching these components may help students build unifying conceptual links. Students, however, often have difficulty learning these components, and limited research exists to understand what types of interventions may best help improve understanding. We investigated 32 high school students' understandings of complex systems components and whether an agent-based simulation could improve their understandings. Pretest and posttest essays were coded for changes in six components to determine whether students showed more expert thinking about the complex system of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Results showed significant improvement for the components Emergence ( r = .26, p = .03), Order ( r = .37, p = .002), and Tradeoffs ( r = .44, p = .001). Implications include that the experiential nature of the simulation has the potential to support conceptual change for some complex systems components, presenting a promising option for complex systems instruction.

  6. AN AGENT-BASED SIMULATION STUDY OF A COMPLEX ADAPTIVE COLLABORATION NETWORK

    SciTech Connect

    Ozmen, Ozgur; Smith, Jeffrey; Yilmaz, Levent

    2013-01-01

    One of the most significant problems in organizational scholarship is to discern how social collectives govern, organize, and coordinate the actions of individuals to achieve collective outcomes. The collectives are usually interpreted as complex adaptive systems (CAS). The understanding of CAS is more likely to arise with the help of computer-based simulations. In this tutorial, using agent-based modeling approach, a complex adaptive social communication network model is introduced. The objective is to present the underlying dynamics of the system in a form of computer simulation that enables analyzing the impacts of various mechanisms on network topologies and emergent behaviors. The ultimate goal is to further our understanding of the dynamics in the system and facilitate developing informed policies for decision-makers.

  7. Promoting Conceptual Change for Complex Systems Understanding: Outcomes of an Agent-Based Participatory Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rates, Christopher A.; Mulvey, Bridget K.; Feldon, David F.

    2016-03-01

    Components of complex systems apply across multiple subject areas, and teaching these components may help students build unifying conceptual links. Students, however, often have difficulty learning these components, and limited research exists to understand what types of interventions may best help improve understanding. We investigated 32 high school students' understandings of complex systems components and whether an agent-based simulation could improve their understandings. Pretest and posttest essays were coded for changes in six components to determine whether students showed more expert thinking about the complex system of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Results showed significant improvement for the components Emergence (r = .26, p = .03), Order (r = .37, p = .002), and Tradeoffs (r = .44, p = .001). Implications include that the experiential nature of the simulation has the potential to support conceptual change for some complex systems components, presenting a promising option for complex systems instruction.

  8. Using an agent-based model to simulate children’s active travel to school

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite the multiple advantages of active travel to school, only a small percentage of US children and adolescents walk or bicycle to school. Intervention studies are in a relatively early stage and evidence of their effectiveness over long periods is limited. The purpose of this study was to illustrate the utility of agent-based models in exploring how various policies may influence children’s active travel to school. Methods An agent-based model was developed to simulate children’s school travel behavior within a hypothetical city. The model was used to explore the plausible implications of policies targeting two established barriers to active school travel: long distance to school and traffic safety. The percent of children who walk to school was compared for various scenarios. Results To maximize the percent of children who walk to school the school locations should be evenly distributed over space and children should be assigned to the closest school. In the case of interventions to improve traffic safety, targeting a smaller area around the school with greater intensity may be more effective than targeting a larger area with less intensity. Conclusions Despite the challenges they present, agent based models are a useful complement to other analytical strategies in studying the plausible impact of various policies on active travel to school. PMID:23705953

  9. Detection of simulants and degradation products of chemical warfare agents by vibrational spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Pesante, Orlando; Pacheco-Londoño, Leonardo C.; Primera-Pedrozo, Oliva M.; Ortiz, William; Soto-Feliciano, Yadira M.; Nieves, Deborah E.; Ramirez, Michael L.; Hernández-Rivera, Samuel P.

    2007-04-01

    This work was focused in the measurement of spectroscopic signatures of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants (CWAS) and degradation products of chemical agents using vibrational spectroscopy for the generation of spectroscopic libraries. The chemicals studied were: DMMP, DIMP, 2-CEES, 2-BAET, 1,4-thioxane, thiodiglycol sulfoxide, dihexylamine, cyclohexylamine, among others. Raman microscopy experiments were performed at different excitation wavelengths that spanned from NIR at 1064 and 785 nm to the VIS at 532, 514.5 and 488 nm and even the deep ultraviolet region at 244 nm. For the compounds studied the optimum excitation lines were 488 nm and 532 nm with a laser power of 25 mW. Among the most prominent bands were at these incident wavelengths were located ca. 652 and 1444 cm-1. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in liquid and gas phase and Fiber Optics Coupled-Grazing Angle Probe-FTIR (FOCGAP- FTIR) were used to characterize the spectroscopic signature of target threat agents. The surface experiments were performed at detection levels of about 1 μg/cm2 suggest that limits of detection (LOD) achievable could be as low as nanograms/cm2. Remote sensing experiments were performed using a telescope coupled with a Raman spectrophotometer as a function of power and acquisition time. Characterization of compounds by vibrational spectroscopy and the early stages of the transition from the lab based experiments to remote detection experiments will be presented.

  10. Modeling and simulation of virtual human's coordination based on multi-agent systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Mei; Wen, Jing-Hua; Zhang, Zu-Xuan; Zhang, Jian-Qing

    2006-10-01

    The difficulties and hotspots researched in current virtual geographic environment (VGE) are sharing space and multiusers operation, distributed coordination and group decision-making. The theories and technologies of MAS provide a brand-new environment for analysis, design and realization of distributed opening system. This paper takes cooperation among virtual human in VGE which multi-user participate in as main researched object. First we describe theory foundation truss of VGE, and present the formalization description of Multi-Agent System (MAS). Then we detailed analyze and research arithmetic of collectivity operating behavior learning of virtual human based on best held Genetic Algorithm(GA), and establish dynamics action model which Multi-Agents and object interact dynamically and colony movement strategy. Finally we design a example which shows how 3 evolutional Agents cooperate to complete the task of colony pushing column box, and design a virtual world prototype of virtual human pushing box collectively based on V-Realm Builder 2.0, moreover we make modeling and dynamic simulation with Simulink 6.

  11. Differences in seasonal variation between two biotypes of Megamelus scutellaris (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), a biological control agent for Eichhornia crassipes in Florida.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate matching between the native and adventive ranges of insects used for biological control is a generally accepted strategy for both increasing the likelihood of establishing an agent, as well as improving its overall performance, thereby maximizing the potential utility of an agent across the...

  12. Feasibility Study of Using Short Wave Infrared Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (SWIR-CRDS) for Biological Agent Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Aker, Pam M.; Johnson, Timothy J.; Williams, Richard M.; Valentine, Nancy B.

    2007-10-01

    This project focused on determining the feasibility of using short wave infrared (SWIR) cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) as a means for real-time detection of biological aerosols. The first part of the project involved identifying biological agent signatures that could be detected with SWIR CRDS. After an exhaustive search of the open literature it was determined that whole biological spores and/or cells would not be good candidates for direct SWIR CRDS probing because they have no unique SWIR signatures. It was postulated that while whole cells or spores are not good candidates for SWIR CRDS detection, their pyrolysis break-down products might be. A literature search was then conducted to find biological pyrolysis products with low molecular weights and high symmetry since these species most likely would have overtone and combination vibrational bands that can be detected in the SWIR. It was determined that pyrrole, pyridine and picolinamide were good candidates for evaluation. These molecules are formed when proteins and porphyrins, proteins and dipicolinic acid, and dipicolinic acid are pyrolyzed, respectively. The second part of the project involved measuring quantitative SWIR spectra of pyrrole, pyridine and picolinamide in PNNL’s FTIR Spectroscopy Laboratory. Spectral information about these molecules, in the vapor phase is sparse – there were only a few prior studies that measured line positions and no information on absorption cross sections. Absorption cross sections are needed in order to estimate the SWIR CRDS detection sensitivity, and line position determines what type of laser will be needed for the sensor. The results of the spectroscopy studies allowed us to estimate the SWIR CRDS detection sensitivity for pyrrole to be 3 x 1012 molec cm-3 or 0.1 ppmv, and for pyridine it was 1.5 x 1015 molec cm-3 or 0.6 ppmv. These detection sensitivity limits are close what we have measured for ammonia. Given these detection limits we then estimated the

  13. ezBioNet: A modeling and simulation system for analyzing biological reaction networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Seok Jong; Tung, Thai Quang; Park, Junho; Lim, Jongtae; Yoo, Jaesoo

    2012-10-01

    To achieve robustness against living environments, a living organism is composed of complicated regulatory mechanisms ranging from gene regulations to signal transduction. If such life phenomena are to be understand, an integrated analysis tool that should have modeling and simulation functions for biological reactions, as well as new experimental methods for measuring biological phenomena, is fundamentally required. We have designed and implemented modeling and simulation software (ezBioNet) for analyzing biological reaction networks. The software can simultaneously perform an integrated modeling of various responses occurring in cells, ranging from gene expressions to signaling processes. To support massive analysis of biological networks, we have constructed a server-side simulation system (VCellSim) that can perform ordinary differential equations (ODE) analysis, sensitivity analysis, and parameter estimates. ezBioNet integrates the BioModel database by connecting the european bioinformatics institute (EBI) servers through Web services APIs and supports the handling of systems biology markup language (SBML) files. In addition, we employed eclipse RCP (rich client platform) which is a powerful modularity framework allowing various functional expansions. ezBioNet is intended to be an easy-to-use modeling tool, as well as a simulation system, to understand the control mechanism by monitoring the change of each component in a biological network. A researcher may perform the kinetic modeling and execute the simulation. The simulation result can be managed and visualized on ezBioNet, which is freely available at http://ezbionet.cbnu.ac.kr.

  14. Heuristic Identification of Biological Architectures for Simulating Complex Hierarchical Genetic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jason H; Amos, Ryan; Kiralis, Jeff; Andrews, Peter C

    2015-01-01

    Simulation plays an essential role in the development of new computational and statistical methods for the genetic analysis of complex traits. Most simulations start with a statistical model using methods such as linear or logistic regression that specify the relationship between genotype and phenotype. This is appealing due to its simplicity and because these statistical methods are commonly used in genetic analysis. It is our working hypothesis that simulations need to move beyond simple statistical models to more realistically represent the biological complexity of genetic architecture. The goal of the present study was to develop a prototype genotype–phenotype simulation method and software that are capable of simulating complex genetic effects within the context of a hierarchical biology-based framework. Specifically, our goal is to simulate multilocus epistasis or gene–gene interaction where the genetic variants are organized within the framework of one or more genes, their regulatory regions and other regulatory loci. We introduce here the Heuristic Identification of Biological Architectures for simulating Complex Hierarchical Interactions (HIBACHI) method and prototype software for simulating data in this manner. This approach combines a biological hierarchy, a flexible mathematical framework, a liability threshold model for defining disease endpoints, and a heuristic search strategy for identifying high-order epistatic models of disease susceptibility. We provide several simulation examples using genetic models exhibiting independent main effects and three-way epistatic effects. PMID:25395175

  15. Modeling the Information Age Combat Model: An Agent-Based Simulation of Network Centric Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deller, Sean; Rabadi, Ghaith A.; Bell, Michael I.; Bowling, Shannon R.; Tolk, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    The Information Age Combat Model (IACM) was introduced by Cares in 2005 to contribute to the development of an understanding of the influence of connectivity on force effectiveness that can eventually lead to quantitative prediction and guidelines for design and employment. The structure of the IACM makes it clear that the Perron-Frobenius Eigenvalue is a quantifiable metric with which to measure the organization of a networked force. The results of recent experiments presented in Deller, et aI., (2009) indicate that the value of the Perron-Frobenius Eigenvalue is a significant measurement of the performance of an Information Age combat force. This was accomplished through the innovative use of an agent-based simulation to model the IACM and represents an initial contribution towards a new generation of combat models that are net-centric instead of using the current platform-centric approach. This paper describes the intent, challenges, design, and initial results of this agent-based simulation model.

  16. A Multi Agent-Based Framework for Simulating Household PHEV Distribution and Electric Distribution Network Impact

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, Xiaohui; Liu, Cheng; Kim, Hoe Kyoung; Kao, Shih-Chieh; Tuttle, Mark A; Bhaduri, Budhendra L

    2011-01-01

    The variation of household attributes such as income, travel distance, age, household member, and education for different residential areas may generate different market penetration rates for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Residential areas with higher PHEV ownership could increase peak electric demand locally and require utilities to upgrade the electric distribution infrastructure even though the capacity of the regional power grid is under-utilized. Estimating the future PHEV ownership distribution at the residential household level can help us understand the impact of PHEV fleet on power line congestion, transformer overload and other unforeseen problems at the local residential distribution network level. It can also help utilities manage the timing of recharging demand to maximize load factors and utilization of existing distribution resources. This paper presents a multi agent-based simulation framework for 1) modeling spatial distribution of PHEV ownership at local residential household level, 2) discovering PHEV hot zones where PHEV ownership may quickly increase in the near future, and 3) estimating the impacts of the increasing PHEV ownership on the local electric distribution network with different charging strategies. In this paper, we use Knox County, TN as a case study to show the simulation results of the agent-based model (ABM) framework. However, the framework can be easily applied to other local areas in the US.

  17. What to Do When Biologic Agents Are Not Working in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

    PubMed Central

    Dalal, Sushila R.

    2015-01-01

    Anti-tumor necrosis factor α and anti-integrin biologic therapies are effective for induction and maintenance of remission in moderate to severe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. However, clinicians face many challenges in determining the best course of action when a patient does not respond or loses response to a biologic therapy. When patients are found to have continued active inflammation despite having undergone biologic therapy, the first determination should be whether this represents a primary nonresponse to the drug’s mechanism of action or a secondary loss of response due to inadequate drug levels and/or antibody formation to the drug. Primary nonresponders may respond to a drug with a different mechanism of action. Secondary loss of response may be addressed through strategies such as dose escalation or addition of an immunosuppressant. Future options may include changing to a therapy targeting other mechanisms of immune modulation. PMID:27330493

  18. Comparative antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles synthesised by biological and chemical routes with pluronic F68 as a stabilising agent.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carolina Alves Dos; Seckler, Marcelo Martins; Ingle, Avinash P; Rai, Mahendra

    2016-08-01

    The authors report the comparative antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles synthesised by biological (using Fusarium oxysporum) and chemical routes in the presence and absence of pluronic F68 as a stabilising agent. The production of silver nanoparticles was evidenced by UV-visible spectra, with absorbance at about 420 nm in the case of both biological and chemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction pattern confirmed the presence of face-centred cubic structure (FCC plane). The nanoparticles characterised by transmission and scanning electron microscopy showed spherical silver nanoparticles with size range of 5-40 and 10-70 nm in the case of biologically and chemically synthesised nanoparticles, respectively. Addition of pluronic F68 showed the stabilisation of silver nanoparticles. Antibacterial efficacy of silver nanoparticles demonstrated different inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Overall, biologically synthesised silver nanoparticles showed higher activity as compared with chemically synthesised nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles synthesised in the presence of pluronic F68 by the chemical route exhibited synergism in antibacterial activity as compared with those synthesised without pluronic F68. On the contrary, biogenic silver nanoparticles without pluronic F68 showed higher antibacterial potential. PMID:27463790

  19. Reproductive Requirements and Life Cycle of Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Potential Biological Control Agent of Matsucoccus feytaudi (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares, C; Jactel, H; van Halder, I; Branco, M

    2015-06-01

    Several pine bast scales (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae) are important pests of pine trees in the Northern Hemisphere. Some species are invasive and cause significant economic and environmental impacts. Such is the case with Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse, an invasive pest of maritime pine forests in Southeastern France, Italy, and Corsica. The ladybird Iberorhyzobius rondensis (Eizaguirre) is a recently described species that is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is a potential candidate for the biological control of M. feytaudi. However, little is known of the biology of I. rondensis. As part of the risk assessment study for a classical biological control program, the phenology and reproductive mechanisms of the beetle were analyzed. I. rondensis is univoltine and is seasonally synchronized with the phenology of the prey M. feytaudi, which is also univoltine. An obligatory reproductive diapause of 5-6 mo and the need to feed on the eggs of the prey to begin oviposition emerged as the two primary mechanisms that assure life cycle synchronization of the ladybird with its prey. Female fecundity was also higher when the ladybirds were fed M. feytaudi eggs. Life cycle synchronization with M. feytaudi and reproduction triggered by consumption of prey eggs indicate that I. rondensis is a promising biological control agent of the pine bast scale. PMID:26313991

  20. An Agent-based Simulation Model for C. difficile Infection Control

    PubMed Central

    Codella, James; Safdar, Nasia; Heffernan, Rick; Alagoz, Oguzhan

    2014-01-01

    Background. Control of C. difficile infection (CDI) is an increasingly difficult problem for healthcare institutions. There are commonly recommended strategies to combat CDI transmission such as oral vancomycin for CDI treatment, increased hand hygiene with soap and water for healthcare workers, daily environmental disinfection of infected patient rooms, and contact isolation of diseased patients. However, the efficacy of these strategies, particularly for endemic CDI, has not been well studied. The objective of this research is to develop a valid agent-based simulation model (ABM) to study C. difficile transmission and control in a mid-sized hospital. Methods. We develop an ABM of a mid-sized hospital with agents such as patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. We model the natural progression of CDI in a patient using a Markov chain and the transmission of CDI through agent and environmental interactions. We derive input parameters from aggregate patient data from the 2007-2010 Wisconsin Hospital Association and published medical literature. We define a calibration process, which we use to estimate transition probabilities of the Markov model by comparing simulation results to benchmark values found in published literature. Results. Comparing CDI control strategies implemented individually, routine bleach disinfection of CDI+ patient rooms provides the largest reduction in nosocomial asymptomatic colonizations (21.8%) and nosocomial CDIs (42.8%). Additionally, vancomycin treatment provides the largest reduction in relapse CDIs (41.9%), CDI-related mortalities (68.5%), and total patient LOS (21.6%). Conclusion. We develop a generalized ABM for CDI control that can be customized and further expanded to specific institutions and/or scenarios. Additionally, we estimate transition probabilities for a Markov model of natural CDI progression in a patient through calibration. PMID:25112595

  1. An agent-based simulation model to study accountable care organizations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Pai; Wu, Shinyi

    2016-03-01

    Creating accountable care organizations (ACOs) has been widely discussed as a strategy to control rapidly rising healthcare costs and improve quality of care; however, building an effective ACO is a complex process involving multiple stakeholders (payers, providers, patients) with their own interests. Also, implementation of an ACO is costly in terms of time and money. Immature design could cause safety hazards. Therefore, there is a need for analytical model-based decision-support tools that can predict the outcomes of different strategies to facilitate ACO design and implementation. In this study, an agent-based simulation model was developed to study ACOs that considers payers, healthcare providers, and patients as agents under the shared saving payment model of care for congestive heart failure (CHF), one of the most expensive causes of sometimes preventable hospitalizations. The agent-based simulation model has identified the critical determinants for the payment model design that can motivate provider behavior changes to achieve maximum financial and quality outcomes of an ACO. The results show nonlinear provider behavior change patterns corresponding to changes in payment model designs. The outcomes vary by providers with different quality or financial priorities, and are most sensitive to the cost-effectiveness of CHF interventions that an ACO implements. This study demonstrates an increasingly important method to construct a healthcare system analytics model that can help inform health policy and healthcare management decisions. The study also points out that the likely success of an ACO is interdependent with payment model design, provider characteristics, and cost and effectiveness of healthcare interventions. PMID:24715674

  2. In search of uracil derivatives as bioactive agents. Uracils and fused uracils: Synthesis, biological activity and applications.

    PubMed

    Pałasz, Aleksandra; Cież, Dariusz

    2015-06-01

    This review article is an effort to summarize recent developments in researches providing uracil derivatives with promising biological potential. This article also aims to discuss potential future directions on the development of more potent and specific uracil analogues for various biological targets. Uracils are considered as privileged structures in drug discovery with a wide array of biological activities and synthetic accessibility. Antiviral and anti-tumour are the two most widely reported activities of uracil analogues however they also possess herbicidal, insecticidal and bactericidal activities. Their antiviral potential is based on the inhibition of key step in viral replication pathway resulting in potent activities against HIV, hepatitis B and C, the herpes viruses etc. Uracil derivatives such as 5-fluorouracil or 5-chlorouracil were the first pharmacological active derivatives to be generated. Poor selectivity limits its therapeutic application, resulting in high incidences of gastrointestinal tract or central nervous toxicity. Numerous modifications of uracil structure have been performed to tackle these problems resulting in the development of derivatives exhibiting better pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties including increased bioactivity, selectivity, metabolic stability, absorption and lower toxicity. Researches of new uracils and fused uracil derivatives as bioactive agents are related with modifications of substituents at N(1), N(3), C(5) and C(6) positions of pyrimidine ring. This review is an endeavour to highlight the progress in the chemistry and biological activity of the uracils, predominately after the year 2000. In particular are presented synthetic methods and biological study for such analogues as: 5-fluorouracil or 5-chlorouracil derivatives, tegafur analogues, arabinopyranonucleosides of uracil, glucopyranonucleosides of uracil, liposidomycins, caprazamycins or tunicamycins, tritylated uridine analogues, nitro or cyano

  3. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel acylhydrazone derivatives as potential antitumor agents.

    PubMed

    Congiu, Cenzo; Onnis, Valentina

    2013-11-01

    We have designed, synthesized, and evaluated as potential antitumor agents a series of 2-hydroxybenzylidene derivatives of the N-(2-trifluoromethylpiridyn-4-yl)anthranilic acid hydrazide, and some analogues bearing a (2-trifluoromethyl)piridyn-4-ylamino group in 3- or 4-position of benzohydrazide or 4-position of phenylacetohydrazide. Compounds 12e, 13e, 15e, and 16e, bearing a 4-(diethylamino)salicylidene group exhibited potent cytotoxicity, with averaged GI50 values in sub-micromolar range, and a variety of cell selectivity at nanomolar concentrations. The determination of acute toxicity in athymic nudes mice proved some compounds to be non-toxic, making them good candidates for further study as antitumor agents. PMID:24071449

  4. Short cationic lipopeptides as effective antibacterial agents: Design, physicochemical properties and biological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Azmi, Fazren; Elliott, Alysha G; Marasini, Nirmal; Ramu, Soumya; Ziora, Zyta; Kavanagh, Angela M; Blaskovich, Mark A T; Cooper, Matthew A; Skwarczynski, Mariusz; Toth, Istvan

    2016-05-15

    The spread of drug-resistant bacteria has imparted a sense of urgency in the search for new antibiotics. In an effort to develop a new generation of antibacterial agents, we have designed de novo charged lipopeptides inspired by natural antimicrobial peptides. These short lipopeptides are composed of cationic lysine and hydrophobic lipoamino acids that replicate the amphiphilic properties of natural antimicrobial peptides. The resultant lipopeptides were found to self-assemble into nanoparticles. Some were effective against a variety of Gram-positive bacteria, including strains resistant to methicillin, daptomycin and/or vancomycin. The lipopeptides were not toxic to human kidney and liver cell lines and were highly resistant to tryptic degradation. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of bacteria cells treated with lipopeptide showed membrane-damage and lysis with extrusion of cytosolic contents. With such properties in mind, these lipopeptides have the potential to be developed as new antibacterial agents against drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. PMID:27048775

  5. DNA-damaging agents in cancer chemotherapy: serendipity and chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Cheung-Ong, Kahlin; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey

    2013-05-23

    DNA-damaging agents have a long history of use in cancer chemotherapy. The full extent of their cellular mechanisms, which is essential to balance efficacy and toxicity, is often unclear. In addition, the use of many anticancer drugs is limited by dose-limiting toxicities as well as the development of drug resistance. Novel anticancer compounds are continually being developed in the hopes of addressing these limitations; however, it is essential to be able to evaluate these compounds for their mechanisms of action. This review covers the current DNA-damaging agents used in the clinic, discusses their limitations, and describes the use of chemical genomics to uncover new information about the DNA damage response network and to evaluate novel DNA-damaging compounds. PMID:23706631

  6. Detailed Simulations of Cell Biology with Smoldyn 2.1

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Steven S.; Addy, Nathan J.; Brent, Roger; Arkin, Adam P.

    2010-01-01

    Most cellular processes depend on intracellular locations and random collisions of individual protein molecules. To model these processes, we developed algorithms to simulate the diffusion, membrane interactions, and reactions of individual molecules, and implemented these in the Smoldyn program. Compared to the popular MCell and ChemCell simulators, we found that Smoldyn was in many cases more accurate, more computationally efficient, and easier to use. Using Smoldyn, we modeled pheromone response system signaling among yeast cells of opposite mating type. This model showed that secreted Bar1 protease might help a cell identify the fittest mating partner by sharpening the pheromone concentration gradient. This model involved about 200,000 protein molecules, about 7000 cubic microns of volume, and about 75 minutes of simulated time; it took about 10 hours to run. Over the next several years, as faster computers become available, Smoldyn will allow researchers to model and explore systems the size of entire bacterial and smaller eukaryotic cells. PMID:20300644

  7. Real-time PCR assay for detection of a new simulant for poxvirus biothreat agents.

    PubMed

    Garnier, Laurence; Gaudin, Jean-Christophe; Bensadoun, Paul; Rebillat, Isabelle; Morel, Yannick

    2009-03-01

    Research and financial efforts spent on biodefense technologies highlight the current concern for biothreat event preparedness. Nonhazardous but relevant "simulant" microorganisms are typically used to simplify technological developments, testing, and staff training. The bacteriophage MS2, a small RNA virus, is classically used as the reference simulant for biothreat viruses within the biodefense community. However, variola virus, considered a major threat, displays very different features (size, envelope, and double-stranded DNA genome). The size parameter is critical for aerosol sampling, detection, and protection/filtration technologies. Therefore, a panel of relevant simulants should be used to cover the diversity of biothreat agents. Thus, we investigated a new virus model, the Cydia pomonella granulovirus (baculovirus), which is currently used as a biopesticide. It displays a size similar to that of poxviruses, is enveloped, and contains double-stranded DNA. To provide a molecular tool to detect and quantify this model virus, we developed an assay based on real-time PCR, with a limit of detection ranging from roughly 10 to a few tens of target copies per microl according to the sample matrix. The specificity of the assay against a large panel of potential cross-reactive microorganisms was checked, and the suitability of the assay for environmental samples, especially aerosol studies, was determined. In conclusion, we suggest that our PCR assay allows Cydia pomonella granulovirus to be used as a simulant for poxviruses. This assay may also be useful for environmental or crop treatment studies. PMID:19168659

  8. Agent-based computer simulation and sirs: building a bridge between basic science and clinical trials.

    PubMed

    An, G

    2001-10-01

    The management of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)/Multiple Organ Failure (MOF) remains the greatest challenge in the field of critical care. There has been uniform difficulty in translating the results of basic science research into effective therapeutic regimes. We propose that this is due in part to a failure to account for the complex, nonlinear nature of the inflammatory process of which SIRS/MOF represents a disordered state. Attempts to manipulate this process without an understanding of the dynamics of the system may potentially produce unintended consequences. Agent-Based Computer Simulation (ABCS) provides a means to synthesize the information acquired from the linear analysis of basic science into a model that preserves the complexity of the inflammatory system. We have constructed an abstracted version of the inflammatory process using an ABCS that is based at the cellular level. Despite its abstraction, the simulation produces non-linear behavior and reproduces the dynamic structure of the inflammatory response. Furthermore, adjustment of the simulation to model one of the unsuccessful initial anti-inflammatory trials of the 1990's demonstrates the adverse outcome that was observed in those clinical trials. It must be emphasized that the current model is extremely abstract and simplified. However, it is hoped that future ABCSs of sufficient sophistication eventually may provide an important bridging tool to translate basic science discoveries into clinical applications. Creating these simulations will require a large collaborative effort, and it is hoped that this paper will stimulate interest in this form of analysis. PMID:11580108

  9. The ``caterpillar'' simulation model for a biological filament

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Aimee; Lowe, Christopher; Sutton, Adrian

    2009-03-01

    We present a simulation model for an elastic filament in a viscous fluid, relevant for systems ranging from suspensions of paper pulp to micro-organism motility. It incorporates the Stokeslet treatment of the hydrodynamic force. We show that a non-arbitrary choice of the hydrodynamic radius is necessary to recover known dynamic behavior of a fiber with a finite cross-section. Our simulations explore configurations inaccessible by theory. We illustrate the utility of the model by considering the simple scenario of a charged filament in an electric field. Results suggest a circularly polarized electric field is a viable means for aligning microtubules in solution.

  10. Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the importation of highly specific inse...

  11. Metabolic behavior of bacterial biological control agents in soil and plant rhizospheres

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control provides an attractive alternative to chemical pesticides for the control of plant diseases. To date, however, few biocontrol products have been developed successfully at the commercial level. This stems largely from variability in disease control performance that is often obser...

  12. Does phylogeny explain the host choice behaviour of potential biological control agents for Brassicaceae weeds?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four invasive Brassicaceae are currently being studied for biological control at the CABI Centre in Switzerland. A phylogenetic approach to host testing has so far been hampered by the fact that the evolutionary relationships of taxa within the Brassicaceae were unclear. Recently, a new phylogeny of...

  13. MICROBOTRYUM CARDUI, A POTENTIAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENT FOR CARDUUS THISTLES IN THE U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carduus species and the related thistles Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. and Onopordum acanthium L. are problematic invasive weeds in the USA and targets of classical biological control efforts. During a pathogen collection trip in June 2001, numerous smutted capitula of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. ...

  14. DELIVERY SYSTEMS FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS TO MANAGE AFLATOXIN CONTAMINATION OF PRE-HARVEST MAIZE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aflatoxin is a potent group of toxic compounds produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Maize (corn, Zea mays L.) and other crops are prone to aflatoxin contamination, which may cause severe health problems in humans and livestock. The pre-harvest biological control approach of...

  15. Nucler Polyhedrosis Virus as a Biological Control Agent for Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In addition to damaging trees, the eastern tent caterpillar, (Malacosoma americanum (F.)) is implicated in early fetal loss and late-term abortion in horses. In a field study, we evaluated the potential biological control of eastern tent caterpillar using eastern tent caterpillar nuclear polyhedros...

  16. Evaluation of the rosette weevil, Ceratapion basicorne, a new biological control agent of yellow starthistle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Yellow starthistle is an invasive alien weed from the Mediterranean region that infests about 20 million acres in the western U.S. This noxious weed displaces native plants, elevates the risk of wildfire, and diminishes the value of rangeland for grazing and recreational use. A classical biological ...

  17. Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis (Coleoptera: Attelabidae): A Potential Biological Control Agent for Triadeca sebifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native to China, Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera (L.) Small (Euphorbiaceae), is an invasive plant in the southeastern United States of America. The leaf-rolling weevil, Apoderus bicallosicollis Voss is a common herbivore attacking the plant in China. To evaluate its potential as a biological contr...

  18. Life cycle of Puccinia crupinae, a candidate fungal biological control agent for Crupina vulgaris

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crupina vulgaris (Common crupina, Asteraceae) is an introduced weed pest in the western United States. An isolate of the rust fungus Puccinia crupinae from the Greece is currently under evaluation as a candidate for biological control of C. crupina in a Biosafety Level 3 (BL-3) containment greenhou...

  19. Life cycle of Uromyces salsolae, a candidate fungal biological control agent for Salsola tragus (Russian thistle)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Salsola tragus (Russian thistle, Chenopodiaceae) is a major weed pest in the western United States. An isolate of the rust fungus Uromyces salsolae from the Yasensky Spit in Russia is currently under evaluation as a candidate for biological control of S. tragus in a Biosafety Level 3 (BL-3) contain...

  20. Biology of human skin transplanted to the nude mouse: I. Response to agents which modify epidermal proliferation.

    PubMed

    Krueger, G G; Shelby, J

    1981-06-01

    To accept human skin transplanted to the congenitally athymic (nude) mouse as a system to study human skin and its physiologic and pathologic states, it must be demonstrated that skin so maintained retains its function as a biologic unit. We have found that responses of grafted human skin and nude mouse skin to various agents differ. This difference in response has been utilized to assess barrier function and proliferative capacity of human skin grafts. Human skin grafts undergo a proliferative response when 10 ng of the tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate (TPA) is applied. Nudes do not respond to this dose. Increasing the dose to 100 ng of TPA evokes a response in both. However, only in the human skin grafts can this response be blocked with betamethasone valerate (BV). In that human skin grafts do not take on their hosts' responsiveness, and the response of domestic pig skin to these agents before and after grafting is identical, the conclusion is reached that human skin appears to retain its inherent biologic unit function. The data also demonstrate some of the potential of this system to study kinetics of the epidermis of human skin. PMID:7017014

  1. Regulation of invertebrate biological control agents in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA: recommendations for Europe in its pursuit of a harmonised regulatory system.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA have established regulation for the import and release of exotic invertebrate biological control agents (IBCAs). The importance of IBCA specificity for the safety of biological control programmes was recognized during the relatively early...

  2. Biological Simulations in Distance Learning. CAL Research Group Technical Report No. 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, P. J.

    When two biological simulations on evolution and genetics (one originally developed for a conventional university undergraduate course) were introduced into Open University distance education classes, the difficulties encountered required a reappraisal of the concept of using computer simulation for distance learning and decisions on which…

  3. Fluid models and simulations of biological cell phenomena

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenspan, H. P.

    1982-01-01

    The dynamics of coated droplets are examined within the context of biofluids. Of specific interest is the manner in which the shape of a droplet, the motion within it as well as that of aggregates of droplets can be controlled by the modulation of surface properties and the extent to which such fluid phenomena are an intrinsic part of cellular processes. From the standpoint of biology, an objective is to elucidate some of the general dynamical features that affect the disposition of an entire cell, cell colonies and tissues. Conventionally averaged field variables of continuum mechanics are used to describe the overall global effects which result from the myriad of small scale molecular interactions. An attempt is made to establish cause and effect relationships from correct dynamical laws of motion rather than by what may have been unnecessary invocation of metabolic or life processes. Several topics are discussed where there are strong analogies droplets and cells including: encapsulated droplets/cell membranes; droplet shape/cell shape; adhesion and spread of a droplet/cell motility and adhesion; and oams and multiphase flows/cell aggregates and tissues. Evidence is presented to show that certain concepts of continuum theory such as suface tension, surface free energy, contact angle, bending moments, etc. are relevant and applicable to the study of cell biology.

  4. A process-based model of soil structure to assess the impact of biological agents, climate and reduced tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Couteulx, Alexis; Pérès, Guénola; Wolf, Cédric; Hallaire, Vincent

    2014-05-01

    Soil structure can be defined as the spatial arrangement of voids and solids in soil. It is a dynamic soil property due to agents' activity such as (i) mechanical action of soil tillage (ii) earthworms through their burrowing activity and faeces production and (iii) climate impact due to rain or temperature. Soil structure is often studied because of its impacts on soil functional properties, e.g. water percolation, soil water conductivity. In a context of farming practices shift towards non-ploughing techniques, it is needed to evaluate impacts on soil structure and consequently on its functional properties. Existing models have adopted two strategies to simulate soil structure: (i) to use of measured parameters to adjust a theoretical model or (ii) to build a soil structure by simulating processes that are its base. The first strategy does not deal with the difficulty to access soil structure by itself because input measured parameters are needed. The second one starts from either a virgin structure or a structure coming from strategy (i). This starting structure is then altered according to one structuring agent. At present, there is a need for such dynamic models of soil structure. They must be explicit (3D) and common for a large set of structuring agents too. They must also deal with several issues: e.g. to memorize the many voids and solids building up the soil structure or the need to be fast enough to simulate soil structure dynamics for a month, a year, etc. A first proposal, based on the strong assumption that soil is fractal, was made by Marilleau et al. (2008). In our model three structuring agents were chosen: tillage, earthworm's activity and solid particles settlement due to climate. It first focuses on the building of a computerized soil structure which is a common base to simulate the agents. It aims at being as generic as possible by using an object-oriented structure. The concept of voxel is used to split the soil into elementary units and each

  5. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Gigantol Derivatives as Potential Agents in Prevention of Diabetic Cataract.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Lu, Chuanjun; Li, Xue; Fang, Hua; Wan, Wencheng; Yang, Qiaohong; Sun, Xiaosheng; Wang, Meiling; Hu, Xiaohong; Chen, C-Y Oliver; Wei, Xiaoyong

    2015-01-01

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the development and progression of diabetic cataracts. To improve its bioefficacy and facilitate use as a therapeutic agent, gigantol (compound 14f) and a series of novel analogs were designed and synthesized. Analogs were formulated to have different substituents on the phenyl ring (compounds 4, 5, 8, 14a-e), substitute the phenyl ring with a larger steric hindrance ring (compounds 10, 17c) or modify the carbon chain (compounds 17a, 17b, 21, 23, 25). All of the analogs were tested for their effect on AR and iNOS activities and on D-galactose-induced apoptosis in cultured human lens epithelial cells. Compounds 5, 10, 14a, 14b, 14d, 14e, 14f, 17b, 17c, 23, and 25 inhibited AR activity, with IC50 values ranging from 5.02 to 288.8 μM. Compounds 5, 10, 14b, and 14f inhibited iNOS activity with IC50 ranging from 432.6 to 1188.7 μM. Compounds 5, 8, 10, 14b, 14f, and 17c protected the cells from D-galactose induced apoptosis with viability ranging from 55.2 to 76.26%. Of gigantol and its analogs, compound 10 showed the greatest bioefficacy and is warranted to be developed as a therapeutic agent for diabetic cataracts. PMID:26517726

  6. Characterizing biological variability in livestock blood cholinesterase activity for biomonitoring organophosphate nerve agent exposure.

    PubMed

    Halbrook, R S; Shugart, L R; Watson, A P; Munro, N B; Linnabary, R D

    1992-09-01

    A biomonitoring protocol, using blood cholinesterase (ChE) activity in livestock as a monitor of potential organophosphate nerve agent exposure during the planned destruction of US unitary chemical warfare agent stockpiles, is described. The experimental design included analysis of blood ChE activity in individual healthy sheep, horses, and dairy and beef cattle during a 10- to 12-month period. Castrated and sexually intact males, pregnant and lactating females, and adult and immature animals were examined through at least one reproductive cycle. The same animals were used throughout the period of observation and were not exposed to ChE-inhibiting organophosphate or carbamate compounds. A framework for an effective biomonitoring protocol within a monitoring area includes establishing individual baseline blood ChE activity for a sentinel group of 6 animals on the bases of blood samples collected over a 6-month period, monthly collection of blood samples for ChE-activity determination during monitoring, and selection of adult animals as sentinels. Exposure to ChE-inhibiting compounds would be suspected when all blood ChE activity of all animals within the sentinel group are decreased greater than 20% from their own baseline value. Sentinel species selection is primarily a logistical and operational concern; however, sheep appear to be the species of choice because within-individual baseline ChE activity and among age and gender group ChE activity in sheep had the least variability, compared with data from other species. This protocol provides an effective and efficient means for detecting abnormal depressions in blood ChE activity in livestock and can serve as a valuable indicator of the extent of actual plume movement and/or deposition in the event of organophosphate nerve agent release. PMID:1399773

  7. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Gigantol Derivatives as Potential Agents in Prevention of Diabetic Cataract

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xue; Fang, Hua; Wan, Wencheng; Yang, Qiaohong; Sun, Xiaosheng; Wang, Meiling; Hu, Xiaohong; Chen, C.-Y. Oliver; Wei, Xiaoyong

    2015-01-01

    As a continuation of our efforts directed towards the development of natural anti-diabetic cataract agents, gigantol was isolated from Herba dendrobii and was found to inhibit both aldose reductase (AR) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, which play a significant role in the development and progression of diabetic cataracts. To improve its bioefficacy and facilitate use as a therapeutic agent, gigantol (compound 14f) and a series of novel analogs were designed and synthesized. Analogs were formulated to have different substituents on the phenyl ring (compounds 4, 5, 8, 14a-e), substitute the phenyl ring with a larger steric hindrance ring (compounds 10, 17c) or modify the carbon chain (compounds 17a, 17b, 21, 23, 25). All of the analogs were tested for their effect on AR and iNOS activities and on D-galactose-induced apoptosis in cultured human lens epithelial cells. Compounds 5, 10, 14a, 14b, 14d, 14e, 14f, 17b, 17c, 23, and 25 inhibited AR activity, with IC50 values ranging from 5.02 to 288.8 μM. Compounds 5, 10, 14b, and 14f inhibited iNOS activity with IC50 ranging from 432.6 to 1188.7 μM. Compounds 5, 8, 10, 14b, 14f, and 17c protected the cells from D-galactose induced apoptosis with viability ranging from 55.2 to 76.26%. Of gigantol and its analogs, compound 10 showed the greatest bioefficacy and is warranted to be developed as a therapeutic agent for diabetic cataracts. PMID:26517726

  8. Characterizing biological variability in livestock blood cholinesterase activity for biomonitoring organophosphate nerve agent exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Halbrook, R.S.; Shugart, L.R.; Watson, A.P.; Munro, N.B.; Linnabary, R.D. )

    1992-09-01

    A biomonitoring protocol, using blood cholinesterase (ChE) activity in livestock as a monitor of potential organophosphate nerve agent exposure during the planned destruction of US unitary chemical warfare agent stockpiles, is described. The experimental design included analysis of blood ChE activity in individual healthy sheep, horses, and dairy and beef cattle during a 10- to 12-month period. Castrated and sexually intact males, pregnant and lactating females, and adult and immature animals were examined through at least one reproductive cycle. The same animals were used throughout the period of observation and were not exposed to ChE-inhibiting organophosphate or carbamate compounds. A framework for an effective biomonitoring protocol within a monitoring area includes establishing individual baseline blood ChE activity for a sentinel group of 6 animals on the bases of blood samples collected over a 6-month period, monthly collection of blood samples for ChE-activity determination during monitoring, and selection of adult animals as sentinels. Exposure to ChE-inhibiting compounds would be suspected when all blood ChE activity of all animals within the sentinel group are decreased greater than 20% from their own baseline value. Sentinel species selection is primarily a logistical and operational concern; however, sheep appear to be the species of choice because within-individual baseline ChE activity and among age and gender group ChE activity in sheep had the least variability, compared with data from other species. This protocol provides an effective and efficient means for detecting abnormal depressions in blood ChE activity in livestock and can serve as a valuable indicator of the extent of actual plume movement and/or deposition in the event of organophosphate nerve agent release.

  9. Biological profile and response to anti-pneumocystis agents of Pneumocystis carinii in cell culture.

    PubMed Central

    Pifer, L L; Pifer, D D; Woods, D R

    1983-01-01

    Although the growth characteristics of Pneumocystis carinii have been described in several cell culture systems, the response of this organism to the drugs of choice, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and pentamidine isethionate, have not been described in vitro. The effect of various concentrations of drugs against P. carinii on the growth of this potentially hazardous opportunistic organism as well as the methodology for in vitro assay of these agents have been detailed. Fluorescence profiles illustrating size ranges of trophozoites and cysts derived from cell culture are described. PMID:6607029

  10. Molecular Sleds and More: Novel Antiviral Agents via Single-Molecule Biology (441st Brookhaven Lecture)

    SciTech Connect

    Mangel, Wally

    2008-10-15

    Vaccines are effective against viruses such as polio and measles, but vaccines against other important viruses, such as HIV and flu viruses, may be impossible to obtain. These viruses change their genetic makeup each time they replicate so that the immune system cannot recognize all their variations. Hence it is important to develop new antiviral agents that inhibit virus replication. During this lecture, Dr. Mangel will discuss his group's work with a model system, the human adenovirus, which causes, among other ailments, pink eye, blindness and obesity. Mangel's team has developed a promising drug candidate that works by inihibiting adenovirus proteinase, an enzyme necessary for viral replication.

  11. Synthesis, molecular modeling and biological evaluation of dithiocarbamates as novel antitubulin agents.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yong; Ma, Gao-Yuan; Yang, Ying; Cheng, Kui; Zheng, Qing-Zhong; Mao, Wen-Jun; Shi, Lei; Zhao, Jing; Zhu, Hai-Liang

    2010-06-15

    A series of novel dithiocarbamate compounds with the chalcone scaffold have been designed and synthesized, and their biological activities were also evaluated as potential antiproliferation and antitubulin polymerization inhibitors. Compound 2n showed the most potent biological activity in vitro, which inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells with IC(50) of 0.04+/-0.01 microM and the polymerization of tubulin with IC(50) of 6.8+/-0.6 microM. To understand the tubulin-inhibitor interaction and the selectivity of the most active compound towards tubulin, molecular modeling studies were performed to dock compound 2n into the colchicine binding site, which suggested probable inhibition mechanism. PMID:20493717

  12. Climate warming increases biological control agent impact on a non-target species.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; He, Minyan; Wei, Hui; Shao, Xu; Ding, Jianqing

    2015-01-01

    Climate change may shift interactions of invasive plants, herbivorous insects and native plants, potentially affecting biological control efficacy and non-target effects on native species. Here, we show how climate warming affects impacts of a multivoltine introduced biocontrol beetle on the non-target native plant Alternanthera sessilis in China. In field surveys across a latitudinal gradient covering their full distributions, we found beetle damage on A. sessilis increased with rising temperature and plant life history changed from perennial to annual. Experiments showed that elevated temperature changed plant life history and increased insect overwintering, damage and impacts on seedling recruitment. These results suggest that warming can shift phenologies, increase non-target effect magnitude and increase non-target effect occurrence by beetle range expansion to additional areas where A. sessilis occurs. This study highlights the importance of understanding how climate change affects species interactions for future biological control of invasive species and conservation of native species. PMID:25376303

  13. Withdrawal of biologic agents in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Galvao, Tais Freire; Zimmermann, Ivan Ricardo; da Mota, Licia Maria Henrique; Silva, Marcus Tolentino; Pereira, Mauricio Gomes

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of withdrawing biologics from patients with rheumatoid arthritis in sustained remission or low disease activity. This is a systematic review of clinical trials that randomized withdrawal or continuation of biologics. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and other databases. Three authors independently selected and extracted the data from the studies. The GRADE approach was employed to assess the quality of the evidence. We calculated meta-analyses of random effects model and estimated the heterogeneity by I (2). The number needed to treat (NNT) was calculated for significant outcomes. We included six trials (N = 1927 patients), most were industry-sponsored. Compared to withdrawing, continuing biologics increased the probability of low disease activity (relative risk [RR] = 0.66, 95 % CI 0.51-0.84, I (2) = 91 %, NNT = 4, low quality), remission (0.57, 0.44-0.74, I (2) = 82 %, NNT = 3, low quality), and radiographic progression (RR = 0.91, 95 % CI 0.85-0.98, I (2) = 13 %, NNT = 12, moderate quality). No significant difference was detected in the incidence of serious adverse events, serious infection, malignancy, and scores of improvement of tender and swollen joints between these strategies (low quality). A worse profile of outcomes was experienced by those patients when compared to the ones that continued biologics, but almost half of patients maintained low disease activity after withdrawal. As the quality of evidence was low, the conclusions may change as new results become available. The potential harms and benefits of this decision must be discussed with patients. PMID:27107756

  14. Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines-Based Care, Omalizumab, and Other Potential Biologic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Huffaker, Michelle Fox; Phipatanakul, Wanda; Huffaker, M.F.; Phipatanakul, W.

    2014-01-01

    Synopsis Over the past several decades, the evidence supporting rational pediatric asthma management has grown exponentially. As more is learned about the various phenotypes of asthma, the complexity of management will continue to grow. This review focuses on the evidence supporting the current guidelines-based pediatric asthma management and explores the future of asthma management with respect to phenotypic heterogeneity and biologics. PMID:25459581

  15. Evaluation of wholesale electric power market rules and financial risk management by agent-based simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Nanpeng

    As U.S. regional electricity markets continue to refine their market structures, designs and rules of operation in various ways, two critical issues are emerging. First, although much experience has been gained and costly and valuable lessons have been learned, there is still a lack of a systematic platform for evaluation of the impact of a new market design from both engineering and economic points of view. Second, the transition from a monopoly paradigm characterized by a guaranteed rate of return to a competitive market created various unfamiliar financial risks for various market participants, especially for the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). This dissertation uses agent-based simulation methods to tackle the market rules evaluation and financial risk management problems. The California energy crisis in 2000-01 showed what could happen to an electricity market if it did not go through a comprehensive and rigorous testing before its implementation. Due to the complexity of the market structure, strategic interaction between the participants, and the underlying physics, it is difficult to fully evaluate the implications of potential changes to market rules. This dissertation presents a flexible and integrative method to assess market designs through agent-based simulations. Realistic simulation scenarios on a 225-bus system are constructed for evaluation of the proposed PJM-like market power mitigation rules of the California electricity market. Simulation results show that in the absence of market power mitigation, generation company (GenCo) agents facilitated by Q-learning are able to exploit the market flaws and make significantly higher profits relative to the competitive benchmark. The incorporation of PJM-like local market power mitigation rules is shown to be effective in suppressing the exercise of market power. The importance of financial risk management is exemplified by the recent financial crisis. In this

  16. Characterization of the biological activity of gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine: a novel, naturally occurring anticancer agent from garlic.

    PubMed

    Dong, Y; Lisk, D; Block, E; Ip, C

    2001-04-01

    Gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine (GGMSC) has recently been identified as the major Se compound in natural garlic and selenized garlic. Our working hypothesis is that GGMSC serves primarily as a carrier of Se-methylselenocysteine (MSC), which has been demonstrated in past research to be a potent cancer chemopreventive agent in animal carcinogenesis bioassays. The present study was designed to examine the in vivo responses to GGMSC or MSC using a variety of biochemical and biological end points, including (a) urinary Se excretion as a function of bolus dose; (b) tissue Se accumulation profile; (c) anticancer efficacy; and (d) gene expression changes as determined by cDNA array analysis. Our results showed that like MSC, GGMSC was well absorbed p.o., with urinary excretion as the major route for eliminating excess Se. When fed chronically, the profile of Se accumulation in various tissues was very comparable after treatment with either GGMSC or MSC. In rats that had been challenged with a carcinogen, supplementation with either GGMSC or MSC resulted in a lower prevalence of premalignant lesions in the mammary gland, and fewer mammary carcinomas when these early lesions were allowed to progress. More importantly, we found that a short term GGMSC/MSC treatment schedule of 4 weeks immediately after carcinogen dosing was sufficient to provide significant cancer protection, even in the absence of a sustained exposure past the initial 4-week period. With the use of the Clontech Atlas Rat cDNA Array, we further discovered that the gene expression changes induced in mammary epithelial cells of rats that were given either GGMSC or MSC showed a high degree of concordance. On the basis of the collective biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology data, we conclude that GGMSC is an effective anticancer agent with a mechanism of action very similar to that of MSC. PMID:11306469

  17. Ongoing ecological speciation in Cotesia sesamiae, a biological control agent of cereal stem borers

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Laure; Le Ru, Bruno Pierre; Kaoula, Ferial; Paillusson, Corentin; Capdevielle-Dulac, Claire; Obonyo, Julius Ochieng; Herniou, Elisabeth A; Jancek, Severine; Branca, Antoine; Calatayud, Paul-André; Silvain, Jean-François; Dupas, Stephane

    2015-01-01

    To develop efficient and safe biological control, we need to reliably identify natural enemy species, determine their host range, and understand the mechanisms that drive host range evolution. We investigated these points in Cotesia sesamiae, an African parasitic wasp of cereal stem borers. Phylogenetic analyses of 74 individual wasps, based on six mitochondrial and nuclear genes, revealed three lineages. We then investigated the ecological status (host plant and host insect ranges in the field, and host insect suitability tests) and the biological status (cross-mating tests) of the three lineages. We found that one highly supported lineage showed all the hallmarks of a cryptic species. It is associated with one host insect, Sesamia nonagrioides, and is reproductively isolated from the other two lineages by pre- and postmating barriers. The other two lineages had a more variable phylogenetic support, depending on the set of genes; they exhibited an overlapping and diversified range of host species and are not reproductively isolated from one another. We discuss the ecological conditions and mechanisms that likely generated this ongoing speciation and the relevance of this new specialist taxon in the genus Cotesia for biological control. PMID:26366198

  18. Fire fighting trainers' exposure to carcinogenic agents in smoke diving simulators.

    PubMed

    Laitinen, Juha; Mäkelä, Mauri; Mikkola, Jouni; Huttu, Ismo

    2010-01-15

    It is well known that fire fighters are potentially exposed to various carcinogenic agents at a fire scene. An almost unheeded issue, however, is fire fighters' exposure to carcinogenic agents in smoke diving simulators. Biomonitoring (urinary muconic acid, 1-naphthol and 1-pyrenol), dermal (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and occupational hygiene measurements (cyanides, hydrogen cyanide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde) were used to determine how the burning material, the type of simulator and protective clothing used affect fire fighting trainers' exposure. The highest excretion of 1-pyrenol (sampled 6h after end of exposure, in average 4.3-9.2nmol/L) and emissions of benzene (1.0-2.5mg/m(3)) and hydrogen cyanide (0.2-0.9mg/m(3)) were measured during the burning of conifer plywood and chipboard, and the lowest when pure pine and spruce wood (1.5nmol/L, 0.6mg/m(3), and 0.05mg/m(3)) was burned. However the safest burning material seemed to be propane (1.0nmol/L, 0.2mg/m(3), and not measured). The type of simulator used affected trainers' exposure very clearly. The highest dermal whole body exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were measured in the fire house simulator (in average 1200ng/cm(2)). Clearly lower exposure levels were measured in container training sessions (760ng/cm(2)), where the average dermal exposure level was 35% lower than in the fire house. The exposure levels (30ng/cm(2)) in the gas simulator in turn, were only 4% of the levels in container training sessions. The amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons decreased by 80% on trainers' hands when they used under gloves (in average 8.7ng/cm(2)) compared to those (48.4ng/cm(2)) who did not. There was not difference in protection efficiency against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons between tested fire suits (Brage and Bristol). PMID:19576276

  19. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Resveratrol-NSAID Derivatives as Anti-inflammatory Agents.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wei; Ma, Yan-Yan; Zhang, Kun; Zhou, Ai-Yu; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Huaqian; Du, Zhiyun; Zhao, Deng-Gao

    2016-06-01

    Long-term use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause serious side effects such as gastric mucosal damage. Resveratrol, a naturally dietary polyphenol, exhibited anti-inflammatory activity and a protective effect against gastric mucosa damage induced by NSAIDs. In this regard, we synthesized a series of resveratrol-based NSAIDs derivatives and evaluated their anti-inflammatory activity against nitric oxide (NO) overproduction in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. We identified mono-substituted resveratrol-ibuprofen combination 21 as the most potent anti-inflammatory agent, which is more active than a physical mixture of ibuprofen and resveratrol, individual ibuprofen, or individual resveratrol. In addition, compound 21 exerted potent inhibitory effects on the LPS-induced expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Furthermore, compound 21 significantly increased the survival rate in an LPS-induced acute inflammatory model and produced markedly less gastric damage than ibuprofen. It was found that compound 21 may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases. PMID:27009373

  20. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Selenium (Se-NSAID) Molecules as Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Plano, Daniel; Karelia, Deepkamal N; Pandey, Manoj K; Spallholz, Julian E; Amin, Shantu; Sharma, Arun K

    2016-03-10

    The synthesis and anticancer evaluation of novel selenium-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Se-NSAID) hybrid molecules are reported. The Se-aspirin analogue 8 was identified as the most effective agent in reducing the viability of different cancer cell lines, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, was more selective toward cancer cells than normal cells, and was >10 times more potent than 5-FU, the current therapy for CRC. Compound 8 inhibits CRC growth via the inhibition of the cell cycle in G1 and G2/M phases and reduces the cell cycle markers like cyclin E1 and B1 in a dose dependent manner; the inhibition of the cell cycle may be dependent on the ability of 8 to induce p21 expression. Furthermore, 8 induces apoptosis by activating caspase 3/7 and PARP cleavage, and its longer exposure causes increase in intracellular ROS levels in CRC cells. Taken together, 8 has the potential to be developed further as a chemotherapeutic agent for CRC. PMID:26750401