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Sample records for engineering molecular biology

  1. Molecular Biological Methods in Environmental Engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guocai; Wei, Li; Chang, Chein-Chi; Zhang, Yuhua; Wei, Dong

    2016-10-01

    Bacteria, acting as catalysts, perform the function of degrading pollutants. Molecular biological techniques play an important role in research on the community analysis, the composition and the functions of complex microbial communities. The development of secondary high-throughput pyrosequencing techiniques enhances the understanding of the composition of the microbial community. The literatures of 2015 indicated that 16S rDNA gene as genetic tag is still the important method for bacteria identification and classification. 454 high throughput sequencing and Illumina MiSeq sequencing have been the primary and widely recognized methods to analyze the microbial. This review will provide environmental engineers and microbiologists an overview of important advancements in molecular techniques and highlight the application of these methods in diverse environments. PMID:27620079

  2. Incorporating Molecular and Cellular Biology into a Chemical Engineering Degree Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Kim C.

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing need for a workforce that can apply engineering principles to molecular based discovery and product development in the biological sciences. To this end, Tulane University established a degree program that incorporates molecular and cellular biology into the chemical engineering curriculum. In celebration of the tenth anniversary…

  3. Introducing Molecular Biology to Environmental Engineers through Development of a New Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oerther, Daniel B.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces a molecular biology course designed for environmental engineering majors using 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid-targeted technology that allows students to identify and study microorganisms in bioreactor environments. (Contains 17 references.) (YDS)

  4. Methods of Genome Engineering: a New Era of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Chugunova, A A; Dontsova, O A; Sergiev, P V

    2016-07-01

    Genome sequencing now progressing much faster than our understanding of the majority of gene functions. Studies of physiological functions of various genes would not be possible without the ability to manipulate the genome. Methods of genome engineering can now be used to inactivate a gene to study consequences, introduce heterologous genes into the genome for scientific and biotechnology applications, create genes coding for fusion proteins to study gene expression, protein localization, and molecular interactions, and to develop animal models of human diseases to find appropriate treatment. Finally, genome engineering might present the possibility to cure hereditary diseases. In this review, we discuss and compare the most important methods for gene inactivation and editing, as well as methods for incorporation of heterologous genes into the genome. PMID:27449613

  5. Molecular-level engineering of THz/IR-sensitive materials for future biological sensing application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolard, Dwight; Recine, Gregory; Bykhovski, Alexei; Zhang, Weidong

    2010-08-01

    While the unique spectral information associated with chemical and biological molecules within the terahertz frequency regime (~ 3.0-3.0 millimeters) motivates its use for practical sensing applications, limiting factors at the macroscale (weak spectral absorption, broad line widths and masking geometrical effects introduced by the samples) provides motivation for man-engineered sensing materials that allow for the transduction of the spectral information about target molecules from the nanoscale. This brief letter will overview work being performed by our research group to define molecular-level functionality that will be useful for realizing "THz/IR-sensitive" materials. Here the goal is to define switchable molecular components that when incorporated into larger DNA-based nanoscaffolds lead to THz and/or IR regime electronic and/or photonic material properties that are dictated in a predictable manner by novel functionality paradigms. In particular, theoretical modeling and design studies are being performed to engineer organic and biological switches that can be incorporated into DNA-based architectures that enable the precise extraction of nanoscale information (e.g., composition, dynamics, conformation) through electronic/photonic transformations to the macroscale. Hence, these studies seek to define new spectral-based sensing modalities useful for characterizing bio-molecules

  6. Teaching Applied Genetics and Molecular Biology to Agriculture Engineers. Application of the European Credit Transfer System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, J.; Egea-Cortines, M.

    2008-01-01

    We have been teaching applied molecular genetics to engineers and adapted the teaching methodology to the European Credit Transfer System. We teach core principles of genetics that are universal and form the conceptual basis of most molecular technologies. The course then teaches widely used techniques and finally shows how different techniques…

  7. Engineering molecular machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erman, Burak

    2016-04-01

    Biological molecular motors use chemical energy, mostly in the form of ATP hydrolysis, and convert it to mechanical energy. Correlated thermal fluctuations are essential for the function of a molecular machine and it is the hydrolysis of ATP that modifies the correlated fluctuations of the system. Correlations are consequences of the molecular architecture of the protein. The idea that synthetic molecular machines may be constructed by designing the proper molecular architecture is challenging. In their paper, Sarkar et al (2016 New J. Phys. 18 043006) propose a synthetic molecular motor based on the coarse grained elastic network model of proteins and show by numerical simulations that motor function is realized, ranging from deterministic to thermal, depending on temperature. This work opens up a new range of possibilities of molecular architecture based engine design.

  8. Engineering scalable biological systems

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Synthetic biology is focused on engineering biological organisms to study natural systems and to provide new solutions for pressing medical, industrial and environmental problems. At the core of engineered organisms are synthetic biological circuits that execute the tasks of sensing inputs, processing logic and performing output functions. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in developing basic designs for a wide range of biological circuits in bacteria, yeast and mammalian systems. However, significant challenges in the construction, probing, modulation and debugging of synthetic biological systems must be addressed in order to achieve scalable higher-complexity biological circuits. Furthermore, concomitant efforts to evaluate the safety and biocontainment of engineered organisms and address public and regulatory concerns will be necessary to ensure that technological advances are translated into real-world solutions. PMID:21468204

  9. Ontologies for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Kremer, S

    1998-01-01

    Molecular biology has a communication problem. There are many databases using their own labels and categories for storing data objects and some using identical labels and categories but with a different meaning. A prominent example is the concept "gene" which is used with different semantics by major international genomic databases. Ontologies are one means to provide a semantic repository to systematically order relevant concepts in molecular biology and to bridge the different notions in various databases by explicitly specifying the meaning of and relation between the fundamental concepts in an application domain. Here, the upper level and a database branch of a prospective ontology for molecular biology (OMB) is presented and compared to other ontologies with respect to suitability for molecular biology (http:/(/)igd.rz-berlin.mpg.de/approximately www/oe/mbo.html). PMID:9697223

  10. Philosophical Foundations of Biological Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Arthur T.; Phillips, Winfred M.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses a philosophy from which biological engineering curriculums can emerge. Discusses competencies, basic engineering and biological concepts, common courses, interfacing between engineers and biologists, and employment. Contains 28 references. (JRH)

  11. Molecular biology of development

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, E.H.; Firtel, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    This book is a compilation of papers presented at a symposium on the molecular biology of development. Topics discussed include: cytoplasmic localizations and pattern formations, gene expression during oogenesis and early development, developmental expression of gene families molecular aspects of plant development and transformation in whole organisms and cells.

  12. Graphs in molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Wolfgang; Carey, Vincent J; Long, Li; Falcon, Seth; Gentleman, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Graph theoretical concepts are useful for the description and analysis of interactions and relationships in biological systems. We give a brief introduction into some of the concepts and their areas of application in molecular biology. We discuss software that is available through the Bioconductor project and present a simple example application to the integration of a protein-protein interaction and a co-expression network. PMID:17903289

  13. Molecular Models in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodman, Richard E.

    1970-01-01

    Describes types of molecular models (ball-and-stick, framework, and space-filling) and evaluates commercially available kits. Gives instructions for constructive models from polystyrene balls and pipe-cleaners. Models are useful for class demonstrations although not sufficiently accurate for research use. Illustrations show biologically important…

  14. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laderman, Stephen

    2009-03-01

    Developments of molecular measurements and manipulations have long enabled forefront research in evolution, genetics, biological development and its dysfunction, and the impact of external factors on the behavior of cells. Measurement remains at the heart of exciting and challenging basic and applied problems in molecular and cell biology. Methods to precisely determine the identity and abundance of particular molecules amongst a complex mixture of similar and dissimilar types require the successful design and integration of multiple steps involving biochemical manipulations, separations, physical probing, and data processing. Accordingly, today's most powerful methods for characterizing life at the molecular level depend on coordinated advances in applied physics, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, and engineering. This is well illustrated by recent approaches to the measurement of DNA, RNA, proteins, and intact cells. Such successes underlie well founded visions of how molecular biology can further assist in answering compelling scientific questions and in enabling the development of remarkable advances in human health. These visions, in turn, are motivating the interdisciplinary creation of even more comprehensive measurements. As a further and closely related consequence, they are motivating innovations in the conceptual and practical approaches to organizing and visualizing large, complex sets of interrelated experimental results and distilling from those data compelling, informative conclusions.

  15. Grand challenges for biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jeong-Yeol; Riley, Mark R

    2009-01-01

    Biological engineering will play a significant role in solving many of the world's problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Recently the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) released a document "Grand Challenges in Engineering," covering broad realms of human concern from sustainability, health, vulnerability and the joy of living. Biological engineers, having tools and techniques at the interface between living and non-living entities, will play a prominent role in forging a better future. The 2010 Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) conference in Cambridge, MA, USA will address, in part, the roles of biological engineering in solving the challenges presented by the NAE. This letter presents a brief outline of how biological engineers are working to solve these large scale and integrated problems of our society. PMID:19772647

  16. Molecular Biology of Nitrogen Fixation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanmugam, K. T.; Valentine, Raymond C.

    1975-01-01

    Reports that as a result of our increasing knowledge of the molecular biology of nitrogen fixation it might eventually be possible to increase the biological production of nitrogenous fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. (GS)

  17. Molecular biology and reproduction.

    PubMed

    McDonough, P G

    1999-03-01

    Modern molecular biology has provided unique insights into the fundamental understanding of reproductive disorders and the detection of microorganisms. The remarkable advances in DNA diagnostics have been expedited by the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the ability to isolate DNA and RNA from many different sources such as blood, saliva, hair roots, microscopic slides, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, clinical swabs, and even cancellous bone. These technical advances have been bolstered by the development of an increasing number of effective screening techniques to scan genomic DNA for unknown point mutations. The continued development of technology will ultimately result in automated DNA (desoxyribonucleic acid) diagnosis for the practicing clinician. The continuing expansion of information concerning the human genome will place an increasing emphasis on bioinformatics and the use of computer software for analyzing DNA sequences. With the automation of DNA diagnosis and the use of small samples (500 nanograms), the direct examination of the DNA of a patient, fetus, or microorganism will emerge as a definitive means of establishing the presence of the specific genetic change that causes disease. A knowledge of the precise pathology at the molecular level has and will provide important insights into the biochemical basis for many human diseases. A firm knowledge of the DNA alterations in disease and expression patterns of specific genes will provide for more directed therapeutic strategies. The refinement of vector technology and nuclear transplantion techniques will provide the opportunity for directed gene therapy to the early human embryo. This presentation is designed to acquaint the reader with current techniques of testing at the DNA level, prototype mutations in the reproductive sciences, new concepts in the molecular mechanisms of disease that affect reproduction, and therapeutic opportunities for the future. It is hoped that future

  18. Biological handbook for engineers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1970-01-01

    Microbiological background information is compiled in handbook for engineers and scientists working on bio-related projects. It is intended as aid in - /1/ evaluating effects of engineering procedures on microbial life, /2/ determining effects of decontamination and sterilization on performance of overall systems, and /3/ understanding language of microbiologists.

  19. Nucleic acids and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Eckstein, F.; Lilley, D.M.J.

    1988-01-01

    Molecular biology has always been a discipline of rapid development. Despite this the authors are presently experiencing a period of unprecedented proliferation of information in nucleic acid studies and molecular biology. These areas are intimately interwoven, so that each influences the other to their mutual benefit. The rapid growth in information leads to ever-increasing specialization. The authors present the series Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology. It comprises focused review articles by active researchers who report on the newest developments in their areas of particular interest.

  20. Teaching Molecular Biology with Microcomputers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiss, Rebecca; Jameson, David

    1984-01-01

    Describes a series of computer programs that use simulation and gaming techniques to present the basic principles of the central dogma of molecular genetics, mutation, and the genetic code. A history of discoveries in molecular biology is presented and the evolution of these computer assisted instructional programs is described. (MBR)

  1. Biological and biomimetic molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tony J; Juluri, Bala K

    2008-02-01

    The evolution of life facilitates the creation of biological molecular machines. In these so-called 'nanomachines,' nature elegantly shows that when precisely organized and assembled, simple molecular mechanical components can link motions efficiently from the nanometer scale to the macroscopic world, and achieve complex functions such as powering skeletal muscles, synthesizing ATP and producing DNA/RNA. Inspired by nature, researchers are creating artifical molecular machines with tailored structures and properties, with the aim of realizing man-made active nanosystems that operate with the same efficiency and complexity as biological nanomachines. It is anticipated that in the not-too-distant future, unique applications of biological and biomimetic molecular machines will emerge in areas such as biochemical instrumentation and nanomedicine. PMID:18393670

  2. Molecular biology of hearing

    PubMed Central

    Stöver, Timo; Diensthuber, Marc

    2012-01-01

    The inner ear is our most sensitive sensory organ and can be subdivided into three functional units: organ of Corti, stria vascularis and spiral ganglion. The appropriate stimulus for the organ of hearing is sound, which travels through the external auditory canal to the middle ear where it is transmitted to the inner ear. The inner ear houses the hair cells, the sensory cells of hearing. The inner hair cells are capable of mechanotransduction, the transformation of mechanical force into an electrical signal, which is the basic principle of hearing. The stria vascularis generates the endocochlear potential and maintains the ionic homeostasis of the endolymph. The dendrites of the spiral ganglion form synaptic contacts with the hair cells. The spiral ganglion is composed of neurons that transmit the electrical signals from the cochlea to the central nervous system. In recent years there has been significant progress in research on the molecular basis of hearing. An increasing number of genes and proteins related to hearing are being identified and characterized. The growing knowledge of these genes contributes not only to greater appreciation of the mechanism of hearing but also to a deeper understanding of the molecular basis of hereditary hearing loss. This basic research is a prerequisite for the development of molecular diagnostics and novel therapies for hearing loss. PMID:22558056

  3. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Davies, Jamie A; Cachat, Elise

    2016-06-15

    Classical tissue engineering is aimed mainly at producing anatomically and physiologically realistic replacements for normal human tissues. It is done either by encouraging cellular colonization of manufactured matrices or cellular recolonization of decellularized natural extracellular matrices from donor organs, or by allowing cells to self-organize into organs as they do during fetal life. For repair of normal bodies, this will be adequate but there are reasons for making unusual, non-evolved tissues (repair of unusual bodies, interface to electromechanical prostheses, incorporating living cells into life-support machines). Synthetic biology is aimed mainly at engineering cells so that they can perform custom functions: applying synthetic biological approaches to tissue engineering may be one way of engineering custom structures. In this article, we outline the 'embryological cycle' of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis and review progress that has been made in constructing synthetic biological systems to reproduce these processes in new ways. The state-of-the-art remains a long way from making truly synthetic tissues, but there are now at least foundations for future work. PMID:27284030

  4. Molecular biology of pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Belda-Iniesta, Cristóbal; Ibáñez de Cáceres, Immaculada; Barriuso, Jorge; de Castro Carpeño, Javier; González Barón, Manuel; Feliú, Jaime

    2008-09-01

    Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death. This devastating disease has the horrible honour of close to equal incidence and mortality rates. Late diagnosis and a constitutive resistance to every chemotherapy approach are responsible for this scenario. However, molecular biology tools in cooperation with translational efforts have dissected several secrets that underlie pancreatic cancer. Progressive acquisition of malignant, invasive phenotypes from pre-malignant lesions, recent revelations on core signalling pathways and new targeted designed trials offer a better future for pancreatic cancer patients. This review will summarise recent advances in the molecular biology of pancreatic cancer. PMID:18796369

  5. [Knowledgebases in postgenomic molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Lisitsa, A V; Shilov, B V; Evdokimov, P A; Gusev, S A

    2010-01-01

    Knowledgebases can become an effective tool essentially raising quality of information retrieval in molecular biology, promoting the development of new methods of education and forecasting of the biomedical R&D. Knowledge-based technologies should induce "paradigm shift" in the life science due to integrative focusing of research groups towards the challenges of postgenomic era. This paper debates concept of the knowledgebase, which exploits web usage mining to personalize the access of molecular biologist to the Internet resources. PMID:21328913

  6. Fluctuation as a tool of biological molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Yanagida, Toshio

    2008-01-01

    The mechanism for biological molecular machines is different from that of man-made ones. Recently single molecule measurements and other experiments have revealed unique operations where biological molecular machines exploit thermal fluctuation in response to small inputs of energy or signals to achieve their function. Understanding and applying this mechanism to engineering offers new artificial machine designs. PMID:18583025

  7. Molecular Processes in Biological Thermosensation

    PubMed Central

    Digel, I.; Kayser, P.; Artmann, G. M.

    2008-01-01

    Since thermal gradients are almost everywhere, thermosensation could represent one of the oldest sensory transduction processes that evolved in organisms. There are many examples of temperature changes affecting the physiology of living cells. Almost all classes of biological macromolecules in a cell (nucleic acids, lipids, proteins) can present a target of the temperature-related stimuli. This review discusses some features of different classes of temperature-sensing molecules as well as molecular and biological processes that involve thermosensation. Biochemical, structural, and thermodynamic approaches are applied in the paper to organize the existing knowledge on molecular mechanisms of thermosensation. Special attention is paid to the fact that thermosensitive function cannot be assigned to any particular functional group or spatial structure but is rather of universal nature. For instance, the complex of thermodynamic, structural, and functional features of hemoglobin family proteins suggests their possible accessory role as “molecular thermometers”. PMID:20130806

  8. Biosilica: Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Function in Demosponges as well as its Applied Aspects for Tissue Engineering.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaohong; Schröder, Heinz C; Wiens, Matthias; Schloßmacher, Ute; Müller, Werner E G

    2012-01-01

    Biomineralization, biosilicification in particular (i.e. the formation of biogenic silica, SiO(2)), has become an exciting source of inspiration for the development of novel bionic approaches following 'nature as model'. Siliceous sponges are unique among silica-forming organisms in their ability to catalyze silica formation using a specific enzyme termed silicatein. In this study, we review the present state of knowledge on silicatein-mediated 'biosilica' formation in marine demosponges, the involvement of further molecules in silica metabolism and their potential applications in nano-biotechnology and bio-medicine. While most forms of multicellular life have developed a calcium-based skeleton, a few specialized organisms complement their body plan with silica. Only sponges (phylum Porifera) are able to polymerize silica enzymatically mediated in order to generate massive siliceous skeletal elements (spicules) during a unique reaction, at ambient temperature and pressure. During this biomineralization process (i.e. biosilicification), hydrated, amorphous silica is deposited within highly specialized sponge cells, ultimately resulting in structures that range in size from micrometres to metres. This peculiar phenomenon has been comprehensively studied in recent years, and in several approaches, the molecular background was explored to create tools that might be employed for novel bioinspired biotechnological and biomedical applications. Thus, it was discovered that spiculogenesis is mediated by the enzyme silicatein and starts intracellularly. The resulting silica nanoparticles fuse and subsequently form concentric lamellar layers around a central protein filament, consisting of silicatein and the scaffold protein silintaphin-1. Once the growing spicule is extruded into the extracellular space, it obtains final size and shape. Again, this process is mediated by silicatein and silintaphin-1/silintaphin-1, in combination with other molecules such as galectin and

  9. 7th Annual Systems Biology Symposium: Systems Biology and Engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Galitski, Timothy P.

    2008-04-01

    Systems biology recognizes the complex multi-scale organization of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. The International Symposium on Systems Biology has been hosted by the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, since 2002. The annual two-day event gathers the most influential researchers transforming biology into an integrative discipline investingating complex systems. Engineering and application of new technology is a central element of systems biology. Genome-scale, or very small-scale, biological questions drive the enigneering of new technologies, which enable new modes of experimentation and computational analysis, leading to new biological insights and questions. Concepts and analytical methods in engineering are now finding direct applications in biology. Therefore, the 2008 Symposium, funded in partnership with the Department of Energy, featured global leaders in "Systems Biology and Engineering."

  10. Molecular biology of malignant gliomas.

    PubMed

    Belda-Iniesta, Cristóbal; de Castro Carpeño, Javier; Casado Sáenz, Enrique; Cejas Guerrero, Paloma; Perona, Rosario; González Barón, Manuel

    2006-09-01

    Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumours. In keeping with the degree of aggressiveness, gliomas are divided into four grades, with different biological behaviour. Furthermore, as different gliomas share a predominant histological appearance, the final classification includes both, histological features and degree of malignancy. For example, gliomas of astrocytic origin (astrocytomas) are classified into pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I), astrocytoma (grade II), anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III) and glioblastoma multiforme (GMB) (grade IV). Tumors derived from oligodendrocytes include grade II (oliogodendrogliomas) and grade III neoplasms (oligoastrocytoma). Each subtype has a specific prognosis that dictates the clinical management. In this regard, a patient diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma totally removed has 10-15 years of potential survival. On the opposite site, patients carrying a glioblastoma multiforme usually die within the first year after the diagnosis is made. Therefore, different approaches are needed in each case. Obviously, prognosis and biological behaviour of malignant gliomas are closely related and supported by the different molecular background that possesses each type of glioma. Furthermore, the ability that allows several low-grade gliomas to progress into more aggressive tumors has allowed cancer researchers to elucidate several pathways implicated in molecular biology of these devastating tumors. In this review, we describe classical pathways involved in human malignant gliomas with special focus with recent advances, such as glioma stem-like cells and expression patterns from microarray studies. PMID:17005465

  11. Marine molecular biology: an emerging field of biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Narsinh L; Jain, Roopesh; Natalio, Filipe; Hamer, Bojan; Thakur, Archana N; Müller, Werner E G

    2008-01-01

    An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. However, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology has only recently begun to be cherished. It has been proven that the exploitation of molecular biological techniques will allow difficult research questions about marine organisms and ocean processes to be addressed. Marine molecular biology is a discipline, which strives to define and solve the problems regarding the sustainable exploration of marine life for human health and welfare, through the cooperation between scientists working in marine biology, molecular biology, microbiology and chemistry disciplines. Several success stories of the applications of molecular techniques in the field of marine biology are guiding further research in this area. In this review different molecular techniques are discussed, which have application in marine microbiology, marine invertebrate biology, marine ecology, marine natural products, material sciences, fisheries, conservation and bio-invasion etc. In summary, if marine biologists and molecular biologists continue to work towards strong partnership during the next decade and recognize intellectual and technological advantages and benefits of such partnership, an exciting new frontier of marine molecular biology will emerge in the future. PMID:18299181

  12. The molecular biology of ilarviruses.

    PubMed

    Pallas, Vicente; Aparicio, Frederic; Herranz, Mari C; Sanchez-Navarro, Jesus A; Scott, Simon W

    2013-01-01

    Ilarviruses were among the first 16 groups of plant viruses approved by ICTV. Like Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), bromoviruses, and cucumoviruses they are isometric viruses and possess a single-stranded, tripartite RNA genome. However, unlike these other three groups, ilarviruses were recognized as being recalcitrant subjects for research (their ready lability is reflected in the sigla used to create the group name) and were renowned as unpromising subjects for the production of antisera. However, it was recognized that they shared properties with AMV when the phenomenon of genome activation, in which the coat protein (CP) of the virus is required to be present to initiate infection, was demonstrated to cross group boundaries. The CP of AMV could activate the genome of an ilarvirus and vice versa. Development of the molecular information for ilarviruses lagged behind the knowledge available for the more extensively studied AMV, bromoviruses, and cucumoviruses. In the past 20 years, genomic data for most known ilarviruses have been developed facilitating their detection and allowing the factors involved in the molecular biology of the genus to be investigated. Much information has been obtained using Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and the more extensively studied AMV. A relationship between some ilarviruses and the cucumoviruses has been defined with the recognition that members of both genera encode a 2b protein involved in RNA silencing and long distance viral movement. Here, we present a review of the current knowledge of both the taxonomy and the molecular biology of this genus of agronomically and horticulturally important viruses. PMID:23809923

  13. Consistent design schematics for biological systems: standardization of representation in biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Matsuoka, Yukiko; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2009-01-01

    The discovery by design paradigm driving research in synthetic biology entails the engineering of de novo biological constructs with well-characterized input–output behaviours and interfaces. The construction of biological circuits requires iterative phases of design, simulation and assembly, leading to the fabrication of a biological device. In order to represent engineered models in a consistent visual format and further simulating them in silico, standardization of representation and model formalism is imperative. In this article, we review different efforts for standardization, particularly standards for graphical visualization and simulation/annotation schemata adopted in systems biology. We identify the importance of integrating the different standardization efforts and provide insights into potential avenues for developing a common framework for model visualization, simulation and sharing across various tools. We envision that such a synergistic approach would lead to the development of global, standardized schemata in biology, empowering deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms as well as engineering of novel biological systems. PMID:19493898

  14. Molecular characteristics versus biological activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Smith, Manning A.; Willeford, Bennett R.

    1967-01-01

    The molecular characteristics of mononitrophenols containing halogens not only play a key role in their biological activity but provide a novel example of selective toxicity among vertebrate animals. It has been reported that efforts to control the parasitic sea lamprey in the Great Lakes are directed at present to the applications of a selective toxicant to streams inhabited by lamprey larvae. Since 1961, the larvicide that has been used almost exclusively in the control program has been 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM). However, this is only one of about 15 closely related compounds, all halogen-containing mononitrophenols, that display a selectively toxic action upon lampreys. Although not all of the halogenated mononitrophenols are selectively toxic to lampreys (in fact, fewer than half of those tested), no other group of related compounds has displayed any useful larvicidal activity except for the substituted nitrosalicylanilides.

  15. Network Reverse Engineering Approach in Synthetic Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haoqian; Liu, Ao; Lu, Yuheng; Sheng, Ying; Wu, Qianzhu; Yin, Zhenzhen; Chen, Yiwei; Liu, Zairan; Pan, Heng; Ouyang, Qi

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is a new branch of interdisciplinary science that has been developed in recent years. The main purpose of synthetic biology is to apply successful principles that have been developed in electronic and chemical engineering to develop basic biological functional modules, and through rational design, develop man-made biological systems that have predicted useful functions. Here, we discuss an important principle in rational design of functional biological circuits: the reverse engineering design. We will use a research project that was conducted at Peking University for the International Genetic Engineering Machine Competition (iGEM) to illustrate the principle: synthesis a cell which has a semi-log dose-response to the environment. Through this work we try to demonstrate the potential application of network engineering in synthetic biology.

  16. Molecular engineering of polymersome surface topology.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Pérez, Lorena; Messager, Lea; Gaitzsch, Jens; Joseph, Adrian; Sutto, Ludovico; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi; Battaglia, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

    Biological systems exploit self-assembly to create complex structures whose arrangements are finely controlled from the molecular to mesoscopic level. We report an example of using fully synthetic systems that mimic two levels of self-assembly. We show the formation of vesicles using amphiphilic copolymers whose chemical nature is chosen to control both membrane formation and membrane-confined interactions. We report polymersomes with patterns that emerge by engineering interfacial tension within the polymersome surface. This allows the formation of domains whose topology is tailored by chemical synthesis, paving the avenue to complex supramolecular designs functionally similar to those found in viruses and trafficking vesicles. PMID:27152331

  17. Molecular engineering of polymersome surface topology

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Pérez, Lorena; Messager, Lea; Gaitzsch, Jens; Joseph, Adrian; Sutto, Ludovico; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi; Battaglia, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Biological systems exploit self-assembly to create complex structures whose arrangements are finely controlled from the molecular to mesoscopic level. We report an example of using fully synthetic systems that mimic two levels of self-assembly. We show the formation of vesicles using amphiphilic copolymers whose chemical nature is chosen to control both membrane formation and membrane-confined interactions. We report polymersomes with patterns that emerge by engineering interfacial tension within the polymersome surface. This allows the formation of domains whose topology is tailored by chemical synthesis, paving the avenue to complex supramolecular designs functionally similar to those found in viruses and trafficking vesicles. PMID:27152331

  18. Arterivirus molecular biology and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Snijder, Eric J; Kikkert, Marjolein; Fang, Ying

    2013-10-01

    Arteriviruses are positive-stranded RNA viruses that infect mammals. They can cause persistent or asymptomatic infections, but also acute disease associated with a respiratory syndrome, abortion or lethal haemorrhagic fever. During the past two decades, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and, to a lesser extent, equine arteritis virus (EAV) have attracted attention as veterinary pathogens with significant economic impact. Particularly noteworthy were the 'porcine high fever disease' outbreaks in South-East Asia and the emergence of new virulent PRRSV strains in the USA. Recently, the family was expanded with several previously unknown arteriviruses isolated from different African monkey species. At the molecular level, arteriviruses share an intriguing but distant evolutionary relationship with coronaviruses and other members of the order Nidovirales. Nevertheless, several of their characteristics are unique, including virion composition and structure, and the conservation of only a subset of the replicase domains encountered in nidoviruses with larger genomes. During the past 15 years, the advent of reverse genetics systems for EAV and PRRSV has changed and accelerated the structure-function analysis of arterivirus RNA and protein sequences. These systems now also facilitate studies into host immune responses and arterivirus immune evasion and pathogenesis. In this review, we have summarized recent advances in the areas of arterivirus genome expression, RNA and protein functions, virion architecture, virus-host interactions, immunity, and pathogenesis. We have also briefly reviewed the impact of these advances on disease management, the engineering of novel candidate live vaccines and the diagnosis of arterivirus infection. PMID:23939974

  19. Engineering life through Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Chopra, Paras; Kamma, Akhil

    2006-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is a field involving synthesis of novel biological systems which are not generally found in nature. It has brought a new paradigm in science as it has enabled scientists to create life from the scratch, hence helping better understand the principles of biology. The viability of living organisms that use unnatural molecules is also being explored. Unconventional projects such as DNA playing tic-tac-toe, bacterial photographic film, etc. are taking biology to its extremes. The field holds a promise for mass production of cheap drugs and programming bacteria to seek-and-destroy tumors in the body. However, the complexity of biological systems make the field a challenging one. In addition to this, there are other major technical and ethical challenges which need to be addressed before the field realizes its true potential. PMID:17274769

  20. Molecular ferroelectrics: where electronics meet biology

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiangyu; Liu, Yuanming; Zhang, Yanhang; Cai, Hong-Ling; Xiong, Ren-Gen

    2013-01-01

    In the last several years, we have witnessed significant advances in molecular ferroelectrics, with ferroelectric properties of molecular crystals approaching those of barium titanate. In addition, ferroelectricity has been observed in biological systems, filling an important missing link in bioelectric phenomena. In this perspective, we will present short historical notes on ferroelectrics, followed by overview on the fundamentals of ferroelectricity. Latest development in molecular ferroelectrics and biological ferroelectricity will then be highlighted, and their implications and potential applications will be discussed. We close by noting molecular ferroelectric as an exciting frontier between electronics and biology, and a number of challenges ahead are also noted. PMID:24018952

  1. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Renda, Brian A.; Hammerling, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales. PMID:24556867

  2. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed Central

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Hausinger, R P

    1995-01-01

    progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed. PMID:7565414

  3. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Hausinger, R P

    1995-09-01

    progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed. PMID:7565414

  4. ENGINEERING BULLETIN: ROTATING BIOLOGICAL CONTACTORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rotating biological contactors employ aerobic fixed-film treatment to degrade either organic and/or nitrogenous (ammonia-nitrogen) constituents present in aqueous waste streams. ixed-film systems provide a surface to which the biomass can adhere. Treatment is achieved as the wast...

  5. Generating new blood flow: integrating developmental biology and tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Krenning, Guido; Moonen, Jan-Renier A J; van Luyn, Marja J A; Harmsen, Martin C

    2008-11-01

    Vascular tissue engineering aims to restore blood flow by seeding artificial tubular scaffolds with endothelial and smooth muscle cells, thus creating bioartificial blood vessels. Herein, the progenitors of smooth muscle and endothelial cells hold great promise because they efficiently differentiate and harbor longevity. In this review, we describe a novel tissue engineering approach that uses current insights from developmental biology, that is, progenitor cell plasticity, and the latest advances in biomaterial design. We focus specifically on developmental processes that regulate progenitor cell (trans)differentiation and offer a platform for the integration of these molecular clues into biomaterial design. We propose a novel engineering paradigm for the creation of a small-diameter blood vessel wherein progenitor cell differentiation and tissue organization are instructed by the biomaterial solely. With this review, we emphasize the power of integrating developmental biology and material science for vascular tissue engineering. PMID:19345319

  6. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in…

  7. Genetics and molecular biology of breast cancer

    SciTech Connect

    King, M.C.; Lippman, M.

    1992-12-31

    This volume contains the abstracts of oral presentations and poster sessions presented at the Cold Springs Harbor Meeting on Cancer Cells, this meeting entitled Genetics and Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer.

  8. An engineering viewpoint on biological robustness.

    PubMed

    Khammash, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    In his splendid article "Can a biologist fix a radio?--or, what I learned while studying apoptosis," Y. Lazebnik argues that when one uses the right tools, similarity between a biological system, like a signal transduction pathway, and an engineered system, like a radio, may not seem so superficial. Here I advance this idea by focusing on the notion of robustness as a unifying lens through which to view complexity in biological and engineered systems. I show that electronic amplifiers and gene expression circuits share remarkable similarities in their dynamics and robustness properties. I explore robustness features and limitations in biology and engineering and highlight the role of negative feedback in shaping both. PMID:27007299

  9. Network-Based Models in Molecular Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, Andreas

    Biological systems are characterized by a large number of diverse interactions. Interaction maps have been used to abstract those interactions at all biological scales ranging from food webs at the ecosystem level down to protein interaction networks at the molecular scale.

  10. Seeing the Unseen: Molecular Visualization in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finnan, Jeff; Taylor-Papp, Kim; Duran, Mesut

    2005-01-01

    In high school biology, students are challenged by many molecular concepts and structures. They meander through a number of molecular structures, some in macromolecular form: carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, nucleotides. Student difficulties arise in part from inability to visualize what they can't easily see. Students struggle moving from…

  11. Engineering colloidal assembly via biological adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiddessen, Amy Lynn

    Due to highly specialized recognition properties, biological receptor-ligand interactions offer valuable tools for engineering the assembly of novel colloidal materials. A unique sub-class of these macromolecules, called selectins, was exploited to develop binary suspensions where particles are programmed to associate reversibly or irreversibly via specific biomolecular cross-linking. Flow cytometry and videomicroscopy were used to examine factors controlling suspension assembly and structure, including biomolecular affinity and density, and individual and total particle volume fractions. By functionalizing small (RA = 0.47 mum) and larger (RB = 2.75 mum) particles with high surface densities of complementary E-selectin/sialyl Lewis X (sLeX) carbohydrate chemistry, a series of structures, from colloidal micelles (large particle coated with smaller particles) and clusters, to rings and elongated chains, was synthesized by decreasing the number ratio, NA/NB, of small (A) to large (B) particles (2 ≤ NA/NB ≤ 200) at low total volume fraction (10-4 ≤ φT ≤ 10-3 ). Using significantly lower surface densities, the low affinity binding between E-selectin and sLeX was exploited to create particles that interact reversibly, and average particle interaction lifetimes were tuned from minutes down to single selectin-carbohydrate bond lifetimes (≈1 s) by reducing sLeX density, a significant step toward assembling ordered microstructures. Particle binding lifetimes were analyzed with a receptor-ligand binding model, yielding estimates for molecular parameters, including on rate, 10-2 s-1 < kon < 10-1 s-1, and unstressed off rate, 0.25 s-1 ≤ kor ≤ 1.0 s-1, that characterize the docking dynamics of particles. Finally, at significantly higher volume fraction (φ T ≥ 10-1) and low number ratio, the rheology of space-filling networks crosslinked by high affinity streptavidin-biotin chemistry was probed to acquire knowledge on bulk properties of biocolloidal suspensions

  12. Engineering and Assembly of Protein Modules into Functional Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Stephan; Stauffer, Mirko; Harder, Daniel; Müller, Daniel J; Meier, Wolfgang; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology approaches range from the introduction of unique features into organisms to the assembly of isolated biomacromolecules or synthetic building blocks into artificial biological systems with biomimetic or completely novel functionalities. Simple molecular systems can be based on containers on the nanoscale that are equipped with tailored functional modules for various applications in healthcare, industry or biological and medical research. The concept, or vision, of assembling native or engineered proteins and/or synthetic components as functional modules into molecular systems is discussed. The main focus is laid on the engineering of energizing modules generating chemical energy, transport modules using this energy to translocate molecules between compartments of a molecular system, and catalytic modules (bio-)chemically processing the molecules. Further key aspects of this discourse are possible approaches for the assembly of simple nanofactories and their applications in biotechnology and medical health. PMID:27363367

  13. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Litchfield, J.H.; Zupancic, T.J.; Kittle, J.D. Jr.; Baker, B.; Palmer, D.T.; Traunero, C.G.; Wyza, R.E.; Schweitzer, A.; Conkle, H.N. ); Chakravarty, L.; Tuovinen, O.H. )

    1992-10-08

    Progress is reported in understanding Thiobacillus molecular biology, specifically in the area of vector development. At the initiation of this program, the basic elements needed for performing genetic engineering in T. ferrooxidans were either not yet developed. Improved techniques are described which will make it easier to construct and analyze the genetic structure and metabolism of recombinant T. ferrooxidans. The metabolism of the model organic sulfur compound dibenzothiophene (DBT) by certain heterotrophic bacteria was confirmed and characterized. Techniques were developed to analyze the metabolites of DBT, so that individual 4S pathway metabolites could be distinguished. These techniques are expected to be valuable when engineering organic sulfur metabolism in Thiobacillus. Strain isolation techniques were used to develop pure cultures of T. ferrooxidans seven of which were assessed as potential recombinant hosts. The mixotrophic strain T. coprinus was also characterized for potential use as an electroporation host. A family of related Thiobacillus plasmids was discovered in the seven strains of P. ferrooxidans mentioned above. One of these plasmids, pTFI91, was cloned into a pUC-based plasmid vector, allowing it to propagate in E. coli. A key portion of the cloned plasmid was sequenced. This segment, which is conserved in all of the related plasmids characterized, contains the vegetative origin of DNA replication, and fortuitously, a novel insertion sequence, designated IS3091. The sequence of the DNA origin revealed that these Thiobacillus plasmids represent a unique class of replicons not previously described. The potentially useful insertion sequence IS3091 was identified as a new member of a previously undefined family of insertion sequences which include the E. coli element IS30.

  14. Can biological complexity be reverse engineered?

    PubMed

    Green, Sara

    2015-10-01

    Concerns with the use of engineering approaches in biology have recently been raised. I examine two related challenges to biological research that I call the synchronic and diachronic underdetermination problem. The former refers to challenges associated with the inference of design principles underlying system capacities when the synchronic relations between lower-level processes and higher-level systems capacities are degenerate (many-to-many). The diachronic underdetermination problem regards the problem of reverse engineering a system where the non-linear relations between system capacities and lower-level mechanisms are changing over time. Braun and Marom argue that recent insights to biological complexity leave the aim of reverse engineering hopeless - in principle as well as in practice. While I support their call for systemic approaches to capture the dynamic nature of living systems, I take issue with the conflation of reverse engineering with naïve reductionism. I clarify how the notion of design principles can be more broadly conceived and argue that reverse engineering is compatible with a dynamic view of organisms. It may even help to facilitate an integrated account that bridges the gap between mechanistic and systems approaches. PMID:25903121

  15. [Molecular biology methods in immunohematology].

    PubMed

    Tournamille, C

    2013-05-01

    The molecular basis of almost all antigens of the 33 blood group systems are known. These knowledge and the advent of the PCR technology have allowed the DNA-based genotyping in order to predict the presence or absence of a blood group antigen on the cell membrane of red blood cells. DNA genotyping is required in cases where red blood cells patient cannot be used for serological typing either after a recent transfusion or because of the presence of autoantibodies on the red blood cells. Numerous DNA assays are available to detect any nucleotide polymorphism on the genes encoding blood group antigens. The technologies have improved to answer quickly to any case of transfusion emergency and to limit the risk of DNA contamination in a molecular diagnostic laboratory. Some technologies are ready for high-throughput blood group genotyping. They will be used in the future to obtain a fully typed blood group card of each donor but also to detect blood donors with rare phenotypes to register them to the Banque Nationale de Sang de Phénotype Rare (BNSPR). PMID:23587623

  16. From Gene to Protein: A 3-Week Intensive Course in Molecular Biology for Physical Scientists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nadeau, Jay L.

    2009-01-01

    This article describes a 3-week intensive molecular biology methods course based upon fluorescent proteins, which is successfully taught at the McGill University to advanced undergraduates and graduates in physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. No previous knowledge of biological terminology or methods is expected, so…

  17. Molecular plasmonics for biology and nanomedicine

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yue Bing; Kiraly, Brian; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2014-01-01

    The optical excitation of surface plasmons in metal nanoparticles leads to nanoscale spatial confinement of electromagnetic fields. The confined electromagnetic fields can generate intense, localized thermal energy and large near-field optical forces. The interaction between these effects and nearby molecules has led to the emerging field known as molecular plasmonics. Recent advances in molecular plasmonics have enabled novel optical materials and devices with applications in biology and nanomedicine. In this article, we categorize three main types of interactions between molecules and surface plasmons: optical, thermal and mechanical. Within the scope of each type of interaction, we will review applications of molecular plasmonics in biology and nanomedicine. We include a wide range of applications that involve sensing, spectral analysis, imaging, delivery, manipulation and heating of molecules, biomolecules or cells using plasmonic effects. We also briefly describe the physical principles of molecular plasmonics and progress in the nanofabrication, surface functionalization and bioconjugation of metal nanoparticles. PMID:22630155

  18. Frontiers of NMR in Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    1999-08-25

    NMR spectroscopy is expanding the horizons of structural biology by determining the structures and describing the dynamics of blobular proteins in aqueous solution, as well as other classes of proteins including membrane proteins and the polypeptides that form the aggregates diagnostic of prion and amyloid diseases. Significant results are also emerging on DNA and RNA oligomers and their complexes with proteins. This meeting focused attention on key structural questions emanating from molecular biology and how NMR spectroscopy can be used to answer them.

  19. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

    Proton transport across lipid membranes is a fundamental aspect of biological energy transduction (metabolism). This function is mediated by a Grotthuss mechanism involving proton hopping along hydrogen-bonded networks embedded in membrane-spanning proteins. Using molecular simulations, the authors have explored the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties giving rise to long-range proton translocation in hydrogen-bonded networks involving water molecules, or water wires, which are emerging as ubiquitous H{sup +}-transport devices in biological systems.

  20. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    SciTech Connect

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  1. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Matthew E.; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell-surface glycans are a diverse class of macromolecules that participate in many key biological processes, including cell-cell communication, development, and disease progression. Thus, the ability to modulate the structures of glycans on cell surfaces provides a powerful means not only to understand fundamental processes but also to direct activity and elicit desired cellular responses. Here, we describe methods to sculpt glycans on cell surfaces and highlight recent successes in which artificially engineered glycans have been employed to control biological outcomes such as the immune response and stem cell fate. PMID:26933739

  2. Engineering biological systems with synthetic RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Joe C.; Bloom, Ryan J.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2011-01-01

    RNA molecules play diverse functional roles in natural biological systems. There has been growing interest in designing synthetic RNA counterparts for programming biological function. The design of synthetic RNA molecules that exhibit diverse activities, including sensing, regulatory, information processing, and scaffolding activities, has highlighted the advantages of RNA as a programmable design substrate. Recent advances in implementing these engineered RNA molecules as key control elements in synthetic genetic networks are highlighting the functional relevance of this class of synthetic elements in programming cellular behaviors. PMID:21925380

  3. Mapping the moral boundaries of biological engineering

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Zachary N

    2009-01-01

    The following essay was written by a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, Mr. Zachary Russ. Mr. Russ was one of 174 students who submitted a 1000–1200 word essay to the 4th Annual Bioethics Contest sponsored by the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE). A group of professionals in Biological Engineering assessed and ranked the essays in a blinded process. Five semi-finalists were invited to present their essays at a session at the annual meeting of IBE in Santa Clara, CA on March 21, 2009. Five judges scored all the presentation at the annual meeting and selected Mr. Russ's contribution as the overall winner (1st Place). PMID:19422721

  4. Molecular Engineering of DNA: Molecular Beacons

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Zhiwen; Yang, Chaoyong James; Kim, Youngmi; Fang, Xiaohong; Li, Wei; Wu, Yanrong; Medley, Colin D.; Cao, Zehui; Li, Jun; Colon, Patrick; Lin, Hui

    2009-01-01

    Molecular beacons (MBs) are specifically designed DNA hairpin structures that are widely used as fluorescent probes. Applications of MBs range from genetic screening, biosensor development, biochip construction, and the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms to mRNA monitoring in living cells. The inherent signal-transduction mechanism of MBs enables the analysis of target oligonucleotides without the separation of unbound probes. The MB stem–loop structure holds the fluorescence-donor and fluorescence-acceptor moieties in close proximity to one another, which results in resonant energy transfer. A spontaneous conformation change occurs upon hybridization to separate the two moieties and restore the fluorescence of the donor. Recent research has focused on the improvement of probe composition, intracellular gene quantitation, protein–DNA interaction studies, and protein recognition. PMID:19065690

  5. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Bacteriophage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onodera, Kazukiyo

    The development of the molecular biology of bacteriophage such as T4, lambda and filamentous phages was described and the process that the fundamental knowledge obtained in this field has subsequently led us to the technology of phage display was introduced.

  6. Book review: Baculovirus Molecular Biology, Second Edition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The application of cell culture and molecular biology methodologies to the study of baculoviruses has resulted in an explosion of information on this group of insect pathogens. The quantity of the corresponding literature on baculoviruses has reached a level difficult for any one researcher to mast...

  7. Molecular profiles to biology and pathways: a systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Van Laere, Steven; Dirix, Luc; Vermeulen, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Interpreting molecular profiles in a biological context requires specialized analysis strategies. Initially, lists of relevant genes were screened to identify enriched concepts associated with pathways or specific molecular processes. However, the shortcoming of interpreting gene lists by using predefined sets of genes has resulted in the development of novel methods that heavily rely on network-based concepts. These algorithms have the advantage that they allow a more holistic view of the signaling properties of the condition under study as well as that they are suitable for integrating different data types like gene expression, gene mutation, and even histological parameters. PMID:27311441

  8. New faster CHARMM molecular dynamics engine

    PubMed Central

    Hynninen, Antti-Pekka; Crowley, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    We introduce a new faster molecular dynamics (MD) engine into the CHARMM software package. The new MD engine is faster both in serial (i.e., single CPU core) and parallel execution. Serial performance is approximately two times higher than in the previous version of CHARMM. The newly programmed parallelization method allows the MD engine to parallelize up to hundreds of CPU cores. PMID:24302199

  9. New journal: Algorithms for Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Morgenstern, Burkhard; Stadler, Peter F

    2006-01-01

    This editorial announces Algorithms for Molecular Biology, a new online open access journal published by BioMed Central. By launching the first open access journal on algorithmic bioinformatics, we provide a forum for fast publication of high-quality research articles in this rapidly evolving field. Our journal will publish thoroughly peer-reviewed papers without length limitations covering all aspects of algorithmic data analysis in computational biology. Publications in Algorithms for Molecular Biology are easy to find, highly visible and tracked by organisations such as PubMed. An established online submission system makes a fast reviewing procedure possible and enables us to publish accepted papers without delay. All articles published in our journal are permanently archived by PubMed Central and other scientific archives. We are looking forward to receiving your contributions. PMID:16722576

  10. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist-electrical engineer-systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build-and subject to exhaustive experimental tests-models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set. PMID:25368428

  11. Ship diesel emission aerosols: A comprehensive study on the chemical composition, the physical properties and the molecular biological and toxicological effects on human lung cells of aerosols from a ship diesel engine operated with heavy or light diesel fuel oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, R.; Buters, J.; Öder, S.; Dietmar, G.; Kanashova, T.; Paur, H.; Dilger, M.; Mülhopt, S.; Harndorf, H.; Stengel, B.; Rabe, R.; Hirvonen, M.; Jokiniemi, J.; Hiller, K.; Sapcariu, S.; Berube, K.; Sippula, O.; Streibel, T.; Karg, E.; Schnelle-Kreis, J.; Lintelmann, J.; Sklorz, M.; Arteaga Salas, M.; Orasche, J.; Müller, L.; Reda, A.; Passig, J.; Radischat, C.; Gröger, T.; Weiss, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Virtual Helmholtz Institute-HICE (www.hice-vi.eu) addresses chemical & physical properties, transformation processes and health effects of anthropogenic combustion emissions. This is performed by thorough comprehensive chemical and physical characterization of combustion aerosols (including application of advantageous on-line methods) and studying of biological effects on human lung cell-cultures. A new ALI air-liquid-interface (ALI) exposition system and a mobile S2-biological laboratory were developed for the HICE-measurements. Human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549 etc.) are ALI-exposed to fresh, diluted (1:40-1:100) combustion aerosols and subsequently were toxicologically and molecular-biologically characterized (e.g. proteomics). By using stable isotope labeling technologies (13C-Glucose/metabolomics; 2H-Lysine/SILAC-proteomics), high sensitivity and accuracy for detection of molecular-biological effects is achievable even at sub-toxic effect dose levels. Aerosols from wood combustion and ship diesel engine (heavy/light fuel oil) have been investigated. The effect of wood combustion and ship diesel PM e.g. on the protein expression of ALI-exposed A549 cells was compared. Filtered aerosol is used as gas-reference for the isotope labeling based method (SILAC). Therefore the effects of wood combustion- and shipping diesel-PM can be directly compared. Ship diesel aerosol causes a broader distribution in the observed fold changes (log2), i.e. more proteins are significantly up-/down-regulated in case of shipping diesel PM-exposure. This corresponds to a stronger biological reaction if compared to wood combustion-PM exposure. The chemical analysis results on wood combustion- and ship diesel-PM depict more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)/oxidized-PAH but less of some transition metals (V, Fe) in the wood combustion case. Interestingly, alkylated PAH are considerably more abundant in shipping PM, suggesting that PAH/Oxy-PAH may be less relevant for

  12. Molecular knots in biology and chemistry.

    PubMed

    Lim, Nicole C H; Jackson, Sophie E

    2015-09-01

    Knots and entanglements are ubiquitous. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these fascinating topological entities can be either useful or cumbersome. In recent decades, the importance and prevalence of molecular knots have been increasingly recognised by scientists from different disciplines. In this review, we provide an overview on the various molecular knots found in naturally occurring biological systems (DNA, RNA and proteins), and those created by synthetic chemists. We discuss the current knowledge in these fields, including recent developments in experimental and, in some cases, computational studies which are beginning to shed light into the complex interplay between the structure, formation and properties of these topologically intricate molecules. PMID:26291690

  13. Molecular knots in biology and chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Nicole C. H.; Jackson, Sophie E.

    2015-09-01

    Knots and entanglements are ubiquitous. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these fascinating topological entities can be either useful or cumbersome. In recent decades, the importance and prevalence of molecular knots have been increasingly recognised by scientists from different disciplines. In this review, we provide an overview on the various molecular knots found in naturally occurring biological systems (DNA, RNA and proteins), and those created by synthetic chemists. We discuss the current knowledge in these fields, including recent developments in experimental and, in some cases, computational studies which are beginning to shed light into the complex interplay between the structure, formation and properties of these topologically intricate molecules.

  14. Molecular biology of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, E.G.

    1988-01-01

    This book examines new methods of molecular biology that are providing valuable insights into the human brain, the genes that govern its assembly and function, and the many genetic defects that cause neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Cri du Chat syndrome, Huntington's disease, and bipolar depression disorder. In addition, the book reviews techniques in molecular neurobiological research, including the use of affinity reagents, chimeric receptors, and site-directed mutagenesis in localizing the ion channel and cholinergic binding site, and the application of somatic cell genetics in isolating specific chromosomes or chromosomal segments.

  15. Synthesis of biological molecules on molecular sieves.

    PubMed

    Poncelet, G; Van Assche, A T; Fripiat, J J

    1975-07-01

    Catalytic properties of aluminosilicates may play a role in the synthesis of biological molecules from simple gaseous molecules commonly found in planetary atmospheres. Urea, amino acids and UV absorbing substances have been obtained by heating CO and NH3 with Linde molecular sieves saturated with Ca+2, NH4+ or Fe+3. The yields of amino acids produced have been determined by an amino acid analyzer. The quantity of urea produced largely depends on the nature of the saturating cation. Experiments using 14CO confirm that the amino acids are not due to contaminants adsorbed on the surface of the molecular sieves. PMID:171609

  16. Molecular neurodegeneration: basic biology and disease pathways.

    PubMed

    Vassar, Robert; Zheng, Hui

    2014-01-01

    The field of neurodegeneration research has been advancing rapidly over the past few years, and has provided intriguing new insights into the normal physiological functions and pathogenic roles of a wide range of molecules associated with several devastating neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington's disease, and Down syndrome. Recent developments have also facilitated initial efforts to translate preclinical discoveries toward novel therapeutic approaches and clinical trials in humans. These recent developments are reviewed in the current Review Series on "Molecular Neurodegeneration: Basic Biology and Disease Pathways" in a number of state-of-the-art manuscripts that cover themes presented at the Third International Conference on Molecular Neurodegeneration: "Basic biology and disease pathways" held in Cannes, France, September, 2013. PMID:25248568

  17. Engineering supported membranes for cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Cheng-han

    2010-01-01

    Cell membranes exhibit multiple layers of complexity, ranging from their specific molecular content to their emergent mechanical properties and dynamic spatial organization. Both compositional and geometrical organizations of membrane components are known to play important roles in life processes, including signal transduction. Supported membranes, comprised of a bilayer assembly of phospholipids on the solid substrate, have been productively served as model systems to study wide range problems in cell biology. Because lateral mobility of membrane components is readily preserved, supported lipid membranes with signaling molecules can be utilized to effectively trigger various intercellular reactions. The spatial organization and mechanical deformation of supported membranes can also be manipulated by patterning underlying substrates with modern micro- and nano-fabrication techniques. This article focuses on various applications and methods to spatially patterned biomembranes by means of curvature modulations and spatial reorganizations, and utilizing them to interface with live cells. The integration of biological components into synthetic devices provides a unique approach to investigate molecular mechanisms in cell biology. PMID:20559751

  18. 2004 Reversible Associations in Structure & Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Edward Eisenstein Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Reversible Associations in Structure & Molecular Biology was held at Four Points Sheraton, CA, 1/25-30/2004. The Conference was well attended with 82 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students.

  19. Engineering biological systems toward a sustainable bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Mateus Schreiner Garcez

    2015-06-01

    The nature of our major global risks calls for sustainable innovations to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gases emission. The development of sustainable technologies has been negatively impacted by several factors including sugar production costs, production scale, economic crises, hydraulic fracking development and the market inability to capture externality costs. However, advances in engineering of biological systems allow bridging the gap between exponential growth of knowledge about biology and the creation of sustainable value chains for a broad range of economic sectors. Additionally, industrial symbiosis of different biobased technologies can increase competitiveness and sustainability, leading to the development of eco-industrial parks. Reliable policies for carbon pricing and revenue reinvestments in disruptive technologies and in the deployment of eco-industrial parks could boost the welfare while addressing our major global risks toward the transition from a fossil to a biobased economy. PMID:25845304

  20. Recent Advances in Engineering Polyvalent Biological Interactions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Polyvalent interactions, where multiple ligands and receptors interact simultaneously, are ubiquitous in nature. Synthetic polyvalent molecules, therefore, have the ability to affect biological processes ranging from protein–ligand binding to cellular signaling. In this review, we discuss recent advances in polyvalent scaffold design and applications. First, we will describe recent developments in the engineering of polyvalent scaffolds based on biomolecules and novel materials. Then, we will illustrate how polyvalent molecules are finding applications as toxin and pathogen inhibitors, targeting molecules, immune response modulators, and cellular effectors. PMID:25426695

  1. Molecular biology research in neuropsychiatry: India's contribution.

    PubMed

    Sathyanarayana Rao, T S; Ramesh, B N; Vasudevaraju, P; Rao, K S J

    2010-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric disorders represent the second largest cause of morbidity worldwide. These disorders have complex etiology and patho-physiology. The major lacunae in the biology of the psychiatric disorders include genomics, biomarkers and drug discovery, for the early detection of the disease, and have great application in the clinical management of disease. Indian psychiatrists and scientists played a significant role in filling the gaps. The present annotation provides in depth information related to research contributions on the molecular biology research in neuropsychiatric disorders in India. There is a great need for further research in this direction as to understand the genetic association of the neuropsychiatric disorders; molecular biology has a tremendous role to play. The alterations in gene expression are implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction and depression. The development of transgenic neuropsychiatric animal models is of great thrust areas. No studies from India in this direction. Biomarkers in neuropsychiatric disorders are of great help to the clinicians for the early diagnosis of the disorders. The studies related to gene-environment interactions, DNA instability, oxidative stress are less studied in neuropsychiatric disorders and making efforts in this direction will lead to pioneers in these areas of research in India. In conclusion, we provided an insight for future research direction in molecular understanding of neuropsychiatry disorders. PMID:21836667

  2. Discovering the intelligence in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Uberbacher, E

    1995-12-01

    The Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems in Molecular Biology was truly an outstanding event. Computational methods in molecular biology have reached a new level of maturity and utility, resulting in many high-impact applications. The success of this meeting bodes well for the rapid and continuing development of computational methods, intelligent systems and information-based approaches for the biosciences. The basic technology, originally most often applied to 'feasibility' problems, is now dealing effectively with the most difficult real-world problems. Significant progress has been made in understanding protein-structure information, structural classification, and how functional information and the relevant features of active-site geometry can be gleaned from structures by automated computational approaches. The value and limits of homology-based methods, and the ability to classify proteins by structure in the absence of homology, have reached a new level of sophistication. New methods for covariation analysis in the folding of large structures such as RNAs have shown remarkably good results, indicating the long-term potential to understand very complicated molecules and multimolecular complexes using computational means. Novel methods, such as HMMs, context-free grammars and the uses of mutual information theory, have taken center stage as highly valuable tools in our quest to represent and characterize biological information. A focus on creative uses of intelligent systems technologies and the trend toward biological application will undoubtedly continue and grow at the 1996 ISMB meeting in St Louis. PMID:8595133

  3. Systems Biology: The Role of Engineering in the Reverse Engineering of Biological Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Pablo A.

    2013-01-01

    One of the principle tasks of systems biology has been the reverse engineering of signaling networks. Because of the striking similarities to engineering systems, a number of analysis and design tools from engineering disciplines have been used in this process. This review looks at several examples including the analysis of homeostasis using control theory, the attenuation of noise using signal processing, statistical inference and the use of information theory to understand both binary decision systems and the response of eukaryotic chemotactic cells. PMID:24709707

  4. [The molecular biology of epithelial ovarian cancer].

    PubMed

    Leary, Alexandra; Pautier, Patricia; Tazi, Youssef; Morice, Philippe; Duvillard, Pierre; Gouy, Sébastien; Uzan, Catherine; Gauthier, Hélène; Balleyguier, Corinne; Lhommé, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    Epithelial ovarian cancer frequently presents at an advanced stage where the cornerstone of management remains surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy. Unfortunately, despite sometimes dramatic initial responses, advanced ovarian cancer almost invariably relapses. Little progress has been made in the identification of effective targeted-therapies for ovarian cancer. The majority of clinical trials investigating novel agents have been negative and the only approved targeted-therapy is bevacizumab, for which reliable predictive biomarkers still elude us. Ovarian cancer is treated as a uniform disease. Yet, biological studies have highlighted the heterogeneity of this malignancy with marked differences in histology, oncogenesis, prognosis, chemo-responsiveness, and molecular profile. Recent high throughput molecular analyses have identified a huge number of genomic/phenotypic alterations. Broadly speaking, high grade serous carcinomas (type II) display significant genomic instability and numerous amplifications and losses; low grade (type I) tumors are genomically stable but display frequent mutations. Importantly, many of these genomic alterations relate to known oncogenes for which targeted-therapies are available or in development. There is today a real potential for personalized medicine in ovarian cancer. We will review the current literature regarding the molecular characterization of epithelial ovarian cancer and discuss the biological rationale for a number of targeted strategies. In order to translate these biological advances into meaningful clinical improvements for our patients, it is imperative to incorporate translational research in ovarian cancer trials, a number of strategies will be proposed such as the acquisition of quality tumor samples, including sequential pre- and post-treatment biopsies, the potential of liquid biopsies, and novel trial designs more adapted to the molecular era of ovarian cancer research. PMID:23238064

  5. Parts plus pipes: synthetic biology approaches to metabolic engineering

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Patrick M.; Silver, Pamela A.

    2011-01-01

    Synthetic biologists combine modular biological “parts” to create higher-order devices. Metabolic engineers construct biological “pipes” by optimizing the microbial conversion of basic substrates to desired compounds. Many scientists work at the intersection of these two philosophies, employing synthetic devices to enhance metabolic engineering efforts. These integrated approaches promise to do more than simply improve product yields; they can expand the array of products that are tractable to produce biologically. In this review, we explore the application of synthetic biology techniques to next-generation metabolic engineering challenges, as well as the emerging engineering principles for biological design. PMID:22037345

  6. The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2004 update

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2004-01-01

    The Molecular Biology Database Collection is a public resource listing key databases of value to the biologist, including those featured in this issue of Nucleic Acids Research, and other high-quality databases. All databases included in this Collection are freely available to the public. This listing aims to serve as a convenient starting point for searching the web for reliable information on various aspects of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. This year’s update includes 548 databases, 162 more than the previous one. The databases are organized in a hierarchical classification that should simplify finding the right database for each given task. Each database in the list comes with a recently updated brief description. The database list and the database descriptions can be accessed online at the Nucleic Acids Research web site http://nar.oupjournals.org/. The great challenge in biological research today is how to turn data into knowledge. I have met people who think data is knowledge but these people are then striving for a means of turning knowledge into understanding.Sydney Brenner. The Scientist 16[6]:12, March 18, 2002 PMID:14681349

  7. Interfacial Engineering of Molecular Photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelton, Steven Wade

    One of the most worthy pursuits in the field of organic solar cells is that of discovering ways to more effectively harvest charge generated by light absorption. The measure of the efficacy of this process is the external quantum efficiency (EQE). It is determined by the efficiency of incident light absorption, exciton diffusion, exciton splitting and charge transfer, and charge collection. Enhanced EQE can be realized by engineering interfaces between materials in the device to allow for smoother charge transfer throughout the extent of the device, which is usually between 10 and 200 nanometers. Improvements in charge transport are vitally important because the photogenerated excitons in electron donating polymers and small molecules typically only diffuse between 5 and 10 nanometers. These excitons must reach the interface between the electron donor and electron acceptor in order to be split so that the resulting electron and hole can be harvested at the cathode and anode, respectively. The aim of much of this dissertation is to describe a method by which the donor-acceptor interfacial area can be augmented using nanoimprint lithography, first with a single donor and then with multiple donors. Nanoimprint lithography is introduced as a simple embossing technique that can create features in a single component donor with dimensions as small as 20 nm. Solution-processable small molecules are of interest for their ease of synthesis and fabrication. I continue the discussion of nanoimprint lithography by offering candidates for a two-component donor combination. A two-component donor can extend the absorption range across a broader portion of the solar spectrum than just one donor to improve energy harvesting. After considering ways of optimizing the donor-acceptor interface, I describe the use of a charge selective layer for better charge transport and collection. When incorporated into a bilayer solar cell and an inverted solar cell, these two molecules markedly

  8. Biological Moleculars: Have Most of Our Problems Already Been Solved?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downey, James P.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Evolution has resulted in biological machinery that engineers have great reason to envy and at present can only poorly mimic. This is not just a curiosity as biological systems perform many functions that are desired industrial processes. Examples include photosynthesis, chemosynthesis, energy storage, low temperature chemical conversion, reproducible manufacture of chemical compounds, etc. The bases of biological machinery are the proteins and nucleic acids that comprise living organisms. Each molecule functions as a part of a biological machine. In many cases the molecule can be properly regarded as a stand alone machine of its own. Concepts and methods for harnessing the power of biological molecules exist but are often overlooked in the industrial world. Some are old and appear crude but are quite effective, e.g. the fermentation of grains and fruits. Currently, there is a revolution in progress regarding the harnessing biological processes. These include techniques such as genetic manipulation via polymerase chain reaction, forced evolution also known as evolution in a test tube, determination of molecular structure, and combinatorial chemistry. The following is a brief discussion on how these processes are performed and how they may relate to industrial and aerospace processes.

  9. Molecular Engineering of Acoustic Protein Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Lakshmanan, Anupama; Farhadi, Arash; Nety, Suchita P; Lee-Gosselin, Audrey; Bourdeau, Raymond W; Maresca, David; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2016-08-23

    Ultrasound is among the most widely used biomedical imaging modalities, but has limited ability to image specific molecular targets due to the lack of suitable nanoscale contrast agents. Gas vesicles-genetically encoded protein nanostructures isolated from buoyant photosynthetic microbes-have recently been identified as nanoscale reporters for ultrasound. Their unique physical properties give gas vesicles significant advantages over conventional microbubble contrast agents, including nanoscale dimensions and inherent physical stability. Furthermore, as a genetically encoded material, gas vesicles present the possibility that the nanoscale mechanical, acoustic, and targeting properties of an imaging agent can be engineered at the level of its constituent proteins. Here, we demonstrate that genetic engineering of gas vesicles results in nanostructures with new mechanical, acoustic, surface, and functional properties to enable harmonic, multiplexed, and multimodal ultrasound imaging as well as cell-specific molecular targeting. These results establish a biomolecular platform for the engineering of acoustic nanomaterials. PMID:27351374

  10. Molecular recognition in chemical and biological systems.

    PubMed

    Persch, Elke; Dumele, Oliver; Diederich, François

    2015-03-01

    Structure-based ligand design in medicinal chemistry and crop protection relies on the identification and quantification of weak noncovalent interactions and understanding the role of water. Small-molecule and protein structural database searches are important tools to retrieve existing knowledge. Thermodynamic profiling, combined with X-ray structural and computational studies, is the key to elucidate the energetics of the replacement of water by ligands. Biological receptor sites vary greatly in shape, conformational dynamics, and polarity, and require different ligand-design strategies, as shown for various case studies. Interactions between dipoles have become a central theme of molecular recognition. Orthogonal interactions, halogen bonding, and amide⋅⋅⋅π stacking provide new tools for innovative lead optimization. The combination of synthetic models and biological complexation studies is required to gather reliable information on weak noncovalent interactions and the role of water. PMID:25630692

  11. 2011 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism, & Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Keneth Stedman

    2011-08-05

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  12. 2009 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism & Molecular Biology GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Julie Maupin- Furlow

    2009-07-26

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses; and industrial applications. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  13. Genetics and molecular biology of hypotension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robertson, D.

    1994-01-01

    Major strides in the molecular biology of essential hypertension are currently underway. This has tended to obscure the fact that a number of inherited disorders associated with low blood pressure exist and that these diseases may have milder and underrecognized phenotypes that contribute importantly to blood pressure variation in the general population. This review highlights some of the gene products that, if abnormal, could cause hypotension in some individuals. Diseases due to abnormalities in the catecholamine enzymes are discussed in detail. It is likely that genetic abnormalities with hypotensive phenotypes will be as interesting and diverse as those that give rise to hypertensive disorders.

  14. 2007 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Imke Schroeder Nancy Ryan Gray

    2008-09-18

    The Archaea are a fascinating and diverse group of prokaryotic organisms with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of this GRC conference, 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology', expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting the evolution and composition of microbial communities and novel archaeal species, their impact on the environment, archaeal metabolism, and research that stems from sequence analysis of archaeal genomes. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple reputable areas with new scientific topics in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  15. Biologically inspired highly efficient buoyancy engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akle, Barbar; Habchi, Wassim; Abdelnour, Rita; Blottman, John, III; Leo, Donald

    2012-04-01

    Undersea distributed networked sensor systems require a miniaturization of platforms and a means of both spatial and temporal persistence. One aspect of this system is the necessity to modulate sensor depth for optimal positioning and station-keeping. Current approaches involve pneumatic bladders or electrolysis; both require mechanical subsystems and consume significant power. These are not suitable for the miniaturization of sensor platforms. Presented in this study is a novel biologically inspired method that relies on ionic motion and osmotic pressures to displace a volume of water from the ocean into and out of the proposed buoyancy engine. At a constant device volume, the displaced water will alter buoyancy leading to either sinking or floating. The engine is composed of an enclosure sided on the ocean's end by a Nafion ionomer and by a flexible membrane separating the water from a gas enclosure. Two electrodes are placed one inside the enclosure and the other attached to the engine on the outside. The semi-permeable membrane Nafion allows water motion in and out of the enclosure while blocking anions from being transferred. The two electrodes generate local concentration changes of ions upon the application of an electrical field; these changes lead to osmotic pressures and hence the transfer of water through the semi-permeable membrane. Some aquatic organisms such as pelagic crustacean perform this buoyancy control using an exchange of ions through their tissue to modulate its density relative to the ambient sea water. In this paper, the authors provide an experimental proof of concept of this buoyancy engine. The efficiency of changing the engine's buoyancy is calculated and optimized as a function of electrode surface area. For example electrodes made of a 3mm diameter Ag/AgCl proved to transfer approximately 4mm3 of water consuming 4 Joules of electrical energy. The speed of displacement is optimized as a function of the surface area of the Nafion

  16. Rhabdomyosarcoma: Advances in Molecular and Cellular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xin; Guo, Wei; Shen, Jacson K.; Mankin, Henry J.; Hornicek, Francis J.; Duan, Zhenfeng

    2015-01-01

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue malignancy in childhood and adolescence. The two major histological subtypes of RMS are alveolar RMS, driven by the fusion protein PAX3-FKHR or PAX7-FKHR, and embryonic RMS, which is usually genetically heterogeneous. The prognosis of RMS has improved in the past several decades due to multidisciplinary care. However, in recent years, the treatment of patients with metastatic or refractory RMS has reached a plateau. Thus, to improve the survival rate of RMS patients and their overall well-being, further understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of RMS and identification of novel therapeutic targets are imperative. In this review, we describe the most recent discoveries in the molecular and cellular biology of RMS, including alterations in oncogenic pathways, miRNA (miR), in vivo models, stem cells, and important signal transduction cascades implicated in the development and progression of RMS. Furthermore, we discuss novel potential targeted therapies that may improve the current treatment of RMS. PMID:26420980

  17. From Cellular Mechanotransduction to Biologically Inspired Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2010-01-01

    This article is based on a lecture I presented as the recipient of the 2009 Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer Award at the Biomedical Engineering Society annual meeting in October 2009. Here, I review more than thirty years of research from my laboratory, beginning with studies designed to test the theory that cells use tensegrity (tensional integrity) architecture to stabilize their shape and sense mechanical signals, which I believed to be critical for control of cell function and tissue development. Although I was trained as a cell biologist, I found that the tools I had at my disposal were insufficient to experimentally test these theories, and thus I ventured into engineering to find critical solutions. This path has been extremely fruitful as it has led to confirmation of the critical role that physical forces play in developmental control, as well as how cells sense and respond to mechanical signals at the molecular level through a process known as cellular mechanotransduction. Many of the predictions of the cellular tensegrity model relating to cell mechanical behaviors have been shown to be valid, and this vision of cell structure led to discovery of the central role that transmembrane adhesion receptors, such as integrins, and the cytoskeleton play in mechanosensing and mechanochemical conversion. In addition, these fundamental studies have led to significant unexpected technology fallout, including development of micromagnetic actuators for non-invasive control of cellular signaling, microfluidic systems as therapeutic extracorporeal devices for sepsis therapy, and new DNA-based nanobiotechnology approaches that permit construction of artificial tensegrities that mimic properties of living materials for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. PMID:20140519

  18. Reverse engineering chemical structures from molecular descriptors : how many solutions?

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, William Michael; Martin, Shawn Bryan; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel

    2005-06-01

    Physical, chemical and biological properties are the ultimate information of interest for chemical compounds. Molecular descriptors that map structural information to activities and properties are obvious candidates for information sharing. In this paper, we consider the feasibility of using molecular descriptors to safely exchange chemical information in such a way that the original chemical structures cannot be reverse engineered. To investigate the safety of sharing such descriptors, we compute the degeneracy (the number of structure matching a descriptor value) of several 2D descriptors, and use various methods to search for and reverse engineer structures. We examine degeneracy in the entire chemical space taking descriptors values from the alkane isomer series and the PubChem database. We further use a stochastic search to retrieve structures matching specific topological index values. Finally, we investigate the safety of exchanging of fragmental descriptors using deterministic enumeration.

  19. Open computing grid for molecular science and engineering.

    PubMed

    Sild, Sulev; Maran, Uko; Lomaka, Andre; Karelson, Mati

    2006-01-01

    Grid is an emerging infrastructure for distributed computing that provides secure and scalable mechanisms for discovering and accessing remote software and data resources. Applications built on this infrastructure have great potential for addressing and solving large scale chemical, pharmaceutical, and material science problems. The article describes the concept behind grid computing and will present the OpenMolGRID system that is an open computing grid for molecular science and engineering. This system provides grid enabled components, such as a data warehouse for chemical data, software for building QSPR/QSAR models, and molecular engineering tools for generating compounds with predefined chemical properties or biological activities. The article also provides an overview about the availability of chemical applications in the grid. PMID:16711713

  20. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    PubMed Central

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students’ conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α = 0.80) and test–retest stability (r = 0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs. PMID:25713098

  1. Teaching Molecular Biological Techniques in a Research Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiller, John W.; Coggins, T. Chad

    2006-01-01

    Molecular biological methods, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis, are now commonly taught to students in introductory biology courses at the college and even high school levels. This often includes hands-on experience with one or more molecular techniques as part of a general biology laboratory. To assure that most…

  2. A National Comparison of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Capstone Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the "American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end,…

  3. A plea for more theory in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Wolkenhauer, O; Mesarović, M; Wellstead, P

    2007-01-01

    The integrationist principles of systems theory have proven hugely successful in the physical sciences and engineering. It is an underlying assumption made in the systems approach to biology that they can also be used to understand biological phenomena at the level of an entire organism or organ. Within this holistic vision, the vast majority of systems biology research projects investigate phenomena at the level of the cell, with the belief that unifying principles established at the most basic level can establish a framework within which we may understand phenomena at higher levels of organization. In this spirit, and to use a celestial analogy, if a disease--effecting an organ or entire body--is our universe of discourse, then the cell is the star we gaze at. In building an understanding of disease and the effect of drugs, systems biology makes an implicit assumption about direct causal entailment between cell function and physiology. A skeptic might argue that this is about the same as trying to predict the world economy from observations made at a local supermarket. However, assuming for the moment that the money and hope we are investing in molecular biology, genomics, and systems biology is justified, how should this amazing intellectual achievement be possible? In this chapter we argue that an essential tool to progress is a systems theory that allows biological objects and their operational characteristics to be captured in a succinct yet general form. Armed with this conceptual framework, we construct mathematical representations of standard cellular and intercellular functions which can be integrated to describe more general processes of cell complexes, and potentially entire organs. PMID:17249499

  4. PREFACE: Nanobiology: from physics and engineering to biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth; Alemán, Carlos

    2006-03-01

    Biological systems are inherently nano in scale. Unlike nanotechnology, nanobiology is characterized by the interplay between physics, materials science, synthetic organic chemistry, engineering and biology. Nanobiology is a new discipline, with the potential of revolutionizing medicine: it combines the tools, ideas and materials of nanoscience and biology; it addresses biological problems that can be studied and solved by nanotechnology; it devises ways to construct molecular devices using biomacromolecules; and it attempts to build molecular machines utilizing concepts seen in nature. Its ultimate aim is to be able to predictably manipulate these, tailoring them to specified needs. Nanobiology targets biological systems and uses biomacromolecules. Hence, on the one hand, nanobiology is seemingly constrained in its scope as compared to general nanotechnology. Yet the amazing intricacy of biological systems, their complexity, and the richness of the shapes and properties provided by the biological polymers, enrich nanobiology. Targeting biological systems entails comprehension of how they work and the ability to use their components in design. From the physical standpoint, ultimately, if we are to understand biology we need to learn how to apply physical principles to figure out how these systems actually work. The goal of nanobiology is to assist in probing these systems at the appropriate length scale, heralding a new era in the biological, physical and chemical sciences. Biology is increasingly asking quantitative questions. Quantitation is essential if we are to understand how the cell works, and the details of its regulation. The physical sciences provide tools and strategies to obtain accurate measurements and simulate the information to allow comprehension of the processes. Nanobiology is at the interface of the physical and the biological sciences. Biology offers to the physical sciences fascinating problems, sophisticated systems and a rich repertoire of

  5. Systematic technology transfer from biology to engineering.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Julian F V; Mann, Darrell L

    2002-02-15

    Solutions to problems move only very slowly between different disciplines. Transfer can be greatly speeded up with suitable abstraction and classification of problems. Russian researchers working on the TRIZ (Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch) method for inventive problem solving have identified systematic means of transferring knowledge between different scientific and engineering disciplines. With over 1500 person years of effort behind it, TRIZ represents the biggest study of human creativity ever conducted, whose aim has been to establish a system into which all known solutions can be placed, classified in terms of function. At present, the functional classification structure covers nearly 3 000 000 of the world's successful patents and large proportions of the known physical, chemical and mathematical knowledge-base. Additional tools are the identification of factors which prevent the attainment of new technology, leading directly to a system of inventive principles which will resolve the impasse, a series of evolutionary trends of development, and to a system of methods for effecting change in a system (Su-fields). As yet, the database contains little biological knowledge despite early recognition by the instigator of TRIZ (Genrich Altshuller) that one day it should. This is illustrated by natural systems evolved for thermal stability and the maintenance of cleanliness. PMID:16210175

  6. 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

  7. 2010 Plant Molecular Biology Gordon Research Conference

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Sussman

    2010-07-23

    The Plant Molecular Biology Conference has traditionally covered a breadth of exciting topics and the 2010 conference will continue in that tradition. Emerging concerns about food security have inspired a program with three main themes: (1) genomics, natural variation and breeding to understand adaptation and crop improvement, (2) hormonal cross talk, and (3) plant/microbe interactions. There are also sessions on epigenetics and proteomics/metabolomics. Thus this conference will bring together a range of disciplines, will foster the exchange of ideas and enable participants to learn of the latest developments and ideas in diverse areas of plant biology. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to discuss their research because additional speakers in each session will be selected from submitted abstracts. There will also be a poster session each day for a two-hour period prior to dinner. In particular, this conference plays a key role in enabling students and postdocs (the next generation of research leaders) to mingle with pioneers in multiple areas of plant science.

  8. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.R.

    1990-10-01

    The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the use of the small aquarium fish, Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes), as a predictor of potential genotoxicity following exposure to carcinogens. This will be accomplished by quantitatively investigating the early molecular events associated with genotoxicity of various tissues of Medaka subsequent to exposure of the organism to several known carcinogens, such as diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). Because of the often long latent period between initial contact with certain chemical and physical agents in our environment and subsequent expression of deleterious health or ecological impact, the development of sensitive methods for detecting and estimating early exposure is needed so that necessary interventions can ensue. A promising biological endpoint for detecting early exposure to damaging chemicals is the interaction of these compounds with cellular macromolecules such as Deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). This biological endpoint assumes significance because it can be one of the critical early events leading eventually to adverse effects (neoplasia) in the exposed organism.

  9. Biological hydroperoxides and singlet molecular oxygen generation.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Sayuri; Ronsein, Graziella E; Prado, Fernanda M; Uemi, Miriam; Corrêa, Thais C; Toma, Izaura N; Bertolucci, Agda; Oliveira, Mauricio C B; Motta, Flávia D; Medeiros, Marisa H G; Mascio, Paolo Di

    2007-01-01

    The decomposition of lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) into peroxyl radicals is a potential source of singlet molecular oxygen ((1)O(2)) in biological systems. Recently, we have clearly demonstrated the generation of (1)O(2) in the reaction of lipid hydroperoxides with biologically important oxidants such as metal ions, peroxynitrite and hypochlorous acid. The approach used to unequivocally demonstrate the generation of (1)O(2) in these reactions was the use of an isotopic labeled hydroperoxide, the (18)O-labeled linoleic acid hydroperoxide, the detection of labeled compounds by HPLC coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and the direct spectroscopic detection and characterization of (1)O(2) light emission. Using this approach we have observed the formation of (18)O-labeled (1)O(2) by chemical trapping of (1)O(2) with anthracene derivatives and detection of the corresponding labeled endoperoxide by HPLC-MS/MS. The generation of (1)O(2) was also demonstrated by direct spectral characterization of (1)O(2) monomol light emission in the near-infrared region (lambda = 1270 nm). In summary, our studies demonstrated that LOOH can originate (1)O(2). The experimental evidences indicate that (1)O(2) is generated at a yield close to 10% by the Russell mechanism, where a linear tetraoxide intermediate is formed in the combination of two peroxyl radicals. In addition to LOOH, other biological hydroperoxides, including hydroperoxides formed in proteins and nucleic acids, may also participate in reactions leading to the generation (1)O(2). This hypothesis is currently being investigated in our laboratory. PMID:17505972

  10. Myeloproliferative neoplasms: Current molecular biology and genetics.

    PubMed

    Saeidi, Kolsoum

    2016-02-01

    Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are clonal disorders characterized by increased production of mature blood cells. Philadelphia chromosome-negative MPNs (Ph-MPNs) consist of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). A number of stem cell derived mutations have been identified in the past 10 years. These findings showed that JAK2V617F, as a diagnostic marker involving JAK2 exon 14 with a high frequency, is the best molecular characterization of Ph-MPNs. Somatic mutations in an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, named calreticulin (CALR), is the second most common mutation in patients with ET and PMF after JAK2 V617F mutation. Discovery of CALR mutations led to the increased molecular diagnostic of ET and PMF up to 90%. It has been shown that JAK2V617F is not the unique event in disease pathogenesis. Some other genes' location such as TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex combs-like 1 (ASXL1), casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene (CBL), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/IDH2), IKAROS family zinc finger 1 (IKZF1), DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), tumor protein p53 (TP53), runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) have also identified to be involved in MPNs phenotypes. Here, current molecular biology and genetic mechanisms involved in MNPs with a focus on the aforementioned factors is presented. PMID:26697989

  11. Third international congress of plant molecular biology: Molecular biology of plant growth and development

    SciTech Connect

    Hallick, R.B.

    1995-02-01

    The Congress was held October 6-11, 1991 in Tucson with approximately 3000 scientists attending and over 300 oral presentations and 1800 posters. Plant molecular biology is one of the most rapidly developing areas of the biological sciences. Recent advances in the ability to isolate genes, to study their expression, and to create transgenic plants have had a major impact on our understanding of the many fundamental plant processes. In addition, new approaches have been created to improve plants for agricultural purposes. This is a book of presentation and posters from the conference.

  12. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, YZ; Lee, JK; Zhao, HM

    2013-11-15

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. PMID:24222925

  14. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering. PMID:24709875

  15. Systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering. PMID:24709875

  16. IntegromeDB: an integrated system and biological search engine

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background With the growth of biological data in volume and heterogeneity, web search engines become key tools for researchers. However, general-purpose search engines are not specialized for the search of biological data. Description Here, we present an approach at developing a biological web search engine based on the Semantic Web technologies and demonstrate its implementation for retrieving gene- and protein-centered knowledge. The engine is available at http://www.integromedb.org. Conclusions The IntegromeDB search engine allows scanning data on gene regulation, gene expression, protein-protein interactions, pathways, metagenomics, mutations, diseases, and other gene- and protein-related data that are automatically retrieved from publicly available databases and web pages using biological ontologies. To perfect the resource design and usability, we welcome and encourage community feedback. PMID:22260095

  17. Molecular biology of breast tumors and prognosis

    PubMed Central

    Baldassarre, Gustavo; Belletti, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Great scientific, economical, and organizational efforts are in place to understand the causes of onset, identify the critical molecular players of progression, and define new lines of intervention providing more benefits and less toxicity. These efforts have certainly not been vain, since overall survival, especially in specific subsets of breast cancer, has greatly improved during the last decades. At present, breast cancer patients’ treatment and care have reached a high standard of quality, and currently one of the most urgent needs resides in the necessity to better distinguish the tumors that need to be more aggressively treated and identify the best therapeutic option tailored to each patient. This objective will be achievable only if the information clarifying the biology of breast cancer can be successfully transferred to the clinic. A common effort by scientists and clinicians toward this integration and toward the use of multidisciplinary approaches will be necessary to reach this important goal. PMID:27134741

  18. 2003 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Richard F. Shand

    2004-09-21

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on 2003 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism and Molecular Biology was held at Proctor Academy, Andover, NH from August 3-8, 2003. The Conference was well-attended with 150 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students. In designing the formal speakers program, emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field. There was a conscious effort to stimulate lively discussion about the key issues in the field today. Time for formal presentations was limited in the interest of group discussions. In order that more scientists could communicate their most recent results, poster presentation time was scheduled. Attached is a copy of the formal schedule and speaker program and the poster program. In addition to these formal interactions, ''free time'' was scheduled to allow informal discussions. Such discussions are fostering new collaborations and joint efforts in the field. I want to personally thank you for your support of this Conference. As you know, in the interest of promoting the presentation of unpublished and frontier-breaking research, Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings. If you wish any further details, please feel free to contact me. Thank you, Dr. Richard F. Shand, 2003 Conference Chair.

  19. Commentary: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Educators Launch National Network

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Cheryl; Bell, Ellis; Johnson, Margaret; Mattos, Carla; Sears, Duane; White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    The American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has launched an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 5 year project to support biochemistry and molecular biology educators learning what and how students learn. As a part of this initiative, hundreds of life scientists will plan and develop a rich central resource for…

  20. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  1. Digital Learning Material for Model Building in Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Janssen, Fred; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton

    2005-01-01

    Building models to describe processes forms an essential part of molecular biology research. However, in molecular biology curricula little attention is generally being paid to the development of this skill. In order to provide students the opportunity to improve their model building skills, we decided to develop a number of digital cases about…

  2. Molecular Biology and Pathogenicity of Mycoplasmas

    PubMed Central

    Razin, Shmuel; Yogev, David; Naot, Yehudith

    1998-01-01

    The recent sequencing of the entire genomes of Mycoplasma genitalium and M. pneumoniae has attracted considerable attention to the molecular biology of mycoplasmas, the smallest self-replicating organisms. It appears that we are now much closer to the goal of defining, in molecular terms, the entire machinery of a self-replicating cell. Comparative genomics based on comparison of the genomic makeup of mycoplasmal genomes with those of other bacteria, has opened new ways of looking at the evolutionary history of the mycoplasmas. There is now solid genetic support for the hypothesis that mycoplasmas have evolved as a branch of gram-positive bacteria by a process of reductive evolution. During this process, the mycoplasmas lost considerable portions of their ancestors’ chromosomes but retained the genes essential for life. Thus, the mycoplasmal genomes carry a high percentage of conserved genes, greatly facilitating gene annotation. The significant genome compaction that occurred in mycoplasmas was made possible by adopting a parasitic mode of life. The supply of nutrients from their hosts apparently enabled mycoplasmas to lose, during evolution, the genes for many assimilative processes. During their evolution and adaptation to a parasitic mode of life, the mycoplasmas have developed various genetic systems providing a highly plastic set of variable surface proteins to evade the host immune system. The uniqueness of the mycoplasmal systems is manifested by the presence of highly mutable modules combined with an ability to expand the antigenic repertoire by generating structural alternatives, all compressed into limited genomic sequences. In the absence of a cell wall and a periplasmic space, the majority of surface variable antigens in mycoplasmas are lipoproteins. Apart from providing specific antimycoplasmal defense, the host immune system is also involved in the development of pathogenic lesions and exacerbation of mycoplasma induced diseases. Mycoplasmas are

  3. Accessing Nature's diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    King, Jason R; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through "scaffold diversification", and subsequent "derivatization" of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the "privileged" chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents. PMID:27081481

  4. Advancing metabolic engineering through systems biology of industrial microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zongjie; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-12-01

    Development of sustainable processes to produce bio-based compounds is necessary due to the severe environmental problems caused by the use of fossil resources. Metabolic engineering can facilitate the development of highly efficient cell factories to produce these compounds from renewable resources. The objective of systems biology is to gain a comprehensive and quantitative understanding of living cells and can hereby enhance our ability to characterize and predict cellular behavior. Systems biology of industrial microorganisms is therefore valuable for metabolic engineering. Here we review the application of systems biology tools for the identification of metabolic engineering targets which may lead to reduced development time for efficient cell factories. Finally, we present some perspectives of systems biology for advancing metabolic engineering further. PMID:26318074

  5. Acellular assessments of engineered-manufactured nanoparticle biological surface reactivity

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is critical to assess the surface properties and reactivity of engineered-manufactured nanoparticles (NPs) as these will influence their interactions with biological systems, biokinetics and toxicity. We examined the physicochemical properties and surface reactivity of metal o...

  6. Unconventional biological threats and the molecular biological response to biological threats.

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Ronald A; Lutz, Brock D; Huycke, Mark M; Gilmore, Michael S

    2002-06-01

    This article concludes this symposium on potential agents of warfare and terrorism with discussion of 3 topics. First, influenza A virus is discussed as a potential biological weapon. Although it does not receive much attention in this role, the potential for mass casualties and public panic certainly exist if an epidemic of a virulent influenza A virus were initiated. Second, agroterrorism, terrorism directed at livestock or poultry or crops, is briefly discussed. Finally, the potential role of techniques of modern molecular biology to create new agents for bioterrorism or enhance the terrorist potential of available agents, and the known roles of these techniques in defense against biological warfare or terrorism are discussed. PMID:12074489

  7. At the birth of molecular radiation biology.

    PubMed

    Devoret, R

    2001-01-01

    Rational thinking builds on feelings, too. This article starts with a tribute to Richard Setlow, an eminent scientist; it retraces as well some studies in molecular genetics that helped to understand basic questions of radiation biology. In the mid-1950s, the induction of a dormant virus (prophage) by irradiation of its host was an intriguing phenomenon. Soon, it was found that prophage induction results from the inactivation of the prophage repressor. Similarly, a score of induced cellular SOS functions were found to be induced when the LexA repressor is inactivated. Repressor inactivation involves the formation of a newly formed distinctive structure: a RecA-polymer wrapped around single-stranded DNA left by the arrest of replication at damaged sites. By touching this RecA nucleofilament, the LexA repressor is inactivated, triggering the sequential expression of SOS functions. The RecA nucleofilament acts as a chaperone, allowing recombinational repair to occur after nucleotide excision repair is over. The UmuD'C complex, synthesized slowly and parsimoniously, peaks at the end of recombinational repair, ready to be positioned at the tip of a RecA nucleofilament, placing the UmuD'C complex right at a lesion. At this location, UmuD'C prevents recombinational repair, and now acts as an error-prone paucimerase that fills the discontinuity opposite the damaged DNA. Finally, the elimination of lesions from the path of DNA polymerase, allows the resumption of DNA replication, and the SOS repair cycle switches to a normal cell cycle. PMID:11746747

  8. Introduction to bioengineering: melding of engineering and biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Shoureshi, Rahmat A

    2005-04-01

    Engineering has traditionally focused on the external extensions of organisms, such as transportation systems, high-rise buildings, and entertainment systems. In contrast, bioengineering is concerned with inward processes of biologic organisms. Utilization of engineering principles and techniques in the analysis and solution of problems in medicine and biology is the basis for bioengineering. This article discusses subspecialties in bioengineering and presents examples of projects in this discipline. PMID:15823588

  9. The molecular biology of pulmonary metastasis.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Kartik; Khanna, Chand; Helman, Lee J

    2006-05-01

    Curing cancer requires the treatment of metastatic disease. Whether this is a patient with advanced disease and clinically apparent metastases, or if the patient with localized disease is at risk for development of dissemination, failure to control metastasis will result in a poor outcome. Here, we have presented a molecular guide to our current understanding of the processes underlying metastasis. Experimental clinical trials designed to further the understanding of metastasis are often limited by selection of patients with advanced disease. Therefore, our understanding of the processes involved in the metastatic cascade is limited by the availability of comprehensive experimental model systems. The study of metastasis relies most heavily on xenografts, tumors using human cell lines, or tumor tissue that can grow in mice. These models present a limited recapitulation of the patients. Xenograft models require some degree of immunosuppression on the part of the host, because mice with native immune systems will reject transplanted human tumors, preventing their growth. As a result, mice with immune defects ranging from depleted T cells (nude mice) to absent T, B, and NK cells (SCID-Beige) are used as hosts. As the evasion of the immune system is a key function demonstrated by the metastatic cancer cell, xenograft models, by necessity, subvert this step. Furthermore, recent studies have established that angiogenesis in transplanted tumors is different than in native tumors, further highlighting the limitations of these models. With these limitations, studies of metastasis may require development of models of autochthonous tumors, that is, tumors originating in the study animals. A number of cell lines of autochthonous murine tumors have been established that generate metastatic disease after implantation into mice. Moreover, some transgenic animals spontaneously develop metastatic tumors that, although occurring in genetically engineered animals, may represent the

  10. Infusing Bioinformatics and Research-Like Experience into a Molecular Biology Laboratory Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nogaj, Luiza A.

    2014-01-01

    A nine-week laboratory project designed for a sophomore level molecular biology course is described. Small groups of students (3-4 per group) choose a tumor suppressor gene (TSG) or an oncogene for this project. Each group researches the role of their TSG/oncogene from primary literature articles and uses bioinformatics engines to find the gene…

  11. Synthetic biology: new engineering rules for an emerging discipline

    PubMed Central

    Andrianantoandro, Ernesto; Basu, Subhayu; Karig, David K; Weiss, Ron

    2006-01-01

    Synthetic biologists engineer complex artificial biological systems to investigate natural biological phenomena and for a variety of applications. We outline the basic features of synthetic biology as a new engineering discipline, covering examples from the latest literature and reflecting on the features that make it unique among all other existing engineering fields. We discuss methods for designing and constructing engineered cells with novel functions in a framework of an abstract hierarchy of biological devices, modules, cells, and multicellular systems. The classical engineering strategies of standardization, decoupling, and abstraction will have to be extended to take into account the inherent characteristics of biological devices and modules. To achieve predictability and reliability, strategies for engineering biology must include the notion of cellular context in the functional definition of devices and modules, use rational redesign and directed evolution for system optimization, and focus on accomplishing tasks using cell populations rather than individual cells. The discussion brings to light issues at the heart of designing complex living systems and provides a trajectory for future development. PMID:16738572

  12. Biological Engineering: A New Discipline for the Next Century.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tao, Bernard Y.

    1993-01-01

    Reviews the issues driving the need for a biological engineering discipline and summarizes current curricula at several universities. The Purdue Biochemical and Food Processing Engineering program is presented as a model for the implementation of curriculum objectives. (23 references) (Author/MCO)

  13. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehr, J. P.; Hewson, I.; Moisander, P. H.

    2008-11-01

    The study of marine microorganisms using molecular biological techniques is now widespread in the ocean sciences. These techniques target nucleic acids which record the evolutionary history of microbes, and encode for processes which are active in the ocean today. Here we review some of the most commonly used molecular biological techniques. Molecular biological techniques permit study of the abundance, distribution, diversity, and physiology of microorganisms in situ. These techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, whole assemblage "fingerprinting" approaches (based on nucleic acid sequence or length heterogeneity), oligonucleotide microarrays, and high-throughput shotgun sequencing of whole genomes and gene transcripts, which can be used to answer biological, ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical questions in the ocean sciences. Moreover, molecular biological approaches may be deployed on ocean sensor platforms and hold promise for tracking of organisms or processes of interest in near-real time.

  14. Fundamental approaches in molecular biology for communication sciences and disorders

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Rebecca; Jetté, Marie E; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common DNA, RNA and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Methods Over the past two decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has increased at a remarkable pace. Most of this progress can be attributed to concomitant advances in basic molecular biology and, specifically, the development of an ever-expanding armamentarium of technologies for analysis of DNA, RNA and protein structure and function. Details of these methodologies, their limitations and examples from the CSD literature are presented. Results/Conclusions The use of molecular biology techniques in the fields of speech, language and hearing sciences is increasing, facilitating the need for an understanding of molecular biology fundamentals and common experimental assays. PMID:22232415

  15. [The biologic functional surfaces and their applications in tissue engineering].

    PubMed

    Yao, Fanglian; Chen, Man; Zhang, Hong; Zhang, Haiyue; An, Xiaoyan; Yao, Kangde

    2007-10-01

    The construction of biologic functional surfaces of materials, from the visual angle of material science, is aimed to make the biomaterials adapted by tissues, and to endow them with dynamic conformity; moreover, from the view-point of clinical applications, it is the functional surface to join the environmental tissues with the implanted material, playing the role of artificial extracellular matrix (ECM). The architecture of biologic functional surface is very important in tissue engineering science. Here the primary concepts of biological surface science and the construction and application of biofunctional surfaces in tissue engineering are reviewed. PMID:18027721

  16. Industrial waste treatment process engineering. Volume 2: Biological processes

    SciTech Connect

    Celenza, G.J.

    1999-11-01

    Industrial Waste Treatment Process Engineering is a step-by-step implementation manual in three volumes, detailing the selection and design of industrial liquid and solid waste treatment systems. It consolidates all the process engineering principles required to evaluate a wide range of industrial facilities, starting with pollution prevention and source control and ending with end-of-pipe treatment technologies. This three-volume set is a practical guide for environmental engineers with process implementation responsibilities; a one-stop resource for process engineering requirements--from plant planning to implementing specific treatment technologies for unit operations; a comprehensive reference for industrial waste treatment technologies; and includes calculations and worked problems based on industry cases. The contents of Volume 2 include: aeration; aerobic biological oxidation; activated sludge system; biological oxidation: lagoons; biological oxidation: fixed film processes; aerobic digesters; anaerobic waste treatment, anaerobic sludge treatment; and sedimentation.

  17. Structural Biology and Molecular Applications Research

    Cancer.gov

    Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Biology's research portfolio, research and development in this area focuses on enabling technologies, models, and methodologies to support basic and applied cancer research.

  18. Computer Analogies: Teaching Molecular Biology and Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Stanley; McArthur, John

    2002-01-01

    Suggests that computer science analogies can aid the understanding of gene expression, including the storage of genetic information on chromosomes. Presents a matrix of biology and computer science concepts. (DDR)

  19. Cell and molecular biology of Chlamydomonas

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

    This document contains only the abstracts of 92 presentations on the biology of Chlamydomonas. Topics include gene transformations, gene regulation, biosynthetic pathways, cell surfaces, circadian clocks, and the development and structure of the flagellar apparatus. (TEM)

  20. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehr, J. P.; Hewson, I.; Moisander, P.

    2009-05-01

    The study of marine microorganisms using molecular biological techniques is now widespread in the ocean sciences. These techniques target nucleic acids which record the evolutionary history of microbes, and encode for processes which are active in the ocean today. Molecular techniques can form the basis of remote instrumentation sensing technologies for marine microbial diversity and ecological function. Here we review some of the most commonly used molecular biological techniques. These techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, whole assemblage "fingerprinting" approaches (based on nucleic acid sequence or length heterogeneity), oligonucleotide microarrays, and high-throughput shotgun sequencing of whole genomes and gene transcripts, which can be used to answer biological, ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical questions in the ocean sciences. Moreover, molecular biological approaches may be deployed on ocean sensor platforms and hold promise for tracking of organisms or processes of interest in near-real time.

  1. The extracellular matrix of plants: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    A symposium entitled ``The Extracellular Matrix of Plants: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology was held in Tamarron, Colorado, March 15--21, 1996. The following topics were explored in addresses by 43 speakers: structure and biochemistry of cell walls; biochemistry, molecular biology and biosynthesis of lignin; secretory pathway and synthesis of glycoproteins; biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides, callose and cellulose; role of the extracellular matrix in plant growth and development; plant cell walls in symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  2. Resilin-Like Polypeptide Hydrogels Engineered for Versatile Biological Functions.

    PubMed

    Li, Linqing; Tong, Zhixiang; Jia, Xinqiao; Kiick, Kristi L

    2013-01-01

    Natural resilin, the rubber-like protein that exists in specialized compartments of most arthropods, possesses excellent mechanical properties such as low stiffness, high resilience and effective energy storage. Recombinantly-engineered resilin-like polypeptides (RLPs) that possess the favorable attributes of native resilin would be attractive candidates for the modular design of biomaterials for engineering mechanically active tissues. Based on our previous success in creating a novel RLP-based hydrogel and demonstrating useful mechanical and cell-adhesive properties, we have produced a suite of new RLP-based constructs, each equipped with 12 repeats of the putative resilin consensus sequence and a single, distinct biologically active domain. This approach allows independent control over the concentrations of cell-binding, MMP-sensitive, and polysaccharide-sequestration domains in hydrogels comprising mixtures of the various RLPs. The high purity, molecular weight and correct compositions of each new polypeptide have been confirmed via high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS), and amino acid analysis. These RLP-based polypeptides exhibit largely random-coil conformation, both in solution and in the cross-linked hydrogels, as indicated by circular dichroic and infrared spectroscopic analyses. Hydrogels of various compositions, with a range of elastic moduli (1kPa to 25kPa) can be produced from these polypeptides, and the activity of the cell-binding and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) sensitive domains was confirmed. Tris(hydroxymethyl phosphine) cross-linked RLP hydrogels were able to maintain their mechanical integrity as well as the viability of encapsulated primary human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These results validate the promising properties of these RLP-based elastomeric biomaterials. PMID:23505396

  3. Computer-Based Semantic Network in Molecular Biology: A Demonstration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callman, Joshua L.; And Others

    This paper analyzes the hardware and software features that would be desirable in a computer-based semantic network system for representing biology knowledge. It then describes in detail a prototype network of molecular biology knowledge that has been developed using Filevision software and a Macintosh computer. The prototype contains about 100…

  4. The Macromolecular Concept and the Origins of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olby, Robert

    1970-01-01

    Traces the origins of molecular biology to the work of 19th century biophysicists, ultrastructurists and collodial chemists. The development of the Aggregate Theory,and its overthrow by the Macromolecule Concept is described. Research in molecular genetics in the pre-second world war period, and the effects of the war on it, are briefly reviewed.…

  5. Using a Computer Animation to Teach High School Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rotbain, Yosi; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Stavy, Ruth

    2008-01-01

    We present an active way to use a computer animation in secondary molecular genetics class. For this purpose we developed an activity booklet that helps students to work interactively with a computer animation which deals with abstract concepts and processes in molecular biology. The achievements of the experimental group were compared with those…

  6. Concepts and Skills in the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyer, Rodney

    2003-01-01

    Most colleges and universities throughout the world now offer a Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (BMB) lab course that is designed for undergraduate students in the molecular life sciences, chemistry, and related fields. To best serve our students, we must introduce them to the most current concepts, skills, and methods available. Suggestions for…

  7. Fundamental Approaches in Molecular Biology for Communication Sciences and Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…

  8. Microenvironmental Regulation of Tumor Angiogenesis: Biological and Engineering Considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Infanger, David W.; Pathi, Siddharth P.; Fischbach, Claudia

    Tumor angiogenesis is fundamental to tumor growth and metastasis, and antiangiogenic therapies have been developed to target this process. However, the clinical success of these treatments has been limited, which may be due, in part, to an incomplete understanding of cell-microenvironment interactions and their role in tumor angiogenesis. Traditionally, two-dimensional (2D) culture approaches have been used to study tumor progression in vitro, but these systems fail to faithfully recreate tumor microenvironmental conditions contributing to tumor angiogenesis in vivo. By integrating cancer biology with tissue engineering and drug delivery approaches, the development of biologically inspired tumor models has emerged. Such 3D model systems allow studying the specific role of soluble factor signaling, cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions, cell-cell interactions, mechanical cues, and metabolic stress. This chapter discusses specific biological and engineering design considerations for tissue-engineered tumor models and highlights their application for defining the underpinnings of tumor angiogenesis.

  9. Molecular biology of human muscle disease

    SciTech Connect

    Dunne, P.W.; Epstein, H.F. )

    1991-01-01

    The molecular revolution that is transforming the entire biomedical field has had far-reaching impact in its application to inherited human muscle disease. The gene for Duchenne muscular dystrophy was one of the first cloned without knowledge of the defective protein product. This success was based upon the availability of key chromosomal aberrations that provided molecular landmarks for the disease locus. Subsequent discoveries regarding the mode of expression for this gene, the structure and localization of its protein product dystrophin, and molecular diagnosis of affected and carrier individuals constitute a paradigm for investigation of human genetics. Finding the gene for myotonic muscular dystrophy is requiring the brute force approach of cloning several million bases of DNA, identifying expressed sequences, and characterizing candidate genes. The gene that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been found serendipitously to be one of the genetic markers on chromosome 14, the {beta} myosin heavy chain.

  10. Tissue Engineering Organs for Space Biology Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandenburgh, H. H.; Shansky, J.; DelTatto, M.; Lee, P.; Meir, J.

    1999-01-01

    Long-term manned space flight requires a better understanding of skeletal muscle atrophy resulting from microgravity. Atrophy most likely results from changes at both the systemic level (e.g. decreased circulating growth hormone, increased circulating glucocorticoids) and locally (e.g. decreased myofiber resting tension). Differentiated skeletal myofibers in tissue culture have provided a model system over the last decade for gaining a better understanding of the interactions of exogenous growth factors, endogenous growth factors, and muscle fiber tension in regulating protein turnover rates and muscle cell growth. Tissue engineering these cells into three dimensional bioartificial muscle (BAM) constructs has allowed us to extend their use to Space flight studies for the potential future development of countermeasures.

  11. Molecular biology and spinal disorders. A survey for the clinician.

    PubMed

    Altman, D A; Titus, L; Hair, G A; Boden, S D

    1999-04-01

    Over the past 10 years, advances in molecular biology techniques have extended the potential for understanding spinal disorders from the microscopic (histologic) level down to the molecular level of gene expression within individual cells. These advances are initiating new avenues of research and, ultimately, novel clinical treatments. The intent of this update is to provide the spine clinician with a basic understanding of molecular biology, the type of information that may be learned from its application, and the potential for gene therapy in spine disorders. PMID:10209806

  12. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Bielaga, B.A.; Kilbane, J.J.

    1990-04-01

    The overall objectives of this project is to use Molecular Genetics to develop strains of bacteria (esp. Rhodococcus) with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal, and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. 5 figs.

  13. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Kilbane, J.J. II; Bielaga, B.A.

    1991-12-01

    The overall objective of this project was to use molecular genetics to develop strains of bacteria with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal, and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. (VC)

  14. Computational approaches to metabolic engineering utilizing systems biology and synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Stephen S.

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic engineering modifies cellular function to address various biochemical applications. Underlying metabolic engineering efforts are a host of tools and knowledge that are integrated to enable successful outcomes. Concurrent development of computational and experimental tools has enabled different approaches to metabolic engineering. One approach is to leverage knowledge and computational tools to prospectively predict designs to achieve the desired outcome. An alternative approach is to utilize combinatorial experimental tools to empirically explore the range of cellular function and to screen for desired traits. This mini-review focuses on computational systems biology and synthetic biology tools that can be used in combination for prospective in silico strain design. PMID:25379141

  15. From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back: Teaching Modeling to Biology Students, and Biology to Math and Engineering Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiel, Hillel J.; McManus, Jeffrey M.; Shaw, Kendrick M.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge…

  16. Interactive analysis of systems biology molecular expression data

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Mingwu; Ouyang, Qi; Stephenson, Alan; Kane, Michael D; Salt, David E; Prabhakar, Sunil; Burgner, John; Buck, Charles; Zhang, Xiang

    2008-01-01

    Background Systems biology aims to understand biological systems on a comprehensive scale, such that the components that make up the whole are connected to one another and work through dependent interactions. Molecular correlations and comparative studies of molecular expression are crucial to establishing interdependent connections in systems biology. The existing software packages provide limited data mining capability. The user must first generate visualization data with a preferred data mining algorithm and then upload the resulting data into the visualization package for graphic visualization of molecular relations. Results Presented is a novel interactive visual data mining application, SysNet that provides an interactive environment for the analysis of high data volume molecular expression information of most any type from biological systems. It integrates interactive graphic visualization and statistical data mining into a single package. SysNet interactively presents intermolecular correlation information with circular and heatmap layouts. It is also applicable to comparative analysis of molecular expression data, such as time course data. Conclusion The SysNet program has been utilized to analyze elemental profile changes in response to an increasing concentration of iron (Fe) in growth media (an ionomics dataset). This study case demonstrates that the SysNet software is an effective platform for interactive analysis of molecular expression information in systems biology. PMID:18312669

  17. NANOPARTICLES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS IN CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Edina C.; Wang, Andrew Z.

    2013-01-01

    Nanoparticles can be engineered with distinctive compositions, sizes, shapes, and surface chemistries to enable novel techniques in a wide range of biological applications. The unique properties of nanoparticles and their behavior in biological milieu also enable exciting and integrative approaches to studying fundamental biological questions. This review will provide an overview of various types of nanoparticles and concepts of targeting nanoparticles. We will also discuss the advantages and recent applications of using nanoparticles as tools for drug delivery, imaging, sensing, and for the understanding of basic biological processes. PMID:24104563

  18. Molecular biology of retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, M; Zhou, H; Nathans, J

    1996-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cells are the output neurons that encode and transmit information from the eye to the brain. Their diverse physiologic and anatomic properties have been intensively studied and appear to account well for a number of psychophysical phenomena such as lateral inhibition and chromatic opponency. In this paper, we summarize our current view of retinal ganglion cell properties and pose a number of questions regarding underlying molecular mechanisms. As an example of one approach to understanding molecular mechanisms, we describe recent work on several POU domain transcription factors that are expressed in subsets of retinal ganglion cells and that appear to be involved in ganglion cell development. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:8570601

  19. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Litchfield, J.H.; Zupancic, T.J.; Kittle, J.D. Jr.; Baker, B.; Palmer, D.T.; Traunero, C.G.; Wyza, R.E.; Schweitzer, A.; Conkle, H.N.; Chakravarty, L.; Tuovinen, O.H.

    1992-10-08

    Progress is reported in understanding Thiobacillus molecular biology, specifically in the area of vector development. At the initiation of this program, the basic elements needed for performing genetic engineering in T. ferrooxidans were either not yet developed. Improved techniques are described which will make it easier to construct and analyze the genetic structure and metabolism of recombinant T. ferrooxidans. The metabolism of the model organic sulfur compound dibenzothiophene (DBT) by certain heterotrophic bacteria was confirmed and characterized. Techniques were developed to analyze the metabolites of DBT, so that individual 4S pathway metabolites could be distinguished. These techniques are expected to be valuable when engineering organic sulfur metabolism in Thiobacillus. Strain isolation techniques were used to develop pure cultures of T. ferrooxidans seven of which were assessed as potential recombinant hosts. The mixotrophic strain T. coprinus was also characterized for potential use as an electroporation host. A family of related Thiobacillus plasmids was discovered in the seven strains of P. ferrooxidans mentioned above. One of these plasmids, pTFI91, was cloned into a pUC-based plasmid vector, allowing it to propagate in E. coli. A key portion of the cloned plasmid was sequenced. This segment, which is conserved in all of the related plasmids characterized, contains the vegetative origin of DNA replication, and fortuitously, a novel insertion sequence, designated IS3091. The sequence of the DNA origin revealed that these Thiobacillus plasmids represent a unique class of replicons not previously described. The potentially useful insertion sequence IS3091 was identified as a new member of a previously undefined family of insertion sequences which include the E. coli element IS30.

  20. Engineering Titanium for Improved Biological Response

    SciTech Connect

    Orme, C; Bearinger, J; Dimasi, E; Gilbert, J

    2002-01-23

    The human body and its aggressive environment challenge the survival of implanted foreign materials. Formidable biocompatibility issues arise from biological, chemical, electrical, and tribological origins. The body's electrolytic solution provides the first point of contact with any kind of implant, and is responsible for transport, healing, integration, or attack. Therefore, determining how to successfully control the integration of a biomaterial should begin with an analysis of the early interfacial dynamics involved. setting, a complicated feedback system of solution chemistry, pH, ions, and solubility exists. The introduction of a fixation device instantly confounds this system. The body is exposed to a range of voltages, and wear can bring about significant shifts in potentials across an implant. In the environment of a new implant the solution pH becomes acidic, ionic concentrations shift, cathodic currents can lead to corrosion, and oxygen levels can be depleted; all of these impact the ability of the implant to retain its protective oxide layer and to present a stable interface for the formation of a biolayer. Titanium has been used in orthopedic and maxilofacial surgery for many years due to its reputation as being biocompatible and its ability to osseointegrate. Osseointegration is defined as direct structural and functional connection between ordered, living bone, and the surface of a load carrying implant. Branemark discovered this phenomenon in the 60's while examining titanium juxtaposed to bone. The mechanism by which titanium and its passivating oxide encourage osseosynthetic activity remains unknown. However in general terms the oxide film serves two purposes: first to provide a kinetic barrier that prevents titanium from corroding and second to provide a substrate that allows the constituents of bone (calcium phosphate crystals, cells, proteins, and collagen) to bond to it. We believe that the electrochemical environment dictates the titanium

  1. CellNet: Network Biology Applied to Stem Cell Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Cahan, Patrick; Li, Hu; Morris, Samantha A.; da Rocha, Edroaldo Lummertz; Daley, George Q.; Collins, James J.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Somatic cell reprogramming, directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and direct conversions between differentiated cell lineages represent powerful approaches to engineer cells for research and regenerative medicine. We have developed CellNet, a network biology platform that more accurately assesses the fidelity of cellular engineering than existing methodologies and generates hypotheses for improving cell derivations. Analyzing expression data from 56 published reports, we found that cells derived via directed differentiation more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts than products of direct conversion, as reflected by the establishment of target cell-type gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Furthermore, we discovered that directly converted cells fail to adequately silence expression programs of the starting population, and that the establishment of unintended GRNs is common to virtually every cellular engineering paradigm. CellNet provides a platform for quantifying how closely engineered cell populations resemble their target cell type and a rational strategy to guide enhanced cellular engineering. PMID:25126793

  2. Towards Engineering Biological Systems in a Broader Context.

    PubMed

    Venturelli, Ophelia S; Egbert, Robert G; Arkin, Adam P

    2016-02-27

    Significant advances have been made in synthetic biology to program information processing capabilities in cells. While these designs can function predictably in controlled laboratory environments, the reliability of these devices in complex, temporally changing environments has not yet been characterized. As human society faces global challenges in agriculture, human health and energy, synthetic biology should develop predictive design principles for biological systems operating in complex environments. Natural biological systems have evolved mechanisms to overcome innumerable and diverse environmental challenges. Evolutionary design rules should be extracted and adapted to engineer stable and predictable ecological function. We highlight examples of natural biological responses spanning the cellular, population and microbial community levels that show promise in synthetic biology contexts. We argue that synthetic circuits embedded in host organisms or designed ecologies informed by suitable measurement of biotic and abiotic environmental parameters could be used as engineering substrates to achieve target functions in complex environments. Successful implementation of these methods will broaden the context in which synthetic biological systems can be applied to solve important problems. PMID:26546279

  3. Molecular model for hydrated biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Sato, Erika Tiemi; Rocha, Alexandre Reily; de Carvalho, Luis Felipe das Chagas e Silva; Almeida, Janete Dias; Martinho, Herculano

    2015-06-01

    A density-functional microscopic model for soft tissues (STmod) is presented. The model was based on a prototype molecular structure from experimentally resolved type I collagen peptide residues and water clusters treated in periodic boundary conditions. We obtained the optimized geometry, binding and coupling energies, dipole moments, and vibrational frequencies. The results concerning the stability of the confined water clusters, the water-water, and water-collagen interactions were successfully correlated to some important experimental trends of normal and inflammatory tissues. PMID:26172825

  4. Using molecular biology to maximize concurrent training.

    PubMed

    Baar, Keith

    2014-11-01

    Very few sports use only endurance or strength. Outside of running long distances on a flat surface and power-lifting, practically all sports require some combination of endurance and strength. Endurance and strength can be developed simultaneously to some degree. However, the development of a high level of endurance seems to prohibit the development or maintenance of muscle mass and strength. This interaction between endurance and strength is called the concurrent training effect. This review specifically defines the concurrent training effect, discusses the potential molecular mechanisms underlying this effect, and proposes strategies to maximize strength and endurance in the high-level athlete. PMID:25355186

  5. Asymmetry at the molecular level in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Louise N.

    2005-10-01

    Naturally occurring biological molecules are made of homochiral building blocks. Proteins are composed of L-amino acids (and not D-amino acids); nucleic acids such as DNA have D-ribose sugars (and not L-ribose sugars). It is not clear why nature selected a particular chirality. Selection could have occurred by chance or as a consequence of basic physical chemistry. Possible proposals, including the contribution of the parity violating the weak nuclear force, are discussed together with the mechanisms by which this very small contribution might be amplified. Homochirality of the amino acids has consequences for protein structure. Helices are right handed and beta sheets have a left-hand twist. When incorporated into the tertiary structure of a protein these chiralities limit the topologies of connections between helices and sheets. Polypeptides comprised of D-amino acids can be synthesized chemically and have been shown to adopt stable structures that are the mirror image of the naturally occurring L-amino acid polypeptides. Chirality is important in drug design. Three examples are discussed: penicillin; the CD4 antagonistic peptides; and thalidomide. The absolute hand of a biological structure can only be established by X-ray crystallographic methods using the technique of anomalous scattering.

  6. Molecular Response of Crop Plants to Engineered Nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Pagano, Luca; Servin, Alia D; De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Mukherjee, Arnab; Majumdar, Sanghamitra; Hawthorne, Joseph; Marmiroli, Marta; Maestri, Elena; Marra, Robert E; Isch, Susan M; Dhankher, Om Parkash; White, Jason C; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-07-01

    Functional toxicology has enabled the identification of genes involved in conferring tolerance and sensitivity to engineered nanomaterial (ENM) exposure in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Several genes were found to be involved in metabolic functions, stress response, transport, protein synthesis, and DNA repair. Consequently, analysis of physiological parameters, metal content (through ICP-MS quantification), and gene expression (by RT-qPCR) of A. thaliana orthologue genes were performed across different plant species of agronomic interest to highlight putative biomarkers of exposure and effect related to ENMs. This approach led to the identification of molecular markers in Solanum lycopersicum L. and Cucurbita pepo L. (tomato and zucchini) that might not only indicate exposure to ENMs (CuO, CeO2, and La2O3) but also provide mechanistic insight into response to these materials. Through Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, the target genes were mapped in complex interatomic networks representing molecular pathways, cellular components, and biological processes involved in ENM response. The transcriptional response of 38 (out of 204) candidate genes studied varied according to particle type, size, and plant species. Importantly, some of the genes studied showed potential as biomarkers of ENM exposure and effect and may be useful for risk assessment in foods and in the environment. PMID:27301997

  7. Molecular biology approaches to control of intractable weeds: New strategies and complements to existing biological practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular genetic tools and concepts are in relentless and continuous development, affecting every field of biology. Biological control of weeds, an applied science with over a century of history, is no exception. This field has been dominated from the beginning by its foundation concept, classical ...

  8. pGLO Mutagenesis: A Laboratory Procedure in Molecular Biology for Biology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bassiri, Eby A.

    2011-01-01

    A five-session laboratory project was designed to familiarize or increase the laboratory proficiency of biology students and others with techniques and instruments commonly used in molecular biology research laboratories and industries. In this project, the EZ-Tn5 transposon is used to generate and screen a large number of cells transformed with…

  9. Overview of selected molecular biological databases

    SciTech Connect

    Rayl, K.D.; Gaasterland, T.

    1994-11-01

    This paper presents an overview of the purpose, content, and design of a subset of the currently available biological databases, with an emphasis on protein databases. Databases included in this summary are 3D-ALI, Berlin RNA databank, Blocks, DSSP, EMBL Nucleotide Database, EMP, ENZYME, FSSP, GDB, GenBank, HSSP, LiMB, PDB, PIR, PKCDD, ProSite, and SWISS-PROT. The goal is to provide a starting point for researchers who wish to take advantage of the myriad available databases. Rather than providing a complete explanation of each database, we present its content and form by explaining the details of typical entries. Pointers to more complete ``user guides`` are included, along with general information on where to search for a new database.

  10. Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Exposito, R; Merino, M; Aguayo, C

    2016-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men. They constitute a unique pathology because of their embryonic and germ origin and their special behavior. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors involved in their development and genetic aberrations have been under study in many works throughout the last years trying to explain the susceptibility and the transformation mechanism of TGCTs. Despite the high rate of cure in this type of tumors because its particular sensitivity to cisplatin, there are tumors resistant to chemotherapy for which it is needed to find new therapies. In the present work, it has been carried out a literature review on the most important molecular aspects involved in the onset and development of such tumors, as well as a review of the major developments regarding prognostic factors, new prognostic biomarkers and the possibility of new targeted therapies. PMID:26482724

  11. Comparative molecular modelling of biologically active sterols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, Mariusz; Mazerski, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Membrane sterols are targets for a clinically important antifungal agent - amphotericin B. The relatively specific antifungal action of the drug is based on a stronger interaction of amphotericin B with fungal ergosterol than with mammalian cholesterol. Conformational space occupied by six sterols has been defined using the molecular dynamics method to establish if the conformational features correspond to the preferential interaction of amphotericin B with ergosterol as compared with cholesterol. The compounds studied were chosen on the basis of structural features characteristic for cholesterol and ergosterol and on available experimental data on the ability to form complexes with the antibiotic. Statistical analysis of the data obtained has been performed. The results show similarity of the conformational spaces occupied by all the sterols tested. This suggests that the conformational differences of sterol molecules are not the major feature responsible for the differential sterol - drug affinity.

  12. Biological (molecular and cellular) markers of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.R.; D'Surney, S.J.; Gettys-Hull, C.; Greeley, M.S. Jr.

    1991-12-15

    Several molecular and cellular markers of genotoxicity were adapted for measurement in the Medaka (Oryzias latipes), and were used to describe the effects of treatment of the organism with diethylnitrosamine (DEN). NO{sup 6}-ethyl guanine adducts were detected, and a slight statistically significant, increase in DNA strand breaks was observed. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that prolonged exposure to high levels of DEN induced alkyltransferase activity which enzymatically removes any O{sup 6}-ethyl guanine adducts but does not result in strand breaks or hypomethylation of the DNA such as might be expected from excision repair of chemically modified DNA. Following a five week continuous DEN exposure with 100 percent renewal of DEN-water every third day, the F values (DNA double strandedness) increased considerably and to similar extent in fish exposed to 25, 50, and 100 ppM DEN. This has been observed also in medaka exposed to BaP.

  13. A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, Asifa; Fuchs, Elaine; Mitchison, Tim; Shaw, Reuben J.; St Johnston, Daniel; Strasser, Andreas; Taylor, Susan; Walczak, Claire; Zerial, Marino

    2012-01-01

    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology celebrated its 10-year anniversary during this past year with a series of specially commissioned articles. To complement this, here we have asked researchers from across the field for their insights into how molecular cell biology research has evolved during this past decade, the key concepts that have emerged and the most promising interfaces that have developed. Their comments highlight the broad impact that particular advances have had, some of the basic understanding that we still require, and the collaborative approaches that will be essential for driving the field forward. PMID:21941276

  14. Multispectral optical tweezers for molecular diagnostics of single biological cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Corey; Fardad, Shima; Sincore, Alex; Vangheluwe, Marie; Baudelet, Matthieu; Richardson, Martin

    2012-03-01

    Optical trapping of single biological cells has become an established technique for controlling and studying fundamental behavior of single cells with their environment without having "many-body" interference. The development of such an instrument for optical diagnostics (including Raman and fluorescence for molecular diagnostics) via laser spectroscopy with either the "trapping" beam or secondary beams is still in progress. This paper shows the development of modular multi-spectral imaging optical tweezers combining Raman and Fluorescence diagnostics of biological cells.

  15. Where statistics and molecular microarray experiments biology meet.

    PubMed

    Kelmansky, Diana M

    2013-01-01

    This review chapter presents a statistical point of view to microarray experiments with the purpose of understanding the apparent contradictions that often appear in relation to their results. We give a brief introduction of molecular biology for nonspecialists. We describe microarray experiments from their construction and the biological principles the experiments rely on, to data acquisition and analysis. The role of epidemiological approaches and sample size considerations are also discussed. PMID:23385529

  16. [Molecular biological predictors for kidney cancer].

    PubMed

    Vtorushin, S V; Tarakanova, V O; Zavyalova, M V

    2016-01-01

    The paper considers the data available in the modern literature on studies of potential molecular predictors for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Investigations of cell death markers, namely; Bcl-2 as an inhibitor of apoptosis, are of interest. Its high expression correlates with a more favorable prognosis. Inactivation of Berclin 1 that is an authophagy indicator in intact tissues gives rise to t high risk for tumorigenesis. At the same time, high Beclin 1 expression in the tissue of the tumor itself results in the lower efficiency of performed chemotherapy. Excess annexin A2 in the tumor promotes the growth and invasion of cancer cells. Patients with tumor over-expression of SAM68 protein involved in cell proliferation have a lower overall survival rate. The lifespan of patients without distinct metastases survive significantly longer in the overexpression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM). High PD-L1 protein expression on the cell membrane is considered to be a potential marker of effective immunotherapy for RCC. PMID:27077146

  17. Molecular biology of coal bio-desulfurization

    SciTech Connect

    Young, K.D.; Gallagher, J.R.

    1991-07-18

    The aim of this project is to use the techniques of molecular genetics to identify, clone, sequence, and enhance the expression of proteins which remove sulfur covalently bound to coal. The cloned dox genes from strain C18 were more fully characterized. Another gene, doxG, is almost identical with the nahC gene, also involved in the naphthalene pathway. These results lead us to believe that dibenzothiophene (DBT) is degraded by the oxidative route along the naphthalene degradative pathway. At least one other gene, doxI, is implicated in the formation of the unidentified fluorescent product from DBT. The Rhodococcus rhodochrous isolate IGTS8 was mutated to produce a variant (strain UV1) that was negative for DBT utilization. This mutant was exposed to further rounds of UV mutagenesis and was used as the host for attempts to introduce various plasmid DNAs. Two plasmids could be introduced into UV1: pRF29 and pLAFR5. A cosmid library of IGTS8 DNA was constructed in pLAFR5 and was electroporated into UV1. Of over 2000 colonies tested three bulk batches, one flask of about 600 clones produced a fluorescent product from DBT. These are being screened to determine if one of these represents a clone that complements the DBT negative phenotype of the UV1 mutant. We obtained chloramphenicol resistant Thiobacillus ferrooxidans after electroporation but these transformants contained no plasmid or transposon sequences, so that insertion of DNA into T. ferrooxidans had not occurred.

  18. [Molecular biology of von Willebrand disease].

    PubMed

    Melo-Nava, Brenda; Peñaloza, Rosenda

    2007-01-01

    Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) is a large multimeric glycoprotein expressed in the megakaryocytes and endothelial cells of all vertebrates. It participates fundamentally in the primary and secondary hemostasis because it induces the adhesion of platelets to vascular subendothelium and promotes aggregation of platelets when blood vessels and capillaries are damaged. In addition, VWF links to factor VIII which avoids its proteolysis. The deficiency or the inadequate synthesis of the VWF causes von Willebrand disease (VWD), which is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder in humans principally from mucous and cutaneous sites. VWD is difficult to detect with accuracy due to interrelation among VWF with different components of hemostasis, although it is performed by different tests of haemostatic system, and the basic mechanisms in VWD are herein emphasized. The diagnosis of VWD is difficult due to the heterogeneous manifestation of the disease, which also complicates its classification. This article focuses on the molecular aspects of the disease and discusses their possible clinical implications. PMID:18268896

  19. Advances and Computational Tools towards Predictable Design in Biological Engineering

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The design process of complex systems in all the fields of engineering requires a set of quantitatively characterized components and a method to predict the output of systems composed by such elements. This strategy relies on the modularity of the used components or the prediction of their context-dependent behaviour, when parts functioning depends on the specific context. Mathematical models usually support the whole process by guiding the selection of parts and by predicting the output of interconnected systems. Such bottom-up design process cannot be trivially adopted for biological systems engineering, since parts function is hard to predict when components are reused in different contexts. This issue and the intrinsic complexity of living systems limit the capability of synthetic biologists to predict the quantitative behaviour of biological systems. The high potential of synthetic biology strongly depends on the capability of mastering this issue. This review discusses the predictability issues of basic biological parts (promoters, ribosome binding sites, coding sequences, transcriptional terminators, and plasmids) when used to engineer simple and complex gene expression systems in Escherichia coli. A comparison between bottom-up and trial-and-error approaches is performed for all the discussed elements and mathematical models supporting the prediction of parts behaviour are illustrated. PMID:25161694

  20. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sible, Jill C.; Wilhelm, Dayna E.; Lederman, Muriel

    2006-01-01

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, including cell biology, are characterized by the "leaky pipeline" syndrome in which, over time, women leave the discipline. The pipeline itself and the pond into which it empties may not be neutral. Explicating invisible norms, attitudes, and practices by integrating social studies of…

  1. Biological magnetic cellular spheroids as building blocks for tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Mattix, Brandon; Olsen, Timothy R.; Gu, Yu; Casco, Megan; Herbst, Austin; Simionescu, Dan T.; Visconti, Richard P.; Kornev, Konstantin G.; Alexis, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), primarily iron oxide nanoparticles, have been incorporated into cellular spheroids to allow for magnetic manipulation into desired shapes, patterns and 3-D tissue constructs using magnetic forces. However, the direct and long-term interaction of iron oxide nanoparticles with cells and biological systems can induce adverse effects on cell viability, phenotype and function, and remain a critical concern. Here we report the preparation of biological magnetic cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin, a biological MNP, capable of serving as a biological alternative to iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids as tissue engineered building blocks. Magnetoferritin NPs were incorporated into 3-D cellular spheroids with no adverse effects on cell viability up to 1 week. Additionally, cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin NPs were magnetically patterned and fused into a tissue ring to demonstrate its potential for tissue engineering applications. These results present a biological approach that can serve as an alternative to the commonly used iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids, which often require complex surface modifications of iron oxide NPs to reduce the adverse effects on cells. PMID:24176725

  2. Biological magnetic cellular spheroids as building blocks for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Mattix, Brandon; Olsen, Timothy R; Gu, Yu; Casco, Megan; Herbst, Austin; Simionescu, Dan T; Visconti, Richard P; Kornev, Konstantin G; Alexis, Frank

    2014-02-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), primarily iron oxide nanoparticles, have been incorporated into cellular spheroids to allow for magnetic manipulation into desired shapes, patterns and 3-D tissue constructs using magnetic forces. However, the direct and long-term interaction of iron oxide nanoparticles with cells and biological systems can induce adverse effects on cell viability, phenotype and function, and remain a critical concern. Here we report the preparation of biological magnetic cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin, a biological MNP, capable of serving as a biological alternative to iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids as tissue engineered building blocks. Magnetoferritin NPs were incorporated into 3-D cellular spheroids with no adverse effects on cell viability up to 1 week. Additionally, cellular spheroids containing magnetoferritin NPs were magnetically patterned and fused into a tissue ring to demonstrate its potential for tissue engineering applications. These results present a biological approach that can serve as an alternative to the commonly used iron oxide magnetic cellular spheroids, which often require complex surface modifications of iron oxide NPs to reduce the adverse effects on cells. PMID:24176725

  3. Professor Joseph Warren Horton (1889-1967): biological engineer.

    PubMed

    Zeitlin, Gerald L

    2005-02-01

    Joseph Warren Horton graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1914. He became involved in the early development of electrical measurement devices, televised image transmission, and the detection of underwater sound transmission. In the mid-1930s he was appointed the first leader of the newly created Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and in this position he made major contributions to the application of physics to human physiology, in particular by increasing the safety of explosive inhalational anaesthetic agents. PMID:15682231

  4. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

    This study explored a new strategy of assessing laboratory skills in a molecular biology course to improve: student effort in preparation for and participation in laboratory work; valid evaluation of learning outcomes; and students' employment prospects through provision of evidence of their skills. Previously, assessment was based on written…

  5. Frontiers in nuclear medicine symposium: Nuclear medicine & molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    This document contains the abstracts from the American College of Nuclear Physicians 1993 Fall Meeting entitled, `Frontiers in Nuclear Medicine Symposium: Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Biology`. This meeting was sponsored by the US DOE, Office of Health and Environmental Research, Office of Energy Research. The program chairman was Richard C. Reba, M.D.

  6. Web Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmsen, Tinri; Bisseling, Ton; Hartog, Rob

    An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is a certain proficiency level in experimental design. Currently students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, in lectures and in the laboratory. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the design of experimental approaches. This…

  7. Micropipetting: An Important Laboratory Skill for Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sass, Michell E.; Wong, Susan J.; Miller, Jon S.; Nienhuis, James

    2004-01-01

    Micropipetting is an important skill that plays a very active and critical role in the molecular biology laboratory. It is imperative for a person handling micropipettor to know the correct way of using it so that accurate and precise results are achieved.

  8. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Course for Secondary School Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernandez-Novell, J. M.; Cid, E.; Gomis, R.; Barbera, A.; Guinovart, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    This article describes a course for reinforcing the knowledge of biochemistry in secondary school science teachers. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona designed a course to bring these teachers up to date with this discipline. In addition to updating their knowledge of biochemistry and molecular…

  9. An Inquiry-based Introduction to Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Foster

    2000-01-01

    Presents investigative approaches to teaching molecular biology. Emphasizes a deductive determination of the nature of nucleic acids visualized in a gel, and a comparison of different genomes. Asks why students should take it on faith that what they view on a gel is DNA. (SAH)

  10. Marek's disease virus molecular biology, oncogenesis and immunoprophylaxis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Significant advances in MD research in the field of molecular biology of MDV have occurred since 2000. The complete DNA sequence of representatives of all three MDV serotypes and the development of new techniques to mutate the MDV genome have resulted in a wealth of information on the function of MD...

  11. A Streamlined Molecular Biology Module for Undergraduate Biochemistry Labs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muth, Gregory W.; Chihade, Joseph W.

    2008-01-01

    Site-directed mutagenesis and other molecular biology techniques, including plasmid manipulation and restriction analysis, are commonly used tools in the biochemistry research laboratory. In redesigning our biochemistry lab curricula, we sought to integrate these techniques into a term-long, project-based course. In the module presented here,…

  12. Cooperative Learning in Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Herbert B.; Markstein, James A.

    1994-01-01

    Discusses a pilot study conducted to determine whether cooperative learning had a beneficial effect on the academic performance of minority students and subsequent enrollments in the elective courses in biochemistry and molecular biology. Minority students average GPA increased from 2.13 (n=39) to 2.96 (n=17). Enrollment in aforementioned courses…

  13. The molecular biology of the positive strand RNA viruses

    SciTech Connect

    Rowlands, D.J.; Mayo, M.A.; Mahy, B.W.J.

    1987-01-01

    This book pulls together recent research findings on the molecular biology of the major families of positive strand RNA viruses infecting plants and animals. The topics covered include protein translation, processing and function, RNA replication, virus structure and antigenicity, mechanisms of infection and evolutionary relationships between the virus families.

  14. Gene Concepts in Higher Education Cell and Molecular Biology Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albuquerque, Pitombo Maiana; de Almeida, Ana Maria Rocha; El-Hani, Nino Charbel

    2008-01-01

    Despite being a landmark of 20th century biology, the "classical molecular gene concept," according to which a gene is a stretch of DNA encoding a functional product, which may be a single polypeptide or RNA molecule, has been recently challenged by a series of findings (e.g., split genes, alternative splicing, overlapping and nested genes, mRNA…

  15. Molecular engineering and characterization of self-assembled biorecognition surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Sheng

    The development of molecular engineering techniques for the fabrication of biomaterial surfaces is of importance in the field of biomaterials. It offers opportunities for better understanding of biological processes on material surfaces and rational design of contemporary biomaterials. Our work in this area aims to develop novel engineering strategies to design biorecognition surfaces via self-assembly and surface derivatization. Fundamental issues regarding self-assembled monolayer (SAM) structure, formation kinetics, and chemical derivatization were investigated systematically using electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and contact angle measurements. Novel engineering concepts based on multifunctionality and statistical pattern matching were introduced and applied to develop biomimetic surfaces. Our study illustrated that molecules underwent structural transition and orientation development during self-assembly formation, from a disordered, low-density, more liquid-like structure to a highly ordered, closed-packed crystalline-like structure. Surface properties, such as wettability and the reactivity of outermost functional groups can be related to film structure, packing density, as well as molecular orientation. Given the order and organization of SAMs, the accessibility and reactivity of the outermost functional groups, reaction kinetics, stoichiometry, and SAMs stability were studied systematically by surface derivatization of trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA). The TFAA derivatization reactions exhibited rapid kinetics on the hydroxyl-terminated SAMs. The data from complementary surface analytical techniques consistently indicated a nearly complete surface reaction. Biomimetic surfaces were made by random immobilization of amino acid of arginine (R), glycine (G), and aspartic acid (D) on well-defined SAMs

  16. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    SciTech Connect

    Voigt, Christopher

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  17. tRNA--the golden standard in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Barciszewska, Mirosława Z; Perrigue, Patrick M; Barciszewski, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) represent a major class of RNA molecules. Their primary function is to help decode a messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence in order to synthesize protein and thus ensures the precise translation of genetic information that is imprinted in DNA. The discovery of tRNA in the late 1950's provided critical insight into a genetic machinery when little was known about the central dogma of molecular biology. In 1965, Robert Holley determined the first nucleotide sequence of alanine transfer RNA (tRNA(Ala)) which earned him the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Today, tRNA is one of the best described and characterized biological molecules. Here we review some of the key historical events in tRNA research which led to breakthrough discoveries and new developments in molecular biology. PMID:26549858

  18. Engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 chassis in the synthetic biology age.

    PubMed

    Schuler, Mara L; Mantegazza, Otho; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-07-01

    C4 photosynthetic plants outperform C3 plants in hot and arid climates. By concentrating carbon dioxide around Rubisco C4 plants drastically reduce photorespiration. The frequency with which plants evolved C4 photosynthesis independently challenges researchers to unravel the genetic mechanisms underlying this convergent evolutionary switch. The conversion of C3 crops, such as rice, towards C4 photosynthesis is a long-standing goal. Nevertheless, at the present time, in the age of synthetic biology, this still remains a monumental task, partially because the C4 carbon-concentrating biochemical cycle spans two cell types and thus requires specialized anatomy. Here we review the advances in understanding the molecular basis and the evolution of the C4 trait, advances in the last decades that were driven by systems biology methods. In this review we emphasise essential genetic engineering tools needed to translate our theoretical knowledge into engineering approaches. With our current molecular understanding of the biochemical C4 pathway, we propose a simplified rational engineering model exclusively built with known C4 metabolic components. Moreover, we discuss an alternative approach to the progressing international engineering attempts that would combine targeted mutagenesis and directed evolution. PMID:26945781

  19. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  20. Cellular and Molecular Biological Approaches to Interpreting Ancient Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Dianne K.; Neubauer, Cajetan; Ricci, Jessica N.; Wu, Chia-Hung; Pearson, Ann

    2016-06-01

    Our ability to read the molecular fossil record has advanced significantly in the past decade. Improvements in biomarker sampling and quantification methods, expansion of molecular sequence databases, and the application of genetic and cellular biological tools to problems in biomarker research have enabled much of this progress. By way of example, we review how attempts to understand the biological function of 2-methylhopanoids in modern bacteria have changed our interpretation of what their molecular fossils tell us about the early history of life. They were once thought to be biomarkers of cyanobacteria and hence the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, but we now believe that 2-methylhopanoid biosynthetic capacity originated in the Alphaproteobacteria, that 2-methylhopanoids are regulated in response to stress, and that hopanoid 2-methylation enhances membrane rigidity. We present a new interpretation of 2-methylhopanes that bridges the gap between studies of the functions of 2-methylhopanoids and their patterns of occurrence in the rock record.

  1. Cell stretching devices as research tools: engineering and biological considerations.

    PubMed

    Kamble, Harshad; Barton, Matthew J; Jun, Myeongjun; Park, Sungsu; Nguyen, Nam-Trung

    2016-08-16

    Cells within the human body are subjected to continuous, cyclic mechanical strain caused by various organ functions, movement, and growth. Cells are well known to have the ability to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. This process is referred to as mechanotransduction. A better understanding of mechanotransduction is of great interest to clinicians and scientists alike to improve clinical diagnosis and understanding of medical pathology. However, the complexity involved in in vivo biological systems creates a need for better in vitro technologies, which can closely mimic the cells' microenvironment using induced mechanical strain. This technology gap motivates the development of cell stretching devices for better understanding of the cell response to mechanical stimuli. This review focuses on the engineering and biological considerations for the development of such cell stretching devices. The paper discusses different types of stretching concepts, major design consideration and biological aspects of cell stretching and provides a perspective for future development in this research area. PMID:27440436

  2. The role of neutron scattering in molecular and cellular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worcester, D. L.

    1982-09-01

    Neutron scattering measurements of biological macromolecules and materials have provided answers to numerous questions about molecular assemblies and arrangements. Studies of ribosomes, viruses, membranes, and other biological structures are reviewed, with emphasis on the importance of both deuterium labelling and contrast variation with H2O/D2O exchange. Although many studies of biological molecules have been made using contrast variation alone, it is the deuterium labelling experiments that have provided the most precise information and answers to major biological questions. This is largely the result of the low resolution of scattering data and the consequent rapid increase of information content that specific deuterium labelling provides. Procedures for specific deuterium labelling `in vivo' are described for recent work on myelin membranes together with basic aspects of such labelling useful for future research.

  3. 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

  4. [Value of molecular biology methods for diagnosis in bacteriology].

    PubMed

    Piémont, Y; Jaulhac, B

    1995-01-01

    Progress in molecular biology has led to the development of new tools for bacteriological diagnosis. Sporadic genes coding for virulence factors can be detected with highly specific genetic probes applied to cultured bacteria. Such genetic probes can also be used to specifically identified cultured bacteria whose general taxonomic classification is known. Another advantage of molecular genetics is the possibility that the cell culture step may not be needed, bacteria being identified directly in the sample specimen. Such techniques are particularly interesting to identify bacteria which are difficult to culture (for example: Borrelia burgdorferi, Chlamydia trachomatis) or which grow slowly (mycobacteria). The bacterial DNA must be isolated and amplified with an enzyme reaction. This is a critical step in the method: several positive and negative controls are required. When performed under optimal conditions, amplification techniques are excellent methods which can offer results similar to culture methods in culturable bacteria. Finally, molecular biology can be used to identify previously cultured bacteria for which there is no taxonomic orientation. Here the ribosome 165 DNA must be amplified and sequenced. The sequence is then compared with a data bank allowing classification. One could image future techniques applied to certain pathology samples for the detection and identification of bacteria without need for a culture step. However, direct microscope examination and bacterial culture remain the basic methods for bacteriologic diagnosis, the advantages and disadvantages of molecular biology leading to its use a complementary method for improving the quality of the diagnosis. PMID:8526414

  5. Teaching Molecular Biology to Undergraduate Biology Students: An Illustration of Protein Expression and Purification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sommer, Cesar Adolfo; Silva, Flavio Henrique; Novo, Maria Teresa Marques

    2004-01-01

    Practical classes on protein expression and purification were given to undergraduate biology students enrolled in the elective course "Introduction to Genetic Engineering." The heterologous expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)* of "Aequorea victoria" is an interesting system for didactic purposes because it can be viewed easily during…

  6. From biology to mathematical models and back: teaching modeling to biology students, and biology to math and engineering students.

    PubMed

    Chiel, Hillel J; McManus, Jeffrey M; Shaw, Kendrick M

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a "live" textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology. PMID:20810957

  7. From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back: Teaching Modeling to Biology Students, and Biology to Math and Engineering Students

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Jeffrey M.; Shaw, Kendrick M.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a “live” textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology. PMID:20810957

  8. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS FOR MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (ISMB)

    SciTech Connect

    Debra Goldberg; Matthew Hibbs; Lukas Kall; Ravikumar Komandurglayavilli; Shaun Mahony; Voichita Marinescu; Itay Mayrose; Vladimir Minin; Yossef Neeman; Guy Nimrod; Marian Novotny; Stephen Opiyo; Elon Portugaly; Tali Sadka; Noboru Sakabe; Indra Sarkar; Marc Schaub; Paul Shafer; Olena Shmygelska; Gregory Singer; Yun Song; Bhattacharya Soumyaroop; Michael Stadler; Pooja Strope; Rong Su; Yuval Tabach; Hongseok Tae; Todd Taylor; Michael Terribilini; Asha Thomas; Nam Tran; Tsai-Tien Tseng; Akshay Vashist; Parthiban Vijaya; Kai Wang; Ting Wang; Lai Wei; Yong Woo; Chunlei Wu; Yoshihiro Yamanishi; Changhui Yan; Jack Yang; Mary Yang; Ping Ye; Miao Zhang

    2009-12-29

    The Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference has provided a general forum for disseminating the latest developments in bioinformatics on an annual basis for the past 13 years. ISMB is a multidisciplinary conference that brings together scientists from computer science, molecular biology, mathematics and statistics. The goal of the ISMB meeting is to bring together biologists and computational scientists in a focus on actual biological problems, i.e., not simply theoretical calculations. The combined focus on “intelligent systems” and actual biological data makes ISMB a unique and highly important meeting, and 13 years of experience in holding the conference has resulted in a consistently well organized, well attended, and highly respected annual conference. The ISMB 2005 meeting was held June 25-29, 2005 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The meeting attracted over 1,730 attendees. The science presented was exceptional, and in the course of the five-day meeting, 56 scientific papers, 710 posters, 47 Oral Abstracts, 76 Software demonstrations, and 14 tutorials were presented. The attendees represented a broad spectrum of backgrounds with 7% from commercial companies, over 28% qualifying for student registration, and 41 countries were represented at the conference, emphasizing its important international aspect. The ISMB conference is especially important because the cultures of computer science and biology are so disparate. ISMB, as a full-scale technical conference with refereed proceedings that have been indexed by both MEDLINE and Current Contents since 1996, bridges this cultural gap.

  9. 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

  10. Time scale of diffusion in molecular and cellular biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcman, D.; Schuss, Z.

    2014-05-01

    Diffusion is the driver of critical biological processes in cellular and molecular biology. The diverse temporal scales of cellular function are determined by vastly diverse spatial scales in most biophysical processes. The latter are due, among others, to small binding sites inside or on the cell membrane or to narrow passages between large cellular compartments. The great disparity in scales is at the root of the difficulty in quantifying cell function from molecular dynamics and from simulations. The coarse-grained time scale of cellular function is determined from molecular diffusion by the mean first passage time of molecular Brownian motion to a small targets or through narrow passages. The narrow escape theory (NET) concerns this issue. The NET is ubiquitous in molecular and cellular biology and is manifested, among others, in chemical reactions, in the calculation of the effective diffusion coefficient of receptors diffusing on a neuronal cell membrane strewn with obstacles, in the quantification of the early steps of viral trafficking, in the regulation of diffusion between the mother and daughter cells during cell division, and many other cases. Brownian trajectories can represent the motion of a molecule, a protein, an ion in solution, a receptor in a cell or on its membrane, and many other biochemical processes. The small target can represent a binding site or an ionic channel, a hidden active site embedded in a complex protein structure, a receptor for a neurotransmitter on the membrane of a neuron, and so on. The mean time to attach to a receptor or activator determines diffusion fluxes that are key regulators of cell function. This review describes physical models of various subcellular microdomains, in which the NET coarse-grains the molecular scale to a higher cellular-level, thus clarifying the role of cell geometry in determining subcellular function.

  11. Supramolecular Polymerization Engineered with Molecular Recognition.

    PubMed

    Haino, Takeharu

    2015-10-01

    Supramolecular polymeric assemblies represent an emerging, promising class of molecular assemblies with enormous versatility compared with their covalent polymeric counterparts. Although a large number of host-guest motifs have been produced over the history of supramolecular chemistry, only a limited number of recognition motifs have been utilized as supramolecular connections in polymeric assemblies. This account describes the molecular recognition of host molecules based on calix[5]arene and bisporphyrin that demonstrate unique guest encapsulations; subsequently, these host-guest motifs are applied to the synthesis of supramolecular polymers that display polymer-like properties in solution and solid states. In addition, new bisresorcinarenes are developed to form supramolecular polymers that are connected via a rim-to-rim hydrogen-bonded dimeric structure, which is composed of two resorcinarene moieties. PMID:26178364

  12. New Tools and New Biology: Recent Miniaturized Systems for Molecular and Cellular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Hamon, Morgan; Hong, Jong Wook

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in applied physics and chemistry have led to the development of novel microfluidic systems. Microfluidic systems allow minute amounts of reagents to be processed using μm-scale channels and offer several advantages over conventional analytical devices for use in biological sciences: faster, more accurate and more reproducible analytical performance, reduced cell and reagent consumption, portability, and integration of functional components in a single chip. In this review, we introduce how microfluidics has been applied to biological sciences. We first present an overview of the fabrication of microfluidic systems and describe the distinct technologies available for biological research. We then present examples of microsystems used in biological sciences, focusing on applications in molecular and cellular biology. PMID:24305843

  13. BIO2010 and beyond: What undergraduate physics does the next generation of molecular biology researchers need?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Jonathon

    2004-03-01

    What fundamental skills in mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science and engineering are required at the undergraduate level to prepare the next generation of biology majors who will become research scientists? To address this question, Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, established BIO2010, a committee of the National Research Council (USA), chaired by Lubert Stryer. The report of the committee was published in 2003 as BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (National Academies Press, Washington DC, www.national-academies.com). I will summarize the recommendations of the Physics and Engineering Panel that was chaired by John Hopfield and give my own views of what physics is essential for researchers in cell and molecular biology.

  14. [Therapeutic consequences of molecular biology advances in oncology].

    PubMed

    Bauvet, F; Awada, A; Gil, T; Hendlisz, A

    2009-01-01

    This review article presents the improvements made in the field of molecular biology in oncology and their diagnostic and therapeutic consequences. As an illustration, three types of tumors for which these projections strongly modified the management will be used as a basis in this article: breast cancer, kidney cancer and colorectal cancer. Indeed, the last years, new prognostic factors (natural evolution of a specific patient's tumor) and predictive factors (prediction of the responsiveness to anticancer therapies) have emerged for these tumors. In addition, a better comprehension of the mechanisms implied in the development of cancers allowed the advent of many molecular-targeted therapies, which constitute a true revolution in oncology. PMID:19211361

  15. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering

    PubMed Central

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V.

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. PMID:27075000

  16. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    PubMed

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. PMID:27075000

  17. Cell Engineering and Molecular Pharming for Biopharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, M.A; Rahmah, Anisa ur; Sinskey, A.J; Rha, C.K

    2008-01-01

    Biopharmaceuticals are often produced by recombinant E. coli or mammalian cell lines. This is usually achieved by the introduction of a gene or cDNA coding for the protein of interest into a well-characterized strain of producer cells. Naturally, each recombinant production system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This paper examines the current practices, developments, and future trends in the production of biopharmaceuticals. Platform technologies for rapid screening and analyses of biosystems are reviewed. Strategies to improve productivity via metabolic and integrated engineering are also highlighted. PMID:19662143

  18. Current dichotomy between traditional molecular biological and omic research in cancer biology and pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Reinhold, William C

    2015-12-10

    There is currently a split within the cancer research community between traditional molecular biological hypothesis-driven and the more recent "omic" forms or research. While the molecular biological approach employs the tried and true single alteration-single response formulations of experimentation, the omic employs broad-based assay or sample collection approaches that generate large volumes of data. How to integrate the benefits of these two approaches in an efficient and productive fashion remains an outstanding issue. Ideally, one would merge the understandability, exactness, simplicity, and testability of the molecular biological approach, with the larger amounts of data, simultaneous consideration of multiple alterations, consideration of genes both of known interest along with the novel, cross-sample comparisons among cell lines and patient samples, and consideration of directed questions while simultaneously gaining exposure to the novel provided by the omic approach. While at the current time integration of the two disciplines remains problematic, attempts to do so are ongoing, and will be necessary for the understanding of the large cell line screens including the Developmental Therapeutics Program's NCI-60, the Broad Institute's Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project, as well as the the Cancer Genome Atlas clinical samples project. Going forward there is significant benefit to be had from the integration of the molecular biological and the omic forms or research, with the desired goal being improved translational understanding and application. PMID:26677427

  19. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20th century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous “glass ceilings” that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women. PMID:27607140

  20. Grete Kellenberger-Gujer: Molecular biology research pioneer.

    PubMed

    Citi, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Grete Kellenberger-Gujer was a Swiss molecular biologist who pioneered fundamental studies of bacteriophage in the mid-20(th) century at the University of Geneva. Her life and career stories are reviewed here, focusing on her fundamental contributions to our early understanding of phage biology via her insightful analyses of phenomena such as the lysogenic state of a temperate phage (λ), genetic recombination, radiation's in vivo consequences, and DNA restriction-modification; on her creative personality and interactions with peers; and how her academic advancement was affected by gender, societal conditions and cultural attitudes of the time. Her story is important scientifically, putting into perspective features of the scientific community from just before the molecular biology era started through its early years, and also sociologically, in illustrating the numerous "glass ceilings" that, especially then, often hampered the advancement of creative women. PMID:27607140

  1. StrateGene: object-oriented programming in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Carhart, R E; Cash, H D; Moore, J F

    1988-03-01

    This paper describes some of the ways that object-oriented programming methodologies have been used to represent and manipulate biological information in a working application. When running on a Xerox 1100 series computer, StrateGene functions as a genetic engineering workstation for the management of information about cloning experiments. It represents biological molecules, enzymes, fragments, and methods as classes, subclasses, and members in a hierarchy of objects. These objects may have various attributes, which themselves can be defined and classified. The attributes and their values can be passed from the classes of objects down to the subclasses and members. The user can modify the objects and their attributes while using them. New knowledge and changes to the system can be incorporated relatively easily. The operations on the biological objects are associated with the objects themselves. This makes it easier to invoke them correctly and allows generic operations to be customized for the particular object. PMID:3164229

  2. Recent advances in developing molecular tools for targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Kwang-il

    2015-01-01

    Various biological molecules naturally existing in diversified species including fungi, bacteria, and bacteriophage have functionalities for DNA binding and processing. The biological molecules have been recently actively engineered for use in customized genome editing of mammalian cells as the molecule-encoding DNA sequence information and the underlying mechanisms how the molecules work are unveiled. Excitingly, multiple novel methods based on the newly constructed artificial molecular tools have enabled modifications of specific endogenous genetic elements in the genome context at efficiencies that are much higher than that of the conventional homologous recombination based methods. This minireview introduces the most recently spotlighted molecular genome engineering tools with their key features and ongoing modifications for better performance. Such ongoing efforts have mainly focused on the removal of the inherent DNA sequence recognition rigidity from the original molecular platforms, the addition of newly tailored targeting functions into the engineered molecules, and the enhancement of their targeting specificity. Effective targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells will enable not only sophisticated genetic studies in the context of the genome, but also widely-applicable universal therapeutics based on the pinpointing and correction of the disease-causing genetic elements within the genome in the near future. PMID:25104401

  3. Gate engineered performance of single molecular transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, S. J.

    2016-05-01

    The operation, performance and electrostatics of multigated Single Molecular Transistor (SMT) devices are investigated using first-principles based density functional theory calculations for planar (pentacene) and non-planar (sucrose) molecules as islands. It has been found that the incorporation of larger numbers of gates allows enhanced electrostatic control in the SMT operation which has been quantified from the energy calculations and estimation of the gate capacitances. The effect of multiple gates is more dominant for a non-planar molecule than a planar molecule within an SMT which indicates the usefulness of such multi-gate architectures for future nanoelectronic devices.

  4. Towards an upper level ontology for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Stefan; Beisswanger, Elena; Wermter, Joachim; Hahn, Udo

    2006-01-01

    There is a growing need for the general-purpose description of the basic conceptual entities in the life sciences. Up until now, upper level models have mainly been purpose-driven, such as the GENIA ontology, originally devised as a vocabulary for corpus annotation. As an alternative,we here present BioTop, a description-logic-based top level ontology for molecular biology, which we consider as an ontologically conscious redesign of the GENIA ontology. PMID:17238430

  5. Mesoscopic Fluorescence Molecular Tomography for Evaluating Engineered Tissues.

    PubMed

    Ozturk, Mehmet S; Chen, Chao-Wei; Ji, Robin; Zhao, Lingling; Nguyen, Bao-Ngoc B; Fisher, John P; Chen, Yu; Intes, Xavier

    2016-03-01

    Optimization of regenerative medicine strategies includes the design of biomaterials, development of cell-seeding methods, and control of cell-biomaterial interactions within the engineered tissues. Among these steps, one paramount challenge is to non-destructively image the engineered tissues in their entirety to assess structure, function, and molecular expression. It is especially important to be able to enable cell phenotyping and monitor the distribution and migration of cells throughout the bulk scaffold. Advanced fluorescence microscopic techniques are commonly employed to perform such tasks; however, they are limited to superficial examination of tissue constructs. Therefore, the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine would greatly benefit from the development of molecular imaging techniques which are capable of non-destructive imaging of three-dimensional cellular distribution and maturation within a tissue-engineered scaffold beyond the limited depth of current microscopic techniques. In this review, we focus on an emerging depth-resolved optical mesoscopic imaging technique, termed laminar optical tomography (LOT) or mesoscopic fluorescence molecular tomography (MFMT), which enables longitudinal imaging of cellular distribution in thick tissue engineering constructs at depths of a few millimeters and with relatively high resolution. The physical principle, image formation, and instrumentation of LOT/MFMT systems are introduced. Representative applications in tissue engineering include imaging the distribution of human mesenchymal stem cells embedded in hydrogels, imaging of bio-printed tissues, and in vivo applications. PMID:26645079

  6. Protocols, practices, and the reproduction of technique in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael

    2002-06-01

    Protocols are one of the main organizational resources in molecular biology. They are written instructions that specify ingredients, equipment, and sequences of steps for making technical preparations. Some protocols are published in widely used manuals, while others are hand-written variants used by particular laboratories and individual technicians. It is widely understood, both in molecular biology and in social studies of science, that protocols do not describe exactly what practitioners do in the laboratory workplace. In social studies of science, the difference between protocols and the actual practices of doing them often is used to set up ironic contrasts between 'messy' laboratory practices and the appearance of technical order. Alternatively, in ethnomethodological studies of work, the difference is examined as a constitutive feature, both of the lived-work of doing technical projects, and of the administrative work of regulating and evaluating such projects. The present article takes its point of departure from ethnomethodology, and begins with a discussion of local problems with performing molecular biology protocols on specific occasions. The discussion then moves to particular cases in criminal law in which defense attorneys cross-examine forensic technicians and lab administrators. In these interrogations, the distinction between protocols and actual practices animates the dialogue and becomes consequential for judgments in the case at hand. The article concludes with a discussion of administrative science: the work of treating protocols and paper trails as proxies for actual 'scientific' practices. PMID:12171609

  7. Reverse engineering for biologically inspired cognitive architectures: a critical analysis.

    PubMed

    Schierwagen, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Research initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic try to utilize the operational principles of organisms and brains to develop biologically inspired, artificial cognitive systems. This paper describes the standard way bio-inspiration is gained, i.e. decompositional analysis or reverse engineering. The indisputable complexity of brain and mind raise the issue of whether they can be understood by applying the standard method. Using Robert Rosen's modeling relation, the scientific analysis method itself is made a subject of discussion. It is concluded that the fundamental assumption of cognitive science, i.e. complex cognitive systems are decomposable, must be abandoned. Implications for investigations of organisms and behavior as well as for engineering artificial cognitive systems are discussed. PMID:21744214

  8. Topology and static response of interaction networks in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Radulescu, Ovidiu; Lagarrigue, Sandrine; Siegel, Anne; Veber, Philippe; Le Borgne, Michel

    2006-02-22

    We introduce a mathematical framework describing static response of networks occurring in molecular biology. This formalism has many similarities with the Laplace-Kirchhoff equations for electrical networks. We introduce the concept of graph boundary and we show how the response of the biological networks to external perturbations can be related to the Dirichlet or Neumann problems for the corresponding equations on the interaction graph. Solutions to these two problems are given in terms of path moduli (measuring path rigidity with respect to the propagation of interaction along the graph). Path moduli are related to loop products in the interaction graph via generalized Mason-Coates formulae. We apply our results to two specific biological examples: the lactose operon and the genetic regulation of lipogenesis. Our applications show consistency with experimental results and in the case of lipogenesis check some hypothesis on the behaviour of hepatic fatty acids on fasting. PMID:16849230

  9. Physical and chemical mechanisms in molecular radiation biology

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, W.A.; Varma, M.N.

    1991-01-01

    Through its Radiological and Chemical Physics Program, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been a primary source of funding for research in radiation physics and radiochemistry, supporting a wide range of explorations of the link between physical, chemical and biological events. This book is a series of articles by authors working within this field, most of whom have been central to the DOE-sponsored research. The opening papers focus on radiological physics; the second section covers radiation chemistry in a discussion that extends from the initial energy transfer to the production of intermediate chemical species and DNA damage. The third section explores the link between the physical and chemical events and the production of biological effects. Finally the book closes with a series of papers on molecular radiation biology.

  10. Topology and static response of interaction networks in molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Radulescu, Ovidiu; Lagarrigue, Sandrine; Siegel, Anne; Veber, Philippe; Le Borgne, Michel

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a mathematical framework describing static response of networks occurring in molecular biology. This formalism has many similarities with the Laplace–Kirchhoff equations for electrical networks. We introduce the concept of graph boundary and we show how the response of the biological networks to external perturbations can be related to the Dirichlet or Neumann problems for the corresponding equations on the interaction graph. Solutions to these two problems are given in terms of path moduli (measuring path rigidity with respect to the propagation of interaction along the graph). Path moduli are related to loop products in the interaction graph via generalized Mason–Coates formulae. We apply our results to two specific biological examples: the lactose operon and the genetic regulation of lipogenesis. Our applications show consistency with experimental results and in the case of lipogenesis check some hypothesis on the behaviour of hepatic fatty acids on fasting. PMID:16849230

  11. Clinical Applications of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Speers, David J

    2006-01-01

    Molecular biological methods for the detection and characterisation of microorganisms have revolutionised diagnostic microbiology and are now part of routine specimen processing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques have led the way into this new era by allowing rapid detection of microorganisms that were previously difficult or impossible to detect by traditional microbiological methods. In addition to detection of fastidious microorganisms, more rapid detection by molecular methods is now possible for pathogens of public health importance. Molecular methods have now progressed beyond identification to detect antimicrobial resistance genes and provide public health information such as strain characterisation by genotyping. Treatment of certain microorganisms has been improved by viral resistance detection and viral load testing for the monitoring of responses to antiviral therapies. With the advent of multiplex PCR, real-time PCR and improvements in efficiency through automation, the costs of molecular methods are decreasing such that the role of molecular methods will further increase. This review will focus on the clinical utility of molecular methods performed in the clinical microbiology laboratory, illustrated with the many examples of how they have changed laboratory diagnosis and therefore the management of infectious diseases. PMID:16886046

  12. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

    LaRoche, J.; Falkowski, P.G. ); Geider, R. . Coll. of Marine Studies)

    1992-01-01

    Remote sensing and the use of moored in situ instrumentation has greatly improved our ability to measure phytoplankton chlorophyll and photosynthesis on global scales with high temporal resolution. However, the interpretation of these measurements and their significance with respect to the biogeochemical cycling of carbon relies on their relationship with physiological and biochemical processes in phytoplankton. For example, the use of satellite images of surface chlorophyll to estimate primary production is often based on the functional relationship between photosynthesis and irradiance. A variety of environmental factors such as light, temperature, nutrient availability affect the photosynthesis/irradiance (P vs I) relationship in phytoplankton. We present three examples showing how molecular biology can be used to provide basic insight into the factors controlling primary productivity at three different levels of complexity: 1. Studies of light intensity regulation in unicellular alga show how molecular biology can help understand the processing of environmental cues leading to the regulation of photosynthetic gene expression. 2. Probing of the photosynthetic apparatus using molecular techniques can be used to test existing mechanistic models derived from the interpretation of physiological and biophysical measurements. 3. Exploratory work on the expression of specific proteins during nutrient-limited growth of phytoplankton may lead to the identification and production of molecular probes for field studies.

  13. Molecular biology in studies of oceanic primary production

    SciTech Connect

    LaRoche, J.; Falkowski, P.G.; Geider, R.

    1992-07-01

    Remote sensing and the use of moored in situ instrumentation has greatly improved our ability to measure phytoplankton chlorophyll and photosynthesis on global scales with high temporal resolution. However, the interpretation of these measurements and their significance with respect to the biogeochemical cycling of carbon relies on their relationship with physiological and biochemical processes in phytoplankton. For example, the use of satellite images of surface chlorophyll to estimate primary production is often based on the functional relationship between photosynthesis and irradiance. A variety of environmental factors such as light, temperature, nutrient availability affect the photosynthesis/irradiance (P vs I) relationship in phytoplankton. We present three examples showing how molecular biology can be used to provide basic insight into the factors controlling primary productivity at three different levels of complexity: 1. Studies of light intensity regulation in unicellular alga show how molecular biology can help understand the processing of environmental cues leading to the regulation of photosynthetic gene expression. 2. Probing of the photosynthetic apparatus using molecular techniques can be used to test existing mechanistic models derived from the interpretation of physiological and biophysical measurements. 3. Exploratory work on the expression of specific proteins during nutrient-limited growth of phytoplankton may lead to the identification and production of molecular probes for field studies.

  14. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories.

    PubMed

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories. PMID:27226765

  15. Molecular biology of the skin introduction: approaches and principles.

    PubMed

    Slater, C; Goldsmith, L A

    1993-09-01

    This issue of Seminars in Dermatology describes our current understanding of the molecular nature of skin diseases. Some would say it is hubris to even contemplate this charge considering the rapid progress in molecular genetics. We implore the gods protecting the nucleotides to look kindly on our efforts. This introductory article discussed some general methodological considerations and techniques and provides a glossary of common terms used in molecular biology, useful for understanding this issue of Seminars in Dermatology. This article is aimed at neophytes to enhance their ability to enter the magical realm of the gene. The articles in this issue describe diseases with a defined defect at the DNA level or diseases in which there is a rapid closing in on the basic defect. PMID:8217556

  16. Genomic Signal Processing: Predicting Basic Molecular Biological Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alter, Orly

    2005-03-01

    Advances in high-throughput technologies enable acquisition of different types of molecular biological data, monitoring the flow of biological information as DNA is transcribed to RNA, and RNA is translated to proteins, on a genomic scale. Future discovery in biology and medicine will come from the mathematical modeling of these data, which hold the key to fundamental understanding of life on the molecular level, as well as answers to questions regarding diagnosis, treatment and drug development. Recently we described data-driven models for genome-scale molecular biological data, which use singular value decomposition (SVD) and the comparative generalized SVD (GSVD). Now we describe an integrative data-driven model, which uses pseudoinverse projection (1). We also demonstrate the predictive power of these matrix algebra models (2). The integrative pseudoinverse projection model formulates any number of genome-scale molecular biological data sets in terms of one chosen set of data samples, or of profiles extracted mathematically from data samples, designated the ``basis'' set. The mathematical variables of this integrative model, the pseudoinverse correlation patterns that are uncovered in the data, represent independent processes and corresponding cellular states (such as observed genome-wide effects of known regulators or transcription factors, the biological components of the cellular machinery that generate the genomic signals, and measured samples in which these regulators or transcription factors are over- or underactive). Reconstruction of the data in the basis simulates experimental observation of only the cellular states manifest in the data that correspond to those of the basis. Classification of the data samples according to their reconstruction in the basis, rather than their overall measured profiles, maps the cellular states of the data onto those of the basis, and gives a global picture of the correlations and possibly also causal coordination of

  17. Biological Responses to Engineered Nanomaterials: Needs for the Next Decade.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Catherine J; Vartanian, Ariane M; Geiger, Franz M; Hamers, Robert J; Pedersen, Joel; Cui, Qiang; Haynes, Christy L; Carlson, Erin E; Hernandez, Rigoberto; Klaper, Rebecca D; Orr, Galya; Rosenzweig, Ze'ev

    2015-06-24

    The interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space. PMID:27162961

  18. Biological responses to engineered nanomaterials: Needs for the next decade

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Murphy, Catherine J.; Vartanian, Ariane M.; Geiger, Franz M.; Hamers, Robert J.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Cui, Qiang; Haynes, Christy L.; Carlson, Erin E.; Hernandez, Rigoberto; Klaper, Rebecca D.; et al

    2015-06-09

    In this study, the interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterialmore » effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space.« less

  19. Biological responses to engineered nanomaterials: Needs for the next decade

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, Catherine J.; Vartanian, Ariane M.; Geiger, Franz M.; Hamers, Robert J.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Cui, Qiang; Haynes, Christy L.; Carlson, Erin E.; Hernandez, Rigoberto; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Orr, Galya; Rosenzweig, Ze'ev

    2015-06-09

    In this study, the interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space.

  20. Biological Responses to Engineered Nanomaterials: Needs for the Next Decade

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial–biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space. PMID:27162961

  1. Zsyntax: A Formal Language for Molecular Biology with Projected Applications in Text Mining and Biological Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Boniolo, Giovanni; D'Agostino, Marcello; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo

    2010-01-01

    We propose a formal language that allows for transposing biological information precisely and rigorously into machine-readable information. This language, which we call Zsyntax (where Z stands for the Greek word ζωή, life), is grounded on a particular type of non-classical logic, and it can be used to write algorithms and computer programs. We present it as a first step towards a comprehensive formal language for molecular biology in which any biological process can be written and analyzed as a sort of logical “deduction”. Moreover, we illustrate the potential value of this language, both in the field of text mining and in that of biological prediction. PMID:20209084

  2. Substrate-assisted catalysis: molecular basis and biological significance.

    PubMed Central

    Dall'Acqua, W.; Carter, P.

    2000-01-01

    Substrate-assisted catalysis (SAC) is the process by which a functional group in a substrate contributes to catalysis by an enzyme. SAC has been demonstrated for representatives of three major enzyme classes: serine proteases, GTPases, and type II restriction endonucleases, as well as lysozyme and hexose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase. Moreover, structure-based predictions of SAC have been made for many additional enzymes. Examples of SAC include both naturally occurring enzymes such as type II restriction endonucleases as well as engineered enzymes including serine proteases. In the latter case, a functional group from a substrate can substitute for a catalytic residue replaced by site-directed mutagenesis. From a protein engineering perspective, SAC provides a strategy for drastically changing enzyme substrate specificity or even the reaction catalyzed. From a biological viewpoint, SAC contributes significantly to the activity of some enzymes and may represent a functional intermediate in the evolution of catalysis. This review focuses on advances in engineering enzyme specificity and activity by SAC, together with the biological significance of this phenomenon. PMID:10739241

  3. Engineering Molecular Transformations for Sustainable Energy Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Neurock, Matthew

    2010-12-03

    Future strategies for sustainable energy production will undoubtedly require processes and materials that can efficiently convert renewable resources into fuels. Nature’s enzymes can exquisitely integrate highly active catalytic centers within flexible environments that can adaptively guide reactants to products with very high activities and selectivities. They are limited, however, by their stability and ability to integrate into large scale production processes. The design of more robust heterogeneous catalytic materials that mimic the performance of enzymes, however, has been hindered by our limited understanding of how such transformations proceed. The tremendous advances in ab initio quantum mechanical methods, atomistic simulations, and high performance computing that have occurred over the past two decades, however, provide unprecedented ability to track molecular transformations and how they proceed at specific sites and within particular environments. This information together with the advances in in situ spectroscopic methods that follow such transformations can begin to enable the design of atomic surface ensembles and nanoscale reaction environments. This paper provides the author’s perspective on how theory and simulation can be used to move from current onedimensional design efforts based on catalytic descriptors to the design of two-dimensional surfaces, threedimensional reaction environments, and proton-coupled electron transfer systems that mimic enzymes in the transformation of molecules.

  4. Gene gymnastics: Synthetic biology for baculovirus expression vector system engineering.

    PubMed

    Vijayachandran, Lakshmi S; Thimiri Govinda Raj, Deepak B; Edelweiss, Evelina; Gupta, Kapil; Maier, Josef; Gordeliy, Valentin; Fitzgerald, Daniel J; Berger, Imre

    2013-01-01

    Most essential activities in eukaryotic cells are catalyzed by large multiprotein assemblies containing up to ten or more interlocking subunits. The vast majority of these protein complexes are not easily accessible for high resolution studies aimed at unlocking their mechanisms, due to their low cellular abundance and high heterogeneity. Recombinant overproduction can resolve this bottleneck and baculovirus expression vector systems (BEVS) have emerged as particularly powerful tools for the provision of eukaryotic multiprotein complexes in high quality and quantity. Recently, synthetic biology approaches have begun to make their mark in improving existing BEVS reagents by de novo design of streamlined transfer plasmids and by engineering the baculovirus genome. Here we present OmniBac, comprising new custom designed reagents that further facilitate the integration of heterologous genes into the baculovirus genome for multiprotein expression. Based on comparative genome analysis and data mining, we herein present a blueprint to custom design and engineer the entire baculovirus genome for optimized production properties using a bottom-up synthetic biology approach. PMID:23328086

  5. Fully Automated Molecular Biology Routines on a Plasmid-Based Functional Proteomic Workcell: Evaluation and Characterization of Yeast Strains Optimized for Growth on Xylose and Engineered to Express an Insecticidal Peptide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Optimization of genes important to production of fuel ethanol from hemicellulosic biomass for use in engineering improved commercial yeast strains is necessary to meet the United States' rapidly expanding need for ethanol. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nati...

  6. Support of the IMA summer program molecular biology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, A.

    1995-08-01

    The revolutionary progress in molecular biology within the last 30 years opens the way to full understanding of the molecular structures and mechanisms of living organisms. The mathematical sciences accompany and support much of the progress achieved by experiment and computation, as well as provide insight into geometric and topological properties of biomolecular structure and processes. The 4 week program at the IMA brought together biologists and mathematicians leading researchers, postdocs, and graduate students. It focused on genetic mapping and DNA sequencing, followed by biomolecular structure and dynamics. High-resolution linkage maps of genetic marker were discussed extensively in relation to the human genome project. The next level of DNA mapping is physical mapping, consisting of overlapping clones spanning the genome. These maps are extremely useful for genetic analysis. They provide the material for less redundant sequencing and for detailed searches for a gene among other things. This topic was also extensively studied by the participants. From there, the program moved to consider protein structure and dynamics; this is a broad field with a large array of interesting topics. It is of key importance in answering basic scientific questions about the nature of all living organisms, and has practical biomedical applications. The major subareas of structure prediction and classification, techniques and heuristics for the simulation of protein folding, and molecular dynamics provide a rich problem domain where mathematics can be helpful in analysis, modeling, and simulation. One of the important problems in molecular biology is the three-dimensional structure of proteins, DNA and RNA in the cell, and the relationship between structure and function. The program helped increased the understanding of the topology of cellular DNA, RNA and proteins and the various life-sustaining mechanisms used by the cell which modify this molecular topology.

  7. PGASO: A synthetic biology tool for engineering a cellulolytic yeast

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background To achieve an economical cellulosic ethanol production, a host that can do both cellulosic saccharification and ethanol fermentation is desirable. However, to engineer a non-cellulolytic yeast to be such a host requires synthetic biology techniques to transform multiple enzyme genes into its genome. Results A technique, named Promoter-based Gene Assembly and Simultaneous Overexpression (PGASO), that employs overlapping oligonucleotides for recombinatorial assembly of gene cassettes with individual promoters, was developed. PGASO was applied to engineer Kluyveromycesmarxianus KY3, which is a thermo- and toxin-tolerant yeast. We obtained a recombinant strain, called KR5, that is capable of simultaneously expressing exoglucanase and endoglucanase (both of Trichodermareesei), a beta-glucosidase (from a cow rumen fungus), a neomycin phosphotransferase, and a green fluorescent protein. High transformation efficiency and accuracy were achieved as ~63% of the transformants was confirmed to be correct. KR5 can utilize beta-glycan, cellobiose or CMC as the sole carbon source for growth and can directly convert cellobiose and beta-glycan to ethanol. Conclusions This study provides the first example of multi-gene assembly in a single step in a yeast species other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We successfully engineered a yeast host with a five-gene cassette assembly and the new host is capable of co-expressing three types of cellulase genes. Our study shows that PGASO is an efficient tool for simultaneous expression of multiple enzymes in the kefir yeast KY3 and that KY3 can serve as a host for developing synthetic biology tools. PMID:22839502

  8. The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.

    PubMed

    Boudry, Maarten; Pigliucci, Massimo

    2013-12-01

    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the "blueprint" of an organism, organisms are "reverse engineered" to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the analogy with human-made machines falters when we move down to the level of molecular biology and genetics. Living organisms are far more messy and less transparent than human-made machines. Notoriously, evolution is an opportunistic tinkerer, blindly stumbling on "designs" that no sensible engineer would come up with. Despite impressive technological innovation, the prospect of artificially designing new life forms from scratch has proven more difficult than the superficial analogy with "programming" the right "software" would suggest. The idea of applying straightforward engineering approaches to living systems and their genomes-isolating functional components, designing new parts from scratch, recombining and assembling them into novel life forms-pushes the analogy with human artifacts beyond its limits. In the absence of a one-to-one correspondence between genotype and phenotype, there is no straightforward way to implement novel biological functions and design new life forms. Both the developmental complexity of gene expression and the multifarious interactions of genes and environments are serious obstacles for "engineering" a particular phenotype. The problem of reverse-engineering a desired phenotype to its genetic "instructions" is probably intractable for any but the most simple phenotypes. Recent developments in the field of bio-engineering and synthetic biology reflect these

  9. Towards molecular computers that operate in a biological environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahan, Maya; Gil, Binyamin; Adar, Rivka; Shapiro, Ehud

    2008-07-01

    important consequences when performed in a proper context. We envision that molecular computers that operate in a biological environment can be the basis of “smart drugs”, which are potent drugs that activate only if certain environmental conditions hold. These conditions could include abnormalities in the molecular composition of the biological environment that are indicative of a particular disease. Here we review the research direction that set this vision and attempts to realize it.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Proteomics, an interface of rapidly evolving advances in physics and biology, is rapidly developing and expanding its potential applications to molecular and cellular biology. Application of proteomics tools has contributed towards identification of relevant protein biomarkers that can potentially change the strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of several diseases. The emergence of powerful mass spectrometry-based proteomics technique has added a new dimension to the field of medical research in liver, heart diseases and certain forms of cancer. Most proteomics tools are also being used to study physiological and pathological events related to reproductive biology. There have been attempts to generate the proteomes of testes, sperm, seminal fluid, epididymis, oocyte, and endometrium from reproductive disease patients. Here, we have reviewed proteomics based investigations in humans over the last decade, which focus on delineating the mechanism underlying various reproductive events such as spermatogenesis, oogenesis, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, embryo development. The challenge is to harness new technologies like 2-DE, DIGE, MALDI-MS, SELDI-MS, MUDPIT, LC-MS etc., to a greater extent to develop widely applicable clinical tools in understanding molecular aspects of reproduction both in health and disease. PMID:23072795

  11. MYC Cofactors: Molecular Switches Controlling Diverse Biological Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Hann, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor MYC has fundamental roles in proliferation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and stem cell pluripotency. Over the last 30 years extensive information has been gathered on the numerous cofactors that interact with MYC and the target genes that are regulated by MYC as a means of understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling its diverse roles. Despite significant advances and perhaps because the amount of information learned about MYC is overwhelming, there has been little consensus on the molecular functions of MYC that mediate its critical biological roles. In this perspective, the major MYC cofactors that regulate the various transcriptional activities of MYC, including canonical and noncanonical transactivation and transcriptional repression, will be reviewed and a model of how these transcriptional mechanisms control MYC-mediated proliferation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis will be presented. The basis of the model is that a variety of cofactors form dynamic MYC transcriptional complexes that can switch the molecular and biological functions of MYC to yield a diverse range of outcomes in a cell-type- and context-dependent fashion. PMID:24939054

  12. Synthetic toxicology: where engineering meets biology and toxicology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Markus; Pei, Lei

    2011-03-01

    This article examines the implications of synthetic biology (SB) for toxicological sciences. Starting with a working definition of SB, we describe its current subfields, namely, DNA synthesis, the engineering of DNA-based biological circuits, minimal genome research, attempts to construct protocells and synthetic cells, and efforts to diversify the biochemistry of life through xenobiology. Based on the most important techniques, tools, and expected applications in SB, we describe the ramifications of SB for toxicology under the label of synthetic toxicology. We differentiate between cases where SB offers opportunities for toxicology and where SB poses challenges for toxicology. Among the opportunities, we identified the assistance of SB to construct novel toxicity testing platforms, define new toxicity-pathway assays, explore the potential of SB to improve in vivo biotransformation of toxins, present novel biosensors developed by SB for environmental toxicology, discuss cell-free protein synthesis of toxins, reflect on the contribution to toxic use reduction, and the democratization of toxicology through do-it-yourself biology. Among the identified challenges for toxicology, we identify synthetic toxins and novel xenobiotics, biosecurity and dual-use considerations, the potential bridging of toxic substances and infectious agents, and do-it-yourself toxin production. PMID:21068213

  13. Applications of molecular self-assembly in tissue engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Daniel Anton

    This thesis studied the application of three self-assembling molecular systems, as potential biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Cholesteryl-(L-lactic acid)n molecules form thermotropic liquid crystals, which could be coated onto the inner and outer pores of biodegradable PLLA scaffolds, while retaining the lamellar order of the neat material. Primary bovine chondrocytes were cultured on these structures, demonstrating improved attachment and extended retention of phenotype on the C-LA-coated scaffolds. No difference in fibronectin adsorption to C-LA and PLLA surfaces was observed, suggesting a strong role for cholesterol in influencing cell phenotype. A family of peptide-amphiphiles, bearing the "RGD" adhesion sequence from fibronectin, was also assessed in the contexts of cartilage and bladder repair. These molecules self-assemble into one-dimensional fibers, with diameters of 6--8 nm, and lengths of 500 nm or greater. Chondrocytes were seeded and cultured on covalently-crosslinked PA gels and embedded within calcium-triggered PA gels. Cells became dormant over time, but remained viable, suggesting an inappropriate display of the adhesion sequence to cells. A family of "branched" PA molecules with lysine dendron headgroups was designed, in an effort to increase the spatial separation between molecules in the assembled state, and to theoretically improve epitope accessibility. These molecules coated reliably onto PGA fiber scaffolds, and dramatically increased the attachment of human bladder smooth muscle cells, possibly through better epitope display or electrostatic attraction. They also formed strong gels with several negatively-charged biologically-relevant macromolecules. In a third system, amphiphilic segmented dendrimers based on phenylene vinylene and L-lysine entered cells through an endocytic pathway with no discernible toxic effect on cell proliferation or morphology. These amphiphiles formed complex aggregates in aqueous solution, likely

  14. Experiential Engineering through iGEM--An Undergraduate Summer Competition in Synthetic Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.

    2011-01-01

    Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009,…

  15. Future of Chemical Engineering: Integrating Biology into the Undergraduate ChE Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mosto, Patricia; Savelski, Mariano; Farrell, Stephanie H.; Hecht, Gregory B.

    2007-01-01

    Integrating biology in the chemical engineering curriculum seems to be the future for chemical engineering programs nation and worldwide. Rowan University's efforts to address this need include a unique chemical engineering curriculum with an intensive biology component integrated throughout from freshman to senior years. Freshman and Sophomore…

  16. Beyond nature and culture: a note on medicine in the age of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Rheinberger, H J

    1995-01-01

    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first, I examine the relations among molecular biology, gene technology, and medicine, as well as some aspects of the consequences of these relations with respect to the human genome project. I argue that the prevailing momentum of early molecular biology resided in creating the technical means for an extracellular representation of intracellular configurations. As such, its medical impact was rather limited. With the advent of recombinant DNA technologies, a radical change of perspective ensued. The momentum of gene technology is based on the prospects of an intracellular representation of extracellular projects--the "rewriting" of life. Its medical impact is potentially unlimited. In the second part, I question the very opposition between nature and culture that implicitly underlies the notion of medicine as a "cultural system." I argue that both on a macroscopic level (global ecological changes) and on a microscopic level (genetic engineering), the "natural" and the "social" are no longer to be seen as ontologically different. In its uncanny oscillation between retrospection and foresight, between description and proclamation, and between assertion and hesitatiion, this essay translates an uneasiness that I have not been able to overcome while writing it. The essay conveys the tangled views of a hybrid author who himself cannot but oscillate between the perspectives of an actor in the field of molecular biology, a participant in the field of science studies, and a citizen. PMID:11639657

  17. Molecular mechanisms of biological aging in intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Vo, Nam V; Hartman, Robert A; Patil, Prashanti R; Risbud, Makarand V; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C; Hoyland, Judith A; Le Maitre, Christine L; Sowa, Gwendolyn A; Kang, James D

    2016-08-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:1289-1306, 2016. PMID:26890203

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam V.; Hartman, Robert A.; Patil, Prashanti R.; Risbud, Makarand V.; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C.; Hoyland, Judith A.; Le Maitre, Christine L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Kang, James D.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. PMID:26890203

  19. Biodiversity: molecular biological domains, symbiosis and kingdom origins.

    PubMed

    Margulis, L

    1992-01-01

    The number of extant species of organisms is estimated to be from fewer than 3 to more than 30 x 10(6) (May, 1992). Molecular biology, comparative genetics and ultrastructural analyses provide new insights into evolutionary relationships between these species, including increasingly precise ideas of how species and higher taxa have evolved from common ancestors. Accumulation of random mutations and large macromolecular sequence change in all organisms since the Proterozoic Eon has been importantly supplemented by acquisition of inherited genomes ('symbiogenesis'). Karyotypic alterations (polyploidization and karyotypic fissioning) have been added to these other mechanisms of species origin in plants and animals during the Phanerozoic Eon. The new evolution concepts (coupled with current rapid rates of species extinction and ignorance of the extent of biodiversity) prompted this analysis of the field of systematic biology and its role in the reorganization of extant species into higher taxa. Two superkingdoms (= Domains: Prokaryotae and Eukaryotae) and five kingdoms (Monera = Procaryotae or Bacteria; Protoctista: algae, amoebae, ciliates, foraminifera, oomycetes, slime molds, etc.; Mychota: 'true' fungi; Plantae: one phylum (division) of bryophytes and nine phyla of tracheophytes; and Animalia) are recognized. Two subkingdoms comprise the monera: the great diverse lineages are Archaebacteria and Eubacteria. The criteria for classification using molecular, ultrastructural and genetic data for this scheme are mentioned. For the first time since the nineteenth century, logical, technical definitions for each group are given with their time of appearance as inferred from the fossil record in the primary scientific literature. This classification scheme, which most closely reflects the evolutionary history, molecular biology, genetics and ultrastructure of extant life, requires changes in social organization of biologists, many of whom as botanists and zoologists, still

  20. Biodiversity: molecular biological domains, symbiosis and kingdom origins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.

    1992-01-01

    The number of extant species of organisms is estimated to be from fewer than 3 to more than 30 x 10(6) (May, 1992). Molecular biology, comparative genetics and ultrastructural analyses provide new insights into evolutionary relationships between these species, including increasingly precise ideas of how species and higher taxa have evolved from common ancestors. Accumulation of random mutations and large macromolecular sequence change in all organisms since the Proterozoic Eon has been importantly supplemented by acquisition of inherited genomes ('symbiogenesis'). Karyotypic alterations (polyploidization and karyotypic fissioning) have been added to these other mechanisms of species origin in plants and animals during the Phanerozoic Eon. The new evolution concepts (coupled with current rapid rates of species extinction and ignorance of the extent of biodiversity) prompted this analysis of the field of systematic biology and its role in the reorganization of extant species into higher taxa. Two superkingdoms (= Domains: Prokaryotae and Eukaryotae) and five kingdoms (Monera = Procaryotae or Bacteria; Protoctista: algae, amoebae, ciliates, foraminifera, oomycetes, slime molds, etc.; Mychota: 'true' fungi; Plantae: one phylum (division) of bryophytes and nine phyla of tracheophytes; and Animalia) are recognized. Two subkingdoms comprise the monera: the great diverse lineages are Archaebacteria and Eubacteria. The criteria for classification using molecular, ultrastructural and genetic data for this scheme are mentioned. For the first time since the nineteenth century, logical, technical definitions for each group are given with their time of appearance as inferred from the fossil record in the primary scientific literature. This classification scheme, which most closely reflects the evolutionary history, molecular biology, genetics and ultrastructure of extant life, requires changes in social organization of biologists, many of whom as botanists and zoologists, still

  1. Deep-UV biological imaging by lanthanide ion molecular protection

    PubMed Central

    Kumamoto, Yasuaki; Fujita, Katsumasa; Smith, Nicholas Isaac; Kawata, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Deep-UV (DUV) light is a sensitive probe for biological molecules such as nucleobases and aromatic amino acids due to specific absorption. However, the use of DUV light for imaging is limited because DUV can destroy or denature target molecules in a sample. Here we show that trivalent ions in the lanthanide group can suppress molecular photodegradation under DUV exposure, enabling a high signal-to-noise ratio and repetitive DUV imaging of nucleobases in cells. Underlying mechanisms of the photodegradation suppression can be excitation relaxation of the DUV-absorptive molecules due to energy transfer to the lanthanide ions, and/or avoiding ionization and reactions with surrounding molecules, including generation of reactive oxygen species, which can modify molecules that are otherwise transparent to DUV light. This approach, directly removing excited energy at the fundamental origin of cellular photodegradation, indicates an important first step towards the practical use of DUV imaging in a variety of biological applications. PMID:26819825

  2. Deep-UV biological imaging by lanthanide ion molecular protection.

    PubMed

    Kumamoto, Yasuaki; Fujita, Katsumasa; Smith, Nicholas Isaac; Kawata, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Deep-UV (DUV) light is a sensitive probe for biological molecules such as nucleobases and aromatic amino acids due to specific absorption. However, the use of DUV light for imaging is limited because DUV can destroy or denature target molecules in a sample. Here we show that trivalent ions in the lanthanide group can suppress molecular photodegradation under DUV exposure, enabling a high signal-to-noise ratio and repetitive DUV imaging of nucleobases in cells. Underlying mechanisms of the photodegradation suppression can be excitation relaxation of the DUV-absorptive molecules due to energy transfer to the lanthanide ions, and/or avoiding ionization and reactions with surrounding molecules, including generation of reactive oxygen species, which can modify molecules that are otherwise transparent to DUV light. This approach, directly removing excited energy at the fundamental origin of cellular photodegradation, indicates an important first step towards the practical use of DUV imaging in a variety of biological applications. PMID:26819825

  3. Diagnosis of Whipple's disease using molecular biology techniques.

    PubMed

    Cosme, Ángel; Ojeda, Evelia; Muñagorri, Ana I; Gaminde, Eduardo; Bujanda, Luis; Larzabal, Mikel; Gil, Inés

    2011-04-01

    The diagnosis of Whipple's disease (WD) is based on the existence of clinical signs and symptoms compatible with the disease and in the presence of PAS-positive diastase-resistant granules in the macrophages of the small intestine. If there is suspicion of the disease but no histological findings or only isolated extraintestinal manifestations, species-specific PCR using different sequences of the T. whippleii genome from different tissue types and biological fluids is recommended.This study reports two cases: the first patient had diarrhea and the disease was suspected after an endoscopic examination of the ileum, while the second patient had multi-systemic manifestations,particularly abdominal, thoracic, and peripheral lymphadenopathies. In both cases, the diagnosis was confirmed using molecular biology techniques to samples from the small intestine or from a retroperineal lymph node, respectively. PMID:21526877

  4. Molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, J

    1995-09-01

    Assuming that homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo effects, its biological explanation in favour of the hypothesis of the hydrate-structure formation is presented. Since cell-surface proteins are likely to be activated by the hydration-shell structure of molecules in some cases, the interaction between cell-surface proteins and the putative clathrate-like hydrate microcrystals formed during the homoeopathic dilution process is suggested as a primary molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines. This paper examines the probable protein-microcrystal interaction, forcusing on the cases in which silicon dioxide (silica) microcrystals cause inflammation and in which hydrate microcrystals may be formed during general anesthesia. PMID:8569554

  5. Research Applications of Proteolytic Enzymes in Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Mótyán, János András; Tóth, Ferenc; Tőzsér, József

    2013-01-01

    Proteolytic enzymes (also termed peptidases, proteases and proteinases) are capable of hydrolyzing peptide bonds in proteins. They can be found in all living organisms, from viruses to animals and humans. Proteolytic enzymes have great medical and pharmaceutical importance due to their key role in biological processes and in the life-cycle of many pathogens. Proteases are extensively applied enzymes in several sectors of industry and biotechnology, furthermore, numerous research applications require their use, including production of Klenow fragments, peptide synthesis, digestion of unwanted proteins during nucleic acid purification, cell culturing and tissue dissociation, preparation of recombinant antibody fragments for research, diagnostics and therapy, exploration of the structure-function relationships by structural studies, removal of affinity tags from fusion proteins in recombinant protein techniques, peptide sequencing and proteolytic digestion of proteins in proteomics. The aim of this paper is to review the molecular biological aspects of proteolytic enzymes and summarize their applications in the life sciences. PMID:24970197

  6. Application of machine learning to structural molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, M J; King, R D; Lewis, R A; Muggleton, S

    1994-06-29

    A technique of machine learning, inductive logic programming implemented in the program GOLEM, has been applied to three problems in structural molecular biology. These problems are: the prediction of protein secondary structure; the identification of rules governing the arrangement of beta-sheets strands in the tertiary folding of proteins; and the modelling of a quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) of a series of drugs. For secondary structure prediction and the QSAR, GOLEM yielded predictions comparable with contemporary approaches including neural networks. Rules for beta-strand arrangement are derived and it is planned to contrast their accuracy with those obtained by human inspection. In all three studies GOLEM discovered rules that provided insight into the stereochemistry of the system. We conclude machine learning used together with human intervention will provide a powerful tool to discover patterns in biological sequences and structures. PMID:7800706

  7. Molecular eyes: proteins that transform light into biological information

    PubMed Central

    Kennis, John T. M.; Mathes, Tilo

    2013-01-01

    Most biological photoreceptors are protein/cofactor complexes that induce a physiological reaction upon absorption of a photon. Therefore, these proteins represent signal converters that translate light into biological information. Researchers use this property to stimulate and study various biochemical processes conveniently and non-invasively by the application of light, an approach known as optogenetics. Here, we summarize the recent experimental progress on the family of blue light receptors using FAD (BLUF) receptors. Several BLUF photoreceptors modulate second messenger levels and thus represent highly interesting tools for optogenetic application. In order to activate a coupled effector protein, the flavin-binding pocket of the BLUF domain undergoes a subtle rearrangement of the hydrogen network upon blue light absorption. The hydrogen bond switch is facilitated by the ultrafast light-induced proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) between a tyrosine and the flavin in less than a nanosecond and remains stable on a long enough timescale for biochemical reactions to take place. The cyclic nature of the photoinduced reaction makes BLUF domains powerful model systems to study protein/cofactor interaction, protein-modulated PCET and novel mechanisms of biological signalling. The ultrafast nature of the photoconversion as well as the subtle structural rearrangement requires sophisticated spectroscopic and molecular biological methods to study and understand this highly intriguing signalling process. PMID:24511384

  8. Medical and molecular biological application in the FELI

    SciTech Connect

    Nishimura, E.; Ogino, S.; Suzuki, T.

    1995-12-31

    Some of the user`s rooms of the FELI have been equipped for medical and molecular biological research. Main subjects are immunological reaction and cell fusion induced by IR FEL. We are beginning to do the preliminary irradiation experiments. The cultured T lymphocytes (Molt-4, human) are irradiated to FEL at wavelength 6.3{mu}m with the power density approximate 500mW/mm{sup 2} for 10 minutes, in the culture media (RPMI-1640) including 10% fetal bovine serum. Swelling and consequent collapse of the cells can be observed, probably due to abrasion of the cell membranes.

  9. Dictionary of microbiology and molecular biology. 2nd ed

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, P.; Sainsbury, D.

    1988-01-01

    A newly revised edition of the standard reference for microbiology and molecular biology. Includes a multitude of new terms and designations which, although widely used in the literature, are seldom defined outside the book or paper in which they first appeared. Also accounts for the changes in the meanings of older terms brought about by advances in knowledge. Definition of all terms reflects their actual usage in current journals and texts, and also given (where appropriate) are former meanings, alternative meanings, and synonyms. Includes terms from such fields as mycology, protozoology, virology, etc.

  10. How restriction enzymes became the workhorses of molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Richard J.

    2005-01-01

    Restriction enzymes have proved to be invaluable for the physical mapping of DNA. They offer unparalleled opportunities for diagnosing DNA sequence content and are used in fields as disparate as criminal forensics and basic research. In fact, without restriction enzymes, the biotechnology industry would certainly not have flourished as it has. The first experiments demonstrating the utility of restriction enzymes were carried out by Danna and Nathans and reported in 1971. This pioneering study set the stage for the modern practice of molecular biology in which restriction enzymes are ubiquitous tools, although they are often taken for granted. PMID:15840723

  11. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lapedes, A. |

    1993-09-01

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

  12. Molecular Biology of Pediatric Hydrocephalus and Hydrocephalus-related Diseases.

    PubMed

    Yamasaki, Mami; Kanemura, Yonehiro

    2015-01-01

    We are beginning to understand the molecular biology of hydrocephalus and its related diseases. X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH), holoprosencephaly (HPE), Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM), and neural tube defect (NTD) can all be discussed with respect to their available molecular genetics knowledge base and its clinical applications. XLH is single gene disorder caused by mutations in the neural cell adhesion molecule-encoding L1CAM (L1) gene. Our knowledge of the molecular basis of XLH is already being applied clinically in disease diagnosis, disease classification, and prenatal diagnosis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying XLH-related hydrocephalus still needs to be clarified. Sixteen causative genes for HPE have been identified, of which mutations are most often found in SHH, ZIC2, SIX3, and TGIF. Genetic interactions, gene complexity, and the wide variety of HPE phenotypes and genotypes are topics for future study. For DWM, two important loci, 3q24, which includes the FOXC1 gene, and 6q25.3, which includes the ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes, were recently identified as causative areas. The planar cell polarity (PCP) genes CELSR1, CELSR2, VANGL1, and VANGL2 have been implicated in NTD; these genes have roles in neural tube closure and ependymal ciliary movement. PMID:26227058

  13. Molecular Biology of Pediatric Hydrocephalus and Hydrocephalus-related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    YAMASAKI, Mami; KANEMURA, Yonehiro

    2015-01-01

    We are beginning to understand the molecular biology of hydrocephalus and its related diseases. X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH), holoprosencephaly (HPE), Dandy–Walker malformation (DWM), and neural tube defect (NTD) can all be discussed with respect to their available molecular genetics knowledge base and its clinical applications. XLH is single gene disorder caused by mutations in the neural cell adhesion molecule-encoding L1CAM (L1) gene. Our knowledge of the molecular basis of XLH is already being applied clinically in disease diagnosis, disease classification, and prenatal diagnosis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying XLH-related hydrocephalus still needs to be clarified. Sixteen causative genes for HPE have been identified, of which mutations are most often found in SHH, ZIC2, SIX3, and TGIF. Genetic interactions, gene complexity, and the wide variety of HPE phenotypes and genotypes are topics for future study. For DWM, two important loci, 3q24, which includes the FOXC1 gene, and 6q25.3, which includes the ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes, were recently identified as causative areas. The planar cell polarity (PCP) genes CELSR1, CELSR2, VANGL1, and VANGL2 have been implicated in NTD; these genes have roles in neural tube closure and ependymal ciliary movement. PMID:26227058

  14. Developing protein documentaries and other multimedia presentations for molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Quinn, G; Wang, H P; Martinez, D; Bourne, P E

    1999-01-01

    Computer-based multimedia technology for distance learning and research has come of age--the price point is acceptable, domain experts using off-the-shelf software can prepare compelling materials, and the material can be efficiently delivered via the Internet to a large audience. While not presenting any new scientific results, this paper outlines experiences with a variety of commercial and free software tools and the associated protocols we have used to prepare protein documentaries and other multimedia presentations relevant to molecular biology. A protein documentary is defined here as a description of the relationship between structure and function in a single protein or in a related family of proteins. A description using text and images which is further enhanced by the use of sound and interactive graphics. Examples of documentaries prepared to describe cAMP dependent protein kinase, the founding structural member of the protein kinase family for which there is now over 40 structures can be found at http://franklin.burnham-inst.org/rcsb. A variety of other prototype multimedia presentations for molecular biology described in this paper can be found at http://fraklin.burnham-inst.org. PMID:10380212

  15. Errant life, molecular biology, and biopower: Canguilhem, Jacob, and Foucault.

    PubMed

    Talcott, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    This paper considers the theoretical circumstances that urged Michel Foucault to analyse modern societies in terms of biopower. Georges Canguilhem's account of the relations between science and the living forms an essential starting point for Foucault's own later explorations, though the challenges posed by the molecular revolution in biology and François Jacob's history of it allowed Foucault to extend and transform Canguilhem's philosophy of error. Using archival research into his 1955-1956 course on "Science and Error," I show that, for Canguilhem, it is inauthentic to treat a living being as an error, even if living things are capable of making errors in the domain of knowledge. The emergent molecular biology in the 1960s posed a grave challenge, however, since it suggested that individuals could indeed be errors of genetic reproduction. The paper discusses how Canguilhem and Foucault each responded to this by examining, among other texts, their respective reviews of Jacob's The Logic of the Living. For Canguilhem this was an opportunity to reaffirm the creativity of life in the living individual, which is not a thing to be evaluated, but the source of values. For Foucault, drawing on Jacob's work, this was the opportunity to develop a transformed account of valuation by posing biopower as the DNA of society. Despite their disagreements, the paper examines these three authors as different iterations of a historical epistemology attuned to errancy, error, and experimentation. PMID:25515360

  16. Tissue Engineering a Biological Repair Strategy for Lumbar Disc Herniation

    PubMed Central

    O'Connell, Grace D.; Leach, J. Kent; Klineberg, Eric O.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The intervertebral disc is a critical part of the intersegmental soft tissue of the spinal column, providing flexibility and mobility, while absorbing large complex loads. Spinal disease, including disc herniation and degeneration, may be a significant contributor to low back pain. Clinically, disc herniations are treated with both nonoperative and operative methods. Operative treatment for disc herniation includes removal of the herniated material when neural compression occurs. While this strategy may have short-term advantages over nonoperative methods, the remaining disc material is not addressed and surgery for mild degeneration may have limited long-term advantage over nonoperative methods. Furthermore, disc herniation and surgery significantly alter the mechanical function of the disc joint, which may contribute to progression of degeneration in surrounding tissues. We reviewed recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies that may have a significant impact on disc herniation repair. Our review on tissue engineering strategies focuses on cell-based and inductive methods, each commonly combined with material-based approaches. An ideal clinically relevant biological repair strategy will significantly reduce pain and repair and restore flexibility and motion of the spine. PMID:26634189

  17. Application and Analysis of Biological Electrospray in Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yunmin, Ma; Yuanyuan, Liu; Haiping, Chen; Qingxi, Hu

    2015-01-01

    Nan-fiber scaffolds are suitable tools for tissue engineering. Electro spinning materials together with cells presents not adequate to obtain a high cellular zing tissue constructs as the shear force, tensile force, and other physical effects excited in the electro spinning process, which are harmful to cellular differentiation, development and function. However, this limitation has been overcome by a micro integration system of simultaneously bio-electro spraying human adipose stem cells (ASCs) and electro spinning Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Then it was compared to the single electro spinning nan-fiber scaffolds in relation to cell viability, which showed that the scaffolds by micro integration approach has a larger number of surviving cells and more suitable for cell growth and proliferation. In addition, the relationship between different parameters of biological electrospray (voltage, flow rate and distance of the needle from the collecting board) and droplet size of cell suspension was elucidated and the droplets with a near-mono distribution (<50um) could be generated to deposit a single living cell within a droplet. The association of bio-electro spraying with electro spinning (a scaffold preparation technique) has been demonstrated to be a promising and suitable tissue engineering approach in producing nan-fiber based three-dimensional (3-D) cell seeded scaffolds. PMID:26089992

  18. Precision genetic modifications: a new era in molecular biology and crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Fichtner, Franziska; Urrea Castellanos, Reynel; Ülker, Bekir

    2014-04-01

    Recently, the use of programmable DNA-binding proteins such as ZFP/ZFNs, TALE/TALENs and CRISPR/Cas has produced unprecedented advances in gene targeting and genome editing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. These advances allow researchers to specifically alter genes, reprogram epigenetic marks, generate site-specific deletions and potentially cure diseases. Unlike previous methods, these precision genetic modification techniques (PGMs) are specific, efficient, easy to use and economical. Here we discuss the capabilities and pitfalls of PGMs and highlight the recent, exciting applications of PGMs in molecular biology and crop genetic engineering. Further improvement of the efficiency and precision of PGM techniques will enable researchers to precisely alter gene expression and biological/chemical pathways, probe gene function, modify epigenetic marks and improve crops by increasing yield, quality and tolerance to limiting biotic and abiotic stress conditions. PMID:24510124

  19. Simulational nanoengineering: Molecular dynamics implementation of an atomistic Stirling engine.

    PubMed

    Rapaport, D C

    2009-04-01

    A nanoscale-sized Stirling engine with an atomistic working fluid has been modeled using molecular dynamics simulation. The design includes heat exchangers based on thermostats, pistons attached to a flywheel under load, and a regenerator. Key aspects of the behavior, including the time-dependent flows, are described. The model is shown to be capable of stable operation while producing net work at a moderate level of efficiency. PMID:19518394

  20. Simulational nanoengineering: Molecular dynamics implementation of an atomistic Stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapaport, D. C.

    2009-04-01

    A nanoscale-sized Stirling engine with an atomistic working fluid has been modeled using molecular dynamics simulation. The design includes heat exchangers based on thermostats, pistons attached to a flywheel under load, and a regenerator. Key aspects of the behavior, including the time-dependent flows, are described. The model is shown to be capable of stable operation while producing net work at a moderate level of efficiency.

  1. Transmission electron microscopy in molecular structural biology: A historical survey.

    PubMed

    Harris, J Robin

    2015-09-01

    In this personal, historic account of macromolecular transmission electron microscopy (TEM), published data from the 1940s through to recent times is surveyed, within the context of the remarkable progress that has been achieved during this time period. The evolution of present day molecular structural biology is described in relation to the associated biological disciplines. The contribution of numerous electron microscope pioneers to the development of the subject is discussed. The principal techniques for TEM specimen preparation, thin sectioning, metal shadowing, negative staining and plunge-freezing (vitrification) of thin aqueous samples are described, with a selection of published images to emphasise the virtues of each method. The development of digital image analysis and 3D reconstruction is described in detail as applied to electron crystallography and reconstructions from helical structures, 2D membrane crystals as well as single particle 3D reconstruction of icosahedral viruses and macromolecules. The on-going development of new software, algorithms and approaches is highlighted before specific examples of the historical progress of the structural biology of proteins and viruses are presented. PMID:25475529

  2. Molecular engineering of glycosaminoglycan chemistry for biomolecule delivery

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Tobias; Goude, Melissa C.; McDevitt, Todd C.

    2013-01-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are linear, negatively charged polysaccharid es that interact with a variety of positively-charged growth factors. In this review article, the effects of engineering GAG chemistry for molecular delivery applications in regenerative medicine are presented. Three major areas of focus at the structure-function-property interface are discussed: 1) macromolecular properties of GAGs, 2) effects of chemical modifications on protein binding, and 3) degradation mechanisms of GAGs. GAG-protein interactions can be based on 1) GAG sulfation pattern, 2) GAG carbohydrate conformation, and 3) GAG polyelectrolyte behavior. Chemical modifications of GAGs, which are commonly performed to engineer molecular delivery systems, affect protein binding and are highly dependent on the site of modification on the GAG molecules. The rate and mode of degradation can determine the release of molecules as well as the length of GAG fragments to which the cargo is electrostatically coupled and eventually released from the delivery system. Overall, GAG-based polymers are a versatile biomaterial platform offering novel means to engineer molecular delivery systems with a high degree of control in order to better treat a range of degenerate or injured tissues. PMID:24121191

  3. Molecular determinants in the biology of liver metastasis.

    PubMed

    Radinsky, R; Ellis, L M

    1996-04-01

    A primary goal of cancer research is an increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms mediating the process of cancer metastasis. Analyses of colon cancer cells (the seeds) and the microenvironment (the soil) has increased our understanding of the biologic mechanisms mediating liver-specific metastasis. Insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating the pathobiology of cancer metastasis as well as a better understanding of the interaction between the metastatic cell and the host environment should produce a foundation for new therapeutic approaches. In this article we summarize experimental observations demonstrating the importance of specific factors that regulate various steps in the metastatic cascade. Furthermore, this article emphasizes the importance of the host organ's microenvironment and its role in liver metastasis formation. The production of metastases depends, in part, on the interaction of particular tumor cells with specific organ environments. Therefore, the successful metastatic cell must be viewed currently as a cell receptive to its environment. The analyses presented herein add important evidence to support the concept that cancer metastasis is not a random process; it is a highly regulated process that can be analyzed on the molecular level. To the clinician, it is readily apparent that by the time metastasis forms, most steps in the metastatic cascade have been completed. Therefore, therapy targeted to downregulate or interrupt the last stages of metastasis, proliferation and angiogenesis, should be the areas of greatest investigation in regards to treating established metastasis, whether they are microscopic or macroscopic. PMID:9019348

  4. Advances in the cellular and molecular biology of angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Egginton, Stuart; Bicknell, Roy

    2011-12-01

    Capillaries have been recognized for over a century as one of the most important components in regulating tissue oxygen transport, and their formation or angiogenesis a pivotal element of tissue remodelling during development and adaptation. Clinical interest stems from observations that both excessive and inadequate vascular growth plays a major role in human diseases, and novel developments in treatments for cancer and eye disease increasingly rely on anti-angiogenic therapies. Although the discovery of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) provided the first clue for specificity of signalling in endothelial cell activation, understanding the integrative response that drives angiogenesis requires a much broader perspective. The Advances in the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Angiogenesis meeting brought together researchers at the forefront of this rapidly moving field to provide an update on current understanding, and the most recent insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of vascular growth. The plenary lecture highlighted the integrative nature of the angiogenic process, whereas invited contributions from basic and clinician scientists described fundamental mechanisms and disease-associated issues of blood vessel formation, grouped under a number of themes to aid discussion. These articles will appeal to academic, clinical and pharmaceutical scientists interested in the molecular and cellular basis of angiogenesis, their modulation or dysfunction in human diseases, and application of these findings towards translational medicine. PMID:22103485

  5. Molecular Biology of Insect Sodium Channels and Pyrethroid Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Ke; Du, Yuzhe; Rinkevich, Frank; Nomura, Yoshiko; Xu, Peng; Wang, Lingxin; Silver, Kristopher; Zhorov, Boris S.

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the initiation and propagation of the action potential in neurons and other excitable cells. Because of their critical roles in electrical signaling, sodium channels are targets of a variety of naturally occurring and synthetic neurotoxins, including several classes of insecticides. This review is intended to provide an update on the molecular biology of insect sodium channels and the molecular mechanism of pyrethroid resistance. Although mammalian and insect sodium channels share fundamental topological and functional properties, most insect species carry only one sodium channel gene, compared to multiple sodium channel genes found in each mammalian species. Recent studies showed that two posttranscriptional mechanisms, alternative splicing and RNA editing, are involved in generating functional diversity of sodium channels in insects. More than 50 sodium channel mutations have been identified to be responsible for or associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids in various arthropod pests and disease vectors. Elucidation of molecular mechanism of kdr led to the identification of dual receptor sites of pyrethroids on insect sodium channels. Most of the kdr mutations appear to be located within or close to the two receptor sites. The accumulating knowledge of insect sodium channels and their interactions with insecticides provides a foundation for understanding the neurophysiology of sodium channels in vivo and the development of new and safer insecticides for effective control of arthropod pests and human disease vectors. PMID:24704279

  6. Review and application of group theory to molecular systems biology.

    PubMed

    Rietman, Edward A; Karp, Robert L; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we provide a review of selected mathematical ideas that can help us better understand the boundary between living and non-living systems. We focus on group theory and abstract algebra applied to molecular systems biology. Throughout this paper we briefly describe possible open problems. In connection with the genetic code we propose that it may be possible to use perturbation theory to explore the adjacent possibilities in the 64-dimensional space-time manifold of the evolving genome. With regards to algebraic graph theory, there are several minor open problems we discuss. In relation to network dynamics and groupoid formalism we suggest that the network graph might not be the main focus for understanding the phenotype but rather the phase space of the network dynamics. We show a simple case of a C6 network and its phase space network. We envision that the molecular network of a cell is actually a complex network of hypercycles and feedback circuits that could be better represented in a higher-dimensional space. We conjecture that targeting nodes in the molecular network that have key roles in the phase space, as revealed by analysis of the automorphism decomposition, might be a better way to drug discovery and treatment of cancer. PMID:21696623

  7. Review and application of group theory to molecular systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we provide a review of selected mathematical ideas that can help us better understand the boundary between living and non-living systems. We focus on group theory and abstract algebra applied to molecular systems biology. Throughout this paper we briefly describe possible open problems. In connection with the genetic code we propose that it may be possible to use perturbation theory to explore the adjacent possibilities in the 64-dimensional space-time manifold of the evolving genome. With regards to algebraic graph theory, there are several minor open problems we discuss. In relation to network dynamics and groupoid formalism we suggest that the network graph might not be the main focus for understanding the phenotype but rather the phase space of the network dynamics. We show a simple case of a C6 network and its phase space network. We envision that the molecular network of a cell is actually a complex network of hypercycles and feedback circuits that could be better represented in a higher-dimensional space. We conjecture that targeting nodes in the molecular network that have key roles in the phase space, as revealed by analysis of the automorphism decomposition, might be a better way to drug discovery and treatment of cancer. PMID:21696623

  8. The Impact of Collective Molecular Dynamics on Physiological and Biological Functionalities of Artificial and Biological Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rheinstadter, Maikel

    2008-03-01

    We use neutron, X-ray and light scattering techniques to determine dynamical and structural properties of artificial and biological membranes. The combination of various techniques enlarges the window to length scales from the nearest-neighbor distances of lipid molecules to more than 10-6m, covering time scales from about 0.1 ps to 1 s. The main research objective is to quantify collective molecular fluctuations in these systems and to establish relationships to physiological and biological functions of the bilayers, such as transmembrane transport. The motivation for this project is twofold: 1) By understanding fundamental properties of bilayers at the microscopic and mesoscopic level, we aim to tailor membranes with specific properties such as permeability and elasticity. 2) By relating dynamical fluctuations to physiological and biological functions, we can gain a deeper understanding of the bilayers on a molecular scale that may help optimizing the transmembrane transport of certain drugs. We show how bilayer permeability, elasticity and inter protein excitations can be determined from the experiments. M.C. Rheinstädter et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 108107 (2004); Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 048103 (2006); Phys. Rev. E 75, 011907 (2007);J. Vac. Soc. Technol. A 24, 1191 (2006).

  9. Implementation and Assessment of a Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics Undergraduate Degree Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pham, Daphne Q. -D.; Higgs, David C.; Statham, Anne; Schleiter, Mary Kay

    2008-01-01

    The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has developed and implemented an innovative, multidisciplinary undergraduate curriculum in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics (MBB). The objective of the MBB program is to give students a hands-on facility with molecular biology theories and laboratory techniques, an…

  10. Tagging and Purifying Proteins to Teach Molecular Biology and Advanced Biochemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A.; Lopilato, Jane

    2004-01-01

    Two distinct courses, "Molecular Biology" taught by the Biology Department and "Advanced Biochemistry" taught by the Chemistry Department, complement each other and, when taught in a coordinated and integrated way, can enhance student learning and understanding of complex material. "Molecular Biology" is a comprehensive lecture-based course with a…

  11. Exploiting Molecular Biology by Time-Resolved Fluorescence Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Francis; Fattinger, Christof

    Many contemporary biological investigations rely on highly sensitive in vitro assays for the analysis of specific molecules in biological specimens, and the main part of these assays depends on high-sensitivity fluorescence detection techniques for the final readout. The analyzed molecules and molecular interactions in the specimen need to be detected in the presence of other highly abundant biomolecules, while the analyzed molecules themselves are only present at nano-, pico-, or even femtomolar concentration.A short scientific rationale of fluorescence is presented. It emphasizes the use of fluorescent labels for sensitive assays in life sciences and specifies the main properties of an ideal fluorophore. With fluorescence lifetimes in the microsecond range and fluorescence quantum yield of 0.4 some water soluble complexes of Ruthenium like modified Ru(sulfobathophenanthroline) complexes fulfill these properties. They are outstanding fluorescent labels for ultrasensitive assays as illustrated in two examples, in drug discovery and in point of care testing.We discuss the fundamentals and the state-of-the-art of the most sensitive time-gated fluorescence assays. We reflect on how the imaging devices currently employed for readout of these assays might evolve in the future. Many contemporary biological investigations rely on highly sensitive in vitro assays for the analysis of specific molecules in biological specimens, and the main part of these assays depends on high-sensitivity fluorescence detection techniques for the final readout. The analyzed molecules and molecular interactions in the specimen need to be detected in the presence of other highly abundant biomolecules, while the analyzed molecules themselves are only present at nano-, pico-, or even femtomolar concentration.A short scientific rationale of fluorescence is presented. It emphasizes the use of fluorescent labels for sensitive assays in life sciences and specifies the main properties of an ideal

  12. Applications of Discrete Molecular Dynamics in biology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Elizabeth A; Dokholyan, Nikolay V

    2016-04-01

    Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD) is a physics-based simulation method using discrete energetic potentials rather than traditional continuous potentials, allowing microsecond time scale simulations of biomolecular systems to be performed on personal computers rather than supercomputers or specialized hardware. With the ongoing explosion in processing power even in personal computers, applications of DMD have similarly multiplied. In the past two years, researchers have used DMD to model structures of disease-implicated protein folding intermediates, study assembly of protein complexes, predict protein-protein binding conformations, engineer rescue mutations in disease-causative protein mutants, design a protein conformational switch to control cell signaling, and describe the behavior of polymeric dispersants for environmental cleanup of oil spills, among other innovative applications. PMID:26638022

  13. An improved failure criterion for biological and engineered staggered composites.

    PubMed

    Barthelat, Francois; Dastjerdi, Ahmad Khayer; Rabiei, Reza

    2013-02-01

    High-performance biological materials such as nacre, spider silk or bone have evolved a staggered microstructure consisting of stiff and strong elongated inclusions aligned with the direction of loading. This structure leads to useful combinations of stiffness, strength and toughness, and it is therefore increasingly mimicked in bio-inspired composites. The performance of staggered composites can be tuned; for example, their mechanical properties increase when the overlap between the inclusions is increased. However, larger overlaps may lead to excessive tensile stress and fracture of the inclusions themselves, a highly detrimental failure mode. Fracture of the inclusions has so far only been predicted using highly simplified models, which hinder our ability to properly design and optimize engineered staggered composites. In this work, we develop a new failure criterion that takes into account the complex stress field within the inclusions as well as initial defects. The model leads to an 'optimum criterion' for cases where the shear tractions on the inclusions is uniform, and a 'conservative' criterion for which the tractions are modelled as point forces at the ends of the overlap regions. The criterion can therefore be applied for a wide array of material behaviour at the interface, even if the details of the shear load transfer is not known. The new criterion is validated with experiments on staggered structures made of millimetre-thick alumina tablets, and by comparison with data on nacre. Formulated in a non-dimensional form, our new criterion can be applied on a wide variety of engineered staggered composites at any length scale. It also reveals new design guidelines, for example high aspect ratio inclusions with weak interfaces are preferable over inclusions with low aspect ratio and stronger interfaces. Together with existing models, this new criterion will lead to optimal designs that harness the full potential of bio-inspired staggered composites. PMID

  14. Synthetic biology approaches to engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christian; Oldroyd, Giles E D

    2014-05-01

    Nitrogen is abundant in the earth's atmosphere but, unlike carbon, cannot be directly assimilated by plants. The limitation this places on plant productivity has been circumvented in contemporary agriculture through the production and application of chemical fertilizers. The chemical reduction of nitrogen for this purpose consumes large amounts of energy and the reactive nitrogen released into the environment as a result of fertilizer application leads to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as widespread eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. The environmental impacts are intensified by injudicious use of fertilizers in many parts of the world. Simultaneously, limitations in the production and supply of chemical fertilizers in other regions are leading to low agricultural productivity and malnutrition. Nitrogen can be directly fixed from the atmosphere by some bacteria and Archaea, which possess the enzyme nitrogenase. Some plant species, most notably legumes, have evolved close symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Engineering cereal crops with the capability to fix their own nitrogen could one day address the problems created by the over- and under-use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. This could be achieved either by expression of a functional nitrogenase enzyme in the cells of the cereal crop or through transferring the capability to form a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. While potentially transformative, these biotechnological approaches are challenging; however, with recent advances in synthetic biology they are viable long-term goals. This review discusses the possibility of these biotechnological solutions to the nitrogen problem, focusing on engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals. PMID:24687978

  15. An improved failure criterion for biological and engineered staggered composites

    PubMed Central

    Barthelat, Francois; Dastjerdi, Ahmad Khayer; Rabiei, Reza

    2013-01-01

    High-performance biological materials such as nacre, spider silk or bone have evolved a staggered microstructure consisting of stiff and strong elongated inclusions aligned with the direction of loading. This structure leads to useful combinations of stiffness, strength and toughness, and it is therefore increasingly mimicked in bio-inspired composites. The performance of staggered composites can be tuned; for example, their mechanical properties increase when the overlap between the inclusions is increased. However, larger overlaps may lead to excessive tensile stress and fracture of the inclusions themselves, a highly detrimental failure mode. Fracture of the inclusions has so far only been predicted using highly simplified models, which hinder our ability to properly design and optimize engineered staggered composites. In this work, we develop a new failure criterion that takes into account the complex stress field within the inclusions as well as initial defects. The model leads to an ‘optimum criterion’ for cases where the shear tractions on the inclusions is uniform, and a ‘conservative’ criterion for which the tractions are modelled as point forces at the ends of the overlap regions. The criterion can therefore be applied for a wide array of material behaviour at the interface, even if the details of the shear load transfer is not known. The new criterion is validated with experiments on staggered structures made of millimetre-thick alumina tablets, and by comparison with data on nacre. Formulated in a non-dimensional form, our new criterion can be applied on a wide variety of engineered staggered composites at any length scale. It also reveals new design guidelines, for example high aspect ratio inclusions with weak interfaces are preferable over inclusions with low aspect ratio and stronger interfaces. Together with existing models, this new criterion will lead to optimal designs that harness the full potential of bio-inspired staggered composites

  16. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products. PMID:27271660

  17. Molecular biology in medicine: laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Ling, M L

    1996-01-01

    Clinical mycobacteriology has benefited much from the application of molecular biology techniques. Early detection and identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are achieved by the combined use of the BACTEC system and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) probes. High-performance liquid chromatography is the other alternative used in some laboratories. Polymerase chain reaction is still a research tool because of its many problems and limitations. Other promising techniques for rapid diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, for example, the serological diagnosis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the Gen-Probe Amplified Mycobacterium tuberculosis Direct Test, DNA hybridization, the Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tubes System and the strand displacement amplification system are currently under evaluation. The discovery of drug resistant genes such as katG and apoB has important implications for the development of new tests for the rapid detection of resistance to anti-tuberculous drugs. PMID:8779555

  18. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products. PMID:27271660

  19. [Molecular biology in genetic counseling of Duchenne and Becker myopathy].

    PubMed

    Philip, N; Voelckel, M A; Girardot, L; Lambert, J C; Moncla, A; Mattei, J F; Giraud, F

    1992-01-01

    From 1985-1991, molecular biology studies were carried out in 115 families affected with X-linked muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD), including 59 prenatal diagnoses. The approach has changed over the last 6 years when new intragenic markers and cDNA probes became available. The polymerase chain reaction technique allows a rapid detection of dystrophin deletions, but classical Southern blot technique remains useful for restriction length polymorphism analysis. Fifty percent (42/85) of patients with DMD/BMD exhibited deletions of the dystrophin gene. In affected families with a detectable deletion, carrier detection is possible by gene dosage analysis and prenatal diagnosis is reliable. When no deletion is found, carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis depends on linkage analysis using polymorphic probes. Due to the high recombination rate, several markers need to be used. The information provided by linkage analysis must be interpreted given the proper family structure. PMID:1338927

  20. Molecular and biological aspects of the bovine immunodeficiency virus.

    PubMed

    Corredor, Andrea G; St-Louis, Marie-Claude; Archambault, Denis

    2010-01-01

    The bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) was isolated in 1969 from a cow, R-29, with a wasting syndrome suggesting bovine leucosis. The virus, first designated bovine visna-like virus, remained unstudied until HIV was discovered in 1983. Then, it was demonstrated in 1987 that the bovine R-29 isolate was a lentivirus with striking similarity to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Moreover, BIV has the most complex genomic structure among all identified lentiviruses shown by several regulatory/accessory genes encoding proteins, some of which are involved in the regulation of virus gene expression. This manuscript aims to review biological and molecular aspects of BIV, with emphasis on regulatory/accessory viral genes/proteins which are involved in virus expression. PMID:20210777

  1. The molecular genetics of the telomere biology disorders.

    PubMed

    Bertuch, Alison A

    2016-08-01

    The importance of telomere function for human health is exemplified by a collection of Mendelian disorders referred to as the telomere biology disorders (TBDs), telomeropathies, or syndromes of telomere shortening. Collectively, the TBDs cover a spectrum of conditions from multisystem disease presenting in infancy to isolated disease presentations in adulthood, most notably idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Eleven genes have been found mutated in the TBDs to date, each of which is linked to some aspect of telomere maintenance. This review summarizes the molecular defects that result from mutations in these genes, highlighting recent advances, including the addition of PARN to the TBD gene family and the discovery of heterozygous mutations in RTEL1 as a cause of familial pulmonary fibrosis. PMID:26400640

  2. [Prognosis factors of cholangiocarcinoma: contribution of recent molecular biology tools].

    PubMed

    Malouf, G; Dreyer, C; Guedj, N; Paradis, V; Degos, F; Belghiti, J; Le Tourneau, C; Faivre, S; Raymond, E

    2009-04-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma represents the second most common primary hepatobiliary cancer. Although few patients are candidates for surgery, surgical resection represents the only potential curative option. The prognosis for patients remains poor, despite advances in the understanding of mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis. This review aims to assess clinicopathological factors and biological markers for the ability to predict prognosis. Clinicopathologic factors most often cited are tumor size, lymph node involvement, resecability and surgical margins involvement. Molecular biomarkers have been examined and a number of these, including mdm2, p27, matrix metalloproteinases and vitamin D receptor appear to have prognostic utility. The advent of 'omic'-based profiling offers the potential to assess many different biomarkers at the same time. This 'protein/gene signature' could open the way for developing valid and reproducible predictors of survival based on protein or gene profiles. PMID:19357015

  3. Escherichia coli and the French School of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2010-09-01

    André Lwoff, Jacques Monod, and François Jacob, the leaders of the French school of molecular biology, greatly contributed between 1937 and 1965 to its development and triumph. The main discovery of Lwoff was the elucidation of the mechanism of bacteriophage induction, the phenomenon of lysogeny, that led to the model of genetic regulation uncovered later by Jacob and Monod. Working on bacterial growth, Monod discovered in 1941 the phenomenon of diauxy and uncovered the nature of enzyme induction. By combining genetic and biochemical approaches, Monod brought to light the structure and functions of the Escherichia coli lactose system, comprising the genes necessary for lactose metabolism, i.e., β-galactosidase and lactose permease, a pump responsible for accumulation of galactosides into the cells. An additional genetic factor (the i gene) determines the inducibility and constitutivity of enzyme synthesis. Around the same time, François Jacob and Elie Wollman dissected the main events of bacterial conjugation that enabled them to construct a map of the E. coli chromosome and to demonstrate its circularity. The genetic analysis of the lactose system led Monod and Jacob to elucidate the mechanism of the regulation of gene expression and to propose the operon model: a unit of coordinate transcription. One of the new concepts that emerged from the operon model was messenger RNA. In 1963, Monod developed one of the most elegant concepts of molecular biology, the theory of allostery. In 1965, Lwoff, Monod and Jacob were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. PMID:26443784

  4. Miniaturization of molecular biological techniques for gene assay.

    PubMed

    Lien, Kang-Yi; Lee, Gwo-Bin

    2010-07-01

    The rapid diagnosis of various diseases is a critical advantage of many emerging biomedical tools. Due to advances in preventive medicine, tools for the accurate analysis of genetic mutation and associated hereditary diseases have attracted significant interests in recent years. The entire diagnostic process usually involves two critical steps, namely, sample pre-treatment and genetic analysis. The sample pre-treatment processes such as extraction and purification of the target nucleic acids prior to genetic analysis are essential in molecular diagnostics. The genetic analysis process may require specialized apparatus for nucleic acid amplification, sequencing and detection. Traditionally, pre-treatment of clinical biological samples (e.g. the extraction of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA)) and the analysis of genetic polymorphisms associated with genetic diseases are typically a lengthy and costly process. These labor-intensive and time-consuming processes usually result in a high-cost per diagnosis and hinder their practical applications. Besides, the accuracy of the diagnosis may be affected owing to potential contamination from manual processing. Alternatively, due to significant advances in micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) and microfluidic technology, there are numerous miniature systems employed in biomedical applications, especially for the rapid diagnosis of genetic diseases. A number of advantages including automation, compactness, disposability, portability, lower cost, shorter diagnosis time, lower sample and reagent consumption, and lower power consumption can be realized by using these microfluidic-based platforms. As a result, microfluidic-based systems are becoming promising platforms for genetic analysis, molecular biology and for the rapid detection of genetic diseases. In this review paper, microfluidic-based platforms capable of identifying genetic sequences and diagnosis of genetic mutations are surveyed and reviewed

  5. Molecular imaging of biological tissue using gas cluster ions

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Hua; Wucher, Andreas; Winograd, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    An Arn+ (n = 1–6000) gas cluster ion source has been utilized to map the chemical distribution of lipids in a mouse brain tissue section. We also show that the signal from high mass species can be further enhanced by doping a small amount of CH4 into the Ar cluster to enhance the ionization of several biologically important molecules. Coupled with secondary ion mass spectrometry instrumentation which utilizes a continuous Ar cluster ion projectile, maximum spatial resolution and maximum mass resolution can be achieved at the same time. With this arrangement, it is possible to achieve chemically resolved molecular ion images at the 4-µm resolution level. The focused Arn+/[Arx(CH4)y]+ beams (4–10 µm) have been applied to the study of untreated mouse brain tissue. A high signal level of molecular ions and salt adducts, mainly from various phosphocholine lipids, has been seen and directly used to map the chemical distribution. The signal intensity obtained using the pure Ar cluster source, the CH4-doped cluster source and C60 is also presented. PMID:26207076

  6. Structural molecular biology: Recent results from neutron diffraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmins, Peter A.

    1995-02-01

    Neutron diffraction is of importance in structural biology at several different levels of resolution. In most cases the unique possibility arising from deuterium labelling or contrast variation is of fundamental importance in providing information complementary to that which can be obtained from X-ray diffraction. At high resolution, neutron crystallography of proteins allows the location of hydrogen atoms in the molecule or of the hydration water, both of which may be central to biological activity. A major difficulty in this field has been the poor signal-to-noise ratio of the data arising not only from relatively low beam intensities and small crystals but, most importantly from the incoherent background due to hydrogen atoms in the sample. Modern methods of molecular biology now offer ways of producing fully deuterated proteins by cloning in bacteria grown on fully deuterated media. At a slightly lower resolution, there are a number of systems which may be ordered in one or two dimensions. This is the case in the purple membrane where neutron diffraction with deuterium labelling has complemented high resolution electron diffraction. Finally there is a class of very large macromolecular systems which can be crystallised and have been studied by X-ray diffraction but in which part of the structure is locally disordered and usually has insufficient contrast to be seen with X-rays. In this case the use of H 2O/D 2O contrast variation allows these components to be located. Examples of this are the nucleic acid in virus structures and detergent bound to membrane proteins.

  7. Biological production of monoethanolamine by engineered Pseudomonas putida S12.

    PubMed

    Foti, Mirjam; Médici, Rosario; Ruijssenaars, Harald J

    2013-09-10

    Pseudomonas putida S12 was engineered for the production of monoethanolamine (MEA) from glucose via the decarboxylation of the central metabolite L-serine, which is catalyzed by the enzyme L-serine decarboxylase (SDC). The host was first evaluated for its tolerance towards MEA as well as its endogenous ability to degrade this alkanolamine. Growth inhibition was observed at MEA concentrations above 100 mM, but growth was never completely arrested even at 750 mM of MEA. P. putida S12 was able to catabolize MEA in the absence of ammonia, but deletion of the eutBC genes that encode ethanolamine ammonia-lyase (EAL) enzyme sufficed to eliminate this capacity. For the biological production of MEA, the sdc genes from Arabidopsis thaliana (full-length and a truncated version) and Volvox carteri were expressed in P. putida S12. From 20 mM of glucose, negligible amounts of MEA were produced by P. putida S12 ΔeutBC expressing the sdc genes from A. thaliana and V. carteri. However, 0.07 mmol of MEA was obtained per g of cell dry weight of P. putida S12 ΔeutBC expressing the truncated variant of the A. thaliana SDC. When the medium was supplemented with L-serine (30 mM), MEA production increased to 1.25 mmol MEA g⁻¹ CDW, demonstrating that L-serine availability was limiting MEA production. PMID:23876477

  8. Molecular probes for two-photon excited fluorescence and second harmonic generation imaging of biological membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porres, Laurent; Mongin, Olivier; Bhatthula, Bharath K. G.; Blanchard-Desce, Mireille H.; Ventelon, Lionel; Moreaux, Laurent; Pons, T.; Mertz, Jerome

    2002-11-01

    Novel microscopies based on nonlinear optical (NLO) phenomena are attracting increasing interest in the biology community owing to their potentialities in the area of real-time, non-damaging imaging of biological systems. In particular, second-harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) are NLO phenomena that scale with excitation intensity squared, and thus give rise to an intrinsic 3-dimensional resolution when used in microscopic imaging. In this perspective, we have implemented a molecular engineering approach toward NLO-probes specifically designed for SHG and/or TPEF imaging of cellular membranes. We have designed nanoscale rod-like fluorophores showing very large TPEF cross-sections in the visible red, outperforming standard fluorophores such as fluorescein by up to two orders of magnitude. Bolaamphiphilic derivatives combining high TPEF cross-sections and affinity for cellular membranes were prepared. Their incorporation into model or cell membranes can be monitored by TPEF microscopy. Amphiphilic push-pull chromophores showing both high TPA and SHG cross-sections in the near-IR region were designed as NLO-probes for imaging of biological membranes by simultaneous SHG and TPEF microscopy. These NLO-phores offer intriguing potentialities for imaging of fundamental biological processes such as adhesion, fusion or for reporting of membrane electrical potentials.

  9. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 51, Molecular biology of Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    Thirteen years marked the time between the discovery of the double helix in 1953 and the elucidation of the genetic code in 1966. A similar interval has now passed since the development by Cohen and Boyer of a simple procedure for the cloning of selective DNA fragments. The scientific advances made possible by the subsequent modification and elaboration of these original cloning procedures now amaze, stimulate, and increasingly often overwhelm us. Facts that until recently were virtually unobtainable now flow forth almost effortlessly. Most excitingly, the frenetic pace of these new discoveries, instead of marking the impending end of a glorious moment of learning, give every indication of opening up scientific frontiers that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to explore thoroughly. This new era of enlightenment is nowhere more apparent than in our newfound ability to study ourselves at the molecular level. This volume is the first of two collections of papers submitted by the contributors to the Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology for 1986 - molecular biology of Homo sapiens. Contained in this collection are 80 papers grouped into sessions entitled Human Gene Map, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, and Drugs Made Off Human Genes.

  10. Molecularly defined plasmonic engineering to visualize antibody binding events by eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, A. W.; Cooper, J. M.

    2013-02-01

    We report a novel plasmonic tuning technique which allows colorimetric, naked-eye detection of protein-protein binding at extreme sensitivities. Utilizing an engineered approach to molecularly-driven plasmonic-coupling, we construct three-part plasmonic "bowtie" structures within protein nanoarrays using single biomolecular binding events. Precise molecular positioning of single gold nanaoparticles inside plasmonic bowties allows us to shape the plasmon supported by each array element in order to engineer a visible color-shift. By ensuring that only a single binding site is available inside each feature, we ensure plasmon homogeneity across the array, a unique technological solution which is essential to providing the sensitivity and observability we demonstrate here. This work represents a step-change in molecularly-mediated plasmonics and colorimetric biosensing, enabling biologically-controlled nanoengineering at single-protein resolutions. The potential applications of this powerful technique are not limited to biosensing and point-of-care diagnostics, and will also impact the emerging fields of molecularly driven nanoengineering and electronics.

  11. Bioimage informatics: a new area of engineering biology

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hanchuan

    2008-01-01

    In recent years, the deluge of complicated molecular and cellular microscopic images creates compelling challenges for the image computing community. There has been an increasing focus on developing novel image processing, data mining, database and visualization techniques to extract, compare, search and manage the biological knowledge in these data-intensive problems. This emerging new area of bioinformatics can be called ‘bioimage informatics’. This article reviews the advances of this field from several aspects, including applications, key techniques, available tools and resources. Application examples such as high-throughput/high-content phenotyping and atlas building for model organisms demonstrate the importance of bioimage informatics. The essential techniques to the success of these applications, such as bioimage feature identification, segmentation and tracking, registration, annotation, mining, image data management and visualization, are further summarized, along with a brief overview of the available bioimage databases, analysis tools and other resources. Contact: pengh@janelia.hhmi.org Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:18603566

  12. Mathematical Biology Modules Based on Modern Molecular Biology and Modern Discrete Mathematics

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    We describe an ongoing collaborative curriculum materials development project between Sweet Briar College and Western Michigan University, with support from the National Science Foundation. We present a collection of modules under development that can be used in existing mathematics and biology courses, and we address a critical national need to introduce students to mathematical methods beyond the interface of biology with calculus. Based on ongoing research, and designed to use the project-based-learning approach, the modules highlight applications of modern discrete mathematics and algebraic statistics to pressing problems in molecular biology. For the majority of projects, calculus is not a required prerequisite and, due to the modest amount of mathematical background needed for some of the modules, the materials can be used for an early introduction to mathematical modeling. At the same time, most modules are connected with topics in linear and abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and probability, and they can be used as meaningful applied introductions into the relevant advanced-level mathematics courses. Open-source software is used to facilitate the relevant computations. As a detailed example, we outline a module that focuses on Boolean models of the lac operon network. PMID:20810955

  13. Mathematical biology modules based on modern molecular biology and modern discrete mathematics.

    PubMed

    Robeva, Raina; Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    We describe an ongoing collaborative curriculum materials development project between Sweet Briar College and Western Michigan University, with support from the National Science Foundation. We present a collection of modules under development that can be used in existing mathematics and biology courses, and we address a critical national need to introduce students to mathematical methods beyond the interface of biology with calculus. Based on ongoing research, and designed to use the project-based-learning approach, the modules highlight applications of modern discrete mathematics and algebraic statistics to pressing problems in molecular biology. For the majority of projects, calculus is not a required prerequisite and, due to the modest amount of mathematical background needed for some of the modules, the materials can be used for an early introduction to mathematical modeling. At the same time, most modules are connected with topics in linear and abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and probability, and they can be used as meaningful applied introductions into the relevant advanced-level mathematics courses. Open-source software is used to facilitate the relevant computations. As a detailed example, we outline a module that focuses on Boolean models of the lac operon network. PMID:20810955

  14. Light-driven DNA nanomachine with a photoresponsive molecular engine.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Yukiko; Asanuma, Hiroyuki

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: DNA is regarded as an excellent nanomaterial due to its supramolecular property of duplex formation through A-T and G-C complementary pairs. By simply designing sequences, we can create any desired 2D or 3D nanoarchitecture with DNA. Based on these nanoarchitectures, motional DNA-based nanomachines have also been developed. Most of the nanomachines require molecular fuels to drive them. Typically, a toehold exchange reaction is applied with a complementary DNA strand as a fuel. However, repetitive operation of the machines accumulates waste DNA duplexes in the solution that gradually deteriorate the motional efficiency. Hence, we are facing an "environmental problem" even in the nanoworld. One of the direct solutions to this problem is to use clean energy, such as light. Since light does not contaminate the reaction system, a DNA nanomachine run by a photon engine can overcome the drawback of waste that is a problem with molecular-fueled engines. There are several photoresponsive molecules that convert light energy to mechanical motion through the change of geometry of the molecules; these include spiropyran, diarylethene, stilbene, and azobenzene. Although each molecule has both advantages and drawbacks, azobenzene derivatives are widely used as "molecular photon engines". In this Account, we review light-driven DNA nanomachines mainly focusing on the photoresponsive DNAs that we have developed for the past decade. The basis of our method is installation of an azobenzene into a DNA sequence through a d-threoninol scaffold. Reversible hybridization of the DNA duplex, triggered by trans-cis isomerization of azobenzene in the DNA sequences by irradiation with light, induces mechanical motion of the DNA nanomachine. Moreover we have successfully developed azobenzene derivatives that improve its photoisomerizaition properties. Use of these derivatives and techniques have allowed us to design various DNA machines that demonstrate sophisticated motion in

  15. One-Step Facile Surface Engineering of Hydrophobic Nanocrystals with Designer Molecular Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tao; Öçsoy, Ismail; Yuan, Quan; Wang, Ruowen; You, Mingxu; Zhao, Zilong; Song, Erqun; Zhang, Xiaobing; Tan, Weihong

    2013-01-01

    High quality nanocrystals have demonstrated substantial potential for biomedical applications. However, being generally hydrophobic, their use has been greatly limited by complicated and inefficient surface engineering that often fails to yield biocompatible nanocrystals with minimal aggregation in biological fluids and active targeting toward specific biomolecules. Using chimeric DNA molecules, we developed a one-step facile surface engineering method for hydrophobic Nanocrystals. The procedure is simple and versatile, generating individual nanocrystals with multiple ligands. In addition, the resulting nanocrystals can actively and specifically target various molecular addresses, varying from nucleic acids to cancer cells. Together, the strategy developed here holds great promise in generating critical technologies needed for biomedical applications of nanocrystals. PMID:22793667

  16. Avian Metapneumovirus Molecular Biology and Development of Genetically Engineered Vaccines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) is an economically important pathogen of turkeys with a worldwide distribution. aMPV is a member of the genus Metapneumovirus within the subfamily Pneumovirinae of the family Paramyxoviridae. The genome of aMPV is a non-segmented, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA of 1...

  17. Molecular self-assembly for biological investigations and nanoscale lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheunkar, Sarawut

    Small, diffusible molecules when recognized by their binding partners, such as proteins and antibodies, trigger enzymatic activity, cell communication, and immune response. Progress in analytical methods enabling detection, characterization, and visualization of biological dynamics at the molecular level will advance our exploration of complex biological systems. In this dissertation, analytical platforms were fabricated to capture membrane-associated receptors, which are essential proteins in cell signaling pathways. The neurotransmitter serotonin and its biological precursor were immobilized on gold substrates coated with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of oligo(ethylene glycol)alkanethiols and their reactive derivatives. The SAM-coated substrates present the biologically selective affinity of immobilized molecules to target native membrane-associated receptors. These substrates were also tested for biospecificity using antibodies. In addition, small-molecule-functionalized platforms, expressing neurotransmitter pharmacophores, were employed to examine kinetic interactions between G-protein-coupled receptors and their associated neurotransmitters. The binding interactions were monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance equipped with liquid-flow injection. The interaction kinetics of G-protein-coupled serotonin 1A receptor and 5-hydroxytyptophan-functionalized surfaces were studied in a real-time, label-free environment. Key binding parameters, such as equilibrium dissociation constants, binding rate constants, and dissociative half-life, were extracted. These parameters are critical for understanding and comparing biomolecular interactions in modern biomedical research. By integrating self-assembly, surface functionalization, and nanofabrication, small-molecule microarrays were created for high-throughput screening. A hybrid soft-lithography, called microcontact insertion printing, was used to pattern small molecules at the dilute scales necessary for highly

  18. International Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Stephen Miller

    2010-06-10

    The 2010 Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas was held June 6-10 near Boston, MA, and attracted a record 273 participants, 146 from US labs, 10 from Canada, and the remainder from 18 other countries. The single-celled algal protist Chlamydomonas is a key research organism for many investigators, including those who study photosynthesis, cell motility, adaptation to environmental stresses, the evolution of multicellularity, and the production of biofuels. Chlamydomonas researchers gather every two years at a research conference to exchange methods, develop collaborative efforts, disseminate recent findings, and plan large-scale studies to improve the usefulness of this unique research organism. This conference provides the only opportunity for Chlamydomonas scientists who work on different research problems to meet face to face, and greatly speeds progress in their respective fields. An important function of these Chlamydomonas conferences is to promote and showcase the work of younger scientists, and to attract new investigators into the Chlamydomonas community. DOE award SC0004085 was used to offset the travel and registration costs for 18 young investigators, 9 of whom were women, including one African American. Most of these scientists would not have been able to attend the conference without DOE support. A total of 208 research presentations were made at the meeting, 80 talks (63 presented by students, postdocs, and pre-tenured faculty) and 128 posters. Cell motility and biofuels/metabolism were the best-represented research areas, with a total of 77 presentations. This fact underscores the growing importance of Chlamydomonas as a research and production tool in the rapidly expanding world of biofuels research. A total of 28 talks and posters were presented on the topics of photosynthesis and stress responses, which were among the next best-represented research areas. As at several recent Chlamydomonas meetings, important advances were

  19. STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE RESEARCH PROGRAM (LSBMM)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, David S.

    2008-07-15

    The UCLA-DOE Institute of Genomics and Proteomics is an organized research unit of the University of California, sponsored by the Department of Energy through the mechanism of a Cooperative Agreement. Today the Institute consists of 10 Principal Investigators and 7 Associate Members, developing and applying technologies to promote the biological and environmental missions of the Department of Energy, and 5 Core Technology Centers to sustain this work. The focus is on understanding genomes, pathways and molecular machines in organisms of interest to DOE, with special emphasis on developing enabling technologies. Since it was founded in 1947, the UCLA-DOE Institute has adapted its mission to the research needs of DOE and its progenitor agencies as these research needs have changed. The Institute started as the AEC Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, directed by Stafford Warren, who later became the founding Dean of the UCLA School of Medicine. In this sense, the entire UCLA medical center grew out of the precursor of our Institute. In 1963, the mission of the Institute was expanded into environmental studies by Director Ray Lunt. I became the third director in 1993, and in close consultation with David Galas and John Wooley of DOE, shifted the mission of the Institute towards genomics and proteomics. Since 1993, the Principal Investigators and Core Technology Centers are entirely new, and the Institute has separated from its former division concerned with PET imaging. The UCLA-DOE Institute shares the space of Boyer Hall with the Molecular Biology Institute, and assumes responsibility for the operation of the main core facilities. Fig. 1 gives the organizational chart of the Institute. Some of the benefits to the public of research carried out at the UCLA-DOE Institute include the following: The development of publicly accessible, web-based databases, including the Database of Protein Interactions, and the ProLinks database of genomicly inferred protein function linkages

  20. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  1. Tea polyphenols, their biological effects and potential molecular targets

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Di; Milacic, Vesna; Chen, Marina Si; Wan, Sheng Biao; Lam, Wai Har; Huo, Congde; Landis-Piwowar, Kristin R.; Cui, Qiuzhi Cindy; Wali, Anil; Chan, Tak Hang; Dou, Q. Ping

    2013-01-01

    Summary Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. Tea contains an infusion of the leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant rich in polyphenolic compounds known as catechins, the most abundant of which is (−)-EGCG. Although tea has been consumed for centuries, it has only recently been studied extensively as a health-promoting beverage that may act to prevent a number of chronic diseases and cancers. The results of several investigations indicate that green tea consumption may be of modest benefit in reducing the plasma concentration of cholesterol and preventing atherosclerosis. Additionally, the cancer-preventive effects of green tea are widely supported by results from epidemiological, cell culture, animal and clinical studies. In vitro cell culture studies show that tea polyphenols potently induce apoptotic cell death and cell cycle arrest in tumor cells but not in their normal cell counterparts. Green tea polyphenols were shown to affect several biological pathways, including growth factor-mediated pathway, the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-dependent pathway, and ubiquitin/proteasome degradation pathways. Various animal studies have revealed that treatment with green tea inhibits tumor incidence and multiplicity in different organ sites such as skin, lung, liver, stomach, mammary gland and colon. Recently, phase I and II clinical trials have been conducted to explore the anticancer effects of green tea in humans. A major challenge of cancer prevention is to integrate new molecular findings into clinical practice. Therefore, identification of more molecular targets and biomarkers for tea polyphenols is essential for improving the design of green tea trials and will greatly assist in a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying its anti-cancer activity. PMID:18228206

  2. 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.

  3. Exploiting models of molecular evolution to efficiently direct protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Cole, Megan F; Gaucher, Eric A

    2011-02-01

    Directed evolution and protein engineering approaches used to generate novel or enhanced biomolecular function often use the evolutionary sequence diversity of protein homologs to rationally guide library design. To fully capture this sequence diversity, however, libraries containing millions of variants are often necessary. Screening libraries of this size is often undesirable due to inaccuracies of high-throughput assays, costs, and time constraints. The ability to effectively cull sequence diversity while still generating the functional diversity within a library thus holds considerable value. This is particularly relevant when high-throughput assays are not amenable to select/screen for certain biomolecular properties. Here, we summarize our recent attempts to develop an evolution-guided approach, Reconstructing Evolutionary Adaptive Paths (REAP), for directed evolution and protein engineering that exploits phylogenetic and sequence analyses to identify amino acid substitutions that are likely to alter or enhance function of a protein. To demonstrate the utility of this technique, we highlight our previous work with DNA polymerases in which a REAP-designed small library was used to identify a DNA polymerase capable of accepting non-standard nucleosides. We anticipate that the REAP approach will be used in the future to facilitate the engineering of biopolymers with expanded functions and will thus have a significant impact on the developing field of 'evolutionary synthetic biology'. PMID:21132281

  4. Microgravity research in plant biological systems: Realizing the potential of molecular biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, Norman G.; Ryan, Clarence A.

    1993-01-01

    The sole all-pervasive feature of the environment that has helped shape, through evolution, all life on Earth is gravity. The near weightlessness of the Space Station Freedom space environment allows gravitational effects to be essentially uncoupled, thus providing an unprecedented opportunity to manipulate, systematically dissect, study, and exploit the role of gravity in the growth and development of all life forms. New and exciting opportunities are now available to utilize molecular biological and biochemical approaches to study the effects of microgravity on living organisms. By careful experimentation, we can determine how gravity perception occurs, how the resulting signals are produced and transduced, and how or if tissue-specific differences in gene expression occur. Microgravity research can provide unique new approaches to further our basic understanding of development and metabolic processes of cells and organisms, and to further the application of this new knowledge for the betterment of humankind.

  5. [Progress in molecular biology study of DNA computer].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhi-Zhou; Zhao, Jian; He, Lin

    2003-09-01

    DNA (deoxyribonucleotide acids) computer is an emerging new study area that basically combines molecular biology study of DNA molecules and computational study on how to employ these specific molecules to calculate. In 1994 Adleman described his pioneering research on DNA computing in Science. This is the first experimental report on DNA computer study. In 2001 Benenson et al published a paper in Nature regarding a programmable and autonomous DNA computing device. Because of its Turing-like functions, the device is regarded as another milestone progress for DNA computer study. The main features of DNA computer are massively parallel computing ability and potential enormous data storage capacity. Comparing with conventional electronic computers, DNA molecules provide conceptually a revolution in computing, and more and more implications have been found in various disciplines. DNA computer studies have brought great progress not only in its own computing mechanisms, but also in DNA manipulation technologies especially nano-technology. This article presents the basic principles of DNA computer, its applications, its important relationship with genomic research and our comments on all above issues. PMID:14577383

  6. Recent molecular biology methods for foulbrood and nosemosis diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Rivière, M P; Ribière, M; Chauzat, M P

    2013-12-01

    Honey-bee colony losses are an increasing problem in Western countries. There are many different causes, including infections due to various pathogens. Molecular biology techniques have been developed to reliably detect and identify honey-bee pathogens. The most sensitive, specific and reliable is the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methodology. This review of the literature describes various studies where qPCR was used to detect, identify and quantify four major honey-bee pathogens: the bacteria Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius (the causative agents of American foulbrood and European foulbrood, respectively) and the microsporidia Nosema apis and N. ceranae (the causative agents of nosemosis). The application of qPCR to honey-bee pathogens is very recent, and techniques are expected to improve rapidly, leading to potential new prospects for diagnosis and control. Thus, qPCR techniques could shortly become a powerful tool for investigating pathogenic infections and increasing our understanding of colony losses. PMID:24761740

  7. Synthesis, characterization, biological evaluation and molecular docking of steroidal spirothiazolidinones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamsuzzaman; Abdul Baqi, Khan A. A.; Ali, Abad; Asif, Mohd; Mashrai, Ashraf; Khanam, Hena; Sherwani, Asif; Yaseen, Zahid; Owais, Mohammad

    2015-04-01

    The present work describes a convenient synthesis of steroidal spirothiazolidinone derivatives (3, 10-12) in a two-step process. All the newly synthesized compounds have been characterized by means of elemental analyses, IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR and MS. Lipinski's 'Rule of Five' analysis and biological score predicted higher intrinsic quality of the synthesized compounds and revealed that these compounds have good passive oral absorption. The DNA binding studies of the synthesized compounds with CT-DNA were carried out by UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The molecular docking study suggested electrostatic interaction between synthesized compounds and nucleotide base pairs. The antitumor activity was tested in vitro against human leukemia cancer cell (Jurkat) and blood peripheral mononuclear normal cell (PBMCs) lines by MTT method. In addition, apoptosis and nonenzymatic degradation of DNA have been investigated. The acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor activities of the derivatives were also evaluated using Ellman's method. The present study has shown that steroidal spirothiazolidinone derivatives (3, 10-12) can be used as template to design more potent and selective cytotoxic and AChE inhibition agents through modification and derivatization.

  8. Delta hepatitis: molecular biology and clinical and epidemiological features.

    PubMed Central

    Polish, L B; Gallagher, M; Fields, H A; Hadler, S C

    1993-01-01

    Hepatitis delta virus, discovered in 1977, requires the help of hepatitis B virus to replicate in hepatocytes and is an important cause of acute, fulminant, and chronic liver disease in many regions of the world. Because of the helper function of hepatitis delta virus, infection with it occurs either as a coinfection with hepatitis B or as a superinfection of a carrier of hepatitis B surface antigen. Although the mechanisms of transmission are similar to those of hepatitis B virus, the patterns of transmission of delta virus vary widely around the world. In regions of the world in which hepatitis delta virus infection is not endemic, the disease is confined to groups at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B infection and high-risk hepatitis B carriers. Because of the propensity of this viral infection to cause fulminant as well as chronic liver disease, continued incursion of hepatitis delta virus into areas of the world where persistent hepatitis B infection is endemic will have serious implications. Prevention depends on the widespread use of hepatitis B vaccine. This review focuses on the molecular biology and the clinical and epidemiologic features of this important viral infection. PMID:8358704

  9. Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems.

    PubMed

    Chung, Kwanghun; Wallace, Jenelle; Kim, Sung-Yon; Kalyanasundaram, Sandhiya; Andalman, Aaron S; Davidson, Thomas J; Mirzabekov, Julie J; Zalocusky, Kelly A; Mattis, Joanna; Denisin, Aleksandra K; Pak, Sally; Bernstein, Hannah; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Grosenick, Logan; Gradinaru, Viviana; Deisseroth, Karl

    2013-05-16

    Obtaining high-resolution information from a complex system, while maintaining the global perspective needed to understand system function, represents a key challenge in biology. Here we address this challenge with a method (termed CLARITY) for the transformation of intact tissue into a nanoporous hydrogel-hybridized form (crosslinked to a three-dimensional network of hydrophilic polymers) that is fully assembled but optically transparent and macromolecule-permeable. Using mouse brains, we show intact-tissue imaging of long-range projections, local circuit wiring, cellular relationships, subcellular structures, protein complexes, nucleic acids and neurotransmitters. CLARITY also enables intact-tissue in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry with multiple rounds of staining and de-staining in non-sectioned tissue, and antibody labelling throughout the intact adult mouse brain. Finally, we show that CLARITY enables fine structural analysis of clinical samples, including non-sectioned human tissue from a neuropsychiatric-disease setting, establishing a path for the transmutation of human tissue into a stable, intact and accessible form suitable for probing structural and molecular underpinnings of physiological function and disease. PMID:23575631

  10. Molecular Structure of Photosynthetic Microbial Biofuels for Improved Engine Combustion and Emissions Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes. PMID:25941673

  11. Molecular structure of photosynthetic microbial biofuels for improved engine combustion and emissions characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes. PMID:25941673

  12. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Korrie L.; Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Cells have evolved a sophisticated proteostasis network to ensure that proteins acquire and retain their native structure and function. Critical components of this network include molecular chaperones and protein disaggregases, which function to prevent and reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, proteostasis networks have limits, which when exceeded can have fatal consequences as in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A promising strategy is to engineer proteostasis networks to counter challenges presented by specific diseases or specific proteins. Here, we review efforts to enhance the activity of individual molecular chaperones or protein disaggregases via engineering and directed evolution. Remarkably, enhanced global activity or altered substrate specificity of various molecular chaperones, including GroEL, Hsp70, ClpX, and Spy, can be achieved by minor changes in primary sequence and often a single missense mutation. Likewise, small changes in the primary sequence of Hsp104 yield potentiated protein disaggregases that reverse the aggregation and buffer toxicity of various neurodegenerative disease proteins, including α-synuclein, TDP-43, and FUS. Collectively, these advances have revealed key mechanistic and functional insights into chaperone and disaggregase biology. They also suggest that enhanced chaperones and disaggregases could have important applications in treating human disease as well as in the purification of valuable proteins in the pharmaceutical sector. PMID:27014702

  13. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity.

    PubMed

    Mack, Korrie L; Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Cells have evolved a sophisticated proteostasis network to ensure that proteins acquire and retain their native structure and function. Critical components of this network include molecular chaperones and protein disaggregases, which function to prevent and reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, proteostasis networks have limits, which when exceeded can have fatal consequences as in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A promising strategy is to engineer proteostasis networks to counter challenges presented by specific diseases or specific proteins. Here, we review efforts to enhance the activity of individual molecular chaperones or protein disaggregases via engineering and directed evolution. Remarkably, enhanced global activity or altered substrate specificity of various molecular chaperones, including GroEL, Hsp70, ClpX, and Spy, can be achieved by minor changes in primary sequence and often a single missense mutation. Likewise, small changes in the primary sequence of Hsp104 yield potentiated protein disaggregases that reverse the aggregation and buffer toxicity of various neurodegenerative disease proteins, including α-synuclein, TDP-43, and FUS. Collectively, these advances have revealed key mechanistic and functional insights into chaperone and disaggregase biology. They also suggest that enhanced chaperones and disaggregases could have important applications in treating human disease as well as in the purification of valuable proteins in the pharmaceutical sector. PMID:27014702

  14. A Curriculum Skills Matrix for Development and Assessment of Undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caldwell, Benjamin; Rohlman, Christopher; Benore-Parsons, Marilee

    2004-01-01

    We have designed a skills matrix to be used for developing and assessing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory curricula. We prepared the skills matrix for the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Institute workshop in Snowbird, Utah (July 2001) to help current and developing undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology program…

  15. Just Working with the Cellular Machine: A High School Game for Teaching Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Fernanda Serpa; Dumpel, Renata; Gomes da Silva, Luisa B.; Rodrigues, Carlos R.; Santos, Dilvani O.; Cabral, Lucio Mendes; Castro, Helena C.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular biology is a difficult comprehension subject due to its high complexity, thus requiring new teaching approaches. Herein, we developed an interdisciplinary board game involving the human immune system response against a bacterial infection for teaching molecular biology at high school. Initially, we created a database with several…

  16. Protein Engineering: A New Frontier for Biological Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Tobin, Peter H.; Richards, David H.; Callender, Randolph A.

    2016-01-01

    Protein engineering holds the potential to transform the metabolic drug landscape through the development of smart, stimulus-responsive drug systems. Protein therapeutics are a rapidly expanding segment of Food and Drug Administration approved drugs that will improve clinical outcomes over the long run. Engineering of protein therapeutics is still in its infancy, but recent general advances in protein engineering capabilities are being leveraged to yield improved control over both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Stimulus-responsive protein therapeutics are drugs which have been designed to be metabolized under targeted conditions. Protein engineering is being utilized to develop tailored smart therapeutics with biochemical logic. This review focuses on applications of targeted drug neutralization, stimulus-responsive engineered protein prodrugs, and emerging multicomponent smart drug systems (e.g., antibody-drug conjugates, responsive engineered zymogens, prospective biochemical logic smart drug systems, drug buffers, and network medicine applications). PMID:25495737

  17. Metabolic engineering with systems biology tools to optimize production of prokaryotic secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun Uk; Charusanti, Pep; Lee, Sang Yup; Weber, Tilmann

    2016-08-27

    Covering: 2012 to 2016Metabolic engineering using systems biology tools is increasingly applied to overproduce secondary metabolites for their potential industrial production. In this Highlight, recent relevant metabolic engineering studies are analyzed with emphasis on host selection and engineering approaches for the optimal production of various prokaryotic secondary metabolites: native versus heterologous hosts (e.g., Escherichia coli) and rational versus random approaches. This comparative analysis is followed by discussions on systems biology tools deployed in optimizing the production of secondary metabolites. The potential contributions of additional systems biology tools are also discussed in the context of current challenges encountered during optimization of secondary metabolite production. PMID:27072921

  18. The molecular biology of the olive fly comes of age

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    were shown to be differentially expressed in the female and male reproductive systems analyzed. Finally, the expression profile of the embryonic serendipity-α locus and the pre-apoptotic head involution defective gene were analyzed during embryonic developmental stages. Conclusions Several years of molecular studies on the olive fly can now be combined with new information from whole transcriptome analyses and lead to a deep understanding of the biology of this notorious insect pest. This is a prerequisite for the development of novel embryonic lethality female sexing strains for successful SIT efforts which, combined with improved mass-reared conditions, give new hope for efficient SIT applications for the olive fly. PMID:25472866

  19. Functional Tissue Engineering of Tendon: Establishing Biological Success Criteria for Improving Tendon Repair

    PubMed Central

    Breidenbach, Andrew P; Gilday, Steven D; Lalley, Andrea L; Dyment, Nathaniel A; Gooch, Cynthia; Shearn, Jason T; Butler, David L

    2013-01-01

    Improving tendon repair using Functional Tissue Engineering (FTE) principles has been the focus of our laboratory over the last decade. Although our primary goals were initially focused only on mechanical outcomes, we are now carefully assessing the biological properties of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs so as to link biological influences with mechanics. However, given the complexities of tendon development and healing, it remains challenging to determine which aspects of tendon biology are the most important to focus on in the context of tissue engineering. To address this problem, we have formalized a strategy to identify, prioritize, and evaluate potential biological success criteria for tendon repair. We have defined numerous biological properties of normal tendon relative to cellular phenotype, extracellular matrix and tissue ultra-structure that we would like to reproduce in our tissue-engineered repairs and prioritized these biological criteria by examining their relative importance during both normal development and natural tendon healing. Here, we propose three specific biological criteria which we believe are essential for normal tendon function: 1) scleraxis-expressing cells; 2) well-organized and axially-aligned collagen fibrils having bimodal diameter distribution; and 3) a specialized tendon-to-bone insertion site. Moving forward, these biological success criteria will be used in conjunction with our already established mechanical success criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs. PMID:24200342

  20. Functional tissue engineering of tendon: Establishing biological success criteria for improving tendon repair.

    PubMed

    Breidenbach, Andrew P; Gilday, Steven D; Lalley, Andrea L; Dyment, Nathaniel A; Gooch, Cynthia; Shearn, Jason T; Butler, David L

    2014-06-27

    Improving tendon repair using Functional Tissue Engineering (FTE) principles has been the focus of our laboratory over the last decade. Although our primary goals were initially focused only on mechanical outcomes, we are now carefully assessing the biological properties of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs so as to link biological influences with mechanics. However, given the complexities of tendon development and healing, it remains challenging to determine which aspects of tendon biology are the most important to focus on in the context of tissue engineering. To address this problem, we have formalized a strategy to identify, prioritize, and evaluate potential biological success criteria for tendon repair. We have defined numerous biological properties of normal tendon relative to cellular phenotype, extracellular matrix and tissue ultra-structure that we would like to reproduce in our tissue-engineered repairs and prioritized these biological criteria by examining their relative importance during both normal development and natural tendon healing. Here, we propose three specific biological criteria which we believe are essential for normal tendon function: (1) scleraxis-expressing cells; (2) well-organized and axially-aligned collagen fibrils having bimodal diameter distribution; and (3) a specialized tendon-to-bone insertion site. Moving forward, these biological success criteria will be used in conjunction with our already established mechanical success criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs. PMID:24200342

  1. Escherichia coli and the Emergence of Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Agnes

    2011-12-01

    The creation of the "Phage group" by M. Delbrück, S. E. Luria, and A. D. Hershey in 1940 at Cold Spring Harbor played a crucial role in the development of molecular biology. In the 1940s, working with Escherichia coli and its viruses, Luria and Delbrück discovered the spontaneous nature of bacterial mutations and Hershey described recombination in bacteriophages and demonstrated with M. Chase that the genetic material that infects bacteria is DNA. At the same time, S. Benzer defined the structure of a functional genetic unit and J. Lederberg and E. Tatum discovered sexual recombination between bacteria. Some years later, Lederberg's group discovered extrachromosomal particles, the plasmids, and a novel way of genetic transfer through bacteriophages, called transduction. In 1949, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, A. Lwoff uncovered the mechanism of lysogeny. Shortly afterwards, F. Jacob and E. Wollman unraveled the mechanism of the sexual process in E. coli and established the circularity of the bacterial chromosome. In the 1960s, J. Monod and F. Jacob, by genetic analysis of the E. coli lactose system, proposed the operon model for gene regulation and introduced the concept of messenger RNA. The elucidation of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 by F. Crick and J. Watson had major consequences: the establishment of the copying mechanism (Meselson and Stahl), the discovery of the nature of the genetic code (S. Brenner) leading to its deciphering. E. coli and its phages were instrumental in the development of recombinant DNA technology based on the discovery of the restriction-modification system by W. Arber. PMID:26442505

  2. Molecular engineering of porous silica using aryl templates

    DOEpatents

    Loy, Douglas A.; Shea, Kenneth J.

    1994-01-01

    A process for manipulating the porosity of silica using a series of organic template groups covalently incorporated into the silicate matrix. The templates in the bridged polysilsesquioxanes are selectively removed from the material by oxidation with oxygen plasma or other means, leaving engineered voids or pores. The size of these pores is dependent upon the length or size of the template or spacer. The size of the templates is measured in terms of Si-Si distances which range from about 0.67 nm to 1.08 nm. Changes introduced by the loss of the templates result in a narrow range of micropores (i.e. <2 nm). Both aryl and alkyl template groups are used as spacers. Novel microporous silica materials useful as molecular seives, dessicants, and catalyst supports are produced.

  3. Molecular engineering of porous silica using aryl templates

    DOEpatents

    Loy, D.A.; Shea, K.J.

    1994-06-14

    A process is described for manipulating the porosity of silica using a series of organic template groups covalently incorporated into the silicate matrix. The templates in the bridged polysilsesquioxanes are selectively removed from the material by oxidation with oxygen plasma or other means, leaving engineered voids or pores. The size of these pores is dependent upon the length or size of the template or spacer. The size of the templates is measured in terms of Si-Si distances which range from about 0.67 nm to 1.08 nm. Changes introduced by the loss of the templates result in a narrow range of micropores (i.e. <2 nm). Both aryl and alkyl template groups are used as spacers. Novel microporous silica materials useful as molecular sieves, desiccants, and catalyst supports are produced. 3 figs.

  4. Molecular basis of glyphosate resistance: Different approaches through protein engineering

    PubMed Central

    Pollegioni, Loredano; Schonbrunn, Ernst; Siehl, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine) is the most-used herbicide in the world: glyphosate-based formulations exhibit broad-spectrum herbicidal activity with minimal human and environmental toxicity. The extraordinary success of this simple small molecule is mainly due to the high specificity of glyphosate towards the plant enzyme enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase in the shikimate pathway leading to biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids. Starting in 1996, transgenic glyphosate-resistant plants were introduced thus allowing the application of the herbicide to the crop (post-emergence) to remove emerged weeds without crop damage. This review focuses on the evolution of mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate as obtained through natural diversity, the gene shuffling approach to molecular evolution, and a rational, structure-based approach to protein engineering. In addition, we offer rationale for the means by which the modifications made have had their intended effect. PMID:21668647

  5. DNA Aptamer Based Nanodrugs: Molecular Engineering for Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Cansiz, Sena; Zhang, Liqin; Wu, Cuichen; Wu, Yuan; Teng, I-Ting; Hou, Weijia; Wang, Yanyue; Wan, Shuo; Cai, Ren; Jin, Chen; Liu, Qiaoling; Tan, Weihong

    2015-10-01

    In the past two decades, the study of cancer therapy has gradually advanced to the "nano" era. Numerous novel nanomaterials armed with unique physical properties have been introduced into biomedical research. At the same time, functional nucleic acid molecules, especially aptamers, have aroused broad attention from the biomedical community. Benefiting from the advancement of molecular engineering strategies, it is now feasible to combine the cancer-specific recognition capability of aptamers with various other special functions of nanomaterials to develop cancer-specific drugs at the nanoscale. Nanodrugs are now offering an unprecedented opportunity to achieve the goal of efficient targeted delivery as well as controlled release. This review highlights some achievements made in multiple aptamer-based nanodrug systems that have emerged in recent years, including studies in the infant stage of "proof-of-concept". PMID:26177853

  6. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    King, Jason R.; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents. PMID:27081481

  7. Biological issues in materials science and engineering: Interdisciplinarity and the bio-materials paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murr, L. E.

    2006-07-01

    Biological systems and processes have had, and continue to have, important implications and applications in materials extraction, processing, and performance. This paper illustrates some interdisciplinary, biological issues in materials science and engineering. These include metal extraction involving bacterial catalysis, galvanic couples, bacterial-assisted corrosion and degradation of materials, biosorption and bioremediation of toxic and other heavy metals, metal and material implants and prostheses and related dental and medical biomaterials developments and applications, nanomaterials health benefits and toxicity issue, and biomimetics and biologically inspired materials developments. These and other examples provide compelling evidence and arguments for emphasizing biological sicences in materials science and engineering curricula and the implementation of a bio-materials paradigm to facilitate the emergence of innovative interdisciplinarity involving the biological sciences and materials sciences and engineering.

  8. Biological, molecular, and structural analysis of a cytopathic variant from a molecularly cloned simian immunodeficiency virus.

    PubMed Central

    LaBranche, C C; Sauter, M M; Haggarty, B S; Vance, P J; Romano, J; Hart, T K; Bugelski, P J; Hoxie, J A

    1994-01-01

    Some isolates of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) have been shown to infect Sup-T1 cells with slow kinetics and in the absence of cytopathic effects, including cell fusion or CD4 down-modulation (J. A. Hoxie, B. S. Haggarty, S. Bonser, J. Rackowski, H. Shan, and P. Kanki, J. Virol. 62:2557-2568, 1988). In the present study, we describe the isolation and characterization of a SIVmac variant, derived from the BK28 infectious molecular clone, that became highly cytopathic for Sup-T1 cells. This variant, termed CP-MAC, exhibited a number of differences from BK28, including (i) an altered tropism which largely restricted its host range to Sup-T1 cells, (ii) the ability to induce cell fusion and CD4 down-modulation, and (iii) a highly stable interaction of its external (SU) and transmembrane (TM) envelope glycoproteins. In addition, a marked increase in the level of surface envelope glycoproteins was observed both on CP-MAC-infected cells and on virions. The CP-MAC env gene was PCR amplified from infected cells, and sequence analysis identified five amino acid changes in SU and six in TM compared with BK28. The introduction of these changes into BK28 was shown to fully reconstitute the biological and morphological properties of CP-MAC. The limited number of mutations in CP-MAC should enable the molecular determinants to be more precisely defined and help to identify the underlying mechanisms responsible for the striking biological and structural alterations exhibited by this virus. Images PMID:8057433

  9. Reformulating General Engineering and Biological Systems Engineering Programs at Virginia Tech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lohani, Vinod K.; Wolfe, Mary Leigh; Wildman, Terry; Mallikarjunan, Kumar; Connor, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a major curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform (DLR) program of the NSF. This DLR project laid the foundation of sponsored research in engineering education in the Department of Engineering Education. The DLR…

  10. Development of efficient molecular simulation techniques for engineering applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramaniyan, Arun Karthi

    Engineering Molecular Mechanics (EMM) was developed as an alternative to conventional molecular simulation techniques to model high temperature (T > 0 K) phenomena. The EMM methodology was developed using thermal expansion and thermal energy as key thermal properties. Temperature dependent interatomic potentials were developed to account for thermal effects. Lennard-Jones and Morse potentials were used to build temperature dependent potentials. The validity and effectiveness of EMM simulations were demonstrated by simulating temperature dependent properties such as thermal expansion, elastic constants and thermal stress in copper and nickel. EMM simulations were significantly faster than molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for the same accuracy. A controversy regarding the definition of stress in an atomic system was resolved. Using theoretical arguments and numerical examples, the equivalence of virial stress and Cauchy stress was proved. It was shown that neglecting the velocity term in the definition of virial stress (as suggested by some researchers) can cause significant errors in MD simulations at high temperatures. The nanoscale instabilities during phase transformation in Ni-Al shape memory alloys were studied using MD and EMM simulations. The phase transformation temperatures predicted by MD simulations agreed well with experiments. Some limitations of the EMM methodology and the minimization algorithm were discussed. The possibility of nanoscale material design of Ni-Al shape memory alloys was investigated. It was found that the distribution of nickel and aluminum atoms in the alloy can affect the phase transformation characteristics significantly. A new design criterion based on thermal expansion mismatch was introduced. The predicted results using the new criterion matched well with the phase transformation temperature and strain calculated using MD simulations. The new one parameter design criterion was shown to be effective for designing Ni-Al shape

  11. Single Molecular Film for Recognizing Biological Molecular Interaction: DNA-Protein Interaction and Enzyme Reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurihara, Kazue

    Protein-protein and protein-substrate interactions play essential roles in biological functions. Surface forces measurement and atomic force microscopy, which directly measure the interaction forces as a function of the surface separation, enable us to quantitatively evaluate these interactions [1-3]. We have employed the surface forces measurement [4] and colloidal probe atomic force microscopy [5] to study interactions involved in specific molecular recognition of DNA-protein and enzyme-substrate reaction. Studied are interactions between nucleic acid bases (adenine and thymine) [6], Spo0A-DB (the DNA-binding site of a transcription factor Spo0A), and DNA [7,8], those between subunits I and II of heptaprenyl diphosphate (HepPP) synthase in the presence of a substrate ((E,E)-farnesyl diphosphate, FPP) and a cofactor (Mg2+) [9-11], and the selectivity of the substrates in this enzymatic reaction [12]. Keys of our approach are the preparation of well-defined samples and the appropriate analysis. We have modified he substrate surfaces with these proteins using the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) method. This chapter reviews the LB modification method and subsequent demonstrations of biological specific interactions employing this approach.

  12. Engineered Biological Pacemakers | NCI Technology Transfer Center | TTC

    Cancer.gov

    The National Institute on Aging's Cellular Biophysics Section is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize biological pacemakers.

  13. MOLECULAR IMAGING OF PROSTATE CANCER: translating molecular biology approaches into the clinical realm

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Hebert Alberto; Grimm, Jan; Donati, Olivio F.; Sala, Evis; Hricak, Hedvig

    2016-01-01

    The epidemiology of prostate cancer has dramatically changed since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1980’s. Most prostate cancers today are detected at early stages of the disease and are considered “indolent”, however some patients’ prostate cancers demonstrate a more aggressive behavior which leads to rapid progression and death. Increasing understanding of the biology underlying the heterogeneity that characterizes this disease has lead to a continuously evolving role of imaging in the management of prostate cancer. Functional and metabolic imaging techniques are gaining importance as the impact on the therapeutic paradigm has shifted from structural tumor detection alone to distinguishing patients with indolent tumors that can be managed conservatively (e.g., by active surveillance) from patients with more aggressive tumors that may require definitive treatment with surgery or radiation. In this review, we discuss advanced imaging techniques that allow direct visualization of molecular interactions relevant to prostate cancer and their potential for translation to the clinical setting in the near future. The potential use of imaging to follow molecular events during drug therapy as well as the use of imaging agents for therapeutic purposes will also be discussed. PMID:25693661

  14. 2012 PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JULY 15-20, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Sussman, Michael

    2013-07-20

    The 2012 Gordon Conference on Plant Molecular Biology will present cutting-edge research on molecular aspects of plant growth and development, with particular emphasis on recent discoveries in molecular mechanisms involved with plant signaling systems. The Conference will feature a wide range of topics in plant molecular biology including hormone receptors and early events in hormone signaling, plant perception of and response to plant pathogen and symbionts, as well as technological and biological aspects of epigenomics particularly as it relates to signaling systems that regulate plant growth and development. Genomic approaches to plant signaling will be emphasized, including genomic profiling technologies for quantifying various biological subsystems, such as the epigenome, transcriptome, phosphorylome, and metabolome. The meeting will include an important session devoted to answering the question, "What are the biological and technological limits of plant breeding/genetics, and how can they be solved"?

  15. Natural Language Query in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Domains Based on Cognition Search™

    PubMed Central

    Goldsmith, Elizabeth J.; Mendiratta, Saurabh; Akella, Radha; Dahlgren, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Motivation: With the increasing volume of scientific papers and heterogeneous nomenclature in the biomedical literature, it is apparent that an improvement over standard pattern matching available in existing search engines is required. Cognition Search Information Retrieval (CSIR) is a natural language processing (NLP) technology that possesses a large dictionary (lexicon) and large semantic databases, such that search can be based on meaning. Encoded synonymy, ontological relationships, phrases, and seeds for word sense disambiguation offer significant improvement over pattern matching. Thus, the CSIR has the right architecture to form the basis for a scientific search engine. Result: Here we have augmented CSIR to improve access to the MEDLINE database of scientific abstracts. New biochemical, molecular biological and medical language and acronyms were introduced from curated web-based sources. The resulting system was used to interpret MEDLINE abstracts. Meaning-based search of MEDLINE abstracts yields high precision (estimated at >90%), and high recall (estimated at >90%), where synonym, ontology, phrases and sense seeds have been encoded. The present implementation can be found at http://MEDLINE.cognition.com. Contact: Elizabeth.goldsmith@UTsouthwestern.edu Kathleen.dahlgren@cognition.com PMID:21347167

  16. Engineering modular 'ON' RNA switches using biological components.

    PubMed

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J; Batey, Robert T

    2013-12-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory 'aptamer domain' and a regulatory 'expression platform'. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional 'OFF' expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional 'ON' riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  17. Engineering modular ‘ON’ RNA switches using biological components

    PubMed Central

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J.; Batey, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory ‘aptamer domain’ and a regulatory ‘expression platform’. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional ‘OFF’ expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional ‘ON’ riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  18. Recent progress in development of synthetic biology platforms and metabolic engineering of Corynebacterium glutamicum.

    PubMed

    Woo, Han Min; Park, Jin-Byung

    2014-06-20

    The paradigm of synthetic biology has been evolving, along with relevant engineering, to achieve designed bio-systems. Synthetic biology has reached the point where it is possible to develop microbial strains to produce desired chemicals. Recent advances in this field have promoted metabolic engineering of Corynebacterium glutamicum as an amino-acid producer for use in intelligent microbial-cell factories. Here, we review recent advances that address C. glutamicum as a potential model organism for synthetic biology, and evaluate their industrial applications. Finally, we highlight the perspective of developing C. glutamicum as a step toward advanced microbial-cell factories that could produce valuable chemicals from renewable resources. PMID:24632177

  19. NETWORKS, BIOLOGY AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING: A CASE STUDY IN INFLAMMATION

    PubMed Central

    Foteinou, P.T.; Yang, E.; Androulakis, I. P.

    2009-01-01

    Biological systems can be modeled as networks of interacting components across multiple scales. A central problem in computational systems biology is to identify those critical components and the rules that define their interactions and give rise to the emergent behavior of a host response. In this paper we will discuss two fundamental problems related to the construction of transcription factor networks and the identification of networks of functional modules describing disease progression. We focus on inflammation as a key physiological response of clinical and translational importance. PMID:20161495

  20. A paradigm for the integration of biology in materials science and engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roeder, Ryan K.

    2010-07-01

    The integration of biology in materials science and engineering can be complicated by the lack of a common framework and common language between otherwise disparate disciplines. History may offer a valuable lesson as modern materials science and engineering itself resulted from the integration of traditionally disparate disciplines that were delineated by classes of materials. The integration of metallurgy, ceramics, and polymers into materials science and engineering was facilitated, in large part, by a unifying paradigm based upon processing-structure-property relationships that is now well-accepted. Therefore, a common paradigm might also help unify the vast array of perspectives and challenges present in the interdisciplinary study of biomaterials, biological materials, and biomimetic materials. The traditional materials science and engineering paradigm was modified to account for the adaptive and hierarchical nature of biological materials. Various examples of application to research and education are considered.

  1. Reverse engineering and identification in systems biology: strategies, perspectives and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Villaverde, Alejandro F.; Banga, Julio R.

    2014-01-01

    The interplay of mathematical modelling with experiments is one of the central elements in systems biology. The aim of reverse engineering is to infer, analyse and understand, through this interplay, the functional and regulatory mechanisms of biological systems. Reverse engineering is not exclusive of systems biology and has been studied in different areas, such as inverse problem theory, machine learning, nonlinear physics, (bio)chemical kinetics, control theory and optimization, among others. However, it seems that many of these areas have been relatively closed to outsiders. In this contribution, we aim to compare and highlight the different perspectives and contributions from these fields, with emphasis on two key questions: (i) why are reverse engineering problems so hard to solve, and (ii) what methods are available for the particular problems arising from systems biology? PMID:24307566

  2. STUDIES OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MOLECULAR STRUCTURE AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY BY PATTERN RECOGNITION METHODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The attempt to rationalize the connections between the molecular structures of organic compounds and their biological activities comprises the field of structure-activity relations (SAR) studies. Correlations between structure and activity are important for the understanding and ...

  3. COMPUTER-ASSISTED STUDIES OF MOLECULAR STRUCTURE-BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY RELATIONSHIPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Computer-assisted methods can be used to investigate the relationships between the molecular structures of compounds and their biological activity. A number of approaches have been reported in the literature, including correlations of activity with substituent constants, conforma...

  4. Decoding Genetics and Molecular Biology: Sharing the Movies in Our Heads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zolan, Miriam; Strome, Susan; Innes, Roger

    2004-01-01

    For three biology professors, visualizing molecular processes is central to thinking in their discipline. This chapter reports their attempts at getting students to make this same cognitive move and the results of their assessments. (Contains 2 figures.)

  5. Practicing Real Science in the Laboratory: A Project-Based Approach to Teaching Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmers, Larry E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a molecular biology laboratory in which students study the role of the enzyme polygalacturonase in the softening of tomatoes during ripening by developing their own hypotheses and designing their own experiments. (MM)

  6. Synthesis of Charge Transfer Dyes for Use as Molecular Sensors in Biological Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christie, Joseph J.

    2003-01-01

    This is a continuation of last year's project to synthesize tetraaryl substituted benzodifurans for use as molecular probes in biological systems. The project will involve the synthesis and chemical characterization of dyes and precursor molecules.

  7. 2012 CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 17 - 22, 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Judith Berman

    2012-06-22

    The Gordon Research Conference on CELLULAR & MOLECULAR FUNGAL BIOLOGY was held at Holderness School, Holderness New Hampshire, June 17 - 22, 2012. The 2012 Gordon Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology (CMFB) will present the latest, cutting-edge research on the exciting and growing field of molecular and cellular aspects of fungal biology. Topics will range from yeast to filamentous fungi, from model systems to economically important organisms, and from saprophytes and commensals to pathogens of plants and animals. The CMFB conference will feature a wide range of topics including systems biology, cell biology and morphogenesis, organismal interactions, genome organisation and regulation, pathogenesis, energy metabolism, biomass production and population genomics. The Conference was well-attended with 136 participants. Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings.

  8. Importance of systems biology in engineering microbes for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Redding, Alyssa M.; Rutherford, Becky J.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    Microorganisms have been rich sources for natural products, some of which have found use as fuels, commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers, and drugs, to name a few. The recent interest in production of transportation fuels from renewable resources has catalyzed numerous research endeavors that focus on developing microbial systems for production of such natural products. Eliminating bottlenecks in microbial metabolic pathways and alleviating the stresses due to production of these chemicals are crucial in the generation of robust and efficient production hosts. The use of systems-level studies makes it possible to comprehensively understand the impact of pathway engineering within the context of the entire host metabolism, to diagnose stresses due to product synthesis, and provides the rationale to cost-effectively engineer optimal industrial microorganisms.

  9. Metabolic Burden: Cornerstones in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering Applications.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gang; Yan, Qiang; Jones, J Andrew; Tang, Yinjie J; Fong, Stephen S; Koffas, Mattheos A G

    2016-08-01

    Engineering cell metabolism for bioproduction not only consumes building blocks and energy molecules (e.g., ATP) but also triggers energetic inefficiency inside the cell. The metabolic burdens on microbial workhorses lead to undesirable physiological changes, placing hidden constraints on host productivity. We discuss cell physiological responses to metabolic burdens, as well as strategies to identify and resolve the carbon and energy burden problems, including metabolic balancing, enhancing respiration, dynamic regulatory systems, chromosomal engineering, decoupling cell growth with production phases, and co-utilization of nutrient resources. To design robust strains with high chances of success in industrial settings, novel genome-scale models (GSMs), (13)C-metabolic flux analysis (MFA), and machine-learning approaches are needed for weighting, standardizing, and predicting metabolic costs. PMID:26996613

  10. Research and engineering assessment of biological solubilization of phosphate

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, R.D.; McIlwain, M.E.; Losinski, S.J.; Taylor, D.D.

    1993-03-01

    This research and engineering assessment examined a microbial phosphate solubilization process as a method of recovering phosphate from phosphorus containing ore compared to the existing wet acid and electric arc methods. A total of 860 microbial isolates, collected from a range of natural environments were tested for their ability to solubilize phosphate from rock phosphate. A bacterium (Pseudomonas cepacia) was selected for extensive characterization and evaluation of the mechanism of phosphate solubilization and of process engineering parameters necessary to recover phosphate from rock phosphate. These studies found that concentration of hydrogen ion and production of organic acids arising from oxidation of the carbon source facilitated microbial solubilization of both pure chemical insoluble phosphate compounds and phosphate rock. Genetic studies found that phosphate solubilization was linked to an enzyme system (glucose dehydrogenase). Process-related studies found that a critical solids density of 1% by weight (ore to liquid) was necessary for optimal solubilization. An engineering analysis evaluated the cost and energy requirements for a 2 million ton per year sized plant, whose size was selected to be comparable to existing wet acid plants.

  11. Progress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Cohn, W.E. ); Moldave, K. )

    1989-01-01

    This book is organized under the following headings: Transposable elements in Drosophilia; Regulation of gene expression; Structure and function of repetitive and unusual sequences; Retroviruses; Molecular analysis of chromosomal translocation and gene insertion.

  12. Workshop in computational molecular biology, April 15, 1991--April 14, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Tavare, S.

    1995-04-12

    Funds from this award were used to the Workshop in Computational Molecular Biology, `91 Symposium entitled Interface: Computing Science and Statistics, Seattle, Washington, April 21, 1991; the Workshop in Statistical Issues in Molecular Biology held at Stanford, California, August 8, 1993; and the Session on Population Genetics a part of the 56th Annual Meeting, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, San Francisco, California, August 9, 1993.

  13. Decellularized and Engineered Tendons as Biological Substitutes: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Lovati, Arianna B.; Bottagisio, Marta; Moretti, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Tendon ruptures are a great burden in clinics. Finding a proper graft material as a substitute for tendon repair is one of the main challenges in orthopaedics, for which the requirement of a biological scaffold would be different for each clinical application. Among biological scaffolds, the use of decellularized tendon-derived matrix increasingly represents an interesting approach to treat tendon ruptures. We analyzed in vitro and in vivo studies focused on the development of efficient protocols for the decellularization and for the cell reseeding of the tendon matrix to obtain medical devices for tendon substitution. Our review considered also the proper tendon source and preclinical animal models with the aim of entering into clinical trials. The results highlight a wide panorama in terms of allogenic or xenogeneic tendon sources, specimen dimensions, physical or chemical decellularization techniques, and the cell type variety for reseeding from terminally differentiated to undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells and their static or dynamic culture employed to generate implantable constructs tested in different animal models. We try to identify the most efficient approach to achieve an optimal biological scaffold for biomechanics and intrinsic properties, resembling the native tendon and being applicable in clinics in the near future, with particular attention to the Achilles tendon substitution. PMID:26880985

  14. Intravascular near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging of atherosclerosis: toward coronary arterial visualization of biologically high-risk plaques

    PubMed Central

    Calfon, Marcella A.; Vinegoni, Claudio; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Jaffer, Farouc A.

    2010-01-01

    New imaging methods are urgently needed to identify high-risk atherosclerotic lesions prior to the onset of myocardial infarction, stroke, and ischemic limbs. Molecular imaging offers a new approach to visualize key biological features that characterize high-risk plaques associated with cardiovascular events. While substantial progress has been realized in clinical molecular imaging of plaques in larger arterial vessels (carotid, aorta, iliac), there remains a compelling, unmet need to develop molecular imaging strategies targeted to high-risk plaques in human coronary arteries. We present recent developments in intravascular near-IR fluorescence catheter-based strategies for in vivo detection of plaque inflammation in coronary-sized arteries. In particular, the biological, light transmission, imaging agent, and engineering principles that underlie a new intravascular near-IR fluorescence sensing method are discussed. Intravascular near-IR fluorescence catheters appear highly translatable to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and thus may offer a new in vivo method to detect high-risk coronary plaques and to assess novel atherosclerosis biologics. PMID:20210433

  15. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment and Evaluation System for Biotechnology Specialty Students: An Effective Evaluation System to Improve the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Suxia; Wu, Haizhen; Zhao, Jian; Ou, Ling; Zhang, Yuanxing

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to achieve high success in knowledge and technique acquisition as a whole, a biochemistry and molecular biology experiment was established for high-grade biotechnology specialty students after they had studied essential theory and received proper technique training. The experiment was based on cloning and expression of alkaline…

  16. Putting Synthesis into Biology – A Viral View of Genetic Engineering Through de novo Gene and Genome synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Steffen; Coleman, J. Robert; Wimmer, Eckard

    2009-01-01

    The rapid improvements in DNA synthesis technology hold the potential to revolutionize biosciences in the near future. Traditional genetic engineering methods are template dependent and make extensive but laborious use of site-directed mutagenesis to explore the impact of small variations on an existing sequence “theme”. De novo gene and genome synthesis frees the investigator from the restrictions of the pre-existing template and allows for the rational design of any conceivable new sequence theme. Viruses, being amongst the simplest replicating entities, have been at the forefront of the advancing biosciences since the dawn of molecular biology. Viral genomes, especially those of RNA viruses, are relatively short, often less than 10,000 bases long, making them amenable to whole genome synthesis with the currently available technology. For this reason viruses are once again poised to lead the way in the budding field of synthetic biology – for better or worse. PMID:19318214

  17. Surface engineering on mesoporous silica chips for enriching low molecular weight phosphorylated proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Ye; Peng, Yang; Lin, Kevin; Shen, Haifa; Brousseau, Louis C., III; Sakamoto, Jason; Sun, Tong; Ferrari, Mauro

    2011-02-01

    Phosphorylated peptides and proteins play an important role in normal cellular activities, e.g., gene expression, mitosis, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, technical hurdles hinder the use of common fractionation methods to capture phosphopeptides from complex biological fluids such as human sera. Herein, we present the development of a dual strategy material that offers enhanced capture of low molecular weight phosphoproteins: mesoporous silica thin films with precisely engineered pore sizes that sterically select for molecular size combined with chemically selective surface modifications (i.e. Ga3+, Ti4+ and Zr4+) that target phosphoroproteins. These materials provide high reproducibility (CV = 18%) and increase the stability of the captured proteins by excluding degrading enzymes, such as trypsin. The chemical and physical properties of the composite mesoporous thin films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and ellipsometry. Using mass spectroscopy and biostatistics analysis, the enrichment efficiency of different metal ions immobilized on mesoporous silica chips was investigated. The novel technology reported provides a platform capable of efficiently profiling the serum proteome for biomarker discovery, forensic sampling, and routine diagnostic applications.Phosphorylated peptides and proteins play an important role in normal cellular activities, e.g., gene expression, mitosis, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, technical hurdles hinder the use of common fractionation methods to capture phosphopeptides from complex biological fluids such as human sera. Herein, we present the development of a dual strategy material that offers enhanced capture of low molecular weight phosphoproteins: mesoporous

  18. Size Matters: Molecular Weight Specificity of Hyaluronan Effects in Cell Biology

    PubMed Central

    Cyphert, Jaime M.; Trempus, Carol S.; Garantziotis, Stavros

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronan signaling properties are unique among other biologically active molecules, that they are apparently not influenced by postsynthetic molecular modification, but by hyaluronan fragment size. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the generation of hyaluronan fragments of different size and size-dependent differences in hyaluronan signaling as well as their downstream biological effects. PMID:26448754

  19. Analyzing Biological Performance of 3D-Printed, Cell-Impregnated Hybrid Constructs for Cartilage Tissue Engineering.

    PubMed

    Izadifar, Zohreh; Chang, Tuanjie; Kulyk, William; Chen, Xiongbiao; Eames, B Frank

    2016-03-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting of hybrid constructs is a promising biofabrication method for cartilage tissue engineering because a synthetic polymer framework and cell-impregnated hydrogel provide structural and biological features of cartilage, respectively. During bioprinting, impregnated cells may be subjected to high temperatures (caused by the adjacent melted polymer) and process-induced mechanical forces, potentially compromising cell function. This study addresses these biofabrication issues, evaluating the heat distribution of printed polycaprolactone (PCL) strands and the rheological property and structural stability of alginate hydrogels at various temperatures and concentrations. The biocompatibility of parameters from these studies was tested by culturing 3D hybrid constructs bioprinted with primary cells from embryonic chick cartilage. During initial two-dimensional culture expansion of these primary cells, two morphologically and molecularly distinct cell populations ("rounded" and "fibroblastic") were isolated. The biological performance of each population was evaluated in 3D hybrid constructs separately. The cell viability, proliferation, and cartilage differentiation were observed at high levels in hybrid constructs of both cell populations, confirming the validity of these 3D bioprinting parameters for effective cartilage tissue engineering. Statistically significant performance variations were observed, however, between the rounded and fibroblastic cell populations. Molecular and morphological data support the notion that such performance differences may be attributed to the relative differentiation state of rounded versus fibroblastic cells (i.e., differentiated chondrocytes vs. chondroprogenitors, respectively), which is a relevant issue for cell-based tissue engineering strategies. Taken together, our study demonstrates that bioprinting 3D hybrid constructs of PCL and cell-impregnated alginate hydrogel is a promising approach for

  20. Cas9 as a versatile tool for engineering biology

    PubMed Central

    Mali, Prashant; Esvelt, Kevin M; Church, George M

    2014-01-01

    RNA-guided Cas9 nucleases derived from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems have dramatically transformed our ability to edit the genomes of diverse organisms. We believe tools and techniques based on Cas9, a single unifying factor capable of colocalizing RNA, DNA and protein, will grant unprecedented control over cellular organization, regulation and behavior. Here we describe the Cas9 targeting methodology, detail current and prospective engineering advances and suggest potential applications ranging from basic science to the clinic. PMID:24076990

  1. Morphology of Filamentous Fungi: Linking Cellular Biology to Process Engineering Using Aspergillus niger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krull, Rainer; Cordes, Christiana; Horn, Harald; Kampen, Ingo; Kwade, Arno; Neu, Thomas R.; Nörtemann, Bernd

    In various biotechnological processes, filamentous fungi, e.g. Aspergillus niger, are widely applied for the production of high value-added products due to their secretion efficiency. There is, however, a tangled relationship between the morphology of these microorganisms, the transport phenomena and the related productivity. The morphological characteristics vary between freely dispersed mycelia and distinct pellets of aggregated biomass. Hence, advantages and disadvantages for mycel or pellet cultivation have to be balanced out carefully. Due to this inadequate understanding of morphogenesis of filamentous microorganisms, fungal morphology, along with reproducibility of inocula of the same quality, is often a bottleneck of productivity in industrial production. To obtain an optimisation of the production process it is of great importance to gain a better understanding of the molecular and cell biology of these microorganisms as well as the approaches in biochemical engineering and particle technique, in particular to characterise the interactions between the growth conditions, cell morphology, spore-hyphae-interactions and product formation. Advances in particle and image analysis techniques as well as micromechanical devices and their applications to fungal cultivations have made available quantitative morphological data on filamentous cells. This chapter provides the ambitious aspects of this line of action, focussing on the control and characterisation of the morphology, the transport gradients and the approaches to understand the metabolism of filamentous fungi. Based on these data, bottlenecks in the morphogenesis of A. niger within the complex production pathways from gene to product should be identified and this may improve the production yield.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  3. Cloning Yeast Actin cDNA Leads to an Investigative Approach for the Molecular Biology Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Michael W.; Tuan, Alice; Jonasson, Erin

    2008-01-01

    The emergence of molecular tools in multiple disciplines has elevated the importance of undergraduate laboratory courses that train students in molecular biology techniques. Although it would also be desirable to provide students with opportunities to apply these techniques in an investigative manner, this is generally not possible in the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Applying molecular-based approaches to classical biological control of weeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern advances in molecular techniques are only recently being incorporated into programs for the classical biological control of weeds. Molecular analyses are able to elucidate information about target weeds that is critical to improving control success, such as taxonomic clarification, evidence o...

  6. Enzymes used in molecular biology: a useful guide

    PubMed Central

    Rittié, Laure

    2008-01-01

    Since molecular cloning has become routine laboratory technique, manufacturers offer countless sources of enzymes to generate and manipulate nucleic acids. Thus, selecting the appropriate enzyme for a specific task may seem difficult to the novice. This review aims at providing the readers with some cues for understanding the function and specificities of the different sources of polymerases, ligases, nucleases, phosphatases, methylases, and topoisomerases used for molecular cloning. We provide a description of the most commonly used enzymes of each group, and explain their properties and mechanism of action. By pointing out key requirements for each enzymatic activity and clarifying their limitations, we aim at guiding the reader in selecting appropriate enzymatic source and optimal experimental conditions for molecular cloning experiments. PMID:18766469

  7. Engineering derivatives from biological systems for advanced aerospace applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winfield, Daniel L.; Hering, Dean H.; Cole, David

    1991-01-01

    The present study consisted of a literature survey, a survey of researchers, and a workshop on bionics. These tasks produced an extensive annotated bibliography of bionics research (282 citations), a directory of bionics researchers, and a workshop report on specific bionics research topics applicable to space technology. These deliverables are included as Appendix A, Appendix B, and Section 5.0, respectively. To provide organization to this highly interdisciplinary field and to serve as a guide for interested researchers, we have also prepared a taxonomy or classification of the various subelements of natural engineering systems. Finally, we have synthesized the results of the various components of this study into a discussion of the most promising opportunities for accelerated research, seeking solutions which apply engineering principles from natural systems to advanced aerospace problems. A discussion of opportunities within the areas of materials, structures, sensors, information processing, robotics, autonomous systems, life support systems, and aeronautics is given. Following the conclusions are six discipline summaries that highlight the potential benefits of research in these areas for NASA's space technology programs.

  8. Computational molecular biology approaches to ligand-target interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lupieri, Paola; Nguyen, Chuong Ha Hung; Bafghi, Zhaleh Ghaemi; Giorgetti, Alejandro; Carloni, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Binding of small molecules to their targets triggers complex pathways. Computational approaches are keys for predictions of the molecular events involved in such cascades. Here we review current efforts at characterizing the molecular determinants in the largest membrane-bound receptor family, the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We focus on odorant receptors, which constitute more than half GPCRs. The work presented in this review uncovers structural and energetic aspects of components of the cellular cascade. Finally, a computational approach in the context of radioactive boron-based antitumoral therapies is briefly described. PMID:20119480

  9. The Use of MERLOT in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Scott

    2005-01-01

    The referatory, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), contains links to 1300 electronic teaching resources in biology and chemistry. Approximately 20% have been peer reviewed, and most have user comments or assignments attached. In addition to being a source of educational resources, the MERLOT project seeks…

  10. Molecular probes for nonlinear optical imaging of biological membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchard-Desce, Mireille H.; Ventelon, Lionel; Charier, Sandrine; Moreaux, Laurent; Mertz, Jerome

    2001-12-01

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) are nonlinear optical (NLO) phenomena that scale with excitation intensity squared, and hence give rise to an intrinsic 3-dimensional resolution when used in microscopic imaging. TPEF microscopy has gained widespread popularity in the biology community whereas SHG microscopy promises to be a powerful tool because of its sensitivity to local asymmetry. We have implemented an approach toward the design of NLO-probes specifically adapted for SHG and/or TPEF imaging of biological membranes. Our strategy is based on the design of nanoscale amphiphilic NLO-phores. We have prepared symmetrical bolaamphiphilic fluorophores combining very high two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-sections in the visible red region and affinity for cellular membranes. Their incorporation and orientation in lipid membranes can be monitored via TPEF anisotropy. We have also prepared amphiphilic push-pull chromophores exhibiting both large TPA cross-sections and very large first hyperpolarizabilities in the near-IR region. These NLO-probes have proved to be particularly useful for imaging of biological membranes by simultaneous SHG and TPEF microscopy and offer attractive prospects for real-time imaging of fundamental biological processes such as adhesion, fusion or reporting of membrane potentials.

  11. How was teleology eliminated in early molecular biology?

    PubMed

    Sloan, Phillip R

    2012-03-01

    This paper approaches the issue of the status of teleological reasoning in contemporary biology through a historical examination of events of the 1930s that surrounded Niels Bohr's efforts to introduce 'complementarity' into biological discussions. The paper examines responses of three theoretical physicists who engaged boundary questions between the biological and physical sciences in this period in response to Bohr-Ernst Pascual Jordan (1902-80), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), and Max Delbrück (1906-81). It is claimed that none of these physicists sufficiently understood Bohr's 'critical' teleological arguments, which are traced to the lineage of Kant and Harald Høffding and their respective resolutions of the Antinomy of Teleological Judgment. The positions of these four historical actors are discussed in terms of Ernst Mayr's distinction of 'teleological,' 'teleomatic,' and 'teleonomic' explanations. A return to some of the views articulated by Bohr, and behind him, to Høffding and Kant, is claimed to provide a framework for reintroducing a 'critical' teleology into biological discussions. PMID:22326083

  12. Models for synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-01-01

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal. PMID:17986347

  13. BioMOL: a computer-assisted biological modeling tool for complex chemical mixtures and biological processes at the molecular level.

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Michael T; Hou, Gang; Quann, Richard J; Wei, Wei; Liao, Kai H; Yang, Raymond S H; Campain, Julie A; Mazurek, Monica A; Broadbelt, Linda J

    2002-01-01

    A chemical engineering approach for the rigorous construction, solution, and optimization of detailed kinetic models for biological processes is described. This modeling capability addresses the required technical components of detailed kinetic modeling, namely, the modeling of reactant structure and composition, the building of the reaction network, the organization of model parameters, the solution of the kinetic model, and the optimization of the model. Even though this modeling approach has enjoyed successful application in the petroleum industry, its application to biomedical research has just begun. We propose to expand the horizons on classic pharmacokinetics and physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK), where human or animal bodies were often described by a few compartments, by integrating PBPK with reaction network modeling described in this article. If one draws a parallel between an oil refinery, where the application of this modeling approach has been very successful, and a human body, the individual processing units in the oil refinery may be considered equivalent to the vital organs of the human body. Even though the cell or organ may be much more complicated, the complex biochemical reaction networks in each organ may be similarly modeled and linked in much the same way as the modeling of the entire oil refinery through linkage of the individual processing units. The integrated chemical engineering software package described in this article, BioMOL, denotes the biological application of molecular-oriented lumping. BioMOL can build a detailed model in 1-1,000 CPU sec using standard desktop hardware. The models solve and optimize using standard and widely available hardware and software and can be presented in the context of a user-friendly interface. We believe this is an engineering tool with great promise in its application to complex biological reaction networks. PMID:12634134

  14. A conundrum in molecular toxicology: molecular and biological changes during neoplastic transformation of human cells.

    PubMed

    Milo, G E; Shuler, C F; Lee, H; Casto, B C

    1995-12-01

    The process of multistage carcinogenesis lends itself to the concept that the effects of carcinogens are mediated through dose-related, multi-hit, linear changes. Multiple in vitro model systems have been developed that are designed to examine the cellular changes associated with the progression of cells through the different stages in the process; however, these systems may have inherent limitations due to the cell lines used for these studies, the manner of assessing the effects of the carcinogens, and the subsequent growth and differentiation of the exposed cells. Each of these variables results in increasing levels of uncertainty relative to the correlation of the events with the actual process of human tumor development. Therefore, the prediction of the ultimate effect of any carcinogen is difficult. Moreover, relationships between individual biological endpoints resulting from carcinogen treatment appear at best to be approximations. The presence of an activated carcinogen inside the cell can give rise to multiple outcomes, only some of which may be critical events. For example, site-specific modification of the 12th and 13th codons of H-ras is different than that in the adjacent 14th and 15th codons. It is interesting to speculate what effect these differences might have on a biological outcome, e.g., transformation to anchorage-independent growth. The use of different model systems to examine the effects of activated carcinogens also creates additional problems. Comparisons of in vitro transformed cells with similar cells isolated from human tumors indicate that the culture environment appears to influence the expression of a particular phenotype, in that human tumor cells in culture express many of the same parameters as those found in cells transformed with carcinogens in vitro. If the process of transformation is linear, then less aggressive phenotypes should progress to a more aggressive transformed stage. However, in carcinogen-transformed human cells

  15. Roles of cell volume in molecular and cellular biology.

    PubMed

    Dubois, Jean-Marc; Rouzaire-Dubois, Béatrice

    2012-04-01

    Extracellular tonicity and volume regulation control a great number of molecular and cellular functions including: cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, hormone and neuromediator release, gene expression, ion channel and transporter activity and metabolism. The aim of this review is to describe these effects and to determine if they are direct or are secondarily the result of the activity of second messengers. PMID:22192789

  16. WWW Entrez: A Hypertext Retrieval Tool for Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Jonathan A.; Kans, Jonathan A.; Schuler, Gregory D.

    This article describes the World Wide Web (WWW) Entrez server which is based upon the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Entrez retrieval database and software. Entrez is a molecular sequence retrieval system that contains an integrated view of portions of Medline and all publicly available nucleotide and protein databases,…

  17. Recent advances in yeast molecular biology: recombinant DNA. [Lead abstract

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-09-01

    Separate abstracts were prepared for the 25 papers presented at a workshop focusing on chromosomal structure, gene regulation, recombination, DNA repair, and cell type control, that have been obtained by experimental approaches incorporating the new technologies of yeast DNA transformation, molecular cloning, and DNA sequence analysis. (KRM)

  18. Synthetic biology for engineering acetyl coenzyme A metabolism in yeast.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely used cell factory for the production of fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The use of this cell factory for cost-efficient production of novel fuels and chemicals requires high yields and low by-product production. Many industrially interesting chemicals are biosynthesized from acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which serves as a central precursor metabolite in yeast. To ensure high yields in production of these chemicals, it is necessary to engineer the central carbon metabolism so that ethanol production is minimized (or eliminated) and acetyl-CoA can be formed from glucose in high yield. Here the perspective of generating yeast platform strains that have such properties is discussed in the context of a major breakthrough with expression of a functional pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in the cytosol. PMID:25370498

  19. Metabolic Engineering for Production of Biorenewable Fuels and Chemicals: Contributions of Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Jarboe, Laura R.; Zhang, Xueli; Wang, Xuan; Moore, Jonathan C.; Shanmugam, K. T.; Ingram, Lonnie O.

    2010-01-01

    Production of fuels and chemicals through microbial fermentation of plant material is a desirable alternative to petrochemical-based production. Fermentative production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals requires the engineering of biocatalysts that can quickly and efficiently convert sugars to target products at a cost that is competitive with existing petrochemical-based processes. It is also important that biocatalysts be robust to extreme fermentation conditions, biomass-derived inhibitors, and their target products. Traditional metabolic engineering has made great advances in this area, but synthetic biology has contributed and will continue to contribute to this field, particularly with next-generation biofuels. This work reviews the use of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology in biocatalyst engineering for biorenewable fuels and chemicals production, such as ethanol, butanol, acetate, lactate, succinate, alanine, and xylitol. We also examine the existing challenges in this area and discuss strategies for improving biocatalyst tolerance to chemical inhibitors. PMID:20414363

  20. Figura et Forma — Understanding and Engineering Biological Intelligence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoli, Salvatore

    2006-06-01

    While Quantum Physics and Thermodynamics can account for self-organization, if proper constraints are met with, and even for cognition as the capability of self-description, the consideration of boundary conditions for the equations describing a dynamical quantum/classical chain embodying a structure-function solidary whole that compresses environmental information into knowledge, leads to the possibility of describing Biological Intelligence (BI) as rooted in some property of spacetime, or of other primary concepts hypothesized recently as substitutes for its insufficiency. BI would thus embody real physical events, not mere epihenomena, and would be a per se quality, not describable through mere quantitative approaches. BI geometrization might be the first step toward attaining to some deep aspects of such quality through quantity.

  1. 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.

  2. Biomaterials — where biology, physics, chemistry, engineering and medicine meet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hing, K. A.

    2008-03-01

    The success or failure of an implant material in the body depends on a complex interaction between a synthetic 'foreign body' and the 'host tissue'. These interactions occur at many levels from the sub-microscopic level, where subtle changes in the surface physio-chemistry can substantially alter the nature of the biomaterial-host tissue interface, through the microscopical level (e.g. sensitivity to surface topography) to the macrostructural level (e.g. dependence on scaffold porosity). Thus the factors that control these responses are not only biologically determined but also mechanically, physically and chemically mediated, although identifying where one starts and the other finishes can be difficult. Design of a successful medical device has therefore to call on expertise within a wide range of disciplines. In terms of both investigating the basic science behind the factors which orchestrate a biological response and developing research tools that enable study of these responses. However, a medical device must also meet the economic and practical demands of health care professionals who will ultimately be using it in the clinic. Bone graft substitute materials are used in orthopaedics as an alternative or adjunct to autografting, a practice where the patient 'donates' bone from a healthy site to aid bone repair at a damaged or diseased site. These materials are used in a wide range of procedures from total hip revision to spinal fusion and their evolution over the last 10 years illustrates how an interdisciplinary approach has benefited their development and may lead to further innovation in the future.

  3. Inhalable DNase I microparticles engineered with biologically active excipients.

    PubMed

    Osman, Rihab; Al Jamal, Khuloud T; Kan, Pei-Lee; Awad, Gehanne; Mortada, Nahed; El-Shamy, Abd-Elhameed; Alpar, Oya

    2013-12-01

    Highly viscous mucus poses a big challenge for the delivery of particulates carrying therapeutics to patients with cystic fibrosis. In this study, surface modifying DNase I loaded particles using different excipients to achieve better lung deposition, higher enzyme stability or better biological activity had been exploited. For the purpose, controlled release microparticles (MP) were prepared by co-spray drying DNase I with the polymer poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and the biocompatible lipid surfactant 1,2-dipalmitoyl-Sn-phosphatidyl choline (DPPC) using various hydrophilic excipients. The effect of the included modifiers on the particle morphology, size, zeta potential as well as enzyme encapsulation efficiency, biological activity and release had been evaluated. Powder aerosolisation performance and particle phagocytosis by murine macrophages were also investigated. The results showed that more than 80% of enzyme activity was recovered after MP preparation and that selected surface modifiers greatly increased the enzyme encapsulation efficiency. The particle morphology was greatly modified altering in turn the powders inhalation indices where dextran, ovalbumin and chitosan hydrochloride increased considerably the respirable fraction compared to the normal hydrophilic carriers lactose and PVP. Despite of the improved aerosolisation caused by chitosan hydrochloride, yet retardation of chitosan coated particles in artificial mucus samples discouraged its application. On the other hand, dextran and polyanions enhanced DNase I effect in reducing cystic fibrosis mucus viscosity. DPPC proved good ability to reduce particles phagocytic uptake even in the presence of the selected adjuvants. The prepared MP systems were biocompatible with lung epithelial cells. To conclude, controlled release DNase I loaded PLGA-MP with high inhalation indices and enhanced mucolytic activity on CF sputum could be obtained by surface modifying the particles with PGA or dextran. PMID

  4. Synergizing Engineering and Biology to Treat and Model Skeletal Muscle Injury and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bursac, Nenad; Juhas, Mark; Rando, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Although skeletal muscle is one of the most regenerative organs in our body, various genetic defects, alterations in extrinsic signaling, or substantial tissue damage can impair muscle function and the capacity for self-repair. The diversity and complexity of muscle disorders have attracted much interest from both cell biologists and, more recently, bioengineers, leading to concentrated efforts to better understand muscle pathology and develop more efficient therapies. This review describes the biological underpinnings of muscle development, repair, and disease, and discusses recent bioengineering efforts to design and control myomimetic environments, both to study muscle biology and function and to aid in the development of new drug, cell, and gene therapies for muscle disorders. The synergy between engineering-aided biological discovery and biology-inspired engineering solutions will be the path forward for translating laboratory results into clinical practice. PMID:26643021

  5. Introducing an artificial photo-switch into a biological pore: A model study of an engineered α-hemolysin.

    PubMed

    Chandramouli, Balasubramanian; Di Maio, Danilo; Mancini, Giordano; Brancato, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, engineered biological pores responsive to external stimuli have been fruitfully used for various biotechnological applications. Moreover, the strategy of tethering photo-switchable moieties into biomolecules has provided an unprecedented temporal control of purposely designed nanodevices, as demonstrated, for example, by the light-mediated regulation of the activity of enzymes and biochannels. Inspired by these advancements, we propose here a de novo designed nanodevice featuring the α-hemolysin (αHL) membrane channel purposely functionalized by an artificial "on/off" molecular switch. The switch, which is based on the photo-isomerization of the azobenzene moiety, introduces a smart nano-valve into the natural non-gated pore to confer tunable transport properties. We validated through molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations the effective inter-conversion of the engineered αHL pore between two configurations corresponding to an "open" and a "closed" form. The reported switchable translocation of a single-stranded DNA fragment under applied voltage supports the promising capabilities of this nanopore prototype in view of molecular sensing, detection and delivery applications at single-molecule level. PMID:26744229

  6. Making dollars out of DNA. The first major patent in biotechnology and the commercialization of molecular biology, 1974-1980.

    PubMed

    Hughes, S S

    2001-09-01

    In 1973-1974 Stanley N. Cohen of Stanford and Herbert W. Boyer of the University of California, San Francisco, developed a laboratory process for joining and replicating DNA from different species. In 1974 Stanford and UC applied for a patent on the recombinant DNA process; the U.S. Patent Office granted it in 1980. This essay describes how the patenting procedure was shaped by the concurrent recombinant DNA controversy, tension over the commercialization of academic biology, governmental deliberations over the regulation of genetic engineering research, and national expectations for high technology as a boost to the American economy. The essay concludes with a discussion of the patent as a turning point in the commercialization of molecular biology and a harbinger of the social and ethical issues associated with biotechnology today. PMID:11810894

  7. Recent Advances in Molecular Biology of Thyroid Cancer and Their Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2009-01-01

    Synopsis Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy with a rapid rising incidence in recent years. Novel efficient management strategies are increasingly needed for this cancer. Remarkable advances have occurred in recent years in understanding the molecular biology of thyroid cancer. This is reflected in several major biological areas of thyroid cancer, including the molecular alterations for the loss of radioiodine avidity of thyroid cancer, the pathogenic role of the MAP kinase and PI3K/Akt pathways and their related genetic alterations, and the aberrant methylation of functionally important genes in thyroid tumorigenesis and pathogenesis. These exciting advances in molecular biology of thyroid cancer provide unprecedented opportunities for the development of molecular-based novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for this cancer. PMID:19040974

  8. Overview of genetically engineered mouse models of colorectal carcinoma to enable translational biology and drug development.

    PubMed

    Roper, Jatin; Martin, Eric S; Hung, Kenneth E

    2014-01-01

    Preclinical models for colorectal cancer (CRC) are critical for translational biology and drug development studies to characterize and treat this condition. Mouse models of human cancer are particularly popular because of their relatively low cost, short life span, and ease of use. Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of CRC are engineered from germline or somatic modification of critical tumor suppressor genes and/or oncogenes that drive mutations in human disease. Detailed in this overview are the salient features of several useful colorectal cancer GEMMs and their value as tools for translational biology and preclinical drug development. PMID:24934606

  9. The physiology and molecular biology of sponge tissues.

    PubMed

    Leys, Sally P; Hill, April

    2012-01-01

    Sponges have become the focus of studies on molecular evolution and the evolution of animal body plans due to their ancient branching point in the metazoan lineage. Whereas our former understanding of sponge function was largely based on a morphological perspective, the recent availability of the first full genome of a sponge (Amphimedon queenslandica), and of the transcriptomes of other sponges, provides a new way of understanding sponges by their molecular components. This wealth of genetic information not only confirms some long-held ideas about sponge form and function but also poses new puzzles. For example, the Amphimedon sponge genome tells us that sponges possess a repertoire of genes involved in control of cell proliferation and in regulation of development. In vitro expression studies with genes involved in stem cell maintenance confirm that archaeocytes are the main stem cell population and are able to differentiate into many cell types in the sponge including pinacocytes and choanocytes. Therefore, the diverse roles of archaeocytes imply differential gene expression within a single cell ontogenetically, and gene expression is likely also different in different species; but what triggers cells to enter one pathway and not another and how each archaeocyte cell type can be identified based on this gene knowledge are new challenges. Whereas molecular data provide a powerful new tool for interpreting sponge form and function, because sponges are suspension feeders, their body plan and physiology are very much dependent on their physical environment, and in particular on flow. Therefore, in order to integrate new knowledge of molecular data into a better understanding the sponge body plan, it is important to use an organismal approach. In this chapter, we give an account of sponge body organization as it relates to the physiology of the sponge in light of new molecular data. We focus, in particular, on the structure of sponge tissues and review descriptive as

  10. Streptococcal M protein: molecular design and biological behavior.

    PubMed Central

    Fischetti, V A

    1989-01-01

    M protein is a major virulence determinant for the group A streptococcus by virtue of its ability to allow the organism to resist phagocytosis. Common in eucaryotes, the fibrillar coiled-coil design for the M molecule may prove to be a common motif for surface proteins in gram-positive organisms. This type of structure offers the organism several distinct advantages, ranging from antigenic variation to multiple functional domains. The close resemblance of this molecular design to that of certain mammalian proteins could help explain on a molecular level the formation of epitopes responsible for serological cross-reactions between microbial and mammalian proteins. Many of the approaches described in the elucidation of the M-protein structure may be applied for characterizing similar molecules in other microbial systems. Images PMID:2670192

  11. Molecular biology on the ICU. From understanding to treating sepsis.

    PubMed

    Winning, J; Claus, R A; Huse, K; Bauer, M

    2006-05-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that beside well established factors, such as virulence of pathogens or site of infection, individual differences in disease manifestation are a result of the genetic predisposition of the patient on an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Specific genetic factors might not only predict the risk to acquire severe infections but also to develop organ dysfunction or ultimately to die. Thus, the advent of molecular techniques allowing screening for a wide variety of genetic factors, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes controlling expression of important mediator systems in patients as well as their purposeful targeting in animal models of sepsis, are revolutionizing understanding of pathophysiology in the critically ill. Molecular tools are about to challenge ''state-of-the-art'' diagnostic tests such as blood culture as they not only increase sensitivity but dramatically reduce time requirements to identify pathogens and their resistance patterns. Similarly, knowledge of genetic factors might in the near future help to identify ''patients at risk'', i.e. those with a high likelihood to develop organ dysfunction or to guide therapeutic interventions in particular regarding resource-consuming and/or expensive therapies (''theragnostics''). While therapeutic options in molecular intensive care medicine, such as stem cells in the treatment of organ failure or therapeutic gene transfer are possible along the road and might become an option in the future, recombinant DNA technology has already a well defined role in the production of recombinant human proteins from insulin to activated protein C. PMID:16675935

  12. Engineering functional nanostructures for materials and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramani, Chandramouleeswaran

    Engineering nanostructures with complete control over the shape, composition, organization of the surface structures, and function remains a major challenge. In my work, I have fabricated nanostructures using functional polymer motifs and nanoparticles (NPs) via supramolecular and non-supramolecular interactions. In one of the approaches to generate nanostructures, I have integrated top-down approaches such as nanoimprint lithography, electron-beam lithography, and photolithography with the self-assembly (bottom-up) of NPs to provide nanostructures with tailored shape and function. In this strategy, I have developed a geometrically assisted orthogonal assembly of nanoparticles onto polymer features at precisely defined locations. This versatile NP functionalization method can be used to fabricate protein resistant patterned surfaces to provide essentially complete control over cellular alignment, making them promising biofunctional structures for cell patterning. In another approach, I have utilized self-assembly of dendrimers and NPs without preformed templates to generate nanostructures that can be used as chemoselective membranes for the separation of small and biomacromolecules.

  13. Combining Radiation Epidemiology With Molecular Biology-Changing From Health Risk Estimates to Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Abend, Michael; Port, Matthias

    2016-08-01

    The authors herein summarize six presentations dedicated to the key session "molecular radiation epidemiology" of the ConRad meeting 2015. These presentations were chosen in order to highlight the promise when combining conventional radiation epidemiology with molecular biology. Conventional radiation epidemiology uses dose estimates for risk predictions on health. However, combined with molecular biology, dose-dependent bioindicators of effect hold the promise to improve clinical diagnostics and to provide target molecules for potential therapeutic intervention. One out of the six presentations exemplified the use of radiation-induced molecular changes as biomarkers of exposure by measuring stabile chromosomal translocations. The remaining five presentations focused on molecular changes used as bioindicators of the effect. These bioindicators of the effect could be used for diagnostic purposes on colon cancers (genomic instability), thyroid cancer (CLIP2), or head and neck squamous cell cancers. Therapeutic implications of gene expression changes were examined in Chernobyl thyroid cancer victims and Mayak workers. PMID:27356062

  14. Modeling human risk: Cell & molecular biology in context

    SciTech Connect

    1997-06-01

    It is anticipated that early in the next century manned missions into outer space will occur, with a mission to Mars scheduled between 2015 and 2020. However, before such missions can be undertaken, a realistic estimation of the potential risks to the flight crews is required. One of the uncertainties remaining in this risk estimation is that posed by the effects of exposure to the radiation environment of outer space. Although the composition of this environment is fairly well understood, the biological effects arising from exposure to it are not. The reasons for this are three-fold: (1) A small but highly significant component of the radiation spectrum in outer space consists of highly charged, high energy (HZE) particles which are not routinely experienced on earth, and for which there are insufficient data on biological effects; (2) Most studies on the biological effects of radiation to date have been high-dose, high dose-rate, whereas in space, with the exception of solar particle events, radiation exposures will be low-dose, low dose-rate; (3) Although it has been established that the virtual absence of gravity in space has a profound effect on human physiology, it is not clear whether these effects will act synergistically with those of radiation exposure. A select panel will evaluate the utilizing experiments and models to accurately predict the risks associated with exposure to HZE particles. Topics of research include cellular and tissue response, health effects associated with radiation damage, model animal systems, and critical markers of Radiation response.

  15. The role of predictive modelling in rationally re-engineering biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Koide, Tie; Pang, Wyming Lee; Baliga, Nitin S.

    2009-01-01

    Technologies to synthesize and transplant a complete genome into a cell have opened limitless potential to redesign organisms for complex, specialized tasks. However, large-scale re-engineering of a biological circuit will require systems-level optimization that will come from a deep understanding of operational relationships among all the constituent parts of a cell. The integrated framework necessary for conducting such complex bioengineering requires the convergence of systems and synthetic biology. Here, we review the status of these rapidly developing interdisciplinary fields of biology and provide a perspective on plausible venues for their merger. PMID:19252506

  16. Biological and molecular characterizations of Toxoplasma gondii strains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, R.A.; Lindsay, D.S.; Howe, D.K.; Roderick, Constance L.; Dubey, J.P.; Thomas, N.J.; Baeten, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from brain or heart tissue from 15 southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in cell cultures. These strains were used to infect mice that developed antibodies to T. gondii as detected in the modified direct agglutination test and had T. gondii tissue cysts in their brains at necropsy. Mouse brains containing tissue cysts from 4 of the strains were fed to 4 cats. Two of the cats excreted T. gondii oocysts in their feces that were infectious for mice. Molecular analyses of 13 strains indicated that they were all type II strains, but that they were genetically distinct from one another.

  17. The structural biology of molecular recognition by vancomycin.

    PubMed

    Loll, P J; Axelsen, P H

    2000-01-01

    Vancomycin is the archetype among naturally occurring compounds known as glycopeptide antibiotics. Because it is a vital therapeutic agent used world-wide for the treatment of infections with gram-positive bacteria, emerging bacterial resistance to vancomycin is a major public health threat. Recent investigations into the mechanisms of action of glycopeptide antibiotics are driven by a need to understand their detailed mechanism of action so that new agents can be developed to overcome resistance. These investigations have revealed that glycopeptide antibiotics exhibit a rich array of complex cooperative phenomena when they bind target ligands, making them valuable model systems for the study of molecular recognition. PMID:10940250

  18. [Metastasis tumors of the central nervous system: molecular biology].

    PubMed

    Bello, M Josefa; González-Gómez, P; Rey, J A

    2004-12-01

    Metastases in the nervous system represent an important and growing problem in the clinical practice, being the cause of a great mortality in the developed countries. This article reviews the few data available on the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these tumours, leading to oncogene activation, inactivation of tumour suppressor genes, not only by the classical mechanisms, but also by the tumour cell epigenetic balance alteration. We conclude that all this knowledge will lead in the future to a better diagnosis, treatment and clinic evolution of these patients. PMID:15632995

  19. The molecular and cellular biology of enhanced cognition

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yong-Seok; Silva, Alcino J.

    2009-01-01

    Most molecular and cellular studies of cognitive function have focused on either normal or pathological states, but recent research with transgenic mice has started to address the mechanisms of enhanced cognition. These results point to key synaptic and nuclear signalling events that can be manipulated to facilitate the induction or increase the stability of synaptic plasticity, and therefore enhance the acquisition or retention of information. Here, we review these surprising findings and explore their implications to both mechanisms of learning and memory and to ongoing efforts to develop treatments for cognitive disorders. These findings represent the beginning of a fundamental new approach in the study of enhanced cognition. PMID:19153576

  20. Inhibition Of Molecular And Biological Processes Using Modified Oligonucleotides

    DOEpatents

    Kozyavkin, Sergei A.; Malykh, Andrei G.; Polouchine, Nikolai N.; Slesarev, Alexei I.

    2003-04-15

    A method of inhibiting at least one molecular process in a sample, comprising administering to the sample an oligonucleotide or polynucleotide containing at least one monomeric unit having formula (I): wherein A is an organic moiety, n is at least 1, and each X is independently selected from the group consisting of --NRCOCONu, --NHCOCR.sub.2 CR.sub.2 CONu, --NHCOCR.dbd.CRCONu, and --NHCOSSCONu, wherein each R independently represents H or a substituted or unsubstituted alkyl group, and Nu represents a nucleophile, or a salt of the compound.

  1. [Molecular biology of familial cases of human melanoma].

    PubMed

    Kit, O I; Vodolazhsky, D L; Timoshkina, N N; Przhedetsky, Yu V; Khokhlova, O V

    2015-01-01

    Skin melanoma is an etiologically heterogeneous disease, the development of which is related to a complex interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic characteristics. This article provides current molecular-genetic aspects of familial cases of melanoma and polymorphism of genes directly related to the risk of developing this hereditary disease. The studies of hereditary cancer cases add our knowledge of mechanisms oncotransformation, genetic changes in signaling pathways, which are responsible for invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance of melanoma cells of the skin. PMID:26995975

  2. Protozoan HSP90-heterocomplex: molecular interaction network and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Maria J; Echeverria, Pablo C; Angel, Sergio O

    2014-05-01

    The HSP90 chaperone is a highly conserved protein from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, this chaperone participates in different large complexes, such as the HSP90 heterocomplex, which has important biological roles in cell homeostasis and differentiation. The HSP90-heterocomplex is also named the HSP90/HSP70 cycle because different co-chaperones (HIP, HSP40, HOP, p23, AHA1, immunophilins, PP5) participate in this complex by assembling sequentially, from the early to the mature complex. In this review, we analyze the conservation and relevance of HSP90 and the HSP90-heterocomplex in several protozoan parasites, with emphasis in Plasmodium spp., Toxoplasma spp., Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. In the last years, there has been an outburst of studies based on yeast two-hybrid methodology, co-immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, which have generated a most comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of HSP90 and its co-chaperones. This review analyzes the existing PPI networks of HSP90 and its co-chaperones of some protozoan parasites and discusses the usefulness of these powerful tools to analyze the biological role of the HSP90-heterocomplex in these parasites. The generation of a T. gondii HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network based on experimental data and a recent Plasmodium HSP90 heterocomplex PPI network are also included and discussed. As an example, the putative implication of nuclear transport and chromatin (histones and Sir2) as HSP90-heterocomplex interactors is here discussed. PMID:24694366

  3. Nutritional Systems Biology Modeling: From Molecular Mechanisms to Physiology

    PubMed Central

    de Graaf, Albert A.; Freidig, Andreas P.; De Roos, Baukje; Jamshidi, Neema; Heinemann, Matthias; Rullmann, Johan A.C.; Hall, Kevin D.; Adiels, Martin; van Ommen, Ben

    2009-01-01

    The use of computational modeling and simulation has increased in many biological fields, but despite their potential these techniques are only marginally applied in nutritional sciences. Nevertheless, recent applications of modeling have been instrumental in answering important nutritional questions from the cellular up to the physiological levels. Capturing the complexity of today's important nutritional research questions poses a challenge for modeling to become truly integrative in the consideration and interpretation of experimental data at widely differing scales of space and time. In this review, we discuss a selection of available modeling approaches and applications relevant for nutrition. We then put these models into perspective by categorizing them according to their space and time domain. Through this categorization process, we identified a dearth of models that consider processes occurring between the microscopic and macroscopic scale. We propose a “middle-out” strategy to develop the required full-scale, multilevel computational models. Exhaustive and accurate phenotyping, the use of the virtual patient concept, and the development of biomarkers from “-omics” signatures are identified as key elements of a successful systems biology modeling approach in nutrition research—one that integrates physiological mechanisms and data at multiple space and time scales. PMID:19956660

  4. [Molecular engineering of cellulase catalytic domain based on glycoside hydrolase family].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaomei; Li, Dandan; Wang, Lushan; Zhao, Yue; Chen, Guanjun

    2013-04-01

    Molecular engineering of cellulases can improve enzymatic activity and efficiency. Recently, the Carbohydrate-Active enZYmes Database (CAZy), including glycoside hydrolase (GH) families, has been established with the development of Omics and structural measurement technologies. Molecular engineering based on GH families can obviously decrease the probing space of target sequences and structures, and increase the odds of experimental success. Besides, the study of cellulase active-site architecture paves the way toward the explanation of catalytic mechanism. This review focuses on the main GH families and the latest progresses in molecular engineering of catalytic domain. Based on the combination of analysis of a large amount of data in the same GH family and their conservative active-site architecture information, rational design will be an important direction for molecular engineering and promote the rapid development of the conversion of biomass. PMID:23894816

  5. Engineering and control of biological systems: A new way to tackle complex diseases.

    PubMed

    Menolascina, Filippo; Siciliano, Velia; di Bernardo, Diego

    2012-07-16

    The ongoing merge between engineering and biology has contributed to the emerging field of synthetic biology. The defining features of this new discipline are abstraction and standardisation of biological parts, decoupling between parts to prevent undesired cross-talking, and the application of quantitative modelling of synthetic genetic circuits in order to guide their design. Most of the efforts in the field of synthetic biology in the last decade have been devoted to the design and development of functional gene circuits in prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. Researchers have used synthetic biology not only to engineer new functions in the cell, but also to build simpler models of endogenous gene regulatory networks to gain knowledge of the "rules" governing their wiring diagram. However, the need for innovative approaches to study and modify complex signalling and regulatory networks in mammalian cells and multicellular organisms has prompted advances of synthetic biology also in these species, thus contributing to develop innovative ways to tackle human diseases. In this work, we will review the latest progress in synthetic biology and the most significant developments achieved so far, both in unicellular and multicellular organisms, with emphasis on human health. PMID:22580058

  6. Phylogeny, phylogeography, phylobetadiversity and the molecular analysis of biological communities

    PubMed Central

    Emerson, Brent C.; Cicconardi, Francesco; Fanciulli, Pietro P.; Shaw, Peter J. A.

    2011-01-01

    There has been much recent interest and progress in the characterization of community structure and community assembly processes through the application of phylogenetic methods. To date most focus has been on groups of taxa for which some relevant detail of their ecology is known, for which community composition is reasonably easily quantified and where the temporal scale is such that speciation is not likely to feature. Here, we explore how we might apply a molecular genetic approach to investigate community structure and assembly at broad taxonomic and geographical scales, where we have little knowledge of species ecology, where community composition is not easily quantified, and where speciation is likely to be of some importance. We explore these ideas using the class Collembola as a focal group. Gathering molecular evidence for cryptic diversity suggests that the ubiquity of many species of Collembola across the landscape may belie greater community complexity than would otherwise be assumed. However, this morphologically cryptic species-level diversity poses a challenge for attempts to characterize diversity both within and among local species assemblages. Recent developments in high throughput parallel sequencing technology, combined with mtDNA barcoding, provide an advance that can bring together the fields of phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis to bear on this problem. Such an approach could be standardized for analyses at any geographical scale for a range of taxonomic groups to quantify the formation and composition of species assemblages. PMID:21768154

  7. Acinetobacter lipases: molecular biology, biochemical properties and biotechnological potential.

    PubMed

    Snellman, Erick A; Colwell, Rita R

    2004-10-01

    Lipases (EC 3.1.1.3) have received increased attention recently, evidenced by the increasing amount of information about lipases in the current literature. The renewed interest in this enzyme class is due primarily to investigations of their role in pathogenesis and their increasing use in biotechnological applications. Also, many microbial lipases are available as commercial products, the majority of which are used in detergents, cosmetic production, food flavoring, and organic synthesis. Lipases are valued biocatalysts because they act under mild conditions, are highly stable in organic solvents, show broad substrate specificity, and usually show high regio- and/or stereo-selectivity in catalysis. A number of lipolytic strains of Acinetobacter have been isolated from a variety of sources and their lipases possess many biochemical properties similar to those that have been developed for biotechnological applications. This review discusses the biology of lipase expression in Acinetobacter, with emphasis on those aspects relevant to potential biotechnology applications. PMID:15378387

  8. Cell and molecular biology for diagnostic and therapeutic technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, M. I.

    2016-03-01

    Our body contains 100 trillion cells. However, each cell has certain function and structure. For maintaining their integrity, cells will be collaborating with each other and with extracellular matrix surround them to form a tissue. These interactions effect internally on many networks or pathway such as signalling pathway, metabolic pathway and transport network in the cell. These networks interact with each other to maintain cell survival, cell structure and function and moreover the tissue as well as the organ which the cells built. Therefore, as part of a tissue, genetic and epigenetic abnormality of a cell can also alter these networks, and moreover disturb the function of the tissue itself. Hence, condition of genetic and epigenetic of the cell may affect other conditions in omics level such as transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomics characteristics which can be differentiated by a particular unique molecular profile from each level, which can be used for diagnostic as well as for targeted therapy.

  9. Plant terpenoid synthases: Molecular biology and phylogenetic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Bohlmann, Jörg; Meyer-Gauen, Gilbert; Croteau, Rodney

    1998-01-01

    This review focuses on the monoterpene, sesquiterpene, and diterpene synthases of plant origin that use the corresponding C10, C15, and C20 prenyl diphosphates as substrates to generate the enormous diversity of carbon skeletons characteristic of the terpenoid family of natural products. A description of the enzymology and mechanism of terpenoid cyclization is followed by a discussion of molecular cloning and heterologous expression of terpenoid synthases. Sequence relatedness and phylogenetic reconstruction, based on 33 members of the Tps gene family, are delineated, and comparison of important structural features of these enzymes is provided. The review concludes with an overview of the organization and regulation of terpenoid metabolism, and of the biotechnological applications of terpenoid synthase genes. PMID:9539701

  10. Biotechnology of microbial xylanases: enzymology, molecular biology, and application.

    PubMed

    Subramaniyan, S; Prema, P

    2002-01-01

    Xylanases are hydrolases depolymerizing the plant cell wall component xylan, the second most abundant polysaccharide. The molecular structure and hydrolytic pattern of xylanases have been reported extensively and the mechanism of hydrolysis has also been proposed. There are several models for the gene regulation of which this article could add to the wealth of knowledge. Future work on the application of these enzymes in the paper and pulp, food industry, in environmental science, that is, bio-fueling, effluent treatment, and agro-waste treatment, etc. require a complete understanding of the functional and genetic significance of the xylanases. However, the thrust area has been identified as the paper and pulp industry. The major problem in the field of paper bleaching is the removal of lignin and its derivatives, which are linked to cellulose and xylan. Xylanases are more suitable in the paper and pulp industry than lignin-degrading systems. PMID:11958335

  11. Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization. [Rhodococcus rhodochrous

    SciTech Connect

    Kilbane, J.J.; Bielaga, B.A.

    1990-07-01

    The overall objective of this project is to sue molecular genetics to develop strains of bacteria with enhanced ability to remove sulfur from coal and to obtain data that will allow the performance and economics of a coal biodesulfurization process to be predicted. The work planned for the current quarter (May 1990 to July 1990) includes the following activities: (1) Construct a cloning vector that can be used in Rhodococcus rhodochrous IGTS8 from the small cryptic plasmid found in Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 190607; (2) Develop techniques for the genetic analysis of IGTS8; (3) Continue biochemical experiments, particularly those that may allow the identification of desulfurization-related enzymes; (4) Continue experiments with coal to determine the kinetics of organic sulfur removal.

  12. Direct evidence of the molecular basis for biological silicon transport

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Michael J.; Senior, Laura; Nancolas, Bethany; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Curnow, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are an important group of eukaryotic algae with a curious evolutionary innovation: they sheath themselves in a cell wall made largely of silica. The cellular machinery responsible for silicification includes a family of membrane permeases that recognize and actively transport the soluble precursor of biosilica, silicic acid. However, the molecular basis of silicic acid transport remains obscure. Here, we identify experimentally tractable diatom silicic acid transporter (SIT) homologues and study their structure and function in vitro, enabled by the development of a new fluorescence method for studying substrate transport kinetics. We show that recombinant SITs are Na+/silicic acid symporters with a 1:1 protein: substrate stoichiometry and KM for silicic acid of 20 μM. Protein mutagenesis supports the long-standing hypothesis that four conserved GXQ amino acid motifs are important in SIT function. This marks a step towards a detailed understanding of silicon transport with implications for biogeochemistry and bioinspired materials. PMID:27305972

  13. Molecular biology and genetics of embryonic eyelid development.

    PubMed

    Rubinstein, Tal J; Weber, Adam C; Traboulsi, Elias I

    2016-09-01

    The embryology of the eyelid is a complex process that includes interactions between the surface ectoderm and mesenchymal tissues. In the mouse and human, the eyelids form and fuse before birth; they open prenatally in the human and postnatally in the mouse. In the mouse, cell migration is stimulated by different growth factors such as FGF10, TGF-α, Activin B, and HB-EGF. These growth factors modulate downstream BMP4 signaling, the ERK cascade, and JNK/c-JUN. Several mechanisms, such as the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, may inhibit and regulate eyelid fusion. Eyelid opening, on the other hand, is driven by the BMP/Smad signaling system. Several human genetic disorders result from dysregulation of the above molecular pathways. PMID:26863902

  14. Direct evidence of the molecular basis for biological silicon transport.

    PubMed

    Knight, Michael J; Senior, Laura; Nancolas, Bethany; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Curnow, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are an important group of eukaryotic algae with a curious evolutionary innovation: they sheath themselves in a cell wall made largely of silica. The cellular machinery responsible for silicification includes a family of membrane permeases that recognize and actively transport the soluble precursor of biosilica, silicic acid. However, the molecular basis of silicic acid transport remains obscure. Here, we identify experimentally tractable diatom silicic acid transporter (SIT) homologues and study their structure and function in vitro, enabled by the development of a new fluorescence method for studying substrate transport kinetics. We show that recombinant SITs are Na(+)/silicic acid symporters with a 1:1 protein: substrate stoichiometry and KM for silicic acid of 20 μM. Protein mutagenesis supports the long-standing hypothesis that four conserved GXQ amino acid motifs are important in SIT function. This marks a step towards a detailed understanding of silicon transport with implications for biogeochemistry and bioinspired materials. PMID:27305972

  15. Enzymology and molecular biology of cell wall biosynthesis. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, P.M.

    1993-03-20

    In order to be able to explore the control of cell wall polysaccharide synthesis at the molecular level, which inter alia might eventually lead to means for useful modification of plant biomass polysaccharide production, the immediate goals of this project are to identify polypeptides responsible for wall polysaccharide synthase activities and to obtain clones of the genes that encode them. We are concentrating on plasma membraneassociated (1,3)-{beta}-glucan synthase (glucan synthase-II or GS-II) and Golgi-associated (1,4)-{beta}-glucan synthase (glucan synthase-I or GS-I), of growing pea stem tissue. Our progress has been much more rapid with respect to GS-II than regarding GS-I.

  16. A role for molecular genetics in biological conservation.

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, S J

    1994-01-01

    The recognition of recent accelerated depletion of species as a consequence of human industrial development has spawned a wide interest in identifying threats to endangered species. In addition to ecological and demographic perils, it has become clear that small populations that narrowly survive demographic contraction may undergo close inbreeding, genetic drift, and loss of overall genomic variation due to allelic loss or reduction to homozygosity. I review here the consequences of such genetic depletion revealed by applying molecular population genetic analysis to four endangered mammals: African cheetah, lion, Florida panther, and humpback whale. The accumulated genetic results, combined with physiological, ecological, and ethological data, provide a multifaceted perspective of the process of species diminution. An emerging role of population genetics, phylogenetics, and phylogeography as indicators of a population's natural history and its future prognosis provides valuable data of use in the development of conservation management plans for endangered species. PMID:7912434

  17. Biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Shih, Patrick M; Liang, Yan; Loqué, Dominique

    2016-07-01

    The Green Revolution has fuelled an exponential growth in human population since the mid-20th century. Due to population growth, food and energy demands will soon surpass supply capabilities. To overcome these impending problems, significant improvements in genetic engineering will be needed to complement breeding efforts in order to accelerate the improvement of agronomical traits. The new field of plant synthetic biology has emerged in recent years and is expected to support rapid, precise, and robust engineering of plants. In this review, we present recent advances made in the field of plant synthetic biology, specifically in genome editing, transgene expression regulation, and bioenergy crop engineering, with a focus on traits related to lignocellulose, oil, and soluble sugars. Ultimately, progress and innovation in these fields may facilitate the development of beneficial traits in crop plants to meet society's bioenergy needs. PMID:27030440

  18. The molecular biology and biochemistry of rice endosperm. alpha. -globulin

    SciTech Connect

    Shorrosh, B.S.

    1989-01-01

    The author's first objective was to isolate a cDNA clone that encodes the rice endosperm {alpha}-globulin. Purified antibodies against a rice storage protein, {alpha}-globulin, were used to screen a {lambda}gt11 cDNA expression library constructed from immature rice seed endosperm. The cDNA insert of clone 4A1 (identified by antibody screening) was used as a probe to identify long cDNA inserts in the library. The deduced amino acid sequence of clone A3-12 cDNA insert (identified by cDNA screening) contained the amino acid sequences of three cyanogen bromide peptides fragment of {alpha}-globulin. The calculated molecular weight and amino acid composition of the deduced amino acid sequence were similar to the {alpha}-globulin protein. Northern blot analysis indicated that mRNA of one size, approximately 1.0 kb, is expressed. Southern genomic blot analysis revealed one band with EcoRI or Hind III digestion. Cell-free translation and immunoprecipitation showed that the initial translation product is approximately 2,000 daltons larger than the mature protein. The amino acid sequence of {alpha}-globulin revealed limited regions of similarities with wheat storage proteins. The author concludes that the cDNA insert in clone A3-12 contained the entire coding region of {alpha}-globulin protein and that {alpha}-globulin is encoded by a single gene. My second objective was to inhibit the degradation of {alpha}-globulin in the salt extract of rice flour. The salt extract of rice flour contained an acid protease whose optimal pH was 3 for {sup 3}H-casein hydrolysis. A polypeptide with molecular weight of 20,000 was immunologically reactive with {alpha}-globulin antibodies and is produced by limited proteolysis in the extract. Pepstatin inhibited the proteolysis of 3H-casein and slowed the proteolysis of {alpha}-globulin.

  19. Flow cytometry for bacteria: enabling metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and the elucidation of complex phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Tracy, Bryan P; Gaida, Stefan M; Papoutsakis, Eleftherios T

    2010-02-01

    Flow cytometry (FC) and FC-based cell sorting have been established as critical tools in modern cell and developmental biology. Yet, their applications in bacteria, especially in the multiparametric mode, remain limited. We argue that FC technologies have the potential to greatly accelerate the analysis and development of microbial complex phenotypes through applications of metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and evolutionary engineering. We demonstrate the importance of FC for elucidating population heterogeneity because of developmental processes or epigenetic regulation. FC can be engaged for both synthetic and analytical applications of complex phenotypes within a single species, multispecies, and microbial-library populations. Examples include methods to identify developmental microbial stages associated with productive metabolic phenotypes, select desirable promoters from a single species or metagenomic libraries, and to screen designer riboswitches for synthetic-biology applications. PMID:20206495

  20. Can Man Control His Biological Evolution? A Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramsey, Paul

    1972-01-01

    Presented are issues related to genetic engineering. Increased knowledge of techniques to manipulate genes are apt to create confusion about moral values in relation to unborn babies and other living organisms on earth. Human beings may use this knowledge to disturb the balance maintained by nature. (PS)

  1. Web Camera Use in Developing Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Laboratories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogren, Paul J.; Deibel, Michael; Kelly, Ian; Mulnix, Amy B.; Peck, Charlie

    2004-01-01

    The use of a network-ready color camera is described which is primarily marketed as a security device and is used for experiments in developmental biology, genetics and biochemistry laboratories and in special student research projects. Acquiring and analyzing project and archiving images is very important in microscopy, electrophoresis and…

  2. Mathematical Biology Modules Based on Modern Molecular Biology and Modern Discrete Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robeva, Raina; Davies, Robin; Hodge, Terrell; Enyedi, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    We describe an ongoing collaborative curriculum materials development project between Sweet Briar College and Western Michigan University, with support from the National Science Foundation. We present a collection of modules under development that can be used in existing mathematics and biology courses, and we address a critical national need to…

  3. Synthetic biology and molecular genetics in non-conventional yeasts: Current tools and future advances.

    PubMed

    Wagner, James M; Alper, Hal S

    2016-04-01

    Coupling the tools of synthetic biology with traditional molecular genetic techniques can enable the rapid prototyping and optimization of yeast strains. While the era of yeast synthetic biology began in the well-characterized model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is swiftly expanding to include non-conventional yeast production systems such as Hansenula polymorpha, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica. These yeasts already have roles in the manufacture of vaccines, therapeutic proteins, food additives, and biorenewable chemicals, but recent synthetic biology advances have the potential to greatly expand and diversify their impact on biotechnology. In this review, we summarize the development of synthetic biological tools (including promoters and terminators) and enabling molecular genetics approaches that have been applied in these four promising alternative biomanufacturing platforms. An emphasis is placed on synthetic parts and genome editing tools. Finally, we discuss examples of synthetic tools developed in other organisms that can be adapted or optimized for these hosts in the near future. PMID:26701310

  4. Cellular and molecular biology of aging endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Donato, Anthony J; Morgan, R Garrett; Walker, Ashley E; Lesniewski, Lisa A

    2015-12-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and aging is a major risk factor for CVD development. One of the major age-related arterial phenotypes thought to be responsible for the development of CVD in older adults is endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial function is modulated by traditional CVD risk factors in young adults, but advancing age is independently associated with the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction. This endothelial dysfunction results from a reduction in nitric oxide bioavailability downstream of endothelial oxidative stress and inflammation that can be further modulated by traditional CVD risk factors in older adults. Greater endothelial oxidative stress with aging is a result of augmented production from the intracellular enzymes NADPH oxidase and uncoupled eNOS, as well as from mitochondrial respiration in the absence of appropriate increases in antioxidant defenses as regulated by relevant transcription factors, such as FOXO. Interestingly, it appears that NFkB, a critical inflammatory transcription factor, is sensitive to this age-related endothelial redox change and its activation induces transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines that can further suppress endothelial function, thus creating a vicious feed-forward cycle. This review will discuss the two macro-mechanistic processes, oxidative stress and inflammation, that contribute to endothelial dysfunction with advancing age as well as the cellular and molecular events that lead to the vicious cycle of inflammation and oxidative stress in the aged endothelium. Other potential mediators of this pro-inflammatory endothelial phenotype are increases in immune or senescent cells in the vasculature. Of note, genomic instability, telomere dysfunction or DNA damage has been shown to trigger cell senescence via the p53/p21 pathway and result in increased inflammatory signaling in arteries from older adults. This review will discuss the current state

  5. Integrated Graduate Program in Physical and Engineering Biology at Yale University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caballero, Diego; Noble, Dorottya; Pollard, Thomas; Mochrie, Simon; O'Hern, Corey; Regan, Lynne

    2014-03-01

    Quantitative, integrated approaches are necessary to solve biology's grand challenges. Yale's Integrated Graduate Program in Physical and Engineering Biology (IGPPEB) prepares students to excel at applying physics and engineering approaches, whilst also ensuring that they are sufficiently biologically sophisticated that they can readily identify and tackle cutting-edge problems. Students enter the program through a ``home'' department but also take a set of IGPPEB core courses with students from other departments. The IGPPEB curriculum is co-taught by faculty from a wide array of departments and motivates students to work together and learn from each other. The curriculum complements those of the home departments and includes primer courses to rapidly bring all students to a level where they ``speak each others language.'' The program is a member of the NSF's Physics of Living Systems: Student Research Network, which connects graduate students from different institutions that are engaged in research at the interface of physics and biology. Convergent research thrusts at Yale include Cellular Shape and Motion; Mechanical Force Generation and Sensing; Biomaterials and Bioinspired Design; Systems and Synthetic Biology; Modeling Biological Processes and Methods Development.

  6. Imaging Mass Spectrometry: Enabling a New Age of Discovery in Biology and Medicine Through Molecular Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caprioli, Richard M.

    2015-06-01

    Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) has become a valuable tool for the production of molecular maps in samples ranging from solid inorganic materials to biologicals such as cells and tissues. The unique features of IMS are its ability to map a wide variety of different types of molecules, its superb molecular specificity, and its potential for discovery since no target-specific reagents are needed. IMS has made significant contributions in biology and medicine and promises to be a next generation tool in anatomic pathology.

  7. Imaging Mass Spectrometry: Enabling a New Age of Discovery in Biology and Medicine Through Molecular Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Caprioli, Richard M.

    2015-01-01

    Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) has become a valuable tool for the production of molecular maps in samples ranging from solid inorganic materials to biologicals such as cells and tissues. The unique features of IMS are its ability to map a wide variety of different types of molecules, its superb molecular specificity, and its potential for discovery since no target specific reagents are needed. IMS has made significant contributions in biology and medicine and promises to be a next generation tool in anatomic pathology. PMID:25801587

  8. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  9. Just working with the cellular machine: A high school game for teaching molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Fernanda Serpa; Dumpel, Renata; da Silva, Luisa B Gomes; Rodrigues, Carlos R; Santos, Dilvani O; Cabral, Lucio Mendes; Castro, Helena C

    2008-03-01

    Molecular biology is a difficult comprehension subject due to its high complexity, thus requiring new teaching approaches. Herein, we developed an interdisciplinary board game involving the human immune system response against a bacterial infection for teaching molecular biology at high school. Initially, we created a database with several questions and a game story that invites the students for helping the human immunological system to produce antibodies (IgG) and fight back a pathogenic bacterium second-time invasion. The game involves answering questions completing the game board in which the antibodies "are synthesized" through the molecular biology process. At the end, a problem-based learning approach is used, and a last question is raised about proteins. Biology teachers and high school students evaluated the game and considered it an easy and interesting tool for teaching the theme. An increase of about 5-30% in answering molecular biology questions revealed that the game improves learning and induced a more engaged and proactive learning profile in the high school students. PMID:21591175

  10. Conservation Biological Control of Pests in the Molecular Era: New Opportunities to Address Old Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Gurr, Geoff M.; You, Minsheng

    2016-01-01

    Biological control has long been considered a potential alternative to pesticidal strategies for pest management but its impact and level of use globally remain modest and inconsistent. A rapidly expanding range of molecular – particularly DNA-related – techniques is currently revolutionizing many life sciences. This review identifies a series of constraints on the development and uptake of conservation biological control and considers the contemporary and likely future influence of molecular methods on these constraints. Molecular approaches are now often used to complement morphological taxonomic methods for the identification and study of biological control agents including microbes. A succession of molecular techniques has been applied to ‘who eats whom’ questions in food-web ecology. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approaches have largely superseded immunological approaches such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and now – in turn – are being overtaken by next generation sequencing (NGS)-based approaches that offer unparalleled power at a rapidly diminishing cost. There is scope also to use molecular techniques to manipulate biological control agents, which will be accelerated with the advent of gene editing tools, the CRISPR/Cas9 system in particular. Gene editing tools also offer unparalleled power to both elucidate and manipulate plant defense mechanisms including those that involve natural enemy attraction to attacked plants. Rapid advances in technology will allow the development of still more novel pest management options for which uptake is likely to be limited chiefly by regulatory hurdles. PMID:26793225

  11. Molecular motor traffic: From biological nanomachines to macroscopic transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipowsky, Reinhard; Chai, Yan; Klumpp, Stefan; Liepelt, Steffen; Müller, Melanie J. I.

    2006-12-01

    All cells of animals and plants contain complex transport systems based on molecular motors which walk along cytoskeletal filaments. These motors are rather small and have a size of 20-100 nm but are able to pull vesicles, organelles and other types of cargo over large distances, from micrometers up to meters. There are several families of motors: kinesins, dyneins, and myosins. Most of these motors have two heads which are used as legs and perform discrete steps along the filaments. Several aspects of the motor behavior will be discussed: motor cycles of two-headed motors; walks of single motors or cargo particles which consist of directed movements interrupted by random, diffusive motion; cargo transport through tube-like compartments; active diffusion of cargo particles in slab-like compartments; cooperative transport of cargo by several motors which may be uni- or bi-directional; and systems with many interacting motors that exhibit traffic jams, self-organized density and flux patterns, and traffic phase transitions far from equilibrium. It is necessary to understand these traffic phenomena in a quantitative manner in order to construct and optimize biomimetic transport systems based on motors and filaments with many possible applications in bioengineering, pharmacology, and medicine.

  12. Hepatocellular carcinoma: Exploring the impact of ethnicity on molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Lamarca, Angela; Mendiola, Marta; Barriuso, Jorge

    2016-09-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of cancer-related death. The high rate of diagnosis in non-curable stages and the lack of novel active treatments make it necessary to review all the possible sources of misleading results in this scenario. The incidence of HCC shows clear geographical variation with higher annual incidence in Asia and Africa than in Western countries; we aimed to review the literature to find if there are different trends in the main activated molecular pathways. Hyperactivation of RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process are more prevalent in the Western population; however, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and Notch pathways seems to be more relevant in Asian population. Whether these variations just reflect the distinct distribution of known causes of HCC or proper ethnical differences remain to be elucidated. Nevertheless, these clearly different patterns are relevant to regional or worldwide clinical trial design. If this information is neglected by sponsors and researchers the rate of failure in HCC trials will not improve. PMID:27372199

  13. Molecular biology of Ganoderma pathogenicity and diagnosis in coconut seedlings.

    PubMed

    Kandan, A; Radjacommare, R; Ramanathan, A; Raguchander, T; Balasubramanian, P; Samiyappan, R

    2009-01-01

    The pathogenicity of Ganoderma boninense was tested on coconut seedlings under greenhouse conditions and infection confirmed by using immunological and molecular diagnostic tools. Desiccation of older leaves and the emergence of sporophores were observed from pathogen-inoculated seedlings, whereas a control seedling does not show any pathogenic symptoms. Mature sporophores were formed within 10-13 weeks after inoculation. Polyclonal antibodies raised against mycelial proteins of Ganoderma were used for detection of Ganoderma in infected field palm and seedlings through indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. We adopted dot-immunobinding assay for the detection of Ganoderma from greenhouse and field samples. Under nucleic-acid-based diagnosis, G. boninense (167 bp) was detected from artificially inoculated seedlings and infected field palms by polymerase chain reaction. Apart from these, histopathological studies also support the Ganoderma pathogenicity in coconut seedlings. The pathogenicity test and combination of all the three diagnostic methods for Ganoderma could be highly reliable, rapid, sensitive and effective screening of resistance in planting material in the future. PMID:19418253

  14. Molecular bioelectricity in developmental biology: New tools and recent discoveries

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Significant progress in the molecular investigation of endogenous bioelectric signals during pattern formation in growing tissues have been enabled by recently-developed techniques. Ion flows and transmembrane gradients produced by ion channels and pumps are key regulators of cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Now, instructive roles for bioelectrical gradients in embryogenesis, regeneration, and neoplasm are being revealed through the use of fluorescent voltage reporters and functional experiments using well-characterized channel mutants. Transmembrane voltage gradients (Vmem) determine anatomical polarity and function as master regulators during appendage regeneration and embryonic left-right patterning. A state-of-the-art recent study reveals that they can also serve as prepatterns for gene expression domains during craniofacial patterning. Continued development of novel tools and better ways to think about physical controls of cell:cell interactions will lead to mastery of the morphogenetic information stored in physiological networks. This will enable fundamental advances in basic understanding of growth and form, as well as transformative biomedical applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:22237730

  15. Renal Cell Carcinoma: Molecular Biology and Targeted Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Su, Daniel; Stamatakis, Lambros; Singer, Eric A.; Srinivasan, Ramaprasad

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) continues to be the subject of vigorous clinical and translational investigation. Advances in systemic targeted therapies, new molecular pathways, and immunotherapy approaches will be discussed. Recent findings Agents targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and/or the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways continue to be the mainstay for treating metastatic RCC (mRCC). Although enhanced target specificity has improved the toxicity profile associated with newer VEGF-pathway antagonists, durable complete responses remain the exception. Identification of novel pathways/agents, as well as the optimal sequencing and combination of existing targeted agents, remain areas of active study. In addition, emerging data from early clinical trials has reinvigorated interest in immunomodulatory agents. Summary The therapeutic armamentarium available to genitourinary oncologists continues to grow but much work remains to be done to fully realize the potential of pathway-specific targeted strategies and immune-based approaches for mRCC. PMID:24675233

  16. Functional genomics bridges the gap between quantitative genetics and molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Lappalainen, Tuuli

    2015-01-01

    Deep characterization of molecular function of genetic variants in the human genome is becoming increasingly important for understanding genetic associations to disease and for learning to read the regulatory code of the genome. In this paper, I discuss how recent advances in both quantitative genetics and molecular biology have contributed to understanding functional effects of genetic variants, lessons learned from eQTL studies, and future challenges in this field. PMID:26430152

  17. Recombinant human betacellulin. Molecular structure, biological activities, and receptor interaction.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, T; Shintani, A; Nakata, M; Shing, Y; Folkman, J; Igarashi, K; Sasada, R

    1994-04-01

    Soluble forms of human betacellulin (BTC) were purified to homogeneity from the conditioned medium of mouse A9 cells transfected with the BTC precursor cDNA. Three types of soluble BTC, designated BTC-1a, BTC-1b and BTC-2, were resolved by cation-exchange and size-exclusion column chromatography. Physicochemical analysis has revealed that BTC-1a represents the glycosylated, intact molecule composed of 80 amino acid residues (Asp32 to Tyr111 of the precursor molecule). BTC-1b appears to be a truncated molecule lacking 12 amino acid residues from the amino terminus of BTC-1a. BTC-2 was found to be a 50-amino acid molecule (Arg62 to Tyr111) that corresponds to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) structural unit. The biological activities of these BTC molecules were essentially identical as judged by their mitogenicity on Balb/c 3T3 fibroblasts. BTC and EGF were equipotent in stimulating Balb/c 3T3 cell proliferation and rat mesangial cell Ca2+ mobilization as well as in inhibiting the growth of human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells. BTC and EGF antagonized each other with similar dose dependence for binding to A431 cells, indicating that these factors bind the same receptor molecules with equivalent avidity. The Kd value of EGF receptor (EGFR) and BTC is 0.5 nM as determined on Balb/c 3T3 cells. In addition, human mammary carcinoma MDA-MB-453 cells, which express multiple members of the EGFR family, were found to possess 2.7 x 10(3) BTC binding sites/cell, and the binding was readily quenched by EGF. These results suggest that the primary receptor for BTC is EGFR. PMID:8144591

  18. Tissue invasion and metastasis: Molecular, biological and clinical perspectives.

    PubMed

    Jiang, W G; Sanders, A J; Katoh, M; Ungefroren, H; Gieseler, F; Prince, M; Thompson, S K; Zollo, M; Spano, D; Dhawan, P; Sliva, D; Subbarayan, P R; Sarkar, M; Honoki, K; Fujii, H; Georgakilas, A G; Amedei, A; Niccolai, E; Amin, A; Ashraf, S S; Ye, L; Helferich, W G; Yang, X; Boosani, C S; Guha, G; Ciriolo, M R; Aquilano, K; Chen, S; Azmi, A S; Keith, W N; Bilsland, A; Bhakta, D; Halicka, D; Nowsheen, S; Pantano, F; Santini, D

    2015-12-01

    Cancer is a key health issue across the world, causing substantial patient morbidity and mortality. Patient prognosis is tightly linked with metastatic dissemination of the disease to distant sites, with metastatic diseases accounting for a vast percentage of cancer patient mortality. While advances in this area have been made, the process of cancer metastasis and the factors governing cancer spread and establishment at secondary locations is still poorly understood. The current article summarizes recent progress in this area of research, both in the understanding of the underlying biological processes and in the therapeutic strategies for the management of metastasis. This review lists the disruption of E-cadherin and tight junctions, key signaling pathways, including urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene (PI3K/AKT), focal adhesion kinase (FAK), β-catenin/zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB-1) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), together with inactivation of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and suppression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity as key targets and the use of phytochemicals, or natural products, such as those from Agaricus blazei, Albatrellus confluens, Cordyceps militaris, Ganoderma lucidum, Poria cocos and Silybum marianum, together with diet derived fatty acids gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and inhibitory compounds as useful approaches to target tissue invasion and metastasis as well as other hallmark areas of cancer. Together, these strategies could represent new, inexpensive, low toxicity strategies to aid in the management of cancer metastasis as well as having holistic effects against other cancer hallmarks. PMID:25865774

  19. Nanoparticle-Templated Molecular Recognition Platforms for Detection of Biological Analytes.

    PubMed

    Beyene, Abraham G; Demirer, Gozde S; Landry, Markita P

    2016-01-01

    Molecular recognition of biological analytes with optical nanosensors provides both spatial and temporal biochemical information. A recently developed sensing platform exploits near-infrared fluorescent single-wall carbon nanotubes combined with electrostatically pinned heteropolymers to yield a synthetic molecular recognition technique that is maximally transparent through biological matter. This molecular recognition technique is known as corona phase molecular recognition (CoPhMoRe). In CoPhMoRe, the specificity of a folded polymer toward an analyte does not arise from a pre-existing polymer-analyte chemical affinity. Rather, specificity is conferred through conformational changes undergone by a polymer that is pinned to the surface of a nanoparticle in the presence of an analyte and the subsequent modifications in fluorescence readout of the nanoparticles. The protocols in this article describe a novel single-molecule microscopy tool (near-infrared fluorescence and total internal reflection fluorescence [nIRF TIRF] hybrid microscope) to visualize the CoPhMoRe recognition process, enabling a better understanding of synthetic molecular recognition. We describe this requisite microscope for simultaneous single-molecule visualization of optical molecular recognition and signal transduction. We elaborate on the general procedures for synthesizing and identifying single-walled carbon nanotube-based sensors that employ CoPhMoRe via two biologically relevant examples of single-molecule recognition for the hormone estradiol and the neurotransmitter dopamine. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27622569

  20. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for biofuels production: from bugs to synthetic biology to fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Kuk Lee, Sung; Chou, Howard; Ham, Timothy S.; Soon Lee, Taek; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    The ability to generate microorganisms that can produce biofuels similar to petroleum-based transportation fuels would allow the use of existing engines and infrastructure and would save an enormous amount of capital required for replacing the current infrastructure to accommodate biofuels that have properties significantly different from petroleum-based fuels. Several groups have demonstrated the feasibility of manipulating microbes to produce molecules similar to petroleum-derived products, albeit at relatively low productivity (e.g. maximum butanol production is around 20 g/L). For cost-effective production of biofuels, the fuel-producing hosts and pathways must be engineered and optimized. Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology will provide new tools for metabolic engineers to better understand how to rewire the cell in order to create the desired phenotypes for the production of economically viable biofuels.

  1. Molecular biology of Lea genes of higher plants

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-07-01

    This report contains our progress to date in determining the function of the D-7 Lea proteins in cotton embryos. We have completely sequenced the D-7 gene and established {ital E. coli} transformants which synthesize reasonable amounts of the D-7 protein. Two-dimensional electrophoresis was required to assay fractions for D-7 protein during purification to homogeneity, since D-7 has no known enzymatic activity, contains no Trp, and little Phe or Tyr, and {ital E. coli} has several proteins of similar molecular weight to D-7. Purified D-7 was used to generate monospecific antibodies which are being used for determination of the cellular distribution of D-7, and also for exact quantitation of D-7 in late-stage cotton embryos. Computerized modelling of D-7 has shown similarities to proteins with a coiled-coil structure, but fitting D-7 to this structure resulted in a violation of the handedness rule. If the pitch of the helix is changed from 3.6 to 3.667, however, a three dimensional structure (not a coiled coil) is generated which has overall energetics of formation nearly as favorable as the traditional {alpha} helix. The driving force for the change in pitch is proposed to result from favorable energetics of dimerization. Preliminary evidence indicates that D-7 does indeed dimerize in solution. Future experiments will determine the exact 3D structure of D-7 and the related protein D-29, as well as test the hypothesis that D-7 and D-29 are involved in mitigating dehydration of embryos and plants through sequestering phosphate or other ions in sufficient quantity to prevent ion precipitation or crystallization. 13 refs., 3 figs. (MHB)

  2. Biochemistry and molecular biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva

    SciTech Connect

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

    Biochemical and molecular techniques have been used to study the formation and recovery of the developmentally arrested, non-feeding dauer stage of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. While investigating developmental transitions in energy metabolism, a major metabolite isolated from perchloric acid extracts has been identified as a modified uridine nucleotide. The compound was isolated by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography and its structure was determined by {sup 1}H NMR and {sup 13}C NMR spectroscopy. This compound is the most abundant metabolite detected in {sup 31}PMR spectra of perchloric acid extracts from growing larvae. In the absence of phosphoarginine or phosphocreatine, this modified nucleotide may have an important function in the nematode's energy metabolism, and it may also be found in several other invertebrates. During recovery from the dauer stage, metabolic activation is accompanied by a decrease in intracellular pH (pH{sub i}). Although metabolic activation has been associated with an alkaline pH{sub i} shift in other organisms, in vivo {sup 31}P NMR analysis of recovering dauer larvae shows a pH{sub i} decrease from {approximately}7.3 to {approximately}6.3 within 3 hr after the animals encounter food. This shift occurs before feeding begins, and coincides with, or soon follows, the development commitment to recover from the dauer stage, suggesting that control of pH{sub i} may be important in the regulation of larval development in nematodes. A library enriched for sequences expressed specifically during the L2d (predauer) stage was made by selecting plaques from a genomic lambda library that hybridized to subtracted L2d cDNA probes. Ultimately, three clones that were shown to hybridize only to L2d RNA were selected.

  3. Molecular biology of the hepatitis B virus for clinicians.

    PubMed

    Datta, Sibnarayan; Chatterjee, Soumya; Veer, Vijay; Chakravarty, Runu

    2012-12-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the major global health problems, especially in economically under-developed or developing countries. HBV infection can lead to a number of clinical outcomes including chronic infection, cirrhosis and liver cancer. It ranks among the top 10 causes of death, being responsible for around 1 million deaths every year. Despite the availability of a highly efficient vaccine and potent antiviral agents, HBV infection still remains a significant clinical problem, particularly in those high endemicity areas where vaccination of large populations has not been possible due to economic reasons. Although HBV is among the smallest viruses in terms of virion and genome size, it has numerous unique features that make it completely distinct from other DNA viruses. It has a partially double stranded DNA with highly complex genome organization, life cycle and natural history. Remarkably distinct from other DNA viruses, it uses an RNA intermediate called pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) and reverse transcriptase for its genome replication. Genome replication is accomplished by a complex mechanism of primer shifting facilitated by direct repeat sequences encoded in the genome. Further, the genome has evolved in such a manner that every single nucleotide of the genome is used for either coding viral proteins or used as regulatory regions or both. Moreover, it utilizes internal in-frame translation initiation codons, as well as different reading frames from the same RNA to generate different proteins with diverse functions. HBV also shows considerable genetic variability which has been related with clinical outcomes, replication potential, therapeutic response etc. This review aims at reviewing fundamental events of the viral life cycle including viral replication, transcription and translation, from the molecular standpoint, as well as, highlights the clinical relevance of genetic variability of HBV. PMID:25755457

  4. "Shrink Wrapping" Lectures: Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology within the Context of Human Pathologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guilford, William H.

    2005-01-01

    Students are most motivated and learn best when they are immersed in an environment that causes them to realize why they should learn. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than when teaching the biological sciences to engineers. Transitioning from a traditionally mathematics-based to a traditionally knowledge-based pedagogical style can challenge student…

  5. Molecular Engineering of Functional Materials for Energy and Opto-Electronic Applications.

    PubMed

    Gao, Peng; Domanski, Konrad; Konrad, Domanski; Aghazada, Sadig; Rakstys, Kasparas; Paek, Sanghyun; Nazeeruddin, Mohammad Khaja

    2015-01-01

    This review presents an overview of the dedicated research directions of the Group for Molecular Engineering of Functional Materials (GMF). This includes molecular engineering aspects of sensitizers constructed from ruthenium complexes, organic molecules, porphyrins and phthalocyanines. Manipulation of organometal trihalide perovskites, and charge transporting materials for high performance perovskite solar cells and photo-detectors are also described. Controlling phosphorescence color, and quantum yields in iridium complexes by tailoring ligands for organic light emitting diodes are demonstrated. Efficient reduction of CO(2) to CO using molecular catalyst on a protected Cu(2)O photocathode, and cost-effective water-splitting cell using a high efficiency perovskite solar cell are presented. PMID:26507343

  6. General morphological and biological features of neoplasms: integration of molecular findings.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Cano, S J

    2008-07-01

    This review highlights the importance of morphology-molecular correlations for a proper implementation of new markers. It covers both general aspects of tumorigenesis (which are normally omitted in papers analysing molecular pathways) and the general mechanisms for the acquired capabilities of neoplasms. The mechanisms are also supported by appropriate diagrams for each acquired capability that include overlooked features such as mobilization of cellular resources and changes in chromatin, transcription and epigenetics; fully accepted oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes are highlighted, while the pathways are also presented as activating or inactivating with appropriate colour coding. Finally, the concepts and mechanisms presented enable us to understand the basic requirements for the appropriate implementation of molecular tests in clinical practice. In summary, the basic findings are presented to serve as a bridge to clinical applications. The current definition of neoplasm is descriptive and difficult to apply routinely. Biologically, neoplasms develop through acquisition of capabilities that involve tumour cell aspects and modified microenvironment interactions, resulting in unrestricted growth due to a stepwise accumulation of cooperative genetic alterations that affect key molecular pathways. The correlation of these molecular aspects with morphological changes is essential for better understanding of essential concepts as early neoplasms/precancerous lesions, progression/dedifferentiation, and intratumour heterogeneity. The acquired capabilities include self-maintained replication (cell cycle dysregulation), extended cell survival (cell cycle arrest, apoptosis dysregulation, and replicative lifespan), genetic instability (chromosomal and microsatellite), changes of chromatin, transcription and epigenetics, mobilization of cellular resources, and modified microenvironment interactions (tumour cells, stromal cells, extracellular, endothelium). The acquired

  7. Singlet molecular oxygen generated in dark biological process.

    PubMed

    Di Mascio, Paolo; Medeiros, Marisa H G

    2014-10-01

    Ultraweak chemiluminescence arising from biomolecules oxidation has been attributed to the radiative deactivation of singlet molecular oxygen [(1)O2] and electronically excited triplet carbonyl products involving dioxetane intermediates. As examples, we will discuss the generation of (1)O2 from lipid hydroperoxides, which involves a cyclic mechanism from a linear tetraoxide intermediate. The generation of (1)O2 in aqueous solution via energy transfer from the excited triplet acetone arising from the thermodecomposition of dioxetane a chemical source, and horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed oxidation of 2-methylpropanal, as an enzymatic source, will also be discussed. The approach used to unequivocally demonstrate the generation of (1)O2 in these reactions is the use of (18)O-labeled hydroperoxide / triplet dioxygen ((18)[(3)O2]), the detection of labeled compounds by HPLC coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and the direct spectroscopic detection and characterization of (1)O2 light emission. Characteristic light emission at 1,270nm, corresponding to the singlet delta state monomolecular decay was observed. Using(18)[(3)O2], we observed the formation of (18)O-labeled (1)O2 ((18)[(1)O2]) by the chemical trapping of (18)[(1)O2]with the anthracene-9,10-diyldiethane-2,1-diyl disulfate disodium salt (EAS) and detected the corresponding (18)O-labeled EAS endoperoxide usingHPLC-MS/MS. The combined use of the thermolysis of a water-soluble naphthalene endoperoxide as a generator of (18)O labeled (1)O2 and the sensitivity of HPLC-MS/MS allowed the study of (1)O2reactivity toward biomolecules. Photoemission properties and chemical trapping clearly demonstrate that the production of hydroperoxide and excited carbonyls generates (18)[(1)O2], and points to the involvement of (1)O2 in physiological and pathophysiological mechanism. Supported by FAPESP (2012/12663-1), CAPES, INCT Redoxoma (FAPESP/CNPq/CAPES; 573530/2008-4), NAP Redoxoma (PRPUSP; 2011.1.9352.1.8), CEPID

  8. Cell biology, molecular embryology, Lamarckian and Darwinian selection as evolvability.

    PubMed

    Hoenigsberg, H

    2003-01-01

    immune system and life as we know it now. We offer the hypothesis that metazoan evolution solved this ancient conflict by evolving an immunogenetic mechanism that responds with rapid Lamarckian efficiency by retaining the ancient reverse transcriptase enzyme (RNACopyright DNA copying discovered by Temin in 1959 (see Temin, 1989) and found in 1970 in RNA tumor viruses by Temin and Baltimore), which can produce cDNA from the genome of an RNA virus that infects the cells. It seems that molecular Lamarckism can survive (Lewin, 1993). PMID:12917798

  9. A Glimpse to Background and Characteristics of Major Molecular Biological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Altaf-Ul-Amin, Md.; Katsuragi, Tetsuo; Sato, Tetsuo; Kanaya, Shigehiko

    2015-01-01

    Recently, biology has become a data intensive science because of huge data sets produced by high throughput molecular biological experiments in diverse areas including the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. These huge datasets have paved the way for system-level analysis of the processes and subprocesses of the cell. For system-level understanding, initially the elements of a system are connected based on their mutual relations and a network is formed. Among omics researchers, construction and analysis of biological networks have become highly popular. In this review, we briefly discuss both the biological background and topological properties of major types of omics networks to facilitate a comprehensive understanding and to conceptualize the foundation of network biology. PMID:26491677

  10. Biological and biophysical principles in extracorporal bone tissue engineering. Part I.

    PubMed

    Meyer, U; Joos, U; Wiesmann, H P

    2004-06-01

    Advances in the field of bone tissue engineering have encouraged physicians to introduce these techniques into clinical practice. Bone tissue engineering is the construction, repair or replacement of damaged or missing bone in humans or animals. Engineering of bone can take place within the animal body or extracorporal in a bioreactor for later grafting into the body. Appropriate cell types and non-living substrata are minimal requirements for an extracorporal tissue engineering approach. This review discusses the biological and biophysical background of in vitro bone tissue engineering. Biochemical and biophysical stimuli of cell growth and differentiation are regarded as potent tools to improve bone formation in vitro. The paper focuses on basic principles in extracorporal engineering of bone-like tissues, intended to be implanted in animal experiments and clinical studies. Particular attention is given in this part to the contributions of cell and material science to the development of bone-like tissues. Several approaches are at the level of clinical applicability and it can be expected that widespread use of engineered bone constructs will change the surgeon's work in the near future. PMID:15145032

  11. From electron microscopy to molecular cell biology, molecular genetics and structural biology: intracellular transport and kinesin superfamily proteins, KIFs: genes, structure, dynamics and functions.

    PubMed

    Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2011-01-01

    Cells transport and sort various proteins and lipids following synthesis as distinct types of membranous organelles and protein complexes to the correct destination at appropriate velocities. This intracellular transport is fundamental for cell morphogenesis, survival and functioning not only in highly polarized neurons but also in all types of cells in general. By developing quick-freeze electron microscopy (EM), new filamentous structures associated with cytoskeletons are uncovered. The characterization of chemical structures and functions of these new filamentous structures led us to discover kinesin superfamily molecular motors, KIFs. In this review, I discuss the identification of these new structures and characterization of their functions using molecular cell biology and molecular genetics. KIFs not only play significant roles by transporting various cargoes along microtubule rails, but also play unexpected fundamental roles on various important physiological processes such as learning and memory, brain wiring, development of central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, activity-dependent neuronal survival, development of early embryo, left-right determination of our body and tumourigenesis. Furthermore, by combining single-molecule biophysics with structural biology such as cryo-electrom microscopy and X-ray crystallography, atomic structures of KIF1A motor protein of almost all states during ATP hydrolysis have been determined and a common mechanism of motility has been proposed. Thus, this type of studies could be a good example of really integrative multidisciplinary life science in the twenty-first century. PMID:21844601

  12. What Skills Should Students of Undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Programs Have upon Graduation?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Harold B.; Benore, Marilee A.; Sumter, Takita F.; Caldwell, Benjamin D.; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) students should demonstrate proficiency in the foundational concepts of the discipline and possess the skills needed to practice as professionals. To ascertain the skills that should be required, groups of BMB educators met in several focused workshops to discuss the expectations with the ultimate goal of…

  13. Designing and Implementing a Hands-On, Inquiry-Based Molecular Biology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Regassa, Laura B.; Morrison-Shetlar, Alison I.

    2007-01-01

    Inquiry-based learning was used to enhance an undergraduate molecular biology course at Georgia Southern University, a primarily undergraduate institution in rural southeast Georgia. The goal was to use a long-term, in-class project to accelerate higher-order thinking, thereby enabling students to problem solve and apply their knowledge to novel…

  14. Using Active Learning in a Studio Classroom to Teach Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nogaj, Luiza A.

    2013-01-01

    This article describes the conversion of a lecture-based molecular biology course into an active learning environment in a studio classroom. Specific assignments and activities are provided as examples. The goal of these activities is to involve students in collaborative learning, teach them how to participate in the learning process, and give…

  15. SCIENCE RESULTS INTEGRATION. BRINGING MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES TO REGIONAL WATER MONITORING PROGRAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) develops innovative methods for use in environmental monitoring and assessment by scientists in Regions, states, and Tribes. Molecular-biology-based methods are not yet established in the environmental monitoring "tool box". SRI (Sci...

  16. A Descriptive Analysis of Computer-Assisted Teaching and Learning in Molecular Biological Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Guangxing; Yin, Jiechao; Ren, Yudong; Wang, Binjie; Ren, Xiaofeng

    2006-01-01

    The role and importance of computer-assisted teaching and learning in molecular biological-related education and research has been emphasized and pinpointed. In this study, some benefit viewpoints and discussion are provided for applying the computer-assisted teaching and learning more efficiently in the process of knowledge acquisition and…

  17. Using Biocatalysis to Integrate Organic Chemistry into a Molecular Biology Laboratory Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beers, Mande; Archer, Crystal; Feske, Brent D.; Mateer, Scott C.

    2012-01-01

    Current cutting-edge biomedical investigation requires that the researcher have an operational understanding of several diverse disciplines. Biocatalysis is a field of science that operates at the crossroads of organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology, and provides an excellent model for interdisciplinary research. We…

  18. Genetics and Faith: Religious Enchantment through Creative Engagement with Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Kathleen E.

    2007-01-01

    In this article I develop heuristic types for understanding how the U.S. evangelical Christian subculture engages the newer science of molecular biology as it works to legitimate and enchant religious worldview: 1.) "symbolic engagement," employing genes and DNA as sacred icon; 2.) "disputatious engagement," debating genetic essentialism and…

  19. Digital Learning Material for Student-Directed Model Building in Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Coppens, Marjolijn; Janssen, Fred; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton

    2005-01-01

    The building of models to explain data and make predictions constitutes an important goal in molecular biology research. To give students the opportunity to practice such model building, two digital cases had previously been developed in which students are guided to build a model step by step. In this article, the development and initial…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Biological and molecular characterization of a US isolate of Hosta virus X

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hosta virus X (HVX) is rapidly becoming a serious pathogen of commercially important hosta plants worldwide. We report here a biological and molecular characterization of a US isolate of HVX, HVX-37. HVX-37 infectivity was tested in 21 hosta cultivars over three growth seasons, and three types of re...

  2. Glycoprotein Biochemistry (Biosynthesis)--A Vehicle for Teaching Many Aspects of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Clair R.; Smith, Christopher A.

    1990-01-01

    Information about the biosynthesis of the carbohydrate portions or glycans of glycoproteins is presented. The teaching of glycosylation can be used to develop and emphasize many general aspects of biosynthesis, in addition to explaining specific biochemical and molecular biological features associated with producing the oligosaccharide portions of…

  3. Biological and Molecular Structure Analyses of the Controls on Soil Organic Matter Dynamics.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A combination of biological analysis, such as incubation and microbial biomass determination, 13C and 14C tracers, soil fractionation, and matrix analysis (LF, POM, silt, and clay) with molecular structure analysis (py-MBMS) on long-term sites with a C3 ' C4 crop switch provided the tools for determ...

  4. Essential Concepts and Underlying Theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics for "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry,…

  5. Integrating Internet Assignments into a Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Laboratory Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaspar, Roger L.

    2002-01-01

    A main challenge in educating undergraduate students is to introduce them to the Internet and to teach them how to effectively use it in research. To this end, an Internet assignment was developed that introduces students to websites related to biomedical research at the beginning of a biochemistry/molecular biology laboratory course. The basic…

  6. Using Restriction Mapping to Teach Basic Skills in the Molecular Biology Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walsh, Lauren; Shaker, Elizabeth; De Stasio, Elizabeth A.

    2007-01-01

    Digestion of DNA with restriction enzymes, calculation of volumes and concentrations of reagents for reactions, and the separation of DNA fragments by agarose gel electrophoresis are common molecular biology techniques that are best taught through repetition. The following open-ended, investigative laboratory exercise in plasmid restriction…

  7. Facilities for exploring molecular biology databases on the Web: A comparative study

    SciTech Connect

    Markowitz, V.M.; Chen, I.M.A.; Kosky, A.S.; Szeto, E.

    1996-12-31

    We discuss criteria for evaluating and comparing the main facilities provided by molecular biology databases (MBDs) for exploring (that is, retrieving and interpreting data) on the Web. We use these criteria for examining the facilities supported by typical MBDs such as Genbank, AtDB, GSDB, GDB, and MGD (as of September 5, 1996). 19 refs.

  8. BioFrameNet: A FrameNet Extension to the Domain of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolbey, Andrew Eric

    2009-01-01

    In this study I introduce BioFrameNet, an extension of the Berkeley FrameNet lexical database to the domain of molecular biology. I examine the syntactic and semantic combinatorial possibilities exhibited in the lexical items used in this domain in order to get a better understanding of the grammatical properties of the language used in scientific…

  9. An Inquiry-Infused Introductory Biology Laboratory That Integrates Mendel's Pea Phenotypes with Molecular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kudish, Philip; Schlag, Erin; Kaplinsky, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    We developed a multi-week laboratory in which college-level introductory biology students investigate Mendel's stem length phenotype in peas. Students collect, analyze and interpret convergent evidence from molecular and physiological techniques. In weeks 1 and 2, students treat control and experimental plants with Gibberellic Acid (GA) to…

  10. Beyond a pedagogical tool: 30 years of Molecular biology of the cell.

    PubMed

    Serpente, Norberto

    2013-02-01

    In 1983, a bulky and profusely illustrated textbook on molecular and cell biology began to inhabit the shelves of university libraries worldwide. The effect of capturing the eyes and souls of biologists was immediate as the book provided them with a new and invigorating outlook on what cells are and what they do. PMID:23340575

  11. An Off-the-Shelf, Authentic, and Versatile Undergraduate Molecular Biology Practical Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitworth, David E.

    2015-01-01

    We provide a prepackaged molecular biology course, which has a broad context and is scalable to large numbers of students. It is provided complete with technical setup guidance, a reliable assessment regime, and can be readily implemented without any development necessary. Framed as a forensic examination of blue/white cloning plasmids, the course…

  12. Using the Cell Signaling Literature to Teach Molecular Biology to Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Catherine Novotny

    2002-01-01

    Molecular biology concepts can be quite abstract and difficult to grasp for even the most talented student. Reducing potential frustration in the learning process, allowing students to take ownership of the course material, and training students to think critically and analytically are common objectives for educators. In this article, pedagogical…

  13. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering for Marine Carotenoids: New Opportunities and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chonglong; Kim, Jung-Hun; Kim, Seon-Won

    2014-01-01

    Carotenoids are a class of diverse pigments with important biological roles such as light capture and antioxidative activities. Many novel carotenoids have been isolated from marine organisms to date and have shown various utilizations as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we summarize the pathways and enzymes of carotenoid synthesis and discuss various modifications of marine carotenoids. The advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for carotenoid production are also reviewed, in hopes that this review will promote the exploration of marine carotenoid for their utilizations. PMID:25233369

  14. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering for marine carotenoids: new opportunities and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chonglong; Kim, Jung-Hun; Kim, Seon-Won

    2014-09-01

    Carotenoids are a class of diverse pigments with important biological roles such as light capture and antioxidative activities. Many novel carotenoids have been isolated from marine organisms to date and have shown various utilizations as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we summarize the pathways and enzymes of carotenoid synthesis and discuss various modifications of marine carotenoids. The advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for carotenoid production are also reviewed, in hopes that this review will promote the exploration of marine carotenoid for their utilizations. PMID:25233369

  15. Phosphorus-32 in the Phage Group: radioisotopes as historical tracers of molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Creager, Angela N.H.

    2009-01-01

    The recent historiography of molecular biology features key technologies, instruments and materials, which offer a different view of the field and its turning points than preceding intellectual and institutional histories. Radioisotopes, in this vein, became essential tools in postwar life science research, including molecular biology, and are here analyzed through their use in experiments on bacteriophage. Isotopes were especially well suited for studying the dynamics of chemical transformation over time, through metabolic pathways or life cycles. Scientists labeled phage with phosphorus-32 in order to trace the transfer of genetic material between parent and progeny in virus reproduction. Initial studies of this type did not resolve the mechanism of generational transfer but unexpectedly gave rise to a new style of molecular radiobiology based on the inactivation of phage by the radioactive decay of incorporated phosphorus-32. These ‘suicide experiments’, a preoccupation of phage researchers in the mid-1950s, reveal how molecular biologists interacted with the traditions and practices of radiation geneticists as well as those of biochemists as they were seeking to demarcate a new field. The routine use of radiolabels to visualize nucleic acids emerged as an enduring feature of molecular biological experimentation. PMID:19268872

  16. Phosphorus-32 in the Phage Group: radioisotopes as historical tracers of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Creager, Angela N H

    2009-03-01

    The recent historiography of molecular biology features key technologies, instruments and materials, which offer a different view of the field and its turning points than preceding intellectual and institutional histories. Radioisotopes, in this vein, became essential tools in postwar life science research, including molecular biology, and are here analyzed through their use in experiments on bacteriophage. Isotopes were especially well suited for studying the dynamics of chemical transformation over time, through metabolic pathways or life cycles. Scientists labeled phage with phosphorus-32 in order to trace the transfer of genetic material between parent and progeny in virus reproduction. Initial studies of this type did not resolve the mechanism of generational transfer but unexpectedly gave rise to a new style of molecular radiobiology based on the inactivation of phage by the radioactive decay of incorporated phosphorus-32. These 'suicide experiments', a preoccupation of phage researchers in the mid-1950s, reveal how molecular biologists interacted with the traditions and practices of radiation geneticists as well as those of biochemists as they were seeking to demarcate a new field. The routine use of radiolabels to visualize nucleic acids emerged as an enduring feature of molecular biological experimentation. PMID:19268872

  17. Graphene nanosheet: synthesis, molecular engineering, thin film, hybrids, and energy and analytical applications.

    PubMed

    Guo, Shaojun; Dong, Shaojun

    2011-05-01

    The emergence of graphene nanosheet (GN, 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics) has recently opened up an exciting new field in the science and technology of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials with continuously growing academic and technological impetus. GN exhibits unique electronic, optical, magnetic, thermal and mechanical properties arising from its strictly 2D structure and thus has many important technical applications. Actually, GN-based materials have enormous potential to rival or even surpass the performance of carbon nanotube-based counterparts, given that cheap, large-scale production and processing methods for high-quality GN become available. Therefore, the studies on GN in the aspects of chemistry, physical, materials, biology and interdisciplinary science have been in full flow in the past five years. In this critical review, from the viewpoint of chemistry and materials, we will cover recent significant advances in synthesis, molecular engineering, thin film, hybrids, and energy and analytical applications of the "star-material" GN together with discussion on its major challenges and opportunities for future GN research (315 references). PMID:21283849

  18. Third international conference on intelligent systems for molecular biology (ISMB-95): Summary. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    The specific aims of the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB-95) were to: convene a critical mass of researchers applying advanced computational techniques to problems in molecular biology; promote interchange of problems and solutions between computer scientists and molecular biologists; create education opportunities in this cross-disciplinary field for students and senior researchers wishing to either apply or benefit from these techniques; produce an archival proceedings as a forum for rapid dissemination of new results in a peer-reviewed manner; produce a set of tutorial materials for education and training of researchers interested in this field; maintain the momentum generated by the highly successful previous conferences in the series, and establish a regular event that will help to solidify the field; and foster the involvement of women and minorities in the field.

  19. Molecular Biology in Pediatric High-Grade Glioma: Impact on Prognosis and Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, Daniela; Ruggiero, Antonio; Martini, Maurizio; Rizzo, Valentina; Maurizi, Palma; Riccardi, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    High-grade gliomas are the main cause of death in children with brain tumours. Despite recent advances in cancer therapy, their prognosis remains poor and the treatment is still challenging. To date, surgery followed by radiotherapy and temozolomide is the standard therapy. However, increasing knowledge of glioma biology is starting to impact drug development towards targeted therapies. The identification of agents directed against molecular targets aims at going beyond the traditional therapeutic approach in order to develop a personalized therapy and improve the outcome of pediatric high-grade gliomas. In this paper, we critically review the literature regarding the genetic abnormalities implicated in the pathogenesis of pediatric malignant gliomas and the current development of molecularly targeted therapies. In particular, we analyse the impact of molecular biology on the prognosis and treatment of pediatric high-grade glioma, comparing it to that of adult gliomas. PMID:26448930

  20. Synthetic constructs in/for the environment: Managing the interplay between natural and engineered Biology

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Markus; de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2012-01-01

    The plausible release of deeply engineered or even entirely synthetic/artificial microorganisms raises the issue of their intentional (e.g. bioremediation) or accidental interaction with the Environment. Containment systems designed in the 1980s–1990s for limiting the spread of genetically engineered bacteria and their recombinant traits are still applicable to contemporary Synthetic Biology constructs. Yet, the ease of DNA synthesis and the uncertainty on how non-natural properties and strains could interplay with the existing biological word poses yet again the challenge of designing safe and efficacious firewalls to curtail possible interactions. Such barriers may include xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) instead of DNA as information-bearing molecules, rewriting the genetic code to make it non-understandable by the existing gene expression machineries, and/or making growth dependent on xenobiotic chemicals. PMID:22710182