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Sample records for natural agent deguelin

  1. Synergistic Activity of Deguelin and Fludarabine in Cells from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients and in the New Zealand Black Murine Model

    PubMed Central

    Rebolleda, Nerea; Losada-Fernandez, Ignacio; Perez-Chacon, Gema; Castejon, Raquel; Rosado, Silvia; Morado, Marta; Vallejo-Cremades, Maria Teresa; Martinez, Andrea; Vargas-Nuñez, Juan A.

    2016-01-01

    B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains an incurable disease, and despite the improvement achieved by therapeutic regimes developed over the last years still a subset of patients face a rather poor prognosis and will eventually relapse and become refractory to therapy. The natural rotenoid deguelin has been shown to induce apoptosis in several cancer cells and cell lines, including primary human CLL cells, and to act as a chemopreventive agent in animal models of induced carcinogenesis. In this work, we show that deguelin induces apoptosis in vitro in primary human CLL cells and in CLL-like cells from the New Zealand Black (NZB) mouse strain. In both of them, deguelin dowregulates AKT, NFκB and several downstream antiapoptotic proteins (XIAP, cIAP, BCL2, BCL-XL and survivin), activating the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Moreover, deguelin inhibits stromal cell-mediated c-Myc upregulation and resistance to fludarabine, increasing fludarabine induced DNA damage. We further show that deguelin has activity in vivo against NZB CLL-like cells in an experimental model of CLL in young NZB mice transplanted with spleen cells from aged NZB mice with lymphoproliferation. Moreover, the combination of deguelin and fludarabine in this model prolonged the survival of transplanted mice at doses of both compounds that were ineffective when administered individually. These results suggest deguelin could have potential for the treatment of human CLL. PMID:27101369

  2. Deguelin Analogue SH-1242 Inhibits Hsp90 Activity and Exerts Potent Anticancer Efficacy with Limited Neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Su-Chan; Min, Hye-Young; Choi, Hoon; Bae, Song Yi; Park, Kwan Hee; Hyun, Seung Yeob; Lee, Ho Jin; Moon, Jayoung; Park, Shin-Hyung; Kim, Jun Yong; An, Hongchan; Park, So-Jung; Seo, Ji Hae; Lee, Seungbeom; Kim, Young-Myeong; Park, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Sang Kook; Lee, Jeewoo; Lee, Jeeyeon; Kim, Kyu-Won; Suh, Young-Ger; Lee, Ho-Young

    2016-02-01

    The Hsp90 facilitates proper folding of signaling proteins associated with cancer progression, gaining attention as a target for therapeutic intervention. The natural rotenoid deguelin was identified as an Hsp90 inhibitor, but concerns about neurotoxicity have limited prospects for clinical development. In this study, we report progress on deguelin analogues that address this limitation, focusing on the novel analogue SH-1242 as a candidate to broadly target human lung cancer cells, including those that are chemoresistant or harboring KRAS mutations. In a KRAS-driven mouse model of lung cancer, SH-1242 administration reduced tumor multiplicity, volume, and load. Similarly, in human cell line-based or patient-derived tumor xenograft models, SH-1242 induced apoptosis and reduced tumor vasculature in the absence of detectable toxicity. In contrast to deguelin, SH-1242 toxicity was greatly reduced in normal cells and when administered to rats did not produce obvious histopathologic features in the brain. Mechanistic studies revealed that SH-1242 bound to the C-terminal ATP-binding pocket of Hsp90, disrupting the ability to interact with its co-chaperones and clients and triggering a degradation of client proteins without affecting Hsp70 expression. Taken together, our findings illustrate the superior properties of SH-1242 as an Hsp90 inhibitor and as an effective antitumor and minimally toxic agent, providing a foundation for advancing further preclinical and clinical studies. PMID:26645561

  3. Deguelin Induces the Apoptosis of Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells through Regulating the Expression of Galectin-1

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Bing; Zhao, Dejian; Yao, Yinan; Bao, Zhang; Lu, Guohua; Zhou, Jianying

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality around the world. Despite advances in the targeted therapy, patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma(SCC) still benefit few from it, and the search for potential effective therapies is imperative. Here, we demonstrated that deguelin induced significant apoptosis of lung SCC cells in vitro. Importantly, we found deguelin down-regulated the expression of galectin-1, which was involved in a wide range of tumorous physiologic process. Thus, we both over-expressed and down-regulated galectin-1 to perform its role in deguelin-induced apoptosis. We found that increased galectin-1 attenuated apoptosis of SCC cells exposed to deguelin, while galectin-1 knockdown sensitized lung cancer cells to deguelin treatment. Additionally, we observed that down-regulation of galectin-1 resulted in suppression of Ras/Raf/ERK pathway which was involved in deguelin-induced cell apoptosis. We also found that deguelin had a significant anti-tumor ability with decline of galectin-1 in vivo. In conclusion, these findings confirm that deguelin may act as a new chemo-preventive agent through inducing apoptosis of lung SCC cells in a galectin-1 dependent manner. PMID:27313498

  4. Selective activity of deguelin identifies therapeutic targets for androgen receptor-positive breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Robles, Andrew J; Cai, Shengxin; Cichewicz, Robert H; Mooberry, Susan L

    2016-06-01

    Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are aggressive malignancies with no effective targeted therapies. Recent gene expression profiling of these heterogeneous cancers and the classification of cell line models now allows for the identification of compounds with selective activities against molecular subtypes of TNBC. The natural product deguelin was found to have selective activity against MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cell lines, which both model the luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype of TNBC. Deguelin potently inhibited proliferation of these cells with GI50 values of 30 and 61 nM, in MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cells, respectively. Deguelin had exceptionally high selectivity, 197 to 566-fold, for these cell lines compared to cell lines representing other TNBC subtypes. Deguelin's mechanisms of action were investigated to determine how it produced these potent and selective effects. Our results show that deguelin has dual activities, inhibiting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling, and decreasing androgen receptor levels and nuclear localization. Based on these data, we hypothesized that the combination of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and the antiandrogen enzalutamide would have efficacy in LAR models. Rapamycin and enzalutamide showed additive effects in MDA-MB-453 cells, and both drugs had potent antitumor efficacy in a LAR xenograft model. These results suggest that the combination of antiandrogens and mTOR inhibitors might be an effective strategy for the treatment of androgen receptor-expressing TNBC. PMID:27255535

  5. BAD, a Proapoptotic Protein, Escapes ERK/RSK Phosphorylation in Deguelin and siRNA-Treated HeLa Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hafeez, Samra; Urooj, Mahwish; Saleem, Shamiala; Gillani, Zeeshan; Shaheen, Sumaira; Qazi, Mahmood Husain; Naseer, Muhammad Imran; Iqbal, Zafar; Ansari, Shakeel Ahmed; Haque, Absarul; Asif, Muhammad; Mir, Manzoor Ahmad; Ali, Ashraf; Pushparaj, Peter Natesan; Jamal, Mohammad Sarwar; Rasool, Mahmood

    2016-01-01

    This study has been undertaken to explore the therapeutic effects of deguelin and specific siRNAs in HeLa cells. The data provided clearly show the silencing of ERK 1/2 with siRNAs and inhibition of ERK1/2 with deguelin treatment in HeLa cells. Additionally, we are providing information that deguelin binds directly to anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-xl and Mcl-1 in the hydrophobic grooves, thereby releasing BAD and BAX from dimerization with these proteins. This results in increased apoptotic activity through the intrinsic pathway involved in rupture of mitochondrial membrane and release of cytochrome C. Evidence for inhibition of ERK1/2 by deguelin and escape of BAD phosphorylation at serine 112 through ERK/RSK pathway has been further fortified by obtaining similar results by silencing ERK 1/2 each with specific siRNAs. Increase in BAD after treatment with deguelin or siRNAs has been interpreted to mean that deguelin acts through several alternative pathways and therefore can be used as effective therapeutic agent. PMID:26745145

  6. Deguelin-induced blockade of PI3K/protein kinase B/MAP kinase signaling in zebrafish and breast cancer cell lines is mediated by down-regulation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 activity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Hai, Yang; Chen, Lu; Liu, Rui-Jin; Han, Yu-Xiang; Li, Wen-Hao; Li, Song; Lin, Shuo; Wu, Xin-Rong

    2016-04-01

    Deguelin, a natural component derived from leguminous plants, has been used as pesticide in some regions. Accumulating evidence show that deguelin has promising chemopreventive and therapeutic activities against cancer cells. This study shows that low concentrations of deguelin can lead to significant delay in zebrafish embryonic development through growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, we identified fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) as the putative target of deguelin. The candidate was initially identified by a microarray approach and then validated through in vitro experiments using hormone-responsive (MCF-7) and nonresponsive (MDA-MB-231) human breast cancer cell lines. The results show that deguelin suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cancer cell lines, but not in Hs 578Bst cells, by blocking PI3K/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling. The FGFR4 mRNA and protein level also diminished in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, we found that forced FGFR4 overexpression attenuated deguelin-induced proliferative suppression and apoptotic cell death in both zebrafish and MCF-7 cell lines, p-AKT and p-ERK levels were restored upon FGFR4 overexpression. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that deguelin inhibition of PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling in zebrafish and breast cancer cell lines is partially mediated through down-regulation of FGFR4 activity. PMID:27069628

  7. Deguelin inhibits the migration and invasion of lung cancer A549 and H460 cells via regulating actin cytoskeleton rearrangement.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Honggang; Jiao, Yan; Zhang, Zuncheng

    2015-01-01

    Deguelin, the main components from Mundulea sericea, was reported to suppress the growth of various cancer cells. However, the effect of Deguelin on tumor cell invasion and metastasis and its mechanism still unclear so far. In this study, we investigated the effects of Deguelin on the cell invasion in human lung cancer A549 and H460 cells. Our results demonstrate that Deguelin can significantly inhibited cell proliferation, cell migration and cell invasion. Moreover, Deguelin could also affected reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and decreased filopodia and lamellipodia formation. Furthermore, deguelin-treated tumors showed decreased the tumor metastasis related genes such as CD44, MMP2 and MMP9 at protein and mRNA levels and the content of CEA, SCC, NSE, CYFAR21-1. In addition, Deguelin down-regulated protein expression of Rac1 and Rock1, which are impotent in actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and cell motility. Together, our results suggest that Deguelin inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of lung cancer cells and might be a candidate compound for curing lung cancer. PMID:26884827

  8. Marine Natural Products as Prototype Agrochemical Agents

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jiangnan; Shen, Xiaoyu; El Sayed, Khalid A.; Dunbar, D. C Harles; Perry, Tony L.; Wilkins, Scott P.; Hamann, Mark T.; Bobzin, Steve; Huesing, Joseph; Camp, Robin; Prinsen, Mike; Krupa, Dan; Wideman, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    In the interest of identifying new leads that could serve as prototype agrochemical agents, 18 structurally diverse marine-derived compounds were examined for insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal activities. Several new classes of compounds have been shown to be insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal, which suggests that marine natural products represent an intriguing source for the discovery of new agrochemical agents. PMID:12670165

  9. Natural compounds as anticancer agents: Experimental evidence

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiao; Jiang, Yang-Fu

    2012-01-01

    Cancer prevention research has drawn much attention worldwide. It is believed that some types of cancer can be prevented by following a healthy life style. Cancer chemoprevention by either natural or synthetic agents is a promising route towards lowering cancer incidence. In recent years, the concept of cancer chemoprevention has evolved greatly. Experimental studies in animal models demonstrate that the reversal or suppression of premalignant lesions by chemopreventive agents is achievable. Natural occurring agents such as dietary phytochemicals, tea polyphenols and resveratrol show chemopreventive activity in animal models. Moreover, clinical trials for testing the safety and efficacy of a variety of natural agents in preventing or treating human malignancy have been ongoing. Here, we summarize experimental data on the chemopreventive or tumor suppressive effects of several natural compounds including curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, indole-3-carbinol, and vitamin D. PMID:24520533

  10. Sweetening agents from natural sources.

    PubMed

    Morris, J A

    1976-01-01

    Sweetness is an important taste sensation to humans. The absence of suitable sweeteners as alternatives to cyclamates and saccharin has led to a renewed interest in sweeteners form natural sources. A brief review of the history of sweetener usage provides a basis for understanding our present heavy consumption of sweet substances. The structure of naturally-occurring compounds possessing a sweet taste range from simple sugars to complex, intensely sweet proteins. The structural types include monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, flavonoids, steroid saponins, dipeptides, and proteins. Some of these substances are not, strictly-speaking, natural but are derived from natural sources by relatively minor chemical modification. The properties of two non-sweet substances, miraculin and gymnemic acid, are included because of their close relationship to the subject of sweeteners. Miraculin causes sour substances to taste sweet and gymnemic acid selectively blocks sweet taste perception. The second part of the paper presents some of the work on monellin, the intensely sweet protein from "serendipity berries" (Dioscoreophyllum cumminsii). The physico-chemical studies of monellin provide convincing evidence that it is, indeed, a protein. Structural studies using denaturants and specific chemical modifications have provided a beginning of our understanding of the molecular basis of the sweet taste of monellin. PMID:5643

  11. Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer by Natural Agents From Mother Nature

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Bharat; Prasad, Sahdeo; Sung, Bokyung; Krishnan, Sunil; Guha, Sushovan

    2013-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States after cancers of the lung and the breast/prostate. While the incidence of CRC in the United States is among the highest in the world (approximately 52/100,000), its incidence in countries in India is among the lowest (approximately 7/100,000), suggesting that lifestyle factors may play a role in development of the disease. Whereas obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, a high-calorie diet, and a lack of physical activity promote this cancer, evidence indicates that foods containing folates, selenium, Vitamin D, dietary fiber, garlic, milk, calcium, spices, vegetables, and fruits are protective against CRC in humans. Numerous agents from “mother nature” (also called “nutraceuticals,”) that have potential to both prevent and treat CRC have been identified. The most significant discoveries relate to compounds such as cardamonin, celastrol, curcumin, deguelin, diosgenin, thymoquinone, tocotrienol, ursolic acid, and zerumbone. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, these agents modulate multiple targets, including transcription factors, growth factors, tumor cell survival factors, inflammatory pathways, and invasion and angiogenesis linked closely to CRC. We describe the potential of these dietary agents to suppress the growth of human CRC cells in culture and to inhibit tumor growth in animal models. We also describe clinical trials in which these agents have been tested for efficacy in humans. Because of their safety and affordability, these nutraceuticals provide a novel opportunity for treatment of CRC, an “old age” disease with an “age old” solution. PMID:23814530

  12. Deguelin Attenuates Reperfusion Injury and Improves Outcome after Orthotopic Lung Transplantation in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Paulus, Patrick; Ockelmann, Pia; Tacke, Sabine; Karnowski, Nora; Ellinghaus, Peter; Scheller, Bertram; Holfeld, Johannes; Urbschat, Anja; Zacharowski, Kai

    2012-01-01

    The main goal of adequate organ preservation is to avoid further cellular metabolism during the phase of ischemia. However, modern preservation solutions do rarely achieve this target. In donor organs hypoxia and ischemia induce a broad spectrum of pathologic molecular mechanisms favoring primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after transplantation. Increased hypoxia-induced transcriptional activity leads to increased vascular permeability which in turn is the soil of a reperfusion edema and the enhancement of a pro-inflammatory response in the graft after reperfusion. We hypothesize that inhibition of the respiration chain in mitochondria and thus inhibition of the hypoxia induced mechanisms might reduce reperfusion edema and consecutively improve survival in vivo. In this study we demonstrate that the rotenoid Deguelin reduces the expression of hypoxia induced target genes, and especially VEGF-A, dose-dependently in hypoxic human lung derived cells. Furthermore, Deguelin significantly suppresses the mRNA expression of the HIF target genes VEGF-A, the pro-inflammatory CXCR4 and ICAM-1 in ischemic lungs vs. control lungs. After lung transplantation, the VEGF-A induced reperfusion-edema is significantly lower in Deguelin-treated animals than in controls. Deguelin-treated rats exhibit a significantly increased survival-rate after transplantation. Additionally, a downregulation of the pro-inflammatory molecules ICAM-1 and CXCR4 and an increase in the recruitment of immunomodulatory monocytes (CD163+ and CD68+) to the transplanted organ involving the IL4 pathway was observed. Therefore, we conclude that ischemic periods preceding reperfusion are mainly responsible for the increased vascular permeability via upregulation of VEGF. Together with this, the resulting endothelial dysfunction also enhances inflammation and consequently lung dysfunction. Deguelin significantly decreases a VEGF-A induced reperfusion edema, induces the recruitment of immunomodulatory monocytes and thus

  13. Ring-truncated deguelin derivatives as potent Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ho Shin; Hong, Mannkyu; Lee, Su-Chan; Lee, Ho-Young; Suh, Young-Ger; Oh, Dong-Chan; Seo, Ji Hae; Choi, Hoon; Kim, Jun Yong; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Jeong Hun; Kim, Joohwan; Kim, Young-Myeong; Park, So-Jung; Park, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Jeewoo

    2015-11-01

    A series of fluorophenyl and pyridine analogues of 1 and 2 were synthesized as ring-truncated deguelin surrogates and evaluated for their HIF-1α inhibition. Their structure-activity relationship was systematically investigated based on the variation of the linker B-region moiety. Among the inhibitors, compound 25 exhibited potent HIF-1α inhibition in a dose-dependent manner and significant antitumor activity in H1299 with less toxicity than deguelin. It also inhibited in vitro hypoxia-mediated angiogenic processes in HRMECs. The docking study indicates that 25 occupied the C-terminal ATP-binding pocket of HSP90 in a similar mode as 1, which implies that the anticancer and antiangiogenic activities of 25 are derived from HIF-1α destabilization by binding to the C-terminal ATP-binding site of hHSP90. PMID:26457742

  14. Natural chelating agents for radionuclide decorporation

    DOEpatents

    Premuzic, Eugene T.

    1988-01-01

    This invention relates to the preparation of new, naturally produced chelating agents as well as to the method and resulting chelates of desorbing cultures in a bioavailable form involving Pseudomonas species or other microorganisms. A preferred microorganism is Pseudomonas aeruginosa which forms multiple chelates with thorium in the range of molecular weight 100-1,000 and also forms chelates with uranium of molecular weight in the area of 100-1,000 and 1,000-2,000.

  15. Naturally derived anti-HIV agents.

    PubMed

    Asres, Kaleab; Seyoum, Ameha; Veeresham, Ciddi; Bucar, Franz; Gibbons, Simon

    2005-07-01

    The urgent need for new anti-HIV/AIDS drugs is a global concern. In addition to obvious economical and commercial hurdles, HIV/AIDS patients are faced with multifarious difficulties associated with the currently approved anti-HIV drugs. Adverse effects, the emergence of drug resistance and the narrow spectrum of activity have limited the therapeutic usefulness of the various reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors that are currently available on the market. This has driven many scientists to look for new anti-retrovirals with better efficacy, safety and affordability. As has always been the case in the search for cures, natural sources offer great promise. Several natural products, mostly of plant origin have been shown to possess promising activities that could assist in the prevention and/or amelioration of the disease. Many of these anti-HIV agents have other medicinal values as well, which afford them further prospective as novel leads for the development of new drugs that can deal with both the virus and the various disorders that characterize HIV/AIDS. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HIV natural products. In the review anti-HIV agents have been classified according to their chemical classes rather than their target in the HIV replicative cycle, which is the most frequently encountered approach. Perusal of the literature revealed that most of these promising naturally derived anti-HIV compounds are flavonoids, coumarins, terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polysaccharides or proteins. It is our strong conviction that the results and experiences with many of the anti-HIV natural products will inspire and motivate even more researchers to look for new leads from plants and other natural sources. PMID:16161055

  16. Natural product derived immune-regulatory agents.

    PubMed

    Talmadge, James E

    2016-08-01

    We can now declare that the clinical goal of immune intervention as a therapeutic strategy for neoplastic, infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, has been achieved and in many instances obtained regulatory approval. Although, interest in and optimism for this approach has fluctuated, in the last 20years, immunotherapy has progressed from trials with crude microbial mixtures and extracts to the sophisticated use of pure cultured bacterial, synthetized active moieties identified from crude extracts, analogues therefrom and agonists and antagonists identified during screening resulting in reproducible pharmacologically active compounds with multiple mechanisms of action. Our current understanding of the mechanism of action for immunoregulatory agents contributes to the future discovery of improved strategies to use these and future immunotherapies. In this review we have identified and discussed, those drugs that have been approved and or are in clinical development as immunoregulatory agents, emphasizing those derived from or associated with natural product. PMID:26968760

  17. The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Smit, Nico; Vicanova, Jana; Pavel, Stan

    2009-01-01

    Skin whitening products are commercially available for cosmetic purposes in order to obtain a lighter skin appearance. They are also utilized for clinical treatment of pigmentary disorders such as melasma or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Whitening agents act at various levels of melanin production in the skin. Many of them are known as competitive inhibitors of tyrosinase, the key enzyme in melanogenesis. Others inhibit the maturation of this enzyme or the transport of pigment granules (melanosomes) from melanocytes to surrounding keratinocytes. In this review we present an overview of (natural) whitening products that may decrease skin pigmentation by their interference with the pigmentary processes. PMID:20054473

  18. NICA: Natural Interaction with a Caring Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Carolis, Berardina; Mazzotta, Irene; Novielli, Nicole

    Ambient Intelligence solutions may provide a great opportunity for elderly people to live longer at home. Assistance and care are delegated to the intelligence embedded in the environment. However, besides considering service-oriented response to the user needs, the assistance has to take into account the establishment of social relations. We propose the use of a robot NICA (as the name of the project Natural Interaction with a Caring Agent) acting as a caring assistant that provides a social interface with the smart home services. In this paper, we introduce the general architecture of the robot's "mind" and then we focus on the need to properly react to affective and socially oriented situations.

  19. Potential Compounds for Oral Cancer Treatment: Resveratrol, Nimbolide, Lovastatin, Bortezomib, Vorinostat, Berberine, Pterostilbene, Deguelin, Andrographolide, and Colchicine

    PubMed Central

    Bundela, Saurabh; Sharma, Anjana; Bisen, Prakash S.

    2015-01-01

    Oral cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related deaths in South-Asian countries. There are very limited treatment options available for oral cancer. Research endeavors focused on discovery and development of novel therapies for oral cancer, is necessary to control the ever rising oral cancer related mortalities. We mined the large pool of compounds from the publicly available compound databases, to identify potential therapeutic compounds for oral cancer. Over 84 million compounds were screened for the possible anti-cancer activity by custom build SVM classifier. The molecular targets of the predicted anti-cancer compounds were mined from reliable sources like experimental bioassays studies associated with the compound, and from protein-compound interaction databases. Therapeutic compounds from DrugBank, and a list of natural anti-cancer compounds derived from literature mining of published studies, were used for building partial least squares regression model. The regression model thus built, was used for the estimation of oral cancer specific weights based on the molecular targets. These weights were used to compute scores for screening the predicted anti-cancer compounds for their potential to treat oral cancer. The list of potential compounds was annotated with corresponding physicochemical properties, cancer specific bioactivity evidences, and literature evidences. In all, 288 compounds with the potential to treat oral cancer were identified in the current study. The majority of the compounds in this list are natural products, which are well-tolerated and have minimal side-effects compared to the synthetic counterparts. Some of the potential therapeutic compounds identified in the current study are resveratrol, nimbolide, lovastatin, bortezomib, vorinostat, berberine, pterostilbene, deguelin, andrographolide, and colchicine. PMID:26536350

  20. Natural chelating agents for radionuclide decorporation

    DOEpatents

    Premuzic, E.T.

    1985-06-11

    This invention relates to the production of metal-binding compounds useful for the therapy of heavy metal poisoning, for biological mining and for decorporation of radionuclides. The present invention deals with an orderly and effective method of producing new therapeutically effective chelating agents. This method uses challenge biosynthesis for the production of chelating agents that are specific for a particular metal. In this approach, the desired chelating agents are prepared from microorganisms challenged by the metal that the chelating agent is designed to detoxify. This challenge induces the formation of specific or highly selective chelating agents. The present invention involves the use of the challenge biosynthetic method to produce new complexing/chelating agents that are therapeutically useful to detoxify uranium, plutonium, thorium and other toxic metals. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa family of organisms is the referred family of microorganisms to be used in the present invention to produce the new chelating agent because this family is known to elaborate strains resistant to toxic metals.

  1. Modified natural nanoparticles as contrast agents for medical imaging

    PubMed Central

    Cormode, David P.; Jarzyna, Peter A.; Mulder, Willem J. M.; Fayad, Zahi A.

    2009-01-01

    The development of novel and effective contrast agents is one of the drivers of the ongoing improvement in medical imaging. Many of the new agents reported are nanoparticle-based. There are a variety of natural nanoparticles known, e.g. lipoproteins, viruses or ferritin. Natural nanoparticles have advantages as delivery platforms such as biodegradability. In addition, our understanding of natural nanoparticles is quite advanced, allowing their adaptation as contrast agents. They can be labeled with small molecules or ions such as Gd3+ to act as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, 18F to act as positron emission tomography contrast agents or fluorophores to act as contrast agents for fluorescence techniques. Additionally, inorganic nanoparticles such as iron oxide, gold nanoparticles or quantum dots can be incorporated to add further contrast functionality. Furthermore, these natural nanoparticle contrast agents can be rerouted from their natural targets via the attachment of targeting molecules. In this review, we discuss the various modified natural nanoparticles that have been exploited as contrast agents. PMID:19900496

  2. Learning by Communicating in Natural Language with Conversational Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur; Li, Haiying; Forsyth, Carol

    2014-01-01

    Learning is facilitated by conversational interactions both with human tutors and with computer agents that simulate human tutoring and ideal pedagogical strategies. In this article, we describe some intelligent tutoring systems (e.g., AutoTutor) in which agents interact with students in natural language while being sensitive to their cognitive…

  3. [Natural bioactive agents in liver therapy].

    PubMed

    Blázovics, Anna

    2015-11-22

    Medical science alongside with other sciences, aiming to preserve health and combat diseases, has evolved significantly since the late 1930s. It has reached incredible results and opened up unpredicted perspectives for future generations to come. From the 1980s significant results also emerged from researching natural plant active ingredients for the prevention of damage from free radicals which were discovered in different symptoms. One of the important areas of research is the recognition of significant bioactive molecules from the aspects of food consumption, alongside the detection of their effect in the context of their structure. It is also important that by possessing these data it is possible to develop correct food consumption habits, especially for people who are suffering from diseases. Through the decades we came a long way from folk medicine observations to molecular, biological justification of effect mechanisms. PMID:26568101

  4. Will novel agents for ALL finally change the natural history?

    PubMed

    Douer, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cure rates have markedly improved over the past years to approximately 85%, but remain at 40%-50% in adults. Redefining current adult chemotherapy regimens is likely to improve the natural course of the disease, but new agents are needed. Immunotherapy approaches for pre-B ALL are in the forefront of research on novel agents; in particular, advances are being made in manipulating autologous T cells either by infusion of a bifunctional antibody (eg, blinatumomab) or by ex vivo genetic modification of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). The natural course of Philadelphia positive ALL has already improved by targeting ABL/BCR1. Other mutated genes are being discovered and novel small molecules that target their products are being studied in clinical trials. Finally, ALL is a heterogeneous disease and novel agents are likely to impact the natural course of smaller populations of biologically defined ALL subtypes. PMID:25455274

  5. Anticancer agent-based marine natural products and related compounds.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian-Wei; Wu, Qi-Hao; Rowley, David C; Al-Kareef, Ammar M Q; Wang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Marine natural products constitute a huge reservoir of anticancer agents. Consequently during the past decades, several marine anticancer compounds have been isolated, identified, and approved for anticancer treatment or are under trials. In this article the sources, structure, bioactivities, mode of actions, and analogs of some promising marine and derived anticancer compounds have been discussed. PMID:25559315

  6. A novel antitumor activity of deguelin targeting the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor pathway via up-regulation of IGF-binding protein-3 expression in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Young-Ah; Kim, Jai-Hyun; Sung, Myung A; Boo, Hye-Jin; Yun, Hye Jeong; Lee, Sun-Hye; Lee, Hyo-Jong; Suh, Young-Ger; Kim, Kyu-Won; Lee, Ho-Young

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the antitumor effects of deguelin in several human breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Deguelin inhibited cell viability and the anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent colony formation of triple-negative (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468) and triple-positive (MCF-7) breast cancer cells, and it significantly reduced the growth of MCF-7 cell xenograft tumors. The induction of apoptosis, inhibition of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling activation, and up-regulation of IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) expression may be associated with deguelin-mediated antitumor effects. Our findings suggest a potential therapeutic use for deguelin in patients with triple-negative breast cancer and for those with breast cancers who are sensitive to endocrine- and HER2-targeted therapies. PMID:23348700

  7. Natural Agents: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Photoprotection

    PubMed Central

    Afaq, Farrukh

    2010-01-01

    The skin is the largest organ of the body that produces a flexible and self-repairing barrier and protects the body from most common potentially harmful physical, environmental, and biological insults. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major environmental insults to the skin and causes multi-tiered cellular and molecular events eventually leading to skin cancer. The past decade has seen a surge in the incidence of skin cancer due to changes in life style patterns that have led to a significant increase in the amount of UV radiation that people receive. Reducing excessive exposure to UV radiation is desirable; nevertheless this approach is not easy to implement. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel strategies to reduce the adverse biological effects of UV radiation on the skin. A wide variety of natural agents have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have elucidated that natural agents act by several cellular and molecular mechanisms to delay or prevent skin cancer. In this review article, we have summarized and discussed some of the selected natural agents for skin photoprotection. PMID:21147060

  8. Tuberculosis and nature's pharmacy of putative anti-tuberculosis agents.

    PubMed

    Chinsembu, Kazhila C

    2016-01-01

    Due to the growing problem of drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, coupled with the twinning of tuberculosis (TB) to human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the burden of TB is now difficult to manage. Therefore, new antimycobacterial agents are being sought from natural sources. This review focuses on natural antimycobacterial agents from endophytes and medicinal plants of Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. In the countries mentioned in this review, numerous plant species display putative anti-TB activity. Several antimycobacterial chemical compounds have also been isolated, including: ellagitannin punicalagin, allicin, anthraquinone glycosides, iridoids, phenylpropanoids, beta-sitosterol, galanthimine, crinine, friedelin, gallic acid, ellagic acids, anthocyanidin, taraxerol, termilignan B, arjunic acid, glucopyranosides, 1-epicatechol, leucopelargonidol, hydroxybenzoic acids, benzophenanthridine alkaloids, neolignans, and decarine. These compounds may provide leads to novel and more efficacious drugs to lessen the global burden of TB and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains. If there is a long-term remedy for TB, it must lie in nature's pharmacy of putative antimycobacterial agents. PMID:26464047

  9. Essential oils as natural food antimicrobial agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Vergis, Jess; Gokulakrishnan, P; Agarwal, R K; Kumar, Ashok

    2015-01-01

    Food-borne illnesses pose a real scourge in the present scenario as the consumerism of packaged food has increased to a great extend. Pathogens entering the packaged foods may survive longer, which needs a check. Antimicrobial agents either alone or in combination are added to the food or packaging materials for this purpose. Exploiting the antimicrobial property, essential oils are considered as a "natural" remedy to this problem other than its flavoring property instead of using synthetic agents. The essential oils are well known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antimycotic, antiparasitic, and antioxidant properties due to the presence of phenolic functional group. Gram-positive organisms are found more susceptible to the action of the essential oils. Essential oils improve the shelf-life of packaged products, control the microbial growth, and unriddle the consumer concerns regarding the use of chemical preservatives. This review is intended to provide an overview of the essential oils and their role as natural antimicrobial agents in the food industry. PMID:24915323

  10. Targeting Reactive Carbonyl Species with Natural Sequestering Agents.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sung Won; Lee, Yoon-Mi; Aldini, Giancarlo; Yeum, Kyung-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Reactive carbonyl species generated by the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and sugars are highly reactive due to their electrophilic nature, and are able to easily react with the nucleophilic sites of proteins as well as DNA causing cellular dysfunction. Levels of reactive carbonyl species and their reaction products have been reported to be elevated in various chronic diseases, including metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. In an effort to identify sequestering agents for reactive carbonyl species, various analytical techniques such as spectrophotometry, high performance liquid chromatography, western blot, and mass spectrometry have been utilized. In particular, recent advances using a novel high resolution mass spectrometry approach allows screening of complex mixtures such as natural products for their sequestering ability of reactive carbonyl species. To overcome the limited bioavailability and bioefficacy of natural products, new techniques using nanoparticles and nanocarriers may offer a new attractive strategy for increased in vivo utilization and targeted delivery of bioactives. PMID:26927058

  11. Natural Compounds as Therapeutic Agents in the Treatment Cystic Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Dey, Isha; Shah, Kalpit; Bradbury, Neil A

    2016-01-01

    The recent FDA approval of two drugs to treat the basic defect in cystic fibrosis has given hope to patients and their families battling this devastating disease. Over many years, with heavy financial investment from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, pre-clinical evaluation of thousands of synthetic drugs resulted in the production of Kalydeco and Orkambi. Yet, despite the success of this endeavor, many other compounds have been proposed as therapeutic agents in the treatment of CF. Of note, several of these compounds are naturally occurring, and are present in spices from the grocery store and over the counter preparations in health food stores. In this short review, we look at three such compounds, genistein, curcumin, and resveratrol, and evaluate the scientific support for their use as therapeutic agents in the treatment of patients with CF. PMID:27081574

  12. Degradability of fluorapatite-leucite ceramics in naturally acidic agents.

    PubMed

    Kukiattrakoon, Boonlert; Hengtrakool, Chanothai; Kedjarune-Leggat, Ureporn

    2010-10-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the titratable acidity and effect of naturally acidic agents on the surface microhardness, elemental composition, and surface morphology of fluorapatite-leucite ceramics. One hundred and ten ceramic disks (IPS d.SIGN), 12.0 mm in diameter and 2.0 mm in thickness, were fabricated. Before immersion, the baseline data of Vickers microhardness and elemental composition were recorded. Four groups were immersed in acidic agents (citrate buffer solution, green mango juice, and pineapple juice) and deionized water (control) at 37ºC for 168 hours, whereas one group was immersed in 4% acetic acid at 80ºC for 168 hours. After immersion, specimens were evaluated and data were analyzed using one-way repeated ANOVA and Tukey's test (α=0.05). Microhardness values significantly decreased after immersion (p<0.05). In terms of elemental composition, the weight percentages of silicon, potassium, aluminum, and sodium also decreased after immersion (p<0.05). Results of this study showed that fluorapatite-leucite ceramics were affected by long-term immersion in acidic agents. PMID:20827032

  13. Alkaloids Isolated from Natural Herbs as the Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jin-Jian; Bao, Jiao-Lin; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Huang, Min; Wang, Yi-Tao

    2012-01-01

    Alkaloids are important chemical compounds that serve as a rich reservoir for drug discovery. Several alkaloids isolated from natural herbs exhibit antiproliferation and antimetastasis effects on various types of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Alkaloids, such as camptothecin and vinblastine, have already been successfully developed into anticancer drugs. This paper focuses on the naturally derived alkaloids with prospective anticancer properties, such as berberine, evodiamine, matrine, piperine, sanguinarine, and tetrandrine, and summarizes the mechanisms of action of these compounds. Based on the information in the literature that is summarized in this paper, the use of alkaloids as anticancer agents is very promising, but more research and clinical trials are necessary before final recommendations on specific alkaloids can be made. PMID:22988474

  14. Fenugreek: a naturally occurring edible spice as an anticancer agent.

    PubMed

    Shabbeer, Shabana; Sobolewski, Michelle; Anchoori, Ravi Kumar; Kachhap, Sushant; Hidalgo, Manuel; Jimeno, Antonio; Davidson, Nancy; Carducci, Michael A; Khan, Saeed R

    2009-02-01

    In recent years, various dietary components that can potentially be used for the prevention and treatment of cancer have been identified. In this study, we demonstrate that extract (FE) from the seeds of the plant Trigonella foenum graecum, commonly called fenugreek, are cytotoxic in vitro to a panel of cancer but not normal cells. Treatment with 10-15 ug/mL of FE for 72 h was growth inhibitory to breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer cell lines (PCa). When tested at higher doses (15-20 ug/mL), FE continued to be growth inhibitory to PCa cell lines but not to either primary prostate or hTert-immortalized prostate cells. At least part of the growth inhibition is due to induction of cell death, as seen by incorporation of Ethidium Bromide III into cancer cells exposed to FE. Molecular changes induced in PCa cells are: in DU-145 cells: downregulation of mutant p53, and in PC-3 cells upregulation of p21 and inhibition of TGFbeta induced phosphorylation of Akt. The surprising finding of our studies is that death of cancer cells occurs despite growth stimulatory pathways being simultaneously upregulated (phosphorylated) by FE. Thus, these studies add another biologically active agent to our armamentarium of naturally occurring agents with therapeutic potential. PMID:19197146

  15. Honokiol: a novel natural agent for cancer prevention and therapy.

    PubMed

    Arora, S; Singh, S; Piazza, G A; Contreras, C M; Panyam, J; Singh, A P

    2012-12-01

    Honokiol (3',5-di-(2-propenyl)-1,1'-biphenyl-2,4'-diol) is a bioactive natural product derived from Magnolia spp. Recent studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidative and anticancer properties of honokiol in vitro and in preclinical models. Honokiol targets multiple signaling pathways including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), signal transducers and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), which have great relevance during cancer initiation and progression. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic profile of honokiol has revealed a desirable spectrum of bioavailability after intravenous administration in animal models, thus making it a suitable agent for clinical trials. In this review, we discuss recent data describing the molecular targets of honokiol and its anti-cancer activities against various malignancies in pre-clinical models. Evaluation of honokiol in clinical trials will be the next step towards its possible human applications. PMID:22834827

  16. CHARACTERIZATION OF CASEINS CROSSLINKED BY A NATURALLY OCCURRING CROSSLINKING AGENT-GENIPIN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing economic and environmental pressures demand more effective utilization of natural resources. Genipin, a naturally occurring crosslinking agent obtained from the fruit of Gardenia jasminoides, has recently attracted much attention due to its low cytotoxicity compared to traditional crossli...

  17. Anti-Enterovirus 71 Agents of Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liyan; Wang, Junfeng; Wang, Lishu; Ma, Shurong; Liu, Yonghong

    2015-01-01

    This review, with 42 references, presents the fascinating area of anti-enterovirus 71 natural products over the last three decades for the first time. It covers literature published from 2005-2015 and refers to compounds isolated from biogenic sources. In total, 58 naturally-occurring anti-EV71 compounds are recorded. PMID:26370955

  18. Natural Organohalogens: A New Frontier for Medicinal Agents?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2004-10-01

    More than 4000 naturally occurring organohalogen compounds are known. These include a relatively small number of abiogenic organohalogens from volcanoes, forest fires, geothermal processes, and meteorites, and a very large number of biogenic organohalogens produced by myriad living organisms as part of their chemical makeup that serve as hormones, pheromones, repellents, and natural pesticides. From the chemically simple methyl chloride, methyl bromide, and chloroform to the structurally complex vancomycin, pyrroindomycin, and bastadins, the diversity of these organohalogens is unsurpassed among natural products. Most natural organohalogens contain chlorine (2300) or bromine (2100), but a significant number contain iodine (120) or fluorine (30). Several hundred marine natural products contain both chlorine and bromine. The present article focuses on newly discovered biogenic organohalogens, with an emphasis on those biologically active examples from marine organisms, bacteria, terrestrial plants, and higher life forms including humans.

  19. Opportunities and Challenges for Natural Products as Novel Antituberculosis Agents.

    PubMed

    Farah, Shrouq I; Abdelrahman, Abd Almonem; North, E Jeffrey; Chauhan, Harsh

    2016-01-01

    Current tuberculosis (TB) treatment suffers from complexity of the dosage regimens, length of treatment, and toxicity risks. Many natural products have shown activity against drug-susceptible, drug-resistant, and latent/dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen responsible for TB infections. Natural sources, including plants, fungi, and bacteria, provide a rich source of chemically diverse compounds equipped with unique pharmacological, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties. This review focuses on natural products as starting points for the discovery and development of novel anti-TB chemotherapy and classifies them based on their chemical nature. The classes discussed are divided into alkaloids, chalcones, flavonoids, peptides, polyketides, steroids, and terpenes. This review also highlights the importance of collaboration between phytochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and physical chemistry, which is very important for the development of these natural compounds. PMID:26565779

  20. Novel food packaging systems with natural antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Irkin, Reyhan; Esmer, Ozlem Kizilirmak

    2015-10-01

    A new type of packaging that combines food packaging materials with antimicrobial substances to control microbial surface contamination of foods to enhance product microbial safety and to extend shelf-life is attracting interest in the packaging industry. Several antimicrobial compounds can be combined with different types of packaging materials. But in recent years, since consumer demand for natural food ingredients has increased because of safety and availability, these natural compounds are beginning to replace the chemical additives in foods and are perceived to be safer and claimed to alleviate safety concerns. Recent research studies are mainly focused on the application of natural antimicrobials in food packaging system. Biologically derived compounds like bacteriocins, phytochemicals, enzymes can be used in antimicrobial food packaging. The aim of this review is to give an overview of most important knowledge about application of natural antimicrobial packagings with model food systems and their antimicrobial effects on food products. PMID:26396358

  1. Natural Organohalogens: A New Frontier for Medicinal Agents?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gribble, Gordon W.

    2004-01-01

    Newly discovered biogenic organo halogens with an emphasis on the biologically active examples from marine organisms, bacteria, terrestrial plants and higher life forms, including humans, are focused. Organohalogen compounds represent a valuable and expanding class of natural products, in many cases boasting exceptional biological activity.

  2. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-01

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  3. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-15

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  4. Tubulin-Interactive Natural Products as Anticancer Agents1

    PubMed Central

    Kingston, David G. I.

    2009-01-01

    This review provides an overview of the discovery, structures, and biological activities of anticancer natural products which act by inhibiting or promoting the assembly of tubulin to microtubules. The emphasis is on providing recent information on those compounds in clinical use or in advanced clinical trials. The vinca alkaloids, the combretastatins, NPI-2358, the halichondrin B analog eribulin, dolastatin 10, noscapine, hemiasterlin, and rhizoxin are discussed as tubulin polymerization inhibitors, while the taxanes and the epothilones are the major classes of tubulin polymerization promoters presented, with brief treatments of discodermolide, eleutherobin, and laulimalide. The challenges and future directions of tubulin-interactive natural products-based drug discovery programs are also discussed briefly. PMID:19125622

  5. Natural products as a source of potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents.

    PubMed

    Cassady, J M; Baird, W M; Chang, C J

    1990-01-01

    Recent advances in the chemistry of novel bioactive natural products are reported. This research is directed to the exploration of plants with confirmed activity in bioassays designed to detect potential cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents. Structural work and chemical studies are reported for several cytotoxic agents from the plants Annona densicoma, Annona reticulata, Claopodium crispifolium, Polytrichum obioense, and Psorospermum febrifugum. Studies are also reported based on development of a mammalian cell culture benzo[a]pyrene metabolism assay for the detection of potential anticarcinogenic agents from natural products. In this study a number of isoflavonoids and flavonoids with antimutagenic activity have been discovered. PMID:2189947

  6. Discovery of anticancer agents of diverse natural origin*

    PubMed Central

    Kinghorn, A. Douglas; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J.; Chai, Hee-Byung; Orjala, Jimmy; Farnsworth, Norman R.; Soejarto, D. Doel; Oberlies, Nicholas H.; Wani, Mansukh C.; Kroll, David J.; Pearce, Cedric J.; Swanson, Steven M.; Kramer, Robert A.; Rose, William C.; Fairchild, Craig R.; Vite, Gregory D.; Emanuel, Stuart; Jarjoura, David; Cope, Frederick O.

    2009-01-01

    A collaborative multidisciplinary research project is described in which new natural product anticancer drug leads are obtained from a diverse group of organisms, constituted by tropical plants, aquatic cyanobacteria, and filamentous fungi. Information is provided on how these organisms are collected and processed. The types of bioassays are indicated in which crude extracts of these acquisitions are tested. Progress made in the isolation of lead bioactive secondary metabolites from three tropical plants is discussed. PMID:20046887

  7. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief

    PubMed Central

    Maroon, Joseph C.; Bost, Jeffrey W.; Maroon, Adara

    2010-01-01

    The use of both over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal medications is frequently recommended in a typical neurosurgical practice. But persistent long-term use safety concerns must be considered when prescribing these medications for chronic and degenerative pain conditions. This article is a literature review of the biochemical pathways of inflammatory pain, the potentially serious side effects of nonsteroidal drugs and commonly used and clinically studied natural alternative anti-inflammatory supplements. Although nonsteroidal medications can be effective, herbs and dietary supplements may offer a safer, and often an effective, alternative treatment for pain relief, especially for long-term use. PMID:21206541

  8. Natural forces as agents: reconceptualizing the animate-inanimate distinction.

    PubMed

    Lowder, Matthew W; Gordon, Peter C

    2015-03-01

    Research spanning multiple domains of psychology has demonstrated preferential processing of animate as compared to inanimate entities--a pattern that is commonly explained as due to evolutionarily adaptive behavior. Forces of nature represent a class of entities that are semantically inanimate but which behave as if they are animate in that they possess the ability to initiate movement and cause actions. We report an eye-tracking experiment demonstrating that natural forces are processed like animate entities during online sentence processing: they are easier to integrate with action verbs than instruments, and this effect is mediated by sentence structure. The results suggest that many cognitive and linguistic phenomena that have previously been attributed to animacy may be more appropriately attributed to perceived agency. To the extent that this is so, the cognitive potency of animate entities may not be due to vigilant monitoring of the environment for unpredictable events as argued by evolutionary psychologists but instead may be more adequately explained as reflecting a cognitive and linguistic focus on causal explanations that is adaptive because it increases the predictability of events. PMID:25497518

  9. Natural Forces as Agents: Reconceptualizing the Animate-Inanimate Distinction

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Research spanning multiple domains of psychology has demonstrated preferential processing of animate as compared to inanimate entities—a pattern that is commonly explained as due to evolutionarily adaptive behavior. Forces of nature represent a class of entities that are semantically inanimate but which behave as if they are animate in that they possess the ability to initiate movement and cause actions. We report an eye-tracking experiment demonstrating that natural forces are processed like animate entities during online sentence processing: they are easier to integrate with action verbs than instruments, and this effect is mediated by sentence structure. The results suggest that many cognitive and linguistic phenomena that have previously been attributed to animacy may be more appropriately attributed to perceived agency. To the extent that this is so, the cognitive potency of animate entities may not be due to vigilant monitoring of the environment for unpredictable events as argued by evolutionary psychologists but instead may be more adequately explained as reflecting a cognitive and linguistic focus on causal explanations that is adaptive because it increases the predictability of events. PMID:25497518

  10. Cyclodepsipeptides from marine sponges: natural agents for drug research.

    PubMed

    Andavan, Gowri Shankar Bagavananthem; Lemmens-Gruber, Rosa

    2010-01-01

    A number of natural products from marine sponges, such as cyclodepsipeptides, have been identified. The structural characteristics of this family of cyclic peptides include various unusual amino acid residues and unique N-terminal polyketide-derived moieties. Papuamides are representatives of a class of marine sponge derived cyclic depsipeptides, including callipeltin A, celebesides A and B, homophymine A, mirabamides, microspinosamide, neamphamide A and theopapuamides. They are thought to have cytoprotective activity against HIV-1 in vitro by inhibiting viral entry. Jasplakinolide, a representative member of marine sponge-derived cyclodepsipeptides that include arenastatin A, geodiamolides, homophymines, spongidepsin and theopapuamides, is a potent inducer of actin polymerization in vitro. Although actin dynamics is essential for tumor metasasis, no actin targeting drugs have been used in clinical trials due to their severe cytotoxicity. Nonetheless, the actin cytoskeleton remains a potential target for anti-cancer drug development. These features imply the use of cyclodepsipeptides as molecular models in drug research. PMID:20411126

  11. Natural Products as a Vital Source for the Discovery of Cancer Chemotherapeutic and Chemopreventive Agents.

    PubMed

    Cragg, Gordon M; Pezzuto, John M

    2016-01-01

    Throughout history, natural products have played a dominant role in the treatment of human ailments. For example, the legendary discovery of penicillin transformed global existence. Presently, natural products comprise a large portion of current-day pharmaceutical agents, most notably in the area of cancer therapy. Examples include Taxol, vinblastine, and camptothecin. These structurally unique agents function by novel mechanisms of action; isolation from natural sources is the only plausible method that could have led to their discovery. In addition to terrestrial plants as sources for starting materials, the marine environment (e.g., ecteinascidin 743, halichondrin B, and dolastatins), microbes (e.g., bleomycin, doxorubicin, and staurosporin), and slime molds (e.g., epothilone B) have yielded remarkable cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Irrespective of these advances, cancer remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Undoubtedly, the prevention of human cancer is highly preferable to treatment. Cancer chemoprevention, the use of vaccines or pharmaceutical agents to inhibit, retard, or reverse the process of carcinogenesis, is another important approach for easing this formidable public health burden. Similar to cancer chemotherapeutic agents, natural products play an important role in this field. There are many examples, including dietary phytochemicals such as sulforaphane and phenethyl isothiocyanate (cruciferous vegetables) and resveratrol (grapes and grape products). Overall, natural product research is a powerful approach for discovering biologically active compounds with unique structures and mechanisms of action. Given the unfathomable diversity of nature, it is reasonable to suggest that chemical leads can be generated that are capable of interacting with most or possibly all therapeutic targets. PMID:26679767

  12. Self-Regulated Learning in Learning Environments with Pedagogical Agents that Interact in Natural Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur; McNamara, Danielle

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses the occurrence and measurement of self-regulated learning (SRL) both in human tutoring and in computer tutors with agents that hold conversations with students in natural language and help them learn at deeper levels. One challenge in building these computer tutors is to accommodate, encourage, and scaffold SRL because these…

  13. Natural infection of small mammal species in Minnesota with the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

    PubMed

    Walls, J J; Greig, B; Neitzel, D F; Dumler, J S

    1997-04-01

    The natural reservoirs for the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) are suspected to be the small mammals that host immature stages of Ixodes scapularis ticks. To determine if such small mammals are naturally infected, we collected blood and serum samples from small mammal species in rural and suburban areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. Samples were collected from white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi), and insectivorous shrews (Blarina brevicauda and Sorex cinereus). Blood samples were tested by PCR for active infection with the HGE agent, and sera from P. leucopus mice were tested for serologic evidence of infection by indirect immunofluorescence. PCR analyses revealed the presence of HGE agent DNA in 20 of the 190 samples (10.5%) tested. Of the 119 P. leucopus mouse serum samples that were analyzed, 12 (10.1%) contained Ehrlichia equi antibodies. In 3 of 119 (2.5%) P. leucopus mice from which both blood and serum were collected. HGE agent DNA and antibodies against E. equi were present. Animals with evidence of infection with the HGE agent are widely distributed around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in regions with known I. scapularis tick activity. Small mammals that are frequent hosts for larval I. scapularis ticks and that are found in areas where HGE occurs are likely to be a major reservoir from which infected ticks that bite humans are derived. PMID:9157141

  14. Natural Products as Tools for Neuroscience: Discovery and Development of Novel Agents to Treat Drug Abuse⊥

    PubMed Central

    Prisinzano, Thomas E.

    2009-01-01

    Much of what we know about the neurosciences is the direct result of studying psychoactive natural products. Unfortunately, there are many gaps in our understanding of the basic biological processes that contribute to the etiology of many CNS disorders. The investigation of psychoactive natural products offers an excellent approach to identify novel agents to treat CNS disorders and to find new chemical tools to better elucidate their biological mechanisms. This review will detail recent progress in a program directed towards investigating psychoactive natural products with the goal of treating drug abuse by targeting κ opioid receptors. PMID:19099466

  15. Nature promises new anticancer agents: Interplay with the apoptosis-related BCL2 gene family.

    PubMed

    Christodoulou, Maria-Ioanna; Kontos, Christos K; Halabalaki, Maria; Skaltsounis, Alexios-Leandros; Scorilas, Andreas

    2014-03-01

    Natural products display special attributes in the treatment and prevention of a variety of human disorders including cancer. Their therapeutic capacities along with the fact that nature comprises a priceless pool of new compounds have attracted the interest of researchers worldwide. A significant number of organic compounds from terrestrial and marine organisms exhibit anticancer properties as attested by both in vitro and in vivo studies. Emerging evidence supporting the antineoplastic activity of natural compounds has rendered them promising agents in the fight against cancer. As a result, numerous natural compounds or their derivatives have entered clinical practice and are currently in the forefront of chemotherapeutics, showing beneficial effects for cancer patients. Induction of apoptosis seems to be the major mechanism of action induced by these natural agents in the race against cancer. This is mainly achieved through modulations of the expression of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (BCL2) family members. These molecules appear to be the pivotal players determining cellular fate. In the current review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the major alterations in the gene and/or protein levels of BCL2-family members evoked in cancer cells after treatment with a gamut of natural compounds. The data cited suggest the need for exploitation of newly discovered natural products that, along with the improvement of currently employed chemotherapeutics, will significantly enrich the anticancer armamentarium. PMID:23848203

  16. Discovery and development of natural product oridonin-inspired anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ye; Ding, Chunyong; Ye, Na; Liu, Zhiqing; Wold, Eric A; Chen, Haiying; Wild, Christopher; Shen, Qiang; Zhou, Jia

    2016-10-21

    Natural products have historically been, and continue to be, an invaluable source for the discovery of various therapeutic agents. Oridonin, a natural diterpenoid widely applied in traditional Chinese medicines, exhibits a broad range of biological effects including anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. To further improve its potency, aqueous solubility and bioavailability, the oridonin template serves as an exciting platform for drug discovery to yield better candidates with unique targets and enhanced drug properties. A number of oridonin derivatives (e.g. HAO472) have been designed and synthesized, and have contributed to substantial progress in the identification of new agents and relevant molecular mechanistic studies toward the treatment of human cancers and other diseases. This review summarizes the recent advances in medicinal chemistry on the explorations of novel oridonin analogues as potential anticancer therapeutics, and provides a detailed discussion of future directions for the development and progression of this class of molecules into the clinic. PMID:27344488

  17. Comparative analysis of using natural and radiogenic lead as heat-transfer agent in fast reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laas, R. A.; Gizbrekht, R. V.; Komarov, P. A.; Nesterov, V. N.

    2016-06-01

    Fast reactors with lead coolant have several advantages over analogues. Performance can be further improved by replacement of natural composition lead with radiogenic one. Thus, two main issues need to be addressed: induced radioactivity in coolant and efficient neutron multiplication factor in the core will be changed and need to be estimated. To address these issues analysis of the scheme of the nuclear transformations in the lead heat-transfer agent in the process of radiation was carried out. Induced radioactivity of radiogenic and natural lead has been studied. It is shown that replacement of lead affects multiplication factor in a certain way. Application of radiogenic lead can significantly affect reactor operation.

  18. Representation in natural and artificial agents: an embodied cognitive science perspective.

    PubMed

    Pfeifer, R; Scheier, C

    1998-01-01

    The goal of the present paper is to provide an embodied cognitive science view on representation. Using the fundamental task of category learning, we will demonstrate that this perspective enables us to shed new light on many pertinent issues and opens up new prospects for investigation. The main focus of this paper is on the prerequisites to acquire representations of objects in the real world. We suggest that the main prerequisite is embodiment which allows an agent--human, animal or robot--to manipulate its sensory input such that invariances are generated. These invariances, in turn, are the basis of representation formation. In other words, the paper does not focus on representations per se, but rather discusses the various processes involved in order to make learning and representation acquisition possible. The argument structure is as follows. First we introduce two new perspectives on representation, namely frame-of-reference, and complete agent. Then we elaborate the complete agent perspective and focus in particular on embodiment and situatedness. We argue that embodiment has two main aspects, a dynamic and an information theoretic one. Focusing on the latter, there are a number of implications: Representation can only be understood if the embedding of the neural substrate in the physical agent is known, which includes morphology (shape), positioning and nature of sensors. Because an autonomous mobile agent in the real world is exposed to a continuously changing high-dimensional stream of sensory stimulation, if it is to learn category distinctions, it first needs a focus of attention mechanism, and then it must have a way to reduce the dimensionality of this high-dimensional sensory stream. Learning is very hard because the invariances are typically not found in the sensory data directly--the classical problem of object constancy: it is a so-called type 2 problem. Rather than trying to improve the learning algorithms--which is the standard approach

  19. Learning Natural Selection in 4th Grade with Multi-Agent-Based Computational Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickes, Amanda Catherine; Sengupta, Pratim

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we investigate how elementary school students develop multi-level explanations of population dynamics in a simple predator-prey ecosystem, through scaffolded interactions with a multi-agent-based computational model (MABM). The term "agent" in an MABM indicates individual computational objects or actors (e.g., cars), and these agents obey simple rules assigned or manipulated by the user (e.g., speeding up, slowing down, etc.). It is the interactions between these agents, based on the rules assigned by the user, that give rise to emergent, aggregate-level behavior (e.g., formation and movement of the traffic jam). Natural selection is such an emergent phenomenon, which has been shown to be challenging for novices (K16 students) to understand. Whereas prior research on learning evolutionary phenomena with MABMs has typically focused on high school students and beyond, we investigate how elementary students (4th graders) develop multi-level explanations of some introductory aspects of natural selection—species differentiation and population change—through scaffolded interactions with an MABM that simulates predator-prey dynamics in a simple birds-butterflies ecosystem. We conducted a semi-clinical interview based study with ten participants, in which we focused on the following: a) identifying the nature of learners' initial interpretations of salient events or elements of the represented phenomena, b) identifying the roles these interpretations play in the development of their multi-level explanations, and c) how attending to different levels of the relevant phenomena can make explicit different mechanisms to the learners. In addition, our analysis also shows that although there were differences between high- and low-performing students (in terms of being able to explain population-level behaviors) in the pre-test, these differences disappeared in the post-test.

  20. The effect of two remineralizing agents and natural saliva on bleached enamel hardness

    PubMed Central

    Heshmat, Haleh; Ganjkar, Maryam Hoorizad; Miri, Yasaman; Fard, Mohamad Javad Kharrazi

    2016-01-01

    Background: In order to compensate the adverse consequences of bleaching agents, the use of fluoride-containing remineralizing agents has been suggested by many researchers. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of applying two remineralizing materials on bleached enamel hardness and in comparison to natural saliva. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 30 enamel samples of sound human permanent molars were prepared for this study. Microhardness (MH) of all specimens was measured and 35% hydrogen peroxide was applied 3 times to the specimens. After completion of the bleaching process, MH of samples was measured and then enamel specimens were divided into three groups each of 10, specimens of groups 1 and 2 were subjected to daily application of hydroxyl apatite (Remin Pro) and casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride (CPP-ACPF) (MI Paste Plus) pastes, respectively, for 15 days. In group 3, the specimens were stored in the operators' natural saliva at room temperature in this period of time. Final MH of all groups was measured. The data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA (α = 0.05). Results: The hardness significantly decreased in all groups following bleaching. Application of either Remin Pro, CPP-ACPF or natural saliva increased the hardness significantly. The hardness of the three test groups after 15 days were statistically similar to each other. Conclusion: The hardness of enamel increases eventually after exposure to either MI Paste Plus, Remin Pro or natural saliva. PMID:26962316

  1. A Review of Natural Stimulant and Non-stimulant Thermogenic Agents.

    PubMed

    Stohs, Sidney J; Badmaev, Vladimir

    2016-05-01

    Obesity and overweight are major health issues. Exercise and calorie intake control are recognized as the primary mechanisms for addressing excess body weight. Naturally occurring thermogenic plant constituents offer adjunct means for assisting in weight management. The controlling mechanisms for thermogenesis offer many intervention points. Thermogenic agents can act through stimulation of the central nervous system with associated adverse cardiovascular effects and through metabolic mechanisms that are non-stimulatory or a combination thereof. Examples of stimulatory thermogenic agents that will be discussed include ephedrine and caffeine. Examples of non-stimulatory thermogenic agents include p-synephrine (bitter orange extract), capsaicin, forskolin (Coleus root extract), and chlorogenic acid (green coffee bean extract). Green tea is an example of a thermogenic with the potential to produce mild but clinically insignificant undesirable stimulatory effects. The use of the aforementioned thermogenic agents in combination with other extracts such as those derived from Salacia reticulata, Sesamum indicum, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Cissus quadrangularis, and Moringa olifera, as well as the use of the carotenoids as lutein and fucoxanthin, and flavonoids as naringin and hesperidin can further facilitate energy metabolism and weight management as well as sports performance without adverse side effects. © 2016 The Authors Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:26856274

  2. Towards identifying novel anti-Eimeria agents: trace elements, vitamins, and plant-based natural products.

    PubMed

    Wunderlich, Frank; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Steinbrenner, Holger; Sies, Helmut; Dkhil, Mohamed A

    2014-10-01

    Eimeriosis, a widespread infectious disease of livestock, is caused by coccidian protozoans of the genus Eimeria. These obligate intracellular parasites strike the digestive tract of their hosts and give rise to enormous economic losses, particularly in poultry, ruminants including cattle, and rabbit farming. Vaccination, though a rational prophylactic measure, has not yet been as successful as initially thought. Numerous broad-spectrum anti-coccidial drugs are currently in use for treatment and prophylactic control of eimeriosis. However, increasing concerns about parasite resistance, consumer health, and environmental safety of the commercial drugs warrant efforts to search for novel agents with anti-Eimeria activity. This review summarizes current approaches to prevent and treat eimeriosis such as vaccination and commercial drugs, as well as recent attempts to use dietary antioxidants as novel anti-Eimeria agents. In particular, the trace elements selenium and zinc, the vitamins A and E, and natural products extracted from garlic, barberry, pomegranate, sweet wormwood, and other plants are discussed. Several of these novel anti-Eimeria agents exhibit a protective role against oxidative stress that occurs not only in the intestine of Eimeria-infected animals, but also in their non-parasitized tissues, in particular, in the first-pass organ liver. Currently, it appears to be promising to identify safe combinations of low-cost natural products with high anti-Eimeria efficacy for a potential use as feed supplementation in animal farming. PMID:25185667

  3. Naturally derived anti-hepatitis B virus agents and their mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yi-Hang

    2016-01-01

    Despite that some approved drugs and genetically engineered vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) are available for HBV patients, HBV infection is still a severe public health problem in the world. All the approved therapeutic drugs (including interferon-alpha and nucleoside analogues) have their limitations. No drugs or therapeutic methods can cure hepatitis B so far. Therefore, it is urgently needed to discover and develop new anti-HBV drugs, especially non-nucleoside agents. Naturally originated compounds with enormous molecular complexity and diversity offer a great opportunity to find novel anti-HBV lead compounds with specific antiviral mechanisms. In this review, the natural products against HBV are discussed according to their chemical classes such as terpenes, lignans, phenolic acids, polyphenols, lactones, alkaloids and flavonoids. Furthermore, novel mode of action or new targets of some representative anti-HBV natural products are also discussed. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HBV natural products in the last 20 years, especially novel skeletons and mode of action. Although many natural products with various skeletons have been reported to exhibit potent anti-HBV effects to date, scarcely any of them are found in the list of conventional anti-HBV drugs worldwide. Additionly, in anti-HBV mechanism of action, only a few references reported new targets or novel mode of action of anti-HBV natural products. PMID:26755870

  4. Natural fatty acid synthase inhibitors as potent therapeutic agents for cancers: A review.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-Sui; Lei, Jie-Ping; Wei, Guo-Qing; Chen, Hui; Ma, Chao-Ying; Jiang, He-Zhong

    2016-09-01

    Context Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is the only mammalian enzyme to catalyse the synthesis of fatty acid. The expression level of FAS is related to cancer progression, aggressiveness and metastasis. In recent years, research on natural FAS inhibitors with significant bioactivities and low side effects has increasingly become a new trend. Herein, we present recent research progress on natural fatty acid synthase inhibitors as potent therapeutic agents. Objective This paper is a mini overview of the typical natural FAS inhibitors and their possible mechanism of action in the past 10 years (2004-2014). Method The information was collected and compiled through major databases including Web of Science, PubMed, and CNKI. Results Many natural products induce cancer cells apoptosis by inhibiting FAS expression, with fewer side effects than synthetic inhibitors. Conclusion Natural FAS inhibitors are widely distributed in plants (especially in herbs and foods). Some natural products (mainly phenolics) possessing potent biological activities and stable structures are available as lead compounds to synthesise promising FAS inhibitors. PMID:26864638

  5. Naturally derived anti-hepatitis B virus agents and their mechanism of action

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yi-Hang

    2016-01-01

    Despite that some approved drugs and genetically engineered vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) are available for HBV patients, HBV infection is still a severe public health problem in the world. All the approved therapeutic drugs (including interferon-alpha and nucleoside analogues) have their limitations. No drugs or therapeutic methods can cure hepatitis B so far. Therefore, it is urgently needed to discover and develop new anti-HBV drugs, especially non-nucleoside agents. Naturally originated compounds with enormous molecular complexity and diversity offer a great opportunity to find novel anti-HBV lead compounds with specific antiviral mechanisms. In this review, the natural products against HBV are discussed according to their chemical classes such as terpenes, lignans, phenolic acids, polyphenols, lactones, alkaloids and flavonoids. Furthermore, novel mode of action or new targets of some representative anti-HBV natural products are also discussed. The aim of this review is to report new discoveries and updates pertaining to anti-HBV natural products in the last 20 years, especially novel skeletons and mode of action. Although many natural products with various skeletons have been reported to exhibit potent anti-HBV effects to date, scarcely any of them are found in the list of conventional anti-HBV drugs worldwide. Additionly, in anti-HBV mechanism of action, only a few references reported new targets or novel mode of action of anti-HBV natural products. PMID:26755870

  6. Xanthones from Mangosteen Extracts as Natural Chemopreventive Agents: Potential Anticancer Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Shan, T.; Ma, Q.; Guo, K.; Liu, J.; Li, W.; Wang, F.; Wu, E.

    2011-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the treatment and management of malignant tumors still remain a formidable challenge for public health. New strategies for cancer treatment are being developed, and one of the most promising treatment strategies involves the application of chemopreventive agents. The search for novel and effective cancer chemopreventive agents has led to the identification of various naturally occurring compounds. Xanthones, from the pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood, and leaf of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn., GML), are known to possess a wide spectrum of pharmacologic properties, including anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral activities. The potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities of xanthones have been demonstrated in different stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion, and progression) and are known to control cell division and growth, apoptosis, inflammation, and metastasis. Multiple lines of evidence from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed that xanthones inhibit proliferation of a wide range of human tumor cell types by modulating various targets and signaling transduction pathways. Here we provide a concise and comprehensive review of preclinical data and assess the observed anticancer effects of xanthones, supporting its remarkable potential as an anticancer agent. PMID:21902651

  7. A naturally occurring contrast agent for OCT imaging of smokers' lung

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Bagnaninchi, Pierre O.; Whiteman, Suzanne C.; Gey van Pittius, Daniel; El Haj, Alicia J.; Spiteri, Monica A.; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2005-08-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers great potential for clinical applications in terms of its cost, safety and real-time imaging capability. Improvement of its resolution for revealing sub-layers or sub-cellular components within a tissue will further widen its application. In this study we report that carbon pigment, which is frequently present in the lungs of smokers, could be used as a contrast agent to improve the OCT imaging of lung tissue. Carbon produced an intense bright OCT image at a relatively deep location. The parallel histopathological section analysis confirmed the presence of carbon pigment in such tissues. The underlying mechanism of the OCT image formation has been discussed based on a model system in which carbon particles were dispersed in agar gel. Calculations and in-depth intensity profiles of OCT revealed that higher refractive index particles with a size close to or smaller than the wavelength would greatly increase backscattering and generate a sharp contrast, while a particle size several times larger than the wavelength would absorb or obstruct the light path. The naturally occurring contrast agent could provide a diagnostic biomarker of lung tissue in smokers. Furthermore, carbon under such circumstances, can be used as an effective exogenous contrast agent, with which specific components or tissues exhibiting early tumour formation can be optically labelled to delineate the location and boundary, providing potential for early cancer detection and its treatment.

  8. Synthesis and Evaluation of a Novel Deguelin Derivative, L80, which Disrupts ATP Binding to the C-terminal Domain of Heat Shock Protein 90.

    PubMed

    Lee, Su-Chan; Min, Hye-Young; Choi, Hoon; Kim, Ho Shin; Kim, Kyong-Cheol; Park, So-Jung; Seong, Myeong A; Seo, Ji Hae; Park, Hyun-Ju; Suh, Young-Ger; Kim, Kyu-Won; Hong, Hyun-Seok; Kim, Hee; Lee, Min-Young; Lee, Jeewoo; Lee, Ho-Young

    2015-08-01

    The clinical benefit of current anticancer regimens for lung cancer therapy is still limited due to moderate efficacy, drug resistance, and recurrence. Therefore, the development of effective anticancer drugs for first-line therapy and for optimal second-line treatment is necessary. Because the 90-kDa molecular chaperone heat shock protein (Hsp90) contributes to the maturation of numerous mutated or overexpressed oncogenic proteins, targeting Hsp90 may offer an effective anticancer therapy. Here, we investigated antitumor activities and toxicity of a novel deguelin-derived C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor, designated L80. L80 displayed significant inhibitory effects on the viability, colony formation, angiogenesis-stimulating activity, migration, and invasion of a panel of non-small cell lung cancer cell lines and their sublines with acquired resistance to paclitaxel with minimal toxicity to normal lung epithelial cells, hippocampal cells, vascular endothelial cells, and ocular cells. Biochemical analyses and molecular docking simulation revealed that L80 disrupted Hsp90 function by binding to the C-terminal ATP-binding pocket of Hsp90, leading to the disruption of the interaction between hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and Hsp90, downregulation of HIF-1α and its target genes, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), and decreased the expression of various Hsp90 client proteins. Consistent with these in vitro findings, L80 exhibited significant antitumor and antiangiogenic activities in H1299 xenograft tumors. These results suggest that L80 represents a novel C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor with effective anticancer activities with minimal toxicities. PMID:25976766

  9. Regulation of microRNAs by natural agents: new strategies in cancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Phuah, Neoh Hun; Nagoor, Noor Hasima

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNA which regulate gene expression by messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation or translation repression. The plethora of published reports in recent years demonstrated that they play fundamental roles in many biological processes, such as carcinogenesis, angiogenesis, programmed cell death, cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and differentiation by acting as tumour suppressor or oncogene, and aberrations in their expressions have been linked to onset and progression of various cancers. Furthermore, each miRNA is capable of regulating the expression of many genes, allowing them to simultaneously regulate multiple cellular signalling pathways. Hence, miRNAs have the potential to be used as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets. Recent studies have shown that natural agents such as curcumin, resveratrol, genistein, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, indole-3-carbinol, and 3,3'-diindolylmethane exert their antiproliferative and/or proapoptotic effects through the regulation of one or more miRNAs. Therefore, this review will look at the regulation of miRNAs by natural agents as a means to potentially enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy through combinatorial therapies. It is hoped that this would provide new strategies in cancer therapies to improve overall response and survival outcome in cancer patients. PMID:25254214

  10. Regulation of MicroRNAs by Natural Agents: New Strategies in Cancer Therapies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNA which regulate gene expression by messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation or translation repression. The plethora of published reports in recent years demonstrated that they play fundamental roles in many biological processes, such as carcinogenesis, angiogenesis, programmed cell death, cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and differentiation by acting as tumour suppressor or oncogene, and aberrations in their expressions have been linked to onset and progression of various cancers. Furthermore, each miRNA is capable of regulating the expression of many genes, allowing them to simultaneously regulate multiple cellular signalling pathways. Hence, miRNAs have the potential to be used as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets. Recent studies have shown that natural agents such as curcumin, resveratrol, genistein, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, indole-3-carbinol, and 3,3′-diindolylmethane exert their antiproliferative and/or proapoptotic effects through the regulation of one or more miRNAs. Therefore, this review will look at the regulation of miRNAs by natural agents as a means to potentially enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy through combinatorial therapies. It is hoped that this would provide new strategies in cancer therapies to improve overall response and survival outcome in cancer patients. PMID:25254214

  11. Assay Development for the Discovery of Semaphorin 3B Inducing Agents from Natural Product Sources

    PubMed Central

    Yong, Yeonjoong; Pan, Li; Ren, Yulin; Fatima, Nighat; Ahmed, Safia; Chang, Leng Chee; Zhang, Xiaoli; Kinghorn, A. Douglas; Swanson, Steven M.; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J.

    2014-01-01

    Semaphorins are a class of membrane-bound and secreted proteins. They have been found to regulate basic cell functions such as axonal growth cone guidance and recent studies have focused on their effect on tumor progression. Semaphorin 3B (Sema 3B) particularly is a secreted protein that has been known to modulate proliferation and apoptosis, processes that are critical for tumor progression and development. In spite of its importance, there is yet no high-throughput screening assay available to detect or quantify the expression of Sema 3B for natural product anticancer drug discovery purposes. Therefore, the development of a new high-throughput bioassay for the discovery of Sema 3B inducing agents from natural product sources is described herein. A wide variety of pure compounds and extracts from plants and microorganisms has been found suitable for screening using this Sema 3B assay to detect and quantify the effect of Sema 3B inducing agents and thereby identify new selective bioactive Sema 3B lead compounds for anticancer drug discovery and development. Also, this new bioassay procedure is based on a high-throughput platform using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that involves the optimization of sensitivity and selectivity levels as well as accuracy, reproducibility, robustness, and cost effectiveness. PMID:25016954

  12. Antitumoral, antioxidant, and antimelanogenesis potencies of Hawthorn, a potential natural agent in the treatment of melanoma.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Nadia; Mokdad-Bzéouich, Imèn; Maatouk, Mouna; Ghedira, Kamel; Hennebelle, Thierry; Chekir-Ghedira, Leila

    2016-06-01

    The lack of an efficient agent that does not have the disadvantage of low activity (kojic acid), high cytotoxicity, and mutagenicity (hydroquinone), poor skin penetration (arbutin), or low stability in formulation (glabridin) led us to continue our research on new antipigmentation/skin-lightening agents. Therefore, research of natural products that can modulate the metabolism of pigmentation is of great interest. Otherwise, malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer, with high metastatic potential, and currently, there is no effective chemotherapy against invasive melanoma. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new drugs with potent activity and weak side effects against melanoma. The in-vitro anticancer effect of hawthorn was analyzed against B16F10 melanoma cells using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. The effect of isolated compounds from hawthorn on melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells was investigated by measuring the amounts of melanin and tyrosinase spectrophotometrically at 475 nm. Balb/c mice models inoculated with B16F10 mouse tumor cells were used to evaluate the in-vivo antitumoral potential of hawthorn by assessing its effect on the growth of transplanted tumors. The antioxidant potential of tested samples was evaluated in B16F10 and primary human keratinocyte cells using a cellular antioxidant activity assay. Hawthorn tested samples inhibited effectively the growth of melanoma cells in vitro. Furthermore, it appears that tested samples from hawthorn reduced melanogenesis by inhibiting the tyrosinase activity of B16F10 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In-vivo studies showed that hawthorn total oligomer flavonoids extract treatment at a dose of 150 mg/kg body weight for 21 days in implanted tumor mice resulted in significant inhibition of the tumor growth volume and weight. In addition, tested samples showed significant cellular antioxidant capacity against the reactive oxygen species

  13. Nitrate-induced photolysis in natural waters: Controls on concentrations of hydroxyl radical photo-intermediates by natural scavenging agents

    SciTech Connect

    Brezonik, P.L.; Fulkerson-Brekken, J.

    1998-10-01

    The importance of the principal natural scavenging agents for hydroxyl radicals ({sup {sm_bullet}}OH) was evaluated, and a general framework was developed to predict the significance of nitrate-induced, {sup {sm_bullet}}OH-mediated degradation of aquatic contaminants. Rate constants for *OH scavenging by dissolved organic matter (DOM) from five surface water sources were in a narrow range which is similar to previously reported values and suggests that the importance of DOM as a {sup {sm_bullet}}OH sink can be estimated simply from the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration of a water. Scavenging of {sup {sm_bullet}}*OH by carbonate and bicarbonate is generally less important, but these ions can be the major cause of *OH scavenging in low DOC, high alkalinity waters. Use of the framework is illustrated by predicting levels of {sup {sm_bullet}}OH and half-lives of the corn herbicide acetochlor in waters ranging from pristine to highly influenced by agricultural activities.

  14. Natural and genetically engineered viral agents for oncolysis and gene therapy of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G; Horvath, Joseph C

    2008-12-01

    combination of naturally oncolytic viruses and wild-type viruses rendered oncolytic and harmless by genetic engineering, that will induce complete remissions of human tumors. It may be necessary to co-administer certain chemotherapeutic agents, advanced cancer vaccines, or even immune lymphocytes, and targeted therapeuticals, to ascertain, that remissions induced by the viral agents will remain complete and durable; will co-operate with anti-tumor host immune reactions, and eventually will result in cures of advanced metastatic human cancers. PMID:19104757

  15. Nature Concocts & Expels’: The Agents and Processes of Recovery from Disease in Early Modern England

    PubMed Central

    Newton, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    The ‘golden saying’ in early modern medicine was ‘Nature is the healer of disease’. This article uncovers the meaning and significance of this forgotten axiom by investigating perceptions of the agents and physiological processes of recovery from illness in England, c.1580–1720. Drawing on sources such as medical texts and diaries, it shows that doctors and laypeople attributed recovery to three agents—God, Nature and the practitioner. While scholars are familiar with the roles of providence and medicine, the vital agency of Nature has been overlooked. In theory, the agents operated in a hierarchy: Nature was ‘God's instrument’, and the physician, ‘Nature's servant’; but in practice the power balance was more ambivalent. Nature was depicted both as a housewife who cooked and cleaned the humours, and as a warrior who defeated the disease. Through exploring these complex dynamics, the article sheds fresh light on concepts of gender, disease and bodies. PMID:26217069

  16. Natural flavonoids as potential multifunctional agents in prevention of diabetic cataract

    PubMed Central

    Stefek, Milan

    2011-01-01

    Cataract is one of the earliest secondary complications of diabetes mellitus. The lens is a closed system with limited capability to repair or regenerate itself. Current evidence supports the view that cataractogenesis is a multifactorial process. Mechanisms related to glucose toxicity, namely oxidative stress, processes of non-enzymatic glycation and enhanced polyol pathway significantly contribute to the development of eye lens opacity under conditions of diabetes. There is an urgent need for inexpensive, non-surgical approaches to the treatment of cataract. Recently, considerable attention has been devoted to the search for phytochemical therapeutics. Several pharmacological actions of natural flavonoids may operate in the prevention of cataract since flavonoids are capable of affecting multiple mechanisms or etiological factors responsible for the development of diabetic cataract. In the present paper, natural flavonoids are reviewed as potential agents that could reduce the risk of cataract formation via affecting multiple pathways pertinent to eye lens opacification. In addition, the bioavailability of flavonoids for the lens is considered. PMID:21753902

  17. Saffron as an antidote or a protective agent against natural or chemical toxicities.

    PubMed

    Razavi, Bibi Marjan; Hosseinzadeh, Hossein

    2015-01-01

    Saffron (Crocus sativus) is an extensively used food additive for its color and taste. Since ancient times this plant has been introduced as a marvelous medicine throughout the world. The wide spectrum of saffron pharmacological activities is related to its major constituents including crocin, crocetin and safranal. Based on several studies, saffron and its active ingredients have been used as an antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antinociceptive, antidepressant, antitussive, anticonvulsant, memory enhancer, hypotensive and anticancer. According to the literatures, saffron has remarkable therapeutic effects. The protective effects of saffron and its main constituents in different tissues including brain, heart, liver, kidney and lung have been reported against some toxic materials either natural or chemical toxins in animal studies.In this review article, we have summarized different in vitro and animal studies in scientific databases which investigate the antidotal and protective effects of saffron and its major components against natural toxins and chemical-induced toxicities. Due to the lake of human studies, further investigations are required to ascertain the efficacy of saffron as an antidote or a protective agent in human intoxication. PMID:25928729

  18. A quantitative ethnopharmacological documentation of natural pharmacological agents used by pediatric patients in Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Mahomoodally, M Fawzi; Sreekeesoon, D Priyamka

    2014-01-01

    The pediatric population constitutes the most vulnerable patients due to a dearth of approved drugs. Consequently, there is a pressing need to probe novel natural pharmacological agents in an endeavour to develop new drugs to address pediatric illnesses. To date, no studies have explored the use of natural therapies for pediatric health care in Mauritius. Parents (n = 325) from different regions of the island were interviewed. Quantitative indexes such as fidelity level (FL), informant consensus factor (F IC), and use-value (UV) were calculated. Thirty-two plants were reported to be used by pediatric patients. Gastrointestinal disorders (F IC = 0.97) encompassing regurgitation, infantile colic, and stomach aches were the most common ailments managed with herbs. Matricaria chamomilla used for infantile colic and its pharmacological properties has previously been documented for pediatric patients. Product from A. mellifera (UV = 0.75) was the most utilized zootherapy for managing cough. Most plants and animal products reported in this study have bioactive constituents supported by existing scientific literature but their use for the pediatric population is scant. The present ethnopharmacological study has opened new perspectives for further research into their pharmacology, which can subsequently support and facilitate timely pediatric medicinal product development. PMID:24949418

  19. A Quantitative Ethnopharmacological Documentation of Natural Pharmacological Agents Used by Pediatric Patients in Mauritius

    PubMed Central

    Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi; Sreekeesoon, D. Priyamka

    2014-01-01

    The pediatric population constitutes the most vulnerable patients due to a dearth of approved drugs. Consequently, there is a pressing need to probe novel natural pharmacological agents in an endeavour to develop new drugs to address pediatric illnesses. To date, no studies have explored the use of natural therapies for pediatric health care in Mauritius. Parents (n = 325) from different regions of the island were interviewed. Quantitative indexes such as fidelity level (FL), informant consensus factor (FIC), and use-value (UV) were calculated. Thirty-two plants were reported to be used by pediatric patients. Gastrointestinal disorders (FIC = 0.97) encompassing regurgitation, infantile colic, and stomach aches were the most common ailments managed with herbs. Matricaria chamomilla used for infantile colic and its pharmacological properties has previously been documented for pediatric patients. Product from A. mellifera (UV = 0.75) was the most utilized zootherapy for managing cough. Most plants and animal products reported in this study have bioactive constituents supported by existing scientific literature but their use for the pediatric population is scant. The present ethnopharmacological study has opened new perspectives for further research into their pharmacology, which can subsequently support and facilitate timely pediatric medicinal product development. PMID:24949418

  20. 'Genipin' - the natural water soluble cross-linking agent and its importance in the modified drug delivery systems: an overview.

    PubMed

    Manickam, Balamurugan; Sreedharan, Rajesh; Elumalai, Manogaran

    2014-01-01

    One of the popular approaches in controlling drug delivery from the polymeric carriers is suitably achieved by the inclusion of crosslinking agents into the formulations at different concentrations. Nevertheless, addition of the chemical crosslinkers such as glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde etc, used in the drug delivery systems causes very serious cytotoxic reactions. These chemical crosslinking agents did not offer any significant advantageous effects when compared to the natural crosslinking agents for instance genipin, which is quite less toxic, biocompatible and offers very stable crosslinked products. Based on the earlier reports the safety of this particular natural crosslinker is very well established, since it has been widely used as a Chinese traditional medicine for long-time, isolated from fruits of the plant Gardenia jasminoides Ellis. This concise article largely portrayed the value of this unique natural crosslinker, utilized in controlling the drug delivery from the various formulations. PMID:24041312

  1. Targeting CSC-Related miRNAs for Cancer Therapy by Natural Agents

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Bin; Li, Yiwei; Ahmad, Aamir; Azmi, Asfar S.; Bao, Ginny; Ali, Shadan; Banerjee, Sanjeev; Kong, Dejuan; Sarkar, Fazlul H.

    2013-01-01

    The theory of cancer stem cells (CSCs) has provided evidence on fundamental clinical implications because of the involvement of CSCs in cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance, which leads to the poor clinical outcome of cancer patients. Therefore, targeting CSCs will provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment and/or prevention of tumors. However, the regulation of CSCs and its signaling pathways during tumorigenesis are not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been proved to act as key regulators of the post-transcriptional regulation of genes, which involve in a wide array of biological processes including tumorigenesis. The altered expressions of miRNAs are associated with poor clinical outcome of patients diagnosed with a variety of tumors. Therefore, emerging evidence strongly suggest that miRMAs play critical roles in tumor development and progression. Emerging evidence also suggest that miRNAs participate in the regulation of tumor cell growth, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, drug resistance, and metastasis. Moreover, miRNAs such as let-7, miR-21, miR-22, miR-34, miR-101, miR-146a, and miR-200 have been found to be associated with CSC phenotype and function mediated through targeting oncogenic signaling pathways. In this article, we will discuss the role of miRNAs in the regulation of CSC phenotype and function during tumor development and progression. We will also discuss the potential role of naturally occurring agents (nutraceuticals) as potent anti-tumor agents that are believed to function by targeting CSC-related miRNAs. PMID:23140295

  2. Ginkgo biloba: a natural reducing agent for the synthesis of cytocompatible graphene

    PubMed Central

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Han, Jae Woong; Park, Jung Hyun; Eppakayala, Vasuki; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2014-01-01

    Background Graphene is a novel two-dimensional planar nanocomposite material consisting of rings of carbon atoms with a hexagonal lattice structure. Graphene exhibits unique physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, elasticity, and cytocompatible properties that lead to many potential biomedical applications. Nevertheless, the water-insoluble property of graphene restricts its application in various aspects of biomedical fields. Therefore, the objective of this work was to find a novel biological approach for an efficient method to synthesize water-soluble and cytocompatible graphene using Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) as a reducing and stabilizing agent. In addition, we investigated the biocompatibility effects of graphene in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Materials and methods Synthesized graphene oxide (GO) and GbE-reduced GO (Gb-rGO) were characterized using various sequences of techniques: ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman spectroscopy. Biocompatibility of GO and Gb-rGO was assessed in human breast cancer cells using a series of assays, including cell viability, apoptosis, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Results The successful synthesis of graphene was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopy and FTIR. DLS analysis was performed to determine the average size of GO and Gb-rGO. X-ray diffraction studies confirmed the crystalline nature of graphene. SEM was used to investigate the surface morphologies of GO and Gb-rGO. AFM was employed to investigate the morphologies of prepared graphene and the height profile of GO and Gb-rGO. The formation of defects in Gb-rGO was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. The biocompatibility of the prepared GO and Gb-rGO was investigated using a water-soluble tetrazolium 8 assay on human breast cancer cells. GO exhibited a dose-dependent toxicity, whereas Gb

  3. Nature's agents or agents of empire? Entomological workers and environmental change during the construction of the Panama Canal.

    PubMed

    Sutter, Paul S

    2007-12-01

    This essay examines the role that entomological workers played in U.S. public health efforts during the construction of the Panama Canal (1904-1914). Entomological workers were critical to mosquito control efforts aimed at the reduction of tropical fevers such as malaria. But in the process of studying vector mosquitoes, they discovered that many of the conditions that produced mosquitoes were not intrinsic to tropical nature per se but resulted from the human-caused environmental disturbances that accompanied canal building. This realization did not mesh well with an American ideology of tropical triumphalism premised on the notion that the Americans had conquered unalloyed tropical nature in Panama. The result, however, was not a coherent counternarrative but a set of intra-administrative tensions over what controlling nature meant in Panama. Ultimately, entomological workers were loyal not just to the U.S. imperial mission in Panama but also to a modernist culture of science and to the workings of mosquito ecology as they understood them. PMID:18314643

  4. α-Mangostin, a Natural Agent, Enhances the Response of NRAS Mutant Melanoma to Retinoic Acid.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yun; Chen, Jing; Gong, Chongwen; Chen, Hongxiang; Sun, Jiaming

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND The identification and use of novel compounds alone or in combination hold promise for the fight against NRAS mutant melanoma. MATERIAL AND METHODS We screened a kinase-specific inhibitor library through combining it with α-Mangostin in NRAS mutant melanoma cell line, and verified the enhancing effect of α-Mangostin through inhibition of the tumorigenesis pathway. RESULTS Within the kinase inhibitors, retinoic acid showed a significant synergistic effect with α-Mangostin. α-Mangostin also can reverse the drug resistance of retinoic acid in RARa siRNA-transduced sk-mel-2 cells. Colony assay, TUNEL staining, and the expressions of several apoptosis-related genes revealed that a-Mangostin enhanced the effect of retinoic acid-induced apoptosis. The combination treatment resulted in marked induction of ROS generation and inhibition of the AKT/S6 pathway. CONCLUSIONS These results indicate that the combination of these novel natural agents with retinoid acid may be clinically effective in NRAS mutant melanoma. PMID:27104669

  5. Withaferin-A—A Natural Anticancer Agent with Pleitropic Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Lee, In-Chul; Choi, Bu Young

    2016-01-01

    Cancer, being the second leading cause of mortality, exists as a formidable health challenge. In spite of our enormous efforts, the emerging complexities in the molecular nature of disease progression limit the real success in finding an effective cancer cure. It is now conceivable that cancer is, in fact, a progressive illness, and the morbidity and mortality from cancer can be reduced by interfering with various oncogenic signaling pathways. A wide variety of structurally diverse classes of bioactive phytochemicals have been shown to exert anticancer effects in a large number of preclinical studies. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that withaferin-A can prevent the development of cancers of various histotypes. Accumulating data from different rodent models and cell culture experiments have revealed that withaferin-A suppresses experimentally induced carcinogenesis, largely by virtue of its potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties. Moreover, withaferin-A sensitizes resistant cancer cells to existing chemotherapeutic agents. The purpose of this review is to highlight the mechanistic aspects underlying anticancer effects of withaferin-A. PMID:26959007

  6. α-Mangostin, a Natural Agent, Enhances the Response of NRAS Mutant Melanoma to Retinoic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Yun; Chen, Jing; Gong, Chongwen; Chen, Hongxiang; Sun, Jiaming

    2016-01-01

    Background The identification and use of novel compounds alone or in combination hold promise for the fight against NRAS mutant melanoma. Material/Methods We screened a kinase-specific inhibitor library through combining it with α-Mangostin in NRAS mutant melanoma cell line, and verified the enhancing effect of α-Mangostin through inhibition of the tumorigenesis pathway. Results Within the kinase inhibitors, retinoic acid showed a significant synergistic effect with α-Mangostin. α-Mangostin also can reverse the drug resistance of retinoic acid in RARa siRNA-transduced sk-mel-2 cells. Colony assay, TUNEL staining, and the expressions of several apoptosis-related genes revealed that α-Mangostin enhanced the effect of retinoic acid-induced apoptosis. The combination treatment resulted in marked induction of ROS generation and inhibition of the AKT/S6 pathway. Conclusions These results indicate that the combination of these novel natural agents with retinoid acid may be clinically effective in NRAS mutant melanoma. PMID:27104669

  7. Withaferin-A--A Natural Anticancer Agent with Pleitropic Mechanisms of Action.

    PubMed

    Lee, In-Chul; Choi, Bu Young

    2016-01-01

    Cancer, being the second leading cause of mortality, exists as a formidable health challenge. In spite of our enormous efforts, the emerging complexities in the molecular nature of disease progression limit the real success in finding an effective cancer cure. It is now conceivable that cancer is, in fact, a progressive illness, and the morbidity and mortality from cancer can be reduced by interfering with various oncogenic signaling pathways. A wide variety of structurally diverse classes of bioactive phytochemicals have been shown to exert anticancer effects in a large number of preclinical studies. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that withaferin-A can prevent the development of cancers of various histotypes. Accumulating data from different rodent models and cell culture experiments have revealed that withaferin-A suppresses experimentally induced carcinogenesis, largely by virtue of its potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties. Moreover, withaferin-A sensitizes resistant cancer cells to existing chemotherapeutic agents. The purpose of this review is to highlight the mechanistic aspects underlying anticancer effects of withaferin-A. PMID:26959007

  8. An evaluation of pretreatment agents for the stimulation of secondary biogenic coalbed natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zaixing

    Coalbed methane is considered to be an underexploited source of clean energy and, with the realization of its biogenic nature, it has attracted increasing interest in recent decades. Most of the published studies on biogenic coal bed natural gas (CBNG) have focused either on biostimulation (the addition of nutrients to stimulate the native microbial populations) or bioaugmentation (the addition of both nutrients and non-native microbial consortia of microorganisms). Although these approaches have shown promise, they are predicated on the assumption that the coal seam is nutrient-limited or that the existing microbial communities are not optimized to convert coal to natural gas. The premise of this research is that the organic matter present within the coal matrix is, for the most part, environmentally inert and not readily available to the microorganisms living within the coal seam. The goal of this research has been to focus on treatments that will increase the solubility, and hence the bioavailability, of coal to the indigenous microbial community. Initially, treatment agents representing acids, bases and oxidants were selected to evaluate the potential for the in situ solubilization and depolymerization of subbituminous coal. The bioavailability of the coal-derived constituents was then evaluated aerobically using biometer assays and anaerobic bioassays. The experiments have shown that the acid (nitric acid) and base (sodium hydroxide) treatments are more efficient than the oxidants (potassium permanganate and catalyzed hydrogen peroxide) with respect to total organic carbon (TOC). The carbon contained in the solubilized/depolymerized product of nitric acid treatments accounted for approximately 14% of the carbon from the Powder River Basin (PRB) coal evaluated in the study; however, the biometer assays revealed that the bioavailability of the solubilized/depolymerized products was not directly correlated to the amount of dissolved organic carbon (TOC). The

  9. Sites of Alkylation of Human Keap1 by Natural Chemoprevention Agents

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yan; Eggler, Aimee L.; Liu, Dongting; Liu, Guowen; Mesecar, Andrew D.; van Breemen, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    Under basal conditions, the interaction of the cytosolic protein Keap1 with the transcription factor Nrf2 results in a low level of expression of cytoprotective genes whose promoter region contains the antioxidant response element (ARE). Alkylation of one or more of the 27 cysteine sulfhydryl groups of human Keap1 is proposed to lead to Nrf2 nuclear accumulation, to upregulation of cytoprotective gene expression via the ARE, and to prevention of degenerative diseases, such as cancer. Therefore, identification of the most reactive of these cysteine residues towards specific electrophiles should help clarify this mechanism of cancer prevention, also known as chemoprevention. To address this issue, preliminary analyses of tryptic digests of Keap1 alkylated by the model electrophile 1-biotinamido-4-(4′-[maleimidoethyl-cyclohexane]-carboxamido) butane were carried out using LC-MS/MS with a cylindrical ion trap mass spectrometer and also using LC-MS/MS with a hybrid linear ion trap FT ICR mass spectrometer. Since the FT ICR instrument provided more complete peptide sequencing coverage and enabled the identification of more alkylated cysteine residues, only this instrument was used in subsequent studies of Keap1 alkylation by three electrophilic natural products that can up-regulate the ARE, xanthohumol, isoliquiritigenin and 10-shogaol. Among the various cysteine residues of Keap1, C151 was most reactive towards these three electrophiles. These in vitro results agree with evidence from in vivo experiments, and indicate that C151 is the most important site of alkylation on Keap1 by chemoprevention agents that function by activating the ARE through Nrf2. PMID:17980616

  10. Natural ferrihydrite as an agent for reducing turbidity caused by suspended clays.

    PubMed

    Rhoton, F E; Bigham, J M

    2009-01-01

    Biologically impaired waters are often caused by the turbidity associated with elevated suspended sediment concentrations. Turbidity can be reduced by the addition of positively charged compounds that coagulate negatively charged particles in suspension, causing them to flocculate. This research was conducted to determine the effectiveness of ferrihydrite, a poorly crystalline Fe oxide, as a flocculating agent for suspended clays similar to those found in high-turbidity waters of the Mississippi delta. Clay concentrations of 100 mg L(-1) from a Dubbs silt loam (fine silty, mixed, active, thermic Typic Hapludalfs), a Forestdale silty clay loam (fine, smectitic, thermic Typic Hapludalfs), and a Sharkey clay (very fine, smectitic, thermic Chromic Epiaquerts) were suspended in 0.0005 mol L(-1) CaCl(2) solutions at pH 5, 6, 7, or 8. Natural ferrihydrite with a zero point of charge at pH 5.8 was acquired from a drinking water treatment facility and mixed with the suspension at concentrations of 0, 10, 25, and 50 mg L(-1). After settling periods of 24 and 48 h, percent transmittance was measured at a wavelength of 420 nm using a 3-mL sample collected at a depth of 2 cm. The greatest reductions in turbidity after 24-h equilibration were recorded for the pH 5 suspensions of the Dubbs (31%) and Forestdale (37%) clays at a ferrihydrite concentration of 10 mg L(-1) and for the Sharkey clay at a ferrihydrite concentration of 25 mg L(-1) (relative to the 0 ferrihydrite treatment). Water clarity for all samples further increased after 48 h. These results indicate that the effectiveness of ferrihydrite, as a means of reducing turbidity associated with suspended clays, is greatest at pH values below its zero point of charge. PMID:19643754

  11. Learning Natural Selection in 4th Grade with Multi-Agent-Based Computational Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickes, Amanda Catherine; Sengupta, Pratim

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate how elementary school students develop multi-level explanations of population dynamics in a simple predator-prey ecosystem, through scaffolded interactions with a multi-agent-based computational model (MABM). The term "agent" in an MABM indicates individual computational objects or actors (e.g., cars), and these…

  12. [Comparison of the thermostability of natural (sulfoprolamine and sodium usnate) and synthetic (climbazole and piroctone olamine) antidandruff agents].

    PubMed

    Coiffard, C; Coiffard, L; de Roeck-Holtzhauer, Y

    1999-09-01

    We compared thermostability of various natural (sulfoprolamine and sodium usnate) or synthetic (climbazol and piroctone olamine) antidandruff agents in aqueous diluted solution at pH around 7. Thermodegradation of these solutions was studied by an isothermal method in thermostatically controlled ovens, at three temperatures (50, 70 and 90 degrees C). For each molecule, we determined at 20 degrees C t90% (time necessary to obtain a decrease of 10% of the initial concentration, value which shows the stability of the product). The present study shows that piroctone olamine is the most stable antidandruff agent among those studied. PMID:10520510

  13. STUDIES ON THE NATURE OF THE AGENT TRANSMITTING LEUCOSIS OF FOWLS

    PubMed Central

    Furth, J.

    1932-01-01

    The filterable agent transmitting leucosis resists drying, retaining its activity for at least 54 days. The conditions of successful desiccation have not been precisely ascertained. By the addition of glycerin the agent can be preserved for at least 104 days. It is not inactivated by freezing in liquid air. At 37.5°C. it loses its activity within 14 days, but retains some of its activity for at least 14 days when kept at 4°C. PMID:19870007

  14. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using reducing agents obtained from natural sources (Rumex hymenosepalus extracts)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We have synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solutions using extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus, a plant widely found in a large region in North America, as reducing agent. This plant is known to be rich in antioxidant molecules which we use as reducing agents. Silver nanoparticles grow in a single-step method, at room temperature, and with no addition of external energy. The nanoparticles have been characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as a function of the ratio of silver ions to reducing agent molecules. The nanoparticle diameters are in the range of 2 to 40 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform analysis show that two kinds of crystal structures are obtained: face-centered cubic and hexagonal. PMID:23841946

  15. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using reducing agents obtained from natural sources ( Rumex hymenosepalus extracts)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-León, Ericka; Iñiguez-Palomares, Ramón; Navarro, Rosa Elena; Herrera-Urbina, Ronaldo; Tánori, Judith; Iñiguez-Palomares, Claudia; Maldonado, Amir

    2013-07-01

    We have synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solutions using extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus, a plant widely found in a large region in North America, as reducing agent. This plant is known to be rich in antioxidant molecules which we use as reducing agents. Silver nanoparticles grow in a single-step method, at room temperature, and with no addition of external energy. The nanoparticles have been characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as a function of the ratio of silver ions to reducing agent molecules. The nanoparticle diameters are in the range of 2 to 40 nm. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform analysis show that two kinds of crystal structures are obtained: face-centered cubic and hexagonal.

  16. Natural Ferrihydrite as an Agent for Reducing Turbidity Caused by Suspended Clays

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The turbidity of water can be reduced by the addition of positively charged compounds which coagulate negatively charged clay particles in suspension causing them to flocculate. This research was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the Fe oxide mineral ferrihydrite as a flocculating agent fo...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. [RATS OF THE GENUS RATTUS AS HOSTS FOR NATURAL FOCAL INFECTIOUS AGENTS].

    PubMed

    Khlyap, L A; Kosoy, M; Popov, V P; Cosson, J-F; Morand, S

    2016-01-01

    The paper reviews the significance of rats of the genus Rattus as hosts for zoogenous infections in a genus formation area (Southeast Asia) as compared to the invasion part of the genus area. The rats of the genus Rattus and their related disease agents are shown to be a uniqe model for the formation and development of a host-pathogen system. In the modern period of urbanization growth, the rats are among few species of warm-blooded vectors that can maintain the anthropurgic foci of feral nidal infections in the cities and towns and transmit their pathogens to the urban population. There are all prerequisites for the high activity of these foci in the native area of rats. By having settled, the rats have carried infectious agents outside this area along all continents in historical times. During invasions, the rats have become carriers of many other infections. PMID:27029146

  19. Antibody Array as a Tool for Screening of Natural Agents in Cancer Chemoprevention.

    PubMed

    Pulito, Claudio; Sacconi, Andrea; Korita, Etleva; Maidecchi, Anna; Strano, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    The efficacy of a given drug resides mainly on its ability to specifically target disease mechanisms. Natural products represent the leading source of bioactive molecules with a broad range of activities. It is becoming increasingly clear that natural compounds exert their chemopreventive or antitumoral activities targeting simultaneously diverse cellular pathways. Here we describe the use of antibody array to assess the effects of natural compounds on the expression of multiple proteins and of their posttranslational modifications in cellular systems. This might turn to be a very flexible application for cancer chemoprevention studies. PMID:26608301

  20. Scaffold Diversity Inspired by the Natural Product Evodiamine: Discovery of Highly Potent and Multitargeting Antitumor Agents.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shengzheng; Fang, Kun; Dong, Guoqiang; Chen, Shuqiang; Liu, Na; Miao, Zhenyuan; Yao, Jianzhong; Li, Jian; Zhang, Wannian; Sheng, Chunquan

    2015-08-27

    A critical question in natural product-based drug discovery is how to translate the product into drug-like molecules with optimal pharmacological properties. The generation of natural product-inspired scaffold diversity is an effective but challenging strategy to investigate the broader chemical space and identify promising drug leads. Extending our efforts to the natural product evodiamine, a diverse library containing 11 evodiamine-inspired novel scaffolds and their derivatives were designed and synthesized. Most of them showed good to excellent antitumor activity against various human cancer cell lines. In particular, 3-chloro-10-hydroxyl thio-evodiamine (66c) showed excellent in vitro and in vivo antitumor efficacy with good tolerability and low toxicity. Antitumor mechanism and target profiling studies indicate that compound 66c is the first-in-class triple topoisomerase I/topoisomerase II/tubulin inhibitor. Overall, this study provided an effective strategy for natural product-based drug discovery. PMID:26226379

  1. Lab scale testing of novel natural analog in situ stabilization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Shaw, P.

    1997-12-31

    This report summarizes the laboratory-scale test results on several novel in situ treatment and stabilization agents for buried hazardous and radioactive waste. Paraffin, hematite and phosphate materials were examined when combined with soil and other wastes representative of what might be present at buried waste DOE sites. Hematite was made from the reaction of agricultural iron and lime slurries to form gypsum and iron oxide/hydroxide. Common household paraffin was melted, both with and without a zeolitic additive, waste added and then cooled. Magnesium phosphate was made from the reaction of magnesium oxide and phosphoric acid or potassium biphosphate to form, magnesium phosphate. All were tested with soil and some with additional waste sumulants such as ash, machine oil and nitrate salts. The following laboratory-generated data indicate that all waste encapsulation materials tested are appropriate materials, for field in situ testing. Compressive strengths of treated Idaho National Engineering and Environment Laboratory (INEEL) soil and the waste encapsulation material were sufficient to prevent collapse of the void space in waste, i.e., greater than the NRC 60 psi minimum. The mineralogy and microstructure of hematite was amorphous but should progress to an interlocking crystalline solid. Phosphate was crystalline with characteristics of higher temperature ceramics. Paraffin is non crystalline but encapsulates even very fine grained INEEL soils. Each agent appears to be chemically and physically inert to possible waste materials such as, nitrates and machine cutting oil. Two of the agents hematite and phosphate react favorably with ash increasing the metals retention at higher waste loadings than Portland cement. Hematite, phosphate and zeolite decrease leaching of most hazardous metals from waste when compared to untreated waste and soil. Solution pH, time for reaction initiation, and viscosity values are conducive to jet-grouting application.

  2. Computed Tomography Imaging of Solid Tumors Using a Liposomal-Iodine Contrast Agent in Companion Dogs with Naturally Occurring Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ghaghada, Ketan B.; Sato, Amy F.; Starosolski, Zbigniew A.; Berg, John; Vail, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Companion dogs with naturally occurring cancer serve as an important large animal model in translational research because they share strong similarities with human cancers. In this study, we investigated a long circulating liposomal-iodine contrast agent (Liposomal-I) for computed tomography (CT) imaging of solid tumors in companion dogs with naturally occurring cancer. Materials and Methods The institutional animal ethics committees approved the study and written informed consent was obtained from all owners. Thirteen dogs (mean age 10.1 years) with a variety of masses including primary and metastatic liver tumors, sarcomas, mammary carcinoma and lung tumors, were enrolled in the study. CT imaging was performed pre-contrast and at 15 minutes and 24 hours after intravenous administration of Liposomal-I (275 mg/kg iodine dose). Conventional contrast-enhanced CT imaging was performed in a subset of dogs, 90 minutes prior to administration of Liposomal-I. Histologic or cytologic diagnosis was obtained for each dog prior to admission into the study. Results Liposomal-I resulted in significant (p < 0.05) enhancement and uniform opacification of the vascular compartment. Non-renal, reticulo-endothelial systemic clearance of the contrast agent was demonstrated. Liposomal-I enabled visualization of primary and metastatic liver tumors. Sub-cm sized liver lesions grossly appeared as hypo-enhanced compared to the surrounding normal parenchyma with improved lesion conspicuity in the post-24 hour scan. Large liver tumors (> 1 cm) demonstrated a heterogeneous pattern of intra-tumoral signal with visibly higher signal enhancement at the post-24 hour time point. Extra-hepatic, extra-splenic tumors, including histiocytic sarcoma, anaplastic sarcoma, mammary carcinoma and lung tumors, were visualized with a heterogeneous enhancement pattern in the post-24 hour scan. Conclusions The long circulating liposomal-iodine contrast agent enabled prolonged visualization of small

  3. Parasitoids attacking larvae of a recently introduced weed biological control agent, Neomusotima conspurcatalis Warren (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): key to species, natural history, and integrative taxonomy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The extent to which introduced weed biocontrol agents are subject to attack by generalist natural enemies within the area of introduction is believed to be an important determinant of program success. We monitored larval populations of a recently introduced weed biocontrol agent, Neomusotima conspur...

  4. Natural product inspired diversity oriented synthesis of tetrahydroquinoline scaffolds as antitubercular agent.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Atul; Srivastava, Suman; Gupta, Garima; Chaturvedi, Vinita; Sinha, Sudhir; Srivastava, R

    2011-01-10

    An efficient natural product inspired diversity oriented syn thesis of tetrahydroquinoline analogues has been developed using the natural carbohydrate derived solid acid catalyst via multicomponent aza-Diels-Alder reaction of imine (generated in situ from aromatic amine and aldehyde) with dienophile in acetonitrile in a diastereoselective manner. The use of water as solvent reverses the diastereoselectivity toward the cis isomer. Interestingly, tricyclic pyrano/furano benzopyran with cis diastereoselectivity is obtained when salicylaldehyde is used as an alternative of aromatic aldehyde under the same condition. These synthesized quinolines and benzopyrans analogues have been evaluated for their Antitubercular activity against M. tuberculosis H₃₇Ra, and M. tuberculosis H₃₇Rv, and some of the analogues shows better activity profile than their natural product analogues. The protocol is not only mild, efficient, ecofriendly, but also involves reusable and biodegradable catalyst and provides route for both the diastereoisomer. PMID:21247127

  5. Safranal: From an Aromatic Natural Product to a Rewarding Pharmacological Agent

    PubMed Central

    Rezaee, Ramin; Hosseinzadeh, Hossein

    2013-01-01

    Safranal, the main component of Crocus sativus essential oil, is thought to be the main cause of saffron unique odor. It is now about eighty years that this compound has been discovered and since then different scientific experiments have been done investigating its biological-pharmacological activities. Safranal effects in CNS have been more attractive to scientists and an escalating number of papers have been published regarding its neuropsychological effects. These promising properties of safranal propose its presence as a therapeutic agent in future, although there is a great need for further clinical trials and toxicological studies. In this review article, according to Scopus ®, Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge®, Scientific Information Database (SID) ® and Pubmed ® all papers published until July 2012 were thoroughly discussed and a brief note of each study was prepared. PMID:23638289

  6. Discrimination of two natural biocontrol agents in the Mediterranean region based on mitochondrial DNA sequencing data.

    PubMed

    Evangelou, V I; Bouga, M; Emmanouel, N G; Perdikis, D Ch; Papadoulis, G Th

    2013-12-01

    Macrolophus pygmaeus and M. melanotoma (Hemiptera: Miridae) are biological control agents used in greenhouse crops, the former preferring plants of the Solanaceae family and the latter the aster Dittrichia viscosa. The discrimination of these species is of high significance for effective biological pest control, but identification based on morphological characters of the host plant is not always reliable. In this study, sequencing analysis of mitochondrial gene segments 12S rDNA and COI has been combined with crossing experiments and morphological observations to develop new markers for Macrolophus spp. discrimination and to provide new data on their genetic variability. This is the first comprehensive research in Greece on M. pygmaeus and M. melanotoma genetic variability based on sequencing data from 12S rDNA and COI gene segments. The relationship of this variability to host plant preference must be investigated in an agricultural ecosystem. PMID:23839086

  7. An in vitro evaluation of various Rosa damascena flower extracts as a natural antisolar agent.

    PubMed

    Tabrizi, H; Mortazavi, S A; Kamalinejad, M

    2003-12-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate ultraviolet (UV) absorption ability of various extracts of Rosa damascena flowers as an antisolar agent. Extracts were prepared using the following solvent mixtures: water:ethanol (50 : 50), ethyl acetate:ethanol (80 : 20) and ether. The hydroalcoholic and ethyl acetate:ethanol extracts were prepared by maceration, and ether extract was prepared by soxhletion. Preliminary studies on the extracts prepared confirmed the presence of flavonoids as the major components of all extracts. Next, the UV absorption spectra (in the range of 200-400 nm) of all extracts were obtained. Results show that all three extracts can effectively absorb UV radiation in the range of 200-400 nm. However, the range giving maximum absorption for the hydroalcoholic, ethyl acetate:ethanol and ether extracts were 200-320, 250-360 and 230-370 nm, respectively. In the next stage, extracts prepared were incorporated into an oil in water cream base (prepared based on preliminary studies), at two concentrations of 5 and 8%. The sun protection factor (SPF) of these creams were determined. Based on the findings, the hydroalcoholic extract seems to give the highest SPF among the three extracts evaluated, when incorporated to the cream base. On the other hand, by performing a few physicochemical tests on the prepared creams, cream containing 5% ether extract showed the most desirable appearance and stability among the creams investigated. The UV absorption ability of these extracts is suggested to be because of the presence of flavonoid compounds within the extracts. However, it should be noted that in order to obtain an effective suncare product with high SPF values, these extracts could be used along with other synthetic antisolar agents. PMID:18494908

  8. Enteric-coated tablet of risedronate sodium in combination with phytic acid, a natural chelating agent, for improved oral bioavailability.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong S; Jang, Sun W; Son, Miwon; Kim, Byoung M; Kang, Myung J

    2016-01-20

    The oral bioavailability (BA) of risedronate sodium (RS), an antiresorptive agent, is less than 1% due to its low membrane permeability as well as the formation of non-absorbable complexes with multivalent cations such as calcium ion (Ca(2+)) in the gastrointestinal tract. In the present study, to increase oral BA of the bisphosphonate, a novel enteric-coated tablet (ECT) dosage form of RS in combination with phytic acid (IP6), a natural chelating agent recognized as safe, was formulated. The chelating behavior of IP6 against Ca(2+), including a stability constant for complex formulation was characterized using the continuous variation method. Subsequently, in vitro dissolution profile and in vivo pharmacokinetic profile of the novel ECT were evaluated comparatively with that of the marketed product (Altevia, Sanofi, US), an ECT containing ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as a chelating agent, in beagle dogs. The logarithm of stability constant for Ca(2+)-IP6 complex, an equilibrium constant approximating the strength of the interaction between two chemicals to form complex, was 19.05, which was 3.9-fold (p<0.05) and 1.7-fold (p<0.05) higher than those of Ca(2+)-RS and Ca(2+)-EDTA complexes. The release profile of RS from both enteric-coated dosage forms was equivalent, regardless of the type of chelating agent. An in vivo absorption study in beagle dogs revealed that the maximum plasma concentration and area under the curve of RS after oral administration of IP6-containing ECT were approximately 7.9- (p<0.05) and 5.0-fold (p<0.05) higher than those of the marketed product at the same dose (35mg as RS). Therefore, our study demonstrates the potential usefulness of the ECT system in combination with IP6 for an oral therapy with the bisphosphonate for improved BA. PMID:26594027

  9. Influences of naturally occurring agents in combination with fluoride on gene expression and structural organization of Streptococcus mutans in biofilms

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The association of specific bioactive flavonoids and terpenoids with fluoride can modulate the development of cariogenic biofilms by simultaneously affecting the synthesis of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and acid production by Streptococcus mutans, which enhanced the cariostatic effectiveness of fluoride in vivo. In the present study, we further investigated whether the biological actions of combinations of myricetin (flavonoid), tt-farnesol (terpenoid) and fluoride can influence the expression of specific genes of S. mutans within biofilms and their structural organization using real-time PCR and confocal fluorescence microscopy. Results Twice-daily treatment (one-minute exposure) during biofilm formation affected the gene expression by S. mutans both at early (49-h) and later (97-h) stages of biofilm development. Biofilms treated with combination of agents displayed lower mRNA levels for gtfB and gtfD (associated with exopolysaccharides synthesis) and aguD (associated with S. mutans acid tolerance) than those treated with vehicle-control (p < 0.05). Furthermore, treatment with combination of agents markedly affected the structure-architecture of S. mutans biofilms by reducing the biovolume (biomass) and proportions of both EPS and bacterial cells across the biofilm depth, especially in the middle and outer layers (vs. vehicle-control, p < 0.05). The biofilms treated with combination of agents were also less acidogenic, and had reduced amounts of extracellular insoluble glucans and intracellular polysaccharides than vehicle-treated biofilms (p < 0.05). Conclusion The data show that the combination of naturally-occurring agents with fluoride effectively disrupted the expression of specific virulence genes, structural organization and accumulation of S. mutans biofilms, which may explain the enhanced cariostatic effect of our chemotherapeutic approach. PMID:19863808

  10. The evidence for natural therapeutics as potential anti-scarring agents in burn-related scarring.

    PubMed

    Mehta, M; Branford, O A; Rolfe, K J

    2016-01-01

    Though survival rate following severe thermal injuries has improved, the incidence and treatment of scarring have not improved at the same speed. This review discusses the formation of scars and in particular the formation of hypertrophic scars. Further, though there is as yet no gold standard treatment for the prevention or treatment of scarring, a brief overview is included. A number of natural therapeutics have shown beneficial effects both in vivo and in vitro with the potential of becoming clinical therapeutics in the future. These natural therapeutics include both plant-based products such as resveratrol, quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate as examples and includes the non-plant-based therapeutic honey. The review also includes potential mechanism of action for the therapeutics, any recorded adverse events and current administration of the therapeutics used. This review discusses a number of potential 'treatments' that may reduce or even prevent scarring particularly hypertrophic scarring, which is associated with thermal injuries without compromising wound repair. PMID:27574685

  11. Socio-Ecohydrologic Agents And Services: Integrating Human And Natural Components To Address Coupled System Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-zuckerman, M.; Pope, A.; Chan, D.; Curl, K.; Gimblett, H. R.; Hough, M.; House-Peters, L.; Lee, R.; Scott, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian corridors in arid regions are highly valued for their relative scarcity, and because healthy riparian systems support high levels of biodiversity, can meet human demand for water and water-related resources and functions. Our team is taking a transdiciplinary social-ecological systems approach to assessing riparian corridor resilience in two watersheds (the San Pedro River in USA and Mexico, and the Rio San Miguel in Mexico) through a project funded by the NSF CNH program ("Strengthening Resilience of Arid Region Riparian Corridors"). Multiple perspectives are integrated in the project, including hydrology, ecology, institutional dynamics, and decision making (at the level of both policy and individual choice), as well as the perspectives of various stakeholder groups and individuals in the watersheds. Here we discuss initial findings that center around linking changes in ecohydrology and livelihoods related to decisions in response to climatic, ecological, and social change. The research team is implementing two approaches to integrate the disparate disciplines participating in the research (and the varied perspectives among the stakeholders in this binational riparian context): (1) ecosystem service assessment, and (2) agent based model simulation. We are developing an ecosystem service perspective that provides a bridge between ecological dynamics in the landscape and varied stakeholder perspectives on the implications of ecohydrology for well-being (economic, cultural, ecological). Services are linked on one hand to the spatial patterns of traits of individuals within species (allowing a more predictive application of ecosystem services as they vary with community change in time), and to stakeholder perspectives (facilitating integration of ecosystem services into our understanding of decision making processes) in a case study in the San Pedro River National Conservation Area. The agent- based model (ABM) approach incorporates the influence of human

  12. Cordycepin, a Natural Antineoplastic Agent, Induces Apoptosis of Breast Cancer Cells via Caspase-dependent Pathways.

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Zhang, Yongfeng; Lu, Jiahui; Wang, Yang; Wang, Junyue; Meng, Qingfan; Lee, Robert J; Wang, Di; Teng, Lesheng

    2016-01-01

    Cordycepin, a major compound separated from Cordyceps sinensis, is known as a potential novel candidate for cancer therapy. Breast cancer, the most typical cancer diagnosed among women, remains a global health problem. In this study, the anti-breast cancer property of cordycepin and its underlying mechanisms was investigated. The direct effects of cordycepin on breast cancer cells both in in vitro and in vivo experiments were evaluated. Cordycepin exerted cytotoxicity in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells confirmed by reduced cell viability, inhibition of cell proliferation, enhanced lactate dehydrogenase release and reactive oxygen species accumulation, induced mitochondrial dysfunction and nuclear apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Cordycepin increased the activation of pro-apoptotic proteins, including caspase-8, caspase-9, caspase-3 and Bax, and suppressed the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). The inhibition on MCF-7-xenografted tumor growth in nude mice further confirmed cordycepin's anti-breast cancer effect. These aforementioned results reveal that cordycepin induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells via caspase-dependent pathways. The data shed light on the possibility of cordycepin being a safe agent for breast cancer treatment. PMID:26996021

  13. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents. PMID:26141518

  14. Effect of Naturally Acidic Agents on Microhardness and Surface Micromorphology of Restorative Materials

    PubMed Central

    Hengtrakool, Chanothai; Kukiattrakoon, Boonlert; Kedjarune-Leggat, Ureporn

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: This study investigated the titratable acidity and erosive potential of acidic agents on the microhardness and surface micromorphology of four restorative materials. Methods: Forty-seven discs of each restorative material; metal-reinforced glass ionomer cement (Ketac-S), resin-modified glass ionomer cement (Fuji II LC), resin composite (Filtek Z250) and amalgam (Valiant-Ph.D.), 12 mm in diameter and 2.5 mm in thickness, were divided into four groups (5 discs/group). Specimens were then immersed for 7 days into four storage media; deionized water (control), citrate buffer solution, green mango juice and pineapple juice. Microhardness testing before and after immersions was performed. Micromorphological changes were evaluated under a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Statistical significance among each group was analyzed using two-way repeated ANOVA and Tukey’s tests. Results: The Fuji II LC and the Ketac-S showed the highest reduction in microhardness (P<.05). The Valiant-Ph.D. and the Filtek Z250 showed some minor changes over the period of 7 days. The mango juice produced the greatest degradation effect (P<.05). Conclusions: This study suggested that for restorations in patients who have tooth surface loss, materials selected should be considered. In terms of materials evaluated, amalgam and resin composite are the most suitable for restorations. PMID:21311608

  15. Dissolution kinetics of Pd and Pt from automobile catalysts by naturally occurring complexing agents.

    PubMed

    Sebek, Ondřej; Mihaljevič, Martin; Strnad, Ladislav; Ettler, Vojtěch; Ježek, Josef; Stědrý, Robin; Drahota, Petr; Ackerman, Lukáš; Adamec, Vladimír

    2011-12-30

    Powder samples prepared from gasoline (Pt, Pd, Rh, new GN/old GO) and diesel (Pt, new DN/old DO) catalysts and recycled catalyst NIST 2556 were tested using kinetic leaching experiments following 1, 12, 24, 48, 168, 360, 720 and 1440-h interactions with solutions of 20mM citric acid (CA), 20 mM Na(2)P(4)O(7) (NaPyr), 1 g L(-1) NaCl (NaCl), a fulvic acid solution (FA-DOC 50 mg L(-1)) and 20 mM CA at pH 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The mobilisation of platinum group elements (PGEs) was fastest in solutions of CA and NaPyr. In the other interactions (NaCl, FA), the release of PGEs was probably followed by immobilisation processes, and the interactions were not found to correspond to the simple release of PGEs into solution. Because of their low concentrations, the individual complexing agents did not have any effect on the speciation of Pd and Pt in the extracts; both metals are present in solution as the complexes Me(OH)(2), Me(OH)(+). Immobilisation can take place through the adsorption of the positively charged hydroxyl complexes or flocculation of fulvic acid, complexing the PGEs on the surface of the extracted catalysts. The calculated normalised bulk released NRi values are similar to the reaction rate highest in the solutions of CA and NaPyr. PMID:22078491

  16. SuperSweet—a resource on natural and artificial sweetening agents

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Jessica; Preissner, Saskia; Dunkel, Mathias; Worth, Catherine L.; Eckert, Andreas; Preissner, Robert

    2011-01-01

    A vast number of sweet tasting molecules are known, encompassing small compounds, carbohydrates, d-amino acids and large proteins. Carbohydrates play a particularly big role in human diet. The replacement of sugars in food with artificial sweeteners is common and is a general approach to prevent cavities, obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Knowledge about the molecular basis of taste may reveal new strategies to overcome diet-induced diseases. In this context, the design of safe, low-calorie sweeteners is particularly important. Here, we provide a comprehensive collection of carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and other sweet tasting agents like proteins and peptides. Additionally, structural information and properties such as number of calories, therapeutic annotations and a sweetness-index are stored in SuperSweet. Currently, the database consists of more than 8000 sweet molecules. Moreover, the database provides a modeled 3D structure of the sweet taste receptor and binding poses of the small sweet molecules. These binding poses provide hints for the design of new sweeteners. A user-friendly graphical interface allows similarity searching, visualization of docked sweeteners into the receptor etc. A sweetener classification tree and browsing features allow quick requests to be made to the database. The database is freely available at: http://bioinformatics.charite.de/sweet/. PMID:20952410

  17. Phyllanthus wightianus Müll. Arg.: a potential source for natural antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, D; Srinivasan, R; Shivakumar, M S

    2014-01-01

    Phyllanthus wightianus belongs to Euphorbiaceae family having ethnobotanical importance. The present study deals with validating the antimicrobial potential of solvent leaf extracts of P. wightianus. 11 human bacterial pathogens (Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Proteus vulgaris, and Serratia marcescens) and 4 fungal pathogens (Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Mucor racemosus, and Aspergillus niger) were also challenged with solvent leaf extracts usingagar well and disc diffusion methods. Further, identification of the active component present in the bioactive extract was done using GC-MS analysis. Results show that all extracts exhibited broad spectrum (6-29 mm) of antibacterial activity on most of the tested organisms. The results highlight the fact that the well in agar method was more effective than disc diffusion method. Significant antimicrobial activity was detected in methanol extract against S. pneumoniae (29 mm) with MIC and MBC values of 15.62 μg/mL. GC-MS analysis revealed that 29 bioactive constituents were present in methanolic extract of P. wightianus, of which 9,12-octadecaenioic acid (peak area 22.82%; RT-23.97) and N-hexadecanoic acid (peak area 21.55% RT-21.796) are the major compounds. The findings of this study show that P. wightianus extracts may be used as an anti-infective agent in folklore medicine. PMID:24883301

  18. Natural selection for 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid mineralizing bacteria in agent orange contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Rice, J F; Menn, F M; Hay, A G; Sanseverino, J; Sayler, G S

    2005-12-01

    Agent Orange contaminated soils were utilized in direct enrichment culture studies to isolate 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) mineralizing bacteria. Two bacterial cultures able to grow at the expense of 2,4,5-T and/or 2,4-D were isolated. The 2,4,5-T degrading culture was a mixed culture containing two bacteria, Burkholderia species strain JR7B2 and Burkholderia species strain JR7B3. JR7B3 was able to metabolize 2,4,5-T as the sole source of carbon and energy, and demonstrated the ability to affect metabolism of 2,4-D to a lesser degree. Strain JR7B3 was able to mineralize 2,4,5-T in pure culture and utilized 2,4,5-T in the presence of 0.01% yeast extract. Subsequent characterization of the 2,4-D degrading culture showed that one bacterium, Burkholderia species strain JRB1, was able to utilize 2,4-D as a sole carbon and energy source in pure culture. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments utilizing known genetic sequences from other 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T degrading bacteria demonstrated that these organisms contain gene sequences similar to tfdA, B, C, E, and R (Strain JRB1) and the tftA, C, and E genes (Strain JR7B3). Expression analysis confirmed that tftA, C, and E and tfdA, B, and C were transcribed during 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D dependent growth, respectively. The results indicate a strong selective pressure for 2,4,5-T utilizing strains under field condition. PMID:15865343

  19. Natural populations of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, have a complex multiclonal structure

    SciTech Connect

    Tibayrenc, M.; Ward, P.; Moya, A.; Ayala, F.J.

    1986-01-01

    The authors have studied 15 gene loci coding for enzymes in 121 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from a wide geographic range - from the US and Mexico to Chile and southern Brazil. T.cruzi is diploid but reproduction is basically clonal, with very little if any sexuality remaining at present. They have identified 43 different clones by their genetic composition; the same genetic clone is often found in very distant places and in diverse hosts. There is much genetic heterogeneity among the different clones, and they cannot be readily classified into a few discrete groups that might represent natural taxa. These findings imply that the biological and medical characteristics need to be ascertained separately for each natural clone. The evidence indicates that clonal evolution is very ancient in T.cruzi. The authors propose two alternative hypotheses concerning the relationship between the biochemical diversity and the heterogeneity in other biological and medical characteristics of T. cruzi. One hypothesis is that the degree of diversity between strains simply reflects the time elapsed since their last common ancestor. The second hypothesis is that biological and medical heterogeneity is recent and reflects adaptation to different transmission cycles. A decision between the two hypotheses can be reached with appropriate studies, with important medical consequences.

  20. Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors from Natural Products: Discovery of Next-Generation Antihyperglycemic Agents.

    PubMed

    Choi, Chang-Ik

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition associated with the metabolic impairment of insulin actions, leading to the development of life-threatening complications. Although many kinds of oral antihyperglycemic agents with different therapeutic mechanisms have been marketed, their undesirable adverse effects, such as hypoglycemia, weight gain, and hepato-renal toxicity, have increased demand for the discovery of novel, safer antidiabetic drugs. Since the important roles of the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) for glucose homeostasis in the kidney were recently elucidated, pharmacological inhibition of SGLT2 has been considered a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Since the discovery of the first natural SGLT2 inhibitor, phlorizin, several synthetic glucoside analogs have been developed and introduced into the market. Furthermore, many efforts to find new active constituents with SGLT2 inhibition from natural products are still ongoing. This review introduces the history of research on the development of early-generation SGLT2 inhibitors, and recent progress on the discovery of novel candidates for SGLT2 inhibitor from several natural products that are widely used in traditional herbal medicine. PMID:27618891

  1. Natural Products as Promising Antitumoral Agents in Breast Cancer: Mechanisms of Action and Molecular Targets.

    PubMed

    Bonofiglio, Daniela; Giordano, Cinzia; De Amicis, Francesca; Lanzino, Marilena; Andò, Sebastiano

    2016-01-01

    Extensive research over the past several decades has identified numerous dietary and phytochemical compounds that have chemopreventive potential and could represent an important source of anti-cancer lead molecules. In this scenario several nutritional factors have attracted considerable attention as modifiable risk factor in the prevention of breast cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer and a major cause of death among women worldwide. There is an immediate need for more effective and less toxic therapeutic and preventive strategies for breast cancers able also to counteract the recurrent phenomenon of resistance to hormonal and targeted therapy that represent the first-line treatment in the management of breast cancer patients. The present review focuses on chemopreventive and anti-cancer activities of different bioactive compounds obtained from dietary sources such as Omega-3 fatty acids, naturally present in fish, Resveratrol (3,5,40-trihydroxy-transstilbene), a phytoalexin found in grapes and Epigallocatechin Gallate, a polyphenolic compound found in green tea, or purified from medicinal plant (Oldenlandia Diffusa) and fruits (Ziziphus Jujube) highlighting their potential use in breast cancer treatment. Herein, we discuss the molecular mechanisms by which the bioactive compounds can inhibit carcinogenesis by regulating antioxidant enzyme activities, and inducing antiproliferative and apoptotic effects in different breast cancer cell lines. Understanding the mechanism of action of dietary compounds or traditionally used herbs having potential preventive and therapeutic effects on cancer may provide a rationale for further translational studies. This review emphasizes the importance, in the next future, of a proper scientific validation of these natural bioactive compounds for clinical use in the therapeutic portfolio for breast cancer. PMID:26156544

  2. Preliminary investigation of topical nitroglycerin formulations containing natural wound healing agent in diabetes-induced foot ulcer.

    PubMed

    Hotkar, Mukesh S; Avachat, Amelia M; Bhosale, Sagar S; Oswal, Yogesh M

    2015-04-01

    Nitroglycerin (NTG) is an organic nitrate rapidly denitrated by enzymes to release free radical nitric oxide and shows improved wound healing and tissue protection from oxidative damage. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether topical application of NTG in the form of gel/ointment along with a natural wound healing agent, aloe vera, would bring about wound healing by using diabetes-induced foot ulcer model and rat excision wound model. All these formulations were evaluated for pH, viscosity, drug content and ex vivo diffusion studies using rat skin. Based on ex vivo permeation studies, the formulation consisting of carbopol 974p as a gelling agent and aloe vera was found to be suitable. The in vivo study used streptozotocin-induced diabetic foot ulcer and rat excision wound models to analyse wound healing activity. The wound size in animals of all treated groups was significantly reduced compared with that of the diabetic control and marketed treated animals. This study showed that the gel formed with carbopol 974p (1%) and aloe vera promotes significant wound healing and closure in diabetic rats compared with the commercial product and provides a promising product to be used in diabetes-induced foot ulcer. PMID:23731451

  3. Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer—Part 1

    PubMed Central

    Sagar, S.M.; Yance, D.; Wong, R.K.

    2006-01-01

    An integrative approach for managing a patient with cancer should target the multiple biochemical and physiologic pathways that support tumour development and minimize normal-tissue toxicity. Angiogenesis is a key process in the promotion of cancer. Many natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis also manifest other anticancer activities. The present article focuses on products that have a high degree of anti-angiogenic activity, but it also describes some of the many other actions of these agents that can inhibit tumour progression and reduce the risk of metastasis. Natural health products target molecular pathways other than angiogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, the HER2/neu gene, the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, the nuclear factor kappa-B transcription factor, the protein kinases, the Bcl-2 protein, and coagulation pathways. The herbs that are traditionally used for anticancer treatment and that are anti-angiogenic through multiple interdependent processes (including effects on gene expression, signal processing, and enzyme activities) include Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood), Viscum album (European mistletoe), Curcuma longa (curcumin), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract), Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, Poria cocos, Zingiber officinalis (ginger), Panax ginseng, Rabdosia rubescens hora (Rabdosia), and Chinese destagnation herbs. Quality assurance of appropriate extracts is essential prior to embarking upon clinical trials. More data are required on dose–response, appropriate combinations, and potential toxicities. Given the multiple effects of these agents, their future use for cancer therapy probably lies in synergistic combinations. During active cancer therapy, they should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or

  4. Identification of a new degradation product of the antifouling agent Irgarol 1051 in natural samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferrer, I.; Barcelo, D.

    2001-01-01

    A main degradation product of Irgarol [2-(methylthio)-4-(tert-butylamino)-6-(cyclopropylamino)-s-triazine], one of the most widely used compounds in antifouling paints, was detected at trace levels in seawater and sediment samples collected from several marinas on the Mediterranean coast. This degradation product was identified as 2-methylthio-4-tert-butylamino-s-triazine. The unequivocal identification of this compound in seawater samples was carried out by solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled on-line with liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-APCI-MS). SPE was carried out by passing 150 ml of seawater sample through a cartridge containing a polymeric phase (PLRP-s), with recoveries ranging from 92 to 108% (n=5). Using LC-MS detection in positive ion mode, useful structural information was obtained by increasing the fragmentor voltage, thus permitting the unequivocal identification of this compound in natural samples. Method detection limits were in the range of 0.002 to 0.005 ??g/l. Overall, the combination of on-line SPE and LC-APCI-MS represents an important advance in environmental analysis of herbicide degradation products in seawater, since it demonstrates that trace amounts of new polar metabolites may be determined rapidly. This paper reports the LC-MS identification of the main degradation product of Irgarol in seawater and sediment samples. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Human Hair as a Natural Sun Protection Agent: A Quantitative Study.

    PubMed

    de Gálvez, María Victoria; Aguilera, José; Bernabó, Jean-Luc; Sánchez-Roldán, Cristina; Herrera-Ceballos, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    The rising incidence of skin cancers attributable to excessive sun exposure has become a major health concern worldwide. While numerous studies have analyzed the sun protective effect of sunscreens, clothing and antioxidants, none to date have measured the photoprotective effect of hair, despite clinical evidence that individuals with balding or thinning hair are at greater risk of skin lesions that can progress to cancer, hence the recommendation to use hats or umbrellas. We analyzed the level of protection offered by hair according to hair density, thickness and color using the spectral transmittance and corrected for relative erythema effectiveness. Our results show that hair provides a barrier against both UVB and UVA radiation which is significantly increased with respect to the hair density, thickness and the presence of melanins. This is the first study to quantify sun protection factor offered by hair, namely hair ultraviolet protection factor (HUPF). We believe that hair should be recognized as an important natural sun barrier in the prevention of UV-induced skin cancers. PMID:25682789

  6. Naturally Occurring Carbazole Alkaloids from Murraya koenigii as Potential Antidiabetic Agents.

    PubMed

    Patel, Om P S; Mishra, Akansha; Maurya, Ranjani; Saini, Deepika; Pandey, Jyotsana; Taneja, Isha; Raju, Kanumuri S R; Kanojiya, Sanjeev; Shukla, Sanjeev K; Srivastava, Mahendra N; Wahajuddin, M; Tamrakar, Akhilesh K; Srivastava, Arvind K; Yadav, Prem P

    2016-05-27

    This study identified koenidine (4) as a metabolically stable antidiabetic compound, when evaluated in a rodent type 2 model (leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice), and showed a considerable reduction in the postprandial blood glucose profile with an improvement in insulin sensitivity. Biological studies were directed from the preliminary in vitro evaluation of the effects of isolated carbazole alkaloids (1-6) on glucose uptake and GLUT4 translocation in L6-GLUT4myc myotubes, followed by an investigation of their activity (2-5) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The effect of koenidine (4) on GLUT4 translocation was mediated by the AKT-dependent signaling pathway in L6-GLUT4myc myotubes. Moreover, in vivo pharmacokinetic studies of compounds 2 and 4 clearly showed that compound 4 was 2.7 times more bioavailable than compound 2, resulting in a superior in vivo efficacy. Therefore, these studies suggested that koenidine (4) may serve as a promising lead natural scaffold for managing insulin resistance and diabetes. PMID:27136692

  7. Light-responsive polymer microcapsules as delivery systems for natural active agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bizzarro, Valentina; Carfagna, Cosimo; Cerruti, Pierfrancesco; Marturano, Valentina; Ambrogi, Veronica

    2016-05-01

    In this work we report the preparation and the release behavior of UV-responsive polymeric microcapsules containing essential oils as a core. The oil acted also as a monomer solvent during polymerization. Accordingly, the potentially toxic organic solvent traditionally used was replaced with a natural active substance, resulting in a more sustainable functional system. Polymer shell was based on a lightly cross-linked polyamide containing UV-sensitive azobenzene moieties in the main chain. The micro-sized capsules were obtained via interfacial polycondensation in o/w emulsion, and their mean size was measured via Dynamic Light Scattering. Shape and morphology were analyzed through Scanning Electron and Optical Microscopy. UV-responsive behavior was evaluated via spectrofluorimetry, by assessing the release kinetics of a fluorescent probe molecule upon UV light irradiation (λmax=360 nm). The irradiated samples showed an increase in fluorescence intensity, in accordance with the increase of the probe molecule concentration in the release medium. As for the un-irradiated sample, no changes could be detected demonstrating the effectiveness of the obtained releasing system.

  8. Synthetic glycolipid activators of natural killer T cells as immunotherapeutic agents

    PubMed Central

    Carreño, Leandro J; Saavedra-Ávila, Noemí A; Porcelli, Steven A

    2016-01-01

    Certain types of glycolipids have been found to have remarkable immunomodulatory properties as a result of their ability to activate specific T lymphocyte populations with an extremely wide range of immune effector properties. The most extensively studied glycolipid reactive T cells are known as invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. The antigen receptors of these cells specifically recognize certain glycolipids, most notably glycosphingolipids with α-anomeric monosaccharides, presented by the major histocompatibility complex class I-like molecule CD1d. Once activated, iNKT cells can secrete a very diverse array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, glycolipid-mediated activation of iNKT cells has been explored for immunotherapy in a variety of disease states, including cancer and a range of infections. In this review, we discuss the design of synthetic glycolipid activators for iNKT cells, their impact on adaptive immune responses and their use to modulate iNKT cell responses to improve immunity against infections and cancer. Current challenges in translating results from preclinical animal studies to humans are also discussed. PMID:27195112

  9. Creation of catalytically active particles from enzymes crosslinked with a natural bifunctional agent--homocysteine thiolactone.

    PubMed

    Stroylova, Yulia Y; Semenyuk, Pavel I; Asriyantz, Regina A; Gaillard, Cedric; Haertlé, Thomas; Muronetz, Vladimir I

    2014-09-01

    The current study describes an approach to creation of catalytically active particles with increased stability from enzymes by N-homocysteinylation, a naturally presented protein modification. Enzymatic activities and properties of two globular tetrameric enzymes glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were studied before and after N-homocysteinylation. Modification of these proteins concerns the accessible lysine residues and introduces an average of 2-2,5 homocysteine residues per protein monomer. Formation of a range of aggregates was observed for both enzymes, which assemble via formation of intermolecular noncovalent bonds and by disulfide bonds. It was demonstrated that both studied enzymes retain their catalytic activities on modification and the subsequent formation of oligomeric forms. At low concentrations of homocysteine thiolactone, modification of GAPDH leads not only to prevention of spontaneous inactivation but also increases thermal stability of this enzyme on heating to 80°C. A moderate reduction of the activity of GAPDH observed in case of its crosslinking with 50-fold excess of homocysteine thiolactone per lysine is probably caused by hindered substrate diffusion. Spherical particles of 100 nm and larger diameters were observed by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscope techniques after modification of GAPDH with different homocysteine thiolactone concentrations. In case of LDH, branched fibril-like aggregates were observed under the same conditions. Interestingly, crosslinked samples of both proteins were found to have reversible thermal denaturation profiles, indicating that modification with homocysteine thiolactone stabilizes the spatial structure of these enzymes. PMID:24912753

  10. Natural products as anti-glycation agents: possible therapeutic potential for diabetic complications.

    PubMed

    Elosta, Abdulhakim; Ghous, Tahseen; Ahmed, Nessar

    2012-03-01

    Diabetes mellitus is characterised by hyperglycaemia, lipidaemia and oxidative stress and predisposes affected individuals to long-term complications afflicting the eyes, skin, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels. Increased protein glycation and the subsequent build-up of tissue advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) contribute towards the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. Protein glycation is accompanied by generation of free radicals through autoxidation of glucose and glycated proteins and via interaction of AGEs with their cell surface receptors (referred to as RAGE). Glycationderived free radicals can damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids and contribute towards oxidative stress in diabetes. There is interest in compounds with anti-glycation activity as they may offer therapeutic potential in delaying or preventing the onset of diabetic complications. Although many different compounds are under study, only a few have successfully entered clinical trials but none have yet been approved for clinical use. Whilst the search for new synthetic inhibitors of glycation continues, little attention has been paid to anti-glycation compounds from natural sources. In the last few decades the traditional system of medicine has become a topic of global interest. Various studies have indicated that dietary supplementation with combined anti-glycation and antioxidant nutrients may be a safe and simple complement to traditional therapies targeting diabetic complications. Data for forty two plants/constituents studied for anti-glycation activity is presented in this review and some commonly used medicinal plants that possess anti-glycation activity are discussed in detail including their active ingredients, mechanism of action and therapeutic potential. PMID:22268395

  11. FishMORPH - An agent-based model to predict salmonid growth and distribution responses under natural and low flows

    PubMed Central

    Phang, S. C.; Stillman, R. A.; Cucherousset, J.; Britton, J. R.; Roberts, D.; Beaumont, W. R. C.; Gozlan, R. E.

    2016-01-01

    Predicting fish responses to modified flow regimes is becoming central to fisheries management. In this study we present an agent-based model (ABM) to predict the growth and distribution of young-of-the-year (YOY) and one-year-old (1+) Atlantic salmon and brown trout in response to flow change during summer. A field study of a real population during both natural and low flow conditions provided the simulation environment and validation patterns. Virtual fish were realistic both in terms of bioenergetics and feeding. We tested alternative movement rules to replicate observed patterns of body mass, growth rates, stretch distribution and patch occupancy patterns. Notably, there was no calibration of the model. Virtual fish prioritising consumption rates before predator avoidance replicated observed growth and distribution patterns better than a purely maximising consumption rule. Stream conditions of low predation and harsh winters provide ecological justification for the selection of this behaviour during summer months. Overall, the model was able to predict distribution and growth patterns well across both natural and low flow regimes. The model can be used to support management of salmonids by predicting population responses to predicted flow impacts and associated habitat change. PMID:27431787

  12. Screening of commercial and pecan shell-extracted liquid smoke agents as natural antimicrobials against foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Van Loo, Ellen J; Babu, D; Crandall, Philip G; Ricke, Steven C

    2012-06-01

    Liquid smoke extracts have traditionally been used as flavoring agents, are known to possess antioxidant properties, and serve as natural alternatives to conventional antimicrobials. The antimicrobial efficacies of commercial liquid smoke samples may vary depending on their source and composition and the methods used to extract and concentrate the smoke. We investigated the MICs of eight commercial liquid smoke samples against Salmonella Enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli . The commercial liquid smoke samples purchased were supplied by the manufacturer as water-based or concentrated extracts of smoke from different wood sources. The MICs of the commercial smokes to inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens ranged from 0.5 to 6.0% for E. coli, 0.5 to 8.0% for Salmonella, and 0.38 to 6% for S. aureus. The MIC for each liquid smoke sample was similar in its effect on both E. coli and Salmonella. Solvent-extracted antimicrobials prepared using pecan shells displayed significant differences between their inhibitory concentrations depending on the type of solvent used for extraction. The results indicated that the liquid smoke samples tested in this study could serve as effective natural antimicrobials and that their inhibitory effects depended more on the solvents used for extraction than the wood source. PMID:22691487

  13. FishMORPH - An agent-based model to predict salmonid growth and distribution responses under natural and low flows.

    PubMed

    Phang, S C; Stillman, R A; Cucherousset, J; Britton, J R; Roberts, D; Beaumont, W R C; Gozlan, R E

    2016-01-01

    Predicting fish responses to modified flow regimes is becoming central to fisheries management. In this study we present an agent-based model (ABM) to predict the growth and distribution of young-of-the-year (YOY) and one-year-old (1+) Atlantic salmon and brown trout in response to flow change during summer. A field study of a real population during both natural and low flow conditions provided the simulation environment and validation patterns. Virtual fish were realistic both in terms of bioenergetics and feeding. We tested alternative movement rules to replicate observed patterns of body mass, growth rates, stretch distribution and patch occupancy patterns. Notably, there was no calibration of the model. Virtual fish prioritising consumption rates before predator avoidance replicated observed growth and distribution patterns better than a purely maximising consumption rule. Stream conditions of low predation and harsh winters provide ecological justification for the selection of this behaviour during summer months. Overall, the model was able to predict distribution and growth patterns well across both natural and low flow regimes. The model can be used to support management of salmonids by predicting population responses to predicted flow impacts and associated habitat change. PMID:27431787

  14. Quantification of 4'-geranyloxyferulic acid, a new natural colon cancer chemopreventive agent, by HPLC-DAD in grapefruit skin extract.

    PubMed

    Genovese, S; Epifano, F; Carlucci, G; Marcotullio, M C; Curini, M; Locatelli, M

    2010-10-10

    Oxyprenylated natural products (isopentenyloxy-, geranyloxy- and the less spread farnesyloxy-compounds and their biosynthetic derivatives) represent a family of secondary metabolites that have been consider for years merely as biosynthetic intermediates of the most abundant C-prenylated derivatives. Many of the isolated oxyprenylated natural products were shown to exert in vitro and in vivo remarkable anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. 4'-Geranyloxyferulic acid [3-(4'-geranyloxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)-2-trans-propenoic] has been discovered as a valuable chemopreventive agent of several types of cancer. After development of a high yield and "eco-friendly" synthetic scheme of this secondary metabolite, starting from cheap and non-toxic reagents and substrates, we developed a new HPLC-DAD method for its quantification in grapefruit skin extract. A preliminary study on C18 column showed the separation between GOFA and boropinic acid (having the same core but with an isopentenyloxy side chain), used as internal standard. The tested column were thermostated at 28+/-1 degrees C and the separation was achieved in gradient condition at a flow rate of 1 mL/min with a starting mobile phase of H(2)O:methanol (40:60, v/v, 1% formic acid). The limit of detection (LOD, S/N=3) was 0.5 microg/mL and the limit of quantification (LOQ, S/N=10) was 1 microg/mL. Matrix-matched standard curves showed linearity up to 75 microg/mL. In the analytical range the precision (RSD%) values were natural extract of grapefruit. In conclusion, this method showed LOQ values able to selective quantification of this analyte in grapefruit skin extract. PMID:20172682

  15. Characterization of the biological activity of gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine: a novel, naturally occurring anticancer agent from garlic.

    PubMed

    Dong, Y; Lisk, D; Block, E; Ip, C

    2001-04-01

    Gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine (GGMSC) has recently been identified as the major Se compound in natural garlic and selenized garlic. Our working hypothesis is that GGMSC serves primarily as a carrier of Se-methylselenocysteine (MSC), which has been demonstrated in past research to be a potent cancer chemopreventive agent in animal carcinogenesis bioassays. The present study was designed to examine the in vivo responses to GGMSC or MSC using a variety of biochemical and biological end points, including (a) urinary Se excretion as a function of bolus dose; (b) tissue Se accumulation profile; (c) anticancer efficacy; and (d) gene expression changes as determined by cDNA array analysis. Our results showed that like MSC, GGMSC was well absorbed p.o., with urinary excretion as the major route for eliminating excess Se. When fed chronically, the profile of Se accumulation in various tissues was very comparable after treatment with either GGMSC or MSC. In rats that had been challenged with a carcinogen, supplementation with either GGMSC or MSC resulted in a lower prevalence of premalignant lesions in the mammary gland, and fewer mammary carcinomas when these early lesions were allowed to progress. More importantly, we found that a short term GGMSC/MSC treatment schedule of 4 weeks immediately after carcinogen dosing was sufficient to provide significant cancer protection, even in the absence of a sustained exposure past the initial 4-week period. With the use of the Clontech Atlas Rat cDNA Array, we further discovered that the gene expression changes induced in mammary epithelial cells of rats that were given either GGMSC or MSC showed a high degree of concordance. On the basis of the collective biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology data, we conclude that GGMSC is an effective anticancer agent with a mechanism of action very similar to that of MSC. PMID:11306469

  16. Understanding coupled natural and human systems on fire prone landscapes: integrating wildfire simulation into an agent based planning system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barros, Ana; Ager, Alan; Preisler, Haiganoush; Day, Michelle; Spies, Tom; Bolte, John

    2015-04-01

    Agent-based models (ABM) allow users to examine the long-term effects of agent decisions in complex systems where multiple agents and processes interact. This framework has potential application to study the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems where multiple stimuli determine trajectories over both space and time. We used Envision, a landscape based ABM, to analyze long-term wildfire dynamics in a heterogeneous, multi-owner landscape in Oregon, USA. Landscape dynamics are affected by land management policies, actors decisions, and autonomous processes such as vegetation succession, wildfire, or at a broader scale, climate change. Key questions include: 1) How are landscape dynamics influenced by policies and institutions, and 2) How do land management policies and actor decisions interact to produce intended and unintended consequences with respect to wildfire on fire-prone landscapes. Applying Envision to address these questions required the development of a wildfire module that could accurately simulate wildfires on the heterogeneous landscapes within the study area in terms of replicating historical fire size distribution, spatial distribution and fire intensity. In this paper we describe the development and testing of a mechanistic fire simulation system within Envision and application of the model on a 3.2 million fire prone landscape in central Oregon USA. The core fire spread equations use the Minimum Travel Time algorithm developed by M Finney. The model operates on a daily time step and uses a fire prediction system based on the relationship between energy release component and historical fires. Specifically, daily wildfire probabilities and sizes are generated from statistical analyses of historical fires in relation to daily ERC values. The MTT was coupled with the vegetation dynamics module in Envision to allow communication between the respective subsystem and effectively model fire effects and vegetation dynamics after a wildfire. Canopy and

  17. Oxidative stress and cancer; the role of hesperidin, a citrus natural bioflavonoid, as a cancer chemoprotective agent.

    PubMed

    Ahmadi, Amirhossein; Shadboorestan, Amir

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is the third cause of death worldwide, with complex etiology, and is defined as an uncontrolled growth of cells. A high proportion of cancer incidence and deaths are due to different environmental and genetic factors such as high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, exposure to radiation, chronic infections, and heredity also. In addition, oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of different types of cancer. Hence, screening and testing of more effective compounds with minimum side effects for the prevention and treatment of cancers started a few decades ago. Regarding this, much attention has been paid to natural antioxidants as a novel prevention and treatment strategy for cancer. Flavonoids are one of the most important ingredients in vegetables and fruits, especially in the genus Citrus. Hesperidin is a flavonone glycoside, belonging to the flavonoid family, which is widely found in Citrus species and acts as a potent antioxidant and anticancer agent. In the present review, we attempt to provide an overview and summarize the scientific literature about the cancer chemoprotective effects of hesperidin with an emphasis on its relation to the protection roles against oxidative stress. PMID:26381129

  18. Skin barrier integrity and natural moisturising factor levels after cumulative dermal exposure to alkaline agents in atopic dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Angelova-Fischer, Irena; Dapic, Irena; Hoek, Anne-Karin; Jakasa, Ivone; Fischer, Tobias W; Zillikens, Detlef; Kezic, Sanja

    2014-11-01

    Dermal exposure to alkaline agents may lead to skin barrier damage and irritant contact dermatitis. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of cumulative exposure to 0.5% sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and 0.15% NaOH on the barrier function and natural moisturising factor (NMF) levels in atopic dermatitis and healthy volunteers with known filaggrin genotype. The skin response was monitored by measurement of erythema and transepidermal water loss. The stratum corneum NMF levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Repeated exposure to 0.5% SLS and/or 0.15% NaOH in atopic dermatitis resulted in more severe impairment of the skin barrier function. Cumulative exposure to the irritants reduced significantly NMF in both the atopic and healthy controls group. The pronounced decrease of NMF after repeated single and sequential irritant exposure may be a pathogenetically relevant factor for development of chronic irritant contact dermatitis in both healthy and atopic individuals. PMID:24531413

  19. Natural enemies of balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum Swartz (Sapindaceae), in Argentina and their potential use as biological control agents in South Africa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exploratory field surveys of the natural enemies associated with balloon vine, Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindaceae), an environmental weed in South Africa, Australia and other countries, were conducted in northern Argentina from 2005 to 2009, to search for suitable biological control agents. The...

  20. Natural Products as Anti-HIV Agents and Role in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND): A Brief Overview

    PubMed Central

    Kurapati, Kesava Rao V.; Atluri, Venkata S.; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Garcia, Gabriella; Nair, Madhavan P. N.

    2016-01-01

    As the threat of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) persists to rise, effective drug treatments are required to treat the infected people. Even though combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) provides stable viral suppression, it is not devoid of undesirable side effects, especially in persons undergoing long-term treatment. The present therapy finds its limitations in the emergence of multidrug resistance and accordingly finding new drugs and novel targets is the need of the hour to treat the infected persons and further to attack HIV reservoirs in the body like brain, lymph nodes to achieve the ultimate goal of complete eradication of HIV and AIDS. Natural products such as plant-originated compounds and plant extracts have enormous potential to become drug leads with anti-HIV and neuroprotective activity. Accordingly, many research groups are exploring the biodiversity of the plant kingdom to find new and better anti-HIV drugs with novel mechanisms of action and for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The basic challenge that still persists is to develop viral replication-targeted therapy using novel anti-HIV compounds with new mode of action, accepted toxicity and less resistance profile. Against this backdrop, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested the need to evaluate ethno-medicines for the management of HIV/AIDS. Consequently, there is need to evaluate traditional medicine, particularly medicinal plants and other natural products that may yield effective and affordable therapeutic agents. Although there are a good number of reports on traditional uses of plants to treat various diseases, knowledge of herbal remedies used to manage HIV/AIDS and HAND are scanty, vague and not well documented. In this review, plant substances showing a promising action that is anti-HIV and HAND will be explored along with what they interact. Since some plant substances are also known to modulate several cellular

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. The effect of nitrate, bicarbonate and natural organic matter on the degradation of sunscreen agent p-aminobenzoic acid by simulated solar irradiation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Liang; Meng, Cui; Zeng, Chao; Ji, Yuefei; Yang, Xi; Gao, Shixiang

    2011-11-15

    Our experiments revealed that a model sunscreen agent, p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), can be effectively transformed through reactions that are mediated by simulated solar irradiation. We systematically explored the effects of nitrate ions, bicarbonate and different types of natural organic matter (NOM) on the degradation of PABA by simulated solar irradiation. Experimental data suggest that these components ubiquitous in nature water have different influence on the rates of the photoinduced removal of PABA. Products were extracted and analyzed using LC/MS and a total of four products probably resulting from OH and NO2 radicals attack were identified and the possible reaction pathways were proposed. The findings in this study provide useful information for understanding the environmental transformation of sunscreen agent in aquatic system. PMID:21975008

  3. Analysis of the effect of a sunscreen agent on the suppression of natural killer cell activity induced in human subjects by radiation from solarium lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Hersey, P.; MacDonald, M.; Burns, C.; Schibeci, S.; Matthews, H.; Wilkinson, F.J.

    1987-03-01

    Previous studies in rodents have shown that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) may have direct effects on the immune system in the skin and at higher doses may induce systemic suppression of immune responses. We have previously shown that UVR from sun or solarium beds may induce systemic effects in human subjects. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether these systemic effects in human subjects could be prevented by use of commercially available sunscreen agents. Groups of 12 normal subjects were exposed to radiation from solarium lamps after application of a sunscreen agent or the base used in its preparation. Twelve half-hourly exposures induced a depression of natural killer (NK) cell activity against a melanoma and the K562 target cell which was not prevented by use of the sunscreen agent. Changes in functional activity were accompanied by a reduction in NK cell numbers assessed by Leu-11 monoclonal antibodies against the labile Fc receptor. Application of the sunscreen agent also did not protect against effects of solarium exposure on recall antigen skin tests and immunoglobulin production in vitro in pokeweed mitogen-stimulated cultures of B and T cells. These results suggest that further evaluation of the wave-length spectrum of UVR and the effectiveness of sunscreen agents in prevention of UVR-induced effects on the immune system is needed.

  4. Partnerships for Natural Resource Education: Differing Program Needs and Perspectives of Extension Agents and State Agency Staff.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monroe, Martha C.; Jacobson, Susan K.; Bowers, Alison

    2003-01-01

    A survey of 45 extension agents and 59 state forestry agency staff 1 year after inservice training on developing public education programs on wildland fire received 71 responses. Three primary barriers to program implementation were identified: educational, logistical, and attitudinal. Providing a toolkit of materials and resources reduced…

  5. In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of Non-Platinum-Based Halogenated Compounds as Potent Antitumor Agents for Natural Targeted Chemotherapy of Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qing-Bin; Zhang, Qin-Rong; Ou, Ning; Wang, Chun-Rong; Warrington, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Based on a molecular-mechanism-based anticancer drug discovery program enabled by an innovative femtomedicine approach, we have found a previously unknown class of non-platinum-based halogenated molecules (called FMD compounds) as potent antitumor agents for effective treatment of cancers. Here, we present in vitro and in vivo studies of the compounds for targeted chemotherapy of cervical, breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Our results show that these FMD agents led to DNA damage, cell cycle arrest in the S phase, and apoptosis in cancer cells. We also observed that such a FMD compound caused an increase of reduced glutathione (GSH, an endogenous antioxidant) levels in human normal cells, while it largely depleted GSH in cancer cells. We correspondingly found that these FMD agents exhibited no or little toxicity toward normal cells/tissues, while causing significant cytotoxicity against cancer cells, as well as suppression and delay in tumor growth in mouse xenograft models of cervical, ovarian, breast and lung cancers. These compounds are therefore a previously undiscovered class of potent antitumor agents that can be translated into clinical trials for natural targeted chemotherapy of multiple cancers. PMID:26351651

  6. Purines, prostaglandins and peptides--nature and cellular mechanisms of action of local assist and assassin agents in the ovary.

    PubMed

    Behrman, H R; Aten, R F; Luborsky, J L; Polan, M L; Miller, J G; Soodak, L K

    1986-01-01

    The evidence for a paracrine, progonadotropic role of adenosine in ovarian cells is summarized along with a capsule review of the origin and mechanisms of release and action of adenosine in other tissues. Briefly, adenosine markedly amplified rat and human luteal cell cyclic AMP and progesterone accumulation in the presence, but not the absence, of LH. The site of action of adenosine was found to be intracellular, linked to its phosphorylation, which resulted in increased levels of ATP. In rat luteal cells, adenosine blocked the acute antigonadotropic (luteolytic) action of PGF2 alpha. In the follicle, adenosine release from granulosal cells appeared to be stimulated by FSH. Adenosine and a nonmetabolized adenosine analog, augmented FSH-dependent inhibition of oocyte maturation in the presence or absence of an adenosine transport inhibitor. Inhibition of oocyte maturation by adenosine thus appears to be mediated by extracellular purinergic receptors. Paracrine, antigonadotropic agents also appear to regulate ovarian function. For example, GnRH elicits antigonadotropic activity in rat granulosal and luteal cells. We describe a novel, GnRH-like, ovarian hormone (GLOH) which may be the physiological ligand whose action GnRH mimics in rat ovarian cells. This protein was shown to be distinctly different from GnRH and a variety of other cyclic and noncyclic peptides. PGF2 alpha is a well known leutolytic agent and a summary of the antigonadotropic mechanism of PGF2 alpha action in rat luteal cells is presented. In these cells, the action of GnRH (or possibly the GnRH-like protein) and PGF2 alpha are mediated by separate membrane receptors but they appeared to share the same intracellular second messenger. Evidence for a role of products of phosphoinositol as a mediator of these antigonadotropic agents is summarized. We suggest that the ultimate mediator of antigonadotropic agents is Ca2+ which is released in the luteal cell in response to the intracellular mediator of

  7. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene-1 (NAG-1) modulators from natural products as anti-cancer agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural products are rich source of gene modulators for prevention and treatment of cancer. In recent days, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) activated gene-1 (NAG-1) has been focused as a new target of diverse cancers like colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, and breast. A variety of natural...

  8. Molecular analysis of faecal samples from birds to identify potential crop pests and useful biocontrol agents in natural areas.

    PubMed

    King, R A; Symondson, W O C; Thomas, R J

    2015-06-01

    Wild habitats adjoining farmland are potentially valuable sources of natural enemies, but also of pests. Here we tested the utility of birds as 'sampling devices', to identify the diversity of prey available to predators and particularly to screen for pests and natural enemies using natural ecosystems as refugia. Here we used PCR to amplify prey DNA from three sympatric songbirds foraging on small invertebrates in Phragmites reedbed ecosystems, namely the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti). A recently described general invertebrate primer pair was used for the first time to analyse diets. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced, then identified by reference to the Barcoding of Life Database and to our own sequences obtained from fresh invertebrates. Forty-five distinct prey DNA sequences were obtained from 11 faecal samples, of which 39 could be identified to species or genus. Targeting three warbler species ensured that species-specific differences in prey choice broadened the range of prey taken. Amongst the prey found in reedbeds were major pests (including the tomato moth Lacanobia oleracea) as well as many potentially valuable natural enemies including aphidophagous hoverflies and braconid wasps. Given the mobility of birds, this approach provides a practical way of sampling a whole habitat at once, providing growers with information on possible invasion by locally resident pests and the colonization potential of natural enemies from local natural habitats. PMID:25572526

  9. Natural variability of transient myocardial ischaemia during daily life: an obstacle when assessing efficacy of anti-ischaemic agents?

    PubMed Central

    Patel, D. J.; Mulcahy, D.; Norrie, J.; Wright, C.; Clarke, D.; Ford, I.; Fox, K. M.

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the degree of variability of transient myocardial ischaemia during daily life in patients with coronary artery disease, which could confound the interpretation of trials of the therapeutic effects of anti-ischaemic agents. DESIGN: Prospective method evaluation. SETTING: Tertiary referral centre, outpatient clinic. PATIENTS: Patients with stable angina, confirmed coronary artery disease, and a positive treadmill exercise test for ischaemia. Patients were not preselected on the basis of prior documented transient ischaemia during ambulatory ST segment monitoring. INTERVENTIONS: A simulated drug-study with 4 monitoring phases in 16 subjects. To minimise variability in ischaemic activity, patients underwent weekly 48 hour ambulatory ST segment monitoring outside hospital off all prophylactic therapy on the same weekdays for 4 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Variability in the frequency and duration of transient myocardial ischaemia. RESULTS: There was marked variability in both ischaemic activity and mean duration of ischaemia in patients with confirmed ischaemia, the greatest degree of variability being between patients and from day to day within weeks within patients, with a further contribution to variability being noted between fortnights within patients. CONCLUSIONS: Despite assessment off all therapy and an adequate period of monitoring (48 hours) with small intervals between monitoring periods (5 days), marked variability in ischaemic activity was noted, and regression towards the mean was clearly shown. Ambulatory ST segment monitoring outside hospital is not a reliable method for assessing the therapeutic effects of anti-ischaemic agents. PMID:9014794

  10. [Repellent activity against Aedes aegypti (L.) of formulas based on natural vegetable extracts or synthetic active agents].

    PubMed

    Girgenti, P; Suss, L

    2002-01-01

    A comparison of 5 commercial mosquito repellents was made on adult male and female volunteers in laboratory trials. The products tested in forms of cream or lotion included 4 natural oil formulations (containing citronella, clover, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, peppermint, sandalwood, thyme, etc.) and 1 synthetic chemical repellent containing 10% KBR 3023). Natural oil products showed essentially poor or no repellency against Ae, aegypti: the protection times were less than or equal to 1 hour. Only the synthetic repellent based on KBR 3023 provided satisfactory defence to human volunteers. PMID:12162118

  11. Muraymycin nucleoside-peptide antibiotics: uridine-derived natural products as lead structures for the development of novel antibacterial agents

    PubMed Central

    Wirth, Marius; Niro, Giuliana; Leyerer, Kristin

    2016-01-01

    Summary Muraymycins are a promising class of antimicrobial natural products. These uridine-derived nucleoside-peptide antibiotics inhibit the bacterial membrane protein translocase I (MraY), a key enzyme in the intracellular part of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This review describes the structures of naturally occurring muraymycins, their mode of action, synthetic access to muraymycins and their analogues, some structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies and first insights into muraymycin biosynthesis. It therefore provides an overview on the current state of research, as well as an outlook on possible future developments in this field. PMID:27340469

  12. Preliminary in vitro insights into the use of natural fungal pathogens of leaf-cutting ants as biocontrol agents.

    PubMed

    Folgarait, Patricia; Gorosito, Norma; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-09-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are one of the main herbivores of the Neotropics, where they represent an important agricultural pest. These ants are particularly difficult to control because of the complex network of microbial symbionts. Leaf-cutting ants have traditionally been controlled through pesticide application, but there is a need for alternative, more environmentally friendly, control methods such as biological control. Potential promising biocontrol candidates include the microfungi Escovopsis spp. (anamorphic Hypocreales), which are specialized pathogens of the fungi the ants cultivate for food. These pathogens are suppressed through ant behaviors and ant-associated antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria. In order to be an effective biocontrol agent, Escovopsis has to overcome these defenses. Here, we evaluate, using microbial in vitro assays, whether defenses in the ant-cultivated fungus strain (Leucoagaricus sp.) and Actinobacteria from the ant pest Acromyrmex lundii have the potential to limit the use of Escovopsis in biocontrol. We also explore, for the first time, possible synergistic biocontrol between Escovopsis and the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii. All strains of Escovopsis proved to overgrow A. lundii cultivar in less than 7 days, with the Escovopsis strain isolated from a different leaf-cutting ant species being the most efficient. Escovopsis challenged with a Streptomyces strain isolated from A. lundii did not exhibit significant growth inhibition. Both results are encouraging for the use of Escovopsis as a biocontrol agent. Although we found that L. lecanii can suppress the growth of the cultivar, it also had a negative impact on Escovopsis, making the success of simultaneous use of these two fungi for biocontrol of A. lundii questionable. PMID:21739253

  13. Nature's Chiral Catalyst and Anti-Malarial Agent: Isolation and Structure Elucidation of Cinchonine and Quinine from "Cinchona calisaya"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Anne-Marie; Kavanagh, David J.; McGovern, Fiona P.; Reilly, Joe W.; Walsh, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Nature is a well-recognized source of compounds of interest, but access is often an issue. One pertinent example is the cinchona alkaloids from the bark of "Cinchona calisaya." In this experiment, students at the third-year undergraduate level undertake the selective isolation and characterization of two of the four main alkaloids present in the…

  14. The contagious nature of imprisonment: an agent-based model to explain racial disparities in incarceration rates

    PubMed Central

    Lum, Kristian; Swarup, Samarth; Eubank, Stephen; Hawdon, James

    2014-01-01

    We build an agent-based model of incarceration based on the susceptible–infected–suspectible (SIS) model of infectious disease propagation. Our central hypothesis is that the observed racial disparities in incarceration rates between Black and White Americans can be explained as the result of differential sentencing between the two demographic groups. We demonstrate that if incarceration can be spread through a social influence network, then even relatively small differences in sentencing can result in large disparities in incarceration rates. Controlling for effects of transmissibility, susceptibility and influence network structure, our model reproduces the observed large disparities in incarceration rates given the differences in sentence lengths for White and Black drug offenders in the USA without extensive parameter tuning. We further establish the suitability of the SIS model as applied to incarceration by demonstrating that the observed structural patterns of recidivism are an emergent property of the model. In fact, our model shows a remarkably close correspondence with California incarceration data. This work advances efforts to combine the theories and methods of epidemiology and criminology. PMID:24966237

  15. Detection and molecular characterization of canine babesiosis causative agent Babesia canis in the naturally infected dog in Lithuania.

    PubMed

    Paulauskas, Algimantas; Radzijevskaja, Jana; Karvelienė, Birutė; Grigonis, Aidas; Aleksandravičienė, Asta; Zamokas, Gintaras; Babickaitė, Lina; Sabūnas, Vytautas; Petkevičius, Saulius

    2014-10-15

    Canine babesiosis caused by Babesia canis is an emerging infectious disease in Europe. Although previously uncommon, canine babesiosis has become quite frequent in Lithuania during the past decade. In the last few years an increasing number of cases with a wide variety of clinical signs have been recorded throughout the country. In Lithuania the identification of the disease agent in veterinarian clinics is based on a microscopic analysis of size and morphology. To date, no data on the genetic characterization of Babesia species in dogs have been documented for Lithuania. A total of 123 blood samples from dogs showing clinical signs of babesiosis on the basis of veterinary examination were tested for the presence of babesial parasites. Babesia isolated from dogs were detected and characterized by nested-PCR and sequence analysis of a fragment of the 18S rRNA gene. Babesia parasites were detected in blood smears of 94 dogs (76.4%). The molecular analysis revealed the presence of B. canis in 108 dogs (87.8%). Two genotypes of B. canis were distinguished on the basis on two nucleotide (GA → AG) substitutions observed in 18S rRNA gene sequences. The results of the present study provide knowledge of the distribution of B. canis genotypes in dogs in Lithuania, and show the necessity to use a molecular analysis for an accurate diagnosis of canine babesiosis. PMID:25257504

  16. Artificial biomembranes stabilized over spin coated hydrogel scaffolds. Crosslinking agent nature induces wrinkled or flat surfaces on the hydrogel.

    PubMed

    González-Henríquez, C M; Pizarro-Guerra, G C; Córdova-Alarcón, E N; Sarabia-Vallejos, M A; Terraza-Inostroza, C A

    2016-03-01

    Hydrogel films possess the ability of retain water and deliver it to a phospholipid bilayer mainly composed by DPPC (1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine); moisture of the medium favors the stability of an artificial biomembrane when it is subjected to repetitive heating cycles. This hypothesis is valid when the hydrogel film, used as scaffold, present a flat surface morphology and a high ability for water releasing. On the other hand, when the sample presents a wrinkle topography (periodic undulations), free lateral molecular movement of the bilayer becomes lower, disfavoring the occurrence of clear phases/phase transitions according to applied temperature. Hydrogel films were prepared using HEMA (hydroxyethylmetacrylate), different crosslinking agents and initiators. This reaction mixture was spread over hydrophilic silicon wafers using spin coating technique. Resultant films were then exposed to UV light favoring polymeric chain crosslinking and interactions between hydrogel and substrate; this process is also known to generate tensile stress mismatch between different hydrogel strata, producing out-of-plane net force that generate ordered undulations or collapsed crystals at surface level. DPPC bilayers were then placed over hydrogel using Langmuir-Blodgett technique. Surface morphology was detected in order to clarify the behavior of these films. Obtained data corroborate DPPC membrane stability making possible to detect phases/phase transitions by ellipsometric methods and Atomic Force Microscopy due to their high hydration level. This system is intended to be used as biosensor through the insertion of transmembrane proteins or peptides that detect minimal variations of some analyte in the environment; artificial biomembrane stability and behavior is fundamental for this purpose. PMID:26855412

  17. Melatonin, a potent agent in antioxidative defense: Actions as a natural food constituent, gastrointestinal factor, drug and prodrug

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger; Pandi-Perumal, SR

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, originally discovered as a hormone of the pineal gland, is also produced in other organs and represents, additionally, a normal food constituent found in yeast and plant material, which can influence the level in the circulation. Compared to the pineal, the gastrointestinal tract contains several hundred times more melatonin, which can be released into the blood in response to food intake and stimuli by nutrients, especially tryptophan. Apart from its use as a commercial food additive, supraphysiological doses have been applied in medical trials and pure preparations are well tolerated by patients. Owing to its amphiphilicity, melatonin can enter any body fluid, cell or cell compartment. Its properties as an antioxidant agent are based on several, highly diverse effects. Apart from direct radical scavenging, it plays a role in upregulation of antioxidant and downregulation of prooxidant enzymes, and damage by free radicals can be reduced by its antiexcitatory actions, and presumably by contributions to appropriate internal circadian phasing, and by its improvement of mitochondrial metabolism, in terms of avoiding electron leakage and enhancing complex I and complex IV activities. Melatonin was shown to potentiate effects of other antioxidants, such as ascorbate and Trolox. Under physiological conditions, direct radical scavenging may only contribute to a minor extent to overall radical detoxification, although melatonin can eliminate several of them in scavenger cascades and potentiates the efficacy of antioxidant vitamins. Melatonin oxidation seems rather important for the production of other biologically active metabolites such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK) and N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK), which have been shown to also dispose of protective properties. Thus, melatonin may be regarded as a prodrug, too. AMK interacts with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, conveys protection to mitochondria, inhibits and downregulates

  18. Stress dependent infection cost of the human malaria agent Plasmodium falciparum on its natural vector Anopheles coluzzii.

    PubMed

    Sangare, I; Dabire, R; Yameogo, B; Da, D F; Michalakis, Y; Cohuet, A

    2014-07-01

    Unraveling selective forces that shape vector-parasite interactions has critical implications for malaria control. However, it remains unclear whether Plasmodium infection induces a fitness cost to their natural mosquito vectors. Moreover, environmental conditions are known to affect infection outcome and may impact the effect of infection on mosquito fitness. We investigated in the laboratory the effects of exposition to and infection by field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum on fecundity and survival of a major vector in the field, Anopheles coluzzii under different conditions of access to sugar resources after blood feeding. The results evidenced fitness costs induced by exposition and infection. When sugar was available after blood meal, infected and exposed mosquitoes had either reduced or equal to survival to unexposed mosquitoes while fecundity was either increased or decreased depending on the blood donor. Under strong nutritional stress, survival was reduced for exposed and infected mosquitoes in all assays. We therefore provide here evidence of an environmental-dependant reduced survival in mosquitoes exposed to infection in a natural and one of the most important parasite-mosquito species associations for human malaria transmission. PMID:24747607

  19. Chestnut and lemon balm based ingredients as natural preserving agents of the nutritional profile in matured "Serra da Estrela" cheese.

    PubMed

    Carocho, Márcio; Barreira, João C M; Bento, Albino; Fernández-Ruiz, Virginia; Morales, Patricia; Ferreira, Isabel C F R

    2016-08-01

    Chestnut flowers, lemon balm plants and their decoctions were incorporated into "Serra da Estrela" cheese, to assess their potential to preserve its nutritional properties and provide new foodstuffs. The analyses were carried out after the normal ripening period of 1month and after 6months of storage. The most abundant nutrients were proteins and fats. The most abundant minerals were Ca and Na, while C16:0 and C18:1 were the main fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids were the most abundant, followed by the monounsaturated. Moisture seemed to be lower in the samples with the plants incorporated. The dried plants, when incorporated, seemed to be more efficient as preservers then the decoctions, although these better preserved the proteins. These plants can be regarded as promising natural preservers in foodstuffs cheese, given the preservation of key parameters and the slight impact on the nutritional value. PMID:26988492

  20. Removal of hardness agents, calcium and magnesium, by natural and alkaline modified pumice stones in single and binary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sepehr, Mohammad Noori; Zarrabi, Mansur; Kazemian, Hossein; Amrane, Abdeltif; Yaghmaian, Kamiar; Ghaffari, Hamid Reza

    2013-06-01

    Natural and alkaline modified pumice stones were used for the adsorption of water hardening cations, Ca2+ and Mg2+. The adsorbents were characterized using XRF, XRD, SEM and FTIR instrumental techniques. At equilibrium time and for 150 mg/L of a given cation, removal efficiencies were 83% and 94% for calcium and 48% and 73% for magnesium for raw and modified pumices, respectively. The optimal pH for raw and modified pumices were found to be 6.0, leading to the removal of 79 and 96% of calcium and 51 and 93% of magnesium by 10 g/L of raw and modified pumice adsorbents, respectively. Maximum adsorption capacities were 57.27 and 62.34 mg/g for Ca2+ and 44.53 and 56.11 mg/g for Mg2+ on the raw and modified pumices, respectively. Ca2+ and Mg2+ adsorption capacities of the pumice adsorbents decreased in the presence of competing cations. Less than 300 min were needed to achieve 99 and 92% desorption of the adsorbed Ca2+ and 100 and 89% of the adsorbed Mg2+ from the natural and modified pumices, respectively. After treating synthetic water solution simulating an actual water stream with the alkali-modified pumice, total hardness of the treated sample met the required standard for drinking water, namely below 300 mg/L of CaCO3 (297.5 mg/L). The studied pumice adsorbents, and especially the treated pumice, can be therefore considered as promising low cost adsorbents, suitable for the removal of hardness ions from drinking water.

  1. Effect of natural antibrowning agents on color and related enzymes in fresh-cut Fuji apples as an alternative to the use of ascorbic acid.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Graü, M A; Soliva-Fortuny, R; Niartín-Belloso, O

    2008-08-01

    Polyphenoloxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) were evaluated in fresh-cut Fuji apple slices and the effeet of the individual or combined use of ascorbic acid, 4-hexylresorcinol, N-acetylcysteine, and glutathione on their respective activities was determined. Additionally, color changes during storage at 4 degrees C were measured throughout 14 d of storage. PPO activity increased with storage time and was inhibited by the individual use of N-acetylcysteine and glutathione. POD activity in the apple slices was effectively inhibited by the combined use of ascorbic acid with any of the other antibrowning agents. On the other hand, an individual treatment with 1% N-acetylcysteine helped in maintaining the color of fresh-cut apples during 14 d of storage, whereas the use of ascorbic acid was not enough to prevent color deterioration of the apple slices from the 1st day of storage. The results obtained corroborated the effectiveness of other natural antibrowning agents over the traditional use of ascorbic acid in the control of the enzymatic browning in the fresh-cut fruit industry. PMID:19241570

  2. Harnessing the multifunctionality in nature: a bioactive agent release system with self-antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties.

    PubMed

    Özçelik, Hayriye; Vrana, Nihal Engin; Gudima, Alexandru; Riabov, Vladimir; Gratchev, Alexei; Haikel, Youssef; Metz-Boutigue, Marie-Hélène; Carradò, Adele; Faerber, Jacques; Roland, Thierry; Klüter, Harald; Kzhyshkowska, Julia; Schaaf, Pierre; Lavalle, Philippe

    2015-09-16

    Major problems with biomedical devices in particular implants located in nonsterile environments concern: (i) excessive immune response to the implant, (ii) development of bacterial biofilms, and (iii) yeast and fungi infections. An original multifunctional coating that addresses all these issues concomitantly is developed. A new exponentially growing polyelectrolyte multilayer film based on polyarginine (PAR) and hyaluronic acid (HA) is designed. The films have a strong inhibitory effect on the production of inflammatory cytokines released by human primary macrophage subpopulations. This could reduce potential chronic inflammatory reaction following implantation. Next, it is shown that PAR, due to its positive charges, has an antimicrobial activity in film format against Staphylococcus aureus for 24 h. In order to have a long-term antimicrobial activity, a precursor nanoscale silver coating is deposited on the surface before adding the PAR/HA films. Moreover, the PAR/HA films can be easily further functionalized by embedding antimicrobial peptides, like catestatin (CAT), a natural host defense peptide. This PAR/HA+CAT film proves to be effective as an antimicrobial coating against yeast and fungi and its cytocompatibility is also assessed. Finally, this all-in-one system constitutes an original strategy to limit inflammation and prevents bacteria, yeast, and fungi infections. PMID:26379222

  3. Exploring the use of natural antimicrobial agents and pulsed electric fields to control spoilage bacteria during a beer production process.

    PubMed

    Galvagno, M A; Gil, G R; Iannone, L J; Cerrutti, P

    2007-01-01

    Different natural antimicrobials affected viability of bacterial contaminants isolated at critical steps during a beer production process. In the presence of 1 mg/ml chitosan and 0.3 mg/ml hops, the viability of Escherichia coli in an all malt barley extract wort could be reduced to 0.7 and 0.1% respectively after 2 hour- incubation at 4 degrees C. The addition of 0.0002 mg/ml nisin, 0.1 mg/ml chitosan or 0.3 mg/ml hops, selectively inhibited growth of Pediococcus sp. in more than 10,000 times with respect to brewing yeast in a mixed culture. In the presence of 0.1 mg ml chitosan in beer, no viable cells of the thermoresistant strain Bacillus megaterium were detected. Nisin, chitosan and hops increased microbiological stability during storage of a local commercial beer inoculated with Lactobacillus plantarum or Pediococcus sp. isolated from wort. Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) (8 kV/cm, 3 pulses) application enhanced antibacterial activity of nisin and hops but not that of chitosan. The results herein obtained suggest that the use of these antimicrobial compounds in isolation or in combination with PEF would be effective to control bacterial contamination during beer production and storage. PMID:17987854

  4. A Collective Case Study of Secondary Students' Model-Based Inquiry on Natural Selection through Programming in an Agent-Based Modeling Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Lin

    This is a collective case study seeking to develop detailed descriptions of how programming an agent-based simulation influences a group of 8 th grade students' model-based inquiry (MBI) by examining students' agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) processes and the learning outcomes. The context of the present study was a biology unit on natural selection implemented in a charter school of a major California city during spring semester of 2009. Eight 8th grade students, two boys and six girls, participated in this study. All of them were low socioeconomic status (SES). English was a second language for all of them, but they had been identified as fluent English speakers at least a year before the study. None of them had learned either natural selection or programming before the study. The study spanned over 7 weeks and was comprised of two study phases. In phase one the subject students learned natural selection in science classroom and how to do programming in NetLogo, an ABPM tool, in a computer lab; in phase two, the subject students were asked to program a simulation of adaptation based on the natural selection model in NetLogo. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in this study. The data resources included (1) pre and post test questionnaire, (2) student in-class worksheet, (3) programming planning sheet, (4) code-conception matching sheet, (5) student NetLogo projects, (6) videotaped programming processes, (7) final interview, and (8) investigator's field notes. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were applied to analyze the gathered data. The findings suggested that students made progress on understanding adaptation phenomena and natural selection at the end of ABPM-supported MBI learning but the progress was limited. These students still held some misconceptions in their conceptual models, such as the idea that animals need to "learn" to adapt into the environment. Besides, their models of natural selection appeared to be

  5. Naturally occurring sulfonium-ion glucosidase inhibitors and their derivatives: a promising class of potential antidiabetic agents.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Sankar; Eskandari, Razieh; Pinto, B Mario

    2014-01-21

    against the intestinal glucosidases. Through structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, we have modified the natural compounds to derive more potent, nanomolar inhibitors of human MGAM and SI. This structural optimization also yielded the most potent inhibitors known to date for each subunit. Furthermore, we observed that some of our synthetic inhibitors selectively blocked the activity of some mucosal α-glucosidases. Those results led to our current working hypothesis that selective inhibitors can dampen the action of a fast digesting subunit or subunits which places the burden of digestion on slower digesting subunits. That strategy can control the rate of starch digestion and glucose release to the body. Decreasing the initial glucose spike after a carbohydrate-rich meal and extending postprandial blood glucose delivery to the body can be desirable for diabetics and patients with other metabolic syndrome-associated diseases. PMID:23964564

  6. Detection of Natural Resistance-Associated Substitutions by Ion Semiconductor Technology in HCV1b Positive, Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents-Naïve Patients.

    PubMed

    Marascio, Nadia; Pavia, Grazia; Strazzulla, Alessio; Dierckx, Tim; Cuypers, Lize; Vrancken, Bram; Barreca, Giorgio Settimo; Mirante, Teresa; Malanga, Donatella; Oliveira, Duarte Mendes; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke; Torti, Carlo; Liberto, Maria Carla; Focà, Alfredo; The Sinergie-Umg Study Group

    2016-01-01

    Naturally occurring resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) can negatively impact the response to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) agents-based therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Herein, we set out to characterize the RASs in the HCV1b genome from serum samples of DAA-naïve patients in the context of the SINERGIE (South Italian Network for Rational Guidelines and International Epidemiology, 2014) project. We deep-sequenced the NS3/4A protease region of the viral population using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine, and patient-specific majority rule consensus sequence summaries were constructed with a combination of freely available next generation sequencing data analysis software. We detected NS3/4A protease major and minor variants associated with resistance to boceprevir (V36L), telaprevir (V36L, I132V), simeprevir (V36L), and grazoprevir (V36L, V170I). Furthermore, we sequenced part of HCV NS5B polymerase using Sanger-sequencing and detected a natural RAS for dasabuvir (C316N). This mutation could be important for treatment strategies in cases of previous therapy failure. PMID:27618896

  7. An eudesman derivative from Verbesina persicifolia D.C. as a natural mild uncoupler in liver mitochondria. A new potential anti-obesity agent?

    PubMed

    Dalla Via, Lisa; García-Argáez, Aída N; Braga, Alessandra; Martínez-Vázquez, Mariano; Grancara, Silvia; Martinis, Pamela; Agostinelli, Enzo; Toninello, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    4β-cinnamoyloxy,1β,3α-dihydroxyeudesm-7,8-ene (CDE) extracted from Verbesina persicifolia induces bioenergetic collapse in rat liver mitochondria (RLM), monitored as a fall in the respiratory control index and ADP/O values. This fall in energy is accompanied by a protonophore effect and membrane potential (Δψ) collapse, demonstrating that CDE behaves as a typical uncoupling agent. However, when examining the effect of CDE in detail, we found that it acts as a "mild" uncoupler because it drops Δψ and increases respiratory state 4. The proposed mechanism is based on the interaction of CDE with membrane protein cytochrome C oxidase, which is implicated in proton permeability, and with the respiratory chain for the generation of reactive oxygen species which mediate and regulate the activity of the above membrane protein. Considering the energy collapse, "mild" uncoupling, and the fact that CDE is largely used in folk medicines, this extract may be viewed as a potentially effective anti-obesity drug and a natural lead compound for developing new natural uncouplers against obesity. PMID:23701541

  8. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using aqueous extracts of Heterotheca inuloides as reducing agent and natural fibers as templates: Agave lechuguilla and silk.

    PubMed

    Morales-Luckie, Raúl A; Lopezfuentes-Ruiz, Aldo Adrián; Olea-Mejía, Oscar F; Liliana, Argueta-Figueroa; Sanchez-Mendieta, Víctor; Brostow, Witold; Hinestroza, Juan P

    2016-12-01

    Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were synthesized using a one-pot green methodology with aqueous extract of Heterotheca inuloides as a reducing agent, and the support of natural fibers: Agave lechuguilla and silk. UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy XPS and transmission electron microscopy TEM were used to characterize the resulting bionanocomposite fibers. The average size of the Ag NPs was 16nm and they exhibited low polydispersity. XPS studies revealed the presence of only metallic Ag in the nanoparticles embedded in Agave. lechuguilla fibers. Significant antibacterial activities against gram-negative Escherichia coli and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus were determined. AgO as well as metallic Ag phases were detected when silk threads were used as a substrates hinting at the active role of substrate during the nucleation and growth of Ag NPs. These bionanocomposites have excellent mechanical properties in tension which in addition to the antibacterial properties indicate the potential use of these modified natural fibers in surgical and biomedical applications. PMID:27612732

  9. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index Agent Orange Agent Orange Home Facts about Herbicides Veterans' Diseases Birth Defects Benefits Exposure Locations Provider ... millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on trees and vegetation during the Vietnam War. ...

  10. Bryostatin-1, a Naturally Occurring Antineoplastic Agent, Acts as a Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR-4) Ligand and Induces Unique Cytokines and Chemokines in Dendritic Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Ariza, Maria Eugenia; Ramakrishnan, Rupal; Singh, Narendra P.; Chauhan, Ashok; Nagarkatti, Prakash S.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi

    2011-01-01

    Bryostatin-1 (Bryo-1), a natural macrocyclic lactone, is clinically used as an anti-cancer agent. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that Bryo-1 acts as a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand. Interestingly, activation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (in vitro with Bryo-1) led to a TLR4-dependent biphasic activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and the unique induction of cytokines (IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10) and chemokines, including RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted) and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP1-α). In addition, EMSA demonstrated that Bryo-1-mediated induction of RANTES was regulated by NF-κB and the interferon regulatory factors (IRF)-1, IRF-3, and IRF-7 to the RANTES independently of myeloid differentiation primary response gene-88 (MyD88). Bryo-1 was able to induce the transcriptional activation of IRF-3 through the TLR4/MD2-dependent pathway. In vivo administration of Bryo-1 triggered a TLR-4-dependent T helper cell 2 (Th2) cytokine response and expanded a subset of myeloid dendritic cells that expressed a CD11chighCD8α− CD11b+CD4+ phenotype. This study demonstrates that Bryo-1 can act as a TLR4 ligand and activate innate immunity. Moreover, the ability of Bryo-1 to trigger RANTES and MIP1-α suggests that Bryo-1 could potentially be used to prevent HIV-1 infection. Finally, induction of a Th2 response by Bryo-1 may help treat inflammatory diseases mediated by Th1 cells. Together, our studies have a major impact on the clinical use of Bryo-1 as an anti-cancer and immunopotentiating agent. PMID:21036898

  11. Electron beam induced water-soluble silk fibroin nanoparticles as a natural antioxidant and reducing agent for a green synthesis of gold nanocolloid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wongkrongsak, Soraya; Tangthong, Theeranan; Pasanphan, Wanvimol

    2016-01-01

    The research proposes a novel water-soluble silk fibroin nanoparticles (WSSF-NPs) created by electron beam irradiation. In this report, we demonstrate the effects of electron beam irradiation doses ranging from 1 to 30 kGy on the molecular weight (MW), nanostructure formation, antioxidant activity and reducing power of the WSSF-NPs. Electron beam-induced degradation of SF causing MW reduction from 250 to 37 kDa. Chemical characteristic functions of SF still remained after exposing to electron beam. The WSSF-NPs with the MW of 37 kDa exhibited spherical morphology with a nanoscaled size of 40 nm. Antioxidant activities and reducing powers were investigated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhryl free radical (DPPH•) scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays, respectively. The WSSF-NPs showed greater antioxidant activity and reducing power than non-irradiated SF. By increasing their antioxidant and reducing power efficiencies, WSSF-NPs potentially created gold nanocolloid. WSSF-NPs produced by electron beam irradiation would be a great merit for the uses as a natural antioxidant additive and a green reducing agent in biomedical, cosmetic and food applications.

  12. Biocomposites from Natural Rubber: Synergistic Effects of Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals as Both Reinforcing and Cross-Linking Agents via Free-Radical Thiol-ene Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Parambath Kanoth, Bipinbal; Claudino, Mauro; Johansson, Mats; Berglund, Lars A; Zhou, Qi

    2015-08-01

    Natural rubber/cellulose nanocrystals (NR/CNCs) form true biocomposites from renewable resources and are demonstrated to show significantly improved thermo-mechanical properties and reduced stress-softening. The nanocomposites were prepared from chemically functionalized CNCs bearing thiols. CNCs served as both reinforcing and cross-linking agents in the NR matrix, and the study was designed to prove the cross-linking function of modified CNCs. CNCs were prepared from cotton, and the cross-linkable mercapto-groups were introduced onto the surface of CNCs by esterification. Nanocomposite films were prepared by dispersing the modified CNCs (m-CNCs) in NR matrix by solution casting. The cross-links at the filler-matrix (m-CNCs-NR) interface were generated by photochemically initiated thiol-ene reactions as monitored by real-time FTIR analysis. The synergistic effects of reinforcement and chemical cross-linking at the m-CNCs-NR interface on structure, thermo-mechanical, and stress-softening behavior were investigated. Methods included field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), swelling tests, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile tests. Compared to biocomposites from NR with unmodified CNCs, the NR/m-CNCs nanocomposites showed 2.4-fold increase in tensile strength, 1.6-fold increase in strain-to-failure, and 2.9-fold increase in work-of-fracture at 10 wt % of m-CNCs in NR. PMID:26151647

  13. 18β-Glycyrrhetinic Acid, a Novel Naturally Derived Agent, Suppresses Prolactin Hyperactivity and Reduces Antipsychotic-Induced Hyperprolactinemia in In Vitro and In Vivo Models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Zhang, Yongfeng; Wang, Chunyue; Jia, Dongxu; Cai, Guangsheng; Lu, Jiahui; Wang, Di; Zhang, Zhang-Jin

    2016-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), a novel naturally derived agent, in suppressing prolactin (PRL) hyperactivity and reducing antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia (hyperPRL) and the underlying mechanisms in in vitro and in vivo models. GA treatment for 24 h inhibited PRL synthesis and secretion in MMQ cells and cultured pituitary cells in a dose-dependent fashion; but this effect was not reproduced in GH3 cells that lack the expression of functional dopamine D2 receptors. GA suppressed elevated PRL level and growth hormone, and normalized several sex hormones in a rat model of hyperPRL, produced by repeated injection of the dopamine blocker metoclopramide. GA also modulated the expression 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors in both in vivo and in vitro models. These results indicate that GA is effective in suppressing PRL hyperactivity caused by the blockade of dopamine D2 receptors. This suppressive effect of GA may be related to its modulation of the serotonergic system. This study provides additional evidence in support of GA as an adjunct for the treatment of hyperPRL. PMID:27161375

  14. A Collective Case Study of Secondary Students' Model-Based Inquiry on Natural Selection through Programming in an Agent-Based Modeling Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiang, Lin

    2011-01-01

    This is a collective case study seeking to develop detailed descriptions of how programming an agent-based simulation influences a group of 8th grade students' model-based inquiry (MBI) by examining students' agent-based programmable modeling (ABPM) processes and the learning outcomes. The context of the present study was a biology unit on…

  15. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA, 444 Ep-ank, and groESL heat shock operon genes in naturally occurring Ehrlichia equi and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent isolates from Northern California.

    PubMed

    Chae, J S; Foley, J E; Dumler, J S; Madigan, J E

    2000-04-01

    We examined 11 naturally occurring isolates of Ehrlichia equi in horses and two human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent isolates in California for sequence diversity in three genes. Ehrlichia equi isolates were from Sierra (n = 6), Mendocino (n = 3), Sonoma (n = 1), and Marin (n = 1) counties, and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent isolates were obtained from Humboldt county. PCR with specific primers for 16S rRNA, 444 Ep-ank and groESL heat shock operon genes successfully produced amplicons for all 13 clinical samples. The 444 Ep-ank gene of the HGE agent and E. equi isolates from northern California is different from the eastern U.S. isolates BDS and USG3. The translated amino acid sequence of the groESL heat shock operon gene fragment is identical among E. equi, the HGE agent, and E. phagocytophila, with the exception of the northern Californian equine CASOLJ isolate. Microheterogeneity was observed in the 16S rRNA gene sequences of HGE agent and E. equi isolates from northern California. These results suggest that E. equi and the HGE agent found in California are similar or identical but may differ from the isolates of equine and human origin found in the eastern United States. PMID:10747108

  16. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

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

  17. Delivering instilled hydrophobic drug to the bladder by a cationic nanoparticle and thermo-sensitive hydrogel composite system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Men, Ke; Liu, Wei; Li, Lin; Duan, Xingmei; Wang, Pan; Gou, Maling; Wei, Xiawei; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Bilan; Du, Yanan; Huang, Meijuan; Chen, Lijuan; Qian, Zhiyong; Wei, Yuquan

    2012-09-01

    Some bladder disease therapies can benefit from intravesical drug delivery, which involves direct instillation of drug into the bladder via a catheter, to attain high local concentrations of the drug with minimal systemic effects. Deguelin is a potential anticancer agent, however, its poor water solubility and neurotoxicity restrict its clinical application. To address these challenges, we investigated the promising application of deguelin in the intravesical therapy of bladder cancer by designing a novel intravesical drug delivery system for deguelin. It was found that deguelin could efficiently kill bladder cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis. Intravesically administrated deguelin had better tolerance than systemically applied deguelin. Encapsulation of deguelin in cationic DOTAP and monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) hybrid nanoparticles (DMP) created the deguelin loaded DMP nanoparticles (D/DMP). They had a mean particle size of 35 nm and zeta potential of 21 mV, rendering deguelin completely dispersible in aqueous media. Encapsulation of deguelin in cationic DMP nanoparticles enhanced the anticancer activity of deguelin in vitro. In addition, D/DMP nanoparticles were incorporated into a thermo-sensitive Pluronic F127 hydrogel, forming a novel D/DMP-F system, which remained in a flowing liquid state at lower than 25 °C, but underwent gelation at higher temperatures. The DMP nanoparticles in the F127 hydrogel system (DMP-F) could significantly extend the hydrophobic drug residence time and increase the drug concentration within the bladder. These results suggested that DMP-F was a good intravesical drug delivery system and D/DMP-F may have promising applications in intravesical therapy of bladder cancer.

  18. Saltwater spray as an agent of natural selection: no evidence of local adaptation within a coastal population of Triplasis purpurea (Poaceae).

    PubMed

    Cheplick, Gregory P; White, Timothy P

    2002-04-01

    An ability to tolerate airborne saltwater spray is critical for plant populations in coastal environments. The opportunity for continued microevolution for improved salt tolerance can exist if there is variation in the response of genetic families to saltwater spray. Our objective was to determine whether or not there was differentiation among subpopulations near (15 m) and far (80 m) from shore and among families within subpopulations in relation to the effects of salt spray on life history traits in a population of the dunegrass Triplasis purpurea. In this annual, most seeds are matured in cleistogamous spikelets on axillary, leaf-sheath enclosed panicles and show poor dispersal capacity. Plants were reared in the greenhouse from seeds of 13 and 11 families from the near and far subpopulations, respectively. Fifty percent of plants in a family were subjected to 6 seawater sprays/wk, resulting in weekly salt deposition of 213 μg/cm(2); the others were sprayed with distilled water. Data were recorded on life span, tiller numbers, root and shoot dry mass, and seed production. There was no effect of subpopulation on any measured trait and, hence, no evidence for local adaptation to salt spray. Final tiller numbers, but not dry mass or seed production, were reduced by salt spray. However, for most traits there were significant family (within subpopulation) effects, indicating genetic substructuring. Life span and mean seed mass showed a significant family by treatment interaction, indicating genetic variation in phenotypic responses to salt spray. Life span and mean seed mass were reduced by salt spray in some, but not all, families. Path analysis revealed that an increase in life span or tiller number indirectly increased seed production via direct effects on vegetative mass. For this relatively salt-tolerant T. purpurea population on the south shore of Staten Island, New York, USA, salt sprays may not be a significant agent of natural selection. However, there are

  19. Adsorption Study on Moringa Oleifera Seeds and Musa Cavendish as Natural Water Purification Agents for Removal of Lead, Nickel and Cadmium from Drinking Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aziz, N. A. A.; Jayasuriya, N.; Fan, L.

    2016-07-01

    The effectiveness of plant based materials Moringa oleifera (Moringa) seeds and Musa cavendish (banana peel) for removing heavy metals namely lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) from contaminated groundwater was studied. Tests were carried out with individual and combined biomass at neutral pH condition on synthetic groundwater samples. The optimum biomass doses were determined as 200 mg/L for single biomass and 400 mg/L (in the ratio of 200 mg/L: 200 mg/L) for combined biomasses and used for adsorption isotherm studies with contact time of 30 minutes. Results showed that combined biomasses was able to met the Pb, Ni and Cd WHO standards from higher Pb, Ni and Cd initial concentrations which were up to 40 µg/L, 50 µg/L 9 µg/L, respectively compared to individual biomass of Moringa seed and banana peel. Moringa seeds exhibited the highest removal of Pb (81%) while the combined biomasses was most effective in removing Ni (74%) and Cd (97%) over wider their initial concentration ranges. The experimental data were linearized with Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models. Freundlich model described the Pb adsorption better than the Langmuir model for all the tested biomasses. However, the Langmuir model fit better with the experimental data of Ni adsorption by Moringa seeds. Both models showed negligible differences in the coefficient of determination (R2) when applied for Ni and Cd adsorption on banana peel and combined biomasses, suggesting that there were multiple layers on the biomass interacting with the metals. Chemisorption is suggested to be involved in Pb adsorption for all tested biomasses as the value of nF calculated was lower than one. This type of adsorption could explain the phenomenon of different behavior of Pb removal and the higher Pb adsorption capacity (represented by KF values) compared to Ni and Cd. The study demonstrates that Moringa seeds, banana peel and their combination have the potential to be used as a natural alternative

  20. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome and... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flavoring agents. 58.629 Section 58.629 Agriculture.... Flavoring agents shall be one or more of those approved in § 58.605....

  1. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome and... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flavoring agents. 58.629 Section 58.629 Agriculture.... Flavoring agents shall be one or more of those approved in § 58.605....

  2. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome and... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flavoring agents. 58.629 Section 58.629 Agriculture.... Flavoring agents shall be one or more of those approved in § 58.605....

  3. Synthesis and in vitro evaluation of (R), (S) and (R/S)-2-hexyne-1,4-diol, a natural product produced by fungus Clitocybe catinus, and related analogs as potential anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Princival, Iza Mirela R G; Ferreira, Jeiely G; Silva, Teresinha G; Aguiar, Jaciana S; Princival, Jefferson L

    2016-06-15

    The search for natural products and related analogs as potential anticancer agents has seen a significant growth worldwide. Since small sized propargylic diols can be found in nature and chemically synthesized, their evaluation against cancer cells has been of great interest, being a topic of relevance to be investigated. For this purpose, a scalable approach aiming at the synthesis of several propargylic diols and their bioactivity against seven tumor cell lines were evaluated. Interestingly, when the compound 1a, a natural product produced by fungus Clitocybe catinus, was tested in its racemic mixture a more effective activity was observed if compared when enantiopure R-1a or S-1a were tested separately. PMID:27142752

  4. Toward a Theory-Based Natural Language Capability in Robots and Other Embodied Agents: Evaluating Hausser's SLIM Theory and Database Semantics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, Robin K.

    2010-01-01

    Computational natural language understanding and generation have been a goal of artificial intelligence since McCarthy, Minsky, Rochester and Shannon first proposed to spend the summer of 1956 studying this and related problems. Although statistical approaches dominate current natural language applications, two current research trends bring…

  5. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  6. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  7. Sunscreening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B.R.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents. PMID:23320122

  8. Incorporation of dithiooxamide as a complexing agent into cellulose for the removal and pre-concentration of Cu(II) and Cd(II) ions from natural water samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jorgetto, A. O.; Silva, R. I. V.; Longo, M. M.; Saeki, M. J.; Padilha, P. M.; Martines, M. A. U.; Rocha, B. P.; Castro, G. R.

    2013-01-01

    The present study describes the incorporation of a complexing agent, dithiooxamide, into microcrystalline cellulose for use in the pre-concentration of Cu(II) and Cd(II) ions from aqueous samples. The FTIR spectrum of the adsorbent exhibited an absorption band in the region of 800 cm-1, which confirmed the binding of the silylating agent to the matrix. Elemental analysis indicated the amount of 0.150 mmol g-1 of the complexing agent. The adsorption data were fit to the modified Langmuir equation, and the maximum amount of metal species extracted from the solution, Ns, was determined to be 0.058 and 0.072 mmol g-1 for Cu(II) and Cd(II), respectively. The covering fraction ϕ, which was 0.39 and 0.48 for Cu(II) and Cd(II), respectively, was used to estimate a 1:2 (metal:ligand) ratio in the formed complex, and a binding model was proposed based on this information. The adsorbent was applied in the pre-concentration of natural water samples and exhibited an enrichment factor of approximately 50-fold for the species studied, which enabled its use in the analysis of trace metals in aqueous samples. The system was validated by the analysis of certified standard (1643e), and the adsorbent was stable for more than 20 cycles, thus enabling its safe reutilization.

  9. Effects of prenatal infection on prepulse inhibition in the rat depend on the nature of the infectious agent and the stage of pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Fortier, Marie-Eve; Luheshi, Giamal N; Boksa, Patricia

    2007-08-01

    Maternal infection during pregnancy is a risk factor for some psychiatric illnesses of neurodevelopmental origin such as schizophrenia and autism. In experimental animals, behavioral and neuropathological outcomes relevant to schizophrenia have been observed in offspring of infected dams. However, the type of infectious agent used and gestational age at time of administration have varied. The objective of the present study was to compare the effects of prenatal challenge with different immune agents given at different time windows during gestation on behavioral outcomes in offspring. For this, pregnant rats were administered bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS), the viral mimic polyinosinic: polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), or turpentine, an inducer of local inflammation, at doses known to produce fever, at three different stages in pregnancy: embryonic day (E)10-11, E15-16 and E18-19. Prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (PPI) was later measured in male adult offspring. PPI was significantly decreased in offspring after prenatal LPS treatment at E15-16 and E18-19. Intramuscular injection of pregnant dams with turpentine at E15-16 also decreased PPI in adult offspring. Maternal poly I:C administration had no significant effect on PPI in offspring. In contrast to prenatal LPS exposure, acute LPS administration to naive adult males had no effect on PPI. Thus, prenatal exposure both to a systemic immunogen and to local inflammation at brief periods during later pregnancy produced lasting deficits in PPI in rat offspring. These findings support the idea that maternal infection during critical windows of pregnancy could contribute to sensorimotor gating deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:17553574

  10. Dual targets guided screening and isolation of Kukoamine B as a novel natural anti-sepsis agent from traditional Chinese herb Cortex lycii.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin; Zheng, Xinchuan; Long, Yupeng; Cao, Hongwei; Wang, Ning; Lu, Yongling; Zhao, Kecen; Zhou, Hong; Zheng, Jiang

    2011-01-01

    Treating sepsis remains challenging at present. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and bacterial DNA/CpG DNA are important pathogenic molecules and drug targets for sepsis. It is thus a promising strategy to treat sepsis by discovering agents that neutralize LPS and CpG DNA simultaneously. In this study, we present evidences of the biosensor based screening and isolation of active anti-sepsis fractions and monomers from traditional Chinese herbs using dual targets (LPS and CpG DNA) guided drug discovery strategy. Firstly, LPS or CpG DNA was immobilized on surfaces of cuvettes in the biosensor to establish a screening platform. Then, Cortex lycii with both highest affinities was selected out from one hundred and fourteen traditional Chinese herbs. In subsequent experiments, chromatography was utilized and coupled with the biosensor to purify fractions with a higher affinity for LPS and CpG DNA. In line with affinity assay, these fractions were shown to neutralize LPS and CpG DNA and inhibit their activity in vitro and in vivo. Lastly, the contributing monomer Kukoamine B (KB) was purified. KB neutralized LPS and CpG DNA in vitro. It inhibited TLR4, TLR9 and MyD88 mRNA expressions up-regulated by LPS and CpG DNA, and also attenuated the LPS and CpG DNA elicited nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 protein in RAW264.7 cells. It also protected mice from lethal challenge of heat-killed E. coli, a mixture of LPS and CpG DNA. In conclusion, we presented a dual target guided discovery of a novel anti-sepsis agent KB from traditional Chinese herbs via combination of biosensor technology and chromatography methods. PMID:21073991

  11. Antidiabetic Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy; Michael, Nancy, Ed.

    This module on antidiabetic agents is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who administer medications in long-term care facilities. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions, and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then…

  12. Antiparasitic agents.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, J E

    1999-11-01

    Several important developments have occurred in recent years in the chemotherapy for and prophylaxis of parasitic infections. Although mefloquine is clearly the most effective agent for prevention of chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria, its use has been compromised by side effects, both real and imagined. Well-designed studies have shown that side effects occur no more frequently with low-dose mefloquine than with chloroquine. Use of mefloquine in pregnant women has not been associated with birth defects, but the incidence of stillbirths may be increased. Malarone is a new agent that combines atovaquone and proguanil, and it may be as effective as mefloquine; however, it is not yet available in the United States. Several newer agents have appeared in response to the development of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum, especially in Southeast Asia. Halofantrine is available for the treatment of mild to moderate malaria due to P. falciparum and for P. vivax infections. Because of severe toxic effects, use of halofantrine should be restricted to only those unusual and rare situations in which other agents cannot be used. Artemisinin (an extract of the Chinese herbal remedy qinghaosu) and two derivatives, artesunate and artemether, are active against multidrug resistant P. falciparum and are widely used in Asia in oral, parenteral, and rectal forms. The antibacterial azithromycin in combination with atovaquone or quinine has now been reported to treat babesiosis effectively in experimental animals and in a few patients. Azithromycin in combination with paromomycin has also shown promise in the treatment of cryptosporidiosis (and toxoplasmosis when combined with pyrimethamine) in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Albendazole is currently the only systemic agent available for treatment of microsporidiosis, an infection primarily of patients with AIDS. In addition, albendazole and ivermectin have emerged as effective broad

  13. Agent-based modeling of complex infrastructures

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.

    2001-06-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructures and infrastructure interdependencies. The CAS model agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool (SMART) and Flexible Agent Simulation Toolkit (FAST) allow investigation of the electric power infrastructure, the natural gas infrastructure and their interdependencies.

  14. The use of Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. (Myrtaceae) oil (leaf extract) as a natural larvicidal agent against the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Senthil Nathan, Sengottayan

    2007-07-01

    Secondary metabolites obtained from the indigenous plants with proven mosquito control potential can be used as an alternative to synthetic insecticides under the integrated vector control. The essential oil extract from the forest redgum, Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. (Myrtaceae) was tested against mature and immature mosquito vector Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera) under laboratory condition. The extract showed strong larvicidal, pupicidal and adulticidal activity. The leaf oil extracts showed high bioactivity at high doses. Results obtained from the laboratory experiment showed that the leaf extracts suppressed the pupal and adult activity of Anopheles stephensi at higher doses. In general, first and second instar larvae were more susceptible to all treatments. Clear dose -response relationships were established with the highest dose of 160ppm plant extract evoking almost 100% mortality. The results obtained suggest that, in addition to their medicinal activities, E. tereticornis can also serve as a natural mosquitocide. PMID:16997545

  15. Antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Ryder, N S

    1999-12-01

    At this year's ICAAC Meeting, new data on approximately 20 different antifungal agents were presented, while no new agents were disclosed. Drugs in late development include the triazoles, voriconazole (Pfizer Ltd) and Sch-56592 (Schering-Plough Corp), and the echinocandins, caspofungin (Merck & Co Inc) and FK-463 (Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co Ltd). In contrast to previous years, presentations on these and earlier developmental compounds were relatively modest in scope, with few significant new data. Little new information appeared on the most recent novel class of agents, the sordarins (Glaxo Wellcome plc). Early clinical results were presented for FK-463, showing acceptable tolerability and dose-dependent efficacy in AIDS-associated esophageal candidiasis. A new liposomal formulation of nystatin (Nyotran; Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc) was shown to be equivalent to conventional amphotericin B in empiric therapy of presumed fungal infection in neutropenic patients, but with reduced toxicity. Intravenous itraconazole (Janssen Pharmaceutica NV) was an effective prophylactic therapy in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, while oral itraconazole was discussed as a treatment for fungal infection in heart and liver transplant patients. The allylamine compound, terbinafine (Novartis AG), showed good clinical efficacy against fungal mycetoma, a serious tropical infection. A major highlight was the first presentation of inhibitors of fungal efflux pumps as a strategy for overcoming resistance. MC-510027 (milbemycin alpha-9; Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc) and its derivatives, potentiated the antifungal activity of triazoles and terbinafine in a number of Candida spp. Another pump inhibitor, MC-005172 (Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc) showed in vivo potentiation of fluconazole in a mouse kidney infection model. Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc also presented inhibitors of bacterial efflux pumps. PMID:16113946

  16. KGB agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    A short story is reported in which the activity of Communist Party of the USSR and secret KGB agents, which were payed by the State, in view of controlling of the conscience of population. The story reffers to the Physics Department of the Moscow University, Planing Institute of the Gosplan of Moldavian S.S.R. and Chishinau Technical University (actually: Technical University of Moldova), where the author has worked during Soviet times. Almost every 6-th citizen in the USSR was engaged in this activity, while actually the former communists rule in the Republic of Moldova.

  17. Ethanol Extracts from Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Act as Natural Antioxidants and Antimicrobial Agents in Uncooked Pork Patties during Refrigerated Storage.

    PubMed

    Kang, Suk-Nam

    2016-01-01

    The antioxidant potential of mistletoe (Viscum album L. var. coloratum Ohwi; VAL) extract in uncooked pork patties was evaluated. Three concentrations of VAL extract (0.1 [T1], 0.5% [T2] and 1.0% [T3]) along with 0.02% ascorbic acid as a positive control (V) were added to ground pork and pork patties were prepared. Incorporation of VAL extract decreased (p<0.05) the pH of the pork patties throughout the storage time and reduced (p<0.01) the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance values after day 14 of storage. Total plate counts of the VAL extract-treated samples and V-treated samples were also significantly lower (p<0.01) than that of the control (C) throughout the storage period. In addition, odor scores of the VAL extract-treated patties were lower than those of the C- or V-treated samples on 3rd day of the storage period. These results demonstrated that the VAL extract acts as a natural antioxidant in uncooked pork products. PMID:26732334

  18. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    SciTech Connect

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs.

  19. Aqueous two-phase system cold-set gelation using natural and recombinant probiotic lactic acid bacteria as a gelling agent.

    PubMed

    Léonard, Lucie; Husson, Florence; Langella, Philippe; Châtel, Jean-Marc; Saurel, Rémi

    2016-05-01

    The present study aimed to entrap probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in a sodium alginate and sodium caseinate aqueous two-phase gel system. The natural acidifying properties of two therapeutic probiotic LAB were exploited to liberate calcium ions progressively from calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which caused the gelation of the co-existing phases. Bi-biopolymeric matrix gelation of GDL/CaCO3 or LAB/CaCO3 was monitored by dynamic rheological measurements, and the final gels were characterized by frequency dependence measurements and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Weak to strong gels were formed with an elastic modulus G' from 10 to 1.000Pa, respectively. After cold-set gelation of our system, confocal laser scanning microscopy showed spherical protein microdomains trapped within a calcium alginate network. LAB cells were stained to study their partition in the self-gelling matrices. Our LAB strains showed two different behaviors, which may relate to the exopolysaccharide production: (i) Lactobacillus plantarum CNRZ1997 cells were found mainly in continuous alginate networks, whereas (ii) Lactococcus lactis cells were localized in protein microdomains. This alginate-caseinate phase-separated system that was self-gelled by LAB cells may be an innovative approach for immobilizing and protecting LAB cells. PMID:26874119

  20. Exploration on natural product anibamine side chain modification toward development of novel CCR5 antagonists and potential anti-prostate cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guoyan G; Zaidi, Saheem A; Zhang, Feng; Singh, Shilpa; Raborg, Thomas J; Yuan, Yunyun; Zhang, Yan

    2015-09-01

    Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among males in the world. Prostate cancer cells have been shown to express upregulated chemokine receptor CCR5, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that relates to the inflammation process. Anibamine, a natural product containing a pyridine ring and two aliphatic side chains, was shown to carry a binding affinity of 1 μM at CCR5 as an antagonist with potential anti-cancer activity. However, it is not drug-like according to the Lipinski's rule of five mainly due to its two long aliphatic side chains. In our effort to improve its drug-like property, a series of anibamine derivatives were designed and synthesized by placement of aromatic side chains through an amide linkage to the pyridine ring. The newly synthesized compounds were tested for their CCR5 affinity and antagonism, and potential anti-proliferation activity against prostate cancer cell lines. Basal cytotoxicity was finally studied for compounds showing potent anti-proliferation activity. It was found that compounds with hydrophobic substitutions on the aromatic systems seemed to carry more promising CCR5 binding and prostate cancer cell proliferation inhibition activities. PMID:26096680

  1. Physicochemical, antimicrobial, and cytotoxic characteristics of a chitosan film cross-linked by a naturally occurring cross-linking agent, aglycone geniposidic acid.

    PubMed

    Mi, Fwu-Long; Huang, Chin-Tsung; Liang, Hsiang-Fa; Chen, Mei-Chin; Chiu, Ya-Ling; Chen, Chun-Hung; Sung, Hsing-Wen

    2006-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of a chitosan film cross-linked by a naturally occurring compound, aglycone geniposidic acid (aGSA). This newly developed aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film may be used as an edible film. The chitosan film without cross-linking (fresh) and the glutaraldehyde-cross-linked chitosan film were used as controls. The characteristics of test chitosan films evaluated were their degree of cross-linking, swelling ratio, mechanical properties, water vapor permeability, antimicrobial capability, cytotoxicity, and enzymatic degradability. It was found that cross-linking of chitosan films by aGSA (at a concentration up to 0.8 mM) significantly increased its ultimate tensile strength but reduced its strain at fracture and swelling ratio. There was no significant difference in the antimicrobial capability between the cross-linked chitosan films and their fresh counterpart. However, the aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film had a lower cytotoxicity, a slower degradation rate, and a relatively lower water vapor permeability as compared to the glutaraldehyde-cross-linked film. These results suggested that the aGSA-cross-linked chitosan film may be a promising material as an edible film. PMID:16637687

  2. Ethanol Extracts from Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Act as Natural Antioxidants and Antimicrobial Agents in Uncooked Pork Patties during Refrigerated Storage

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Suk-Nam

    2016-01-01

    The antioxidant potential of mistletoe (Viscum album L. var. coloratum Ohwi; VAL) extract in uncooked pork patties was evaluated. Three concentrations of VAL extract (0.1 [T1], 0.5% [T2] and 1.0% [T3]) along with 0.02% ascorbic acid as a positive control (V) were added to ground pork and pork patties were prepared. Incorporation of VAL extract decreased (p<0.05) the pH of the pork patties throughout the storage time and reduced (p<0.01) the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance values after day 14 of storage. Total plate counts of the VAL extract-treated samples and V-treated samples were also significantly lower (p<0.01) than that of the control (C) throughout the storage period. In addition, odor scores of the VAL extract-treated patties were lower than those of the C- or V-treated samples on 3rd day of the storage period. These results demonstrated that the VAL extract acts as a natural antioxidant in uncooked pork products. PMID:26732334

  3. Targeted NF1 cancer therapeutics with multiple modes of action: small molecule hormone-like agents resembling the natural anticancer metabolite, 2-methoxyoestradiol

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yu-chi; Upadhyayula, Ravi; Cevallos, Stephanie; Messick, Ryan J; Hsia, Tammy; Leese, Mathew P; Jewett, Douglas M; Ferrer-Torres, Daysha; Roth, Therese M; Dohle, Wolfgang; Potter, Barry V L; Barald, Kate F

    2015-01-01

    Background: Both the number and size of tumours in NF1 patients increase in response to the rise in steroid hormones seen at puberty and during pregnancy. The size of tumours decreases after delivery, suggesting that hormone-targeting therapy might provide a viable new NF1 treatment approach. Our earlier studies demonstrated that human NF1 tumour cell lines either went through apoptosis or ceased growth in the presence of 2-methoxyoestradiol (2ME2), a naturally occurring anticancer metabolite of 17-β estradiol. Previous reports of treatment with sulfamoylated steroidal and non-steroidal derivatives of 2ME2 showed promising reductions in tumour burden in hormone-responsive cancers other than NF1. Here we present the first studies indicating that 2ME2 derivatives could also provide an avenue for treating NF1, for which few treatment options are available. Methods: STX3451, (2-(3-Bromo-4,5-dimethoxybenzyl)-7-methoxy-6-sulfamoyloxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline), a non-steroidal sulphamate analogue of 2ME2, was tested in dose-dependent studies of malignant and benign NF1 human tumour cell lines and cell lines with variable controlled neurofibromin expression. The mechanisms of action of STX3451 were also analysed. Results: We found that STX3451-induced apoptosis in human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) cell lines, even in the presence of elevated oestrogen and progesterone. It inhibits both PI3 kinase and mTOR signalling pathways. It disrupts actin- and microtubule-based cytoskeletal structures in cell lines derived from human MPNSTs and in cells derived from benign plexiform neurofibromas. STX3451 selectively kills MPNST-derived cells, but also halts growth of other tumour-derived NF1 cell lines. Conclusion: STX3451 provides a new approach for inducing cell death and lowering tumour burden in NF1 and other hormone-responsive cancers with limited treatment options. PMID:26461061

  4. Cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases: Important roles in the metabolism of naturally occurring sulfur and selenium-containing compounds, xenobiotics and anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Arthur J. L.; Krasnikov, Boris F.; Niatsetskaya, Zoya V.; Pinto, John T.; Callery, Patrick S.; Villar, Maria T.; Artigues, Antonio; Bruschi, Sam A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-containing enzymes that catalyze β-elimination reactions with cysteine S-conjugates that possess a good leaving group in the β-position. The end products are aminoacrylate and a sulfur-containing fragment. The aminoacrylate tautomerizes and hydrolyzes to pyruvate and ammonia. The mammalian cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases thus far identified are enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism that catalyze β-lyase reactions as non-physiological side reactions. Most are aminotransferases. In some cases the lyase is inactivated by reaction products. The cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are of much interest to toxicologists because they play an important key role in the bioactivation (toxication) of halogenated alkenes, some of which are produced on an industrial scale and are environmental contaminants. The cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases have been reviewed in this journal previously [Cooper and Pinto, 2006]. Here we focus on more recent findings regarding: 1) the identification of enzymes associated with high-Mr cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of rat liver and kidney; 2) the mechanism of syncatalytic inactivation of rat liver mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase by the nephrotoxic β-lyase substrate S-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl)-L-cysteine (the cysteine S-conjugate of tetrafluoroethylene); 3) toxicant channeling of reactive fragments from the active site of mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase to susceptible proteins in the mitochondria; 4) the involvement of cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the metabolism/bioactivation of drugs and natural products; and 5) the role of cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases in the metabolism of selenocysteine Se-conjugates. This review emphasizes the fact that the cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases are biologically more important than hitherto appreciated. PMID:20306345

  5. Use of eugenol-lean clove extract as a flavoring agent and natural antioxidant in mayonnaise: product characterization and storage study.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Dipan; Bhattacharjee, Paramita

    2015-08-01

    Eugenol-lean fraction (98 % lower eugenol content than eugenol-rich fraction) having appreciable phytochemical properties was selectively isolated from clove buds (Syzygium aromaticum Linn) using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction at 40 °C and pressure of 25 MPa with static and dynamic time of 120 and 30 min respectively using ground clove powder which was previously subjected to steam distillation. The extract was used as a flavor ingredient (replacing mustard in classical formulation) and also as a source of natural antioxidant in formulating a new mayonnaise product to improve its nutraceutical value and shelf-life. This product was found to be comparable to the mustard formulated sample (experimental control) organoleptically. The sample did not have typical pungency of clove and had improved physical properties such as increased color tonality with higher chroma values, lower thermal and non-thermal creaming, homogenous and compact microstructure and higher consistency index vis-à-vis the control and standard market samples, even at the end of the storage period of 6 months. Mayonnaise formulated with eugenol-lean clove extract had significantly higher antioxidant activity (IC50 = 10.85 mg/mL), phenolic content (1.89 mg gallic acid equivalent/g mayonnaise) and reducing power (11.29 mg BHT equivalent/g mayonnaise) than mustard-formulated mayonnaise and the market sample. While, the antioxidant activity and phytochemical properties tend to decrease after 30 days for the reference market sample and after 90 days for the experimental control sample, the mayonnaise formulated with eugenol-lean clove extract was found to be stable beyond 6 months. PMID:26243914

  6. Polish Natural Bee Honeys Are Anti-Proliferative and Anti-Metastatic Agents in Human Glioblastoma multiforme U87MG Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Moskwa, Justyna; Borawska, Maria H.; Markiewicz-Zukowska, Renata; Puscion-Jakubik, Anna; Naliwajko, Sylwia K.; Socha, Katarzyna; Soroczynska, Jolanta

    2014-01-01

    Honey has been used as food and a traditional medicament since ancient times. However, recently many scientists have been concentrating on the anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and other properties of honey. In this study, we investigated for the first time an anticancer effect of different honeys from Poland on tumor cell line - glioblastoma multiforme U87MG. Anti-proliferative activity of honeys and its interferences with temozolomide were determined by a cytotoxicity test and DNA binding by [H3]-thymidine incorporation. A gelatin zymography was used to conduct an evaluation of metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) expression in U87MG treatment with honey samples. The honeys were previously tested qualitatively (diastase activity, total phenolic content, lead and cadmium content). The data demonstrated that the examined honeys have a potent anti-proliferative effect on U87MG cell line in a time- and dose-dependent manner, being effective at concentrations as low as 0.5% (multifloral light honey - viability 53% after 72 h of incubation). We observed that after 48 h, combining honey with temozolomide showed a significantly higher inhibitory effect than the samples of honey alone. We observed a strong inhibition of MMP-2 and MMP-9 for the tested honeys (from 20 to 56% and from 5 to 58% compared to control, respectively). Our results suggest that Polish honeys have an anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic effect on U87MG cell line. Therefore, natural bee honey can be considered as a promising adjuvant treatment for brain tumors. PMID:24594866

  7. Health care agents

    MedlinePlus

    Durable power of attorney for health care; Health care proxy; End-of-life - health care agent; Life support treatment - ... Respirator - health care agent; Ventilator - health care agent; Power of attorney - health care agent; POA - health care ...

  8. Agent Building Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    AgentBuilder is a software component developed under an SBIR contract between Reticular Systems, Inc., and Goddard Space Flight Center. AgentBuilder allows software developers without experience in intelligent agent technologies to easily build software applications using intelligent agents. Agents are components of software that will perform tasks automatically, with no intervention or command from a user. AgentBuilder reduces the time and cost of developing agent systems and provides a simple mechanism for implementing high-performance agent systems.

  9. Intelligent Agent Architectures: Reactive Planning Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenschein, Stanley J.; Kahn, Philip

    1993-01-01

    An Integrated Agent Architecture (IAA) is a framework or paradigm for constructing intelligent agents. Intelligent agents are collections of sensors, computers, and effectors that interact with their environments in real time in goal-directed ways. Because of the complexity involved in designing intelligent agents, it has been found useful to approach the construction of agents with some organizing principle, theory, or paradigm that gives shape to the agent's components and structures their relationships. Given the wide variety of approaches being taken in the field, the question naturally arises: Is there a way to compare and evaluate these approaches? The purpose of the present work is to develop common benchmark tasks and evaluation metrics to which intelligent agents, including complex robotic agents, constructed using various architectural approaches can be subjected.

  10. Plant extracts as natural amoebicidal agents.

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward; Thiem, Barbara

    2009-02-01

    Strains of Acanthamoeba sp. constitute a factor contributing to the occurrence of chronic granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, keratitis, pneumonia, as well as inflammations of other organs. Treatment of these diseases is very difficult and not always effective. A majority of these infections have been fatal. The aim of our study was to examine the amoebicidal or amoebistatic activity of plant extracts from Rubus chamaemorus, Pueraria lobata, Solidago virgaurea and Solidago graminifolia. For the purpose of isolation of pharmacologically active substances, we used the aboveground parts of plants, together with flowers, roots and leaves. It was established that extracts from S. virgauera, P. lobata and R. chamaemorus displayed chemotherapeutic properties in vitro in concentrations of approximately 0.01-0.05 mg extract/mL, i.e., in concentrations of 0.350 microg/mL expressed in ellagic acid for R. chamaemorus and 0.053 microg/mL expressed in puerarin for P. lobata. Therapeutic index values is 3.5-20. As a result of in vivo experiments, it was found out that, following therapy using the extracts, animals infected with Acanthamoeba sp. survived for an extended period (2.5-3 times longer). It was determined that plant extracts may be used both externally and internally in the case of a combined therapy for acanthamoebiasis. The tested extracts are not toxic for animals. PMID:19050923

  11. Actinopyga lecanora Hydrolysates as Natural Antibacterial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbari, Raheleh; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Abdul-Hamid, Azizah; Ismail, Amin; Saari, Nazamid

    2012-01-01

    Actinopyga lecanora, a type of sea cucumber commonly known as stone fish with relatively high protein content, was explored as raw material for bioactive peptides production. Six proteolytic enzymes, namely alcalase, papain, pepsin, trypsin, bromelain and flavourzyme were used to hydrolyze A. lecanora at different times and their respective degrees of hydrolysis (DH) were calculated. Subsequently, antibacterial activity of the A. lecanora hydrolysates, against some common pathogenic Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas sp.) were evaluated. Papain hydrolysis showed the highest DH value (89.44%), followed by alcalase hydrolysis (83.35%). Bromelain hydrolysate after one and seven hours of hydrolysis exhibited the highest antibacterial activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 51.85%, 30.07% and 30.45%, respectively compared to the other hydrolysates. Protein hydrolysate generated by papain after 8 h hydrolysis showed maximum antibacterial activity against S. aureus at 20.19%. The potent hydrolysates were further fractionated using RP-HPLC and antibacterial activity of the collected fractions from each hydrolysate were evaluated, wherein among them only three fractions from the bromelain hydrolysates exhibited inhibitory activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 24%, 25.5% and 27.1%, respectively and one fraction of papain hydrolysate showed antibacterial activity of 33.1% against S. aureus. The evaluation of the relationship between DH and antibacterial activities of papain and bromelain hydrolysates revealed a meaningful correlation of four and six order functions. PMID:23222684

  12. Superintendents: The Key Influence Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Randy

    1990-01-01

    By the nature of their positions in schools, administrators are either influence agents or targets. Based on personal interviews with 140 Oregon administrators and a survey of 319 administrators around the state, this article highlights administrators' comments about their administrative influence and about constraints on their influence.…

  13. Antagonistic formation motion of cooperative agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Wan-Ting; Dai, Ming-Xiang; Xue, Fang-Zheng

    2015-02-01

    This paper investigates a new formation motion problem of a class of first-order multi-agent systems with antagonistic interactions. A distributed formation control algorithm is proposed for each agent to realize the antagonistic formation motion. A sufficient condition is derived to ensure that all of the agents make an antagonistic formation motion in a distributed manner. It is shown that all of the agents can be spontaneously divided into several groups and that agents in the same group collaborate while agents in different groups compete. Finally, a numerical simulation is included to demonstrate our theoretical results. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61203080 and 61473051) and the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing City (Grant No. CSTC 2011BB0081).

  14. Preparing Change Agents for Change Agent Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlacek, James R.

    Seventy-seven Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking agricultural change agents from developing Central and South American countries responded to a questionnaire which sought perceptions of the roles in which the change agents felt they were involved and the roles for which they felt they were being trained. The agents were participating in training…

  15. Remote Agent Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorais, Gregory A.; Kurien, James; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    We describe the computer demonstration of the Remote Agent Experiment (RAX). The Remote Agent is a high-level, model-based, autonomous control agent being validated on the NASA Deep Space 1 spacecraft.

  16. Optical recognition of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  17. Tax Examiners, Revenue Agents, and Collectors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarron, Kevin M.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the nature of the work of tax examiners, revenue agents, and collectors. Includes employment outlook; benefits and drawbacks; qualifications, training, and advancement; and sources of additional information. (JOW)

  18. Collaborating with Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trujillo, Anna C.; Cross, Charles D.; Fan, Henry; Hempley, Lucas E.; Motter, Mark A.; Neilan, James H.; Qualls, Garry D.; Rothhaar, Paul M.; Tran, Loc D.; Allen, B. Danette

    2015-01-01

    With the anticipated increase of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) entering into the National Airspace System, it is highly likely that vehicle operators will be teaming with fleets of small autonomous vehicles. The small vehicles may consist of sUAS, which are 55 pounds or less that typically will y at altitudes 400 feet and below, and small ground vehicles typically operating in buildings or defined small campuses. Typically, the vehicle operators are not concerned with manual control of the vehicle; instead they are concerned with the overall mission. In order for this vision of high-level mission operators working with fleets of vehicles to come to fruition, many human factors related challenges must be investigated and solved. First, the interface between the human operator and the autonomous agent must be at a level that the operator needs and the agents can understand. This paper details the natural language human factors e orts that NASA Langley's Autonomy Incubator is focusing on. In particular these e orts focus on allowing the operator to interact with the system using speech and gestures rather than a mouse and keyboard. With this ability of the system to understand both speech and gestures, operators not familiar with the vehicle dynamics will be able to easily plan, initiate, and change missions using a language familiar to them rather than having to learn and converse in the vehicle's language. This will foster better teaming between the operator and the autonomous agent which will help lower workload, increase situation awareness, and improve performance of the system as a whole.

  19. Spacecraft sanitation agent development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of an effective sanitizing agent that is compatible with the spacecraft environment and the human occupant is discussed. Experimental results show that two sanitation agents must be used to satisfy mission requirements: one agent for personal hygiene and one for equipment maintenance. It was also recommended that a water rinse be used with the agents for best results, and that consideration be given to using the agents pressure packed or in aerosol formulations.

  20. Pyranone natural products as inspirations for catalytic reaction discovery and development.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Benjamin R; Scheidt, Karl A

    2015-04-21

    bifunctional hydrogen bonding/Brønstead base catalyst was ultimately found to enable this transformation in analogous manner to the biosynthesis via the enzyme chalcone isomerase. Employing thiourea catalysts derived from the pseudoenantiomeric quinine and quinidine, alkylidene β-ketoesters can be isomerized to 3-carboxy flavanones and decarboxylated in a single pot operation to stereodivergently provide highly enantioenriched flavanones in excellent yield. This method was applied to the synthesis of the abyssinone family of natural products, as well as the rotenoid, deguelin. An analogous method to isomerize chalcones was developed and applied to the synthesis of isosilybin A. In both of these related endeavors, the need for novel enabling methodologies toward the efficient creation of targeted molecular complexity drove the discovery, development and deployment of these stereoselective catalytic transformations. PMID:25742935

  1. An Agent-Based Data Mining System for Ontology Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadzic, Maja; Dillon, Darshan

    We have developed an evidence-based mental health ontological model that represents mental health in multiple dimensions. The ongoing addition of new mental health knowledge requires a continual update of the Mental Health Ontology. In this paper, we describe how the ontology evolution can be realized using a multi-agent system in combination with data mining algorithms. We use the TICSA methodology to design this multi-agent system which is composed of four different types of agents: Information agent, Data Warehouse agent, Data Mining agents and Ontology agent. We use UML 2.1 sequence diagrams to model the collaborative nature of the agents and a UML 2.1 composite structure diagram to model the structure of individual agents. The Mental Heath Ontology has the potential to underpin various mental health research experiments of a collaborative nature which are greatly needed in times of increasing mental distress and illness.

  2. An Immune Agent for Web-Based AI Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gong, Tao; Cai, Zixing

    2006-01-01

    To overcome weakness and faults of a web-based e-learning course such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), an immune agent was proposed, simulating a natural immune mechanism against a virus. The immune agent was built on the multi-dimension education agent model and immune algorithm. The web-based AI course was comprised of many files, such as HTML…

  3. Environmental mimics of chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Claborn, David M

    2004-12-01

    There are several natural and artificial factors that mimic the effects of chemical warfare agents, thereby causing unwarranted alarm and confusion on the battlefield. Symptoms associated with chemical warfare include paralysis, muscle tremors, heavy salivation, severe burns, blistering, and corrosive skin injuries among others. Similar symptoms can be produced from a variety of environmental sources, artificial and natural. This article reviews several published and unpublished examples of environmental factors that produce syndromes similar to those caused by these agents. Examples of such mimics include pesticides, blistering exudates from insects and plants, various types of bites, and naturally occurring diseases. The potential for confusion caused by these factors is discussed and means of discriminating between warfare agents and naturally occurring events are identified. Recommendations for the use of this information and for needed research are also discussed. PMID:15646185

  4. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Scarrow, Robert C.; White, David L.

    1987-01-01

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided.

  5. Mobile Agents Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martins, Rosane Maria; Chaves, Magali Ribeiro; Pirmez, Luci; Rust da Costa Carmo, Luiz Fernando

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of the need to filter and retrieval relevant information from the Internet focuses on the use of mobile agents, specific software components which are based on distributed artificial intelligence and integrated systems. Surveys agent technology and discusses the agent building package used to develop two applications using IBM's Aglet…

  6. Petri Nets as Modeling Tool for Emergent Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bergman, Marto

    2004-01-01

    Emergent agents, those agents whose local interactions can cause unexpected global results, require a method of modeling that is both dynamic and structured Petri Nets, a modeling tool developed for dynamic discrete event system of mainly functional agents, provide this, and have the benefit of being an established tool. We present here the details of the modeling method here and discuss how to implement its use for modeling agent-based systems. Petri Nets have been used extensively in the modeling of functional agents, those agents who have defined purposes and whose actions should result in a know outcome. However, emergent agents, those agents who have a defined structure but whose interaction causes outcomes that are unpredictable, have not yet found a modeling style that suits them. A problem with formally modeling emergent agents that any formal modeling style usually expects to show the results of a problem and the results of problems studied using emergent agents are not apparent from the initial construction. However, the study of emergent agents still requires a method to analyze the agents themselves, and have sensible conversation about the differences and similarities between types of emergent agents. We attempt to correct this problem by applying Petri Nets to the characterization of emergent agents. In doing so, the emergent properties of these agents can be highlighted, and conversation about the nature and compatibility of the differing methods of agent creation can begin.

  7. Standard Agent Framework 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4) Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.

  8. Fertility regulating agents from traditional Chinese medicines.

    PubMed

    Kong, Y C; Xie, J X; But, P P

    1986-01-01

    Chinese scientists have capitalized on the rich flora and the ethnomedical experience in China, in their pursuit of fertility regulating agents from natural products. Discoveries range from anti-implantation agents to abortifacient and pregnancy-terminating compounds, as well as a male contraceptive. Chemistry and bioactivity of these compounds and materials are reviewed in this paper, with the hope that further research and collaboration will take place to help solve the problem of population explosion. PMID:3520152

  9. Agent Architectures for Compliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgemeestre, Brigitte; Hulstijn, Joris; Tan, Yao-Hua

    A Normative Multi-Agent System consists of autonomous agents who must comply with social norms. Different kinds of norms make different assumptions about the cognitive architecture of the agents. For example, a principle-based norm assumes that agents can reflect upon the consequences of their actions; a rule-based formulation only assumes that agents can avoid violations. In this paper we present several cognitive agent architectures for self-monitoring and compliance. We show how different assumptions about the cognitive architecture lead to different information needs when assessing compliance. The approach is validated with a case study of horizontal monitoring, an approach to corporate tax auditing recently introduced by the Dutch Customs and Tax Authority.

  10. Chemical crowd control agents.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Ritesh G; Hussain, Syed Ather; Rameez, Mansoor Ali Merchant; Kharoshah, Magdy A; Madadin, Mohammed; Anwar, Naureen; Senthilkumaran, Subramanian

    2016-03-01

    Chemical crowd control agents are also referred to as riot control agents and are mainly used by civil authorities and government agencies to curtail civil disobedience gatherings or processions by large crowds. Common riot control agents used to disperse large numbers of individuals into smaller, less destructive, and more easily controllable numbers include chloroacetophenone, chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile, dibenzoxazepine, diphenylaminearsine, and oleoresin capsicum. In this paper, we discuss the emergency medical care needed by sufferers of acute chemical agent contamination and raise important issues concerning toxicology, safety and health. PMID:26658556

  11. Anticancer agents from marine sponges.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jianjun; Zhou, Feng; Al-Kareef, Ammar M Q; Wang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of anticancer active compounds found in the marine ecosystems. More than 5300 different known metabolites are from sponges and their associated microorganisms. To survive in the complicated marine environment, most of the sponge species have evolved chemical means to defend against predation. Such chemical adaptation produces many biologically active secondary metabolites including anticancer agents. This review highlights novel secondary metabolites in sponges which inhibited diverse cancer species in the recent 5 years. These natural products of marine sponges are categorized based on various chemical characteristics. PMID:25402340

  12. Fluorescent whitening agents in detergents.

    PubMed

    Eckhardt, C; von Rütte, R

    1975-01-01

    Washing is a form of textile care which is characterized by its repetitive nature. Washing methods vary enormously in different parts of the world. The main types of detergents and fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) are described. Washing slows down the deterioration in use of white goods, and yellowing is counteracted by FWAs. FWAs also enhance the freshness and brightness of most pale shades. Cost calculations show clearly the economic advantages of using FWAs in washing: the useful life of textiles can be prolonged considerably for a very small additional cost. PMID:1064549

  13. A user-system interface agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wakim, Nagi T.; Srivastava, Sadanand; Bousaidi, Mehdi; Goh, Gin-Hua

    1995-01-01

    Agent-based technologies answer to several challenges posed by additional information processing requirements in today's computing environments. In particular, (1) users desire interaction with computing devices in a mode which is similar to that used between people, (2) the efficiency and successful completion of information processing tasks often require a high-level of expertise in complex and multiple domains, (3) information processing tasks often require handling of large volumes of data and, therefore, continuous and endless processing activities. The concept of an agent is an attempt to address these new challenges by introducing information processing environments in which (1) users can communicate with a system in a natural way, (2) an agent is a specialist and a self-learner and, therefore, it qualifies to be trusted to perform tasks independent of the human user, and (3) an agent is an entity that is continuously active performing tasks that are either delegated to it or self-imposed. The work described in this paper focuses on the development of an interface agent for users of a complex information processing environment (IPE). This activity is part of an on-going effort to build a model for developing agent-based information systems. Such systems will be highly applicable to environments which require a high degree of automation, such as, flight control operations and/or processing of large volumes of data in complex domains, such as the EOSDIS environment and other multidisciplinary, scientific data systems. The concept of an agent as an information processing entity is fully described with emphasis on characteristics of special interest to the User-System Interface Agent (USIA). Issues such as agent 'existence' and 'qualification' are discussed in this paper. Based on a definition of an agent and its main characteristics, we propose an architecture for the development of interface agents for users of an IPE that is agent-oriented and whose resources

  14. Change Agent Survival Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  15. Travel Agent Course Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria.

    Written for college entry-level travel agent training courses, this course outline can also be used for inservice training programs offered by travel agencies. The outline provides information on the work of a travel agent and gives clear statements on what learners must be able to do by the end of their training. Material is divided into eight…

  16. Pediatric Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cohen-Wolkowiez, Michael; Moran, Cassandra; Benjamin, Daniel K.; Smith, P Brian

    2009-01-01

    Purpose of review In immunocompromised hosts, invasive fungal infections are common and fatal. In the past decade, the antifungal armamentarium against invasive mycoses has expanded greatly. The purpose of this report is to review the most recent literature addressing the use of antifungal agents in children. Recent findings Most studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of antifungal agents are limited to adults. However, important progress has been made in describing the pharmacokinetics and safety of newer antifungal agents in children, including the echinocandins. Summary Dosage guidelines for newer antifungal agents are currently based on adult and limited pediatric data. Because important developmental pharmacology changes occur throughout childhood impacting the pharmacokinetics of these agents, antifungal studies specifically designed for children are necessary. PMID:19741525

  17. How do agents represent?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Alex

    Representation is inherent to the concept of an agent, but its importance in complex systems has not yet been widely recognised. In this paper I introduce Peirce's theory of signs, which facilitates a definition of representation in general. In summary, representation means that for some agent, a model is used to stand in for another entity in a way that shapes the behaviour of the agent with respect to that entity. Representation in general is then related to the theories of representation that have developed within different disciplines. I compare theories of representation from metaphysics, military theory and systems theory. Additional complications arise in explaining the special case of mental representations, which is the focus of cognitive science. I consider the dominant theory of cognition — that the brain is a representational device — as well as the sceptical anti-representational response. Finally, I argue that representation distinguishes agents from non-representational objects: agents are objects capable of representation.

  18. Standard Agent Framework 1

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4)more » Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.« less

  19. Chemotherapy and Dietary Phytochemical Agents

    PubMed Central

    Sak, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    Chemotherapy has been used for cancer treatment already for almost 70 years by targeting the proliferation potential and metastasising ability of tumour cells. Despite the progress made in the development of potent chemotherapy drugs, their toxicity to normal tissues and adverse side effects in multiple organ systems as well as drug resistance have remained the major obstacles for the successful clinical use. Cytotoxic agents decrease considerably the quality of life of cancer patients manifesting as acute complaints and impacting the life of survivors also for years after the treatment. Toxicity often limits the usefulness of anticancer agents being also the reason why many patients discontinue the treatment. The nutritional approach may be the means of helping to raise cancer therapy to a new level of success as supplementing or supporting the body with natural phytochemicals cannot only reduce adverse side effects but improve also the effectiveness of chemotherapeutics. Various plant-derived compounds improve the efficiency of cytotoxic agents, decrease their resistance, lower and alleviate toxic side effects, reduce the risk of tumour lysis syndrome, and detoxify the body of chemotherapeutics. The personalised approach using various phytochemicals provides thus a new dimension to the standard cancer therapy for improving its outcome in a complex and complementary way. PMID:23320169

  20. Chelating agents and cadmium intoxication

    SciTech Connect

    Shinobu, L.A.

    1985-01-01

    A wide range of conventional chelating agents have been screened for (a) antidotal activity in acute cadmium poisoning and (b) ability to reduce aged liver and kidney deposits of cadmium. Chelating agents belonging to the dithiocarbamate class have been synthesized and tested in both the acute and chronic modes of cadmium intoxication. Several dithiocarbamates, not only provide antidotal rescue, but also substantially decrease the intracellular deposits of cadmium associated with chronic cadmium intoxication. Fractionating the cytosol from the livers and kidneys of control and treated animals by Sephadex G-25 gel filtration clearly demonstrates that the dithiocarbamates are reducing the level of metallothionein-bound cadmium. However, the results of cell culture (Ehrlich ascites) studies designed to investigate the removal of cadmium from metallothionein and subsequent transport of the resultant cadmium complex across the cell membrane were inconclusive. In other in vitro investigations, the interaction between isolated native Cd, Zn-metallothionein and several chelating agents was explored. Ultracentrifugation, equilibrium dialysis, and Sephadex G-25 gel filtration studies have been carried out in an attempt to determine the rate of removal of cadmium from metallothionein by these small molecules. Chemical shifts for the relevant cadmium-dithiocarbamate complexes have been determined using natural abundance Cd-NMR.

  1. Biological warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Biological agents database in the armed forces.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Chemopreventive agents targeting tumor microenvironment.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sharada H; Thulasingam, Senthilkumar; Nagarajan, Sangeetha

    2016-01-15

    Recent studies have shown that tumor development and progression depend not only on the perturbed genes that govern cell proliferation, but is also highly determined by the non-tumor cells of the stromal compartment surrounding the tumor called tumor microenvironment (TME). These findings highlight the importance of targeting the microenvironment in combination with therapies aimed at tumor cells as a valuable approach. The innate and adaptive immune cells in the TME interact among themselves and also with the endothelial cells, pericytes and mast cells of the stromal compartment through various autocrine and paracrine manner to regulate abnormal cell proliferation. Direct cytotoxic killing of cancer cells and/or reversion of the immunosuppressive TME are to be considered as better strategies for chemoprevention and chemotherapy. With a growing emphasis on a "hallmark targeting" strategy for cancer therapy, the TME now appears as a promising target for cancer prevention using natural products. Clarification on the nontumor stromal cells, the mediators involved, interactions with immune response cells, and immune-evasive mechanisms are needed in order to manipulate the characteristics of the TME by natural pharmacological agents to design effective therapies. This review will provide a glimpse on the roles played by various non-tumor cells in tumor progression and their intervention by pharmacological agents. PMID:26679106

  4. Dioxin, agent orange

    SciTech Connect

    Gough, M.

    1986-01-01

    This book presents information on the following topics: dioxin, a prevalent problem; nobody wanted dioxin; agent organe and Vietnam; what we know about and may learn about agent orange and Veterans' health; agent organe and birth defects; dioxin in Missouri; 2, 4, 5-T: the U.S.' disappearing herbicide; Seveso: high-level environmental exposure; the nitro explosion; industrial exposures to dioxin; company behavior in the face of dioxin exposures; dioxin and specific cancers; animal tests of dioxin toxicity; dioxin decions; the present and the future.

  5. The Respiratory Toxicity of Chemical Warefare Agents

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inhalation is one of the most important routes of exposure for chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and thus, the lung remains a critical target of injury. Depending on the mode of action by which the CWAs cause injury, the nature of injury, the location being impacted within the respi...

  6. Stabilized dialkyl aluminum complexes as alkylating agents

    SciTech Connect

    Blum, J.; Baidossi, W.; Rosenfeld, A.

    1995-12-31

    Although trialkylaluminum derivatives are widely used as Ziegler-Natta polymerization co-catalysts, their application as routine alkylating agents is limited owing to their pyrophoric nature. The authors have now found that substitution of one of the alkyl moieties by a chelating group reduces the sensitivity of the organoaluminum compounds to air, and enables one to utilize them under normal laboratory conditions.

  7. Agent oriented programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoham, Yoav

    1994-01-01

    The goal of our research is a methodology for creating robust software in distributed and dynamic environments. The approach taken is to endow software objects with explicit information about one another, to have them interact through a commitment mechanism, and to equip them with a speech-acty communication language. System-level applications include software interoperation and compositionality. A government application of specific interest is an infrastructure for coordination among multiple planners. Daily activity applications include personal software assistants, such as programmable email, scheduling, and new group agents. Research topics include definition of mental state of agents, design of agent languages as well as interpreters for those languages, and mechanisms for coordination within agent societies such as artificial social laws and conventions.

  8. Radioactive diagnostic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Shigematsu, A.; Aihara, M.; Matsuda, M.; Suzuki, A.; Tsuya, A.

    1984-02-07

    A radioactive diagnostic agent for renal cortex, adrenal cortex, myocardium, brain stem, spinal nerve, etc., which comprises as an essential component monoiodoacetic acid wherein the iodine atom is radioactive.

  9. Riot Control Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... your clothing, rapidly wash your entire body with soap and water, and get medical care as quickly ... agent from your skin with large amounts of soap and water. Washing with soap and water will ...

  10. Agent amplified communication

    SciTech Connect

    Kautz, H.; Selman, B.; Milewski, A.

    1996-12-31

    We propose an agent-based framework for assisting and simplifying person-to-person communication for information gathering tasks. As an example, we focus on locating experts for any specified topic. In our approach, the informal person-to-person networks that exist within an organization are used to {open_quotes}referral chain{close_quotes} requests for expertise. User-agents help automate this process. The agents generate referrals by analyzing records of e-mail communication patterns. Simulation results show that the higher responsiveness of an agent-based system can be effectively traded for the higher accuracy of a completely manual approach. Furthermore, preliminary experience with a group of users on a prototype system has shown that useful automatic referrals can be found in practice. Our experience with actual users has also shown that privacy concerns are central to the successful deployment of personal agents: an advanced agent-based system will therefore need to reason about issues involving trust and authority.

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

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 12 CFR 709.2 - NCUA Board as liquidating agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false NCUA Board as liquidating agent. 709.2 Section... INSURED CREDIT UNIONS IN LIQUIDATION § 709.2 NCUA Board as liquidating agent. (a) The Board, as... connection with any assets or property of any nature of the credit union. (b) The Board, as liquidating...

  13. Agent-Based Modeling of Growth Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Growth processes abound in nature, and are frequently the target of modeling exercises in the sciences. In this article we illustrate an agent-based approach to modeling, in the case of a single example from the social sciences: bullying.

  14. Anti-arthritic agents: progress and potential.

    PubMed

    Laev, Sergey S; Salakhutdinov, Nariman F

    2015-07-01

    Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. Cartilage breakdown is a key feature of both diseases which contributes to the pain and joint deformity experienced by patients. Therefore, anti-arthritis drugs are of great importance. The aim of this review is to present recent progress in studies of various agents against osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The structures and activities of anti-arthritic agents, which used in medical practice or are in development, are presented and discussed. The effects and mechanisms of action of opioids, glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, natural products derived from plants, nutraceuticals, and a number of new and perspective agents are considered. Various perspective targets for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are also discussed. Trials of good quality are needed to draw solid conclusions regarding efficacy of many of the studied agents. Unfortunately, to date, there is no pharmacologic agent proven to prevent the progression of both diseases, and there is an urgent need for further development of better anti-arthritic agents. PMID:26014481

  15. Intelligent agents for e-commerce applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuppala, Krishna

    1999-12-01

    This thesis focuses on development of intelligent agent solutions for e-commerce applications. E-Commerce has several complexities like: lack of information about the players, learning the nature of one's business partners/competitors, finding the right business partner to do business with, using the right strategy to get best profit out of the negotiations etc. The agent models developed can be used in any agent solution for e-commerce. Concepts and techniques from Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence are used. The developed models have several advantages over the existing ones as: the models assume the non-availability of information about other players in the market, the models of players get updated over the time as and when new information comes about the players, the negotiation model incorporates the patience levels of the players and expectations from other players in the market. Power industry has been chosen as the application area for the demonstration of the capabilities and usage of the developed agent models. Two e-commerce scenarios where sellers and buyers can go through the power exchanges to bid in auctions, or make bilateral deals outside of the exchange are addressed. In the first scenario agent helps market participants in coordinating strategies with other participants, bidding in auctions by analyzing and understanding the behavior of other participants. In the second scenario, called "Power Traders Assistant" agent helps power trader, who buys and sells power through bilateral negotiations, in negotiating deals with his customers.

  16. Agent independent task planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  17. Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent

    PubMed Central

    Erejuwa, Omotayo O.; Sulaiman, Siti A.; Wahab, Mohd S. Ab

    2012-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus remains a burden worldwide in spite of the availability of numerous antidiabetic drugs. Honey is a natural substance produced by bees from nectar. Several evidence-based health benefits have been ascribed to honey in the recent years. In this review article, we highlight findings which demonstrate the beneficial or potential effects of honey in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), on the gut microbiota, in the liver, in the pancreas and how these effects could improve glycemic control and metabolic derangements. In healthy subjects or patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus, various studies revealed that honey reduced blood glucose or was more tolerable than most common sugars or sweeteners. Pre-clinical studies provided more convincing evidence in support of honey as a potential antidiabetic agent than clinical studies did. The not-too-impressive clinical data could mainly be attributed to poor study designs or due to the fact that the clinical studies were preliminary. Based on the key constituents of honey, the possible mechanisms of action of antidiabetic effect of honey are proposed. The paper also highlights the potential impacts and future perspectives on the use of honey as an antidiabetic agent. It makes recommendations for further clinical studies on the potential antidiabetic effect of honey. This review provides insight on the potential use of honey, especially as a complementary agent, in the management of diabetes mellitus. Hence, it is very important to have well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trials that investigate the reproducibility (or otherwise) of these experimental data in diabetic human subjects. PMID:22811614

  18. Copper complexes as anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Marzano, Cristina; Pellei, Maura; Tisato, Francesco; Santini, Carlo

    2009-02-01

    Metal-based antitumor drugs play a relevant role in antiblastic chemotherapy. Cisplatin is regarded as one of the most effective drugs, even if severe toxicities and drug resistance phenomena limit its clinical use. Therefore, in recent years there has been a rapid expansion in research and development of novel metal-based anticancer drugs to improve clinical effectiveness, to reduce general toxicity and to broaden the spectrum of activity. The variety of metal ion functions in biology has stimulated the development of new metallodrugs other than Pt drugs with the aim to obtain compounds acting via alternative mechanisms of action. Among non-Pt compounds, copper complexes are potentially attractive as anticancer agents. Actually, since many years a lot of researches have actively investigated copper compounds based on the assumption proposal that endogenous metals may be less toxic. It has been established that the properties of copper-coordinated compounds are largely determined by the nature of ligands and donor atoms bound to the metal ion. In this review, the most remarkable achievements in the design and development of copper(I, II) complexes as antitumor agents are discussed. Special emphasis has been focused on the identification of structure-activity relationships for the different classes of copper(I,II) complexes. This work was motivated by the observation that no comprehensive surveys of copper complexes as anticancer agents were available in the literature. Moreover, up to now, despite the enormous efforts in synthesizing different classes of copper complexes, very few data concerning the molecular basis of the mechanisms underlying their antitumor activity are available. This overview, collecting the most significant strategies adopted in the last ten years to design promising anticancer copper(I,II) compounds, would be a help to the researchers working in this field. PMID:19199864

  19. Triazole: A Promising Antitubercular Agent.

    PubMed

    Keri, Rangappa S; Patil, Siddappa A; Budagumpi, Srinivasa; Nagaraja, Bhari Mallanna

    2015-10-01

    Tuberculosis is a contagious disease with comparatively high mortality worldwide. The statistics shows that around three million people throughout the world die annually from tuberculosis and there are around eight million new cases each year, of which developing countries showed major share. Therefore, the discovery and development of effective antituberculosis drugs with novel mechanism of action have become an insistent task for infectious diseases research programs. The literature reveals that, heterocyclic moieties have drawn attention of the chemists, pharmacologists, microbiologists, and other researchers owing to its indomitable biological potential as anti-infective agents. Among heterocyclic compounds, triazole (1,2,3-triazole/1,2,4-triazole) nucleus is one of the most important and well-known heterocycles, which is a common and integral feature of a variety of natural products and medicinal agents. Triazole core is considered as a privileged structure in medicinal chemistry and is widely used as 'parental' compounds to synthesize molecules with medical benefits, especially with infection-related activities. In the present review, we have collated published reports on this versatile core to provide an insight so that its complete therapeutic potential can be utilized for the treatment of tuberculosis. This review also explores triazole as a potential targeted core moiety against tuberculosis and various research ongoing worldwide. It is hoped that this review will be helpful for new thoughts in the quest for rational designs of more active and less toxic triazole-based antituberculosis drugs. PMID:25643871

  20. MpcAgent

    SciTech Connect

    Nutaro, James

    2013-11-29

    MpcAgent software is a module for the VolltronLite platform from PNNL that regulates the operation of rooftop air conditioning units in small to medium commercial buildings for the purpose of reducing peak power consumption. The MpcAgent accomplishes this by restricting the number of units that may operate simultaneously and using a model predictive control strategy to select which units to operate in each control period. The outcome of this control is effective control of the building air temperature at the user specified set point while avoiding expensive peak demand charges that result from running all HVAC units simultaneously.

  1. MpcAgent

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2013-11-29

    MpcAgent software is a module for the VolltronLite platform from PNNL that regulates the operation of rooftop air conditioning units in small to medium commercial buildings for the purpose of reducing peak power consumption. The MpcAgent accomplishes this by restricting the number of units that may operate simultaneously and using a model predictive control strategy to select which units to operate in each control period. The outcome of this control is effective control of themore » building air temperature at the user specified set point while avoiding expensive peak demand charges that result from running all HVAC units simultaneously.« less

  2. Gadofullerene MRI contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bolskar, Robert D

    2008-04-01

    A promising new class of MRI contrast-enhancing agents with high relaxivities is based on gadolinium-containing metallofullerenes, which are also termed gadofullerenes. Detailed study of the water-proton relaxivity properties and intermolecular nanoclustering behavior of gadofullerene derivatives has revealed valuable information about their relaxivity mechanisms and given a deeper understanding of this new class of paramagnetic contrast agent. Here, the latest findings on water-solubilized gadofullerene materials and how these findings relate to their future applications in MRI are reviewed and discussed. PMID:18373426

  3. Agent Persuasion Mechanism of Acquaintance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng

    Agent persuasion can improve negotiation efficiency in dynamic environment based on its initiative and autonomy, and etc., which is being affected much more by acquaintance. Classification of acquaintance on agent persuasion is illustrated, and the agent persuasion model of acquaintance is also illustrated. Then the concept of agent persuasion degree of acquaintance is given. Finally, relative interactive mechanism is elaborated.

  4. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent. 107.1620 Section 107.1620 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance...

  5. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent. 108.1620 Section 108.1620 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA...

  6. Clinical applications of quinone-containing alkylating agents.

    PubMed

    Begleiter, A

    2000-11-01

    Quinone-containing alkylating agents are a class of chemical agents that have received considerable interest as anticancer drugs. These agents contain a quinone moiety that can be reduced and an alkylating group that can form covalent bonds with a variety of cellular components. The oxidation state of the quinone element can modulate the activity of the alkylating element, and reduction of the quinone is required for activation of the alkylating activity of many of these agents. The quinone element may also contribute to the cytotoxic activity of quinone-containing alkylating agents through the formation of reactive oxygen species during redox cycling. The natural product, mitomycin C, has been the most widely used quinone-containing alkylating agent in the clinic, but other quinone-containing alkylating agents like porfiromycin, diaziquone, carbazilquinone, triaziquone and EO9 have also been used in the clinic for the treatment of cancer. In addition, many other quinone-containing alkylating agents have been tested in preclinical studies and the development of new agents is being actively pursued. This chapter describes the current and past clinical uses of these agents in the treatment of cancer and discusses new agents that are currently in clinical trials. PMID:11056078

  7. Learning Sequences of Actions in Collectives of Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turner, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian K.; Wolpert, David H.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we focus on the problem of designing a collective of autonomous agents that individually learn sequences of actions such that the resultant sequence of joint actions achieves a predetermined global objective. We are particularly interested in instances of this problem where centralized control is either impossible or impractical. For single agent systems in similar domains, machine learning methods (e.g., reinforcement learners) have been successfully used. However, applying such solutions directly to multi-agent systems often proves problematic, as agents may work at cross-purposes, or have difficulty in evaluating their contribution to achievement of the global objective, or both. Accordingly, the crucial design step in multiagent systems centers on determining the private objectives of each agent so that as the agents strive for those objectives, the system reaches a good global solution. In this work we consider a version of this problem involving multiple autonomous agents in a grid world. We use concepts from collective intelligence to design goals for the agents that are 'aligned' with the global goal, and are 'learnable' in that agents can readily see how their behavior affects their utility. We show that reinforcement learning agents using those goals outperform both 'natural' extensions of single agent algorithms and global reinforcement, learning solutions based on 'team games'.

  8. Towards an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana; Budimac, Zoran

    2012-09-01

    Scala and its multi-threaded model based on actors represent an excellent framework for developing purely reactive agents. This paper presents an early research on extending Scala with declarative programming constructs, which would result in a new agent-oriented programming language suitable for developing more advanced, BDI agent architectures. The main advantage the new language over many other existing solutions for programming BDI agents is a natural and straightforward integration of imperative and declarative programming constructs, fitted under a single development framework.

  9. Can Subscription Agents Survive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Marcia

    1985-01-01

    With the saturation of traditional markets for their services, subscription agents have evolved from orders and invoices to serving customers by communicating with librarians and publishers and making automated and paper products available. Magazine fulfillment centers, publisher discounts, and electronic publishing will influence the subscription…

  10. Remote Agent Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benard, Doug; Dorais, Gregory A.; Gamble, Ed; Kanefsky, Bob; Kurien, James; Millar, William; Muscettola, Nicola; Nayak, Pandu; Rouquette, Nicolas; Rajan, Kanna; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Remote Agent (RA) is a model-based, reusable artificial intelligence (At) software system that enables goal-based spacecraft commanding and robust fault recovery. RA was flight validated during an experiment on board of DS1 between May 17th and May 21th, 1999.

  11. E-Learning Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Dawn G.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized…

  12. Battlefield agent collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budulas, Peter P.; Young, Stuart H.; Emmerman, Philip J.

    2001-09-01

    Small air and ground physical agents (robots) will be ubiquitous on the battlefield of the 21st century, principally to lower the exposure to harm of our ground forces in urban and open terrain scenarios. Teams of small collaborating physical agents conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA), intelligence, chemical and biological agent detection, logistics, decoy, sentry; and communications relay will have advanced sensors, communications, and mobility characteristics. It is anticipated that there will be many levels of individual and team collaboration between the soldier and robot, robot to robot, and robot to mother ship. This paper presents applications and infrastructure components that illustrate each of these levels. As an example, consider the application where a team of twenty small robots must rapidly explore and define a building complex. Local interactions and decisions require peer to peer collaboration. Global direction and information fusion warrant a central team control provided by a mother ship. The mother ship must effectively deliver/retrieve, service, and control these robots as well as fuse the information gathered by these highly mobile robot teams. Any level of collaboration requires robust communications, specifically a mobile ad hoc network. The application of fixed ground sensors and mobile robots is also included in this paper. This paper discusses on going research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that supports the development of multi-robot collaboration. This research includes battlefield visualization, intelligent software agents, adaptive communications, sensor and information fusion, and multi-modal human computer interaction.

  13. Mobility control agent

    SciTech Connect

    Argabright, P.A.; Phillips, B.L.; Rhudy, J.S.

    1983-05-17

    Polymer mobility control agents useful in supplemental oil recovery processes, which give improved reciprocal relative mobilities, are prepared by initiating the polymerization of a monomer containing a vinyl group with a catalyst comprising a persulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate. The vinyl monomer is an acrylyl, a vinyl cyanide, a styryl and water soluble salts thereof.

  14. Induction of S-Phase Arrest in Human Glioma Cells by Selenocysteine, a Natural Selenium-Containing Agent Via Triggering Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated DNA Damage and Modulating MAPKs and AKT Pathways.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kun; Fu, Xiao-Ting; Li, Yuan; Hou, Ya-Jun; Yang, Ming-Feng; Sun, Jing-Yi; Yi, Shu-Ying; Fan, Cun-Dong; Fu, Xiao-Yan; Zhai, Jing; Sun, Bao-Liang

    2016-06-01

    Selenocysteine (SeC) a natural available selenoamino acid exhibits novel anticancer activities against human cancer cell lines. However, the growth inhibitory effect and mechanism of SeC in human glioma cells remain unclear. The present study reveals that SeC time- and dose-dependently inhibited U251 and U87 human glioma cells growth by induction of S-phase cell cycle arrest, followed by the marked decrease of cyclin A. SeC-induced S-phase arrest was achieved by inducing DNA damage through triggering generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and superoxide anion, with concomitant increase of TUNEL-positive cells and induction of p21waf1/Cip1 and p53. SeC treatment also caused the activation of p38MAPK, JNK and ERK, and inactivation of AKT. Four inhibitors of MAPKs and AKT pathways further confirmed their roles in SeC-induced S-phase arrest in human glioma cells. Our findings advance the understanding on the molecular mechanisms of SeC in human glioma management. PMID:26846141

  15. An Extension Dynamic Model Based on BDI Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Wang; Feng, Zhu; Hua, Geng; WangJing, Zhu

    this paper's researching is based on the model of BDI Agent. Firstly, This paper analyze the deficiencies of the traditional BDI Agent model, Then propose an extension dynamic model of BDI Agent based on the traditional ones. It can quickly achieve the internal interaction of the tradition model of BDI Agent, deal with complex issues under dynamic and open environment and achieve quick reaction of the model. The new model is a natural and reasonable model by verifying the origin of civilization using the model of monkeys to eat sweet potato based on the design of the extension dynamic model. It is verified to be feasible by comparing the extended dynamic BDI Agent model with the traditional BDI Agent Model uses the SWARM, it has important theoretical significance.

  16. Measure Landscape Diversity with Logical Scout Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, E.; Szabó, G.; Czinkóczky, A.

    2016-06-01

    The Common Agricultural Policy reform of the EU focuses on three long-term objectives: viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action with balanced territorial development. To achieve these goals, the EU farming and subsidizing policies (EEA, 2014) support landscape heterogeneity and diversity. Current paper introduces an agent-based method to calculate the potential of landscape diversity. The method tries to catch the nature of heterogeneity using logic and modelling as opposed to the traditional statistical reasoning. The outlined Random Walk Scouting algorithm registers the land cover crossings of the scout agents to a Monte Carlo integral. The potential is proportional with the composition and the configuration (spatial character) of the landscape. Based on the measured points a potential map is derived to give an objective and quantitative basis to the stakeholders (policy makers, farmers).

  17. Distributed Agents for Autonomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, Rick; Amigoni, Francesco; Brambilla, Andrea; de la Rosa Steinz, Sonia; Lavagna, Michele; le Duc, Ian; Page, Jonathan; Page, Oliver; Steel, Robin; Wijnands, Quirien

    2010-08-01

    The Distributed Agents for Autonomy (DAFA) Study has been performed for ESA by SciSys UK Ltd, Vega GmbH and Politecnico di Milano. An analysis of past, present and future space missions has been conducted, structured around a set of three pre-defined mission scenarios: Formation Flying, Earth Observation and Planetary Exploration. This analysis led to the definition of a framework of use cases where the application of distributed autonomy seems necessary or appropriate, and a set of metrics that may be used to assess such deployments. Agent technology and architectures were extensively surveyed and the results used to elaborate each of the mission scenarios to the point where a software prototype could be constructed. Such a prototype was developed for a scenario based on the ExoMars mission and this has been used to highlight the advantages of a DAFA approach to the mission architecture.

  18. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo›2.2.2! octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo›2.2.1! heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  19. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    2000-02-08

    Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  20. Surface polymerization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.; Wilkerson, C.

    1996-12-01

    This is the final report of a 1-year, Laboratory-Directed R&D project at LANL. A joint technical demonstration was proposed between US Army Missile Command (Redstone Arsenal) and LANL. Objective was to demonstrate that an unmanned vehicle or missile could be used as a platform to deliver a surface polymerization agent in such a manner as to obstruct the filters of an air-breathing mechanism, resulting in operational failure.

  1. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, M.P.; Mease, R.C.; Srivastava, S.C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo[2.2.2] octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1] heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  2. New and emerging antifungal agents: impact on respiratory infections.

    PubMed

    Feldmesser, Marta

    2003-01-01

    Fungal pathogens are increasingly important causes of respiratory disease, yet the number of antifungal agents available for clinical use is limited. Use of amphotericin B deoxycholate is hampered by severe toxicity. Triazole agents currently available have significant drug interactions; fluconazole has a limited spectrum of activity and itraconazole was, until recently, available only in oral formulations with limited bioavailability. The development of resistance to all three agents is increasingly being recognized and some filamentous fungi are resistant to the action of all of these agents. In the past few years, new antifungal agents and new formulations of existing agents have become available.The use of liposomal amphotericin B preparations is associated with reduced, but still substantial, rates of nephrotoxicity and infusion-related reactions. An intravenous formulation of itraconazole has been introduced, and several new triazole agents have been developed, with the view of identifying agents that have enhanced potency, broader spectra of action and improved pharmacodynamic properties. One of these, voriconazole, has completed large-scale clinical trials. In addition, caspofungin, the first of a new class of agents, the echinocandins, which inhibit cell wall glucan synthesis, was approved for use in the US in 2001 as salvage therapy for invasive aspergillosis. It is hoped that the availability of these agents will have a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of fungal respiratory infections. However, at the present time, our ability to assess their impact is limited by the problematic nature of conducting trials for antifungal therapy. PMID:14719990

  3. A STUDY OF NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGENTS' PERCEPTION OF THE ROLE OF FERTILIZER DEALERS IN EXTENSION PROGRAMMING.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WOODARD, BRUCE H.

    A QUESTIONNAIRE MAILED TO 98 AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA WITH PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IN AGRONOMY IN THEIR COUNTIES WAS USED TO COLLECT DATA ON THE AGENTS' PERCEPTION OF THE NATURE AND FREQUENCY OF PERFORMANCE BY DEALERS IN SOIL FERTILITY PROGRAMS, AGENTS' FEELINGS ABOUT DEALER PARTICIPATION, AND THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN AGENTS'…

  4. Perioperative allergy: uncommon agents.

    PubMed

    Caimmi, S; Caimmi, D; Cardinale, F; Indinnimeo, L; Crisafulli, G; Peroni, D G; Marseglia, G L

    2011-01-01

    Anesthesia may often be considered as a high-risk procedure and anaphylaxis remains a major cause of concern for anesthetists who routinely administer many potentially allergenic agents. Neuromuscular blocking agents, latex and antibiotics are the substances involved in most of the reported reactions. Besides these three agents, a wide variety of substances may cause an anaphylactic reaction during anesthesia. Basically all the administered drugs or substances may be potential causes of anaphylaxis. Among them, those reported the most in literature include hypnotics, opioids, local anesthetics, colloids, dye, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Iodinated Contrast Media (ICM), antiseptics, aprotinin, ethylene oxyde and formaldehyde, and protamine and heparins. No premedication can effectively prevent an allergic reaction and a systematic preoperative screening is not justified for all patients; nevertheless, an allergy specialist should evaluate those patients with a history of anesthesia-related allergy. Patients must be fully informed of investigation results, and advised to provide a detailed report prior to future anesthesia. PMID:22014927

  5. Liposome encapsulation of chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Rahman, Yueh Erh

    1976-01-13

    A method for transferring a chelating agent across a cellular membrane by encapsulating the charged chelating agent within liposomes and carrying the liposome-encapsulated chelating agent to the cellular membrane where the liposomes containing the chelating agent will be taken up by the cells, thereby transferring the chelating agent across the cellular membrane. A chelating agent can be introduced into the interior of a cell of a living organism wherein the liposomes will be decomposed, releasing the chelating agent to the interior of the cell. The released chelating agent will complex intracellularly deposited toxic heavy metals, permitting the more soluble metal complex to transfer across the cellular membrane from the cell and subsequently be removed from the living organism.

  6. Medicinal agents in the metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Baños, G; Pérez-Torres, I; El Hafidi, M

    2008-10-01

    The metabolic syndrome (MS) has become a worldwide health problem. It is difficult for patients to follow a diet/exercise regime that would improve their symptoms, therefore the investigation of agents that may deal with its more serious aspects is an important medical field for research. The cardiovascular consequences associated with the syndrome and some of the therapeutic approaches are discussed. The different agents can be divided into several groups: Inorganic/ organic: Zinc complexes with garlic components as insulino-mimetics; Selenium as antioxidant; Copper, Zinc and Manganese as microcomponents of antioxidant enzymes. Organic: Natural or Synthetic: Glycine is effective in lowering blood pressure, TBARS, intra-abdominal fat tissue and triglycerides in sucrose-fed rats. Pharmaceutical products: Fibrates, Lipid-lowering drugs. Antidiabetics. Anti-gout agents. On the other hand there are natural products such as those of animal origin: Sex hormones (also synthetic) used in the problems of menopause and hypoandrogenism frequently found in the MS, antioxidant Omega-3-oils (fish oils) or Vegetal: for example Digitalis pupurea, century-old cardiovascular medication as well as Magnolia officinalis; Spirulina maxima with beneficial effects as antioxidant and lipid-lowering agent, among others. Prickly Pear Cacti. (Opuntia Ficus- Indica Cochlospermum vitifolium (Willd.) Spreng) whose many properties against diabetes and hypercholesterolemia have been empirically known for many years. Perezone (from Perezia plants, a.k.a. Peonia) described as an antiplatelet aggregating agent. The mixed elements in the Mediterranean diet: Fish, salads (peppers, tomatoes), olive oil, garlic, red wine which combines fish oils, garlic and avocado as well as antioxidants from the rest of its components. PMID:18855636

  7. Agent Based Modeling Applications for Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, J. S.

    2004-12-01

    Agent-based modeling techniques have successfully been applied to systems in which complex behaviors or outcomes arise from varied interactions between individuals in the system. Each individual interacts with its environment, as well as with other individuals, by following a set of relatively simple rules. Traditionally this "bottom-up" modeling approach has been applied to problems in the fields of economics and sociology, but more recently has been introduced to various disciplines in the geosciences. This technique can help explain the origin of complex processes from a relatively simple set of rules, incorporate large and detailed datasets when they exist, and simulate the effects of extreme events on system-wide behavior. Some of the challenges associated with this modeling method include: significant computational requirements in order to keep track of thousands to millions of agents, methods and strategies of model validation are lacking, as is a formal methodology for evaluating model uncertainty. Challenges specific to the geosciences, include how to define agents that control water, contaminant fluxes, climate forcing and other physical processes and how to link these "geo-agents" into larger agent-based simulations that include social systems such as demographics economics and regulations. Effective management of limited natural resources (such as water, hydrocarbons, or land) requires an understanding of what factors influence the demand for these resources on a regional and temporal scale. Agent-based models can be used to simulate this demand across a variety of sectors under a range of conditions and determine effective and robust management policies and monitoring strategies. The recent focus on the role of biological processes in the geosciences is another example of an area that could benefit from agent-based applications. A typical approach to modeling the effect of biological processes in geologic media has been to represent these processes in

  8. Frequently asked questions: iodinated contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bettmann, Michael A

    2004-10-01

    Although iodinated contrast agents are safe and widely used, adverse events occur and questions remain about their use, safety, and interactions. Some questions are easily answered and others still require extensive investigation. For one frequent question--is informed consent necessary before all contrast media injections--the simple answer is no. Another question concerns use of contrast media in patients with prior reactions or allergies. Contrast agents can be safely used in such patients, but special care must be taken to be aware of what the previous reaction was and to be ready to treat any reaction. The protective role of pre-treatment with steroids is well established for minor reactions, but they may not prevent major reactions. It is important to realize that even life-threatening, anaphylactoid reactions are not the result of a true allergy to contrast media. Many questions arise about contrast agent-induced nephropathy. Baseline serum creatinine values should be obtained in patients who are at risk, not all patients. The incidence and natural history of contrast agent-induced nephropathy remain unclear. It occurs only in patients with compromised renal function before contrast agent injection, but even patients with normal serum creatinine levels can have renal dysfunction. Calculated creatinine clearance is a better way to determine risk and to follow this complication. The outcome in almost all patients is benign, with progression to end-stage renal disease being rare. The major risk factors, in addition to renal dysfunction, are long-standing diabetes mellitus, dehydration, and use of other nephrotoxic medications. Recent work in preventing and ameliorating contrast agent-induced nephropathy with N-acetyl cysteine, substitution of an isosmolal nonionic contrast agent, and various hydration regimens has been promising. Another common concern is use of iodinated contrast agents in pregnant or breast-feeding women. In both cases, there is no evidence

  9. Hydroxypyridonate and hydroxypyrimidinone chelating agents

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Doble, Daniel M.; Sunderland, Christopher J.; Thompson, Marlon

    2005-01-25

    The present invention provides hydroxypyridinone and hydroxypyrimidone chelating agents. Also provides are Gd(III) complexes of these agents, which are useful as contrast enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging. The invention also provides methods of preparing the compounds of the invention, as well as methods of using the compounds in magnetic resonance imaging applications.

  10. Religion is natural.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Despite its considerable intellectual interest and great social relevance, religion has been neglected by contemporary developmental psychologists. But in the last few years, there has been an emerging body of research exploring children's grasp of certain universal religious ideas. Some recent findings suggest that two foundational aspects of religious belief - belief in mind-body dualism, and belief in divine agents -- come naturally to young children. This research is briefly reviewed, and some future directions are discussed. PMID:17181713

  11. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, K; Raza, S K; Vijayaraghavan, R

    2010-07-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  12. Pharmacologic agents targeting autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Vakifahmetoglu-Norberg, Helin; Xia, Hong-guang; Yuan, Junying

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an important intracellular catabolic mechanism critically involved in regulating tissue homeostasis. The implication of autophagy in human diseases and the need to understand its regulatory mechanisms in mammalian cells have stimulated research efforts that led to the development of high-throughput screening protocols and small-molecule modulators that can activate or inhibit autophagy. Herein we review the current landscape in the development of screening technology as well as the molecules and pharmacologic agents targeting the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy. We also evaluate the potential therapeutic application of these compounds in different human pathologies. PMID:25654545

  13. Chemical warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Ganesan, K.; Raza, S. K.; Vijayaraghavan, R.

    2010-01-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  14. Cleaning agents and asthma.

    PubMed

    Quirce, S; Barranco, P

    2010-01-01

    Although cleaners represent a significant part of the working population worldwide, they remain a relatively understudied occupational group. Epidemiological studies have shown an association between cleaning work and asthma, but the risk factors are uncertain. Cleaning workers are exposed to a large variety of cleaning products containing both irritants and sensitizers, as well as to common indoor allergens and pollutants. Thus, the onset or aggravation of asthma in this group could be related to an irritant-induced mechanism or to specific sensitization. The main sensitizers contained in cleaning products are disinfectants, quaternary ammonium compounds (such as benzalkonium chloride), amine compounds, and fragrances.The strongest airway irritants in cleaning products are bleach (sodium hypochlorite), hydrochloric acid, and alkaline agents (ammonia and sodium hydroxide), which are commonly mixed together. Exposure to the ingredients of cleaning products may give rise to both new-onset asthma, with or without a latency period, and work-exacerbated asthma. High-level exposure to irritants may induce reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. Cleaning workers may also have a greater relative risk of developing asthma due to prolonged low-to-moderate exposure to respiratory irritants. In addition, asthma-like symptoms without confirmed asthma are also common after exposure to cleaning agents. In many cleaners, airway symptoms induced by chemicals and odors cannot be explained by allergic or asthmatic reactions. These patients may have increased sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin, which is known to reflect sensory reactivity, and this condition is termed airway sensory hyperreactivity. PMID:21313993

  15. [New agents for hypercholesterolemia].

    PubMed

    Pintó, Xavier; García Gómez, María Carmen

    2016-02-19

    An elevated proportion of high cardiovascular risk patients do not achieve the therapeutic c-LDL goals. This owes to physicians' inappropriate or insufficient use of cholesterol lowering medications or to patients' bad tolerance or therapeutic compliance. Another cause is an insufficient efficacy of current cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and ezetimibe. In addition, proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering medications showing safety and high efficacy to reduce c-LDL in numerous already performed or underway clinical trials, potentially allowing an optimal control of hypercholesterolemia in most patients. Agents inhibiting apolipoprotein B synthesis and microsomal transfer protein are also providing a new potential to decrease cholesterol in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and in particular in homozygote familial hypercholesterolemia. Last, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have shown powerful effects on c-HDL and c-LDL, although their efficacy in cardiovascular prevention and safety has not been demonstrated yet. We provide in this article an overview of the main characteristics of therapeutic agents for hypercholesterolemia, which have been recently approved or in an advanced research stage. PMID:25817449

  16. Holograms as Teaching Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robin A.

    2013-02-01

    Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1947 introduction of basic holographic principles, but it was not until the invention of the laser in 1960 that research scientists, physicians, technologists and the general public began to seriously consider the interdisciplinary potentiality of holography. Questions around whether and when Three-Dimensional (3-D) images and systems would impact American entertainment and the arts would be answered before educators, instructional designers and students would discover how much Three-Dimensional Hologram Technology (3DHT) would affect teaching practices and learning environments. In the following International Symposium on Display Holograms (ISDH) poster presentation, the author features a traditional board game as well as a reflection hologram to illustrate conventional and evolving Three-Dimensional representations and technology for education. Using elements from the American children's toy Operation® (Hasbro, 2005) as well as a reflection hologram of a human brain (Ko, 1998), this poster design highlights the pedagogical effects of 3-D images, games and systems on learning science. As teaching agents, holograms can be considered substitutes for real objects, (human beings, organs, and animated characters) as well as agents (pedagogical, avatars, reflective) in various learning environments using many systems (direct, emergent, augmented reality) and electronic tools (cellphones, computers, tablets, television). In order to understand the particular importance of utilizing holography in school, clinical and public settings, the author identifies advantages and benefits of using 3-D images and technology as instructional tools.

  17. MASDynamics: Toward Systemic Modeling of Decentralized Agent Coordination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudeikat, Jan; Renz, Wolfgang

    Enabling distributed software systems to purposefully self-organize, i.e. to adapt to dynamically changing execution contexts by the collective adjustment of individual components, challenges current development practices. Since the dynamics of self-organizing systems arise from agent coaction, developers cannot directly infer the macroscopic system behavior from established agent design models. This paper plays a part in an ongoing research effort that addresses the provision of self-organizing processes as design elements, i.e. reusable patterns of agent interrelations. We propose a systemic modeling approach and support the application independent description of (inter-) agent coordination patterns by a domain specific language that allows to map interrelations of agent activity to detailed agent design models. This facilitates the separation of decentralized coordination strategies from domain specific agent implementations and enables development teams to treat nature-inspired coordination strategies, which steer self-organizing dynamics, as design concepts. In addition, we show how this modeling conception provides a declarative programming approach by the automated supplementation of conventional developed agent models with non-linear, inter-agent coordination mechanisms.

  18. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition.

    PubMed

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum 'What is a social agent?' PMID:27069052

  19. Time-Extended Payoffs for Collectives of Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian K.

    2002-01-01

    A collective is a set of self-interested agents which try to maximize their own utilities, along with a a well-defined, time-extended world utility function which rates the performance of the entire system. In this paper, we use theory of collectives to design time-extended payoff utilities for agents that are both aligned with the world utility, and are "learnable", i.e., the agents can readily see how their behavior affects their utility. We show that in systems where each agent aims to optimize such payoff functions, coordination arises as a byproduct of the agents selfishly pursuing their own goals. A game theoretic analysis shows that such payoff functions have the net effect of aligning the Nash equilibrium, Pareto optimal solution and world utility optimum, thus eliminating undesirable behavior such as agents working at cross-purposes. We then apply collective-based payoff functions to the token collection in a gridworld problem where agents need to optimize the aggregate value of tokens collected across an episode of finite duration (i.e., an abstracted version of rovers on Mars collecting scientifically interesting rock samples, subject to power limitations). We show that, regardless of the initial token distribution, reinforcement learning agents using collective-based payoff functions significantly outperform both natural extensions of single agent algorithms and global reinforcement learning solutions based on "team games".

  20. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition

    PubMed Central

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum ‘What is a social agent?’ PMID:27069052

  1. Learning models of intelligent agents

    SciTech Connect

    Carmel, D.; Markovitch, S.

    1996-12-31

    Agents that operate in a multi-agent system need an efficient strategy to handle their encounters with other agents involved. Searching for an optimal interactive strategy is a hard problem because it depends mostly on the behavior of the others. In this work, interaction among agents is represented as a repeated two-player game, where the agents` objective is to look for a strategy that maximizes their expected sum of rewards in the game. We assume that agents` strategies can be modeled as finite automata. A model-based approach is presented as a possible method for learning an effective interactive strategy. First, we describe how an agent should find an optimal strategy against a given model. Second, we present an unsupervised algorithm that infers a model of the opponent`s automaton from its input/output behavior. A set of experiments that show the potential merit of the algorithm is reported as well.

  2. Flexible, secure agent development framework

    DOEpatents

    Goldsmith; Steven Y.

    2009-04-07

    While an agent generator is generating an intelligent agent, it can also evaluate the data processing platform on which it is executing, in order to assess a risk factor associated with operation of the agent generator on the data processing platform. The agent generator can retrieve from a location external to the data processing platform an open site that is configurable by the user, and load the open site into an agent substrate, thereby creating a development agent with code development capabilities. While an intelligent agent is executing a functional program on a data processing platform, it can also evaluate the data processing platform to assess a risk factor associated with performing the data processing function on the data processing platform.

  3. Chemical Warfare Agent Degradation and Decontamination

    SciTech Connect

    Talmage, Sylvia Smith; Watson, Annetta Paule; Hauschild, Veronique; Munro, Nancy B; King, J.

    2007-02-01

    The decontamination of chemical warfare agents (CWA) from structures, environmental media, and even personnel has become an area of particular interest in recent years due to increased homeland security concerns. In addition to terrorist attacks, scenarios such as accidental releases of CWA from U.S. stockpile sites or from historic, buried munitions are also subjects for response planning. To facilitate rapid identification of practical and effective decontamination approaches, this paper reviews pathways of CWA degradation by natural means as well as those resulting from deliberately applied solutions and technologies; these pathways and technologies are compared and contrasted. We then review various technologies, both traditional and recent, with some emphasis on decontamination materials used for surfaces that are difficult to clean. Discussion is limited to the major threat CWA, namely sulfur mustard (HD, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide), VX (O-ethyl S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothioate), and the G-series nerve agents. The principal G-agents are GA (tabun, ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate), GB (sarin, isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate), and GD (soman, pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate). The chemical decontamination pathways of each agent are outlined, with some discussion of intermediate and final degradation product toxicity. In all cases, and regardless of the CWA degradation pathway chosen for decontamination, it will be necessary to collect and analyze pertinent environmental samples during the treatment phase to confirm attainment of clearance levels.

  4. Radioprotective Agents: Strategies and Translational Advances.

    PubMed

    Kamran, Mohammad Zahid; Ranjan, Atul; Kaur, Navrinder; Sur, Souvik; Tandon, Vibha

    2016-04-01

    Radioprotectors are agents required to protect biological system exposed to radiation, either naturally or through radiation leakage, and they protect normal cells from radiation injury in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. It is imperative to study radioprotectors and their mechanism of action comprehensively, looking at their potential therapeutic applications. This review intimately chronicles the rich intellectual, pharmacological story of natural and synthetic radioprotectors. A continuous effort is going on by researchers to develop clinically promising radioprotective agents. In this article, for the first time we have discussed the impact of radioprotectors on different signaling pathways in cells, which will create a basis for scientific community working in this area to develop novel molecules with better therapeutic efficacy. The bright future of exceptionally noncytotoxic derivatives of bisbenzimidazoles is also described as radiomodulators. Amifostine, an effective radioprotectant, has been approved by the FDA for limited clinical use. However, due to its adverse side effects, it is not routinely used clinically. Recently, CBLB502 and several analog of a peptide are under clinical trial and showed high success against radiotherapy in cancer. This article reviews the different types of radioprotective agents with emphasis on the strategies for the development of novel radioprotectors for drug development. In addition, direction for future strategies relevant to the development of radioprotectors is also addressed. PMID:26807693

  5. Health protection: Toxic agent and radiation control.

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    It is estimated that of the four million chemical compounds which have been synthesized or isolated from natural materials, more than 55,000 are produced commercially. Approximately 1,000 new compounds are introduced annually; pesticide formulations alone contain about 1,500 active chemical ingredients. Diagnostic x-rays are used extensively in medicine and dentistry. Over 2,000 chemicals are suspected carcinogens in laboratory animals--epidemiologic evidence suggests that 26 of these chemicals and/or industrial processes are carcinogenic in humans. More than 20 agents are known to be associated with birth defects in humans; 47 atmospheric contaminants have been identified in animal studies as recognized carcinogens and 128 as mutagens; and, of the 765 contaminants identified in drinking water, 12 were recognized carcinogens, 31 suspected carcinogens, and 59 mutagens. Radiation has known carcinogenic and genetic effects at significant levels of exposure. Problems with toxic agents and radiation sources occur not only in industry, but also in medical and dental care (x-rays and drugs), agriculture (pesticides and herbicides), Government activities (biological and chemical agents), consumer products (incorrect use of consumer products which contain toxic substances), and natural sources (fungal products). PMID:6414020

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

  7. Natural products as photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Saewan, Nisakorn; Jimtaisong, Ampa

    2015-03-01

    The rise in solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface has led to a depletion of stratospheric ozone over recent decades, thus accelerating the need to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation such as erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and skin cancer. There are many different ways to protect skin against UV radiation's harmful effects. The most popular way to reduce the amount of UV radiation penetrating the skin is topical application of sunscreen products that contain UV absorbing or reflecting active molecules. Based on their protection mechanism, the active molecules in sunscreens are broadly divided into inorganic and organic agents. Inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV and visible radiation, while organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and then re-emit energy as heat or light. These synthetic molecules have limited concentration according to regulation concern. Several natural compounds with UV absorption property have been used to substitute for or to reduce the quantity of synthetic sunscreen agents. In addition to UV absorption property, most natural compounds were found to act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents, which provide further protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation exposure. Compounds derived from natural sources have gained considerable attention for use in sunscreen products and have bolstered the market trend toward natural cosmetics. This adds to the importance of there being a wide selection of active molecules in sunscreen formulations. This paper summarizes a number of natural products derived from propolis, plants, algae, and lichens that have shown potential photoprotection properties against UV radiation exposure-induced skin damage. PMID:25582033

  8. New antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Aditya K; Tomas, Elizabeth

    2003-07-01

    Currently, use of standard antifungal therapies can be limited because of toxicity, low efficacy rates, and drug resistance. New formulations are being prepared to improve absorption and efficacy of some of these standard therapies. Various new antifungals have demonstrated therapeutic potential. These new agents may provide additional options for the treatment of superficial fungal infections and they may help to overcome the limitations of current treatments. Liposomal formulations of AmB have a broad spectrum of activity against invasive fungi, such as Candida spp., C. neoformans, and Aspergillus spp., but not dermatophyte fungi. The liposomal AmB is associated with significantly less toxicity and good rates of efficacy, which compare or exceed that of standard AmB. These factors may provide enough of an advantage to patients to overcome the increased costs of these formulations. Three new azole drugs have been developed, and may be of use in both systemic and superficial fungal infections. Voriconazole, ravuconazole, and posaconazole are triazoles, with broad-spectrum activity. Voriconazole has a high bioavailability, and has been used with success in immunocompromised patients with invasive fungal infections. Ravuconazole has shown efficacy in candidiasis in immunocompromised patients, and onychomycosis in healthy patients. Preliminary in vivo studies with posaconazole indicated potential use in a variety of invasive fungal infections including oropharyngeal candidiasis. Echinocandins and pneumocandins are a new class of antifungals, which act as fungal cell wall beta-(1,3)-D-glucan synthase enzyme complex inhibitors. Caspofungin (MK-0991) is the first of the echinocandins to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for patients with invasive aspergillosis not responding or intolerant to other antifungal therapies, and has been effective in patients with oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. Standardization of MIC value determination has improved the

  9. Fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfson, J S; Hooper, D C

    1989-01-01

    The fluoroquinolones, a new class of potent orally absorbed antimicrobial agents, are reviewed, considering structure, mechanisms of action and resistance, spectrum, variables affecting activity in vitro, pharmacokinetic properties, clinical efficacy, emergence of resistance, and tolerability. The primary bacterial target is the enzyme deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase. Bacterial resistance occurs by chromosomal mutations altering deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase and decreasing drug permeation. The drugs are bactericidal and potent in vitro against members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus spp., and Neisseria spp., have good activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci, and (with several exceptions) are less potent against streptococci and have fair to poor activity against anaerobic species. Potency in vitro decreases in the presence of low pH, magnesium ions, or urine but is little affected by different media, increased inoculum, or serum. The effects of the drugs in combination with a beta-lactam or aminoglycoside are often additive, occasionally synergistic, and rarely antagonistic. The agents are orally absorbed, require at most twice-daily dosing, and achieve high concentrations in urine, feces, and kidney and good concentrations in lung, bone, prostate, and other tissues. The drugs are efficacious in treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections, bacterial gastroenteritis, and gonorrhea, and show promise for therapy of prostatitis, respiratory tract infections, osteomyelitis, and cutaneous infections, particularly when caused by aerobic gram-negative bacilli. Fluoroquinolones have also proved to be efficacious for prophylaxis against travelers' diarrhea and infection with gram-negative bacilli in neutropenic patients. The drugs are effective in eliminating carriage of Neisseria meningitidis. Patient tolerability appears acceptable, with gastrointestinal or central nervous

  10. A review on promising natural agents effective on hyperlipidemia.

    PubMed

    Bahmani, Mahmoud; Mirhoseini, Mahmoud; Shirzad, Hedayatollah; Sedighi, Mehrnoosh; Shahinfard, Nejmeh; Rafieian-Kopaei, Mahmoud

    2015-07-01

    Hyperlipidemia is a prevalent disease and a major component of the metabolic syndrome resulting from various factors. This disease increases morbidity and mortality when combined with other prevalent diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. The side effects of the current lipid-lowering drugs have increased the tendency to move toward traditional and alternative treatments. Epidemiological observations indicate that using alternative treatments, consumption of medicinal plants, diet, and consumption of fruits have had satisfactory results on the effects of hyperlipidemia in many societies. It should be noted that in majority of societies, even developed countries, the tendency toward eating lipid-lowering medicinal plants has increased extensively. Using these plants especially when common remedies cannot control the disease is significant. Although consumption of medicinal plants by hyperlipidemic patients may show improvement in disease state, drug interaction and side effects may cause complications in disease control. Therefore, in this review, apart from introducing some of the reliable plants effective in inhibition and decrease of hyperlipidemia, the possibility of their intoxication and drug interaction is also presented. PMID:25633423

  11. Anthocyanins as antimicrobial agents of natural plant origin.

    PubMed

    Cisowska, Agnieszka; Wojnicz, Dorota; Hendrich, Andrzej B

    2011-01-01

    Anthocyanins are particularly abundant in different fruits, especially in berries. The beneficial effects of these compounds for human health have been known from at least the 16th century. Despite the great number of papers devoted to the different biological effects exerted by anthocyanins only a limited number of studies is focused on the antimicrobial activity of these compounds. Anthocyanin content of berry fruits varies from 7.5 mg/100 mg fresh fruit in redcurrant (Ribes rubum) up to 460 mg/100 g fresh fruit in chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa). After consumption, anthocyanins are intensively metabolized, mainly in the intestines and liver. Glucorination, methylation and sulfation are the most typical metabolic reactions. Antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of plant phenolic compounds against human pathogens has been intensively studied to characterize and develop new healthy food ingredients as well as medical and pharmaceutical products. However, there is very little information available about the antimicrobial activity of the pure anthocyanins. In the last part of this review we present the collection of papers describing the anthocyanin profiles of different fruits (mainly berries) and the antimicrobial properties of the identified compounds. Generally, anthocyanins are active against different microbes, however Gram-positive bacteria usually are more susceptible to the anthocyanin action than Gram-negative ones. Mechanisms underlying anthocyanin activity include both membrane and intracellular interactions of these compounds. Antimicrobial activity of berries and other anthocyanin-containing fruits is likely to be caused by multiple mechanisms and synergies because they contain various compounds including anthocyanins, weak organic acids, phenolic acids, and their mixtures of different chemical forms. Therefore, the antimicrobial effect of chemically complex compounds has to be critically analyzed. PMID:21366068

  12. Naturally Inspired Molecules as Multifunctional Agents for Alzheimer's Disease Treatment.

    PubMed

    Rampa, Angela; Tarozzi, Andrea; Mancini, Francesca; Pruccoli, Letizia; Di Martino, Rita Maria Concetta; Gobbi, Silvia; Bisi, Alessandra; De Simone, Angela; Palomba, Francesco; Zaccheroni, Nelsi; Belluti, Federica

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been defined as a multi-factorial disorder resulting from a complex array of networked cellular and molecular mechanisms. In particular, elevated levels of Aβ protein and its aggregation products in the presence of metal ions proved to be highly neurotoxic and therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing Aβ generation and oxidative stress may represent an effective approach for AD treatment. A recent paradigm for the treatment of complex diseases such as AD suggests the employment of multifunctional compounds, single chemical entities capable of simultaneously modulating different targets involved in the pathology. In this paper, the "pharmacophores combination" strategy was applied, connecting the main scaffold of the BACE-1 ligand 1 to that of the chalcone 2, as metal chelating pharmacophore, to obtain a small library of compounds. Conjugate 5 emerged as the most interesting derivative, proving to inhibit BACE-1 with low-micromolar potency, and showing neuroprotective effects. In particular, 5 proved to be able to protect from metal-associated oxidative stress by hampering intracellular Cu(2+)-induced ROS formation without any direct neurotoxic effect. PMID:27196880

  13. Relaxin as a natural agent for vascular health

    PubMed Central

    Bani, Daniele

    2008-01-01

    Hypertension, atherothrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and renal failure are the main manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death and disability in developed countries. Continuing insight into the pathophysiology of CVD can allow identification of effective therapeutic strategies to reduce the occurrence of death and/or severe disabilities. In this context, a healthy endothelium is deemed crucial to proper functioning and maintenance of anatomical integrity of the vascular system in many organs. Of note, epidemiologic studies indicate that the incidence of CVD in women is very low until menopause and increases sharply thereafter. The loss of protection against CVD in post-menopausal women has been chiefly attributed to ovarian steroid deficiency. However, besides steroids, the ovary also produces the peptide hormone relaxin (RLX), which provides potent vasoactive effects which render it the most likely candidate as the elusive physiological shield against CVD in fertile women. In particular, RLX has a specific relaxant effect on peripheral and coronary vasculature, exerted by the stimulation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) generation by cells of the vascular wall, and can induce angiogenesis. Moreover, RLX inhibits the activation of inflammatory leukocytes and platelets, which play a key role in CVD. Experimental studies performed in vascular and blood cell in vitro and in animal models of vascular dysfunction, as well as pioneer clinical observations, have provided evidence that RLX can prevent and/or improve CVD, thus offering background to clinical trials aimed at exploring the broad therapeutic potential of human recombinant RLX as a new cardiovascular drug. PMID:18827902

  14. Hepatocytes as Immunological Agents.

    PubMed

    Crispe, Ian N

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocytes are targeted for infection by a number of major human pathogens, including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and malaria. However, hepatocytes are also immunological agents in their own right. In systemic immunity, they are central in the acute-phase response, which floods the circulation with defensive proteins during diverse stresses, including ischemia, physical trauma, and sepsis. Hepatocytes express a variety of innate immune receptors and, when challenged with pathogen- or damage-associated molecular patterns, can deliver cell-autonomous innate immune responses that may result in host defense or in immunopathology. Important human pathogens have evolved mechanisms to subvert these responses. Finally, hepatocytes talk directly to T cells, resulting in a bias toward immune tolerance. PMID:26685314

  15. Collective states in social systems with interacting learning agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semeshenko, Viktoriya; Gordon, Mirta B.; Nadal, Jean-Pierre

    2008-08-01

    We study the implications of social interactions and individual learning features on consumer demand in a simple market model. We consider a social system of interacting heterogeneous agents with learning abilities. Given a fixed price, agents repeatedly decide whether or not to buy a unit of a good, so as to maximize their expected utilities. This model is close to Random Field Ising Models, where the random field corresponds to the idiosyncratic willingness to pay. We show that the equilibrium reached depends on the nature of the information agents use to estimate their expected utilities. It may be different from the systems’ Nash equilibria.

  16. Evolution of cooperation among mobile agents with heterogenous view radii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jun; Wang, Wei-Ye; Du, Wen-Bo; Cao, Xian-Bin

    2011-06-01

    In this paper, we study cooperative behavior among mobile agents; the agents have heterogenous view radii and they play the prisoner’s dilemma game with those being within their vision fields. It is found that the cooperation level is remarkably promoted when the heterogeneity of view radii is considered, and the degree distribution of the system is investigated to explain this interesting phenomenon. Moreover, we report that the cooperative behavior is best favored by low density, moderate view radius, and small moving speed. Our findings may be helpful in understanding cooperative behavior in natural and social systems consisting of mobile agents.

  17. The Development of Sugar-Based Anti-Melanogenic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Kim, Sung Tae; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Lee, Tae Ryong; Cho, Eun-Gyung

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of melanin production is important for managing skin darkness and hyperpigmentary disorders. Numerous anti-melanogenic agents that target tyrosinase activity/stability, melanosome maturation/transfer, or melanogenesis-related signaling pathways have been developed. As a rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, tyrosinase has been the most attractive target, but tyrosinase-targeted treatments still pose serious potential risks, indicating the necessity of developing lower-risk anti-melanogenic agents. Sugars are ubiquitous natural compounds found in humans and other organisms. Here, we review the recent advances in research on the roles of sugars and sugar-related agents in melanogenesis and in the development of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents. The proposed mechanisms of action of these agents include: (a) (natural sugars) disturbing proper melanosome maturation by inducing osmotic stress and inhibiting the PI3 kinase pathway and (b) (sugar derivatives) inhibiting tyrosinase maturation by blocking N-glycosylation. Finally, we propose an alternative strategy for developing anti-melanogenic sugars that theoretically reduce melanosomal pH by inhibiting a sucrose transporter and reduce tyrosinase activity by inhibiting copper incorporation into an active site. These studies provide evidence of the utility of sugar-based anti-melanogenic agents in managing skin darkness and curing pigmentary disorders and suggest a future direction for the development of physiologically favorable anti-melanogenic agents. PMID:27092497

  18. Mechanisms of biofilm resistance to antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Mah, T F; O'Toole, G A

    2001-01-01

    Biofilms are communities of microorganisms attached to a surface. It has become clear that biofilm-grown cells express properties distinct from planktonic cells, one of which is an increased resistance to antimicrobial agents. Recent work has indicated that slow growth and/or induction of an rpoS-mediated stress response could contribute to biocide resistance. The physical and/or chemical structure of exopolysaccharides or other aspects of biofilm architecture could also confer resistance by exclusion of biocides from the bacterial community. Finally, biofilm-grown bacteria might develop a biofilm-specific biocide-resistant phenotype. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the biofilm, it is likely that there are multiple resistance mechanisms at work within a single community. Recent research has begun to shed light on how and why surface-attached microbial communities develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. PMID:11166241

  19. Coumarin hybrids as novel therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, Sonali; Bansal, Yogita; Silakari, Om; Bansal, Gulshan

    2014-08-01

    Naturally occurring coumarins, having wide spectrum of activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, MAO-B inhibitory and antimicrobial, are frequently used by the researchers to develop novel synthetic and semisynthetic coumarin based therapeutic agents. Many of these agents are hybrid molecules, which are designed through concept of molecular hybridization and have shown multiple pharmacological activities. This multifunctional attribute of these hybrid compounds makes them potential drug candidates for the treatment of multifactorial diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, metabolic syndromes, AIDS, malaria, and cardiovascular diseases. The present review compiles research reports on development of different coumarin hybrids, classify these on the basis of their therapeutic uses and propose structure-activity relationships. It is intended to help medicinal chemist in designing and synthesizing novel and potent hybrid compounds for the treatment of different disorders. PMID:24934993

  20. Agent Assignment for Process Management: Pattern Based Agent Performance Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jablonski, Stefan; Talib, Ramzan

    In almost all workflow management system the role concept is determined once at the introduction of workflow application and is not reevaluated to observe how successfully certain processes are performed by the authorized agents. This paper describes an approach which evaluates how agents are working successfully and feed this information back for future agent assignment to achieve maximum business benefit for the enterprise. The approach is called Pattern based Agent Performance Evaluation (PAPE) and is based on machine learning technique combined with post processing technique. We report on the result of our experiments and discuss issues and improvement of our approach.

  1. Investigational agents for sickle cell disease.

    PubMed

    Okpala, Iheanyi

    2006-08-01

    Developments in the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) have not kept pace with advances in understanding the pathophysiology of this haemoglobinopathy. Drugs undergoing preclinical and clinical assessment for the therapy of these globin gene disorders are discussed in this article. Beginning with investigational agents for treatment of SCD as a whole, the discussion proceeds to drugs being developed for specific manifestations or iatrogenic complications. Despite being licensed in the USA, the prototype antisickling agent, hydroxycarbamide, has not attained worldwide clinical use because of concerns about long-term toxicity. The less toxic decitabine, which (as with hydroxycarbamide) increases fetal haemoglobin level, cannot be administered orally; therefore, the search continues for effective and safe antisickling drugs that can be taken orally. The naturally occurring benzaldehyde 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural has shown promising antisickling properties in vitro, and when administered to transgenic sickle mice. These effects are surpassed by the new synthetic pyridyl derivatives of benzaldehyde. Studies in humans with SCD are required to assess the clinical efficacy of these benzaldehydes. Niprisan, another antisickling agent with significant clinical efficacy and an attractive safety profile, is undergoing further development. The prospects of antiadhesion therapy in SCD are demonstrated by a recombinant protein containing the Fc fragment of IgG fused to the natural ligand for selectins: the conjugate significantly inhibited blood vessel occlusion in transgenic sickle mice. Whereas the orally administrable iron-chelating agent deferasirox is likely to increasingly take the place of desferioxamine (which can only be given parenterally), effective treatment of priapism in SCD remains a distressing challenge. PMID:16859388

  2. Natural Products as Molecular Messengers*

    PubMed Central

    Meinwald, Jerrold

    2011-01-01

    The chemistry of naturally-occurring compounds has long been pursued in the search for medicines, dyes, pesticides, flavors, and fragrances. In addition, the deeper aim of understanding life itself as a chemical phenomenon has motivated generations of scientists. One consequence of such studies has been the realization that natural products often serve central roles as biological signaling agents. We consider natural products from the viewpoint of the organisms that produce and/or respond to them, and suggest how a naturally-occurring compound may acquire its role in chemical communication. PMID:21190370

  3. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1998-12-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. The enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of the effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses the planned future work.

  4. Collaborating Fuzzy Reinforcement Learning Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berenji, Hamid R.

    1997-01-01

    Earlier, we introduced GARIC-Q, a new method for doing incremental Dynamic Programming using a society of intelligent agents which are controlled at the top level by Fuzzy Relearning and at the local level, each agent learns and operates based on ANTARCTIC, a technique for fuzzy reinforcement learning. In this paper, we show that it is possible for these agents to compete in order to affect the selected control policy but at the same time, they can collaborate while investigating the state space. In this model, the evaluator or the critic learns by observing all the agents behaviors but the control policy changes only based on the behavior of the winning agent also known as the super agent.

  5. Radioiodine: the classic theranostic agent.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Edward B

    2012-05-01

    Radioiodine has the distinction of being the first theranostic agent in our armamentarium. Millennia were required to discover that the agent in orally administered seaweed and its extracts, which had been shown to cure neck swelling due to thyromegaly, was iodine, first demonstrated to be a new element in 1813. Treatment of goiter with iodine began at once, but its prophylactic value to prevent a common form of goiter took another century. After Enrico Fermi produced the first radioiodine, (128)I, in 1934, active experimentation in the United States and France delineated the crucial role of iodine in thyroid metabolism and disease. (130)I and (131)I were first employed to treat thyrotoxicosis by 1941, and thyroid cancer in 1943. After World War II, (131)I became widely available at a reasonable price for diagnostic testing and therapy. The rectilinear scanner of Cassen and Curtis (Science 1949;110:94-95), and a dedicated gamma camera invented by Anger (Nature 1952;170:200-201), finally permitted the diagnostic imaging of thyroid disease, with (131)I again the radioisotope of choice, although there were short-lived attempts to employ (125)I and (132)I for this purpose. (123)I was first produced in 1949 but did not become widely available until about 1982, 10 years after a production technique eliminated high-energy (124)I contamination. I continues to be the radioiodine of choice for the diagnosis of benign thyroid disease, whereas (123)I and (131)I are employed in the staging and detection of functioning thyroid cancer. (124)I, a positron emitter, can produce excellent anatomically correlated images employing positron emission tomography/computed tomography equipment and has the potential to enhance heretofore imperfect dosimetric studies in determining the appropriate administered activity to ablate/treat thyroid cancer. Issues of acceptable measuring error in thyroid cancer dosimetry and the role in (131)I therapy of tumor heterogeneity, tumor hypoxia, and

  6. New agents for prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, N; Di Lorenzo, G; Sonpavde, G; Bellmunt, J

    2014-09-01

    The therapeutic landscape of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) has been revolutionized by the arrival of multiple novel agents in the past 2 years. Immunotherapy in the form of sipuleucel-T, androgen axis inhibitors, including abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, a chemotherapeutic agent, cabazitaxel, and a radiopharmaceutical, radium-223, have all yielded incremental extensions of survival and have been recently approved. A number of other agents appear promising in early studies, suggesting that the armamentarium against castrate-resistant prostate cancer is likely to continue to expand. Emerging androgen pathway inhibitors include androgen synthesis inhibitors (TAK700), androgen receptor inhibitors (ARN-509, ODM-201), AR DNA binding domain inhibitors (EPI-001), selective AR downregulators or SARDs (AZD-3514), and agents that inhibit both androgen synthesis and receptor binding (TOK-001/galeterone). Promising immunotherapeutic agents include poxvirus vaccines and CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Biologic agents targeting the molecular drivers of disease are also being investigated as single agents, including cabozantinib (Met and VEGFR2 inhibitor) and tasquinimod (angiogenesis and immune modulatory agent). Despite the disappointing results seen from studies evaluating docetaxel in combination with other agents, including GVAX, anti-angiogentic agents (bevacizumab, aflibercept, lenalinomide), a SRC kinase inhibitor (dasatinib), endothelin receptor antagonists (atrasentan, zibotentan), and high-dose calcitriol (DN-101), the results from the trial evaluating docetaxel in combination with the clusterin antagonist, custirsen, are eagerly awaited. New therapeutic hurdles consist of discovering new targets, understanding resistance mechanisms, the optimal sequencing and combinations of available agents, as well as biomarkers predictive for benefit. Novel agents targeting bone metastases are being developed following the success of zoledronic acid

  7. Broad-spectrum antiviral agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jun-Da; Meng, Wen; Wang, Xiao-Jia; Wang, Hwa-Chain R.

    2015-01-01

    Development of highly effective, broad-spectrum antiviral agents is the major objective shared by the fields of virology and pharmaceutics. Antiviral drug development has focused on targeting viral entry and replication, as well as modulating cellular defense system. High throughput screening of molecules, genetic engineering of peptides, and functional screening of agents have identified promising candidates for development of optimal broad-spectrum antiviral agents to intervene in viral infection and control viral epidemics. This review discusses current knowledge, prospective applications, opportunities, and challenges in the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents. PMID:26052325

  8. Guanidinoacetic acid as a performance-enhancing agent.

    PubMed

    Ostojic, Sergej M

    2016-08-01

    Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA; also known as glycocyamine or guanidinoacetate) is the natural precursor of creatine, and under investigation as a novel dietary agent. It was first identified as a natural compound in humans ~80 years ago. In the 1950s, GAA's use as a therapeutic agent was explored, showing that supplemental GAA improved patient-reported outcomes and work capacity in clinical populations. Recently, a few studies have examined the safety and efficacy of GAA and suggest potential ergogenic benefits for physically active men and women. The purpose of this review is to examine possible applications of GAA supplementation for exercise performance enhancement, safety, and legislation issues. PMID:26445773

  9. The Agent of Change: The Agent of Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatfield, C. R., Jr.

    This speech examines the role of change agents in third world societies and indicates that the change agent must, to some extent, manipulate the social situation, even if his view of society is a more optimistic one than he finds in reality. If he considers strains and stresses to be the lubricants of change, then his focus on conflict as a…

  10. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  11. Instructable autonomous agents. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffman, Scott Bradley

    1994-01-01

    In contrast to current intelligent systems, which must be laboriously programmed for each task they are meant to perform, instructable agents can be taught new tasks and associated knowledge. This thesis presents a general theory of learning from tutorial instruction and its use to produce an instructable agent. Tutorial instruction is a particularly powerful form of instruction, because it allows the instructor to communicate whatever kind of knowledge a student needs at whatever point it is needed. To exploit this broad flexibility, however, a tutorable agent must support a full range of interaction with its instructor to learn a full range of knowledge. Thus, unlike most machine learning tasks, which target deep learning of a single kind of knowledge from a single kind of input, tutorability requires a breadth of learning from a broad range of instructional interactions. The theory of learning from tutorial instruction presented here has two parts. First, a computational model of an intelligent agent, the problem space computational model, indicates the types of knowledge that determine an agent's performance, and thus, that should be acquirable via instruction. Second, a learning technique, called situated explanation specifies how the agent learns general knowledge from instruction. The theory is embodied by an implemented agent, Instructo-Soar, built within the Soar architecture. Instructo-Soar is able to learn hierarchies of completely new tasks, to extend task knowledge to apply in new situations, and in fact to acquire every type of knowledge it uses during task performance - control knowledge, knowledge of operators' effects, state inferences, etc. - from interactive natural language instructions. This variety of learning occurs by applying the situated explanation technique to a variety of instructional interactions involving a variety of types of instructions (commands, statements, conditionals, etc.). By taking seriously the requirements of flexible

  12. Search for antisickling agents from plants

    PubMed Central

    Dash, Bisnu Prasad; Archana, Y.; Satapathy, Nibarana; Naik, Soumendra Kumar

    2013-01-01

    The sickle cell disease is fatal in nature. Thousands of children are dying off due to this health problem throughout the globe. Due to the rapid development of diagnosis and clinical managements such patients are living up to a respectable age. But as there is no permanent cure the patients are suffering from bone and joint pain, jaundice, hepato-splenomegaly, chronic infections etc. The main physiological complicacy is due to the polymerization of sickle hemoglobin (HbS), (sickling process) inside the red blood cell (RBC) of these patients during deoxygenating state. The change of RBC from spherical to sickle shape is due to the polymerization of mutant hemoglobin (HbS) inside the RBC and membrane distortion during anoxic condition. The mechanism and the process of sickling are very complex and multifactor in nature. To get rid from such complicacies it is necessary to suitably and accurately stop the sickling of RBC of the patients. The potential anti-sickling agents either from natural sources and/or synthetic molecules may be helpful for reducing the clinical morbidity of the patients. A lot of natural compounds from plant extracts have been tried by several workers in recent past. Most of the studies are based on in vitro red cell sickling studies and their mode of action has not been properly understood. Although, few studies have been in vivo in nature pertaining to transgenic sickle animal model, there is paucity of data on the human studies. The result of such studies although has shown some degree of success, a promising anti-sickling agent is yet to be established. PMID:23922457

  13. Plasmids encoding therapeutic agents

    DOEpatents

    Keener, William K.

    2007-08-07

    Plasmids encoding anti-HIV and anti-anthrax therapeutic agents are disclosed. Plasmid pWKK-500 encodes a fusion protein containing DP178 as a targeting moiety, the ricin A chain, an HIV protease cleavable linker, and a truncated ricin B chain. N-terminal extensions of the fusion protein include the maltose binding protein and a Factor Xa protease site. C-terminal extensions include a hydrophobic linker, an L domain motif peptide, a KDEL ER retention signal, another Factor Xa protease site, an out-of-frame buforin II coding sequence, the lacZ.alpha. peptide, and a polyhistidine tag. More than twenty derivatives of plasmid pWKK-500 are described. Plasmids pWKK-700 and pWKK-800 are similar to pWKK-500 wherein the DP178-encoding sequence is substituted by RANTES- and SDF-1-encoding sequences, respectively. Plasmid pWKK-900 is similar to pWKK-500 wherein the HIV protease cleavable linker is substituted by a lethal factor (LF) peptide-cleavable linker.

  14. Departments as Agents of Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    Higher education is changing because it has no choice. And, for the most part, outside influences are dictating the processes of change. The more fortunate institutions have had a flat budget during this period, but most have been forced to deal with a declining revenue stream as well. Legislators seem bent on micromanaging state-supported institutions, even as they cut their support. Regulators demand greater institutional accountability. Students and their parents expect more service at lower prices and increased flexibility. Technological advances have dramatically affected the availability and accessibility of extant knowledge. It is no longer a question of whether institutions will change, but rather, who will control the change. Most institutions possess long-standing academic traditions, but these are placed at risk in an increasingly competitive market that holds little sympathy for such traditions and may even see them as obstacles or barriers. As a result, the change agents will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the very nature of academic institutions. From the academic point of view, it would seem prudent to attempt to manage the changes that will inevitably occur. A number of concerned observers, notably the Pew Higher Education Roundtable and the American Association for Higher Education, argue persuasively that the academic department is the logical focus for responding to the current winds of change. Using a marketing metaphor, the academic department has been likened to a "producers' cooperative" of services that consumers seek. Thus, the department should be held accountable for the quality of teaching delivered by its members, for the coherence of its major, for its contributions to the general education curriculum, and for supervising and rewarding its individual faculty members. If departments are to be held accountable, it is surely in their best interest to act in such a way that they are accountable. Expecting academic departments to be

  15. TACtic- A Multi Behavioral Agent for Trading Agent Competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosravi, Hassan; Shiri, Mohammad E.; Khosravi, Hamid; Iranmanesh, Ehsan; Davoodi, Alireza

    Software agents are increasingly being used to represent humans in online auctions. Such agents have the advantages of being able to systematically monitor a wide variety of auctions and then make rapid decisions about what bids to place in what auctions. They can do this continuously and repetitively without losing concentration. To provide a means of evaluating and comparing (benchmarking) research methods in this area the trading agent competition (TAC) was established. This paper describes the design, of TACtic. Our agent uses multi behavioral techniques at the heart of its decision making to make bidding decisions in the face of uncertainty, to make predictions about the likely outcomes of auctions, and to alter the agent's bidding strategy in response to the prevailing market conditions.

  16. Gelled Anti-icing Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markles, O. F.; Sperber, H. H.

    1983-01-01

    Pectin added to antifreeze/water mixture. Formulations include water with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as deicer and pectin as gel former. Without gelling agent, deicer runs off vertical surfaces. Without pectin solution will completely evaporate in far less time. Agents developed have wide potential for ice prevention on runways, highways, bridges and sidewalks.

  17. Agent-Based Literacy Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEneaney, John E.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this theoretical essay is to explore the limits of traditional conceptualizations of reader and text and to propose a more general theory based on the concept of a literacy agent. The proposed theoretical perspective subsumes concepts from traditional theory and aims to account for literacy online. The agent-based literacy theory…

  18. Hypersensitivity to antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Castells, M C

    2008-01-01

    The need to offer first line therapy for primary and recurrent cancers has spurred the clinical development of rapid desensitizations for chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. Rapid desensitizations allow patients to be treated with medications to which they have presented with hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), including anaphylaxis. Rapid desensitization achieves temporary tolerization to full therapeutic doses by slow administration of incremental doses of the drug inducing the HSR. Protocols are available for most chemotherapy agents, including taxanes, platins, doxorubicin, monoclonal antibodies, and others. Candidate patients include those who present with type I HSRs, mast cell/IgE dependent, including anaphylaxis, and non-IgE mediated HSRs, during the chemotherapy infusion or shortly after. Idiosyncratic reactions, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are not amenable to rapid desensitization. The recommendation for rapid desensitization can only be made by allergy and immunology specialists and can only be performed in settings with one-to-one nurse-patient care and where resuscitation personnel and resources are readily available. Repeated desensitizations can be safely performed in outpatient settings with similar conditions, which allow cancer patients to remain in clinical studies. We have generated a universal 12-step protocol that was applied to 413 cases of intravenous and intraperitoneal rapid desensitizations using taxanes, platins, liposomal doxorubicin, doxorubicin, rituximab, and other chemotherapy drugs. Under this protocol all patients were able to complete their target dose, and 94% of the patients had limited or no reactions. No deaths or codes were reported, indicating that the procedure was safe and effective in delivering first line chemotherapy drugs. PMID:18991707

  19. Transdermal delivery of therapeutic agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwiatkowski, Krzysztof C. (Inventor); Hayes, Ryan T. (Inventor); Magnuson, James W. (Inventor); Giletto, Anthony (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A device for the transdermal delivery of a therapeutic agent to a biological subject that includes a first electrode comprising a first array of electrically conductive microprojections for providing electrical communication through a skin portion of the subject to a second electrode comprising a second array of electrically conductive microprojections. Additionally, a reservoir for holding the therapeutic agent surrounding the first electrode and a pulse generator for providing an exponential decay pulse between the first and second electrodes may be provided. A method includes the steps of piercing a stratum corneum layer of skin with two arrays of conductive microprojections, encapsulating the therapeutic agent into biocompatible charged carriers, surrounding the conductive microprojections with the therapeutic agent, generating an exponential decay pulse between the two arrays of conductive microprojections to create a non-uniform electrical field and electrokinetically driving the therapeutic agent through the stratum corneum layer of skin.

  20. Markov Tracking for Agent Coordination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washington, Richard; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) axe an attractive representation for representing agent behavior, since they capture uncertainty in both the agent's state and its actions. However, finding an optimal policy for POMDPs in general is computationally difficult. In this paper we present Markov Tracking, a restricted problem of coordinating actions with an agent or process represented as a POMDP Because the actions coordinate with the agent rather than influence its behavior, the optimal solution to this problem can be computed locally and quickly. We also demonstrate the use of the technique on sequential POMDPs, which can be used to model a behavior that follows a linear, acyclic trajectory through a series of states. By imposing a "windowing" restriction that restricts the number of possible alternatives considered at any moment to a fixed size, a coordinating action can be calculated in constant time, making this amenable to coordination with complex agents.

  1. Amphipathic agents for membrane protein study.

    PubMed

    Sadaf, Aiman; Cho, Kyung Ho; Byrne, Bernadette; Chae, Pil Seok

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins (MPs) are insoluble in aqueous media as a result of incompatibility between the hydrophilic property of the solvent molecules and the hydrophobic nature of MP surfaces, normally associated with lipid membranes. Amphipathic compounds are necessary for extraction of these macromolecules from the native membranes and their maintenance in solution. The amphipathic agents surround the hydrophobic segments of MPs, thus serving as a membrane mimetic system. Of the available amphipathic agents, detergents are most widely used for MP manipulation. However, MPs encapsulated by conventional detergent micelles have a tendency to undergo structural degradation, hampering MP advance, and necessitating the development of novel detergents with enhanced efficacy for MP study. In this chapter, we will introduce both conventional and novel classes of detergents and discuss about the chemical structures, design principles, and efficacies of these compounds for MP solubilization and stabilization. The behaviors of those agents toward MP crystallization will be a primary topic in our discussion. This discussion highlights the common features of popular conventional/novel detergents essential for successful MP structural study. The conclusions reached by this discussion would not only enable MP scientists to rationally select a set of detergent candidates among a large number of detergents but also provide detergent inventors with useful guidelines in designing novel amphipathic systems. PMID:25950960

  2. Discovery and development of new antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Gootz, T D

    1990-01-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of new antibiotics over the past two decades has been the result of extensive research efforts that have exploited the growing body of knowledge describing the interactions of antibiotics with their targets in bacterial cells. Information gained from one class of antimicrobial agents has often been used to advance the development of other classes. In the case of beta-lactams, information on structure-activity relationships gleaned from penicillins and cephalosporins was rapidly applied to the cephamycins, monobactams, penems, and carbapenems in order to discover broad-spectrum agents with markedly improved potency. These efforts have led to the introduction of many new antibiotics that demonstrate outstanding clinical efficacy and improved pharmacokinetics in humans. The current review discusses those factors that have influenced the rapid proliferation of new antimicrobial agents, including the discovery of new lead structures from natural products and the impact of bacterial resistance development in the clinical setting. The development process for a new antibiotic is discussed in detail, from the stage of early safety testing in animals through phase I, II, and III clinical trials. PMID:2404566

  3. Alternate dosing schedules for cancer chemopreventive agents.

    PubMed

    Lazzeroni, Matteo; DeCensi, Andrea

    2016-02-01

    Pharmacologic interventions for cancer risk reduction involve the chronic administration of synthetic or natural agents to reduce or delay the occurrence of malignancy. Despite the strong evidence for a favorable risk-benefit ratio for a number of agents in several common malignancies such as breast and prostate cancer, the public's attitude toward cancer chemoprevention remains ambivalent, with the issue of toxicity associated with drugs being perceived as the main barrier to widespread use of preventive therapy by high-risk subjects. Among the strategies to overcome such obstacles to preventive therapies, two novel and potentially safer modes of administering agents are discussed in this paper. The first strategy is to lower the dose of drugs that are in common use in the adjuvant setting based on the notion that prevention of cancer cells from developing should require a lower dose than eradicating established tumor cells. A second approach is to adopt an intermittent administration similar to what is used in the chemotherapy setting in an attempt to minimize risks while retaining benefits. This article provides a detailed discussion of the principles and future development of these two approaches in the direction of a precision preventive medicine. PMID:26970130

  4. Consensus in networks of mobile communicating agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronchelli, Andrea; Díaz-Guilera, Albert

    2012-01-01

    Populations of mobile and communicating agents describe a vast array of technological and natural systems, ranging from sensor networks to animal groups. Here, we investigate how a group-level agreement may emerge in the continuously evolving network defined by the local interactions of the moving individuals. We adopt a general scheme of motion in two dimensions and we let the individuals interact through the minimal naming game, a prototypical scheme to investigate social consensus. We distinguish different regimes of convergence determined by the emission range of the agents and by their mobility, and we identify the corresponding scaling behaviors of the consensus time. In the same way, we rationalize also the behavior of the maximum memory used during the convergence process, which determines the minimum cognitive/storage capacity needed by the individuals. Overall, we believe that the simple and general model presented in this paper can represent a helpful reference for a better understanding of the behavior of populations of mobile agents.

  5. Consensus in evolving networks of mobile agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baronchelli, Andrea; Díaz-Guilera, Albert

    2012-02-01

    Populations of mobile and communicating agents describe a vast array of technological and natural systems, ranging from sensor networks to animal groups. Here, we investigate how a group-level agreement may emerge in the continuously evolving networks defined by the local interactions of the moving individuals. We adopt a general scheme of motion in two dimensions and we let the individuals interact through the minimal naming game, a prototypical scheme to investigate social consensus. We distinguish different regimes of convergence determined by the emission range of the agents and by their mobility, and we identify the corresponding scaling behaviors of the consensus time. In the same way, we rationalize also the behavior of the maximum memory used during the convergence process, which determines the minimum cognitive/storage capacity needed by the individuals. Overall, we believe that the simple and general model presented in this talk can represent a helpful reference for a better understanding of the behavior of populations of mobile agents.

  6. Coating agents affected toward magnetite nanoparticles properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petcharoen, Karat; Sirivat, Anuvat

    2012-02-01

    Magnetite nanoparticles --MNPs-- are innovative materials used in biological and medical applications. They respond to magnetic field through the superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature. In this study, the MNPs were synthesized via the chemical co-precipitation method using various coating agents. Fatty acids, found naturally in the animal fats, can be used as a coating agent. Oleic acid and hexanoic acid were chosen as the surface modification agents to study the improvement in the suspension of MNPs in water and the magnetite properties. Suspension stability, particle size, and electrical conductivity of MNPs are critically affected by the modification process. The well-dispersed MNPs in water can be improved by the surface modification and the oleic acid coated MNPs possess excellent suspension stability over 1 week. The particle size of MNPs increases up to 40 nm using oleic acid coated MNPs. The electrical conductivity of the smallest particle size is 1.3x10-3 S/cm, which is 5 times higher than that of the largest particle, suggesting potential applications as a biomedical material under both of the electrical and magnetic fields.

  7. Differential mobility spectroscopy for chemical agent detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, M. Todd

    2006-05-01

    General Dynamics ATP (GDATP) and Sionex Corporation (Sionex) are carrying out a cooperative development for a handheld chemical agent detector, being called JUNO TM, which will have lower false positives, higher sensitivity, and improved interference rejection compared with presently available detectors. This enhanced performance is made possible by the use of a new principle of ion separation called Differential Mobility Spectrometry (DMS). The enhanced selectivity is provided by the field tunable nature of the Sionex differential mobility technology (microDMxTM) which forms the analytical heart of the JUNO system and enables fingerprinting of molecules by characterization of the ionized molecular behavior under multiple electric field conditions. This enhanced selectivity is valuable in addressing not only the traditional list of chemical warfare agents (CWA) but also the substantial list of Toxic Industrial Compounds (TICs) and Toxic Industrial Materials (TIMs) which may be released in warfare or terrorist situations. Experimental results showing the ability of the microDMx to reject interferences, detect and resolve live agents are presented. An additional breakthrough in the technology was realized by operating the device at a reduced pressure of around 0.5 atmospheres. This reduced pressure operation resulted in roughly doubling the spectrometers resolution over what has previously been reported [1]. Advances have also been made in power consumption and packaging leading to a device suitable for portable, handheld, applications. Experimental results illustrating the performance of the microDMx technology employed in JUNO are highlighted.

  8. Chemical kinetics of cetane number improving agents

    SciTech Connect

    Hashimoto, K.; Akutsu, Y.; Arai, M.; Tamura, M.

    1996-12-31

    The increasing demand for diesel fuels has resulted in the use of greater percentage of cracked distillates having poor ignition properties. The ignition properties of diesel fuels can be rated in terms of their cetane number and diesel fuels having low cetane number may have poor ignition properties such as diesel knock, difficulties to start engines in the cold weather and so on. Such diesel fuels need cetane number improving agents. In the 1940s and 1950s alkyl nitrates, alkyl nitrites and organic peroxides were found to be effective cetane number improving additives. Our recent study suggests that free radicals produced from thermal decomposition just before ignition should have an important role to improve their ignition properties. However no studies on the reaction mechanism for improving effect of these additives have been attempted because of complex nature of spontaneous ignition reaction of hydrocarbons. In order to clarify the reaction mechanism for improving effects of cetane number improving agents. We here have attempted to simulate the spontaneous ignition of n-butane as a model compound in the presence of alkyl nitrites as cetane number improving agents.

  9. Fluorescent whitening agents in the environment.

    PubMed

    Zinkernagel, R

    1975-01-01

    An assessment of the ecological situation regarding the use of fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) is given. Firstly a survey is made of the existing literature with references to the contributions on the subject in this EQS supplement volume, then the effects of waste water treatment with respect to the elimination of FWAs in the different stages of treatment are discussed. The final load of FWAs in receiving water is estimated. These figures are brought into relation with the actual content of receiving water residues of natural and manmade origins. The significance of the FWA load is discussed. All the arguments lead to the strong suggestion that these residues are finally metabolized by natural systems of elimination, so that no ecological risks exist when FWAs are properly used in the main fields of application, i.e. in the textile, paper and soap and detergent industry. PMID:776604

  10. Knowledge focus via software agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henager, Donald E.

    2001-09-01

    The essence of military Command and Control (C2) is making knowledge intensive decisions in a limited amount of time using uncertain, incorrect, or outdated information. It is essential to provide tools to decision-makers that provide: * Management of friendly forces by treating the "friendly resources as a system". * Rapid assessment of effects of military actions againt the "enemy as a system". * Assessment of how an enemy should, can, and could react to friendly military activities. Software agents in the form of mission agents, target agents, maintenance agents, and logistics agents can meet this information challenge. The role of each agent is to know all the details about its assigned mission, target, maintenance, or logistics entity. The Mission Agent would fight for mission resources based on the mission priority and analyze the effect that a proposed mission's results would have on the enemy. The Target Agent (TA) communicates with other targets to determine its role in the system of targets. A system of TAs would be able to inform a planner or analyst of the status of a system of targets, the effect of that status, adn the effect of attacks on that system. The system of TAs would also be able to analyze possible enemy reactions to attack by determining ways to minimize the effect of attack, such as rerouting traffic or using deception. The Maintenance Agent would scheudle maintenance events and notify the maintenance unit. The Logistics Agent would manage shipment and delivery of supplies to maintain appropriate levels of weapons, fuel and spare parts. The central idea underlying this case of software agents is knowledge focus. Software agents are createad automatically to focus their attention on individual real-world entities (e.g., missions, targets) and view the world from that entities perspective. The agent autonomously monitors the entity, identifies problems/opportunities, formulates solutions, and informs the decision-maker. The agent must be

  11. Restricticin, a novel glycine-containing antifungal agent.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, R E; Dufresne, C; Flor, J E; Kempf, A J; Wilson, K E; Lam, T; Onishi, J; Milligan, J; Fromtling, R A; Abruzzo, G K

    1991-05-01

    Restricticin (1) is a naturally-occurring antifungal agent which contains triene, pyran and glycine ester functionalities and is unrelated to any previously known family of natural products. This unstable compound, as well as its corresponding N,N-dimethyl derivative (2), have been produced and isolated from both solid and liquid fermentations of Penicillium restrictum. The desglycyl hydrolysis product, restrictinol (3), was produced via the hydrolysis of pure restricticin and as an artifact of the isolation of restricticin. PMID:2061189

  12. Amaryllidaceae Isocarbostyril Alkaloids and Their Derivatives as Promising Antitumor Agents

    PubMed Central

    Ingrassia, Laurent; Lefranc, Florence; Mathieu, Véronique; Darro, Francis; Kiss, Robert

    2008-01-01

    This review covers the isolation, total synthesis, biologic activity, and more particularly the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activities of naturally occurring isocarbostyril alkaloids from the Amaryllidaceae family. Starting from these natural products, new derivatives have been synthesized to explore structure-activity relationships within the chemical class and to obtain potential candidates for preclinical development. This approach appears to be capable of providing novel promising anticancer agents. PMID:18607503

  13. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  14. Agent Communications using Distributed Metaobjects

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.; Spires, Shannon V.

    1999-06-10

    There are currently two proposed standards for agent communication languages, namely, KQML (Finin, Lobrou, and Mayfield 1994) and the FIPA ACL. Neither standard has yet achieved primacy, and neither has been evaluated extensively in an open environment such as the Internet. It seems prudent therefore to design a general-purpose agent communications facility for new agent architectures that is flexible yet provides an architecture that accepts many different specializations. In this paper we exhibit the salient features of an agent communications architecture based on distributed metaobjects. This architecture captures design commitments at a metaobject level, leaving the base-level design and implementation up to the agent developer. The scope of the metamodel is broad enough to accommodate many different communication protocols, interaction protocols, and knowledge sharing regimes through extensions to the metaobject framework. We conclude that with a powerful distributed object substrate that supports metaobject communications, a general framework can be developed that will effectively enable different approaches to agent communications in the same agent system. We have implemented a KQML-based communications protocol and have several special-purpose interaction protocols under development.

  15. A Cybernetic Approach to the Modeling of Agent Communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Truszkowski, Walt; Karlin, Jay

    2000-01-01

    In an earlier paper [1] examples of agent technology in a NASA context were presented. Both groundbased and space-based applications were addressed. This paper continues the discussion of one aspect of the Goddard Space Flight Center's continuing efforts to develop a community of agents that can support both ground-based and space-based systems autonomy. The paper focuses on an approach to agent-community modeling based on the theory of viable systems developed by Stafford Beer. It gives the status of an initial attempt to capture some of the agent-community behaviors in a viable system context. This paper is expository in nature and focuses on a discussion of the modeling of some of the underlying concepts and infrastructure that will serve as the basis of more detailed investigative work into the behavior of agent communities. The paper is organized as follows. First, a general introduction to agent community requirements is presented. Secondly, a brief introduction to the cybernetic concept of a viable system is given. This concept forms the foundation of the modeling approach. Then the concept of an agent community is modeled in the cybernetic context.

  16. Novel agents for the treatment of alopecia.

    PubMed

    Sawaya, M E

    1998-12-01

    Recent approval in the United States of two new products, Propecia (Merck Co, Rahway, NJ) and Rogaine Extra Strength 5% (Pharmacia & UpJohn Co, Kalamazoo, MI), indicated in men to promote scalp hair growth, have added a new dimension to treatment options offered by physicians in treating androgenetic alopecia (AGA). The search for new and effective agents to treat many different hair loss problems has been intensified by the increase in hair biology research taking place worldwide, from university academic institutions to the pharmaceutical companies. All have a desire to profit from marketing such drugs that have been termed, "cosmeceuticals". Millions of men and women of every race suffer from various forms of alopecia, the most common being AGA where the target tissue active androgen, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) aggravates genetically programmed scalp hair follicles that results in short, fine, miniaturized hairs. Currently available to treat alopecia are drugs indicated for other disease processes because no other agents are accessible; some have severe side-effects and many are minimally effective. These prescription drugs were not originally indicated for alopecia and have not been adequately tested in controlled clinical trials to assess for efficacy, safety, and toxicity. These agents continue to be used clinically to treat patients with various forms of alopecia. As a result, a variety of new agents are emerging in the patient application process to gain protection and approval specifically for various forms of alopecia. This report reviews the most recently approved products, some of the more promising compounds in clinical trial development, as well as those in the over-the-counter (OTC) "natural" treatments category. PMID:9859915

  17. Evaluation of risedronate as an antibiofilm agent.

    PubMed

    Reshamwala, Shamlan M S; Mamidipally, Chandrasekhar; Pissurlenkar, Raghuvir R S; Coutinho, Evans C; Noronha, Santosh B

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli cra null mutants have been reported in the literature to be impaired in biofilm formation. To develop E. coli biofilm-inhibiting agents for prevention and control of adherent behaviour, analogues of a natural Cra ligand, fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, were identified based on two-dimensional similarity to the natural ligand. Of the analogues identified, those belonging to the bisphosphonate class of drug molecules were selected for study, as these are approved for clinical use in humans and their safety has been established. Computational and in vitro studies with purified Cra protein showed that risedronate sodium interacted with residues in the fructose-1,6-bisphosphate-binding site. Using a quantitative biofilm assay, risedronate sodium, at a concentration of 300-400 μM, was found to decrease E. coli and Salmonella pullorum biofilm formation by >60 %. Risedronate drastically reduced the adherence of E. coli cells to a rubber Foley urinary catheter, demonstrating its utility in preventing the formation of biofilm communities on medical implant surfaces. The use of risedronate, either alone or in combination with other agents, to prevent the formation of biofilms on surfaces is a novel finding that can easily be translated into practical applications. PMID:26497196

  18. Enhancement of Commercial Antifungal Agents by Kojic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jong H.; Chang, Perng-Kuang; Chan, Kathleen L.; Faria, Natália C. G.; Mahoney, Noreen; Kim, Young K.; Martins, Maria de L.; Campbell, Bruce C.

    2012-01-01

    Natural compounds that pose no significant medical or environmental side effects are potential sources of antifungal agents, either in their nascent form or as structural backbones for more effective derivatives. Kojic acid (KA) is one such compound. It is a natural by-product of fungal fermentation commonly employed by food and cosmetic industries. We show that KA greatly lowers minimum inhibitory (MIC) or fungicidal (MFC) concentrations of commercial medicinal and agricultural antifungal agents, amphotericin B (AMB) and strobilurin, respectively, against pathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi. Assays using two mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) mutants, i.e., sakAΔ, mpkCΔ, of Aspergillus fumigatus, an agent for human invasive aspergillosis, with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or AMB indicate such chemosensitizing activity of KA is most conceivably through disruption of fungal antioxidation systems. KA could be developed as a chemosensitizer to enhance efficacy of certain conventional antifungal drugs or fungicides. PMID:23203038

  19. Departments as Agents of Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    Higher education is changing because it has no choice. And, for the most part, outside influences are dictating the processes of change. The more fortunate institutions have had a flat budget during this period, but most have been forced to deal with a declining revenue stream as well. Legislators seem bent on micromanaging state-supported institutions, even as they cut their support. Regulators demand greater institutional accountability. Students and their parents expect more service at lower prices and increased flexibility. Technological advances have dramatically affected the availability and accessibility of extant knowledge. It is no longer a question of whether institutions will change, but rather, who will control the change. Most institutions possess long-standing academic traditions, but these are placed at risk in an increasingly competitive market that holds little sympathy for such traditions and may even see them as obstacles or barriers. As a result, the change agents will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the very nature of academic institutions. From the academic point of view, it would seem prudent to attempt to manage the changes that will inevitably occur. A number of concerned observers, notably the Pew Higher Education Roundtable and the American Association for Higher Education, argue persuasively that the academic department is the logical focus for responding to the current winds of change. Using a marketing metaphor, the academic department has been likened to a "producers' cooperative" of services that consumers seek. Thus, the department should be held accountable for the quality of teaching delivered by its members, for the coherence of its major, for its contributions to the general education curriculum, and for supervising and rewarding its individual faculty members. If departments are to be held accountable, it is surely in their best interest to act in such a way that they are accountable. Expecting academic departments to be

  20. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, Paul H.; Brainard, James R.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Ryan, Robert R.

    1997-01-01

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC.sub.16 H.sub.14 N.sub.6. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

  1. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, P.H.; Brainard, J.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Ryan, R.R.

    1997-12-30

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC{sub 16}H{sub 14}N{sub 6}. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques. 10 figs.

  2. Enhancement of commercial antifungal agents by kojic acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kojic acid (KA), a natural by-product of fungal fermentation, is a commonly used food and cosmetic additive. We show that KA increases activity of amphotericin B and strobilurin, medical and agricultural antifungal agents, respectively, possibly targeting the fungal antioxidative system. KA shows pr...

  3. Betacyanins pigments as photosensitizing agents for holographic recording medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Hernández-Hernández, E.; Santacruz-Vázquez, C.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Santacruz-Vazquez, V.

    2014-02-01

    One of the natural most employed within the food industry are pigments of betalains by their solubility in water to give desired colorations in processed foods such as beverages, dairy, meat. However, this research shows that this type of pigments can be used as photosensitizing agents in the field of holographic recording materials.

  4. An Agent-Based Interface to Terrestrial Ecological Forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, Keith; Nemani, Ramakrishna; Pang, Wan-Lin; Votava, Petr; Etzioni, Oren

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes a flexible agent-based ecological forecasting system that combines multiple distributed data sources and models to provide near-real-time answers to questions about the state of the Earth system We build on novel techniques in automated constraint-based planning and natural language interfaces to automatically generate data products based on descriptions of the desired data products.

  5. The agent-based spatial information semantic grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Wei; Zhu, YaQiong; Zhou, Yong; Li, Deren

    2006-10-01

    Analyzing the characteristic of multi-Agent and geographic Ontology, The concept of the Agent-based Spatial Information Semantic Grid (ASISG) is defined and the architecture of the ASISG is advanced. ASISG is composed with Multi-Agents and geographic Ontology. The Multi-Agent Systems are composed with User Agents, General Ontology Agent, Geo-Agents, Broker Agents, Resource Agents, Spatial Data Analysis Agents, Spatial Data Access Agents, Task Execution Agent and Monitor Agent. The architecture of ASISG have three layers, they are the fabric layer, the grid management layer and the application layer. The fabric layer what is composed with Data Access Agent, Resource Agent and Geo-Agent encapsulates the data of spatial information system so that exhibits a conceptual interface for the Grid management layer. The Grid management layer, which is composed with General Ontology Agent, Task Execution Agent and Monitor Agent and Data Analysis Agent, used a hybrid method to manage all resources that were registered in a General Ontology Agent that is described by a General Ontology System. The hybrid method is assembled by resource dissemination and resource discovery. The resource dissemination push resource from Local Ontology Agent to General Ontology Agent and the resource discovery pull resource from the General Ontology Agent to Local Ontology Agents. The Local Ontology Agent is derived from special domain and describes the semantic information of local GIS. The nature of the Local Ontology Agents can be filtrated to construct a virtual organization what could provides a global scheme. The virtual organization lightens the burdens of guests because they need not search information site by site manually. The application layer what is composed with User Agent, Geo-Agent and Task Execution Agent can apply a corresponding interface to a domain user. The functions that ASISG should provide are: 1) It integrates different spatial information systems on the semantic The Grid

  6. Introducing Infectious Agents and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Buonaguro, Franco M; Lewis, George K; Pelicci, PierGiuseppe

    2006-01-01

    Infectious Agents and Cancer is a new open access, peer-reviewed, online journal, which encompasses all aspects of basic, clinical and translational research that provide an insight into the association between chronic infections and cancer. PMID:23509916

  7. Diamine curing agents for polyurethanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, V. L.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1975-01-01

    Three aromatic diamines have properties that make them promising candidates as curing agents for converting isocyanates to polyurethanes with higher adhesive strengths, higher softening temperatures, better toughness, and improved abrasion resistance.

  8. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, Hagan; Walker, Barbara J.; Chang, Chung-yu; Niblack, Brett; Panchal, Rekha

    1998-01-01

    An inactive pore-forming agent which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell.

  9. Tissue Penetration of Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Felton, Timothy; Troke, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the tissue penetration of systemically administered antifungal agents is critical for a proper appreciation of their antifungal efficacy in animals and humans. Both the time course of an antifungal drug and its absolute concentrations within tissues may differ significantly from those observed in the bloodstream. In addition, tissue concentrations must also be interpreted within the context of the pathogenesis of the various invasive fungal infections, which differ significantly. There are major technical obstacles to the estimation of concentrations of antifungal agents in various tissue subcompartments, yet these agents, even those within the same class, may exhibit markedly different tissue distributions. This review explores these issues and provides a summary of tissue concentrations of 11 currently licensed systemic antifungal agents. It also explores the therapeutic implications of their distribution at various sites of infection. PMID:24396137

  10. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... for survivors' benefits . Research on AL amyloidosis and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as ... to the compounds of interest found in the herbicide Agent Orange and AL amyloidosis." VA made a ...

  11. Agent-based forward analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kerekes, Ryan A.; Jiao, Yu; Shankar, Mallikarjun; Potok, Thomas E.; Lusk, Rick M.

    2008-01-01

    We propose software agent-based "forward analysis" for efficient information retrieval in a network of sensing devices. In our approach, processing is pushed to the data at the edge of the network via intelligent software agents rather than pulling data to a central facility for processing. The agents are deployed with a specific query and perform varying levels of analysis of the data, communicating with each other and sending only relevant information back across the network. We demonstrate our concept in the context of face recognition using a wireless test bed comprised of PDA cell phones and laptops. We show that agent-based forward analysis can provide a significant increase in retrieval speed while decreasing bandwidth usage and information overload at the central facility. n

  12. Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Semmel, Glenn S.; Davis, Steven R.; Leucht, Kurt W.; Rowe, Dan A.; Kelly, Andrew O.; Boeloeni, Ladislau

    2005-01-01

    The Spaceport Processing Systems Branch at NASA Kennedy Space Center has developed and deployed a software agent to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The application, the Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent, increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during Shuttle launch countdown. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream, automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met, identifies limit warnings and violations of launch commit criteria, aids Shuttle engineers through troubleshooting procedures, and provides additional insight to verify appropriate troubleshooting of problems by contractors. The agent has successfully detected launch commit criteria warnings and violations on a simulated playback data stream. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation.

  13. Temporal naturalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolin, Lee

    2015-11-01

    Two people may claim both to be naturalists, but have divergent conceptions of basic elements of the natural world which lead them to mean different things when they talk about laws of nature, or states, or the role of mathematics in physics. These disagreements do not much affect the ordinary practice of science which is about small subsystems of the universe, described or explained against a background, idealized to be fixed. But these issues become crucial when we consider including the whole universe within our system, for then there is no fixed background to reference observables to. I argue here that the key issue responsible for divergent versions of naturalism and divergent approaches to cosmology is the conception of time. One version, which I call temporal naturalism, holds that time, in the sense of the succession of present moments, is real, and that laws of nature evolve in that time. This is contrasted with timeless naturalism, which holds that laws are immutable and the present moment and its passage are illusions. I argue that temporal naturalism is empirically more adequate than the alternatives, because it offers testable explanations for puzzles its rivals cannot address, and is likely a better basis for solving major puzzles that presently face cosmology and physics. This essay also addresses the problem of qualia and experience within naturalism and argues that only temporal naturalism can make a place for qualia as intrinsic qualities of matter.

  14. What makes virtual agents believable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanovych, Anton; Trescak, Tomas; Simoff, Simeon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the concept of believability and make an attempt to isolate individual characteristics (features) that contribute to making virtual characters believable. As the result of this investigation we have produced a formalisation of believability and based on this formalisation built a computational framework focused on simulation of believable virtual agents that possess the identified features. In order to test whether the identified features are, in fact, responsible for agents being perceived as more believable, we have conducted a user study. In this study we tested user reactions towards the virtual characters that were created for a simulation of aboriginal inhabitants of a particular area of Sydney, Australia in 1770 A.D. The participants of our user study were exposed to short simulated scenes, in which virtual agents performed some behaviour in two different ways (while possessing a certain aspect of believability vs. not possessing it). The results of the study indicate that virtual agents that appear resource bounded, are aware of their environment, own interaction capabilities and their state in the world, agents that can adapt to changes in the environment and exist in correct social context are those that are being perceived as more believable. Further in the paper we discuss these and other believability features and provide a quantitative analysis of the level of contribution for each such feature to the overall perceived believability of a virtual agent.

  15. Killer clays! Natural antibacterial clay minerals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, L.B.; Holland, M.; Eberl, D.D.; Brunet, T.; De Courrsou, L. B.

    2004-01-01

    The clay chemical properties that may be important in medicine were investigated. It was found that natural clay minerals can have striking and very specific effects on microbial populations. The effects can range from potentially enhanced microbial growth to complete sterilization. This paper presents evidence that natural clay minerals can be effective antimicrobial agents.

  16. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents' authority. The General Agents are hereby delegated authority to undertake for the account of the...

  17. Natural Beauty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coy, Mary

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author describes how her art class students were able to create, in just four class periods, clay relief plaques depicting nature. A lesson on texture speeds up the completion of such a project. Seeing that clay is a natural material with its own unique texture, it seemed fitting that the final product should depict a variety…

  18. Nature Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Lee, Richard E.; Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (2008) added to a growing consensus to get children outside and experiencing nature. Using ideas from place-based education, the authors present a simple year-long project that brings science, nature, and other curriculum standards to life right in your school yard. With a focus on journaling, this project…

  19. Matematica Natural.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lozano, Patricia; Medearis, Linda

    Matematica Natural (Natural Mathematics) is a mathematics curriculum for young children based on the assumption that they learn mathematics through concrete, real life, relevant experiences and that educational differences rather than cultural differences influence math achievement. The curriculum uses hands-on materials and activities to teach…

  20. Phytoconstituents as apoptosis inducing agents: strategy to combat cancer.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Kaur, Varinder; Kumar, Subodh; Kaur, Satwinderjeet

    2016-08-01

    Advancement in the field of cancer molecular biology has aided researchers to develop various new chemopreventive agents which can target cancer cells exclusively. Cancer chemopreventive agents have proficiency to inhibit, reverse and delay process of carcinogenesis during its early and later course. Chemopreventive agents can act as antioxidative, antimutagenic/antigenotoxic, anti-inflammatory agents or via aiming various molecular targets in a cell to induce cell death. Apoptosis is a kind of cell death which shows various cellular morphological alterations such as cell shrinkage, blebbing of membrane, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, formation of apoptotic bodies etc. Nowadays, apoptosis is being one of the new approaches for the identification and development of novel anticancer therapies. For centuries, plants are known to play part in daily routine from providing food to management of human health. In the last two decades, diverse phytochemicals and various botanical formulations have been characterized as agents that possess potential to execute cancer cells via inducing apoptosis. Data obtained from the research carried out globally pointed out that natural products are the potential candidates which have capability to combat cancer. In the present review, we surveyed literature on natural products which throws light on the mechanism through which these phytochemicals induce apoptosis in cancer cells. PMID:26239338

  1. Natural products and caries prevention.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Lei; Li, Jiyao; He, Libang; Zhou, Xuedong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries is considered as the most common polymicrobial oral disease in the world. With the aim of developing alternative approaches to reduce or prevent the decay, numerous papers showed the potential anticaries activity of a number of natural products. The natural products with anticaries effects are selected from e.g. food, beverages, flowers or traditional herbs. Most of the effective components are proven to be polyphenol compounds. Many of the natural products are studied as antibacterial agents, while some of them are found to be effective in shifting the de-/remineralization balance. However, the mechanisms of the anticaries effects are still unclear for most of the natural products. In the future, more efforts need to be made to seek novel effective natural products via in vitro experiment, animal study and in situ investigations, as well as to enhance their anticaries effects with the help of novel technology like nanotechnology. PMID:25871417

  2. Hybrid evolutionary computing model for mobile agents of wireless Internet multimedia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hortos, William S.

    2001-03-01

    The ecosystem is used as an evolutionary paradigm of natural laws for the distributed information retrieval via mobile agents to allow the computational load to be added to server nodes of wireless networks, while reducing the traffic on communication links. Based on the Food Web model, a set of computational rules of natural balance form the outer stage to control the evolution of mobile agents providing multimedia services with a wireless Internet protocol WIP. The evolutionary model shows how mobile agents should behave with the WIP, in particular, how mobile agents can cooperate, compete and learn from each other, based on an underlying competition for radio network resources to establish the wireless connections to support the quality of service QoS of user requests. Mobile agents are also allowed to clone themselves, propagate and communicate with other agents. A two-layer model is proposed for agent evolution: the outer layer is based on the law of natural balancing, the inner layer is based on a discrete version of a Kohonen self-organizing feature map SOFM to distribute network resources to meet QoS requirements. The former is embedded in the higher OSI layers of the WIP, while the latter is used in the resource management procedures of Layer 2 and 3 of the protocol. Algorithms for the distributed computation of mobile agent evolutionary behavior are developed by adding a learning state to the agent evolution state diagram. When an agent is in an indeterminate state, it can communicate to other agents. Computing models can be replicated from other agents. Then the agents transitions to the mutating state to wait for a new information-retrieval goal. When a wireless terminal or station lacks a network resource, an agent in the suspending state can change its policy to submit to the environment before it transitions to the searching state. The agents learn the facts of agent state information entered into an external database. In the cloning process, two

  3. 12 CFR 725.7 - Special share accounts in federally chartered agent members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... agent members. 725.7 Section 725.7 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.7 Special... credit union. (b) The amount which the Agent member requires each member natural person credit union...

  4. 12 CFR 725.7 - Special share accounts in federally chartered agent members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... agent members. 725.7 Section 725.7 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.7 Special... credit union. (b) The amount which the Agent member requires each member natural person credit union...

  5. 12 CFR 725.7 - Special share accounts in federally chartered agent members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... agent members. 725.7 Section 725.7 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.7 Special... credit union. (b) The amount which the Agent member requires each member natural person credit union...

  6. 12 CFR 725.7 - Special share accounts in federally chartered agent members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... agent members. 725.7 Section 725.7 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.7 Special... credit union. (b) The amount which the Agent member requires each member natural person credit union...

  7. 12 CFR 725.7 - Special share accounts in federally chartered agent members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... agent members. 725.7 Section 725.7 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.7 Special... credit union. (b) The amount which the Agent member requires each member natural person credit union...

  8. An Exploratory Study on How Children Interact with Pedagogic Conversational Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pérez-Marín, Diana; Pascual-Nieto, Ismael

    2013-01-01

    A pedagogic conversational agent (PCA) can be defined as a computer system that interacts with the student in natural language assuming the role of the instructor, a student or a companion. It can have a personality and can generate different sentences according to the agent or the student mood. Empathy with the students' feelings seems to…

  9. In-Service Training of Agricultural Agents in New York State: 1963; Extension Study Number 6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexander, Frank D.; Harshaw, Jean

    The purpose of this study was to ascertain the nature and amount of inservice training which the 168 agricultural agents in New York State received during 1963. Emphasis was on refresher and other training. The greatest number of days of training offered agents was in November followed closely by March and February, in all, a total of 36% of the…

  10. STATISTICAL ASSESSMENT: TWO LABORATORY TESTS FOR ESTIMATING PERFORMANCE OF SHORELINE CLEANING AGENTS FOR OIL SPILLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chemical cleaning agents are an option that can be used to mitigate detrimental effects of stranded oil on natural shorelines under appropriate circumstances. uch agents would be used because of biological sensitivity of indigenous fauna and flora to stranded oil, amenity conside...

  11. A amphoteric copolymer profile modification agent

    SciTech Connect

    Wang HongGuan; Yu LianCheng; Tian HongKun

    1995-11-01

    This report provides a new gel profile modification agent prepared by an amphoteric copolymer (FT-213) and a novel crosslinking agent (BY), and introduces the preparations of the amphoteric polymer, the crosslinking agent and the profile modification agent, the action mechanism, the test conditions and the evaluations of the performance of the agent. The 45 well treatments in oilfields demonstrate that the agent can be prepared conveniently, the agent has better compatibility and application performances, and the treatment life is longer with the use of the agent. 80,000 tons incremental oil and 60,000 m{sup 3} decreasing water production have been achieved.

  12. Chemosensitization as a Means to Augment Commercial Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Bruce C.; Chan, Kathleen L.; Kim, Jong H.

    2012-01-01

    Antimycotic chemosensitization and its mode of action are of growing interest. Currently, use of antifungal agents in agriculture and medicine has a number of obstacles. Foremost of these is development of resistance or cross-resistance to one or more antifungal agents. The generally high expense and negative impact, or side effects, associated with antifungal agents are two further issues of concern. Collectively, these problems are exacerbated by efforts to control resistant strains, which can evolve into a treadmill of higher dosages for longer periods. This cycle in turn, inflates cost of treatment, dramatically. A further problem is stagnation in development of new and effective antifungal agents, especially for treatment of human mycoses. Efforts to overcome some of these issues have involved using combinations of available antimycotics (e.g., combination therapy for invasive mycoses). However, this approach has had inconsistent success and is often associated with a marked increase in negative side effects. Chemosensitization by natural compounds to increase effectiveness of commercial antimycotics is a somewhat new approach to dealing with the aforementioned problems. The potential for safe natural products to improve antifungal activity has been observed for over three decades. Chemosensitizing agents possess antifungal activity, but at insufficient levels to serve as antimycotics, alone. Their main function is to disrupt fungal stress response, destabilize the structural integrity of cellular and vacuolar membranes or stimulate production of reactive oxygen species, augmenting oxidative stress and apoptosis. Use of safe chemosensitizing agents has potential benefit to both agriculture and medicine. When co-applied with a commercial antifungal agent, an additive or synergistic interaction may occur, augmenting antifungal efficacy. This augmentation, in turn, lowers effective dosages, costs, negative side effects and, in some cases, countermands resistance

  13. A multi-agent architecture for geosimulation of moving agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vahidnia, Mohammad H.; Alesheikh, Ali A.; Alavipanah, Seyed Kazem

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, a novel architecture is proposed in which an axiomatic derivation system in the form of first-order logic facilitates declarative explanation and spatial reasoning. Simulation of environmental perception and interaction between autonomous agents is designed with a geographic belief-desire-intention and a request-inform-query model. The architecture has a complementary quantitative component that supports collaborative planning based on the concept of equilibrium and game theory. This new architecture presents a departure from current best practices geographic agent-based modelling. Implementation tasks are discussed in some detail, as well as scenarios for fleet management and disaster management.

  14. Natural Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddox, Robert N.; Moshfeghian, Mahmood; Ldol, James D.; Johannes, Arland H.

    Natural gas is a naturally occurring mixture of simple hydrocarbons and nonhydrocarbons that exists as a gas at ordinary pressures and temperatures. In the raw state, as produced from the earth, natural gas consists principally of methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H4), with fractional amounts of propane (C3H8), butane (C4H10), and other hydrocarbons, pentane (C5H12) and heavier. Occasionally, small traces of light aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene and toluene may also be present.

  15. Inside Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taroni, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Since its launch in 1869, Nature has seen its mission as two-fold: facilitating the prompt communication of the most important scientific developments to the relevant research communities, while at the same time fostering a greater appreciation of these great works of science amongst the wider public. Although the publishing landscape for scientific research is currently undergoing a period of rapid change, these core principles remain largely unchanged. In this talk, I will endeavour to explain how Nature editors - in particular those based at Nature Physics- apply these principles in practice, and so determine which few of the many excellent research submissions that we receive make it through to publication.

  16. The Nature of Natural Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Joe E.

    A variety of types of evidence are examined to help determine the true nature of "deep structure" and what, if any, implications this has for linguistic theory as well as culture theory generally. The evidence accumulated over the past century on the nature of phonetic and phonemic systems is briefly discussed, and the following areas of analysis…

  17. Next Generation Remote Agent Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jonsson, Ari K.; Muscettola, Nicola; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    In May 1999, as part of a unique technology validation experiment onboard the Deep Space One spacecraft, the Remote Agent became the first complete autonomous spacecraft control architecture to run as flight software onboard an active spacecraft. As one of the three components of the architecture, the Remote Agent Planner had the task of laying out the course of action to be taken, which included activities such as turning, thrusting, data gathering, and communicating. Building on the successful approach developed for the Remote Agent Planner, the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner is a completely redesigned and reimplemented version of the planner. The new system provides all the key capabilities of the original planner, while adding functionality, improving performance and providing a modular and extendible implementation. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop a system that provides both a basis for future applications and a framework for further research in the area of autonomous planning for spacecraft. In this article, we present an introductory overview of the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner. We present a new and simplified definition of the planning problem, describe the basics of the planning process, lay out the new system design and examine the functionality of the core reasoning module.

  18. Inhalational exposure to nerve agents.

    PubMed

    Niven, Alexander S; Roop, Stuart A

    2004-03-01

    The respiratory system plays a major role in the pathogenesis of nerve agent toxicity. It is the major route of entry and absorption of nerve agent vapor, and respiratory failure is the most common cause of death follow-ing exposure. Respiratory symptoms are mediated by chemical irritation,muscarinic and nicotinic receptor overstimulation, and central nervous system effects. Recent attacks have demonstrated that most patients with an isolated vapor exposure developed respiratory symptoms almost immediately. Most patients had only mild and transient respiratory effects, and those that did develop significant respiratory compromise did so rapidly. These observations have significant ramifications on triage of patients in a mass-casualty situation, because patients with mild-to-moderate exposure to nerve agent vapor alone do not require decontamination and are less likely to develop progressive symptoms following initial antidote therapy. Limited data do not demonstrate significant long-term respiratory effects following nerve agent exposure and treatment. Provisions for effective respiratory protection against nerve agents is a vital consideration in any emergency preparedness or health care response plan against a chemical attack. PMID:15062227

  19. Investigational antimicrobial agents of 2013.

    PubMed

    Pucci, Michael J; Bush, Karen

    2013-10-01

    New antimicrobial agents are always needed to counteract the resistant pathogens that continue to be selected by current therapeutic regimens. This review provides a survey of known antimicrobial agents that were currently in clinical development in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Data were collected from published literature primarily from 2010 to 2012, meeting abstracts (2011 to 2012), government websites, and company websites when appropriate. Compared to what was reported in previous surveys, a surprising number of new agents are currently in company pipelines, particularly in phase 3 clinical development. Familiar antibacterial classes of the quinolones, tetracyclines, oxazolidinones, glycopeptides, and cephalosporins are represented by entities with enhanced antimicrobial or pharmacological properties. More importantly, compounds of novel chemical structures targeting bacterial pathways not previously exploited are under development. Some of the most promising compounds include novel β-lactamase inhibitor combinations that target many multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a critical medical need. Although new antimicrobial agents will continue to be needed to address increasing antibiotic resistance, there are novel agents in development to tackle at least some of the more worrisome pathogens in the current nosocomial setting. PMID:24092856

  20. Investigational Antimicrobial Agents of 2013

    PubMed Central

    Pucci, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY New antimicrobial agents are always needed to counteract the resistant pathogens that continue to be selected by current therapeutic regimens. This review provides a survey of known antimicrobial agents that were currently in clinical development in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Data were collected from published literature primarily from 2010 to 2012, meeting abstracts (2011 to 2012), government websites, and company websites when appropriate. Compared to what was reported in previous surveys, a surprising number of new agents are currently in company pipelines, particularly in phase 3 clinical development. Familiar antibacterial classes of the quinolones, tetracyclines, oxazolidinones, glycopeptides, and cephalosporins are represented by entities with enhanced antimicrobial or pharmacological properties. More importantly, compounds of novel chemical structures targeting bacterial pathways not previously exploited are under development. Some of the most promising compounds include novel β-lactamase inhibitor combinations that target many multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a critical medical need. Although new antimicrobial agents will continue to be needed to address increasing antibiotic resistance, there are novel agents in development to tackle at least some of the more worrisome pathogens in the current nosocomial setting. PMID:24092856

  1. Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment.

    PubMed

    Kanlayavattanakul, M; Lourith, N

    2011-08-01

    Acne vulgaris suppresses an individual's self-confidence by causing distress with regard to physical appearance, which affects a significant number of individuals during puberty and is delineated by adolescence. Several treatments have been introduced to decrease the aesthetic and psychological problems caused by acne. The topical application of therapeutic agents has been found to be more feasible than hormonal treatment and laser therapy. The ingredients in topical acne treatments, particularly herbs and naturally derived compounds, have received considerable interest as they have fewer adverse effects than synthetic agents. PMID:21401650

  2. The Agent of extracting Internet Information with Lead Order

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mo, Zan; Huang, Chuliang; Liu, Aijun

    In order to carry out e-commerce better, advanced technologies to access business information are in need urgently. An agent is described to deal with the problems of extracting internet information that caused by the non-standard and skimble-scamble structure of Chinese websites. The agent designed includes three modules which respond to the process of extracting information separately. A method of HTTP tree and a kind of Lead algorithm is proposed to generate a lead order, with which the required web can be retrieved easily. How to transform the extracted information structuralized with natural language is also discussed.

  3. Improving Access To Novel Agents For Childhood Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Weili; Gaynon, Paul S.; Sposto, Richard; Wayne, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    Leukemia is the most common pediatric cancer. Despite great progress in the development of curative therapy, leukemia remains a leading cause of death from disease in childhood and survivors are at life-long risk of complications of treatment. New agents are needed to further increase cure rates and decrease treatment-associated toxicities. The complex biology and aggressive nature of childhood leukemia, coupled with the relatively small patient population available for study, pose specific challenges to the development of new therapies. In this review, we discuss strategies and initiatives designed to improve access to new agents in the treatment of pediatric leukemia. PMID:25678105

  4. Complex groundwater flow systems as traveling agent models

    PubMed Central

    Padilla, Pablo; Escolero, Oscar; González, Tomas; Morales-Casique, Eric; Osorio-Olvera, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing field data from pumping tests, we show that as with many other natural phenomena, groundwater flow exhibits complex dynamics described by 1/f power spectrum. This result is theoretically studied within an agent perspective. Using a traveling agent model, we prove that this statistical behavior emerges when the medium is complex. Some heuristic reasoning is provided to justify both spatial and dynamic complexity, as the result of the superposition of an infinite number of stochastic processes. Even more, we show that this implies that non-Kolmogorovian probability is needed for its study, and provide a set of new partial differential equations for groundwater flow. PMID:25337455

  5. Evaluating Water Demand Using Agent-Based Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, T. S.

    2004-12-01

    The supply and demand of water resources are functions of complex, inter-related systems including hydrology, climate, demographics, economics, and policy. To assess the safety and sustainability of water resources, planners often rely on complex numerical models that relate some or all of these systems using mathematical abstractions. The accuracy of these models relies on how well the abstractions capture the true nature of the systems interactions. Typically, these abstractions are based on analyses of observations and/or experiments that account only for the statistical mean behavior of each system. This limits the approach in two important ways: 1) It cannot capture cross-system disruptive events, such as major drought, significant policy change, or terrorist attack, and 2) it cannot resolve sub-system level responses. To overcome these limitations, we are developing an agent-based water resources model that includes the systems of hydrology, climate, demographics, economics, and policy, to examine water demand during normal and extraordinary conditions. Agent-based modeling (ABM) develops functional relationships between systems by modeling the interaction between individuals (agents), who behave according to a probabilistic set of rules. ABM is a "bottom-up" modeling approach in that it defines macro-system behavior by modeling the micro-behavior of individual agents. While each agent's behavior is often simple and predictable, the aggregate behavior of all agents in each system can be complex, unpredictable, and different than behaviors observed in mean-behavior models. Furthermore, the ABM approach creates a virtual laboratory where the effects of policy changes and/or extraordinary events can be simulated. Our model, which is based on the demographics and hydrology of the Middle Rio Grande Basin in the state of New Mexico, includes agent groups of residential, agricultural, and industrial users. Each agent within each group determines its water usage

  6. Leveraging synergy for multiple agent infotaxis

    SciTech Connect

    Gintautas, Vadas; Hagberg, Aric A; Bettencourt, Luis M A

    2008-01-01

    Social computation, whether in the form of a search performed by a swarm of agents or the predictions of markets, often supplies remarkably good solutions to complex problems, which often elude the best experts. There is an intuition, built upon many anecdotal examples, that pervading principles are at play that allow individuals trying to solve a problem locally to aggregate their information to arrive at an outcome superior than any available to isolated parties. Here we show that the general structure of this problem can be cast in terms of information theory and derive general mathematical conditions for information sharing and coordination that lead to optimal multi-agent searches. Specifically we illustrate the problem in terms of the construction of local search algorithms for autonomous agents looking for the spatial location of a stochastic source. We explore the types of search problems -defined in terms of the properties of the source and the nature of measurements at each sensor -for which coordination among multiple searchers yields an advantage beyond that gained by having the same number of independent searchers. We assert that effective coordination corresponds to synergy and that ineffective coordination corresponds to redundancy as defined using information theory. We classify explicit types of sources in terms of their potential for synergy. We show that sources that emit uncorrelated particles based on a Poisson process, provide no opportunity for synergetic coordination while others, particularly sources that emit correlated signals, do allow for strong synergy between searchers. These general considerations are crucial for designing optimal algorithms for particular search problems in real world settings.

  7. Therapeutic potential of chalcones as cardiovascular agents.

    PubMed

    Mahapatra, Debarshi Kar; Bharti, Sanjay Kumar

    2016-03-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death affecting 17.3 million people across the globe and are estimated to affect 23.3 million people by year 2030. In recent years, about 7.3 million people died due to coronary heart disease, 9.4 million deaths due to high blood pressure and 6.2 million due to stroke, where obesity and atherosclerotic progression remain the chief pathological factors. The search for newer and better cardiovascular agents is the foremost need to manage cardiac patient population across the world. Several natural and (semi) synthetic chalcones deserve the credit of being potential candidates to inhibit various cardiovascular, hematological and anti-obesity targets like angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT), acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), pancreatic lipase (PL), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), calcium (Ca(2+))/potassium (K(+)) channel, COX-1, TXA2 and TXB2. In this review, a comprehensive study of chalcones, their therapeutic targets, structure activity relationships (SARs), mechanisms of actions (MOAs) have been discussed. Chemically diverse chalcone scaffolds, their derivatives including structural manipulation of both aryl rings, replacement with heteroaryl scaffold(s) and hybridization through conjugation with other pharmacologically active scaffold have been highlighted. Chalcones which showed promising activity and have a well-defined MOAs, SARs must be considered as prototype for the design and development of potential anti-hypertensive, anti-anginal, anti-arrhythmic and cardioprotective agents. With the knowledge of these molecular targets, structural insights and SARs, this review may be helpful for (medicinal) chemists to design more potent, safe, selective and cost effective chalcone derivatives as potential cardiovascular agents. PMID:26876916

  8. Environmentally responsive MRI contrast agents

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Gemma-Louise; Kramberger, Iris; Davis, Jason J.

    2015-01-01

    Biomedical imaging techniques can provide a vast amount of anatomical information, enabling diagnosis and the monitoring of disease and treatment profile. MRI uniquely offers convenient, non-invasive, high resolution tomographic imaging. A considerable amount of effort has been invested, across several decades, in the design of non toxic paramagnetic contrast agents capable of enhancing positive MRI signal contrast. Recently, focus has shifted towards the development of agents capable of specifically reporting on their local biochemical environment, where a switch in image contrast is triggered by a specific stimulus/biochemical variable. Such an ability would not only strengthen diagnosis but also provide unique disease-specific biochemical insight. This feature article focuses on recent progress in the development of MRI contrast switching with molecular, macromolecular and nanoparticle-based agents. PMID:24040650

  9. Polycatechol Nanoparticle MRI Contrast Agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiwen; Huang, Yuran; Wang, Zhao; Carniato, Fabio; Xie, Yijun; Patterson, Joseph P; Thompson, Matthew P; Andolina, Christopher M; Ditri, Treffly B; Millstone, Jill E; Figueroa, Joshua S; Rinehart, Jeffrey D; Scadeng, Miriam; Botta, Mauro; Gianneschi, Nathan C

    2016-02-01

    Amphiphilic triblock copolymers containing Fe(III) -catecholate complexes formulated as spherical- or cylindrical-shaped micellar nanoparticles (SMN and CMN, respectively) are described as new T1-weighted agents with high relaxivity, low cytotoxicity, and long-term stability in biological fluids. Relaxivities of both SMN and CMN exceed those of established gadolinium chelates across a wide range of magnetic field strengths. Interestingly, shape-dependent behavior is observed in terms of the particles' interactions with HeLa cells, with CMN exhibiting enhanced uptake and contrast via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compared with SMN. These results suggest that control over soft nanoparticle shape will provide an avenue for optimization of particle-based contrast agents as biodiagnostics. The polycatechol nanoparticles are proposed as suitable for preclinical investigations into their viability as gadolinium-free, safe, and effective imaging agents for MRI contrast enhancement. PMID:26681255

  10. Chemical warfare. Nerve agent poisoning.

    PubMed

    Holstege, C P; Kirk, M; Sidell, F R

    1997-10-01

    The threat of civilian and military casualties from nerve agent exposure has become a greater concern over the past decade. After rapidly assessing that a nerve agent attack has occurred, emphasis must be placed on decontamination and protection of both rescuers and medical personnel from exposure. The medical system can become rapidly overwhelmed and strong emotional reactions can confuse the clinical picture. Initially, care should first be focused on supportive care, with emphasis toward aggressive airway maintenance and decontamination. Atropine should be titrated, with the goal of therapy being drying of secretions and the resolution of bronchoconstriction and bradycardia. Early administration of pralidoxime chloride maximizes antidotal efficacy. Benzodiazepines, in addition to atropine, should be administered if seizures develop. Early, aggressive medical therapy is the key to prevention of the morbidity and mortality associated with nerve agent poisoning. PMID:9330846

  11. Agent review phase one report.

    SciTech Connect

    Zubelewicz, Alex Tadeusz; Davis, Christopher Edward; Bauer, Travis LaDell

    2009-12-01

    This report summarizes the findings for phase one of the agent review and discusses the review methods and results. The phase one review identified a short list of agent systems that would prove most useful in the service architecture of an information management, analysis, and retrieval system. Reviewers evaluated open-source and commercial multi-agent systems and scored them based upon viability, uniqueness, ease of development, ease of deployment, and ease of integration with other products. Based on these criteria, reviewers identified the ten most appropriate systems. The report also mentions several systems that reviewers deemed noteworthy for the ideas they implement, even if those systems are not the best choices for information management purposes.

  12. Haloprogin: a Topical Antifungal Agent

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, E. F.; Zwadyk, P.; Bequette, R. J.; Hamlow, E. E.; Tavormina, P. A.; Zygmunt, W. A.

    1970-01-01

    Haloprogin was shown to be a highly effective agent for the treatment of experimentally induced topical mycotic infections in guinea pigs. Its in vitro spectrum of activity also includes yeasts, yeastlike fungi (Candida species), and certain gram-positive bacteria. The in vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of haloprogin against dermatophytes was equal to that observed with tolnaftate. The striking differences between the two agents were the marked antimonilial and selective antibacterial activities shown by haloprogin, contrasted with the negligible activities found with tolnaftate. Addition of serum decreased the in vitro antifungal activity of haloprogin to a greater extent than that of tolnaftate; however, diminished antifungal activity was not observed when haloprogin was applied topically to experimental dermatophytic infections. Based on its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, haloprogin may prove to be a superior topical agent in the treatment of dermatophytic and monilial infections in man. PMID:5422306

  13. Thyroid dysfunction from antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Hamnvik, Ole-Petter Riksfjord; Larsen, P Reed; Marqusee, Ellen

    2011-11-01

    Unlike cytotoxic agents that indiscriminately affect rapidly dividing cells, newer antineoplastic agents such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies are associated with thyroid dysfunction. These include tyrosine kinase inhibitors, bexarotene, radioiodine-based cancer therapies, denileukin diftitox, alemtuzumab, interferon-α, interleukin-2, ipilimumab, tremelimumab, thalidomide, and lenalidomide. Primary hypothyroidism is the most common side effect, although thyrotoxicosis and effects on thyroid-stimulating hormone secretion and thyroid hormone metabolism have also been described. Most agents cause thyroid dysfunction in 20%-50% of patients, although some have even higher rates. Despite this, physicians may overlook drug-induced thyroid dysfunction because of the complexity of the clinical picture in the cancer patient. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, depression, memory loss, cold intolerance, and cardiovascular effects, may be incorrectly attributed to the primary disease or to the antineoplastic agent. Underdiagnosis of thyroid dysfunction can have important consequences for cancer patient management. At a minimum, the symptoms will adversely affect the patient's quality of life. Alternatively, such symptoms can lead to dose reductions of potentially life-saving therapies. Hypothyroidism can also alter the kinetics and clearance of medications, which may lead to undesirable side effects. Thyrotoxicosis can be mistaken for sepsis or a nonendocrinologic drug side effect. In some patients, thyroid disease may indicate a higher likelihood of tumor response to the agent. Both hypothyroidism and thyrotoxicosis are easily diagnosed with inexpensive and specific tests. In many patients, particularly those with hypothyroidism, the treatment is straightforward. We therefore recommend routine testing for thyroid abnormalities in patients receiving these antineoplastic agents. PMID:22010182

  14. Erythropoietic agents and the elderly.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Neeraj; Prchal, Josef T

    2008-10-01

    Erythropoietin (Epo) is a peptide hormone that stimulates erythropoiesis. There are several agents in clinical use and in development that either act as ligands for the cell surface receptors of Epo or promote Epo production, which stimulates erythropoiesis. These are known as erythropoietic agents. The agents already in use include epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, and darbepoetin alfa. Newer agents under active investigation include continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) or proline hydroxylase inhibitors that increase hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), thereby stimulating Epo production and iron availability and supply. Erythropoietic agents have been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and to decrease post-stroke infarct size in mouse models. They have also been reported to shorten survival when used to treat anemia in many cancer patients and to increase thromboembolism. In contrast, rapid decrease of Epo levels as observed in astronauts and high-altitude dwellers upon rapid descent to sea level leads to the decrease of erythroid mass, a phenomenon known as "neocytolysis." The relative decrease in the serum Epo level is known to occur in some subjects with otherwise unexplained anemia of aging. Anemia by itself is a predictor of poor physical function in the elderly and is a significant economic burden on society. One out of every five persons in the United States will be elderly by 2050. Erythropoietic agents, by preventing and treating otherwise unexplained anemias of the elderly and anemia associated with other disease conditions of the elderly, have the potential to improve the functional capacity and to decrease the morbidity and mortality in the elderly, thereby alleviating the overall burden of medical care in society. PMID:18809098

  15. Erythropoietic Agents and the Elderly

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Neeraj; Prchal, Josef T.

    2008-01-01

    Erythropoietin is a peptide hormone that stimulates erythropoiesis. There are several agents in clinical use and in development, which either act as ligands for the cell surface receptors of erythropoietin or promote erythropoietin production that stimulates erythropoiesis. These are known as erythropoietic agents. The agents already in use include epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, and darbepoetin alfa. Newer agents stimulating erythropoiesis (such as continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) or proline hydroxylase inhibitors that increase HIF-1 thereby stimulating erythropoietin production and iron availability and supply) are under active investigation. Erythropoietic agents have been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and to decrease post-stroke infarct size in mouse models. They have also been reported to shorten survival when used to treat anemia in many cancer patients and to increase thromboembolism. In contrast, rapid decrease of erythropoietin levels as observed in astronauts and high-altitude dwellers upon rapid descent to sea level leads to the decrease of erythroid mass, a phenomenon known as neocytolysis. The relative decrease in the serum erythropoietin level is known to occur in some subjects with otherwise unexplained anemia of aging. Anemia by itself is a predictor of poor physical function in the elderly and is a significant economic burden on society. One out of every five persons in the United States will be elderly by 2050. Erythropoietic agents, by preventing and treating otherwise unexplained anemias of the elderly and anemia associated with other disease conditions of the elderly, have the potential to improve the functional capacity and to decrease the morbidity and mortality in the elderly, thereby alleviating the overall burden of medical care in society. PMID:18809098

  16. Quorum Quenching Agents: Resources for Antivirulence Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Kaihao; Zhang, Xiao-Hua

    2014-01-01

    The continuing emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is a concern to human health and highlights the urgent need for the development of alternative therapeutic strategies. Quorum sensing (QS) regulates virulence in many bacterial pathogens, and thus, is a promising target for antivirulence therapy which may inhibit virulence instead of cell growth and division. This means that there is little selective pressure for the evolution of resistance. Many natural quorum quenching (QQ) agents have been identified. Moreover, it has been shown that many microorganisms are capable of producing small molecular QS inhibitors and/or macromolecular QQ enzymes, which could be regarded as a strategy for bacteria to gain benefits in competitive environments. More than 30 species of marine QQ bacteria have been identified thus far, but only a few of them have been intensively studied. Recent studies indicate that an enormous number of QQ microorganisms are undiscovered in the highly diverse marine environments, and these marine microorganism-derived QQ agents may be valuable resources for antivirulence therapy. PMID:24886865

  17. Agent-based modeling in ecological economics.

    PubMed

    Heckbert, Scott; Baynes, Tim; Reeson, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Interconnected social and environmental systems are the domain of ecological economics, and models can be used to explore feedbacks and adaptations inherent in these systems. Agent-based modeling (ABM) represents autonomous entities, each with dynamic behavior and heterogeneous characteristics. Agents interact with each other and their environment, resulting in emergent outcomes at the macroscale that can be used to quantitatively analyze complex systems. ABM is contributing to research questions in ecological economics in the areas of natural resource management and land-use change, urban systems modeling, market dynamics, changes in consumer attitudes, innovation, and diffusion of technology and management practices, commons dilemmas and self-governance, and psychological aspects to human decision making and behavior change. Frontiers for ABM research in ecological economics involve advancing the empirical calibration and validation of models through mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, participatory modeling, and, notably, experimental economics to test specific decision-making hypotheses. Linking ABM with other modeling techniques at the level of emergent properties will further advance efforts to understand dynamics of social-environmental systems. PMID:20146761

  18. Designed TPR Modules as Novel Anticancer Agents

    SciTech Connect

    Cortajarena,A.; Yi, F.; Regan, L.

    2008-01-01

    Molecules specifically designed to modulate protein-protein interactions have tremendous potential as novel therapeutic agents. One important anticancer target is the chaperone Hsp90, whose activity is essential for the folding of many oncogenic proteins, including HER2, IGFIR, AKT, RAF-1, and FLT-3. Here we report the design and characterization of new tetratricopeptide repeat modules, which bind to the C-terminus of Hsp90 with higher affinity and with greater specificity than natural Hsp90-binding co-chaperones. Thus, when these modules are introduced into the cell, they out-compete endogenous co-chaperones for binding, thereby inhibiting Hsp90 function. The effect of Hsp90 inhibition in this fashion is dramatic; HER2 levels are substantially decreased and BT474 HER2 positive breast cancer cells are killed. Our designs thus provide new tools with which to dissect the mechanism of Hsp90-mediated protein folding and also open the door to the development of an entirely new class of anticancer agents.

  19. Probiotics as Antiviral Agents in Shrimp Aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Lakshmi, Bestha; Sai Gopal, D. V. R.

    2013-01-01

    Shrimp farming is an aquaculture business for the cultivation of marine shrimps or prawns for human consumption and is now considered as a major economic and food production sector as it is an increasingly important source of protein available for human consumption. Intensification of shrimp farming had led to the development of a number of diseases, which resulted in the excessive use of antimicrobial agents, which is finally responsible for many adverse effects. Currently, probiotics are chosen as the best alternatives to these antimicrobial agents and they act as natural immune enhancers, which provoke the disease resistance in shrimp farm. Viral diseases stand as the major constraint causing an enormous loss in the production in shrimp farms. Probiotics besides being beneficial bacteria also possess antiviral activity. Exploitation of these probiotics in treatment and prevention of viral diseases in shrimp aquaculture is a novel and efficient method. This review discusses the benefits of probiotics and their criteria for selection in shrimp aquaculture and their role in immune power enhancement towards viral diseases. PMID:23738078

  20. Antimycobacterial agents from selected Mexican medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Rivero-Cruz, Isabel; Acevedo, Laura; Guerrero, José A; Martínez, Sergio; Bye, Robert; Pereda-Miranda, Rogelio; Franzblau, Scott; Timmermann, Barbara N; Mata, Rachel

    2005-09-01

    As part of the ICBG program Bioactive Agents from Dryland Biodiversity of Latin America, the present investigation was undertaken to explore the possible antimycobacterial potential of compounds derived from selected Mexican medicinal plants. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus (Polygonaceae), Larrea divaricata (Zygophyllaceae), Phoradendron robinsonii (Loranthaceae) and Amphipteryngium adstringens (Julianiaceae) led to the isolation of several antimycobacterial compounds. Four stilbenoids, two flavan-3-ols and three anthraquinones were isolated from R. hymenosepalus. Two flavonols and nordihydroguaiaretic acid were obtained from L. divaricata. Sakuranetin was the antimycobacterial agent isolated from P. robinsonii. Two known triterpenoids and the novel natural product 3-dodecyl-1,8-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid were obtained from A. adstringens. In general, the isolates were identified by spectral means. The antimycobacterial activity of the secondary compounds isolated from the analysed species, as well as that of nine pure compounds previously isolated in our laboratories, was investigated; the MIC values ranged from 16 to 128 microg mL-1. Among the tested compounds, the glycolipids, sesquiterpenoids and triterpenoids showed the best antimycobacterial activity. The antimycobacterial property of the glycolipids is reported for the first time. Although the tested compounds showed moderate antimycobacterial activity, their presence in the analysed species provides the rationale for their traditional use in the treatment of tuberculosis. PMID:16105233

  1. Rodents as potential couriers for bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Lõhmus, Mare; Janse, Ingmar; van de Goot, Frank; van Rotterdam, Bart J

    2013-09-01

    Many pathogens that can cause major public health, economic, and social damage are relatively easily accessible and could be used as biological weapons. Wildlife is a natural reservoir for many potential bioterrorism agents, and, as history has shown, eliminating a pathogen that has dispersed among wild fauna can be extremely challenging. Since a number of wild rodent species live close to humans, rodents constitute a vector for pathogens to circulate among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. This article reviews the possible consequences of a deliberate spread of rodentborne pathogens. It is relatively easy to infect wild rodents with certain pathogens or to release infected rodents, and the action would be difficult to trace. Rodents can also function as reservoirs for diseases that have been spread during a bioterrorism attack and cause recurring disease outbreaks. As rats and mice are common in both urban and rural settlements, deliberately released rodentborne infections have the capacity to spread very rapidly. The majority of pathogens that are listed as potential agents of bioterrorism by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases exploit rodents as vectors or reservoirs. In addition to zoonotic diseases, deliberately released rodentborne epizootics can have serious economic consequences for society, for example, in the area of international trade restrictions. The ability to rapidly detect introduced diseases and effectively communicate with the public in crisis situations enables a quick response and is essential for successful and cost-effective disease control. PMID:23971813

  2. Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents?

    PubMed

    Parr, M K; Botrè, F; Naß, A; Hengevoss, J; Diel, P; Wolber, G

    2015-06-01

    Increasing numbers of dietary supplements with ecdysteroids are marketed as "natural anabolic agents". Results of recent studies suggested that their anabolic effect is mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) binding. Within this study the anabolic potency of ecdysterone was compared to well characterized anabolic substances. Effects on the fiber sizes of the soleus muscle in rats as well the diameter of C2C12 derived myotubes were used as biological readouts. Ecdysterone exhibited a strong hypertrophic effect on the fiber size of rat soleus muscle that was found even stronger compared to the test compounds metandienone (dianabol), estradienedione (trenbolox), and SARM S 1, all administered in the same dose (5 mg/kg body weight, for 21 days). In C2C12 myotubes ecdysterone (1 µM) induced a significant increase of the diameter comparable to dihydrotestosterone (1 µM) and IGF 1 (1.3 nM). Molecular docking experiments supported the ERβ mediated action of ecdysterone. To clarify its status in sports, ecdysterone should be considered to be included in the class "S1.2 Other Anabolic Agents" of the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency. PMID:26060342

  3. Successful technical trading agents using genetic programming.

    SciTech Connect

    Othling, Andrew S.; Kelly, John A.; Pryor, Richard J.; Farnsworth, Grant V.

    2004-10-01

    Genetic programming (GP) has proved to be a highly versatile and useful tool for identifying relationships in data for which a more precise theoretical construct is unavailable. In this project, we use a GP search to develop trading strategies for agent based economic models. These strategies use stock prices and technical indicators, such as the moving average convergence/divergence and various exponentially weighted moving averages, to generate buy and sell signals. We analyze the effect of complexity constraints on the strategies as well as the relative performance of various indicators. We also present innovations in the classical genetic programming algorithm that appear to improve convergence for this problem. Technical strategies developed by our GP algorithm can be used to control the behavior of agents in economic simulation packages, such as ASPEN-D, adding variety to the current market fundamentals approach. The exploitation of arbitrage opportunities by technical analysts may help increase the efficiency of the simulated stock market, as it does in the real world. By improving the behavior of simulated stock markets, we can better estimate the effects of shocks to the economy due to terrorism or natural disasters.

  4. Autonomous sensor manager agents (ASMA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osadciw, Lisa A.

    2004-04-01

    Autonomous sensor manager agents are presented as an algorithm to perform sensor management within a multisensor fusion network. The design of the hybrid ant system/particle swarm agents is described in detail with some insight into their performance. Although the algorithm is designed for the general sensor management problem, a simulation example involving 2 radar systems is presented. Algorithmic parameters are determined by the size of the region covered by the sensor network, the number of sensors, and the number of parameters to be selected. With straight forward modifications, this algorithm can be adapted for most sensor management problems.

  5. An overview of inotropic agents.

    PubMed

    Vroom, Margreeth B

    2006-09-01

    The use of inotropic agents has been surrounded by many controversies. Recent guidelines for the treatment of patients with chronic and acute heart failure have elucidated some of the issues, but many remain. As a result, a substantial variability in the use of agents between institutions and caregivers remains, which mainly results from the lack of uniform data in the literature. Prospective randomized trials with a long-term follow-up and sufficient power are clearly needed, and a number of trials are currently in progress. PMID:16959760

  6. Biopolymeric agents for skin wrinkle treatment.

    PubMed

    Lourith, Nattaya; Kanlayavattanakul, Mayuree

    2016-10-01

    Skin aging is caused by several factors capable of deteriorating dermal matrix and is visibly noticed in skin color and skin contour deformities. In addition to the prevention of skin aging by application of antioxidants and sunscreens, treatment of skin wrinkles with those of dermal fillers is also recommended. Dermal filler products with enhanced injectability and longer duration are being developed continuously. Biodegradable polymers such as skin elastic fibers and dermal matrix mimetic used for treatment of skin wrinkle are summarized in this article. Additionally, the importance of amino acids, enzymes, and proteins in aesthetic of skin is addressed. Thus, elective agents are proposed for the dermatologists, cosmetic formulators, and the individuals facing skin aging problems. The candidate natural peptides from marine sources are additionally presented for widening the choice of actives application for treating aging. PMID:26963365

  7. Natural Products from Mangrove Actinomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong-Bo; Ye, Wan-Wan; Han, Ying; Deng, Zi-Xin; Hong, Kui

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are woody plants located in tropical and subtropical intertidal coastal regions. The mangrove ecosystem is becoming a hot spot for natural product discovery and bioactivity survey. Diverse mangrove actinomycetes as promising and productive sources are worth being explored and uncovered. At the time of writing, we report 73 novel compounds and 49 known compounds isolated from mangrove actinomycetes including alkaloids, benzene derivatives, cyclopentenone derivatives, dilactones, macrolides, 2-pyranones and sesquiterpenes. Attractive structures such as salinosporamides, xiamycins and novel indolocarbazoles are highlighted. Many exciting compounds have been proven as potential new antibiotics, antitumor and antiviral agents, anti-fibrotic agents and antioxidants. Furthermore, some of their biosynthetic pathways have also been revealed. This review is an attempt to consolidate and summarize the past and the latest studies on mangrove actinomycetes natural product discovery and to draw attention to their immense potential as novel and bioactive compounds for marine drugs discovery. PMID:24798926

  8. Why Do Extension Agents Resign?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manton, Linda Nunes; van Es, J. C.

    1985-01-01

    Past and current Illinois extension agents were surveyed via mail questionnaires as to reasons for staying or leaving extension programs. Reasons for leaving included family changes, family moves, opportunity to advance, better salary/benefits, dissatisfaction with administration, and too much time away from family. (CT)

  9. Foodborne illness and microbial agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne illnesses result from the consumption of food containing microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or food contaminated by poisonous chemicals or bio-toxins. Pathogen proliferation is due to nutrient composition of foods, which are capable of supporting the growth of microorgan...

  10. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, H.; Walker, B.J.; Chang, C.Y.; Niblack, B.; Panchal, R.

    1998-07-07

    An inactive pore-forming agent is revealed which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell. 30 figs.

  11. Nucleotide cleaving agents and method

    DOEpatents

    Que, Jr., Lawrence; Hanson, Richard S.; Schnaith, Leah M. T.

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a unique series of nucleotide cleaving agents and a method for cleaving a nucleotide sequence, whether single-stranded or double-stranded DNA or RNA, using and a cationic metal complex having at least one polydentate ligand to cleave the nucleotide sequence phosphate backbone to yield a hydroxyl end and a phosphate end.

  12. SEM: A Cultural Change Agent

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Bradley; Bourke, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The authors advance the concept that institutional culture is a purposeful framework by which to view SEM's utility, particularly as a cultural change agent. Through the connection of seemingly independent functions of performance and behavior, implications emerge that deepen the understanding of the influence of culture on performance outcomes…

  13. Direct Vasodilators and Sympatholytic Agents.

    PubMed

    McComb, Meghan N; Chao, James Y; Ng, Tien M H

    2016-01-01

    Direct vasodilators and sympatholytic agents were some of the first antihypertensive medications discovered and utilized in the past century. However, side effect profiles and the advent of newer antihypertensive drug classes have reduced the use of these agents in recent decades. Outcome data and large randomized trials supporting the efficacy of these medications are limited; however, in general the blood pressure-lowering effect of these agents has repeatedly been shown to be comparable to other more contemporary drug classes. Nevertheless, a landmark hypertension trial found a negative outcome with a doxazosin-based regimen compared to a chlorthalidone-based regimen, leading to the removal of α-1 adrenergic receptor blockers as first-line monotherapy from the hypertension guidelines. In contemporary practice, direct vasodilators and sympatholytic agents, particularly hydralazine and clonidine, are often utilized in refractory hypertension. Hydralazine and minoxidil may also be useful alternatives for patients with renal dysfunction, and both hydralazine and methyldopa are considered first line for the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy. Hydralazine has also found widespread use for the treatment of systolic heart failure in combination with isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN). The data to support use of this combination in African Americans with heart failure are particularly robust. Hydralazine with ISDN may also serve as an alternative for patients with an intolerance to angiotensin antagonists. Given these niche indications, vasodilators and sympatholytics are still useful in clinical practice; therefore, it is prudent to understand the existing data regarding efficacy and the safe use of these medications. PMID:26033778

  14. Improving agents using reliable communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jinbin

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in introspective modalities and linear time symmetries do not necessarily obviate the need for web browsers [1]. In our research, we disprove the exploration of agents, which embodies the appropriate principles of electrical engineering. Here we demonstrate that even though semaphores and XML [1] are mostly incompatible, randomized algorithms and write-back caches are mostly incompatible.

  15. Echographic studies of osmotic agents.

    PubMed

    Vucicevic, Z M; Tark, E; Ahmad, S

    1979-09-01

    The effectiveness of osmotic agents, acetazolamide (Diamox), urea, glycerol, and mannitol, and massages (5 and 10 minutes) for inducing hypotony in rabbit eyes was evaluated by ultrasonography. Mannitol was found to have the greatest hypotonic effect followed closely by urea and glycerol, then acetazolamide. The difference between the 5 and 10 minute massages was negligible. PMID:122221

  16. An Autonomous Spacecraft Agent Prototype

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pell, Barney; Bernard, Douglas E.; Chien, Steve A.; Gat, Erann; Muscettola, Nicola; Nayak, P. Pandurang; Wagner, Michael D.; Williams, Brian C.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the New Millennium Remote Agent (NMRA) architecture for autonomous spacecraft control systems. This architecture integrates traditional real-time monitoring and control with constraint-based planning and scheduling, robust multi-threaded execution, and model-based diagnosis and reconfiguration.

  17. Specific sequestering agents for iron and the actinides

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, K.N.

    1983-06-01

    The transuranium actinide ions represent one unique environmental hazard associated with the waste of the nuclear power industry. A major component associated with that waste and a potential hazard is plutonium. The synthesis of metal-ion-specific complexing agents for ions such as Pu(IV) potentially represents a powerful new approach to many of the problems posed by waste treatment. This document is a progress report of a rational approach to the synthesis of such chelating agents based on the similarities of Pu(IV) and Fe(III), the structures of naturally-occurring complexing agents which are highly specific for Fe(III), and the incorporation of the same kinds of ligating groups present in the iron complexes to make octadentate complexes highly specific for plutonium. Both thermodynamic and animal test results indicate that a relatively high degree of success has already been achieved in this aim.

  18. Paramagnetic self-assembled nanoparticles as supramolecular MRI contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Besenius, Pol; Heynens, Joeri L M; Straathof, Roel; Nieuwenhuizen, Marko M L; Bomans, Paul H H; Terreno, Enzo; Aime, Silvio; Strijkers, Gustav J; Nicolay, Klaas; Meijer, E W

    2012-01-01

    Nanometer-sized materials offer a wide range of applications in biomedical technologies, particularly imaging and diagnostics. Current scaffolds in the nanometer range predominantly make use of inorganic particles, organic polymers or natural peptide-based macromolecules. In contrast we hereby report a supramolecular approach for the preparation of self-assembled dendritic-like nanoparticles for applications as MRI contrast agents. This strategy combines the benefits from low molecular weight imaging agents with the ones of high molecular weight. Their in vitro properties are confirmed by in vivo measurements: post injection of well-defined and meta-stable nanoparticles allows for high-resolution blood-pool imaging, even at very low Gd(III) doses. These dynamic and modular imaging agents are an important addition to the young field of supramolecular medicine using well-defined nanometer-sized assemblies. PMID:22539406

  19. Agent-based models of financial markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samanidou, E.; Zschischang, E.; Stauffer, D.; Lux, T.

    2007-03-01

    This review deals with several microscopic ('agent-based') models of financial markets which have been studied by economists and physicists over the last decade: Kim-Markowitz, Levy-Levy-Solomon, Cont-Bouchaud, Solomon-Weisbuch, Lux-Marchesi, Donangelo-Sneppen and Solomon-Levy-Huang. After an overview of simulation approaches in financial economics, we first give a summary of the Donangelo-Sneppen model of monetary exchange and compare it with related models in economics literature. Our selective review then outlines the main ingredients of some influential early models of multi-agent dynamics in financial markets (Kim-Markowitz, Levy-Levy-Solomon). As will be seen, these contributions draw their inspiration from the complex appearance of investors' interactions in real-life markets. Their main aim is to reproduce (and, thereby, provide possible explanations) for the spectacular bubbles and crashes seen in certain historical episodes, but they lack (like almost all the work before 1998 or so) a perspective in terms of the universal statistical features of financial time series. In fact, awareness of a set of such regularities (power-law tails of the distribution of returns, temporal scaling of volatility) only gradually appeared over the nineties. With the more precise description of the formerly relatively vague characteristics (e.g. moving from the notion of fat tails to the more concrete one of a power law with index around three), it became clear that financial market dynamics give rise to some kind of universal scaling law. Showing similarities with scaling laws for other systems with many interacting sub-units, an exploration of financial markets as multi-agent systems appeared to be a natural consequence. This topic has been pursued by quite a number of contributions appearing in both the physics and economics literature since the late nineties. From the wealth of different flavours of multi-agent models that have appeared up to now, we discuss the Cont

  20. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfurly alcohol cleaning agent

    SciTech Connect

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  1. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1996-05-07

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene or terpineol cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  2. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  3. Halide test agent replacement study

    SciTech Connect

    Banks, E.M.; Freeman, W.P.; Kovach, B.J.

    1995-02-01

    The intended phaseout of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from commercial use required the evaluation of substitute materials for the testing for leak paths through both individual adsorbers and installed adsorbent banks. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment (CONAGT) is in charge of maintaining the standards and codes specifying adsorbent leak test methods for the nuclear safety related air cleaning systems. The currently published standards and codes cite the use of R-11, R-12 and R-112 for leak path test agents. All of these compounds are CFCs. There are other agencies and organizations (USDOE, USDOD and USNRC) also specifying testing for leak paths or in some cases for special life tests using the above compounds. The CONAGT has recently developed criteria for the suitability evaluation of substitute test agents. On the basis of these criteria, several compounds were evaluated for their acceptability as adsorbent bed leak and life test agents. The ASME CONAGT Test Agent Qualification Criteria. The test agent qualification is based on the following parameters: (1) Similar retention times on activated carbons at the same concentration levels as one of the following: R-11, R-12, R-112 or R-112a. (2) Similar lower detection limit sensitivity and precision in the concentration range of use as R-11, R-12, R-112 and R-112a. (3) Gives the same in-place leak test results as R-11, R-12, R-112, or R-112a. (4) Chemical and radiological stability under the use conditions. (5) Causes no degradation of the carbon and its impregnant or of the other NATS components under the use conditions. (6) Is listed in the USEPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) inventory for commercial use.

  4. Biologic agents in juvenile spondyloarthropathies.

    PubMed

    Katsicas, María Martha; Russo, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Laser interrogation of surface agents (LISA) for chemical agent reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higdon, N. S.; Chyba, Thomas H.; Richter, Dale A.; Ponsardin, Patrick L.; Armstrong, Wayne T.; Lobb, C. T.; Kelly, Brian T.; Babnick, Robert D.; Sedlacek, Arthur J., III

    2002-06-01

    Laser Interrogation of Surface Agents (LISA) is a new technique which exploits Raman scattering to provide standoff detection and identification of surface-deposited chemical agents. ITT Industries, Advanced Engineering and Sciences Division is developing the LISA technology under a cost-sharing arrangement with the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command for incorporation on the Army's future reconnaissance vehicles. A field-engineered prototype LISA-Recon system is being designed to demonstrate on-the- move measurements of chemical contaminants. In this article, we will describe the LISA technique, data form proof-of- concept measurements, the LISA-Recon design, and some of the future realizations envisioned for military sensing applications.

  6. Sequestering agents for the removal of actinides from waste streams

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, K.N.; White, D.J.; Xu, Jide; Mohs, T.R.

    1997-10-01

    The goal of this project is to take a biomimetic approach toward developing new separation technologies for the removal of radioactive elements from contaminated DOE sites. To achieve this objective, the authors are investigating the fundamental chemistry of naturally occurring, highly specific metal ion sequestering agents and developing them into liquid/liquid and solid supported actinide extraction agents. Nature produces sideophores (e.g., Enterobactin and Desferrioxamine B) to selectivity sequester Lewis acidic metal ions, in particular Fe(III), from its surroundings. These chelating agents typically use multiple catechols or hydroxamic acids to form polydentate ligands that chelate the metal ion forming very stable complexes. The authors are investigating and developing analogous molecules into selective chelators targeting actinide(IV) ions, which display similar properties to Fe(III). By taking advantage of differences in charge, preferred coordination number, and pH stability range, the transition from nature to actinide sequestering agents has been applied to the development of new and highly selective actinide extraction technologies. Additionally, the authors have shown that these chelating ligands are versatile ligands for chelating U(VI). In particular, they have been studying their coordination chemistry and fundamental interactions with the uranyl ion [UO{sub 2}]{sup 2+}, the dominant form of uranium found in aqueous media. With an understanding of this chemistry, and results obtained from in vivo uranium sequestration studies, it should be possible to apply these actinide(IV) extraction technologies to the development of new extraction agents for the removal of uranium from waste streams.

  7. Natural restoration

    SciTech Connect

    Kamlet, K.S.

    1993-02-01

    After a company pays millions of dollars to clean up contaminated site, its liability may not be over. It may have to spend tens of millions more to restore damaged natural resources under an oft-overlooked Superfund program. Examples of liability are cited in this report from the Exxon Valdez oil spill and a pcb leak which contaminated a harbor.

  8. Natural disasters.

    PubMed

    Cullen, J M

    1980-09-01

    This presentation covers the various types of natural disasters which are faced by investigators throughout the world. Each geophysical substance is discussed, including earth, air and water, and secondary effects including fire. Additionally, four myths associated with disasters are reviewed. PMID:7234811

  9. Nature Watch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sterling, Donna R.

    2010-01-01

    Children are naturally curious about the world in which they live. To focus this sense of wonder, have your students investigate their local habitat as it changes over the year. This multiseason study will build connections and add relevance to the habitats that children learn about. This series of activities for grades 4-6 explores the changing…

  10. Uranium, natural

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Uranium , natural ; CASRN 7440 - 61 - 1 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogeni

  11. Nature's Palette

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride, Brooke B.; Brewer, Carol A.

    2010-01-01

    Flower petals, acorn hats, exoskeletons of beetles, and lichens are just a few of the objects students may find in a surprising array of vivid colors. These tiny examples from nature's palette can be discovered in a school yard, a park, or even along the edges of a paved sidewalk...it simply takes careful observation! This article describes a…

  12. Dietary Agents in Cancer Prevention: An Immunological Perspective †

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ya Ying; Viswanathan, Bharathi; Kesarwani, Pravin; Mehrotra, Shikhar

    2013-01-01

    Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiations is believed to be the primary cause for skin cancer. Excessive UV radiation can lead to genetic mutations and damage in the skin's cellular DNA that in turn can lead to skin cancer. Lately, chemoprevention by administering naturally occurring non-toxic dietary compounds has proven to be a potential strategy to prevent the occurrence of tumors. Attention has been drawn towards several natural dietary agents such as resveratrol, one of the major components found in grapes, red wines, berries and peanuts, proanthocyanidins from grape seeds, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea etc. However, the effect these dietary agents have on the immune system and the immunological mechanisms involved there in are still being explored. In this review we shall focus on the role of key chemopreventive agents on various immune cells and discuss their potential as anti-tumor agents with an immunological perspective. PMID:22372381

  13. The New Agent: A Qualitative Study to Strategically Adapt New Agent Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Lauri M.; Hadley, Gregg

    2014-01-01

    The qualitative study reported here assessed the needs of agents related to new agent professional development to improve the current model. Agents who participated in new agent professional development within the last 5 years were selected to participate in focus groups to determine concerns and continued needs. Agents enjoyed networking and…

  14. The bounty of nature for changing the cancer landscape.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Aamir; Li, Yiwei; Sarkar, Fazlul H

    2016-06-01

    The landscape of cancer has changed considerably in past several years, due mainly to aggressive screening, accumulation of data from basic and epidemiological studies, and the advances in translational research. Natural anticancer agents have always been a part and parcel of cancer research. The initial focus on natural anticancer agents was in context of their cancer chemopreventive properties but their ability to selectively target oncogenic signaling pathways has also been recognized. In light of the rapid advancements in our understanding of the role of microRNAs, cancer stem cells, and epigenetic events in cancer initiation and progression, a number of natural anticancer agents are showing promise in vitro, in vivo as well as in preclinical studies. Moreover, parent structures of natural agents are being extensively modified with the hope of improving efficacy, specificity, and bioavailability. In this article, we focus on two natural agents, 3,3'-diindolylmethane and garcinol, along with 3,4-difluorobenzo curcumin, a synthetic analog of natural agent curcumin. We showcase how these anticancer agents are changing cancer landscape by modulating novel microRNAs, epigenetic factors, and cancer stem cell markers. These activities are relevant and being appreciated for overcoming drug resistance and inhibition of metastases, the two overarching clinical challenges in modern medicine. PMID:26799714

  15. Improved genetically modified Escherichia coli strain for prescreening antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed Central

    Bartus, H R; Mirabelli, C K; Auerbach, J I; Shatzman, A R; Taylor, D P; Johnson, R K; Rosenberg, M; Crooke, S T

    1984-01-01

    Clinical experience suggests that drugs that interact with and damage DNA are useful in cancer chemotherapy (H. Umezawa , p. 43-72, in V. T. DeVita , Jr., and H. Busch [ed.], Methods in Cancer Research; Cancer Drug Development, vol. XVI, 1979). Prescreening systems for antitumor agents in natural products require assays that are exquisitely sensitive, since the active components are often produced in quantities of micrograms per milliliter or less. One assay used to identify agents that interact with DNA is the biochemical induction assay, utilizing Escherichia coli BR 513 (R. K. Elespuru and R. J. White, Cancer Res. 43:2819-2830, 1983). In this paper we describe a genetic modification of strain BR 513 that displays an expanded spectrum of activity. This strain may provide an improved prescreen for detecting natural products that interact with DNA. PMID:6203484

  16. Biomorphic Multi-Agent Architecture for Persistent Computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lodding, Kenneth N.; Brewster, Paul

    2009-01-01

    A multi-agent software/hardware architecture, inspired by the multicellular nature of living organisms, has been proposed as the basis of design of a robust, reliable, persistent computing system. Just as a multicellular organism can adapt to changing environmental conditions and can survive despite the failure of individual cells, a multi-agent computing system, as envisioned, could adapt to changing hardware, software, and environmental conditions. In particular, the computing system could continue to function (perhaps at a reduced but still reasonable level of performance) if one or more component( s) of the system were to fail. One of the defining characteristics of a multicellular organism is unity of purpose. In biology, the purpose is survival of the organism. The purpose of the proposed multi-agent architecture is to provide a persistent computing environment in harsh conditions in which repair is difficult or impossible. A multi-agent, organism-like computing system would be a single entity built from agents or cells. Each agent or cell would be a discrete hardware processing unit that would include a data processor with local memory, an internal clock, and a suite of communication equipment capable of both local line-of-sight communications and global broadcast communications. Some cells, denoted specialist cells, could contain such additional hardware as sensors and emitters. Each cell would be independent in the sense that there would be no global clock, no global (shared) memory, no pre-assigned cell identifiers, no pre-defined network topology, and no centralized brain or control structure. Like each cell in a living organism, each agent or cell of the computing system would contain a full description of the system encoded as genes, but in this case, the genes would be components of a software genome.

  17. Critical care requirements after mass toxic agent release.

    PubMed

    Baker, David J

    2005-01-01

    There is an increasing risk of mass exposure of civil populations after release of toxic agents. These include military chemical warfare agents or industrial compounds, some of which have been used as a chemical. The traditional military divisions among chemical agents, toxins, and biologic agents may be viewed as a continuous spectrum of hazards. Each of these has four specific qualities (toxicity, latency, persistency, and transmissibility), which determine management of casualties and the toxic release. Toxic hazards may be released accidentally or deliberately, producing potentially large numbers of casualties. Previous incidents have shown that many of these require extended hospital care. This article reviews aspects of the nature of the toxic agents, the pathophysiology they produce, and therapeutic measures. The central and peripheral nervous systems and the respiratory systems are particularly vulnerable and may lead to fatal results unless early action is taken. Specific antidotes and life support care is required at all levels of prehospital and hospital management. Critical care management is required for severe cases, and this must combine continuing antidote, ventilatory and supportive therapy. PMID:15640682

  18. Infectious disease agents mediate interaction in food webs and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Selakovic, Sanja; de Ruiter, Peter C.; Heesterbeek, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents are part of food webs and ecosystems via the relationship with their host species that, in turn, interact with both hosts and non-hosts. Through these interactions, infectious agents influence food webs in terms of structure, functioning and stability. The present literature shows a broad range of impacts of infectious agents on food webs, and by cataloguing that range, we worked towards defining the various mechanisms and their specific effects. To explore the impact, a direct approach is to study changes in food-web properties with infectious agents as separate species in the web, acting as additional nodes, with links to their host species. An indirect approach concentrates not on adding new nodes and links, but on the ways that infectious agents affect the existing links across host and non-host nodes, by influencing the ‘quality’ of consumer–resource interaction as it depends on the epidemiological state host involved. Both approaches are natural from an ecological point of view, but the indirect approach may connect more straightforwardly to commonly used tools in infectious disease dynamics. PMID:24403336

  19. Bubble Jet agent release cartridge for chemical single cell stimulation.

    PubMed

    Wangler, N; Welsche, M; Blazek, M; Blessing, M; Vervliet-Scheebaum, M; Reski, R; Müller, C; Reinecke, H; Steigert, J; Roth, G; Zengerle, R; Paust, N

    2013-02-01

    We present a new method for the distinct specific chemical stimulation of single cells and small cell clusters within their natural environment. By single-drop release of chemical agents with droplets in size of typical cell diameters (d <30 μm) on-demand micro gradients can be generated for the specific manipulation of single cells. A single channel and a double channel agent release cartridge with integrated fluidic structures and integrated agent reservoirs are shown, tested, and compared in this publication. The single channel setup features a fluidic structure fabricated by anisotropic etching of silicon. To allow for simultaneous release of different agents even though maintaining the same device size, the second type comprises a double channel fluidic structure, fabricated by photolithographic patterning of TMMF. Dispensed droplet volumes are V = 15 pl and V = 10 pl for the silicon and the TMMF based setups, respectively. Utilizing the agent release cartridges, the application in biological assays was demonstrated by hormone-stimulated premature bud formation in Physcomitrella patens and the individual staining of one single L 929 cell within a confluent grown cell culture. PMID:22833153

  20. Neuroprotective "agents" in surgery. Secret "agent" man, or common "agent" machine?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, R. J.

    1999-01-01

    The search for clinically-effective neuroprotective agents has received enormous support in recent years--an estimated $200 million by pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials for traumatic brain injury alone. At the same time, the pathophysiology of brain injury has proved increasingly complex, rendering the likelihood of a single agent "magic bullet" even more remote. On the other hand, great progress continues with technology that makes surgery less invasive and less risky. One example is the application of endovascular techniques to treat coronary artery stenosis, where both the invasiveness of sternotomy and the significant neurological complication rate (due to microemboli showering the cerebral vasculature) can be eliminated. In this paper we review aspects of intraoperative neuroprotection both present and future. Explanations for the slow progress on pharmacologic neuroprotection during surgery are presented. Examples of technical advances that have had great impact on neuroprotection during surgery are given both from coronary artery stenosis surgery and from surgery for Parkinson's disease. To date, the progress in neuroprotection resulting from such technical advances is an order of magnitude greater than that resulting from pharmacologic agents used during surgery. The progress over the last 20 years in guidance during surgery (CT and MRI image-guidance) and in surgical access (endoscopic and endovascular techniques) will soon be complemented by advances in our ability to evaluate biological tissue intraoperatively in real-time. As an example of such technology, the NASA Smart Probe project is considered. In the long run (i.e., in 10 years or more), pharmacologic "agents" aimed at the complex pathophysiology of nervous system injury in man will be the key to true intraoperative neuroprotection. In the near term, however, it is more likely that mundane "agents" based on computers, microsensors, and microeffectors will be the major impetus to improved

  1. CATS-based Agents That Err

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callantine, Todd J.

    2002-01-01

    This report describes preliminary research on intelligent agents that make errors. Such agents are crucial to the development of novel agent-based techniques for assessing system safety. The agents extend an agent architecture derived from the Crew Activity Tracking System that has been used as the basis for air traffic controller agents. The report first reviews several error taxonomies. Next, it presents an overview of the air traffic controller agents, then details several mechanisms for causing the agents to err in realistic ways. The report presents a performance assessment of the error-generating agents, and identifies directions for further research. The research was supported by the System-Wide Accident Prevention element of the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Program.

  2. Plants' Metabolites as Potential Antiobesity Agents

    PubMed Central

    Gooda Sahib, Najla; Saari, Nazamid; Ismail, Amin; Khatib, Alfi; Mahomoodally, Fawzi; Abdul Hamid, Azizah

    2012-01-01

    Obesity and obesity-related complications are on the increase both in the developed and developing world. Since existing pharmaceuticals fail to come up with long-term solutions to address this issue, there is an ever-pressing need to find and develop new drugs and alternatives. Natural products, particularly medicinal plants, are believed to harbor potential antiobesity agents that can act through various mechanisms either by preventing weight gain or promoting weight loss amongst others. The inhibition of key lipid and carbohydrate hydrolyzing and metabolizing enzymes, disruption of adipogenesis, and modulation of its factors or appetite suppression are some of the plethora of targeted approaches to probe the antiobesity potential of medicinal plants. A new technology such as metabolomics, which deals with the study of the whole metabolome, has been identified to be a promising technique to probe the progression of diseases, elucidate their pathologies, and assess the effects of natural health products on certain pathological conditions. This has been applied to drug research, bone health, and to a limited extent to obesity research. This paper thus endeavors to give an overview of those plants, which have been reported to have antiobesity effects and highlight the potential and relevance of metabolomics in obesity research. PMID:22666121

  3. 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

  4. Surface decontamination for blister agents Lewisite, sulfur mustard and agent yellow, a Lewisite and sulfur mustard mixture.

    PubMed

    Stone, Harry; See, David; Smiley, Autumn; Ellingson, Anthony; Schimmoeller, Jessica; Oudejans, Lukas

    2016-08-15

    Sulfur mustard (HD) and Lewisite (L) are blister agents that have a high potential for terrorist use; Agent Yellow (HL) is the eutectic mixture of HD and L. Bench-scale testing was used to determine the residual amount of these chemical warfare agents remaining on three building materials (wood, metal and glass) after application of various decontaminants (household bleach, full strength and dilute; hydrogen peroxide 3% solution; and EasyDECON(®) DF200). All decontaminants reduced the amount of L recovered from coupons. Application of dilute bleach showed little or no difference compared to natural attenuation in the amount of HD recovered from coupons. Full-strength bleach was the most effective of four decontaminants at reducing the amount of HD from coupons. Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and DF200 did decrease the amount of HD recovered from coupons more than natural attenuation (except DF200 against HD on metal), but substantial amounts of HD remained on some materials. Toxic HD by-products were generated by hydrogen peroxide treatment. The effectiveness of decontaminants was found to depend on agent, material, and decontaminant. Increased decontaminant reaction time (60min rather than 30min) did not significantly increase effectiveness. PMID:27107236

  5. [Alternative agents used in ADHD].

    PubMed

    Hässler, Frank; Dück, Alexander; Reis, Olaf; Buchmann, Johannes

    2009-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is, with a prevalence of 2% to 6%, one of the most common neurobehavioral disorder affecting children and adolescents, persisting into adulthood. Comorbidity and psychosocial circumstances enter into the choice of intervention strategies. Several agents have been demonstrated effective in treating individuals with ADHD. Direct or indirect attenuation of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmission appears closely related to both the stimulant and nonstimulant medications efficacious in ADHD. However, important differences concerning efficacy and side effects exist both between and with the specific classes of agents like neuroleptics, antidepressants, antiepileptics, alpha-agonists, beta-blockers, buspiron, l-dopa, melatonin, pycnogenol, zinc, magnesium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and homeopathy. Elucidating the various mechanisms of action of ADHD medications may lead to better choices in matching potential responses to the characteristics of individuals. We review the purported mechanism of action and available evidence for selected complementary and alternative medicine therapies for ADHD in childhood and adolescence. PMID:19105161

  6. [Infectious agents and autoimmune diseases].

    PubMed

    Riebeling-Navarro, C; Madrid-Marina, V; Camarena-Medellín, B E; Peralta-Zaragoza, O; Barrera, R

    1992-01-01

    In this paper the molecular aspects of the relationships between infectious agents and autoimmune diseases, the mechanisms of immune response to infectious agents, and the more recent hypotheses regarding the cause of autoimmune diseases are discussed. The antigens are processed and selected by their immunogenicity, and presented by HLA molecules to the T cell receptor. These events initiate the immune response with the activation and proliferation of T-lymphocytes. Although there are several hypotheses regarding the cause of autoimmune diseases and too many findings against and in favor of them, there is still no conclusive data. All these hypothesis and findings are discussed in the context of the more recent advances. PMID:1615352

  7. Oral agents in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Lorefice, L; Fenu, G; Frau, J; Coghe, G C; Marrosu, M G; Cocco, E

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Disease-modifying drugs licensed for MS treatment have been developed to reduce relapse rates and halt disease progression. The majority of current MS drugs involve regular, parenteral administration, affecting long-term adherence and thus reducing treatment efficacy. Over the last two decades great progress has been made towards developing new MS therapies with different modes of action and biologic effects. In particular, oral drugs have generated much interest because of their convenience and positive impact on medication adherence. Fingolimod was the first launched oral treatment for relapsing-remitting MS; recently, Teriflunomide and Dimethyl fumarate have also been approved as oral disease-modifying agents. In this review, we summarize and discuss the history, pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and safety of oral agents that have been approved or are under development for the selective treatment of MS. PMID:25924620

  8. Bacteriocins as Potential Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Sumanpreet; Kaur, Sukhraj

    2015-01-01

    Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, despite advances in its treatment and detection. The conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of cancer have non-specific toxicity toward normal body cells that cause various side effects. Secondly, cancer cells are known to develop chemotherapy resistance in due course of treatment. Thus, the demand for novel anti-cancer agents is increasing day by day. Some of the experimental studies have reported the therapeutic potential of bacteriocins against various types of cancer cell lines. Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized cationic peptides secreted by almost all groups of bacteria. Some bacteriocins have shown selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells as compared to normal cells. This makes them promising candidates for further investigation and clinical trials. In this review article, we present the overview of the various cancer cell-specific cytotoxic bacteriocins, their mode of action and efficacies. PMID:26617524

  9. Injectable agents affecting subcutaneous fats.

    PubMed

    Chen, David Lk; Cohen, Joel L; Green, Jeremy B

    2015-09-01

    Mesotherapy is an intradermal or subcutaneous injection of therapeutic agents to induce local effects, and was pioneered in Europe during the 1950s. For the past 2 decades, there has been significant interest in the use of mesotherapy for minimally invasive local fat contouring. Based on the theorized lipolytic effects of the agent phosphatidylcholine, initial attempts involved its injection into subcutaneous tissue. With further studies, however, it became apparent that the activity attributed to phosphatidylcholine mesotherapy was due to the adipolytic effects of deoxycholate, a detergent used to solubilize phosphatidylcholine. Since then, clinical trials have surfaced that demonstrate the efficacy of a proprietary formulation of deoxycholate for local fat contouring. Current trials on mesotherapy with salmeterol, a b-adrenergic agonist and lipolysis stimulator, are underway-with promising preliminary results as well. PMID:26566569

  10. Investigation of Vietnamese plants for potential anticancer agents

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Lynette Bueno; Still, Patrick C.; Naman, C. Benjamin; Ren, Yulin; Pan, Li; Chai, Hee-Byung; Carcache de Blanco, Esperanza J.; Ninh, Tran Ngoc; Van Thanh, Bui; Swanson, Steven M.; Soejarto, Djaja D.

    2014-01-01

    Higher plants continue to afford humankind with many new drugs, for a variety of disease types. In this review, recent phytochemical and biological progress is presented for part of a collaborative multi-institutional project directed towards the discovery of new antitumor agents. The specific focus is on bioactive natural products isolated and characterized structurally from tropical plants collected in Vietnam. The plant collection, identification, and processing steps are described, and the natural products isolated from these species are summarized with their biological activities. PMID:25395897

  11. Agent planning in AgScala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tošić, Saša; Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana

    2013-10-01

    Agent-oriented programming languages are designed to simplify the development of software agents, especially those that exhibit complex, intelligent behavior. This paper presents recent improvements of AgScala, an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala. AgScala includes declarative constructs for managing beliefs, actions and goals of intelligent agents. Combined with object-oriented and functional programming paradigms offered by Scala, it aims to be an efficient framework for developing both purely reactive, and more complex, deliberate agents. Instead of the Prolog back-end used initially, the new version of AgScala relies on Agent Planning Package, a more advanced system for automated planning and reasoning.

  12. New therapeutic agents for acromegaly.

    PubMed

    Melmed, Shlomo

    2016-02-01

    The currently available somatostatin receptor ligands (SRLs) and growth hormone (GH) antagonists are used to control levels of GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in patients with acromegaly. However, these therapies are limited by wide variations in efficacy, associated adverse effects and the need for frequent injections. A phase III trial of oral octreotide capsules demonstrated that this treatment can safely sustain suppressed levels of GH and IGF-1 and reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with acromegaly previously controlled by injectable SRL therapy, with the added benefit of no injection-site reactions. Phase I and phase II trials of the pan-selective SRL DG3173, the liquid crystal octreotide depot CAM2029 and an antisense oligonucleotide directed against the GH receptor have shown that these agents can be used to achieve biochemical suppression in acromegaly and have favourable safety profiles. This Review outlines the need for new therapeutic agents for patients with acromegaly, reviews clinical trial data of investigational agents and considers how these therapies might best be integrated into clinical practice. PMID:26610414

  13. Pharmacologic Agents for Chronic Diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Chronic diarrhea is usually associated with a number of non-infectious causes. When definitive treatment is unavailable, symptomatic drug therapy is indicated. Pharmacologic agents for chronic diarrhea include loperamide, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, diosmectite, cholestyramine, probiotics, antispasmodics, rifaximin, and anti-inflammatory agents. Loperamide, a synthetic opiate agonist, decreases peristaltic activity and inhibits secretion, resulting in the reduction of fluid and electrolyte loss and an increase in stool consistency. Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant that is generally considered as the first-line treatment for bile acid diarrhea. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have significant benefits in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. Ramosetron improves stool consistency as well as global IBS symptoms. Probiotics may have a role in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, data on the role of probiotics in the treatment of chronic diarrhea are lacking. Diosmectite, an absorbent, can be used for the treatment of chronic functional diarrhea, radiation-induced diarrhea, and chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Antispasmodics including alverine citrate, mebeverine, otilonium bromide, and pinaverium bromide are used for relieving diarrheal symptoms and abdominal pain. Rifaximin can be effective for chronic diarrhea associated with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Budesonide is effective in both lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. The efficacy of mesalazine in microscopic colitis is weak or remains uncertain. Considering their mechanisms of action, these agents should be prescribed properly. PMID:26576135

  14. Multi-agent autonomous system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Wolfgang (Inventor); Dohm, James (Inventor); Tarbell, Mark A. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A multi-agent autonomous system for exploration of hazardous or inaccessible locations. The multi-agent autonomous system includes simple surface-based agents or craft controlled by an airborne tracking and command system. The airborne tracking and command system includes an instrument suite used to image an operational area and any craft deployed within the operational area. The image data is used to identify the craft, targets for exploration, and obstacles in the operational area. The tracking and command system determines paths for the surface-based craft using the identified targets and obstacles and commands the craft using simple movement commands to move through the operational area to the targets while avoiding the obstacles. Each craft includes its own instrument suite to collect information about the operational area that is transmitted back to the tracking and command system. The tracking and command system may be further coupled to a satellite system to provide additional image information about the operational area and provide operational and location commands to the tracking and command system.

  15. Pharmacologic Agents for Chronic Diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwang Jae

    2015-10-01

    Chronic diarrhea is usually associated with a number of non-infectious causes. When definitive treatment is unavailable, symptomatic drug therapy is indicated. Pharmacologic agents for chronic diarrhea include loperamide, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, diosmectite, cholestyramine, probiotics, antispasmodics, rifaximin, and anti-inflammatory agents. Loperamide, a synthetic opiate agonist, decreases peristaltic activity and inhibits secretion, resulting in the reduction of fluid and electrolyte loss and an increase in stool consistency. Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant that is generally considered as the first-line treatment for bile acid diarrhea. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have significant benefits in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. Ramosetron improves stool consistency as well as global IBS symptoms. Probiotics may have a role in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, data on the role of probiotics in the treatment of chronic diarrhea are lacking. Diosmectite, an absorbent, can be used for the treatment of chronic functional diarrhea, radiation-induced diarrhea, and chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Antispasmodics including alverine citrate, mebeverine, otilonium bromide, and pinaverium bromide are used for relieving diarrheal symptoms and abdominal pain. Rifaximin can be effective for chronic diarrhea associated with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Budesonide is effective in both lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. The efficacy of mesalazine in microscopic colitis is weak or remains uncertain. Considering their mechanisms of action, these agents should be prescribed properly. PMID:26576135

  16. Natural thermodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Annila, Arto

    2016-02-01

    The principle of increasing entropy is derived from statistical physics of open systems assuming that quanta of actions, as undividable basic build blocks, embody everything. According to this tenet, all systems evolve from one state to another either by acquiring quanta from their surroundings or by discarding quanta to the surroundings in order to attain energetic balance in least time. These natural processes result in ubiquitous scale-free patterns: skewed distributions that accumulate in a sigmoid manner and hence span log-log scales mostly as straight lines. Moreover, the equation for least-time motions reveals that evolution is by nature a non-deterministic process. Although the obtained insight in thermodynamics from the notion of quanta in motion yields nothing new, it accentuates that contemporary comprehension is impaired when modeling evolution as a computable process by imposing conservation of energy and thereby ignoring that quantum of actions are the carriers of energy from the system to its surroundings.

  17. Natural antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Berson, Diane S

    2008-07-01

    The constant exposure of the skin to oxidative stress results in damage to cellular DNA and cell membrane lipids and proteins. To combat this problem, the skin contains a number of antioxidants that protect against oxidative injury. However, these cutaneous antioxidants can be depleted by sun exposure and environmental insults, resulting in an overload of oxidation products. Thus, topical antioxidants that replenish the antioxidant capacity of the skin have the potential to prevent oxidative damage. A number of natural antioxidant ingredients also have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used in the treatment of oxidative damage such as photoaging and perhaps even skin cancer. This article summarizes the active components, pharmacologic properties, and clinical effectiveness of a number of natural antioxidant ingredients including soy, feverfew, mushroom extracts, teas, Coffea arabica (CoffeeBerry), Pinus pinaster (Pycnogenol), and Polypodium leucotomos. Recent clinical trials suggest that these compounds have promising efficacy in the topical treatment of oxidative stress-induced dermatoses. PMID:18681153

  18. Natural Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryant, Edward

    2005-02-01

    This updated new edition presents a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary analysis of the complete range of natural hazards. Edward Bryant describes and explains how hazards occur, examines prediction methods, considers recent and historical hazard events and explores the social impact of such disasters. Supported by over 180 maps, diagrams and photographs, this standard text is an invaluable guide for students and professionals in the field. First Edition Hb (1991): 0-521-37295-X First Edition Pb (1991): 0-521-37889-3

  19. Dimensional stability of natural fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driscoll, Mark S.; Smith, Jennifer L.; Woods, Sean; Tiss, Kenneth J.; Larsen, L. Scott

    2013-04-01

    One of the main problems associated with the use of natural fibers as reinforcing agents in composites is their uptake of moisture. Many natural fibers are lignocellulosic, which causes them to swell and shrink as the amount of available moisture changes. Swelling and shrinking can cause composites to prematurely fail. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study that considers the use of two different low molecular weight monomers, hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA), polymerized by electron beam ionizing radiation, to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers. Eight different treatments consisting of varying amounts of monomer, encapsulating agent, and cross-linkers, were evaluated for their ability to dimensionally stabilize sisal fiber. Results indicate that both polymerized HEA and HEMA can reduce the swelling of sisal fiber. The effectiveness of HEA and HEMA can be further enhanced with the use of a cross-linker (SR 454). The use of hydroxylated monomers to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers may play an important role in reducing delamination and improving fiber-resin adhesion in composites.

  20. Dimensional stability of natural fibers

    SciTech Connect

    Driscoll, Mark S.

    2013-04-19

    One of the main problems associated with the use of natural fibers as reinforcing agents in composites is their uptake of moisture. Many natural fibers are lignocellulosic, which causes them to swell and shrink as the amount of available moisture changes. Swelling and shrinking can cause composites to prematurely fail. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study that considers the use of two different low molecular weight monomers, hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA), polymerized by electron beam ionizing radiation, to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers. Eight different treatments consisting of varying amounts of monomer, encapsulating agent, and cross-linkers, were evaluated for their ability to dimensionally stabilize sisal fiber. Results indicate that both polymerized HEA and HEMA can reduce the swelling of sisal fiber. The effectiveness of HEA and HEMA can be further enhanced with the use of a cross-linker (SR 454). The use of hydroxylated monomers to dimensionally stabilize natural fibers may play an important role in reducing delamination and improving fiber-resin adhesion in composites.

  1. Chemopreventive Agent Development | Division of Cancer Prevention

    Cancer.gov

    This group promotes and supports research on early chemopreventive agent development, from preclinical studies to phas | Research on early chemopreventive agent development, from preclinical studies to phase I clinical trials.

  2. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  3. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  4. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  5. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  6. Security Measures to Protect Mobile Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadhich, Piyanka; Govil, M. C.; Dutta, Kamlesh

    2010-11-01

    The security issues of mobile agent systems have embarrassed its widespread implementation. Mobile agents that move around the network are not safe because the remote hosts that accommodate the agents initiates all kinds of attacks. These hosts try to analyze the agent's decision logic and their accumulated data. So, mobile agent security is the most challenging unsolved problems. The paper analyzes various security measures deeply. Security especially the attacks performed by hosts to the visiting mobile agent (the malicious hosts problem) is a major obstacle that prevents mobile agent technology from being widely adopted. Being the running environment for mobile agent, the host has full control over them and could easily perform many kinds of attacks against them.

  7. Intelligent Agents as Cognitive Tools for Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baylor, Amy

    1999-01-01

    Examines the educational potential for intelligent agents as cognitive tools. Discusses the role of intelligent agents: managing large amounts of information (information overload), serving as a pedagogical expert, and creating programming environments for the learner. (AEF)

  8. Learning other agents` preferences in multiagent negotiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bui, H.H.; Kieronska, D.; Venkatesh, S.

    1996-12-31

    In multiagent systems, an agent does not usually have complete information about the preferences and decision making processes of other agents. This might prevent the agents from making coordinated choices, purely due to their ignorance of what others want. This paper describes the integration of a learning module into a communication-intensive negotiating agent architecture. The learning module gives the agents the ability to learn about other agents` preferences via past interactions. Over time, the agents can incrementally update their models of other agents` preferences and use them to make better coordinated decisions. Combining both communication and learning, as two complement knowledge acquisition methods, helps to reduce the amount of communication needed on average, and is justified in situations where communication is computationally costly or simply not desirable (e.g. to preserve the individual privacy).

  9. Conformity-driven agents support ordered phases in the spatial public goods game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javarone, Marco Alberto; Antonioni, Alberto; Caravelli, Francesco

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the spatial Public Goods Game in the presence of fitness-driven and conformity-driven agents. This framework usually considers only the former type of agents, i.e., agents that tend to imitate the strategy of their fittest neighbors. However, whenever we study social systems, the evolution of a population might be affected also by social behaviors as conformism, stubbornness, altruism, and selfishness. Although the term evolution can assume different meanings depending on the considered domain, here it corresponds to the set of processes that lead a system towards an equilibrium or a steady state. We map fitness to the agents' payoff so that richer agents are those most imitated by fitness-driven agents, while conformity-driven agents tend to imitate the strategy assumed by the majority of their neighbors. Numerical simulations aim to identify the nature of the transition, on varying the amount of the relative density of conformity-driven agents in the population, and to study the nature of related equilibria. Remarkably, we find that conformism generally fosters ordered cooperative phases and may also lead to bistable behaviors.

  10. Natural Strain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freed, Alan D.

    1997-01-01

    Logarithmic strain is the preferred measure of strain used by materials scientists, who typically refer to it as the "true strain." It was Nadai who gave it the name "natural strain," which seems more appropriate. This strain measure was proposed by Ludwik for the one-dimensional extension of a rod with length l. It was defined via the integral of dl/l to which Ludwik gave the name "effective specific strain." Today, it is after Hencky, who extended Ludwik's measure to three-dimensional analysis by defining logarithmic strains for the three principal directions.

  11. Extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires

    DOEpatents

    Riley, John F.; Stauffer, Edgar Eugene

    1976-10-12

    A low chloride extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires comprising from substantially 75 to substantially 94 weight percent of sodium carbonate as the basic fire extinguishing material, from substantially 1 to substantially 5 weight percent of a water-repellent agent such as a metal stearate, from substantially 2 to substantially 10 weight percent of a flow promoting agent such as attapulgus clay, and from substantially 3 to substantially 15 weight percent of a polyamide resin as a crusting agent.

  12. Natural Products as Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Erin E.

    2010-01-01

    Natural products have evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of chemical and functional diversity. It is this diversity, along with their structural complexity, that enables nature’s small molecules to target a nearly limitless number of biological macromolecules and to often do so in a highly selective fashion. Because of these characteristics, natural products have seen great success as therapeutic agents. However, this vast pool of compounds holds much promise beyond the development of future drugs. These features also make them ideal tools for the study of biological systems. Recent examples of the use of natural products and their derivatives as chemical probes to explore biological phenomena and assemble biochemical pathways are presented here. PMID:20509672

  13. Agent 2003 Conference on Challenges in Social Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Margaret Clemmons, ed.

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 14 CFR 221.11 - Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agent. 221.11 Section 221.11 Aeronautics and Space OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (AVIATION PROCEEDINGS) ECONOMIC REGULATIONS TARIFFS Who is Authorized To Issue and File Tariffs § 221.11 Agent. An agent may issue and...

  15. STUDIES OF WATERBORNE AGENTS OF VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The etiologic agent of a large outbreak of waterborne viral gastroenteritis was detected employing immune electron microscopy (IEM) and a newly developed solid phase radioimmunoassay (RIA). This agent, referred to as the Snow Mountain Agent (SMA), is 27-32 nm. in diameter, has cu...

  16. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  17. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  18. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  19. Online Deception Detection Using BDI Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merritts, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    This research has two facets within separate research areas. The research area of Belief, Desire and Intention (BDI) agent capability development was extended. Deception detection research has been advanced with the development of automation using BDI agents. BDI agents performed tasks automatically and autonomously. This study used these…

  20. The Ontogenesis of Agent: Linguistic Expression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olswang, Lesley Barrett; Carpenter, Robert L.

    1982-01-01

    Some of the findings of a longitudinal study of three infants between their 11th and 22nd months to document development of linguistic expression of the agent concept indicated that first vocalizations were inconsistently associated with nonverbal agentive behaviors and later mature utterances coded agent-action-recipient events. (MC)